Copyright
Crisfield. cn Johnson.

... History of Oswego County, New York online

. (page 104 of 120)
Online LibraryCrisfield. cn Johnson... History of Oswego County, New York → online text (page 104 of 120)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


^

'-^^m




J/^^r '^l^





J. R Wright.



Mrs.T. R Wright.




Residence or THOMAS R.WRIGHT, Oswego Falls. N. Y



HISTORY OF OSWEGO COUNTY, NKW YOllK.



391



A yoke of cattle and a stout wagon were the principal
necessaries, though several teams iniglit be used. Goods
wore brought from the east, through tlie Mohawk river,
Oneida lake, and Oswego river, to a point just above the
falls, in wliat were called Durham boats, — large, flat-bot-
tomed boats, carrying about twenty-five tons of freight each,
and propelled on the river by men going from stem to stern
on " running-boards," provided with cleats, and pushing
with poles against the bottom. At the point just men-
tioned the freight was transferred to ox-wagons on one
side of the river or the other, carried down about a mile and
a quarter, and re-embarked below the rapids in bateaux,
propelled by oars, carrying about eight tons eacb, and sent
down to Oswego. Sometimes, it is true, Durham boats
were found below the falls, and still more frequently bateaux
were used above them, but this was the usual course. The
portage on the west side was carried on with great vigor for
two or three years by Jlr. Walradt and others, but was
finally abandoned to the residents on the other.side.

In 1809, Barnet Mooney was elected to the general as-
sembly from Onondaga county, being the first person ever
sent to that body from the territory now comprising Oswego
County. He w.as also chosen for the same position in 1810,
1812, and 1814.

About 1810 the house built by Bush on lot 74 was oc-
cupied by Truman Bronson, and the next year Moses Ives
settled on the same lot. In 1811, also, a portion of that
lot was taken possession of by a gentleman who was a lead-
ing pioneer, whose sons were prominent citizens, and whose
descendants still live near where he first located.. This was
Mr. Jacob Schenck, who had visited the locality in 1808,
who began preparations for a residence in 1811, and who
brought on his family in 1812.

Up to about this time, nearly twenty years after the first
improvements had been made in Granby, there was not a
solitarj' settler away from the immediate vicinity of the
river. But in 1810 or 1811, John llutchins located him-
self near what is now called Bowen's Corners, four miles
southwest of Oswego falls. It is somewhat difiicult to ascer-
tain why so good a country as the interior of Granby has
proved to be should have remained so long unsettled, while
other tracts without its facilities of river communication
had filled up with a numerous population before the war of
1812. -Doubtless, however, one reason is to be found in
the extremely heavy timber that covered the ground, which
indeed attested the strength of the soil, but which obstructed
the operations of the pioneer. There was also considerable
low, wet ground, which interfered with the o])euing of
roads, but which, when once drained and subdued, has be-
come some of the most valuable land in the county.

At all events, the testimony of the early settlers and
their sons is sub.stantially unanimous that nothing was done
tuward.s settling up the back country until just before the
war of 1812, and very little until after it. In March,
1812, William Wilson and Zadock Allen moved into the
locality where Hutchins had established himself. Mr.
Wilson's year-old boy Charles, now a hale old man of .sixty-
six, residing only about two miles south of the point where
his father located, is, so far as we can learn, the earliest
surviving resident of the interior of the town.



During the first year or two, of course, the new settlers
had to buy their grain. Mr. William Wilson and his old-
est son, also named William, then about seventeen, used to
go on foot — there being no road passable for a team — to
Betts' Corners, in Lysander, buy some gniin, and carry it
home on their backs through the woods. The next day
they would carry it in the same way to Burrows' mill, now
Hannibal Centre, and return with a grist.

On one of these trips, being somewhat later than usual,
night overtook them ere they reached home, and they soon
lost their way. After vainly endeavoring to reach home in
the dark, and floundering around hopelessly in the woods
for some time, they gave up and sat down to wait for morn-
ing. A pack of Wolves got scent of them, and came howl-
ing and gnashing their teeth altogether too close for pleas-
ure. The youth climbed the tree, but the old man wiis not
sufficiently agile for that, and awaited the expected onslaught
at the foot. However, the foe did not make the attack.

Next morning they were delighted to hear the crowing
of cocks near by. Shouldering their sacks they started for
the sound, and in a few moments they came to their own
little clearing, having stayed on their own land all night.

Jesse Green and his son Amos settled at Bowen's Cor-
ners in the summer of 1812, and William Dewey about
the same time, or perhaps the year before.

Mr. Cyril Wilson settled about the same time on the
place now occupied by Isaac Pierce. His brother-in-law,
Mr. Hale, also lived there then, and was a zealous wolf-
catcher. In 1811, Deacon Elijah Mann had made his
home on the river, below Mooney's place, where he was
long a prominent citizen. Near the same period a settle-
ment was made about a mile west of Mann's, by Abraham
Shepherd, Samuel Colby, and John Miller, generally known
as " Yankee Miller," to distinguish him from the numerous
Millers of German descent living along the river.

Other early settlers of the period were Daniel and John
Cody, the first residents in the southeast part of the town.

But a sudden stop was to be put to the small stream of
immigration that had begun to flow into Granby. William
Schenck well remeiubers when a horseman came gallo])ing
at full speed along the road, stopping for a moment to tell
the startled pioneers that war was declared with Great
Britain, and then hurrying on to warn the people at Oswego.
Visions of invasion immediately arose before the minds of
the scattered settlers, accompanied by dreams of Indian
massacre, which was then considered to be the inevitable
accompaniment. Yet the pioneers nearly all held their
ground, and the women often had to care for their families
alone during the absence of the men on military duty.

John I. Walradt was an ofiicer in the army, doing gal-
lant .service with the American forces in Canada. His wife,
the elde-st daughter of Daniel Hugunin, of Oswego, and
endowed with all the force of character which distinguished
that family, managed the property during his absence.

Throughout the war the river teemed with business, to
an ext



Online LibraryCrisfield. cn Johnson... History of Oswego County, New York → online text (page 104 of 120)