Biography of Samuel Harpending
Yates County, NY Biographies





Harpending, Samuel, son of Peter, was born at Perth Amboy, N. J., April 17, 1778. His father was a soldier in the war of the Revolution and his mother died when he was young, in consequence of which he went to reside with his Grandfather Compton. At the age of thirteen years and six months he was bound out to Godfrey Bartels, a hatter of Germantown, N. J., having been to school only three months. He remained with Mr. Bartels until 1795 when he was released from his indentures, and having acquired a fair knowledge of the business, he returned to his father, who carried on the hatting business. There he remained a short time, when his father gave him a severe flogging, which he considered unjust, and being high spirited and self willed he determined to seek his fortune as a journeyman hatter. He stopped in several towns in New Jersey and in the winter of 1798 he reached Auburn, N. Y., intending to secure work on the old Cayuga bridge which was then being built. He became acquainted with Walter Wood, a wealthy lawyer of Aurora, N. Y., who was engaged in manufacturing hats, and there found employment for a few weeks. He was offered an acre of land for every beaver hat he could make, and he could make twelve a week. That year he returned to his native town and his father sent for him to come and see him. After working at his trade in different places he married, December 6, 1806, Hannah Cosad, of Somerset County, N. J., and the following spring he came to Genoa, N. Y. He remained there five years, carrying on the hatting business, and in 1811 came to Dundee. They took possession of a log cabin and slept there that night, and during the night a large snake crawled in their bed. Mr. Harpending purchased one acre of land and built a house, which is still standing in Dundee. He then kept a public house and carried on the hatting business. That business he carried on for six years, employing four men. About 1818 he built a hotel on the ground where the Harpending House now stands. He carried on the hotel till 1834. Of his family of eight children (two daughters and six sons), Anthony C., Asbury, Abram, Andrew, and Samuel, all of whom are dead save Andrew. Asbury died April 3, 1853; Samuel died in April, 1859; Abram died April 23, 1871; Anthony C. died in September, 1880. Two died in infancy, May A. and Elizabeth. Mr. Harpending died June 30, 1852, and his wife in 1880, aged ninety seven years and six months.

From:
History of Yates County, N. Y.
with illustrations and biographical sketches
of some of its prominent men and pioneers.
Edited by: Lewis Cass Aldrich
D. Mason & Co., Publishers
Syracuse, N. Y. 1892


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