Levi Streeter (1803 - 1904) MP

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About Levi Streeter

Levi Streeter was a farmer, beekeeper, centenarian, and local celebrity in Hinsdale, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire. Due to his large family, he is also the ancestor of hundreds of Streeter-Crowninshield-Hubbard family members.

Levi was born on September 19, 1803 on Ox Bow Road in Hinsdale, in an area known as Ash Swamp. His parents were Isaiah Streeter (1773-1821) of Hinsdale and Polly Proctor/Preacher (1777-1850) of English origin.

Physical Characteristics

A faded, tattered newspaper clipping held by the Crowninshield Family Association shows a photograph of Levi Streeter dressed in a black vest and black dress pants, with a very long white beard, a thin physique, and a long walking stick. The picture unfortunately cannot be scanned due to its frail condition.

Family Life

In 1833, Levi married Vashti Hubbard. Their children were:

  • Julia Streeter Daggett, b. April 23, 1836
  • Ellinora Streeter Barrett, b. June 3, 1837
  • Fidelia Streeter Thomas, b. October 5, 1838
  • Maria Streeter Crowninshield, b. January 11, 1840
  • Augusta Streeter Smith, b. August 22, 1841
  • Isaiah Streeter, b. October 11, 1843
  • Wallace Streeter, b. March 11, 1845
  • Henry Streeter, b. May 12, 1847
  • Simon Streeter, b. April 6, 1850 (died young)

With the exception of Simon, who died in 1852, all of Levi and Vashti's children lived very long lives, and most left many descendants.

Home in Hinsdale

Levi's grandparents, John and Jane Streeter of Rhode Island, were among the first settlers of Hinsdale. This did not mean, however, that the family had any great means as the generations went on, particularly since the homestead did not pass down through Levi's line, but rather through his uncle Caleb's.

According to Census records, Levi was among the less affluent men in town, with only about $150-$200 worth of personal property and about $300-$400 worth of land. The family owned by the land was mountainous and rocky -- good for beekeeping and logging, but not very good for farming.

A Colorful Man

At the time of his death, Levi was remembered for having been Hinsdale's only centenarian -- yet his age never proved to be a hindrance to him.

He managed to fight off the need for glasses until he was in his 70s, but shortly thereafter gave them up after deciding they weren't necessary. He liked to show off that he could read his fine-print New York Ledger (to which he subscribed) without any assistance. In just the year that he was 88, he chopped, split, and stacked 20 cords of wood without help. In his 90s, he would hike up to 10 miles a day up and down Daniel's Mountain to track swarms of bees to harvest their honey. At age 100, he was still bragging about his eyesight being better than that of a 21-year-old.

Levi was so beloved in Hinsdale that, on his 96th birthday, all of the town mills shut down for the day and a parade was held in his honor. 50 years after his death, the local newspaper was still reporting on his legacy in the town.

Legacy

By the time he had turned 100, Levi and his wife, Vashti, had 10 children, 60 grandchildren, and 36 great-grandchildren. When he and Vashti celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in 1883, 45 grandchildren attended. According to the records of the Crowninshield Family Association, at least 500 descendants of Levi and Vashti are known.

His burial plot is in Oak Lawn Cemetery in North Hinsdale.

Sources

Some of these sources can be found in the "Sources" and "Documents" tabs as applicable.

  • Cheshire County, New Hampshire Marriage Registry, 1825-1925. Accessed at New Hampshire State Library, 2010.
  • Child, Hamilton. Gazetteer of Cheshire County, N.H., 1736-1885. Syracuse, NY: H. Child, 1885.
  • Profile of Levi Streeter. Crowninshield Family Association, 2010.
  • "Hinsdale Streeters Colorful Part Of History Since 1800." Hinsdale News, August 1951.
  • United States Census Reports of 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, and 1900.
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Levi Streeter's Timeline

1803
September 19, 1803
1833
1833
Age 29
1836
April 23, 1836
Age 32
1837
June 3, 1837
Age 33
1838
October 5, 1838
Age 35
1840
January 11, 1840
Age 36
Chesterfield, NH, USA
1841
August 22, 1841
Age 37
1843
October 11, 1843
Age 40
1845
March 11, 1845
Age 41
1847
May 12, 1847
Age 43
Hinsdale, Cheshire, New Hampshire, United States