Samuel W Durant.

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

. (page 134 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 134 of 192)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

class-leader here, and Adiu Sly, still living in the village,
probably the second. The latter is the only one of the
original congregation now in the place, and has been a
resident of the town since 1827. He came from North
Adams, Berkshire Co., Mass. Among the early pastors of
the church were Revs. John Roper and Elisha Wheeler, in
1838. The present pastor is Rev. J. W. Roberts, now on
his second year at the place. The society numbers about
60 members. Mr. Roberts also preaches at Westernville
and on Quaker Hill in the town of Western.

Near West Branch is the old Friends' Meeting-House,
not far from the old Thomas Brown farm. The Nisbets,
Fra.siers, and others, and persons from Boonville and other
localities, were among the early members. The membership
at present is quite small, but meetings arc held occasionally.

Northwest of Stokes post-office, on Jackson Hill, where
there is quite an Irish settlement, there is a Catholic Church,
with a small membership. It stands on land originally
owned by Lyman Harger.


Among the early physicians in this town were Zenas
Hutchinson, Enoch Alden, and Dr. Munger. Of these
Dr. Hutchinson, who was reputed to have been an excel-
lent physician, probably had the largest practice. Those
now in the town are Drs. R. H. Robinson and Kings-
bury (the latter a druggist) at Lee Centre, and Dr. Pill-
more at Delta.


The post-office at this place was removed here from
Stokes in 1827. Charles Stokes was the first postmaster
at the latter place, and upon his removal to Lee Centre was
appointed first postmaster at this place also. The office at
Stokes was next in charge of James M. Husted. The pres-
ent incumbent of that office is C. F. King, and of the one
at Lee Centre, A. J. Eames. Two express stage lines run
daily between Lee Centre and Rome, one via Lee Line, and
the other v!a Stokes, Delta, and Ridge Mills. The latter
is the mail-route.

Charles Stokes, while at Nisbet's Corners (Stokes Post-
Office), in company with Mr. Nisbet carried on an ashery,
and after coming to the Centre, established one at the latter
place also. He made the one here very profitable. He
also owned a store, which stood on the ground where the
new block of A. A. Cornish was erected in 1878. The
old Stokes store was built by William and Abijah Park,
and rented to a man named Sherman, who opened the first
store in the village. It was afterwards occupied by Eleazer
Bushnell, and had changed hands several times before Mr.
Stokes located here. Archibald Frink succeeded Bush-
nell, and Levi Green next owned it, and of him Stokes

The manufacture of leather was commenced in this town
on a small scale in 1815. In 1830-31 a tannery was es-
tablished at the Centre by Asa Adams, on a stream dis-
charging into Canada Creek. It was a small affiiir. Mr.
Adams finally disposed of it to Asa B. Sexton. It is now
the property of Eames & Smith, who manufacture sole-
leather principally, the market for its products being Bos-
ton. A lal-ge tannery was established here about 1871-72
by Newton, Nash & Co. (afterwards Newton, Adams &
Co.), of Boston. Fine leather in the rough was manufac-
tured, and an extensive business done. The establishment
was subsequently burned, and has not been rebuilt.

The furniture, cabinet, and undertaking establishment on
Canada Creek, in the lower part of the village, was put in
operation by George and Aaron Stedman, as early as 1839-
40. The manufactures at present are small.

Lee Centre has two blacksmith-shops (one also working
at wagon-making), two dry-goods and grocery stores, a va-
riety-store, a drug-store, one tinware and two hardware es-
tablishments, a cooper-shop, two shoe-shops, a dentist, one
harness-shop, and one hotel, beside other establishments
already described.




Among the early pioneers whose names appear upon the
pages of our County History, none are more entitled to an
honorable mention than the subject of this sketch. He was
of English origin, his ancestors being among the early
emigrants to New England, about 1618. He was the son
of Daniel Eames and Mary Cutler Eames, and was bom
Sept. 20, 1762, in Hopkinton, Mass. His father was born
April 8, 1744 ; and mother, Mary Cutler, was born Sept.
18, 1744, in Massachusetts. Daniel was a Eevolutionary
soldier. He was the father of six children, viz., James, Asa,
Jesse, Daniel, Mary, and Aaron ; all lived to be grown to
manhood, and each had a family. Daniel died June 22,
1812, and his wife died Nov. 26, 1822. James, Sr., was
a Eevolutionary soldier, and was present when Major Andre
was executed. He married Jerusha Newton, a native of
Holliston, Mass., during the winter of 1784 or 1785. He
had nine children, the five eldest of whom were born in
Hopkinton, Mass., and the remainder in Lee, Oneida Co.,
N. Y. Names of children are as follows : Simeon N.,
Jerusha, James, Mary, George, Lewis, Daniel, Levina, and
Emily. Simeon, George, Lewis, and Daniel were married
and had families. James settled in what is now the town
of Lee, Oneida Co., with his family, in February, 1798 ;
but he had been here himself previously one or two years
and made some improvements, such as building a saw-mill,
etc. He was a successful business man. In politics he
afiiliated with the Whig party. He held various offices of

