Heweshurt Farms, on Hewes Road, Town of Chautauqua, now known as one of the best Guernsey breeding farms in the county, can trace its history in the Hewes name back to 1842, and the date of its founding by Samuel Porter, one of the family's forefathers, is not known today.
The farms, now operated in partnership by George, Raymond and Gerald Hewes, include 678 acres, three houses, and a herd totaling 90 registered Guernseys. Raymond says it could support twice that number except for barn space.
The first member of the Hewes family to come here was Robert, son of one of the participants in the famous Boston Tea Party. He came from Richfield Springs, in the eastern part of the state, and settled on what is now the Floyd Morse farm, about two miles south of the present farms on the Hewes Road.
Little else is known about him. His son, Robert P. Hewes, was born on this farm in 1815; and in 1842 he married Olive Porter, only child of the settler of the present farm, and moved there.
The original house, probably built by Porter, was located where the Raymond Hewes home is now. Raymond says he can remember it, but it was never occupied after 1874. It was of plank frame construction, and was smaller than the house now in its location.
Robert P. Hewes had 13 children, and needed more room than the hold house could offer. He began construction of a larger house, and was ready to move in when it burned to the ground. So he started over again, and built the 17-room house now occupied by George Hewes, and moved into it in 1874.
In order to provide for his large family, Robert P. Hewes began buying neighboring farms and land, and increased the Porter farm from its original 207 to 680 acres. He died in 1894, and the farm was divided before his wife's death in 1900.
The oldest child, Mary Hewes, received 87 acres, including the two houses, and the rest was divided among the other seven surviving children. Edward, the 10th child in the family, married Fluvilla Tucker, of Lombard, near Ripley in 1886, becoming the first member of the family to marry.
His sister Mary included Edward, apparently her favorite brother, in her deed. Raymond says that the fact that Edward then had six children was party responsible.
Edward and his family first lived in the family homestead, then moved to another building on the enlarged farm, then to the old Trucker homestead at Lombard. Mary died in 1907, at the age of 64, and Edward, who had returned to the farm a year before, took over the main part of the farm.
He then began buying up the shares of this brothers and sisters, and increase the 87 acres to a total of 192.
Four of his surviving children formed a partnership in about 1925, and gained ownership of the farms in 1936 on Edward's death. Included in the partnership are George, Raymond, Gerald, and Fluvilla, Mrs. J. B. Morton, Victoria, a non-active partner.
The other brother, Sidney T. Hewes, left the farm and has become prominent as assistant district attorney.
The house, now occupied by Raymond Hewes was built in 1928 by the brothers, using part of the foundation of the original Porter home. The present large cow barn, 98 by 40 feet was built in 1915.
Raymond says there was no definite time that the farm was cleared -- it has been a continuing process. They are still clearing portions of the farm for working land, and most of the land was prepared by the present owners.
The farm has always been a dairy farm, and first stocked Durhams. However, the first Guernsey animals were bought in 1903, among the first in Chautauqua County, and the shifted to thoroughbreds shortly after that. George recalls returning with some of the Guernseys from the Chautauqua County Fair in 1904.
The Hewes' also tap a large sugar bush, up to 1,500 trees, and keep 800 laying hens. They are now haying 140 acres, and Raymond says that with the new hay and pasture crops and machinery the farm is able to support twice the present herd.