Samuel W Durant.

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

. (page 89 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 89 of 192)
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Salary of clerk and librarian 760.00

Salaries of janitors of 19 school buildings.. 3,249.58

For fuel 1,924.38

For repairing school-houses, furnaces, and

apparatus 1,534.50

For repairing outhouse, fences, and walks.. 226.78

Rent of carpenter-shop 150.00

For purchasing globes, maps, and apparatus. 5.06

Books and catalogues for the city library... 267.42

Paid for water, gas, printing, and diplomas. 748.02

School-books and stationery 342.92

Insurance of school-houses and furniture... 874.00

Expenses of Academy annual exhibition 69.00 '


Extraordinary Expai9e9,

Putting in sewers and otherwise improving

sites .?124.72

For new furniture 146.24

Enlarging Court Street school-house 2,434.06


Balance on h.nnd October 1, 1876 30,432.12

Total S93,034.47


House and lots $359,045.00

Outhouses, walks, etc 19,964.00

Heating apparatus 12,541.00

Furniture 24,781.00

Chemical and philosophical apparatus 1,119.37

City library books (6146 volumes) 17,325.00

Academy library books 1 127.36

Total §435,902.73


This institution was incorporated in 1825, on the 5th of
March, and opened for the issue of books on the 6th of
July of the same year, with about 1000 volumes. The
number of shares was originally limited to 400, and the
price fixed at $3. In 1829 the number of volumes had
increased to 1500. In 1837 it was located in Mechanics'
Hall, and had increased to 2500 volumes. It was subse-
quently removed to the city hall building, where it re-
mained until July, 1878, when it was removed to the new
library building on Elizabeth Street. Among the earlier
patrons and prominent members of the association were
Hon. Nathan Williams, Theodore S. Gold, Ezekiel Bacon,
Gardner Tracy, E. A. Wetmore, Thomas Walker, R. R.
Rhodes, and William J. Bacon. Under the school law of
1842 the board of school trustees assumed control, and
have continued its management to the present time. When

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they took charge it contained about 1700 volumes, having
apparently fallen off considerably.

The strongest evidence of the popular estimate of the
city library is furnished by the following statistical state-
ment :

The whole number of volumes issued to the public
during the year just closed is 28,330, an increase over that
of any previous year of 7859 volumes. No comment can
add significance to the above statement, yet it may be ac-
cepted as prophetic of the dawn of a new era for our read-
ing public. The classified summary of books in the library
is as follows : Scientific and political works, 696 volumes ;
voyages and travels, 552 volumes ; historical and descrip-
tive, 1262 volumes; biographical works, 674 volumes;
literary, poetic, and dramatic works, 1128 volumes; novels,
tales, and adventures, 956 volumes, and 900 valuable books
of reference.

Among the books of reference are Louis Agassiz' con-
tribution to the Natural History of the United States,
illustrated ; Apploton's Cyclopaedia, complete sets ; complete
sets of American Ornithology ; Colonial History of the
State of New York, 10 volumes ; North American Sylva,
by Michaux ; Natural History of New York, 29 volumes ;
Muster-RoU of the State of New York, containing the
name of every soldier enlisted from this State during the
Rebellion, his length of service, when mustered out, etc. ;
American Ornithology, by Bonaparte ; Audubon's Birds
of North America ; Audubon's and Bachman's Quadru-
peds of North America ; complete sets of Knight's Cyclo-
paedia ; Dictionaries of Architecture, of Arts, Manufac-
tures and Mines, of Dates, of Science, Literature, and of
Authors. We mention the above books to show tlie general
character of the books of reference that have heretofore,
in the main, lain upon the shelves for want of a suitable
room in which they could be consulted.

The library building is situated on the north side of
Elizabeth Street, between Genesee and Charlotte Streets, and
has a frontage of 64 feet by a depth of 88. It is built in
the Victoria Gothic style of architecture, its front and
flanks faced with Croton pressed brick, with black brick to
mark lines and arches, and is trimmed with Connecticut
brown sandstone and Prospect limestone.

The main building has two stories and an attic, the front
fa§ade containing a tower which projects 4 feet, rises 51
feet to the cornice, and is covered with a pyramidal roof 30
feet in height ; and two niches for the reception of colossal

On the first floor the main hall-way is 12 feet wide, and
runs from the entrance centrally through the building to
the library.

The superintendent's ofiice, 16 by 23 feet 8 inches in size,
is placed first to the right on entering. This contains a
fireproof vault for documents, etc. A laboratory separates
this room from the room for the Board of Education, which
is 20 feet by 23 feet 8 inches.

