Samuel W Durant.

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

. (page 119 of 192)
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by William Anderson's sons. It is called the " Eureka
Tannery," and is now the property of George B. Anderson.
Fifty hands are employed, twenty-six in getting out and
hauling bark, and the others in the tannery. About 25,000
hides are tanned annually, valued at about $250,000, and
about 5000 cords of hemlock bark are used. Sole leather
is manufactured exclusively, and sold principally in New
York and Boston. The tannery is 316 by 40 feet in
dimensions ; bark-mill, 80 by 30 ; leach-house, 115 by 30 ;
sweat-pits, 40 by 40 ; engine-house (stone and brick), 20
by 40 ; boiler-room (fire-proof building of stone and brick),
30 by 40 ; iron smoke-stack, 65 feet high ; cooler, 40 by
20; scrub-room, 20 by 30. Power is furnished by Cum-
mings Creek, although the tannery stands on the bank of
the river. It contains three boilers, a thirty horse-power
steam-engine, Hoyt's patent furnace, one hundred and fifty-
two' square vats, twelve soaks, two rolling-machines, one
hide-mill, two bark -mills, two pumps, and a " conveyer" for
running " spent tan" from the leaches to the boiler-room.
A large boarding-house and eleven tenant-houses have been
erected for the use of the workmen and their families.
There are also a house for the proprietor, a store, a black-
smith-shop, and a carpenter-shop.

When the feeder to the Black River Canal was being dug,
in 1840 and before, there was a considerable " floating" or
temporary population at this place. Theodore Dennison
opened a small store and saloon about 1837—38. The first
regular store in the village was built and opened by Whit-
man Buck about 1847-48, and is the same now occupied
by D. Hayes.

The present " Mechanics' Hotel" was built by Alonzo
BrinkerhofF, on the site of the old hotel previously men-
tioned. Its proprietor is Dennis Buckley. The " Union
Hotel" was built in 1867 by its pre.sent proprietor, Matthias
Munz. A cheese-factory in the village was established by
William Sperl in 1877.

The village now contains a post-office, three stores, two

hotels, four blacksmith-shops, one wagon-iihop, besides the

establishments already mentioned. Black- River at this place

is a rapid, turbulent stream, and its amber-colored waters

foam over the ancient gneissic rock, which outcrops in this

vicinity.

ALDER CREEK POST-OFFICE

is a small village in the southeast part of town, containing
two hotels, two stores, two churches, a post-office, a tannery,
a shoe-shop, a carriage-shop, etc., and is distant from Alder




^y^i^



HISTORY OF ONEIDA COUNTY, NEW YORK.



427



Creek station, on the Utica and Black River Railway, about
one mile.

The post-office here is on the old Utica and Saeket's
Harbor mail-route, and was established about the same time
as the one at Remsen. The present postmaster is J. M.
McClusky.

The tannery located at this place is operated by W. D.
Carter, and does a considerable business in the maimfac-
facture of unfinished upper-leather.

A telegraph line extends from Alder Creek station
through this village to Forestport, on Black River, at the
head of the canal-feeder. The latter village, or a portion
of it, formerly known as Williamsville, is in this town.

For courtesies extended in furnishing information for
the foregoing sketch of the town of Boonville, we are in-
debted to the following persons, viz. :

At Brionville Villnge. — Julius Rogers, S. E. Snow, the
family of Israel Kingsbury, Clark Riggs, Rev. J. R.
Lewi.s, N. Schweinsberg, William F. Owens, other members
of churches, the proprietors of the various manufactories,
Henry McCluskey, H. C. Utley, F. V. Graves & S-ms, the
bankei'S, Samuel Johnson, W. A. Tanner, Dr. William
Cordell, Albert L. Hayes, and many others.

At Hawkinsville. — Colonel James Grindlay, Rev. Eavl
Rudes, D. Hayes, the manufacturers, Philip Graff, Jonas
Hayes, Matthias Munz, W. H. Cole, of Boonville, and
others.

At Alder CreeJc. — J. M. McClusky and others.



CHAPTER XXVI.



BHIDGBWATEB.



This town, the smallest in superficial area in the county,
occupies its southeastern corner, and includes an area of
14,820 acres. Its eastern portion is a part of Bayard's
Patent ; a diagonal section in the north and centre belongs
to the Coxeborough Patent; and the western portion is
the eastern part of town 20 of the " Chenango Twenty
Towns." Through nearly the centre of the town flow
the head-waters of the Unadilla River, which have here also
numerous tributaries. The surface is generally hilly and
broken, and the view from the higher summits extends
over a wide area. The improvements in this town are of
a high order of excellence, and the thrift of its inhabitants
is visible on every hand. A very large acreage of hops is
raised, as is the case with all the towns in the southern
part of the county. The valley of the Unadilla is broad
and fertile, and has received the name of " Bridgewater
Flats." On its east and west borders the hills are from
300 to 500 feet high, and in many places very steep.
Along some of the streams cedar-swamps are found. In
the northeast part of town a. good quality of limestone is
quarried.

