George Washington Cowles.

Landmarks of Wayne County, New York online

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stay their house of worship was erected on the site formerly occupied
by the house of Nathan W. Thomas. It is a frame edifice and was
dedicated Januarys, isi;:>. The society owns a frame parsonage and
has about fifty members. The pastor is Rev. D. C. Stanton, who also
lias charge of the Free Methodist church in Clyde.

The Methodist Episcopal church of North Rose was organized a few
years since as a mission of the M. E. church of Rose Valley. A neat


frame edifice was built in 1884 at a cost of about $2,400. The pastor
is Rev. W. H. Rogers.

A band of worshipers who called themselves " The Neversweats "
sprang into existence in the Jeffers settlement a number of years ago.
" They met in the Spink school house and talked in unknown tongues."
They made several conversions and evoked considerable interest, but
discarded all organization, creed, or ceremony. Without these they
soon dropped away as quietly as they had come into notice.


Huron was organized as Port Bay from the northwest corner of the
old town of Wolcott on the 25th of February, 1826. The name first
chosen remained until March 17, 1834, when the present designation
was formally adopted. It contains 21,826 acres, and is bounded on the
north by Lake Ontario, on the east by Wolcott and Butler, on the south
by Rose, and on the west by Sodus.

The town was originally included within the Williamson's patent of
the Pultney estate, which has been detailed in the chapter devoted to
Wolcott. It lies east of the center of the northern limits of Wayne county,
directly north from Clyde, and has more than fifteen miles of lake and
bay coast. Dense forests covered its primitive surface, and long fur-
nished lucrative employment to the numerous saw mills that dotted the
several streams. The largest watercourse is Dusenbury or Mudge
Creek, which flows from Rose through the west part of Huron and the
village of North Huron into East Bay. This bay also receives the
waters of another brook a little west. Other streams are Third and
Thomas Creeks, which empty into the head of Sodus Bay, and a branch
of Wolcott Creek, flowing into Port Bay.

The surface is undulating and inclines toward the lake. In the west,
northeast, and southeast parts of the town are large tracts of lowlands
originally of a marshy formation, but by systematic drainage these have
largely been brought under cultivation. The soil is mainly a sandy
and gravelly loam and unusually fertile; in many places it is admixed



with considerable clay. East and west through the southern portion
of Huron is the famous ridge, which geologists claim formed the shore

of Lake Ontario in past ages, and along its summit runs the Wolcott
and Port Glasgow road.

The coast formation of the town of Huron is worthy of special men-
tion, for its equal does not exist in Wayne county. Bold and precipi-
tous, and interesting alike to the student and tourist, it is in place
extremely picturesque and contributes not a little to the popularity of
the Sodus region as a summer resort. The highest elevation is Chim-
ney Bluff, 175 feet above the lake. Bay Bluff is 125 feet high, and
several other promontories have nearly an equal eminence. In the
northwest corner of the town lies the larger portion of Sodus Bay,
which forms one of the finest harbors along the American shores of
Lake Ontario, and which is described in the Sodus chapter. This
great indentation extends to within one mile of the southern boundary of
Huron, and near its head is Le Roy's or Long Island, which contains a
summer hotel and four or five cottages. Newark or Little Island, an-
other summer resort, is so named from its proportionate size, and is
owned mainly by citizens of Newark village. Eagle or Big Island re-
mains chiefly in its primitive condition. Charles Point is a series of
islands and bars extending from the mainland at the lake toward Sodus
Point village, its elevations being named Bute, Isley, and Arran. It
was formerly called Farr's Island, and contains a number of handsome
summer homes.

