Samuel W Durant.

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

. (page 136 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 136 of 192)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

was rebuilt. Its early pastors were Revs. John Eastman,
from about 1809 to Jan. 8, 1822 ; Ralph Bobbins, installed
May 9, 1827 ; Richard M. Davis, installed July 2, 1833,
and dismissed in May, 1835 ; and Pindar Field, who
began his labors in October, 1846, and was installed Feb.
23, 1848. :■

The Baptist Church-ot Paris, afterwards known as the
Firit Baptist Church in Paris, was organized in the present
limits of Marshall, July 6, 1797, being but twenty-two
days later than the organization of the Congregational
Church, as above. Elder Hezekiah Eastman had preached
here as early as 1796, and possibly earlier, and when the
church was constituted he became its pastor. He con-
tinued his labors till 1809, when he was dismissed, and be-
came pastor of the Sangerfield Church. On the 22d of
September, in the latter year, he set out on a missionary

tour to the Holland Purchase, in the western part of the
State. The other pastors of this church were John Beebe
and John G. Stearns. Its records close Jan. 16, 1832,
about which time it was disbanded, a part of its members
uniting with the Baptist Church in Clinton, then recently

Methodist Episcopal Church, Deansville. — As early as
1803 the Methodists had a class in this town, which was
supplied with preaching once in two weeks by the West-
moreland circuit ministers. In 1828 a society was organ-
ized, and steps taken towards the building of a house of
worship at Deansville. Nothing further was done until
1837, when the efforts were more successful, and the
present church edifice in Deansvillewas begun and made
ready for occupancy in 1842, its site being donated by
Thomas Dean, Esq., long the agent for the Brothertown In-
nians. The present pastor of this church is Rev. E. C.
Brown, and the membership about 75. Miss Almira Burr
is Superintendent of the Sunday-school, which has about
60 members, teachers, and officers, and a library of 176

The Universalists had for many years a church at Forge
Hollow, but it has become extinct.

The Congregational Church at Deansville has a mem-
bership of about 40. It employs no regular pastor at
present, although meetings are held and preaching sus-
tained by supplies. The Sabbath-school is superintended
by Miller 1. Kinney.


Marshall post-office, the first one in town, was established
at this place about 1823-24 ; Dr. Levi Buckingham was
the first postmaster, and held the office during his residence
in the place. The present incumbent is John Collins.

The first hotel at Hanover was probably opened by New-
man Gridley, about 1813-15. Dr. Buckingham, on his
arrival at the village in 1816, built a store on Hanover
Green, and went into business with Henry Hawley, who
had previously traded at Forge Hollow. The doctor finally
sold his interest to his partner, and the latter continued the
business for many years, a portion of the time in the old
tavern. The first store in town was opened by Isaac Miller,
Esq., about half a mile east of Hanover Green.

is located southeast of Deansville, and was so named from
the fact that a forge for the manufacture of iron was erected
here in 1801, by Daniel Hanchett, John Winslow, Thomas
Winslow, and Ward White, who made iron from the ore.
Several smaller establishments of the kind were afterwards
built, which worked only on scrap-iron, manufacturing fur-
nace castings, etc. The earliest settler here was probably
a man named Putnam, and Elder Tremain and Timothy
Burr were also among the early arrivals. The place has at
present but little business. It is located on the east branch
of the Oriskany, the valley of which is here quite narrow
and shut in by rugged hills.

is the most important village in the town, and occupies a
position in its northwest corner, on the Oriskany. It con-

£LOcr'<< 3
g § S:SU

^ "' O a S

>^ o » o t:.
a o DO

2 g. M'^a.
g'" gcxj 3

S Ct> H

•o » S » s




►-♦3 0*—'

P (D ■*' **

O o

CO ■*! ^ ®

S B ^„

•-• 5 CD

D B „ O

■ d m CD













1— I




tains three stores, two totals, a tin-shop, a millinery and
dress-making establishment, a meat-market, a Lodge of Good
Templars, a harness-shop, two blacksmith-shops, a wagon-
shop, a post-office, and one physician (Dr. E. M. Somers).
Main Street is shaded by rows of fine maples. The place
has been mostly built up since the construction of the Che-
nango Canal.

