Job & Lydia (West) Lawton

Written by: Leo Lawton

March 20, 2014

When Oliver and Ann Lawton traveled the arduous journey through the woods and trails from Rhode Island to the New York wilderness in 1789 their five sons and daughter were with them.  Their third child, born the last day of May 1795, was a son which they named Job.

Job grew to be a man, and at age 19 on October 5, 1814 enlisted in the U S Army to fight the British in the War of 1812.  While in the Army he became a part of a crew sent to clear a trail north and west to Sacketts Harbor on the St. Lawrence River.  The further he traveled through the wilderness the more he learned to like it.

After the war he married Lydia West of Fairfield and “went west.” They built a log cabin on what is now the Town Line Road between Scriba and New Haven, New York.

Lydia spun, wove, and sewed her family’s winter clothing. They bought unbleached cotton cloth which she turned into shirts and pants for her boys, and dresses and aprons for her girls. All were dyed with hemlock or butternut bark.

For about their first 20 years they tried to keep a fire going continuously. If it went out they traveled to a neighbor’s to borrow some fire. Unpleasant on a zero degree morning. The majority of boys in those days skated barefoot. Shoes or boots were difficult to get, and too expensive to skate in. Her boys, as well as her girls, knitted their own socks and mittens from Lydia’s carded homespun yarn.