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OSr E "W^ YORK. 

















lot 7 


Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1871, by 


In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, for the 

Northern District of New York. 












" The origin of this book is briefly this : The Orleans: 
County Pioneer Association had collected a volume in 
manuscript of local history of many of its members, 
written by themselves, which they desired to have 

Some difficulty existed in getting out the work- by 
the Association, and the author was requested by- 
many of his friends to get up a b.ook on his own ac- 
count, which should contain the substance of the his- 
tories referred to, and such other matter connected 
with i;he Pioneer History of Orleans County, as might 
be of general interest to readers. 

The author has used the records of the Association, 
taking some histories of Pioneers in full, as written 
by themselves ; and extracting and condensing from 
others such parts as he thought of more general inter- 
est, and as his space would aUow. 

Many of his facts he has collected from his own 
knowledge, and from the testimony of early settlers, 
and others acquainted with the matter. 

To those who have so kindly aided him by such in- 
formation as they possessed, he return's his sincerest 
thanks, particularly to Messrs. Asa Sanford, Matthew 
Gregory and Hon. Eobert Anderson, for their gener- 
ous contributions of material for this book. 

The character of this book being local, many names 
of persons, and events of private history have been in- 
troduced, of little interest perhaps out of the families 
and neighborhood o'f the parties ; but with these the 
author has endeavored to collect and, preserve the- 


memory of such events of a i more public character, 
as marked the;' progress of settlement of this portion 
of the Holland Purchase, and as may be worthy of 

TW this purpose O'Reiley's Sketches of Rochester, 
Turner's History of Phelps and Gorham's Purchase, 
and of the Holland Purchase, and French's Gazetteer 
of New York, have been consulted, and such extracts 
and compilations made as could be found there. 

It has been an object, kept in view, to collect as 
much personal reminiscence as possible, for the grat- 
ification of the older inhabitants of Orleans County, 
for whom the book was more particularly designed. 

Errors in dates, events, names and narratives, no 
doubt may be found in the work. Such errors are 
unavoidable in giving details of statements of aged 
people, often conflicting in their character, and the in- 
telligent reader may sometimes regret that he finds no 
notice here of facts and incidents in the Pioneer His- 
tory of this region of country, which he may deem of 
more importance than much of the matter the book 

Some such facts and incidents may not have come 
to th^ notice of the author, and he has been compeU- 
<ed to omit much matter of interest, lest his work 
should be too. large, beyond the plan proposed. 

Much as apology may seem to be needed, the au- 
thor has little to make, more than to say he is not a 
professional book maker, and has no hope of found- 
ing a literary reputation on this work. He has little 
fear therefore of critics, and will be happy, if by this 
labor he has pleased the old settlers of Orleans County 
and done his part to save from oblivion, good matter 
for history, fast passing away ; for in the beautiful 
language of Whittier— 

" still from the hurrying train of life, fly backward far and fast, 
The mile stones of the fathers,— the landmarks of the past." 



The Indians of Western New- York — Their Traditionary History — An- 
cient Fortifications in Shelby — Their Friendship for the White Man 
in the War of 1813— Fishing and Hunting. 

Phelps and Gtorham's Purchase — When made — Territory Included in 
— Consolidated Securities — Their Sale to' Robert Morris — Divisions 
of their Purchase — The Triangle. 


The 100,000 Acre Tract— Boundaries— Dr. Levi Ward— Levi A. Ward 
— Joseph Fellows — Transit Line. , 


The Holland Purchase— Names of Company— Location of Tract — Sur- 
veys—Ceded by Indians— Counties in New- York One Hundred Years 
Ago — Genesee Country — Genesee County and its Subdivisions — Jo- 
seph EUicott and brother Benj., Surveyors — Agent of the Company 
— ^Land Office — Where Located — Practice in Locating Land — Arti- 
cles — Clemency of the Land Company — Deeding Lots for School 
Houses — Land Given to Religious Societies — Anecdote of Mr. Busti 
Rev. Andrew Rawson — Route ot Travel to Orleans County — Oak 
Orchard Creek and Johnson's Creek— Why so Named— Kinds of 
Forest Trees— Wild Animals— Salmon and other Fish— Rattlesnakes 
—Raccoons and Hedgehogs— Beaver Dams— Fruits— EflFeot of Clear- 
ing Land on Climate— The Tonawanda Swamps. 

The Log House— Description— How Built- Windows and Door— Walls 
Raised at a Bee— Chimneys— Ovens-Cellars— Double Log House- 
Copied after Indian Wigwam— Fires— Great Back Log— Lights- 

Log House Furniture— Beds and Bedding— Fire Place— Hooks and 
Trammel— Bake Pan— Table— Chairs— Pewter Spoons— Blue Edged. 
Plates— Black Earthen Tea Pots. * 

Clearing Land and First Crops— Cutting down the Trees— Black Salts 
—Slashing— Olearihg—Fallow— Planting and Sowing— Harvesting; 
and Cleaning Up — How Done. 


Hardships and Privsitions— Want of Breadstuff— Scarcity of Mills — 
Difficulty of getting Grain Ground — Mill on a Stump — Fever and 
Ague — Quinine" and Blue Pill — No Post Offlce-r-Keeping Cattle — 
Difficulty Keeping Fire — ^Instance ot Fire Ou^-Want of GJood Water 
— No Highways — Discouragement from Sickness — Social Amuse- 
ments — Hospitality— Early Merchants— Their Stores and Goods- 
Domestic Manufactures — ^Post Offices and Mails. 

The Erie Canal — ^When Begun — Effect — Eisein Price of Everything— ■ 
Progress of Improvement — Carriages on Springs. 

Puhlic Highways — The Ridge Road — When Laid Out — Appropriation 
— Oak Orchard Road — Opened by Holland Company — Road from 
Shelby to Oak Orchard in Barre — Salt Works Roads — State Road 
along Canal — Judge Porter's Account of first Tracing the Ridge 

Railroads — ^Medina and Darien — Medina and Lake Ontario — Roches- 
ter, Lockport and Niagara Palls. 

State of Education — School Houses — Description — Gaines Academy — 
Otjier Academies and Schools. , 

State of Religion — Religious Peeling among -the People — ^Ministers and 
Missionaries — Meeting House In Gaines — First in County — Building. 

Burying Grounds — ^Mount Albion Cemetery — ^Boxwood Cemetery. 

Town , of BarreT— First settled along Oak Ov'chard Road — Land Given 
by the Holland Company to Congregational Society — Congregational 
Church — Presbyterian Church in Albion — First Tavern — First Store 
— First Lawyer — First Doctor — First Deed of Land to Settler — Deeds 
of Land in Albion — First House in Albion — Death of Mrs. McCallis- 
ter— First Warehouse— First Saw Mill— First Grist Mill— Trade in 
Lumber— First Ball— First Town Meeting— Fourth of July, 1831— 
First Wedding in Albion — Story— Biographies of Early Settlers. 

Village of ^Albion — ^First Inhabitants — First Business Men — Strife with 
Gaines for Court House — Strategy used by Albion men to get Court 
House — 'Barst Court House — Second Court House — County Jail — 
First Hotel — ^Pirst Warehouse — Stone Flouring Mill — Lawyers — Drs. 
Nichoson and White — ^First Tanyard — First Blacksmiths — Name of 
the Village. 


Town of Carlton— Name— Lumber Trade— First Settlement of White 
Men in County— James Walsworth— Village of Majiilla — Names of 
Persons who took Articles of Land in Carlton in 1803, 1804 and 1805 
—Matthew Dunham- Curious Mill to Pound Corn— Dunham's Saw 
Mill and Grist Mill—First in County- First Frame Barn— The Union 
Company— Death of Elijah Brown— First Children Born in Town — 
First Store — Biographies of Early Settlers. 

