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R Slayton

Reuben Slayton (1748-1811)

Brookfield, Ma - Chester, MA - Springfield NY

  • "Natural mechanic like his brothers"

  • "1811 helped his son Reuben build a sawmill"

Reuben Slayton (1780-1858)

Brookfield, MA - Ashville, NY

  • Accomplished millwright

  Reuben Slayton, Sr. and Jr.

Three R Slaytons were found in census records for most of the decades between the years 1790 through 1820. A total of four R Slaytons were identified, in addition to Reuben Sr. and Jr. (History of the Slayton family, by Asa Slayton,1898) Of these four other R Staytons, only Reuben, b in 1807 in Brookfield, MA was identified as a carpenter/mechanic. A ca 1827 date is too late for the characteristics of the two known planes; a birch jointer and a birch rabbet.

Reuben Sr. (1748-1811)

After serving in the RW (lieutenant to captain) Reuben Sr. moved his family to Chester, MA in ca 1785. About 1800 he moved the family to Osego Co., NY.  In deeds from the years 1789-1809, there are no trades mentioned other than gent. or yeoman. In the History of the Slayton Family, Reuben Sr. and his family were recorded in some detail. It stated that "In, 1811, he went to Chautauqua County and helped his son Reuben build a sawmill." In this same reference, he was described "Like all his brothers he was a natural mechanic." No other references were found regarding a trade.

Reuben Jr. (1780-1858)

The evidences regarding Reuben Jr.'s trade were clear. He was described as a "first-class millwright", while his older brother Washington was described as a mechanic. In the 1850 census, Reuben was listed as a farmer. Ca 1800 he moved to Springfield, Otsego Co., NY and then to Ashville, NY. In an August 1809 deed, Reuben was buying land in Springfield, Otsego Co. which included a Carding Factory.

Jointer Plane.

Two planes are reported in GAWP5 and a date is given as ca 1810. The jointer plane will be used to assess whether we might be able to discern if the father or the son might have made the planes. The birch jointer plane has tight round chamfers on top of the body and 1/8" flat chamfers on the ends that end with an angled cut. The 18th C styled decorative tote is offset and the wedge is round topped. The plane is fitted with a double iron that is of a later date. It is reasonable to ascribe a date of 1790 to 1800 on this plane, for which the range could be associated with either Reuben Sr. or Jr. The toe and heel are both stamped with an R Slayton zz imprint over an "X" formed by two R Slayton imprints. The wedge also is stamped with a single R Slayton mark. The nature of the these markings would "typically" be ascribed to that of an owner. If that is the case, it could be that the father made the plane and that Reuben Jr. later marked the plane as described above.  (See the R Slayton entry under the 18th C Jointer Planes section.)

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