EARLY SETTLEMENT.

It has been asserted that the first settler in this town
was Joseph Farwell, in 1788. Upon the authority of



Miss Charlotte Ives, daughter of Jesse Ives, we make the
following statement :

In 1789, Jesse and Joel Ives, cousins, came to this town
to look for land, and selected the place southwest of the
village of Bridgewater, upon which MLss Ives now resides.
These men were under twenty-one years of age at the time,
and unmarried. In 1790 they came back to their claim,
and made a clearing upon it of twelve acres, and erected a
log house. In the spring of the same year Thomas Brown
located on the site of Bridgewater village, where he built
the first log house in town, and was the first actual settler
within its limits. With him came his wife, and Miss Mar-
garet Lines, and Joseph Farwell.

In 1791 the first frame houses and barns in the town
were built by Joel and Jesse Ives. Those erected by the
former have long since succumbed to the beating of the
elements; the barn built by Jesse Ives is still standing,
and the kitchen of his old house is now the front part of
the dwelling of Miss C. Ives. It has been somewhat re-
modeled. Before the Cherry Valley road was constructed
the highway passed between Jesse Ives' house and barn.
The last-named person removed to Whitesboro' April 1,
1800, ju.st ten years after he had located on his place in
Bridgewater. He retained the old place, and in 1832
moved back to it, but returned to Whitesboro' in 1845.
He died in 1802, at a ripe old age. Joel Ives died on his
place in 1804. His daughter, Mrs. Julia Scott, is now
living at the village with her son, Willard J. Scott.

Abner Ives, a younger brother of Jesse, came a year or
two after the others had settled, he being married at the
time. When the Ives family first came they made the
trip from Connecticut on sleds drawn by oxen, and were
but scantily supplied with the necessaries and comforts of
life.

Miss Charlotte Ives has in her possession a gun which
was used in the French war of 1755-60, and which also
saw service during the Revolution. It was carried at the
battle of Oriskany (August 6, 1777) by Miss Ives' great-
grandfather, — the maternal grandfather of Jesse Ives. He
was in that battle with his son, and the latter fell over a
stump or log, and broke both his arms. This gun was
also in use at the time of the burning of Danbury, Con-
necticut.

The statement is made by those now residing in town
that the Waldo families did not come to this town until
about 1792-93, and this may be the fact ; but Judge
Jones' "Annals of Oneida County" contains the following
account of their settlement, in company with Joseph Far-
well and family, March 4, 1789 :*

" In March, 1789, Farwell, in company with Ephraim Waldo and
Nathan Waldo, removed their families from Mansfield, Connecticut,
to Farwell's Hill. They came by the way of Albany, up the valley of
the Mohawk to Whitesborough, and from thence by the way of Paris
Hill to Bridgewater. From Paris Hill they were obliged to make
their road as they progressed, following a line of marked trees. Their
team consisted of two yoke of oxen and a horse, and the vehicle an
ox-sled. They arrived on the 4th of March. The snow at this time
was about one and a half feet deep, but soon increased to the depth

^' By Miss Ives' statement, Farwell came, with Thomas Brown, in
the spring of 1790 ; consec[ucntly he could not have brought his
family until later. There is an error somewhere in dates.



428



HISTORY OF ONEIDA COUNTY, NEW YOKK.



of four feet. They had two cows, which, with the oxen and horse,
sulisisted until the snow left upon hrowse alone. Ufion their arrival
they erected a shanty in the most primeval style. Four crotches set
in the ground, with a roof of split bass-wood overlaid with hemlock
boughs, with siding composed of coverlets and blanliets, formed the
first dwelling-house ever erected in the town of Bridgewater. The
three families continued in this miserable apology for a house until
midsummer, when two of them, having more comfortable dwellings
provided, removed to them, while the other remained for a year.
Farwell's house was of logs, built upon the hill where he commenced
the previous season. About three years afterwards he erected the
first frame house in town."

Among the other pioneers of this town was Ezra Parker,
who built a log house in the north part, and opened it as a
" house of entertainnscnt." A Mr. Lyman located about
the same time, and three or four years later built a frame
house, which was afterwards kept as a tavern, long known
as " Parkhurst's tavern." This is yet standing at North
Bridgewater.