At the front end to the left of the hall is a stairway, 5
feet 6 inches wide, leading to the lecture hall above. Un-
derneath these stairs is a ladies' lavatory.

A reference library and reading-room, 28 feet 4 inches
by 23 feet 8 inches, occupies the rest of the main floor.

The second floor is occupied by a lecture-room, having a
seating capacity of 400, and is furnished with platform and

The library proper — 40 by 60 feet and 47 feet to apex
of roof — is situated in the rear of the main building, and
is lighted by side and clerestory windows. It contains a
gallery, which is supported on iron brackets, and is reached
by an iron stairway. This part of the building is fireproof;
the roofs being of slate, the clerestory of galvanized
iron, and tlie windows furnished with iron shutters, while
double iron doors shut it off completely from the main

The stairways and wainscoting are finished in ash and
cherry ; the rest of the interior, including the open timber
roof of the library, in pine, painted in rich colors.

For completeness of arrangement, elegance of finish, and
beautiful architecture, it is believed the Utica Library
building is not excelled by any similar institution in the
country. The architects were G. Edward Cooper and B.
D. Smalley.

The librarian is Mr. Frank H. Latimore. The total cost
of this fine building, including ground and furniture, has
been about $25,000.


This institution was chartered April 28, 1837. The
first trustees named in the charter were John H. Ostrom,
Nicholas Devereux, Horatio Seymour, C. A. Mann, Joshua
A. Spencer, S. D. Childs, T. S. Faxton, John C. Devereux,
Alrick Hubbell, T. E. Clark, T. H. Hubbard, Theodore
Pomeroy, A. Munson, B. F. Cooper, Chester Griswold,
John Williams, Horace Butler, Charles P. Kirkland, S. P.
Lyman, Holmes Hutchinson, and Henry White.

The same year four lots lying between Washington Street
and Broadway, with the buildings upon them, were pur-
chased at a cost of $6300. The school was first opened
in the building known as the United States Hotel, corner
of Genesee and Pearl Streets, where it was continued
until the new building was finished. The number of
students in December, 1838, was 168. In 1838-39 an
academy building of brick, three stories, 50 by 150 feet
in dimensions, was erected, the corner-stone having been
laid with proper ceremonies June 20, 1838. The first
principal was Miss Urania E. Sheldon (since Mrs. Dr.
Nott), who continued until August, 1842, wben Rev. James
Nichols succeeded her, and remained until June, 1844,
when he retired and was succeeded by Miss Jane E. Kelly,
who continued to fill the position until 1865. At the
January term of 1851 the number of pupils in attendance
was 185 ; whole number for the year, 292.

The building was burned on the 27th of March, 1865.
The present elegant and substantial building was erected
on the same ground about 1869-70, at a cost of $75,000.
It is 60 by 150 feet in dimensions, three stories and base-
ment, and constructed of brick, with roof laid in variegated
slates. It is one of the finest structures in the State, and
justly a source of pride to the citizens of Utica even among
the many noble educational and charitable institutions
which ornament the city, and make it a marvel throughout
the land.



The school was interrupted from 1865 to 1871, in which
latter year Mrs. E. F. Hammill, of Brooklyn, leased the
building for three years and opened school. At the end
of the throe years she leased it again for one year and con-
tinued to the summer of 1875, when she was succeeded by
the present principal, Mrs. J. G. P. Piatt. At the present
time the school employs about fourteen teachers in the
various departments, and has from 30 to 40 regular boarders
and from 80 to 90 day scholars.

It is a stock institution, organized by a large number of
the wealthy citizens of Utioa for the education of their
daughters, and is in a flourishing condition.

The other private schools of the city at the present time
are : Academy of Assumption, for boys, under the charge
of the Christian Brothers (Catholic), corner of John and
Elizabeth Streets; the German Free Association, organized
Dec. 23, 1867, on the common-school system, and open to
all, on Whitesboro' Street; President, John Kohler; Sec-
retary, F. W. Klages ; Principal, Ad. Peterson ; Assistant,
Mrs. W. J. Rulison ; Treasurer, M. Weisner ; Kindergar-
ten School, Steuben Street, Mrs. C. M. Scholefield, Princi-
pal ; Kindergarten School, Oneida Street, Mrs. Janet Kel-
logg, Principal ; school for boys and girls, No. 232 Genesee
Street, by James Lombard ; St. John's Select and Free
School for boys and girls, under the direction of the Sisters
of Charity, on Burnet Street ; St. Joseph's School (German)
for boys, 163 Fayette Street ; St. Joseph's School (German)
for girls, by the Sisters of St. Clair, 163 Fayette Street;
and the Utica Business College, in the Parker Building, by
Messrs. McCreary and Shields.

