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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efibrt was made by the friends of education in Clinton arid
vicinity to raise three thousand dollars for the purpose of
erecting a new academy. Owing to the fact that the citizens
of the town had spared everything they could from their
scanty resources to help endow the college, the effort to raise
funds for an academy proved a failure. But in the year 1815
a stock company was organized, the members of which weie
to own the property, and receive whatever dividends might
arise from the rent of the buildings and grounds. It
was confidently expected that the stock would pay annual
dividends of fifteen per cent. The estimated cost of the
buildings was $2000, and the stock was divided into
shares of $20 each. When the necessary amount had
been nearly raised by subscription the building was erected,
being forty feet long, twenty-six wide, and two stories high,
the material being brick. The building has in" late years
been greatly improved. The site for it was given by David
Comstock, in exchange for four shares of stock. The bricks
were made by General Collins, near Middle Settlement, iand
the timber was furnished by James D. Stebbiris, in pay-
ment of stock. It may be stated here that no dividends
were ever declared on the stock.

After Hamilton Oneida Academy was closed, and before
Hamilton College was opened, a classical school was taught
by Rev. Comfort Williams, assisted by Moses Bristol, in
the second story of the building now occupied by Judge
Williams as a law-ofiBce, and was moved the following year
to a building on College Street, and taught by William
Groves. The next year it was re-opened in its original
place, and taught by George Bristol. Among the pupils
of this year were Mark Hopkins (since president of Williams
College), Charles Avery, and Horace Bogue. In the fall
of 1816, Rev. Joel Bradley assumed charge of the school,
in the new brick building on the "Flats." He was suc-
ceeded in a year or two by Rev. William R. Weeks. As a
disciplinarian the latter was somewhat severe aiid quite
original. Having neither clock nor watch in the school-room
he suspended a pendulum from the ceiling, and the con-
tinuance of its vibrations, after giving it a swing, determined
the length of recitations and play spells, and the duration
of penance for misdemeanors. When the boys went out
for a recess they were permitted to set the pendulum swing-
intr for themselves, but if they swung it so hard as to make
it strike the celling, or played longer than the pendulum
vibrated, they each received a black mark. The temptation,
however, was too strong to resist, and the pendulum weight,
an old horse-shoe, was many a time driven bard against the
ceilino', and the plaster long bore the marks; and long after
the pendulum ceased its vibrations the legs of the boys



222



HISTORY OF ONEIDA COUNTY, NEW TORK;



were in motion out of doors. Many and sore were the
punishments received, as some .yet living can testify.

It is not known precisely at what time the female depart-
ment of this school was organized, but it is believed that
Miss Mary Hayes was the first teacher, probably in 1817.
Her^ .successors were Miss Mary Hey wood, , Miss Julia
Hayes, and Miss Delia Strong.

In the fall of 1820 _Mr,_ Weeks resigned his post as
principal of the male department, and was succeeded by
Charles Avery, just graduated - from college.' Mr. Avery
was succeeded in September, 1822, by Orlando Kirtland^
From the spring of 1825 to the fall of ,1826 the principal
was Isaac Wilmartlu His successor was Joseph S. Bcs-
wortli (since Judge of the SuperiorCourt in New York) in
1826 and '27.'. In 1828 the school was placed under the
care and supervision of the board of regents, and became
entitled to receive aid from the literature fund. . n;

The principals since Mr; Bosworth have been Noah
Cushma'n, Leicester A. Sawyer, Salmon Strong, John G.
Underwood (late United States' District Judge for Eastera
Virginia), Mr. Hickok, Joseph W. Hubbard, Henry Ken-
dall (since a secretary of the Board, of Home Missions of
the Presbyterian Church), Erastus C. Williams, Edward
S, Lacey, Edward North (now of Hamilton College), Ed-
ward P.- Powell, Henry P, Bristol, Gilbert Wileoxcn;
Ambrose P. Kelsey, and Rev. Isaac 0. Best. ' • ^

