Elliot G. Storke.

History of Cayuga County, New York : with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers online

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inches in thickness ; thus furnishing an excellent



flagging stone of almost any desired thickness.
Slate also crops out in several places upon the
farm of Lyman Murdock, one-half mile south of
Venice Center ; upon the farms of William Jack-
son and James H. Wallace, the former one and
one-half miles south, and the latter two miles
south-east of that village ; and other places along
the hillsides, upon both sides of the creek, in all
of which it has been quarried to some extent.
Sand and gravel beds abound in the flats along
Salmon Creek, and both are used to improve the
roads. The soil is a highly productive gravelly
and clayey loam, admirably adapted to grain.

The Utica, Ithaca & Elmira R. R. extends
through the center of the town, along the valley
and on the east side of Salmon Creek. The
Southern Central R. R. crosses the north-east
corner of the town and has a station (Cascade)
within its limits. The former road is also known
as the western extension of the Midland R. R.
It is leased by the Utica, Ithaca & Elmira R. R.
Co., and was opened in 1872.

The population of the town in 1875 was 1,753;
of whom 1,585 were native ; 168 foreign ; 1,739
white ; and 14, colored. Its area was 24,996
acres ; of which 20,956 were improved ; 3,854
woodland ; and 186 otherwise unimproved.

A portion of the tract known as the Indian
Fields lies in this town, and has given evidence
at various times and in various ways of Indian
occupancy. When the railroad was built through
the town along Salmon Creek, in cutting through
a bed of excellent gravel on the Benjamin Whit-
ten farm, three and one-half miles south of Ven-
ice Center, a large quantity of human bones were
exhumed. The first white settlers found upon
the Creek near the center of the town, extensive
fields, cleared and cultivated, and near them an
Indian burying-ground. Upon the ridge, east of
the Creek, near the south border of the town, are
the remains of an ancient fortification.

The settlement of Venice was contemporary
with the neighboring towns. It is probable that
the first settlement was made as early as 1790,
although we have been unable to discover any
data which fully establish the fact. The town
records of Scipio, before the division of that town,
show that Luke Taylor settled as early as 1794 ;
Henry Hewitt and Samuel Chidsey, as early as
1795 ; Zebulon Taylor, as early as 1796; Zadoc
Bateman and Thomas Cannon, as early as 1798 ;



EARLY SETTLEMENTS.



433



and Josiah Beard, as early as iSoo, while it is
nearly certain that they settled earlier, some of
them several years, as well as some whose names
do not appear in the town records.

Luke Taylor came in from Massachusetts, in
1794, and settled where Alonzo Stewart, who
married Taylor's grand-daughter, now lives, a lit-
tle west of East Venice, and died there Decem-
ber 4th, 1 841, aged 87. Elizabeth, his wife, died
March i6th, 1813, aged 57. Two children are
living, viz : Mary, widow of Erastus Carpenter,
with her son-in-law, Alonzo Stewart, in Venice,
and Esther, widow of Asa Sawtelle, in Elba,
Genesee county. Zebulon Taylor, a brother of
Luke's, came in from Massachusetts, a little ear-
lier than the latter, probably in 1793, and settled
where James Youngs now lives. The old house
in which he lived is still standing in a dilapidated
condition, though not used as a dwelling-house.
He sold out and removed with his family to Elba,
where he died. The house in which he lived
was built in 1800. He kept tavern in it several
years. His son John is living near the farm
upon which he settled in Elba. Luke's grand-
children who are living, are : Harvey Mills, son of
Caty, wife of John Mills ; Betsey Ann, wife of
Alonzo Stewart, and Henry Taylor, children of
Abner Taylor, who died February 23d, 1872, aged
81 years and 1 1 months ; Lewis E., and William
H. Carpenter, children of Mary, wife of Erastus
Carpenter, in Auburn ; Eliza, widow of Lyman
Hinman and Catharine, wife of Justus Whipple,
also children of Caty, wife of John Mills, in Au-
burn ; and Julia Ann, wife of Lewis Ludlow,
daughter of Rev. Hull Taylor, who died January
27th, 1873, aged 91, also in Auburn. Caty died
January 12th, 181 1, aged 30 ; and her husband,
Capt. John Mills, April 28th, 1S52, aged 80.
Henry Hewitt came in from Connecticut, a little
later than Luke Taylor, and settled a little north
of East Venice, where Frederick B. Lester now
lives. He removed to Michigan, at an advanced
age, to join his children who had previously set-
tled there, and died soon after. Cyrus Hampton,
a grand-child, and the only one living in this part
of the country, keeps the toll-gate a little south
of Moravia. Samuel Chidsey settled at Poplar
Ridge. Deacon Zadoc Bateman was from Ver-
mont. He settled one mile west of East Ven-
ice, on the farm now occupied by Benj. P. Cogs-
well, where he died September 22d, 1842, aged



