Samuel W Durant.

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

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that if a company of thirty men was enrolled the commissions
should be forthcoming. The names were soon procured,
and the names of the prospective officers were forwarded by
the advice of Colonel Staring, who commanded the regiment
to which the company was attached. William Colbrath, a
previous resident of Herkimer, was appointed captain.
" Judge White was anxious that his son Hugh should re-
ceive the ensign's commission, but Colonel Staring, who
was well acquainted with the sons, said, ' No, no, Hugh is
not de poy ; Daniel is de poy !' and Daniel received the
commission.""!" The latter lived to receive, also, a colonel's
commission, and commanded a regiment of militia, which
met for " general training" at Whitesboro'.


As stated, the town of Whitestown was formed March
7, 1788. "The poll of the Jifst general election for the
town was opened at Cayuga, then adjourned to the present
village of Salina to receive the votes of some settlers who
resided there, thence to Rome, and closed finally at Whites-
town. One of the in.spectors of this election was the late
Erastus Clark, then a resident of Clinton.'J

The records of the town previous to 1862 were entirely
destroyed by fire on the morning of Tuesday, Dec. 17,
1861 ; hence it is impossible to give many items of interest.
For a record of the earliest town-meetings we turn to Judge
Jones' " Annals of Oneida County," and find that the

"jlrst tuwn-iiicetiiiy held in the district (town) of Whitestown was
convened at the house of Captain Daniel C. White, in said district, on
Tuesday, the 7th day of April, 1789, 'agreeable to warning,' and 'it
being more convenient,' the meeting adjourned to the barn of Hugh

f Jones' Annals.

J Tracy's Lectures.


Mrs. Nancy R.White.



Philo White, son of the late Philo White, Sr., and grand-
son of Judge Hugh White, the founder of Whitestown, was
born in Whitestown, N. T., June 28, 1796. After receiving
an academical education, he became a printer in the office of
the Columbian Oazette, at ITtica, and finally a journalist,
making his first venture as editor and publisher in Manlius,
Onondaga County^ whence he subsequently removed to Salis-
bury, N. C, where be became editor and proprietor of the
Western Carolinian, which he published successfully for a
period of ten years. Meantime he had married, and reared a
small family.

la 1830 he received the appointment of navy agent, etc.,
for the United States naval station in the Pacific ocean.
While in this position he discharged the arduous duties which
had previously been divided between two government officers
of like grade. At the expiration of four years' services, he
returned to North Carolina, and founded the North Carolina
Standard, at Aaleigh, which he remained connected with till
1887, when he was appointed paymaster and parser in the
United States navy, and spent some years in cruising in
different ships of war on the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, and
in the Gulf of Mexico.

After this Mr. White removed to Wisconsin, and ultimately
fixed his residence at Bacine, in that State. He was the editor
of several newspapers at different periods. In 1847 he was '
chosen a member of the Council of the Territorial Legislature,
and was subsequently elected to the Senate of the State. As
chairman of the committee on education and school lands,
he shared largely in devising the present system of public
instruction of thai, State.

In 1849 he was appointed by the President and Senate
United States Consul-General for the Free Hanseatic Cities
of Hamburg,— Lubeok and Altona,— and discharged the
diplomatic duties of that important trust during the troublous,,
belligerent crisis of the first Schleswick-Holstein war. In

1861 he was commissioned a brigadier-general of Wisconsin
militia. In 1862 he was Presidential elector, and was chosen
President of the Electoral College of Wisconsin, In 1853 he
was commissioned Charge de Affaires of the United States at
Quito ; in 1866 was promoted to the grade of United States
Minister Besident for the Bepublic of Ecuador, and continued
to reside with his family at Quito, in discharge of the duties
of his office, for a period of five years. During his absence
upon this mis8ion,,in 186B, the Episcopal College at Bacine,
Wisconsin, which he had aided in founding, conferred upon
him the honorary degree of LL.D. In 1859 Mr. White
returned to Whitestown, his native place, where he has since
resided, and where his wife, Mrs. White, departed this life in