trust and honor, to the general satisfaction of his constit-
uents. In religion he was closely allied to the faith of the
Universalists, and the most or all of his family embraced the
same faith. He was a highly respected citizen. A kind
husband and an aifectionate father, he left a name which
is cherished by his children. He died Jan. 20, 1844, and
his wife died March 10, 1807. James, Jr., was born Oct.
28, 1790 ; never married. He lived with his father until
his death, and then he and his four maiden sisters continued
to live together until, one by one, they have passed away,
leaving only one sister, Emily, who still resides on the place
which they purchased in 1861. In politics, a Republican.
In religion, a Universalist. In principle, every way a man
of truth and honor. He ever tried to make the home
pleasant for his sisters. He died suddenly on the 12th of
June, 1874.

Miss Jerusha Eames was born Sept. 27, 1788 ; she always
had charge of the family after the death of her mother, in
1807. She won the affections of her brothers and sisters
by her entire devotion to their interest, and the admiration
of all by her unselfishness. She was kind, loving, and
genial. She was a very intelligent lady, of rare culture,
and the impress of her teachings may be seen to-day on
the remaining members of the family. She died Aug. 16,

This biography, and portraits above, are inserted by the
sister Emily, in memory of those who she holds most dear.



Let Centre Lodge, No. 478, L 0. 0. T., is the fourth
one of the kind which has had a being in the village, and
was organized in February, 1877, with 26 members, the
number soon being increased to 35. 40 additional mem-
bers have been added at the recent lectures of Prof W. W.
Gunnison. Curtis Spinning is Worthy Chief Templar, and
Miss Bella Hicks Worthy Vice-Templar and Lodge Deputy.

Starr Post, No. 56, G. A. R., was organized Feb. 14,
1876, with 30 members, and named for Emory C. Starr,
who enlisted from this town in the 146th New York In-
fantry. He was taken prisoner at the Wilderness, Virginia,
and carried to Andersonville, Ga. After his release he came
home and died. The pi'esent officers of the Post are J. J.
Castle, P. C. ; M. W. Jones, S. V. C. ; J. E. Cook, J. V.
C. ; A. W. Downing, Adjt. ; A. J. Eames, Q. M. ; R. H.
Robinson, Surgeon ; C. F. King, Chaplain ; N. T. Wood,
0. D. ; F. H. Waite, 0. G. ; W. M. Canning, S. M. ; A.
J. Eames, Q. M. S.


This place is located east of Lee Centre, between that
place and Delta, and has a hotel, a post-office, and a Ma-
sonic Lodge.

Baron Sleuhen Lodge, 7\'o. 264, F. and A. 31., was
originally called Westernville Lodge, having been organized
at that place, June 2, 1853. It was removed to Stokes,
Aug. 14, 1856, and the name changed as above. Its mem-
bership. May 1, 1878, was 85, and its officers as follows:
W. M., E. I. Coleman ; S. W., S. M. Smith ; J. W., Charles
Carmichael; Treas., A. J. Sly; Sec, C. F. King; S. D.,
M. A. Pease ; J. D., A. J. Burk.


This place is located in the northeast part of town, and
contained in May, 1878, a post-office, with G. Simonds as
postmaster, 2 hotels, a shoe-shop, a grist-mill a short dis-
tance cast, owned by Wyman Brothers, a blacksmith-shop,
and a small population. It is on the stage route from Ava
Corners to Rome.