In the female department, are found, among the teachers-
who succeeded Miss. Strong (who afterwards became. the
wife of 'Jrofossor Avery), Miss Julia A. Wilson, Miss Ann'
B. Hopkins. (afterwards the wife of Pcofessor A. G. Ken-
drick, D.D., of Rochester University), Miss Jane Wilson,
Miss. Sophronia Luce (afterwards the wife of Rev.. Dr..
Kendall, of New York), Miss Matilda Wallace (since Mrs.-
Dr. William D. Love; of East Saginaw, Mich.), Miss
Elizabeth Bradley, Miss E. C. King, Misses Anna' and
Mary Chipman, Dr. John C. Gallup, and Mrs. Marilla H.;
Gallup. In 1866 the. grammar school and high s.choal'
were incorporated together, the building previously occupied
by the high school having been burned, and the latter.
in.stitution being previously known as the Rural High
School. It was also subsequently known as th^ Clinton
Military Academy.- On the 2d of September, 1875, it was
re-opened as a boarding- and day-school for boys, under
the old charter name of " Clinton Grammar School," and
has since prospered remarkably. Its courses of study are
threfe in number, — preparatory, classical, and commercial ;
and besides these, regular courses of class instruction" are
given in music, - - -. . ,

The trustees for the school are the following-named per-'
sons, viz.:. Hon. Othiel S. Williams, LL.D., President;
Professor John 0. Gallup, M.D.; Houghton Seminary;
Professor .Edward North, L.H.D., Hamilton College ;..
Samuel W; Raymond, M.D., Clinton; General C, H."
Smyth, Clinton. Examining Committee : Professor Charles
Avery, LL.D., Rev. Justus Doolittie, E. B. Wicks, M.D.
Faculty: Rev. Isaac Oliver Best, A.M., Principal (mental,
moral, and natural sciences, and Greek) ; Clarence Lindsley,
Barber, A.B., LL.B. (commercial law, mathematics, and
Latin) ; Mrs. Harriet Lindsay Best (vocal and instrumental-
music) ; Mrs. Mary .Hooker Barber (instrumental, music) 5



Miss Caroline Sophia Sanborne, A.B. (modern languages);;
Henry Dvfight Ames (inathematLcs and English). . '

The total number of students for the year ending June
19; 1878, was 146, in courses as follows: Preparatory
course, 11 ; first year, 30 ; second year,,. 18'; third yearj
8 ;- graduates, 6,:-^totali 73; Classical, 28; commercial;
34; unclassified, 11, — total,,- 73. . ,.■.;.-.'; . :: .;;

"The school grounds are beautiful, finely, shaded, and
present a. pleasing variety of scenery. The house has been
OoiupleteJy; renovated, and for comfort^ convenience; and
attractiveness is rarely surpassed. The school building has
been thoroughly repaired and remodeled, supplied with
Boston school furniture, and is .very attractive and coh-
venien't.-"*.; ■' .:i • ■ ... ':.,^- . ..;:.• .-.:

■ , MISS ROYCE's , SEMINARYj|- (CLINTON,),,- . ./

; ..'.' This school, called after the name' of its chief instrud*
tress. Miss Nancy Royce, was established in the year 1814.
It was a boarding- and day-school for young ladies, and wj^
opened in one of the chambers of Dr-.Seth Hastings' (now
Dr. Austin Barrows!). house. From thence it was removed
to a building on the northeast corner of the village greeni
It soon became widely known and popular, drawing scholars
from all parts of this' State and from Canada. Two or
tliree Indian girls, of th« Stockbridge tribe, we're" at dne
tiine members of this school' Outgrowing the capacity of
the building it occupied, it was removed to the. Royce
house (now. occupied by , Marshall W-, Barker), which was
soon enlarged t(S double its original dimensions to receive
the prosperous seminary. Fr'oni tlie beginning of her
career as preceptress-,- Miss Royce was an invalid, yet by
great care in her daily regimen, and supported by an energy
of purpose almost indomitable, .she contrived to carry' for-
ward her school and to build it up into great success. Her
health, however, finally gave way, and after a few years she
was obliged to commit her seminary to other hands, when
it gradually declined, and was wholly relinquished. Miss
Royce died March 29, 1856, aged seventy years."