Mrs. Kancy B, White {tUe 'Stiaaj B. Hampton) was born
in Salisbury, N. C, October 7, 1802; was married to Colonel
Philo White, of the same place (formerly and at present of
Whitestown, N. Y.), May 9, 1822 j and died in Whitestown,
November 29, 1877. In the varied chances of life there had
been assigned to her a broader and more responsible sphere of
action than falls to the lot of most of her sex. For more than
half a century she was the devoted companion of an honored
husband, bearing him two daughters as their only offspring
(both now deceased), the elder of whom was the wife of Gov-
ernor John W. Ellis, who died at the early age of forty years,
while in office as the executive of his native State. Those best
acquainted with the life and character of Mrs. White have
borne the following testimony to her exalted worth :

" Mrs. White was one of the excellent of the earth. Blessed
with a vigorous intellect, few surpassed her in discernment,
or in the nice observance of all those delicate amenities of life
which contribute so largely to human happiness. Her whole
life was a bright example foir others, and h'er end was blessed
with the fullness of a hope that she is now enjoying that bliss-
ful rest promised to those who die in the Lord."



White, Esq,, at which time and jjlace they 'proceeded us folio w eth :
1st, chose Colonel Jedediah Sanger Supervisor; 2d, choso Elijah
Blodget Town Clerk; 3d, chose Amos Wetmore First Assessor; Jth,
chose James Bronson Sesond Assessor ; 5th, chose Ephniim Blackmer
Third Assessor; 6th, chose Oliver Collins Collector; 7th, chose Hugh
AVhite, Esq., and Captain Moses Fort Poormasters ; Sth, chose
George Doolittte, Jedediah Sanger, and Ephraira Blackmer Commis-
sioners of Highways; 9th, chose Jedediah Phelps, Joseph Sowle,
Salmon Butler, Amos Kellogg, Nehemiah Jones, and Alexander Park-
man Constables; 10th, chose Major Gilbert Willett, Amos Ives,
Ebenezer Butler, Jr., Alexander Parkman, Joseph Jones, Joseph Jen-
nings, Overseers of Roads; 11th, chose Lemuel Levenworth, Rice
Hawley, Lemuel Cook, Seth Ranney, Barnabas Pond, Fence-Viewers;
12th, chose Ebenezer Butler, Jr., Daniel C. White, Pound-Keepers;
13th, voted to let swine run at large, jjnnked and ringed ; 14th, voted
that the supervisor appoint the place for holding the next annual
meeting. Then that said meeting bo dissolved.' "

The second town-meeting in Whitestown was held at the
barn of Captain Needham Maynard, on the road leading
from Whitesboro' to Middle Settlement, April 6, 1790.

" The fullowing persons were elected : Major William Colbraith, Su-
pervisor ; Elijah Blodget, Town Clerk ; Joshua Mor?e, Caplain Daniel
C. White, Lieutenant Isaac Jone.«, Colonel Ji-dcdiah Sanger, Ripzol
Follows, Assessors ; Oliver Collins, Collector; Ciiptain Auios Wctuiore,
Captain James Casfety, Overseers of the Poor; Cnptain Moses Foot,
James Dean, Esq., George Doolittle, Commissioners of Highways;
Samuel Eusign, Bill Srailh, Rufus Bludget, Solomon Kellogg, Joseph
Jones, Constables ; Silas Phelps, Samuel Laird, Raphael Porter, Sam-
uel Wells, Samuel Winch, Ashbel Beach, Amok Miller, Wm. Satchel,
Darius Saylcs, Jedediah Phelps, Overseers of Highways; John Tlllot-
son, John Barsley, George Langford, Aaron Kellogg, Fence-Viewers;
Lemuel Levenworth, Barnabas Pond, Pound-Keepers.

