George Washington Cowles.

Landmarks of Wayne County, New York online

. (page 35 of 107)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

own jointly a frame parsonage at Lakeside, the value of which is
$1,200.

The First Free Methodist Church of Ontario was organized December
9, L866, with eleven members, viz.: George and Adelaide Willard,
Horace and Eliza T. Moore, Barton and Mary Vandewarker, Bennett
H. and Hannah Tarber, Richard and Adelia Ridley, and Hannah E.
Tarber. The first Board of Trustees consisted of George Willard,
Charles E. Heuston, and Willard Rogers. It was incorporated January
5, 1867, and the first pastor was Rev. J. Olney in 1866-67. The society
now has forty-five members, under the pastoral care of Rev. J. E.
Tiffany. The first and present church edifice was built of wood in 1867
at a cost of $1,200; it will seat 200 persons, and is situated about three
miles west of Ontario Center. At its organization the church was in
the Bushnell Basin circuit ; it is now in the Webster and Ontario charge.



CHAPTER XXII.
HISTORY OF THE TOWN OF MACEDON.

Macedon, the southwest corner town in Wayne county, was formed
from the western part of Palmyra on the 29th of January, 1823. It has
an area of 23,040 acres, and is divided into seventy-two parallelogram
lots containing 320 acres each. The surface, which is rolling and
irregular, is drained by Ganargwa (Mud) and Spring Creeks, the former
flowing easterly through the southeast part of Macedon and the village
corporation, and affording excellent mill sites. Spring Creek also flows
easterly through the north part of the town, and both streams pass into
the town of Palmyra north of Palmyra village. West of Macedon
village, extending to the county line, is an extensive swamp covering
560 acres, some of which has been reclaimed into comparatively good
farming land.

The soil is generally well adapted to agricultural purposes. North of
the Erie Canal it is principally a gravelly and clayey loam, while south
of that waterway it is largely a sandy formation. Fertile and generally

42



330 LANDMARKS OF

susceptible of easy cultivation, it produces abundant crops of grain,

potatoes, hay, and fruit, which constitute the chief products. In late
years fruit-growing has received considerable attention and proves
fairly successful. Peppermint is also grown in considerable quantities.

The town was originally covered with a heavy growth of timber, con-
sisting of beech, oak, whitewood, and maple, nearly all of which has
been cut down and converted into lumber and firewood. The lumber
Imsiness, while it continued, supplied work for several local saw mills,
but these have all either gone down or been removed. As an example
of the great height attained by some of the trees of this section, it is
remembered that a stately maple, long since leveled by the wind, once
towered erect on the summit of Ramsdell hill and from many miles
around was distinctly visible, a beacon for the pioneer.

The first town meeting for the town of Macedon convened at the
house of Lydia Porter on February 11, 1823, at which the following
officers were chosen: Abraham Spear, supervisor; John Lapham, town
clerk; Asa B. Smith, William B. Capron, Calvin Bradish, assessors;
George Crane, Ira Lapham, Isaac Durfee, highway commissioners;
Isaac Durfee and George Crane, overseers of the poor; Stephen Spear,
collector; Jonathan Ramsdell, Charles Bradish, Thomas C. Hance,
commissioners of common schools; William P. Richardson, Bernard
Beal, Alexis Packard, inspectors of common schools; Otis Southworth,
Bernard Cook, Ira Hill, constables. It was voted that ''three per
cent, be paid for collecting taxes." At the annual town meeting held
at the dwelling of Abner Hillon the first Tuesday in April following,
these same officers were regularly elected.

The supervisors of this town have been as follows:

Abraham Spear, 1823-25, Nathan Lapham, 1850,
Charles Bradish, 1826, Evert Bogardus, 1851-52,
A. Spear, 1821 28, A tievbtein is:,:;, and A. 1'. Ran-
George Cram-, 1829 31, dall was appointed and served
A. Spear, 1832-33, until is.". I.
John Lapham, 18:! I. Stephen L. Ramsdell, is.",.""),
Charles Bradish, is:!.",. G. C, Everett was chosen at a
Isaac Durfee, 1836-37, special town meeting in 1856,
C. Bradish, 1838-40, and at a regular meeting Pur-
Thomas Barnes, L841 13, dy M. Willitts,
Allen C. Purdy, 1844 15 Lemuel Durfee, 1857,
J. Lapham, 1846 17, Joab S. Biddlecom, 1858 60,
Abial I). Gage, 1848, Thomas W. Mead, lsiil 63,
Samuel Everett, L849, Robert H. Jones, 1864-65,