WniTESTOWN SEMINART.

At a meeting held at Waleott Hall, on the evening of
November 7, 1877, for the purpose of organizing an asso-
ciation of the alumni of the seminary, the following his-
torical sketch was delivered by Professor Edward North,
of Hamilton College, and published the following day in
the Utioa Herald. We give it entire : '

"The prosperous institution now known as Whitestown
Seminary has passed through singular experiences. It
embodies in its present courses of study the fruit of wisdom
gained by costly experiments. In 1827 an institution was
founded at Whitestown that -was called at first the Oneida
Academy, and afterwards the Oneida Institute. It was
established under the auspices of thp.Oneida Presbytery, to
educate young men for the gospel ministry, but other young
men of good character were received as students. Manual
labor, on the farm or in the workshop, was required of each
student at the rate of not less than three nor iuore than

* Catalogue 1877-78.

f From (Jridley's Uistory of Kirkland..



HISTORY OP ONEIDA COUNTY, NEW YORK.



223



four hours each day. Among the stockholdera and trustees
of Oneida Academy were Apollos Cooper, president ; • Asa-
hel Seward, secretary ; Abraham Varick, treasurer; Mosea
Bagsi, Thomas Walker, Rev. Samuel C. Aiken, Williani
Walcott, Isaac Williams. The agents appointed to solicit
funds were Rev. John Frost and Rev. George W. Gale.
A farm of 114}- acreg was bought of Joseph White for
$5369. Of the many patrons who contributed to this en-
terprise, only four are known to be now among the living;
They are Rev. Dr. Samuel C. Aiken, nov? of Cleveland, 0. ',
Rev. Hiram H. Kellogg, now of Chicago, 111. ; Elder Jared
B. Warner, of Utica, and John C. Hastings, of Clinton.

" In the long list of donors one sees such familiar and
honored names as Samuel Stocking, Ephraim Hart, Jesse
A. Doolittle, William H. Maynard, John Bradish, Daniel
Thomas, Charles R. Doolittle, John Williams, Benjamin S.
Walcott, S. Newton Dexter, William G. Tracy, George S.
Wilson, Luther Holbrook, Henry Huntington, J. W.
Bloomfield, Abijah Worthington, William Talcott, George
Brayton, Henry Davis, Asahel S. Norton, Theodore Strong,
John J. Knox, Henry Dwlght, and many others.

. " The first instructors of the Oneida Academy were
George W. Gale, a graduate of Union, and Pelatiah Raw-
son, a graduate of Hamilton. Twenty-seven students were
instructed during the first year. Forty acres of land were
cultivated. The manual labor of the students was per-
formed between four and six o'clock in the morning and in
the arternoon. Among the products of the farm were 50
cords of chopped wood, 50 barrels of cider, 70U bushels of
corn, 400 bushels of potatoes, 100 of oats, 80 of onions,
Ji5 of beans, and 30 tons of hay. In their published ap-
peal the trustees commend their plan of manual-labor
school, on the ground that ' it will preserve the he.ilth of
students,' 'increase the number of educated men,' 'promote
the spirit of enterprise and independence,' ' tend to bodily
and mental energy,' and ' exhibit an example of industry.'
" Rev. Dr. P. H. Fowler's ' History of Presbyterianisra
in the Synod of Central New York' credits Rev. Dr. George
W. Gale with the original idea of the manual-labor school,
at Whitesboro'. Hundreds of ministers and laymen were
educated there, and its prosperity at the outset led to a num-
ber of imitations in other localities. Dr. Gale's name and
energy are more permanently linked with the founding of
Knox College, at Galesbuig, 111., where Rev. Hiram H.
Kellogg held the presidency from 1839 to 1845, and where
Professor Innes Grant and Professor Nehemiah H. Losey
were called to seats in the faculty, after their teaching ability
had been proved at the Oneida Institute. In 1865, Knox
College sought for another professor who had been tried at
Whitesboro', and carried off Rev. W. J. Beecher, who filled
the chair of ancient languages at Galesburg until he was
called to Auburn Theological Seminary, in 1870. It was
in 1834 that Dr. Gale removed to Western Illinois, and his
place at Whitesboro' was filled by the choice of Reuben
Hough. About the same time Rev. Beriah Green, u, grad-
uate of Middlehury College, was called to the presidency of
Oneida Institute from Western Reserve College, another
manual-labor institution, where he had distinguished him-
self as professor of sacred literature. Beriah Green brought
with him the faith of an enthusiast in the manual-labor



