Samuel W Durant.

History of Oneida County, New York : with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers online

. (page 109 of 192)
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patients ; and is deprived of his natural rest and social enjoy-
ments, because he is always at the call of a complaining

The subject of this memoir was one that stood high in
his profession and was well known all over the State; though
confined to a comparatively small field of labor, his talents
were appreciated abroad, and he could have occupied his
same position in life in much larger communities than
Rome, but an attachment for that place led him always to
make it his home. He was born in Rutland, Vermont,
November 15, 1801, being the youngest son of Stephen
and Regined Pope, his father being a native of the State
of New Hampshire, his mother of Rhode Island. In the
fall of 181Y, young Harold in company with a brother left
his home for western New York, with the intention of
purchasing land and becoming a farmer ; but having an
uncle. Dr. Henry Smith, at Western, Oneida County, he
stopped to pay him a visit. He was prevailed upon by his
uncle to remain with him that fall and attend the district
school. In the following spring he taught the same school,
and in the latter part of that year his uncle sent him to
Albert Barnes, to prepare himself for college. He subse-
quently went to the medical college at Fairfield, Herkimer
County, and also attended the medical college at Castleton,
Vermont. He received diplomas from both. After finish-

ing his collegiate education he returned to Rome, and to
perfect his studies he entered the office of Dr. George
Brown, and with a determination (rare in one so young)
he devoted his time arduously to become proficient in the
study of medicine. He afterwards became a partner with
Dr. Brown, which continued for a few years, when the
senior member of the firm sold out his interest to his young
but energetic partner.

Dr. Pope was married, March 8, 1827, to Maria R.,
daughter of Andrew and Polly Elmer, of Western. Their
union was blessed with two children, — Albert H., who is
living at the present time, and Henry Smith. The latter,
when arriving at a proper age, was sent by his father to
the medical college at Castleton, Vermont, where he gradu-
ated. He early gave promise of earning a reputation in
his profession, but was unfortunately called to his last home
in early manhood.

Dr. Pope was a strong and prominent member of the
Democratic party, and was recognized by its leaders as one
of the most earnest supporters of that party's principles and
good government. He was called upon by his fellow-
citizens to fill many positions of trust and honor in his
town. He was president of the village, supervisor, and
held other minor offices. He was a member of the Epis-
copal Church.

Dr. Pope ended a busy life July 7, 1869, and in his
death Rome lost a good and great citizen ; her people, a
kind and sympathizing neighbor ; her poor, a benevolent
and charitable friend. His funeral was attended by a host
of relations and friends, and many a silent tear was dropped
over his grave.



throughout the State. Of the later attorneys, D. C. Pome-
roy claims attention as having been one of the best criminal
lawyers in the State, but ill health necessitated his retire-
ment from practice. Those at present in practice here are
the followinjr-named persons : D. M. K. Johnson, C. D.
Prescott, M. D. Barnelt (present district attorney), George
H. Weaver, George J. Flint, William H. Wheeler, John
S. Baker, J. S. C. Bailey, Isaac Evans, W. E. Scripture,
M. M. Burlison, Stephen Van Dresar (present surrogate),
John F. Wilson, Charles Dunning, G. H. Lynch, Joseph
Porter, George P. Nock, E. L. Stevens (present mayor of
the city), Willard Rinkle, B. J. Beach, Henry A. Foster,
D. E. Wager (author of historical articles relating to Rome
and vicinity), W. B. Bliss (present county judge), H. S.
Bedell, J. I. Sayles, C. W. White, Charles Ward, Charles
Carroll, Seneca Carroll, R. C. Briggs, R. M. Grems, and
D. C. Ponieroy. Henry A. Foster, mentioned in the list,
has held the positions of circuit judge and United States


Of the physicians now in Rome, Dr. James S. Wlialey is
the oldest in practice. Dr. M. C. West is among the emi-
nent physicians of the State, and Dr. W. J. P. Kingsley
has become noted for his success in the treatment of cancers
and other afflictions of a kindred nature. The practi-
tioners at present are as follows : Drs. M. C. West, C. C.
Reid, James S. Whaley, Edwin Evans, C. E. Frazer, Sr.,
C. E. Frazer, Jr., H. C. Palmer, S. 0. Scudder, A. B.
Southwick, W. J. P. Kingsley, J. S. Kingsley, T. M.
Flandrau, R. E. Sutton (city chamberlain), E. J. Lawton,
and S. Millington.


