Samuel W Durant.

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

. (page 149 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 149 of 192)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

His pure personal character, earnest ministry, and deep
scholarship gave him great influence, and he soon ranked
among their first clergymen, and was held in esteem and
respect throughout Wales. His own church in Denbigh
became strongly attached to him, and still cherish his
memory with affection.

Aug. 28, 1816, he married Miss Elizabeth Roberts, of
Rosa, near Denbigh, and for the fifty-nine years of their
married life her cordial sympathy and wise counsel aided
him in every good work. She was gifted to an unusual
degree with business tact and frugality, which enabled her
to do her part in all financial matters. She was wholly
unselfish, and gladly and bravely lifted every care possible,
that her husband might more freely labor in the Master's

While at the seminary Dr. Everett learned a crude sys-
tem of short^hand writing, which he ever afterwards used.
He added new characters, and adapted it also to the Welsh.
While in Denbigh he published a book of instruction in
this short-hand writing. He was also the author of a cate-
chism for Sunday-schools, which was first published in
Denbigh, in 1822, since which time it has been in constant
use, and many editions have been issued in Wales and
America. It is now kept for sale by his family in Steuben.
In 1823 he emigrated to America, having accepted a
call to the Welsh Congregational Church of Utica, N. Y.
Here he labored with great acceptance nine and a half years.

Afterwards he spent several years among the English. For
the first few months he supplied the pulpit of the Second
Presbyterian Church, on Bleecker Street. Thence he re-
moved to West Winfield, Herkimer Co., and became pastor of
the Congregational Church of that village. Here they made
many warm friends, and the time of their stay was ever
a bright spot in their memory. A beautiful memorial win-
dow in their church, erected since his death, testifies to the
continued love of the people for him. An English version
of his catechism was used in their school, also in Western-
ville, where he afterwards settled, as pastor of the Presby-
terian Church. The young people were never forgotten by
him, and he always regarded the Sabbath-school as the true
nursery of the church.

While living in Westernville his house was destroyed
by fire, during a winter night. His family barely escaped
with their lives ; all else was lost. Always a student, he
grieved chiefly for the burning of his valuable library and
writings, a loss which he could never fully replace ; but he
was not one to sit down in despondency ; he knew that God
ruled and he could trust in his providence.

Soon after this he came again to labor among the Welsh,
and settled in Steuben, in 1838, as pastor of two country
churches, Capel-Ucha and Penymynydd. The first is near
his home ; the other four miles off, on the top of the hills
or mountain, as the name is when translated. For over
thirty years he faithfully served these churches, preaching
three times every Sabbath, and holding weekly at least three
other meetings.

January, 1840, he issued the first number of the " Cen-
hadwr," a monthly religious magazine, which he continued
to edit and publish till his death. It was printed the first
two years at 58 Genesee Street, Utica, by the late R. W.
Roberts, and very pleasant was the relation thus formed
between Dr. Everett and Mr. Roberts, but the labor of pub-
lishing it at such a distance from home, eighteen miles or
more, was very great. The road was rough and hilly, and
he was obliged to go, often on horseback, several times a

His eldest sons, John and Robert, had lately graduated at
Oneida Institute, where they had learned the printer's trade
in the office of the " Friend of Man." Dr. Everett, there-
fore, hired a room for them in Remsen village, where the
" Cenhadwr'' was published for two or three years. Then
it was taken to the family residence ; a wing was added for
an office, and here his children printed the magazine for
over thirty years. His sons and daughters learned to set
type, that they might aid their father in the great work to
which he now devoted his life. The " Cenhadwr" was never
a local paper ; it has a wide circulation through the States
and Territories, the Canadas, and Wales, reaching even
sometimes to Australia and India. Dr. Everett was an
earnest reformer ; always in advance of his age, he led in
every good cause. He was one of the earliest of the Welsh
clergy to see that in total abstinence alone was there safety,
and in this cause he struggled sometimes almost alone. He
was also among the first to enter the ranks against slavery,
and he threw his whole life-long influence on the side of

In 1846, Dr. Everett, associated with two others, com-


Rev, ffosr Everett, o.d.

