George Knapp Collins.

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77, Marcellus; and he remained only a few years until he
had sold his possessions in parcels to actual settlers.

The Military Tract, as first laid out, consisted of twenty
five townships of one hundred lots of a mile square each,
and its boundaries were the same as that of the County of
Onondaga when first organized under the act of 1794. The
lines of lots were drawn east and west and north and south
and contained within their limits 640 acres of land: 100


acres in lieu of that given by the United States, 500 acres
by the State of New York, and 40 acres for roads.

If the soldier released his claim against the United
States he received a patent for the whole lot, otherwise
one hundred acres in the south east corner of the lot was
reserved, hence came the name : " State's Hundred." The
charge of the Government for surveying a lot was forty
eight shillings; if this was not paid by the patentee fifty
acres was also reserved, known as " Survey Fifty," this
could be taken from either corner of the lot excepting the
south east. Two lots in each township were reserved for
the propagation of the Gospel, and for Schools, and the
amount received from the sale of them was devoted to these

A statement of the services performed by the soldiers
who drew lots in the town of Spafford is worthy of mention,
but space precludes any recital other than the following,
in reference to the recipients of bounty lands in this town :


Township of Tully.

Lot 1 Pr. Joseph Sevey, 2nd Co. 1st Regt. Inft.

Col. Goose Van Schaick 600 acres.

Lot 2 Pr. Joseph Ball, 2nd Regt. Inft., Col.

Philip Van Cortland 500 acres.

Lot 11 Fifer John Cheery, 2nd Regt. Inft., Col.

Philip Van Cortland 600 acres.

Lot 12 Sergt. Benjamin Lawrence, 2nd Regt.

Inft., Col. Philip Van Cortland 600 acres

Lot 12 Gospel and Schools 600 acres.

Lot 21 Surgeon Caleb Sweet, 1st Regt. Inft.,

Col. Goose Van Schaick 500 acres.

Lot 22 Pr. Richard Whalling, 1st Regt. Inft.,

Col. Goose Van Schaick 600 acres.

Lot 23 Matross George Allen, 1st Regt. Art.,

Col. John Lamb 600 acres.

Lot 24 Capt. Abraham Livingston, 1st Regt.

Inft., Col. James Livingston 600 acres.

Lot 31 Gospel and Schools 600 acres.


Lot 32 Pr. John Pierson, Regt. Inf., Gen.

Moses Hazen's Congress Own 500 acres.

Lot 33 Capt. John C. Ten Broeck, 1st Re^. Inft.,

Col. Goose Van Schaick 600 acres.

Lot 34 Pr. Shorter Smith, 2nd Regt. Inft., Col.

Peter Van Cortland 600 acres.

Lot 41 Pr. John Frederick, 1st Regt. Inf., Col.

Goose Van Schaick 600 acres.

Lot 42 Ser^. Elias Wilcox, 1st Regt. Art., Col.

John Lamb _ 500 acres.

Lot 42 Corp. Joseph Smith, 2nd Regt. Inft., Col.

Philip Van Cortland 500 acres.

Lot 44 Pr. Nathaniel Brock, Regt. Inft., Col.

James Livingston „ 500 acres.

Township op Sempronius.

Lot 10 Major Nicholas Fish, 2nd Regt. Inft.,

Col. Philip Van Cortland 600 acres.

Lot 11 Pr. Aaron DeWitt, 1st Regt. Inft., Col.

Goose Van Schaick _ 450 acres.

Lot 12 Pr. Daniel Ogden, 1st Regt. Inft, Col.

Goose Van Schaick 600 acres.

Lot 13 Corp. Solomon Barnes, 1st Regt. Agt.,

Col. John Lamb 600 acres.

Lot 14 Pr. John Tucker, 4th Regt. Inft, Col.

Fred Weissenfels 500 acres.

Lot 21 Pr. John Wyatt, 1st Regt. Inft., Col.

Goose Van Schaick _ 600 acres.