According to the business directory of Rome for 1877,
the city contained the following list of business men, manu-
facturers, etc, which varies but little from its condition the
present year (1878) : 27 attorneys, 3 bakeries, 6 banks, 2
private banking institutions, 10 barbers, 7 blacksmith-,
shops, 1 book-bindery, 6 boot and shoe manufacturers, and
8 boot and shoe stores, 2 book and stationery dealers, 3
breweries, 1 brick-kiln, 1 broker, 1 broom-manufactory, 1
carriage hardware dealer, 4 carriage and wagon manufacto-
ries, 1 cement-pipe works, 6 cigar manufacturers, 3 civil
engineers, 9 clothing-stores, and 6 coal and wood dealers,
2 cooper-shops, 2 crockery and glass dealers, 1 dairy-supply
store, 5 (now 6) dentists, 2 door, sash, and blind manufac-
tories, 4 drug-stores, 8 dry-goods stores, 1 dyeing establish-
ment, 1 feather-renovating establishment, 1 fishing-tackle
dealer, 1 flagging and paving firm, 3 florists, 2 flouring-
mills, 5 flour and feed dealers, 2 foundries and machine-
shops, 5 furniture dealers and undertakers, 1 gaslight com-
pany, 2 general jobbing firms, 1 grist-mill, 27 groceries
(retail), 1 wholesale grocery, 1 gun-shop, 2 hair-works, 2
hardware establishments, 1 coach and saddlery and wheel-
stock manufactory, 3 harness-makers, 3 hat and cap firms,
19 hotels, 2 iron-rolling mills, 1 knitting-mill (not now in
operation), 4 laundries, 1 lime-kiln, 1 dealer in limestone,
7 liveries, 4 liquor-stores, 4 lumber-yards, 2 marble-works,
10 meat-markets, 4 merchant tailors, II millinery estab-
lishments, 1 oculist, 1 oyster and fish dealer, 6 publishing

and printing houses, 17 physicians, 3 photograph-galleries,
2 piano and organ dealers, 3 dealers in pictures and frames,
2 planing-mills, 3 plumbing and gas-fitting establishments,
1 pork-packing house, 1 pump-factory, 12 restaurants, 18
saloons, 1 saw-mill, 1 shirt-manufactory, 1 silver-plating
establishment, 3 soap and candle manufactories, 1 soda-
water manufactory, 1 steel-works (not now in operation),
5 stove and tinware dealers, 1 tailor, 1 tannery, 1 taxider-
mist, 2 telegraph companies, 1 tin-shop, 1 variety-store, 7
watch and jewelry establishments, 1 window-shade dealer,
1 wine-room.

The business blocks of Rome are as fine as any which
can be found in a city of its size in the State, and the estab-
lishments are compactly situated in the heart of the city.


The Coliimhian Patriotic Gazette.— \n the building on
Doniinick Street, formerly known as the McGraw house,
was commenced in 1799 the publication of the first news-
paper in Rome, bearing the above title. Its proprietors
were Thomas Walker and Ebenezer Eaton, young men
about twenty-two years of age, the former from Worcester,
Mass., and the latter from Vermont. They brought their
printing material with them, procured a " Ramage" press
made in Rome, and issued the first number of their paper
(weekly) Aug. 17, 1799. The paper was printed for a
short time in 1800 in the chamber of the main build-
ing of the " Rome Coffee-House," and was subsequently
moved to a building which occupied a portion of the pres-
ent site of the "American" Block, where its publication
was continued while it remained in Rome. Early in 1800,
Mr. Eaton removed to Aurora, Cayuga Co., where he pub-
lished a paper for a short time, and afterwards returned to
Vermont and published for many years a paper called the
North Star. He was a brother of the celebrated General
Eaton, who served under General Anthony Wayne, and
who afterwards went to Africa and espoused the cause of
Hamet, the dethroned Bashaw of Tripoli. In 1804 he
commanded the American forces in the war with Tripoli.