Town of Clarendon— Difficulty in getting Titles from Pultney Estate— 
Eldi-edge Farwell— Farwell's Mills— First School— First Merchants 
—J. and D. Sturgess— First Postmaster— First Physician— Presbyte- 
rian Church— First Town Meeting— Biographies of Early Settlers. 

'Town of Gaines— First Settlers— Case of Getting Fire— Noah JBurgess 
— Mrs. Burgess — Cutting Logs for a House — First Orchard — First 
School House — Drake's Mill Dam and Saw Mill — Organization of 
McCarty's Militia Company — Their Scout after British and Indians 
— Dr. Jesse Beach — Orange Butler — First Marriage — First Birth — 
First Newspaper in Orleans County — First Tayern — -Store — Grist 
Mill — First Merchants — James Mather Dealing in Black Salts, &c. — 
Business at Gaines Basin— Villfige of Gaines — Gaines Academy— Ef- 
forts to Locate Court House Here— Trade in Other Localities — Biog- 
raphies of Early Settlers.. 


Town of Kendall — Partitioned between State of Connecticut and Pult- 
ney Estate— First Settler — First Marriage— First Birth — First Tav- 
ern—First Death— First Store— First School— First Saw Mill— First 
Public Religious Service — First Physician — ^Pirst Highway from 
Kendall Corners to Ridge — Biographies of Early Settlers. 

Town of Murray— Towns Set Off— First Tavern— First Marriage — ^Pirst 
Birth— First Death— First Store— First Grist Mill— First School- 
First Church— Sandy Creek— McCall & Perry's Mill— Sickness at 
Sandy Creek — Biographies of Early Settlers. 

Village of Holley — A'reovcster Hamlin — First Store — ^Post Office — 
Frisbie & Seymour — Early Merchants — First Sawmill — Lawyer — 
Tavern— Justice of the Peace— Salt Brine— Mammoth Tooth— Salt 
Port — Presbyterian Church — Salt Spring. 

Village of Hulberton — Joseph Budd — Canal Basm — First "Warehouse 
—First Grocery— First Tavern— I. H. S. Hulbert- First Named Scio 
— Methodist Society^ — Abijah Reed and Sons. 


Village of Hindsburgli— Jacob Lultenton— Jacob Hinds and Brothers 
— ^First Warehouse— Jabez Allison — First Hotel. 
The Town of Eidgeway— Formed from Batavia— First Town Meeting 
—Turner & White's Grist Mill— First Saw Mill— Dr. White— Salt 
Works — First School — Biographies of Early Settlers. 
Village of Medina— Saw Mill by Land Company — Evan's Grist Mill — 
Canal Feeder— Nixon's Brewery- Coan's Store — First Tavern— First 
Merchants — Physician— Attorney — Quarries— Justus IngersoU — Bap- 
tist Meeting House. 

Village of Knowlesville — Wm. Knowles, Founder and First Settler — 
First Clearing-^First Framed House — First Tavern — First Ware- 
house=^Pirst Boat Load of Wheat — First Ashery — First School 
House — Post Office — First Religious Society. 
Town of Shelby — Jo. EUicott Locating Land — EUicott's Mills — Road 
Irom Oak Orchard Road to Shelby — Salt Works Road — Anecdote 
of Luther Porter— Col. A. A. Ellicott— Ball in EUicott's Mill— Abner 
Hunt — Fiddler Hijckett— First Physician — Post Oflice — Iron Foun- 
dry — Tannery — Biographies of Early Settlers. 
Town ot Yates — ^Formerly North ton — George Houseman — Discourage- 
ment to Early Settlement — First Deed — Tappan's Tavern — Liquor 
Sold— First Marriage— First Death— First Store— First School— Bi- 
ographies ot Early Settlers. 

Biographical Notices of Joseph Ellicott and Ebenezer Mix 


Towns in Orleans County — Their Organization — Villages in Orleans 
County — Table of Elevations — Members of Assembly Elected from 
Orleans County since its Organization — County Clerks of Orleans 
County — County Treasurers — County Superintendents of Common 
Schools — First Judges of Orleans County Courts — District Attorneys 
of Orleans County — SherLflfs of Orleans County — Surrogates of Or- 
leans County — ^First Courts of Record — Supervisors of the Different 
Towns in Orleans County since their Organization — The Orleans 
County Pioneer Association — First Annual Address, Delivered, be- 
fore the Orleans County Pioneer Association, Sept. 10, 1859, by Arad 


After the discovery of America by Columbus, the 
first settlement on the Atlantic coast by Europeans 
was made by English and Dutch, on the south, and 
by French on the extreme north. Ascending the great 
river St. Lawrence, the French founded the cities ot 
Quebec and Montreal ; and following the river and 
the lakes .westward, they established the settlements 
at Pittsburgh and Detroit, many years before the En- 
glish settled Western New- York. 

The Algonquins and Hurons inhabited Canada East 
at the coming of the French. With these, from mo- 
tives of policy, they formed an alliance. These Cana- 
dian Indians, andjthe IrocLuois of Western New York, 
were at war with each other. The French joined their 
Indian allies in this war, and thus incurred the invet- 
erate hostility of the Iroquois. 

Many desperate battles were fought between the 
French and these Indians with various success. The 
Algonquins and Hurons were driven out of their coun- 
try, or destroyed, and the Iroquois came near exter- 
minating the French settlements in Canada. They 
effectually prevented their locating themselves in New 
Yorkj although they claimed this whole territory. A 
few French missionaries only of their people were tol- 
erated by the Iroquois within their country, except 
at the mouth of the Niagara River, where the French 
established a trading post in 1678. This was taken 
by the English under Sir William Johnson, ii^ 1759, 
and retained by them untU it was surrendered to the 
United States in 1796. 


In.l732, a trading house was "built at Oswego, under 
the direction of the Colonial government of New- York ; 
and in 1727, this was strengthened 'by a fort. 

The French protested against this encroachment up- 
on the territory they claimed, by the English, and sev- 
eral times sent military expeditions to drive them out. 

These English establishments at Oswego were taken 

by the French in 1756, and destroyed. They were 

ebuUt by the English in 1758, and continued in their 

possession until 1796 ; they were surrendered to the 

United States under Jay' s treaty. 

The French kept up communication through Lake 
Ontario, between their western settlements and Que- 
bec, but made no other location within the bounds of 
New- York, being kept back by the power of the In- 
dians. / 

In 1760, a powerful army of British, Indians, and 
Provincial Americans, was sent into Canada, under 
Gen. Amherst. To these forces the French surrender- 
ed Canada and all their western possessions, wliich 
included their claim to Western New- York. 

The Iroquois, or Six Nations, having early entered 
into relations of amity and friendship with the English, 
remained true to their engagements after the overthrow 
of the French in America, and so down to the time of 
the Revolution. 

At the breaking out of the Revolutionary war. Gen. 
Philip Schuyler, in a council with the chiefs of the 
Six Nations, at German Flats, in June, 1776, had ob- 
tained their promise to remain neutral in that war. — 
After the war had been some time in progress, howev- 
er, Sir John Johnson, Brant, Col. John Butler and 
other tories of that day, prevailed on the Indians to 
violate their pledge, and take up arms against the 
Americans ; and with the exception of the Tuscaroras 
and Oneidas, they remained the firm friends of the 
British thi-ough that war. ^ 


Under the influence of the Johnsons, a large pro- 
portion of the white inhabitants in the Valley of the 
Mohawk were tories ; these uniting with the hostile 
Indians, led by Butler, Brant and others made incur- 
sions, carrying murder and devastation along the fron- 
tier settlements of the Colonies, and retreating with 
their prisoners and plunder to the British strongholds . 
at Niagara and Oswego, where they were safe. 

