"To tell the truth, it has as forbidding an aspect as any spot that has yet been encountered. Ledges of rock, giant forest trees, log and brush heaps, log shanties and rattlesnakes made up a rude landscape that is vividly daguerreotyped in my memory."
The diary of Lyman Spalding describing the construction of the Erie Canal in Niagara County.

The Augustus Hause monument at the Royalton Union Cemetery was 15' feet tall, until collapsing in the 2010s.
  Our line of farming men entered the modern Agricultural Age with AUGUSTUS HAUSE (14 Jan 1804 - 19 Feb 1875). He was born at the dawn of the 19th Century in Rockland County, on the border between New York and New Jersey, which that February became the last northern state to abolish slavery. The United States of America was in its infancy as well, just 20 years old and and growing rapidly. While Augustus was being born, the last details of the Louisiana Purchase were being negotiated between President Thomas Jefferson and the French, adding 828,000 square miles of land to the country's borders. Meanwhile. Lewis and Clark were readying for their expedition towards the unexplored Pacific Northwest.
   Like his country, Augustus would aggressively seek out new lands and opportunities throughout his life. An ambitious, independent man, he would leave the huge family homestead in Fayette to start his own farm and grow rich by shipping his goods via the Erie Canal. He would marry twice and father children well into his sixties. While he was aggressive and willing to take risks, Augustus was not reckless. He was a devout man who would become a local leader in the American Temperance movement.
   Around 1806, Augustus moved with his parents to the Finger Lakes region of the state, in Fayette, Seneca County. He helped work a large farm on "Hause's Point" along Cayuga Lake. The John Hause property so well-known that it was used as a point of reference by the US Congress as they planned interstate travel routes. Augustus' early years were spent in a beautiful location with a prominent, prosperous farming family, in what seemed like an idyllic childhood.
   That all changed in the War of 1812, when his father, a sergeant in the cavalry, was taken prisoner at the Battle of Lundy's Lane and held in Canada by the British army. Augustus, not even ten years old, probably wondered if he would ever see his father again, and the fear of that loss probably cemented the independent, self-reliant streak that would aid him later in life. Fortunately, John Hause returned home when the war ended, and life went back to normal. Augustus never had to face an invading army like his father or his grandfathers, and grew to adulthood during the first relatively peaceful period in the country's history (there wouldn't be another war until the United States got so tired of peace that it would declare war on itself during the 1860's, but that was still a long way off).
   After his father's return, Augustus attended one of seven new schools in the town—or possibly a German school in nearby Bearytown in a log church. Bearytown also featured the infamous inn of Henry Beary, which opened in 1819. This tavern hosted political conventions and was considered the best entertainment spot in the area. Beary's was known for its roast pig, poultry and game, as well as draughts of cider royal, metheglin and peach brandy. For large political gatherings they would even barbecue an ox or two. Augustus probably went there with his father, where John and the locals traded war stories and discussed politics, or the number of wives the Mormon guy had in lot #13.
   This was a time for invention and expansion in the United States, and Augustus was about to invent and expand a family. During the 1820's, he fell in love and married JANE JONES of New Jersey (4 Sep 1802 - 8 Sep 1850). Jane is another one of the mystery women in our family history. Her surname was so common, and so little was recorded of her, that we can't trace her genealogy. Anyway, she and Augustus had the following children:


  • JOHN J. HAUSE was born on 18 Oct 1829. He married Catherine Eave Deissinger (b. 23 Aug 1830) around the year 1854. They had a son, William Hause, who died in infancy, a daughter who also died in infancy, and one more daughter, Alta May (Aug 1870 - 1954, buried in Royalton Cemetery), who married Edward Alpheus Vodra (b. 1872). John and Catherine moved briefly to Michigan, then returned to New York where they lived for the rest of their lives. John worked as a farmer. He died on Tuesday 17 Sep 1912 when he fell out of an apple tree and broke his neck, at the age of 82 (North Tonawanda NY Evening News, 18 Sep 1912, p. 1). He is buried with his daughter at Mountain Ridge Cemetery, Royalton Center, Niagara County, New York, Plot Area B. Catherine died in 1926, and is buried in Mt. Royal Cemetery, in Gasport, Niagara Co., NY.
  • LABAN AUGUSTUS HAUSE was born on 10 March 1831. He moved to St. Clair Co., Michigan in the mid-1850's after marrying SARAH DEISSINGER on 20 Sep 1854. What a party these Hauses and Dysingers were having! Sarah died on 16 Mar 1859 after complications from giving birth to their daughter, Elma Hause (who was a "double-cousin" to John's daughter, Alta May, as they had the same Hause and Dysinger grandparents). Laban then remarried, to a woman named MELISSA SANDERSON. Children listed later. Laban died on 14 Mar 1906 in Memphis, MI (see his Death Certificate here). Click on the photo at right to access the Laban Hause Genealogy page.
  • AUGUSTUS SANBORN HAUSE, JR., was born on 13 May 1835. He served in Company E 8 of the New York Cavalry during the Civil War. (Click here to access the Hause Civil War page.) After the war, he married neighbor Hannah Grove (apparently the Deissinger women were all taken). They had a daughter, Maude (Edsel, 1865-1888), and a son, H. Grove Hause (1867 - 1905). In later years he became a butcher (1900 Niagara County, New York, Census), and eventually moved to Michigan. He died on Aug 23, 1913 in Pavilion, Kalamazoo County, MI,¹ and was buried in the Ward Cemetery in Wheatfield Twp, Niagara County, New York (see his Death Certificate here).
  • BASHEBA JANE HAUSE was born on 23 Nov 1838. She married Charles Henry Oakes (1 Jan 1834 - 5 Dec 1913) on May 13, 1857, in St. Clair Co., Michigan, having followed her brothers John and Laban to new land. In the 1870 census Charles was listed as a mill proprietor. They had the following children: Ella F. (b. 1857), Ester "Hattie" (b. 1859), George Augustus (b. 1864), Bimey (b. 1867) William Hause Oakes (1869 - 16 Jan 1891), and Isaiah Henry Oakes (b. 4 May 1873). In 1910, 74 year-old "Bashabe" lived with her daughter, Hattie L. Dawson, and her children in Marlette, Sanilac, Michigan. She died on 19 Sep 1913 in Marlette, Sanilac, Michigan (obituary from the Port Huron Times-Herald, dated Monday, 29 Sep 1913, page 6).

  • Illustration from the book, Mormonism Unvailed [sic], a Mormon "exposé" published in 1834 by Eber D. Howe.