system of education. Although Socratic in his personal
habits, he advocated the theory that in a course of liberal
studies the Greek Testament should be substituted for Xett-
ophon and other Greek classics,' and that Hebrew should
take the place of Latin; Apparently, Piresident Greeh, at
this time, would have sympathized with John Eliot, apostle
t6 the Indians, when he declared that Hebrew had the qual-
ifications for a universal language hero below, aiid that it
was likely to be the language of heaven. It was John
Eliot's tlieory, if not Beriah Green's, that we might make
ready for heaven on this point, by making and fitting tlie
Hebrew tongue, according to the divine artifice of it, to
express all imaginable conceptions in all arts and sciences.
"The experiments at Whiteiiboro' were directed by edu-
cators of rare ability and heroic purpose.' Their failure is
rich in wholesome suggestions. ' The educational history of
oiir nation is largely indebted to George W. Gale and Beriah
Green for the practical precepts which they enforced and
indorsed most reluctantly by their unsuccessful innovations.
" In 1834 the Oneida Institute had about 140 students.
Among them were Levi A. Skinner, Isaac Stryker, William
Abbott, Egbert Bagg, Samuel H. Coxe, Thomas G. Frost,
Burdett Hart, Charles J. Lowery, David A. Holbrook, and
Heniy L. Moss. -

" Among the earlier students who afterwards acquired a
national reputation were Theodore D. Weld, Charles Wads-
worth and Caleb Lyon. Rev. Samuel W. Willis testifies
lliat the public addresses delivered by Mr. Weld had a
marked influence in building up the institution.

"The anti-slavery agitation that followed the coming of
Beriah Green is well remembered throughout Central New
York. Denouncing the Oneida Presbytery as guilty of the
crime of slave-holding, Beriah Green and three others with-
drew from that body, and formed the Whitesboro' Associa-
tion. A new Congregational Church was organized at
Whitesboro', with a creed fashioned by Mr. Green, and a
wide gulf of alienation opened between the Oneida Insti-
tute and its original patrons. The repairer of this breach
appeared in a quarter and a shape most linlooked for. It
was clearly what the chemists call a case of ca/a?ys(S, where
a third element intervenes and brings into sympathy and
union two elements previously at war with each other.

" In 1841 the Free-Will Baptists opened a denomina-
tional school in the village of Clinton. Here they had
purchased the large building previously occupied by Rev.
Hiram H. Kellogg's Domestic Seminary for Young Ladies.
This was called the Clinton Seminary. Its principal was
Rev. Dr. John Jay Butler, now professor of sacred literature
in Hillsdale College, in Michigan. One of its prominent
teachers was Daniel S. HeiFron, afterwards superintendent
of schools in Utica. ' •'

