Samuel W Durant.

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

. (page 68 of 192)
Online LibrarySamuel W DurantHistory of Oneida County, New York : with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers → online text (page 68 of 192)
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centennial anniversary was obseryed in January, 1861, on
which occasion a commemorative address was delivered by
Hon. William J. Bacon, which elicited a resolution of
thanks from the society.

During the first fifty years of its existence its entire re-
ceipts and disbursements were something over $40,000.
Judge Piatt filled the ofiice of president from its organization
down to 1816, when he was succeeded by George Hunting-
ton, who served until 1824, when Judge Piatt was again
elected, and filled the position for four years more, and was
succeeded by Abraham Varick, who continued until 1832,
and was followed by Asahel Seward, who served four years.
In 1836, John J: Knox, of Augusta, was elected, and con-
tinued until his death in 1876, when he was succeeded by
Dr. J. C. Gallup, of Clinton, the present incumbent.

The office of treasurer has been occupied by only four
different individuals, viz. : Amos G. Baldwin, from its
organization until 1811; William G. Tracy, from 1811 to
1830 ; Jesse W. Doolittle, from 1830 to 1842 ; and Jared
E. Warner, from 1842 to the present time.*


As early as the year 1818 the citizens of the county
became interested in tlie matter of an agricultural society,
and the same year the " Oneida Agricultural Society" was
formed, with Colonel Garrett G. Lansing as president and
Elkanah Watson vice-president. The first fair was held at
Wliitesboro' on Thursday, October 1, 1818. The Utica
Fatriot, in which appeared an account of this fair, spoke
of it as foll6ws :

" It is but a short time since the subject of an agricultural
society was agitated in the county. Indeed, it has been
organized but a few months. It was late in the season
before the premiums were announced ; our farmers had,
therefore, but little time to prepare for the exhibition.
Indeed, preparation was almost out of the question, and
most of the articles brought forward at the show were taken
from their farms without any pains having been taken or
expense incurred to fit them for the occasion. Yet, not-
withstanding all these disadvantages, notwithstanding the
fears that had been expressed, and the discouraging-reports
that had been circulated (which iiad a tendency to keep
back many), we have abundant reason for pride and con-
gratulation. The day was fine, the multitude great. In-
deed, it was a delightful spectacle to witness the congrega-
tion of sober, industrious, intelligent farmers (more intelli-
gent we do not believe exist), giving evidence of ease, com-
fort, and wealth."

From an article published in the Utica Herald of a later
day the following is taken, compiled principally from the
original description in the Patriot :

" Addresses were made by the president. Colonel Lansing,
and Elkanah W^atson, Esq. In the evening there was a
splendid ball, attended by ninety ladies and nearly the same
number of gentlemen. The following list of premiums
awarded will indicate the agricultural competition and
standards of the time :

» These items are compiled from an article in Dr. Bngg's Pioneers
of Utica, prepared from minutes mainly furnisiied by Hon. Wm.
J. Bacon.