       Now, Augustus obviously liked using Biblical references when naming his children: There was John (an obvious one, and also the name of his father), and then there was Basheba (or Bathsheba, derived from the Hebrew phrase, "daughter of the oath").² This brings us to the strangest name for any of his children (and the most important to our line): LABAN AUGUSTUS HAUSE, who was born on March 10, 1831, in Fayette, Seneca County, New York. "Laban" must have been a controversial choice for a child's name in Fayette—because while the name is mentioned (very briefly) in the standard Old Testament, it's much more prominent in the Book of Mormon, which had just been written a mile or two away from the Hause homestead in Fayette, in the log cabin of Peter Whitmer, Sr. A sacred relic of that religion called the "Sword of Laban" was even said to be held at that residence.
       The Book of Mormon claims that the twenty-five hundred year-old sword was the ancestral sabre wielded by the ancient "Nephite" prophets, including Laban of Egypt, who had handed it down generationally through the centuries until it reached... Joseph Smith, Jr., who had moved to Fayette in the 1820's. Smith claimed to be a direct descendant of Laban, and that the sword had been handed down to him as his birthright. Smith had apparently kept it to himself, however, until June of 1829, when he "received a revelation from the Lord" permitting him to reveal the sword to Fayette residents Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris. Brigham Young later declared that the group had observed the sword of Laban as it hung upon the wall, and it carried this inscription: "This sword will never be sheathed again until the kingdoms of this world become the kingdom of our God and his Christ."
       This sword and its apocalyptic message obviously would have been big news in tiny Fayette—or at least a hot topic of conversation in the local taverns. Fayette was an extremely superstitious area, and any revelation like this would have been taken very seriously—either as a miracle or a threat.
       Augustus remained a Baptist who eschewed Mormonism, but he did apparently like the name of "Laban" enough to bestow it on his second son in 1831. At the same time, his neighbors declared the Mormon movement to be heretical and drove its faithful out of New York—to what Joseph Smith called the promised land of Ohio (talk about your false prophecies). Augustus moved his family out of Fayette the same year, to the town of Royalton in Niagara County, New York. But he didn't go for religious reasons (as far as we know). A hardworking, ambitious Baptist like his father and grandfather, Augustus wasn't looking for any promised land—cheap farmland would be good enough, and the promise of the Erie Canal.

       Niagara County had been a vast, untamed, unpopulated wilderness until the nineteenth century, except for some British forts and loyalist settlements along the Niagara River (and, of course, the Native Americans who lived there first). The British retained Fort Niagara even after the Revolutionary War to ensure that Tories could be properly compensated for confiscated lands. In 1791, Robert Morris bought half a million acres of land that was then Massachusetts, including Niagara County. Over the next two years, he sold it all to agents of the Holland Land Company. Then in 1797, the Indians' claim to the land was extinguished for a fee of... well, next to nothing, and they were forced to leave. In 1808 the county of Niagara was created out of Genesee County, and the Indian trails were improved to handle the ox carts. Eventually, Connestoga Wagons drawn by four to six horses could traverse the woods. The first settlers made their livings creating potash salts, made from the ashes of burned trees, or they created barrel staves for whiskey containers from smaller trees.

    Erie Canal

       New York Governor Dewitt Clinton proposed the construction of the Erie Canal in 1808, to link the waters of Lake Erie in the west to the Hudson River in the east. This would open the country west of the Appalachian Mountains to settlers, and offer a cheap and safe way to carry produce to a market. However, it was not until July 4, 1817 that workers finally broke ground for the construction of the canal at a site near Rome, New York. In those early days, it was often referred to as "Clinton's Big Ditch." It would be over 363 miles long and its builders would have to overcome rivers, swamps, and hills—digging by hand.
       In 1819, land speculators learned that the proposed Erie Canal would pass through the area now known as Lockport, and began buying up the land. The first speculators were a group of men from Ontario County, New York, called The Society of Friends, more commonly known as Quakers. Others were unsure of the impact that the canal would have, and waited.
       At this time, most of Niagara County was covered with virgin forests except for a narrow strip of land reserved for a state highway (now Market St. in Lockport) and two or three small clearings. But in January of 1821, advertisements appeared in New York City seeking men to work on the Erie Canal in Niagara County. The workers could expect "wages, and keep" (which meant food and whiskey), attracting a very un-Quaker-like class of people. The population now swelled to 2,000—many of whom were Irish—to work on the canal. These laborers cleared the woods and excavated rocks in preparation of building the locks.

    "Lockport, Erie Canal," by W.H. Bartlett. View looking east from the top eastbound lock. Engraved by W. Tombleson (London : published for the Proprietors by Geo. Virtue, 1838) (Click to enlarge.)

       The full length of the Erie Canal opened on 26 Oct 1825, as Governor DeWitt Clinton came through Lockport aboard the Seneca Chief and passed successfully through the twin flight of locks. The first boat from the East, the Captain Swan, passed through the locks on October 29. It was the engineering marvel of its day, with 18 aqueducts to carry the canal over ravines and rivers, and 83 locks, with a rise of 568 feet from the Hudson River to Lake Erie. It was 4 feet deep and 40 feet wide, and floated boats carrying 30 tons of freight. Numerous bridges had to be built across the canal to accommodate roads and farms which were severed by the waterway. A ten foot wide towpath was built along the bank of the canal for horses, mules, and oxen led by a boy boat driver or "hoggee." Horses and mules drew barges through the canal in end-to-end fifteen-mile shifts. And the ferryman sang his familiar song: "I've got an old mule, her name is Sal, Fifteen miles on the Erie Canal. She's a good old worker and a good old pal, Fifteen miles on the Erie Canal..."
       The effect of the Erie Canal on the economy and industry in the United States was staggering. Cargo that had taken two weeks to carry by road could now be moved in three and a half days. Farmers now could sell flour back east for a living, as freight rates for their products that had cost $100 a ton by land could now be be shipped by Canal for eight to ten dollars per ton.
       The canal came at an extremely prosperous time in the US economy, and it initially caused land prices to soar in New York, and many farmers were more interested in the quick profits from land speculation, as people and businesses migrated into the area, than in producing crops. Real estate prices in New York rose 50 to 150 percent between 1830 and 1836, and investors borrowed enormous amounts to buy the land (bank loans across the country doubled from $28 million to $56 million during those same years).
       In Niagara County, the economy was driven by Benjamin Rathbun of Buffalo—not just a resident of Buffalo, but a village president, hotel owner, merchant, financier, building contractor and land developer. His fortune was estimated at more than $3 million, and by 1836, Benjamin employed more than 2,000 persons—nearly one-third of Buffalo's entire work force—paying out $10,000 a day in wages, from his three banks. He also owned a score of other businesses, and had built practically all of Buffalo's buildings—using other people's money, and spending more than was coming in... but in the booming economy, with the promise of the canal, nobody noticed.
       A small farmer in Seneca County like Augustus Hause must have watched all of this land speculation, spurred by the revolution in agriculture, with envy and amazement. He and his father were doing okay—their goods could reach the Erie Canal from Waterloo and Seneca Falls, by way of the Seneca River—but the Seneca Lock Navigation Co., a private enterprise formed in 1813, had dammed three sets of rapids and installed locks, so farmers had to pay them to get their goods transported to the Canal. Augustus was stuck working on his small parcel of Hause point land, away from the canal... until something wonderfully horrible occured, and the booming economy came crashing down...