Lot 23 Pr. Samuel Wheeler, 2nd Regt. Inft., Col.

Philip Van Cortland 600 acres.

Lot 23 Corp. Cornelius Ammerman, ^nd Regt.

Inft., Col. Philip Van Cortland 500 acres.

Township of Marcellus.

Lot 68 Surgeon Ebenezer Haveland, 2nd Regt.

Inft., Col. Philip Van Cortland...- 500 acres.

Lot 69 Sergt. Daniel Ludlam, 2nd Regt. Inft.,

Col. Philip Van Cortland._ _ 500 acres.

Lot 70 Sergt. and Matross Elijah Pierce, 1st

Regt. Art., Col. John Lamb 600 acres.

Lot 71 Pr. Burdice Campbell, 1st Regt. Inft,

Col. Goose Van Schaick. 500 acres.


Lot 74 Gunner Frederick Dayton, 1st Regt. Agt.,

Col. John Lamb 600 acres.

Lot 75 Fifer John Factor, 2nd Regt. Inf., Col.

Philip Van Cortland 600 acres.

Lot 76 Second Lieutenant Thomas Ostrander,

3rd Re^. Inft., Col. Peter Gansevoort 500 acres.

Lot 77 Fifer Henry Winford, 1st Regi:. Inf., Col.

Goose Van Schaick 500 acres.

Lot 88 Pr. Philip Fields, 2nd Regt. Inft., Col.

Philip Van Cortland 500 acres.

Lot 89 Pr. Frederick Wybert, 1st Regt. Inft.,

Col. Goose Van Schaick 500 acres.

Lot 90 Sergt. Philip Steves, 2nd Regt. Inft., Col.

Philip Van Cortland 600 acres.

Lot 91 Capt. Peter L. Vosburgh, Regt. Inft.,

Col. James Livingston 600 acres.

Lot 96 Fifer Henry Davis, 1st Regt. Art., Col.

John Lamb 600 acres.


Under the law granting bounty land to soldiers a settle-
ment had to be made on the land within a limited period
subsequent to the date of the patent. As a majority of the
claims had been assigned by the soldiers to speculators
residing along the Hudson River, who had no intention of
making a settlement themselves, when the patents were
issued the lands were offered for sale in large quantities
and sold to purchasers at prices much below their true
value. The consequence was that many persons residing
east of the Hudson River in Washington, Saratoga, Van
Rensselaer, Columbia and Westchester Counties, came to
this town for settlement within a few years after the date
of the Patents in July, 1790. The first settlers, however,
were not confined to the river counties in this State, many
coming direct from Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachu-
setts, New Hampshire and Vermont; they were all, how-
ever, with very few exceptions, of New England origin.


The first settler within the present limits of this town


was Gilbert Palmer, who came from Amawalk, Westchester
County, New York. Mr. Joshua V. H. Clark, in his excel-
lent history of the County of Onondaga, says he came in
the Fall of 1794 and settled on Lot 76, Marcellus. He also
says he served for this lot in the War of the Revolution,
but as to this we know Mr. Clark is incorrect, as his deed,
which is dated September 21, 1792, is from Lieutenant
Thomas Ostrander, the soldier who drew this lot for serv-
ices which he performed in the New York Line, during
that war. Mr. Palmer did not purchase the State's Hun-
dred Acres on that lot, as it was excepted from the deed.
It is presumed from the fact that Mr. Palmer is not joined
by a wife, in any of his seven or eight conveyances made
from his original purchase, that he was a widower during
his residence in this town.