In 1700, according to Mr. Jones, Major Farwell built a
saw-mill on the west branch of llie Unadilla River, about
three-fourths of a mile below its junction with the Tiana-
derha (or Tianadara) deck. In 1792, Ephraim Waldo
built a store and a blacksmith-shop on Farwell's Hill, and
these were the first in town. A Mr. Thomas erected a
grist-mill the same year.

Judge Jones relates the following incident, and as it has
been given us by other parties also we reproduce it here :
" Soon after the settlement of the town a son of Ephraim
Waldo, eight years of age, while in the woods discovered u
small young bear by the side of a log asleep. The little
boy, intent upon securing the animal, noiselessly retreated
until he found a small elm, fi'om which with his Barlow
knife he succeeded in peeling a piece of bark suitable for
his purpose. Having fixed a noose in the end of his lasso
and creeping to the opposite side of the log, he had the
good fortune to slip the noose over little Bruin's head, at
the .same time making sure of his prize by tightening the
ord so that it could not utter a cry. He was too much of
a backwoodsman not to know that the dam in such cases is
always within hailing distance of her young. Then came
the ' tug of war' in the process of dragging the animal
towards home, and which manifested the strongest evidence
of its not having been previously broken to the halter.
The old bear, soon missing her cub, followed upon the trail
a considerable distance until .she came to the highway,
where, fortunately for the boy, she was discovered and shot
by Jesse Waldo. The boy, now free from danger, kept on
his way home, where he arrived in safety with his trophy
of success in bear-hunting."

Eli Wood, from the town of Sand Lake, Rensselaer
Co., N. Y., came to Plainfield, Otsego Co., about 1805-6,
and after several changes of location settled, in 1810, in
the town of Sangerfield, Oneida Co., where he died. His
son, Silas B. Wood, removed to Bridgewater in 1853 or
1854, where he has since resided. He is now seventy-eight
years of age, and by his present feebleness shows that he
has performed many a hard day's labor.

Garrett Scott, now a resident of Bridgewater village, is
a native of Madison County, where he was born in 1799.
His father and grandfather — Amos Scott, Jr., and Sr. —
were among the earliest settlers of that county. Willett



Scott, a nephew of Garrett, was at one time proprietor of
a private bank at Bridgewater.

Stephen Kirkland, from Saybrook, Conn., settled, on the
11th of July, 1816, upon the place now owned by Asa P.
and Nathaniel Kirkland, north of Bridgewater village, on
the road to North Bridgewater. Mr. Kirkland left the old
home with his family on the 1st day of July ; this was the
famous " cold summer," and every morning while on the
road there was a frost. The farm on which Mr. Kirkland
settled he purchased of a blacksmith named Stewart Ben-
nett, who removed to the West the same year. He had
built a frame house, which is a part of the present resi-
dence. The old place has remained in the hands of the
Kirklands since they first located upon it, a term of sixty-
two years, the two brothers now occupying it having owned
it over thirty years. These are the oldest residents on this
road. Kev. Samuel Kirkland, the noted missionary and the
founder of Hamilton College, was a distant relative of this
family.

It is related of Abraham Monroe, who was the proprietor
of a "public-house'' on the place now owned by John
Tuckerman, that he cut a road through the timber on his
land, passing close by his house, in order to receive the
traveling custom.

Mrs. Thomas Parkinson, of North Bridgewater, is a
daughter of Ephraim Waldo, the person mentioned who,
when but eight years old, lassoed and captured the young
bear. Mr. Parkinson has been a resident of the town since
1847, and came from England the previous year. Ephraim
Waldo owned a place in the west part of the town, where
he spent his last days. It is now owned by his son, Alvia
Waldo.

In 1804 this town, in common with many others, suf-
fered from the effects of a malarial fever, which carried to
their graves many of their settlers That season is vividly
recollected by those whose memory dates back so far.

Mr. Southworth, the grandfather of the present

supervisor of the town (William N. Southworth), was a
Presbyterian minister, and came to Bridgewater from Rome
about 1809-10. His daughter, Aurelia, long a resident of
this town, is now living in Madison County.

