FLEMINGTON - The funeral of Hiram E. Deats, genealogist and historian known as "the sage of Hunterdon County", will be held at the Holcombe Funeral Home Wednesday at 2 p.m.
Mr. Deats died Saturday at the age of 92 at Union Forge Nursing Home near Clinton after a brief illness.
A lifelong resident of Hunterdon County, Mr. Deats had lived for many years at Flemington Junction, where he operated a farm until he entered the nursing home a few weeks ago.
He also owned an office building at 122 Main Street here in which he maintained his own genealogical offices and collection of historical information of Hunterdon County.
His accumulation of records, data, rare books and old newspapers filled corners and walls of the place to the ceiling. The Hunterdon County Historical Society now is cataloging the material.
RICH SOURCE OF INFORMATION
Hundreds of persons, with county backgrounds, consulted him yearly for information about their ancestry. He supplied voluminous historic facts to the Hunterdon County Society and New Jersey Historical Society at Newark.
Mr. Deats served as secretary of both societies. He also had an interest in the Virginia Historical Society.
He was a member of the New Jersey Genealogical Society, Sons of the American Revolution and the Founders and Patriots of America.
In his office, he maintained a large stamp and coin collection. He was a founder of the National Numismatic Society. At one time, he was president of the National Philatelists Society.
EARLY WEATHER OBSERVER
Early in his farming career, he set up a weather observation post at his farm and supplied data to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Mr. Deats served without pay. Later, it was taken over by the Department of Interior.
His weather records often were required in evidence in court cases at the Hunterdon County Court House here.
He served as a member of the Grand Jury which indicted Bruno Richard Hauptmann in 1934 for the kidnap murder of Charles A. Lindbergh, Jr.
During the trial which attracted world attention Mr. Deats, interviewed by visiting newspapermen, acquired the informal title of "sage of Hunterdon County".
He served longer than any other New Jerseyan as a bank director. He held such a post for more than 50 years with the Flemington National Bank and Trust Company.
Mr. Deats served as a member of the County Board of Agriculture, Master of Darcy Masonic Lodge, high priest of the Royal Arch Masons, and for many years was a trustee of the Peddie School of Hightstown, where he graduated in 1891. In 1912, he was president of the New Jersey Library Association.
He also was a former trustee of Bucknell University. Rutgers University conferred an honorary historical degree in 1952.
Mr. Deats wrote several boooks dealing with local genealogy and stamp and coin collecting.
His wife, the late Mrs. Eva Taylor Deats, died in 1952.
Surviving are two daughters, Mrs. Fred Abegg of Flemington Junction and Mrs. Ralph A. Price of Westfield, Mass. and a son, Charles T., of Plainfield, N. J. and six grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
Officiating at service will be the Rev. William Gow of Cherryville Baptist Church and the Rev. E. C. Dunbar of the Flemington Baptist Church.
Interment will be in the Cherryville Cemetery. Darcy Lodge will conduct services Tuesday at 3 p.m. at the funeral home. Directors of the bank will serve as honorary pallbearers.
Source: Trenton Evening Times - 1963-03-18
Eva Augusta Taylor Deats
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