George Knapp Collins.

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arms and turned him over to the officer.

"At an early date Captain Roundy built a sawmill, on
the upper falls of the stream, near the Bucktail road, with
a flume running over the precipice, and subsequently built
a carding mill a little higher up stream. About this time
a supposed distant relative of his came to town and claimed
to have knowledge of carding, fulling and making cloth.
He put him in charge of the mill. After he had been in
possession for a time, Captain Roundy thought it time to
go over and investigate, and count up the profits of his
venture. To his mute astonishment he found the building
entirely empty and his carding machinery carried away.
This he subsequently found hid under a straw stack near
the Village of Cardiff.

" At one time a log house stood on the village green, now
existing at the Corners, between the two churches. A
woman living in this house, after a time, was discovered to
have won the affections and regard of a neighboring
woman's husband, with whom she agreed to elope. On the
night fixed for this episode to take place, there was a gath-
ering of men on horseback in a distant part of the town,
and after the elopers had gotten a mile or so on their
journey, they were overtaken by this cavalcade and escorted
to Borodino. After a short stop they were persuaded to
return ; the man after making over his property to his wife,
was permitted to go away with his new found charmer

" At an early date a dilapidated old house stood a short
distance east of the Corners. It was rumored that an
undesirable family had hired it, was going to move into
to^vn and likely to become a town charge. The people called
upon the owner and tried to dissuade him from letting the
property to these people; but he persisted, and was more
or less abusive, much to the annoyance of his neighbors.
One fine morning, just before the new settlers were to
arrive, people were surprised to find this house razed to



the ground. The owner was furious and charged one of
his neighbors with perpetrating the mischief, went to
Captain Roundy, who was then Justice of the Peace, and
swore out a warrant for the man. At that time the party
to a criminal or civil proceeding could not be sworn on the
trial in his own behalf, and the defendant was often at
the mercy of unscrupulous witnesses. At the time of the
trial every one turned out and very much regretted the turn
of affairs, which seemed to be against the defendant. The
complainant produced a witness who swore that he was
passing along the road in the night, saw the defendant
tearing down the house, and he tried to get away from him,
but he knew him and was certain of his identity. The
defendant was so unfortunate as not to be able to prove
even an alibi. When the case was rested, much to the sur-
prise of every one present, Captain Roundy discharged the
defendant, claiming that there was no cause of action
against him. Of course it was a high handed proceeding,
but every one submitted because it was Captain Roundy's
decision, and they all believed that he must have some inter
light not discernible to the rest of them. Sometime after-
wards one of his daughters said to him : ' Father, how
could you make such a decision, when you knew that wit-
ness swore point blank to the guilt of the defendant, and
there were no mitigating circumstances?' 'Well,' he said,
' If you will never say anything about it, I will tell you.
I knew that witness lied, for Colonel Hutchens and myself
pulled down that building.' "


Uriah Roundy, one of the sons of Capt. Asahel and
Hannah (Weston) Roundy, was born in the town of Spaf-
ford, July 24, 1819. Like his father before him he was
prominent in his native town, and was frequently called
upon to perform matters of public trust and confidence.
Among the public offices held by him were : Supervisor of
the Town of Spafford, three terms, Justice of the Sessions
of the County of Onondaga two terms. Excise Commissioner
one term, (from which he resigned), and Loan Commis-
sioner of the County of Onondaga two years. He was also
Justice of the Peace in Spafford between twenty-five and
thirty years, and Postmaster at Spafford Corners for many


years ; he was an incumbent of both of the latter offices at
the time of his decease which occurred May 29th, 1902.
For many years prior to his decease nearly all the Wills,
Mortgages, Deeds and other legal documents executed in
his portion of the town were drawn by him, and he was
frequently called upon to perform other duties of an
attorney at law. He married Mary Ann Tinkham and by
her had two sons, Adelbert and Jay C. Roundy, the former
only surviving him.