WAYNE COUNTY. 331

Marvin A. Eddy, 1866, Charles B. Herendeen, 1877-79,

Walter W. Brace, 1867, Hiram C. Durfee, 1880-81,

H. H. Hoag, 1868-69, Daniel S. Shourds, L882,

Lyman' Bickford, 1870-72, George W. Kirkpatrick, 1883-84,

W. W. Mumford, is?:;, Isaac Dean, 1885-87,

L. Bickford, 1874, Henry J. Breese, 1888-89,

W. W. Mumford, 1875, William B. Billings, 1890-93,

Jeremiah Thistlethwaite, 1876, Frank W. Hawes, 1894.

The town officers for 1894 are: Frank W. Hawes, supervisor; George
Bough ton, town clerk; Charles T. Jennings, W. F. Woods, Albert H.
Breese, J. E. Baker, justices of the peace; Charles R. Whitehead, as-
sessor; George Krauss, collector; Isaac R. Hoag, highway commissioner ;
Edson J. Corser, overseer of the poor.

In 1858 there were in Macedon 18,674 acres improved land 1/249 male
and 1,185 female inhabitants, 453 dwellings, 493 families, 366 free-
holders, 14 school districts, 815 school children, 909 horses, 1,329 work-
ing oxen and calves, 953 cows, 10,288 sheep, and 1,924 swine. The as-
sessed valuation of real estate was $951,179, and of personal property
$121,670. During that year there were produced 25,787 bushels win-
ter and 110,900 bushels spring wheat, 3,163 tons hay, 16,777 bushels
potatoes, 27,949 bushels apples, 77,662 pounds butter, 9,900 pounds
cheese, and 32 yards domestic cloths.

In 1890 the town had a population of 2,564 or 307 less than in 1880.
In 1893 its real estate was assessed at $1,044,134 (equalized $990,308);
personal property, $148,125; village and mill property, $215,280
(equalized $206,121); railroads and telegraphs, $584,504 (equalized
$547,142). Total assessed valuation, $1,992,043 (equalized $1,891,696).
Schedule of taxes, 1893: Contingent fund, $1,015.71; town poor fund,
$400; special tax, $75; school tax, $1,730.78; county tax, $4,141.09;
State tax, $2,281.97; State insane tax, $588,70; dog tax, $249. Total
tax levied, $10,839.19; rate per cent., .00544124. The town has two
election districts and in !8 ( .)3 polled 416 votes.

The earliest settlements in this town were made in the vicinity of
Macedon village along the Palmyra-Pittsford road, the pioneers being
principally from New England. Practically the town's development
dates from the commencement of the Erie Canal, which traverses
Macedon from east to west through nearly its central part. New
comers after the completion of that great waterway in 1825 thence-
forward came in easier and more rapidly. The construction of the
main line of the New York Central Railroad, running almost parallel



332 LANDMARKS OF

with the canal, lent a new impetus to the town's business interests and
ever afterwards assured it a commercial importance that has been
steadly maintained and improved. A third commercial improvement
was inaugurated in 1883 in the construction of the West Shore Rail-
road, which in 1885 passed under control of the first named corpora-
tion as lessees. Both of these railroads run through the central part of
the town just north of Macedon village.

The first settler in Macedon was Webb Harwood, who came with his
family from Massachusetts in 1789, making the journey with an ox
team and wagon in forty-six days. He settled in the east part of the
town, cleared a small plat, built a rude log cabin, and lived there many
years. Mr. Harwood died in 1824, and the family finally went west.
Ebenezer Reed, also from Massachusetts, probably arrived in the same
year, and lived neighbor to Harwood.

Israel Delano was a settler of 1790; he located in the south part of
the town and soon afterward died, and is said to have been the first
white man to die in Macedon. Darius Comstock reared a family here
and subsequently went to Michigan. His daughter Hannah was born
in 1703, and was the first female white child born in town. Paul Reed
was another pioneer of about this period.

