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then received the suffVagcs of his townsmen for the same
position for three additional terms. In 1857 he was elected
member of the assembly from the third district, and has
also served in the legislature during the years 1858, 1871,
and 1872. He was appointed assistant assessor of United
States internal revenue, serving five years as such officer.
In 1861 he was appointed postmaster of the village, which
position he has continued to hold to the present time. He
was efficient, during his incumbency in the supervisorship,
in filling the quotas of the town under the calls of the
president for troops, and especially so in enlisting volunteera
for the One Hundred and Forty-eighth Regiment, and, with
Austin Burdick, James L. Humphrey, and Ichabod Allen,
contributed a bounty of twenty-five dollars cash to each
volunteer from his town in that regiment, in addition to the
town bounty of fifty dollars.

In 1840 Mr. Sage was united in marriage to Mary E.
Cummings, by whom one son, Hiram L., was born to him,
and who now resides in Rockford, Illinois. Mrs. Sage
died in 1842. In 1844 Mr. Sage took unto himself an-
other companion, his present wife, Lucy Lee, who has
borne to him one son and three daughters, — John L., who
is married, and engaged in business with his father ; Mary
E., married, and a resident of Brooklyn ; Lucy L., mar-
ried, and residing in Williamstown ; and Cora E., who
resides with her parents.


was born at Williamstown, New York, October 2, 1811.
His father was engaged in the hotel business, which he car-
ried on in connection with farming. In June, 1826, his
father died, and Ashbel left home the same year and began
the world for himself, and, after traveling four years, and
gaining thereby considerable information, he returned to
Williamstown. He then went on his grandfother's farm,
where he remained two years, and at the expiration of that
time purchased a farm from his own savings. In 1836
his mother died, and he sold his farm, and bought of the
heirs the old homestead. In 1831 he was joined in mar-
riage to IMary Bonney, by whom he had seven children, —
four sons and three daughters. In August, 1862, his wife
died. In December, 1864, he married Lovina Huntley,
two daughters blessing this union, namely, Mary L. and
Helen F. In 1852, he bought one thousand acres of land
adjoining the homestead, and in 1875 bought the pleasant
village-home where he now resides, enjoying the comforts
his industry and enterprise have secured to him. He owns,
in addition to the above, a fine farm of four hundred acres
in Iowa, on which is an extensive saw-mill, with general
lumbering machinery and facilities. Mr. Orton is a gentle-
man very much respected by the community in which he
resides, and is in every particular an honest and upright



Rls. Sc hofiL OF C.S-SAGE, Willi amstown , Oswcgo Co., N.Y.

A.Orton .


RES.orWY H. STEELE . r^s or A OPTO/v

Willi A¥STowN, oswego Co.,A' y.


man and a good citizen. A fine illustration of the resi-
dence of Mr. Orton adorns our pages elscwlicre, to the left
of which appeai-s that of W. M. Steele, Esq.


.-id Alien. Kniistod in the llOtli Rest., Aur. l.i, ISCl ;
the 37th Uegiment, March 31, 1SG3: wns tliirl.v-lour i
the service.


.■a to be

Morgan L. Allen, Jr. Kniisteil in the Uth llcgt.;

dead ; last seen at battle of Gettysburg, .Tnly 1, 1863.
Jo.^iah Ashpolc. Enlisted in the UOth Rogt., Aug. 23, 1862, as 2d

lieut. { pro. to 1st lieut., Feb. 6, 18(33; re.'^igned after eighteen

months' service.
KLMisselaer liailoy. Enlisted in the 2Uh Cav., Deo. 20, 1863 ; died of

accidental wounds, at Fairfax Hospital, Va., Sept. Ifi, 1864.
M:irtin S. Ballard. Enlisted in the Slst Regt., Nov. 7, 18G1 ; was

thirty-si.\ months in the service ; disch. at expiration of term.
Wilbur E. Ballard. Enlisted in the 24th Cav., Dec. 25, 1863; was

three years in service.
J.ihn Bartlctt. Enlisted in the 147th Regt., Sept. 26, 1862.
Caleb Becker. Enlisted Sept. 10, lS(i2 ; was twenty-four months in