T^AMl UtiCA-

/Mffs Rob'' EvcRETr

J?£SIDENC£ or the late RlV. R. EVERETT, 0.0. ST£UBEN,0neiD>(C.°1V V




piled a hymn-book, which is still used in some of the
Welsh churches. He had years before compiled a smaller
one, which was published in Utica, and was used until this
took its place. He published three editions. He also pre-
pared a Welsh reader for Sabbath-schools, which is exten-
sively used. He was an easy, pure writer, in both Welsh
and English, and by his publications and writings he did,
perhaps, as much as any one man to cultivate a love for
Welsh literature, and to establish and retain a knowledge
of the language in its purity. He died Feb. 25, 1875,
after an illness of two weeks, with his faculties strong and
clear to the last.

In the Utica Daily Eerald of March 2, 1875, we find
this tribute to his memory :

"As a clergyman, the denomination to which he belonged has, by
common consent, given him the first place in its councils ; his advice
has always been respectfully heard, and generally followed. This has
been very marked among his ministerial brethren ; men almost as old
as himself have looked up to him as a father, and their regard for
him has been largely veneration for one who seemed to breathe a
purer spiritual atmosphere than is given to other men. He seemed to
fill his place naturally, and as a matter of course, without effort and
without strife. He was not eloquent, but. rather diffident in the pul-
pit; though the inspiration of his theme, with which he was always
in sympathy, made him a pleasing speaker, and sometimes kindled an
enthusiasm more impressive than the most eloquent oratory. His
judgment was keen and his convictions strong; but in presenting the
most abstruse subject he was so largely sympathetic that he was
always very near to those he addressed.

" It was as a literary man that he has been most useful to his
people at large, and it would be difficult to overestimate his services
to humanity in this field. . . In 1861 Hamilton College conferred
the title of D.D. upon Mr. Everett, and never was the honor more
worthily bestowed."

Mrs. Elizabeth Everett was born May 8, 1797. She
was the sister of Henry Roberts, Utica, father of the well-
known firm Henry Roberts' Sons, Columbia Street. She
filled well her station in life. Wise in counsel, true, faith-
ful, and judicious in her relation to her family, the church,
and the neighborhood, never countenancing gossip, but
exercising a thoughtful care for all, she was always a
steady, cheerful support to her husband. After his death
she continued the publication of the '■ Cenhadwr" till the
close of 1876, when it passed into the hands of her son,
Lewis Everett, the present editor and publisher.

Living so entirely for others, Mrs. Everett was never
idle, and she always retained a remarkable youthfulness of
body and mind. Latterly she met with many serious acci-
dents, but her quiet endurance and Christian submission
enabled her to recover with surprising rapidity. A little
more than a year before her death she was thrown from
the sleigh and her thigh broken in two places ; she re-
covered to walk without assistance or apparent lameness.
She was able, also, during the next summer, to attend
church frequently, and, in the fall and winter, nearly every
Sabbath. She loved prayer, and God blessed her in all her
ways. Her last illness was pneumonia, the same as that of
which her husband died, but not so severe. She kept her
bed only one day, and died March 12, 1878.

Dr. and Mrs. Everett sought to give their eleven chil-
dren a good education rather than wealth, and they were
permitted to see them all numbered among Christ's fol-

Elizabeth, their olJust, was educated in Clinton, Oneida
Co., at the school of Rev. H. H. Kellog, where she re-
mained as teacher. When the school passed into the
hands of the Free-Will Baptists she still retained her posi-
tion, and was for some time lady principal till her marriage
with Rev. J. J. Butler, D.D. She was an earnest Chris-
tian, very successful in her work, and dearly beloved by
her pupils. When the school was removed to Whitesboro'
Dr. Butler was chosen professor of its theological depart-
ment. At the close of ten years they removed with this
department to New Hampton, N. H., thence to Lewiston,
Me., and finally to Hillsdale, Mich., where Dr. Butler oc-
cupies the leading chair in a like department of Hillsdale
College. Their only son is also Professor of Latin in that

Mrs. Butler was ever a conscientious Christian worker
and reformer, and her influence will long be felt, especially
by those of the Free-Will Baptists' clergy who studied with
her husband. She had also marked talent as a writer, and
her contributions were well received, but her dearest interests
centered in her family. Her health gradually failed after
removing to Michigan, and she died April 11, 1877.

