Samuel W Durant.

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

. (page 117 of 192)
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this season they erected a saw-mill, and made other preparations for
the settlement. A grist-mill was also commenced, and the boards
sawed, but in kiln-drying the boards so that they could be worked
they unluckily took fire and were all consumed. This so much de-
layed the grist-mill that it was not put in operation until the next

The year 1796 witnessed numerous arrivals of settlers,
and among them we find the names of Luke Fisher and
son, Phineas, Silas, and Martin Southwell, Asahel and Eze-
kiel Porter, Aaron Willard, Jacob Springer, Jeptha King,
Hezekiah Jones and son, a Mr. Stockwell, and three young
men named King. Many of these were employed by the
Holland Company, while others selected farms and began
clearing away the unbroken forest.

Jotham Snow, from Worcester Co., Mass., located in the
town of Boonville in 1804 ; he had lived in Leyden, Lewis
Co., since 1798 or 1799. The farm he located on in Boon-
ville was three miles south of the village, and is now the
property of George Tubbs. Mr. Snow's son, S. B. Snow,
born in this town in 1809, has been engaged in mercantile
business in the village since 1854.

Jacob Rogers, a native of Stonington, Connecticut, and
later from Springfield, Massachusetts, came to Boonville
with his family in March, 1796. He was a shoemaker and
tanner by trade, and before coming here had worked a short
time in Utica. He also, in 1795, worked for the company
at Boonville. In 1799 he established a tannery at this
place, and operated it several years, but was finally obliged
to abandon that business on account of ill health, and sub-
sequently moved upon a farm. He was a member of one
of the early militia companies, and held a lieutenant's com-
mission therein, but owing to his affliction he was not called
upon to serve during the war of 1812-15. His son, Julius
Borers, who was born in the village in May, 1790, is still a
resident, and has never lived a year away from it. The elder
Rcers, when he first came, stopped in a house with John

tGerrit Boon, who was the acting agent of the Holland Land Com-
pany which owned a large tract of land in this town and vicinity.
} Jones' Annals of Oneida County.



Burgess and Hezekiah Jones until he could complete one
for himself. In this neighborhood he built his tannery,
and afterwards removed to the village. The house here
mentioned was located on Moose Creek, and occupied by
Burgess and Jones with their families. They settled
probably in 1796.

The first house between Boonville and Leyden was built
by Aaron Willard in tlie latter part of 1796. It was a log
structui-e, and in 1812 was replaced by a frame house. Mr.
Willard was a native of New Braintree, Massachusetts, but
previous to coming to Boonville had resided in the State of

Deacon John Nichols settled within the present limits of
the corporation of the village of Boonville about 1805-6, on
the place now occupied by William Higby. Timothy and
Thomas Jackson located here about 1807-8, and Pelatiah
Ballou was also an early settler.

Elias Kingsbury and his brothers John, Jerry, and
Elijah, and their cousin, Archelaus Kingsbury, settled in
the town of Boonville, some time between 1796 and 1799.
They were from New England. Elias Kingsbury's son,
Israel, is now a resident of the village, and Jerry Kings-
bury, son of Archelaus, lives in the town. Elijah Kings-
bury, one of the four brothers, afterwards removed to the
State of Missouri, where he became a wealthy planter.

Joseph Hayes, from the town of Oppenheim (now Ful-
ton), Montgomery Co., N. Y., settled on the farm now
owned by his son, Jonas Hayes, in 1823. That part of
town (the eastern) was at the time but sparsely settled.
George Hilts lived next north of the Hayes place, and
Ahaz Thayer and Ziba King.sbury south. Mr. Thayer was
probably the first settler in the neighborhood. When Mr.
Hayes came the others had cleared some two or three acres

The first birth in what is now the town of Boonville was
that of a daughter of Jacob Springer. The first deaths
were those of Mr. Truman and Mr. Darrow, it being some-
what uncertain who died first of the two. The first couple
married were Henry Evans and Miss Elizabeth Edmunds,
daughter of Captain Andrew Edmunds, the first settler.


Boonville was originally included in Whitestown. In
1702 it formed a part of Steuben, and in 1797 was made
a part of the town of Leyden. The first town-meeting for
the latter town was held at the house of Andrew Edmunds,
April 4, 1797, and the following officers were elected:
Supervisor, Andrew Edmunds; Town Clerk, John Stormes ;
Assessors, Asa Brayton, Jacob Rogers, Phineas Southwell ;
Constables and Collectors, Jared Topping, Levi Hillman ;
Poormasters, Bela Hubbard, Luke Fisher ; Commissioners
of Highways, Asa Lord, Reuben King, Elisha Randal ;
Roadmasters, Shelden Johnson, Isaac Southwell, Flliphalet
Edmunds, Amasa King, Archelaus Kingsbury; Fence-
Viewers, Lilly Fisher, Asahel Huff (Hough ?), Timothy
Burgess ; Poundmasters, Charles Otis, Joshua Preston.