George C. Bockwith. Enlisted in the 147th Regt., Aug. 19, 1862.
Harrison Blasin. Enlisted in the 3d Art., Aug. 27, 1864 ; was three

years in service.
Stephen Bull. Enlisted in the lS6th Regt., Sept. 7, 1864; taken to

the hosjiital April 2, 1.165; his right arm was amputated.
Walter Bull. Enlisted in the 12!st Regt., March 20, 1865; served

one year.
Nathan B. Case. Enlisted in the 147th Regt, Aug. 27, 1862, as

Corp.: died of sickness originating in the service, June 2, 1803.
Jonas Caswell. Enlisted in the 110th Regt., Aug. 1, 1863.
Nelson Caswell. Enlisted in the UOth Regt., Aug. 6, 1862; died

May 1, 1863, at Baton Rouge, La.
Harrison Chase. Enlisted in the 24th Regt., Nov. 1, 1863 ; was twelve

William Comstock. Enlisted in the 24th Regt., Nov. 1, 1863; dis.

after six months' service.
Franklin Edwards. Enlisted in the Uth Art., Nov. 10, 1863.
William H. Gardner. Enlisted in the 189th Regt., Aug. 31, 1864 ;

dis. after nine months' service.
Carlos Gilbert. Enlisted in the 147th Regt., Oct. 10, 1863.
Herman Goodwin. Enlisted in 32d Regt., Oct. 12, 1863 ; dis. after

twenty-four months' service.
Sanford Gotham. Enlisted in the 93d Regt., Dec. 4, 1863; dis. after

eighteen months' service.
Joseph Gould, Jr. Enlisted in the UOth Regt., Aug. 1, 1862.
Horace Hale. Enlisted in the 147th Regt., Aug. 27, 1862; killed in

the battle of Gettysburg, July 1, 1863.
Allen Harp. Enlisted in the Slst Regt., Sept. 16, 1861; dis. after

thirty-six months' service.
John Hart. Enlisted in the 147th Regt., Aug. 27, 1862; killed in

the battle of Gettysburg, July 2, 1863.
Samuel C. Harding. Enlisted in the 108th Regt., Aug. 1.3, 1862;

died at Memphis seminary, Tenn., Jan. 7, 1863.
Albert J. Hough. Enlisted in the 147th Regt., Aug. 27, 1862 ; died

in service at Belle Plain, La., Feb. 19, 1863.
Samuel Hough. Enlisted in the Oneida Cav., Sept. 16, ISO! ; diseb.

after nine months' service.
William P. Jary. Enlisted in the y7th Regt., Aug. 18, 1863.

Ambrose Kellogg. Enl'd in the 189th Regt., Sept. 3, 1804; served
one year.

Truman Kellogg. Enlisted in the 184th Regt., Sept. 3, 1864.

La Fayette Tabor. Enlisted in the 3d Art., Fob. 15, 1864.

Daniel Marsh. Enlisted in the I86th Regt., Aug. 29, 18C4 ; trans-
ferred to the 5lh Cav.; discharged after nine months' sorvico.

James Marsh. Enlisted in the 24th Regt., Aug. 17, 1861 ; transferred
to the lS6th Rogt., Aug. 24, as sergeant ; discharged after twenty-
three months' service.

William MoLano. Enlisted in the Slst Rogt., Aug. 9,1862; dis-
charged after thirty-six months' service.

Alexander McNaley. Enlisted in the 147th Regt., Aug. 29, 1862, as
a musician.

Samuel J. Mills. Enlisted in tho Slst Rogt., Aug. 15, 1861 ; re-en-
listed .Tan. I, ISG3.

William N. Morrison. Enlisted in tho lS6th Regt., Sept. 7, 1864;
discharged after nine and one-half months' sorvico.

Joseph R. Nash. Enlisted in the 189th Regt., Sept. 3, 1864; dis-
charged after nine months' service.

Francis E. Peabody. Enlisted in the 11th Wisconsin Regt., August
27, 1861; discharge I after twonty-threo months in the service.

Sugdamus Portals. Enlisted in the 24th Cav., Jan. 2, 186t.

Henry Potter. Enlisted in the 97th Rogt., Aug. 5, 1863. Discharged
after twelve months in tho service.