Captain Asahel Roundy, during his active career, was the
owner of considerable real estate in this town, and at one time
owned jiearly all of Lot 32, Sempronius. This he conveyed
in parcels to different settlers, who moved on the lands,
cleared away the forests, built houses and reared families
there. Among these early settlers, to whom he conveyed
land on this lot, v/as Psalter Pullman. He cleared away
the timber and settled on the farm afterwards known as
the Rathbone Barber, Jr., farm, and now (1900) owned by
the estate of Edwin S. Van Benschoten, deceased. On this
farm most, if not all, of Mr. Pulhnan's children were born.
Among them was Lewis Pullman, the father of George M.
Pullman, the late multi-millionaire and sleeping and palace
car magnate, of Pullman, Illinois, whose decease is a matter
of recent occurrence. Psalter Pullman moved to the
western part of this State about 1829. There are very few
now living who have any remembrance of him or of any
of his family, except his son, John Pullman, who married
Mabel Pettis, sister of Ebenezer Haven's wife. He con-
tinued to reside here for about twenty years after the
departure of his father.

John Pullman at one time resided on the Skaneateles and
Homer road, about one mile south of Spafford Corners, and
kept a house of entertainment there called " The Nimble
Sixpence." The house and barn were close to the road on
either side, and passers by at night were much annoyed
by John's cattle, who were wont to sleep in the highway
for want of a better barnyard. " The Nimble Sixpence,"
according to the memory of " Old Inhabitants," had only
one room in it, and that was occupied by Mr. Pullman's
numerous family as a bed room, living room, dining room,



pantry, etc., besides being used as a bar-room and lounging
place for guests, after Mr. Pullman set himself up in busi-
ness as a tavern keeper. It is probable that Mr. Pullman's
patrons were mostly confined to neighbors' boys, who
thought it great sport to give landlord Pullman an occasional
house warming. Mr. Pullman was an honest, upright and
well meaning man, but possessed of certain vagaries and
crank notions, which leads those who knew him to believe
that George M. Pullman, the great Palace Car magnate,
absorbed all the brains and nervous energy of the entire
Pullman family.

After the removal of the major part of the Pullman
family to the western part of the State, as above stated, an
occasional correspondence was kept up between John Pull-
man, who was left behind, and other members of the family.
One day John Jullman came to the village Postmistress with
an unsealed letter in his hand, and with unfeigned pride,
asked her to examine it, saying : " Don't you think that
pretty good writin' for a man like me?" She took the
letter in her hand, examined it, and found among other
things that Mr. Pullman had made an indiscriminate use
of capital letters, without any reference to any known rules
on the subject, sometimes even placing them in the middle
of a word. She turned to Mr. Pullman and said : " Mr.
Pullman, your writing is very good indeed, but why don't
you put your capital letters at the beginning of words and
sentences, as other people do?" " Well," says he, " I think
that makes my writin' look a leetle better to scatter them
more evenly through the letter, than to bunch them up as
some people do."


Colonel Phineas Hutchens was born in Herkimer County,
New York, in 1785, and came to this town and settled on
Lot 22, Tully, in 1811. He remained on the farm where
he first settled, until his decease in 1870. He was a man
of great physical strength, strong personality, a natural
leader of men, a prominent member of the Baptist Church,
and led a blameless life. His personal influence was
always wielded for the good of the community in which he
resided, yet, having a strong sense of humor in his make
up, he fully enjoyed all the sports and military functions


which were popular in those times and engaged the atten-
tion of the people. In those matters, and in the conduct
of the public affairs of the town, he was always a cordial
and able assistant of his life long friend. Captain Asahel
Roundy. Prior to 1830, when a portion of the township
of Marcellus was added, all public business of the town
centered about Spafford " Comers," where these two men
resided, and their influence was most potent.

Both were strong men, yet their influence and control
over their fellows was much strengthened by their sympa-
thetic and fun loving natures.