After Mr. Eaton left the paper, Mr. Walker continued
sole proprietor, and in 1800 removed it to the " Rome
Coffee-House," as mentioned. Its subsequent location on
James Street was the same in which the Rome Repuhlican.
was published later. In 1804, Mr. Walker removed with
his paper to Utica, that place having received a start con-
sequent upon the building of the Seneca Turnpike, and there
continued its publication under the name of the Columbian
Giixtte. He became a prominent and influential citizen of
Utica, and was for twenty years or more president of the
old " Bank of Utica."

Oaeiila Observer. — Ln a building erected about 1812-14,
near tlie corner of Dominick and Washington Streets, and
on the north side of the former, for a harness-shop, by a
Mr. Sweatman, the above paper was published in 1818 by
E. Dorcliester, who removed here from Utica, where he
was publishing the Utica Observer, to aid the citizens of
Rome and Whitestown, through the influence of his paper, in
preventing the courts from being held in the then village of
Utica. In 1819 he returned with his paper to UtioSi, gave
it the old name, and continued its publication at that place.



The Rome Sentinel. — In February, 1825, the publica-
tion of a paper called the Rome Kepuhlicnn was begun on
the west side of James Street, in a building which occu-
pied a portion of the site of the "American Block," by
Lorin Dewey. It was removed the same year to the " Mer-
rill Block," 'on the opposite (east) side of the street, and its
management was changed in May of that year into the
hands Of Cliauneey Beach. In Jiine, 1828j The Repuhli-
cUn was established by J. V. Van Sice, and subsequently
changed io the Oneida Republican, lu- 1830 this paper
and the Rome Republican were united. E. Sloon became
proprietor in, 1831, and changed the name to the Rome
Telegraph. James N. Harris, John Boyd, H. A. Foster,
and others were successively interested in its publication.
In 1838, K. Waldby became proprietor, and changed its
name to the Democratic Sentinel, with Calvert Comstock as
editor. In 1840,- L. D. Dana became editor; and in 1845,
H. F. Utle'y and S. W. Morton became proprietors, and
changed the naroe to the i?ome Sintinel. In September,
1846; Morton sold his share to A. Gr. Rowley, and in 1847
Utley sold to A. O. Rowley & Co. ; E. Comstock became
editor. In 1850, Rowley became sole proprietor, and in
January, 1852, sold out to Elon Comstock. In July, 1861 ,
Wood & Larwill became proprietors, and continued its pub-
lication until December, 1863, when the firm of Warren &
Beera became publishers. Mr. Warren was formerly an
employee in the Observer office at Utica, and Mr. Beers
learned the trade in the Citizen office at Rome. In June,
1864, the paper passed into the hands of its present pro-
prietors, Franklin D. Beers and Augustus C. Kessinger,
and has since been published by them. Mr. Kessinger
began work in the Sentinel office March 17, 1856, learned
his trade in it, and worked his way to his present position.
The paper is published weekly ; is Detnocratic politically,
and has a large circulation. The Rome Daily Sentinel was
commenced by C. & E. Comstock, in connection with the
Rome Sentinel, in July, 1852. In October, 1854, D. E.
Wager and D. C. Rowley purchased a half-interest, and in
April, 1855, the remainder of the establishment. The
daily was continued until 1860, when it was suspended.

