Samuel W Durant.

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

. (page 115 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 115 of 192)
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L. Brigham's) to the centre was constructed after these
families arrived.

The first msrchant — Mr. Adams — has baen mentioned.
A BIr. Smith sold goods early near the place in later years
occupied by Christopher Stebbins, and was subsequently
sentenced to State prison for some misdemeanor. Elisha
Carrington established a small store early at Newell's Cor-
ners, originally called Bartlet's Corners, but soon moved to
Peterboro'. Abiel Linsley traded early at the centre, and
was for some time associated with Samuel Chandler. This
company failed, and W. H. Chandler subsequently — 1806 — ■
entered into business with his brother, the firm-name being
Samuel Chandler & Co. W. H. Chandler did not remove
here until 1808, in Jlay, although interested in the store.
These brothers continued bu.5iness together until 1818,
when W. H. Chandler became sole proprietor, and continued
until Feb. 24, 1835, at which date tho store was burned.



Litchfield Co., Conn-., furnished very many of the pioneers
of this town; and in 1847, of 48 families living on the
road runniup! north and south through its centre, 18 wore
from that county. Josiah Cook came to Augusta from
Otis, Conn., in 1799, with a family of 13 children, all of
■whom, except one, settled in this town with their families.
Abner Ranney, who lived to be one hundred and one years
old, came fi-om Blandford, the town adjoining Otis, and had
12 children. Elisha Shcpard, and all the Knoxes, except
J. J. Knox, were also from Blandford.

Andrew McMillan, from near North Conway, N. H.,
where he was born, settled near Neweil's Corners (west of
Oriskany Falls), in this town, about 1798. He afterwards
moved to the northeast part of town, locating on the hill
west of Doansville, where he spent most of the remainder of
Hs life. His oldest son, Ephraim, and his second son. Cap-
tain John McMillan, were born on the firm at Neweil's Cor-
ners, the former in 1800, and the latter (now a resident of
Deansville) in 1801. Although a few had settled previous
to 1798 at Oriskany Falls, that place did not grow to any
extent until after the arrival of the McMillans. Another son
of Andrew McMillan, and brother of the captain, is Prof
Andrew McMillan, superintendent of the Utica City schools.

Captain John McMillan has in his possession a Bible,
" Imprinted at London by the Deputies of Christopher
Barker, Printer to the Queenes. most Excellent Majestie,"
in 1599. Colonel Cassety's grist-mill at the Falls was in
full operation when Mr. McMillan settled, though it had
been completed but a short time.

Charles Putnam, from Stonington, Conn., settled very
early in this county, residing at first two years at Clinton,
and removing from there to a location a mile and a half
northwest of Oriskany Falls, on a four-hundred-acre farm
he had purchased of Peter Smith. He made the first im-
provements upon it, and afterwards built the first frame
barn in town, which has twice been moved and is yet
standing in good condition. The frame was very heavy,
and made of black ash. Charles Putnam was a veteran of
the Revolution. His son, Frederick Putnam, located in
Augusta the next year after his father had settled. Some
of the sons of the latter served during the war of 1812.
One son, Sidney Putnam, is at present residing at Oriskany
Falls, where he has lived fur forty-seven years. He owns
a portion of his father's old farm.

Elisha Fowler settled in the town of Paris in 1792,
where he finally died. His son, Elisha Fowler, Esq., of
Oriskany Falls, was born in Paris in 1793, and came to
the town of Augusta in 1816, and in 1821 located at
Oriskany Falls. He was afterwards engaged in the dry
goods and grocery business, and also carried on a distillery,
which stood where the brewery now is. He was out a
short time with the militia in the war of 1812. For ten
years, with the exception of two monthsphe held the oflBce
of justice of the peace.

The first white child born in this town was Peter Smith
Gunn, a son of the first settler. In the old records of the
town is found the following entry :

"Sophia Morton, rlaughtor to Thomas and Polly Morton, born June
12, 1795; Charles Morton, son to Thomas and Polly Morton, born
June 10,1798."