80, and Lucy W., his wife, January 8th, 1852,
aged 81. He was justice of the peace a great
many years. Lucina, his youngest child, who
married Daniel T. Reed, and is now living in
LeRoy, Genesee county, is the only one of his
children living. Thomas Cannon settled one
mile west of Venice Center, on the farm now oc-
cupied by Isaac Sa.xon, and died there. John
Hutchinson, who was born near Springfield,
Mass., came in from Columbia county, (where he
married Thankful Whitten,) in 1794, and settled
about a mile south of Venice Center, where his
son now lives. He died there November 28th,
1855, aged ^7, and his wife, December 17th,
1850, aged 81. He had three sons, Warren,
who was born in Columbia county, in 1792, mar-
ried Betsey McLaughlin in Venice, and in 1838,
removed to Summit county, Ohio, where he died
in May, 1871, and his wife in May, 1S73, leaving
four sons and six daughters ; Andrew, who was
born in 1791, and still lives on the old homestead
in Venice ; and Silas, who was born in Novem-
ber, 1806, married Almira, daughter of Zephaniah
Silcox of Moravia, and settled on a part of his
father's farm, where he died in July, 1878, leav-
ing a widow and seven children, Franklin, Ann,
wife of Charles Crawfoot, Mahala, Amos, John,
Caroline, wife of Henry Kenyon, and Alpheus,
all of whom reside in Venice, except John, who
lives in Scipio.

Amos Hutchinson, father of John, the original
settler, moved in from Columbia county in 1800,
with his sons Amos Jr., and Obediah. He came
with a cart, drawn by four oxen, the journey occu-
pying eighteen days. He settled where Eber
Edwards now lives, and died there March i6th,
1827, aged 84. Mary, his wife, died March 12th,
1847, aged 99. Other of his children, in addi-
tion to those named, were Shubael, who came
about the same year as his father, and died Oc-
tober 1st, 1834, aged 63 ; Percy, who married in
Columbia county, and remained there ; Ann,
who married Joseph Breed, who settled in Che-
nango county ; and Polly, who married Daniel
Brinsmaid. None of them are living. Amos,
Jr., died November iSth, 1867, aged 87 years and
II months; and Obediah, July 2d, 1866, aged
81.

David Avery, who was born in Pequonnock,
Connecticut, in 1779, started for the Military
Tract in 1795, in company with Hezekiah Avery



434



TOWN OF VENICE.



