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Fuller Letters and Papers

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1954 Letter from Ruth Mathews (Keller) Chatterton [1]


In January 1954 Ruth Mathews (Keller) Chatterton wrote this letter to the children of Frieda (Keller) Roos. The letter describes the Family Records, The Lovisa Dawley Spread, and her recollections of Zeruah Fuller Hyde, as well as letters that Ashbel Fuller wrote to Grand Children and letters they wrote back.

  1. Transcribers Note: When Great Aunt Ruth wrote this letter she was 86 years old. I discovered some errors in dates or omission of dates or information so she left a space so she could look it up and fill in later, or put down a wrong date. In transcribing this material I have put those instances in ((double parenthesis the correct information)).

Page 1:
This book ((papers)) is concerned with the history of Ashbil Fuller and his descendants. The material was given to me by Mrs. Zeruah Fuller Hyde, granddaughter of Ashbel Fuller also spelled Ashbil.
A brief history of Ashbil Fuller. He was the son of Abraham Fuller born in 1766 ((1765)) in Conn. He moved to Vermont about 1790 and lived in Vergennes and Ferrisburg.

Three sons Heman, Sheldon, and Ashbil in 1820 moved to St. Lawrence Co. N.Y where they founded the town of Fullerville and began a business called Fullerville Iron Works. Heman Fuller married Amelia Dawley and there were 5 children Issac whom I can remember Lovisa ((Louise)) and Andrew both of whom died in their 20's.

Page 2:
Lorain who married Stillman E Matthews my grandfather and grandmother Lorain died in _______ ((Lorain died in 1874. Stillman died in 1896)) and my mother Minnie Matthews and sister Lephe nicknamed "Pay" were brought up in the home of Amelia Dawley Fuller their grandmother.

Zeruah Fuller Hyde lived to be 94 ((93)) dying Gouverneur, N.Y in 1934. From Aunt "Rue" I learned many bits of information. Once she took me to see the site of her childhood home in Fullerville. The chimney and outside brick oven ruins were visible. She described "Baking Day" when the oven was filled with beans, as much as 50 loaves of bread and 30 pies. The summer kitchen became a "deep freeze" in the N.Y's cold winters and food so frozen was warmed in fireplace ovens as needed. Other information I shall place in the captions under the articles.

It is my hope that the children of Frieda Keller Roos will add to this with ((the)) history of their families.

Page 3:
These letters were written by Ashbil Fuller to his sons ((and Grandchildren)) in Fullerville about 1812 to 1849 ((1850)) when he died. Stout old Puritan he was. Letter No. ______ is of special interest.

This material concerns the Dawley family. Lovisa mother of Amelia spun and carded the wool for the Lovisa Dawley spread now in my possession and which is supposed to be given to the oldest granddaughter of succeeding generations. I will give it to Katherine Roos Dekay.

These pages, have some notes about the Matthews family. I also have the Mathews Family Bible, Letters signed Lorain were written by my grandmother. ((Lorain Fuller) Mathews)) Those signed Sarah Mathews by Stillman Mathews mother.

Ruth Keller Chatterton
Jan. 1, 1954

Births Bible Page - Mathews Family Page 1

Ethen Mathews November 12th 1791
Sarah Mathews March 6th 1794
Norman Smith Mathews March 26th 1815
Lephe Cummings Mathews January 29th 1817
Chas. Cummings Mathews January 17th 1819
Mary Aluuira Mathews June 20th 1823
Samuel Winslow Mathews November 3rd 1825
Lucia Winslow Mathews November 3rd 1825
Lydia Eliza Mathews February 1st 1828
James Brutnall Mathews August 9th 1830
Stillman Ethen Mathews August 21st 1832
Albert Allen Mathews October 20th 1835
Gardner Keyes Mathews January 11th 1837

Deaths Bible Page - Mathews Family Page 2

Charles Cummings Mathews March 26th 1819 - Age 2 months 7 days
Samuel Winslow Mathews May 3rd 1826 - Age 6 months
Lucia Winslow Mathews Oct 18th 1827 - Age 1 year 11 months and 15 days
Mary Aluuira Mathews June 22nd 1828 - Age 5 years w months
Norman Smith Mathews August 22 1840 Age - 25 years 2 months
Lephe Cummings Tripp April 22nd 1856 Age - 39 years 3 months
Ethen Mathews January 1st 1870 Age - 78 years
Lorain Mathews April 5th 1874
Minnie Mathews Keller July 9 1932
Frieda Keller Roos July 25th 1951
Rex Keller Aug 5th 1963
Ruth Chatterton May 11 1974
Otto Keller unknown approximately 1913