The Roman Citizen. — In July, 1835, a paper was
established at Vernon, called the Vernon Courier. In
1840 it was removed to Rome, and its name changed to
the Roman Cilizenj C. B. Gay editor, and H. N. Bill
proprietor. J. K. Kenyon, J. P. Fitch, Alfred Sandford,
George Scott, G. H. Lynch, A. D. Griswold, and A. C.
Sandford were successively interested in its publication.
In October, 1854, A. Sandford became sole proprietor.
In 1855 the office was burned, but Mr. Sanford soon
after resumed publication. In 1866, E. E. Carr purchased
an interest in the paper, and it has since been conducted
by the firm of Sandford & Carr. It is issued weekly, is
Republican in politics, and has a wide circulation.

The Parlor Journal and Literary News Letter, of
Central New York (monthly), was published at Rome, by
Graham & Co., in 1843.

The Frimitive Christian (semi-monthly) was published
at Rome in 1845, by Rev. H. Matteson.

The Empire State Health Journal was commenced at
Rome in 1851.

Y Arweinydd {semi-monthly, Welsh) was conimeiieed
at Roriie in January, 1858, by R. R. Meredith, editor, and
Thomas T. Evans, assistant editor. It was discontinued
in 1860.


The cailicst schools in the town of Rome, outside of
the village, were iu' the neighborhoood of the Wright
settlement. A log school-house was erected on the farm
of Joseph Otis previous to 1800, and was the fiist otie
in that locality. It was subsequently destroyed by fire.
About 1816-17 a school-house was built in its place, on
the corner of ''Penny Street" and the road leading east
past the present Canterbury Hill school-house, and Bliss
Achsah Raynsford, afterwards the wife of Josiah Hills, and
mother of William H. Hills, of Rome, was the teacher.

The first priblic-school bvilding in the village of Rome
was erected some time previous to 1800. It stood on the
southeast corner of the west park, on James Street, and was
a high, square building, with a "hip roof." The early
courts, from 1798 to 1806, wfere held in it. It was used
for educational purposes until 1819, when it was removed,
and a frame school building erected on the site of the
present Zion Church. This house was, a nunjber of years
later, destroyed by fire, and the building on Liberty Street
erected in its stead.

About 1800, a one and a half story frame school build-
ing was erected on the east side of James Street, a short
distance north of Dominick, and was known as the "Hun-
tington school-house." The chimney was in the centre of
the room, and the writing-desks were placed against the
walls, so that the pupils faced the walls when writing.

Some years previous to 1820, Oliver Grosvenor started
a private school in the upper part of the building on Dom-
inick Street occupied by A- & A. B. Blair as a drug-store.
At first he had but four or five pupils, but his school be-
came very popular and the attendance largely increased.
He kept it in the "Huntington school-house," from about
1818 to about 1832, when he removed it to Liberty Street.
Sir. Grosvenor was a fine Latin scholar and an excellent
instructor, and fitted many young men for college. Owing
to continued ill health he was obliged to desist from the
labor of teaching in 1835. Among those who were at-
tendants at his school and afterwards arose to distinction
the following may be mentioned, viz. : J. D. Caton, U. S.
Judge, Illinois ; Anson S. Miller, U. S. Judge, Illinois ;
Oliver P. Hubbard, Professor in Dartmouth College ; Rev.
Thomas Brainard, the celebrated Philadelphia divine; D. D.
Whedon, editor of the i/e?/tw/(s< Quarterly Review; and
Benjamin Hubbard, a distinguished physician, and later in
the Department of the Interior, at Washington, D. C.

About the year 1812, a school was taught in the build-
ing on Dominick Street kfiown as the " Long house," by
Abby Bullock. This school was attended by some who are
now among the oldest residents of Rome. The building
was finally destroyed by fire.

