Samuel W Durant.

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

. (page 113 of 192)
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 113 of 192)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

a slender, delicate thing, while her younger sister was stout and
robust. The same disparity existed between the boys, but in the
reverse, — the elder being a strong, athletic little fellow, and withal
possessed of an indomitable will, that enabled him to do anything
which could be done by an urchin of that age. Of these four the
youngest girl was the only one that possessed a pair of shoes, the
others baring to walk with bare feet; and even the small girl was
not fortunate enough to possess those comfortable accompaniments of
shoes, — a pair of stockings.

"Those old enough will remember the 6th of June, 1816. It had
been preceded by cold, frosty nights, and on that day it snowed in
every part of the county, and in some parts it fell several inches in
depth. Cold as was the morning these four children were punctually
at school. The school-houiie — none too comfortable for pleasant
weather — had become so cold by two o'clock in the afternoon that
the pupils were dismissed, with directions to go to the nearest house
on their way home. There was a house on the road of the four,
about ODc-fourth of a mile from the school-house. To this house, by
moving in double-quick time, they managed to getj but, to their
utter dismay, they found the door fastened and its inmates from home.
Here was a dilemma. To retrograde was useless, for the home of the
girls, one and three-fourths miles distant, waa as near as any inhab-
ited dwelling. Snow was falling, nnd it was already two inches deep.
Our eldest boy's strength of nerve was now put to the test. Nothing
daunted, however, he well laid his plans and at once proceeded to put
them in execution. He had that morning — rather clandestinely, it is
true — appropriated his father's roundabout, quite too capacious for
him, yet possessing two very important advantages, — it shielded him
from the cold, and its extensive pockets, one on each side, served as
a deposit for all the et celcraa of the school-boy, viz. : a ball, fish-hook
and line, top, knife, sling, and whistle, — toys as necessary to the man
in miniature as others to those of larger growth. Little could he
have imagined to how much more important uses these huge pockets

* Jones.

would be put during the day. He directed the two girls to walk on
ns fast and far as they could without freezing, then to sit down and
both rub the eldest girl's feet with their hands till he came up. He
then took hia brother upon his back, with a foot in each pocket and
his arms about his neck, and followed on. M^hen he came up with
the girls he put down his brother and told him and the smaller girl
to proceed as before, and be took the larger girl upon his back, with
her feet in those now useful pockets, and so on by successive stages
until they had arrived within forty rods of the girls' home. Their
father, who was chopping in the vicinity of the road, heard the cries
of the girls and came to their aid. Our hero then had the eldest girl
upon his back, and, without speaking, the father caught the youngest
two, one under each arm, and ran for the house. Our hero said he
thought he never saw a man run as fast before, for ere he had gone
one-half the distance to the house the father returned, and lifting the
elder girl from his back, took her under one arm and our hero under
the other and soon had them deposited before a good rousing fire.
The mother of the girls, previous to the arrival of our hero, had
learned from them the whole history of the transaction. On his arrival
she at once, in the fullness of her gratitude, loaded him wiih her
caresses. This wounded his pride, although perhaps a very little of
that article would have been excusable, for, as he supposed, he had
saved his fellow-sufferers from perishing. She also, by her misjudged
kindness, had him sit near to the glowing fire. The pain in his feet
soon became almost insupportable, a sickening sensation came over
him, his vision became obscured, he grasped iit the chair but did not
succeed ; his physical powers, which had been so overtasked, gave
way, and he fell. The intense ngony of the moment was soon lost in
a state of unconsciousness. For hours the poor sufferer lay insensi-
ble. The first thing be noticed on the return of reason was the
kind-hearted woman bending over bim, and his father applying some
restorative to his feet. It was after dark. His father had started
with his team in season to have saved all the suffering, had the school
continned to the usual hour of diBmisston. He was wrapped weir in
warm clothing, put on a sled, and taken home the same evening.
His feet were so lacerated by the stones and sticks in his path, while
devoid of feeling, that a number of days elapsed before he could even
walk about the house."