Abraham Spear settled with his family in Macedon in 1791, purchas-
ing 500 acres of land in the east part of the town. He died soon after-
ward, and his farm passed to his sons, Abraham, jr., Ebenezer and
Isaac. The first of these three became the first supervisor of the town
and was otherwise prominent in local affairs. Jonathan Warner, Abner
Hill, Constant Southard, Barnabas Brown, Jacob Gannett, and David
White were also early settlers. Mr. Gannett, in 1801, built the first
grist mill in town on Ganargwa Creek. A son was born to him in 1791,
who was the first white child born in Macedon.

William Porter, who settled in the west part of the town on a farm
subsequently owned by Hon. John Lapham, owned the first tavern in
Macedon prior to 1810, and continued as its landlord until his death in
L825. This was a two-story frame structure and in a remodeled form
was long used as a residence. In 1812 Ebenezer Spear, above men-
tioned, opened a second hotel, but a few years later it was changed to
a dwelling and is still used for that purpose.

Hon. John Lapham came to Palmyra with his father in 1796; after
his marriage in L818 to Saloma, daughter of William and Lydia Porter,
he removed to Macedon, and lived here until his death July 4, 1867.



WAYNE COUNTY. 333

He was several times elected supervisor and in 18,47 was chosen mem-
ber of Assembly from Wayne county. He had nine children, of whom
Stephen W. still resides in town. Mrs. Lapham died in Macedon vil-
lage several years ago. Two other settlers of this period were Ber-
nard Beal, one of the first school inspectors, and Henry Wilber. Mr.
Beal was the father of Ira and De Witt Beal, who lived on the home-
stead. Emery Beal still lives in the town.

Among the new comers of 1792 were John Bradish and his family,
consisting of his wife and sons Calvin, Luther and Charles. Luther
was elected lieutenant-governor of this State, and died in New York
city ; Charles and Calvin moved to Michigan and died there.

Bartimeus, Cyrus, and John Packard, three brothers, after a journey
of six weeks with ox teams, arrived here February 22, 1792. Barnabas
Packard, their father, had preceded them and bought 640 acres of land
upon which the sons located, paying 18^ cents per acre. Cyrus died
in Perinton. Bartimeus died September 10, 1854, on the homestead
now occupied by his grandson. John died in Michigan. F. C. John-
son, great-grandson of the latter, is ex-postmaster and a merchant in
Macedon village.

In 1793 David Warner came to Macedon, returned east to winter,
came again the next spring, and soon afterward married. Nahum
Warner, his son, died here a few years since. Deacon Noah Porter
settled on a part of the farm recently occupied by ex- Sheriff William
P. Nottingham. Other settlers of about this time were Bernard Bates,
and Barnett and Stephen Peters. Thomas Bussey settled east of
Macedon Center in 1794. Of his large family Mrs. Perry (aftewards
Mrs. Gannett) and Mrs. Lapham died in town some years since.

An early and perhaps the earliest physician was Dr. Gain Robinson,
who settled near the east line of the town on the farm now owned by a
son of David Aldrich. In 1821 Dr. Plunkett Richardson located on
the Durfee farm and practiced medicine until his death in 1833. In
1826 Dr. Benjamin W. Dean became a physician at the Center.

Abraham Lapham came to this town with his family in 1795, and
settled on the farm lately owned by Zachariah Van Duzer. The first
person baptized in Macedon was the wife of Joseph Finkham, a pioneer,
the ceremony being performed in 1797 by an Irish missionary. Mr.
Finkham paid two shillings an acre for fifty acres, on which farm he
died.

Among the early settlers of 1795 were Benjamin and Jonathan Wood,



SU LANDMARKS OF

Nathan and John Comstock, the father of Hector Turner, and N. Dick-
inson. William F. Dickinson, a son of the latter, died in Macedon vil-
lage several years ago.

In L796 Deacon Palmer settled on a large farm in the northeast part
of the town and died there. A son now resides in the town. Ephraim
Green located where his son Almon afterwards lived. A son of the
latter was a clerk in the State Legislature several years, and another
is now station agent at West Walworth.