"Voted to reconsider the whole votes that have been received as
null and void, when the inspectors adjourned the meeting till to-
morrow morning at ten o'clock." •' Wednesday morning at ten o'clock
April 7, 1790, met according to adjournment. Choso first, Jedeliah
Sanger, Supervisor; secund, Ashbel Beach, Town Clerk ; third, Joshua
Morse, Captain Daniel C. White, Lieutenant Isaac Jones, Ensign John
Tillotson, and Ebenezer Wright, Assessors ; fourth, Oliver Collins, Col-
lector; Captain Amo3 Wetmore and Jomos Bronson, Overseers of Poor;
James Dean, George Doolittle, John Tillotson, Commissioners of High-
ways ; Samuel Ensign, Bill Smith, John Bullen, Hezekiah Rice, Joseph
Jones, Nathaniel Townsend, Constables; Silas Phelps, Samuel Laird,
John Young, Joseph Fare^vell, Samuel Wells, Samuel Winch, Jason
Parker, Ashbel Beach, William Clarey, Amok Miller, Seth Steel, Wil-
liam Satchel, Overseers of Highways; John Barsley, Lemuel Leven-
worth, Barnabas Pond, Pound-Keepers.

" Moiit(jomeri/ Qmiiiy, ««. ; — This certifies that the freeholders, and
other inhabitants of Whitestown, being met in said town for the pur-
pose of choosing town officers, on Tuesday, the 6th day of April,
1790, did on said day collect fifty votes for Major William Colbrailh,
and thirty-four votes for Colonel Jedediah Sanger, for Supervisor, and
William Colbrath was declared to be Supervisor. Then proceeled to
the election of other officers; but many people being deprived of the
privilege of voting for Supervisor, etc., moved to have the proceed-
ings of the day made null and void, which passed in the affirmative.
The meeting being then adjourned to Wednesday, the 7th inst., at
ten o'clock in the morning, at this place. Wednesday, ten o'clock in
the morning, met according to adjournment, and the poll-list being
opened and kept open till about five o'clock in the afternoon, at which
time the poll-list was closed, and upon canvassing the same, found that
Jedediah Sanger was unanimously elected Supervisor, with the number
of 119 votes, which choice was publicly declared in said meeting, and
that he hath produced a certifictf1ja,from Hugh AVhite, Esq., that he
has taken the oath of office. s/ 7

"Attest for Elijah Blodget, Town Clerk.
Attest for Ashbel Beach, Tuwn Clerk."

These proceedings undoubtedly seem quite singular to
most people of to-day, but the hardy pioneers were nciirly
all sons of New England, and their propensity for standing
up for their rights, a.? well in town-meeting's as elsewhere,

is well known. They considered it unfair for any to be
deprived of the privilege of casting a vote, and in order to
give all a voice stayed proceedings a day longer, and de-
cided unanimously on the second ballot, with which result
most probably all were satisfied.

At the town-meeting in Whitestown in 1Y91, Colonel
Sanger was re-elected Supervisor; Ashbel Beach, Town
Cleric; Ebenezer Butler (afterwards of Pompey), Collector ;
James Wadsworth, of Geneseo, Trueworthy Cook, of Pom-
pey, Jeremiah Gould, of Salina, and several others, Over-
seers of Highways.

From the present book of town records is gleaned the
following list of Supervisors, from 1862 to 1877, inclusive:
1802, George G-raham; 1863-64, Samuel Campbell ; 1865-
Q6, George Graham; 1867-68, Robert B. Soulcs; 1869,
George Graham; 1870, R. B. Soules ; 1871, G-eorge
Graham; 1872, Charles L. Balis; 1873, George G-raham ;
1874, C. L. Balis; 1875-76, Lyman L. Wight; 1877,
Seward W. Baker. The remaining officers for 1877 were
as follows : Town Clerk, Stacy B. Waters ; Assessor, Joseph
Gibson; Collector, Henry C Reader; Commissioner of
Highways, John Thomas; Auditors, Hiram A. Grain, John
S. Capron, John H. Allyn ; Sealer of Weights and Meas-
ures, Martin V. Gorton ; Excise Commissioner, Edward
Kernan ; Justices of the Peace, Benjamin S. Graves,
Samuel P. Steves ; Overseers of the Poor, Joseph Row-
land, John Parkhurst ; Constables, Thomas Tobin, Matthew
E. Hustings, James A. Bates, L. B. Cooper ; Inspectors of
Election, 1st District, M. V. Gorton, John McPhreson, G.
A. Hemingway ; 2d District, George H. Haynes, George
R. Pike, John Shirley; 3d District, Thomas Boulton,
Daniel H. Shaw, John G. Bradmeyer (the third man in
each district appointed by the boardj.


