George Washington Cowles.

Landmarks of Wayne County, New York online

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George W. Scott, Artemus Doane, Joseph A. Miller, inspectors of com-
mon schools; Samuel Soverhill, pound master. The keeping of the
town poor, being sold to the highest bidder, was awarded to Abraham
Loper for $199; the next year it was given to Peter Foster for $14:!,




and in 1827 to Mr. Loper again for $114. May 25, 1825, Rufus A. Roys
was chosen marshal to enumerate the legal voters, and on November
7, Truman Hart received 357 votes for senator and Ambrose Hall, 333
and A. Kipp 341 for members of assembly. The following- have served
as supervisors :

James P. Bartle, 1825-27,
George W. Scott, 1828,
John L. Cuyler, 1829-30,
Joseph A. Miller, 1831-32,
Edmund B. Bill, 1833,
Esbon Blackmar, 1834,
James P. Bartle, 1835,
James Miller, jr., 1836-37,
James P. Bartle, 1838,
Silas Peirson, 1839,
Vincent G. Barney, 1840,
Joseph A. Miller, 1841,
Ezra Pratt, 1842,
Abraham Fairchild, 1843,
Perry G. Price, 1844,
George H. Middleton, 1845,
George C. Mills, 1846,
George W. Scott, 1847,
George Howland, 1848,
James S. Crosby, 1849,
Clark Mason, 1850,
Ezra Pratt, 1851,
Esbon Blackmar, 1852,
James D. Ford, 1853,
Albert F. Cressey, 1854,

James D. Ford, 1855-59,

Elon St. John, 1860-62,

Artemas W. Hyde, 1863-65,

Elon St. John, 1866,

Henry Cronise, jr., 1867,

George H. Price, 1868,

Tie vote between James W. Ford

and Silas S. Peirson, 1869,
Oliver Crothers, 1870,
Charles W. Stuart, 1871-72,
Jacob Lusk, 1873.
Edwin K. Burnham, 1874,
James H. Miller, 1875-76,
George H. Price, 1877-79,
James Jones, 1880,
J. Dupha Reeves, 1881-82,
E. K. Burnham, 1883-84,
W. H. Nicholoy, 1885,
Henry J. Peirson, 1886-87,
Carlos A. Stebbins, 1888,
J. Dupha, Reeves, 1889-94,
Henry J. Peirson resigned in the
fall of 1887 and E. K. Burnham
was appointed to fill the unex-
pired term.

The town officers for 1894 are : J. Dupha Reeves, supervisor; T.
Davis Prescott, clerk ; Clarence Conklin, B. C. Williams, R. F. Randall,
and Dr. J. W. Barnes, justices of the peace; Emor E. Burleigh, Richard
Van Dusen, and Charles O. Smith, assessors; William H. H. Hebbins,
collector; Christopher C. Lusk, overseer of the poor ; Charles J. Schwartz,
highway commissioner; Harvey E. Shurtleff, Oliver A. Eggleston, and
Hanson A. Gardner, constables; Godfrey Geuthner, game constable.

More than one hundred years have passed since the first white settle-
ment was made within the present limits of Arcadia. Time and toil
have transformed a primitive wilderness into productive fields and pleas-
ant homes. The rude log cabins have long since been superseded b)^
spacious residences, and the little church and school house have given


place to more commodious institutions. Of the pioneers none remains
to recount the hardships and privations of frontier life, but a few of
their children and man)' of their grandchildren still link the past to the
present and tell the tales of the early fireside, incidents ever dear to the
heart of the long-time citizen.