This place is in the northwest corner of town, and takes
its name from the steep, rocky point between the two streams
(Fish and Point Rock Creeks) which here come together.
The streams in this locality abound in trout, and much of
the original timber is yet standing. A considerable busi-
ness is done in the manufacture of lumber. The place has
a store and tavern, and a small number of houses, and is
known also by the name of " Belcher." A post-office has
recently been e.stablished. Two miles below Point Rock is
the mouth of Fall Brook, which empties into Fish Creek
from the town of Annsville. At its mouth are three fine


This locality is in the southwest part of town, on the old
" State Road." The post-office here was the first one es-
tablished in town, and Jesse Madison was the first or one
of the first postmasters. The present incumbent of the
office is Mr. Madison's son-in-law, Levi K. Brown. Mr.
MadLson kept a public-house, and before his time there was
another carried on by Esquire Clumb. The first tavern was

kept by one of the Belknaps (probably Eli). There were
at one time two taverns in this locality, half a mile apart.

is located in the southeast part of town, on the Mohawk,
and extends partly into the town of Western. It was named
by Anson Dart, who came quite early to the place with his
brother, Oliver Dart. The former, about 1834, built the
grist-mill now owned by E. A.. Walsworth, and called it
'• Delta Mills.'' The present brick store was built the same
season by Catlin and Hartoon (brothers-in-law).

Probably previous to 1828 a post-office was established at
Newbernville (Elmer Hill), and Andrew Elmer was the
postmaster at that place, until February 20, 1834, when it
was removed to Delta, the name changed to correspond with
the village, and Franklin Peek appointed postmaster. Mr.
Peck's father, Gates Peck, settled in town about 1803— k
The present incumbent is Francis Herrington. As late as
1850 mail was brought twice a week in a one-horse wagon.
The office is now on the route between Rome and Lee
Centre, and has a daily mail.

Several distilleries were operated at and in the neighbor-
hood of Delta in an eai-ly day. The first one was built
by Moses Hall, and was afterwards owned and operated
by Horace Putnam. This was in the town of Western,
although belonging to Delta, and was located on the road
running to Westernville, near the lower bridge across the
Mohawk. Another was built by Jared C. and Elisha Pet-
tibone, and stood in Lee. The latter has been converted
into a cheese-factory, and is one of the best in town, the
number being seven now in operation. The one at Lee
Centre is also a large one.

George T. Dennison, of Delta, is a son of Latham Denni-
son, an early settler of the town of Floyd, in which ho
located about 1800. He was from Rensselaer Co., N. Y.

E. A. Walsworth, the present proprietor of the Delta
gristrmill. is a son of Elisha Walsworth, whose father, Elisha
Walsworth, Sr., was one of the early settlers of the town of

Hosea Cornish, of Delta, is a son of George Cornish, who
came from Plymouth, Mass., and settled just above Lee
Centre immediately after the war of 1812 and 1815.

The present carding-mill, owned by Wellington Bacon,
was built probably by Frederick Tracy.

Gates Peck, whose name has several times been men-
tioned, settled at first in Rome, when a young, unmarried
man. He taught school in that town, and purchased a
farm before he was married. He was named after General
Gates, of Revolutionary fame, his father, Phineas Peck,
having been a soldier under that chieftain, and present at
the surrender of Burgoyne. Phineas Peck never came to
this town. Franklin Peck, a son of Gates Peck, and brother
to Miss E. A. Peck, of Delta, is now a resident of Allegan
Co., Mich.

Delta Lodge, No. 101, /. 0. G. T., has been in exist-
ence three or four years, and has a membership of about
80. The principal officers are Dr. J. Pillmore, W. C. T. ;
Cynthia Roberts, W. V. T. ; Daniel Smith, Lodge Deputy.

The village contains two stores, a post-office, a tobacco
factory, a harness-sliop, a grist-mill, a carding-mill, three



blacksmith-shops, three shoe-shops, a Methodist Church, a
cheese-factory, etc., and is a place of considerable business.

For information received, we are indebted to D. S. Young,
William Park, A. J. Eames, Willis Austin (town clerk, for of records), and others, at Lee Centre; George T. Den-
nisou, Hosea Cornish, Miss E. A. Peck, Miss Sly and her
father, Adin Sly, and others, at Delta; beside numerous
others, including members of the various churches and pro-
prietors of manufactories. David S. Young, of Lee Centre,
furnished us with the address of Judge Miller at the anni-
versary meeting, and also with various notes made by the
judge at different times. To all who have aided us, we
return sincere thanks.



son of Luther Washburn, was born in Vermont, May 21,
1782. His father, Luther, emigrated from England pre-
vious to the Revolutionary war, in which he served till its
close. He married Sarah Spinning, by whom he had eight

Plioto. Ijy Hovpy k Braiiiortl.

children, viz., Martin, Freeman, Luther, Rufus, Sally, Ma-
linda, Rachel, and Calvin, all of whom were born in Ver-
mont, except Calvin.