"The strip of land l.ving on the east bank of the Sadaquecia Creek,
from its mouth to the distance of three miles, was settled immediately
after the settlement at Whitesboro', by the Wetmorcs and Leaven-
worths.f Within its limits are now included the villages of York-
villc and New York Mills, the upper part of the latter being in the
township of New Hartford. Very soon after the settlement was
made a school district was organized, embracing the whole of the
above and some adjacent territory, and a school opened. Soon an-
other district was organized, embracing the extreme southern portion
of this, with some more adjoining territory, which now forms the
flouridhing district at the Upper Mills, — that is Nos. 3 and 4 in New
Hartford. In 1826 the New York Mills District, or No. 4 District of
Whitestown, was taken from the original district, and some twenty
years after the Yorkville District, or District No. 6, of Whitestown,
was taken oflF, thus leaving the original district, No. 3, of Whites-
town, with about 100 children of school age. This includes New
York Mills, No. 1. There are now flourishing schools in all four dis-
tricts, employing regularly six teachers."

Whitestown contained in 1876 thirteen school districts
with 1552 children of school age (between five and twenty-
one years). The apportionment of school money for the
same year was ^2826.09.

" In the year 1786 the settlement of Whitestown had so
far increased that its inhabitants formed a religious society,

■" By Leander S. Wood, of New York Mills.
"I" AVritten on town records Levenworth.



and employed as a minister the Rev. Dr. Hillyer, of Orange,
N. J."* This was in accordance with the customs of the
Puritans, and was the first religious society formed in the
State west of Albany.


On the 1st day of April, 1793, a meeting was held in the
barn belonging to Judge Hugh White, for the purpose of
organizing a religious society. Thomas E. Gold, Aaron
Clark, George Doolittle, Jonas Piatt, Stephen Potter,
Joseph Root, Reuben Wilcox, and David Williams were
■ appointed a committee to draft a constitution. Judge
White was chairman of the meeting, and while those
present were discussing the subject of the denomination of
their society, he remarked that it would perhaps be " better
to send for some good man, and let him bring his prin-
ciples wilh him." The organization was finally named
" The United Presbyterian Societies of Whitestown and
Old Fort Schuyler," and was soon after incorporated, with
the following persons as trustees : Jonas Piatt, Joseph Root,
Thomas R. Gold, Amos Wetmore, David Williams, John
Post, Elizur Mosely, Stephen Potter, Enoch Story, Reuben
Wilcox, Arthur Brecse, Erastus Clark, and Silas Clark.
Of these, Messrs. Post, Potter, and perhaps others, resided
at Old Fort Schuyler (Utica), and the balance in Whites-

The first pastor settled over this church was Rev. Bethuel
Dodd,'who preached his first sermon here on the 20th of
August, 1794, in the public-house of Colonel Daniel C.
White. Mr. Dodd died April 12, 1804, and his funeral
was held in the church, which had been but a. short time
previously dedicated, meetings having been held for ten
years in various buildings. This building was erected in
1803. The second pastoi' was Rev. James Carnahan, or-
dained Jan. 2, 1805. He was dismissed on account of ill
health, Oct. 25, 1812. Rev. John Frost was called Nov.
4, 1812, and retained his position until Feb. 5, 1833, when
he was appointed general agent for the Oneida Institute.
He was afterwards settled in Waterville, and died in Whites-