    18th century - Dutch, German, Swedish, Scotch-Irish, and English farmers settled on isolated farmsteads, and small family farms predominate; housing ranges from crude log cabins to substantial frame, brick, or stone houses; farm families manufacture many necessities; Oxen and horses for power, crude wooden plows, all sowing by hand, cultivating by hoe, hay and grain cutting with sickle, and threshing with flail.
    1776 - The Continental Congress offers land grants of prime farmland for service in the Continental Army.
    1790 - Total US population: 3,929,214; Farmers make up about 90% of labor force
    1790's - Cradle and scythe introduced.
    1790's - John Chapman (later known as "Johnny Appleseed") practices his nurseryman craft in the Wilkes-Barre area and of picking seeds from the pomace at Potomac cider mills.
    1793 - Invention of cotton gin.
    1797 - Charles Newbold patents first cast-iron plow.
    1800 1800 - Total US population: 5,308,483; Farmers make up about 73.7% of labor force. New York population: 586,050.
    1797 - The first postal service in this area runs from Canandaigua to Fort Niagara, a route that was established on March 3, 1797 by act of Congress. A lone rider traveling on horseback from Canandaigua through Batavia and Cold Spring delivers the mail every two weeks.
    1801 - Thomas Moore of Maryland invents the icebox refrigerator.
    1804 - Hause family moves west to military patents, settle on larger farmsteads.
    1807 - President Thomas Jefferson signs "The Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves of 1807" into law on March 3, 1807, ending the transatlantic slave trade.
    1808 - New York Governor Dewitt Clinton proposed the construction of the Erie Canal ("Clinton's Folly").
    1810 - New York Poulation: 959,049; Has almost tripled since 1790.
    1812 - Thomas and Catherine Hustler operated a tavern in Lewiston that acquires a favorable international reputation among British, French and Americans, alike. Upon occasions, the Hustlers were even known to entertain a young naval officer named James Fenimore Cooper. Mr. and Mrs. Hustler serve drinks mixed from several liquors and stirred with a rooster's tail feather. Upon tasting the concoction, a young French officer was said to have stood and toasted Mrs. Hustler saying, "Viva la cocktail!" Historians have conjectured that it was the cocktail that spared the Hustler tavern when the British burned Lewiston during the War of 1812. Some say that British officers couldn't bear the thought of destroying the tavern where they first experienced this interesting libation. It is also assumed that James Fenimore Cooper, in his work, The Spy, patterned two of his characters, Sergeant Hollister and Betty Flanagan, after Mr. and Mrs. Hustler, Niagara County's inventors of the cocktail.
    1817 - On July 4, workers break ground for the construction of the Erie Canal, or "Clinton's Big Ditch," at a site near Rome, New York.
    1819 - Jethro Wood patents iron plow with interchangeable parts.
    1819-25 - U.S. food canning industry is established.
    1821 - Erie County is separated out from Niagara County and Lockport became the county seat for Niagara County. The first post office is established there in 1822. At first, the recipient of the mail paid the cost of postage, and it was said a prepaid letter was an insult because it implied the receiver was too poor to pay for his own mail. When mail service was first organized, a single sheet letter from New York City to Buffalo cost 25 cents and if you added an enclosure, the cost would be 75 cents. Pretty steep postage in light of the fact that a day's wages was barely a dollar.
    1823 - Two slave hunters from Kentucky arrive and attempt to arrest Joseph Pickard, a black barber. A crowd of Irish canal workers thwart them. Lockport becomes a stronghold of anti-slavery movement. Quakers, who hold powerful positions in the Village of Lockport, are against slavery and become Abolitionists.
    1830 1830 - Total US population: 12,866,020; Farmers make up about 68.8% of labor force.
    1830 - Fewer than 50 miles of railway tracks exist in the United States.
    1830-37 - Land speculation boom.
    1830 - About 250-300 labor-hours required to produce 100 bushels (5 acres) of wheat with walking plow, brush harrow, hand broadcast of seed, sickle, and flail.
    1832 - British traveler and diarist Fanny Trollope travels through Niagara County and writes, "we were most painfully jumbled and jolted over logs and through bogs, till every joint was nearly dislocated."
    1834 - The McCormick reaper is patented.
    1834 - The first fire engine is purchased for the Protection Fire Company in Niagara County, and holds approximately a barrel and a half of water.
    1834 - John Lane begins to manufacture plows faced with steel saw blades.
    1836 - Builder, banker, hotel-keeper, and land speculator Benjamin Rathbun enters into numerous contracts to buy vast tracts of valuable real estate, on credit, in Niagara Falls and the vicinity. Many other citizens are eager to join in Rathbun's speculation. With the help of these financial backers, Rathbun succeeds in pushing out the village limits through the purchase and sale of lots.
    1837 - John Deere and Leonard Andrus begin manufacturing steel plows.
    1837 - Strap Railroad begins running in April between Lockport and Niagara Falls, with the cars drawn by horses. By year's end, the horses were replaced by steam locomotives.
    1837 - Practical threshing machine is patented.
    1837 - "The Panic of 1837" financial crisis touches off a major recession. (Image at right: "The Times," a 1837 caricature by Edward Williams Clay. Printed & Published by H. R. Robinson, 52 Courtlandt Street New York. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540.) Poor economic conditions delay construction on the Erie Canal, and force many businessmen into bankruptcy, including Rathbun and his backers (and creditors).

       The "Panic of 1837" was a financial crisis in the United States that touched off a major recession, lasting until the mid-1840s. Speculative lending practices and a collapsing real estate bubble, among other factors, caused a crisis in banking. Confidence in the financial system got so bad that the Secretary of the Treasury finally announced that payment for government lands had to be made in gold and silver after August 15, 1836, and that paper money wouldn't be accepted. The reaction to the announcement was disastrous. On May 10, 1837, banks in New York City suspended exchanging their coin for customers' bills, meaning that they would no longer redeem paper money at full face value. Within two months, the losses from bank failures in New York City alone aggregated nearly $100 million. Business closures, unemployment (25% in some areas) and bankruptcy ran rampant. In Niagara County, many lost their savings to Benjamin Rathbun, who was convicted of forging loans to finance his schemes, his multi-million-dollar empire collapsing in ruins.³ The people he swindled, financed or employed were forced to declare bankruptcy or sell prime land near the Erie Canal. It was a perfect moment for a hardworking yeoman like Augustus Hause to take the next step, and buy a farm of his own with the small amount of money he had saved.
       On 20 Jun 1837, a month after the start of the crisis, Augustus took advantage of the burst real estate bubble to purchase 100 acres of prime farming property in Royalton from Benjamin Knower (Royalton Deeds, Book 19, page 356, Lot #59) for $450. Then a year later, on October 15th, Augustus "Hawes" bought just over 56 acres in an adjoining lot from Charles E. Dudley of Albany (Royalton Deeds, Book 22, page 153, lot #57) for $270. Buying these prime properties near the canal at the lowest ebb of the recession, the value of the farmland had nowhere to go but up.

    Personal Information
    Deed Image
    Name: Hawes, Augustus
    Township: Royalton
    County: Niagara
    State: NY
    Date: 10/15/1838
    Acres: 56.25
    Price: $270
    Personal Information
    Deed Image
    Name: House, Augustus
    Township: Royalton
    County: Niagara
    State: NY
    Date: 6/20/1837
    Acres: 100
    Price: $450
    SOURCE INFORMATION: Niagara County Clerk's Office, Lockport, NY

       Augustus may not have been able to spell his name consistently, if at all, but he was still a shrewd investor. These purchases gave him almost 160 acres of fertile soil for $720, so while the prices of agricultural commodities dropped sharply in the recession, driving many farmers off their land and into factory jobs in Albany, Rochester, Syracuse or Buffalo, Augustus had a lower overhead and could actually expand. Augustus gambled that the Erie Canal, which ran right through town, would make this property much more valuable in time, as the recession faded—and he was right by more than tenfold.
       The canal eventually changed the economy of the country, and of northern New York especially. Freight from New York to Ohio traveled a third faster than by wagon, and at half the cost. New York was a more profitable market for farm products than New Orleans, so traffic on the Mississippi evaporated while New York boomed. In fact, the canal was so cost effective that a customer in Savannah, Georgia, could buy Augustus' wheat in New York cheaper than wheat grown in the central part of his own state! Furthermore, improvements in farm equipment, like horse-drawn reapers and threshing machines, made farming much easier and more lucrative. Augustus could use much more of his acreage than his father could, even with a hundred fewer acres of property.
       Unlike the hilly "Finger Lakes" region of New York that Augustus was raised in, which was known more for wines than wheat, Niagara County was flatter and greener, and ideal for raising animals and grains like wheat and barley, and the orchards supplied the country with apples and peaches. With the Erie Canal opening new markets for his crops, Augustus had found an ideal place to prosper.


