Syracuse (N.Y.).

When Syracuse was a village : snap shots of early days, taken from village records in the city clerk's office (Volume 1) online

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was a





Taken from


in the





This collection of notes showing early official
moves and methods in the making of Syracuse,
in the hope that it will prove of interest, and per-
haps of use, to those who are concerned in the
preserving of a knowledge of our hometown history.


City Clerk.

Syracuse, N. Y., November 20, 1915.



This record of some of the early events of Syracuse that seemed
most divergent, either in method or purpose, from present up-to-date
city affairs, was made incidental to a search by this office of the
books of the village Board of Trustees in the preparation of a public
utility franchise index of both village and city.

The examination of the village records for this purpose was
made by John G. White, from whose supplementary notes the fol-
lowing pages were prepared.

They are intended to show in brief form, without attempt to pro-
duce a running narrative, some things whi:h now appear strange,
even amusing, and others which serve to recall the men who, now
generally forgotten, laid the foundation, nearly a hundred years ago,
of the present municipality.

Care has been taken, in quoting the records, to reproduce the
spelling, punctuation, capitalization and paragraphing, even when
faulty, as was not infrequently the case. Words italicized in the fol-
lowing pages were underscored in the records.

The marginal date is, in each case, that on which the event is
recorded in the village books.


"An Act to Incorporate



was passed

April 13, 1825.


YEAR 1825

Date of Record

At a meeting of freeholders and inhabitants of the village of May 3
Syracuse, "held pursuant to notice at the schoolhouse," Tuesday,
May 3, 1825, the following officers were chosen:

Trustees — Joshua Forman, Amos P. Granger, Moses D. Burnet,
Heman Walbridge, John Rogers.

Assessors — James Webb, Alfred Northam, Thomas Spencer.

Clerk— John Wilkinson.

Treasurer — John Durnford.

Poundmaster — Henry Young.

Constables — Jesse D. Rose, Henry W. Durnford.

Overseer, Highway District No. 1, Henry Young.

Overseer, Highway District No. 2, John Garrison.

That the above were elected in pursuance of the act to incorpor- May 3
ate the village of Syracuse is certified in the record by Daniel Gil-
bert, Justice of the Peace, presiding.

Joshua Forman chosen President of the Board of Trustees. May 4

The record of a meeting of the village Board of Trustees shows
the following:

Resolved that Othniel H. Williston, George W.
Tanner, Hiram C. Woodworth and James Mann
are severally fit persons to be licensed as tavern
keepers in said village and that Certificates to
that effect be issued to them respectively.

Resolved that a book be procured for record-
ing the proceedings of the Board of Trustees and
their accounts. And that a seal for the Corpora-
tion be procured with the words "Syracuse Vil-
lage" on an oval oi V/i inches with some suitable

Second meeting of board recorded as having been held "at the May 8
jffice of M. D. Burnett."


that the following Licenses made on application
of the parties to keep groceries in the village be
handed to the Treasurer to be by him delivered
on the execution of the bond required by Law and
the payment of the sum of twenty five dollars

each towit Joseph Thompson, Henry Newton,
Stephen W. Cadwell, Paschal N. Thurber, Joel
Owen, Peter Van Olinda, Henry W. Dumford,
Hayden Rice, William T. Arnold, Ambrose
Kapon, Bush J. Vase, and Andrew N. Vanpatten
and Ralph Waldby.

May 9 Resolutions:

Resolved that the Safety of the village re-
quires that immediate Measures be taken to pro-
cure a good fire engine * * *

Resolved that this board hold a regular meet-
ing on Monday evening of each week at seven
o'clock * * *

May 10 No guns, crackers, or other fire-works to be fired "within the

populous part of the village of Syracuse, except by persons under
arms on public days by permission of their officers." Fine, $1.

