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building circles, and the business commenced to decline,
until, from four large establishments, employing an aggre-
gate of over one hundred hands, not one of them is now
in existence. The depreciation in freight tariffs, and the
consequent inability of boatmen to meet their financial
obligations, caused a general suspension of ship-building at
this point, and a corresponding deprc.s.sion in business. A
good dry-dock, owned by J. S. Pierce, is in operation, and
a fair sliare of the boat-repairing of the canal is done by



Phoenix received corporate honors in 1848, the first
election for village officers having been held in March of
that year. We are unable to give the proceedings of the
first election, as the records were destroyed by fire. The
pre.sident3 and clerks of the village since 1863 (the date of
the earliest record now in existence) have been as follows :

Pretidents. — Wm. Waite, Adonirum Hart, Hiram Fox,
Saml. Avery, Rufus Diefendorf (two years), Niles Streevcr,
Henry H. Smith, Rufus Diefendorf, Niles Streever, J. E.
Hamill, E. J. Vickery, John E. Hamill, Martin Wandell,
John E. Hamill.

Clerks. — William H. Shumway (two years), M. M.
Cartter, H. W. Weeden, Henry A. Brainard, L. F. Ben-
nett (two years), F. T. Gilbert, Bonville Fuller, W. H. H.
Allen, F. T. Gilbert, C. W. Avery, R. G. Barnes, W. H.
H. Allen, Adel P. Hart.


In the past, ship-building constituted the principal in-
dustry of Phoenix. No extensive manufacturing establish-
ments have existed in the place, notwithstanding the fact
that it possesses one of the best water-powers on the Oswego

Among the establishments that have been successfully
operated for the past fifty-eight years is the grist-mill,
which, before its destruction by fire in 1867, was known as
the " old red mill." It was erected by Seth W. Burke,
for Alexander Phoenix, whose agent he was, in 1829-30.
It was conducted on a small scale by the original propri-
etor until 1835, when it was purchased by Hezekiah
Barnes. The proprietors since that date, with the time of
their possession (or part possession, for it was pretty much
divided up at times), have been as follows : Job C. Conger,
November 14, 1837 ; Wm. Conger, one-half interest, in
1841 ; Rensselaer Northrup, one-quarter interest, in 1843 ;
Solomon Judd, same portion, same year ; Oliver Breed,
half interest, in 1853; Joseph Breed, one-third, in 1856;
William Sprague, same, in 1858. Joseph G. Glass pur-
chased Sprague's interest, in 1860; Edwin P. Hopkins J.
Breed's interest, in 1863 ; Charles J. Glass Hopkins' in-
terest, in 1867. The present style of the firm is Breed,
Glass & Co. In the fall of 1867 the mill was burnt, and
rebuilt immediately and commenced operations in 1860. It
has five run of stones, and Johnson's reacting cast-iron
wheels. The business from May 1, 1876, to May 1, 1877,
was as follows : merchant, twenty-one thousand barrels ;
custom, ten thousand bushels.

The grist-mill of Amasa P. Hart & Co. was erected by
Pliny F. Conger in 1858. Immediately after its com-
pletion E. Merry entered into partnership, and subsequently
G. G. Breed purchased an interest in it. The mill was
operated by the above firm until 1866, when it was sold to
H. Wetherbee & Co., and the following year was destroyed
by fire. It was rebuilt and the business conducted by H.
W. & Co. until July, 1876, when they made an assign-
ment, and Captain Amasa P. Hart rented the property of
the assignee, under the style of A. P. Hart & Co. The
business transacted for the year ending July 31, 1877, was

as follows : merchant, thirteen thousand barrels ; custom,
five thousand bushels.

Oswego River Cheese-Factory was erected by Ira
Gould in 1863, and operated by him until 1868, when it
passed into the possession of Hart & Carrier, by whom it
was conducted until the spring of 1875. In the latter year
Kimball & Martin, its present proprietors, purchased the
concern. In 1877 they manufactured one hundred and
thirty thousand pounds of cheese, valued at thirteen thou-
sand two hundred dollars. This factory has a total of six
hundred cows.

