Arad Thomas.

Pioneer history of Orleans county, New York. Containing some account of the civil divisions of western New York, with brief biographical notices of early settlers, and of the hardships and privations online

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Online LibraryArad ThomasPioneer history of Orleans county, New York. Containing some account of the civil divisions of western New York, with brief biographical notices of early settlers, and of the hardships and privations → online text (page 19 of 32)
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Mr. Freeman choj^ped over nearly fifty acres of
woods to browse his cattle in the winter of 1816-17,
cutting down all trees suitable for that purpose, and
losing only about six of his cattle from starvation.
Mr. Freeman owned a part of the section lying next
east of his home farm. On that land one year he
s owed forty acres to wheat, which grew very large.
At harvest time he measured off one acre of his field
and cut' and cleaned the wheat on it, getting fifty-five
bushels of wheat on that acre.

Mr. Freeman was a liberal, generous man, and la-
bored hard to induce settlers to come in and to open
the country to inhabitants. He sustained some large
losses in his business and became insolvent, finally
losing all his land. He removed to Ypsilanti, Mich-
gan, where he died in 1832.

Mr. Levi Atwell, Joseph Stoddard and Reuben
Clark were among those who moved into the Freeman
settlemen soon after it was commenced.


Chester Freeman, son of Gideon Freeman, was
born in Scij)io, Cayuga county, August 18th, 1807.
He married Eliza Chidester in 183.1. She died in
March, 1848, and October 30th, 1849, he married
Amanda Morris. He has resided on lot thirty-one,
in township fourteen range two, in Barre, since
1842. He came into Orleans county with his father
in 1812.


Daniel Pratt was born in Westmoreland, Oneida
county, N. Y., March 25th, 1788. He married Polly
Bailey, August, 1809, and moved to Gaines and set-


tied OR the Ridge in the spring of 1810. His wife,
Polly, died August 30th, 1812. He married Caroline
Smith, January 8th, 1815.

He went east during the war of 1812 and remained
two years, then returned to Ids farm, on wliicli he
labored until his death, October 7th, 1845. Mrs.
Caroline Pratt, died September 18th, 1831.

The first wheat sold by Mr. Pratt was taken on
an ox sled by him to Rochester, and sold for twent}"-
live cents a bushel.

Mr. Pratt was a man of quiet habits, trusty and
faithful. He was mucli ]-espected by liis acquaintan-

He was Town Clerk of Gaines for many years and
held the office of Overseer of tlie Poor a long time.


Daniel Brown was born in Columbia county, N, Y.,
June 15tli, 1787. He removed with liis father's fami-
ly to Upper Canada, in the year 1800. He resided in
Canada during the war 1812. He experienced mucli
trouble in consequence of liis refusal to bear arms
in that war against his native country. He was in-
dicted and tried for treason and acquitted. In Janu-
ary, 181 G, he remo^'ed to the town of Gaines and set-
tled one mile north-east from Albion.

Mr. Brown has established an enviabh? character
for integrity among his acquaintances, and has been
honored and respected.

He was Supervisor of the town of Gaines in 1844,
and lias held various other town offices.

He married Maiy Willsea, in Canada, in the year

Mr. Hntwn is still living.


Wm. W. Ruggles was born in Hai'dvvick, Massa-


chusetts, January 1st, 1800. His father, Seth liug-
gles, removed witli liis family in 1804 to Poultne}-,
Vermont, wliere \Vm. W. labored on a farm until he
was eighteen yeaivs old. He then entered the office of
Judge Williams, at Salem, N. Y., as a student at
law. Here he studied law eight months in the year,
teaclilng school winters' He closed his preparatory
law study with Chief Justice Savage, at Albany.
Having been admitted to the bar, he came to Albion
and formed a partnership with Judge Moody, which
was soon dissolved.

He removed to Gaines in 1824, and begaJi tlie prac-
tice of his profession there.