No hogs "to run at large in the streets." Any found doing so
"to be driven to the village Pound, and there detained by the pound-
keeper, until a penalty of twenty-five cents for each hog" is paid in
addition to penalty and fees fixed by town law. Pound-keeper may
sell hog if fine is not paid within three days.
^ Persons "licensed to keep grocery shops, vitualling houses, oyster

houses or other shops or houses" and "to retail spiritous liqilors to
be drank therein" are required to close on Sunday and at 11 P. M.
on week days. Sunday penalty, $5 ; week-day penalty, $2.50.

May 12 Resolution :

Resolved that the Treasurer give Bonds in the
sum of one thousand dollars * * *

May 13 Name of Genesee Street given to "Seneca Turnpike" (spelled

Gennessee). Other streets namd : Salina, described as "running
north and South across the Stone bridge, Warren, Clinton, Water,
Washington and Fayette. The street-naming resolution concludes
as follows:

The street leading east out of the Public
Square Foot Street. The next Street north par-
allel to the Canal Church Street. The Street run-
ning from the Turnpike to the Canal next west of
Gififord's house with its continuation South
Franklin Street. And the Street leading there-
from to the Mill race north of the Canal thence
along the same to the Seneca Turnpike Mill
Street. And the Street west of the Onondaga
Creek from the Turnpike to the Canal — named
on the State map of the Village "Apple Street"
shall be called "West Street."

May 16 Salary of John Wilkinson as Clerk of the Board of Trustees

fixed at $25 -a year.


Resolution : May 24

Resolved that an advertisement be published
tor proposals to light and trim the four lamps
now put up in the village and such others as may
hereafter be put up by order of this board or a
vote of the village and that persons applying
shall state the price that they will charge per
lamp to be lighted only dark nights.

Resolution : May 26

Resolved that Joshua Forman & Moses D.
Burnett be a committee to ascertain the State
of the waterworks & report a system of regula-
tion for the same.

Heman Walbridge was paid $35.97 for erecting a pound. June 13

At a meeting of "freeholders and taxible Inhabitants" of the vil- June 25
lage, held at the house of James Mann, a tax of $125 was unani
mously authorized, for purchase of a "village pall" and building a
fence around the burying ground. It was arranged that notice of an
adjourned meeting be published in The Syracuse Gazette.

"Meeting of freeholders and inhabitants." Unanimous action July 7
taken authorizing the village Trustees to accept a loan of $1,000 from
the Albany Insurance Company, "to be used in the purchase of a
good and sufficient fire engine with proper implements to extinguish
fires," the loan to be secured by a four-year bond, bearing no inter-
est for the first two years and three per cent for the remainder of
the time.

Also the raising of $150 was authorized for "building an engine
house" and "purchasing hooks and necessary ladders."

"Joshua Forman reported that he had engaged an engine Si, hose for Oct. 11
the sum of $925 in New York pursuant to the resolution for that

Resolution :

Resolved that Thomas B. Heermans be appointed
captain of a Fire company in this village with
power to raise thirty five men who shall be ap-
pointed firemen under the seal of the Corporation.
The first enlisted of whom shall be the persons
exempt from military duty, any vacancy among
whom shall be filled by the persons next in order
on the list.

Loan authorized for purchase of fire engine being found impossi- Nq^, 28
ble on terms specified, payment of seven per cent per annum, for
four years, was authorized.

YEAR 1826.

Jan. 3 Warrants authorized to Thomas B. Heermans as captain and the

following as firemen : John Dumford, Stephen W. Cadwell, Paschal
Shurber, Linnaeus P. Noble, Agrippa Martin, Thomas I. Field,
Thomas Spencer, Edward Chapman, Joel Owen, William C. Shope,
Henry Van Hoosen, Harman Van Hoosen, Russel Hibbard, Zopher
Adams, Humphrey Mellen, Samuel Mead, Theodore Ashley, John
Wall, Volney Cook, Archibald L. Fellows, Seth K. Akin, Henry

Jan. 23 The Board of Trustees accepted an offer of John Rogers "to

build an Engine House to be 16 feet by 22 feet with 8 foot posts, to
be shingled and sided with good planed siding and to be furnished
with a good plain box stove and pipe, and to be done within one
month for the sum of one hundred and twenty dollars."

