Crisfield. cn Johnson.

... History of Oswego County, New York online

. (page 86 of 120)
Online LibraryCrisfield. cn Johnson... History of Oswego County, New York → online text (page 86 of 120)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

Bull Run ; discharged May 17, 1863 ; rc-enlisted in Co. K, 15th
Cav., Aug. 20, 1863; in several battles; disch. August 23, 1805.

Walter Scuddor. Enlisted in Co. E, UOth Inf., Aug. 7, 1862; dis-
charged July 6, 1805.

William Scudder. Enlisted in Co. E, Ullth Inf.. Aug. 7, lsr,2: dis-
charged September 2, 1864.

William H. Richardson. Enl'd as music'n in Co. F, 147th Inf., Aug.
22, '62 ; in battles of Cbanccllorsvillc, Gcttysb'g; dis. Aug., '64.

Gilson Goodwin. Enlisted in Co. I, 184th Inf., Sept. 5, 1804; died
July 5, 1865.

Thomas Fane. Enlisted in Co. I, 184ih Inf , Aug. 25, 1862; died
December 25. 1863.

Joseph Preston. Enlisted in Co. E, Iinth Inf., Aug. 25, 1862; disch.
September 2, 1804.


A RETROSPECTION of little more than three-quarters of a
century carries us back to the time of the first settlement
of what now constitutes the town of Schroeppel. Seventy-
seven years, with their momentous events and chanj;ing
vicissitudes, have passed into the silent night of eternity
since the first white settler made his permanent location
within the borders of the town. Consequently, our labors
in the preparation of a brief historical sketch of Schroeppel
only require a record of events transpiring in and subse-
quent to the year of our Lord 1800.

Although there are none now living within the scope of
our work who remember that time, yet there are those
wliose years antedate the settlement of the town. Some
there are whose memories extend back nearly sixty years,
to a time when the log cabin constituted the only habita-
tion of the pioneer, and not a semblance of the present
progress and development existed. They remember the
trials and hardships they had to endure in order to eflFect
the marvelous change their industry has wrought. Yet,
blended with the recollection of their troubles arc memo-
ries of the broad hospitality, the Christian fortitude, and
the cheerfulness under difficulties that characterized the
early settlement. Indeed,

" There are moments in life that we never forget,

Which brighten and brighten as time steals away ;
They give a new charm to the happiest lot,

And they shine on the gloom of the loneliest day."

The imagination can scarcely depict the realities of those
days, — the unbroken wilderness, which presented a wildness
in every object upon which the eyes rested, except the sky
o'erhead. The only marks in all this region that gave
any evidence that the foot of civilized man had pressed the
soil were the blazed trees that denoted an indefinite path-
way. Such was this town without inhabitants, except
the aborigine and the wild beast of the forest, when Abram
Paddock erected his log cabin, and sought a permanent
home amid the sea-like solitude.

Geographically, Schroeppel is located in the southern
part of the county, in the northeast angle formed by the
junction of the Oneida and Oswego rivers. The surface is
level or gently rolling, the soil is a rich sandy loam, inter-
mixed, in places, with clay. It is susceptible of high cul-
tivation, and is generally very fertile and productive. The
township is watered by Six-Mile, Fish, and Bell creeks,
and several minor streams. A swamp extends northward
from the mouth of Fish creek nearly to the northern border
of the township, and varies from half a mile to a mile in
width. Much of it has been redeemed, and future drain-
ing and other improvements will materially lessen its area.