Byron Potts. Enlisted in tho Uth Art., Feb. 18, 1863; ))romoted to
1st lieut.

James E. Potts. Enlisted in the 186th Regiment, Sept. 7, 1864.

AVilliiim R. Potts. Enlisted in the 147th Regt., Aug. 27, 1802, as 2d
lieut.; promoted to 1st lieut., Feb. 13, 1803; was wounded in
the left lung.

Benjiimin T. Price. Enlisted in the Uth H. Art., in 1863.

Randolph Rathlin. Enlisted in the 184th Regt., Aug. 31, 1864 ; trans-
ferred to tho 189th Regt. ; disch. after nine months' service.

John Redding. Enlisted in tho 42d Regt., Sept. 9, 1861 ; disoh'gd
at the expiration of his term.

Wesley Rice. Enlisted in the 147th Regt,, Sept. 27, 1862; disch.
alter fourteen months' service.

Alex.anJcr Kiibinscm. Enlisted in the 2d Regt., Aug. 10, 1861 ; pro-
moted to 1st sergt. ; resigned after twenty-two months' service.

Sylvester S. Rodgers. Enlisted in the 21st Regt., August 28, 1862;
promoted to 1st corporal.

James Rood. Enlisted in the UOth Regt., Aug. 25, 1862; died at
New Iberia, La., Nov. 3, 1863.

Thomas Sedgwick. Enlisted in the 21st Regt., Aug. 28, 1862; dis-
charged at the expiration of his term.

George Sonas. Drafted in the 97th Regt., Aug. 20, 1863.

Michael Spring. Enlisted iu tho 20th Rogt., Sept. 2, 1863; diseh.
at the expiration of his term.

Wheaton Sprink. Enlisted in the 147th Regt., Aug. 27, 1862; died
at Belle Plain, La., Jan. 28, 1863.

William A. Stacy. Enlisted in the 110th Regt., Aug. I. 1S62: dis.
in Aug., 1865.

William H. Sylyca. Enlisted in the l.'^t Regt., Aug. 28, 1862 ; rc-cn-
listed Sept. 1, 1864.

John Todd. Enlisted Aug. 26, 1864.

Hugh M. Wallace. Enlisted in the 25th Mich. Regt., Aug. 9, 1862,
as Corp.; died at Louisville, Ky.. May 10, 1863.

Harlow Wills. Enlisted in the l47th Regt., Aug. 27, 1862 ; killed in
the battle of Gettysburg, July 3, 1S63.

Frank Humphrey. Entered the naval service, Sept. 3, ISfil, as sig-
nal steward on board tho "Neptune;" dis. at the expiration of

The following is a list of the resi.Knis of Williamslown who served

in the war of 1812:
Anthony Lovejoy, Asa Lovejoy, Herman (i..n,l»ir.. .'^ai 1 G.M.dwin,

Daniel Plumb, Gaston Comstock, Asa li. .-icl.l.u. liani.l II..m^'Ii,

Alva Rowley, and Peter Rowley.


For a description of the numerous exciting scenes which
transpired on the southern borders of Hastings previous to
its permanent occupation by the whites, when in time of
peace trading expeditions were constantly going back and
forth between Albany and Oswego, and when in time of
war innumerable bateaux, freighted with armies and mu-
nitions, burdened Oneida lake and river, we must refer our
readers to the general history of the county. Those opera-
tions, extending as they did over the whole southern and
western portions of Oswego County, were far too important
to be treated of in a sketch of a single town. In this case,
as in others, we begin the town's history with its earliest

Even this takes us well back in the past, for Hastings
was the first town to bo settled in Oswego County. It was
in 1789 that Oliver Stevens established himself by the
abandoned Fort Brewcrton, and built a rude house, in which
he traded with the Indians, and kept a kind of tavern for
the accommodation of the boatmen, who were still numerous
on the lake and river. In 1791, Major Ryal Bingham also
located himself near the fort, having hired some land of
those who had purchased it from the State. He only re-
mained a year or two, however, and then moved to Three
Rivers point.