Mr. Hutchens had a son, Roswell Hutchens, who in-
herited his humor, purity and fun, but not his commanding
physical strength and personality. " Roz," as he was
familiarly called, died January 16, 1854, at the age of thirty-
three years, unmarried, yet where is there a man or woman,
who was a boy or girl residing within a radius of ten miles
of Spafford " Corners," in his time ,who does not cherish
a pleasant recollection of him and his fun loving disposition.
His sleigh or wagon was never so small or overloaded as to
prevent him giving a boy or girl a lift on the way to and
from school, and generally his sleigh or wagon had as
many boys and girls upon it as could safely hang on. In
the Fall of the year " Roz " ran the Hutchens' Cider Mill,
which at noon hour of school days was a favorite resort for
boys to congregate, eat dinner and drink cider. No boy
was ever refused a drink of cider and as much of the
beverage as he could carry away in his dinner pail. Like
his father before him he was a lover of fine horses and
was seldom without a pair of his own, yet like most
admirers of horsekind he was a successful and mveterate
horse trader: — in fact he would trade anything he owned
if he got his price. His desire for traffic frequently led
him from home, and it was not unusual for these absences
to be extended for weeks at a time; then followed the tri-
umphal home coming, when all the people left their work
and gathered along the highway to witness the entertain-
ment which " Roz " was sure to have in store for them.
On one of these occasions, it will be remembered, that the
procession consisted of two or more spans of horses attached


to an ordinary farm wagon, bearing a hay-rack filled with
all kinds of household goods and farming implements.
Following this came a yoke of oxen, a dairy of cows, and
a drove of sheep. The entire outfit comprised everything
necessary to stock and run a farm except a wife, and no
doubt there was some disappointment in not finding among
his belongings this essntial commodity.

At another time he brought home a camel-back pacer
mare, as ugly looking a nag as man ever derw a line over,
but as speedy as she was ugly, and that was saying a good
deal. For a month or more after that every farmer boy,
who thought he had a horse particularly fast, had a chance
to test his claim on the road. It is not probable that
" Roz's " sisters or girl friends were ever seen going to
church or a quilting bee behind this animal, yet all were
willing before a month went by to concede the right of way
to him and his pacer mare. " Roz " was a great favorite
with old and young, and on festive occasions among his
acquaintance, was not only present but generally the center
of interest, where innocent fun held sway. No one pre-
sumed to make him the subject of a practical joke but once,
and that nearly broke his heart.

" Roz " brought home a raw-boned animal, called a Pie-
balled horse, of very light color and in bad condition; this
was put to pasture in a back lot, to recuperate and gain
flesh, as a basis for a future trade. With his long ears and
measly condition he looked more like a mule than a horse,
so much so, that a wag thinking to define his identification
in the animal kingdom more perfectly, trimmed his tail
down to a " nubbin " at the end, and cut his mane down
to a row of short bristles along the top of his neck; then,
still more to improve the identification, he put a few stripes
around his body with a brush and a pot of black paint ; the
animal, thus disfigured, was then turned loose to meet the
doting gaze of his master. When " Roz ' discovered this
transformed quadruped he was furious, and for the first
time in his life was unable to see the funny side of a joke.
The wag soon discovered this unusual element in " Roz "
nature, and wisely kept his identification so securely that
" Roz " died without knowledge of the creator of this, his
first and only specimen of the Zebra kind.

Among the efforts made to discover the person who per-


petrated this practical joke, was one made by " Ranse "
Coon, the village harness-maker. At " Roz " solicitation
he jyot a small boy, who was supposed to know something
of the matter, into his shop and inquired of him who dis-
figured " Roz " horse. The boy being reluctant to answer,
Coon pressed the question, by saying he might as well tell
then as at any time, for if he did not answer he would be
brought in Court and made to swear. The boy replied that
his mother told him "never to swear." Coon, perceiving
the boy did not understand the nature of an oath, pressed
his question still more. Finally the boy, in despair,
exclaimed, " Well, if I have got to swear, I say B — G —
I don't know anything about it." This settled the examina-
tion, and " Roz," being told the result, was so well pleased
that he gave up farther investigation.