The first settlers were Joseph Winters and Benjamin Franklin, who
located near the Ganargwa in the west part of Arcadia in 1791. Win-
ters was a surveyor, and was useful in running the earlier lot lines
and roads. He settled on the farm subsequently owned by Demos-
thenes Smith, while Franklin took up his residence near the Palmyra
border. A child of the latter died in 1792, being the first white
death in town. Arnold Franklin either came with the two just men-
tioned or very soon afterward, and located at Jessup's Corners. His
improvement was finally purchased by Hiram Soverhill. In 1793
George Culver, son of Moses, came hither and was followed two years
later by the Long Island colony detailed in the chapter devoted to

December 16, 1709, Samuel Soverhill took from Captain Williamson
a deed for 140 acres of land, which has ever since been known as the
Soverhill homestead, and for which he paid $589.50 in wheat delivered
at Geneva at fifty cents per bushel. The farm lot was surveyed Octo-
ber 25, 1790. Mr. Soverhill came on foot from New Jersey, and the
same year built a log house on his purchase. The next spring he
brought his wife and three children hither on horseback. Being a
blacksmith he built a small shop and made axes, scythes, and other
edged tools and plows. About 1812 he built a dam and a saw mill on
the creek and manufactured lumber until water failed and timber be-
came scarce. He built the first barn in the neighborhood and probably
in the town ; it stood on the site of the orchard lot, from which it was
moved and finally demolished. The frame was hewed and the oak
shingles were four feet in length. Mr. Soverhill died in 1819 and
his wife in 18GG, both on the old homestead. Their son, Hiram
Soverhill, born October 17, 1800, was the first white male child born in
the town, and is still living here. Joel Soverhill, another son, occupies
the original farm.

During these years wild beasts were a constant menace to the early
settlers. Little stock was kept, and these were closely guarded. Upon
the fiat a part)- of Indians came annually and pitched their rude brush-
tents, and here they hunted and fished, and, visiting the settlers, de-


maiided bread. They were fed by the settlers' wives, who feared to
offend them. As settlement increased, game and fish grew scarce,
and they left for more promising localities.

Simeon Burnett, a bachelor and a hat maker, lived near Soverhill,
and after erecting a log house sold out and removed. Ira, Eben, and
Phineas Austin, brothers, settled on adjoining farms which their father
had purchased for them, and upon which they were succeeded by J.
and G. G. Austin. Henry Cronise and Henry Lambright came here
from Maryland with a number of slaves. The former settled north of
the creek, and the latter south. Henry Cronise is said to have owned
the first reaper in town. A man named Beatty joined Cronise on the
west. John D. Robinson bought 600 acres on Ganargwa Creek and
divided the tract among his sons, Peter, John, and Harry. The latter
finally sold to the Crosbys, who' failed to make their payments, and
gave way to Paul Reeves, who was succeeded by his son, Jacob H.
John Robinson died here and a part of his farm passed to Joel Sover-
hill. Peter Robinson sold to Aaron Vandercarr. Pliny Foster settled
near Soverhill, but finally removed to Newark and died there, being
succeeded by his son, Bailey D. Foster. Samuel Fairchild, a stone
mason, and Silas Paine were also early comers. The latter was a noted
fisherman and had a son named Hunter, who was thrown from a wagon
and instantly killed. A daughter of Silas Payne became the wife of
James Miller and inherited the farm at her father's death. It then
passed to Milo Galloway, to David Jewell, to Artemus W. Hyde, and
to Miles Hyde.

Artemus W. H3^de was a doctor by profession, but a tavern keeper
by practice, and built and opened an inn at Hydeville, a place that
took his name. He followed this business during his life, making his
hostelry a favorite resort. He bought farms around him and became
a large land owner. The settlement has acquired considerable noto-
riety as the birthplace of modern spiritualism. John Fox, with his
wife and five children, rented a house and shop here and followed his
trade of blacksmith. The parents were reputed honest, industrious
people. On the night of March 31, 1849, two daughters, Margaret and
Catherine, and their niece, Elizabeth Fish, claimed they heard mys-
terious rappings, and a system of communication devised by the mother
led to the revelation that one John Bell had killed a peddler and buried
his body in the cellar. People gathered in large numbers and discussed
the rappings, which were continued; and the girls, emboldened by



their success, removed to Rochester in May and gave public exhibi-
tions. These were widely reported and took the name of the celebrated
" Rochester rappings."

