Robert Sixberry

From Jefferson County NY Wiki

Robert Sixberry (also spelled Sixbury in places) was a pioneer hunter and trapper in Jefferson County. The exact date of Robert Sixberry’s birth is unknown. He was believed to have been born on board a ship bringing his parents to America. It is believed that one of his parents died about the time the ship landed and the other within a year later. He was living with foster parents by the time he was two. They were strict Catholics and he was baptized at age two in 1765 which makes his birth year to be 1763.

His foster father treated him more kindly then his foster mother. With the poor treatment that he got from her soon made him hate her and started making plans to run away. When he was 13 or 14 he had enough and while they were in church and he was supposed to be home sick he finally took the chance and left. He had prepared in advance and had hidden away what he would need to live by. He made his way from the Catskill Mountains near the Hudson River and soon came across a settlement of Dutch immigrants in Herkimer County. There he spent his first winter. Then he traveled to the area of where the de La Folie Mansion was later built. Here only American Indians lived and he is believed to be the first white man to come into the area. He spent the next couple of years living with the American Indians. They taught him many things. He soon became a skilled hunter and trapper. Hoping to get a good price for his furs he soon headed back to the settlement where the Dutch lived. There he met Capt. John Hoover and stayed a while trying to talk some of them into following him back to where he had found good land. But he soon fell in love with John Hoover's sister and they married.

Robert then got some of the men to follow him back to the area where he had spent so much time with the American Indians. The river near where the American Indians lived was referred to as the Indians River which later became known as Indian River. He decided to build a log cabin for his wife about 4 miles north of what today is known as Evans Mills. The area became known as Dutch Settlement. He was also the first to find a lake which today bears his name - Sixberry Lake. There they raised a family until years later his wife died.

It is said he carried around a little brown jug filled with his homemade whiskey and one morning his grown son found him passed out on the floor of his cabin with one foot in the fireplace. It was so badly burned that the doctor from Watertown came by, the doctor's name was Doctor Grafton and he had to amputate the foot. He was awake during that time and told the doctor before he left that he had done a good job but he should get his saw sharpened before using it again.

Robert soon began getting around as good as ever on a wooden leg, and continued to hunt. After that he never drank again. He was thought to be between 109 and 112 before he died. And is buried in an unmarked grave near Theresa. He was a friend of the Fayel family which would make one think they may be buried in the same cemetery in Theresa.

An old newspaper article

See Also[edit | edit source]

Jefferson County Pioneers