This predatory warfare continued at intervals, from 
1775 to 1779, along the Mohdwk and Susquehanna 
rivers more especially. 

In 1779, Gen. Sullivan, with an army of five thou- 
sand men, was sent by Gen. Washington to punish 
the Indians and tories of New- York, for their conduct 
in the war. He encountered them in force in a forti- 
fied camp near Elmira, where, they were defeated with 
great loss. The army of Gen. Sullivan pursued the 
enemy to Canandaigua, thence through their villages 
ijj Livingston County, destroying everything belong- 
ing to the Indians on their route. But few of the In- ^ 
dians were killed after the battle at Elmira ; but they 
were thoroughly frightened, wasted and vanquished, 
and never afterwards resumed the occupancy of their 
settlements east of the Genesee river, but on their re- 
turn from flight before Sullivan, they located near 
Geneseo, Gardeau, Mount Morris and other places in 
the western part of the State. The Oneidas not hav- 
ing engaged in the war, were not disturbed in their 

The Indians were terribly beaten and humbled by 
this expedition of Gen. Sullivan, and from that time, 
forward remained peaceful toward J;he whites. 




Their Traditionary History — Ancient Fortification in Shelbj- — Tlieir 
Friendship for the White Men in the War of 1813— Fishing and 

HISTORY of the Indians, who inhabited 
"Western New-York at the coming of the 
white men to reside among them, is compar- 
atively unknown. Their own traditionary accounts 
go back but little more than a century, but the nu- 
merous relics and " ruins" and the marks of ancient 
fortifications, upon which no doubt human labor and 
skill have been employed, which are found scattered 
over all this region of country, seem to prove conclu- 
sively that here men have lived for many, centuries 

All these traces of fonner habitations of men are 
found within the bounds of Orleans County. When 
they were made, and by whom, seems to be as inex- 
plicable to the Indian of the present day as to his 
white brother. The commonly entertained opinion, of 
those who have investigated the subject most, is that 
this country has been inhabited by a people of higher 
civilization and more skilled in the arts than those 
found here and known as the Six Nations, who have 
become long since extinct. , 

The most considerable of these " ancient fortifica- 
tions" to be found in Orleans County is thus described 
in Turner's History : 


"About one and one-half miles west of Shelby Cen- 
ter, in Orleans County, is an ancient work. A broad 
ditch encloses in a form nearly circular, about three 
acres of land. The ditch is at this day well defined 
several feet deep. Adjoining the spot on the south is 
a swamp, about a mile in width, by two in length. — 
This swamp was once doubtless, if not a lake, an im- 
passable morass. From the interior of the enclosure 
made by the ditch, there is what appears to have been 
a passage way on the side next to the swamp. No 
other breach occurs in the entire circuit of the em- 
bankment. There are accumulated," within and near 
this fort, large piles of small stones of a size conveni- 
ent to be thrown by the hand or with a sling. Arrow 
heads of flint are found in or near the enclosure, in 
great abundance, stones, axes, &c. Trees of four 
hundred years growth stand upon the embankment, 
and underneath them have been found earthen wares, 
pieces of plates or dishes wrought with skill, present- 
ing ornaments in relief of various patterns. Some 
skeletons almost entire have been exhumed ; many of 
giant size, not less than seven or eight feet in length. 
The skulls are large and well developed in the anteri- 
or lobe, broad between the ears, and flattened in the 
coronal region. 

Half a mile west of the fort is a sand hill. Here a 
large number of human skeletons have been exhumed, 
in a perfect state. Great numbers appear to have 
been buried in the same grave. Manv of the skulls 
appear to have been broken in with clubs or stones." 

The Indians found actually occupying this part of 
the country when white men began to settle here were 
the Senecas, a tribe of the Six Nations. They had no 
village or permanent settlement within Orleans Coun- 
ty ; but they counted this as part of their territory, 
and occupied it as their hunting and fishing grounds, 
and were accustomed to follow these pursuits here. 


Their places of residence were their villages in Genesee 
and. Niagara Counties. These Indians were friendly 
to the whites, and the pioneer settlers of Orleans 
County never feared their hostility. In the war of 
1812, with Great Britain, they took up arms on the 
side of the United States, and made themselves use- 
ful to us in checking the invasions of the hostile In- 
dians from Canada, who acted with the British. 

These Indians had formerly been favorably dispos- 
ed to the British Government, and it was a source of 
alarm at the breaking out of the war lest they should 
be found with their ancient allies. Their great chief, 
Eed Jacket, counseled them to maintain neutrality. 
This neutral state was construed unfavorably by the 
pioneers, and rumors of contemplated Indian atroci- 
ties were circulated from time to time, until the -Sene- 
cas had resolved to take up the hatchet with us. 

The rapid settlement of the county by white men 
had the effect to diminish the number of wild game 
animals, which the Indians had been accustomed to 
hunt ; and fishing in the Oak Orchard and Johnson' s 
Creeks, with seines and nets, soon exterminated the 
salmon and drove away other kinds of fish that had 
formerly come up these streams from Lake Ontario in 
abundance, until the Indians found their occupation 
worthless and ceased to come here. 

In an early day parties of Indians came over from 
Canada and -wintered in Carlton, for the purpose of 
hunting. In the spring they would return to Canada. 
As game became scarce they discontinued their visits. 

Indians in families, or singly, frequently traveled 
about among the dwellings of the pioneers to beg or 
sell their small wares, or get whisky. They were gen- 
erally harmless, and made no trouble. Their claim 
to the land was long since settled by treaty transfer- 
ing it to white menj^ excepting the reservations to 
which they retired. 



When Made— Territoiy Included in— Consolidated Securities— Their 
Sale to Robert Morris— Divisions of their Purchase— The Triangle. 

HE original charter, granted 'by the King of 
England to the colony of Massachtisetts, in- 
cluded all the country between the north and 
south boundaries of the colony, extending from the 
Atlantic Ocean on the east, to the Pacific Ocean on 
the west. The western boundary had not then been 
explored, and the extent of the continent was un- 

"New York was afterwards chartered by the same 
authority, coverifig a portion of territory previously 
granted to, Massachusetts. After the close of tlie 
Revolutionary war, Massachusetts urged her claim. 
The difficulty was finally compromised between Mass- 
achusetts and New York, by commissioners mutual- 
ly agreed upon, Dec. 16, 1786, by giving to New York 
the sovreignty of all. the disputed territory lying with- 
in her chartered limits ; and giving the property in 
the soil to Massachusetts, or the right to buy the soil 
from the Indians, who were then in possession. 

All of the State ^f New York lying west of a line 
running from Sodus Bay through Seneca Lake, to 
the north line of Pennsylvania, estimated to contain 
6,000,000 of acres, was sold subject to the title the 
Indians then had to it, by Massachusetts, to Phelps 
and Grorham, in the year 1786, for ?1, 000, 000, to be 
paid for in a kind of scrip, or stock, which had been 


issued by Massachusetts, called "Consolidated Secu- 
rities," which at the time of the sale was worth about 
fiO per cent. 

