100 years is a long time to live. Today we see a few people here and there. But in 1891 it was almost unheard of. So when Nathaniel Smith, one of Hempstead's oldest residents, died at 101 years old, it certainly made the papers!
According to a family bible, Nathaniel Smith was born January 7, 1790 in Turtle Hook or what is now Uniondale to Nathaniel 'Rock' and Phoebe Bedell Smith. Nathaniel's father died when he was only a young boy, but his mother, said to be born in 1735 lived to 95.
Nathaniel married Alcha Golder, also from Uniondale and after their marriage, Nathaniel worked on his father in law's farm. He continued to do farm work in Milburn (now Baldwin) a few years later. The couple only had 3 children. Their two sons died early in childhood and their daughter's name was Elsie.
On April 14, 1850, Nathaniel married his 2nd wife, Hannah Smith in Freeport. His obituary stated she died a few years later, but census records show they were married until at least 1870, and he was widowed by 1880. Nathaniel was still farming until 1860 but was retired by 1870.
Not much more is known of Nathaniel. Before his death, he mentioned he had a brother who moved further down East but he couldn't remember his name and this brother is not mentioned in the family bible. However, his brother's son, Nathaniel was alive and living in Christian Hook (now Oceanside) at the age of 88.
Our subject, Nathaniel, did not move to Hempstead until 1866 and by wagon of course. It was said that he kept many of his intimate belongings in his wagon for his remaining years in Hempstead.
Following his mother's aptitude to live into her very late years, Nathaniel died at the age of 101 on January 18, 1891 at the residence of George Noon in Hempstead Village on Jackson Street. He was bed-bound for 8 years before his death and died of heart failure.
Nathaniel was a veteran of the War of 1812 as a Private under Thomas Treddle and Captain Richard Carman. Through his service, he received 40 acres of land.