CROWN POINT — The Town of Crown Point recently celebrated the accomplishments of lifelong town resident and local chiropractor Nelson Hyatt.
Crown Point Town Supervisor Charles Harrington presented Nelson, 94, with a lifetime achievement award.
“He is known as an honest, honorable, sincere and God-loving man,” Harrington said. “To know Nelson is like being provided with a gift. He is so knowledgeable and friendly, his very presence invites a conversation.”
Nelson grew up during the Great Depression of the 1930s.
“The family scratched out a living on a 34-acre hillside farm,” Harrington said. “They kept four cows, which enabled the family to make $10 a week on cream sales.”
Nelson said they also had pigs, chickens and a horse on the farm that he shared with his parents and siblings.
“We all worked at surviving,” Nelson said. “Dad couldn’t get on the WPA (Works Progress Administration) because he had money in the bank.”
The Works Progress Administration was a New Deal agency that gave public-works jobs to millions during the Great Depression.
Nelson’s father, Owen, would cut brush to make extra money, and his sons mowed local cemeteries.
“We didn’t have running water, and with the well set back quite a ways from the house, lugging water was a daily routine. Kerosene lamps were our source of lights in the house,” Nelson said.
He said they heated water for baths on the kitchen stove.
“We washed up daily, but the Saturday night bath was thorough, and it made us presentable for the Sabbath,” he said.
Nelson graduated from Sherman Free Academy, which became part of Moriah Central School, because he was working and staying at a farm in Moriah.
“I milked 12 cows morning and night. I got so that I could milk 12 in one hour. I made $3 a week for my milking skills,” he said.