In July, 1788, Phelps and Gorham made a treaty 
with the Six Nations of Indians, by which they pur- 
chased from them airact estimated at 2,250,000 acres ; 
bounded east by the Pre-emption Line ; which was 
the eastern boundary of their purchase from Massa- 
chusetts, and west by a line from Lake Ontario to 
Pennsylvania, twelve milfes west from Genesee River. . 

Prom this sale to Phelps and Gorham, and other 
causes, the market price of these "Consolidated Se- 
curities" rose so high that Phelps and Gorham were 
unable to buy them to . fulfill their contract with the 
State ; and so were compelled to surrender to the State 
of Massachusetts, all the lands lying west of the west 
boundary of the tract they had purchased of the In- 
dians, as above stated. To these lands so surrender- 
ed, the Indian title had not then been extinguished. — 
This tract was sold in the year 1791, by the State of 
Massachusetts to Robert Morris. About the year 
1793, Robert Morris sold this tract to an association 
of capitalists residing in Holland, excepting and re- 
serving a parcel of land twelve miles wide, to be ta- 
ken off from the east side. This strip was afterwards 
called "the Morris Reserve," a part of it was sold 
by Morris to Bayard, Leroy and McEvers, known as 
The Triangle, containing 87,000 acres, and another 
portion lying west of The Triangle, and containing 
100,000 acres was sold by Morris to Cragieand others 
and by them to Sir William Pultney and the State of 
Connecticut, ever since known as "The 100,000 Acre 
Tract," or " Connecticut Tract." 

The tract so purchased by the Holland Company 
contains about three million six hundred thousand 


acres, and is distinguished as "The Holland Pur- 


One of the large divisions of the Phelps and Gorham 
Purchase, lying west of the Genesee Kiver, is known 
as "The Triangle." By treaty between Phelps and 
Gorham, and the Indians, after they had granted to 
Ebenezer Allen, a piece of land of 100 acres, on which 
to erect a saw mill, at what is now Rochester, an- 
other tract was granted to Phelps and Gorham, for 
a "MiUYard." This was called "The Mill Yard 
Tract," and was twelve miles wide east and west, by 
twenty-four miles north and south, from Lake Ontario. 

The agreement was, this "MiUYard" should be 
bounded east by the , Genesee River ; south by a line 
running west from about where Avon now stands ; 
and west twelve miles ; thence north to Lake Ontario. 
It was then supposed that the course of the Genesee 
River was about due north, and the west line was at 
first run by Hugh Maxwell, due north from said south 
west corner, accordingly. 

It was afterwards ascertained, that the mouth of 
the river was more than twelve miles east from the 
termination of this line, on the lake shore. 

The matter was afterwards arranged by a new line 
being run by Mr. Augustus Porter, nearly parallel 
vdth Genesee River, and twelve miles west of it, for 
the west bounds of the MiU Yard Tract. This left a 
triangular shaped piece of land lying between the 
lines so run by Maxwell and Porter, containing about 
87,000 acres, forming the towns of Clarkson, Hamlin, 
Sweden, Bergen and Leroy. This tract has ever 
since been described and known as " The Triangle." 


THE 100,000 ACKB TEACT. 

Boundaries — Dr. Levi Ward — Levi A. Ward — Joseph Fellows — Tran- 
sit Line. 

EFORE the west line of the Mill Yard Tract 
had been rectified by the new line run by Por- 
ter, Mr. Robert Morris sold a tract lying next 
west of "the Mill Yard," to contain 100,000 acres, to 
Cragie and others. This parcel was afterwards sold 
by the proprietors to Sir William Pultney," and the 
State of Connecticut, to each, an undivided half. Af- 
terwards, and about the year 1811, this tract was di- 
vided between the estate of Sir William Pultney, and 
the State of Connecticut. 

The 100,000 Acre Tract includes the towns of Ken- 
dall, Murray and Clarendon, in Orleans County; and 
Byron, and a portion 'of Bergen, Staiford and Leroy, 
in Grenesee County ; and is bounded on the north by 
Lake Ontario, and on the south by a part of the Mor- 
ris Reserve, known as the "Cragie Tract;" on the 
east by "The Triangle;" and on the west by "The 
Holland Purchase." In July, 1810, the State of Con- 
necticut appointed Dr. Levi Ward agent to sell farm 
lots for them, and about 1816, Dr. Ward and Levi H. 
Clark purchased of Connecticut all the unsold lands ; 
but by agreement sales were continued in the name of 
the State. Dr. Ward and his son Levi A. Ward, 
have ever since continued to act as agents for the 


State of Connecticut, while Mr. Joseph Fellows has' 
been a like agent for the Pultney estate. 


This line which forms the eastern boundary of the 
Holland Purchase, and the western boundary of 
Morris Reserve, begins on the north bounds of Penn- 
sylvania, 12 miles west of .the west bounds of Phelps 
and Gorham's Purchase ; thence runs due north, to- 
near the center of the town of Stafford, in Genesee- 
County ; thence west a fraction over two miles ; thence 
due north, to Lake Ontario. It forms the eastern, 
boundary of the towns of Carlton, Gaines, and Barre. 
It is called the Transit Line, because it was run out 
first by the aid of a Transit instrument. The offset 
of two miles is said to have been made to prevent 
overlapping the Connecticut Tract by the lands of 
the Holland Purchase. The trees were cut through 
on the Transit Line, to the width of about four rods, 
at an early day, by the La'nd Company ; thus afford- 
ing a convenient land mark to the early settlers in 
locating their lands, and serving as a guide in finding- 
their way through the woods. The Transit Line was- 
run by Joseph EUicott, in 1798. 



Hames ot Company — Location of Tractr — Surveys — Ceded by Indians — 
Counties in New- York One Hundred Tears Ago — Genesee Country — 
Genesee County and its Subdivisions — Josepli EUicott and brotlier 
Benj., Surveyors — Agent of the Company — Land Office — ^Where Lo- 
cated — Practice in Locating Land — Articles — Clemency of the Land 
Company — Deeding Lots for School Houses — ^Land Given to Relig- 
ious Societies — Anecdote of Mr. Busti — Rev. Andrew Rawson — 
Route ot Travel to Orleans County — Oak Orchard Creek and John- 
son's Creek — Why so Named — Kinds of Forest Trees — ^Wild Ani- 
mals — Salmon and other Fish — ^Rattlesnakes — Raccoons and Hedge- 
hogs — Beaver Dams — Fruits — Effect of Clearing Land on Chmate — 
The Tonawanda Swamp. 

HIS tract included aU the land lying in the 
State of New York, and west of the Transit 
^f^ Line, excepting the Indian Reservations, and 
-contains about 3,600,000 acres. It was purchased of 
Robert Morris by an association of Hollanders, in 
1792-'93. The nanaes of the original members of this 
association were Wilhelm AYillink, Jan Willink, 
Nicholas Van Stophorst, Jacob Van Stophorst, Nich- 
olas Hubbard, Pieter Van Eeghen, Christian Van 
Eeghen, Isaac Ten Cate, Hendrick VoUenhoven, 
•Christina Coster, widow, Jan Stadnetski, and Rutger 
Jan Schimmelpennick. 

The surveys of the Holland Purchase were begun 
on the east, at the Transit Line, and continued west 
■dividing the whole territory into ranges and town- 
-sMps ; the range lines running from north to south, 
the townships from east to west. The ranges number 
from the east, and the townships from the south. — 


Townships are all subdivided into lots, and the towns 
of Carlton and part of Yates, into sections and lots. — . 
The county of Orleans contains the north parts of 
ranges 1, 2, 3 and 4, and the east parts of townships 
14, 15 and 16. It is about 20 miles square, not inclu- 
ding 30 much aa is covered by Lake Ontario, and con- 
tains about 405 square miles. 

