Horace Hamlin Redfield Mansion

photo credit:  John G. Coleman Collection

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Horace Hamlin Redfield For many years Horace Hamlin Redfield was engaged in the hardware business in Smethport, and he had other business interests in this community, as well as in nearby Eldred and Bradford. As time went on and his activities extended in scope and over a broader geographical area, he acquired holdings in the South and in the far-flung empire of the gas and oil industry in America. His attainments brought him wide respect, admiration and confidence, and his many friends were endeared to him by delightful qualities of personality and his warm friendliness. Mr. Redfield was born January 10,1878, in Chattanooga, Tennessee, son of Horace Victor Eugene and Jeanette (Hamlin) Redfield and a descendant in the eight generation from William Redfin, as the name was originally spelled, who was probably an early immigrant from England into Massachusetts, and who died about May, 1662. William Redfin and his wife, Rebecca, had a son, James Redfield, who was supposedly born in 1646 and was a tanner by trade at Martha's Vineyard, New London and Saybrook, and who married (first) Elizabeth How and (second) Deborah Sturgis. His son, Sergeant Theophilus Redfield, born about 1682, died February 14, 1759, lived at Killingworth, Connecticut; he married, in 1706, Priscilla Greenel, born in 1689, died in 1770. Their son, Richard Redfield, born June 18, 1711, died February 2, 1771, was a sea captain, whose home was at Killingworth; he married (second) ----- Wilcox. Their son, Reuben Redfield, born January 8, 1766, at Killingworth, died January 8, 1835, at Eden, Erie County, New York, lived at Highgate, Vermont, on the international boundary; he married, at Castleton, that State, about 1788, Elizabeth Jocelyn, who died February 4,1829. Their son, Horace Linzy Redfield, born December 23, 1809, at Eden, where he was a physician; he married, April 28, 1838, Clarissa Jane Forbes. Their son, Horace Victor Eugene Redfield, Horace Hamlin Redfield's father, was born December 23, 1845, at Eden, and died November 17, 1881, in Washington, District of Columbia. That Horace Victor Eugene Redfield, a newspaper correspondent, was at one time correspondent, was at one time correspondent in Washington for the Cincinnati "Commercial." He lived for a time at Chattanooga, Tennessee, where he was also correspondent and an alderman. He was a Republican in politics, and both he and his wife were Episcopalians. He married Jeannette Hamlin, daughter of Byron D. and Harriet (Holmes) Hamlin and a descendant in the tenth generation from James Hamlin. James Hamlin lived in London, England, in 1623, and later founded his family in Barnstable, Massachusetts, and there became a freeman March 1, 1641, and died in 1690. By his first wife, Ann, he had several children, one of whom, also named James Hamlin, was baptized at St. Lawrence, Reading, Berkshire, England, April 10, 1636, and came to America in 1642 with his mother and sisters, settling at West Barnstable, Massachusetts; he married Mary Dunham. Their son, Deacon Ebenezer Hamlin, who succeeded to his grandfather's property and his father's, later removed to Rochester, Massachusetts, where he was a deacon and original member of the first church, but in 1742 removed to Sharon, Connecticut, was a merchant, and kept a house of entertainment for travelers at Sharon Mountain; he was a first lieutenant in the 3d Company of Sharon, and later was a private in Colonial forces in the War of the American Revolution; he married (first) Lucy Foster, and they had twelve children. The ninth of these, Asa Hamlin, born March 30, 1780, in Sharon, Connecticut, died September 8, 1835, in Smethport, Pennsylvania, received a sound education, studied medicine, and practiced his profession at Sharon with considerable success until about 1814, when he removed to Fairfield, New York, going in 1816 to Salem, Pennsylvania, and in 1833 to Smethport, where he died September 8, 1835. This founder of the Hamlin line in Smethport, Dr. Asa Hamlin, practiced medicine under difficult conditions and found it difficult to collect money owing him. His family received little at his death. He was a Federalist in politics and a Presbyterian in religious faith. He married, December 26, 1802, Asenath Delano, born April 6, 1780, in Sharon, Connecticut, daughter of Stephen and Huldah (Doty) Delano. They had eight children. One of these was Byron Delano Hamlin, born May 7, 1824, in Sheshequin, Pennsylvania, removed to Smethport in 1833, was elected treasurer of McKean County in 1850 and State Senator in 1852 on the Democratic ticket, and served in 1854 as presiding officer of the State Senate; he married, November 17, 1846, Harriet Holmes, born in Chenango County, New York, January 1, 1826, daughter of John and Nancy (Richmond) Holmes. Their children were: 1. Delano Richmond Hamlin, born August 10, 1847. 