The streams, particularly Fish creek, originally abounded
in brook-trout, from which fact it received its name. They

are all plenteou.sly supplied with various kinds of fish
common in this locality. They also furnish abundant and
excellent water-power, and many mills have been erected
on their banks. The southern, and part of the eastern
boundary of the township, is formed by Oneida and Oswego

No records exist whereby can be determined, definitely,
whether any settlements were made in the town between
1800 and 1807. In the former year Abram Paddock*
arrived, and in the latter Thomas Vickery and one L'Hom-
medieu (commonly written La Hommedieu), the former as
a permanent settler, and the latter, evidently, as a specu-
lator. L'Hommedieu purchased a tract of land containing
one thousand acres, designated on the map as " La Hom-
medieu's location," and situated in the southern extremity
of the angle formed by the Oneida and Oswego rivers,
and coming up to the eastern boundary of the village of

Thomas Vickery settled on the Oneida river near Three-
River point, where Joseph Vickery, his son, was born. At
an early day he removed to the other side of the river, and
was for a number of years a prominent citizen of the town of
Clay, Onondaga county. When Joseph arrived at man-
hood he bought the farm on which he now resides, and soon
became an influential citizen and a wealthy farmer. He
has held several offices of trust in the town government.

In 1818, Henry W. Schroeppel, eldest son of the proprie-
tor of the township, settled at Oak Orchard, on the prem-
ises now occupied by Mrs. Anna Schroeppel, his widow. To
him is accredited the honor of having opened the first farm
in the town, or rather, the first upon which any extensive
improvements were made.

In March, 1819, Hyman and Stephen Sutton, two
brothers, came in from Manlius, Onondaga county, and set-
tled on lot 13, in the 16th township. They had purchased
the land the fall before, and Stephen had erected a log house
on his part. At the same time Alvin Sutton, cousin to the
above, and one Phelps, settled on lot 12, and Azoe Parkin
on the north end of lot 13 ; also a man named Billings on
lot 27. Lyman Norton settled on the farm now occupied
by his son Hiram, who was born on the place fifty-five years
ago, and has since remained there.

In 1819, Andrus Gilbert and Hiram, his brother, came in
and commenced the .settlement of Gilbertsville, as stated in
the history proper of that village.

Israel Burritt came in from Paris, Oneida county, in
1819, and settled in Gilbertsville, where he assisted in build-

» For further particulars of Paddnck see " History of Phoenix
village." We designate him a permanent settlor because he remained
in this vicinity until his death, in 1821, although he never purch.ised
any land, but was chiefly employed in hunting and trapping.



ing the mills, etc. He died about 182(5, on the farm now
owned by James Simmons.

Jonathan Hall, father of Mrs. Waring, settled on lot 20,
in 1822, on a part of the farm which he occupied until his
death, which occurred in June, 18G8. Mr. Hall had been
in the township some years prior to his permanent settle-

George Waring came in about the same time as Mr.
Hall, for he married the latter' s daughter in 1824. His
widow still survives, and is well versed in the early history
of the township. George Waring was born at Constantia,
in 1796, and it is claimed by his friends (and the claim is
evidently well authenticated) that he was the first white
child born in Oswego County.

In 1822, Samuel Merry, Esq., settled at Gilbert's IMills,
and entered into partnership with Andrus Gilbert. He
resided there until 1837, when he removed to Phoenix,
where he now lives.

John Curtis made the first settlement on the State road
in this towii in 1826-27, on lot 5, on the farm now owned
by Enoch Douglass. John Curtis, Jr., settled at Roosevelt.

Deacon Stephen Griffith came into the township and set-
tled on lot 26, in 1827. He was born in Saratoga county,
New York, in 1797, and is consequently eighty years of
age, and one of the oldest living residents of the town in
point of age, and among the oldest in point of settlement.

Among the prominent early settlers of the town who
came in during the decade ending in 1840 we might men-
tion the following :

Allen Gilbert, Asa McNamara, John Bottom, 0. W.
Childs, Esq., John Ingersoll, Isaac Like, Asa Gilbert, John
Fitzgerald, Michael Griffin, J. E. Gregg, A. Gregg.
Deacon G. W. Turner came in 1831, and settled on big lots
1 and 6, where he has since resided. Thomas R. Hawley,
Esq., came in 1832, and settled on lot 39, where he resided
thirty-one years. He came from Lysander, Onondaga
county, in which county he was born. Wm. Dingman and
five sons, of whom Ephraim, Benjamin, and Minard are still
residents of the township ; Nathan Huntley, whose widow
survives at the age of eighty-two years, and several of whose
sons are settled in Schroeppel ; Elias Thomas, Junius Wood,
Duncan Conger, G. C. Sweet, Ira Davis, Jesse Page, and
many others.