A. W. Sweet & Co., proprietors of the Phoenix Coffin
and Casket works, which were established by A. W.
Sweet, in 1868. In 1872 G. M. Sweet was admitted as a
partner, and the title of the firm changed as at present.
The company manufacture the best class of cloth-covered
burial cases, coffins and caskets, which find a ready market in
various parts of the State. They employ from fifteen to twenty
hands, and have quite an extensive demand for their goods.

The Phcenix Bank was incorporated under the State
banking law in 1869, by E. G. Hutchinson, Samuel Avery,
M. T. Butts, Joseph Gilbert, Edmund Merry, H. T. Sweet,
Moses Wood, Amasa P. Hart, G. G. Breed, S. A. Howard,
E. C. Fitzgerald, Calvin Yeoman, Davis Conger, H. H.
Smith, J. H. Loomis, E. Chesebro, J. H. I. Diefendorf, R.
A. Prichard, R. Diefendorf, Adonirum Hart, Moses Melvin,
E. S. Brooks, J. S. Pierce, Edson J. Vickery, J. L. Breed,
N. P. Eno, Saml. Merry, M. Chesebro, Levi Carrier, S. M.
Parsons, Ira Betts, and Samuel Flynn. The first officers
were Samuel Avery, president ; E. G. Hutchinson, vice-
president ; E. Merry, cashier. These have continued the
same except the president, who was succeeded by G. G.
Breed. The paid-in capital of the bank is one hundred
thousand dollars ; surplus, five thousand dollars ; individual
depcsits, seventy-one thousand dollars.

The business interests of Phoenix are represented by five
general-, two grocery-, two hardware-, and two drug-stores,
one clothing-, one gents' furnishing goods-, and three milli-
nerj'-stores, one furniture establishment, one bakery, two
meat-markets, one tin-shop, three hotels, and two livery-
stables. It has two grist-mills and one saw-mill, one coffin-
and one cheese-factory, three blacksmith- and two carriage-
and wagon-shops. There are in the place three churches,
denominationally classified as Congregational, Methodist
Episcopal, and Baptist; also an organized society of the
Protestant Episcopal church, a union school, with which is
connected a free academical department, a weekly news-
paper, published by J. M. Williams, and a State bank. It
has a post-office, and a private telegraph-office connecting
with the main lines at Lamson's station on the Oswego and
Syracuse branch of the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western
railroad, which is distant from Phoenix about three and one-
half miles. A stage also connects with all trains on that
railroad. The village is situated on the Oswego canal, and
has a steamboat, which makes daily trips to Syracuse. The
location of Phoenix is admirably suitable to, and convenient
for, manufacturing purposes, and as soon as proper railway
communication can be secured the prosperity of the place
as a manufacturing centre, a retiring locality, and a popu-
lous village will be assured.



By act of legislature passed April 19, 1865, the territory
at that time known as school district No. 12, of the town
of Schroeppel, and all territory at that time included in the
village of Phoenix, and which should be thereafter added
to said village, was organized as a free-school district, under
the name of the Phoenix free-school district, and power
was by that act granted to esUiblish an academic depart-
ment. A board of education was by that act constituted,
consisting of six trustees. E. S. Brooks, Alfred Morton,
J. N. Gillis, Edmund Merry, M. S. Cushman, and Gover-
neur M. Sweet, with M. M. Carter as clerk, comprised the
first board. Wm. B. Howard was the first principal of the
school under this organization, and served as such until
April, 1868. He was succeeded by B. F. Stanley, who
taught only one term. Mr. B. G. Clapp, the present prin-
cipal of the school, was first employed in the fall term of
1868, and, with the exception of a full term as school com-
missioner, has since that time occupied the position of prin-
cipal. While Professor Clapp was school commissioner W.
B. Howard served as principal. Carrie V. Hawthorn,
Jane McKoon, Hattie J. Crane, Belle W. Taylor, Ella
Richardson, Ella Warner, Mary Miller, Carrie Byington,
Mary Cook, Gertie Conger, and Maggie Murphy are some
of the lady teachers who have served longest as such.
Samuel C. Putnam was the first librarian, and since his
death his widow has served in that capacity. Wm. Turner
has been janitor since the organization of the district. M.
M. Carter, J. H. Loomis, and Henry A. Brainard have been
clerks of the board of education, Mr. Brainard serving ten
years, from 1867 to 1877, when he was succeeded by Mr.
Carter. The academic department wa.s organized and ac-
cepted bj' the regents November 23, 1875, and is now in
very successful operation.

