Samuel W Durant.

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

. (page 69 of 192)
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thority to the advisability and practical value of introducing
cheese as a regular ration into the United States Army.
Those who have seen service need not be reminded of the
avidity with which .such an article of food would be re-
ceived among men who are compelled to subsist largely
upon salted provisions, — beef, pork, etc.

The addresses and essays given at the annual meetings
of the association, by the most distinguished scientists and
practical dairymen in the United States, the Dominion of
Canada, and Great Brituin, have been interesting beyond
anything ever before attempted ; and the discussions are
continually eliciting new facts of the greatest importance
to the dairymen of America, while at the same time the
standard of the productions is constantly improving, both
as regards amount and quality.

Oneida County is highly honored and greatly benefited
by the circumstances which have made her the originator of
the associated dairy system, and located her in the centre of
the greatest dairy interests in the Union, if not in the world.

The first association meetings were held at Rome. From
1865 to 1875 inclusive they were held at Utica. The
eleventh annual meeting, for 1876, was held at Rome, and
the twelfth at IngersoU, Ontario, Dominion of Canada.
The thirteenth was held at Cleveland, Ohio.

Additional information upon this subject will be found
in the accompanying report of the Utica Board of Trade.

Officers. — Hon. Horatio Seymour has served as presi-
dent of the association, and presided at most of its meet-
ings, since 1868.



Gr. B. Weeks, of Onondaga, served as secretary from
1868 to 1872 inclusive. Mr. L. B. Arnold, of Rochester,
has served since 1873 to the present time.

The officers for 1878 are: President, Hon. Horatio
Seymour, of Deerfield, Oneida County, N. Y. ; Secretary,
L. B. Arnold, of Rochester, N. Y. ; Assistant Secretary,
T. D. Curtis, of Utica, N. Y. ; Treasurer, Hon. Harris
Lewis, of Frankfort, Herkimer County, N. Y.

For further information see under head of " Agricultural
Productions,'' etc.


This society was organized at Bagg's Hotel, in the city
of Utica, on the 21st day of January, 1870. Hon. Harris
Lewis, of Frankfort, Herkimer County, was chosen tempo-
rary chairman of the meeting. On motion of T. D. Cur-
tis, Esq., a committee to frame a constitution and by-laws
was appointed, consisting of the following gentlemen : T.
D. Curtis, R. A. Gibson, M. Quinby, S. L. Whitmau, and
Wm. H. Comstock.

The following officers were elected : President, Hon.
Samuel Campbell, of New York Mills; Vice-Presidents,
Horatio Seymour, of Deerfield ; John Butterfield, of Utica ;
Henry Rhodes, of Trenton ; Morgan Butler, of New Hart-
ford ; M. Quinby, of St. Johnsville ; Harris Lewis, of
Frankfort; S. T. Miller, of Constableville ; Josiah Shull,
of Ilion ; Stephen Thomas, of Cassville ; Recording Secre-
tary, T. D. Curtis, of Utica ; Corresponding Secretary, W.
H. Comstock, of Utica; Treasurer, L. L. Wight, of
Whitestown ; Librarian, Wm. Ralph, of Utica; Directors,
for one year, R. A. Gibson, of New York Mills; Henry
Miller, of Trenton ; for two years, Oscar B. Gridley, of
Marshall ; A. B. Tuttle, of Whitestown ; for three years,
S. S. Whitman, of Little Falls; Jas. S. Foster, of New
Hartford ; for four years, Eli Avery, of Paris ; Lorenzo
Rouse, of Kirkland. Hon. Samuel Campbell has accept-
ably filled the office of president since the organization of
the society. The office of secretary was ably filled by Mr.
Curtis from the date of organization to the close of the
year 1873, when he resigned on account of removal to a
new field at Syracuse.

At the regular annual meeting of the club, held January
2, 1874, a letter from Mr. Curtis, anuonncing his resigna-
tion, was read, and the meeting appointed Hon. Josiah
Shull, of Ilion, and Daniel Batchelor, of Utica, a committee
to prepare a resolution of thanks to the retiring secretary.
The following was reported and unanimously adopted :

" RcHiilved, That the hearty thanks of the Central New York Far-
mers' Club be hereby tendered to the retiring secretary, T. D. Curtis,
for the able and efficient manner in which he discharged his duties,
and also for the unremitting zeal he has always manifested in the
cause of enlightened agriculture. May success attend him in his
new field of endeavor."