Frederick Poirce, a native of Mansfield, Conn., and after-
wards a resident of Windham Co., Vt., came from Brook-
line, in the latter county, to Bridgewater in 1796. He was
unmarried at the time, and came with a family named
Gurley, with whom he lived for several years. The place
upon which Mr. Gurley settled is located a quarter of a
mile north of Bridgewater village, and now occupied by
Cornelius Conklin. Mr. Peirce was appointed by the
Governor a justice of the peace about 1812-13. Ho al.so
practiced surveying to a considerable extent, although not
educated to that profession. Most of the early roads in
town were laid out by him. His son, Nehem.ah N. Pierce,
of the village, has been several times supervisor of the
town and in 1849 represented his district in the Assembly.
Durin" the days of militia he took an active part, and on
the llth of August, 1843, was appointed by Governor
Bouck to the position of colonel of the 140th Regiment
belon.'in.' to the 13th Brigade, 13th Division, New York
State Militia, and his title still clings to him.




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Sims B.Wood.



SILAS B. WOOD,



one of the oldest inhabitants of Oneida County, was
bom in Rensselaer County, N. Y., June 13, 1800.
He IB the son of Eli and Sibyl Wood. His father's
ancestors were of English origin. Silas is the third
son of a family of five children. When he was six
years of age his father moved with his family to
Herkimer County. In the year 1810 the family
settled in Sangerfield, Oneida County. Silas had but
few advantages for obtaining an education, his youth
having been spent at hard labor upon the farm.
After reaching his twenty-first birthday, he com-
menced life for himself by working on a farm
by the month. At the age of twenty-five years he
assumed the responsibility of clearing his father's
farm from a heavy indebtedness. And right well
did he succeed in his endeavors. He and a brother
succeeded to the title of the farm, having provided
a home for their parents. A few years later they
dissolved partnership, and Silas purchased a fine



farm, which he retained possession of until he de-
cided to locate in Bridgewater, which he did in the
year 1854, purchasing the farm on which he now
resides.

February 17, 1830, he was married to Mary Lam-
phear. This union was blessed with six children,
two of whom are now living. Mrs. Wood died
April 20, 1876, and the following year — May 24,
1877 — he again entered the marriage state by wed-
ding Miss Victoria Kendall. She is the daughter of
David and Victoria Kendall, of West Hartwick,
Otsego County. Mr. Wood has, until recently, been
an unusually hard-working man. His industry
has been crowned with success; and now, at the
advanced age of seventy-eight, can look back upon
a life of labor, yet of pleasure. He is a man of
unbending integrity, esteemed and respected by his
neighbors for his many sterling qualities as a citizen
and friend.



HISTORY 01? ONEIDA COUNTY, NEW YOEK.



429



SCHOOLS.

About 1796-97 a log school-house was built a mile north
of North Bridgewater, near the public-house of Ezra Par-
ker, on land now owned by John Tuckerinan. The teacher
was a male, but his name is forgotten. Esquire Rhodes
remembers that he punished a scholar on one occasion by
making him " get down on all fours and put his nose through
a knot-hole in the Jloor."

Schools were also taught early in the Farwell Hill neigh-
borhood and elsewhere, though they were few and scatter-
ing, and the children were often obliged to go two or three
miles to reach the log buildings, where they learned the
rules and rudiments then commonly inculcated by back-
woods pedagogues.

The town the present year (1878) contains 11 school
districts and 3C5 children of school age. The apportion-
ment of school moneys for 1 878 is 8935.158. In the records
of the town for 1797 appears the following entry: "The
Board of Supervisors in and for Herkimer County hereby
certify that thirty-six pounds, eight shillings, and twopence
is the proportion of school money for the town of Bridge-
water for the year 1797."

An academy was established at Bridgewater village in
1826, and discontinued in 1839. During the first ten
years of its existence it was very prosperous, and had an
average attendance of 100 pupils. A commodious building
was erected, at a cost of 12500, and a good chemical and
philosophical apparatus furnished ; also a library.

Another school, known as the " Bridgewater Seminary,''
was established in December, 1847, and in May, 1849,
its name was changed to the " Bridgewater Female Semi-
nary." This school became very prosperous and had a
large attendance, but finally declined, as had the academy
before it, and at length was discontinued.

RELIGIOUS SOCIETIES.

CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH, BRIDGEWATER.

This society was organized March 8, 1798, with thirteen
members. In 1805 a house of worship was erected two
miles north of the village, in the centre of the town. In
this building meetings were held until 1834, when the
church was divided and a new society formed at the village,
which erected the present edifice at that place. It was
largely repaired and remodeled in 1876 ; new carpets were
laid, and a fine pipe-organ purchased and placed in it at a
cost of $800. Among the pastors of this church have been
Revs. John Southworth, A. Miller, C. Matchin, Edward
Allen, and others. The present pastor is Rev. L. W.
Church, of Winfield, Herkimer Co., where he also has
charge of a congregation. The membership of the church
at Bridgewater is about ninety. A Sunday-school is sus-
tained, with an average attendance of sixty ; its Superin-
tendent is William H. Brown.