In the contest between Gaines and Albion for the
county buildings, he took an active part for his vil-

He aided in founding Gaines Academy and the
Farmers Bank of Orleans, at Gaines.

He exerted himself to have the New York Central
Railroad located along the Ridge, and used his inllu-
ence in favor of the building of Niagara Suspension
Bridge, and was a stockholder in that company.

In his profession as a lawyer he was diligent and
successful. He held the offices of Master in Chancey,
Supreme Court Commissioner, Judge of the Court of
Common l*leas, and Justice of the Peace and various
other town offices. He was several times the candi-
date of the Democratic party for the State Legisla-
ture, but failed of an election as his party was largt'-
ly in the minority.

Judge Ruggles had a cultivated nnud, (Miriched by
studious habits of life. He was particularly fond of
Astronomy, on which he left some lectures in manu-
script, written by him.

In the autumn of 1849 he went to Chicago, intend-
ing to reside and practice law there, but having taken
cold while on jiis voyage around th«* lake, he was


compelled to return to Gaines siek, and never re-
covered, dying at Gaines, April 22d, 1850.

Ho spent a year surveying government land in
Michigan, when General Cass was Governor, where
he contracted fever and ague, from which he suffered
ever afterwards.

He married Miss .Inn Davis, daughter of Dea. Perry
Davis, of Gaines, in 1827. She died Aug. 20th, 1846,
He left three children, William Oakley, now a broker
in New York ; Henry C, a Civil Engineer in Cincin-
natti, Ohio ; and Helen, who married Mr. Fred
Hoott, and resides in Gaines.


Eagle Harbor, a thriving village on the Erie Canal,
in the town of Gaines, is said to have been so named
because n large bird's nest w^as found in a tree grow-
ing there about the time the canal was surveyed, sup-
posixl to have been built b}^ an eagle.

The land on which the village is built was for a
number of years at first held under articles from the
Holland Company.

Harvey Smith took a deed of eighty acres on the
south-east corner of lot thirty-six, November 1, 1819.
Stephen N. Chuljb took a deed of fifty-three acres
next north, Septi^mber 0th, 1884, and Macy Pratt, of
one hundied and thii'ty-eight acres north of Chubb,
November 29th, 1819.'

On the East side, Asahel Fitch took a deed of
one hundred twenty-live acres, part of lot twenty-
six, February 20th, 1821. James Mather took a
deed of two liundred acres next north of Fitch, No-
vember 27th, 1829 ; and Robert Huntei-, one hun-
dred and seventy-six acres next north of Mather,
January 81st, 1828.

South side; of Canal, fifty acres of lot thirty-five


were deeded to Amos S. Samson, December 22d,

Stephen Abbott took njD the land afterwards deeded
to Harvey Smith, and commenced cutting down tim-
ber on it in the winter of 1812. This was probably
the first clearing done in Eagle Harbor.

Little improvement was made until work was
begun on the canal. The high embankment over Otter
Creek was constructed by a man named Richardson.
He opened a store here to accommodate his workmen,
which was the first store.

Hicks and Sherman bought Kichardson s store and
continued it after him.

A, Mr. Hicks built the old red warehouse, the first
in the village, south side of the canal, where Collins'
warehouse now stands. This was owned and occu-
pied by A. S. Samson afterwards.

In 1832, this warehouse was sold to Willis P. Col-
lins who opened a dry goods store in it and continued
it about six years, then built a store and warehouse
on the east side of the street and moved there.

David Smith built the first sawmill about forty
rods north of the canal, on Otter Creek.

James Mather built a sawmill on the south side of
the canal in 1826.

N. Pratt, J. Delano and L. Northrop, built the
lower dam and sawmill in 1825.

James Leaton bought the Hunter farm, and he in
company with W, P. Collins, built the north fiouring
mill in 1837. This mill was burned in t]i

Online LibraryArad ThomasPioneer history of Orleans county, New York. Containing some account of the civil divisions of western New York, with brief biographical notices of early settlers, and of the hardships and privations → online text (page 19 of 32)