About the year 1797, the Indians ceded most of 
their lands on the Holland Purchase, to the white 
men ; reserving to themselves tracts of the best land 
for their occupation. Most of these reservations have 
been since conveyed by the Indians to white men. — 
No reservation was made of any land now in Orleans 

One hundred years ago, the then province of New 
York, contained ten counties, viz : New York, West- 
chester, Dutchess, Orange, Ulster, -Albany, Richmond, 
Eangs, Queens and Suffolk. 

The county of Albany embraced all the territory 
now included in the State of New York, lying north 
of Ulster, and west of Hudson River. So much of 
said territory, as lies west of Schoharie, was taken off 
from Albany, and named Tryon, in the year 1772. — 
Tryon was changed to Montgomery, in 1784. 

All of said territory lying west of " the Preemption 
Line," including all land sold by Massachusetts to 
Phelps and Gorham, in their first purchase, was ta- 
ken from Montgomery in the year 1789, and named 
Ontario county. Ontario county, at that time, was 
an unbroken wilderness, only as it had been occupied 
by the Indians, west of Genesee River. Some settle- 
ments by white men had been made in the eastern 
part. It was then generally known as " the Genesee 
country," named from the Genesee River, the most 
considerable stream of water in the country. 
Canandaigua was then the chief town in the county 


and it has ever remained the county seat ot Ontario 

From Ontario has since been formed the counties of 
Steuben, Allegany, Cattaraugus, Monroe, Livingston, 
Wayne, Yates, Genesee, Magara, Erie, Chautauqua 
and Orleans. 

Genesee county was taken from Ontario in 1802. — 
The Genesee Siver was then its eastern boundary, 
and it included so much of the State of New York, as 
lies west of that river. 

The original county of Genesee has been subdivided 
into Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Livingston, 
Wyoming, Erie, Niagara and Orleans, leaving a small 
portion around Batavia, which was the original coun- 
ty seat, still known as Genesee county. 

Orleans county was set off from Genesee, Nov. 11, 
1824. The town of Shelby was annexed to Orleans 
from Genesee county, April 5, 1825. 

The county of Genesee included, in its original lim- 
its, all of the State of New York, which Robert Mor- 
ris purchased. 

The general land ofl&ce of the .Holland Land Com- 
pany was first located at Philadelphia. 

Mr. Joseph Ellicott was engaged as principal sur- 
veyor for the Holland Land Company, in July, 1797. 
Assisted by his brother, Benjamin, and others, he 
commenced surveying the lands embraced in the Hol- 
land Purchase, in 1798, by running and establishing 
the Transit Line, as the eastern boundary. ThesQ 
surveys were continued ten or twelve years, until the 
whole tract was divided into townships, ranges, sec- 
tions and lots. 

In 1800, Joseph Ellicott was appointed local agent 
of the Holland Land Company, and for more than 
twenty years thereafter, he had almost exclusive con- 
trol of all the local business of the Company. 

The Land OMce was first established on the Pur- 


cliase at Pine Grove, Cl-arence Hollow, in Erie coun- 
ty ; but upon the organization of Genesee county, in 
1802, the office was transferred to Batavia, where it 
remained until the affairs of the Company were final- 
ly closed up in the year 1835. 

The principal Land Office was kept at Batavia, but 
several other offices were established in different parts 
of "the Purchase, for the convenience of parties having 
business with the Company. 

It was usual for persons, who desired to locate on 
land of the Holland Land Company, to select the par- 
cel they desired to take, go to the Land Office at Ba- 
tavia, and make a contract with the Company's agent 
there, tor the purchase. Yery seldom indeed was 
payment in full made, and a deed taken, in the first 
place. The common practice was for the purchaser 
to make a small payment down, and receive from the 
Company a contract in writing, known as an "Arti- 
cle," by which the Company agreed to sell the parcel 
of land described, the purchaser to pay the price in 
instalments, within from five to ten years, with inter- 
est ; when he was to receive a deed. On receiving his 
"Article," the settler went into full possession of his 
land, cleared it up, and made improvements, making- 
such payments to apply on the purchase money as he 
was able. 

These land "Articles" were transferred by assign- 
ment, and were conveyed from hand to hand, often 
inany times before they were returned to the Com- 
pany. A settler who -yvished to sell out his interest in 
land did so by assigning his "Article." Or, if he de- 
sired to give security tor a debt, or obtain a credit in 
his business, he would pledge his ' ' Article. ' ' Trades- 
men and speculators of every class were accustomed 
to deal largely in these "Articles," and men who had 
means to lend, often held numbers of these contracts, 
transferred to them [hy absolute sale", or in security 


for some obligations, to be afterwards" redeemed by 
the owner. The Holland Land Company sold their 
wild lands in Orleans county for from $2 to $5 per 
acre, according to the quality and location of the 
land. In the later years of the existence of the Land 
Company, frequently the Company would give a 
deed to the settler, and take his bond and a mortgage 
on the land deeded, for the balance of "purchase 

The Company generally dealt very leniently with 
its debtors, frequently renewing their "Articles" 
when they had run out without payment ; and some- 
times abating interest accrued and unpaid, or throw- 
ing off a part of the sum originally agreed to be paid, 
when the bargain had proved a hard one for any rea- 
son to the debtor. 

Another measure of relief to the settlers, from their 
obligations to pay for their land, was the Company 
agreeing to receive cattle, and apply their value on 
"Articles" for land, on wMcli payment was in ar- 
rears. For some years before the Company ceased to 
exist, they would send, their agents to different points 
on the Purchase, to receive these cattle, and indorse 
their value on the "Articles" of the settlers. The 
cattle were driven to a distant market. Although 
this arrangement was beneficial to the people, it was 
attended with considerable loss to the Company. 

It was provided in an eai'ly School Act of the State 
that sites for school houses should be' secured to the 
school districts by deeds in fee, or by leases from the 
party owning the fee of the land. 

It often occurred, before the year 1828, that there 
was no deeded land in the district^ or none where a 
school house was desired to be located. In such ca- 
ses, the Company provided by a general order, that 
they would grant half an acre to such district gratis, 
if the Company o^vned the land where the school 


house should stand, then not under "Article," provi- 
ded, if such site should fall on land held by some per- 
son under contract, the district was then required to 
procure a relinquishment of the right of such person 
in the half acre, to be indorsed on his " Article." 

Another instance of the generosity of the Holland 
Company, as shown in the conduct of their general 
agents, is recorded of Mr. Busti,' who for many years 
was their head agent, residing in Philadelphia. Mr. 
Turner, in his History of the Holland Purchase, in a 
note says—" In the fall of 1820, Mr. Busti was visit- 
ing the Land Oifice, in Batavia ; the Rev. Mr. E.., of 
the Presbyterian sect, called on Mr. Busti, and insist- 
ed on a donation of land for each society of his per- 
suasion, then formed on the Holland Purchase. Mr. 
Busti treated the Rev. gentleman with due courtesy, 
but showed no disposition to grant his request. Mr. 
R., encouraged by Mr. Busti' s politeness, persevered 
in his solicitations day after day, until Mr. Busti' s 
patience was almost exhausted, and what finally 
brought that subject to a crisis was Mr. R's. follow- 
ing Mr. Busti out of the office, when he was going to 
take his tea at Mr. Ellicott's, and making a fresh at- 
tack on him in the piazza. Mr. Busti was evidently 
vexed, and in reply said :— " Yes, Mr. R., I vsdll give 
a tract of one hundred acres to a religious society in 
every town on the Purchase, and this is ^71/5." — 
"But," said Mr. R., "You will give it all to the 
Presbyterians, will you not ; if you do not expressly 
. so decide, the sectarians will be claiming it, and we 
shall receive very little benefit from it." ^ ' 'Sectarians, 
no !"— was Mr. Busti' s hasty reply, "I abhor secta- 
rians, they ought not to have any of it ; and to 
save contention, I will give it to the first religious so- 
ciety in every town." On which Mr. Busti hastened 
to his tea, and Mr. R. to his home, (about sixteen 
miles distant) to start runners during the night or 


next morning, to rally the Preslayterians in the sever- 
al towns in his vicinity to apply first, and thereby 
save the land to themselves. 