and wife, Daniel Avery and wife, Ebenezer Avery
and wife, Dudley Avery and wife, Nathaniel Gal-
lup and wife, and several young men. They
boarded a sloop commanded by Amos Avery, and
proceeded to Albany, making headway at flood-
tide and lying at anchor at ebb-tide ; the voyage
to New York occupying three days, and that up
the Hudson sixteen. From Albany their goods
were conveyed by wagons to Schenectady, at
which point each family bought a bateau, and
started up the Mohawk. Before reaching New
York, they were joined by a family named Bab-
cock, the head of which died on the way up the
Mohawk, causing a detention of a portion of the
party, who rejoined the advance portion at Little
F"alls. With difficulty they made the passage of
the rapids, being twice forced back by the cur-
rent, and arriving at Little Falls, their goods
were carried around the falls in wagons and re-
loaded, the transfer occupying one day. At Fort
Stanwix, (Rome) their goods and bateaux were
conveyed by wagons through a dense, uninhabi-
ted wilderness of thirty miles to Wood Creek,
at the mouth of which they pitched tents, made
fires, and cooked meat. They resumed their
journey by water the next morning, having, while
encamped, rigged sails to their boats, and pro-
ceeded by the usual water route to Aurora, hav-
ing been forty days in making the journey from
New London. David and his brother Benjamin
worked out that summer, and in the fall, in com-
pany with Captain Daniel Avery and others who
joined the company, set out with packs on their
backs for New London. His father Benjamin
moved in with his family the next spring, coming
by the northern water route, and settled at Tal-
cotts Corners, (Ledyard,) where he died. He as-
sisted in the erection of the first court house at
Aurora after the rerqoval of the County seat from
Cayuga in 1S04. It consisted of posts set in the
ground, supporting poles covered with boughs.
Daniel Avery had previously settled near Au-
rora in 1793. David and Benjamin, Sr., settled
at Talcotts Corners, the former in Venice, where
Elisha Cobb now lives, and where he died No-
vember 27th, 1856, and the latter in Ledyard,
in the house next north of the church, and died
there January 27th, 1816. Benjamin, his son,
who was born November 25th, 1776, succeeded
his father to the homestead, and died there Jan-
uary 31st, 1866, aged 90. Two of David's



daughters are living, viz : Nancy, wife of Nathan-
iel Walker, in Cattaraugus county, and Fanny,
widow of I. Johnson Tillottson, in Auburn. The
children of Benjamin, Jr., living, are Alfred, in
Genoa, Edgar, in Colorado, and Charles, in
Venice. None of the elder Benjamin's children
are living. Ebenezer Avery settled a half mile
east of Poplar Ridge. Shortly before his death
he removed to Collins, Erie county, where he and
his wife died. Only one daughter of a large
family is living, viz : Lucy, wife of Sylvester
Richmond, in Mt. Morris. Judge Nathaniel
Gallup, who married, Nancy Rogers, a cousin of
Benjamin and David Ayery, settled in Sempro-
nius.

James Stevenson, from Connecticut, settled
about 1795, just north of the south line of Venice-
where Adelbert Young now lives, in the locality
of East Venice, and both he and his wife died
there, the former February 24th, 1 825, aged 63, and
the latter in 1 843- They left no children. Mr.
Henderson took his grist to Skaneateles to mill,
carrying upon his back a bushel and a half of
wheat at once, and this he continued until the
mill at Montville was built, usually returning
within the twenty-four hours. On one such oc-
casion he failed to return before the following
morning, and his wife, being afraid of the Indians,
started towards dark to the house of their near-
est neighbor, a family named Strong, who lived
a mile south of Scipio Center, a distance of
seven miles, with no other road than marked
trees. When she returned in the morning she
found the house burned to ashes, and their store
of provisions either stolen or consumed by the
flames which destroyed their dwelling. This
was supposed to be the work of Indians.

Joshua Murdock, who was born in Windham,
Connecticut, October 9th, 1763, removed with
his father's family to Bennington, Vermont, where
he spent two years in the clothing business. He
afterwards followed the vocation of a farmer. In
1787, he married Eunice Moore, of Athol, Massa-
chusetts, and settled at Granville, Washington
county, and thence in the fall of 1800, he re-
moved to Venice Center, and built a log house on
the north-east corner of lot 62, where the State
road crosses Salmon Creek. He took up 250
acres on which he moved his family in the
winter of 1801, bringing with him horses, sleigh,
two yoke of oxen and an ox sled " wood shod,"



EARLY SETTLEMENTS.



seven cows, household furniture and a year's pro-
visions. His family then consisted, besides his
wife, of Panielia, who married Samuel Beeman,
and moved with him to Clarence, Erie county
about iSoS, where both died ; Salmon, who died
with his parents in Venice in 1815, unmarried ;
Mary, who married Hezekiah Murdock, and
moved to Mesopotamia, Trumbull county, Ohio,
where she died ; Lydia, who married VVm. D.
Ledger and removed to Lake county, Illinois,
where she died ; Huldab, who married Anson
Baldwin of Royalton, Niagara county, where she
died ; and Ruby, who married Philip Reynolds,
removed to Mesopotamia, Ohio, and subsequent-
ly went to live with her sons near Fond du Lac,
Wisconsin, where she now resides. Lyman, an-
other son, was born in Venice, August 8th, 1S04,
and lived on the homestead farm seventy-two
years. He now resides in North Candor.

