Mary Fellows Penfield Chapter
Daughters of the American Revolution
Penfield, New York
The Mary Fellows Penfield Chapter, NSDAR, was organized on April 13, 1974, in Penfield, New York. The chapter is named in honor of a daughter of General John Fellows, an aide on General George Washington's staff. The chapter now has 30 members.
The chapter is located in Eastern Monroe County, New York, close to Western Wayne and Ontario County. We try to accommodate members' busy schedules, by holding meeting at times and locations that are convenient to all. Please join us for a meeting and fellowship.
For more information or membership details, please contact
Terry Bruno, Chapter Regent.
About 1784, Penfield married Mary Fellows (born September 10, 1762),
daughter of John and Mary Ashley Fellows. General Fellows served as an
aide-de-camp to George Washington. The couple bore five children: Henry
(born July 18, 1785), Harriet (born May 12, 1787), Charlotte (born May
22, 1791), Mary Jane (born 1794), and George (born November, 1797).
Shortly after marrying, the couple moved to Hillsdale, New York, and
opened a general store. The store was burnt by an angry mob during
Shay's Rebellion, so the couple moved to New York City sometime around
1789. Penfield became owner of a "lucrative commission business" and
began making speculative land purchases of tracts in present-day Wayne
County, New York, in 1790, and present-day Perinton, New York, in 1792.
Penfield bought his first parcel in the present-day Town of Penfield, on
February 4, 1795. Penfield opened another general store in Claverack,
New York, and maintained homes in Hudson, New York, and New York City. He
kept these properties until the Embargo Act of 1807, severely curtailed his
commission business, prompting his decision move to his Western New York
lands in 1809.
Penfield contracted with carpenters from Albany, New York,
to build his homestead in 1811. The house still stands today at 1784
Penfield Road. Over the years, he built or controlled several mills on
Irondequoit Creek, including a saw mill, grist mill, distillery, ashery,
oil mill, soap mill, clothing mill, and tannery. Penfield owned several
African-American houseservants until slavery was abolished in New York
State in 1827. Penfield spoke at the ceremonies welcoming the Marquis de
Lafayette during his visit of June, 1825. His last commercial
undertaking, a five-story flour mill, built in 1835, failed in part due
to the Panic of 1837.