The first thoroughfare in Huron was the "old Galen road " from the
salt works in Savannah to Glasgow 7 , or " Floating Bridge," as it was then
sometimes called. It was opened by the Salt Company prior to 1808.
The first highway regularly surveyed was that from Sloop Landing
(Port Glasgow) to Wolcott village. The surveyor was Osgood Church,
who laid out many of the early roads and was resident sub-agent of
Williamson's patent. He established this road June 8, 1810, at which
time Jacob Shook and Peres Bafdwell were commissioners of highways.
June 29 of that year Mr. Church surveyed the road from Port Bay to

Prior to the construction of the Erie Canal the Huron side of Sodus
Bay promised a brilliant future, but the great waterway drew the prin-
cipal commerce southward and killed whatever prospects the promoters
of this region may have entertained. The site of Port Glasgow 7 was
intended for- a port under the name of Sloop Landing. Here Obadiah


Adams, of Wolcott, had a large warehouse and a sailing vessel to trans-
port his produce to Canada. He bought quite a tract of land, laid it
(Hit into village lots, and erected several very good buildings. Jar\-is
Mudge also built a commodious hotel. April !), 1819, the Sodus Bay
Bridge Company was incorporated to construct a bridge "over Great
Sodus Bay at or near the route of the Niagara ridge or State roads in
the town of Wolcott." Considerable shipping was carried on, as the
place formed the outlet for a large extent of adjacent territory. The
opening of the Erie Canal was its death-blow, but long afterward im-
mense quantities of lumber were sent thither to distant markets.

April 18, 1837, an act was passed authorizing William Edwards and
Harlow Hyde to establish and maintain a ferry over the bay at this
point for ten years at the following prices : fifty cents per coach, thirty-
one cents for two horses and wagon, eighteen cents for one horse and
wagon, twelve and one- half cents for man and horse, six cents each for
footmen, and ten cents per head for neat cattle.

About 1822 Joseph Fellows and Andrew McNab, agents for the
Pultney estate, made an effort to build up the business at Sloop Land-
ing, but without avail. They gave it the name of Port Glasgow in
honor of the city of Glasgow in Scotland, and building a warehouse,
schooners, etc. , they took measures to establish a permanent commerce.
In 1827 a preliminary survey for a canal from Clyde to Sodus Bay was
made, and the event momentarily aroused declining interests. In 1841
the project was revived with Gen. William H. Adams as the chief pro-
moter, but clashing influence prevented its consummation. In 1850 the
Pennsylvania and Sodus Bay Railroad was chartered with Port Glasgow
as the northern terminus. Surveys were made and enthusiasm contin-
ued with more or less ardor until 1870, when the landable plan was per-
manently abandoned. And now the town is practically devoid of either
ports or railway, although the R. W. & O. Railroad cuts off its southeast
corner. The nearest stations are Wolcott, North Rose, and Alton, all
of which have furnished excellent shipping facilities since the comple-
tion of the line in 1873.

The town is principally an agricultural section and produces annually
large crops of fruit, grain, peppermint, etc. The primitive wilderness
has passed away, like nearly all of the earlier settlers, whose labors,
however, are still extant in the form of broad cultivated fields, attract-
ive homes, substantial schools and churches, and thriving hamlets, em-
bodying all the arts and elements of our best civilization. Their de-


seen dan t sand successors worthily maintain the wide prestige and sterling
characteristics so ably implanted amid the privations and hardships of
pioneer life.

The first town meeting convened at the tavern of Josiah Upson near
South Huron on April 4, 1826. Norman Sheldon presided and the fol-
lowing officers were elected : Supervisor, N-orman Sheldon ; town clerk;
Elisha Benjamin; assessors, Wareham Sheldon, Spencer Chapin, Jed-
ediah Wilder; collector, Ira Smith; overseers of the poor, Simeon Bis-
sell and Josiah Upson; commissioners of highways, Alanson Jones,
John C. Frazier, Simeon Bissell; constables, Ira Smith and Benjamin
Parker; commissioners of common schools, Arad Talcott, Spencer
Chapin, Wareham Sheldon; inspectors of common schools, Ebenezer
Jones, Elisha Benjamin, Lemuel Colbath ; poundmaster, Stephen Carey.
The supervisors of the town have been :