January, 1801, Joshua Murdock built a log barn
on the site of W. R. Cannon's store. In 1 802, he
built a saw-mill on the south-east corner of his 250
acres. In 18 16, he built the family residence,
now occupied by his grandson, M. W. Murdock.
He died on the old homestead December 13th,
1845, aged 82 ; and his wife, August 21st, 1839,
aged 78.

Lyman, his son, has been largely interested in
the growth and prosperity of Venice Center,
where his father was the first settler, and promi-
nently identified with its material interests and
enterprises. In 1820, at the age of sixteen, he
took the management of the farm. In 1S21, he,
in company with his neighbors, the Fishes, built
a saw-mill on the site of the old one, on the south-
east corner of the farm. September 5th, 1824,
he married Clarinda, daughter of Captain Alan-
son Tracy, of Scipio, and bought 150 acres of
the old homestead farm, but continued to work
the whole farm. In the fall of 1826, he built an
addition to the homestead and commenced keep-
ing a public house, in which also the town meet-
ings and other elections were held and other town
business transacted for many years. That build-
ing, which was the first tavern at Venice Cen-
ter, forms the east end of the present tavern, and
was moved to its present site, in 1835, when the
addition was built.

In 1834 he built a grist-mill on the site of the
present one ; and in 1S35 he built a saw-mill ad-
jacent to it. The same year (1835) he built the



present tavern at Venice Center ; and gave one
acre of land to Philander Tracy, who built thereon
that year, the first store in that village. From
1850, he has been connected pecuniarily and of-
ficially with railroad projects, which culminated
in the establishment of the road which runs
through the central part of the town. Lyman's
children are Evanden, who married Margaret
Wood, of Venice, who has two sons, Clarence and
Lyman, and is living at Cedar Falls, Iowa ; Mary
A., widow of Stephen Howard, who has two
daughters, Gertrude and Minnie, and is living at
Sheswood ; Miss Clarinda R., an artist, residing
in Ecouen, France; Lyman T., who married H.
Eliza Hull, of Genoa, by whom he has one son,
John H., and is living at Venice Center, where
he is engaged in farming, dealing in produce, is
station agent, and, until the spring of 1877, car-
ried on the milling business ; Eugene B., who
died in 1866; and M. Wellington, who married
Mary Lyman, of Venice, by whom he has one
daughter, and is living on the old homestead.

Samuel Mosher, from Rhode Island, also came
in 1800, and settled two miles north-east of East
Venice, where James Heaton now lives. After
about ten years he traded his farm for an interest
in a grist-mill in the south part of the town, near
Tabor & Whitney's saw-mill, below the Willow
bridge, which was built about 1808, by Benjamin
Beardsley, who came in from Connecticut, in
1801, and settled first a mile north of Venice,
afterwards removed to the east part of the town,
and subsequently bought the mill property in
question. This was the first grist-mill in Venice.
It had one run of "rock" stones, which ground
wheat, corn and feed indifferently, and was driven
by an overshot wheel. It was in operation till
about 1S35. About 18 12, Mosher traded his in-
terest in the mill for the farm now occupied by
his son Arvid Mosher, in Genoa, where he died
May 4th, 1871, aged 90, 'and Philomelia, his wife,
October i6th, 1868, aged TJ. Three children
are living besides Arvid, all in Venice, viz: Em-
ily, wife of Ephraim Andrews, Lovice, wife of
Squire Raymond, and Hermon. Benjamin
Beardsley died with his daughter, Philomelia,
who married Samuel Mosher, June 6th, 1837
aged 83 ; and his wife, Amelia, June 14th, 1849,
aged 89. He was a cousin to John and Sher-
man Beardsley, the former of whom settled in
Scipio in 1808, and the latter in Venice, about



436



TOWN OF VENICE.



the same time that Benjamin came in. He
(Sherman) built the old stone store at Venice.
Eliphalet Beardsley, son of Benjamin, is living
in Essex county, and is the only one of the chil-
dren living. Silas Skeels came in with Benjamin
Beardsley, from the same place, and settled about
two and one-half miles from Genoa. He after-
wards removed to Ohio and died there.

