Samuel W Durant.

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

. (page 87 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 87 of 192)
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Hose depot, No. 25 Cooper Street 7,500

Total $19,000


Steamer No. 1 $4,550

Steamer No. 2 4,000

Steamer No, 3 *.000

Steamer No. 4 3,500

No. 1 Hose-Cart 200

No. 2 Hose-Cart 500

No. 3 Hose-Cart 250

No. 4 Hose-Cart 700

Hook and Ladder No. 1 700

Two old hose-carts 200

Supply-wagon 130

Kour-horso sleighs with racks 240

Total $18,970

Fifteen horses $3,360

Seven sets double harness 045

Total H005



3500 feet of hose @ $1.10 per foot $3,850

1600 feet of hose @ .66 per foot 975

2900 feet of hose @ .16 per foot 435

Fixtures, tools, and rivets 24

Total , $6,284

Supply department, — coal, vitriol, telegraph-poles,

etc ■. S126.26

Furniture and fixtures 1383,85

Fire-alarm telegraph 1100.00


Ecal estate $19,000.00

Apparatus 18,970.00

Horses and harness 4,005.00

Hose, tools, fixtures, etc 5,284.00

Supply department 125.26

Furniture, fixtures, etc 1,383.85

Fire-alarm tokgraph 1,100.00

Total .-. $49,868.11

FROM 1870 TO APRIL 1, 1877.

1870— No. of fires, 16; No. of alarms, 13; losses, .$136,050.
1871— No. of fires, 23 j No. of alarms, 10; losses, $326,350.
1872 — No. of fires, 24; No. of alarms, 9; losses, $104,834.
1873— No. of fires, 33; No. of alarms, 7; losses, $87,250.
1874 — No. of fires, 36; No. of alarms, 13; losses, $56,436.
1876— No. of fires, 34; No. of alarms, 20; losses, $40,889.
1876 — No. of fires, 49 ; No. of alarms, 16 ; losses, $28,985.


Al! the engine-houses, with the truck-house and police-
station, and houses of chief engineer and chairman of this
board are connected by telegraph, and by another line
twenty-six alarm-boxes in different parts of the city are
connected with the police-station. All the police and official
membere of the Fire Department have keys to these boxes,
and a key is left with some responsible person living near
each box. An alarm from a street box goes only to the
police-station, and from there is sent to all the other houses,
but an alarm from either house goes to all the others. The
following table shows the location and number of each box :

No. Ward.

1. Bagg's Hotel 1

1-2. Broad Street Bridge 1

2. Corner of Whitesboro' and Charles Streets 2

2-1. Corner of Liberty and Burchard Streets 2

2-3. Canal Street, near Potter's Bridge 2

3. Corner of -Fayette and State Streets 3

3-1. No. 3 Steamer-House and Police-Ofiioe 3

3-2. Corner of State and William Streets 3

3-4. Corner of Genesee and Oswego Streets 3

3-6. Corner of Plant and Francis Streets 3

4. Corner of Park Avenue and Clark Place 4

4-1. No. 2 Steamer-House 4

6. Corner of Bleecker and Third Streets 5

6. Steam Woolen-Mill and No. 4 Steamer-House 6

6-1. Erie Street, Faass' store 6

6-2. Kei nan & Irish's lumber-yard, Erie Street 6

7. Corner of South and West Streets 7

7-1. No. 1 Steamer-House 7

7-2. Corner of Eagle and Miller Streets 7

7-3. Corner of South and Dudley Streets 7

8. Corner of Albany and Mary Streets 8

8-1. City Hospital 8

9. Globe Woolen Mills, Court, Variok 9

9-1. Corner of Court and Fay Streets 9

9-2. Lunatic Asylum, Court, Whitesboro' 9

10. Corner of Blandina and First Streets 10


Wesley Dimbleby, Chief Engineer.* Office at Hose
Depot, on Cooper Street; residence, 124 Columbia Street;
salary, 11000 per annum.

John Peattie, 1st Assistant Engineer. Eesidence, 41
BrinckerhoflF Avenue ; salary, f 100 per annum.

» Mr. Dimbleby has held this position for many years.

William F. Hoerlein, 2d Assistant Engineer. Eesidence,
38 Varick Street; salary, 1100 per annum.