    1840 1840-1850 - New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio are the chief wheat States. Agriculture booms in NY, thanks to the Erie Canal, and Rochester is nicknamed the "Flour City."
    1840 - New York population nears 2 million.
    1840 - Almost 3,000 miles of railroad tracks in the United States.
    1842 - First grain elevator is invented in Buffalo, New York.
    1842 - The congregation of the Hause family's Baptist church suffers a drastic split when some members leave to follow the end-of-the-world teachings of William Miller, the originator of Millerism, who spoke in Lockport. He and his devotees are certain that the world will end on April 21, 1843.
    1843 - On April 21, the day passes without incident: No end of days, no returning Jesus, no hellfire, damn it. The Millerists announce there has been a calendar mix-up, and predict a new date for the end of the world: April 18, 1844, based on the Karaite Jewish calendar (as opposed to the Rabbinic calendar).
    1843 - Sir John Lawes founds the commercial fertilizer industry by developing a process for making superphosphate.
    1844 - April 18 passes without incident: No end of days. Millerites announce that they had entered the "tarrying time"—a time of waiting after which Christ would finally return—spoken of in Matthew 25:5 and Habakkuk 3:2-3. This belief sustains the Millerites through the months of May to July, 1844. Finally, a new date is announced: "the tenth day of the seventh month of the present year, 1844." Again using the calendar of the Karaite Jews, this date is determined to be October 22, 1844.
    1844 - October 22 passes without incident: No end of days. Millerite leaders and followers are disillusioned. Some Millerites predict different dates—among them April, July, and October 1845. The majority however, give up their beliefs and attempt to rebuild their lives... and buy new calendars.
    1844 - Practical mowing machine is patented.
    1844 - Success of the telegraph revolutionizes communications.
    1845 - A bathing establishment advertises in the Niagara Democrat that Shower Baths are ready to use at the Big Mill in Lockport. Terms of $1 per person conferred the right to shower once a day or "oftener" throughout the year. The advertiser noted, "it is unnecessary to remark upon the comfort of daily ablutions, at least during warm weather, to say nothing of the conduciveness to health. Those wishing the luxury of being clean, can have the privilege of washing as often as they please."
    1845 - The Goshen Democrat publishes a death notice for Johnny Appleseed in its 27 Mar 1845 paper, citing the day of death as March 18 of that year, at the age of 80. "Many of our citizens will remember this eccentric individual, as he sauntered through town eating his dry rust and cold meat, end freely conversing on the mysteries of his religious faith. He was a devoted follower of Emanuel Swedenborg, and notwithstanding his apparent poverty, was reputed to be in good circumstances."
    1846 - First use of adhesive postage stamps on letters. Lockport postmaster Hezekiah Scovell is the first postmaster in Western New York to use adhesive on postage stamps, an item which he designed especially for Lockport. It is unpopular, because the sender has to purchase the stamp (up to that point, the cost to mail a letter was usually paid by the recipient, not the sender). In fact, the Lockport Daily Journal & Courier of March 15, 1862, asks Augustus Hause to come down to the post office and pay for a letter.
    1847 - A second set of locks is completed on the Erie Canal in Lockport. They now allow for twice as much boat traffic.
    1848 - On the night of March 29, an ice jam forms on Lake Erie near Buffalo, blocking the water that flows along the Niagara River and over Niagara Falls, marking the first and only time that both the American and Canadian sides of the Falls fall silent together. Some feel it is an evil omen, and churches hold special services to help allay the fears. Millerites are disappointed once again when the ice thaws and the world survives.
    1849 - Mixed chemical fertilizers sold commercially
    1850 1850's - Commercial corn and wheat belts begin to develop; wheat occupies the newer and cheaper land west of the corn areas.
    1850 - New York population: 3,097,394, growing over one million in ten years.
    1850 - About 75-90 labor-hours required to produce 100 bushels of corn (2-1/2 acres) with walking plow, harrow, and hand planting.
    1850 - Passengers can travel over 9,000 miles across the U.S. on steam-engine trains.
    1850-70 - Expanded market demand for agricultural products bring adoption of improved technology and resulting increases in farm production.
    1850 - The first commercial orchard of peaches in the county is planted by John Burdette. The success of the Erie Canal after 1825 enabled area farmers to take advantage of eastern markets for apples, but peaches were too perishable to withstand the slow canal transportation process. With the advent of the speedier New York Central Railroad in 1852-3, travel time was greatly reduced and peach growers now had a chance to ship their fruit to New York City and beyond. As a result, Niagara County farmers began to plant peach orchards in the shade of the Niagara Escarpment as it stretched out to Lake Ontario.
    1854 - Self-governing windmill perfected
    1855 - Melvin Shaver, a native of Somerset who married into the House family, wrote of his recollections of apple harvest time. He noted that the process was made much more difficult by the height of the apple trees. Standard tree height exceeded thirty feet and those picking the crop usually worked from 35-foot ladders in order to reach some of the fruit. Pickers worked 12 hours per day and six days per week, for which the average wage was $1.25 per day. Shaver remarked that in the 1850s, there were no aphis or other insects in Niagara County. Spraying at that time was unknown. Aphis entered the region at a later date, arriving from Asia. An orchard in Lewiston was first affected and soon all of the trees in the area died and later, it became necessary to spray all of the trees in the county.
    1855 - Augustus' children Laban, John and Basheba head up the Erie Canal with their families and members of the Dysinger clan, settling in Michigan.
    1856 - 2-horse straddle-row cultivator patented.
    1858 - Mason jars, used for home canning, are invented.
    1860 1860 - Wisconsin and Illinois are now the chief wheat States.
    1860's - Kerosene lamps become popular.
    1861 - In February, Lincoln's train passes through Niagara Falls and Lockport on its way to his inauguration in Washington.
    1861 - News of the surrender of Fort Sumter and the start of the Civil War reaches Niagara County by wire early in the morning of April 14. The printers of the Journal and Courier labor at the presses through the night and send the newsboys scrambling into the streets. The banner headline reads, "War! War!"
    1861 - The departure of the 28th for Albany on May 17 is the occasion of a great celebration. Escorted by the 66th Militia, the Continental Home Guards, the Lockport Fire companies and the Niagara Baseball Club, they parade to the New York Central Depot, stopping for a farewell address in front of the American Hotel.
    1861 - Mary Todd Lincoln returns to the area in September for a shopping spree. She spends time in Niagara Falls and Lockport. A few weeks later, a mysterious package with an odd odor, addressed to Mrs. Lincoln, arrives at the White House. The President, fearing that perhaps a mouse has gotten into the package and died, decides to open it himself to spare his wife the displeasure of its contents. It turns out to be patterns from a Lockport dress shop, without any mouse inside.
    1861 - Augustus Hause, Jr., enlists on October 15 in Royalton, at the age of 23. He serves in Company E of the 8th New York Cavalry (Unit 1326), also called the Rochester Regiment, and the Crooks Cavalry Regiment.
    1861 - William H. Bush, owner of the Oyster Saloon located under the Exchange Bank in Lockport, learns of President Lincoln's call for 75,000 army volunteers before official notice was given, in anticipation of the Civil War. He posts signs on the Pine Street wall of the saloon, asking for recruits to sign up offering to lead them as their captain. They become the first volunteer regiment of the Civil War.
    1863 - The ranks of the 28th are so decimated, that they were ordered home to be mustered out of service. On their arrival in Lockport on May 20, they received a royal reception and paraded to the fair ground. Nearly 4,600 men from the county fought in the war and of these, more than 800 were killed or died of illnesses or in prison camps. Many others came home to Niagara County with their health shattered and lived only a few more years.
    1864 - Augustus Hause, Jr., is discharged on 08 December in Rochester, New York, as a Corporal with a Distinguished Service medal.
    1865 - In April, Lincoln's funeral train passes through Lockport and Niagara Falls on its way to Illinois.
    1865-75 - Gang plows and sulky plows came into use.
    1868 - Steam tractors were tried out
    1868 - Augustus Hause sells his last hundred acres and retires from farming, moving into Lockport.
    1868 - Mary Ellen Powers is born on June 6, nearly 2 feet tall at birth, and grows up on Grand Street in Lockport. Mary Ellen grew to be known as "The World's Tallest Lady," and traveled with the Barnum & Bailey Circus and other purveyors of oddities. She stopped growing at age nineteen, topping out at seven feet tall. (The median height at that time was barely five feet.)
    1869 - Spring-tooth harrow or seedbed preparation appears.
    1870 1870 - Total US population: 38,558,371; farmers make up 53% of labor force.
    1870 - Illinois, Iowa, and Ohio are the chief wheat States.
    1870's - Silos came into use
    1870's - Deep-well drilling first widely used
    1874 - Glidden barbed wire patented
    1874 - Availability of barbed wire allowed fencing of rangeland, ending era of unrestricted, open-range grazing 1877 - Belva Ann Bennett McNall Lockwood, a native of Royalton, was living in Washington, D.C. pursuing a career in law and making a name for herself in the women's suffrage movement when Moses Richardson, the editor, printer and pressman of the Lockport Daily Journal, wrote a love letter to the lady lawyer in Washington, but changed his mind about sending it. It apparently got mixed up with some other papers and Richardson later used the reverse side to write an editorial and sent it off to be printed. Somehow the typesetter printed the love letter instead of the editorial. Before Richardson could correct the error, several copies had already been distributed. He soon became the butt of many a joke throughout the city. Until his death in 1890, Richardson never lived down the letter. Belva became the first woman to run for U.S. president in 1884, on the Equal Rights Party ticket, and actually received votes. She ran again four years later, helping the disenfranchised of the nation (except for Richardson).

