Thomas Lane, born 1770 in Hemyock, Devon, England, came to Sackets Harbor in May 1834, where he engaged in farming until his death, aged 91 years. He married Anna Stamp, also of Devon, and they had 10 children, among whom was Charles, who came to this town from England in 1835. Charles Lane married Frances "Fanny" Hallyard, in the city of Kingston, Canada, before coming to this country, and they had four children, viz.: Anna, Albert, Charles E., and Henry J.

        Henry J. Lane was born in Sackets Harbor, February 27, 1841. He was educated at the common schools of his native town, and began to teach school, including at nearby Jewettsville, at the early age of 17, and so continued from 1858 to 1862. Since that time he has been engaged in merchandise at Sackets Harbor, where his business has grown into large proportions for a village of that size. He has always been a Republican, casting his first vote in 1862 for the candidates of that party, with which he has been most thoroughly identified up to the present time. For many years he has been chairman of the Republican Committee of his town, and a member of the Republican County Committee.

        He was elected town clerk of the town of Hounsfield at the age of 21 years, holding the office for three years; was justice of the peace two years; assessor for the town three years; president of the village of Sackets Harbor six years; supervisor of the town of Hounsfield during 1885, 1886, 1887 and 1888; was frequently chosen a delegate from Jefferson County to the Republican State Convention; was elected Member of Assembly from the first district of Jefferson County in November 1888, and in the session commencing January 1, 1889, was appointed on the Committees of Commerce and Navigation, Public Health and Public Education; was re-elected to the Assembly in the years 1889 and 1890, serving three terms in succession; was first chairman of the new committee of the Assembly on Forestry and Public Lands, created in 1890. At the close of his third term in the Legislature he returned to his home, again taking charge of his mercantile business, which, with the aid of his large acquaintance, has rapidly increased in volume. He is Worshipful Master of Sackets Harbor Lodge, No. 135, Free and Accepted Masons.

        Mr. Lane formed the acquiantance of Miss Rosaltha S. Payne, daughter of Worden and Rhoda Payne, of the town of Hounsfield, which resulted in matrimony on August 14, 1862. Six children have been added to their family record, three of whom died in infancy: Worden, Mark, Mabel, Hubert H., Rose F., and Arthur G.. His first born son, Hubert. H. Lane, was born July 14, 1863. He lives in Sackets Harbor and takes charge of his father's growing business. His daughter, Rose F., assumed control of her father's correspondence when he entered upon his term in the Legislature, and has since had charge of the same. His only other living child, a son, was born on the eve of the election of Garfield and Arthur, and was named by his parents after those noted officials—Arthur Garfield Lane.

        Mr. Lane may be called a self-made man. He has earned the promotion which has come to him, not by the aid of rich relatives or influential friends, but by his perseverance and indomitable push. He has always been loyal to his town, which appears to have lacked men of his character, who, instead of submitting to the fate that comes, try to make "fate," and make it right.


© Mark A. Wentling, 2000-2001.

Sources Consulted

Childs, Hamilton. "Family Sketches--Town of Hounsfield." Gazetteer of Jefferson County.

Haddock, J. The Growth of a Century. Philadelphia: Sherman & Co., 1894. pp.610-612.

Wentling, Mark A. "Lane Family of Devon, England and Hounsfield, New York." LEGENDS website, 1997-2000.