George Washington Cowles.

Landmarks of Wayne County, New York online

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valuation of the districts $1,945,000; public money received from the
State $1,937.02; amount raised by local tax $2,473.40.

The Macedon Historical and Geographical Society was organized at
the house of William C. Packard on February 1, 1894, with about twen-
ty-five members, and with the following officers: Frank B. Hicks, pres-
ident; Miss Ada E. Hance, vice-president; Miss Mina C. Packard, sec-
retary; Charles B. Herendeen, treasurer; Miss Nellie V. Blaker, libra-
rian. Its object is to collect and preserve local history.

The first grist mill in town was built by Jacob Gannett in 1801, on
his premises on Ganargwa Creek half a mile west of Macedon village.
It had one run of stone. The mill race was constructed about 1825 as
a feeder for the canal, and a few years later, about 1832, a Mr. Patter-
son obtained the right of use of this raceway and bought and removed
the Gannett mill to its present site in the village. Subsequent proprie-
tors were Allen Purdy and John Willits, Ese Wilber, George Wilber,
Russell Allen, Caldron White, and Mr. Allen again. In 1877 J. S.
Biddlecom purchased the property and later transferred a one-half in-
terest to his grandson, Bayard Biddlecom, making the firm J. S. Biddle-
com & Co., who are the present proprietors. The building has been
materially repaired, a full roller process substituted for the stones, and
a saw mill added about 1878.

The frame grist mill near the Walworth town line, north of Walworth
Station, is owned by the widow of John Craggs. It is operated by both
steam and water power.

Macedon Village. — This village, situated a little southeast from the
center of the town, was incorporated in November, 1856, and comprises
within its limits one square mile. The charter, relative to municipal
officers, was amended May 4, 1868. The original proprietors of the
land were Enoch Gannett, and Abiatha Powers, who paid 18f- cents per
acre, and who in 1828 sold to William Willits, Alexander Purdy, and



340 LANDMARKS OF

John Lapham, from whom the first village lots were purchased in 1830.
When the three last named became owners of the real estate here, the
present limits contained only two one-story frame houses, one of which,
that owned by Enoch Gannett, has been repaired and is now occupied
as a residence by William Van Wincklen.

As early as 1815, a carding and cloth-dressing- mill was erected near
the site of the Biddlecom flouring- mill by Daniel Lapham and Mr.
Gannett, and continued in operation in 1818, It was the first industry
in the place and at one period did an extensive business. Gannett and
Lapham also built two log houses here about 1815.

In 1829 Purdy and Williams erected a store building which is now,
in a repaired form, used as a harness shop. John Robson opened a
blacksmith shop in 1831, and in 1832 Michael Ellsworth built the first
tavern. This was afterwards enlarged and was burned in 1882, and on
its site the present frame hotel was erected.

In 1831 a small furnace situated at the four corners a mile west of
the village was removed to the corporation, enlarged and operated on
the site of the present foundry. At the four corners also the post-office
was established about 1831, but it soon came to the village with Alex-
ander Purdy as postmaster. The present incumbent is John P. Kaiser.

Among the merchants who formerly carried on trade here were Wil-
liam Willits, Alexander Purdy, Richmond & Lampson, Hawkins &
Brace, Brace & Eddy, Eddy & Underhill, Leonard L. Cramer, William
R. Van Wincklen, N. B. Packard & Co., C. B. Herendeen, Ira L.
Purdy, Ausman & Ripley, John Little, Mrs. B. F. Wheeler, John
McCann, George Gifford, Isaac Cramer and David Cramer. A dry
goods store was built by John Lapham in 1834, and for some time
occupied by Albert White; repaired and remodeled, it occupies the
same site and is owned by Charles J. Servoss.

The present creamery of W. D. Herendeen was formerly occupied
by him as a plaster mill. The cider mill and mint distillery operated
by Charles H. Plumb, was originally used as a tannery, which had
various proprietors, the last one being Wallace Mumford. In Novem-
ber, 1889, Mr. Plumb purchased the property and doubled the capacit)^
of the cider mill and in 1893 added a peppermint distiller}-.

