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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ington, and Clinton, southerly by the State of Pennsylva-
nia, and westerly and northerly by the west and north
bounds of this State." On the 17th of March of the
last-named year, the county was divided into the nine fol-
lowing towns: Caughnawaga, Palatine, Herkimer, Mo-
hawk, Harpersfield,, Otsego, Canajoharie, German Flats,
and Whitestown. The latter was bounded ea.sterly by a
line running north and south to the north and south
bounds of the State, and crossing the Mohawk River at the
ford near and on the east side of the house of William
Cunningham, south by the State of Pennsylvania, and
west and north by the bounds of the State. The house of
William Cunningham, referred to, stood near the foot of
Genesee Street, in Utica.

By an act passed March 22, 1788, the town of Chemung
was formed in and from a part of Montgomery County lying
on the Owego and Tioga Rivers, with a somewhat ambigu-
ously described boundary.

By an act passed January 27, 1789, the qounty of On-
tario was formed and its boundary described as follows :

" All that part of the County of Montgomery which lies to the
westward of a line drawn due north to Lake Ontario, from the mile-
stone, or monument, marked ' eighly-hoo,' and standing in the line of
division between this State and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,
shall be one separate and distinct county, and be called and known by
the name of Ontario."

t Cumberland in 1766, Clloueester in 1770, and Charlotte in 1772,
were formed out of Albany County. The first two and part of the
latter since ceded to Vermont.



HISTORY OF ONKIDA' COUNTY, NEW YORK.



159



On the 3d of Blarch, 1789, a bill was passed by the As-
sembly to raise money in Montgomery County to liquidate
claims arising therein for the erection of a court-house and
jail at WhitestowD.

On the 16th of February, 1791, an act was passed sub-
dividing Montgomery County and forming from its terri-
tory the counties of Tioga, Otsego, and Herkimer,* and
changing the bounds of Ontario County. The county of
Herkimer, which included the present territory of Oneida
County, was bounded as follows :

" All that tract of land bounded westerly by tbe County of Ontario,
northerly by the north bounds of this State, easterly by the Counties
of Clinton, Washington, and Saratoga, and southerly by the Counties
of Montgomery, Otsego, and Tioga.'*

The north parts of the towns of Palatine and Caughna-
waga, lying north of a line beginning at a place called
" Jersey Fields,'' on a line between the towns of Herkimer
and Palatine, and thence eagerly to Saratoga County, were
added to Herkimer County.

April 10, 1792, the town of Whitestown was subdivided,
and the towns of Westmoreland, Steuben, Paris, Peru, and
Mexico were formed from its territory. Mexico and Steuben
included all of the present territory of Jefferson County.

Westmoreland was bounded as follows : By a line begin-
ning at the eastern line of the Oneida reservation, where
the line of Steuben crosses the same ; thence southerly and
westerly along said reservation line to a point opposite the
southwest corner of a tract granted to Abraham Wemple ;
thence along the southern line of Weniple's tract to the
" old line of property ;"-j- thence northerly, at right angles
with said line of property, to the Oriskany Creek ; thence
down said creek to the southern bounds of the Oriskany
Patent; thence northwesterly, parallel to the old " line of
property," to " Steuben Town ;" thence along the line of
Steuben to the place of beginning. First town-meeting to
be held at the house of James Dean.

Paris was bounded as follows: Beginning at Stillman's
Bridge, on Oriskany Creek ; thence southeasterly to the
house of James Fairwell, on lot No. 80, in the seventh
division of Cox's Patent ; thence southerly in a direct line
until it meets the New Hartford road, where it crosses a
creek a few rods west from the house of Samuel Wells ;
thence southerly in a line to the southwestern corner of lot
No. 7, in the eleventh divisiou of Cox's Patent ; thence due
ea.st to the line of German Flats ; thence southerly along
said line to Tioga County j thence westerly along the line
of Tioga County to the western line of the twenty town-
ships; thence northerly to the line of the Oneida reservation ;
thence along the last line to the line of Westmoreland ;
thence along the last line to the place of beginning. First
town-meeting at the house of Moses Foote, Esq.

Steuben was bounded as follows : Beginning at the
mouth of the Nine-Mile Creek, running thence northeast-
wardly to the northeast corner of Holland Patent ; thence
northerly along the eastern bounds of Steuben's Patent to
the northeast corner thereof; thence due north to the
northern bounds of the State, and also from the place of



» Named from General Nicholas Herkimer.

f Boundary of 1768, between the Indians and whites.



beginning diie west to the line of the Oneida reservation ;
thence northwest along said line to Pish Creek ; thence due-
north to the northern bounds of the State. First town-
meeting at the house of Soth Runney, near Fort Stanwix.