On the face of the tombstone placed at the grave of
Roswell Hutchens, in Spafford Cemetery, is firmly set a
small daguerrotype of himself, in a plug hat; this, when
last seen by the writer, after a lapse of nearly fifty years
since it was first put there, was as perfect as when first


Amos Miner was born in Norfolk, Litchfield County,
Conn:, November 10th, 1776. He came to Marcellus, (now
Skaneateles), about the year 1800, and settled on a cross-
road leading east from the lake road, and about two miles
south of the village of Skaneateles. Here he built himself
a shop and commenced the manufacture of his famous
accelerating wheel-heads, to be attached to spinning wheels
then in use by farmers' wives for making woolen yarn. In
the Fall of the year 1805 he sold his possessions in Skan-
eateles and located on Lot 68, Marcellus, (now Spafford),
but soon after established himself in Factory Gulf, where,
as a member of the firai of Miner, Deming and Sessions, he
built a factory for the manufacture of his celebrated accel-
erating wheel-heads and other wooden articles. Among
the articles invented and manufactured by him about this
time were Miner's Patent Pail, Miner's Half Bushel
Measure, Miner's Wooden Bowls, Miner's Grooved Window
Sash, and Miner's Wooden Pumps. He also manufactured
many other articles from wood, then in common use.



After a few years Miner sold his interest in the busi-
ness at Factory Gulf, and located himself at the head of
another Gulf on Lot 76, Marcellus, leading- into Otisco
Lake, where he built another factory, and a grist mill,
commonly called " The Pudding- Mill," from the fact that
Miner here ground large quantities of Indian meal, com-
monly used by the early settlers as an article of food, under
the name of pudding and milk. Miner's superior inventive
genius was more often brought into requisition in the
manufacture of tools and machines used in the process of
manufacture of his inventions, than in the conception and
completion of the finished product itself.

The genius of Miner was particularly illustrated by the
manner in which he accumulated and applied the power to
run his machinery at the mill, situate at the head of the
Pudding Mill Gulf. The mill was so located on the edge
of a precipitous rock, that the water coming to his mill
passed over a series of three overshot wheels, one above
another, giving him the accumulated power of three wheels
instead of one.

Miner, like most men of his class, was a better inventor
than financier, so when his invention was completed and on
the road to success, he generally tired of it, sold out, and
others were premitted to reap the fruits of his genius
instead of himself. The Pudding Mill venture was no
exception to the rule, so another was soon in possession of
the mill, and miner was engaged in starting another factory
or mill at Mottville, on the outlet of Skaneateles Lake.
From there he soon moved further dov/n stream, to a place
midway between Elbridge and Jordan, and was finally lost
sight of in the Far Distant West. When he left the State
it is said he carried with him the sum of $10,000, the
accumulation of a lifetime, while others accumulated great
wealth, as a product of his brain power and inventive


In the early fifties Asahel Madison Roundy was a mer-
chant at Spafford " Corners,' and owned and occupied the
Joseph R. Berry store (now occupied by John Van Ben-
schoten), and Thomas Maxson Foster was and had been
for many years his clerk. This store was a favorite place


for men and boys to gather evenings, tell stories and dis-
cuss matters of general interest. Before Mr. Roundy's
death, which occurred in 1857, an incident occurred which
Mr. Foster, familiarly called " Mac," related to the writer,
and we here transcribe in his own language :

" A short time before Asahel M. Roundy died he pur-
chased a part of the Samuel French farm, west of the road
and just south of the " Corners." Being dissatisfied with
the location of the barn on the premises, he undertook to
move it nearer the road and the house on the place. He
made a bee and invited his nieghbors to assist in the moving,
which was in the old way, with rollers under each corner
of the building, revolved by hand spikes inserted in holes
made for the purpose. After two half days' effort the
building still stood within a rod of the place where it was
at the beginning, and Ase came in to the store where I was
at work, discouraged, and said to me: 'I don't believe I
can ever get that bam moved in the world.' I replied:

* If you will leave that job to me I will get it moved, and
won't go near it either, but if you do you must not inter-
fere.' 'Well,' says he, 'you go ahead, and I will stand
aside and you can do as you please.'

" Roundy, at that time, was a prominent member of the
Baptist Church and a pronounced advocate of temperance.
After the matter was turned over to me I waited until one
evening, when a number of men had gathered in the store
to tell stories and discuss the news of the day, and I said
to them quietly, that on such a day I intended to move

* Ase's ' barn, and I wanted them to turn out and help me
and invite their friends. That there would be plenty of
lemonade for all, and I would see there was plenty of stick
in it to suit their taste; and if they came I would see they
had a good time.