A SOCIETY OP FRIENDS

at one time flourished in town, and had a considerable
membership. They built a commodious meeting-house and
held meetings for years, but finally became scattered, and
in time disbanded.



BAPTIST CHURCH, BRIDGEWATER.

This church was constituted July 12, 1826, with sixteen
members. Rev. Amasa Smith was settled as the first pas-
tor, and labored here about nine years. During his minis-
try the society increased to sixty members. He was
succeeded by Rev. Jonathan P. Simmons, in April, 1835,
and among the other early pastors were Revs. Jason Cor-
win, Daniel Dye, P. W. Mills, and D. W. Smith, of whom
the latter afterwards assumed charge of the " Bridgewater
Female Seminary.'' The present pastor is Rev. J. H.
Messenger, and the membership about forty. The Sabbath-
school has an average attendance of about fifty, and is
superintended by Sheridan Arnold. It has six teachers.
A cabinet-organ is used. The first church built by this
.society stood upon the hill a short distance west of the vil-
lage, and was erected in 1826. In 1840 it was removed
nearer the centre of the village, and extensively repaired.
About 1862-63, it was destroyed by fire. At that time
the Baptists were not holding meetings in it, but it was
occupied by the Methodists. The Episcopalians were at
the same time holding services in a small building owned
by them, and an agreement was made to move this to the
Baptist ground, when all three denominations should con-
duct their meetings in it. This was carried into effect. At
present the Methodists hold no meetings, the Baptists and
Episcopalians occupying the church. The Baptists hold
regular Sabbath services, while the Episcopalians have
evening meetings once in two weeks. The membership of
the latter society is quite small. Their rector is Rev. J.
B. Wicks, of Paris Hill. The church is a frame building.

A SOCIETY or UNIVERSALISTS

was formed quite early, and si house of worship erected by
them in 1834, in the southern part of the village. The
first pastor was Rev. L. D. Smith. Revs. Grosh, Brown,
and Woolley were afterwards in charge. At present there
is no regular pastor, and meetings are not held, although it
is probable they will soon be resumed. The number of
members of this denomination in the vicinity is small.
The church is a frame structure, and is adjacent to a small
cemetery.

The Methodists and Baptists hold services in the school-
house at Babcock's Hill, as do other denominations occa-
sionally.

TOWN RECORDS.

The town of Bridgewater was formed from Sangerfield,
March 24, 1797. From the records we find that the

"Annual town-meeting opened in Bridgewater, April 4, 1797.
Agreeable to a law in that case made and provided, the freeholders
and inhabitants (qualified to vote for town officers) met at the house
of Colonel Thomas Convers, in Bridgewater.

" 1st. Voted to choose town oQicers by ballot."

The following were the officers chosen, viz. : Surpervisor,
Thomas Brown, Esq.; Town Clerk, Aaron Morse; Assess-
ors, James Kinnee, Esq., Eldad Corbit, and William Mor-
gan ; Overseers of the Poor, Ezra Parker, John W. Brown,
and Alexander Tackles ; Road Commissioners, Levi Car-
penter, Jr., Job Tyler, and James Benham, Jr.; Con-
stable, John Mitchell; School Commissioners, Asher Flint,
Thomas Brown, Esq., and Jonathan Porter; Collector, Johu



430



HISTORY OF ONEIDA COUNTY, NEW YORK.



Mitchell ; Fence-Viewers, Ebenezer Barker, Joseph Moore,
and Abijah Babcock.

" Voted, that there be a pound built near the house of Ephaphras
Moody.

" Chose Joseph Moore trustee aud committee to built said pound,
and liltewise pound-keeper.

"Voted, that said pound be built with logs."

The following pathmasters were then chosen for the dis-
tricts, in the same order as they are named, from one to
twelve : Zerah Brown, Ebenezer Barker, Jonathan Condy,
Jesse Hall, Asher Bull, Asher Flint, Joseph Gardnier,
Jonathan Utley, Jr., Stephen Gordon, Elijah Thompson,
Truman Blackman, and Jesse Carpenter.

"Voted, that swine run at large, with yokes, from the 15th of
April to the 20th of November.

" Voted, that rams shall not run at large from the 20th of August
to the 20th of November.

"Voted, that boars shall not run at large after the 1st of May
next on any condition whatever.

"Voted, the annual town-meeting for 1798 be holden at the house



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 119 of 192)