Mexico included all that part of Whitestown bounded as
follows: easterly by the eastern bounds of the Military
Tract and a line drawn northward from the mouth of the
Connisscrago Creek across Oneida Lake to Lake Ontario;
southerly by Tioga County ; westerly by the western
bounds of the townships of Homer, Tully, Marcellus, Ca-
milliis, Lysander, and Hannibal, of said Military Tr'act; and
northerly by Lake Ontario. First town-meeting at the
house of Benjamin Moorehouse.

Peru was all that part of Whitestown bounded easterly
by the town of Mexico, southerly by Tioga County, and
northerly by Lake Ontario. First town-meeting at the
house of Seth Phelps, Esq.

All the remainder of Whitestown to be and remain a
town by the name of AVhitestown, and the first town-meet-
ing to be held at the house of Jedediah Sanger, Esq.

The county of Onondaga was formed by an act pa.ssed
March 5, 1794, and included the original Military Tract.J

By an act oT March 5, 1795, the town of Cazeiiovia was
formed from Whitestown and Paris, and the towns of Ham-
ilton, Sherburne, Brookfield, and Sangerfield were formed
from Paris.

By an act of Feb. 26, 1796, the town of Mexico was
reconstructed, with different boundaries from those estab-
lished in 1792. They were as follows : beginning at the
northwestern corner of Fonda's 40,000 acre patent ; thence
along the western side of Canada Creek to Wood Creek ;
thence down Wood Creek to Oneida Lake ; thence through
the middle of Oneida Lake to its western end ; thence to
the northern shore of Onondaga River ; thence down that
river to Lake Ontario ; then easterly and northerly along
the shore of that lake to the mouth of Black River ; thence
up that river to the northern corner of 25,000 acres sold
by William Constable to William Inman ; thence southerly,
37 degrees 30 minutes west, along the northwestern bounds
of the last-named tract to the northwestern corner of
Oothoul's patent; thence southerly, one degree west, along
the line of the last-named patent to the place of beginning.
First town-ftieeting at the house of Johu Myer, " in Rot-
terdam, in said town of Mexico."

By an act passed March 4, 1796, the town of Steuben,
Herkimer County, was divided, and the towns of Rome
and Floyd erected from its territory. Floyd was bounded
as follows : beginning at the northwestern corner of great
lot No. 36, in Fonda's Patent ; thence along the western
bounds of that lot and lots Nos. 50, 63, and 71 in Fonda's

J This tract was granted by the Legislature of New York as a gra-
tuity to the officers and soldiers of the line, of the State, who served
in the army during the Revolution. Its total area was 1,500,000
acres (exclusive of water), divided into twenty-five townships, of
60,000 acres each, and was about 57 by 55 miles square, and bounded
as Follows: Deginning at the mouth of the Oswego River, and run-
ning thence west to Big Sodus Bay ; thence south to a point a littlo
southwest of the southerly extremity of Seneca Lake; thence by an
east and west line to the southeast corner of Cortland County,-
thence north along the eastern boundaries of the present counties of
Cortland and Onondaga to Oneida Lake; thence down the Oneida
and Oswego Rivers to the place of beginning. — Doc. Hint.



ICO



HISTORY OF ONEIDA COUNTY, NEW YORK.



Patent ; thence in the same course to the southern bounds
of Steuben ; thence easterly along the same to the mouth
of the Nine-Mile Creek ; thence along the southeastern
bounds of Steuben until a westerri line shall intersect the
northeastern corner of great lot 41 in Fonda's Patent; thence
along said line and the northern bounds of said lot 41, and
lots Nos. 40, 39, 38, 37, and 36, in Fonda's Patent, to the
place of beginning. First towu^meeting at the house of
Samuel J. Curtiss.

The town of Roine was bounded as follows : all that
part of Steuben bounded northerly by a line to begin at
the northwestern corner of said town of Floyd ; thence di-
rectly along the northern bounds of great lots Nos. 35, 34,
33, 32, 31, 30, 29, and 83, in Fonda's Patent, to Canada
Creek; thence down said creek to its junction with Wood
Creek; thence along the western and southern bounds of
said town of Steuben to the southwest corner of Floyd ;
thence along the western bounds thereof to the place of
beginning. First town-meeting to be held at the house of
Ebenezer ClafBn. The town-meeting in Steuben was to be
held at the house of Joshua Wells.

