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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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 62 of 192)
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Mr. Gale, in furtherance of the same general scheme ;
an association of Friends in the vicinity and region, who
had become interested in his project, giving him generous
assistance. A farm of 115 acres was purchased ; buildings
were erected at a total cost of 815,000, and the work of
instruction was at once begun. The year 1828 reveals the
institution in full progress, although the legal incorporation
was not secured till 1829. Some specific tendencies, cur-
rent in the region, favored the new enterprise. The exten-
sive revivals prevailing during the years just preceding had
turned the attention of many young men, especially within
the Presbyterian Church, to the work of the ministry, and
to other kindred forms of Christian service ■ • • ."

Much discussion was held over the plans of the institu-
tion. A theological department was organized in the sum-
mer of 1833. The characteristics of the early management
of the seminary were, — the combination of manual and
mental labor, the substitution of the Hebrew and Greek
Scriptures for the ordinary classical course, and the free ad-
mission of young men of all classes and colors to the priv-
ileges of the institution. The re.sults of these plans are
too well known to need comment here.

Rev. George ^V. Gale, the founder of the Institute, was
a native of Dutchess County, N. Y., and a graduate of
Union College aud Princeton Seminary. He was licensed
to preach in 1810. His only pastoral charge was at Adams,
Jefferson County, where he remaiued until his health failed,
in 1826. He was connected with the Oneida Institute un-
til 1835, when he removed to Illinois and founded the in-

* Why not place the achou1s^r<( on the list? Imagine an unedu-
cated people controlling this republic!


stitution so favorably known as Knox College, and located
the village — now city — of Galesburg. Through his re-
markable energy and tact the funds for that college were
procured chiefly at the East, and by his efforts it was placed
upon a firm and sure foundation. He died in 1862, of

The Institute at Whitestown had completed and perfected
its organization in 1834, and Beriah Green became its first
president. Owing to many drawbacks, after an existence
of sixteen years, the Institute, in 1844, was necessarily
closed. The same year the property was purchased by the
trustees of the Clinton Seminary, under the management
of the Free-Will Baptists, and that institution was removed
to Whitesboro'. A new charter was given it in 1845, and
Whitestown Seminary was henceforth to be a " power in
the land." A Biblical school was organized in 1844, and
continued for ten years. At its organization Rev. Moses
M. Smart, A.M., and Rev. J. J. Butler, D.D., were ap-
pointed as instructors. The former retired from service in
1849, and in 1851 Rev. John Fullouton, D.D., previously
employed in the academic course, became a teacher in this
department. In 1854 this school was transplanted to New
Hampton, N. H., where it continued its existence until

The attendance at Whitestown Seminary in the first de-
cade, from 1844 to 1854, rose from 173 to 317, and during
the second decade from 317 to 565. In 1869, after a quar-
ter of a century, the number of students was 522. It has
been reliably stated that " not less than ten thousand young
men and young women have been helped to higher ideals
of manhood and womanhood by the discipline and nurture
here afforded." " In addition to the amount paid at the
original purchase, a subscription of 825,000 was raised in
1860 and the subsequent years for material improvement,
and it is estimated that the entire amount expended for
such purchases, including the generous gift of William D.
Walcott, Esq., for the erection of Walcott Hall, is more
than 850,000."

Among the principals of the seminary appears the name
of Rev. Daniel S. Heffron, A.M., who was in charge in
1845 and 1846, and a member of the faculty from 1841 to
1848. He was also a member of the board of trustees
from 1843 to 1869 ; eight years the clerk and fifteen years
the presiding oSicer of the board. He was for several
years superintendent of public instruction in the city of
Utica. He is at present residing at Washington Heights,
near Chicago, 111.

Samuel Farnham, A.M., was principal from 1846 to
1853. The present principal. Professor James S. Gardner,
was in 1848 a senior in college, and at the same time a
teacher in Whitestown Seminary. His connection with
the institution extends through a long term of years, and
his name has become an honored one, both as a teacher and

During the year ending June, 1878, the names of 387
students were on the rolls of the seminary, and its present
condition is in every way flourishing and prosperous. The
followin" persons compose the present board of trustees :
President, William D. Walcott, Esq., New York Mills ;
Secretary and Treasurer, J. S. Gardner, A.M., Ph.D.,



