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... History of Oswego County, New York online

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Dean, who was near, to come and cut the animal's throat.

But the buck reached up a hind leg and struck Wart on
the head, cutting him to the bone and knocking him sev-
eral feet away. The deer made a few bounds, but soon
stuck fast in the snow again. With the blood streaming
over his face from his wound, the mark of which he still
carries. Wart sprang astride his wearied opponent and held
him until Dean came and cut his throat.

But the most noticeable event in the hunting line of
which the veteran pioneer has to tell occurred when, in one
of those early summers, the labors of the hay-field were
diversified by the slaughter of three bears in a single after-
noon. A man drove them into trees near where Mr. Wart
was at work. A little crowd quickly gathered. Two of
the animals were speedily shot from the trees in which they
had taken refuge. The third, ensconced in the thick bushes,
evaded the marksman's bullet ; so the tree was felled, and
the poor fellow was pounded and dogged to death as soon
as he struck the ground.

Notwithstanding the primitive nature of the country, the
people thought they could afford a new town. Aceurdiiigly,
on application to the legislature that body passed an act on
the 7th of February, 1828, forming the town of Boylston
with the same boundaries as the old survey-township No. 6,
otherwise called Campania. The following were the first
officers elected :

Supervisor, John Wart; Town Clerk, Joseph Shoecraft;
Assessors, Jftsse Colman, Matthew Shoecraft, Barnabas
Porter ; Commissioners of Highways, Daniel Chase, Peter
Wells, Zaben Cole ; Overseers of the Poor, Thomas Dutcher,
Martin Lillie ; Collector, Henry D. Pruyn ; Constables, Henry
D. Pruyn, Philip A. Bortles; Commi.ssioncrs of Common
Schools, John Wart, John Dunbar, Jr., Reuben Snyder ;
Inspectors of Common Schools, Miller R. Larmoutli, Peter
Wells, Philip A. Bortles.

It will be seen that it was somewhat difficult to fill up the
official list, as not less than four of the worthy citizens
were required to occupy two offices each. Even after the
formation of the new town settlers frequently fastened a bag
of grain to the yoke of their cattle and carried it to Sandy
Creek to mill, and sometimes, in low water, nearly to Adams,
Jeffenson county. About 1830 a small grist-mill was built
in Boylston, but it was not very valuable nor very enduring.

At the town-meeting in 1830 the sum of forty dollars
was voted for the support of the poor. Cattle were declared
free commoners, but horses, sheep, and hogs were denied
the privileges involved in that appellation. The height of
a lawful fence was fixed at the very moderate elevation of
four feet, — a demoralizing temptation even to the best regu-
lated animals. It was raised, however, two years later to
four feet and a half

Up to 1850 settlement was confined almost entirely to the
western half of the town, and even there progress was slow
and painful. But after the rough land was once thoroughly
reduced to subjection it was found that some very good
grazing farms could be made on the Boylston hills, and the •
population began to increase. People sought the eastern
portion. After numerous saw-mills had devoured the tim-
ber, settlers resolutely opened farms there and renewed the
scenes of pioneer life. During the last twenty years more
ground has probably been cleared up in Boylston than in
any other town in the county.

In 1850 a Wesleyan Methodist church was erected near
the line of Sandy Creek, south of the centre of Boylston,
and in 1869 the Methodist Protestants built one in the
northwest part of the town.

A few years ago Abraham Snyder opened a .store between
the two churches, but it was subseciuently discontinued.



Farming and lumbering constitute substantially the whole
business of the town. There is a large cheese-factory close
to the Wesleyan Methodist church. J. P. Smart & Son
have a saw-mill near the centre of the town, and the locality
is known as Smarts' Mills. Besides this, there are the stave-
mill of Ira Service and the .saw-mill of Weaver, a

mile northeast of the Snyder store, the saw- and shingle-
mill of Ransom Tanner, two miles east of the Snyder store,
and three large steam saw-mills in the northeast part of the

Even to this day Boylston possesses many characteristics
of primeval times. Though the deer have all been driven
east of Black river, yet it is no very unusual thing for a
bear to stray from the forests of Lewis county among the
farms of Boylston. This very summer of 1877 one made
his leisurely way from the eastern line past the centre of the
town. His presence being suspected, a spring gun was set
for him. Bruin seized the bait, and a bullet through his
shoulder was the result. Smarting and crippled, he trudged
on westward, but the Philistines were on his track. Men
and boys gathered fast to the sport, and the fugitive was
overtaken and slain just east of the main road, which runs
north and south through the town, less than a mile from
the line of Sandy Creek.

