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Taken from the Mar 16, 1877 Allegany County Democrat – it appears to have been taken from the Wellsville Reporter....Researched & Submitted by Mary A. Rhodes

Death of Abner Huntley

Over 100 Years of Age

Abner Huntley, for over fifty years a resident of Cuba, this county, died on Saturday last, March 10, at the residence of his son and only surviving child, Henry Huntley of Scio, aged 109 years, 7 months and 6 days.

It is given to but few men to pass the limit of fourscore years, and there is probably not another man living of the remarkable age which Mr. Huntley attained – certainly not one who retains his faculties, health and strength as this man did.  His history is not as conspicuous as has been that of many others, but it abounds with interesting reminiscence.  We would gladly give much space to the honorable record of his humble but useful life, yet we are obliged to be brief.  It was never our fortune to see or make the acquaintance of Mr. Huntley, but from one of his relatives we glean a few of the material facts and feature of his life which we gladly give to the reader.

Abner Huntley was born in Norwich, Connecticut, August 4th 1767, years before the Revolutionary war of which to the close of life, he retained a clear and concise recollection.  His parents removed from Norwich to Albany county in this state while he was yet a young lad, and thence after some years to Herkimer county, where he was married to Miss Margaret McCarthy.  The young couple soon after found a home in the town of Seneca, Ontario Co., where their children, four in number, three daughters and one son were born.  Of these only the son survives, Mr. Henry Huntley of Scio, a man now over seventy years of age.

Mrs. Huntley lived to the age of 85, and died at Cuba, since which the husband has lived mainly, we believe, with his children, waiting a full score of years to be called to meet her.

Mr. and Mrs. Huntley removed from Ontario county to Cuba in this county, about the year 1821 or 1822, where he has since resided, with the exception of the greater part of the past year, during which he has lived with his son at Scio.

At the time of his death, there survives among his relatives one son, 19 grandchildren, 25 great grandchildren and 5 great great grandchildren.  And his friends were legion, for he was always a citizen and neighbor esteemed for his kindness of heart, generosity, cheerfulness and benevolence.

His education was limited.  It is said that he did not learn to read until he was fifty years of age, and was taught to read by his wife.  In his old age this proved to be an inestimable blessing, as , after his hearing became impaired, he depended upon his bible and the public prints for consolation and the passing events of the day.  He was always a farmer, and always lived comfortably, never attaining wealth or marked distinction, and was never envious of those who did.  He was plain, practical, honest, industrious and upright, temperate and to an unusual degree generous and kind hearted.

Mr. Huntley was passionately fond of horses, and was known far and wide as an expert at breaking and training colts.

Although not a politician in the accepted sense of that term, he was nevertheless a warm party man, a true, loyal, patriotic man – voting steadily and sturdily the Republican ticket for twenty years and never a Democrat.  He has voted for every President of the United States except Hayes, (being too infirm to vote last fall) and at every other Presidential election except Washington’s first term.

He was specially noted for his hospitality at home.  When the meal time came the passing stranger was just as liable to be impressed for “service” as the neighbor, even though the good wife often complained that she was not prepared for “company.”  There was always room at Abner Huntley’s table, and always something to eat for citizen or stranger.

His personal habits were particularly exemplary.  Although in early life he sometimes used spirits moderately, even sparingly, as a beverage, he never formed a habit of “drinking,” and during the last fifty years of his life he drank neither liquor, wine, ale or cider.  Tobacco in any form he never used.

At the age of 73 he joined the Congregational Church at Cuba, and maintained a consistent membership therewith until his death, although during the later years of his life, on account of deafness, he attended church but little, but was a constant reader of his bible.

When a little over 100 years of age, he joined the order of Good Templars, and for several years was a prominent and active member of that organization.

Reaching the full measure of one hundred years, and being yet strong and vigorous, with health, strength and faculties still unimpaired, (save that of hearing,) Mr. Huntley became generally known and noted for his wonderful longevity.  The local papers, and indeed the press of the state, were pleased to speak of the Allegany centenarian with marked respect and pride.  In August of the year which completed his one-hundredth anniversary, he visited Niagara Co., and the following which was then published in the Lockport Journal and Courier, will be recalled with interest:

Centenarian!  Seldom do we see this word in print, and even then we only confer on it a casual glance.  Centenarian.   A man one hundred years old – a thing of the past and yet one among us.  Realize that you were yesterday talking with a person who recollects quite well the abuse of the reign of King George, and to whom the Declaration of Independence is distinctly recollected, together with the public rejoicings;  the depart of his father for the seat of war in 1776; his return on a furlough in 1780; his anxiety to offer himself for his country when seventeen years of age, met by the sturdy refusal of his mother; such were the topics upon which I yesterday conversed with Mr. Abner Huntley,  from Cuba, Allegany, County, NY who was on a visit to his relatives on the Daniels road, one mile east of this place.

He was born in 1767 and celebrated his one hundredth birthday at his house on Sunday Aug 4th.  He is a fine looking man, smart and active – walks without the use of a cane  - dresses and shaves himself, and rides a colt every day that he broke to the saddle two years ago.  The old gentleman narrates colt breaking experience with some animation.   Placing a stick evenly balanced on his forefinger, he says “21 (?) is just like this; lose your balance and you are off.  You keep your balance and you are all right”  has voted for sixteen Presidents of the United States, and never missed attending yearly town meetings. In answer to a question if he ever voted the Democratic ticket, he replied with a snappish expression “no sir”, it is really amusing to hear him describe his original ideas of railroad canals, steamboats, the telegraph, &c. The first time he ever rode on a railroad he would not enter the car, but stood on the platform of the hindmost.  The old man has a goodly number of callers to all of whom he gives all information of revolutionary episodes they may desire.  He says: “It seems to be great satisfaction for some to say they have conversed with a man one hundred years old;  but I wish they would keep my name out of the papers.” Call and see him.  Wilson, Aug. 15, 1867.

Upon the anniversary of his one hundredth birthday, a grand family reunion was held at Cuba, and it was an occasion of rare interest, a handsome account of which was published at the time in the Cuba Patriot, and which we presume will now be republished.  If so we shall reproduce it in The Reporter.

Even after attaining this memorable age year after year passed with no material abatement of his health or faculties. He was a man of large stature of powerful physical organization, though not corpulent.   As late in his life as 1874 when over 107 years of age, he excited the admiration of  the crowded grounds at the Cuba Fair by bestriding  the gaily equipped and high spirited horse of the officiating Marshall and dashed around the track as gaily and gracefully as a young warrior.

This wonderful vigor of mind and body remained substantially unimpaired until May 1875, when he was afflicted with a stroke of paralysis.  From that time he gradually failed, and removed last year to his son’s residence in Scio to pass the remainder of his days.  Last week Monday a second attack of paralysis was visited upon him, and after lingering in great pain until Saturday, showing still a retention of marked vitality,  the man of mighty years breathed his last.

He was buried at Cuba on Monday, a very large concourse of relatives, citizens and friends joining to pay the last sad tribute of respect and honor to the memory of one thrice laden with years, blessed with an honorable career, and mourned as one who had lived a long life of honor and active usefulness - Reporter

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