" For the best acre of Indian corn, a silver cup, valued
at ?10, to Thomas Hulbert, of Westmoreland ; for the best
acre of peas, a set of teaspoons and sugar tongs, valued at
$8, to Bela Carey, of Deerfield ; for the best half-acre of
potatoes, a set of spoons and salt spoon, valued at 85, to
Elnathan Judd, of Paris; for the largest quantity and best
quality of cheese' made from one dairy, a silver pitcher-,
valued at $15, to Samuel Dyer,.of Deerfield ; for the largest
quantity and best quality of butter made from one dairy,
a silver cup, valued at |12, to Abraham Brooks, of Steuben ;
for the best bull, $12 in cash, to Thomas Gill, of Rome ;
for the best milch cow, a set of teaspoon.«, valued at $5, to
David Brown, of Rome; for the best pair of working oxen,
$10 in cash, to Salmon Laird, of Westmoreland ; for the
best pair of two-year old steers, a set of spoons, valued at
S6, to Thomas Hulbert, of Westmoreland ; for the best pair
of calves, cash $5, to James Wells, of Paris ; for the best
hog, cash %h, to William Biddlecom, of Deerfield ; for the
best boar and sow, cash $5, to Jehiel Wetmore, of Whites-
boro' ; for the best flock of .sheep, not less than 40, a silver
pitcher, valued at $15, to Nathaniel Townsend, Westmore-
land; for the best piece of woolen cloth, not less than
three-fourths of a yard in width and 15 yards in length, a
set of spoons and sugar tongs, valued at $8, to Stephen
Mott, Paris ; for the best piece of flannel not less than 20
yards, a set of spoons and a salt spoon, valued at $5, to
Stephen Mott, of Paris; for the best pieces of woolen cloth,
fit for ladies' wear, not less than 15 yards, a set of spoons
and sugar tongs, valued at $8, to Samuel Stillnian, of
Whitestown ; for the best piece of carpeting, a silver cup,
valued at $8, to Miss Ruth Caldwell, of Whitestown.

"The yield of corn reported by Thomas Hulbert, of
Westmoreland, was 104 bushels and 11 quarts from a sin-
gle acre. This product was so extraordinary that several
farmers in Albany County and on Long Island applied to
Governor De AVitt Clinton for information as to the mode
of culture. The Governor wrote to the secretary of the
society. Dr. Alexander Coventry, for particulars. The reply
of Dr. Coventry is dated ' Deerfield, 22d December, 1818,'
and includes a lengthy statement of Mr. Hulbert. Dr.
Coventry says he found Mr. Hulbert cultivating about 200
acres in the town of Westmoreland, about six miles south-
west from the village of Whitesboro'. It seems that 53
loads of barnyard manure to the acre were used on the
corn-field, which had been a meadow for 14 years previous
to this planting, and well sodded with herd's grass and
clover. The sward was broken April 20, 1818, with one
span of horses and an ordinary plow. About the middle
of May it was well harrowed, manured, and cross-plowed
three times. The ground was put in ridges from north to
south, about four feet distant ; the ridges were leveled on
top, and the corn dropped on the ridges about five or six
inches asunder and covered with hoes on the 28th and
29th days of Rlay. The corn was hoed but twice. The
worms and birds destroyed some, and Mr. Hulbert says
' what came to maturity averaged one stalk to every seven
or eight inches.' The statement is signed Thomas Hul-
bert, Jr.

" Dr. Coventry writes that the sample of corn which was
next to Mr. Hulbert's in point of excellence was raised by



Samuel Dyev on liis favm in Deerfield, about two miles from
Whitesborg', and was part of a field of six acres. The soil
was gravelly loam, originally covered with u. large growth
of beech and maple, but had been partially cleared some
years before, so that the surface was a turf of natural grass,
and the cattle of the farm had usually Iain on it for several
seasons during the night. The remaining timber was re-
moved in the winter, and the ground broken up in April,
1818. It was planted on the 10th day of May, in hills
30 inches apart, about five stalks to the hill, and twice
hoed. An acre of the best of this corn measured, 106
bushels. The stalks and ears of this corn were more nu-
merous than on Mr. Ilulbert's land, but the grain was not
so universally sound and ripe. Governor Clinton caused
this correspondence to be published in the Albany Arffim,
from which it was copied into nearly all the newspapers of
the nation."