    "Alongside the [rail]roads, whose iron bands unite our most distant cities, upon banks of rivers and canals, whose waters bear away the products of our soil, there have been springing up, intelligent thinking farmers."
    —Early issue of "The Cultivator" December, 1851, VIII, 12, 385

       The financial collapse of 1937 had shifted priorities in the agricultural industry. The History of Agriculture in the Northern United States, 1620-1860, by Percy Wells Bidwell and John I. Falconer, noted that by the beginning of the 1840's, "scientific farming" and the "new horticulture" was becoming widespread. The days of flipping land for profit were over, and more efficient farming techniques were being developed and published in the newly emerging agricultural press. New Yorkers poured over journals like The Genesee Farmer (1831), The Northern Farmer (1845) and The Cultivator (1834), which Whitney Cross wrote in The Burned-Over District, was "probably circulated more thoroughly among the rural folk of Western New York than any other paper."
       Augustus knew that his children would need to be literate and have access to new technologies and information in order to survive and prosper in the new farm economy. Therefore, he made sure that his children would be educated. About the same time he arrived in Royalton, an academy was established at Reynale's Basin, and a building erected with funds raised by subscription, and an attendance of about ninety pupils was secured. The institution continued about ten years, when it was given up and the building demolished. It wasn't a long time, but enough to make sure that Laban and the other children could write and learn the skills that they would need in the rapidly industrializing area.

    Personal Information
    Census Image
    Name: Hause, Augustus
    Township: Fayette
    County: Seneca
    State: New York
    Year: 1830
    Roll: 109
    Page: 59
    View image
    View blank 1830 census form
    Personal Information
    Census Image
    Name:Haws, Augustus
    State:New York



    View image
    View blank 1840 census form
    SOURCE: United States Federal Census. National Archives and Records Administration, Washington DC

    Catherine Dysinger (enlarge)
       Augustus had moved to Royalton around the same time as his former next-door neighbor in Fayette, GEORGE DYSINGER, who had arrived in Royalton prior to the 1830 census, settling near his brother, DAVID DYSINGER, of Lockport. David had fought on the Niagara frontier during the war, and loved what he saw of the open land. So after returning to Pennsylvania to marry his wife, CATHERINE (pictured at right), he took her by covered wagon back to Niagara County in 1828 and started a family there.
       Augustus may have been closer to George Dysinger because of the Fayette connection, but his sons were more involved with David's family—specifically, his daughters. On September 20, 1854, Laban Hause married SARAH DYSINGER (24 Oct. 1832 - 16 March 1859), in the town of Lockport. Laban's brother, John, married a Dysinger, as well—Catherine Eve (named after her grandmother in Fayette) in the same year.
       After the death of John Hause, Augustus received a parcel of Hause's Point land, along with the other remaining children. He sold the Hause Point property he inherited from John in August of 1847 to brother-in-law Gideon Wilbur. (Apparently he stayed away from Esther in Fayette, because Augustus' son, Laban, told a family historian in 1901: "In regard to the early history of them (our ancestors), I can't inform you as I was never with my grandparents to learn of them.")

    A map of Royalton with Augustus' land, marked "A. Hawes," highlighted. (Click to enlarge.)

    Personal Information
    Census Image
    Name:Esther Hause
    Birthplace:New York
    Home in 1850:

    Fayette, Seneca,
    New York

    Estimated Birth Year:1781
    Attended School within yearNo
    View image
    View blank 1850 census form
    SOURCE INFORMATION: 1850 United States Federal Census. M432, 1009 rolls. National Archives and Records Administration, Washington DC.
       Augustus and Jane prospered on their 156-acre spread, as shown by the 1850 census, taken June 1st, 1850. We know Jane is there because for the first time in the history of the United States census, enumerators were instructed to record the names of every person in the household, and were asked to include the following categories: name; age as of the census day; sex; color; birthplace; occupation of males over age fifteen; value of real estate; whether married within the previous year; whether deaf-mute, blind, insane, or "idiotic"; whether able to read or write for individuals over age twenty; and whether the person attended school within the previous year. No relationships were shown between members of a household. The categories allowed Congress to determine persons residing in the United States for collection of taxes and the appropriation of seats in the House of Representatives.
       In the Hause family, Esther Hause was now staying with her son Alanson back in Fayette. Augustus "Hawyes," one of the worst "Hause" spellings yet, is listed as a farmer, and the value of his land is priced at $4240. His wife, Jane, is recorded as 47 years old, but she would die within months. Their son, 19-year-old Laban (spelled "Laben Haws" by the enumerator), is listed on the next page:

    Personal Information
    Census Image
    Name: Augustus
    Age: 46
    Birthplace: New York
    Home in 1850: Royalton,
    New York
    Estimated Birth Year: 1804
    Attended School within year No
    Page: 183
    Roll: M432_560
    Year: 1850
    View image
    View blank 1850 census form
    Personal Information
    Census Image
    Name: Laben
    Age: 19
    Birthplace: New York
    Home in 1850: Royalton,
    New York
    Estimated Birth Year: 1831
    Attended School within year Yes
    Page: 184
    Roll: M432_560
    Year: 1850
    View image
    View blank 1850 census form
    SOURCE INFORMATION: 1850 United States Federal Census. M432, 1009 rolls. National Archives and Records Administration, Washington DC.