Dr. Everett's daughter Cynthia taught among the freed-
men in Norfolk, Va., and in Charleston, S. C. She was
ardent in her love for this work, and especially strove to
elevate them spiritually. Her sympathies were enlisted by
the sad condition of the inmates of Charleston jail, among
whom were many boys confined for vagrancy ; she and
another lady teacher, therefore, opened a school where every
other Sabbath she went alone to teach them. Afterwards,
at her solicitation, the Governor of South Carolina made
them a grant of books, and in other ways bettered their
condition. Miss Everett was naturally timid, but in labor-
ing for Jesus she forgot herself. She found work on every
hand ; the people were literally starving for instruction.
Her zeal led her to overtax her strength. She returned to
her father's, but never regained her health. Very
patiently she endured a long illness till, Sept. 19, 1876,
she, too, went " to join the heavenly host."

Two sons, Henry and Robert, have also passed from earth.
They both entered the theological department of Whites-
town Seminary, but ill health prevented them from com-
pleting the course. Henry died at the age of nineteen,
March 6, 1854. Robert was licensed to preach, and did so
occasionally, and lectured on temperance and anti-slavery,
as his health permitted. He was for a time in the daguer-
rian business in Utica, where he had a large circle of
friends. He died Nov. 10, 1856.


was born in the town of Steuben, Oneida Co., Jan. 2, 1821,
being the son of Richard R. and Jane Roberts, both of
whom were natives of Wales, where his father emigrated
from, and settled in the town of Steuben in 1818. His
parents died and are buried in that town, — his mother in
the month of February, 1842, and his father May 31,
1857, at the advanced age of eighty years. He passed his
early life at his father's home, and when he became of age
bought a farm, but afterwards he became a tanner, which
business he followed for twenty years ; and, having amassed



a comfortable competency, he now lives a retired life. He
was married April 8, 1856, to Mary A., daughter of Owen
and Jane Lewis, of Rerasen. She is a native of Wales.
Their children all died in infancy. He is a member of the
Republican party ; and though a member of no particular
church, has given liberally of his means for the support of
religion. His wife is an active member of the Baptist


was born in the town of Steuben, Aug. 9, 1837, being
the only child of Robert R. Roberts, who emigrated with
his father, Richard R., from Wales to that town, at the age
of ten, that being in the year 1818. His father died May
9, 1872, and his mother Jan. 4, 1874. He was married
April 28, 1863, to Ann, daughter of Roland and Ann
Anthony, who were among the first settlers of Trenton,
where their daughter was born, March 13, 1841. The
family consists of three children, all being born in the town
of Steuben, — Catharine J., Feb. 1, 1864 ; Lizzie Ann, May
6, 1866; and Robert Wallace, Feb. 6, 1869. He is an
active member of the Republican party.

This gentleman's father, Owen Owens, came from Wales
to this country in 1800, and landed at the city of Phila-
delphia, where he remained till he was twenty-four years of
age, when he came to the town of Steuben and bought a
farm of one hundred and nine acres. He ended his days
in that town, leaving two sons to inherit his property, —
John C. and Charles. The former was born in Steuben,
Feb. 20, 1829, and passed his early life on his father's
farm, receiving only a common-school education. The two
brothers have always conducted their business together, and
are among the most successful farmers of their town, and
have increased the farm left them by their father, acre by
acre, until they now own one of the largest farms in the
county, containing about a thousand acres. They also own
and carry on a large and extensive cheese-factory. John
C. was married Jan. 28, 1869, to C. Elizabeth, daughter of
Wilbur and Charlotte Shaw, of Trenton. They have no
children. Politically he belongs to the Republican party,
has held the office of justice of the peace for four years,
and is the present supervisor of the town, now serving his
second term.




The town of Trenton lies in the central eastern portion
of the county, and is bounded north by Remsen, east by
Herkimer County and Deerfield, south by Marcy, and west
by Floyd and Steuben. The western portion includes a
large share of the Holland Patent, and the eastern the
greater part of Servis' Patent. The town comprises an
area of 27,292 acres, and the valuation of all property was
placed in 1869 at $2,415,351.

The boundary between this town and Herkimer County
is formed by the West Canada Creek, in which stream are
the far-famed and beautiful " Trenton Falls," a description
of which will be found in another place. Among the other
streams which water the town are Cincinnatus Creek, also
having a number of fine falls and cascades; Nine-Mile
Creek, and the tributaries of each. The surface is generally
quite hilly and broken, though in places high and rolling
table-lands are found. The various streams have cut deep
gorges, and the scenery along most of them is grand and
picturesque. Nine-Mile Creek has the broadest valley, and
flows through probably the lowest land in the town.