The American District (or City Telegraph) was intro-
duced into the city of Utica, in May, 1877, by J. B. Rich-
ards, of Toledo, Ohio, representing the American District
Telegraph Company, of New York City. A stock company
was organized with considerable difficulty, the general opin-
ion prevailing that Utica would not support any innovation
on time-honored customs. R. S. Williams, Esq., was chosen
president; T. G. Wood, secretary and treasurer; L. H.
Lawrence making the third member of the executive com-
mittee, and Thomas P Nightingale, superintendent. Mr.
Nightingale canvassed the city thoroughly, securing twenty-
five subscribers, put up five miles of wire, and opened his
office for business Aug. 13, two months after the enterprise
was begun. The company agree to answer any hour, day
or night, calls for messengers, policemen, fire department,
carriages, and family physician. .Twenty-five calls were
responded to the first day.

The company has at this writing, September, 1878, nine
or ten miles of wire, one hundred subscribers, and ten mes-
sengers, neatly dressed, running about the streets of Utica
daily, and it has become one of the most useful, necessary,
and remunerative institutions in the county.


Attempts were made at various times in the early history
of Utica to bring a supply of water into the place, and
pipes and logs wore brought into use, and portions of the
village and city partially supplied from springs.f At one
time a line of pipe was laid from a spring near where the
steam cotton-mills are now located, and a few families sup-
plied therefrom ; and there was a company called the Utica
Water- Works Company or Association still at least nomi-
nally in existence when the present company was organized.
The present Utica Water-Works Company was organized and
incorporated March 31, 1848. The original incorporators
were James Watson Williams, Nicholas Devereux, Alfred
Munsou, Andrew S. Pond, Charles A. Mann, Horatio
Seymour, Silas D. Childs, Willard Crafts, and Thomas
Hopper. The capital stock was then $75,000; subse-
quently at various periods increased to $85,000, $115,000 ;
in 1868 to $200,000 ; and in 1873 to the present amount,
$300,000. Business was commenced in 1849.

The water is mainly collected from the Graefenberg
Springs, three miles distant, in the town of Frankfort,
Herkimer County, the seat of a noted water-cure establish-
ment which was destroyed by fire a few years since. Three
large reservoirs hiive been constructed ; one near the springs
and two below. The upper one was built about 1849, the
middle one in 1873, and the lower one in 1868. Their
capacity is as follows :

t In the year 1800 Samuel Bardwell, Oliver Bull, Col. Benjamin
Walker, and Silas Clark were associated together as the "Aqueduct"
Company. Water was brought from springs on Asylum Hill and near
the Oneida Brewery in logs, and a portion of the inhabitants supplied
upon payment of a nominal sum.



(rraefcnborg Eosovvoir 40,000,000 gallons.

Intermediate " 223,000,000 "

Distiibuting " 35,000,000 "

Total 303,000,000 "

There have been put down about 35 miles of main
pipes, and there are 190 public hydrants in the city.

The water flows directly into the reservoirs without the
aid of pumping-works. The height of the water-level in
the distributing reservoir above the Mohawk River is about
200 feet, and about 80 feet above the highest ground within
the city. A large share of the city is well supplied with
good water.

The present officers of the corporation are as follows :

Thomas Hopper, President and Treasurer ; Isaac May-
nard, Vice-President; Charles W.Pratt, Superintendent;
Benjamin F. Ray, Secretary.

The office of the company is at No. 3 Devereux Street.


The company was organized and incorporated in Novem-
ber, 1848.

The original incorporators were Nicholas Devereux, Silas
D. Childs, Geo. S. Dana, Hamilton Spencer, Thomas R.
Walker, James Watson Williams, and John F. Seymour,
of Utica, and John Lee and Lemuel H. Davis, of Phila-
delphia, Pa.

The capital stock is $80,000.

The first officers were Nicholas Devereux, President ;
Hamilton Spencer, Secretary and Treasurer.

Thomas R. Walker has been president of the company
since 1850, and H. H. Fish treasurer since 1851.

W. P. Fish is the present secretary and engineer.

There are thirty-one miles of mains laid in the city, and
six hundred and fifty-three street lamps in use. The whole
number of consumers' meters is 1560.

Capacity of the works, daily, 400,000 feet,.


The public schools of Utica are under the control of a
board of six commissioners, two of whom are elected annu-
ally at the regular election for city officers. The board
elects its chairman and clerk. The city treasurer is also
treasurer for the school moneys. The schools are under
the immediate charge of the city superintendent.

The officers at the present time are as follows :

Commissioners, David P. White, John N. Earll, Charles
K. Grrannis, Charles S. Symonds, William Kernan, J. C.
P. Kincaid.

Superintendent, Andrew McMillan, A.M.

The schools are classed as Primary, Intermediate,
Advanced, and Academy.