Wliitestown ; Hon. Samuel Campbell, New York Mills;
Professor Edward North, L.H.D., Clinton ; Roderick
SholeSj.Esq., Bridgewater j Hon. Ellis H. Roberts, LL.D.,
Utica; David Gi Young, Esq., Columbia; Parley Phillips,
Esq., Unadilla Forts; Rev! Philemon H. Fowler, D.D.,
Utica ; Ellis Ellis, Esq., TJtioa ; Colonel Israel J. Gray,
Whitestown'; Lewis Lawrence, Esq., Utica; M. M. Gard-
ner, M.D., Utiest; Albert Brayton, Esq., Newport; David
M. -Miller, Esq;., Oneonta; Charles E. Smith, M.D., -Whites-
town ; Ebene'zer Lewis, Esq., Marcy ; Newton Sholes, Esq.,
Bridgewater;. Merritt N. Capron, Esq., Boonville; George
C Law, Esq., Whitestown j. N. Hinckley. Gates, Esq.,
Johnstown; John Gt Moshier; Esq., Lowville ; Henry J;
Cookinham, Esq., Utica;- W. J. P. Kingslay, M.D., Rome.

Faculty. — James S. Gardner, A.M., Ph.D., Principal and
P-rofes.sor of the Natural Sciences; Jos. W. Ellis, A.M., Pro-
fessor of Latin and Higher Mathematics; Wm. Z. Luther,
A.B., Professor of Greek, German, and English Literature;
Franklin P. Ashley, Ac.M., Professor of Commercial Instruc-
tion and Mathematics; Miss Belinda M. White, Preceptress
and Teacher of Moral Science, Geometry, and Drawing ; Miss
Josephine M. Hughes, Teacher" of Rhetoric, English -and
French ; Miss Mille 0. Hannahs, Teacher of Piano Music ;
Miss Ella M. Gardner, Teacher of Oil-Painting ; Joseph
W. Ellis, A.M., Teacher of Vocal Musie; Franklin P.
Ashley, Ac.M,, Librarian; '

The courses of study include collegiate, Latin, and Eng-
lish courses for ladies ; an English and scientific course for
gentlemen, and classical and commercial courses. In the
musical department, every facility is provided for thorough
instruction in all branches. A large new music-hull and
five new music-rooms have recently been fitted up and sup-
plied with new Cliickering pianos. Fioquont lectures upon
scientific and literary subjects are delivered before the stu-
dents by professional men of tlie vicinity. The library
contains 2000 volumes, the use of which is allowed to
students free of expense.

There are five literary societies connected with the semi-
nary, viz. : the Union Literary, the Irving Brothers, and the
Y. G., Sustained by the gentlemen ; and the Bronte Davffh-
ters and the E. T., sustained by the ladies. Each has an
elegantly-furnished hall and a growing library. An organi-
zation called the Students' Cliristian Association is also
sustained, and maintains a reading-rooni, in which is found a
choice selection from the current newspapers and periodicals.

An annual paper, called ■ Tlie WMtesfown Index, is pub-
lished by the students in the interests of the seminary.


The following account of this " temple of learning" was
prepared principally by Rev. S. P. Lander^, and inserted
in Rev. A. D. Gridley's history of the town of Kirkland,
and is so complete in its details that we reproduce it here
with necessary statistics for later years :

" The ministers and delegates from the several associa-
tions comprising the Universalist Convention of the State
of New York met at Clinton, May 11, 1831. Among the
acts of that body at this session was the appointment of a
committee of three, namely. Rev. S. R. Smith, D. Skinner,
and A. B. Grosh, 'to collect important facts, and prepare

an address to the several associations, and to the Univer-
salist and liberal portion of the community, on the subject
of establishing a literary institution in this State, not only
for the purposes of science and literaturei but with a partic-
ular view of furnishing with an education young men de-
signing to study for the ministry of universal reconciliation.'
" "The election of this committee was the initial step in
preparing the way for the erection of the Clinton Liberal

" On June 1, following, the central association met at
Cedarville, Herkimer County, when the same subject was
brought beforie that body, and resolutions were passed —

" 1. Approving the recommendation of the State Con-
vention respecting a literfii-y institution.

" 2. That it be located at Clinton.

" 3. That a Board of Trust be appointed.

" 4. Contains the number and iiames of said board.

" 5. That Joseph Stebbins and John W. Hale, of Clinton,
David Pixley, of Manchester, Timothy Smith, of Augusta,
and Ezra S. Barnum, of Utica, constitute an executive
committee with usual powers.

" 6. That Joseph Stebbins be treasurer.

" 7. That sister associations be solicited to unite with us
ill promoting the objects herein contemplated.

" Numerous associations throughout the State responded
to the acts of the State Convention, pledging themselves to
aid in every practicable way the project of establishing such
a school at Clinton. One of the principal causes of this
effort to found a.sohoolon liberar principles in theology was
(what seemed to be) the sectarian character and the prose-
lyting influences on students made in the various academies
and colleges of our country.