The Rome Academy was incorporated April 28, 1835,
and re-incorporated by the Board of Regents, March 15,
1849. The present substantial three-story structure, stand-
ing on the northwest corner of James and Court Streets,
was built by subscription in 1848. One of the early priu-



cipals of the academy, after its re-incorporatioa, was ReT.
S R. Brown, formerly missionary to China. The acad-
emy flourished for many years, and was finally converted
into an academic department of a system of union free
schools in the city, which was known as school district
No. 5, under the town organization. The following extracts
are from the report of the Board of Education for the city
of Rome for 1877:

" No records of the schools previous to 1850. are found, an 'J those of
a late^' date are not of such a character as would enable one to pre-
pare -a full history of their progress without the aid of concurrent
memory. . , .

" In 1850, the Liberty Street building was efected under the super-
vision of R. G- Sav^ery, E. Comstock, and E, Seymour as trustees.
Little change has since been effected in its outward appearance. For
many years each of the three floors was occupied by a department,
the boys and girls being seated in different rooms.

*■ In the winter of 1851 and 1852, an attempt was made by the
trustees so to -classify the school Jis to seat both boys and girls in the
same apartment. This action met with decided disapproval from a
large number of the patrons. A special meeting of the district was
held F*^eb. 14, 1852, at which the following resolution was offered, viz.':

" * Resolved, That the classification of this school by the late trus-
tees, in placing the males and females in the same depurtment,. was
inexpedient for this school.' _ ,

"Free diseussioo and criticism were indulged in, but the trustees
having previously resigned, the resolution was finally withdrawn.
Three new trustees were at once elected to the vacancies, who speedily
restored the school to its previous condition, and for many years the
distinction uf sex was rigidly observed.

" In the following year (1853 ?) an appropriation of $300 was made
to improve the building in Canai Village, which was then in a dilapi-
dated condition, and, with slight repairs', so continued until the present
substantial structure was erected, at the corner of James aud Ridge
Streets,, in 1868. This was the outgrowth of the pressing necessities
of a rapidly-increasing population in that part of the village, and of
■a, public sentiment which had first found expressioii at an annual
sohool-meeting of the district in 1858, ten years previous.

"No marked change is again noticeJ until the winter of .1860^ and-
1861, The sentiment in favor of free schools had then become so
general, and their necessity so apparent, that a large number of citi-
zens advocated the abolition of the rate-bill system, and the immis-
diatc festablishment of free schools, with' an academic department for
the entire village, to be generously supported by public tax. Promi-
nent among those who were actively interested in this movement
were Edward Huntington, A. Sanford, H. 0. Southworth, B. J. Beach,
A. H. Bailey, D. E. Wager, K. Carroll, and Samuel Wardwell.

'•' At the annual school-meeting- of the district, in 1861, a system of
free schools was warmly advocated by parties above named, and many
others. A commitlee was appointed to perfect a plan fur the pro])Osed
change, presented for approval at an adjourned meeting. Meet-
ings were adjourned from time to time until Dec. 17, 1861, when a
series of resolutions was offereJ, an-i the draft ofthe proposed act of
the Legislature presented, by Mr. Southworth, looking to the imme-
diate establishment of free schools. The opposition was strong in the
belief that school expenditures would be largely increased under the
provisiuns of the proposed law, and, after much filibustering, finally
succeeded in adjourning the meeting for One month. No further
record , was made showing any action whatever in the same direction,
the adjourned meeting having beeii seemingly abandoned. In fact, no
record exists from Oct. 15, 1867, until the 24th day of June, 1869.
Then a demand for a change in the' system of public schools in the
village found expression in a * Citizens' Call' for a public meeting at
thr court-house, to consider the ' expediency of establishing a union
free school, with an academical department, within the limits of Dis-
trict No. 5, of the town of Rome.' This was signed by forty-four of
the leading citizens and the' trustees. 'A large and enthusiastic
meeting convened at the time appointed, and free expressions of
j)pinion were solicited. , , To further the interests of the proposed
change, and secure a larger attendance of the friends ofthe measure,
the meeting was adjourned, on motion of E. L. Stevens, to meet at
the court-house, Jul^r 3, 1869, at seven and a half o'clock p.m. The
friends of free schools rallied in such- numbers at the adjourned

meeting that, immediately upon t^e reading and correction of the
minutes of the previous meeting, the following rpsplutiop, offered by
Mr. K. Carroll, was adopted, by the decisive vote of 310 to ^9^ viz. : ■