The present •' Oneida County Agricultural Society" was
organized in 18-11, and its first annual cxhiLiilion held in
the fall of that year. Fairs were held at different points
in the county for many years, alternating principally be-
tween Utica and Rome. At the latter place the old grounds
of the society wore first inclosed, and an admission fee
charged to all who were not members, in 1850. The
grounds then comprised 10 acres, and belonged to Colonel
E. B. Armstrong. For the past ten or eleven years the fairs
have been held exclusively at Rome. In 1872 the society
became joint owners of the present " Riverside Park" with
the "Rome Riverside Park Driving Association," the latter
holding exhibitions of trotting and general racing. During
the present season (1878) the agricultural society has pur-
chased the entire grounds, and the driving association is
practically disbanded, or become merged in the agricultural

The original of land in 1872 included a frac-
tion over 51 acres from Ezra Clark and about 14 or 15
acres from Gr. H. Lynch. Enough has since been sold
to leave the present amount 50 acres. A fine course one
mile in length has been constructed, and is considered one
of the best in the State. The fairs usually last one week,
and are attended by from 6000 to 8000 persons daily.
Two purses daily (for the last three days) are given for
racing at each fair. The 38th annual fair of the society
was held Sept. 16, 17, 18, 19, and 20, 1878, and was a
very successful one. The constitution of the society was
amended Jan. 5, 1869. The buildings of the society are
large and commodious, and everything about the grounds
is in excellent condition.

The successive presidents of this society have been (be-
ginning with 1841) Pomroy Jones, of Westmoreland ; Ben-
jamin P. Johnson, Albany; H. N. Cary, Marcy ; Elon
Comstock, New York; Dolphus Skinner, Deerfield; Ira S.
Hitchcock, Vernon; Henry Rhodes, Trenton; Benjamin
N. Huntington, Rome ; A. S. Newbury, Sangerfield ; Ro-
land S. Doty, New York; L. T. Marshall, Vernon ; H. H.
Eastman, Waterville; Lorenzo Rouse, Clinton; A. Van
Patten, Kansas City, Mo. ; J. W. Jones, Whitcstown ; P.
Mattoon, Vienna; N. S.Wright, Vernon Centre; E. B.
Armstrong, Rome ; B. Huntington, Rome ; Calvin Bi,shop,
Verona; George Benedict, Utica; Samuel Campbell, New

York Mills ; R. G. Savery, Blossvale ; Morgan Butler, New
Hartford ; B. W. Williams, Rome ; 0. B. Gridley, Water-
ville; J. H. Wilcox, Rome; J. L. Dean, Westmoreland;
John Butterfield, Utica ; Thomas D. Penfield, Camden ; J.
B. Cushman, Vernon ; Mark Cheney, Rome ; H. N. Glea-
son, Kirkland ; J. M. Phillips, Rome ; Luke Coan, West-
moreland ; and the present incumbent of the office, William
Townsend, of Rome. The remainder of the officers for
1878 are : First Vice-President, D. S. Cushman, Westmore-
land ; Second Vice-President, R. A. Jones, Whitcstown ;
Secretary, H. M. Rouse, Marshall ; Treasurer, James El-
well, Rome ; Executive Board, for one year. — Luke Coan,
Westmoreland ; Dudley Rhodes, Trenton ; H. L. Adams,
Rome ; H. N. Gleason, Kirkland ; Harrison Lillybridge,
Annsville ; Charles Seymour, Paris ; for two years, — T. D.
Penfield, Camden ; T. L. Hills, Marshall ; D. G. Drum-
mond, Lee ; Thomas D. Roberts, J. B. Cushman, Vernon.


The agricultural record of Oneida County would not bo
complete without reference to the recent introduction of
Dutch, or Dutch-Friesian, cattle by the Unadilla Stock-
Breeders Association.

There is no doubt that Dutch cattle were brouglit into
this county at an early day by the first settlers of the Mo-
hawk Valley, and that they largely formed the basis from
which our " native" stock has originated. These cattle
were of medium size, good beef-producers, and excellent

The first modern importation of Dutch cattle into this
country was made in 1852, by the Hon. Wiiithrop W.
Chenery, of Massachusetts. It consisted of a single cow as
an experiment. The extraordinary qualities of this cow
soon induced other importations. Since that time, within
the brief space of twenty-five years, they have become one
of the leading breeds of cattle in the United States.