Births Bible Page - Mathews Family Page 3

Minnie Mathews August 5th 1860
Karl Keller July 29th 1860
Ruth Keller March 2nd 1888
Frieda Keller March 1st 1890
Karl Ottogar Keller February 9th 1892
Rex Carlton Keller December 30th 1899
Katherine Roos August 24th 1914
Carolyn Roos January 3rd 1916
Karl Roos November 14th 1917
Margery Ann Roos May '((2))' 1920

Marriages Bible Page - Mathews Family Page 4

Ethen Mathews to Sarah Mathews February 13th 1814
Stillman Ethen Mathews to Loraine Fuller ((October 22 1857))
Karl Keller to Minnie Mathews May 4th 1887
Ruth Keller to Herbert W Chatterton June 15th 1916
Frieda Keller to John P. Roos Jr ((September 2nd 1912))
Karolina Keller to Algy McKenzie October 28th 1923
Katherine Roos to Edwin DeKay ((14 Jun 1940))
Carolyn Roos to Charles Steepy May 24 1942
Karl Roos to Christina ((Davidson)) December 11 1943
Margery Roos to Richard Krier November 12 1944

Births Bible Page - Fuller Family Page 1

Andrew J Kinney was born November 20 1848
Frank Kinney was born September 2 1851
Amelia Fuller was born August 27th 1805
Lovisa Fuller was born on Friday Sept 16th 1831
Andrew I Fuller was born on Tuesday Aug 16th 1836
Issac M. Fuller was born tuesday Aug 16th 1836
Zeruah P Fuller was born Aug 25th 1821 Wednesday

Deaths Bible Page - Fuller Family Page 2

Heman Fuller Died Sept 24 1872 Aged - 79 Lorain Millard Fuller Died Jan-16th 1841
Amilia Fuller 1883 Ashbil Fuller Died June--1850
Andrew Fuller Died March 1st 1844 Aged 19 years & 6 months
Lovisa Fuller Kinney Died 1854 aged 22 years 6 months 15 days
Lorain M Fuller Matthews- Died April 5- 1874 Aged 35 years & 8 months
Stella Matthews Died Aug- ((No other information))

Marriages Bible Page - Fuller Family Page 3

Zeruah A Fuller to Abram V Hyde Jan-14-1867
Issac M Fuller to Marrie L. Parker Feb-17-1867
Lovisa Fuller To Orrin Kenney ((June 1846))
Lorain M Fuller To Stillman E Matthews Oct 22nd 1857

((Written in August 1931 Watertown, NY Daily Times))


West Side Resident Observed Anniversary on Tuesday -- Was Native of Fullerville
Mrs. Zeruah Fuller Hyde of 258 West Main street observed her 90th birthday on Tuesday, August 25, being the guest on that day of Mr. and Mrs. Geoge Bartholomew. She received a number of callers, including Mr. and Mrs. Chase of Oxford, Mass. Mrs. Chase, formerly Miss Florence Gear of Fullerville, and Mrs. Hyde were girls together. Mrs. Everett Peck and Mrs. Hannah Pickett called, bringing flowers, candy, and handkerchiefs. Letters were received from a niece on Portland, Idaho, and Mrs. Lottie Kirkbride of Natural Bridge, a former pupil of Mrs. Hyde; a card and candy from Mrs. Carlos Baum of Boston, Mass., and several cards from other friends and relatives, the youngest being Miss Joan Finley, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Carl Finley.

Mrs. Hyde has made her home with Mrs. Etta Whalen since October, 1930. She was born in Fullerville, August 25, 1841, a daughter of Herman ((Heman)) and Amelia Dawley Fuller, natives of Oneida county, who were the among the early settlers of Fullerville. They settled in Fullerville when they were first married.

Mrs. Hyde married A. V. Hyde in 1865, shortly after his return from the Civil War. Mr. Hyde who died in June 1922, served in Company C, 50th Regiment, New York Engineers, throughout the entire War. He was about 78 years of age at the time of his death. Following their marriage, Mr. Hyde for many years acted as a bookkeeper at the various talc mills in Fowler. He was considered an expert penman and many documents which he wrote by hand are still retained by his widow.