       The Hause family attended the First Baptist Church of Christ in Royalton, organized in 1822 "at the schoolhouse that stood near the graveyard in the neighborhood that is now called Locust Tree." The first church was built in 1823, then moved a half-mile east to a new building in 1869, and the name was changed to the Royalton Community Church. (Locust Tree is now known as Dysinger's Corners, as that family opened a hotel and post office there.) A cemetery stood next to the original church/schoolhouse. It was called the Royalton Union Cemetery (also called the Dysinger Cemetery because it situated was across from their estate, and they had all of their family members buried there) and was incorporated in 1848, although some burials were made earlier.⁴
       Sadly, there was about to be a new resident to the graveyard...
       Jane Hause died on September 8, 1850. Like everything else concerning Jane, there were few details handed down about the death. She was buried down the road from the farm at the church cemetery.
       But at the age of 46, Augustus was still trying to enlarge his family. Within two years he fell on love again, with a much younger woman, and decided to remarry. According to the Niagara Democrat newspaper, on December 19, 1852, Augustus wed a woman named FANNIE S. CHRISTOPHER (b. 18 Oct 1825), who also lived in Royalton.⁵ She was just 26 years old, having lived 25 of those years in Niagara County (she was born in Monroe).
       In the New York state census of 1855, Augustus Hause and Fannie lived in a $1200 plank farmhouse with children Basheba, 19, and Augustus Jr., 17. (His first son, John, lived nearby with his wife Eve Dysinger-Hause, while John's brother Laban Hause had moved to Michigan with Eve's sister, Sarah Dysinger-Hause). How the rest of Augustus' family felt about Fannie—over 21 years younger than him, and just four years older than his first child—was never recorded.

    Name: Augustus & Fanny Hause
    Date: Jacob Green
    Date: 2/1/1865
    Property: Part of lot #57
    Price: $350
    Name:   Augustus & Fanny Hause
    Date:   Henry Urtel
    Date:   2/13/1866
    Property:   Part of lot #57
    Price:   $1,703
    Name: Augustus & Fanny Hause
    Date: Daniel Ranny
    Date: 11/8/1868
    Property: @ 100 acres
    Price: $6000
    SOURCE INFORMATION: Niagara County Clerk's Office, Lockport, New York.
       Despite marrying a young wife, age was finally catching up with Augustus, and he retired from farming. Between the years of 1865 and 1868, he and Fannie sold parts of the farm land that Augustus had accumulated during the 1830's, at a sizable profit—about $8000—over eleven times what he paid for it just thirty years before. The canal and the resultant increase in trade had made him a wealthy man.
       Then Augustus and Fannie moved into town, settling on an eleven acre property with a frame house, worth $700, according to the 1865 state census. Augustus became a Life Member of "The State League," an organization operating to stop liquor traffic ("rum rule") in New York.

    "This organization is designed to operate against the liquor traffic, employing all available means to counteract, oppose, and suppress this enemy to our civil and religious institutions. It is designed to combine individual influence with individual effort, and a concentration of many individuals through the merits of our efficient organization. It is designed to indicate those who are in favor of its object, and opposed to rum rule."
    —"The State League" newspaper, 1 Jun 1867.

    Name:The State League
    Publisher:T.L. Carson
    State:New York
    Date:1 Jun 1867
    View Page
    SOURCE INFORMATION: "The State league," published in Syracuse, N.Y.; Began in Aug. 1858, ceased in Feb. 1869, published weekly; "Devoted to the interests of temperance and freedom." (Old Fulton New York Postcards)
       Americans had always been a hard-drinking people—especially in colonial times, when liquor was safer to drink than water, and cheaper than tea. George Washington actually had a still on his farm, and even suggested that public distilleries be constructed throughout the states, saying, "The benefits arising from the moderate use of strong liquor have been experienced in all armies and are not to be disputed." But alcohol consumption rose dangerously high (literally) in the 19th century, with the consumption of pure alcohol in 1825 climbing to seven gallons per person over the age of fifteen. Drunkenness was on the rise, and was blamed as a major contributor to the increasing poverty, unemployment, and crime. The American Temperance Society, later to become the American Temperance Union, was organized in 1826. It quickly begat auxiliaries, so that by 1835, over 8,000 locals branches existed. Augustus Hause's home state of New York actually turned dry in 1854, in an early example of prohibition—but it only lasted for two years. The Civil War effectively ended any hopes of halting the liquor trade. (The army had stopped daily rations of liquor about 30 years earlier, but it wasn't unusual for some commanders to issue whiskey to their troops.) That didn't stop the anti-liquor contingent from trying, however. Many conservative Christians such as Baptists and other Protestants signed on to the prohibitionist platform, and Augustus was one of them.
       Ever the good Baptist, Augustus joined the State League, an association that worked to discourage the sale of liquor in New York, and even ran its own newspaper out of Syracuse, from 1858-1869. Augustus was in every issue as the the representative for Wolcottsville, a hamlet in Royalton, located today on the western side of the Tonawanda Wildlife Management Area (he's under "Niagara County" on the page, at left). The movement stalled however, to the point that a "Whiskey Ring" scandal in the federal government was exposed in 1875, in which a group of mostly Republican politicians, including President Grant's personal secretary, were able to siphon off millions of dollars in federal taxes on liquor, proving that the only thing more corruptive than liquor was politics.
       But while Augustus was through with the evils of alcohol—and even through with farming—he wasn't through having kids. Apparently the influx of money from his farm sale, mixed with the allure of a young wife, had Augustus procreating like a drunken sailor. He had two more daughters with Fannie—the last when Augustus was 63 years old (which, of course, makes him the all-time Hause family iron-man). You can imagine the reaction when Augustus told his 43-year-old son John that he was going to have a baby sister!
       Augustus and Fannie had the following children:


  • SARAH A. HAUSE was born on 8 Sep 1863. She died before 1870 in Royalton, Niagara, New York, and is buried with her father and Jane Jones-Hause, at the Dysinger/Royalton Union Cemetery in Niagara County, New York.
  • ELLA HAUSE was born on 15 Sep 1867. She married George Arthur Wiles in 1893. In the 1900 Census, they lived in Royalton, renting from Ella's mother, Fannie. After Fannie's death, Ella was executrix of her estate, and she and George remained at the residence. Ella died on 12 Apr 1926 in Royalton, and was so beloved in the community that she had two funerals. Ella and George are buried in Chestnut Ridge cemetery, at 7501 Chestnut Ridge Rd., in Lockport, Niagara County, New York.⁶
  • Personal Information
    Name:Hause, Augustus
    State:New York
    Year:March 30, 1875
    View file
    SOURCE INFORMATION: Niagara County Surrogate's Court, Last Will and Testament and Codicils there to of Augustus Hause, Sr.
       Augustus died on the 19th of February, 1875 (just three months before the Whiskey Ring was exposed), leaving 300 bucks in his will for a headstone—more than he paid for 56 acres of land in 1838, and almost half of the cost of his last house. He's buried next to his first wife, Jane, in the Royalton Union Baptist Cemetery, with the most formidable monument in the place—even bigger than any of the Dysingers'. The stone is dark, as well, so it stands out from all of the others. While he rests with his first wife, Jane, his second wife Fannie isn't buried there—she lived another 26 years! In the 1875 state census, 50 year-old "Fanny Hauze" was still living with Ella in the frame house in town; then after Ella married George Wiles in 1893, the couple lived with her, renting the house. Fannie was still there for the 1900 census (Roll: T623 1130; Page: 9B; Enumeration District: 88), at age 74.