The Land Office was soon flooded with petitions for 
land from Societies organized according to law, and 
empowered to hold real estate, and those who were 
not ; one of which was presented to Mr. Bnsti before 
he left, directed to "General PoUBiisti," on wljich 
he insisted it could not be from a religions society^^ 
for all religions societies read their bibles, and know 
that P-o-1-1 does not spell Paul. Amidst this chaos 
of applications, it was thought to be nnadvisable to 
be precipitant in granting these donations, the whole 
responsibility now resting on Mr. EUicott, to comply 
with this vague promise of Mr. Busti ; therefore con- 
veyances of the "Gospel Land," were not executed 
for some space of time, notwithstanding the clamor of 
petitioners for "deeds of our land," during which 
time, the matter was taken into consideration and 
systematised, so far as such an operation could be. — 
Pains were taken to ascertain the merits of each appli- 
cation, and finally a tract, or tracts of land, not ex- 
ceeding one hundred acres in all, was granted, free of 
expense, to one or more religious societies, regularly 
organized according to law, in each town on the Pur- 
chase, where the Company had land undisposed of ; 
which embraced every town then organized on the 
Purchase, except Bethany, Genesee county, and 
Shelden, Wyoming county ;' the donees always being 
allowed to select out of the unsold farming lands in 
each town. In somb towns, it was all given to one 
society ; in others to two or three societies, separate- 
ly ; and in a few towns to four different societies, of 
different sects, twenty-five acres to each. 

In performing this thankless duty, for the land was 
claimed as an absolute right by most of the appli- 
cants, the whole proceedings were so managed, un- 


der Mr, EUicott's judicious directions, that amidst all 
the clamor and contention, which from its nature such 
proceedings must elicit, no complaint of partiality to 
any particular sect, nor of undue weight of influence 
in any individual, was ever charged against the agent 
of the Company, or his associates acting under him." 

It is understood the Rev. Mr. R. referred to was 
Rev. Andrew Rawson, of Barre. Mr. Busti was by 
profession a Roman Catholic. 

The county of Genesee was formed from Ontario 
County in 1802, and the town of Batavia was organi- 
zed at the sanie time, and then included the entire 
county of Genesee. The town of Ridgeway was form- 
ed from Batavia June 8, 1812, and then embraced all 
the territory now included in the towns of Shelby, 
Ridgeway, Yates, Carlton, Gaines and Barre. 

Some of the . first settlers of this territory north of 
Tonawanda Swamp came from Canada, in boats 
across Lake Ontario ; others from New England and 
the east, came by boats along the south shore of the 
lake. Those who came in on foot, or with teams, .usu- 
ally crossed the Genesee River at Rochester, and then 
took the Ridge Road west. 

The Ridge in this locality had been used as a high- 
way, ever since the county had been traversed by 
white men ; and it was a favorite trail of the Indians. 
Bridges had not been made over the streams, by 
which it was intersected, and it was difficult crossing 
these with teams. Sir William Johnson, going with 
a large body of soldiers to Fort Niagara, went along 
the Lake shore from Genesee River, and encamping 
for the night on the Creek in Carlton, west of Oak 
Orchard, he gave it the name of Johnson's Creek, 
which it has since retained. 

The Oak Orchard Creek was so named from the 
beautiful oak trees, which grew along its banks, as 
seen by the first discoverers. 


In its natural state Orleans county was thickly 
covered with trees. On the dry, hard land, the pre- 
vailing varieties of timber were beech, maple, white 
red and black oak, white wood or tulip tree, bass- 
wood, elm, hickory and hemlock. Swamps and low 
wet lands were covered with black ash, tamarack,' 
white and yellow cedar, and soft maple ; large syca- 
more, or cotton ball trees, were common on low lands 
and some pine grew along the Oak Orchard Creek, 
and in the swamps in Barre; and a few chestnut 
trees grew along the Ridge in Ridgeway, and in other 
places north of the Ridge, ft has been estimated by 
the first settlers, that from seventy-five to one hun- 
dred cords of wood of 128 feet each, stood on each 
acre of land on an average over the county. 

The principal wild animals found here were the 
bear, deer, wolf, raccoon, hedgehog, wood-chuck, 
skunk, fox, black, red, striped and flying squirrel, 
mink and muskrat. Bear and deer were plenty, and 
hunting them furnished food and sport for the pion- 
eers. For some years the wolves were so destructive 
to the sheep and young cattle, it was difficult to keep 
them. The bears would kill the pigs, if they strayed 
into the woods. As the forests were cut down, and 
settlers came in, these large animals were hunted out, 
till not a bear, deer or wolf has been seen wild in Or- 
leans county for several years. 

Fish were plenty in the streams, coming up from 
Lake Ontario in great numbers. 

At the first settlement of the country, white men 
and Indians caught an abundance of salmon here. — 
These fish, in high water would run up the Oak Orch- 
ard and Johnson's Creek, and out into their tributa- 
ries, where they were often taken. Salmon were once 
caught in a small stream in the west part of the town 
of Gaines: It is related that at an early da,y, after a 
high freshet, Mr. John Hood caught a numlier of sal- 


mon on the bank of this stream, south of West Gaines, 
where a tree had overturned, leaving a hole through 
which the water had flowed ; and where they were 
left when the water subsided. 

A kind of sucker fish, called red sides, used to run 
up from the lake in plenty. They were taken in 
April and May, in seines, by wagon loads. The sal- 
mon disappeared years ago, and very few red sides 
run now. 

Kattlesnakes were numerous along the banks of 
Oak Orchard Creek and Niagara and Genesee Eivers, 
when the country was new. They had several dens, 
to which they retired in winter, and near which they 
were frequently seen in spring time. Lemuel Blan- 
don relates that in 1820, he went with a party to fish 
near the mouth of Oak Orchard. They intended to 
stay all night, and built a shelter of boughs on the 
lake shore, on the east side, near where the hotel now 
stands ; and set fire to an old log that lay there. Af- 
ter the fire began to burn, two or three rattlesnakes 
came out from'the log, and induced the fishermen to 
fix their camp in another place. 

Enos Stone, an early settler in Eochester, said "The 
principal colony of the rattlesnakes was in the bank 
of the river, below the lower falls, at a place we used 
to call Rattlesnake Point ; and there was also a 
large colony at Allan's Creek, near the end of the 
Brighton Plank Road. I think they grew blind about 
the time of returning to their dens, in August and 
September. I have killed them on their return, with 
films on their eyes. Their oU was held in great esti- 
mation by the early settlers. Zebulon Norton, of 
Norton's MUls, was a kind of backwoods doctor, and 
he often came to this region for the oil and the gall of 
rattlesnakes. The oil was used for stiff joints and 
bruises ; and the gall for fevers, in the form, of a pill 



made tip with chalk."* A rattlesnalces den where 
they used to winter, and out of which they would 
crawl in eaj^ly spring to sun themselves, was situated 
on the west hank of Oak Orchard Creek, on the Ship- 
man farm, in Carlton. ,]S"o snakes hare heen seen 
there for many years. 