It is thus seen that the portion of Leyden now included
in Boonville claimed the lion's share of the offices, and this
was the case until the town was divided. The Supervisors
of Leyden, from 1798 to 1805, inclusive, were as follows,

viz.: 1798, Andrew Edmunds; 1799, Phineas Southwell;
1800, Asa Brayton ; 1801, Phineas Southwell ; 1802, Asa
Brayton ; 1803, Silas Southwell; 1804, John Dewey ; 1805,
Peter Schuyler.

At the last election in the town of Leyden before Boon-
ville was set off it was

" Voted, That n.11 neat cattle, swine, and horses, that shall be found
in the road within three-quarters of a mile from a tavern, in the
winter season, without a tender with them, shall be liable to im-
poundage and a fine of thirty-seven and a half cents.

" Voted, That all swine shall run at large with sufficient yokes and
rings, to be determined by the fence-viewers.

" Voted, That a bounty of ten dollars shall be given for every scalp
of a wolf that is taken in said town on the west side of the Black

" Voted, That a bounty of six cents shall bo given for every hen-
hawk's head that shall be taken in the town of Leyden.

'' Voted, That the next town-meeting be adjourned to the school-
house near Joel Coe."

Before the " next town-meeting" was held, however, the
town of Boonville was formed, and the first election for its
officers was held at the house of Joseph Denning, April
22, 1805. The following were the officers elected, viz. :
Supervisor, Jacob Rogers; Town Clerk, Aaron Willard;
Assessors, Levi Hillman, Jotham Snow, Isaac Knight ;
Constable and Collector, Elisha Grant ; Poormasters, Luke
Fisher, Job Fisk ; Commissioners of Highways, Pelatiah
Ballou, Pliny Morgan, Ebenezer Wheeler ; Fence-Viewers,
Lebbeus Ford, Daniel Buck, Ebenezer Wheeler; Pound-
master, Pliny Morgan ; Pathmasters, George Dibble, John
G. Post, Isaac Knight, Elijah Kingsbury, Josiah Hurlburt,
Pelatiah Ballou, John Combs, Archelaus Kingsbury, Ben-
jamin S. Jones, Abncr Wood, Hezekiah Turner.

The Supervisors of Boonville from 1806 to 1878, inclu-
sive, have been the following-named persons : 1806, Peter
Schuyler; 1807, Job Fisk; 1808-9, John Post; 1810-
21, Martin Southwell; 1822-24, John Dewey; 1825,
Martin Southwell; 1826-29, Henry Graves; 1830, John
Dewey; 1831-36, Henry Graves; 1837-39, Philip M.
Schuyler; 1840-44, Stephen Ward; 1845-46, William
S. Jackson; 1847-51, Nelson C. Grant; 1852-53, Wil-
liam S. Jackson; 1854, Joseph R. Tharratt; 1855-56,
William H. Cole; 1857-58, J. Earl Hurlbert; 1859,
Justus V. Kent; 1860, Griffith J. Griffiths; 1861, Jo-
seph R. Tharratt; 1862-64, George B. Anderson; 1865-
G7,. Samuel Johnson ; 1868-69, Evan J. Evans; 1870-71,
Nathaniel Sargent; 1872, Robert Wilson; 1873, Samuel
Johnson; 1874-75, Robert H. Roberts; 1876-78, H.
Dwight Grant.

The remaining officers for 1878 are: Town Clerk, Fer-
dinand V. Graves ; Assessor, Stephen Sherman ; Justice
of the Peace, Jerome F. Hilts ; Collector, Edwin L. Burr ;
Town Auditors, Job W. Fisk, Blorey A. Piatt, Harvey J.
Lewis ; Overseers of the Poor, William Wenweis, Earle
Ruddes ; Commissioner of Highways, Hardin Buck ; Con-
stables, George Davis, Thomas Sykes, James H. Sacket,
Henry Ruth, Evan W. Jones; Game Constable, E. W.
Halliday ; Inspectors of Election, District No. 1, George
W. Wentworth, Elbridge G. Palmer, George 0. Bridgman ;
District No. 2, Matthew H. Piatt, William Davis, Henry
Phillips; District No. 3, George Graff, William J. Ber-