June 6 Resolution:

Resolved that Benjamin F. Janes be paid for
ringing the Bell three times per day at the rate of
Fifty Dollars per Annum and at that rate if rung
four times per day.

Sept. 13 A petition was presented by Ambrose Kasson and others "for

the purpose of suppressing Vice & Immorality in this Village."

Resolutions :

Resolved that A- Northam & H. Young be a
committee to provide a house or room to be oc-
cupied as a Watch house.

Resolved that a Subscription be circulated for
the purpose of raising a fund to enable the
Trustees to organise and keep on foot for One
Month a Village Watch to consist of not less than
four persons * * *,

Dec. 12 One dollar paid to The Syracuse Advertiser for publishing a

notice of a village meeting.

YEAR 1827.

Dec. 3 Meeting held over to later date "inasmuch as the meeting of the

Inhabitants noticed for this evening cannot be held on account of
their being a prayer meeting at the School House."

Dec. 14 Resolutions :

Resolved that the following named persons

William Malcolm, Hiram Judson, George Ar-
cher, Othniel Williston, H. Chamberlain, Henry
Newton, Thomas Bennet, Stephen Smith, George
Hooker, Alfred Northam, — Cruger & Scuyler

are hereby appointed a protection Company,
whose duty it Shall be to protect such goods as
must necessarily be removed at a fire and to
direct in the packing & moving the same.

Resolved that the Trustees shall each Carry
a Staff at fires (such as shall be designated by a
majority") as an insignia of Oifice of fire Wardens
for the purpose of Compelling such as are un-
willing to render due assistance in all cases of

Resolved that all the Officers of the Corpora-
tion Engine Company — Hook and Ladder Com-
pany — Protection Co. Constables — Pound Keeper
&c. be invited to assemble * * * to make such
arrangements with regard to the village interests
as the time and place may suggest

Resolved that each member of the Protection
Co. be provided with a good and sufficient Bag
which he shall carry with him to all fires for the
purpose the more safely of packing and moving

YEAR 1828.

"All gaming, raflling or playing of Cardes, or dice" in "Grocery Jan. 8
Shops, or Cellars, including Houses, or other Shops, which are li-
censed for the retailing of spirituous liquors to be drank therein"
prohibited. Penalty— $10, to be sued for and recovered pursuant to
the act incorporating the village.

John C. Field was allowed $20 "for his Services as Clerk during Apr. 15
the past year."

"Crying or ringing of a Bell in the Streets or Elsewhere" for July 29
auction sales prohibited.

Harry Newton and A. P. Granger on the North Side and Jno. Dec 22
Watt and Jos. Slocum on the South Side appointed to examine
chimne3'S and stovepipes.

YEAR 1829.

Bill of John Wall for $4, "for money paid to H. Van Heusen for Mar. 9
repairing the Church Bell," allowed.

Also bill of Levi Chapman for $4 "for taking a Census of the
Village." ,

South Salina Street sidewalks twelve feet wide ; no steps to en- June 10
croach more than four feet, "but this ordinance is not to extend to
or be in any wise applied to the Syracuse House."

Payment of $7.06 to Cadwell &» Thurber ordered "for refresh- July 15
ments for the Salina Engine Company after the Globe Factory. fire."

YEAR 1830.

Mar. 4 Warrant ordered issued appointing Columbus Bradley wood

spector for the village.

July 12 Resolutions:

Resolved that the sum of Ten Dollars be re-
quired of W. C. Cook for the rent of the office
under the White Bridge from the 10th. day of
May 1830 to 10th. day of May 1831.

Resolved that the Engine house be painted a
Straw Color.