Josiah Beard was a cousin of Joshua Murdock's
and came in with the latter from Vermont in
1800. He settled on lot 62, a half mile south of
Venice Center, on the farm now owned by Ly-
man T. Murdock, from which the cemetery at
Venice Center was taken. He died there July
30th, 182 1, aged fifty-eight. His family moved
west at an early day. Two children are living,
Aaron, in Ohio, and Ann, wife of Lockwood
Rundell, in Genoa. Joseph Stewart, from Con-
necticut, settled about 1800 at the Corners,
(Venice,) which for many years, and even now
perpetuates his name, where for some twenty
years he kept the first tavern. He removed with
his family to Michigan. Ezekiel Landon, Samuel
Robinson and Amos Rathbun were among the
first settlers, the former two at Venice, and the
latter at Poplar Ridge.

Other early settlers, some of them among the
first, though we have not been able to ascertain
the exact date of their settlement, were William
Bennett, who came from one of the eastern coun-
ties with ax upon his shoulder, and settled first a
mile north of Venice, afterwards removing to that
village, where he died in the house now occupied
by John Seymour, November 29th, 1855, aged
seventy-six, and Urania, his wife, September
1 2th, 1848, aged sixty-six, and three of whose
sons are living, viz : William D. and DeWitt
C, in Auburn, and Henry M., in Moravia;
James Glover, from one of the New England
States, who took up loj 51, and settled about a
half mile north of Venice, of which village he
was the first postmaster, and who removed at an
early day to Bolts Corners, and afterwards to the
west ; James Thompson, who settled two and
one-half miles south of Venice Center, on the
farm afterwards occupied by his son James, (who
removed about 1847 to Ohio, where he is now
living,) and now owned by Henry Taylor, where
he died April 24th, 1843, aged seventy-nine, and
Rachel, his wife, March 14th, 1843, aged seventy-
two, and whose son Lovel, settled in the same



locality and died there April 19th, 1871, aged
seventy-one ; Elijah Chapin, who settled about
two miles south of Venice Center, on the
farm now occupied by Daniel Hammond, where
he died March 22d, 1830, aged sixty-nine, and
four of whose children are living, viz : Orlin,
in Scipio, Walter R., in Iowa, Mary Ann, wife
of Nelson Morgan, in Venice, and Sarah, wife of
Charles Manahan, in Ohio ; Benjamin Whitten,
who settled three and a half miles south of
Venice Center, on the farm now occupied by
John Myers, where he died June 26th, 1846, aged
sixty-four, and two of whose sons are living, viz :
Benjamin, on an adjoining farm, and Job, near East
Venice ; Cornelius Brill, who settled three miles
south-west of Venice Center, where his son,
Thorn Brill, now lives, and where he died Sep-
tember 28th, 1868, aged seventy-four; Thomas
E. Doughty, who settled about three miles south-
west of Venice Center, where Hoyt Thie now
lives, near where he died October 15th, 1862,
aged seventy-six, and three of whose children are
living, viz : Thomas E. and Charles, in Michigan,
and George, in Iowa ; Joseph Tick ner, who set-
tled a half mile east of Venice Center, on the
farm now owned by Josiah Moss, where he died
May 9th, 1839, 3gsd eighty-three, and whose
family moved west soon after his death ; Tim-
othy Green, a man of great muscular develop-
ment, who often astonished his neighbors and
others with exhibitions of his great physical
strength, who settled two and a half miles south
of Venice Center, where O. M. Streeter now
lives, and died there July 26th, 1831, aged fifty-
four; David Wood, who settled about a mile west
of Venice Center, where he died, whose son
James settled in Moravia, on the line of Genoa,
and died there, leaving one son, Hampton, who
is living in Montville, and whose grandsons,
James and Jonas, are living on the old Wilson
farm in Genoa ; Henry C. Ames, father of Elder
Bishop Ames, who died here June 22d, 1869,
aged seventy-two ; Deacon Jared Foote, from
Vermont, father of Dr. Jared Foote, Jr., who
afterwards removed to Rushville and died there ;
Wm. Mosher, who settled first in the east part
of the town, on the farm now occupied by Geo.
Smith, and afterwards removed to the west part,
where he died in 1833, and whose son William,
the only one of his children living, is residing in
Michigan ; .and Isaac Morse, who came from