George Crane, Bartlett Robinson (a mechanic and pioneer builder),
Brice Aldrich, and Ethan Lapham were settlers of 1800. Lewis and
Morgan Robinson, sons of Bartlett, also settled permanently in town,
and Mrs. Arnold Bristol, a daughter of Brice Aldrich, is still living
here. Robert Teadman came from Rhode Island in L810 and bought
140 acres now owned by Mrs. George Frey.

The first blacksmith in town was Walter Walker, who opened a shop
about 1805, on or near the place now owned by the heirs of Abel Run-
van. Mr. Walker was soon succeeded by Daniel Kimball.

One of the pioneer orchards was set out about 1795 by Abraham
Lapham; another covering seven acres was set at an early day by
Nathan Comstock, on the farm now owned by Martin Weedrick. This
latter orchard during many years bore the only grafted fruit in the
town. Mr. Lapham built the first frame house in Macedon prior to
L800. It was repaired, removed, and again repaired and now stands
on John H. Murphy's farm.

Prominent among other early comers are the names of Ebenezer
Still (a Revolutionary soldier), Asa Aldridge, Alexander Purdy, Dur-
fee Osband, Walter Lawrence (whose son Walter resides on the home-
stead), William Willits, Nathaniel Brailey, Artemas Ward, and Levi
Camborn.

Thomas C. Hance came to Macedon from Maryland in 1817, and in
the same year opened the first store in town. He continued business
until ls\!;>, when he purchased a farm near the Center, where he lived
until his death, April 19. 1888, at the great age of L06 years. During
the latter part of his life he resided with his son Abraham. Another
pioneer merchant was Israel Richardson.

Among the oldest frame dwellings now tenanted are those occupied
bv the families of f. W. Arnold, Bartimeus Packard, and Israel Delano.
On the exterior these residences have never been changed. The house
of Monroe Carman is another old remodeled structure, as is also the



WAYNE COUNTY. 335

one occupied by James Duggan, wherein occurred the death of Jona-
than Ramsdell, the "Quaker preacher. " Probably the oldest barn in
the town is the one standing on the Bartimeus Packard place, which
was erected in 1799.

In Part II of this work mention is made of many other pioneers and
prominent citizens of the town ; to these may be added the following
names of others who are more or less conspicuous in later generations:
William and Cyrus Packard, sons of Philander Packard ; John G. Mead,
son of Richard; B. S. Durfee, son of the late Stephen Durfee; William
B. Billings, ex-supervisor; Charles T. Jennings, justice of the peace;
Frank B. Hicks, ex-postmaster and merchant at the Center; George
Marshall, son of John C. ; the Hance brothers, sons of Abraham, who
died in December, 1893 ; Gideon Baker, a typical representative of the
olden time; A. H. Briggs, justice of the peace; James Harbou, Joseph
AY. Bentley, DeWitt C. Lapham, Thomas Bussey, Thomas Blaker, and
Isaac Tallman, son of Darius, a true descendant of pioneer days.

The Durfee family was prominent in the early settlement of this town
and among its representatives is Hiram C. Durfee. Charles B. Heren-
deen, ex-supervisor, is a son of Charles B., sr. , and grandson of Durfee
Herendeen, whose father, Welcome, purchased 160 acres of land in
Macedon in 1811, and died thereon in 1837. Welcome Herendeen mar-
. ried a daughter of Gideon Durfee. George Everett resided on the farm
settled by his father, and died in Palmyra a few years since. Other
prominent men who have long made this town their home are Joab
Biddlecom, Silas N. Gallup, Lyman Bickford, Samuel Everett, Z. A.
Van Duzer, Menzo and Samuel Smith, Gideon Smith, Daniel S.
Shourds (nurserymen), David Cramer, Edwin Robinson, John Lane,
Gilbert Budd, the Downing brothers (maltsters in Palmyra), Thomas
Lampson, and Frank Allyn. These men, each in his own way, have
contributed materially to the growth and welfare of the town.

The volunteers from the town of Macedon who participated in the war
of the Rebellion numbered 167. Each and every one did valiant ser-
vice in that sanguinary conflict, and the present generations proudly hon-
ors their deeds of heroism. But few of the old veterans still remain
among us, death having claimed many of their number since their terms
of active service expired.