Martin came with his parents and other members of the
family to Lee, Oneida County, N. Y., about the year 1795,
being then about thirteen years old ; was married to IMartha
Curtis in 1802, by whom he had twelve children, viz.:
Manford, Electa, Julia A., Irene, Jcjhn, Fanny, Alvira,
Eupheniia, Daniel, Albert, Snniuol, and Alphous; all of
whom lived to be men and women. Manford, Samuel, and
Alpheus are now dead.

Mr. Washburn, by occupation, over followed that of the

farmer, and purchased in 1814 the fai-m now owned by his
son-in-law, Curtis Spinning; sold the same in 1828, and
moved nearer to Lee Centre. In politics he affiliated with
the Democratic party, and died January 1, 1867. His
wife, Martha Curtis, was born in Oneida County, N. Y.,
1786, and died March, 1844. His father, Luther Wash-
burn, died September, 1848, at the advanced age of ninety-
two. It is a pleasure to preserve the memory of these
stanch pioneers and defenders of our common country,
Martin havinfr served in the war of 1812.



An act of the Legislature entitled " An Act to divide
the Town of Deerfield, in the County of Oneida," was
passed March 30, 1832, and the southwest part of Deer-
field was erected into a new town, which was named Mnrcy,
after the then Governor of the State, Hon. William L.
Marcy. A few months afterward the Governor visited the
town, and was the guest of C. Baldwin, Esq. The terri-
tory comprised in this town is made up of portions of the
following patents, viz. . Oriskany, in the southwest part ;
Sadaqueda, southern central ; Cosby 's Manor, southeast ;
Servis, northeast; Holland, northern central; and Sumner,
northwest. Its area, according to a tabulated valuation in
1869 by a committee of the board of supervisors, made for
the purpose of equalizing assessments, is 19,065 acres.

The Mohawk River forms the southern boundary of the
town. The rich alluvial flats along this stream vary in
width from half a mile to a mile, and are very productive.
To the north of them extends a wide, level " bench" or
terrace, which is generally sandy and thirty or forty feet
higher than the river. The northern portion of the town
is K,omposed of ridges of high hills, rising six hundred feet
above the Mohawk, and broken in places by deep valleys
through which flow numerous small streams. Nino-Mile
Creek enters from Trenton on the northwest, and after a
winding course of several miles, and a deviation into the
town of Floyd, it finally flows into the Mohawk, near the
southwest corner, and in the town of Marcy.

The Utica and Black River Railway crosses diagonally
from southeast to northwest, having a station at Marcy
Post-office, and leaves the town at Stittville. The old
" Northern Plank-road" traverses the northeast corner of
the town. It has been abandoned as a plank-road some
years. This highway was built in 1847-48 by the "North-
ern Plank-road Company," and the travel over it has always
been extensive. It was laid over the original turnpike road
passing through Trenton, Remsen, etc.

The inhabitants of Marcy are engaged largely in dairying,
and numerous factories fur the manufacture of cheese have
been erected. There is also an esfablLshment in tlie western
part for making cheese-boxes. The most extensive cheese-
factory in town is owned by Mr. Hodges, in the southwest
part. The first factory was built in 1862, on the farm
owned by Levi Tanner, by Messrs. Levi Tanner, A. W.



Wood, and Charles Ashby, and received the milk of a
thousand cows. The same year another factory was erected
by David L. Wilcox and Amos Potter, and used the milk
of four or five hundred cows. Like every business in
which there is much profit, dairying was carried on for a
few years by so many in the town that most of the factories
were forced to suspend operations, but the business has since
resumed a healthy tone, and is not at present overdone.
Stock has been greatly improved since the introduction of
cheese-factories, and many fine cattle may be seen on the
different dairy farms. The favorite breed is the Ayrshire,
the reputation of which is well known in this country.


The first settler in what is now the town of Marcy was
John Wilson, who removed from Windsor, Windsor Co.,
Vt., in 1793, locating here in the spring of that year, with
a large family of children, all under eighteen years of age.
He settled on a river farm, half a mile east of Nine-Mile
Creek, the place being now (1878) the property of William
Richards. Mr. Wilson built a small log house on his
place and cleared several acres of land ; but when he was
just beginning to get his new home in shape for a pros-
perous future he was taken ill with bilious fever, and
died in the fall of the same year he settled. The elder
children continued on the farm, while the younger ones
were cared for by relatives. Mr. Wilson was the sixth
son of Thomas Wilson, an Irish emigrant, who settled in
the town of Plainfield, Conn., in 1745, where he raised a
family of ten children, — nine sons and a daughter. In
1765 the elder Wilson removed, with his family, to the
town of Windsor, Windsor Co., Vt. When the echoes of
Lexington and Concord were still ringing through the col-
onies, eight of Mr. Wilson's sons joined the Continental
army and took part in the long struggle for independence.
The youngest son would have gone with his brothers but
for his youth. The young men all lived to see the new
country recognized as a separate power among nations,
their iron constitutions receiving no shock from the many
hardships and privations they endured.