William Northrup, now living in the village, came here
in 1833. His sons, George B. and Orville B. Northrup,
are in the mercantile business, in the building erected by
John Wilmott about 1833, and occupied by him as the
first store in the place. Mr. Northrup's brother, Royal M.
Northrup, kept a hotel in the winter of 1849-50 on the
Utica, Clinton and Waterville Plank-Road, which was
finished in the fall of 1849 (chartered 1848). This hotel
stood half a mile north of Deansville, in what is now the
town of Kirkland.

The second merchant in Deansville was probably George
Barker, who built the store now occupied by Fairbank &
Van Vechten, on the opposite (north) side of the street
from the one erected by Wilmott.

The old grist-mill at Deansville was built by Asa Dick,
Esq., about 1835-38. It was afterwards operated for some
years by a stock company as a distillery, but has been re-
converted into a grist-mill, and is now the property of Mr.

The Deansville post-office was established about 1832-33,
with Thomas Dean, Esq., as first postmaster. The present ■
incumbent of the office is George Northrup.

The first hotel in the village was probably kept by Wil-
lard Northrup. A Mr. Pixley and a Mr. Curtiss were also
early, and possibly Mr. Pixley may have been the first.
The old building stood on the ground occupied by the
present " Hamilton House," and was destroyed by fire.
The latter building was erected by its present proprietor,
William Hamilton, in 1875—76. The building now known
as the " Deansville Hotel" was originally erected for a store
about the time the canal was in process of construction.
It was first opened as a hotel by Harvey Curtiss (above

The Deansville CeTnetery Association was organized
about 1860, and owns a fine tract of about three and one-
half acres in the town of Kirkland, just north of Deans-
ville, which has been laid out with excellent taste.

Among those who have furnished us information, are
Dr. Levi Buckingham, Isaac Miller (of Kirkland), Wm.
Northrup, members of churches, and numerous others.



one of the prominent and successful farmers of the town
of Marshall, was born on the farm where he spent his life
Oct. 1, 1805. He was the son of James and Sybil Mel-
vin, who had a family of five children. Ira lived with his
father until his decease, in 1840, when the property came

into his possession. In 1846 he married Miss Polly
Cutter, who is a native of the town of Marshall, where she
was born April 4, 1820. They were blessed with four
children,— Emily R., born Nov. 20, 1847, died Sept. 27,
1854 ; Sarah J., born July 28, 1852 ; Adis A., born Jan.
12, 1857 ; Ira E., born April 11, 1858. Sarah was mar-
ried December 7, 1875, to Mr. Sanford Crandall, of Mar-
shall. We call attention to a view of the residence to be
seen elsewhere in this volume.



Br an act passed April 12, 1827, entitled "An Act to
Divide the Town of Whitestown, in the County of Oneida,"
the town of New Hartford was formed, including the south
part of the territory then belonging to Whitestown, and
being the last town taken from the latter, whose area once
comprised the entire western portion of the State. The
name New Hartford was applied to the village founded by
the early settlors, and was retained as a fit title for the new
town when erected. The following act was passed by the
Legislature April 26, 1834, increasing the amount of ter-
ritory in New Hartford :

" § 1. All that part of the town of Kirkland, in the county of
Oneida, beginning at the southeast corner of the town of Kirkland;
thence westerly on the Paris line to the centre of lot No. 40 ; thence
through the centre of lots 40 and 39 to lot No. 38, meeting the line of
New Hartford, be and the same hereby is annexed to the town of
New Hartford."

Previous to 1855 the village of Clark's Mills lay partly
in each of the four towns of New Hartford, Kirkland,
Westmoreland, and Whitestown ; but by an act passed
November 22, 1855, portions of New Hartford, Westmore-
land, and Whitestown were annexed to Kirkland, including
the aforesaid village, which is now entirely in the latter

The present area of New Hartford is 16,941 acres, and
its population in 1875 was 4397. The surface is diversi-
fied by hill, plain, and valley, and many picturesque loca-
tions are found. The timber has been mostly cut away,
and the hill-sides in many places are seamed by gullies
which have been worn by water since the timber was de-
stroyed. Owing to the same cause, and the consequent
decrease in the rain-fall, the average volume of water is
much less than formerly in the streams, and it has been
necessary to introduce steam in the various manufac-

The town is watered by the Sauquoit Creek and its
branches, the stream flowing in a northerly course nearly
through the cenl;re, and being lined with various manu-
facturing establishments. The advantages of water-power
offered by this stream were early utilized, although some
of the first settlers, with rather an inexcusable lack of
judgment, declared that there was not power enough to
run a saw-mill. The error of such a statement was very
soon made manifest by actual experiment, and it was found



that the Sad-agh-qae-da, or Sauquoit, was one of the best
streams in the State of its size.