These are subdivided ; the Primary into first and second
Primary ; the Intermediate into four grades ; and the Ad-
vanced school into three departments. The course of study
in the English department of the Academy requires four
years, and the course preparatory to entering college the


The following historical and statistical account of the
schools of Utica has been prepared mostly from Professor

McMillan's interesting article published in connection with
the annual report of the city schools for 1876, and the last
annual report for 1877. Considerable additional material
has been collected from other sources, which, it is believed,
will make the article very complete and acceptable. Utica
has certainly just reason for being proud of its educational
institutions, which rank among the most thorough and
efficient in the State. We commence with Professor
McMillan's sketch of the early schools :

" I am not able to and the e.tact date of the establishment of the
first school in Old Fort Schuyler, now tjtioa, but it was about 1789.
The first schoolmaster was Joseph Dana. He was devoted to his work,
and successful in its prosecution. Whether he possessed the spirit of
industry in an unusual degree, or was the victim of stern, unflinching
necessity, I am not informed. I only know that be was occupied in
teacbing not only his day school, but also a singing school even-
ings in this and adjacent villages. By referring to a recent lecture
delivered by Dr. M. M. Bagg, I And that Mr. Dana, owing to some
difBculty, left Utica and located in the town of Westmoreland, and
afterwards enlisted in the army of 1312. The building in which Mr.
Dana kept his school was used also for holding religious services and
other public purposes. It is yet standing, fronting Main Street, and
in the rear of John J. Francis' premises on Broad Street. It is a
long, low, one-storied building, and can be readily distinguished by
its sharp gable roof. I regret that some of these .Tucient landmarks
cannot be preserved as mementoes of the early history of our city.

" About the time Professor Dana's school was closed a school was
opened in a two storied wooden building situated in Catharine Street,
on the site now occupied by M. B. DeLong's furniture store. The
upper story of the building was occupied by the Freemasons, and the
school was conducted in the first story. The first teacher of this
school was Professor Lemereux, who established the school on the
Lancastcrian plan, which at that time was quite popular. This plan
originated in the mission schools of India, and was introduced into
England in 1789, by Dr. Andrew Bell, and through his instructions
Joseph Lancaster acquired a knowledge of the system, and estab-
lished a school near London, England, where this plan was practically
illustrated. The system was introduced into Ibis country in 1806.
The original Lancastcrian plan was to divide the school into classes,
all being under the general supervision of the teacher. Each class
was subdivided into pairs of two pupils, each alternately acting as
teacher of the other. In this way a large number could be placed
under the control of one teacher, the pupils instructing each other.
This system, with some modifications, continued to be quite popular
until about 1830, when it was superseded by new methods. Mr. Lan-
caster visited this country in 1838 and tried to re-establish the sys-
tem, but was not successful. He soon after lost his life by a street,

" In the year 1312 a school was taught by Prof. P. H. Ingraham,
in the building located on the corner of Washington and Whitcsboro*
Streets, where the present Washington Street school building now
stands. Whatever Mr. Ingrahara's intellectual qualifications might
have been, history doth not affirm, but we must conclude that his
moral nature was yet benighted j suffering him to grope in darkness
and crimej as he left both school and town in disgrace, having forged
the name of Thomas James to a business paper. For this offense he
was tried and sentenced to State prison for a term of seven years and
two days, but was pardoned before the expiration of the sentence.
He then emigrated to Texas, and in course of time was elected to the
Legislature, and became Speaker of the House of Representatives.
This incident is mentioned rather as illustrating the mutability of
human affairs, than as an incentive to * go thou and do likewise.'

" About this time there was also a school taught by David R. Dixon,
and afterwards by Prof. Bliss, on the corner of Genesee and Elizabeth
Streets. This was in a one-storied building with two rooms on the
same floor, with a folding partition between them. This site was after- 1
wards occupied by the Eagle Tavern, and is the present site of Grace I
Church. There are those now living in the city who distinctly re-
s'' Dr. Bagg states that the wife of Rev. Mr. Hammond, a AVelsh
Baptist minister, taught a school near the lower end of Hotel Street
in 1804.



member being excused from school to see the army under Colonel, af-
terwards Major-Gencral Winfield Scott, march through the village on
its way to Buffalo and Queenstown. The father of one of our promi-
nent citizens paid the tuition of his children in Prof. Dixon's school
in land. This land is located in the eighth ward, and is still known
as the Dixon lot.