    The dark-stoned grave of Augustus and Jane Hause in the back of the graveyard, as well as the stone for Sarah, Augustus' daughter with his second wife, Fannie Christopher.

    Name:Hawes, Fannie S.
    Newspaper:Lockport Daily Journal
    City:Lockport, Niagara, NY
    Date:10 Sep 1901
    View article
    View newspaper
    SOURCE: Lockport Daily Journal, Lockport, Niagara, New York. Publisher: M.C. Richardson & Co. Dates of publication: 1871-1901; Vol. 13, no. 1 (Feb. 23, 1871)-v. 44, no. 39 (Aug. 10, 1901). Frequency: Daily, except Sunday (Old Fulton New York Postcards)
       Augustus had done pretty well for himself, and he left thousands of dollars in property and cash to his children in his will (the inheritance was mostly given to his sons, with trust funds of lesser amounts set up for the children from his second marriage). Poor Fannie didn't make out as well. In fact, she had to go to court just to get some money out of the estate (which infuriated my mother, who recently transcribed the will).
       Fannie died Monday morning, September 9th, 1901, at her residence at Royalton Center,⁷ and willed her estate of $300 personal and $1500 real property to Ella.⁸ She is buried at the Huskey Cemetery in Niagara County, located on the north side of Chestnut Ridge Road at the Lockport/Royalton Town Line.

    TOP IMAGE: 1875 Map of Royalton Center, just after Augustus died, with Fannie Hause raising daughter Ella at the property on the right; BOTTOM, LEFT-RIGHT: The Huskey Cemetery in Niagara County; The grave of Fannie Hause; The graves of Ella Hause and George Wiles.

       When Augustus passed away, he had lived in New York his entire life like his father and grandfather, where he prospered...
       ...But some of his children, seeking new opportunities, had already moved west to a new state, with open country with plenty of unclaimed land...

    (From Jerry Hause's Family Bible)

    CHAPTER 7: LABAN AUGUSTUS HAUSE, 1831 - 1906. With no open land left in New York, Laban Hause (pictured at right with his second wife, Melissa) moves the family west. He clears land with the help of local Native Americans and starts over from scratch.
       Laban Augustus Hause begat Frank Jr., who begat Carlisle, who begat Carleton Sr., who begat Carleton Jr., who begat Jeffrey Carleton, who begat this web page...


    ¹—Genealogist Susan Patt, a descendant of Hannah Grove's older sister, Elizabeth, reports: "My dad's aunt always said, 'Aunt Hanna and Uncle Gus Hause in Scotts, Michigan ... He died in his rocking chair.' She would have only been a teenager at the time of his death so we don't know if she was mistaken about them being in Michigan. Perhaps she even remembered them visiting and got it confused. Hannah was an informant and listed as the nearest relative (or friend) of her brother, Samuel Grove, in the cemetery records, when he was buried in Coldwater, MI in 1903... We know they are buried in the Ward Cemetery in Wheatfield Twp, Niagara Co New York (from transcribed cemetery records) but we don't have month/date of their deaths. We have that Hannah died in 1912 and Augustus in 1913." Interestingly, the story that Augustus Jr. "died in his rocking chair" may explain one of our great family legends. For several generations, Hause children have not been allowed to rock back in their chairs because, they were told, one of their Hause ancestors died when he leaned back in his chair and the chair broke! That's the story we were told growing up, anyway...

    ²—The original Bathsheba was the wife King David, and is most known for the bible story in which David, while walking on the roof of his palace, saw a naked Bathsheba, who was then the wife of Uriah, bathing. He immediately desired her and later made her pregnant, then had Uriah killed... So apparently the context of a Biblical reference was not so important to Augustus when naming children.

    ³—Benjamin Rathbun's buildings were considered "empirical accomplishments," and no one could compete with his talents. In 1835, he had built just shy of 100 stores and dwellings in Buffalo, alone. To support his building projects, Rathbun operated stone quarries, brick plants, and machine shops. He had grocery stores and dry-goods establishments. He ran stagecoaches and horse-drawn omnibuses. He had his own private bank that issued bank notes, over his signature. He had 2,500 employees at his various businesses in which depended on him to feed their families. But Rathbun, caught up in the speculative excess that were rampant in the growing city, was spending his money quicker than it was coming in. He borrowed beyond his means, but to make matters worse, he borrowed on notes to which were forged—more than a million and half dollars in notes. Rathbun was incarcerated in the very jail he had built for Buffalo. Found guilty at a trial in Batavia, he was sent to Auburn Prison for five years. His shattering collapse in 1836 ended those paychecks and gave Buffalo a head start on the financial panic that swept the country in 1837. When he had served his time, Rathbun went into the hotel business in New York. Buffalonians still thought so highly of him that, to many of them, to stay at any hotel in New York other than Rathbun's was unthinkable.

    ⁴—The Dysinger-Royalton Union Baptist Cemetery is located on the north side of Bunker Hill Road between Gasport Road and Ward Road. Map. GAR recording by Ann Wallace. 1889 map in Map Book 12, pg. 1128. Incorporated in 1848 as the Royalton Union Cemetery Association. Papers in File Room under Miscellaneous Records in Register 3, pg. 193. Original papers are missing. See File #5069. Incorporated in 1957 as the Royalton Union Cemetery Association Inc. Papers in File Room in Register 4, pg. 326, File 5069. 2018 UPDATE: The cemetery is now operated by the city of Royalton. All inquiries are now to be made to the town clerk, Marie Little (trclerk1@rochester.rr.com, phone 716-772-2431).

    ⁵—Niagara Democrat, January 6, 1853, announcing the marriage of "Augustus House to Fanny Christopher."

    ⁶—Lockport Union, Sun & Journal, Lockport, N.Y., Monday Evening, April 19, 1926: "Royalton Center, Apr. 19—The funeral of Mrs. Ella Wiles, wife of Arthur Wiles, aged 58 years, who died at the City Hospital on Monday afternoon, April 12, was held on Thursday at 2 o'clock at the late residence and 3:30 o'clock at the Royalton M.E. Church, of which she had been a member for many years and was largely attended. The funeral services were in charge of Rev. J. A. Peacock of Holland, a former pastor, and Rev. H. G. Stacey. Miss Florence Woodworth and Rev. Stacey each sang a vocal solo. The floral tributes were many and beautiful. Internment took place in Chestnut Ridge cemetery in the family lot." The death date was never filled in on George Arthur Wiles's burial plot, so it's unsure if he's buried there and never negotiated to have a date carved in, or if he's just buried somewhere else.