An eccentric individual named Solomon Barrett taught
a grammar school in Utica for several years, between 1845
and 1850. He made it a specialty, and was a most excel-
lent grammarian, and successful in his calling. At one
period his school was located in the rooms over what is now
Hollister's book-store, where he had a large number of
pupils, of both sexes, among whom were Daniel Butterfield,
Jedediah Kingsley, David Williams, and J. M. Green.

Mr. Barrett was something of a linguist, and was wont
to talk Latin with Judge Denio. A short time previous
to his advent in Utica, he engaged in a noted discussion
upon the science of grammar with Professor Brown, of

His schools were divided into terms, for each of which
he charged a tuition fee of $5. His system of teaching
was upon the concert plan, and he made use of the services
of his more advanced scholars to assist him in his work.
He was a very popular teacher, but quite eccentric, and
somewhat untidy in dress. He was an inveterate tobacco-
chewer, and was wont to eject his spittle over the desk in
front of him upon the floor. He was accustomed to tell
his pupils that when they encountered any one in argu-
ment who was too much for them, to throw him ofl' the
subject by asking a question in philosophy like the follow-
ing : " Does a thing move where it is ?" If he answered
no, as he generally would, then ask him, "Does it move
where it is not?" " Then," says he, " you have him."

He was also the author of a peculiar text-book upon the
study of English grammar, which was published in Utica
in 1845.


Trinity Church was organized in the year 1798, by the
Rev. Philander Chase, afterwards Bishop of Illinois. For
a period of five years services were imperfec-tly maintained
by lay-reading, and it was not until the year 1803 that
measures were taken towards the building of a church edi-
fice. In that year Mr. John R. Bleecker, of Albany, gave
a lot on the corner of Broad and First Streets, 100 feet
front and 127 feet deep, in fulfillment of a promise that
such a gift would be made to that religious society which
should first undertake the erection of a church edifice. On
the basis of a subscription of a little more than $2000 the
building was commenced, but it was not until the year
1806 that it was so far completed that Bishop Moore was
induced to consecrate it. In December, 1810, it was fin-
ished, having cost 17140. Of this sum $2000 was con-
tributed by Trinity Church, New York. The building, an
unpretentious yet tasteful structure, was designed by Philip
Hooker, of Albany, an architect who did some good work
in his day, — as witness, in his own city, old St. Peter's
Church, the old State Capitol, and the Academy.

The first chosen ofiicers of the church were Abraham
Walton and Nathan Williams, Wardens ; William Inman,
Charles Walton, John Smith, Benjamin Walker, Samuel
Hooker, Aylmer Johnson, James Hopper, and Edward
Smith, Vestrymen. The first minister in charge was the
Rev. Jonathan Judd, who ofiiciated from 1804 to 1806
alternately here and at Paris Hill, though not continuously
in either place. The first rector was the Rev. Amos G.
Baldwin, who held that position from 1806 to 1818. He
constructed, with his own hands, the first organ in the
church having a manual or key-board. This organ did
good service for many years in Christ Church, Sherburne,
and can now be seen, with some enlargements and improve-
ments, in the Presbyterian Church at New York Mills. Mr.
Baldwin died at Auburn, in 1844.

Through the influence of Colonel Benjamin Walker,
who may be regarded as the lay founder of Trinity Church,
the Countess of Bath (England) was induced, in the year
1808, to give to the church 265 acres of land in the town
of Eaton, Madison County. This gift was of no great ben-
efit to the church. The income from it was small, and hard
to collect, and finally, in the year 1815, the land was sold
for a sum of money barely nominal. Nearly contempo-
raneous with the donation from the Countess of Bath, was
one from the corporation of Trinity Church, New York, of
three lots in Reade Street and one in Clark Street, in that
city. Two of the Reade Street lots, and the one in Clark
Street, are still the property of the church in Utica. The
income from the whole property, though comparatively
small, has been of essential service.

In the year 1819, Mr. Baldwin was succeeded in the
rectorship by the Rev. Henry M. Shaw, who remained
about two years. His successor, in the year 1821, was the
Rev. Henry Anthon, who resigned the charge in 1829 to
fake the rectorship of St. Stephen's Church, New York.