The school building is a substantial one, of brick, three
stories in height, standing in an elevated portion of the
village. The school-grounds consist of about two acres,
neatly inclosed, finely shaded, and pleasant. The rooms
are warmed by two hot-air furnaces, situated in the base-
ment. The school and academy library together have about
six hundred and fifty volumes, about half of which have
been recently added. The academic department has a good
philosophical apparatus, of modern construction, and stu-
dents are prepared for college or advanced in special lines
of education. Much credit is due to Professor Clapp, under direction every department has been thoroughly
graded and arranged. The usual attendance during winter
is about four hundred pupils.

The present board of education consists of J. E. Hamill,
president ; C. W. Avery, G. G. Breed, A. R. Sweet, E. G.
Hutchinson, and F. David ; M. M. Cartter, clerk.

The attendance of students from abroad in the academic
department is continually increasing ; tuition is cheaper than
usual in the academies, and its graduates stand higher than
usual in the colleges and universities to which they pa.s&.


Henry W. Weeden was admitted to the bar in Ajjril,
1853, and immediately afterwards opened an office in

Phoenix, where he has continued to iiractiue (ill llir jncsent

Francis David was admitted to the bar February 7, 185-t,
and came to Plucnix in autumn of the same year.

Lorenzo W. Robinson was admitted to the bar in 1861,
since which time he has practiced at Parish for a sh(irt
time, and at Phoenix, where he now resides. He nuikes a
specialty of pension and bounty claims.

Charles W. Avery was admitted to the bar in ISf)!), and
located at Central Square, New York, where he enjoyed an
extensive practice for ten years. Coming to Phoonix in
1869, he has since that time been in practice here. Mr.
Avery has been admitted to practice in the United States
courts. He is an ardent advocate of public education, and
for several yeai-s has been a member of the board of educa-
tion of the Phoenix academy, for several years serving as

Henry A. Brainard began the study of law in the office
of David & McKoon, in Phoenix. He enlisted in the army
in 1864, and served till the close of the war, was admitted
to the bar in April, 1866, and has been in constant practice
of his profession, to which he unites that of engineer and
surveyor, just for the love of it, since that time. Mr.
Brainard is at the present time special county judge of
Oswego County.

James R. Shea studied law in the office of C. W. Avery,
Esq., and was admitted in June, 1877. He has opened an
office in Phoenix.


Joseph R. Brown* came to Phajnix in 1834, and left
in 1848.

Otis W. Randall* came in 1837, practiced several years,
and then removed to Utica.

Ransom Howard* settled at Gilbert's IMills, in 1838,
where he practiced several years.

Nathan Williams* came to Phoenix in 1841, and in 1847
removed to Michigan.

Davis Conger began to practice in Plnenix in 1S41, and
after several years at his profession he, in company with Dr.
C. M. Lee, opened the first drug-store in the place, in which
business he still continues.

Those coming into the village and town since 1840
have been M. M. Cartter, Samuel Avery, William B. Coy,
Andrew P. and John Hamill, John E. Hamill, T. D.
Whyborn, William H. Rice, G. H. Whitcomb, and Garrett
Smith, HomoeopathLst.