Other early settlers were Nathaniel Reeves, father of Samuel and
Harmon; Thomas Crandall, who introduced grain cradles into the
town; Caleb Tibbetts and John and Joseph Tibbetts; Joseph Riggs;
two Dutchmen named Rettman and Vaninwagen ; James M. Stever,
near Fairville, who also had an ashery, and finally sold to John Nichols,
a carpenter; Elisha Avery, who was succeeded by Newton Clark; and
John Chambers, Nathaniel Avery, and Jesse Owen.

John Welcher came from New Jersey in 1798 and located north of
Jessup's Corners. He had fifty acres, and eventually became a wealthy
farmer. Ezekiel Cronise came in the same year, on foot, carrying a
rifle that passed into the possession of J. S. Cronise, of Newark.
Joseph Fellows was an early settler in the neighborhood, as were also
Benjamin Johnson, Ezra Pratt, Thomas Rogers, Jacob Van Etten, and
a Mr. Howard.

Among the pioneers south of the Ganargwa were Lewis Jessup, Will-
iam Stansell, Rev. Wesley Benton, Enoch De Kay (a miller), and
Jeremiah Lusk. Silas Peirson located near Simon Burnett. He came
from Long Island and was a carpenter by trade. He was the father of'
Henry R. Peirson and the grandfather of Silas S.

Other settlers south of the creek were Elder Roe, a Baptist preacher;
Gaines Howell; Jacob Hill, who built a cobblestone house; John Nor-
ris; Jonathan Fairchild, a brother-in-law of Joel Hall; Abraham Rush;
B. Roberts; O. Tobias; Mr. Daniels, the father of Clark and James;
Luke Van Dusen; Ezra H. and C. C. Chadwick; M. Trowbridge, who
died almost a centenarian; Messrs. Phillips, Robinson, W. Ridley,Aldrich,
A. and E. D. Frisbie, Abraham Garlock (father of Peter), Daniel
Smith, Alanson and William Fisk (on lot 57), Lyman Husted (a black-
smith on lot 87), Sackett L. Husted, Samuel Gilky, John Starks, Will-
iam Tinney, Preston R. Parker, Chester Burke, the Wolfroms, the
Van Valkenburgs, Simeon Bryan, Joseph and Caleb Tibbetts (whose
property finally passed to Carlos A. Stebbins), and Luther Sanford and

John Phillips came to Arcadia from Rensselaer county, N. Y., in
May, ls:5f), and died December 0, 1860. Clark Phillips, his son, was
born August 5, 1817, removed to this town with his parents, and be-
came a prominent citizen. He was county superintendent of the poor,


postmaster at Newark, and commissioner during- the construction of
the Sodus Point and Southern Railroad, of which he became a director
in 1871.

Joseph Caldwell purchased four hundred acres of timber land, built a
saw mill, and manufactured large quantities of lumber. John Halstead
also had a saw mill and carried on a store. H. J. Mesick, an early
settler, built another on Whipspool brook, and was also a very extensive
farmer. A Mr. Aldrich operated a machine shop and near by Warren
S. Bartle had a furnace. These were pioneer industries conducted in
the vicinity of Marbletown, where Mr. Stansell also had an early saw

In 1803 Paul Reeves and Gilbert Howell built a saw mill on Ganargwa
Creek in the west part of the town, and in 1804 they erected a grist mill
on the site of a subsequent structure. James Bennett very early had a
saw mill at Hydeville, and for a time a small grist mill was operated
there. Henry Hyde also had a saw mill at that place. In 1830 there
were four distilleries located along the Ganargw r a and operated respect-
ively by Harrison, Luce, Sherman and Mansfield.

Luther Finley became one of the earliest mail carriers in this section.
He began by carrying the mails from Newark to Phelps, and ever since
the New York Central Railroad was opened he has continued the busi-
ness between the Newark post-office and station and Arcadia. He owned
and ran the first omnibus in the village.