    ⁷—Lockport Daily Journal, Lockport, N.Y., Tuesday Evening, September 10, 1901: "Mrs. Fannie S. Howes (SIC) died Monday morning, September 9th, 1901, at her late residence at Royalton Center, aged 76 years. Her surviving relatives are one daughter, Mrs. Ella Miles (SIC) of Royalton, Three step-sons, John J Hawes of McNalls Corners, Laban Hawes of Memphis, Mich., and Augustus Hawes of Sanborn, N.Y., one stepdaughter, Mrs. Barbara Oakes of Marlette, Mich., one brother, William Christophr (SIC), of Old Mission, Mich. The funeral will take place form (SIC) the house on Wednesday, September 11th, at 2 o'clock p.m." It's amazing how people can spell our name differently from sentence to sentence in a newspaper!

    ⁸—Lockport Daily Journal, Lockport, N.Y., Saturday Evening, October 5, 1901: "Light Business Today in the Surrogate's Court in this City. The will of the late Fannie Hause, of Royalton, was filed and probated today. The estate, consisting of $300 personal and $1500 real property, is left to the daughter, Ella Wiles, of Royalton, who is made executrix. Letters testamentay were issued to the latter."

    TOP PHOTO: Early painting of the Erie Canal.

    A photograph in the Hause family Bible that we thought was Augustus Hause recently turned out to be the portrait of Elnathan Sanderson, leaving us with no photographic record of Augustus, despite his living well into the time of tin-types and CdV's (he passed away in 1875). The unidentified image at left is by photographer Joseph Montgomery, who worked on Main St. in Lockport, the larger port city neighboring Royalton on the Erie Canal, from 1867 to 1875. Next to this image I have placed a portrait of Laban Augustus Hause, son of Augustus, from roughly the same time. Note the eye color, shape of the brow, the nostrils, hairline and shape of the ear—I mean, just note how these two photographs mirror each other. The photo at left could be mistaken for Laban in his old age! So could it be Augustus? Well, I'm convinced enough that I bought it for five bucks on eBay, anyway. Augustus was pretty well-to-do at this time, and it seems likely that he would have dressed up on a Sunday and had a portrait or two done in the largest nearby town with a professional photography shop; I mean, this is a guy who assigned more money in his will for a headstone than he had spent on his farmland! Of course he's going to memorialize himself in a photograph, too! If it isn't Augustus, it's someone who probably looked a lot like him—and probably knew him, so I'm cherishing it!


  • The Reshaping of EveryDay Life, 1790 - 1840, by Jack Larkin. Harper and Row Publishers. 1988.
  • Output, Employment, and Productivity in the United States after 1800, edited by Dorothy S. Brady. Publisher: NBER: 1966
  • Life in America one hundred years ago, by Gaillard Hunt. New York: Harper, 1914
  • Agricultural Transition in New York State, by Donald H. Parkerson; Purdue University Press, Sep 1, 2002. 206 pages
  • A Study of the Origins of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the States of New York and Pennsylvania, 1816-1831, by Porter, Larry C. Porter (Ph.D. dissertation). Brigham Young University, 1971.
  • Buffalo: Lake City in Niagara Land, by Richard C. Brown and Bob Watson: Windsor Publications, 1981.
  • The Rise and Fall of Prohibition, by Daniel Okrent; Scribner, 2010; 468 pp.
  • The Burned-Over District, by Whitney Cross; Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1950.
  • History of Agriculture in the Northern United States, 1620-1860, by Percy Wells Bidwell and John I. Falconer; Washington: Carnegie Institution of Washington, 1925.
  • MONTGOMERY, JOSEPH (from Langdon's List of 19th & Early 20th Century Photographers at langdonroad.com): Montgomery, Joseph, photographer,62 Main, Lockport, NY(1866-1867) Boyd's Lockport City Directory; Joseph Montgomery, photographist, Lockport, NY (1870) Sampson Davenport NY State Business Directory; J. Montgomery, photographist, Lockport, NY (1874) Sampson, Davenport's New York State Business Directory.
  • History of Niagara county, N. Y., with illustrations descriptive of its scenery, private residences, public buildings, fine blocks, and important manufactories, and portraits of old pioneers and prominent residents; New York, Sanford & Co., 1878.
  • Landmarks Of Niagara County, New York; edited by William Pool; Published By D. Mason & Co. Publishers, Syracuse, NY, 1897.
  • Nuggets of Niagara County History, by Robert Kostoff; iUniverse, Jun 5, 2003. 184 pages
  • Lockport Daily Journal & Courier, Lockport, N.Y., Saturday Evening, March 15, 1862: Letters
  • Lockport Daily Journal, Lockport, N.Y., Monday Evening, December 16, 1867: "COURT PROCEEEDINGS—The people vs. Patrick Mullett. Indicted for assault and battery with a deadly weapon, with intent to kill... Attachments were ordered against the following witnesses for non-appearance at the Court when called by the District Attorney: Daniel Ranny, Franklin Ranny, Augustus Hawes, Thomas Johnson, Thomas Chapman and Sarah Brockway." Mullett and another man, Jack Reilly, called "ruffians" by the Lockport Union, were accused of attacking and stabbing William Reynolds "in a most horrible if not fatal manner." Jack's brother James Reilly was also arrested for supplying the knife. But there was a lot of support for Mullett, and he was pardoned by the governor. From The Public Papers of John T. Hoffman, Governor of New York, pages 411, 412: "May 19th—Patrick Mullett, convicted December 18th, 1867, of assault to do bodily harm ; Niagara county ; term four years and six months. Strongly recommended by Alfred Holmes, late county judge of Niagara county, Hon. Ransom M. Skeels and many other citizens of Lockport who unite in claiming the innocence of the prisoner. Trustworthy affidavits are produced showing facts inconsistent with the prisoner's guilt. Mullett's former employers and others who for many years have known him, speak well of him. Ten members of the jury who convicted the prisoner (one having removed from the State and another being dead) ask for his pardon." Augustus and several other witnesses were supposed to testify for the prosecution, but apparently didn't show.
  • The Public Papers of John T. Hoffman, Governor of New York: 1869-70-71-72, edited by J. Munsell; New York, 1872.
  • Lockport Daily Journal, Lockport, N.Y., Saturday Evening, April 23, 1870: "Augustus Hause sold 100 acres of land in the town of Royalton, to Daniel Ranny, for $6,000."
  • Lockport Daily Journal, Lockport, N.Y., Thursday Evening, May 11, 1876: "NOTICE TO CREDITORS. By order of Joshua Gaskill, Surrogate, notice is hereby given according to law, to all persons having claims or demands against the estate of Augustus Hause, Sr., late of the town of Royalton, deceased, to exhibit the same, with the vouchers thereof, to the subscriber, the executor of the last will and testament of said deceased, at his residence in the town of Royalton, N.Y., on or before the 10th day of June next. Dated at Lockport, this 7th day of December, AD. 1875. CORNELIUS KETCHAM, Executor."
  • Niagara Falls Gazette, Thursday Evening, April 22, 1926: Ella Wiles Obituary
  • Niagara County Historical Society's Bicentennial Moments. ©2007 Niagara County Bicentennial Committee.


    CHAPTER 3: WILLIAM E. HAUSE (1750-1818)






    CHAPTER 9: CARLISLE HAUSE (1891-1972)









    The land of Augustus Hause in Royalton, New York, as of 2006.