The Unadilla Valley Association was formed in 1874,
and was composed of several practical dairymen in the
counties of Otsego, Chenango, and Madison. At first they
only contemplated the improvement of their own herds by
crossing. The superiority of these cattle soon led them to
decide upon breeding thoroughbred stock. They were in-
corporated for this purpose in 1877. Being remote from
public thoroughfares a farm was purchased near Utica, on
line of the Utica and Whitesboro' Horse Cars, where their
cattle are kept for exhibition and sale under the care of S.
Hoxie, of Whitcstown, one of the executive committee of
the association.

Tliese cattle are uniformly black and white in color.
They are of a large size, have peculiarly fine, clean limbs,
and combine good beef-producing qualities with extraordi-
nary milk production. As examples of their milking quali-
ties. Maid of Twisk, in the season of 1877, in 322 days in
which she was milked, gave 14,312 pounds of milk; three
heifers two years of age gave respectively, 10,228 pounds,
10,711 pounds, 10,563 pounds ; the weight of these heifers
in the order of these records was 926 pounds, 972 pounds,
999 pounds.

■ By S. IXo.tie.



In order to keep these cattle up to the highest standard
of excellence, a Dutch Friesian herd-book has been estab-
lished, one of the requirements of registry being the produc-
tion of at least 8000 pounds of milk in one season, by the
animal, its dam, or its grand dams.

What the future success of this association will be we do
not venture to predict, but the introduction of these cattle
must i-esult in permanent improvement. They seem to be
a breed of cattle adapted to the wants of the practical dairy-
man, and already may be seen evidences of extensive cross-
ing in various parts of the county.


Less than a score of years ago the business of butter- and
cheese-manufacturing in the United States was all carried
on by hand in families. The first cheese-factory in this
country was put in operation at Rome, Oneida County,
N. Y., in one of the early years of the sixth decade of the
present century, by Mr. Jesse Williams. Concerning this
gentleman we copy the following remarks from an address
delivered before the New York Cheese Manufacturers' Asso-
ciation, at Utica, N. Y., Jan. 12, 1865, by X. A. Willard,
A.M., of Herkimer County :

" To him we are indebted for this system of Associated
Dairies, one of the most remarkable steps in the history
of progressive farming that has been taken in this age of
new ideas. Of its beneficent results we can now scarcely
form a correct estimate. The system was eminently his
own. He lived to see shoots from the parent factory
spring up rapidly about him, and spread their vigorous
roots deeply through all the land ; and when choeso-dairy-
ing shall be known in after-times his name will be insepa-
rably connected with its progress and success. His was no
narrow and contracted spirit, that sought to cover up and
hide the mysteries of his art for personal aggrandizement.
He gave of his knowledge freely to all who came. He
suggested improvements and advised gratuitously, so that
otliers might steer clear of difficulties which had beset
him, and which had only been conquered after years of trial
and toil. Through his creative genius, Oneida County
sprang at once to the head of the great dairy interest of the
State ; through him millions have been added to the perma-
nent wealth of the country ; and yet, modest and unassum-
ing, he claimed none of the honors pertaining to a splendid
achievement and a grand success. Stricken down by pa-
ralysis, almost on the eve of the meeting of this convention,
we miss here his presence and his counsels. Born and
reared on the farm, farming was a profession which he en-
nobled. As a good citizen he identified himself with the
interests of his town and county, and whenever a worthy
object could be promoted by his assistance, earnest and ac-
tive co-operation on his part was not wanting. His indom-
itable will and energy overcame obstacles that seemed for-
midable to other men, and whatever he put his hand to do
he accomplished. Just, kind, charitable, loved and re-
spected by those who knew him, he has passed away uni-
versally regretted. Not an aspirant of fame or the world's
empty honors, he but sought to do the work assigned him
with cheerfulness and Christian fortitude. He reached
' the end,' leaving behind a long record of shining virtues