" The first report of the executive committee, dated
Clinton, Aug. 20, 1831, in explaining to the public the
object of the contemplated seminary, says, among other
things, that ' it is not to be sectarian.' 'On the contrary,
while it is deemed all important that the young mind should
be strongly impressed with the pure morality of the gospel,
we wish to leave the responsibility of indoctrination to the
natural guardians of youth.

" ' Pledging ourselves that as we have seen and felt the
evils of sectarian influence in the existing seminaries of
learning, so We will use our constant endeavors to preserve
the one now projected from its contaminations.'

" A preliminary school for males was opened Nov. 7, 1831,
on College Street, in a building owned by William Johnson,
nearly opposite Mr. Kelsey's. This school had four terms
a year, and was taught by George B. Perkins, now of Utica,
who was connected with the Institute from this time until
the year 1839.

" The female department was commenced Nov. 21, 1831,
in a house on the east side of the green, now owned and
occupied by A. W. Mills, and it was taught by Miss Burr.
In May of the following year it was formally opened in the
new building erected for that purpose, on Utica Street, by
Miss Philena Dean, now the widow of the late Professor
Marcus Catlin. The present site for the male department
was purchased of John Sweeting, and the substantial stone
edifice, 96 by 52 feet, und four stories high above the base-
ment, was built in 1832, by contract, for $9300.



" As Harvard College was nourished and strengthened in
its infancy by the labors and sacrifices of benevolent men,
so the history of Clinton Liberal Institute, like that of
many other literary institutions whose beginnings were
small and when money was scarce, is the history of a strug-
gle. It is well understood and acknowledged that Rev.
Stephen R. Smith, for many years a resident and preacher
in Clinton, was the founder of the Institute. Associated
with him was Mr. Joseph Stebbins, whose first subscription
was larger than any other person's, and who advanced ftom^
his own purse, as funds were needed to complete the build-
ings, more than $5000. ' To these two men,' says Dr.
Sawyer, in his memoir of Mr. Smith, ' the denomination
owes a debt of gratitude which few at this day can fully
appreciate. Others, it is true, labored with them, but they
stand pre-eminent,'

" The library of the Institute was commenced by Mr.
Smith taking a basket on his arm and soliciting books from
his friends in this vicinity, and by obtaining donations in
books from publishers in Boston and New York.

" This school, thus founded, was commenced in the stone
building Dec. 10, 1832; The faculty consisted of Rev. C.
B. Thummel, Principal and Professor of Languages ; George
R. Perkins, Professor of Mathematics ; and E, W. Manley,
Assistant, During the first year there were in attendance
108 pupils, most of whom studied the higher branches.

" In the female department, after brief terms of princi-
palship by Misses Burr, Dean, and Fosdiok, the services of
Miss Almira Moech were secured as preceptress. The in-
stitution was chartered by the State in 1834, and in 1836
it was put under the visitation of the Regents, receiving its
share of the public money. In 1836 a lot of six and one-
half acres of land called ' The Knob,' bought of William T.
Richmond, was presented to the Institute, together with
valuable apparatus estimated at about $800, by Mr. R. W.
Haskins, of Buffalo. It was designed by the donor to build
an observatory on the top,I)ut, owing to various hindrances,
this generous project was never carried out.

" Early in the year 1838, Mr. Thummel was succeeded
by Rev. Timothy Clowes, LL.D., and Miss Meeoh by Miss
L. M. Barker. It is due to Miss Barker to state that this
was the beginning of a career as instructor in Clinton which
lasted thirty years, exeepting, however, a short period spent
in Nesf York, and at Whittemore Hall, in Massachusetts.
She was successful as a teacher and an exemplar to young
ladies, and her pupils in targe numbers are now exerting a
happy influence in society as the result of her excellent in-
structions. ... She collected about $2000 of the fund for
erecting the present Ladies' Institute. She btiilt the house
now occupied by Mr. Peter Fake. After years of expe-
rience she felt that she could not realize fully her idea of a
true school while it w,is under the control of a board of
trustees; and so she planned' and built the ' Home Cottage'
for a new seminary, it being the school property now owned
by Dr. J. C. Grallup. ^ This enterprise, however, proved too
large for her means and her failing energies, and she sold
the building to its present proprietor. After this she built
a smaller school-house, calling it ' Cottage Seminary' (which
is now owned by Miss Anna Chipman), and where, sur-
rounded by friendly hearts, she at length passed away.