" The Clinton Seminary was a vigorous, enterprising
school. It grew apace, and when straitened for room in its
original quarters its removal to the Oneida Institute build-
in<'s, and its adoption of a new name, began the fourth
chapter in the eventful and tangled history of what is now
honored far and near as the Whitestown Seminary. It
placed itself under the care of our Board of University
Regents, and became an important factor in our State sys-
tem of higher education. The few venerable survivors of



22i



HISTORY OF ONEIDA COUNTY, NEW YOEIC



the good men who at the birth of Oneida Institute cast
tlieir bread upon the watfers, now rejoice with devout grat«
itude that they have found it after many days. Yale
College tabernacled for sixteen years at Killingworth and
Saybrook before its final Ijome was fixed at New Haven.

" The changes that have marked the beginnings of
Whitestown Seminary have removed obstructions, its
friends will trust, from a long career of increasing useful-
ness' in the classic village, where it is now a fostered and
fostering source of culture and thrift. Not less than ten
thousand young men and women have been helped to a
higher ideal of manhood and womanhood by the discipline
and nurture of Whitestown Seminary. Among the causes
of its present prosperity none are more familiar and con-
spicuous than the high scholarship. Christian activity, and
heroic permanency of its, board of instructors. Principal
Gardner has kept his post of duty, through sunshine and
gloom^ for twenty-eight years. His well-chosen associates
have shared deeply in his spirit of unselfish consecration to
a good work. William D. Walcott's example of munifi-
cence has inspired others with the grace of giving. And
the end is not yet. It is fitting that such an institution
should have its historian and its half-oentury jubilee."

The membership of the Alumni Association includes —
or may include-;-" any who have been connected as oflicers,
benefactors, or students, either with the Oneida Academy,
afterwards named the Oneida Institute, founded and located
at Whitesboro', in 1827, or with the Clinton Seminary,
founded in 1841, or with the Whitestown Seminary, into
which the Oneida Institute and the Clinton Seminary were
merged in 1845."* The following ofiieers were elected for
the Alumni Association : President, Hon. Ellis H. Roberts,
Utica;"j" Vice-Presidents, Samuel W. Green, Brooklyn;
Mrs. D. BI. Chapman Hefi'ron, Chicago; President Oren B,
Cheney, Bates College, Maine ; Recording Secretary, Pro-
fessor Franklin P. Ashley, Whitestown; Corresponding
Secretary, Miss Mary Cauldwell, Whitestown ; Treasurer,
Henry J. Cookinham, Utica; Necrologist, Professor J. W.
Ellis, Whitestown; Board of Managers, Colonel J. S.
Lowery, George C. Horton, Utica ; Miss Nellie M. Evans,
Maroy ; Dr. Smith Baker, Whitestown ; Samuel R. Camp-
bell, Miss J. M. Hughes, New York Mills ; Professor J,
W. Ellis, Miss B. M. White, Whitestown; W. Stuart
Walcott, New York Mills.

After the formation of this association it was resolved to
make arrangements for a half-century anniversary, with
public literary exercises, at the close of the current semi-
nary year (June, 1878). All arrangements were completed,
and the anniversary exercises passed ofi' in a very enjoyable
manner. One of the features of the occasion was the able
historical address which was delivered on the 20th of June,
by Rev. E. D. Morris, D.D., of the class of 1846, and now



^- Articles of Association.

j" At the semi-centennial (June 16-20, 1873) Charles II. Harris, of
New York, was elected president in platse of Hon. Ellis H. Roberts.
In place of the above-named vice-presidents were elected Professor
Edward North, of Hamilton College,* Hon. Walter Ballon, Boonville;
and Mrs. Sarah Merriman Moshier, Lowville. The name of Professor
Gardner was added to the Board of Managers, the other officers re-
maining the same.



of Lane Theological Seminary, Cincinnati, Ohio. The fol-
lowing extracts froni his address are given; , .