One of the early settlers of Annsville was 'Squire Fair-
service, who located on the flats a little above Jervis' Mill.
He was a noted fisherman, and only remained in the town
until the salmon were shut out of Fish Creek, after which
he emigrated to Wisconsin, and died in that State. Mr.
Fairservice, while splitting wood one day, did not notice
his little child, which, unobserved, walked directly under
the axe and was killed, the descending weapon cleaving its

Adam P. Campbell and Nicholas Armstrong were also
early settlers in tliis town, taking up their residence on the
meadow in 1805 or 1806. Dan Taft and a man named
Jones located near the site where afterwards stood the
tavern of Vincent Taft. A man named Wade settled at
the Forks about the same time.

The north part of town began to be settled quite early
also, and by the year 1803 several families had taken
up their abode in that part of the then wilderness. In
June, 1803, four brothers, Benjamin, Jonathan, James,
and Abraham Morton, came through from Springfield,
Mass. Abraham came a short time before the others,
driving through with an ox-team. He stopped a while at
Whitesboro', and then moved to the farm in Annsville
now owned by Mr. Simmons. The others located in the
same neighborhood, Benjamin taking the farm now owned
by Jonathan Stanford. The father of the latter, Jonathan
Stanford, Sr., married a daughter of Benjamin Morton, and
took the old place when the latter moved to Taberg. Jona-
than and Samuel Stanford settled in 1805, two years after



the Mortons came. One son of Benjamin Morton and
three sons of Abraham Morton served in the army during
the war of 1812.

A short time previous to the war mentioned, a serious
epidemic broke out in this neighborhood, and carried off
many of the settlers in the north part of town. Two
families, named Hammond and Twist, lost nearly all their

Mrs. Lot Sexton, now living in town, is a daughter of
Benjamin Morton. Her husband. Lot Sexton, was a son
of Amasa Sexton, who located with his brother William
in the town of Lee, the latter about 1794 and the former
about 1802-3. Amasa Sexton afterwards lived with his
son Lot in Annsville, and died in that town.

Peter Abbott, from Windham, Windham Co., Vt., came
to what is now Annsville in 1806, and settled in the north
part, on the farm now owned by Lorenzo Ward (the old John
Ward farm). Mr. Abbott was a veteran of the Revolution,
having entered the service when but fifteen or sixteen years
of age. He saw Major Andrd the day before he was hung,
and often spoke of him, always remarking on his peculiar
beauty. Mr. Abbott's two sons, Captain John F. Abbott
(residing on the Rome road, cast of Taberg) and Harvey
Abbott (living at Taberg), are the only ones of the family
left in town. The othei's have removed to the Western
country. Peter Abbott, Jr., and his brother Joshua,
served in the war of 1812.

Lyman and George, sons of Dan Taft, are yet residents
of the town of Annsville. The old Taft Hotel stood two
and one-half miles southeast of Taberg, on the " State Road,"
and was destroyed by fire some ten or twelve years since.

Daniel Miller, from Granville, Mass., settled in the north
part of this town about 1804-, on the farm now owned by
John Whiffin. Part of the house at present standing on
the place was built by Mr. Miller. His brother, Eliakim
Miller, came in 1814, and purchased the place, and lived
upon it until his death, and is buried on the farm. Daniel
Miller, after selling out, resided for a time in Lee and
Taberg, and finally removed to Ohio. Of Eliakim Miller's
family there are now two of the children living in Anns-
ville, — Mrs. Nunan, of Taberg, and Smith Miller, near
Glenmore. ■ Blrs. Nunan resided in one school district for
sixty-three years before removing to Taberg. Her brother,
Asher Miller, served in the war of 1812-15.

Occasional relics of the race which, in years long gone
inhabited this region are yet found in the town, often some
feet beneath the surface of the earth. A heavy freshet,
previous to 1850, washed away the alluvial banks to some
extent at the forks of the creek, and exposed the remains
of several large earthen vessels from two to three feet in
diameter, with other articles of culinary use. Hearths and
fireplaces were also exhumed, and here was evidently the
site of a village at some date beyond the knowledge of the
Indian or white inhabitants. Flint arrow-heads, stone
hatchets, and various other rude articles are found in this
town, — evidences of its pre-occupation by a race far superior
in knovi'ledge of the mechanic arts to the Indian of to-day,
of which no traces remain except these quaint specimens
of their handiwork, with an occasional skeleton and the
numerous mounds discovered in various parts of the country.

Of their history, the date of their occupation, their habits,
etc., nothing definite is known, the shadowy traditions of
the Indian tribes throwing but little light of a satisfactory
character upon the subject.