The firm of Bickford & Huffman, formed in October, 1842, are the
pioneer builders of fertilizer grain drills in America. During the first
ten or twelve years they did a country jobbing and repair business,
making plows, and later seme few steam engines, and some mowers



WAYNE COUNTY. 341

and reapers. The first grain drills were made in L8'49, about twenty in
number, and were almost entirely hand made. Their introduction
upon the market was very successful, and opened an era of prosperity
which culminated in 1860. At the close of that year the firm occupied
a leading" position as manufacturers in their line. The grain drill trade
being confined exclusively to the Southern States, the breaking out of
the war of the Rebellion in 1861 caused a complete suspension in trade,
and the loss of a large share of the firm's capital. With trade thus
destroyed, the company with a little capital saved from the wreck en-
gaged in other lines of manufacture, and carried on their business until
1866 and '67, when the demand for grain drills again revived in the
South, but with many obstacles that had not been present before. The
demand was at first greatly limited by the greatly reduced number of
buyers, and second by the lessened ability of the buyers to pay for the
goods purchased. During these years a movement was made to secure
a portion of the trade in the Northern States, and with limited means
and capital the firm was fairly successful. In 1870 Mr. Huffman died,
leaving his interest to his widow, who continued the business with Mr.
Lyman Bickford as partner, acting as manager. In November, 1885,
Mr. Bickford disposed of his interest in the business to his partner,
the former Mrs. Huffman, the present Mrs. Kirkpatrick, who thus be-
came the sole owner of the plant and business, with G. W. Kirkpatrick
as general manager. The new management found the business lack-
ing a sufficiently systematized organization, and operated without
definite data of the cost of manufacture, sales, collections, or any other
department ; and while this change was being effected, vast improve- .
ments were made in the construction of the drills, which still occupy
front rank in their line in the world. In January, 1893, the business
was incorporated into a stock company, under the style of Bickford &
Huffman Company, which with a business thoroughly systematized,
with grain drills combining the latest improvements patented, with a
largely extended trade, domestic and foreign, a well equipped plant,
with an energetic management, bows to no superiors in the world in
their line of manufacture. Officers, G. W. Kirkpatrick, president ; H.
M. Kirkpatrick, vice president ; W. P. Thistlethwaite, secretary and
treasurer.

The village of Macedon now contains a newspaper and printing office,
one general store, a grist and saw mill, two dry goods stores, one boot
and shoe store, a meat market, three harness shops, a lawyer, three



342 LANDMARKS OF

physicians, a grain drill manufactory and foundry, a jewelry store, one
drug store, a cider mill and mint distillery, one hotel, a butter factory,
a canal grocery, a lumber yard, an undertaker, two coal and two produce
dealers, a union school, three churches, and the usual other shops and
artisans. The village has stations on both the New York Central and
West Shore railroads.

The first charter election tor the village was held December 31, L856,
when the following officers were chosen : James Rice, jr., president ;
Daniel Langdon, Henry Huffman, John Lapham, J. J. Acker, trustees ;
William E. Willits, treasurer; 11. E. Ripley, clerk. The presidents
have been :

I 1 . M. Willits, is:,;, In, i.. Purdy, L873,

C. E. Langdon, 1858, Lyman Bickford, 1874 78,

M. A. Eddy, 1859, W. L. Acker, L879,

W. L. Acker, I860, Jesse Halsey, L880 81,

G. B. Arnold, L861, L. L. Cramer, 18*2 s::,

Lyman Bickford, 1862, [saac Dean, 1884,

Alexandei Arthur, 1863 64, George W. Korkpatrick, 1885,

Anse] Perkins. L865, C. C. Cramer, 1886,

H. B. Johnson, lsfiG, C. C. Herendeen, 1887,

Jeremiah Thistlethwaite, 186 1 ; I). C. Brundage, 1888 90,

S. X. Gallup, 1868, Isaac Dean, 1891,

H. P. Underbill. L869, D. C. Brundage, L892,

Henry Huffman, 1870, IL M. Little, L898-94.

S. N. Gallup, 1871-72,

The offieers for ISii-l are as follows : IL. M. Little, president ; H. J.
ese, E. J. Corser, John Simmons, trustees; C. J. Servoss, clerk ;
Pred C. Johnson, treasurer; David Courter, collector; E. J. Corser,
overseer of the poor ; William Nettleship, street commissioner; John
Simmons and H. J. Breese, assessors. According to the census of L890
the village had a population of 533.