Edward J. Wickson, of Utica, was elected to fill the
position vacated by Mr. Curtis, which he continued to
hold until November, 1875, when he resigned to accept
the editorial chair of the Pacific Rural Press, at San Fran-
cisco, Cal. Mr. H. Jl. Kennedy succeeded Professor
Wickson, and .served until November, 1877, when Mr.
Curtis, having returned to Utica, was elected to serve ad

■interim until the next annual election of officers, at which
time he was regularly elected, and has continued in that
capacity to the present time.

At a meeting, held Nov. 23, 1877, Mr. Batchelor an-
nounced the death of Hon. S. S. Whitman, of Little Falls,
a member of the club, and offered the following resolutions,
which were unanimously adopted :

" Jiesolved, That by the demise of the I.ate S. S. Whitman, of Little
Falls, this club has parted with a member whose fine culture, supe-
rior wisdom and goodness were constantly manifested in all his inter-
course. To these high qualities in our departed friend, were united
a modesty of manner, a sweetness of disposition, and a deferential
spirit. Of him it may be said, that the memory of his exemplary
Christian life is a precious treasure to his family, and a blessed in-
fluence in the community whei'O he lived beloved, and died lamented.

" licHolcedf That a copy of the foregoing be transmitted to the
family of the deceased."

The officers of the club at the present time are as fol-
lows : President, Hon. Samuel Campbell, New York Mills ;
Vice-Presidents, Morgan Butler, New Hartford ; S. S.
Hoxie, Whitesboro'; Harris Lewis, Frankfort; Seth Bon-
foy. West Winfield ; D. N. Miner, Oriskany Falls ; J. V.
H. Scovillo, Paris ; Dr. L. L. Wight, Whitesboro' ; 0. B.
Gridley, Waterville; John H. Mai-vin, New Hartford;
Secretary, T. D. Curtis, Utica ; Treasurer, S. Batchelor,
Utica. The offices of secretary and treasurer have occa-
sionally been combined.

This club, as its title indicates, was organized in the in-
terests of the agriculturists of Central New York. Meet-
ings of the club are ordinarily held twice each month. The
first meeting for discussion was held at Bagg's Hotel on the
4th of February, 1870. Many of the most noted theo-
retical and practical farmers and agriculturists of the central
counties are members, and the di.scussions take a very wide
range, covering every subject from geology to the habits of
the minutest insect.

The society occupies its time at all regular meetings in
discussions of the various subjects of interest pertaining to
the science of agriculture, among which are farm-engineer-
ing, soils and drainage, fertilizers, buildings and fences,
farm-implements, teams and vehicles, seeds, pastures and
meadows, dairy stock, dairy products, harvesting, roads,
sheep, swine and poultry, root-crops, gardens, fruits, forest-
lands, landscape gardening, domestic manufactures, legis-
lation, education, labor, bees, hops, and many others.

Meetings are held in various places throughout the cen-
tral counties, and are always most interesting gatherings,
both because of their valuable discussions, lectures, essays,
etc., and the elevated .social enjoyments and sesthctic tastes
which they foster and develop.

Although the society handles no agricultural products or
merchandi.5e, yet through its elaborate discussions and ex-
tensive system of correspondence and intimate relations
with the press, its influence, not only within the immediate
field of its operations, but in the farthest corners of the
land, and even in European countries, is extensive and
powerful, and tends greatly to the elevation and progress of
the science which lies at the foundation of all prosperity.
The number of its active members is very large and con-
stantly increasing, iind comprises many of the best men of
the State. Its discussions are read with interest in every



State in the Union, and in nearly all the countries of Eu-
rope, and the practical experience of the farmers of Central
New York, in a great measure, serves as a guide in the agri-
cultural operations of many lands. The region of its loca-
tion is among the best in the world for the cultivation of
most of the agricultural products of the temperate zone, and
for improved stock and excellent dairy products is surpassed
by no county on the globe.