The Chenango Canal and the Utica and Clinton Division
of the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railway cross
side by side the northern part of town, passing north of
the village of New Hartford ; and the Utica and Chenango
Division of the same railway follows up the valley of the
Sauquoit, having a station at New Hartford. The old
Seneca Tarnpike Road (incorporated in 1800) was built
through the village of New Hartford, off from the more
direct route, through the influence of Judge Jedediah
Sanger ; and in consequence a large trade sprang up at the
village, and continued until the construction of the Erie
Canal gave the precedence to Utica, which soon became a
thriving place.


In the month of March, 1Y88, Colonel Jedediah Sanger,
who had purchased a thousand acres of land lying on both
sides of Sauquoit creek, the tract being about equally di-
vided by that stream, arrived and began making improve-
ments. His purchase included the whole of the site of the
present village of New Hartford, and he contracted to pay
fifty cents an acre for it. Before he had lived here a year,
he sold the portion on the east side of the creek to Joseph
Higbee, for one dollar an acre, thus clearing himself and
leaving nearly half the land as profit. Higbee's portion was
subsequently surveyed, and found to contain six hundred

From the foregoing it is seen that Colonel Sanger was
the first, and Mr. Higbee the second, settler within the
present limits of the town. The settlement and develop-
ment of the country immediately around progressed rapidly
under the management of Colonel Sanger, and the pioneers
were all intelligent, persevering men. In March, 1789, a
year from the time he made his first improvements. Colonel
Sanger brought his family to his wilderness home, and the
same year he erected a saw-mill. In 1790 he built a grist-
mill, which is still standing, the property at this time of
John McLean. The barn built by the colonel is also
standing, as is his second house. The latter was his first
substantial dwelling, the first residence being a temporary
structure of logs. The saw-mill built by him has long since
been removed.

The following sketch of Colonel (afterwards Judge)
Sanger is taken from Jones' " Annals of Oneida County,"
the best authority we have found. Judge Jones was well
acquainted with him, and they were warm friends.

Colonel Jedediah Sanger was born in Sherburne, Mid-
dlesex Co., Mass., Feb. 29, 1751,* "consequently he had
a birthday but once in four years." His parents were
Richard and Deborah Sanger, who had ten children, he
being the ninth. He received a common education, worked
upon a farm, and afterwards kept a small store. In May,
1771, he was married to Sarah Rider, by whom he had
four children. In 1782 he removed to Jeffries, Cheshire
Co., N. H., where he purchased a large farm. In his
dwelling, which was also a tavern, he kept a small store.

* Must have been 1752 to be a leap-year.

In 1784 his dwelling, with all its contents, was destroyed
by fire, including a large quantity of groceries which
had arrived only the evening before. This disaster ren-
dered him bankrupt, and he soon afterwards heard of
the " Whitestown country," to which he determined to
emigrate as soon as he could arrange his business. In 1788
everything was ready, and he pushed forth to the new field,
arriving on the site of New Hartford in March, as pre-
viously stated. Prosperous in his new home, he afterwards
paid the full amount of his indebtedness to his creditors in
the East with interest.

"In 1796 he erected the first grist- and saw-mills on the outlet of
Skaneateles Lake, now in the beautiful village of Skaneateles, Onon-
daga County. He was one of the active and leading partners in the
Paris Furnace, which was erected in 1800, and went into operation in
1801. In 1806 he was engaged in the manufacture of cotton. He
spent eleven winters in Albany as a member of the Senate and As-
sembly, to each of these bodies having been elected by the people.
He was the first supervisor of Whitestown, and held the office for
three successive years. He was appointed first judge of Oneida
County upon its organization, and held the office until 1810, when he
resigned, as by the constitution and laws his age (sixty years) dis-
qualified him from holding that office."

His first wife died Sept. 26, 1814, and on the 31st of
August, 1815, he married Sarah B. Kissam, who died April
23, 1825. His third wife, Fanny Dench, to whom he was
married Oct. 3, 1827, survived him some years, and died
in May, 1842. Judge Sanger's death occurred June 6,
1829. Upon his monument in the village cemetery was
placed the following inscription :

" Sacred to the memory of Hon. Jedediah Sanger, who died June
6, A.D. 1829. The founder of New Hartford. His charities are
widely extended, and his munificence has reared and supported several
edifices devoted to the service of his Maker. His virtues are indelibly
impressed upon the hearts of his countrymen."