Prominent among other citizens of the town are recalled the names
of Henry R. Peirson, Marvin I. Greenwood, Hon. E. K. Burnham,
Fletcher Williams, Joel H. Prescott (formerly a merchant), Lewis J.
Bryant, Moses F. Hamm, J. Dupha Reeves, Byron Thomas (ex-county
clerk), Richard P. Groat (ex-sheriff and ex-member of assembly), Robert
Turnbull (a Scotchman who died in September, 1889), William C. Peir-
son (who died July 26, 1889), Samuel Bloomer (who died in March,
1889), John S. Cronise (a retired hardware merchant), J. P. Garlock
(on a portion of the old Bryant homestead), William H. Hyde, Orrin
Blackmar, Uriah Hutchings (who died in 1890), John Dillenbeck,
Andrew C. Bartle, M. E. Burnham (a merchant who died in November,
1891), D. P. Smith (on the farm his father settled in 1836), and many
others mentioned a little further on and in Part II of this volume.

In 1858 the town had 24,539 acres of improved land, real estate
assessed at $1,421,601, personal property at $101,728; there were 2,832
male and 2,684 female inhabitants, 987 dwellings, 1,102 families, 796


freeholders, 24 school districts and 1,993 school children, 1,453 horses,
1,735 oxen and calves, L, 493 cows, L0,821 sheep, and 2,788 swine. The
productions were 44,032 bushels winter and 180,099 bushels spring

wheat, t,580 tons hay. 23,870 bushels potatoes, 38,424 bushels apples,
140,054 pounds butter, 5,331 pounds cheese, and 803 yards domestic

In 1890 the town had a population of 6,310, or COS less than in 1880.
In L893 the assessed value of land aggregated $1,235,83!) (equalized
$1,249,346); village and mill property, $878,889 (equalized $899,868);
railroads and telegraphs, $594,230 (equalized $582,020) ; personal prop-
erty, $-230,510. Schedule of taxes, 1893: Contingent fund. $3,530.71 ;
town poor fund, $2,300; roads and bridges, $1,(500; special town tax,
$8,108; school tax, $2,709.76; county tax, $6, 183.42; State tax, $3,572.-
72; State insane tax, $921.69; dog tax, $:S54. Total tax levy, $29,988,-
08; rate per cent., .01020187. August 11, 1890, the town was divided
into six election districts, which have since been reduced to four, and in
L893 a total of 1,132 votes was polled.

During the War of the Rebellion the town sent to the front more than
440 of her brave and loyal citizens to fight the nation's battles. All did
valiant service, serving with credit to their town and regiments, which
are properly noticed in a preceding chapter.

There are several burial places in the town, the most important of
which are those at Newark village. The original plat of the Newark
cemetery was donated for the purpose by Rev. Roger Benton, the father
of John W. In it lie many of the earlier pioneers. The Willow Lawn
Cemetery was opened about 1847 and improved under the supervision
of Stephen Culver.

At Jessup's Corners the first school house in town was built as early
as 1806, and in it a Air. Olmstead, Martin Root, Jonathan Scott, and
Eliza Romeyn were early teachers. Samuel Soverhill donated a site
upon which a log school building was erected in 1810. It contained a
fireplace in each end, and among its earliest teachers were Dennis
Clark, Henry Parks (who served in the war of 1812), Jesse Owen, Eliza
Romeyn, Hiram Soverhill, and Ahiel Guthrie. The latter continued
five years and at one time had 106 scholars on his roll. The settlers
desired a place to hold religious services, and this school house was en-
larged by an addition twenty feet in length, making it 60x24. Those
concerned in the extension were Samuel Soverhill, Pliny Poster, Lewis
Jessup, Joseph Bennett, and Paul Reeves. The interior of the


chtirchly school house was provided with a pulpit of whitewood boards
arranged to form a semi-circle. Above this clerical stockade only the
head of the preacher was visible. Elders Roe and Pomeroy officiated.
Elder Roe was accustomed to discourse three to four hours. The sing-
ing of that pioneer choir was as attractive as the sermon was tedious.
It was led by Adonijah H. Fairchild. Samuel Soverbill sang bass,
Isaac Soverhill tenor, and Susan Soverhill counter. Finally the "Id
frame was removed and in 1836 a cobble-stone school house was