The subject of establishing interior boards of trade for
the sale of dairy products was first agitated in Central New
York, during the winter and early spring of the year 1871.
For many years previous butter and cheese had been sold
on regular market days at Little Palls, Ilion, Herkimer,
and Fort Plain, all lying on the New York Central Rail-
road, in the midst of dairy regions, and being convenient
shipping points for dairy goods. But it began to be felt
that, in order to sell their cheese and butter to the best
advantage, dairymen must unite and co-operate. At the
great centres of trade men who dealt in stocks and grain
cauie together and formed boards of trade, at which buyers
and sellers met, and where all the latest information in
regard to markets reoaived, and was equally the prop-
erty of both parties. D.iiry interests had already attained
such large proportions that the need of such boards, located
in the centre of the producing districts, was not only felt,
but becama an actual necessity. On Monday, March 6,
1871, a meeting of dairymen took place at Little Falls,
which organized at once an association that has been known
ever since as the New York Stata Dairyman's Association
and Board of Trade. Hon. X. A. Willard was the first
president, and sixty names were added to the roll of the
association. Another meeting was held April 14, at which
new articles were added to the constitution and by-laws,
but no transactions took place between buyers and sellers
until Monday, May 1, 1871. At that time 2000 boxes of
cheese were ofiered and sold at prices ranging from 10 to
13 cents. This was the first interior board of trade or-
ganized for the sale of cheese and butter in this country.
Meanwhile the dairymen of Chautauqua County had formed
a county association and board of trade, with 70 members
enrolled, who contributed from |5 to $10 each toward its
support. At their invitation Mr. Willard was present and
addressed the meeting, giving them the proper instructions
for establishing the board, and setting forth the advantages
to be derived from it. This was during the latter part of
April, and on Thursday, June 1, 1871, the Chautauqua
County dairymen held their first market day at Sinclear-
ville, iiOO boxes of cheese changing hands at lOi to 111

In the Utica Weeldy Herald, of February 21, 1871, a
call was made for a County Dairymen's Association, which
should " meet frequently, and practically discuss the several
questions that naturally rise during the dairying season."
The first meeting took place at Bagg's Hotel, Utica, on
Wednesday, March 1. An organization was perfected, the
name of " The National Dairymen's Club" was assumed,

» By B. D. Gilbert, Esq., Secretary of the Board.

and T. D. Curtis was elected the first president, with E. J.
Wickson as secretary. An initiation fee of SI each was
established, and the meetings' of the club were appointed to
be held on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month.
The objects of this club at its inception were to interchange
ideas, to discuss plans and methods of manufacture, to re-
port the results of various experiments, and in general for
the members to aid and assist each other in improving the
quality of their cheese. The next meeting occurred on
March 17, at which a constitution and by-laws were
adopted, the first article of which read as follows : " For
the purpose of frequent and familiar discussion and practi-
cal experiments in butter and cheese making, and for pro-
moting the interests of dairy-farming generally, we do
hereby organize ourselves into a dairymen's association."
In an article upon the club, in the Herald of March 28, it
is stated that " the National Dairymen's Club has nothing
to do with the idea of a market, save as the object may be
incidentally discussed by it. It is a working organization,
and is intended in no sense as a substitute for or rival of any
other organization." These extracts are sufficient to show
that at this early stage of existence there was no thought
of converting the club into a board of trade. Regular
meetings and discussions continued to be held until Mon-
day, May 13, when the advisability of establishing a mar-
ket day in Utica in connection with the club was broached,
and met with unanimous approval. At another session, on
May 21, a committee previously appointed reported on
trade rooms, and recommended that a paper be prepared,
and that names be secured by those willing to subscribe $5
towards defraying the expenses of rent, telegrams, et<!.
Eighteen names were obtained at once, and the committee
were instructed to pursue their work during the'ensuing

The first sale-day occurred Monday, May 29, 1871.
On this occasion 2500 boxes of cheese were sent forward at
prices varying from 12 to 12| cents. The meeting took
place in rooms temporarily occupied at No. 18 Genesee
Street, up stairs. Only two s&ssions of the board were
held at this place, a room in the basement of Bagg's Hotel
being off'cred by Mr. Proctor, the proprietor, free of charge,
for the remainder of this year, and at a rent of $75 per
year thereafter. This room was occupied until the year
1875, when another change was made to the present com-
modious rooms of the board, for which the rental of $150
per year is given.