Aug. 9 Ordinances provide : "The Village Pound-Master shall not di-

rectly or indirectly pay to any person or persons any compension or
premium, for the driving of any Hog or Hogs to the Pound" * * *.
Also : "Good leather Buckets, to be used for extinguishing fires,"
were required to be procured and kept by owners as follows : "The
Syracuse House and the two three story Taverns, four Buckets each ;
every three story Store, and two story Dwelling-house, two Buckets ;
and every other Store, Shop or Dwelling-house, one Bucket each;
which Buckets shall be of good quality, and marked with the name
of the owner suitably painted thereon."

Also : "No person or persons shall fly a Kite in any Street or
Public Square." Penalty, $1.

Dec. 2 Ordinance:

Be it ordained, that no person or persons shall
Carry or Convey any fire from one Building to
another, or in any Street in the Village without a
Suitable Fire pan with a cover under penalty of
Five Dollars for Each offence to be Collected ac-
cording to law.

Dec. 11 Fifty dollar tax authorized, at "meeting of the Inhabitants of

the Village" at the Syracuse House, "for paying Costs (so far as
the same will go) in the suit Village of Syracuse vs. Saml Lamed."

YEAR 1831.

^P""- 2 Accounts audited as follows: G. W. Smith, $9.36: Israel Shoudy,

$3.75; H. Van Heusen. $3; "all for work & repairs to Village Bell."

S. A. Gould ordered paid $12.50 "for ringing bell One quarter."

Twenty dollars ordered paid to Village Clerk "for his Services
the present Year."

Ordinance adopted prohibiting dogs running at large and provid-
ing that "it shall and May be lawful for any person or persons to
Kill any such dog," the ordinance to "remain in full force and effect
untill the first day of July next."

Ju»e 1 Resolution:


Resolved, that Two thousand days Labour be
assessed upon the Inhabitants * * * to be
worked out upon the Roads and Streets" * * ♦.

Meetins: of "Freeholders & Inhabitants" at the Mansion House. Aug. 3
Village Trustees unanimously "Authorized to make a Contract for a
Town Clock." A tax of $50 authorized "upon the person & property
of the Citizens of Syracuse to meet the first instalment therefor."

Accounts audited as follows : Daniel Elliott, $49.50, "for Lumber Nov. 11
building Pest Houses &c"; Wm. Coppernoll, $21, "for attending upon
the Small Pox"; Luther Bentz, $13.75, for same; C. & D. Bradley,
$3?.51, "for Provisions &c for Small Pox."

YEAR 1832.

Meeting of "Freeholders & Inhabitants," at the Mansion House, June 20
for "taking into Consideration and adopting the best means to be
pursued with regard to the anticipated Plague that is expected soon
to be amongst us."

Trustees "authorized to Station Two suitable persons at (Teals
Locks so called) * * * to examine every Boat from the East-
ward" and to have any sick found aboard examined by physicians.

The physicians of the village were constituted a Board of Health.

Resolution :

Resolved, That the Village be divided into four
Wards and that they be intersected by Salina
Street, and the Erie Canal

That the North West be Ward No 1. South
West Ward No 2 South East, Ward No 3,
North East, Ward No 4.

Resolved that E. B. Wicks and Silas Ames, for
Ward No 1 ; Henry Raynor and Theodore Ash-
ley for No 2 W. H. Alexander and Daniel Corn-
stock for No 3; Paschal Thurber and Benjamin
C. Lathrop for No 4 be a Committee of Inspec-
tion, to Carry into effect the Village Ordinances;
that they Cause a Suitable quantity of Lime to be
Kept in each ward, at all times, and that they
present their bills to the Trustees for any neces-
sary expenditure, within their respective wards.
The committee will recommend a liberal use of
Lime, where they may deem it necessary.