Norman Sheldon, 1826-30, Samuel Gardiner, 1868,

Elisha Benjamin, 1831-32, Oscar Weed, 1869,

Jedediah Wilder, 1833, Samuel Gardiner, 1870,

Harlow Hyde, 1834-35, Oscar Weed, 1871-72,

Philip Sours, 1836-40, Reuben Sours, 1873-74,

Harlow Hyde, 1841-42, I hvight B. Flint, 1875-76,

Ebenezer Jones, 1843-44, William W. Gatchell, 1877,

Jedediah Wilder, 1S45-47, Alanson Church, 1878

Edward W. Bottum, 184s, William W. Gatchell, 1879,

James T. Wisner, 1849, Elisha Cady, 1880,

John F. Curtis. 1850, Robert A. Catchpole, 1881-82,

Ralph Sheldon, 1851, Roswell E. Reed, iss:!,

Reuben Sours, 18 .2-53, Oscar Weed, 1884-85,

James T. Wisner, 1854, Samuel Cosad, 1886-88,

Elisha Cady, 1855, William W. Gatchell, 1889,

Roswell E. Reed, 1856, Samuel Cosad, 1890-93,

John F. Curtis, 1857, H. Demmon Sheldon. 1894.

Reuben Sours, 1858, Samuel Cosad was chairman of the board

Elisha Cady, 1859-60, in 1892 and 1893.

Rufns B. Sours, 1S61-67,

The town officers for L894 are: H. Demmon Sheldon, supervisor; E.
B. Kellogg, town clerk ; Anson S. Wood, George C. Mitchell, Charles
B. Kellicutt, and (after January 1, 1895) James W. Sceber, justices of
the peace; Darwin Dermond, collector; William (Juereau, highway
commissioner; A. F. Davenport and Walter W. Darling, overseers of
the poor; Frank B. Green, John Carroll, George E. Thomas, Clarence
F. Davenport, constables; John Proctor, Adonijah Church, Harvey
Brundige, excise commissioners; Abram Davis, game constable.


The first settler in this town was Capt. William Helms, who came
from Fauquier county, Va., and located on the present site of Port
Glasgow in 1706. He brought with him about seventy slaves, but soon
afterward left them and his farm to the management of his brother,
Thomas, and removed to Bath, N. Y. Thomas Helms was highly
educated, possessed superior abilities, and had been a congressman
from Virginia, but becoming dissipated he had lost nearly all of his
inheritance. Infatuated with a poor, uncultured young woman named
Lydia Mohaz he lived with her as his wife, and after having two chil-
dren they ran away from Virginia and came to his brother's home in
this town. This family and their slaves were the sole inhabitants of
Huron until about 1807, by which time two more children had been
born to them. Their daughter, Celia, born in 1803, was the first white
child born in the town. Other settlers came in, and so emphatically
did they express their dissatisfaction at the mode of life as it existed on
the Helms homestead that Helms and his woman went through the
forms of marriage. He was a brutal fellow, and his slaves were most
cruelly treated, but the institution existed until his death. He cleared
nearly 100 acres with them and without the aid of teams, rolling the
timber together and burning it. The negroes lived on the place and
had their own cabins, and obtaining their freedom they scattered to
more congenial climes.

In November, 1807, Ezra Knapp purchased a farm three-quarters of
a mile east of the Helms homestead, upon which he settled with his
family of six children. He came from New Marlboro, Mass., with
three horses and two wagons. With him came the families of Jarvis
Mudge, Nathaniel Hale, John Hyde, and Adonijah Church, the latter
of whom located in Wolcott Mr. Mudge settled on the creek that
took his name and built there one of the first saw mills in town.
Abraham Knapp, a married son of Ezra, moved from Pompey, N.Y.,
the same year and located on a farm adjoining his father. In April,
1808, Mr. Hale's wife died and was buried on his farm ; this was the
first white death in Huron, and soon afterward he removed to Wolcott.
Prior to this several negroes belonging to Helms had died, and in later
years some of their skulls and bones were found while excavating.

Early in 1808 and 1809 other settlers arrived, among them Josiah
Upson from Connecticut, Mr. Chapin, a Mr. Knox, and the Sheldons.
Roger Sheldon and Elizabeth Marsh, his wife, came from Hartford,
Conn., in 1809, and settled about two miles east of Port Glasgow.