2. Jeannette Hamlin, born September 18, 1852. 3. Mary Holmes Hamlin, born September 29, 1856. The second-named of these children, as indicated above, became the wife of Horace Victor Eugene Redfield. Their son was Horace Hamlin Redfield, who spent his childhood in Smethport and was graduated from high school here. He later was a student at Hobart College, in Geneva, New York. In earlier years he was for a time a student at St. John's Academy, in Manlius, New York. He spent many of his summers in early life in Smethport, and his winters in Augustus, Georgia. Later he chose Smethport as his permanent residence. He early went into the hardware business in this city, so continuing for a number of years. As time went on and his interests became more ramified, he was at one time or another a leading figure in many businesses. He served as president and a director of the Grange National Bank, in Smethport, and was founder and president of the First National Bank of Eldred. In Bradford he was a director of the First National Bank, and he was also a director of the Hamlin Bank & Trust Company. Mr. Redfield became a member of the advisory board of the First Mortgage Guarantee & Trust Company, of Philadelphia, and was a director of the Great Southern Lumber Company, of Bogalusa, Louisiana; vice-president and a director of the New Orleans Great Northern Railroad; president of the McKean County Refining Company; and a director of the Smethport Water Company. He later sold his holdings in the McKean County Refining Company, which had headquarters at Farmers' Valley, Pennsylvania, to the Quaker State Oil Company. Mr. Redfield was also a director of the Coudersport & Port Allegany Railroad. One of the active oil producers in the Bradford field, Mr. Redfield was a director of the Gaylord Container Corporation, and also served chairman of the board of directors of the Jefferson County Gas Company, of Warren. He helped during the World War period of 1917 and 1918 to promote many war time campaigns, notably as chairman of the McKean County War Savings Stamp drives. He served one term in the Pennsylvania State Legislature. Many organizations found in Mr. Redfield an enthusiastic worker, among these being the Smethport Country Club and the Conopus Club. In the Free and Accepted Masons he was affiliated with McKean Lodge, No. 388, and was a Past Master of that Lodge. He also had memberships in Coudersport Consistory of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, and was an initiate in Zem Zem Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, at Erie. He was a member of St. Luke's Protestant Episcopal Church, where he had served as vestryman, treasurer and junior warden. On October 10, 1900, Horace Hamlin Redfield married Grace Emily McCoy, daughter of Frederick A. and Emily Leona (Huenerfeld) McCoy. She was born April 1, 1878, at Ellicottville, New York, and was graduated from Smethport High School in 1895, after which she became active in Smethport affairs as a member of St. Luke's Church and Smethport Chapter, No. 15, of the Order of Eastern Star. Her father, Frederick A. McCoy, son of Stephen and Eliza McCoy, was long a druggist in Smethport. Her mother, Emily L. (Huenerfeld) McCoy, was born February 3, 1855, at Ellicottville, daughter of Peter Joseph and Emily (Riggs) Huenerfeld. Peter J. Huenerfeld was born September 18, 1818, at Cochem, Prussia, son of Paul and Mary (Gillis) Huenerfeld; and Emily (Riggs) Huenerfeld was born March 26, 1827, at North Adams, Massachusetts, daughter of John and Melenza (Litchfield) Riggs. Horace Hamlin and Grace Emily (McCoy) Redfield became the parents of the following children: 1. Hamlin Delano Redfield, born January 17, 1902, at Smethport. 2. Robert Horace Redfield, born March 12, 1905, at Smethport. 3. Louise Redfield, now Mrs. John R. McAlpin, born March 16, 1909, at Smethport. There are four grandchildren. The death of Horace Hamlin Redfield removed from Smethport one of the community's leading citizens, respected for his many-sided accomplishments and well beloved by a host of friends. He will long be affectionately remembered in every quarter in which he was known, and the fine influence of such a life must go on being felt as a power for good through future years.