Her grateful pupils have recently erected a beautiful monu^
ment to her memory in the Clinton Cemetery.

"Rev. T. J. Sawyer, D.D., became principal of the male
department in 1845, and held the position some twelve or
fifteen years. During this period, and largely by his efforts^
the present building of the fetnale department was erected
in the year 1851. , It is' of a substantial character, ,136 feet
by 46, is two stories high above the basement, and contains
all the necessa,ry rooms and, fixtures to make it A pleasant
home atid school for young ladies. It stands on it slight
eminence in the southern part of the village, commanding
a view of the village and the valley of the Oriskany, and of
the college hillside dotted here and there with residences,
and with the institution cro\yning its summit.

" A debt of some magnitude having been incurred in
erecting this building, and in other ways. Rev. D.i Skijiner,
of Utica, volunteered to raise funds ^ufficient^.to discharge
it. He did even more than this, fur he not o.nly enabled
the trustees to pay the debt of $12,000, but obtained- money
enough, to repair the buildings and to replenish the library
and the stock of apparatus, . He performed this labor .withr
out compensation, and in.. his will left, $1000 to.the.institu-
tion." . . . r ,.. ,, ; •

The faculty of the Institute for 1877-78 are as follows:,
Principal^I. Thorton Osmond, A.M., Professor of Mental,
Moral, and Political Science and Mathematics; Preeop|,ress,
Miss Helen S. Pratt, L.A., Teacher of Modern Languages
and Literature; Professors of Lafin and, Greek, W. L. C.
Bailey, A.B., and Walter R. Haig'; A.M. ; Teacher of Eng-
glish Branches, Miss I.. Josephine Miller; Teacher of Draw-
ing, Painting, and Voice Culture, Miss Gertrude L, Stone;
Teacher of Instrumental Music, M'ss. Genevieve Wells ^
Teacher of Drawing and Painting, Miss Maggie A. Lan-
ders; Teacher of Elocution, Frank V, Mills... ,

For the year ending May, 1877, the attendance was fifty
gentlemen and forty-five ladies. The class of 1877 was
composed of Edgar L. Bumpiis, Clinton,, Classical ; Lottie
N. Devoe, Fort Plain, Collegiate; Clinton. B. Scollard,
Clinton, Classical.

The trustees of the Institute for 187-7 were Rev. Asa
Saxe, D.I).; Rochester; Ezra S. Barnum, Esq., Utica;
Hon. Ezra Graves, Hej-kimer; Rev. L. J. Fletcher, Buf
falo ; Edniund Terry, Esq., Waterville ; Orrin Terry, Esq.,
Marshall ; Rev. Daniel Ballon, Utica ; Oscar B. Gridley,
Esq,, Waterville; James W. Cronkhite, Esq., Little Falls;
Hon. John Westover, Richmondville; E. B. Armstrong,
Esq., Rome ; Simeon Tingue. Esq., Fort Plain.

Officers of the board: Rev. Asa Saxe, D.D., President;
Hon. Ezra Graves, Vice-President ; Rev. D. Ballou, Secre-
tary ; Orrin Terry, Esq., Treasurer ; Executive Committee,
Hon. Ezra Graves, Rev. Daniel, Ballou, J. W. Cronk-
hite, Esq., Oscar, B. Gridley, Esq,, Orrin Terry, Esq.,; Ex-
amining Committees for State Convention : Rev. L. G.
Powers, Sirs. Dr. J. L, Scollard ; Dean,, F. Cur,rie, Esq.,
Clinton ; Rev. J. V. Wilson, Clinton ; Mrs. E. R. Scollard,
Clinton; Rev. Charles F. Lee, Utica; Rev. G. B. R.
Clarke, A.M., Rome; Albert Owen, Ksq., Clinton ; Frank
D. Budlong, Clinton; Miss L- C. Anderson, Clinton.

The names of members of the faculty, committees, etc.,
herewith given, are taken from the catalogue of 1877,



the exercises at the close of the school year of 1 877-78
having occurred since our material was gathered. The In-
stitute is in a flourishing condition, and is, like its sister
institutions in the village, an honor to the place. The
village of Clinton is remarkable for its healthful attrac-
tiveness, and the various educational institutions in and
around it have given it a classical air, and elevated and
refined the morals of the community where they are lo-
cated. Truly, Clinton may be proud of the course she
has taken in laying firm foundations for the education
of the youth of the land.