The Utica and Black River Railway enters the town at
Stittville, in the southwest corner, and after passing through
the villages of Stittville, Holland Patent, and Trenton, and
the statitfn at Prospect, leaves the town on the northwest,
passing into Steuben. The village of Prospect is located
on West Canada Creek, nearly two miles northeast of the
station of the same name. South Trenton is located in the
southeast part of town, on Nine-Mile Creek.

The town of Trenton* was organized in 1797, and the
first town-meeting was held at the house of Thomas Hicks,
in the village of Olden Barneveld, on the 4th day of April
in that year. The following were the officers chosen, viz. :
Supervisor, Adam Gr. Mappa ; Town Clerk, John P. Lit-
tle ; Assessors, Thomas Hicks, Cheney Garrett, David Wil-
liams ; Commissioners of Highways, Peter Schuyler, David
Stafford, William Miller ; Overseers of the Poor, Gerrit
Becker, Peter Garrett ; Collector, Daniel Bell ; Commis-
sioners of Schools, Peter Schuyler, John Hicks, David
Williams ; Constables, Daniel Bell, Jacob P. Nash, Solomon
Gillett; Pence- Viewers, Gerrit Boon, William Johnson,
Solomon Gillett; Poundmasters, Jacob T. Smits, James
Holibert; Overseers of Highways, on road to Fort Schuyler,
Francis Adrian Van der Kemp ; on road to Steuben, Joseph
Brownell ; on road to Canada Creek, David Corp ; on road
to Fort Stanwix, Abner Matthews; on road to White's
Town, Jonathan Graves.

The Supervisors of this town, from 1798 to 1876 inclu-
sive, have been as follows, viz. :

1798-1800, John Storrs; 1801, Peter Schuyler; 1802-
10, John Storrs; 1811, Rowland Briggs ; 1812-29, Wil-
liam Rollo; 1830-32, Ithia Thompson; 1833-39, John
Storrs; 1840, Isaac Currey ; 1841, Israel F. Morgan;
1842-45, Henry Rhodes; 1846, Luther Guiteau, Jr.;
1847, Henry Miller; 1848-49, Aaron White; 1850-51,
John N. Billings; 1852, John Candee; 1853, Reuben W.
Fox; 1854, Elam Perkins; 1855-58, Orville Combs;
1859-64, Delos A. Crane; 1865-70, Henry Broadwell ;
1871-73, Delos A. Crane; 1874-76, J. Robert Moore.
The officers for 1877 wei;| :

Supervisor, Jacob J. Davis ; Town Clerk, Albert S.
SkiflF; Justices of the Peace, Thomas Thomas, Frank
Douglas ; Commissioner of Highways, Alexander Pirnie ;
Overseers of the Poor, Daniel French, Herbert A. Pride ;
Assessors, Henry Rhodes, William L. Fowler, Jesse A.
Hughes ; Collector, Hugh X. Jones ; Town Auditors, Wil-
liam W. Wheeler, J. E. Chassel, Sylvester B. Atwood ;
Constables, Norman Wheeler, Dean W. Rockwell, Adam
G. Griffiths, Edwin Jones ; Game Constable, Thomas
Maurice; Inspectors of Election, District No. 1, H. L.
Garrett, P. M. Whittaker, Frank Conway ; District No. 2,
S. E. Barton, Charles A. Brown, J. J. Loragan ; District
No. 3, Daniel French, E. G. Griffiths, H. S. Carpenter;
District No. 4, John T. Jones, George H. Worden, M. G.
Slocum ; Excise Commissioner, Robert Billsborrow.


July 4, 1876, at the village of Trenton, a centennial
address upon the early history of the town was delivered

» Formerly a part of the town of Schuyler, Herkimer Co.

by John P. Seymour, Esq., of Utica. As he took great
pains in preparing the sketch, and has so much of import-
ance incorporated in it, we take the liberty of presenting
it entire, as follows :

" The association of my parents with the Mappas, the Vander-
liemps, the Billings', the Douglases, the Guiteaus, Shermans, and
others, early settlers at Trenton, together with my own acquaintance
with so many of your citizens, made douhly attractive your invita-
tion to unite with you in the observance of this centennial.

"The suggestion of the President of the United States that on this
day reference be made to the early history of each locality is in ac-
cordance with the thoughts of every one, and in no place do such
thoughts come more spontaneously than in this town, noted for the
culture and refinement of its settlers.