According to the best authority we can obtain, the first
death was that of Horatio Stevens, in 1792. Two exciting
adventures of Mr. Oliver Stevens occurring about this period
are nai-rated in the general history ; one relating to the ex-
ploits of a bear which captured a boat, and the other to a
contest between Mr. Stevens and the wolves in the central
part of the county.

In 1794 the Indians appeared so dangerous that Mr.
Stevens obtained authority from Governor Clinton, and
built a block-house, at the expense of the State, just south
of the fort, and on the site of the Fort Brewerton hotel.
Some have supposed that the block-house, which remained
till a comparatively late day, was an appurtenance of the
old fort, but this is a mistake. Mr. Stevens afterwards left
the block-house, though he remained in the vicinity. The
government paid no more attention to it, and it was used
by various persons when they first came into the county
until they could provide another residence.

At this time Hastings was a part of the town of Mexico
and county of Herkimer. That town was reorganized in
1796, but Hastings still remained within it. When the
first town officers, under the new organization, were ap-
pointed, in 1797, by the justices of the peace of Herkimer
county, in defoult of an election, Mr. Oliver Stevens was
selected as town clerk. Hastings was also known as survey-
township No. 13, of Scriba's patent. It was called " Breda"
by that gentlemen, but the name was seldom or never used

by the settlers. Mr. Scriba conveyed the title of the whole
township to Arent P. Schuyler, he to Philip A. Schuyler,
and he to Jacob Mark. The latter gentleman, on the 15th
of April, 1800, transferred the title of three-fourths of the
township (twenty-two thousand five hundred and forty-six
acres) to Solomon Townsend and Samuel Jones, as trustees.
Afterwards half of this tract was conveyed to J. I. Roose-
velt, while about a fourth of the whole township was trans-
ferred to Governor John Jay, and another fourth to a Mr.

About 1797, Brainerd Emmons settled in Hastings, and
for a while occupied the old block-house. Benjamin Em-
mons lived on the other side of the river, and soon estab-
lished a ferry across the stream, which he managed over
twenty years.

The first birth of a white child in town was that of John
L. Stevens, son of Oliver, in 1802. Timothy Vickery
came to Fort Brewerton before 1806, and in that year
Betsey Vickery was married to Silas Bellows, that being
the first wedding in the present town of Hastings. Several
years after, Thomas Vickery took charge of the Block-
House hotel, where he remained until 1820. Oliver Ste-
vens, Myron Stevens, Mr. Hall, and Mr. Patterson settled
along on the river-bank, near Coughdenoy.

In 1820, Mr. Aaron Snow, a son-in-law of Major Sol-
omon Waring, of Constantia, became the proprietor of the
hotel. Mr. Snow had a flat-boat which he used in trans-
porting his property from Rotterdam, or Constantia, to his
new home, where he found sale for wheat at two dollars and
a half per bushel, and for potatoes at the same price. Mr.
Moses Hewitt tells of coming with his uncle on horseback,
from near Mexico, to Fort Brewerton, over the Salt road,
in 1820, and buying three or four bushels of wheat and
several bushels of potatoes at the block-house, at the above
prices. They were even obliged to pay a dollar and a half
per bushel for potatoes with the eyes cut ofiF.

Mr. Snow moved to Coughdenoy in 1822, and finally, in
1826, settled on a farm in the L'Hommedieu location,
where his widow still resides, at the age of eighty-seven, with
her son, Leonard Snow.

In 1809 Mr. Solomon Allen had settled a little east of
Central Square, on lot 26.

Mr. Allen passed a quiet life in tilling the soil, and died
in 1875, at the age of ninety, while on his way to Florida,
having lived in town sixty-six years.

The first blacksmith in Hastings was Elijah Goodspeed,
who became a resident of this town, on lot 26, in 1815.

Chester Loomis came from West Monroe and built him
a house at Central Square, where he remained five or six
years, serving the public as a hotel proprietor. His house
was burned about 1818, but was soon rebuilt by Mr. Loo-



mis. About 1820 Mr. Loomis sold liis farm, which was on
lot 41, to Niehohis I. Koosevelt. It is noted for two salt-
springs upon it, with which many experiments have been
fried, both iu earlier and later days.