Not strictly an Oswego County institution, yet so large
a portion of it.s territory and so many of its members being
of this county, it finds properly a place among the public
societies of the town of Schroeppel.

It was organized February 6, 1873. At the first elec-
tion E. N. Carrier was elected president of the .society,
Joseph Somers, of Clay, and David Sutfin, of Lysander,

I vice-presidents ; Henry A. Brainard, secretary ; William
H. Allen, corresponding secretary ; E. Merry, treasurer.

I The territory of the society compri.Ses tiic town of Schroep-



pel, and also the towns of Clay and Lysander, in Onondaga
county. Persons residing in the counties of Oswego or
Onondaga may compete for premiums. The grounds of
the society are known as " The Pendergast Driving Park,"
of which the society has a lease, and are situated just across
the river from the village of Phoenix. The first fair was
held in 1873, and the society has held an annual exhibition
since that time, all of which have been very successful as
exhibitions of stock, agricultural products, and largely at-
tended. They have erected a commodious building on their
grounds, and the premiums paid since its organization
amount in the aggregate to nearly five thousand dollars.
Mr. David Sutfin, of Lysander, is now president, and has
held the office almost from the organization of the society,
Mr. Carrier having resigned early in 1873. Henry A.
Brainard is secretary and E. Merry treasurer, both of
whom have held the office since the organization of the
society. The business office of the society is located at


was organized April 27, 1863, by the election of the fol-
lowing trustees and oflBcers; M. S. Cushman, president;
D. D. McKoon, secretary ; Oliver Breed, C. W. Candee,
William Leslie, G. G. Breed, Amasa P. Hart, Edmund
Merry, M. S. Cushman, G. M. Sweet, Davis Conger,
William Hart, D. D. McKoon, and Samuel Avery, trustees.
The present trustees and officers are: G. C. Fitzgerald,
president ; Amasa P. Hart, vice-president ; Edn)und Merry,
secretary ; Davis Conger, treasurer ; A. N. Hart, G. M.
Sweet, Oliver Breed, Samuel Flynn, G. G. Breed, Henry
J. Sweet, C. W. Candee, and Jonathan Butts, trustees.
The burying-ground of the association is kept in a neat
and tasty condition ; and the remains of many of the most
prominent and influential citizens of the village and vicinity
are interred therein.


was organized in January, 1852. The first chief was
Thomas Freeborn ; Fireman, T. J. Davis; First Assistant,
0. H. Smith ; Second Assistant, E. Conger ; Secretary,
Jerome Duke.


was organized in 1867 with six men, who were set off' from
the original fire company. J. Goodwin was chosen fore-
man, and J. C. Spaulding assistant. It was afterwards
united with the Enterprise fire company, and the two now
form one department, with the following officers : Chief, C.
W. Tubbs ; Assistant Chief, George D. Henderson ; Fore-
man of Engine, A. Hopkins; First Assistant, C. E.
Williams; Second Assistant, A. Chambo ; Foreman of
Hose, N. G. Spaulding ; Assistant, William 0. Dingman ;
Secretary of the Department, John A. Spaulding ; Treas-
urer, Adel. P. Hart ; number of members, twenty-six.

The secret and benevolent societies of the town are as
follows, arranged according to date of institution :

Golden Rule Lodge, No. 17, I. 0. 0. F., was in-
stituted August 15, 18-16, and the first officers were 0. W.
Randle, N. G. ; D. D. Bachelor, V. G. ; Dudley Fish, Quar.

Sec. ; Edward Baxter, Per. Sec. ; William Conger, Treas.
The officers elected for 1877 are Albert Hopkins, N. G. ;
John Dada, V. G. ; Wm. Dixon, Sec. ; Adel P. Hart, Per.
Sec. ; L. D. Haynes, Treas. Present number of members,

Lodge No. 369, F. A. M., was instituted June 30,
1855, with the following officers: A. B. Simons, W. M. ;
J. C. Fuller, S. W. ; Ira Betts, J. W. ; Samuel Allen, Sec. ;
H. B. Russ, Treas. The present officers are C. W. Tubbs,
W. M. ; H. A. Brainard, S. W. ; J. R. Shea, J. W. ; M.
M. Cartter, Sec. ; Wm. Patrick, Treas. Membership, one
hundred and twenty.