" * Jiesrfloed, That a union free schot>l be established within 'the
bounds of School District No. 5, in the town of. Rome,.purauaut to
the provisions, of chapter 555 of the \a.\fs of 1864, and the amend-
;nenl;3 thereto.' *'

" The following gentlemen were then elected trustees, to act as a board
of education for the district, vii. : Stephen Van l>re*sar, John Reiferfc,
ZaccheuB Hill, Edward Huntington, R. E. Sutton, and H. 0. South?-
wnrth. The following resolution was then adopted;

" ' Re^oloed, That the Board of Education of this union free school
district be and they are hereby authorized to adopt the acadeiriy,
located in said district, as the academical departittcntof said district),
with the consent of the trustees of said academy, pursuant to section
24- of title 9, chapter 555 of the laws of 1864.' On the 16th day of
July, 1869, the following resolution was passed by the Board, of Trus-
tees of Rome Academy, via.-: 'Resolved, That we consent that the
Board of Education of Union Free School District No. 5, in'the town
of Rome, may adopt the academy as the academical department of
said school district.'

" In conformity to this resolution, and on the same day, the acad-
emy property, consisting of a building and lot on James Street, philo-
sophical and chemical apparatus,'c'abinetand library, was transferred
to the Board, of Education by a quit-claim deed executed by ;the fol-
lowing gentlemen, acting as a board of trustees, viz. : Samuel Ward-
well, J. M. Sturdevant, H. 0. Southworth, A. H, Brainerd, Ilenry M.
Lawton, S. B. Roberts, C. "W. Eliner,' H. D.' Spencer, R. E. Siitton^
R. T. Walker, and George Merrill. ' . ■ ; - ■

; " The academy lot. vas originally the gift of Domioick Lynch in
the interest of education, to be forever occupied by a building devoted
to that purpose.

"July 17, 1869, the Board of Education, having been duly organ-
ized, July 9, 1869, by the election of S^ Van Dresar, president, and R.
E.Sutton, clerk, adopted the following resolution, viz. : 'Resolved,
That the Rome Academy be and the same is hereby adopted as the
-academic departnicnt of this-Unioii Free School District, a-union
school having been duly established under the, provisions of title P
of chapter 555> of the laws- of 18Bi.' Thus virtually ended the strug-
gle in behalf of free schools. The old rate-bill was abolished, and
the schools were opened in the fall of 1869 upon tire broad' and catV-
.olic basis of free education to all.

"The academy opened with an enrollment of 97 pupils in 1869,
which has rapidly inci-eased to more than' 200 in 1877, with advan-
tages for a still larger number. From tliis point there has been steady
and rapid growth in the various directions which indicate prosperity.

"In 1870 the Liberty Street school building was thoroughly re-
paired, and in Septcmhcr of that year the first and second floors were
occupied for school purposes, the third floor having been abandoned
as dangerous in case of fire or accident. ' In January, 1871, the Thomas
Street building was first occupied, having been erected and furnished
during the previous year. In 1872, to secure increased facilities, at
moderate expense, the academy was thoroughly repaired, and the
seating capacity increased to accommodate 200 pupils. In the fall of
the same year the schools were reorganized. The advanced pupils of
the Liberty Street school were transferred to the abademy, and relief
was thus afforded to the crowded condition of the lower departments.
In 1874 the.Vogt property, on the east side of South James Street,

Online LibrarySamuel W DurantHistory of Oneida County, New York : with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers → online text (page 109 of 192)