By an act passed March 10, 1797, the town of Stcubeti,
Herkimer County, was divided into three towns, — Steuben,
Western, and Leyden. The first town-meetings were to
be held — in Steuben, at the residence of Baron Steuben, de-
ceased ; in Western, at the house of Ezekiel Sheldon ; and
ill Leyden, at the house of Andrew Edmonds.

By an act passed March 24, 1797, the town of Schuyler,
Herkimer County, was divided; and the town of Trenton
formed from its territory. It was bounded as follows : be-
ginning at a point in the western line of Schuyler, four
miles north in the direction of .said western line from Mo-
hawk River ; thence northerly on said line to the north-
western corner of said Schuyler ; thence easterly on said
town line to the great falls on Canada Creek ; thence down
said creek to the northwestern corner of lot No. 55, Gage"s*
Patent ; thence on the western line of said patent south to
the northwestern corner of lot No. 18, on said patent; thence
westerly in a straight line to the place of beginning. First
town-meeting at the house of Thomas Weeks. The re-
mainder of the old town of Schuyler to be the town of
Schuyler, and the first town-meeting to be held at the house
of George G-. Weaver (Weber).

By an act of the same date the town of Sangerfield,
Herkimer County, was divided, and the town of Bridge-
water foimed from its territory, and bounded as follows:
" All that part of the town of Sangerfield lying easterly of
the division line between the third and fourth quarters of
the 20th township, so called, be and is hereby created into
a separate town by the name of Bridgewater.'' The first
town-meeting was held at the house of Thomas Converse,
and the first town-meeting in the town of Sangerfield at
the house of Ebenezer Hale.

At that time Herkimer and Montgomery Counties con-
stituted the Ninth Congressional District.

ORGANIZATION OF ONEIDA COUNTY.

On the 15th of March, 1798, an act was passed divid-
ing the county of Herkimer, and forming the counties of

* General Thomas Gage.



Oneida and Chenango from its territory. The boundaries
of Oneida, as then constituted, were as follows :

" All that- pai't of Herkcmer Couni^y beginning at the southwest
cornel- of the town of Bridgwater, and running thence easterly on the
line of said town to the UnadiUa River j thonce northerly an J easterly
on the line of Bridgewater to the town of Litchfield ; thence nortlierly
On the line of Bridgewater and Litchfield to the southeast corner of
the town of Paris; tlience the same line continued on the eastern line
of Paris and W'hitestown to the southerly line of'Cosby's Manor;
thence northeasterly in a direct line to the northerly bounds of said
Cosby's Manor, at a point where the same is intersected by the divis-
ion line between Gage's and AValton's Patents ; thence northerly on
the line between the said Gage's and Walton's Patent to the We.«t
Canada Creek ; thence northerly up the watere of said creek to the
forks thereof; thence easterly up the east branch of said creek to the
northeast corner of Sijrvis' Patent;! thence northerly to the northern
bounds of this State; thence westerly along the northei-n bounds of
this State to Lake Ontario;- thence along the easterly shore of said
lake to the mouth of the Oswego River; thence easterly up said river
to the Oneida Lake; thence along the southern side of said lake to
the Oneida Creek; thence up said creek on the eastern line of the
County of Chenango to the northern line of the town of Hamilton ;
thence easterly along the northern bounds of said towns of Hamilton
and Sangerfield to the northwestern corner of the town of Bridge-
water; thence southerly on the western line of said town of Bridge-
water to the place of beginning."

These boundaries are somewhat indefinite, particularly
in the northeast and the northwest ; but they included all
the territory now in the counties of Oneida, Lewis, and
Jefferson, and all that portion of Oswego County lying east
of Oswego River. It would appear, also, that the terri-
tory now constituting St. Lawrence County was iiomimdly
included; but this was provisionally annexed to Clinton
County in 1801, and erected into a separate county March
3, 1802. They also included a small portion in the south-
west, which was annexed to Madison in 1836. By the de-
scription it will be seen that the town of Sangerfield w;is
then included in Chenango County. It was transferred to
Oneida County April 4, 1804.

By this iict three terms of the courts of Common Pleas
and General Sessions were to be held annually in the county,
to wit : on the third Tuesday in May, first Tuesday in Sep-
tember, and last Tuesday in December, at " the School-
House near Fort Stiinwix ;" but no Circuit Court was to be
held in the county unless the justices of the Supreme Court
should " in their judgment deem it proper and necessary."