Mr. Clark relates the following pathetic incident in re-
ference to Mr. Palmer and his son John :

" In the Fall of the year 1794, soon after his arrival,
Mr. Palmer and his son, a youth of some sixteen years of
age, went into the woods chopping for the purpose of
making a clearing. Some time in the afternoon they felled
a tree, and as it struck the ground it bounded, swung
around and caught the young man under it. The father
at once mounted the log, cut it off, rolled it over and liber-
ated the son. Upon examination one of his lower limbs
was found to be badly crushed and mangled. He there-
upon carried the youth to his log hut close at hand, and
with all possible diligence made haste to his nearest neigh-
bors, some three or four miles distant, desiring them to
go and minister to his son's necessities, while he should
go to Whitestown for Dr. White. The neighbors sallied
forth with such comfortable things as they thought might
be acceptable in such a case ; but amidst the confusion, the
dense forest and the darkness of the night which had just
set in, they missed the way; and after wandering about
for a long time gave over pursuit and returned home, leav-
ing the poor sufferer alone to his fate. Early the next
morning all hands again rallied, and in due time found
the young man suffering the most extreme anguish from
his mangled limb, and greatly benumbed with cold. They
built a fire, made him comfortable with such palliatives


as could be procured in the wilderness, and waited in
patience for the return of the parent.

" In the meantime he had proceeded rapidly on his
journey on foot and found Dr. White at Clinton, N. Y.
Here he eng-aged an Oneida Indian to pilot them through
the woods, by a nearer route than to follow the windings
of the old road. Dr. White and Mr. Palmer were at sundry
times fearful the Indian would lose the way, but upon
every expression of doubt on their part the Indian would
exclaim ' Me know,' and told them he would bring them
out at a certain log, which lay across the Outlet at the foot
of Otisco Lake. The Indian took the lead and within
forty-eight hours after the accident had happened the
Indian brought them exactly to the log, exclaiming tri-
umphantly, 'Me know.' Here Mr. Palmer arrived upon
familiar ground, and at once proceeded to the cabin where
he had left his son, whom they found greatly prostrated,
and writhing under the most intense suffering. No time
was lost. The case was thought desperate, the limb was
amputated at once half way from the knee to the thigh."

The youth recovered and lived many years afterwards.
He became a tailor, and Hon Sidney Smith said, " I re-
member him very well, going about his duties with his
wooden leg." In a deed dated August 21, 1797, given by
Gilbert Palmer to John Palmer, the latter is described by
the grantor as, " My son," and the latter is described as
then a resident of Westchester County, indicating that after
his terrible accident with the falling tree, related by Clark,
he must have returned to his old home in Amawalk, to
grow up, recover his strength, and possibly learn the trade
of a tailor, afterwards pursued by him while a resident
of this town.

Gilbert Palmer's last sale of land on Lot 76 was January
9, 1815, and the last sale of land on the same lot by John
Palmer was September 28, 1814. About the latter date
the two Palmers moved into the village of Borodino, where
the son carried on a tailor shop. In the year 1819 father
and son moved to Hannibal, Oswego County, New York,
where the former is supposed to have died. In John
Palmer's last deed dated July 2, 1819, he is joined by his
wife Rachel, whom he probably married after 1814.

Mr. Gilbert Palmer has always been credited with being


a soldier of the American Revolution, and probably was
such, as a Gilbert Palmer served for a short tour of duty
in a Militia organization both in this State and in the
State of Connecticut, the latter being the home of a prolific
and influential branch of the Palmer family.


The next settler in town was undoubtedly Samuel Conk-
lin, who came in 1796 and purchased a farm of one hundred
nine acres of Gilbert Palmer, situate in the north west
corner of Lot 76, Marcellus. Mr. Conklin is credited with
having erected the first frame dwelling house in town,
which was built in 1807, near the north west corner of
Lot 76, Marcellus.

Mr. Conklin was followed, a few months afterwards, by
Henry Winford (or Wentworth), the only soldier who
settled on a lot in this town for which he served ; he came
in the Spring of 1797, and settled on lot 77, Marcellus. We
have no knowledge of him after May, 1809, the date of his
last deed, which was to John Campbell, who was probably
then a resident on said lot 77, Marcellus.