" When the day arrived the clans began to gather ; there
was not only enough to move the building, but a goodly
number to spare. There was Silas Randall and two or
three of his boys, Avery Burdick, Russel Rounds, Jencks
Harrington, Uriah Morris, and many others whose names
I cannot recall ; most of whom have long since gone to their
final reward. They were honest and faithful men, good and
generous neighbors, and every one of them fond of good
cheer and of the sports of that age.


" As I began to mix my first pail of lemonade, Silas Ran-
dall sang out : " Well, boys, if we are going to move that
building let us be about it," and all hands following his
lead and moved off for the bani. By the time the last man
had moved out of the store I had my lemons, sugar and water
in the pail, and I went down cellar and drew a generous
measure of alcohol, and added that to the other ingredients
in the pail ; I then started for the barn. When I got there
I saw that Silas Randall was in charge and every man in
his place, so I carefully put my lemonade where all could
see it and returned to the store. On my return I took do-wn
another large milk pail and commenced my second decoction
of lemons, sugar, water and alcohol. As I pursued my work
I looked out of the store window and saw that the barn
was not only moving, but seemed to be walking to its place
of destination. When I had prepared my second pail of
lemonade I again started for the moving. On the way I

met M M , who accosted me, saying : " Mac ! there

seems to be plenty of help without me, so I guess I will go
home and hoe my potatoes. I did not get any of the other
lemonade, and if you are willing, I would like a bit of this/
I put down the pail, and he took the tin dipper and took up
a generous draught of the beverage. As he put it to his

lips, I said : ' M , be careful, there is a stick in that and

I don't know the size of it.' He either did not hear the
remark, or did not heed the caution, and quaffed off the
contents of the dipper without a halt, and started for home.

M M and his wife were at that time well known

church members and professed strict teetotalers, hence my
caution; which I would not have deemed necessary for
others. When I arrived at the building it was nearly in
place, so I put down the pail, stood around and looked on.
Before the building, with his back to the front, stood the
tall form of Silas Randall, with his bare brawny arms
gesticulating like a bandmaster. ' Here, take hold of this
plank, Avery, and put it do^^Ti here. Take hold of that
handspike, Nathan. Russel Rounds, come round here and
help William,' sang out his clear voice, and then: 'All
together. He! Hoe! Hee! He! Hoe! Hee and the
building moved like a creature of life. It did not take long
to put the barn in place, and then came the jacking up of
the building and the leveling of the sills. There was no



use for me, so I started back for the store. As I walked

along I looked do-wni the road and saw Mrs. M , with her

sunbonnet in her hand, coming towards me as fast as she
could walk. When she overtook me she said : * Mac, what

has M been doing up here to-day?' I said: ' Nothing;

there was sufficient without him, so he went home. Why?'
She replied : ' I never saw him act so before. He came
home, took his hoe and went into the patato patch, and there
he stood leaning on it. The moment he tried to do any-
thing, he pitched forward and could hardly keep his feet;
I did not know what was the matter.' I said : ' He is not
to blame, if any one is it is me ; but no one is to blame. I
told him there was a stick in the lemonade, but I guess he
did not understand it. You go home, put him to bed, and
he will sleep it off by morning. Don't say anjrthing to any-
one about it. He is all right.' She turned around and went

home. As M lived afterwards to a good old age I guess

the lemonade did him no harm.

" After the moving was completed the young folks gath-
ered on the village green and played ball, and the old folks
looked on and applauded the winners. At tea time all went
home, feeling that they had a good time. No one seemed
to be worse for having drank of the lemonade with a stick
in it."


This brief sketch of first settlers would be incomplete
without some reference to the large, influential and respect-
able Wallace family, who were inhabitants of the northern
portion of the town. Daniel Wallace, Sr., the head of the
family, came from Pittstown, Rensselaer County, New
York, and settled on Lot 88, Marcellus, about 1808. He had

Online LibraryGeorge Knapp CollinsSpafford, Onondaga County, New York → online text (page 3 of 32)