Early in 1794, James Wilson, the seventh son of the
emigrant, arrived in Marcy, and moved with his family
into a log house, eighteen feet square, which had a short
time previous been built by a Dutchman, named Tull, and
in which he and his family — in all twelve persons — were
then living. This house stood on the bank of Nine-Mile
Creek, about sixty rods above its junction with the Mo-
hawk. Wilson lived in the cabin with Tull until spring,
when he purchased a " new lot," or one unimproved, about
a mile north of Oriskany village. To this he removed,
cleared a few acres of land and planted it with corn, mix-
ing with it a large proportion of pumpkin-seeds. The
corn had scarcely appeared above the ground before it was
completely harvested by wild pigeons, every stalk being
pulled by them. The pumpkin-vines were not disturbed,
and in the rich soil the yield of this " golden fruit" was
exceedingly abundant, the size reached by them being re-
markable. It would seem that the practice of feeding
pumpkins to cattle had not at that time been introduced,
as Mr. Wilson fed his oxen and cows the following winter

from the tops of elm-, basswood-, and maple-trees, which
he cut for the purpose. He prospered, however, in suc-
ceeding seasons, and at the end of fifteen years from his
arrival found himself possessed of a fine home and consid-
erable wealth.

In 1794, Isaac and Jacob Wilson, fourth and fifth sons
of Thomas Wilson, located in town, in the same neighbor-
hood with their brother, James. None of the original
settlers are now living in this locality, Thomas, son of
James Wilson, who was but a lad when his father came in
1794, having removed to Vernon previous to 1850.

Among the early settlers in town were the Carey and
Camp families, and others, all choosing homes along the
river, and near each other. The remainder of the territory
was settled much later, and in some places the original
buildings are yet standing as erected.

Anthony W. and Jonathan Wood, from the State of New
Hampshire, settled in Marcy in 1816, and within a year or
two afterward moved to the farm now owned by Anthony
W. Wood.

William Mayhew, Sr., at Marcy Post-Office, located in
this town during the construction of the Erie Canal. His
father, Robert Mayhew, came to the county in 1804, and
settled in the town of Whitestown in 1805.

Among those now living who have long been residents
of the town are Jeremiah Sweet, members of the Edic and
Weaver families, and others. There is also a large popu-
lation of Welsh, residing principally in the northern part.
Among the oldest of these people at present having homes
here are Mrs. Richard Jones and others. Mrs. Jones came
to Marcy with her husband in 1833 from Utica. Of the
early Welsh settlers in this town the principal were Joseph
Ellis, Evan Jones, and Ellis Owens, who have relatives still
in town or in the county. Thomas Ellis, a son of Joseph
Ellis, resides at Whitesboro'.

At about the period of the war of 1812-15 an institu-
tion was started in the northeast part of town for the manu-
facture of window-glass. This industry lasted but a few
years, owing to the discovery in the neighborhood of Oneida
Lake of a better quality of sand. To the latter locality
the manufacture was transferred, and since then nothing of
a similar nature has been established at Marcy. The glass
made here had a green tinge, and some of it is yet in ex-
istence in a few of the older houses in town, notably the
house built by James Wilson.


As soon as arrangements could be perfected among the
early settlers, schools were established. The first one in
town was in the Wilson neighborhood, and must have been
taught previous to the year 1800, as the old school-house
was nearly ready to fall to pieces in 1816. There is no
one at present in town who remembers the name of the
first teacher, and that information is necessarily omitted.
There are now 11 school districts, and in 1877 there were
479 children of school age. The average attendance for
the year was 182 and a fraction. The amount of money
paid to districts by the county treasurer for 1877 was




A post-office called Marcy was established probably pre-
vious to 1836, in the southwest part of town, on the
" River road." Albertns Hibbard was appointed post-
master, and was succeeded by William Mayhew, Sr., who
was appointed by President Van Buren. The post-office
was then removed to its present location at Marcy Station.
The third and present postmaster is Mr. Mayhew's son,
William Mayhew, Jr. The mails, originally brought by
carriers, are now transported over the Utica and Black
River Railway.

A post-office wa.s established in January, 1878, at Edic's

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 134 of 192)