James Kirkum, from Fredericksburg, Dutchess County,
New York, settled on lot 77, Marcellus, in the Fall of 1797
or Spring- of 1798, but of him we know nothing more after
September 8, 1801, at which time he sold out to Justus
Blakely, then an owner of land and probably a resident on
said lot since June 11, 1799. These are all of whom we have
any knowledge who became settlers in town before 1800.

It is very difficult to tell just when the different persons
classed as first settlers took up their abode here, by reason
of the prevalent custom among them of going into occupa-
tion of the land under a contract, and a deed following
later, with a date several years posterior to the time of
their reputed claim of settlement. Nevertheless the dates
given in the following statement are believed to be reason-
ably accurate and trustworthy, notwithstanding some of the
dates may differ from those that have been published on
the subject.

According to recorded deeds the northern end of the
town led in the matter of settlement, both before and after


the year 1800. Principally from the same source of in-
formation it appears Elias Harmon and Zadock Randall
settled on lot 77 or 76, Marcellus, Medad Harvey, William
Collins and Gershom Hall on lot 75, Marcellus, and Eben-
ezer Taylor and Nicholas Otis on lot 90, Marcellus, in
the year 1801 ; John C. Hillebert on lot 89, Marcellus, Jesse
Peck on lot 90, Marcellus, David Smith on lot 77, Marcellus,
Valentine and James Rathbone, Jeremiah Van Benschoten
and Jason Gleason on lot 74, Marcellus, and Benjamin
Chaffee on lot 69, Marcellus, in the year 1802 ; Edward Bur-
gess and Lemuel Smith on lot 77, Marcellus, and Warren
and John Kneeland on lot 74, Marcellus, in the year 1803.
All these, with perhaps the addition of Daniel Tinkham on
lot 89, Marcellus, who is reputed to have settled there in
1802, although his deed is dated in 1804, were made before
any one had broken silence in the Tully end of the town,
unless it be with the single exception made in favor of
Jonathan Berry, who is claimed to have settled on lot 12,
Sempronius, in the year 1803. Although Mr. Berry's first
residence was just over the southern line of Marcellus, in
the Tully end of the town, yet all his business and social
relations were with the people residing in the vicinity of

In the year 1804, Nathan Howard, from Stephentown,
N. Y., settled on Lot 74, Marcellus, Samuel Tyler, Asa Chap-
man, Alvah Smith and Joseph Enos on Lot 69, Marcellus,
Avery and Asa Mason and Nathan Parce on Lot 68, Mar-
cellus, Benjamin Sweet from Brutus, N. Y., on Lot 76,
Marcellus, and Jabish and Luther Hall and Samuel Maclure
on Lot 75, Marcellus.

In the year 1805 Isaac Hall made his first appearance
at Spafford Corners, and settled on the States 'Hundred
Acres on Lot 21, Tully; he probably should be called the
first settler in the southern or Tully end of the town. Mr.
Berry, as suggested above, should be classed with the
Northern or Marcellus settlers, with whom he soon after
and in 1810, became in fact as well as by association a part.
During this same year James Cravath also settled on Lot
21, Tully, (near where Joseph Cole resides in 1900), and
the name of Amos Miner, the well known inventor and
wheelwright, who settled on Lot 68, Marcellus, was added
to the northern settlers in town.


The year 1806 witnessed the following additions to the
list of settlers, distributed as below : John Hunt and James
Fitzgerald, Lot 70, Marcellus, Levi Appleby Lot 89, Mar-
cellus, Gideon Colton from Whitestown, N. Y., Lot 10,
Sempronius, Job Smith from Greenfield, N. Y., Lot 74,
Marcellus, Peter Knapp, from Brutus, N. Y. on Lot 42,
Tully, John Babcock, the first Supervisor of the town, on
Lot 21, Tully, and Dr. Archibald Farr on Lot 11, Tully.
(Tradition says Dr. Farr carne in 1803, see subsequent
statement of him.)