In discussing the days when she taught school at Fullerville, Mrs. Hyde said:

"I attended the rural school in Fullerville and when I was 18 years of age I taught in the same school. It was indeed a luxury for drawn carriage in those days and after I began to teach at Little York, about three miles from Fullerville, I would have to get up at an early morning hour, pack my lunch and walk to school in both winter and summer, At night I would walk home. It was usually very dark, especially in the winter, when I made my trip home. The roads at that time, with the exception of the roads used to haul iron from the mills, were scarcely more than a trail. I often think of the modern school teacher, with her salary and excellent living conditions compared to myself and the salary that I was drawing. A school teacher in those days, however, had this much advantage over the modern school teacher. They were much more of a distinguished figure than at the present time. The impression prevailed in those days that a school teacher was just about as high a pinnacle as a woman could reach in life. Despite the hardships and disadvantages that both myself and my pupils had to contend with in those days I cannot truthfully say that I did not enjoy every moment of it."

Mrs. Hyde says that she can recall very clearly when war was declared by the north against the south.

"Those were exciting days in Fullerville as well as elsewhere, " she said "and men would gather in stores and other places and after discussion many of them would go and join the colors. News from the front was scarce and most of it was obtained from soldiers who had returned home for various reasons. Such a soldier would be the subject of attraction for many days and whatever he said fell on anxious and believing ears.

"Fullerville has certainly changed since my time," Mrs. Hyde said. "If it was not for my old home and other familiar landmarks I certainly would never recognize the place. Fullerville used to be a real prosperous community when I was there, with the Fuller Iron Works, which was considered one of the biggest industries in this section, running to capacity. The Fullers who were the owners of the iron works, were my father's brothers. The people of Fullerville considered they were living in an extremely prosperous community at the time and indeed they were if I am any judge. Talc and pulp mills were also running to capacity near Fullerville in those days. My parents lived in a house that is still occupied and stands at the top of the hill beyond the old bridge toward Edwards."

((Mainly a re-hash of the 1931 article from above, but published in 1932)) OWN DAILY TIMES




Is Ardent Admirer of President Hoover and Wants to See Him Re-elected---She recalls Other Depressions and thinks Some Were Worse Than the Present.

Gouverneur, Aug. 25. - Today is the 91st birthday of Mrs. Zeruah Fuller Hyde of this village, a former country school teacher, whose family was among the original settlers of Fullerville. Mrs. Hyde, who for the past two years has lived at the Whalen hospital on West Main street, is in fair health, though her eyesight is failing and she is largely confined to a chair as the result of a broken hip sustained in a fall two years ago. Mrs. Hyde follows politics and she has a considerable knowledge of governmental affairs. For years she has subscribed to a weekly newspaper published in Washington, D. C. in order to keep in close touch with the affairs in the capital. Mrs. Hyde is an ardent admirer of President Hoover and says she would like to see him re-elected.

Commenting upon the depression, Mrs. Hyde remarked that she had seen times when conditions were worse than now, and she felt that just as surely as we emerged from those slumps we would come out of this one. She recalled a time when cheese dropped to as low as 5 cents per pound, and other farm products were priced accordingly.

Mrs. Hyde was born at Fullerville Aug. 25, 1841, daughter of Heman and Amelia Dawley Fuller, early settlers who came from Florence, Oneida county. Mrs. Hydes girlhood home is still standing in Fullerville at the top of the hill beyond the bridge toward Edwards. At the time she lived there Fullerville was a prosperous community, the seat of the Fuller iron works, which were owned by her uncles.

At the age of 18, Mrs. Hyde became a school teacher in the rural school in Fullerville where she had herself been a pupil a few years earlier. She also taught in Little York, a village three miles from Fullerville, and would cover the distance between the two towns on foot. While she was teaching at Little York she would get up early and take her lunch, returning home on foot often after dark. The roads were hardly more than rude trails, except in places where they were used by the teams carrying iron from the mills.

A few memories of the Civil War period are still retained by Mrs. Hyde. She spoke in particular of the excitement which even the slightest scrap of news caused in the little village. A soldier or any person who had been near the fighting war was regarded as with awe by the villagers, and made to repeat his story of the war over and over again. Mrs. Hyde herself married A. V. Hyde, a Civil War Soldier, in 1865, just after the war.

Mr. Hyde server with Company C 5oth Regiment throughout the war. He died in June, 1922, aged about 78. He was for many years a bookkeeper for the talc mills in Fowler.

Mrs. Hyde never complains about her semi-invalid condition, although she says that she does miss being able to walk. She is a supporter of the present day young people, favoring in particular the freer aspects of modern dress.


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