Oswego River Chapter, No. 270, R. A. M., organ-
ized under a dispensation November 14, 1873. The officers
installed February 27, 1874, were W. B. Howard, H. P.;
Ira Betts, K. ; D. P. Stafford, S. ; G. C. Withers, C. of H. ;
J. L. Breed, P. S. ; S. B. Betts, R. A. C. ; Moses Melvin,
M. of Third V. ; Nathan Perry, M. of Second V. ; 0. C.
Breed, M. of First V.; J. C. Hutchinson, Sec; S. 0.
Howard, Treas. ; E. F. Richardson, Tyler. The present
officers are Wm. H. Rice, H. P. ; B. G. Clapp, K. ; J. C.
Hutchinson, S. ; Will Smith, C. of H. ; J. L Breed, P. S. ;
Jud. W. Loomis, R. A. C. ; Moses Melvin, M. of Third
v.; Maynard Spencer, M. of Second V.; W. H. H.
Allen, M. of First V. ; H. C. Breed, Sec. ; Wm. Patrick,

The Phcenix Association of Science was organized
in December, 1876, for the purpose of theoretical and
practical advancement of scientific research. It has a
chemical laboratory and some other scientific apparatus,
maintains a regular weekly course of lectures at its own
rooms, with occasional public lectures. Certain qualifi-
cations are required of its members, all of whom have
thus far been enthusiastic in its support and welfare.
Professor B. G. Clapp is president ; Dr. G. H. Whiteomb,
vice-president ; and Charles F. Loomis, secretary, — though
being now absent the duties of the office are perfoimed by
H. A. Brainard, Esq., pro tern.


was first settled by Archibald Cook in 1818, who was fol-
lowed by Andrus and Hiram Gilbert in 1819, and by
Samuel Merry, Esq., in 1822. Among other early settlers
in the vicinity of the place were Hymen Sutton, Patten
Parker, Josiah Chaff'ee, Deacon G. W. Turner, Stephen
Griffith, Ezekiel Gardner, and one Mr. Brownell.

Andrus and Hiram Gilbert built their grist-mill, in
1819, on a stream that passes through the place, commonly
known as the north branch of Six- Mile creek. Here, also,
Andrus Gilbert erected the first store in the township, in
1821. Samuel Merry, Esq., became a partner of Mr.
Gilbert's in 1822. It was destroyed by fire in 1848. The
Gilberts carted their lumber from Oliver Burdick's mill,
which stood one mile east of Oswego falls. A i'ey^ years
later they erected the saw-mill, which had two upright saws,
and was one of the most extensive in this part of the county
at that time.

The village now contains one general store, a black-
smith-shop, saw- and grist-mills, three churches, — one



each of the Methodist and Episcopal, and one Baptist.
One remarkable feature about the place is that no intoxi-
cating liquors have been sold there since 1831. It is a
post^village, of which Andrus Grilbert was the first post-
master. The present incumbent is S. P. Ma.son.

Quite a furor was experienced in the place by the dis-
covery of and drilling for salt, in lSG-1. A well was drilled
three hundred and forty feet, and pure lime was found
which contained ten and one-half per cent, of good salt. Sis
kettles were put ia an arch, in which more or less salt was
made. The business was conducted by Captain E. S. Cook.