H. H. Redfield Passes Away In Kane Hospital.
Prominent citizen died last saturday after long illness.

Horace Hamlin Redfield, 61, prominent Smethport resident, and one of the nation's outstanding business men, died at the Kane Community hospital last Saturday morning at 5:00 o'clock after a long illness. Mr. Redfield had been in poor health for the past eight years.  He was able to attend to his many interests until about three months ago, when his condition became serious.  He was taken to the hospital in July.

Mr. Redfield was born in Chattanooga, Tenn., January 10, 1878, the son of the late Horace Victor and Jenette Hamlin Redfield.  He came to Smethport during his childhood and spent his early life in Smethport and Augusta, Georgia. He attended Smethport High School, St John's academy, Manlius, N.Y., and Hobart college, Geneva, N.Y. Mr. Redfield was united in marriage to miss Grace emily McCoy, Daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Frederick McCoy of Smethport on October 18, 1900.

Manifold business Enterprises
Mr. Redfield's first business experience was gained as a clerk and delivery boy in John C. Hamlin's hardware store here.  He worked there about two years. It is amazing to scan the huge list of successful enterprises with which Mr. Redfield became identified fied in progressive fashion. He was formerly director and president of the Grange National Bank here, a founder of the First National Bank of Eldred, a director of the Hamlin bank and Trust Company of Smethport, and a director of the old First National Bank of Bradford.

He was a member of the advisory board of the First Mortgage Guarantee and Trust company, Philadelphia.  a director of the great Southern Lumber company, Bogalusa, La., he was vice president and director of the New Orleans and Great Northern Railroad.  He was a director of the Smethport Water company and was president of the McKean County Refining company at Farmers Valley in 1929 and 1930 selling out his interests to the Quaker State Oil Refining Corporation later.  He was a director of the Coudersport and Port allegany railroad and was a founder of the Smethport country club.

An active oil producer in the Bradford field since 1919.  Mr. Redfield also served as a Republican representative in the state legislature for one term prior to the World War.  During the World war he was McKean county chairman of war savings stamp sales.

Mr. Redfield, at the time of his death, was director and chairman of the board of the Jefferson County Gas company, Warren; director and president of the First National Bank of Eldred, and Director of the Gaylord Container corporation, St. Louis, Mo. He was a member of the McKean lodge No. 388, Free and accepted Masons, of which he was past master; Coudersport consistory, in which he held the 32nd degree; Zem Zem temple of the shrine, Erie; and the Temple and Conopus clubs, Smethport.  He was a vestrymen and junior warden of st. Luke's Episcopal church.

Survivors Listed
Mr. Redfield is survived by his wife; two sons, Hamlin and Robert Redfield; one daughter, Mrs. J. V. McAlpin, Jr.; one sister, Mrs. Harriet Gillett; an aunt, Mrs. Mary Forrest, and four grandchildren, J.V. McAlpin, III, Robert r. McAlpin, Helen Redfield and Jenette Redfield, all of Smethport.

Funeral Held Monday
Funeral services were held Monday afternoon at 4:00 o'clock at St. Lukes Episcopal church with the rector, Very Rev. W. E. VanDyke, brother-in-law of the deceased, officiating. Pallbearers were: P. J. Megivern, Jr.. Attorney Robert B. Apple, Robert Digel and R. Kessler, III, of Smethport; Burrell Sprague and Russell Johnson of Davis; Attorney Gauin McCoy of Port Allegany and George Segling of Eldred. Burial was in Rose Hill Cemetery.

Among those from out-of-town in attendance at the funeral were: Mr. and Mrs. A. W.  Mitchell and John Mitchell, Erie, Pa.;  Mrs. Bradford Jones and william Redfield, Syracuse, N.Y.;  Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Washburn, Albert O'Neill, Hon. R.W. Hilton, P.J. Denman, Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Phillips, Mrs. D.H. Phillips, Mrs. A. J. Bond, Ralph Scott and Attorney F.D. Gallup, all of Bradford; Mr. and Mrs.  E. D. Barry, Derrick city; Capt. J. V. McAlpin, Sr., U. S. N., Philadelphia; Mr. and Mrs. Creighton Andrews, Olean; Dr. and Mrs. C. J. Frantz, James Frantz and Miss Leonore Carlson, Warren, Pa.; Clarence von  Tacky, Titusville, Pa.; Mr. and Mrs. O'Neill Kane, Kane;  Mrs. Lowell Oakes, Mt. Jewett; Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Steiner, W. H. Carey, Mr. and Mrs. F. D. Frost, Frederick Loop, Mrs. Mathilda Peters, Grant Holmes, George Atwell and Miss Rose Loftus, Gifford; Mrs. Gordon Studholme, Port Allegany; Rodney Shives, Emporium.

Photo Credit: David Keppel 2001

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