Macedon Center. — -Regarded from an imaginative standpoint this is
the pleasantest village in this town, and being the scat of Macedon
Academy it is probably as widely known asany other place of itssize in
Wayne county. At a very early day Asa Aldridge settled on the two
east corners; Ebenezer Still on the northwest corner, and Artemas Ward
west of tin- village ; but a suggestion that this might become a point of
considerable importance found no response in their ideas of enterprise
and duringtheir holdings they declined to sell lots for building purposes.
Mr. Ward is regarded as the first permanent settler on the site of the
village. In 1825 Ward and Still died and Aldridge sold his property to



WAYNE COUNTY. 848

John Johnson. At the request of Durfee Osband in L826, Benjamin T.
Hoxsie came hither from Massachusetts to open a store, which he built
on the southwest corner lot, where he continued business many •
In 1840 his old building was converted into a dwelling. This may be
considered the substantial beginning of Macedon Center, although it
had previously been a stopping place for travelers and boasted a hot I.
the Hollister House, afterwards the old Macedon House. One of the
early landlords was Levi Camborn, a blacksmith, who was granted a
license for one year to sell wine. His successors probably also dispensed
liquor, for it is remembered that arum pole, the last one in this section,
was raised in front of this tavern on the site of the present temperance
monument. When the tidal wave of total abstinence swept over this
State in the latter part of the thirties, the agitation seemed to center in
this vicinity, and many were the meetings held to discuss the objection-
able traffic. These discussions warmed enthusiasm into action and the
movement culminated in 1845 in the erection of a marble obelisk nine,
feet high, which was procured from Vermont by Ira Lapham. It came
by canal and was dedicated to the cause of temperance on July 4, of that
year, the oration being delivered by Hon. William C. Bliss, of Roches-
ter. The stone bears the inscription, " Total Abstinence — 1845."

The first physician to locate here was Dr. Benjamin W. Dean. A
man named Post followed Hoxie as a merchant, and among the later
traders here were a Mr. Lamb (who built the store now occupied by
Frank B. Hicks), Evert Bogardus, William Bloodgood, Elias Hicks
(father of Frank B.), from 1808 to 1873, Charles Rowe one year, John
N. Brownell (afterwards county sheriff), and Frank B. Hicks since
1883. Opposite the academy was once a stationery store and Ira Odell
later had a tailorshop in the same building. The village now has the
academy, three churches, a general store, a wagon and blacksmith
shop, and a population of about 150.

The post-office was established here between 1830 and L835, probably
in the building now occupied by Rachel Arnold and Judith Post. One
of the earliest postmasters was Ira Odell, who served more than twenty
years, and was succeeded by Monroe Norton. Elias Hicks had the
office from 1866 to 1873. The present incumbent is Lewis II. Dick.

West Macedon, located on the canal in the western part of the town,
enjoys the distinction of having had a post-office which by some
means got into the presidential class, and which is also said to have
been the first money-order office in Wayne county. It was established



344 LANDMARKS OF

in 1856 with Echabod W. Briggs postmaster, who continued in the office
until shortly before his death not many years ago, when the office was
discontinued. The place has lost nearly all of its former importance as
a business point, and is now merely a rural hamlet.

Walworth station is situated on the New York Central Railroad in
Maeedon about four miles south from Walworth village in the town of
Walworth.

The Baptist Church of Maeedon was organized in 1800 as the First
Baptist Church of Palmyra, with nineteen constituent members,
namely: William Rogers, Lemuel and Ruth Spear, Noah and Ruth
Potter, Benjamin Wood, James and Hannah Fuller, Bartimeus Packard,
James Rogers, Abram Spear, William Jones, Elizabeth Jones, Polly
Baker, M. Wood, and Joseph Case. Until 1800 meetings were held at
Webb Harwood's, but in that year a frame church edifice was built.
One of the first pastors was Rev. Jeremiah Irons, from 1804 to 1820.
During the pastorate of Rev. Paul S. Prichard, in 1834-35, the church
divided, one portion retaining the name and organizing the present
Baptist society of Palmyra, and the other forming the Maeedon Baptist
Church and holding the property. The first pastor of this latter divis-
ion was Rev. Peter Turk, under whom the edifice (then standing on
the Ranney farm, three miles east of Maeedon village) was taken
down, removed to the present site, rebuilt and rededicated. Dining
the pastorate of Rev. D. D. Lovell it was remodeled and repaired at a
cost of $3,500, and again dedicated in March, 1874. The society now
has about sixty members, with Rev. J. M. Bates, pastor. The frame
parsonage was becjueathed to the church by one of its prominent
members.

St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church of Maeedon was organized by
Rev. William Casey in 1850, with some 200 communicants. The pres-
ent frame edifice was erected that fall and consecrated Jul}- 4, 1857, by
Bishop John Tirnon, of Buffalo. In 1875 a transept, a sanctuary for
the altar, and a vestry were added and the whole reconsecrated Sep-
tember 26th of that year by Bishop Bernard J. M. McQuaid, of Roch-
ester. The parish now numbers about 500 souls. Rev. Father Casey
was in charge from Palmyra until September 1, L883, when the present
pastor, Rev. M. A. F. Holmes, became the first resident priest. The
parsonage was purchased of Ceorge P. Lapham in September, 1883,
for $3,000.