Mrs. Margaret Mahanny, daughter of Francis O'Toole, was
born soon after the settlement of the town, and also, many
years later, was the oldest native living within its limits.
The first marriage in town was that of Daniel Hart and
Catherine Putnam, the ceremony being performed by Colo-
nel Cassety. The fii-st death of an adult was that of Eleazer
Putnam, who died April 15, 1795, aged thirty-one years.
He lived on the east hill, and, from the fact that a number of
families of this name had settled in the same neighborhood,
it was called " Put's Hill." Lucy Greene died in March,

1796. A child of Ozias Hart and one of John Porter
died quite early, the exact date not being ascertained, nor
a knowledge of which died first. They were buried near
Herman Parker's, but owing to the ground proving too
wet, they were removed to the ground given by John
Porter for burial purposes.

This town has been the scene of several distressing
deaths, most of them accidental, although some of them
were the result of maliciousness. Major Wood, a Revolu-
tionary soldier, who lived upon the east hill, was shot by
the woman who lived with him as his wife, and she was
tried and sentenced to execution, but hung herself in the
jail at Herkimer before the day set for her death by the
hands of the law. A quarrel between Theopliilus Fowler
and Ethan Wiggins, two Indians, resulted in Fowler killing
Wiggins with his gun. Cornelius, an Oneida Indian, had
a son-in-law named Jacob, who was foully murdered by
another Indian, and he (Cornelius) wrought vengeance
upon the murderer by first stabbing him and afterwards-—
the stab not proving effectual — ^by cleaving his skull with
a hatchet. Thomas Grinnell accidentally shot himself in
the arm, near the shoulder, and lived but about n week.
Timothy Ranney was accidentally shot by his cousin, Silas
Cook, Sunday, April 10, 1810. A Mrs. Gardner was acci-
dentally shot at the Falls by Mr. Cady, with a musket used
the day previous at a training, and not supposed to be
loaded. Orrin S. Cook, son of Josiah Cook, was killed by
a falling tree, Oct. 22, 1818. Terrence Fagan, ii resident
of Augusta, was killed in Stockbridge, July 12, 1838, by
falling from his wagon, one of the wheels resting upon his
neck as the horses stopped. Roswall J. Lewis, of this
town, while at Oneida Castle, May 22, 1842, was run over
and fatally injured while trying to stop a couple of runaway
teams ; he lived but about twenty-four hours after the

Among the early physicians of this town were the follow-
ing; At Augusta Centre, Dr. Johnson came as early as

1797, and died in 1806 or 1807. He lived in a log house
on the place afterwards occupied (1847) by Dr. E. Allen.
Dr. Hooker came next, and was succeeded by Dr. Rich-
ards. Dr. Edmund Allen located here in 1820. Nathaniel
Rose began practicing here in 1803, and died in 1839. Eli
Botsford came to town in 1819, and studied and practiced
with Rose for several years. Botsford began practice at
Knox's Corners in 1827, and in 1845 removed to the
Centre. At the Corners were Drs. Usher, Hastings, Bots-
ford, and Seabury M. Higgins, the latter beginning his
practice there early in 1846. At Oriskany Falls, John S.
Livcrmore began practicing medicine in 1822, Dr. Bishop
in 1827, A. M. Marsh in 1828 or 1829, D. C. Worden in



1833, Edward Trask in 1835; Dis. Brown and Tliomp-
son arrived later. Drs. T. H. Cox and W. E. Babcock —
the latter longest in practice — are now located at the Falls.
Dr. Charles Mungor resides at Knoxboro' (formerly Knox's
Corners), where he has practiced about eight years.