The members of his family raised a cenotaph in the
Episcopal Church, with the inscription :

"Sacred to the memory of Jedediah Sanger; born Feb. 29, 1751,
died June 6, 1829. ' He, being dead, yet speaketh.' "

Judge Sanger was the possessor of a master-spirit of
energy and decision, and a man of strict integrity. The
town of his adoption owed everything to his efforts, and
his loss, both as a genial friend and citizen and a business
man, was much deplored. In politics he belonged to the
school known at that time as Federals.

Another of the very early settlers of this town, and a
man prominent in civil and military affairs, was General
Oliver Collins, who, it is believed, located in 1789, on a
farm a short distance from Middle Settlement, on the
Whitesboro' Road, where he had his residence through the
remainder of his life. He was a native of Connecticut,
and served in the line of that State as a sergeant during
the Revolutionary war. Soon after settling in this town
he was commissioned captain of the Whitestown militia
company, and rose thereafter step by step to the rank of
brigadier-general. " While holding this commission the
war of 1812 was declared, and in this war also he ren-
dered valuable services to his country, having been, in 1814,
commandant of that most important military post, Sacket's



Harbor.* Here his position was a most trying one. The
British in the latter part of this year had the naval as-
cendency on Lake Ontario," and in the absence of General
Brown with the main body of the army on the Niagara
frontier, the large amount of stores belonging to the gov-
ernment at Sacket's Harbor were without a sufficient force
for their protection. After consultation with Colonel
Mitchell, Greneral Collins called out the militia of Herki-
mer, Oneida, Jefferson, and Lewis Counties, en masse.
This force amounted to about 2900 men, of whom 2500
were from Oneida and Herkimer Counties. General Col-
lins proceeded with his foi'ce to the Harbor, where they
quartered very uncomfortably, and, owing to almost constant
rain, the streets of the village were nearly impassable.
To add to these inconveniences, disease made its appear-
ance among them, and was attended with great mortality.
Blany deserted, and after General Collins' term of office at
the Harbor had expired he returned to Oneida County,
and ordered a court-martial for the trial of the deserters.
This court was held in Utica. at the public-house of Blajor
John Bellinger, afterwards known as the " New England
House," and the deserting members of the militia were
sentenced to have all their back-pay stopped and be
drummed out of camp as far as Deerfield Corners, to the
tune of the " Rogue's March," wearing their coats wrong-
side out.

Some threats were made that the citizens of Utica never
would suffer the sentence to be carried out, but General
Collins applied to the commander of a company of regulars
then stationed in Utica, and was granted the use of their
music and a corporal's guard of sixteen men to aid him
in performing his duty. Although a considerable crowd
had collected with the intention of interfering, they did
not endeavor to disturb the proceedings when General
Collins ordered the guard to load with ball cartridges and
said to the assemblage, " If you interfere in this business,
gentlemen, it is at your peril, for I will cause more bullet-
holes to be made through your bodies than there are button-
holes in your coats," and it is perhaps needless to add that
the sentence was executed to the letter.

General Collins retired to private life upon the close of
the war, and died on his farm Aug. 14, 1838, at the age
of seventy-six years. He was four times married. In
politics he was a strict Democrat.

John French came to this town from the State of New
Hampshire about the year 1792, and settled on the farm
now owned by his son, John French, who was born on the
place in 1797. The latter has in his possession a lieu-
tenant's commission issued to his father by Governor George
Clinton. Tiie elder Mr. French died February 25, 1839,
at the age of seventy-three years.

Nathan Seward, who settled about the same time, located
on the farm adjoining Mr. French's on the east. He be-

* Jones' Oneida. This statement is incorrect, as tlie commanding
officer at Saelcet'6 Harbor when General Collins called out the militia
of his division was Colonel Mitchell, of the regular service, with a
small body of artillery and two battaliiins of infantry. The latter
wore detachments the i.'Jth and 45th Regiments, United States
troops. A volunteer officer would not displace a colonel in the regular


came interested afterwards in the " Capron Cotton-Factory,"
north of New Hartford village.