" In celebrating the close of half a century, in the life of
this honored seminary, our minds instinctively run back-
wards through the entire century to note, as history records'
them, the changes which a hundred years have wrought.
Limiting our range of vision simply to this central region
in what is now the Empire State, we realize how immense
and amazing these changes have been; This remarkable
valley, with its winding river and tributary streams, with
its long lines of convergent hills, with its unique variety
and combination of natural attractions, remains the same.
But how vast the transformation which an inflowing civil-
ization, inspired by Christian ideas and Christian aspira-
tions, has effected I Even ninety years ago the old Fort
Schuyler, with two or three adjacent huts, represented the
beautiful city of Utica ; and the Whitestown load led the
adventurous pioneer out at once into the depths of a com-
paratively unpenetrated wilderness. This township itself^
in 1788, included the whole of the State west of the line
which divided it from the German Flats ; and in that ex -
tensive region, stretching from this point to the Niagara
River, scarcely two hundred inhabitants could have been
found. The centre of population in the United States, now
passing decade by decade through Southern Ohio, then
rested near the Atlantic ; and the magnificent development
since witnessed from the Alleghenies to the Mississippi, and
even to the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, was
then at best a vague possibility.

" But the fame of the Whitestown settlement and the
Genesee country was even then beginning to attract that
steadily-increasing wave of immigration from New England,
from other portions of the seaboard, and from the Old
World, which within the succeeding forty years not only
occupied this extensive area, but flowed far out beyond the
boundaries of the State, and began to manifest its presence
and potency in the Western Reserve and in the farther
west. And wherever that remarkable tide of immigration
extended, it carried with it all the seeds of a vigorous
social, political, and religious life. The home, the school,
the court, the church, sprang up spontaneously in its course.
Bountiful nature everywhere encouraged the process, and
human intelligence, human energy, human zeal and conse-
cration wrought out the finished result. The period from
1788 to 1828, brief though it was, witnessed changes phys-
ical, intellectual, social, in this region, which would seem a
marvel beyond belief had they not been exhibited later in
other regions, and on a still larger scale. During these
four decades a noble State may be said to have sprung into
existence between the Falls of the Mohawk and the Falls of
Niagara, — a State with roadways and canals ; with villages
and growing cities; with an intelligent and industrious rural
population; with educational . and benevolent institutions.;
with laws and governments ; and with religion embodied
in fair sanctuaries and largely enthroned in the life of the
people. Hardly anywhere in the history of this continent
can be found the record of a transformation more rapid or
marked, or more pregnant with momentous results. ,

" Of this development, the provisions for education, both
general and liberal, constituted from the first a decisive



HISTORY OF ONEIDA COUNTY, NEW YORK.



225



feature. As early as 1793 the Oneida Academy, which in
1812 blossomed into Hamilton College, had been estab-
lished through the Christian sagacity and Christian devotion
of Samuel Kirkland ; and prior to 1828 numerous other
schools, primary and academic, had come into existence,
and had begun to make themselves felt in the intellectual
and moral experience of the people. Such institutions
were demanded alike by the healthiest traditions and intel-
ligent judgment of the inhabitants, and by the radical
necessities of such a type of civilization as they were en-
giiged, half unconsciously, in establishing. For without
such education as the natural ally of morality and religion,
the pioneer life of our continent, in its vast westward
movement, would inevitably have degenerated, as some
isolated cases have proven, into ignorant aud brutal lawless-
ness, and even into barbaric decay. In that vast move-
ment, as it has now extended even to the Pacific, the
school has been hardly less an indispensable element than
the court-house or the church.*

" The ' Oneida Institute of Science and Industry,' as
this seminary seems to have been named originally, was the
natural outgrowth of such a development as I have briefly
described. As early as 1826 a preliminary school had been
established in the neighboring town of Western, by Rev.
George W. Grale; one primary design of which — as its
founders described it — was to test the practicability of com-
bining manual labor with literary culture. In the follow-
ing year the foundations of the institute itself were laid by



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 61 of 192)