An effort was made in the Legislature in 1797 to organ-
ize this town. The bill passed the Assembly, but when it
reached the Senate the question was asked by Samuel Jones,
then a Senator from the southern district, and who was the
fii-st State comptroller, " What will they do for town officers ?
For the law declares they must be freeholders." Tliis
defeated the bill, for Peter Smith's land was still held by
twenty-one-years' leases, and the Oneida reservation had
not been sold. An election was held in town this year, at
Charles Putnam's house, while yet the territory was a part
of Whitestown. The town of Augusta was erected in 1798,
simultaneously with Oneida County. The portion of the
act relating to this town reads as as follows :

"Aitd he it further enacted, That all that part of the town of
WhitcstowD bounded westerly and southerly by the county of Che-
nango, easterly by Brotbertown and the town of Paris, and northerly
by the southernmost Great Genesee road, shall be, and hereby is,
erected into a separate town by the name of Augusta, and that the
first town-meeting shall be holden at the dwelling-house of Timothy
Pond, Jr., in said town,"

"The name of Augusta was given in consequence of a promise of
General Augustus Van Horn to Colonel Cassety, who was a leading
spirit in this region, that if Colonel Cassety would have the town
named after him he would give him a new military hat. The name
came so near to Augustus that the colonel obtained the object prom-

In 1802, through the efforts of Abraham Van Eps, who
lived in what is now Vernon, portions of Augusta and West-
moreland were set off, and the new town of Vernon was
created. Van Eps, who will be found mentioned elsewhere
in this work, lived at Vernon village. On the first Tues-
day of April, 1798, agreeable to the Legislative appoint-
ment, the first town-meeting was held at the house of.
Timothy Pond. Jr. The following were the officers chosen,
viz.: Supervisor, Colonel Thomas Cassety; Town Clerk,
Joseph Durkee, who held this office until 1822 ; Assessors,
Ezra Sexton, David Brewer, Simeon Williams, Joel Hull ;
Commissioners of Highways, Michael Hinman, Ichabod
Stafford, Philip Pond; Constable and Collector, Frederick
Putnam ; Overseers of the Poor, James Cassety, Abiel Lins-
ley ; Inspectors of Schools, Francis O'Toole, John Smile,
Sheldon Pavmalee; Fence-Viewers, Justus Markham, Wil-
liam Martin, Charles Putnam, Oliver Bartholomew.

The successive Supervisors of Augusta, since Colonel
Cassety, have been the following persons, viz. : 1799-1801,
Abiel Linsley; 1802-7, Sheldon Parmalee ; 1808-17,
Samuel Chandler; 1818, John J. Knox; 1819-21, Sam-
uel Chandler; 1822-23, John J. Knox; 1824-26, Wiu-
throp H. Chandler; 1827-28, Nathan Kimball; 1829, W.
H. Chandler; 1830-31, Nathan Kimball; 1832-34, Wil-
liam Smith ; 1835-36, W. 11. Chandler ; 1837-38, Aaron
Burley; 1839, Benjamin Allen; 1840, John Currie ;

» Address of Rev. Bartho'omew..

1841-42, Elisha Fowler; 1843-44, John A. Scott; 1845,
Alonzo Metcalf ; 1846, Benjamin Allen ; 1847, David ,
Murray; 1848, Solomon M. Wells; 1849, George W.
Couch; 1850, John A.Scott; 1851, Warren H. Griswold ;
1852, George W. Couch; 1853, Alinon W. Reynolds;
1854, Isaac C. Miller; 1855, James Allen ; 1856, Elisha
Fowler; 1857, James C. Knox ; 1858-59, Dan P. Buck-
ingham; 1860, James C. Knox; 1861, AVillard G. Cum-
mings; 1862-64, David M. Miner; 1865, W. S. Adams ;
1866-67, Philander Powers; 1868, John McMillan; 1869,
Philander Powers; 1870, Milo C Barker; 1871-72, War-
ren G. Strong; 1873, Milo C. Barker; 1874-75, James