The Traffarn family is of French origin, and at
an early date emigrated from the old country to the
State of Rhode Island, and afterwards removed to
this State and located in Schoharie County, where
this gentleman was born, in the town of Sharon,
April 14, 1798. About the year 1820 he emigrated
with his father (whose name was Cromwell, and had
been a soldier in the Revolutionary war) to Alder
Creek, town of Boonville, Oneida Co., where his
father died at an advanced age. He was married
to his first wife January 29, 1834, by whom he
had two children, both of whom died in infancy.
His wife departed this life May 5, 1838. He after-
wards married, April 26, 1840, Hannah W., daughter
of Jotham and Sarah E. Snow, who came from Mas-
sachusetts, and were among the early settlers of
Boonville. Their daughter was born in that town.
By this union he had four children, two of whom
are living, — Sarah Ann, born Jan. 23, 1841, and
married to the late Rev. M. C. Fisk, of Constable-
ville, Lewis Co., Sejit. 18, 1860; Mary Jane, born
April 7, 1847, and is married to F. S. Utley, of
Forestport. His second wife died Oct. 3, 1847.
Mr. Traffarn, thinking it an impossibility for him

to properly educate and rear his motherless daughters,
was again married, March 15, 1848, to Susan
Amelia, daughter of Laurentius and Susan Snow ;
she was born in Boonville Nov. 20, 1824; they
had but one son, Thomas Ellsworth, born Sept. 14,
1861. Mr. Traffarn was politically a member of the
Republican party, and held various town offices, being
assessor for a number of years. He was a member of
no particular church, but subscribed liberally to the
support of all. He ended a busy life Dec. 18, 1870,
and though he had never become noted in war or
peace, the Bible speaks of a time in ancient Israel
" when men were famous, according as they had lifted
up the axes on the thick trees." Taking the standard
of that time for this, few persons are more famous
than Thomas Traffarn ; for few persons have had
more to do with felling the woods and reducing
the land to cultivation. To have been a pioneer
in the country is a fame that cannot be repeated ;
therefore, let us honor the memory of those who,
amidst toil, hardships, and deprivations, have rescued
the country from a wilderness, and' given us the
beautiful farms which are spread out around us ou
every side.



gold, Andrew Whiter ; Sealer of Weights and Measures,
Joseph Palmer.

During the second war with Great Britain the excite-
ment in this town was intense, and its inhabitants were
filled with patriotic ardor. A special town-meeting was
held on Saturday, July 18, 1812, at which it wa.s

" Votedy That the towQ of Boonville send to the Governor of the
Stiite of New York for arms anJ ammunition.

" Voted, That the surplus moncy.s in the hands of the town clerk,
amounting to seventeen dollars and sixty-eight cents, shall be appro-
priated to p:iy the e.vponse of transporting arms and ammunition.

" Voted, That Captain Ebenczer Wheeler, Lieutenant George Man-
chester, Pelatiah Ballon, Ezra Adams, and Peter Schuyler, Esqs., be
a committee to carry the flbuve mentioned businej^s into etl'ect."

The town lost none of its patriotism in the years that
elapsed after the la-st struggle with Great Britain, and when
in April, 1861, the loud echoes of the guns which belched
tlieir fiery vomit at Fort Sumter were heard in the north-
land, the sons of patriotic sires were up and ready for the
strife. The five Oneida regiments (14th, 26th, 97th, 1 17th,
and 146th) had many representatives from this town, and
not all returned to the homes they left to defend their
country from an ungrateful ofispring. The 97th Regiment
rendezvoused at Bonnville, and is well remembered bj' her
citizens; and numerous other regiments, which won honor
and fame on many n well-fought field, had in their ranks
brave sons of this town.


The earliest schools were undoubtedly taught at the vil-
lage, which for some time bore the name of Kortenaer, after
a distinguished individual in Holland. This name was
suggested by Mr. Boon, but it seemed that the inhabitants
were more in favor of naming the village and town after
this gentleman himself, and it was therefore done.

About the year 1802 a school was taught in the village,
one of the first teachers being Miss Lydia Buckley, after-
wards Mrs. John Post. She taught in a private house,
which stood at the corner of Schuyler and Post Streets.

A log school-house was built about 1807, on what is
now called West Street, and among its early teachers were
a Mr. Higby, of Turin, Lewis Co., and Nathan Wheeler.
Before this building was erected, a frame edifice had been
put up for the joint use of a school-house and town hall, in
which Mr. Davis taught. This building was burned. In
1817 a stone school-house was erected near the present site
of S. C. Thompson & Co.'s bank, on Schuyler Street.