As early as 1812-13, a school was taught in a small log
school-house which stood on land then owned by a family
named Gee, in the north part of town, east of where Jona-
than Stanford now lives. The teacher's name was Fanny
Hatch. Mrs. Lot Sexton recollects attending this school
for one day before her father moved to Taberg.

In the winter of 1812-13, Rachel Hill taught a school
in Taberg, in an old log house, and the next summer the
house vacated by John W. Bloomfield, who had removed
to Rome, was used as a school-house, and Dr. Ashley pre-
sided over the school to the general satisfaction of pupils
and parents.

The first frame school-houses in the north part of
town were built in 1820, one in the Miller and the other
in the west district; the latter building was called the
" West School- House." The schools of the town are at
present in good condition, and compare favorably with those
in any other town in the county.


Annsville contains a large proportion of natives of the
land of the shamrock, who have taken the places of the ear-
lier settlers and their families. A society of Catholics held
meetings for a number of years in a small frame church,
which stands a mile from the new one, near the Catholic
cemetery. Their first pastor was Rev. Father John Lud-
den, of Florence. The new frame church was erected in
1875-76, and numbers in its congregation over 80 families.
Rev. Father MoNulty, of Taberg, is the present pastor.


Meetings have been held here for twenty years or more,
in connection with Taberg. The school-house was used
until the present frame church was built, its dedication ser-
vices being held February 1, 1877. It was erected during
the pastorate of Rev. Mr. Wadsworth. Meetings were
held quite early in the Miller neighborhood. The present
pastor is Rev. T. H. McClenthen, of Taberg, and the class
in March, 1878, numbered 27 members.


The old frame church built by this society has been pur-
chased by the Catholics, and is now used by them. The
fine new brick Methodist Church has been erected within
the past four years, and cost about $8000. The present
membership of the society is about 200, with Rev. Thomas
H. McClenthen as pastor, who also holds services at Glen-
more, and at a place two and one-half miles southeast of
Taberg, where there is a small class. The Sabbath-school
at Taberg is in a flourishing condition, having for its Su-
perintendent T. B. Allanson. This society was organized
in 1838, with nine members, and the frame church after-
wards sold to the Catholics was built in 1839.


The subject of this sketch is of Scotch origin, his an-
cestors being among the early emigrants to New England,
previous to the Revolutionary war. Ira Lillybridge was
born in Stafford, Tolland Co., Conn., June 23, 1795, and
married Miss Laura Alden, a native of the same place, on
the 2d of November, 1819. Mrs. Laura A. Lillybridge
was born Dec. 31, 1799. By this union eight children
were born. By occupation he was a farmer, and reared
his large and intelligent family to industry and economy.
He settled in Annsville in January, 1824, which was his
home ever after. His wife died on the 21st of August,
1838, and he married his second wife, Sophrona Merick,
a native of Oneida County; she was born Dec. 16, 1812.
As a result of the above union five children were born.
Mr. Lillybridge was an esteemed citizen, a kind companion,
and an affectionate father. He was a member of the
Baptist Church. In politics a Democrat. He held various
public offices, among which may be mentioned that of
supervisor of the town of Annsville for three successive
terms. After living a good and useful life he passed away
on the 8th of April, 1848. Harrison is the son of Ira and
Laura Lillybridge, and was born at Stafford, Tolland Co.,
Conn., Dec. 25, 1821, and removed to Annsville with his
parents in January, 1824.

On becoming of age he entered into partnership with
his father, and engaged with him as a dealer in lumber,
besides carrying on the farm. Some four years after the

death of his father he purchased the " old home," which
has been his residence since 1824. Mr. Lillybridge is one
of the most highly esteemed citizens of the town or county.
He is the owner of one of the best farms in the town, said
farm being in a high state of cultivation.

He is a Republican in politics. He is often importuned
to receive some town office, but always declines, preferring
the quiet of home to any official position. In the fall of
1874 he was elected to the State Legislature, and served
one term to the general satisfaction of his constituents.
He married Miss Matilda Swartwout, a daughter of Peter
and Sally Swartwout, of Otsego Co., N. Y., Sept. 30, 1850.
Mrs. M. S. Lillybridge was born in Otsego Co., N. Y.,
August 7, 1825. By this happy alliance four children
were born, namely : Flora M., Ella F., John C, and Fred.
H., all of whom are living save Ella F., who married Wm.
H. Wauzer, of Detroit; she had one child; Mrs. Wanzer
died April 26, 1873.

