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History of William Steele and Eliza Pitkin family

Written by Emily Rebecca Headlee Peery

William Steele was born in Hartford, Connecticut, and came to East Bloomfield, New York as a young man. William’s brother, Joel, was one of the first settlers of East Bloomfield—the town was established in 1789, and Joel built the town’s first grist (corn or flour) mill in 1795. Joel was also co-founder of The First Bank, along with Henry W Hamlin.

Eliza Pitkin was also born in Connecticut, and must have come to East Bloomfield, New York as a young woman, because they were married 8 March 1822, when she was 23 years old and William was 40. Eliza was a strongly religious woman and the oldest member of the Congregational church when she passed away.

They had seven children in fairly rapid succession: Eliza (1823), William (1825), Joseph Stanley (1826), Alfred (1828), Abigail (1831), Henry Goodwin (1833), and Edward (1836). All of the children were born in East Bloomfield, New York.

William was a farmer, and purchased 500 acres of land. He later gave land to each of his four living sons William, Joseph, Henry, and Edward.

Alfred Steele died as a young child in 1830.

William Steele (the son) married Aseneth Speaker in 1849. They had 3 children: Homer Russell (1850), Frank (1862), and William Sherman (1865). Frank died as an infant. Aseneth died suddenly from heart disease at age 75.

Abigail Steele died as a young woman, age 19, in 1850, and was buried in the East Bloomfield Cemetery.

Joseph Stanley Steele married Elizabeth Smith in January 1858. They had seven children: Stanley (1858), William (1859), Emily (1861), Anna (1862), James (1864), Luther (1868), and Elizabeth (1872). Joseph built the blue farm house on County Road 30, which was lived in by six generations of Steeles. More information about this family is covered at length elsewhere in this book.

Just 3 months after Joseph’s marriage, William Steele, father of this family, passed away at the age of 77. He was buried in the East Bloomfield Cemetery.

Eliza Steele married Russell Belden Goodwin in 1859, when she was 36 years old. They had no children of their own, but were very involved in the church, community, and extended family. Eliza was a key personality in the establishment of the East Bloomfield Historical Society, served as its secretary, and taught Sunday school. Several of her birthday and social parties were highlighted in the local newspapers.

Russell was a tailor, and lived in St Louis for about 10 years. He also worked as a book keeper, fruit grower, gardener, and a farmer.

Henry Goodwin Steele married Lydia Lucretia Hudson in 1861. They lived in the yellow house across the street from the blue house built by Joseph Stanley Steele.

Henry and Lucretia had three children: Abigail (1862), Grant (1864) and Lincoln (1867). Lincoln died as an infant, and was buried with his parents in the East Bloomfield Cemetery.

When Joseph Stanley Steele’s wife Elizabeth died in childbirth, Henry and Lucretia cared for baby Elizabeth until she was old enough to be returned to the care of her father. Fittingly, this daughter Elizabeth Lucretia Steele shares her aunt’s name.

In her youth, their daughter Abigail won a walnut as a prize for having perfect attendance at Sunday school. The walnut was planted, and grew to be a large tree.

Henry was very active in public affairs, and served as a trustee of the East Bloomfield Congregational church and the East Bloomfield Cemetery association. When Henry died, Lucretia moved to Michigan to be with her children. She lived with her daughter and son-in-law (Abigail Steele and Charles H Pittinger). She died in Michigan, but was returned to East Bloomfield to be buried with her husband in the East Bloomfield Cemetery.

Note: Abby Steele Pittenger helped provide many details about her family line to the authors of this book.

Edward Steele married Mary Edna Winslow in 1869. They did not have any children.

Eliza Pitkin Steele died in 1886, at the age of 88. She lived with her daughter and son-in-law (Eliza Steele and Russell Belden Goodwin) for the last 20 years of her life, and passed away in their home.

Owner/SourceEmily Peery
Linked toRussell Belden GOODWIN; Lydia Lucrecia HUDSON; Eliza PITKIN; Charles Henry PITTENGER; Elizabeth SMITH; Asenath SPEAKER; Abigail STEELE; Abigail Lucretia STEELE; Alfred STEELE; Edward STEELE; Eliza STEELE; Frank STEELE; Grant STEELE; Henry Goodwin STEELE; Homer Russell STEELE; Joseph Stanley STEELE; Lincoln STEELE; William STEELE; William STEELE; William Sherman STEELE; Mary Edna WINSLOW

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