Birth:  15 JUL 1826  Gailou, Wayne Co, New York

1840 Census:  There is a Zebadiah Hatfield in Tyre, Seneca Co, New York with a son the right age to be Richard.  There is no Obadiah Hatfield.  See the 1850 census below.

Occupation: BET 1840-1843
Note:  Began driving on the Erie Canal

1850 Census:  There is a Richard Hatfield of the right age who is living with his parents, Obadiah and Dorcas Hatfield in Seneca Falls, Seneca Co, New York.  Don’t know if this is the right guy or not – appears to be the only Richard Hatfield on the 1850 census of the right age who was born in New York.  Also, Richard’s occupation is listed as boatman (see occupation above) and his father is from Massachusetts, which is supposed to be where he’s from.

Moved to: 19 NOV 1850
Place: Mason Co, Michigan, USA
Note: Hired to come to Pere Marquette to work at the mill.

Marriage:12 NOV 1854 Mason County, Michigan
Note: First White Wedding in Mason County. Jim Dexter, Justice of the Peace. No marriage record on file at the Mason County Courthouse.

Land Rec: 1854
Place: Owned 40 acres in Section 31, Pere Marquette Twp, Mason County
Note: Under the Graduation Act of 1854

Land Rec: 19 JUN 1855
Place: Section 31, Amber Twp, Mason, Michigan, USA
Note: Owned 80 acres

Birth of Son:  SEP 1855
Name:  William H. Hatfield
Note: Died at age 5

Birth of Son:  08 NOV 1857
Name:  Charles E. Hatfield
Note:  Died at age 22 from a fever

Land Rec:  10 Mar 1857
Place:  Section 31, Mason Co, Michigan

Birth of Daughter:  09 MAR 1859
Name:  Nellie E. Hatfield
Place:  Pere Marquette Twp, Mason Co, Michigan

1860 Census: Pere Marquette Twp, Mason Co, Michigan, USA
Note:  Wife, Mary, and three children living in household.

Occupation: 1863
Place:  Pere Marquette Twp, Mason Co, Michigan
Note:  boot and shoe maker

Birth of Daughter:  09 FEB 1866
Name:  Ida May Hatfield

Birth of Daughter:  24 JAN 1870
Name:  Mary Ella Hatfield

1870 Census: JUN 1870
Place: Pere Marquette Twp, Mason Co, Michigan, USA
Note: Wife, Mary, and three children living in household.

Birth of Daughter:  24 MAR 1874
Name:  Nettie M.Hatfield

Birth of Son:  18 MAY 1880
Name:  John Gillman Hatfield

Children of Richard and Mary: Back Row=Ida, John, Mary. Front Row=Nettie, Nellie 

1880 Census: 16 JUN 1880
Place: Pere Marquette Twp, Mason Co, Michigan, USA
Note: Wife, Mary, and five children plus a son-in-law living in household

Occupation: Farmer
Date: 1880
Place: Pere Marquette Twp, Mason Co, Michigan, USA

Death: 09 MAR 1897  Died in his home, Pere Marquette Twp, Mason Co, MI
Note: Died of Lung Fever / Pnemonia. The funeral services were held in his home.

Burial: West Riverton Cemetery, Mason Co, Michigan

Obituary: AFT 09 MAR 1897

Will Probated:  04 MAY 1897

parents are unknown

Note: Richard Hatfield, one of the sturdy pioneers of Mason County, was born at Gailou, Wayne County, New York on July 15 1826.  His parents were natives of Massachusetts. When about fourteen years of age Richard began driving on the Erie Canal, and continued that occupation for three seasons. He was then employed as steersman, and in the Winter season followed hunting and trapping in Ohio. He ran on a freight packet out of Buffalo for one season, and the following Winter spent at hunting.

In the Fall of 1850 he hired out to come to Pere Marquette to work about the Baird and Bean Lumber Mill. He landed at Pere Marquette the 19th of November, 1850, and worked through the Winter – driving team most of the time. The following Summer he spent boating on the Erie Canal, but returned here in the Fall, and that Winter he hunted and trapped. He also made several trips to Muskegon on foot, and brought back packs of goods to sell to the Indians.

During the first few years of the 1850s, Burr Caswell had his home on the clay banks in the neighborhood of the old Indian apple tree, and it was there that Dick Hatfield spent a portion of his leisure time between hunting and trapping excursions. On November 12, 1854, he was married to Miss Mary Caswell, Daughter of Burr Caswell, who settled here in 1847. Theirs was the first white wedding in Mason County. Mr. Hatfield had boarded at Mr. Caswell’s, and worked some on his farm. Some years since he pointed out the exact spot under two tall pine trees in the Caswell yard where the event took place. He tells his own story: ‘Right here I was married. You know I was the first white man ever married in Mason county. I married Burr Caswell’s oldest Daughter and Sewall Mounton married the other one five years later. Shall I tell you about it? Well, Jim Dexter was justice of the peace. He had to be brought all the way from Hamlin and when he got here we stood up. He said, ‘Hold up your hand. You swear you will tell the truth and nothing else?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Were you ever married?’ ‘No.’ ‘Then join hands. I pronounce you man and wife, and now we are all hungry and the chicken is cooked. Let us go in to dinner.’ That was the ceremony. Ah, we had good times then, lots of venison and bear and wild duck – sometimes muskrat.’

In 1855 he bought eighty acres of land in Section 31, at 75 cents an acre. The land was covered with an Indian ‘sugar bush’, and the first time he saw the tract was when he went to see the Indians make sugar. In October, 1855, he put up a log house, sixteen by eighteen feet, and began keeping house. He continued hunting and trapping during the Winter season until 1873. In 1870 he began a new frame house, which was finished in 1872. He was a great worker, and rapidly improved his farm, setting out fruit trees, and in a short time he became noted for the excellence and abundance of his fruit. Fourteen children were born to them. Mrs. Hatfield died in May, 1882. She was a most excellent woman, and in their pioneer life had been a helpmate in the truest sense.

Mr. Hatfield had one of the best farms in the county. He was a man of great vigor, and was authority upon all matters of early history relating to this region. For many years he kept a diary of events, and possessing a clear and retentive memory, he was a complete encyclopedia of record and reminiscences.

Mary E. Caswell     

Birth: ABT 1835 New York, USA

1850 Census: Pere Marquette Twp, Mason Co, MI, Page 197
Note:  Living with parents, Burr and Hannah Caswell

Death: 29 MAY 1882
Note:  No death record in Mason Co, Michigan

Burial: West Riverton Cemetery, Mason Co, Michigan

Obituary: 01 JUN 1882
Place: Ludington Record, Thursday

Click here for parents:  Aaron Burr Caswell and Hannah Green

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