The first log house erected within the limits of Schroep-
pel was by Abram Paddock, in 18U1, as mentioned in the
history proper of Phoenix village.

The first frame house was built by George Caspar
Schroeppel, about the year 1818. He lived in a flat-roofed
shanty while building his house.

The first grist-mill was built by Andrus and Hiram Gil-
bert, in the year 1819. It still stands at Gilbertsville, on
Six-BIile creek, and has done good service for nearly sixty
years. The mill has two run of stones, and was operated
by the Gilberts jointly until 1832, when Andrus sold his
interest to his brother, who conducted the business alone
until about 1844, when he sold to Jared Shepard, who
managed the concern for three or four years, and then sold
to Josiah Chaifee, who, after a few years' proprietorship,
sold to the present owner, Amos Mason.

The first saw-mill was built by George Caspar Schroep-

pel, in 1819, and conducted by his son Henry W. after-
wards for some years.

The first store was opened and kept by Andrus Gilbert,
in 1821. It was located at Gilbertsville, and ultimately
destroyed by fire, as mentioned in the history of the village.

The first tavern was kept by Simeon S. Chapin, in 1822.
This was at Phoenix village, and was a log structure, built
by Aaron Paddock, with an addition, which was erected by
Mr. Chapin, and was known as the double log house. It
stood across the street east from the residence of Joseph
Gilbert, deceased.

The first birth in the town was that of Joseph, son of
Thomas Vickery, September 11, 18U7. This gentleman
is still living in the town, having spent the allotted three-
score years and ten in one locality, — a remarkable fact
connected with the history of a native-born American, who
are generally so prone to move around.

The first marriage was performed, under peculiar circum-
stances, in 1807. It appears that the parties to the inter-
esting contract — John Lemanier and Sally Winters — got a
justice of the peace, who resided over in Onondaga county,
to perform the nuptials. He did so in good faith, but on
reaching home, some one evidently better versed in tlie law
governing the jurisdiction of magistrates informed him that
he had exceeded his powers, and that the marriage was
consequently illegal. The next morning the justice of the
peace posted over the river, and requested the newly (appa-
rently) married couple to accompany him over to the other
shore, where the ceremony was performed according to the
law " in such cases made and provided."

The first death, of which any authentic record exists,
was that of Abram Paddock, the pioneer of the town,
which occurred in the early part of the year 1821.

The first school taught was by Horatio Sweet, at Three
River point, in 1813.

The first religious organization was a Methodist class
formed at Gilbertsville, in 1826.*


About 1816 this region of country, from Three-Rivers
point to Brewerton, and from Onondaga outlet to Oswego
falls, was almost an unbroken wilderness. White settlers
were few, but Indians were numerous. Among the white
settlers there was one McGee, son of Captain McGce, of
Revolutionary times, who was noted for his daring and
bravery, and who was always avgrse to the .society of the In-
dians. Occasionally he had his troubles with them, and as
often had his revenge on them. On one occasion, up the
Oneida river, about four miles from Three-Rivei'S point,
where he was trapping, he left his canoe on the north shore
to take a stroll back from the river, but soon returned and
found an Indian had taken his canoe and some of his traps,
and started for the opposite shore. McGee called to him
in English to return, but he did not heed it. Then McGce
called to him in their native language. The Indian's reply
was "i7(/(-/io," meaning "I won't." At this McGee shot
the Indian as he was paddling, the ball entering his left
side and coming out of his right shoulder, killing him in-

Sce history of the Methodist Episcopal church, farthe



stantly. McGee swam to the canoe, and brought it, with
his victim, to land, and buried the Indian, whose name was
Sidney, by the side of a log, at the mouth of a creek known
by the boatmen in after-years as "Sidney creek," taken
from the name of the Indian. This creek runs through
the farm now owned by Gilson D. Carrier, and empties into
the Oneida river.