Their family consisted of six sons: Norman, Wareham, George, Grove,
Ralsamon, and Ralph, and four daughters. George owned and cleared
what is now the Jacob Yiele farm. Grove died at sixteen and
Ralsamon lived to be nearly 100, dying in Genoa, N.Y. Ralph cleared
the Allen Robinson farm and died in Wolcott in 1871. On their way
from Hartford the family stopped over night with Judge Johnson
in 1 Mitchess county, and Mrs. Johnson gave the children some Virginia
pears, the seeds of which were saved and planted near their wilderness
home. From them came the famous Sheldon pear, and the original
tree is still standing on the homestead. Norman Sheldon was the first
supervisor and died in Huron, aged ninety-eight.

The first white man to die in the town was Mr. Chapin. About J son
Elihn Spencer located at North Huron. Osgood Church, as previously
stated, was the sub-agent for Williamson's patent, which included the
whole of Huron, and in his old book of records 117 contracts are
recorded, from June 16, 1808, to October 15, 1813, after which the
business was transacted with the land office at Geneva. The contracts
falling within our limits are as follows:

Obadiah Adams, lot 19, 106 acres, at $3.50 per acre, July 1, 1809; Levi Wheeler, lot
45,11:', 1-2 acres, August 13, 1809; Roger Sheldon, lot 22, 10G acres, September l.\
L809; Wareham Sheldon, lots 24 and 25, 142 1-2 acres, September 26, 1809; James
Alexander, lot 411, 70 acres, October 14, 1809; EHab Abbott, lot 43, 81 acres, at
$3.50, July 26, 1810; Zenas Wheeler, lot 44, 100 acres, June 1, 1811; Ira Smith,
lot 12, 59 3-4 acres, September 1, 1811 ; Elihu Spencer, lot 71, 15(5 1-2 acres, August
«.), 1811; John Laraway, lot 343, 70 acres, November 22, 1811; Nathan Parker, lot
9S, 114 3-4 acres, December 2, 1811; Sheldon and O. Seymonr, lot 70, 100 acres,
December 2, 1811; Nathaniel Graves, lot 88, 188 acres, August 17, 1811; Stephen
Betts, lot 360, 100 acres, April 14, 1811; Lorin Doolittle, lot 40, 65 1-2 acres, June
12. L812; Jarvis Mudge, lot 74, 55 acres, December 30, 1812; William Tindall
(colored), lot 291, 1 66 acres, May 30, L813; Ezra Knapp, lot 75, about 30 acres,
April 27, 1813; C. Avery and C. Andrews, lots 95 and 97, 207 acres, June 26, 1813;
Simeon Van Auken, lot 126, 35 acres, July 1, 1813; Robert Mason, lots 136 and
106, 215 aires, July 6, 1813; Christopher Martin, lot 114, 128 acres, July 9, 1813.

The last named lot was the Helms property at Port Glasgow. Mar-
tin became a noted hunter and trapper. Prior to 1812 Erastus Wilder,
Daniel S. Butrick, Noah Lyman, Tmther Wheeler, John Wade, Noah
Seymour, Robert M. Palmer, Jason Mudge, and others became settlers,
but the war of that period almost cheeked immigration. On one occa-
sion, when a report gained credence that 1,500 hostile Indians were

1 This is known as Negro Point Lot at Port Bay,


advancing on the settlements with warlike intentions the people all
fled to the interior; Joseph Watson, of Clyde, and others drove with a
wagon down to the bay to bring away the only remaining family — a
widow and her children.