This same year Hastings Curtiss moved to Central
Square, and built and opened a store on the corner now
owned by George Campbell. jMr. Curtiss was one of the
most enterprising men in the county. He built a brick
hotel which was the first brick house in town, kept the firet
post-office, and was one of the company that ran the first
stages from Salina to Watortown, about 1825. As the
of ufficci-s both of town and county will show, he held many
important positions, and in his honor the town was named
Hastings, being formed from Constantia, April 20, 1825.

In 1824 a bridge was built at Fort Brewerton by Mr.
Leonard Fuller, as contractor for a chartered company ;
that being the point where the Salt road from Salina to
Watcrtown crossed the river.

In 1820 Orris C. Orman settled near the fort on the
Stotts location, bought of Jlr. Kay, and Robert Orman
located near him in 1824 ; both remaining in that neigh-
borhood. Leonard Fuller settled at Coughdcnoy previous
to 1820.

In February, 182.3, Henry Watcrbury, with his family,
came from Rensselaer county, and settled near Coughdcnoy,
at the head of the rapids. Mr. E. Bailey, a son-in-law,
bought the farm some twenty years ago, and kept it until
within a few years, when he sold it to its present owner,
Mr. Madison.

Nicholas Keller settled on lot 44 in 1823, building the
first house west of Central Square, on the Fulton road.
T. Paine was also an early settler on lot 44.

In 1817, Wm. Ladd, from the land of steady habits,
located himself, with his brother, on lot 22, on the Salt road,
which had then been opened. There were at that time but
two houses, between Mexico and Fort Brewerton, on that
road. One was a tavern near by, kept by a Mr. Briggs,
and the other was the tavern at Central Square, owned by
jMr. Loomis.

Mr. Ladd, now aged eighty-two, resides with his son
Joseph on the farm which he has cleared and improved,
and relates with interest his experience in pioneer life.

In those days the great resource of the people was to
convert their timber into ashes, and manufacture those into
potash and pearlash, which were about the only articles of
export for which they received cash.

Daniel Chappel, Rial Hoisington, and a Mr. Allen settled
on lot 22, about the same time as Mr. Ladd.

In 1822, George L. Carley, from Otsego county, located
on lot 5, made a clearing, and put up a house, having
purchased one hundred and fifty acres of J. I. Roosevelt at
four dollars per acre, fifty acres of Mr. Monroe at three
dollars per acre, and two hundred acres, at one dollar and a
half per acre, of Mr. Parish, situated in the town of Parish,
but adjoining the other lots. In 1823 he removed his
family to their wilderness home, and the same year built a
saw-mill on the south branch of Salmon ereek. In a year
it was consumed by fire, but Mr. C. soon rebuilt it, and
attached a earding-machine to it, which was managed by
George Benedict for some ten years. Mr. Carley has built

the fourth .saw-mill at this place, two having rotted dowD
or been worn out during his stay of fifty-four years. The
place may fairly be called " Carley's mills."

Mr. I'eter Carr was another early settler. He locat^jd on
lot No. 5, in 1825, where he has lived for the past fifty-
two yeai-s, clearing and improving his farm, and raising a
family of nine children.

Mr. James J. Coit came from Connecticut, in 1823, and
settled upon a farm on lot No. 20, of the Governor
Jay tract, where he remained as a fanner for forty-nine
years, raising a family of eleven children. His fellow-
townsmen honored him with an uninterrupted term of office
for over thirty years, as school commissioner, justice of the
peace, assessor, supervisor, etc., and in 18.")0 he was elected
to the assembly.

He taught the first school in Central Square, iu the winter
of 1824-25. Mrs. Coit taught the fii-st school in district
No. 7. Ten out of eleven of Mr. C.'s children have been
teachers in the public schools and seminaries. His second
wife, as well as his first, was also a teacher. Thirteen teach-
ers out of a fiimily of fourteen, who have taught a hundred
and eighty-two terms in all.

Mr. J. J. Coit was agent for Governor John Jay's estate
in this town from 1827 till within a few years, when the
business was closed up. He now resides at Central Square,
at the age of seventy-four, having lived in town fifty-three
years. Obadiah Cornell, Amos Burrows (2d), Amos Jack-
son, and Schooner Russel were also early settlere on lot
No. 26, locating there about 1824. Ambrose Hale,
Thomas West, and Shubcr Button had located on lot
No. 25 before 1824.