EARLY SETTLEMENTS.



437



Vermont, and settled a little south of Venice,
and died July i ith, 1S64, aged eighty-two. Those
of his children who are living are : Ursula, wife
of Alva Fitch, and Isaac, in Scipio, Josiah, in
Moravia, Sophia, wife of George Manahan, in
Ohio, Francana, wife of M. M. Baldwin, in Holley,
Orleans county, where she and her husband are
noted school teachers, and Lovina, who married
a man named Salisbury, and is living in New
York.

Augustus Taber came from Stephentown,
Rensselaer county, in iSor, and settled about a
mile north of East Venice, where John Smith
now lives. About 1S12 he sold to Isaac Co.\,
who came in that year from Coxsackie, and re-
moved to Genoa. He subsequently removed to
Scipio and afterwards to Castile and to Marion,
in the latter of which places his wife died. Four
children are living, viz: Augustus in Castile,
Record, in Portage, and Alfred and Charlotte,
wife of Thomas Youngs, in Venice. John Tifft
and Capt. Asa Kurch came in company from Ste-
phentown in 1 80 1, a little before Taber. Tifft
settled about one and one-half miles north-west
of East Venice, where Samuel Weeks now lives,
and died there August 20th, 1848, aged 72 ; and
Burch, who was a native of Stephentown, opposite
to him, on the east side, where David Nettleton
now lives. Burch was a soldier in the war of
1812. He was born July 3d, 1775, and died
November 3d, 1854. Abigail Rose his wife,
who was born in Stephentown, March 2d, 1777,
died July 22d, 1S43. Fo"-"" children are living in
the west. Hiram and John, sons of Tifit, are liv-
ing, the former in Auburn, and the latter, in Nor-
walk, Ohio. Gilbert Young came in from Nor-
ristown, N. J., in 1802, and settled about a half
mile south-west of East Venice, on the farm
now occupied by Elihu Slocum, where he died
in November, 1836, aged 85, and his wife, Nancy,
January 3d, 1841, aged 85. Two sons, James
and Thomas, both well advanced in years are liv-
ing in Venice. Young was a founder and wheel-
right and something of a mathematician. About
1814, he built a saw-mill on a branch of Salmon
Creek, in the south-east part of the town ; and
about two years later a grist-mill, (the second in
the town,) with two run of stones, and driven
by an overshot wheel. They were in operation
till about 1830.

Jacob Morgan came in from Bern, Albany

74-2



county, in 1807, with his family, consisting of
his wife Lois, and si.\ children, Jacob, Jr., who af-
terwards married Lucretia, daughter of Jonathan
Fanning of Corning, and settled in Scipio, where
his widow now lives, and where he died Novem-
ber 23d, 1872, aged 83 ; Lois, afterwards wife of
Joseph Strong, who removed with her husband
to Chautauqua county, and died there ; Wm. A.,
who married Mary Carpenter, and afterwards re-
moved to Fleming, where he died. May 26th,
1873, aged yS ; Nathan G., who married Ann
Allen, removed to Springport, where he died,
June 16th, 1869, aged 69, and was a Member of
Assembly in 1S38 and '39 ; Eunice, who married
Wilh'ams Fish, and died in Venice, where her
husband also died, April 14th, 1 868, aged y6 ;



Online LibraryElliot G. StorkeHistory of Cayuga County, New York : with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers → online text (page 88 of 113)