Two years afterwards he was made assistant minister of
Trinity Church in the same city, and in 1836 was chosen



rector of St. Mark's Church, in the Bowery. Here he
remained until his death in January, 1861. It was during
this last ministry of twenty-four years that his great repu-
tation as one of the lights of the American Church was
chiefly made.

The next rector was the Rev. Benjamin Dorr, whose
ministry extended from 1829 to 1831, when he resigned
the charge.

Dr. Dorr was succeeded, in 1836, by the Rev. Pierre
Alexis Proal, who came from St. George's Church, Schenec-
tady. His pastorate was much longer than that of either
of his predecessors, terminating with his death in Septem-
ber, 1857. He was succeeded by the Rev. Samuel Hanson
Coxe, whose ministry extended from 1857 to November,
1877. He was followed, in February, 1878, by the Rev.
Charles II. Gardner, the present rector. The fact is note-
worthy that from 1806 to 1878, a period of seventy-two
years, this church had in succession but six rectors.

The dimensions of the church edifice were originally
45 by 60 feet, besides a recessed chancel and contiguous
robing-rooms. From time to time alterations have been made
in the arrangement of pews and alleys ; but no changes
have ever been made, outside or inside, to impair the iden-
tity of the building. In 1833 it was lengthened twenty
feet by extending its front to the sidewalk. In doing this
the steeple and entire front were carefully taken down, and
as carefully restored on new foundations. In 1851 exten-
sive and costly repairs were made.

The structure is cherished, not only because it is a com-
fortable and pleasant house of worship, but also because it
has groat historic interest, and is a landmark and monu-
ment of the early growth of the city.

The present organization is as follows : Wardens, Hon.
Horatio Seymour, Selden Collins; Vestrymen, M. C.
Comstock, J. M. Weed, G. W. Hutchinson, T. W. Seward,
J. A. Shearman, W. M. Storrs, H. D. Talcott, A. L.

The Sabbath-school oflBcers are M. C. Comstock, Super-
intendent; C. E. Chase, M.D., Secretary; D. W. Perkins,
Treasurer ; H. Roberts and Frank Harvey, Librarians.


This congregation was originally a portion of the parish
of Trinity Church, the only Episcopal Church for many
years in Utica. The growing needs of the parish rendered
the establishment of another field of labor necessary. The
act of incorporation of the new organization bears date May
21, 1838, and the new congregation worshiped in a room
about 20 by 35 feet in the second story of No. 215 Genesee
Street. On the 16th of August, 1838, the Rev. Charles
H. Halsey was elected rector, but he declined, and until
April, 1839, the services were conducted by Rev. Dr. Rudd,
then and for twenty-one years editor of the Gospel Mes-
senger, the Rev. C. M. Butler, now Professor in the
Divinity School, West Philadelphia, Pa., and such other
clergy as could bo obtained. On the 19th of April, 1839,
the Rev. Albert C. Patterson was chosen rector at a salary
of $800 for the first year and $1000 for the second. Mr.
Patterson entered upon his duties immediately afterwards,
and was very kindly received. During the year 1839 a lot

at the corner of Broadway and Columbia Streets was leased,
and on it a small frame church erected at a cost of $1600.
This building was enlarged in 1841 at an expense of about
$1500. The congregation continued to be prospered under
their young and active rector, and not more than three
years had passed before the accessions were so numerous
that the subject of a new and better church began to be
agitated. On the 4th of November, 1847, at a vestry meet-
ing held at the rector's house, Mr. J. H. Edmonds presented
the plans of the new St. John's Church, Buffalo, and the
proposed mode of securing funds for its erection, which
steps were followed by the appointment of a committee of
five to secure a lot and suitable drawings for a new church.
The rector at this time having resigned. Rev. Mr. Leeds
was called as his successor. In the interval between the
resignation of Dr. Leeds, in July, 1853, and the acceptance
of the rectorship of the late Dr. J. J. Brandegee, in 1854,
whose ministry extended over a period of ten years and
whose memory is still revered by the whole parish, Mr.
Alfred Munson, greatly interested in the erection of a
new church, secured and vested in his own name the title
to the lot on which the present edifice stands, and procured
plans and elevations from the distinguished architect, Mr.
Upjohn, of New York. The vestry determined to build
on the lots purchased by Mr. JIunson, and early in the
spring of 1856 commenced to take down the building
standing on them, long known as the Eagle Tavern, and to
excavate for the foundations.