The first church owned by this society was GO by 45
feet in dimensions, and cost $4508.45. The present brick
church was erected in 1834, at a cost of $5105. Several
organizations have sprung from the old society. Feb. 3,
1813, the cliurch was divided, and 57 members set off to
the Utica Church. March 18, 1830, 44 members were dis-
missed to form a church at New York Mills. In 1832 the
church at Oriskany was formed, taking 50 members from
this body. Dec. 20, 1837, 59 persons withdrew, and
formed a Congregational Church at Whitesboro'. The old
church is now known as the " United Society of Whiles-
town," and is under the pastoral care of Rev. Leicester J.
Sawyer. Its membership in April, 1877, was 133. A fine
Sabbath-school is connected, which numbered at the same
time 191. Mr. Sawyer is the Superintendent. The school
has a library of several hundred volumes. With two excel-
lent organs and a fine choir, the society is well provided
with music.

^^ Tracy's Lectures.


The first Baptist minister who visited this region was
Rev. Stephen Parsons, of Middletown, Conn., who had nu-
merous friends and relatives in the " Whitestown country."
He came early in 17913, and during this visit baptized five
persons. In June of the same year he revisited the place,
and organized, on the 18th of that month, the first Baptist
society in Oneida County, with seven members, including
the five he had baptized on his first visit, and two others,
the meeting for organization being held at the house of
Caleb Douglass, who was elected first clerk and first deacon,
and was afterwards ordained as an elder, Jan. 7, 1802. He
was the second pastor of the church, the first having been
Elder Parsons, who had charge from December, 1790, to
December, 1802. Elder Douglass was invited Jan. 14,
1803, to become the pjstor, and the invitation was accepted
in May following. In March, 1803, six members were dis-
missed to unite in forming a church in Westmoreland.
Elder Parsons removed the same year to Mexico, in the
" Black River country," — now Oswego County, — where he
died, in 1820, from the effects of a fall in his barn. Elder
Douglass was pastor of the church at Whitesboro' for thir-
teen years, and was released from the charge in May, 1816.
He was followed by Elder Elon Galusha, who had become
a member of the church in 1815. In December, 1817, a
council was called to recognize the church in Rome as a
regularly organized Baptist Church. Another was called in
1818 to organize a church in the north part of Westmore-
land. Among the pastors who followed Elder Galusha, the
latter resigning after a pastorate of fifteen years, were El-
ders A. L. Covin, Clessen P. Sheldon, Jireh D. Cole, Sam-
uel R. Shotwell, William Clark, and others. The present
pastor is Rev. H. J. Rowlands. Tlie society has a mem-
bership of about 230. The Sabbath-school numbers about
150 members, with George C. Law as Superintendent. A
small library and two organs belong to the school and church.
The present house of worship is the third one owned by
the society, the first having been converted into a dwelling
because it was too large, and the second removed and used
since as a store, because it was too small for a church.

ST. John's episcopal church op whitestown.

Through the efforts of S. Newton .Dexter, principally,
this organization was formed, and Rev. Benjamin W.
Whitcher was appointed first deacon in 1844. The latter
afterwards resigned his charge and united with the Roman
Catholic Church, after having stated his reasons for so doing.
During his connection with St. John's he was an active and
influential worker. In 1853, Philo White, then a resident
of the State of Wisconsin, while on his way to South
America on a diplomatic mission, met, in New York City,
Rev. William A. Matson,)vho solicited him for aid to build
a church in his native village. Mr. White subscribed sev-
eral hundred dollars towards the object, and the corner-stone
of the church at Whitesboro' was laid by Bishop De Lan-
cey, June 19, 1855. Dr. Matson, then rector, ofiiciated
here and at Oriskany, and edited a religious paper published
at Utica, called the Gospel Messenger. St. John's parish
was organized Aug. 1, 1844. Among its rectors have been



