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Dexheimer, Florence Chambers, 1866-1925 / Sketches of Wisconsin pioneer women
([1924?] )

Kent, Antoinette Cowles
Mrs. Mary Wadham Hunt,   pp. 151-156 PDF (1.2 MB)


Page 152


    In 1663 John Wadham, her paternal ancestor, sailed
and landed at Boston, settling at Weathersfield, Massa-
chusetts. His descendants, Jesse Wadham, and wife,
(Mary or Polly) Hopkins were the parents of Mary Ann
Wadhams. She was born in Goshen, Connecticut, Jan-
uary 22, 1808. In her ninth year, 1811, her parents re-
moved to the Genesseo Valley of Western New York,
whither the mother's brothers, Hon. Samuel Hopkins,
and John Hopkins had preceded the Wadham family.
Samuel, born May 3, 1772, was a graduate of Yale, a
lawyer and a judge. His sole capital on starting out were
law books given to him by a contemporary. He was
also an extensive traveler for that time having spent four
years in Europe. He made a 900 mile trip on mule back
over the West. He was the inventor of the whole rim
for the wagon wheel. He was assigned to highly import-
ant legal duties in the organization of the govermental
policy.
    The Genesseo Valley was far famed for its beauty of
woodland and rolling hills. After a tedious journey over-
land with three covered immigrant wagons the Wadham
family reached a heavily wooded bluff by the side of the
Genesseo River, at a place named Mount Morris. The
mother brought the first side saddle and the first brass
kettle to be found here, and the first set of china dishes.
This region had long been the abode of the Seneca In-
dians. Mary was familiar with the Indians and their
children were playmates. She knew "Tall Chief" well.
Red Jacket, an orator of some distinction, was sometimes
a polite and distinguished guest at her father's table. She
saw the last sacrifice of a perfectly white dog killed and
burned to appease the Great Spirit, Indians circling the
fire and dancing. Mrs. Jennison, a white woman, the only
survivor of the family after the Wyoming massacre, was
captured by the Indians. She married an Indian and
lived here. She refused to return to the whites. The
Wadhams were surrounded by log houses and wigwams.
    "As a little girl", she says, "I distinctly remember
many officers of the Revolutionary Army and all the
stirring times of 1812; the burning by the British of sev-
                         152


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