"In March, 1814, the charter of the Utica Academy was granted
to the petitioners, nineteen in number, by the Board of Regents to the
University. In the preceding January a subscription was opened for
the purpose of collecting funds for the erection of a suitable aciideraic
building, with the proviso attached, that part of such building should
b3 occupied for holding courts of justice. For some cause the circu-
lation of the subscription ceased and the project was temporarily
abandoned. Some time during the next year, however, the trustees
of the academy formally accepted the trust granted by the State, and
in the succeding year, 1816, a committee of citizens proposed to aid
the trustees in raising money for the erection of an academy, town
hall, and court-house combined in one and the same building. A
second subscription list was opened, and the necessary amount real-
ized. At this time a difference of opinion arose regarding a site.
Th's controversy is thus described by the late Hon. James Watson

" * At once there sprung up a famous controversy about a site for the
proposed structure; and Genesee Koad, Miller Road, and Whitesboro'
Hoad bad a street fight to settle that matter. The Van Rensselaers,
the Blecckers, Dudleys, and Millers, the Coopers, Potters, and Bellin-
gers contested it so hotly that it became necessary, as expressed in
the new subscription pa})er, in order to secure harmony in the village,
that the subscriptions should be so made as that every subscriber to
the amount of five dollars should have a vote for either of two sites
designated; one of which was the site finally adopted, and the other
a lot on Genesee Street, then adjoining the old Van Rensselaer home-
stead, and occupied for a private school, now the site of Grace Church
and the Butterlield House; Whitciboro' Street voluntarily or proba-
bly involuntarily being excluded from the vote. The final subscrip-
tion, dated May 4, 1816, is a venerable document, the body of it
printed, and both printing and signatures done on a roll of parchment
a yard and a half long, well tilled with names and subscriptions from
three hundred dollars down to five dolla.s. At the foot are two cer-
tificates engrossed by Colunel Benjamin Walker, the military com-
panion, friend and legatee of Baron Steuben; one of them purporting
that subscriptions have been made to the required amount within the
present time (only twenty-six days), and the other that on polling the
votes for a site, as provided in the douuuieut, 657 votes were found in
favor of the site on Chancellor's Square, and 44o in favor of that on
Genesee Street, being a majority of 222, po that Genesee Road had to
retire from the great contest, satisfied with its private school and its
Seneca Turnpike, and Whitesboro' Hoad with its York House and the
graveyard. Chancellor's Square, with its capacities for possible glories,
proved triumphant; for, although it was an uninclosed boggy plain,
with the dirty ditch stagnating through the middle, yet a prescient
eye might perceive that it had not only the present certainty of a
roomy play ground with convenient mud-puddle facilities for boyish
aquatio entertainments, but that it might, in the course of time, when
surrounded by imposing and public buildings, be a fine park and
breathing place for crowded institutions, as we see it at the present

"Mr. Williams' description differs somewhat from that of an earlier
writer, who was evidently in favor of the site finally selected : * The
location of this institution is unrivaled in point of salubrity and
beauty; built on an eminence in a retired part of the town, com-
manding an extensive and charming view, having attached to it a
large tract of play ground, in front and rear, for the students.' This
description would hardly be apppropriate as we see it to-day. The
building, or rather that part of it designed for the use of the school,
was opened in August, 1818, and Rev. Samuel Mills was appointed
fir.-t principal."

This building was used until 1852 for the holding of
courts and other public uses, one of the expressed condi-
tions for the erection of Utica into a half-shire town bcins


that the courts should have the joint use of the academy.
In 1852 a court-house was completed and the academy
returned to its legitimate uses. It was torn down and the

present costly and commodious structure erected in its
stead in 1867-68.

"Some time during the year 1815, Montgomery Bartlett opened a
school for young ladies on Hotel Street, nearly opposite the present
location of Chubbuck's Hall. This school was in successful operation
several years. Mr. Bartlett afterwards acquired some reputation as
an astronomer, and published a work upon that subject.

" In this year, and also upon Hotel Street, near the present alley
leading to Burchard Street, Mr. Samuel M. Todd taught a school,
which, like its rival neighbor, enjoyed an excellent reputation and
liberal patronage.

" A bout the 3' ear 1816 a school was opened in what was then known
as the Kirkland Block, which became one of the most popular schools
of the day. The Kirkland Block was then a long row of wooden
buildings, running from Genesee to Hotel Street. The entrance to
the school-room was from Liberty Street,

" In the year 1317 a school taught by Ambrose Kasson was opened
in a building on Whitesboro', corner of Division Street. Mr. Kasson
ranked high as an instructor, and received large patronage. Many of
his pupils afterwards took high positions both in private and public life.