A committee, consisting of Messrs. B. Gr. Ellis, James
P. Brown, and A. L. Blue, which had been appointed at
the preceding meeting to report a set of rules and regula-
tions for the government of the board, reported twelve
articles, which were adopted, and with slight alterations
and abbreviations have continued in force till the present
time. "The most judicious method of applying heat in
cheese manufacture," was continued as a subject for further
discussion at the next meeting, but the subject of buying
and selling proved more attractive, and that discussion has
never yet taken place. From that time the National
Dairymen's Club became a board of trade, and has never
resumed its early practice of discussions. At the annual
meeting in 1875, Dr. L. L. Wight, appreciating the incon-



sistency of the name of the association, offered the following
resolution : " That henceforward this organization shall be
styled the Utica Dairymen's Board of Trade.'' It met
with hearty approval, and was unanimously adopted.

The plan of establishing a board of trade in Utica was
stoutly opposed by New York firms who had been in the
habit of purchasing dairy goods in this region. It was
certain that such a board would materially reduce their
profits, since by means of the facilities it would give to
salesmen, they would be nearly as well informed in regard
to the value of their products as the buyers. Factorymen
too saw that the board at Little Falls was giving the sales-
men there an advantage in price over those who were not
connected with that. board. This gave the impetus to start
the Utica market, and it was established with very little
previous preparation or discussion. On the first day of sale
an effort was made to pledge all the buyers not to purchase
so much as a single box of cheese. Such a scheme could
not bo carried out, however, as it was very quickly demon-
strated. The transactions of the day were very large, com-
pared with the opening days of other boards. But during
the fall of this first year, many of the factorymen connected
with the board seem to have returned to the old practice of
selling to buyei-s during the week, when they came around
to the factories for the purpose of examining the cheese.
In this way again an efl^ort was made to undermine the
board, but by vigorous and persistent remonstrance on tlie
part of those who really appreciated the advantages of the
board, this custom was at length broken up, and from that
time to this there has been a steady increase of the business
here transacted.

The following individuals and firms composed the original
corps of buyere upon the Utica market: James P. Brown,
Jones, Faulkner & Co., R. E. Roberts & Bro., E. G. Ellis,
J. B. Thomas, W. W. De Angelis, William H. Chapman,
William Jeffreys, L. B. Durst, Levi Wheaton, Daniel
Bowen, and Israel Denio. The sixteen names first sub-
scribed toward defraying the expenses of the board were as
follows: W. D. Schermerhorn, Poland; L. L. Wight,
Whitesboro' ; A. L. Blue, North Gage ; Henry Miller,
Trenton ; Charles Ward, Stittville ; Russia Cheese Fac-
tory ; Thomas Arnold, Poland ; John C. Owens, Trenton ;
William Budlong, Wast Schuyler; W. W. Richardson,
West Schuyler; VYilliam De Angelis, Holland Patent;
Baggs' Factory, Holland Patent; Richard Place, North
Winfield; N. Ward, Jr., Holland Patent; A. S. King,
Checkei-ville ; C. W. Smith, Ilion ; B. W. Sessions, Cass-
ville; Jones, Faulkner & Co., Utica. The agreement to
which these parties signed their names read thus :

" We, the undersigned, hereby pledge ouraclves to pay to the treas-
urer of the ITational Dairymen's Club the sums set opposite our re-
spective names, for the purpose of hiring a proper room and paying
other necessary expenses in establishing at Utica, Oneida County,
N. Y., a weekly market for dairy products, provided enough money
is subscribed to make it safe in the estimation of the club to incur
such expense."

The sum subscribed by each factory was five dollars.

Very soon after the organization of the board, at the
meeting of June 19, 1871, the following resolution was
adopted :

'•' Rfisolvedj That all transactions of this board shall be considered
cash transactions, the cheese, butter, or other article to be paid for on
delivery, unless otherwise specially agi-ccd."

The wisdom of this course was fully demonstrated before
the close of the season. During the fall the firm of Ernst
& Crist, cheese de.alers, of New York, failed. The sales-
men at Little Falls, who had been very lenient in the matter
of demanding cash payments, and who, on account of a
little time given, had often managed to obtain a fraction
higher price than the Utica salesmen, met with serious
loss by this failure. The firm owed $56,000 to fifty-one
factories selling at Little Falls, and their assets proved to
be only about $5000. This made an average loss to the
factories interested of about $1000 each, and a general cry
went up from the market of " cash on delivery." The
early adoption of this principle by the Utica board probably
saved it from a like misfortune, and set an example to its
neighbors which has since been universally adopted.