which the great in power and station might well copy as a

This great interest developed so rapidly, and grew to
such important proportions, that it soon became apparent
that some organized system was required to utilize its pro-
ductions to the greatest advantage, and to build up a com-
mon interest throughout the dairy region of New York.
With a view to this end a convention was called by over
forty prominent manufacturers of Central New York,
which is claimed to have been the first of the kind held
in the State, if not in the world. It assembled at the
court-house in Rome, N. Y., on the 6th day of January,
1864, and was temporarily organized by calling Colonel
Seth Miller, of Constableville, Lewis Co., to the chair, and
appointing Messrs. Geo. W. Pixley, of Kirkland, Oneida
Co., and B. F. Stevens, of Lowville, Lewis Co., secretaries.

At the afternoon session the following gentlemen were
elected permanent officers of the convention : President,
Jesse Williams, of Oneida County; Vice-Presidents, Lyman
R. Lyon, Lewis; L. W.irner, Ontario; Daniel Smith,
Montgomery; A. L. Fish, Herkimer; Alonzo Peck, Mad-
ison ; D. W. Maples, Cortland ; M. R. Stocker, Otsego ;
Geo. C. Morn, Erie; D. H. Goulding, Chautauqua; A. D.
Stanley, Jefierson; Alfred Buck, Oneida; Dwight Ellis,
Mass. ; A. Bartlett, Ohio ; Secretaries, B. F. Stevens,
Lewis ; Geo. W. Pixley, Oneida.

The following articles of association were adopted :

" Whereas, it is deemed expedient to organize an association througli
which, as a medium, results of the practical experience of dairymen
may be gathered and disseminated to the dairying community ; there-

'* Resolved, That we, the undersigned, do hereby associate ourselves
together for mutual improvement in the science of cheese-making,
and more eflficieiit action in promoting the general interests of the
dairying community.

" Art. I. That the name of the organization shall be the New York
State Cueesk Ma.vdfacturers' Associatiox.

** Art. 1 1. The officers of the Association shall consist of a presi-
dent, five vice-presidents, secretary, and treasurer.

"Art. III. The president, vice-president, secretary, and treasurer
shall constitute the executive board of the association.

"Art. IV. The officers of the association shall be elected at the
regular annual meeting, and shall retain their of&ces until their suc-
cessors arc chosen.

"Art. V. The regular annual meeting shall occur on the second
Wednesday in January of each year, and at such places as the ex-
ecutive board shall designate.

*' Art. VI. Any person may become a member of the association,
and be entitled to all its benefits, by the annual payment of one

Representatives were present at this convention from
sixty-nine cheese-factories, thirty-two of them being in
Oneida County. The following gentlemen were made per-
manent officers of the association : President, George Wil-
liams, Oneida ; Vice-Presidents, Seth Miller, Lewis ; David
Hamlin, Jefferson; A. L. Fish, Herkimer; George E.
Morse, Madison; Moses Kenney, Cortland; Secretary,
Wm. H. Comstock, Utica; Treasurer, Lyman R. Lyon,
Lewis. The first subscribing member was very appropri-

-■ At the annual meeting in January, 1373, Hon. X. A. Willard read
an address on a memorial fund for Mr. Williams, and a resolution was
adopted that the dairymen of America raise $10,000 for the purpose.



ately Mr. Je.sse Williams, of Rome, the originator of the
factory system.

At the second annual meeting of this association it was
merged in the " American Dairymen's Association," whose
jurisdiction included the United States and the Dominion.
The officers of this association for 1866 were : President,
Wm. H. Comstock, Esq., of Utioa ; Vice-Presidents, A.
Bartlett, Ohio ; 0. E. Chadwick, IngersoU, C. W. (now
Ontario) ; George Moore, Buffiilo ; E. R. Hopson, Her-
kimer; Dwight Ellis, Mass.; Lyman R. Lyon, Lewis;
R. R. Stone, Illinois ; Rufus Baker, Michigan ; R. C.
Wickham, Vermont ; Samuel G. Smith, Montreal ; Secre-
tary and Treasurer, Gardner B. Weeks, Verona, N. Y.