Oneida and Chenango Counties were to form a part of
the district previously composed of Herkimer and Otsego
Counties, respecting all prosecutions in the court of Oyer
and Terminer. The act also provided that a court-house
and jail should " be erected at such place within one mile
of Fort Schuyler, otherwise Fort Stanwix, in the Town of
Rome, as the Supervisors should designate ; also that the
County should be represented by three Members in the
State Assembly, and that the first meeting of the Board of
Supervisors should be held at the School-House in Rome
on the last Tuesday in May.''

By the terms of the same act all that part of the town
of Frankfort included within the new County of Oneida
was added to the town of Whitestown ; and all that part
of Schuyler included within Oneida was erected into anew
town, and named Deerfield (or, as it was written, Deers-

t A tract of 25,000 acres, granted Feb. 28, 1709, to Peter Scrvisand
others.



HISTORY OF ONEIDA COUNTY, NEW YORK.



161



field), and the first town-meeting ordered at the house of
Ezra Payne ; and all that part of Norway included in the
county of Oneida was erected into a new town and named
Remsen, and its first town-meeting was to be held at the
house of Samuel Howe.

By the same act all that part of Whitestown bounded
westerly and southerly by the county of Chenango, easterly
by Brothertown* and Paris, and northerly by the " south-
ernmost Great Genesee Road," was erected into a new town,
which was named Augusta. Its first town-meeting was to
be held at the house of Timothy Pond, Jr. ; and the re-
maining portion of Whitestown lying within the Oneida
reservation, so called, was annexed to Westmoreland.

The counties of Montgomery, Herkimer, Oneida, and
that portion of Chenango formerly included in Herkimer,
were erected into a congressional district.

The great town of Mexico, sometimes called " the mother
of townships," was divided by an act passed March 15,
1799, and a new town, called Camden, formed from its
territory. The first town-meeting was held at the house
of Samuel Royce, and " all that part of township No. 2,
in Scriba's Patent,! lying east of Fish Creek," was annexed
to the town of Rome. The town of Redfield was erected
from Mexico, March 14, 1800.

On the 3d of April, 1801, under the revised laws of the
State, an act was passed definitely establishing the bound-
aries of counties, those of Oneida being fixed as follows :

"All that part of this State bounded easterly by the County of
Herkimer, northerly by the County of Clinton, and by the noi-thern
bounds of this State, from the most westerly corner of the County of
Clinton to a place in Lake Ontario where the said northern bounds
shall be intersected by the new pre-emption lioej aforesaid, continued
due north ; westerly by the line last mentioned to the south bank of
Lake Ontario j and southerly by the Counties of Cayuga, Onondaga,
and Chenango, jind the southern bounds of the patent granted to Wil-
liam Bayard and others, called the ' Freemasons* Patent.'^"

An act was passed -April 7, 1801, dividing the counties
into towns, and the following were enumerated and described
in Oneida County: Bridgewater, Deerfield, Trenton, Paris,
Whitestown, Remsen, Floyd, Steuben, Western, Leyden,
Rome, Camden, Redfield, Watertown, Champion, Lowville,
Turin, Mexico, Westmoreland, and Augusta.

In " Annals of Oneida County" Hon. Pomeroy Jones
states that St. Lawrence County was formed from the ter-
ritory of Oneida, March 3, 1802 ; but from all the facts it
would appear that this territory was detached from Oneida
in 1801 and provisionally annexed to Clinton, and, as stated,
erected into the present county of St. Lawrence the next
year, taking small portions also from Montgomery and
Herkimer Counties.

An act was passed Feb. 17, 1802, erecting the towns of
Verona and Vernon from Westmoreland and Augusta.

'- This was originally an Indian reservation granted to the New
England or Brothertown Indians, and included most of the present
town of Marshall and a portion of Kirkland. It is written also
Brotherton.

t A tract of 600,000 acres, purchased by Geo. Scriba, of New York,
in 1790, in Oswego and Oneida Counties.

X A line from Great Sodus Bay to Seneca Lake, between the Pul-
teney estate and the Military Tract.

? This was a grant of 50,000 acres, in the south parts of Oneida
and Herkimer.
21



The first town-meeting for the former was to be held at
the house of Martin Langdon, and for the latter at the
house of David Tuttle.

By an act of April 1, 1802, the towns of Leyden,
Watertown, and Mexico were divided, and the towns of
Adams, Brownville, and Rutland formed from their terri-
tory.

Again, Feb. 22, 1803, the towns of Mexico, Turin,
Lowville, and Champion were divided, and the towns of
Ellisburgh, Harrisburgh,|| and Martinsburgh formed from
their territory ; and by an act of the same date all such
parts of Baron Steuben's patent as were previously in-
cluded within the limits of Trenton and Remsen were
annexed to the town of Steuben.