A. Douglass; 1876-77, Arthur P. Bartholomew; 1878,
F. Leroy Hatheway.

The remaining officers for 1878 arc: Town Clerk, Ben-
jamin S. Hicks ; Justices of the Peace, George N. Wil-
lard, C. Brock ; Assessor, Aaron B. Mackey ; Commissioner
of Highways, Abel C. Brewer; Overseer of the Poor, Reu-
ben 0. Vaughn. Inspectors of Election: District No. 1,
Jay H. Fairchiid, Charles H. Green, C. Henry Stiles.;
District No. 2, Emerson C. Mathews, Cortland Barker, C.
H. Malone. Collector, Charles C. Oliver. Constables, Ju-
lius A. Glazier, J. W. Bates, Halsey L. Rice, Edwin L.
Chase; Town Auditors, Benjamin Allen, Frederick N. Bush-
nell, B. F. Ennis ; Sealer of Weights and Measures, Abner

B. Green ; Excise Commissioner, Freeborn Hicks.

The total vote polled in this town at the election of
1878 was 522.

At the time this town was organized, the statutes re-
quired that the oaths of town officers should be taken
before a justice of the peace, or other proper officer, with-
out fee or reward. Colonel Cassety was a justice for Her-
kimer County, and it is believed he was the only one in
this town when the first election was held. Ho adminis-
tered the oath of office as supervisor to himself, as the
records show, and certified that the oath was takeu before
himself. Until 1830 justices of the peace were chosen at
general elections, and the first one elected at town-meeting
in Augusta was Nathan Kimball, in 1830. He settled in
1801, and was afterwards county judge. Up to 1802 the
town-meetings were held regularly. In 1801 the town-
meeting adjourned to meet the next year at the house of
Seth Holmes, who resided upon the west side of the road,
ascending the hill from the south at Vernon Centre. The
meeting was not held, however, as the town of Vernon was
erected in the mean time, leaving Mr. Holmes' house in that
town. Therefore the officers for 1802 were appointed by
three justices of the peace. A town-house was built at
the Centre in 1805, and, after being twice removed, was
left in the original location ; it was repaired in 1842.

David Ambler, of Augusta, was a member of the As-
sembly when the electors were chosen by that body, who
elected James Monroe to the Presidency. John J. Knox
was elector when President Harrison was elected. Other
citizens of this town have held important positions in the
gift of the public. Of the early inhabitants, Winthrop
H. Chandler, Riley Shepard, and David Murray were
members of the Assembly, and Chauncy C. Cook, a native
of Augusta, was a member of the Assembly from Kirkland,
in 1845.




A log school-house stood as early as 1797 on the west
side of the road running north from Philip Pond's (after-
wards the residence of William Bridge). The Congrega-
tional Church was formed in this building that year. Tlie
third town-meeting was held in this building also. As
early as 1805, and possibly before, a school-house was built
at the Centre, and the town-meeting for that year was held
in it.

In 1834 the sum of about $2100 was raised to establish
an academy at Augusta Centre, and a commodious building
was soon erected, in which a school was at once commenced.
This school was successfully carried on for many years. In
1840 the sum of $400 was raised for a library and philo-
sophical apparatus, and the academy was incorporated.
Among the teachers in this institution were Melville
Adams, Rev. Benjamin Lookwood, Robert Bradshaw, J.
Manross, Hewitt Bronson, Gr. L. Hall, Rev. Saml. Whaley,
A. K. Eaton, and C. Percival. The academy is not now
in existence as a school, although the building is yet stand-
ing. This building is constructed of stone, and is semi-
circular in front, while the rear wall is straight. As an
architectural design it is a curiosity.

The schools of this town are in an excellent condition,
there being good two-story buildings at Oriskany Falls and
Knoxboro', while the smaller ones in the country districts
are all in good repair. In all affairs pertaining to the schools
the citizens of this town are very liberal.

So far as known, the first sermon preached in this town
was by a Jlethodist minister, in 1794, at the house of

■ • Fairbanks.


was formed very early in the settlement, near the residence
of Ichabod Stafford, on the east hill. This society was
dissolved after an existence of a few years.