The State census of 1865 returned the number of
cheese-factories in the State at 454, and the aggregate
of cheese manufactured for 1864 at 32,663,014 pounds.*

In the early part of the season a fund was raised by the
association for the purpose of sending i practical man as
agent to Europe, with a view to obtaining information
regarding the manufacture and marketing of cheese.
Mr. X. A. Willard was selected as the proper person to
fill the position. He departed on his mission in the be-
ginning of May and returned in October, having visited
during his absence England, Scotland, Ireland, France,
and Switzerland.

At the annual meeting in January, 1867, he delivered a
very interesting discourse before the association, in which
he gave a great amount of valuable information upon the
dairy interests of the countries visited. The export of
cheese from the United States to Europe began about
1855-56. Prom September, 1857, to September, 1858,
the number of boxes of American cheese received at Liver-
pool, England, was 81,548. In 1860 the number h;id
risen to 246,000 boxes. In 1867 it reached 812,140, giving a total weight (at 50 pounds per box) of
40,607,000 pounds. The export of butter to England in
1859 was 2,494,000 pounds, and in 1862 it had risen to
29,241,000 pounds.

According to the cen.sus of 1800, the total production of
cheese in the United States was 101,000,000 pounds. Of
this amount. New York made 48,548,289 pounds, New
England 21,620,996 pounds, and Ohio 21,618,793 pounds.
In 1867 the production of New York alone was estimated
at 100,000,000 pounds, and the total for the country at
200,000,000 pounds. The export to Europe for the latter
year was 50,000,000 pounds.

On the evening of Wedne.sday, January 13, 1869, Pro-
fessor John Gamgee, president of Albert Veterinary College,
of London, England, delivered a most interesting lecture
on the diseases of animals before the association.

At the fifth annual meeting held at Utioa, in January,
1870, several excellent addresses were delivered, and B. L.
Arnold, Esq., of Ithaca, N. Y., read an essay upon " The
claims of cheese as a wholesome, nutritious, and eootiomical
article of food," which won the prize of one hundred dollars
offered by the association.

The extraordinary growth of the dairying interest since

» This estiniate does not include the nmount manufactured in

Mr. Jesse Williams put the first factory in operation at
Rome, N. Y., in 1851, to the present time has placed the
business of butter- and cheese-making among the most im-
portant industries of the Union. . According to a statement
made at the special meeting of the association held at Phil-
adelphia, Pa., in October, 1876, the number of cheese-fac-
tories had increased from the primitive one of Mr. Williams,
using the milk of two dairies, to 4500, producing 180,000,-
000 pounds of cheese from the milk of 1,000,000 cows.
During this period of twenty-five years the price has fluc-
tuated from seven to twenty-eight cents per pound.

These estimates for 1876 have been largely increased,
and the production of 1878 will reach the vast amount of
300,000,000 pounds of cheese and 750,000,000 pounds of
butter for the United States alone.

The total number of milch cows in the Union is esti-
mated at 14,000,000. Estimating the butter at thirty cents
per pound, and the cheese at ten cents, we have a gi'and
total of these two products of the dairy of §255,000,000.

It will be seen at a glance that the American Dairymen's
Association, originated in Oneida County, N. Y., represents
a vast and rapidly-increasing industrial interest, tlie limits
of whose transactions in the future cannot be estimated.
Its honored president, ex-Governor Horatio Seymour, who
so splendidly illustrates the maxim that " Peace hath her
victories no less renowned than war," is a practical farmer,
and pursues this noble calling with the same ardor, distin-
guished ability, and profound scholarship which have made
him prominent in the field of the natural sciences, the his-
tory of our country, and the halls of legislation.

Recently he has called the attention of the national au-

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 68 of 192)