June 23

Trustee meeting at 9 A. M. Regulations adopted "in pursuance June 25
of Authority to us given by proclamation of the Governor" to pre-
vent the introduction of "the Cholera a disease commonly Called
the Asiatic Cholerea," which "exists in Quebec and Montreal in
Canada." Canal boats to be quarantined one mile from village for
fifteen days, if carrying sick or suspiects, "or until Doct George

Hooker, a Physician hereby appointed for that purpose, or any
Other resident Physician of said Village. Shall Certify that no such
Cholera patient is on board, and that such patient has been properly
disposed of."

To detain and examine suspects and aid the physician appointed,
the following were named : Amos P. Granger, H. W. Van Buren,
Oliver Teal, Stephen W. Cadwell, Henry Newton, Daniel Dana and
Samuel Copp.

Ordered :

That the Health Officer, in Case of any Chol-
era or other malignant disease, be directed to re-
port to the President of the Village, every Morn-
ing at 9 O'clock the State of the health of the vil-

"Doct. Jonathan Day" deputed to go to Canada to study cholera.
Application to Governor Enos T. Throop, that he "appoint and com-
mission" the Syracuse physician to make the trip, made by "the
Board of Health regularly Organized in and for the Village of Syra-
cuse" and signed by George Hooker as President of the Board of
Health and Hiram Putnam as President of the Board of Trustees.

July 3 Resolution:

Resolved that Philo N Rust be and is hereby
appointed weighmaster for said village the current
year in the room of Samuel Jacobs Resigned

July 23 Account of Samuel A. Gould, of $5.15, allowed, "for repairing

Hearse House and taking care of Town Clock at One Dollar per

"The Board of Health heretofore formed having resigned," the
following were named as a new board : John Wilkinson, M. D.
Burnett, V. Cook, Daniel Dana, Joel Owen and H. Putnam.

Aug. 17 Resolution :

Resolved that Two ladders be procured for the
use of the Village

Aug. 20 Account of Daniel Elliott, $22.71, "for Materials & Labor in put-

ting up Town Clock," allowed.

The following were "appointed Firemen to be attached to Engine
No 2": Parley Bassett, William S. Campbell, Alfred Daumas,
Henry Davis, Jr., Thos. B. Fitch, William M. Fitch, Esra Foster,
Jr., I. A. Hall, L. P. Hall, Solomon R. Howlett, A. A. Hudson, Benj.
C. Lathrop, Chas. L. Lynds, J as. Manning, Horace Pemberton, Jacob
Raynor, Willett Raynor, Chas. T. Stanton, Joseph H. Starin, R. H.
Yoe. William K. Lothrop and Gardner Lawrence.

Sept. 14 Meeting of "Freeholders and inhabitants." Tax of $250 ordered

"upon the persons & property nf the Citizens," "for improving the


road through the Swamp leading to Onondaga Hollow, on the east
side of the Onondaga Creek."

Also it was resolved "that the Village build two Engine Houses,"
a tax of $300 to defray the cost. The houses were to be 28 by 16
feet in size, with 10-foot posts.

Location of new engine houses "fixed at the west end of the pub- Sept. 26
lie Square in the Center of said Village, One on Each side of the
Canal immediately contiguous to the bridges."

This action, taken at a "meeting of the Citizens," is recorded as
"Carried in the affirmative 12 to 6."

YEAR 1833.

Resolution: Mar. 28

Resolved That Mess W. & H. Raynor be au-
thorised to repair the Engine House on the South
Side of the Canal, by making the underpinning
more secure

Resolution :

Resolved that the account of C. L. Elliott for Apr. 17

Three Dollars for drawing map of the Center of
the Village be allowed * * *.

H. A. Deming as Clerk gives notice by printed sheet that Elam Apr. 22
Lynds and Harvey Baldwin are appointed as Chief Engineer and ^l"**'*'
Assistant Engineer respectively of the Fire Department, concluding:
"Said Engineers are required to wear a conspicuous badge, that they
may be recognized and obeyed at Fires."