From this time forward settlers came in quick succes-
sion, and distributed themselves over the town in both its
northern and southern extremities; among whom were the
following: Asahel Roundy, Samuel Seeley, Charles Whaley,
Joshua B. Bearse, Warren Baldwin, Alexander M. Beebe,
Joseph Humphrey, Cyrel Johnson, James Cornell, James
Hiscock, Oliver Hyde, Ebenezer Lewis, Benjamin Eggle-
stone, Joseph Baldwin, Benjamin Stanton, Joseph Bulfinch,
Moses and Joseph Prindle, Psalter Pullman, James Wood-
worth, Elias Davis, Joseph and Job L, Lewis, Silas Cox,
Aaron Bearse, Daniel and Edward Baxter, Messer Barker,
Daniel Scranton, Asa Ferry, Thomas Whiting, James
Wightman, Pardon Cornell, James McCausey, John Gould,
Benjamin Homer, James Avery, Jonathan Ripley, Elisha
Sabin, John Rainey, Shadrack, Daniel and Uriah Roundy,
Joel Palmer, Amos Palmer, John and Elihu Babcock, Bena-
jah Cleveland, Horace Pease, Ruluf Barber, Rathbone
Barber, Rathbone Barber, Jr., Thompson Burdick, David
Carver, James Williamson, William Bacon, Amos Bacon,
Isaac Town, Luke Miner, William O'Farrell, William D.
Cornell, Robert K. Kidney, Alpheus Winchester, Eleazer
Hillebert, William Strong, Samuel H. Yates, Loami W.
Johnson, Timothy Mills, Silas and Stephen Randall, Robert
Almey, Alexander Streeter, Truman Hinman, Jesse Manley,
Dr. Benjamin Trumbull, Stephen Crane, William Dedrick,
Amasa Kneeland, Dr. Jeremiah B. Whiting, Col. Phineas
and John Hutchens, Edwin S. Edwards, Augustin McKay,
Calvin Patterson, Daniel Wallace, Sr. and Jr., Samuel
Holmes, Peter Churchell, Abiathar Melvin, Amos Fisher,
Christopher Green, Osmer Orton, John and Samuel Gale,
Timothy Owen, Dr. John Collins and many others, which,



for greater particularity, the reader is referred to the
second part of this work.

These men, as has been said before, were nearly all of
New England origin, mostly from Rhode Island, Connecti-
cut, Massachusetts, and Vermont, although a large pro-
portion of them came to this town from the counties in this
State east of the Hudson River, where they had made a
temporary sojourn prior to coming here. Perhaps the
County of Washington, north of Albany, contributed in
numbers as generously as any to these early settlers. They
were an energetic, God fearing, well informed and indus-
trious people; among whom were many remarkable men,
who have left an indelible impression upon the character of
the people of this town; and some of their descendants
have gone forth and made an honorable record for them-
selves in the several communities in which they have
resided. Of some of these we have given a more or less
extended account in the second part of this work, and will
not repeat here. We deeply regret, however, our inability
to do justice to all owing to want of further information
on the subject. Social life among the early settlers in this
town was much the same as in all other communities
settled by New England people, much that was good in it
and very little that was evil ; and yet there was a humorous
side to it as well as a serious one. We trust the following
anecdotes will not detract from the general high social
character of these settlers, nor be imacceptable to the


Captain Asahel Roundy, whose family genealogy appears
in the second part of this work, came to Spafford on horse-
back from Rockingham, Vt., in 1807. His father, Uriah
Roundy, died in 1813 at the latter place, and soon after his
mother and brothers and sisters followed him from the old
home in Vermont and took up residences about him in this
town, from whence in after years they were scattered to
different parts of the Great West. Mr. Roundy obtained
his rank of Captain from the State of New York, he having
commanded a Company from this town in the 96th Militia
from this State in the War of 1812; that regiment having
done a short tour of duty in the Fall of 1814 in the vicinity


of Sackett's Harbor, New York. In this service Phineas
Hutchens was his Lieutenant. At the time of receiving
orders for this service Captain Roundy was at Onondaga
Hill, attending a meeting of the Board of Supervisors of
Onondaga County, of which he was a m.ember, and at once
communicated the order to his subordinate. Lieutenant
Hutchens, who warned out the Company, came on to Onon-
daga Valley, and was there joined by Captain Roundy.
The Company was absent from home under his command
for about a month and was then discharged at Smith's Mills,
New York, November 22nd, 1814. Captain Roundy in-
herited his military instincts from a patriotic ancestry ; his
father, his grandfather, and three of his uncles did military
service in the American Revolution.