" Quite a popular school was established in the eastern part of the
city in 1817. This school was located in a house owned by Peter
Smith, and was under the supervision of Miss Mary Hubbell.

"In the J ear 1820, Thomas Powell opened a school in Genesee
Street, just below the present site of the Marble Block. Mr. Powell
afterwards seems to have left the toilsome, plodding life of the school-
master, and entered the profession of law. He afterwards became
quite distinguished as Judge Powell.

"In 1821 a school was established in a building just east of the
site where the High School was afterwards located. This school was
taught by our townsman, Hon. Alrick Hubbell.

" In 1823, Prof. Hays, better known by the school-hoys of those days
as ' Father Hays,' taught school in a building located in Genesee
Street, where John E. Roberts & Co.'s hardware store now stands.
The building was known as Minerva Hall. Some of our citizens now
living still 'painfully' remember that Prof. Hays had an assistant
who gave them some striking examples of the use of birch rods.

" In 1S26 a seminary for young ladies was established iu a building
located on Whitesboro' Street, Mr. and Mrs. Everts, principals.

" Quite a noted institution of learning was established in the year
1827, called the Utica Gymnasium, and was afterwards known as the
Utica High School. This was located on Broad Street, in the eastern
part of the city. The premises are now occupied as a residence b}'
James Brady. The school building was in the form of a semi-circle,
the circular portion being partitioned off into stalls, so arranged that
each pupil was in plain view of the teacher, who sat on a high plat-
form at a point opposite the centre of the circle. When a pupil took
his seat he was unable to see or communicate with any of the other
students. As this was a school so often mentioned with just feelings
of pride by some of our older citizens, I will give the names of the
several professors composing the first faculty : Charles Bartlett, A.M.,
Principal ; Uridge Whiffcn, A.M., Instructor in Greek and Latin ; Rev.
John Spinner (father of the late United States Treasurer), Teacher
of German and Spanish Languages ; Asa Gray, M.D., Instructor in the
Natural Sciences (Dr. Gray was afterwards the author of some very
popular works on botany, and was elected Professor of Natural His-
tory in Harvard University) ; Lyman AV. Colburn, Professor of Mathe-
matics ; M. Deshon Monthrum, Instructor in the French Language ;
Dudley Bartlett, Teacher of Penmanship ; Ebenezer Leach, Teacher of

"In May, 1828, a seminary for young ladies was established in
Seneca Street, Rev. S. Whittlesey, Principal.

" In April of the same year an infant-school society was formed,
the object of which was to give care and instruction to the infant
poor, from the age of eighteen mouths to six years ; Mrs. Emma R.
Crowley was the preceptress. This Christian and philanthropic enter-
prise was no doubt the germ of those humane and benevolent institu-
tions which now grace and ennoble our city, by giving food, shelter,
and homes, with secular and religious instructions, to its orphan chil-

"In 1829 a similar school was established, called the Pattern Infant
School. Jesse N. Doolittle was secretary of the board, and Miss Han-
nah Pa,y8on teacher. Children were admitted between the ages of
two and seven years upon payment of $2.50 per term.




''I have found the following record of the schools that were in the
village in 1829, alphiibcticnlly arranged :
" Mons, Abadie, French Teacher, Mansion House.
" Mrs. Adams and Miss Chamberlain's School, Whitesboro' Street,
west of Washington.

•' Mr. Bartlettfs High School, Broad Street, cast of Mohawk.
" Miss Bowen's School, John Street, north of Catharine.
"Mrs. Burghart's School, Genesee Street, above Carnahan.
"Miss Burgess' School, Elizabeth Street, head of Burnett.
" Mrs. Carter's Young Ladies' Seminary, John Street, opposite
Utica Academy.
"Miss Diclien's School, Whitesboro' Street, west of Broadway.
" Miss Dickinson's School, Schuyler Street, south of Whitesboro'.

"Mr. Dorchester's School, select and classical, Washington Street,
south of Lafayette.

" Mrs. Edgerton's School, Broadway, south of Pearl.

" Mr. and Mrs. Everts' Young Ladies' Seminary, Whitesboro' Street,
opposite Bank of Utica.

" Miss M. L. Harrington's School, Lafayette Street, west of Varick.

" Mrs. S. Hastings' School, coiner of Genesee and Pearl Streets.

" Infant Society School, corner Main and Third Streets.

" Miss Jones' School, corner of Hotel and Whitesboro' Streets.

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 87 of 192)