Raccoons were plenty. Their fat was used to fry 
cakes, and their flesh was much esteemed for food "by 
the inhahitants. 

Hedge hogs were also common. They frequently 
came around the log cabins in the night in search of 
food. Dogs, who were unacquainted with the animal 
sometimes charged upon him so rashly as to get their 
heads filled with the quUls, which it was very difficult 
to extract, on account of their harbed points. 

There w;ere no natural openings ia the woods, or 
prairie grounds in this county, before the settlement 
of the country, adapted to the habits of the quail ; 
and they are supposed to have come in with the emi- 
grants. They soon became plenty, the large wheat 
fields affording them sustenance. 

QuaUs, raccoons and hedge hogs are nearly exter- 
minated in Orleans County. A rattlesnake is very 
seldom seen. 

The beavers were all destroyed by the first hunters 
who came here. 

Those who asume to know say skunks and foxes 
are more numerous now than ever before, which if 
true, may be owing to the abundance of field mice 
which they feed on. 

Before the settlement of this county, streams of wa- 
ter on an average were twice as large as they are now; 
and they were more durable, fiowing the year round, 
where now they are low, or dry, a part of the year. 

Large tracts of low land, noV cultivated to grass 
and grain, originally was marsh, too wet even to 

* Phelps & Gorham's Purchase, p. 425. ' 


grow trees ; sometimes occasioned "by the dams of the 
beaver, which by flooding the land destroyed the 
timber once growing there. As the bfeavers were 
hunted and destroyed, their dams were opened, or 
wore away, and their ponds in time have become cul- 
tivated fields. Quite a number of these beaver dams 
existed in Orleans county. The largest in Barre per- 
haps was at the head of Otter Creek, on lot 15, from 
which a stream flowed north, and near which some 
years ago, E. P. Sill had a saw mill, that did a large 
business. This beaver pond covered a hundred acres, 
or more, which after the beaver were gone, but be- 
fore the pond had been eftectually drained, became a 
cranberry marsh ; and old people still recollect going 
there to get cranberries. Near the outlet of this pond 
or marsh, was a favorite camping place of the In- 
dians, who made this a kind of head-quarters in their 
visits here to hunt and fish. As the water subsided 
in these marshes, different kinds of forest trees gradu- 
ally came in. Another beaver dam was erected on 
the head waters of Sandy Creek, on the farm of Wil- 
liam Cole. And another on the farm of Amos Root, 
at the head of a small stream which flows into Tona- 
wanda Swamp. Remains of beaver dams are seen in 
Ridgeway and other towns. 

"When white men began the settlement of this coun- 
ty, the winters were much milder than now. Old set- 
tlers tell us the ground seldom froze in the woods so 
hard a stake could not easily be driven into it at any 
time. Snow did not fall to as great a depth as is 
sometimes seen now. The thick tops of the tall trees 
broke the force of the winds, and the softening influ- 
ence of the great lakes— Erie and Ontario— served to' 
prevent the extremes of heat and cold, which have 
been more prevalent since the timber has been cut 
down, and the wet lands dried up. 


Soon after clearings began to be made in the forest, 
peach trees were planted, and grew luxuriantly, and 
ripened the choicest fruit, in great abundance. The 
peach crop was never a fa'ilure, and apricots and nec- 
tarines were grown successfully. 

The cultivation of apples received early attention, 
and some orchards, now in full health and bearing, 
are almost as old as ^he first settlement. 

In the woods', the first pioneers found occasionally 
a wild plum tree, bearing a tough, acrid plum, of a 
red and yellow color ; and a small purple fox grape 
of no value. 

For many years before and after the opening of the 
Erie Canal, wheat was the great object of cultivation 
among the farmers. The quantity of wheat raised 
and exported from Orleans County yearly, between 
1830 and 1840, was immense. Barley did not come 
into cultivation till much later tlian wheat, andno rye 
was sown for many years. 

It was not until after the ravages of the weevil, or 
wheat midge, had begun to interfere seriously with 
wheat growing, that the culture of beans attracted 
any considerable attention. 


This swamp lies in the counties of Genesee and Or- 
leans, covering parts of Byron, Elba, Oakfield, and 
Alabama, in Geuesee County ; and parts of Shelby, 
Barre, and Clarendon, in Orleans County. Originally 
it contained about twenty-five thousand acres, most 
of which was too wet to plow, and was covered with 
swamp timber, or was open marsh, covered with flags, 
or swamp grass. Oak Orchard Creek drains this 

About 1820, the State constructed a feeder Irom the 
Tonawanda Creek in Genesee County, to convey the 


water of Tonawanda Creek into Oak Orchard Creek, 
to supply the Erie Canal with water. 

The outlet for water from the swamp was through a 
ledge of rock, too small naturally to drain it suffi- 
ciently, and when the Tonawanda Creek was thus 
brought into it, the level of water in the swamp was 
thereby raised, and nothing was then done by the 
State to facilitate the discharge, thus increasing the 
stagnant water. 

In 1828, the Holland Company sold a considerable 
portion of these wet lands to an association, who ex- 
pended about twelve thousand dollars, in enlarging 
the capacity of the outlet, to drain the swamp through 
Oak Orchard Creek. 

The Canal Commissioners then appropriated the 
whole of the Creek for the canal, and further at- 
tempts at drainage were abandoned. 

In April, 1852, an Act was passed appointing Amos 
Root, John Dunning, Henry Monell, and David E. E. 
Mix, Commissioners, to lay out and construct a high- 
way across the Tonawanda Swamp, on the line be- 
tween ranges one and two, of the Holland Purchase. 
A road was made and opened to travel under this Act, 
at a cost of about $2,750. 

As the surrounding country became settled, this 
swamp became an obstacle in passing through it, 
from the great expense required to make and main- 
tain highways. This large tract yielded but little re- 
turn to the owners, and paid but little tax to the pub- 
lie. No further attempts to drain were made. The 
association sold their lands to different individuals, 
and nothing was done to reclaim this tract, until 
April 16, 1855, an Act of the Legislature appointed 
Amos Root, S.M.Burroughs, Ambrose Bowen, Robert 
Hill, John B. King, and Henry Monell, Commission- 
ers to drain the swamp. 

It was provided in this Act, that the Commissioners 


stould assess the expenses of their work upon the 
owners of the lands immediately affected by the 
drainage, in propbrtion to the benefits each would be 
adjudged to receive ; the whole amount of such as- 
sessment not to exceed $20,000. 

The Commissioners entered upon their work, and 
made an estimate and assessment of the expense. — 
This gave offense to the parties assessed, who united 
almost unanimously, the next year, in a petition to 
the Legislature to repeal the law, and it was]repealed. 

In 1863, an Act was passed appropriating $16,306 ; 
to be expended in improving Oak Orchard Creek, and 
the Canal feeder, on condition that all persons, who 
claimed damages of the State on account of the 
making the feeder from Tonawanda. Creek, to Oak 
Orchard should release all such claims, before the ex- 
penditure of the money. 



Description— How Built— Windows and Door— Walls Raised at a Bee- 
— Chimneys — Ovens — Cellars — Double Log House — Copied after In- 
dian Wigwam — Fires — Great Back Log — Lights. 

} ¥Hr -^-^ ^^S house, as it was constructed and used 
1^^ by the first settlers of Western New York, as 
"an institution," belongs to a generation now 
gone by. No new log houses are now being built, 
and the few old ones now standing, wiU soon be de- 
stroyed by the relentless "tooth of time," and of those 
who were their builders and occupants, soon not one 
will be left to tell their story. 