Revs. Jacob S. Shipman, who went from here to Mobile,
Ala., thence in turn to Lexington, Ky., and Fond du Lac,
Wis., and is now in New York City ; Henry Stanley, who
afterwards died at Little Falls, Herkimer Co., while rector
of Immanuel Church at that place; Henry Darby ; B. W.
Ilagar, of St. Greorge's Church, Utica, who officiated here
some four years, and was afterwards appointed chaplain in
the United States Navy; E. Z. Lewis; E. Bayard Smith ;
and Robert L. Matliison, — the latter now in charge of both
St. John's at Whitesboro' and St. Peter's at Oriskany.
The communicants to St. John's number about 60. The
church property is valued at $4000.


A class of this denomination was formed here in con-
nection with New York Mills in November, 1876. A
legal organization was not, however, completed until Dec.
5, 1876, when the society was incorporated, with about 40
members, which has been the average since. The Baptist
parsonage was purchased and fitted up for a house of wor-
ship. It will seat about 200 persons. Rev. H. Skeel is
the first and present pastor. A Sabbath-school was organ-
ized some time previous to the formation of the church
society, and numbered in February, 1878, about 35 mem-
bers, beside teachers. Its Superintendent was then A. M.
Phraner. It has a library of about 200 volumes.


This society was organized in 1826, meetings having
previously been held in various parts of the village. " In
1825, Mr. William N. Pearne, first book-keeper at the
mills, and a preacher also, wa,s instrumental in starting a
Methodist class, which soon numbered a hundred persons,
in which were interested Rev. Mr. Giles, Mr. George An-
drews, and Rev. John Harvey, the latter one of the earliest
settlers in the place, and still in the office of the company."*
The present fine brick church was built about 1872, at a
cost of over $25,000. The edifice in use before this was
also a large brick structure, and was burned about 1871,
immediately after the second service had been held in it,
subsequent to the expenditure of about $10,000 for repairs.
The membership^of the society Feb. 5, 1878, was between
200 and 300. Its pastor is Rev. H. Skeel, who also con-
ducts services at Whitesboro'. A Sabbath-school is kept in
a flourishing condition, with Samuel Lee as Superintendent.
It has a library of over 600 volumes. A large pipe-organ,
manufactured by George N. Andrews, of Utica, is used
during church services, and the Sabbath-school has a cabi-


As early as 1818 a Presbyterian Sabbath-school was
organized here by Ezra Wood, a member of the Presby-
terian Church of Whitestown, and long sustained by him.
This was the second Sunday-school organized in Oneida
County, and one of the earliest west of Albany. Benjamin
S. Walcott, one of the proprietors of the New York Mills,
aided largely in forming the school, and fitted up a room in

■^ From a historical discourse delivered by Rev. Charles B. Austin,
of the Presbyterian Church at New Yorli Mills, Sept. 10 1876

the Oneida Factory, where the first session was held,
attended by thirty persons. This school was discontinued
through the winter, but was soon made a permanent institu-
tion. From this beginning sprang the present society,
which was formed in March, 1830, with 44 members from
the church at Whitesboro'. The meeting for organization
was held in the Methodist Episcopal Church, Rev. D. C.
Lansing, D.D., presiding. There were also present Revs.
Noah Coe, John Frost (then pastor of the church at
Whitesboro'), and Elders Arazi Hotchkiss and Luther
Holbrook. Several meetings were held, — some in the
school-house and others at the homes of the elders. The
first elders elected were Benjamin S. Walcott, Ambrose
Coan, and Ezra Wood. The first pastor was Rev. George
Foote, installed March 23, 1831. He was dismissed Oct.
7, 1832, and on the ICth of February, 1833, Rev. Lewis
H. Loss was installed as second pastor. The first church
was a wooden structure, built soon after the organization of
the society, and stood where the present building is. It
burned down in February, 1834, having caught fire from a
large stove in the basement. It was insured for $1000.

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 174 of 192)