Among subsequent comers were Richard Redfield (the first shoe-
maker), John Holloway (an early blacksmith), Ebenezer Jones, Elisha
Benjamin, Jedediah Wilder, Simeon Carey, Spencer Chapin, D. Barker,
Ira Smith, Lemuel Colbath, Messrs. Ellis and Westcott, Daivd Vought,
Levi Wheeler, James Alexander (for several ye*ars highway commis-
sioner), and Rufus D. Sours (who died in February, 1875). Horace
Demmon was born in Vermont in 1803, came with his parents to this
town in May, 1817, and died April 2, 1891. His father commenced
making brick for the "-City of Sloop Landing." Dr. Zenas Hyde, a
son-in-law of the Ezra Knapp previously mentioned, was the town's
first settled physician, but he soon removed to Wolcott. A child of his
was the second white person born in Huron. John H. Newberry came
here in 1827, bought a farm near East Bay, and died October 28, 1878.
Daniel Lamb, from Hartford, Conn. , settled on what is now the David
Lake farm at South Huron prior to 1820, and died here, leaving two
sons, William and Lewis. A son of the former is postmaster at Lum-
misville. Daniel Whipple located where Aaron Sours now lives in 1836.

Prominent among other settlers may be mentioned Charles E. Reed,
son of R. E., elected sheriff of Wayne county, and died in office No-
vember 17, 1890; Daniel Chase, blind many years, died at North Hu-
ron in November, 1872, aged nearly 100; Simon V. W. Stout, born in
Lyons in 1807, sheriff in 1840, died at Port Glasgow; Benjamin Parker,
who died in 1874; James M. Cosad, who built the first barn with stone
basement in town; Major Farr, who purchased and settled on one of
the islands of Charles Point and gave it his name; Benjamin Catchpole,
living on the Dr. William N. Lummis estate; and many others noticed
further on and in Part II. of this work.

In 1814 the first plat was laid out and set apart for burial purposes
near South Huron, and Catherine Alexander, who died in 1815, was
the first person regularly buried therein. Prior to this, however, sev-
eral bodies had been removed to it from various localities. The first
marriage in town was that of Dr. Gardner Wells to Paulina M. Fuller
in 1813 ; the ceremony being performed at the house of Ezra Knapp.
Dr. Wells lived in Junius, Seneca county, and was a surgeon in the
War of 1812; he obtained leave of absence to consummate his mar-


riage, after which he rejoined his regiment. Jason Mudge opened the
first store a mile and a half northeast from South Huron in 1812. Giles
Fiteh drove the first stages through the town from Woleott to Roch-
ester about 1820.

In 1858 the town had 12,221 acres improved land, real estate assessed
at $575,999, personal property valued at $31,444; 985 male and 896
female inhabitants, 386 dwellings, 384 families, 315 freeholders, 712
horses, 1,091 oxen and calves, 675 cows, 3,716 sheep, and 1,438 swine.
There were produced then 10,357 bushels winter and 113,035 bushels
spring wheat, 1,010 tons hay, 15,895 bushels potatoes, 20,361 bushels
apples, 59,850 pounds butter, 4,844 pounds cheese, and 1,310 yards do-
mestic cloths.

In 1890 the population numbered 1,793, or 243 less than in 1880. In
L893 the assessed value of land aggregated $768,477 (equalized $716,-
170); village and mill property, $35,560; railroads and telegraphs, $18,-
539; personal property. $8,000. Schedule of taxes 1893: Contingent
fund, $1,187; town poor, $250; roads and bridges, $500; school tax,
$712.03; county tax, $1,703.61; State tax, $938.78; State insane tax,
$242.19; dog tax, $97.50. Total tax levy, $5,827.86; rate per cent.,
.00701664. The town has two election districts and in 1893 polled 331

The first school was taught by Paulina M. Fuller (afterward Mrs.
Gardner Wells), a stepdaughter of Ezra Knapp, in 1809. Her school
house was an old log cabin on the Helms farm formerly occupied by a
family of negro slaves. The first regular school building was erected
near the Huron post office in 1813, and the first teacher therein was
Gardiner Mudge. Minerva Flint, who married Ralph Sheldon, was a
very early teacher in the town; she died in 1871. Huron now has
eleven school districts with a school house in each, which were taught
in 1892-93 by as many teachers and attended by 305 scholars; value of
school buildings and sites, $5,245 ; public money received from the State,
$1,296.38; raised by local tax, $1,333.81; assessed valuation of the dis-
tricts, $817,240.

During the War of the Rebellion the town of Huron contributed a
large number of its brave citizens to fill the Union ranks. The part it
took in that terrible struggle is detailed in a previous chapter.