The general character of the early settlers of this town
is well illustrated by the following anecdotes told of Captain
Roundy, in a recent publication from which we copy:

" During the early history of the County of Onondaga
a large share of the litigation was in Justice Courts in the
different towns, and not in the higher Courts at the County
seat, as at the present day. On such occasions the best
talent in the county was employed, and every one suspended
work to be present at the law suit. At such times Captain
Roundy was frequeently called upon to try one side or the
other of these cases, and Hon. Daniel Gott, who in olden
times was considered one of the strongest trial lawyers in
the county, paid Captain Roundy the compliment of being
one of the strongest advocates before a jury of any man
he ever met. There were several remarkable men among
the early pioneers of this town, but it is no disparagement
of any of them to say that he was the most remarkable of
them all. He was six feet tall, well proportioned, a perfect
athlete, and an adept in all the sports participated in by the
men of those times. His education was acquired only in
the common school, but he had a remarkably retentive
memory, and his mind was well stored with valuable infor-
mation including much poetry and song, all of which he was
able to command and use to advantage, both in public speech
and in private conversation. He was a man physically and
mentally well equipped.

" The first settler at what is now known as Randall's
Point or Spafford Landing, on Skaneateles Lake, came to


Spafford early, while the country was then a wilderness,
and undertook to build a log house at that place. In doing
so he broke his leg, by a log rolling upon him. Captain
Roundy, finding him in this condition, and no help being at
hand, took him upon his back and bore him through the
woods up an almost vertical pathway for a mile and a half
to his house, where he was cared for until his recovery.

" Captain Roundy at an early date purchased lands in
the eastern part of the town, and laid out and built the road
known as the Bucktail. Any one who has ever passed over
this road vnW be likely to remember that its ruggedness is
equal to its picturesqueness, which is saying a good deal.
In early times this road has been and is now a subject of
jest. At that time the two principal political parties in
this State were known as Bucktails and Clintonians. Of
the former he was at that time a prominent member, so
much so that the people dubbed the road the " Bucktail,"
in recognition of that fact, and it has borne the name until
the present time.

" At an early time one or two burials had been made in
what is known as the Spafford Cemetery, east of the Cor-
ners, which was then open pasture land. One day a
funeral party came there with a corpse for burial, and the
man who owned the land refused to let the interment take
place, whereupon as usual in such cases, an appeal was
made to Captain Roundy, who went to the owner and bought
and paid for the original land, (one acre) which forms a
part of this Cemetery, and the title to the same rests in his
name, or that of his descendants to this day.

" Before 1831 it was common to imprison people for debt.
On one occasion a man living on the main road in the
southern part of the town was in debt. He was abusive
and resisted arrest. For a long time he kept himself con-
cealed and locked indoors. He kept out of the way of the
oflficers, as they were not permitted to break down doors
to make such arrests. The officer went to Captain Roundy,
and he undertook to assist him in making service. It
was Winter time. He got a two horse rig, put on all the
bells he could find, and in the middle of the night drove
down to within half a mile of the man's house, got out, and
taking two bundles of straw under his arm, walked down
to the north end of the house, which had no windows in it.


the only door of admittance being on the east side, near the
northeast comer of the house. Arriving at the place he
set fire to the straw, whereupon the man with the bells and
horses drove at a furious rate, yelling " Fire," which
brought the man to the door in his night dress, where he
was met by Captain Roundy, who took him gently in his

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