The Church of the Good Shepherd (Universalist) of Maeedon, was



WAYNE COUNTY. 345

legally organized b)^ Rev. Harvey Boughten, on March 8, 1874, with
thirty-five members. The church edifice was finished and dedicated in
May, 1873, and Rev. Mr. Boughton was installed the first pastor and
remained until 1884; he was succeeded by Revs. C. L. Waite, H. K.
White, R. W. McLaughlin, and the present incumbent, C. L. Paddock.
The present church building was remodeled and rededicated in March,
1889, and a pipe organ costing $2,500 placed therein. The edifice is
of brick and frame, and is valued at $10,000, and connected is a frame
parsonage worth $2,000. The society has eighty-six members. A
Sunday school was inaugurated in 1873 with Henry B. Underhill su-
perintendent. The present incumbent is Lyman Bickford.

The Society of Friends held meetings at Macedon Center as early as
1800, but when their original house of worship was built can not be
determined. It is known that it was a two-story structure with a
gallery on three sides, and as the number of members gradually de-_
creased it was decided to reduce its towering proportions. About this
time (1827) the Orthodox branch withdrew. While chipping from the
lower ends of the posts the building suddenly collapsed and it was then
rebuilt in its present form on the northeast corner. This is known as
the Hicksite branch. The Orthodox members, soon after their with-
drawal, erected \he old house locally called the Orthodox house, which
was replaced by the present edifice in 1868, in which the first service
was held November 22, of that year. The old house was sold to J. N.
Brownell, removed by him to the north side of the street, and is now
used by Ansel Clark as a barn.

The Methodist Episcopal Church of Macedon Center existed as a
class at quite an early date, and among the first class leaders were
Abraham Aldrich and Levi Camborn. It appears upon the minutes of
the quarterly conference held near Canandaigua October 24, 1812, and
is afterwards noticed on the records until 1833, between which date and
1844 it drops out of recorded mention. Prior to 1859 Walworth and
Macedon stood together several years, but at that time a change was
effected and Macedon and Perinton were united. The first house of
worship was built some time previous to 1825, on the premises now
owned by J. W. Colburn. In 1847 a new edifice was erected on a new
site donated to the society by Durfee Osband, and this was remodeled
into the present structure in 1831, at a total cost of about $2,000. The
parsonage was purchased in 1863 for $1,500. The original house of
worship was purchased by S. V. R. Mallory, removed October 24, 1850,

44



346 LANDMARKS OF

and became a part of the dwelling- now occupied by Mrs. Henry
Tillou. The present pastor is Rev. A. B. Norton. John G. Mead has
been recording steward of the society since 1805, succeeding Dnrfee
Osband.



CHAPTER XXIII.

HISTORY OF THE TOWN OF SAVANNAH.

Savannah, the southeast corner town in Wayne county, was formed
from Galen on November, 24, 1825. It comprises the eastern part
of lot 27 of the Military Tract, and has an area of 21,908 acres, which
was originally surveyed into lots of 600 acres each. It is bounded on
the north by Butler, on the east by Cayuga county, on the south by
Seneca county, and on the west by Galen. The name Savannah is
derived from the Latin, Sabanum, and from the Spanish, Savana or
Sabana, and means, according to Webster, an extensive open plain or
meadow, or a plain destitute of trees, and covered with grass. From
the following brief description it will be seen that the town was appro-
priately named.

In the southern, central, and northern portions the surface is broken
into ridges of drift sand, which generally trend north and south. In
the southwest part is an extensive swamp, covering nearly 1,900 acres.
It is thickly covered with a coarse grass, which was successfully utilized
in 1867 in the manufacture of paper by the two paper mills then con-
ducted at Clyde. Efforts have been made to reclaim this immense
tract by a system of drainage, but the undertaking was evidently too
great for the means obtainable. At one time it was proposed to turn
the course of Crusoe Creek to the northeast, but commercial interests
at Oswego interfered and the scheme was abandoned. A second plan
was to blast out the bed of Seneca River, thus lowering it enough to
drain the surface; this also was never carried out. A resident some
years since spent several thousand dollars endeavoring to reclaim a
small portion, but as soon as the work was suspended it went back to
its original condition. The soil is a rich black muck, and a few feet
below the surface lies a stratum of valuable marl and shell. In wet