Yet looking from that road westward the traveler this
same summer sees nothing to remind him of bears or
wolves. A finer prospect is rarely displayed beneath a cloud-
less sun. The whole of the town of Sandy Creek, and
parts of Ellisburg and Richland, are in sight at once,
composed of hundreds of well-cultivated fields, dotted with
white farm-houses, and relieved with gleaming groves. Be-
yond, seeming hardly three miles away, but actually almost
ten, the long, narrow, land-locked bay, known as Sandy
Creek pond, sparkles brightly in the sunlight. A dark,
slender line separates it from the lake, which spreads far
away into the distance, a mass of molten silver tipped with
gold. Distance lends enchantment to the view of both lake
and land, and if beautiful prospects took precedence over
corn and cheese, Boylston might outrank all the rest of the


The records are imperfect, but, as near as can be ascer-
tained, this church was first organized in the year 1845.
For many years there was no settled pastor. Daniel Cal-
kins, Loomis Chase, Daniel Hollis, and James Francis ofli-
ciated for brief periods at various times. In 1856 a small
church edifice was erected in Boylston, but only a few rods
from the line of Sandy Creek. Thenceforward the pulpit
was most of the time regularly supplied.

In 1859, Matthew Presler was the pastor; in 1860-62,
Edward Halsey ; in 1863, Sybrant Nelson ; in 1864, A. P.
Burgess; in 1865, Alonzo Fassett; in 1866, R. Barton;
in 1867-69, J. P. Pierce; in 1870-72, Elijah Gaylord ;
in 1873-75, J. M. Waite. For a year there were no regu-
lar services. The pulpit was then occupied by the present
pastor. Rev. Harvey Barnes.

There are now seventy-one members of the church, and
the Sabbath-school connected with it contains about the
same number. The present church olEcers are : Class-

leader, Ira Van Auken ; Assistant Class-leader, Ellery
Crandall ; Clerk, J. K. Crandall ; Stewards, F. W. Slater,
Mrs. F. W. Slater, A. Schermerhorn, Mrs. A. Schermer-
horn, Hiram Getty, A. W. Miller, L. J. Baker; Trustees,
John H. Hastings, S. E. Carpenter, Joseph Crosman, J. L.
Bortles, Henry Lester.


This circuit was set off from the Boylston and Orwell
circuit in 1868. Previous to that time meetings had been
held for a long time at the school-house near the present
church. Rev. Messrs. Becker, Cook, HuflF, and others offi-
ciated as pastors from time to time. The circuit organized
in 1868 consisted of one class in Boylston and one in Lor-
raine, Jefferson county.

In 1869 a small but well-appointed church edifice was
erected in the northwest part of the town, the pulpit of
which has since been regularly supplied. The pastors of
the circuit since its separate organization have been Charles
Wiedrich, three years; Snell, one year; H. L. Bowen, one
year ; Peter Daley, one year ; T. Prindle, one year ; M. F.
Cutler (the present pastor), two years. There are now about
fifty-six members of the Methodist Protestant church in this
circuit within the town of Boylston.

The following are the present officials resident in that
town : Stewards, Geo. W. Rudd, Nelson L. Williams, Cal-
vin Williams, Leonard R. HuflFstater ; Trustees, N. L. Wil-
liams, John A. Oderkirk, Hiram D. Rudd, Tunis Gordon,
Christopher J. Huffistater.

The Boylston and Orwell circuit of the same denomina-
tion has three classes in town, and two in Orwell.
in Boylston hold their meetings respectively at the Van
Auken school-house, the " hemlock school-house," and at
Smart's Mills. They have no church edifice. The present
pastor of the circuit is the Rev. Mr. Gaskell, who resides
at Smart's Mills, but we have not been able to obtain any
further data regarding it.

Supervisors of Boylston, with years of service. — John
Wart, 1828-29 ; Joseph Shoecraft, 1830-35 ; Henry Sny-
der, 1836-37; Joseph Shoecraft, 1838; John Wart,
1839-40; Jacob V. Gordon, 1841-43; Joseph Shoecraft,
1844 ; Jacob V. Gordon, 1845 ; Daniel Shoecraft, 1846-
48; James Lowry, 1849-50; Azariah Wart, 1851-52;
Abraham Snyder, 1853-54; Azariah Wart, 1855-56;
Joseph L. Bortles, 1857-58; Henry J. Snyder, 1859-60 ;
James Lowry, 1861 ; Henry J. Snyder, 1862 ; Christopher
J. Huffstater, 1863-64; Joseph S. Bortles, 1865-66;
Henry Lester, 1867-70 ; David Hamer, 1871-72 ; Henry
Lester, 1873 ; John Oderkirk, 1874-75 ; George W. Rudd,

Toivn Clerks of Boylston, loith years of service. — Jos.
Shoecraft, 1828-29 ; John Etheridge, 1830 ; Reuben Sny-
der, 1831; John Wart, 1832; Moses Snyder, 1833;
Miller R. Larmouth, 1834; Henry Snyder, 1835; James
Wart, 1836; Miller R. Larmouth, 1837; James Wart,
1838; Joseph Shoecraft, 1839-40; Daniel Williams,
1841-42; Jacob Coppernoll, 1843-45; Lyman Moore,
1846-47 ; Thurston Baxter, 1848 ; Turner Lillie, 1849 ;
J. V. Gordon, 1850; Lyman Moore, 1852; Joseph L.



Bortles, 1853-54; J. V. Gordon, 1855-56; Abraham
Snyder, 1857-58; Lewis D. Cumuiin

Online LibraryCrisfield. cn Johnson... History of Oswego County, New York → online text (page 99 of 120)