It gives us much pleasure to this week present our readers with a half-tone Portrait of Mr. Obadiah B. Hadwen—familiarly called “Uncle Oby” who is one of our most respected citizens.
Mr. Hadwen was born December 1, 1818 (erroneously given as December 18th in our list of the “boys” printed in the first issue of the MIRROR), on the old homestead in Danby, near the Wallingford line. He passed the first twenty years of his life at home on the farm, and then came to Danby Borough, where he worked for various people and at different vocations—a part of the time in the tannery operated by Aniasa Bancroft, his brother-in-law, where he also made it his home. He became an expert tanner and currier, and upon the sudden death of Mr. Bancroft—which was due to an accident caused by the running away of a team he was driving—in 1850, he assumed the management of the tannery business and afterwards purchased it from the estate.
Upon Mr. Bancroft’s death, the widow being left with four children, Mr. Hadwen took general charge of the family affairs, and was always looked upon as the head of the family. His judgment has been implicitly relied upon during all the intervening years, and he has been faithful to the trust to the fullest degree.
In 1878 Mr. Hadwen discontinued the tannery business and equipped for custom grinding of feed and corn, and has also purchased western corn and ground it to supply the wants of the community. He still continues the milling business, although in his eighty-fifth year, and is physically more active than many men who are a dozen years younger than he. His life has been a busy one, and in addition to the business interests we have mentioned, he has tilled and managed quite a good-sized farm under the disadvantages of its being located half a mile or more distant from his place of residence.
Mr. Hadwen’s habits in life have been very exemplary, and he has the fullest respect of the entire community —in fact, we do not believe he has a single enemy in the whole world. He has plodded along in a most unassuming way, seemingly content with his life and surroundings. During all these years he has withstood the fascinating charms of the gentler sex and has never married—but is not a woman-hater, by any means.
Mr. Hadwen has never aspired to political or other public honors, and the only public office he has ever held is that of highway surveyor. In fact, he has been so busy during his whole life in looking after his personal interests and those of his household that he has had little time for work of a political or public nature. He comes from a long-lived family, his sister, Mrs. Lydia Bancroft, being three years older and still able to do her own work.