This church was organized with nine members, on the
7th of September, 1797, in the log school-house previously
mentioned, by Rev. Dr. Asahel S. Norton, of Clinton, and
Rer. Joel Bradly, of Westmoreland. The names of the
original members were Isaiah Gilbert, Experience Gilbert,
Benjamin Durkce, Susanna Durkee, Thomas Stafford, Lucy
Stafford, Ezra Saxton, Abiel Linsley, and Anna Linslcy.
Mr. Linsley was the first moderator. The society was
originally Congregational, and in 1800 it numbered 16
members. Meetings were held in private dwellings, school-
houses, barns, etc., and from 1805 to 1816 in the town
hall. In 1816 the present fi-ame house of worship was
built, the dedicatory services being held Feb. 3, 1817. In
1844 it was extensively repaired in its interior, and re-
dedicated the same year. The first deacons were Abiel
Linsley and Isaiah Gilbert, and in 1804 Amos Gilbert and
Philip Pond were chosen. Other were Lebbeus Camp,
1814; John Lewis, 1822; Robert Durkee and Mark
Thompson in 1832 ; and Russell Knox in 1834. The first
settled pastor was Rev. John Spencer, who commenced
preaching to this people in 1804. He had been a soldier

of the Revolution, and after its close entered the ministry,
being licensed to preach in October, 1800. He moved
from Augusta in 1807 to what is now Sheridan, Chautau-
qua County, where he died. He was long a missionary of
the Connecticut Missionary Society, and aided in forming
numerous churches in the territory in Western New York
known as the Holland Purchase. Among the other pas-
tors were Rev. David Kendall, from May 2, 1810, to Aug.
11, 1814; Rev. Oliver Ayor, October, 1814, to some time
in the latter part of 1817; Rev. Eli Burchard, January,
1818, to Oct. 15, 1822; Rev. Benjamin J. Lane, 1822 to
1826 ; Rev. Leverett Hull, Rev. John Waters, Rev. A. P.
Clark, and Rev. Orlo Bartholomew. The present pastor
(1878) is Rev. Morton F. Tripp, and the membership is
about 200. The Sabbath-school has an attendance nearly
as large, and is under the superintendence of Wm. Dudley.
It possesses a library of 143 volumes.


which formeily existed at the Centre was organized as
early as 1802, at which date there were two Methodist
classes in town, one in the neighborhood where the Messrs.
Powers afterwards resided, and the other on the east hill,
where the old chapel was built, in 1819, by Riley Shepard.
This chapel was occupied until 1840, when a new one was
erected at the Centre, its dedication occurring December
15, of that year. Rev. Zachariah Paddock oflBciating. The
first service in it was held on the 17th of the same month, —
" Thanksgiving-day." This church is not now used, the
society having practically gone out of existence.


at the Centre was organized Aug. 22, 1829, with 33
members. The church had been previously built, and was
dedicated two days before the society was formed. Amon"
its early ministers were Elders P. P. Brown, James A.
Mallory, A. H. Haff, Jason Corwin, and others. This
society is also a relic of the past. The building is no5V
occupied by a small body of Episcopalians, who have for
their rector the Rev. Mr. Mott, of Waterville.


This church was organized as a Congregational society
Jan, 31, 1833. The present house of worship, a stone
structure, was begun in 1834, and the basement finished
that year, so that services were held in it. It was not
fully completed until 1845, and was dedicated by Rev. 0.
Bartholomew April 9, of that year. Its early pastors were
Revs. John Cross and Pindar Field. It has at present no
regular pastor, but is supplied by Rev. Mr. Davis, of Water-
ville. Its membership is something over 30. A Sunday-
school is sustained, with an attendance averaging 40. The
superintendent is William N. Prince. This church was
originally a branch of the old Congregational Church at
Augusta Centre.