" To appreciate the difficulties and dangers encountered by the first
settlers, it must be remembered that in their day not only was this
country covered with a dense forest, but also that it was peopled by
the most warlike of the Indian tribes. Bryant, in his history of the
United States, says that in 1645, when a general peace was concluded
with the hostile tribes, although sixteen hundred of the savages had
been killed, there was not a single Dutch settlement, except that at
Rensselaerwyck and the military post on South River, that had not
been attacked and generally destroyed ; and that, besides a few traders,
there were left upon Manhattan Island scarcely a hundred people, and
throughout the whole province^not more than three hundred men capa-
ble of bearing arms could have been mustered.

"In 1663 all that part of the State west of Schenectady was called
Terra Incognita ; and although nominally governed by the Dutch,
was really under the dominion and terror of the Indian.

" In 1755, almost a century Inter, an official map had printed in
large capitals over this part of the country the word Iroqunia, the
name of the six nations of Indians.

" In 1758 a fort named Schuyler, after Peter Schuyler, was built where
Utica now stands, to protect a fording-place of the Mohawk River,
not far from where the bridge at the foot of Genesee Street is now
located,- and according to an article on Utica in the Edinburgh En-
cycloptedia, written by the late James "Watson Williams, this fort was
the ' scene of several skirmishes between the Indians and the whites ;
the flats of the Mohawk and the country adjoining being the posses-
sion of the Muhawk tribe, who were acknowledged by the other tribes
of the Maquaa or Iroquois to be the true old heads of the Confederacy.
This tribe having remained faithful to the British throughout the Rev-
olution, finally forsook their town at Fort Hunter, and removed to the
province of Upper Canada, in 1780, under the auspices of Sir John

" Until 1784, according to the interesting Annals of Oneida County,
by Pomroy Jones, there was no white man's dwelling-house between
Fort Stanwix and Fort Schuyler, and in that year Hugh White came
from Middletown, Conn., and built the first house erected at Whites-
boro', and on his way up the Mohawk River he found some unoccu-
pied farms, and, not far east of the site of Utica, the blackened
remains of burned dwelling-houses and barns told the story of the
savage work of the Indians and Tories during the Revolution. It
must be remembered that the war of the Revolution, the deadly hos-
tility between the Patriots and Tories, and the raids of Indians put
a stop to the improvements of the Dutch in the valley of the Mo-
hawk, so that west of Schenectady, with the exception of a few places,
it was almost an unbroken wilderness.

" Even the western boundaries of this State were undefined, and
Massachusetts claimed land at the west end of our State, and the
claim was finally settled by allowing her land, but only as so much
land within the boundaries, and under the jurisdiction of the State
of New York.

" Within the lifetime of men now living there was no Oneida County,
no Trenton, and no roads in all this part of the country, except the
pathways of the Indians through the silent forest.

" In 1792, Judge Vander Kemp states that in his journey on horse-
back he found two hundred Oneida Indians at AVhitestown, and on
his arrival at Oneida Lake found Chief-Justice Lansing, of the Su-
preme Court, and the Attorney-General of the State camping out on
their way to court.

" The best illustrations of the dependence of our early settlers upon
the good-will of the Indians, not only for comfort in life, but also for



life itself, are to be found in two lectures delivered by William Tracy
in 1838, in wbich he narrates two incidents, from one of which it
appears that as late as between 1785 and 1790 Hugh White did not
dare to deny to a dreaded Indian chief a request to take his little
grandchild out of its mother's arms to his wigwam, four miles distant,
to keep over night, as a proof that White trusted him.

" The other narrative is still more extraordinary, showing that as
late as ] 788 eighteen chiefs, of the Oneida tribe of Indians, met in
solemn council, and coolly deliberated whether or no they should put
to death Amos Dean, a missionary of much note, an adopted son of
the wife of their head chief, as an atonement for the murder of one of
their tribe, of which murder it was not pretended Mr. Bean had any
knowledge whatever, but only that he was of such distinction that he
would make a good sacrifice.

"And this same council condemned him to death without deigning
to ask leave of the white men of the State of New York, or of the
United States, or of any of their officers, and actually proceeded to his
house in a body in the dead of the night, and met him and argued
with him the propriety of their course, and, without a suspicion that
they were amenable to the laws of this State, were proceeding to ex-
ecute their sentence of death, and would have done it if the wives of
three of the chiefs of the council had not suddenly appeared and saved
his life in a manner which equaled, if it did not surpass, the bravery
of Pocahontas.

"In 1786 there were only two dwelling-houses near Fort Schuyler,

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 149 of 192)