Among the early pioneers of Sehroeppel, one John Has-
kin and family came from Vermont, and settled on lot No.
18, twenty-fourth township, in January, 1833, then an
unbroken wilderness, without roads for egress or ingress.
It is not known that there was a family in the town who
suffered as much as did this family. Mr. Haskin was for-
merly from Philadelphia, and unaccustomed to pioneer life.
" I have known him," says Mr. Hawley, " to grind corn
for food by pounding it with a maul on a hard wood block,
hewn for that purpose. At that time there was a grist-mill
at Coughdenoy, on a small scale. One day in June of the
above year, Mr. Haskin started for this mill with a half-
bushel of corn on his shoulder to be ground, taking one of
those circular roads made by Mr. Peck and others. When
returning with his grist at night he lost his way. By the
time it became very dark he had got into a tamarack swamp,
where he was obliged to remain, and be tortured by mos-
quitoes, or keep moving, with brush in hand, until nearly
exhausted by hunger and fetigue, during the whole of that
night. As morning appeared but little encouragement fol-
lowed, for it was very cloudy the whole day ; but with the
courage he had he started in good faith to get out of his
perilous situation. To his astonishment, after two hours of
hard work, going through brush and over logs, he found
himself back again to the same swamp where he had lodged
during the night previous. He was not to be deceived in
that way again. As the day continued cloudy, his only
alternative was to take a range from one tree to another,
which he resolved carefully to do, by which he came to one
of those circular roads. Keeping on this road, he soon
came in sight of Coughdenoy. Now his third and last
effort was to retrace his steps on the same road, by which
he returned to his place of abode about sunset, being one
night and two days lost, and loaded with a bag of corn-
meal. The distance to the mill was about three and one-
half miles, but Mr. Haskin said he traveled about fifty
miles without anything to eat."


of the town was effected by the State legislature, April 4,
1832. The town was detached from Volney at that time,
and organized as a separate and distinct town. The first
annual meeting for the election of town ofiicers and the
transaction of other municipal business was held at the
house of James B. Richardson, in the village of Phoenix,
March 5, 1833.

At the first meeting there were 117 votes cast. In 1834,
97 ; in 1835, 125 ; in 1836, 191 ; in 1837, 159 ; in 1838,
218 ; in 1839, 285 ; and in 1840, 308.

The subjoined resolution was unanimously passed by the
freeholders and inhabitants :

" That James B. Richardson be the clerk pi-o tern.

" That Orville W. Childs be assistant clerk.

" That the next annual meeting be held on the first
Tuesday in March next."

The officers elected at the first meeting were : Samuel
Merry, supervisor ; James B. Richardson, town clerk ;
Orville W. Childs, Artemus Ross, justices of the peace ;
Andrus Gilbert, Walter Peck, Stephen Griffith, assessors ;
Hiraiu Gilbert, James B. Richardson, overseers of the
poor ; Samuel C. Putnam, Abram Vanderpool, Leman Car-
rier, commissioners of highways; Joshua M. Rice, collec-
tor ; Thomas R. Hawley, Joshua M. Rice, Leman Carrier,
Alexander Ross, constables.

Overseers of Highioays. — For district No. 1, Walter
Peck ; No. 2, John Dale ; No. 3, Jesse Page ; No. 4, Mil-
ton Fuller ; No. 5, John Porter ; No. 6, Allen Gilbert ; No.
7, Leman Carrier ; No. 8, Andrus Gilbert ; No. 9, George
W. Davis; No. 10, Patten Parker; No. 11, Levi Pratt;
No. 12, Asa Sutton; No. 13, John Curtis, Jr.; No. 14,
Lawrence Seymour; No. 15, Henry W. Sehroeppel.