The first school house in Newark was built on a site donated for the
purpose by Jacob Lusk. It was finally sold and converted into a shop.
The second one was erected on the east side of Miller street by Joseph
Miller, sr. , and was known as Marvin Hall. It was two stories high,
the lower story being used for a school and church and the upper part
for a Masonic lodge room. A third house was a stone building on the
corner of Church and Charles streets, and in this Cornelius Horton
was a teacher in 1832. The same year Philander Dawley taught in a
school house in East Newark (then Lockville), and in 1837 he had a
school in the basement of the Baptist church; from 1839 to 1843 he
taught in the old stone school house, in which the enrollment reached
over 300 scholars. At one time there were five select schools in session
in Newark.

In 1844 Newark village had within its limits four common school dis-
tricts and buildings, viz. : One building near the New York Central
Railroad station, one facing South street on a part of the M. E. Briggs
lot, one in the east part of the village, and one on the northeast corner
of the present Union School lot, being respectively Districts No. 24, 9
18, and 8. In 1845 the formation of a union school district was agitated
and in 1847 a consolidation was effected, but hard fighting on the part
of the opponents obtained a reversal of the proceedings. The agitation
was continued, however, until May 3, 1849, when the four districts
were again consolidated as Union School District No. 8. At this time
Dr. Joseph A. Burrows was town superintendent of schools; the four
districts contained 472 scholars between the ages of five and sixteen,
taxable property aggregating $189,032, and school houses and sites
valued at $1,300. The first officers were George H. Middleton, George
C. Mills, and Ruel Taylor, trustees; Daniel Kenyon, clerk; Henry
Lusk, collector; who were chosen at the first meeting of the new dis-
trict held at the Universalist church on May 3, 1849, of which Clark


Mason was chairman and Joel H. Prescott clerk pro tent. It was de-
cided to purchase a four-acre lot lying between Miller and Church
streets and to levy a tax of $2,000 to pay for the same, but the oppo-
nents of consolidation soon afterward rescinded these and other resolu-
tions, and in 1850, by agreement, the new town superintendent, George
W. Thompson, dissolved Union District No. 8, and old Districts Nos. 8
and 9 were permanently united under the same designation. August
10, 1850, these officers were chosen: vStephen Aldrich, William Tabor,
and Rockwell Stone, trustees; Frederick A. Rew, clerk; John C. Ban-
nister, collector.

In 1850-51 a two-story school house was erected, the building com-
mittee being the trustees and G. H. Middleton, Eliab T. Grant, Benja-
min F. Wright, Stephen Culver. John Daggett, and Ruel Taylor. It
was opened December 3, 1851. March 23, 1857, it became a Union free
school under the laws of 1853, the first trustees being Joel H. Prescott,
Stephen Culver and Ruel Taylor. February 5, 1863, a reorganization
was effected under the name of the Newark Union Free wSchool and
Academy, thus placing the institution under the Regents of the Uni-
versity of the State of New York. From 1870 until 1890 the project
of building a new and larger school house was agitated with periodical
regularity, but nothing materialized except numerous repairs to the old
structure. October 7, 1890, the trustees were authorized by popular
vote to erect a new structure and to levy a tax on the district of $30,-
000, against which they were to issue bonds payable within ten years.
March 4, 1891, the contract was let to Charles Schuman for $20,912, to
whom the old school house was sold for $1,200. The total cost of the
new building was $3\J,450.47. The corner-stone was laid June 11, 1891,
and the edifice was formally dedicated on the 17th of December follow-
ing. It is a handsome brick structure with stone foundation, and was
erected on the site of the old one under the supervision of trustees A.
D. Soverhill, M. F. Hamm and C. P. H. Vary.

The first principal was George Franklin, who was engaged December
8, 1851, remaining till 1854. His successors have been C. M. Chitten-
den, C. P. Head, F. D.Hodgson, H. Vosburgh, B. C. Rude, E. V. De
Graff, J. Dorman Steele, Jacob Wilson, O. B. Seagravc. W. 1. Norton,
C. A. Peake, Dr. W. S. Aumock, \V. G. Bassett, P. I. Bugbee, and
John W. Robinson. The Board of Education for 1894-5 consists of P.
Davis Prescott, president; Dr. A. A. Young, secretary; and C. P. H.
Vary; James P. Ballou, treasurer; George F. Palmer, collector.