WAYNE COUNTY. 347

seasons the whole is covered with shallow water and presents a con-
tinuous inland lake. Flowing- northeasterly from Galen through the
north end of this swamp is Marsh Creek, which empties into a small
body of water north of vSavannah village, called Crusoe Lake. Through
this lake from the town of Butler flows Crusoe Creek, which forms a
junction with Seneca River, a little north of the railroad. The con-
siderable body of elevated land thus surrounded, lying between the
swamp and Seneca River, is locally termed Crusoe Island ; it is nearly
six miles long and four miles wide, and extends southward to the Ctyde
River in Seneca county, but more than one-half of its area lies within
the limits of this town. Extensive low swampy lands border Crusoe
Creek and Seneca River and form the northwestern portion of the
famous Montezuma marshes. Seneca River forms the eastern boundary
line of the town and county for nearly five miles. Excepting the large
open marsh in the southwestern part, the town was originally covered
with heavy timber, nearly all of which long ago disappeared. The soil
of the high lands is a sandy and gravelly loam. The whole is very
fertile, particularly the portions bordering on the marshes. It is gen-
erally susceptible of easy cultivation, and produces excellent crops of
hay, grain, fruit, etc. Agriculture forms the chief industry, and fruit
growing is given considerable attention. In 1858 the town produced
15,925 bushels of winter and 113,854 bushels of spring wheat, 1,901
tons of hay, 14,376 bushels of potatoes, 14,907 bushels of apples, 69,-
216 pounds of butter, 2,290 pounds of cheese, and 1,366 yards of do-
mestic cloths. Of domestic animals Savannah then contained 675
horses, 1,348 oxen and calves, 761 cows, 4,947 sheep, and 1,335 swine.

Probably no town in Wayne county ever acquired the degree of
prominence among sportsmen that was obtained by Savannah in years
gone by. It even yet maintains a respectable reputation in this direc-
tion, and fishing and duck hunting have always attracted the most atten-
tion ; on the marshes along Seneca River grows a species of wild oats
which in the fall attracts numerous blackbirds, many of which fall vic-
tims to the sportman's gun.

The highest elevation of land in the town is Fort Hill, so named from
an ancient earthwork discovered upon its extreme summit. It is sup-
posed to have been a work of defense, but aside from this its history is
buried in oblivion. It is situated near Seneca River south of the rail-
road. The old Jesuit " Relations " notice a mission as existing on this
hill about 1657. It was established by Father Rene Menard.



348 LANDMARKS OF

The development of the town in its earlier settlement was slow, yet
it has enjoyed a steady growth and kept pace with other similar subdivi-
sions of the county. The extensive marshes have ever menaced the
health and comfort of the inhabitants. The pioneers were a sturdy
class of people from New England and the eastern part of this State,
and imparted to the community their sterling- characteristics, indomit-
able energy, and native perseverance. They subdued a gloomy wilder-
ness and built attractive homes, many of which have passed to their
children and grandchildren. The latter have inherited the noble traits
of their ancestors, and ably maintain the moral status so thoroughly im-
planted by the generation that has passed away. Their pleasant homes
and comfortable surroundings seldom manifest a sign of the primitive
conditions of frontier life.

Unlike all the other southern towns in Wayne county, Savannah was
not destined to enjoy the immediate benefits of the Erie Canal, forthat
waterway approached it only through the extreme southwest corner;
but the advent of the New York Central Railroad in 1854 gave an im-
petus to the settlement and caused the village of Savannah to sp'ring up
and become incorporated. Prior to this not even a hamlet worthy the
name existed within its borders. The completion of the West Shore
Railroad in 1884 afforded still better transportation facilities. These
railroads run parallel through the southern central part of the town and
have stations at Savannah village.

Before settlers began to arrive the Galen Salt Works were established
on lot 37 near Seneca River. The original patent of this lot was vested
in Dr. James Young, of the Revolution. A well was sunk 400 feet deep,
which produced strong brine; another well was put down which emit-
ted inflammable gas. But the manufacture of salt here was unsuccess-
ful and the business was finally abandoned. In 1808 the works were
apparently prosperous, but in 1811 they had ceased operations entirely,
and Prentice Palmer moved in from Butler to take care of them. The
owners opened a highwajr in the town which led from their works to
Great Sodus Bay. This was known as the Galen road, and extended
westward to Clyde. The first thoroughfare in this vicinity, however,
was an old military trail called the State road, which ran west to the
block house (Clyde), but this was impassable when settlers began to ar-
rive. The construction of the Montezuma turnpike gave a decided im-