It was voted to raise two hundred and fifty -dollars for
the improvement of highways ; also, that the town raise
an amount equal to that received from the State, for the
support of common schools.

The supervisors of the town from 1833 to 1877 inclu-
sive have been : Samuel Merry, Andrus Gilbert, Samuel
Merry, James B. Richardson (two years). Patten Parker
(two years), Barzil Candee (two years), Joseph R. Brown,
Garrett C. Sweet, Samuel Foot, William Conger (two years),
William Hall (three years), Alvin Breed (five years), Ira
Betts, Seth W. Alvord (two years), John P. Rice, Fred-
erick D. Van Wagner, John P. Rice, Edmund Merry (three
years), Charles W. Candee, Edmund ftlerry (three years),
Moses Melvin, John C. Hutchinson (two years), Hiram
Fox (four years), William Patrick, present incumbent (two

The town clerks for the same period have been : James
B. Richardson (three years), Otis W. Randall (four years),
Solomon Judd, William Conger (two years), Seth W.
Burke, Joshua M. Rice, Elmer W. Hall, Oliver Breed
(two years), Edward Baxter (two years), Harvey Bigsby,
Jerome Duke, John C. Hutchinson, James M. Clark, Geo.
W. Thomp.son, 0. B. Ferguson, Edmund Merry (two years),
Lewis C. Rowe (four years), Alfred Morton, Stephen A.
Brooks, A. M. Sponenburgh, James L. Breed, Stephen A.
Brooks, W. H. H. Allen (two years), James McCarthy,
Harvey Wandell, R. A. Diefendorf, Martin Wandell, present
incumbent (six years).

The justices of the peace have been : Orville W. Childs,
Artemus Ross, Samuel Merry, John Fitzgerald (vacancy),
Artemus Ross, Joshua M. Rice (vacancy), Dyer Putnam,
Levi Stevens, Abram Vanderpool (vacancy), James B.
Richardson, Abram Vanderpool, Artemus Ross, Dyer Put-
nam, Henry Cliapin, Benjamin Hinman (vacancy), Ben-
jamin Hinman (full term), Artemus Ross, Seth W. Burke,
William Leslie, Nathaniel Coburn (vacancy), Samuel Merry,
James B. Richardson, Andrus Gilbert, John H. Brooks,
Augustus Diefendorf, John H. Brooks (vacancy), Josiah
Chaffee, James S. Gregg, Andrew Baird, Samuel Allen,
Lewis McKoon, A. C. Paine, Joseph B. Powers (full term),
Andrus Gilbert, Edmund Merry, James Barnes (vacancy),

Residence of NELSON COREY, Schroe

Osw£Go Co..N Y. (House BUILT in 1876


James Barnes (full term), Hosea B. Russ (vacancy), Geo.
M. Taiiier (vacancy), John C. Fuller, Nelson Corey, Isaac
N. Soule, Seth W. Alvoid (^vacancy ), James H. Looniis,
John A. Fuller, Zachariah P. Sears, Ira Belts, James H.
Loomis, Henry Ellis, Yincent L. Kimball, H. A. Brainard,
Seth W. Alvord, J. C. Fuller, Stephen Hinkley, Hiram D.
Fox, Edward Cathcart, Phineas Converse, James Barnes,
AVilliam B. Corey (vacancy).


The early history of Phoenix (formerly called Three-
River Rifts) presents many features of interest. We are
enabled, through the kindness of Mr. Thomas R. Haw-
ley, — a gentleman well qualified to impart important his-
torical information, — to present many facts relative to
Phoenix not generally known.