North Huron is a small post village near the head of East Bay in the
northern part of the town. Elihu Spencer erected here, in 1809, the
first grist mill and saw mill in Huron; the former was a brick structure.


J. L. Barber built another mill in 1825 which finally passed to Thomas
Graham. Other mills have been put up on the same stream (Mudge
Creek). The place now contains a store, blacksmith shop, two churches
and 75 inhabitants. James Chase succeeded Charles R. Weed as post-
master and died in office July 14, 1894.

South Huron (Huron post-office) is a scattered settlement near the
center of the town. Josiah Upson settled here at an early date and in
1811 established a tanning business, which he continued till 1818, when
he built and kept the first regular tavern in Huron. In 1849 a town
hall was erected just south of the Presbyterian church, and a few years
since a Grange hall was erected on the opposite side of the road. Besides
these the place contains a grocery and a blacksmith shop. The post-
mistress is Mrs. S. E. Andrus.

Lummisville, about one mile northwest of South Huron, is another
small postal settlement containing a store, repair shop, etc. The post-
master is Wilson Lamb, who succeeded Lafayette Legg in the fall of
1881. The office was named from Dr. William N. Lummis, the first
postmaster, who kept it where David Green now lives.

Port Glasgow (Resort post-office) has been noticed in previous pages
of this chapter. It is chiefly noted as a summer resort and contains
two hotels. The post office was established June 1, 1894, with S. G.
Stacey as postmaster. Near here Dr. Zenas Hyde is said to have opened
in an old log building, about 1810, the first tavern in town. Norman
Sheldon about the same time opened another. The place lies at the
head of sloop navigation on Sodus Bay and until recent years was a
point of some shipping importance.

Bonnicastle is a small but attractive summer resort on Sodus Bay a
little more than a mile north from Port Glasgow. It contains a few
cottages and accommodations for tourists.

Lake Bluff is a summer resort on the lake shore, west of East Bay
and contains two hotels, a store, and a few cottages. The post-office
here is continued three months in the year with E. B. Fuller as post-

Rice's Settlement on Mudge Creek in the southeast part of the town,
is so named from Decatur Rice, who finally came into the possession of
the mill built by Jarvis Mudge in 1811.

The Presbyterian Church of Huron was organized as the First Pres-
byterian Church of Wolcott by Revs. Charles Mosher and Henry Axtell
on July 18, 1813, with these members: Erastus Wilder, Robert M.



Palmer, Luther Wheeler, Jonathan Melvin, sr., Martha Fox, Lucy
Wheeler, Damarius Wilson, Ezra Knapp, Elisha Jones, John Wade,
Noah Seymour, Roswell Fox, Elisha Plank, Marian Seymour, Johanna
Bunce, Elizabeth Olmstead, Margaret Upson, Elizabeth Sheldon, Ruth
Plank, Josiah Upson, Amy Hancock, Noah Lyman, and Eunice Wade.
The first officers were Ezra Knapp, Noah Lyman, Erastus Wilder, and
Josiah Upson, elders; and Erastus Wilder and Ezra Knapp, deacons.
The first pastor was Rev. A. M. Butrick. (The first minister of this
denomination in Huron was Rev. Francis Pomeroy, who preached the
pioneer sermon in the town at the house of Ezra Knapp in April, 1811.
Two other ministers prior to 1813 were Revs. Royal Phelps and Daniel
S. Butrick). In 1826 the name of this church was made to conform
with that of the town by formally adopting the title of the Presbyterian
Church of Port Bay, and in 183G it was again changed, this time as at
present, to the Presbyterian Church of Huron. The first and only
house of worship was built of wood at South Huron in 1836 and attained
its present dimensions by a subsequent addition of twelve feet. The
society has about 100 members with Rev. R. A. Ward as pastor.

The Methodist Episcopal Church of North Huron was organized as a
class at the school house by Benson Smith in 1817 with seven members.
Mr. Smith was an exhorter and the first class leader. The first preacher
was Rev. Enos Barnes, and services continued at private dwellings and