In the eastern part of town the first school-house was a
lug building, which was erected about 18:^2, a short dis-
tance north of the prasent residence of Jonas Hayes. Among
the early teachers in this house was an estimable young
lady named Mary Johnson. She was afterwards taken sick,
and died on the 2d of February, 1828, aged twenty-two
years. She lies in the cemetery west of the Hayes farm.

A frame school-house was afterwards erected in what is
now the corner of Jonas Hayes' garden, and finally moved
nearer to Hawkinsville. The present frame building is the
third one in the district.

The schools of the town and village of Boonville are in
excellent condition, and no pains are spared to make them
equal to any in the county. A substantial two-story stone

school building was erected in Boonville previous to 1850,
and the other villages and districts in town are all com-
fortably provided for.


In the summer of the year 1805 Rev. David (Daniel ?)
Smith, a missionary sent out by the Massachusetts Mission-
ary Society, organized at the village this church, which was
known as the " Congregational Church of Boonville." The
original members numbered five males and four females,
and the small congregation was supplied by missionaries
from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Connecticut,
religious meetings being kept up when there was no preach-
ing. The first revival occurred in 1809, at which time
Revs. Ingalls and Seth Burt labored here as missionaries.
Rev. James Murdock, of Turin, Lewis Co., preached here
occasionally, and previous to 1821 Rev. Ruel Kimball, of
Leydon, ofiiciated as stated supply. Since then the follow-
ing pastors have been in charge, viz. : Revs. David Har-
rower, Ira Manly, Edward Barnes, Ruel Kimball, R. R.
Demming, E. S. Hunter, D. D. ; J. H. Northrup, E. S.
Barnes, D. Williams, W. H. McGifiert, E. N. Manley, and
the present pastor. Rev. J. R. LewiSj who has had charge
since September, 1867. The membership of this .society,
April 11, 1878, was 208. A Sabbath -school is sustained,
with a membership of about 200 ; its superintendent is
Henry W. Bentley. It possesses a good library and a cabi-
net-organ, while a fine pipe-organ is used in the church.
The present frame house of worship was built about 1 861-62,
at a cost of about $9000. Previous to this time the con-
gregation held its meetings in the old union church, erected
in 1827.*


"The Boonville Baptist Church was organized Feb. 3, 1810, by
Elder John Upfold. It consisted of seventeen members, — ten males
and seven females. The first pastor of the church was Elder Timothy
D.ay, who filled the pastorate three years. Up to 1826 the church
held its meetings in the school-house in the village and in private
dwellings. In that year they erected a respectable and commodious
house of worship. "f

This church was a frame structure, and now stands at
the forks of the road north of the village ; occupied as a
dwelling and owned by Dennis Miller, a prominent member
of the society. The present brick church was built in
1806, at a cost of about $14,000. Among the eaily pas-
tors were Elders Samuel Marshall, Charles Clark, Norman
Chase, A. D. Truman, John Hitchcock, William Thompson,
Perley P. Parsons, and Eliada Tuttle. At the time these
notes were taken (April, 1878) the church was without a
pastor, the term of the last one. Elder B. N. Sperry, having
expired in the winter previous. The membership at present
is about 120. A flourishing Sunday-school is sustained,
with A. Reynolds as Superintendent. It has an average
attendance of about 60, including teachers.


This society was organized about 1820, and there was
also another Methodist class in the Wheeler neighborhood,

^ See Methodist Episcopal Church history.

j" Jones.



near Black River. In 1827 a union church was built by
the Methodists, Presbyterians, and Universalists, and some
years afterwards the Methodists disposed of their interest
to the Presbyterians, and about 1836 built a neat frame
church, which was used until 1873, when the present
fine brick edifice was erected. The old church now con-
tains two stores, the printing-office, and a hall used by the
Post G. A. R. The now church cost, including furniture,
etc., about $15,000. The membership of the society is
about 300. Its present pastor is Rev. 0. 0. Cole, appointed
by Conference in the spring of 1878. Eli McCluskey is
Superintendent of the Sabbath-school.


This society was organized in 18G9, through the instru-
mjntality of N. Schweinsbarg and Jacob Jacobs, and
originally consisted of five members. Its first pastor was
Rev. Mr. Heinle. The church, a frame building, was
rented in 1872, at a cost of about $2700. Previous to
this time meetings were held in Cole's and Hayes' halls.
The membership on the 11th of April, 1878, was 22.
The pastor is Rev. John Weaver, from West Leyden, who
supplies the pulpit every alternate Sunday. The present
officers of the society'are : President, Jacob Volmer ; Trus-
tees, Frederick Eppel, Jacob Preiser, David Karlon ; Sec-
retary, B. Nold. Its prominent members number among
them Messrs. Schweinsberg and Jacobs, who have furnished
most of the funds with which to build and sustain the
church. The society has been liberally assisted by the
citizens of the village in the way of patronizing socials,
picnics, festivals, etc., and is in as good condition as could
be expected from its limited number of members.