The corner-stone was laid on Thursday, July 10, 1856.
Evening prayer was said at the old church, when a proces-
sion was formed, led by the Right Rev. Dr. De Lancey, and
moved to the site of the new edifice, when the stone was
duly placed by the bishop, with solemn ceremonies, in the
presence of a large assemblage. An address was delivered
by Dr. Leeds, the former beloved rector, and congratulatory
remarks were made by Bishop De Lancey.

On the 17th of May, 1858, the corner-stone of the
present chapel was laid by Bishop De Lanoy, in the pres-
ence of several visiting clergymen and an interested congre-
gation. During the two following years, 1858 and 1859,
and the first part of 1800, the church was finished, with the
exception of the tower and spire. The last service in the
old church was on .\pril 15, 1860, and on the Sunday after
Ascension Day, May 20, 1860, the new church was for the
first time opened for public worship, the Rev. Dr. Gibson,
assistant minister, in the absence of the rector on account
of ill health, conducting the service and preaching an ap-
propriate sermon to a rejoicing and grateful congregation.

By subsequent benefactions the tower and spire were
not only completed, but a chime of ten memorial bells was
given to the church, and many rich and beautiful memorial
windows are among the liberal donations of its members.
The present rector of Grace Church is Rev. Edward M.
Van Deusen, D.D. Its wardens are Ziba Lyon and Ed-
ward Graham. The vestrymen are George H. Wiley,
George R. Thoma.s, Benjamin F. Ray, E. D. Comstock,
Dwight D. Winston, D. N. Crouse, L. A. Tourtcllot, James
P. Blann. George R. Thomas, Treasurer; Benjamin F.
Ray, Secretary. There is connected with the church a large
and very flourishing Sunday-school.




Calvary Church was organized in January, 1850. The
first services were held by Rev. Beardsley Northrop, in a
school-house on West Street. A church building, capable
of seating about 300 persons, was erected on South Street
in 1851. It was twice enlarged to meet the wants of the
growing congregation. In 1869 a new church was com-
menced, and the work was completed in 1872. The con-
gregation were greatly assisted in the undertaking by liberal
bequests from Jason Gr. Coye and George J. Hopper, Esqs.,
recently deceased. The new edifice is one of the most
beautiful and commodious in Central New York. It is
situated on the corner of South Street and Howard Ave-
nue, in a very pleasant and attractive part of the city. The
parish is at present in u, flourishing condition, having 380
communicants, a large congregation, and a Sunday-school
numbering about 400 members. Its rectors have been
Rev. William A. Watson, D.D., Rev. Henry A. Neeley,
D.D., the present Bishop of Maine, Rev. N. Barrows, and
the present incumbent. Rev. A. B. Goodrich, D.D., who
was called in 1859, and has been the pastor nearly twenty

ST. George's protestant episcopal church.

This church is situated on State Street, near the foot of
Cottage. It is of wood, and will seat 400 persons, — with
chancel, tower, library, vestry-room, and organ-transept.
The belfry in the tower is supplied with a bell of 1500
pounds' weight, and the organ is from the manufactory of
G. N. Andrews, of Utica, and has two manuals and 26
registers. The large octagonal font of white marble is the
gift of the Sunday-school, and the altar, chancel furniture,
wainscoting, and pews are of choice butternut timber, the
gift of Governor Seymour. The windows of the church
(single-light lancets), together with the chancel window (a
beautiful triplet), were all the gift of the late C. P. Davis,
of Utica, stained-glass manufacturer. In the rear of the
church is a wooden building, 22 by 40 feet, erected in 1873,
and named the " Mission-Room," having been opened with
mission services by the Rev. J. W. Bonham, Church of the
Evangelist, and now used for Sunday-school, week-day ser-
vices, and parochial festivals.

This parish was authorized by Bishop De Lancey and
the standing committee of the diocese in January, 1862,
to replace the former parish, of St. Paul's, organized in
1849, and afterwards allowed to die out. At that time
all existing churches of the Protestant Episcopal com-
munion were on the easterly side of Genesee Street, then in
population the lesser half of the city. The building com-
mittee was formed Feb. 4, 1862; the corner-stone of the
church was laid by the bishop May 5 ; the first election of
wardens and vestry took place May 19; the church was fin-
ished and occupied for the first service Oct. 12, 1862, and
all debts were paid off, and the church consecrated by
Bishop De Lancey, June 7, 1864, 23 clergy being present
and assisting.

At the same service the bishop confirmed a class of 24
persons, 12 of them heads of families.

Since that time the church has kept out of debt, and has
been made a/cee church, being supported by what is called

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 89 of 192)