Mr. and Mrs. Lillybridge are prominent members of the
Methodist Episcopal Church at Taberg. Mr. Lillybridge
is a very prominent temperance man, and by word and
action is doing all he can do to suppress that great evil
— intemperance. As a man Mr. Lillybridge has few equals
and no superiors ; he is the very soul of honor, and despises
anything low or vulgar. He is truly the representative
man of Annsville, and richly merits the confidence reposed
in him.




formerly existed at Taberg, but the organization has been
discontinued, and the frame church in the upper part of
the village is not now in use.


This society has held regular meetings since the summer
of 1876. The old Methodist Church building has been
purchased, as previously stated, and Rev. P. McNulty, the
present pastor, preaches to a congregation of about 45 fiimi-
lies. The society has had a resident priest but a little over
a year. Previous to the purchase of a building meetings
were held at irregular intervals in the town hall, and Taberg
was merely an outside mission. Rev. John Ludden, of
Florence, preached here occasionally before the church
building was purchased.


The Baptist Church was organized February 17, 1831,
with 20 members. The first pastor was Rev. Samuel
Bloss. In September, 1831, the society joined the Oneida
Baptist Association, and reported 36 members to that body.
Fur ten years it increased in numbers, and then began to
decline; and in March, 1846, it was disbanded. A reor-
ganization was effected January 23, 1847, and in 1848 it
reported a. membership of 56, with Rev. P. P. Brown for
its pastor. The original frame church owned by this or-
ganization stood where the parsonage now is, and was built
a few years after the society was formed. The present neat
frame church stands opposite the site of the old one, and
was erected about 1863-64. The present membership of
this church is about 130; its pastor is Rev. J. R. Sim-
mons. Two Sabbath-schools are sustained, one at the
church, and the other in the school-house at the " Forks.''
George Whittemore is Superintendent of the one at Taberg,
which has nine teachers. The attendance at the two schools
numbers 150 scholars. The church is in the lower part
of the village, on the south bank of Fish Creek.


A branch of the Congregational Church of Camden
was formed in Annsville, in 1830, and meetings were held
in the two frame school-houses previously mentioned as
being the first in the north part of town. This society
was organized with fifteen or twenty members ; Rev. Henry
Smith, of Camden, preached to them occasionally, and
others came at different times. The organization was kept
up for a long term of years, but was finally disbanded, and
now lives only in the recollection of the " oldest inhab-


This place is located northwest of the centre of town,
and has a small population, of which the majority is made
up of natives of " old Erin." A post-office was established
here subsequent to 1852, previous to which time mail was
received at Taberg. Alfred Blenis was probably the first
postmaster. W. W. Barber also held the office early. The
present incumbent is John H. Lackey, who also has the
only store the place possesses.

There are also a school-house, a church (Methodist Epis-

copal), a shoe-shop, a blacksmith-shop, a saw-mill, a small
frame custom grist-mill, and a number of dwellings. Hiram
Thorne built the first saw-mill here.


was formerly located at the corners called Pine, in the town
of Vienna, and the office was known by that name. It was
subsequently moved to Taberg station, on the Rome, Water-
town and Ogdensburg Railway, and changed to Blossvale,
in honor of the Bloss family, who were early settlers in the
locality. John Bloss was the first postmaster ; the present
one is M. S. Gray, who is the station agent, and also has a
general store.

Below McConnellsville Station is a grist-mill, built in
1854, by David Pike, for a man named Mills. N. B.
Foote, of Oswego, is agent for the present owners of the
property. The mill does a good custom business. There
is a small settlement at this station.

About three miles west of Taberg is " the pond," a sheet
of water covering about ten acres, surrounded by high
banks, and having no visible inlet nor outlet. The high-
lands in the neighborhood form what is known as " Pond
Hill," which reaches the greatest elevation of any in the


This village is named from an iron-mining town in
Sweden, and is located on the east branch of Fish Creek,
in the south part of town. It was long connected with
Rome by a plank-road. Furnace Creek, flowing through
the village and discharging its waters into Fish Creek im-
mediately below, furnishes power sufficient to run numerous
factories, should they be located here. In 1809 the Oneida
Iron and Glass Manufacturing Company commenced opera-
tions here, and gave the place its name. The first blast
was commenced in 1811, and the products of this establish-
ment were excellent in quality. During the war of 1812—
15 it is said shot and shell were made by this company
for the United States Government. In after-years hollow-
ware was for some time extensively manufactured, but the
factory was finally used exclusively in the manufacture of
pig-iron of a fine quality. It is not now in operation.