This parish was organized about 1855 by Rev. Edward
H. Jewett, who became the first rector. The present fine
brick church was built within two or three years afterwards,
at a cost of about $5000, on a lot donated for the purpose
by P. B. Post. The present number of communicants
is about 75. There is no settled clergyman, but Rev. R.
G. Quennell, of Constableville, Lewis Co., holds regular
services here. The church is located on Schuyler Street, in
the western part of the village.


holds meetings in Boonville, in charge of Rev. Father T.
Harty, and contemplates building a new church. Its
membership at present is not large.


The frame building occupied by this society was built in
1861, at a cost of about $1500, of which amount Philip
Graff furnished a large proportion. The original membership
of the society was 40, and its first pastor Rev. Mr. Classen.
The present membership is about 100, and its pastor Rev.
Mr. Weaver. The Sunday-school has a membership of
about 50, and is in charge of Peter Wingard, Superintend-
ent, and Miss Catharine Shaffer, Assistant. The church
stands in the western part of the village.


Society organized some twelve years. Rev. Earl Rudes,
of Hawkinsville, was its pastor for three years, and it is at
present in charge of Rev. J. I. Cook, of Lowville, Lewis
Co. Present membership about 35. Church, frame build-
ing, in north part of village.


Organized a short time previous to the above. Has no
church edifice, but holds its meetings in the school-house.
Its membership is small. The pastor for 1877-78 was
Rev. James Stowell.

This society was organized and the present frame church
built about 1860-61, the latter not being entirely completed
until 1863-64. The first clergyman who preached here
was Rev. Mr. Heimo. No regular meetings have been held
since the spring of 1877. The membership is small, and
the society has at present no pastor. The church is valued
at from $1500 to $1800.


This society, though small, holds regular meetings in the
old union church, which was erected by the Methodists,
Baptists, and Presbyterians. It has no regular pastor, but
its pulpit is supplied by various ministers from other places.
Meetings are held here in connection with Forestport. The
church is a comfortable frame building.

There was formerly at this place a Baptist society, which
has now no regular organization, although it still owns a
house of worship, which is occupied by the Methodists.


has a small church in the southeast part of town, north of
Forestport, and a small membership.

About two miles south of the village of Boonville, on a
small stream, and near the Black River Canal, is a ledn-e of
rock over which, in high water, pours a beautiful cascade,
which has received the name of " Baker's Falls.'' In a dry
season it is hardly dampened, but the change is wondrous
after a freshet, or in the spring, upon the melting of the snow.
It is about sixteen feet high, and, with the cosy dell around
it, and the hills towering aloft beyond it, makes a striking
and lovely picture. The remains of an old saw-mill are
here, the timbers rotted and worn away, leaving but little
to tell of the busy days of " long ago." This fall is a short
distance above the entrance of the canal into the gorge of
the Lansing Kill.

Northwest of " Baker's Falls" is a fine white sulphur
spring, whose waters possess considerable medicinal virtue,
and are a great curiosity to those who have never seen the
like elsewhere. With proper care and enterprise the spot
might be made as famous as any of those in Virginia or
Pennsylvania, as the medicinal properties of the water are
nearly or quite the same.


In the spring of 1796 the Holland Land Company built
a store at the village, on the site now occupied by the


UTH BY L.H £V£B7S.Pn[;

AudaS. Booth.


was born in Hamdeo, Conn., Nov. 1, 1808. His father
was Alexander, a descendant of Richard Booth, who landed
at Stratford, Conn., in 1640. His mother was Huldah,
daughter of James Thompson, of New Haven, Conn., and
who was of Scotch ancestry. In 1813 he removed with
his parents to Russia, Herkimer Co., N. Y., and continued
at home and attending school until 1824, when he entered
a store as clerk, and during the next five years divided his
time between his mercantile duties and obtaining an educa-
tion. In 1829 he entered the office of Drs. Sears and
Coon, at Russia, where he pursued the study of medicine
during the next three years, and graduated at the College
of Physicians and Surgeons of the Western District, New
York, located at Fairfield, Herkimer County, Dec. 31, 1831,
after attending three full courses of lectures at the above
institution. Feb. 1, 1832, he entered into copartnership
with Dr. Coon, one of his former preceptors, who, dying a
year and a half later, left him with an extensive practice,
which he continued with unceasing energy during the next
twenty -four years. He was married, March 19, 1833, to
Alida S., daughter of Dr. Peter Mabee, of Schoharie, who

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 117 of 192)