As the founder of the village of Gilbert's Mills, it is
right and proper that Mr. Gilbert should have more than
a passing notice in the pages of this history. Andrus Gil-
bert was born in Oneida county, New York, August 30,
1799. He continued his residence there until 1819, when
he removed to the town of Schroeppel (then Volney), and
settled on the present site of the village that bears his
name. He began life without capital, but he possessed
good health, energy, industry, and ambition, the practical
application of which qualities secured to him a reasonable
success. The country was new, neighbors scarce, and the
land heavily timbered. On his way to his new home he
had to camp out one night in the eight-mile woods, not
being able to get through before night-f;ill came upon him.
After making preparations for a settlement he returned to
Utica, where he married Sarah S., daughter of Captain
George Macomber, one of the earliest pioneers of Utica.
They have had eleven children, of whom seven survive.
Three of these — two sons and a daughter, the latter the
wife of Charles B. Allen — reside in Warrensburg, Mis-
souri ; Mary, wife of Judge D. D. McKoon, lives in New
York city ; Ellen is the wife of G. Fred. Savage, of San-
quoit, Oneida county ; Morris D. resides with his parents.

Mr. Gilbert was for a quarter of a century engaged in
the mercantile business, and in the manufacture of pot and
pearl ashes for twenty years, and made more of these arti-
cles than any other man in the county. While keeping
store he was also interested in the milling business.

In 1847 he moved on to the farm he now occupies, which
contains one hundred and sixty acres. For twelve years he
held the oflBce of justice of the peace, and that of super-
visor one year, and was postma.ster for sixteen years. In
politics he is Republican, and long before the war was a
strong abolitionist. Has also been a firm and uncompro-
mising advocate of temperance, at the risk of pecuniary
and other considerations. At one time he was read out of
church for refusing to support a pro-slavery minister, but
the resolution favoring his expulsion was subsequently re-
scinded. For fifty-eight years he has been a member of
the Presbyterian church. His life has been a busy and
useful one, and his business career has been characterized
by the strictest probity. His generosity and liberality have
been the most salient traits of his life, and no man has taken
a livelier interest in the general public good than he. His
earnest zeal in the promotion of the best interests of his
township has gained for him a host of friends, and no man
enjoys to a greater extent the respect and esteem of the

community at large. Undue laudation would meet with
his disapproval we know, and as a residence of nearly sixty
years has made his name and virtues as " familiar as a
household word," a lengthy tribat*; to his praise is unneces-
sary. Portraits of himself and wife are inserted in this
work, at the sulitilatioii of his numerous friends.


formerly Six-Mile Creek, was first settled by John F.
Withey, in 1821. He emigrated from Vermont, and built
a log house near the east end of the bridge. The Oswego
canal (completed in 1828) runs through the place. Ben-
jamin F. Sweet erected the first frame house, which stood
between the canal and the river, in 1827. About this time
John E. Hinman, whose wife was one of the heirs of the
Schroeppel estate, caused buildings U) be erected ostensibly
for the purpose of establishing a village there. A spring
or run of water came out of the high bank at the head of
Horse-Shoe Rifts, called by the Indians Tc-tung-mt-a-yagh,
signifying a deep spring, supposed to be a subterranean
water-course caused by a short bend in the river, a half-mile
above, known as Fiddler's Elbow. It has disappeared since
the construction of the canal. Hinmansville received its
name from John E. Hinman, of Utica, New York, whose
wife was the proprietress of the place, who caused a church
to be erected there, and also eontribut^id to the erection and
support of a school-house, both of which, since he has re-
tired, have disappeared. At present the school-house is
on the west side of the river. There are now one general
store, one grocery, a blaeksmith-shop, a shoe-shop, and one
tavern. It is quite a harbor for boats. Its population is
estimated at two hundred and fifty.


was named in honor of Richard Pennell, M.D., of New
York, whose wife fell heir to a large tract of land left her
by her father, George C. Schroeppel. Dr. Pennell erected
a saw-mill there in 1 833. The building was done by Lauren
Seymour, on a stream that passed through the place, called by
the Indians Ah-in-ah-ta-na-ga-iiiis, signifying big fish water.
The place is located on the New York and Oswego Midland
railroad, and contains one general store, a cheese- factory, a

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