The Furnace Creek had upon its banks a number of im-
portant establishments at one time, besides others in the
village. Among these were two grist- and flouring-mills,
twenty-one saw-mills (this in the entire town), twelve
shingle-mills, four lath-mills, four turning-lathes, two stave-
machines, one wool-oarding, cloth-dressing, and manufactur-
ing establishment, one blast-furnace, two cupola-furnaces,
and two tanneries. The manufacture of iron at the village
has ceased, and so little timber remains in the town that
but a tithe of the former amount is cut and made ready
for market.

The present planing-mill in the upper part of the village
was built in 1874, by Wilson & Draper. It includes also a
grist-mill and a butter-tub factory. The grist- and planing-
mill is operated by John F. Draper, employing four hands,
and the butter-tub factory is carried on by Wilson & Doug-
las, who employ two hands in addition to their own labor.

The tannery was originally built by Jotham Warden. It
was several times destroyed by fire, and the present one was



built by D. B. Danforth. It is now the property of James
A. Terrill & Co., of Boston, who employ about twenty-five
hands, and manufacture sole-leather exclusively. The tan-
nery is located on Furnace Creek, in the upper part of the

Mrs. Lot Sexton, living north of Taberg, says that when
her father, Benjamin Morton, removed to the village, in
1812-13, the frame houses in it numbered three. John
W. Bloomfield, Esq., who lived on the hill just above Dr.
Beach's place, built the first frame house in the village or
township, and it was covered over its entire surface with
shingles. The remaining two were occupied, — one by
Benjamin Hyde, Esq., and the other was used as a boarding-
house for the hands who worked at the furnace. Mr. Hyde
owned the first tavern in the place, and it stood where Mr.
Allanson now lives.

The Taberg post-office was established probably during
or soon after the war of 1812-15, and Benjamin Hyde,
Esq., was an early postmaster. The present incumbent of
the office is 0. S. Kenyon, M.D.

Tlie A^dtional Christian Temperance Union, at Taberg,
was established in October, 1877, and in March, 1878, had
800 members. Its president was then Frederick Lobdell,
and its vice-president Benjamin Waterman.

The WomeiCs Christian Temperance Union was organ-
ized Feb. 5, 1878, and in March (when these notes were
gathered) had 20 members. Its president was Mrs. Ben-
jamin Waterman.

Taberg contained in the spring of 1878 a grist-mill,
owned by Robert K. Ward ; a saw-mill, by G. & T. Water-
man ; a planing-mill, a tub-factory, a cotton-mill (small
one, not in operation), a large tannery, three wagon-shops
(one of which employs, when running full force, about twenty
hands), four blacksmith-shops, two harness-shops, one shoe-
shop, several millinery and dressmaking establishments, six
stores, three religious societies, two school-houses (two dis-
tricts, with three schools), a fire company (having a hand-
engine), two physicians (W. H. Nelson and 0. S. Kenyon),
one lawyer (L. S. Snyder), one furniture and undertaking
establishment (owned by Stedman & Waterman), a cheese-
factory, two tin-shops, a post-office, four hotels, and a popu-
lation of nearly 500.

A fine cemetery is located east of the village, containing
a monument of gray granite, upon the south face of which
is the following inscription, viz. ; " This monument is
erected by the citizens of Annsville in memory of the
soldiers who lost their lives in the Rebellion of 1861."
The monument cost about 81500, and has inscribed upon
it the following names :

West Face. — Robert Parks, Jacob Hyde, Jr., William
Curry, Stanton Zelic, James A. Lasher, William Lasher,
Michael Dailey, Nicholas W. Bristol (of the 117th New
Infantry Volunteers), Ezra J. Hyde, Thomas J. Morse,
John Wile, John Gerheart, Jay Cornwell, Theron Han-
nay (146th New York Infantry).

South Face. — Ira A. Simmons, Niles Hyde, Wolcott

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 113 of 192)