As an organization the Utica board has held compara-
tively few meetings, except such as were devoted to trade
and commerce. At the opening session of each year it has
been customary to hold a formal meeting for the election of
officers for the season, a list of whom for every year will be
found at the close of this sketch. Then, at the close of
the season, another formal meeting takes place, at which
the president or secretary presents a paper discussing the
general features of the trade, and since the year 1873,
giving a summary of the season's transactions upon the
board. Twice only during the period of its existence has
anything in the form of a social gathering occurred. In
former years the annual sessions of the American Dairymen's
Association were held regularly at Utica without thought
of taking them elsewhere. They were always successful
and largely attended. At the last meeting of the board in
December, 1873, it was proposed that its members should
tender to the convention of the American dairymen, which
was to meet here in January, 1874, a supper at Bagg's Hotel.
The idea at once became popular ; a committee was appointed
to receive .subscriptions, funds were raised, and on the evening
of Wednesday, Jan. 14, 1874, a grand reception was given
to the ladies and gentlemen of the convention by the Utica
Board of Trade. This was repeated on occasion of the
convention of 1875, which was the last meeting of the
American Dairymen's Association held in Utica.

It remains to give the statistics of the board's transac-
tions. The reports of the market for the first two or three
years are so indefinite and general that it is impossible to
do more than furnish approximations of the amounts sold.
Durin" the first year of its existence a close estimate of
the sales places them somewhere between 40,000 and 45,000
bgxes^ — a slender amount as compared with the vast transac-
tions of modern days, in which three weeks' sales would
reach this figure and leave enough beside to make a larger
sale than was reached on any market day in 1871. The
prices of that year were very good, ranging from 10 cents
for low to 13i cents for high. Altogether the results were
satisfactory, and testified to the wisdom of the plan. In
1872 there was an increase of 50 per cent, or more, the
sales running up to 75,000 boxes. The range of prices was
n-reater, running from 9i cents, on July 16, to 15 cents the



1st of June. The average price, however, was much higher
than it was the previous year, there being only two weeks
in July when it was less than 11 cents for low, while during
most of the time it ran from 12 cents to 13| cents. The
transactions of 1873 again increased by 33 per cent., reach-
ing something over 100,000 boxes, with prices ranging
from llj cents to 15f cents. These, it must be remem-
bered, represent the lowest and the highest prices of the
season. When we come to 1874 we strike a more definite
market report. A still further increase of transactions
takes place of 50 per cent., the full figures being' 155,500
boxes. Piices during this year were unprecedentedly high.
In April the average was 16J cents, in July llj cents,
and in October, 15i cents, while the highest figures reached
during those three respective months were lOJ cents, Hi
cents, and 16 cents. In July of this year a panic occurred in
the cheese market, during which shippers received orders
from England to " stop buying at any price." For two
weeks the market was depressed, and then it sprang up
again as quickly as it had declined. The situation was un-
doubtedly one created by English buyers' for the purpose of
attempting to break the tremendous prices we were getting
for our cheese, but the attempt failed. Even then the lowest
point touched on the Utica market was 11 cents in July,
— a point which our dairymen would many times since then
have been glad to see it reach as their highest price. In

1875 the increase in the amount of transactions was small,
being only about 500U boxes. High prices, however, were
still maintained, the average in April being 15 cents, in
July 11 J cents, and in October 13 J cents, while the top
prices for the same months were respectively 15f cents,
12J cents, and 14 cents. The average price for the season
was 12i cents. Coming down to 187B there is a further
increase in sales of 7000 boxes, making a total of 167,355
boxes for the season. The extreme prices were in May 12
cents, in July lOf cents, in October 13| cents, with the
average price for these three months running at Hi cents,
9|^ cents, and 13i cents respectively. The average price
for the entire season was 10.7 cents. Where, in 1875,
Utica sold about 30,000 boxes more than Little Falls, in

1876 the situations was reversed, and Little Falls sold
10,000 more than Utica. The average price at the latter
place was also a trifle higher, being 10.83 cents.

The market for 1877 showed a marked increase over
any preceding year. The number of boxes sold and com-
missioned was 205,713, a sui-plus of about 38,000 boxes
above 1876. The lowest price touched during the sea.son
was 8} cents, the highest 15 cents. The general average
was 11 J cents. Comparing these figures with those of the

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 69 of 192)