Organized in 1867. The present fine frame house of
worship was erected and dedicated in 1872, and cost
A Methodist class had existed here many years



before this society was formed, but was not incorporated
until 1867. In 1860, Rev. D. W. Bristol preached in
the school-house at this place. Rev. L. Eastwood was the
first pastor upon the organization of the society in 1867.
Rev. Moses Wells is at present in charge. Tlie membership
in May, 1878, was over 40. W. H. Fowler is Super-
intendent of the Sabbath-school, which has an average
attendance of about 60.


This society was organized some time previous to 1871,
at which date Rev. Russell Todd was the clergyman in
charge. The present frame church was erected that year.
The number of communicants is small, and services are
held here and at Augusta Centre by Rev. Mr. Mott, of

ST. Joseph's (catholic) church, oriskant falls.

Meetings were held by this society, about 1867-68, for
the first time at this place in Owen's Hall, and in 1872
the present church edifice was begun, and completed in
January, 1873. About 40 families belong to this congre-
gation. The church is a fine frame building, having a
tall spire, and cost about 84000. The first pastor was
Rev. Father Peter O'Reilly, of Clinton. Rev. Father T.
W. Riley, of Waterville, has the present charge.


A union church was built at this place by the' Presby-
terians and Methodists, and occupied by tliem for many
years. Finally, separate buildings were erected for the use
of these societies. The present Methodist Church was
erected in 187'2, the cost, including the lot, being between
$8000 and 810,000. The present pastor is Rev. J. W.
Simpson The membership is about 160. Irving A.
Stone is Superintendent of the Sabbath-school, which has
a membership of 160, and pos.sesses a library of some 300
volumes. The first meetings of the society were held in
the old school-house, since changed to a dwelling.


at Knoxboro' has a neat frame church, erected in 1872, at
a cost, including sheds and furnitm'e, of about §10,000.
It was dedicated in February, 1873. This society is an
offshoot from the one at the Centre. The minister in
charge of the latter formerly came to Knoxboro' and held
occasional services on week-days, also every alternate Sab-
bath, until the union church was built. The Universalists
and Baptists at times occupied this building. The present
membership of the Presbyterian Church is between 90 and
100, and its pastor Rev. E. F. Robb, who took charge
May 1, 1875. The Sunday-school is presided over by J.
Theodore Knox, and has a good library, and a membership
of 150.


This thriving village has a picturesque location, in the
southeast part of the town, on the Oriskany Creek, from
the fine falls of which, located here, it takes its name.
Railway facilities are afforded by the Utica, Clinton and

Binghamton Division of the Delaware, Lackawanna and
Western Railway, and considerable manufacturing is done,
the creek affording good power.

The grist-mill built by Colonel Cassety stood nearly upon
the site occupied by the present foundry and machine-shop,
and was washed away in a heavy freshet about 1807.
Upon that occasion rain fell almost constantly for six days
and nights, and the narrow valley of this stream was com-
pletely flooded.

The present grist-mill, owned by Everts, Frost & Co.,
was built by David Currie. It contains four runs of stone,
and does a large merchant business, from 70 to 75 barrels
of flour being manufactured daily. The mill is kept run-
ning day and night, and furnishes work for two men besides'
the proprietors. A saw-mill in connection employs three
hands. The wheat used in the grist-mill is shipped from
the West. The firm of Everts & Frost took possession of
these mills in 1873, and on the 1st of Januar}', 1878, the
name was changed to Everts, Frost & Co.

The "Farmers' Mill" was built in 1801-62, by Martin
Miller, and is at present owned by J. C. Brown. It is a
frame building, with a stone foundation; contains four runs
of stone, and does principally a custom business.

Foundry and Maclune-Sliop. — The machine-shop was
built in 1853, by the present proprietors, Messrs. Ballard
& Griggs, and the furnace two or three years afterwards.
Wood-working machinery, agricultural implements, and
other articles were manufactured, and general jobbing was
done. This in.stitution is not now in operation.

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 115 of 192)