Prior to the Rebellion a brick building- was commenced on Asylum
hill which was intended for a Baptist Collegiate Institute, but funds
failed, work was suspended, and about a dozen years later it was pur-
chased and finished by the German Methodists for a Lutheran Acad-
emy. From September 3, 1873, to June 26, 1876, it was used as a col-
lege, but want of students and lack of funds caused the mortgage to
foreclose and it became the property of George Wagner of Rochester.
It remained idle until selected by the State for the present custodial
asylum, of which it forms the center or main building.

The town has twenty-three school districts with a school house in
each, which in 1892-93 were taught by thirty-six teachers and attended
by 1,412 scholars; value of school buildings and sites, $50,225; assessed
valuation of the districts, $3,034,000; public money received from the
State, $5,289.53; raised by local tax, $11,208.96.

Newark Village lies in the southern central part of the town imme-
diately south of the New York Central Railroad. Through it also runs
the West Shore and Northern Central Railroads and the Erie Canal, the
construction of the latter giving rise to the place. It is ninety-seven
miles from Buffalo and 329 miles from New York, and is a consolida-
tion of the villages of Miller's Basin (changed to Newark) and Lock-
ville (changed to East Newark, or Arcadia post-office). The site was
originally owned by Jacob, Isaac, and Philip Lusk, sons of Jeremiah, and
the vicinity of East Newark seems to have been regarded as the fu-
ture village. John Spoor settled there prior to 1800, when he was
succeeded by Nicholas Stansell, the pioneer of Lyons, who died in 1819,
and was followed as proprietor by his son William. Mr. Stansell erected
a saw mill and dam, a second saw mill, and a raceway. Lewis J. Ben-
ton and his father also built a saw mill here, and Roderick Price earty
engaged in merchandising and shipping grain. He put up a grist mill
and did a large business, and for his mills John Drum burned the first
kiln of brick in town. The Legislature authorized Mr. Price to tap the
canal at the middle lock for water power. He sold to Lamer eaux and

In May, 1820, Joseph Miller took a contract to construct one and one-
fourth miles of the canal, and purchasing 100 acres of Jacob Lusk he
had a plat surveyed into village lots by Hiram Tibbetts. Streets were
laid out, the present public square was set aside, and lots were offered
for sale at $30 and upwards. On lot 28 Mr. Miller built a warehouse,
and across the street on the same side of the canal James P. Bartle


erected and opened a store under the firm name of Bartle, Morton & Co.
Benjamin H. Kipp put of houses on lots L5 and -l', and Vincent G. Bar-
ney built and opened a tavern on the site of Perkins & Peirson's bank.
Dr. Richard P. Williams moved in and erected a house on the east side
of Main street, afterward the residence of Dr. Charles G. Pomeroy.
I )rs. Button and Terry were also early physicians. The first lawyer
was George W. Scott, a bachelor, in 1825. The first marriage in the
village was that of Joseph Miller, jr., and Louisa Fletcher, and Allen
Miller was the first child born in the place. For this couple Joseph
Miller, jr. , built a house on the west side of Main street opposite his own .

The first tavern was that of Vincent G. Barney, which stood on the
corner of Canal and Main streets. It was two stories high and was
subsequently called the Eagle Hotel, and among its other early landlords
were Jacob Wright and a Mr. Hutchinson. North of the canal was a
tavern kept by Caleb Tibbetts, among whose successors were Messrs.
Terry, Porter, James Kent, Andrew Vanderhoof, Hiram Rockefellow,
and Colwell, in whose possession it burned. A Mr. Langley had another
near the east canal bridge that was burned in 1828 and rebuilt. There
was also the Temperance House, which was kept by Dr. Nichols. The
Newark Hotel was built by Joseph Chipps, and next to it stands the