In the year 1832, Rev. Hiram H. Kellogg commenced
in Clinton the establishment of a seminary for young ladies,
which, -while furnishing facilities for a thorough Christian
education, should be conducted on such a method as to en-
able persons of limited means to enjoy its advantages. The
rates of tuition were placed at the lowest sum by which
such an institution could be sustained, and besides this,
compensating employment was furnished in domestic and
other avocations, adapted to the age and condition of each
pupil, by which the scholars might reduce the cost of their
board and tuition to a considerable amount.

Having erected and furnished his' building, Mr. Kellogg
opened his school in the spring of the year 18.33, under
the name of the Young Ladies' Domestic Seminary. Tlie
school was full at the beginning, and such was the pressure
of applicants beyond its capacity that the building was
materially enlarged during the first year.

During the first eight years of its history its rooms were
uniformly filled, the usual attendants numbering from
seventy to eighty. The whole number educated here dur-
ing those years was upwards of five hundred. Notwith-
standing its peculiar features, which commended it especially
to the poor, it w^as liberally patronized by the wealthy fam-
ilies of central New York, and was as universally popular
as any similar institution in this part of the State. The
full amount charged for board and tuition never exceeded
$120 per year. The amounts deducted from this in com-
pensation for work performed usually ranged from ten to
fifty per cent, of the face of the regular bills. And so it
came to pass that a large number of Christian ladies were
here educated at an expense of only from |50 to |60 a
year, who afterwards became eminently useful in missionary
work at home and abroad.

But the amount of good accomplished by this seminary
was not limited to the education and usefulness of its pupils.
It is due to the truth of history to record that this school
was visited by those who were maturing plans for the
establishment of other institutions in Illinois, Ohio, and
New England, and that its peculiar features were, to some
extent, adopted by them. One of these instances may here
be recorded : In the summer of 1831, Mr. Kellogg visited
the Female Seminary at Ipswich, Mass., then conducted
by the Misses Grant and Lyon. At the request of the
teachers he addressed the collected school and sketched,

* This sketch was prepared by Rev. H. H. Kellogg, the first Princi-
pal, and inserted in Gridley's History of Kirkland.

the outline of his plan and its results. Miss Lyon was
so deeply interested in the project that she resolved to visit
Mr. Kellogg's seminary at an early opportunity. During
her next vacation she came to Clinton, and after a full ex-
amination of the practical workings of this institution went
home resolved to establish a new seminary, in which the
leading features of this school should have a prominent
place. Hence arose the Mount Holyoke Seminary at
South Hadley, Mass., whose fixme is in all the land. If
the facts were fully known it would appear also that the semi-
nary at Monticello, 111., and the female department of Knox
College, 111., and of Oberlin College, Ohio, and the Elmira
Female College, New York, and other similar institutions
have been moulded and encouraged by the seminary which
for eight years was so successfully conducted among us.

In 1841, Mr. Kellogg, having been elected to the presi-
dency of Knox College, sold his seminary property to an
association of Free-will Baptists and removed with his
family to Galesburg, 111. The Baptists, after conducting
the school for three years on a different plan,f relinquished
it, when it was opened by Mr. Pelatiah Rawson as a pri-
vate school. The failure of Mr. Rawson's health caused
the school to be closed.

In 1847, in consequence of his infirm health and his
property here falling back into his hands, Mr. Kellogg re-
turned to Clinton and attempted to resuscitate the semi-
nary and to make it a school for both sexes. It was not so
easy to revive a decaying school as to create a new one, yet
some considerable success attended the effort. In 1850
Mr. Kellogg deemed it best, for reasons which need not
here be stated, to close the institution.


Of the various educational institutions at Clinton, the
one bearing the above title is by no means the least im-
portant. It w;is established as the '• Home Cottage Semi-
nary," in the year 1854, by Miss Louisa M. Barker, previ-
ously connected with the female department of the Clinton
Liberal Institute. The building, which is located in a
picturesque position on an eminence south of the village,
overlooking the Oriskany Valley, is 150 feet in length
and 54 in width, is two stories high above an elevated
basement, and has two towers three stories high.

Miss Barker, a most efficient teacher, remained here
until 1861, when she sold the seminary to Dr. J. C. Gallup.
The latter took immediate possession of the property, and
changed the name to " Houghton Seminary," in August,
1861, in honor of his wife, Mrs. Marilla Houghton Gallup,
the associate principal. The grounds, consisting originally
of eight acres, have been enlarged to twenty acres. Through
various improvements the value of the buildings has been
largely increased, and the lawns and gardens have been
greatly beautified. The institution is under the care of
the Regents of the University of the State of New York, has
a large and valuable library of over a thousand volumes, and

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 62 of 192)