Atwaters  of  Stephentown


William Henry Atwater > Daniel Augustus Atwater


Daniel Augustus Atwater


b. 4/13/1888      d. ??

Married Harriet Miller
b. 12/15/1883    d. ??

Date of Marriage ?


Daniel Augustus Atwater and Harriet Miller

Daniel Augustus Atwater, referred to as either DA or Uncle Danny by family members other than his wife and children, was born April 13, 1888, in Garfield NY.  The son of William Henry and Ella Blanche Haynes, he worked with his father logging and in the lumber mill. Later he worked with his brother Cal as a sawyer and selling logs. He also logged with Ben Hayes, Father-in-law of his brother John.  He married Harriett Miller born 1883 who was also born and lived in Stephentown.

Notes by Janet Atwater as told by Royce and Genevra Atwater

After their marriage, Dan and Hattie moved up the hill to property later purchased from him by Bill and Flo Hall.  Dan and Hattie had two children, Royce, born 8/22/1916 and Blanche born, 5/20/1920.

Royce and his father plowed the fields around their home for strawberries and raspberries with horses. Then each Spring, they plowed up the old bed of strawberries and planted the next year’s crop of strawberries.  Every two weeks which amounted to 5 or 6 times a season, they would hoe the newly planted berries to keep the weeds out.  In the fall they would cover them with straw to winterize them. Meanwhile, by early summer they would pick and sell the strawberries carefully hoed the year before.  Later in the summer, they harvested raspberries they also sold..  There were approximately two acres of Strawberries and an acre of raspberries.  They had an old Buick and they took the back seats out to fill the back with crates of berries which they took to an Albany farmers market where dealers and restaurant owners would come to buy produce.  They usually had strawberries for two weeks and raspberries for two weeks.  As mentioned earlier, when he wasn’t selling berries Dan worked for his brother Cal in the Sawmill and also harvested and sold logs.

Daniel was an avid sportsman.  There were not a lot of deer around in the 30s and 40s but he enjoyed hunting birds; woodcock, partridge and pheasant with his shotgun. They always had dogs and Hattie had cats at home. Dan had a good hunting dog.  Royce remembers his father shooting a pheasant over the Hoosick River and the dog jumped in, recovered the bird and proudly brought it to his master. That dog got attacked by some other dogs one day and sustained multiple cuts.  Doc Greene, who was a friend and fishing partner of Dan’s sewed the dog up and he recovered quickly. 

Dan’s favorite sport by far was fly fishing. Dan used to fish in both streams and lakes.  Often his fishing partners were Ben Hoag or Doc Greene.   Royce reports that it was common for Dan and Ben Hoag to fish from Garfield all the way down the creek to Nassau and then they would have to walk home. 

They frequently went to Indian Lake and later Dan took at least yearly trips to Canada to fish.   Royce said he was 6 or 7 when his father taught him to fish in the Kinderhook Creek. 

In 1942 Daniel was working as a sawyer at White Birch Mill in Rupert when he decided to buy the farm in Salem. When they moved to Salem, Hattie and Blanche, who loved horses and loved to ride, wanted to start a riding stable where people could rent a horse for a ride or take lessons from Blanche. Uncle Danny went to the livestock auction and bought 18 horses.  They called the place Singing Hills Ranch, but eventually the plan did not work financially. 

The farm came with 30 or 40 head of beef cattle (Herefords)  that had been raised in the west and brought east by train. Dan didn’t like dealing with cattle. Which led him in 1944, to begin agricultural farming with a crop of potatoes.  The crop wasn’t very large the first year, only about 2 or 3 acres, but the price was good.  Royce, who had been living with his wife Genevra in Baltimore, moved back to New York State when Dan bought the farm.  Genevera worked in the barn sorting potatoes. It was Royce’s job to deliver potatoes to their customers. Later some of the produce people came to the farm to pick up the potatoes to take on their sales routes.

Dan had a great sense of humor and laughed a lot.  Genevra said he had a beautiful disposition, and was always agreeable and friendly.  She said she didn’t think she ever saw him angry.  They took in borders for a while and Blanche and Genevra cooked because Hattie was feeling ill much of the time.  It is reported she had a “hole in her heart” and had headaches.  Genevra reports that Dan always told her the food she cooked was good “no matter how bad it was”.   Dan also liked to entertain company and enjoyed visiting others but he didn’t get a chance to go often because Hattie liked to stay at home.

Dan’s favorite meal was beef steak and his favorite ice cream… Maple Walnut.

Dan and Hattie spent rest of their life on the farm in Salem although; later in life they did purchase a place in Melbourne, Fl. near their daughter Blanche. Hattie was receiving regular shots for her health at a physician’s office in Florida.  One day she went to the doctor for her shot and died immediately upon receiving it.  Dan lived a healthy life until he contracted pneumonia in Florida. He was in the hospital and was to have one last x-ray before being discharged.  The hospital staff left him lying on a gurney in a cold hallway for several hours with no blanket or cover.   He had a relapse and died at the age of 86.  


Royce Atwater
b. 8/22/1916

Blanche Atwater
b. 5/20/1920
d. ?