Page 9

The early history of the Town of Ellicott, NY.

Personal recollections of Dr. Gilbert W. HAZELTINE, 1887

Respectfully submitted by Dolores Pratt Davidson
 
 

Page  1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14


 
AXE HELVES AND OX YOKES

Elvin and Thomas HUNT
   There are two small industries of an early day that we particularly 
desire to mention, not because of their importance but as illustrating 
the vast superiority of some persons to others in the manufacture of 
very simple article of trade. 

The Indians were among the earliest axe handle makers, and some early settlers gained some reputation as makers of good helves; but not until Elvin and Thomas HUNT came into this county was any particular preference shown.They very soon educated the  community to use no other than the HUNT helve, provided they could find one, although they sold at a higher price than others.  We know not in what this superiority consisted, but even a boy who knew nothing about chopping wood, would perceive that they were a beautifully finished, smooth, and handsome stick, when compared to others. 
Hunt has been dead many years, we have not yet learned if any one fell heir to his art and method of making axe helves. 

OX YOKES



Joseph SMILEY;
   Very much the same might be said about Ox yokes.Joseph SMILEY ( who came to the county in 1809, and was noted for his strength) was considered the only man who could make a good ox yoke.  Anyone having a pair of oxen expected them to crowd, or brace and pull against each other, if not harnessed with one of Smiley's yokes. 

   We know not who makes ox yokes now, or during the many years since Smiley's death, perhaps someone makes a yoke equal to Smiley's, but we very much doubt it.


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