The following were made Fire Wardens : Joseph I. Bradley, Da-
vid Stafford, Jr., Daniel Elliott, John White and Amos P. Granger.
Their duty was specified as, "at times of fire, to command the citi-
zens to form lines, and compel them so to do, under the existing
ordinance,, making it a penalty of Five Dollars for any refusal to
assist at a fire : Also, to examine chimneys, stove pipes, &c. and see
that every house is supplied with a sufficient number of buckets, and
to do all things that Fire Wardens are required to do."

"At the Annual Meeting of the electors of the Village of Syra- May 7
cuse held at the School House," among taxes voted were : $100, "to
pay the two Instalments due for the town Clock" ; "a Sum of Money
not exceeding" $25, "to pay for the Hose Cart attached to Engine
No 2 in this village"; $125, "for the purpose of furnishing the Hook
& Ladder Company with all the Implements necessary for said Com-

The Path Master was allowed one dollar and 12J/2 cents per day
for his services, and he was required to give bonds "for the faithful
performance of his duties."

David S. Colvin, having refused to take the office of Assessor, to June 3
which he had been elected by the Trustees, paid a fine of $10 for


non-acceptance of the position, and Joel Owen was named in his

Aug. 3 "Proposal of Mr. Phelps" accepted, "to build Two Brideges at

$1025 — located one on Franklin St. and one on Lock St."

Amount of fine for refusing to accept office at the hands of the
Board of Trustees was increased to $20 on the occasion of the ap-
pointment of Thomas Bennett as Assessor in place of Josiah Wright,
who refused to serve.

After increasing the bounty "for driveing Swine to the pound"
the Trustees appointed Vivas W. Smith "Hog Reeve in and for the
Village of Syracuse for the current year."

Aug. 27 The trouble in getting appointees to serve as Assessor continued.

Thomas Bennett declined, and William H. Alexander was named.

The board then remitted the $10 fine that had been paid by David
S. Colvin for refusing to take the office.

Two dollars was ordered paid for "legal Servises". Nicholas P.
Randell was the lawyer to whom the fee was paid.

YEAR 1834.

Jan. 27 Andrew N. Van Patten permitted to build a packet boat office "at

South East Corner of the New Bridge on the public Square," paying
to the village $20 a year for the privilege.

Feb. 10 "At a meeting of the Freeholders & Taxable Inhabitants

held at the Presbyterian Meeting House" it was

Resolved that M. D. Burnett John Wilkinson &
B. D. Noxon together with Stepen Smith H.
Putnam E. W. Leavenworth L. H. Redfield H.
Baldwin and Henry Davis Junr. be a committee
to revise the present charter & to print 100 Copies
of the proposed Amendments thereto.

May 26 Ordinances (in part) published, for the Board of Trustees, over

the signature of B. Davis Noxon, President, and J. C. Hanchett,

Be it Ordained, by the Trustees aforesaid,
that wherein they, or any of them, shall direct
and notify the occupant of any building, that an
alteration is necessary in his chimney or stovepipe,
or in any part of the building connected with, or
adjoining to the fire in the same, that it shall be
the duty of the said occupant to make the altera-
tion within three days thereafter * * *

The Meat Markets shall be closed on Sundays,
from nine o'clock in the morning, to seven o'clock
in the evening * * *

And be it further Ordained, That the sextons,
who shall be severally appointed by the Episcopal

and Presbyterian Societies, shall have the charge
of the Village Burying Ground, and shall at all
times, when severally required so to do, dig all the
necessary Graves and attend the Burial ; and the
Sexton, who shall be so required, shall receive,
for digging the Grave and attending the Burial of
every Adult, one dollar and fifty cents, and for
every child, under the age of ten years, one dollar,
to be paid by the applicant * * *

And be it further Ordained, That no person
shall suffer his, her, or their sheep, swine, cows,
or other cattle to be in the burying ground * * *
In order to secure his penalties on impounded and unredeemed
swine the pound-keeper was, under these ordinances, to sell the ani-
mals at public auction, advertised by him "by posting up a written

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