Deacon Noah Porter, as early 1800, donated to the town the first plat
for a burial place, situated about one mile east of Macedon Center, on
land now owned by Edwin Robinson. It contains the undisturbed re-



336 LANDMARKS OF

mains of many of the earlier pioneers and for ten yearsormore was the
principal cemetery in Macedon. The Friends' burying ground at
Maeedon was opened prior to 1820, and is still in use.

The progress of education within the limits of this town is doubtless
the best evidence of the unusual intelligence and refinement manifested
by the present generation of inhabitants. It was prior.to 1800 that the
first school house was erected, a frame structure half a mile below the
west lock, on the north side of the canal, in the corporation of Macedon
village. Soon afterward it was removed by Deacon Noah Porter and
made over into a residence.

In 1803 another frame school building was erected on property now
owned by David Glossenger, but after a usefulness of three decades, it
was torn down. John Brandish was the first teacher in that house.

In 1871 a graded school was established in Macedon village under the
principalship of Prof. William Goodenough, in a building erected for a
Union Free School. The present Union school house was built of brick
in 1887-88, at a cost of $8,000. It is of one story and the school main-
tains an academic department. The present Board of Education (1894)
consists of Eli H. Gallup, president; William S. Eddy, secretary; Ira
L. Purdy, Isaac Dean, and Carl C. Herendeen. George W. Boughton
is treasurer. Four teachers are employed and George H. Cullihgs is
principal. The school district is free from debt.

On the northwest corner of Macedon Center there stood in early
days a small public hostelry known as the Hollister House, a name sub-
sequently changed to the Macedon Center House. After the opening
of the canal this tavern was no longer prosperous, but it continued to
entertain travelers and dispense liquor for several years afterward.
William Barker about this time formed a plan to open a Friends' boarding
school, but did not carry them oat; yet the suggestion developed into
the purchase on April 24, L841, of John Gidersleeve of the old tavern
property at a cost of $1,150, the purchasers being Jonathan Ramsdell,
Daniel T. Burton, and Durfee Osband. On the 11th of April, 1842,
through Durfee ( >sband, then member of Assembly, the Macedon Acad-
emy was legally incorporated, and on September 13, Messrs. Ramsdell,
Burton, and ( )sband deeded the property to the following trustees named
in the charter: Thomas C. Hance, Thomas Barnes, Philander Packard,
Ira Odell, William C. Johnston, Evert Bogardus, Henry Tillou, John
Johnston, [ames Cunningham, Israel Woolsey,. Joshua Delong, John C.
Marshall, John Van Vliet, Walter Johnson, and Caleb Van Duzer. On



WAYNE COUNTY.



337



May 24, 1843, a strip of land two rods wide, west of the tavern lot,
was bought by James T. Hoag, but afterwads a part of this was sold.
In 1841, school was first opened in the old tavern with Eaton B. North-
rop, principal, and Stephen Ramsdell and Austin Mandeville, assistants.
Mr. Northrop died October 17, 1843, aged twenty-eight 'years. Sep-
tember 14, 1842, it was resolved to build an extension for the academy
proper, and use the old tavern for a boarding house. The contract was
let to Evert Bogardus. The present building was erected in 1853, and




if; '«■<•'

,!aiii | - ,5 55^ " r«"^i-

•■MACEOON1.GENTR& house-





the first session opened in it November 7, of that year, with 160 students.
In 1859 the old academy was sold to Dr. Esten, removed to the site of
William Barker's residence, and burned September 6, of the same year.
In 1863 a commercial department was established in the academy. The
boarding house (the old tavern) was destroyed by fire the next morning
after the close of the fall term in November, 1873. The academy was
founded by adherents of the doctrine of the Society of Friends, and for
more than half a century has wielded a powerful influence in guiding
the morals and elevating the standard of education in this section of
Western New York. Plain and unpretentious in its outward appear-
ance, its curriculum governed by strict rules sometimes locally termed
" blue laws, " fostered by the Board of Regents of the State, it has
ever maintained an enviable prestige and flourished while many similar
43



338



LANDMARKS OF



institutions succumbed to the changing status of state and society
The presidents of the Board of Trustees have been as follows:



Ira Odell, 1842,
Durfee Osband. 1845,
Philander Packard, 1846,
Thomas Barnes, L848,
J. C. Marshall, 1849,



J. M. Howland, 1852,
T. J. Mead, 1856,
L. Whitcomb, 1857,
William Bloodgood, 1863,
Stephen Durfee, 18G4,



Principals of the academy



1841-42,


Eaton B. Northrup,


1868-69,


1842-43,


Eaton B. Northrup,


1869-70,


1843-44,


Stephen Wood,


1870-71,


1844-45,


Stephen Wood,


1871-72,


1845^6,


Stephen Wood,


1872-73,


1846-47,


John W. Stebbins,


1873-74,


1847-48,


John W. Stebbins,


1874-75,


1848-49,


Hiram Wheeler,


1875 76,


1849-50,


Samuel Centre,


1876-77.


1850-51,


Samuel Centre,


1877-78,


1851-52,


Samuel Centre,


1878-79,


1852-53,


Samuel Centre,


1879-80,


is:,:; 54,


William M. McLaughlin,


1880-81,


1854-55,


Willism M. McLaughlin,


1881-82,


L855 56,


William M. McLaughlin,


1882-83,


1856-57,


Charles S. Halsey,


1883-84,


1857-58,


Thomas McC. Ballantine,


1884-85,


1858-59,


George H. Whitney,


1885-86,


1859-60,


Brain erd Kellogg,


1886-87,


1860-61,


Edwin B. Harvey,


1887 -88,


1861-62


Edwin B, Harvey,


1888-89,


1862-63,


Charles S. Halsey,


1889-90,


1863-64,


Charles S. Halsey,


1890-91,


1864-65,


Charles S. Halsey,


1891-92,


1865-66


Gardner Fuller,


1892 93,


1866-67


Gardner Fuller,


1893-94,


1867-68,


James S. Lemon,





A. L. Hance, 1872,
J. G. Mead, 1875,
Isaac Baker, 1876,
H. H. Hoag, 1883,
Burton S. Durfee, 1888 94.



H. George Miller,
H. George Miller,
George S. Andrews,
Richard H. Dennis,
Henrietta W. Downing,
Andrew J. Nellis,
J. Edmund Massee,
J. Edmund Massee,
V. A. Crandall,
Byron C. Mathews,
D. I). Van Allen,
Frederick A. Hyde,
Charles H. Boynton,
Charles H. Boynton,
Fred A. White,
Margaret J agger,
Lewis H. Clark,
Lewis H. Clark,
Lewis H. Clark,
Lewis H. Clark,
Lewis H. Clark,
Lewis H. Clark,
Lewis H. Clark, jr.,
Cyrus S. Palmer.
Edwin W. Stevens,
J. Carson Benedict.



The Board of Trustees for L894- 'J 5 are



Joseph W. Bentley,
William B. Billings,
Benjamin C. Blaker,
Thomas R. Blaker,
1 lurton S. Durfee (president),



I >arwin Eldridge,
Frank B. Hicks (secretary),
James Harbou,
Myron L. Hoag,
Charles T. Jennings (treas-
urer),

Honorary Members: Humphrey H, Hoag, Guidon T. Smith.
Executive Commitee: Burton S. Durfee, Frank B. Hicks, Myron L



Dewitt C. Lapham,
George Mansfield,
Cyrus Packard,
Isaac P. 1 loag,
Charles H. Parker.



1 loag.



WAYNE COUNTY. 339

Faculty: J. Carson Benedict, principal, Latin, psychology, mathematics, physics,
and chemistry. Francis May Matteson, preceptress, German, drawing, ai
history, and higher English. Nellie V. Blaker, assistant, physiology, history,
English, and civics. Mrs. Frances K. Mandeville, music.

Alumni Association (organized in 1884): Beal M. Smith, president; Lizzie J.
Blaker, vice-president; Mina C. Packard, secretary; Beal M. Smith, Lizzie J. Blaker,
Charles B. Herendeen, Mina C. Packard, executive committee.

The town of Macedon has thirteen school districts, attended during
the year 1892-93 by 595 children, and taught by fifteen teachers. The
valuation of school buildings and sites aggregates $16,250; assessed