The present site of the village is included in George
Scriba's patent. Right here it may be of importance to
mention the manner in which Scriba became possessed of
his patent. We quote from the "Documentary History of
New York :" " George Scriba, a German by birth, and a mer-
chant in the city of New York, purchased of the Roosevelt
brothers, delinquent contractors with the government of the
State, five hundred thousand acres, for which he paid
eighty thousand dollars, in 1791." The first white settler
since 1800 was Abram Paddock, who erected a log cabin,
near Hosea B. Russ' mill, in 1801. He suffered the usual
privations incident to pioneer life. The Indians were very
troublesome to him, and often threatened to shoot him if
he did not desist from shooting their bears (he was known
as Bear-hunter Paddock). In 1812 a great number of
Onondagas, on their way to Oswego, encamped near Mr.
Paddock's. Four of them went into his house and de-
manded food. On being refused, one of them, in broken
English, addressed him : " Good 'Merican man, we go to

Osh-wa-kee ; fight British like h 1 !" During their

stay, Mr. Paddock and family, in fear of them, crossed
the river, and took refuge in a thicket below the point, at
Three-River bar, and the Indians dispersed, and he and his
family returned. Aaron Paddock (no connection to the
Paddock spoken of above), familiarly known as Eel-butcher
Paddock, settled at that place, across the street east from
the residence of the late Joseph Gilbert, in 1822. He was
succeeded by Simeon S. Chapin, who built an addition to
the house, and opened the first tavern in the place.

A man known familiarly as " Tory" Foster settled near
A. W. Sweet's residence, and built a log house in 1823.
He soon afterwards removed, but returned in 1833, and
lived in a shanty east of C. W. Candee's present residence,
and died there in 1834. An incident is related of him,
in Clark's " History of Onondaga," which we subjoin.

" He one day went into the blacksmith-shop of Judge
Towsley, at Manlius, and commenced narrating his cruelties
and exploits against the Americans in the Revolutionary
war. The judge, then at the anvil, sledge-hammer in hand,
listened patiently for some time, and at length, his patience
becoming exhausted, he seized a heavy bar of iron, and

struck at Foster with his full strength. As luck would
have it, the force of the blow was arrested by the iron
staking a beam overhead. The miscreant instantly left the
shop, not caring to continue his favorite theme in the
presence of American patriots, contented with escaping
with his life." This and similar circumstances in the life
of Foster are authenticated by Thomas R. Hawley, Esq.,
who knew him well.

The first frame building was the addition made to the
old log house of Aaron Paddock, by Simeon S. Chapin, in

The first store was kept by Walter Peck, in 1828, in the
old building now owned by H. B. Russ, which has under-
gone such extensive improvements since as to almost lose
its original identity.

The first saw-mill on the east side of the river was also
built by Walter Pock, in 1827-28.

The first saw-mill on the west side was erected by John
Wall, in 1829.

The first grist-mill was built by S. W. Burke, Esq., for
Alexander Phoenix, whose agent he was, in 1829-30. This
was destroyed by fire a few years since, and was rebuilt by
the present proprietors. Glass, Breed & Co. This was the
old ■' red mill," known as .such far and wide.

The first blacksmith was Seth W. Burke, who established
himself in that business at Pha'nix, in 1828.

The first school-house was erected in 1827, and stood on
Main street, a little south of Dr. Smith's office. The first
teacher in it was Elvira Knapp, afterwards the wife of
Thomas R. Hawley, who died in March, 1856.

The first bridge across the river at Phfcnix was built in
1836, by a company, and was a toll-bridge. The present
bridge was built by the counties of Onondaga and O.sw^ego.
It is a fine iron structure, supported by stone piers.

The first birth was that of Jane, daughter of Aaron
Paddock, in 1820.

The first marriage was that of James Miles, and Jliriara,
daughter of Aaron Paddock, in 1824.

The first death was that of Abram Paddock, in 1821.


The construction of the canal through the place, in
December, 1828, gave an impetus to its growth and pros-
perity long felt by the community. Some years subsequent
boat-building was quite extensively carried on at the village,
which about 1 850 had assumed large and interesting pro-
portions. In fact, the most pro.sperous epoch in the history
of Phoenix was included in the period embraced between
the years 1850 and 1873. In the latter year the general
financial depression of the country began to be felt in boat-

Online LibraryCrisfield. cn Johnson... History of Oswego County, New York → online text (page 86 of 120)