On the 24th of March, 1804, an act was passed dividing
the towns of Mexico and Adams, and forming the towns
of Harrison,^ Malta, and Williamstown therefrom.

Feb. 16, 1805, the town of Camden was divided, and
the town of Florence erected, in which the first town-
meeting was held at the house of John Spinning.

SUBDIVISION OP THE COUNTY.

The question of dividing the county and forming one
or more new ones began to be agitated about this time.
The region of the Black River valley had filled up so fast
by immigration, and the inconvenience of attending to
county matters over the then almost impassable roads was
so severely felt, that it was determined by the people of that
section to erect at least one new county. Accordingly
meetings were called, and three delegates chosen from each
town interested in the project, who met on the 20th of
November, 1804, at the house of Freedom Wright, in the
town of Harrisburgh (now Denmark). Upon comparing
notes, it was found that the local interests of no less than
six different points contending for the location of the new
county-seat could not well be reconciled, and it was finally
determined to apply for the erection of two new counties
instead of one. Application was accordingly made to the
Legislature for two new counties, and the names of the
chief magistrates of the nation and the commonwealth, Jef-
ferson and Lewis,** were suggested as appropriate titles to
be bestowed upon them.

Upon due examination a division was deemed proper and
necessary by the Legislature, and the two counties were
erected by an act passed March 28, 1805, with the following
boundaries :

" Beginning at the southwest corner of the town of Ellisburgh, on
the easterly shore of Lake Ontario, and running along the southerly
line of said town ; thence along the easterly line thereof to the south-
west conier of the town of Malta ; thence along the southerly line of
said town of Malta, and continuing the same course to the corner of
townships Nos. 2, 3, 7, and 8; thence north along the east line of the
town of Malta aforesaid to the northeast corner thereof; thence in u.
direct line to the corners of the towns of Rutland and Champion ;
thence along the line between the said town of Champion and the
town of Harrisburgh to Black Hiver; thence in a direct line to the
bounds of the county of St. Lawrence, to intersect the same at the
corners of townships Nos. 7 and 11 in Great Tract No. 3 of Macomb's
purchase ; thence along the westerly hounds of the said county of St,

II Changed to Denmark.

*[ Since changed to Rodman.

■;;:-;■; Thomas Jefferson and Morgan Lewis.



1C2



HISTORY OP ONEIDA COUNTY, NEW YORK.



Lawrence to the north bounds of this State; thence westerly and
southerly along said boundSj including all the Islands in the river St.
Lawrence, in Lake Ontario, and in front thereof, and within this
State, to the place of beginning, to be called and known by the name
of Jefferson,"

Also,

" Beginning at the southeast corner of the county of Jefferson
aforesaid,- thence southerly along the westerly line of the town of
Turin to the southwest corner thereof; thence north 62 degrees east,
along the southerly line of the tract of land known by the name of
Macomb's purchase, to the line of the county of Herkimer; thence
north along the said last-mentioned line to the bounds of the county
of St. Lawrence; thence along the southwesterly line of said last-
mentioned county to the line of the county of Jefferson ; and thence
along the southerly and easterly bounds thereof to the place of begin-
ning, to be called and known by the name of Lewis."

This act also erected the town of Booiiville from the part
of the town of Leyden remaining in Oneida County. The
first town-meeting was held at the house of Joseph Den-
ning.

By the terms of this act Oneida County was entitled to
three, and Jefierson and Lewis each to one, members of the
Assembly.

By an act passed March 21, 180G, the town of Mexico
was divided, and the town of Fredericksburgh formed from
its territory.

By an act of Feb. 20, 1807, the town of Williamstown was
divided, and the town of Richland formed, and a part added
to the town of Redfield ; and by an act passed April 3 of
the same year the town of Camden was divided, and the
town of Orange formed from its territory ; and by an act
passed April 6, 1808, the name of Orange was changed to
Bengal. By an act of April 8 of the same year Williams-
town was again divided, and the town of Constantia erected.

Under an act of April 3, 1811, the town of Western was
divided, and the town of Lee formed from a portion of its
territory ; and the first town-meeting was held at the liouse
of Samuel Darling.

By an act of April 5, 1811, the town of Fredericksburgh
was divided, and the town of Scriba formed from its terri-
tory, and the remainder of Fredericksburgh was made a
separate town, and its name changed to Volney. By a
Liw passed in 1816, the name of Bengal was changed to
Vienna.

SECOND SUBDIVISION OF THE COUNTT.

By an act passed March 1, 1816, the towns of Constantia,



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 44 of 192)