Among those who settled west of the village were Ash-
bel Beach, Amos Ives, Solomon Blodget, Salmon Butler,
Joel Blair (the last three at what is known as " Middle
Settlement"), Agift Hill (who located on the farm owned

for many years by Oliver Sandford, Esq.), Wyman,

and Stephen Bushnell. On the road leading from Middle
Settlement to Whitosboro' was Joseph Jennings. East of
the village of New Hartford were Messrs. Higbee, Seward,
and French, already mentioned. To the south of the
village the settlers were more numerous. Eli Butler, a
resident of Middletown, Conn., — the same place from
whence came Hugh White, the first permanent settler in
the county, — arrived in what is now New Hartford in
1789, and settled on the farm at present owned by his
grandson, Morgan Butler, the house of the latter being
just within the corporate limits of the village. Mr. Butler
had been to this region in the year 1785, and purchased
farms for three of his sons, — John and Sylvester in Paris,
and Ashbel in New Hartford. He had a family of four
sons and seven daughters, and the daughters and one son,
Eli, Jr. (father of Morgan Butler), accompanied him here
in 1789. Eli was his youngest son, and remained on the
farm settled by his father in New Hartford until his death.
This farm included three hundred acres.

Captain David Risley, a Revolutionary veteran, with his
brother, Allen Risley, and Truman and Webster Kellogg,
settled very early south of New Hartford village and west
of what is now Washington Mills. They came together,
and built a small shanty on what is now the lawn in
front of the residence of J. S. Foster, who married a
daughter of Captain Risley. The nearest or best mill
being twenty or thirty miles away, in Herkimer County, it
was necessary either to carry grain on their backs or on
horseback, and make a trip of two days in order to get it
ground. Finally they devised a plan for doing their own
grinduig. A large, sound maple-tree was cut down, the
stump "squared off," a bowlder heated and raised with the
aid of a couple of poles placed beneath it to the top of the
stump, and the operation repeated until a large, smooth hole
was burned ; then, after scraping away the charcoal, they
bent an iron-wood sapling, trimmed its top away, and, with
a rope made of elm-bark, fastened to it a heavy wooden
pestle, and the mill was ready for use. The ingenuity ol
the settlers was never at a loss for devising anything which"
could be made with the conveniences at hand.

Soon after his settlement Captain David Risley built and
opened on his place a small store, which stood in the yard
in front of the present site of the residence of James S.
Foster. The structure was of logs, and he also built a log
tavern, which was much frequented by travelers between
Utica and the southern part of the State. A large frame
store-building was afterwards erected a few steps north of
the old log edifieo, and " Captain Risley's store" became an
important institution of that day. It was finally removed
to Washington Mills, or " Checkcrville," and is now used as
a dwelling at that place by George Long.

When the territory now comprised in the county of Chau-
tauqua began to bo settled, a branch of the Risley family



emigrated thither, and one of its members, Hon. Elijah
Risley, was afterwards elected sheriff of the county, and
subsequently member of Congress.*

Among others who located south of the village of New
Hartford were two families named Olmstead, and Me-ssrs.
Seymour, Hurlburt, Kilborn, and Montague. Henry Black-
stone, from the State of Connecticut, emigrated to this town
previous to the organization of the county of Oneida, and
settled on the farm now owned by his son, Alfred Black-
stone, east of Washington Mills. He made his first trip
here, in company with Zenas Gibbs and Ashbel Tyler, with
an ox-team. He made his permanent settlement afterwards,
probably in the spring of 1792. Mr. Gibbs' old farm is
now owned by his grandson, Gould G. Morton.

Nehemiah Enswurth came to the town in the fall of 1791,
and the next spring (1792) settled on a portion of the 500
acre lot on which Zenas Gibbs and Mr. Blaokstone had lo-
cated. He was from Canterbury, Connecticut. The pres-
ent owner of the old farm (April, 1878) is Henry Wads-
worth. Mr. Ensworth's brother, Elihu Ensworth, came with
him, and a son of the latter, Ezra Ensworth, owns the old
Ashbel Tyler farm.

William Huggins (or Hugins), who arrived at the same
time, helped Zenas Gibbs to build a small shanty, which
they covered with elm-bark, and lived in it with their fami-
lies for two years. From Albany these parties came up the
river on a flat-boat, pushing slowly along with the aid of

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 136 of 192)