The early settlers of lot No. 23 were Bishop Hoyt, Alvin
Briggs, Mr. Tiifauy, and Mr. Daggett.

S. P. Munsel purchased a farm, in 1827, on lot No.
43, on the Fulton road, in what was then known as the
Eight-mile woods. He, with his family, endured many
hardships and privations, living for some time under a bark
roof, with the ground for a floor. When he became more
wealthy, and able to improve his residence, he obtained two
pine boards ten inches wide, for which he paid twenty-five
cents apiece, and made a door out of one of them, and some
shelves out of the other. jMr. Munsel carried on his back
to the Pclton mill, on Coughdcnoy creek, the first bushel
of corn that was grown there. At another time he chopjied
an acre of heavy timber for a bushel of corn and a log-chain ,
receiving his board, however, while at work.

.He still keeps the old log-chain as a link — in fact, several
links — between the and the present. He relates that
eels, which were caught in abundance at Coughdcnoy, were
the principal meat of the inhabitants for many years.

John Young and John Klock were also among the first
settlers on lot 43.

In 1827, Benjamin Mallory purchased a farm un lot
No. 27, and commenced a clearing. He soon aftir mar-
ried, and took his young wife to his home in the woods.
He remained on hi.s farm for forty 3'ears, when he moved
to Central Square, where he died in 1877.

In 1824, Robert Elliott settled on lot 41, moving into a

part of the house occupied by N. I. Roosevelt, now occu-

I jiiud by Samuel Sweet. By 1825 he had erected a build-



ing, the lower part of which he used for a wagon-shop, and
the upper part for his dwelling. He was obliged to do all
the work connected with his business himself; to cut the
timber, get it to the saw-mill, take back the lumber and
season it, before he could manufacture the wagons, carts,
sleds, ox-yokes, etc., which he produced. He made the
first wagon, called the "old mud wagon," that carried the
mail through on the old Salt road.

In his shop, too, was made the first coach that was used
in the stage-line from Salina (now Syracuse) to Watertown.
The first stage company consisted of Messrs. Stone & Field,
of Salina ; Hastings Curtiss, of Central Square ; and Hiram
Lewis, of Pulaski. jNIr. Elliott was employed by the
Roosevelts as their land-agent for Hastings until 1876,
when he bought the remaining territory.

Jonathan Parkhurst, an old Revolutionary soldier, from
Vermont, settled in 1808, where the military road from
Rome to Oswego, by the way of Constantia, crosses the
old Salt road from Salina to Watertown. He engaged in
the timber trade, taking rafts to various ports, and especially
to Quebec. He ran a raft into that port in June, 1812,
and found that war had been declared, unknown to him,
while he was on the river. The British confiscated his
raft and gave him and his men three days to leave their
territory. Smarting from his loss, he returned home, and
afterwards served in the war, first as captain and then as
colonel. He was one of the first collectors of the old town
of Mexico. His mode of operation was to gather the taxes,
which were then all in specie, put them in a bag, place the
bag upon his back, and then, with his rifle on his shoulder,
wend his way on foot through the woods to Utiea, where
he had to report. Before he got there his blistered back
would painfully attest the round weight, if not the great
value, of the Mexican taxes. His son, Gilbert Parkhurst,
after having kept a public-house for several years, built,
in 1832, the first and only one at what is now known as
Hastings Centre, and moved to that point, where he spent
the remainder of his days.

Benjamin Prescott settled on lot No. 1 in 1826. This
firm was noticeable in this heavily-timbered country for
having upon it a little prairie of three or four acres, without
a tree, nor a sign of a tree, upon it.

Although there were many changes among the pioneers,
yet the easy terms off'ered them caused quite a rapid settle-
ment. Only ten dollars was required for the first payment ;
after that nothing but the interest was demanded for six
years, and even that was not always collected. By 1835 there
was as large a population, outside of the villages, as there is
to-day. Yet there were a good many hardships to be en-
dured, even at that period. John M. Case, who settled in
1829 on lot No. 27, where he has since remained, relates
that he was obliged at one time to live four weeks on pota-
toes, milk, and green corn. Neither bread, wheat, nor ripe

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