The most primitive log house, to which we refer, 
was rather a rough looking edifice, usually 12 or 15- 
by 15 or 20 feet square. It was made of logs, of al- 
most any kind of timber, nearest at hand, of uniform 
size. These were used with the bark on, by rolling 
one log upon another horizontally, notching the cor- 
ners to make them lie close together, to the height- 
wanted for the outer walls of the house. 

An opening in one side was left for a door, and 
commonly another for a window. Poles were laid 
across the walls for a chamber floor to rest on, to be- 
reached by a moveable ladder. A ridge pole and 
rafters supported a roof, which was made of oak or 
hemlock splints, or elm bark. 

Bark for roofs was peeled in June, in strips about 
four feet long, and laid upon the rafters in courses,. 


lield to tKe rafter by heavy poles laid transversly, 
^nd bound on by strips of bark. An opening in the 
roof at one end was left for the escape of smoke from 
the fire, which was built upon the ground under the 
•opening. The remainder of the ground enclosed was 
covered with a' floor of basswood logs, split, or hewed 
to a flat surface. The crevices between the logs were 
filled or "chinked'' as they called it, by putting in 
splints in large openings, and plastering with clay in- 
side and out. 

"When a sash, lighted with glass, could be procured 
that was used for the vrindow. Instead of glass, oil- 
ed paper was sometimes substituted. In an extreme 
case, the door was made of splints hewed flat and 
thin ; but ordinarily of sawed boards, hung upon 
wooden hinges, and fastened with a wooden latch, 
which was raised by a string tied to the latch, and 
put through a hole, to lift the latch from the outside. 
Hence, to say of a householder, "his latch string was 
always out," was equivalent to declaring his generous 
spirit in opening his house to whoever applied for 

The carpenter and joiner work on the house was 
now complete. Masons, painters, glaziers, and all 
■other house builders, had nothing to do here. The 
owner was his own architect, and commonly the house 
was put up at a " bee," or gathering of aU the settlers 
in the neighborhood, gratis. 

We read that Solomon's Temple rose without the 
sound of a hammer. The temple in that respect has 
no advantage above these early homes of the settlers 
of Orleans County. There was no hammering here, 
for there were no nails to be driven. Sturdy blows 
with the ax did the, business, and every thing was 
fastened with woodeii pins, or withes. 

If time and mear^ permitted, and the wish of the 
owner was to indulgje in the luxury 6f a chimney, he 


was gratified by building one end wall of bis house 
with stone, laid in clay mortar, from the ground sev- 
eral feet in height, carrying up the remainder of the 
end with logs in the usual way. A high cross beam, 
or mantel, was put in, on this a superstructure of 
sticks laid up in a square, as the walls of the house 
were, filled in with clay, was carried up above the 
roof and called "a stick chimney." This chimney, 
and all the wood work exposed to the fire, being well 
plastered with the clay mud, rendered the whole tol- 
erably safe Irom danger of burning, giving little en- 
couragement to insurance companies, whose agents 
never ventured to take risks on such property. 

As wealth increased, and a higher state of civiliza- 
tion and architectural development was introduced in 
the structure of log houses, stone chimneys were built 
from the ground up. About the time when stone 
chimneys were first made, cellars under the log houses 
began to be constructed ; and were found to be ex- 
ceedingly convenient, as a depository safe from frost, 
adding much to the storage capacity of the house. 

The introduction of brick ovens marks an era that 
may be called modern compared with the primitive 
log house. These ovens were sometimes made at a 
distance from the house, standing on a frame of the 
kind called Scotch ovens. 

When the family had become sufficiently affluent 
to afford it, sometimes a chamber floor of boards 
would be laid upon the cross beams over head ; leav- 
ing a hole in the flooring, by which a person from be- 
low could mount into the chamber on a moveable lad- 

And sometimes a wealthy settler, who felt cribbed, 
and confined too closely in a single room, would build 
an addition to his log house, lik^ the first, and adjoin- 
ing it, with a door between. l(he owner of such a 
double log house, was looked lapon with envy and 


admiration by all the neighboring housekeepers, who 
wondered what he could do with so much room ; and 
it would be a remarkable and exceptional case if the 
owner and his family did not put on some airs and 
go to keeping tavern. 

It would be several years before the general class 
of log householders got a barn. Straw and fodder 
would be stacked out for the cattle. And, if a shelter 
for cattle or horses was desired, some crotches of trees 
would be set in the ground for posts, poles laid across 
on these, and a pile of straw heaped on, and a shed 
warm and dry was the result. 

The log house was copied from the wigwam of the 
Six Nations of Indians, as to its general foi-m and 
structure. The bark roof was similar in both cases, 
but the Indians commonly built the walls of. their 
wigwams of bark fastened to upright poles, without 
a floor, their fire on the ground in the center, the 
smoke rising without any chimney, found its way 
through a hole left open in the center of the roof. 

Fires were sometimes made in these log houses of 
the white men, by cutting a log eight or ten feet long, 
from the largest trees that would go through the door 
of the house without splitting. This was run upon 
rollers endwise through the door, and rolled to the 
back of the fire place. A fire was then built in the 
middle of thq^log in front, and fuel would be applied 
to that place, until the fire would consume the center 
of the log ; when the ends would be crowded together 
until the whole was burned. Sometimes such a back 
log would last a week or ten days, even in cold weath- 
er. The light from such a fire was commonly suffi- 
cient to illuminate the single apartment of the house 
at night. If more light was wanted, a dipped tallow 
candle, made by the mistress of the household ; or a 
taper made of a dish of fat, or grease, with a rag stuck 
in it for a wick, would answer the purpose. 



Beds and Bedding— Fire Place— Hooks and Trammc'l — Bake Pan — 
Table— Chairs— Pewter Spoons— Blue Edged Plates— Black Earthen 
Tea Pots. 

LL houseliold furniture used at first ia the 
log houses of the farmers, at their first begin- 
ning in the woods on the Holland Purchase, 
was about as primitive in its character, as their 
new dwellings. It was such as was adapted to 
the wants and circumstances of its owner, and such 
as he could readily procure. 

For temporary use, a few hemlock boughs on the 
floor, covered with blankets, made a comfortable bed. 
If a better bed and bedstead was wanted, it was made 
by boring holes in the logs at proper height ; putting 
in rods fastened to upright posts ; and upon this bed- 
stead, laying such a bed and bedding, as the tast*' 
and ability of the party could furnish. To a cross 
pole over the fire place, kettles were suspended by 
wooden or iron hooks ; often by an instrument called 
a trammel, wliich was a flat iron bar filled with holes, 
hanging from the pole, on which a kettle suspended 
' on a hook, might be raised or lowered at pleasure, by 
moving the hook from one hole to another. 

Their nearest approach to an oven was a cast iron 
bake pan, covered with a moveable lid, standing on 
eg s, and lifted by a bail. Dough was placed in this 
vessel, and coals put on and under it, when in use. — 


Another cooking utensil was a frying pan, with a 
handle long enough to be held in the hand of the 
cook, while the meat was frying in the pan over the 
fire. The table was at first a board, or box cover 
laid on a barrel ; and many of the first families have 
taken their meals with the keenest relish, for some" 
time after moving into a new log house, ofi' a barrel 
head, or a chest cover. Their chairs were often blocks 
of logs, or benches and stools, of home manufacture. 
It was many years after the first settlement of Orleans 
County, before a stove of any kind was seen here. 

The pewter mugs and platters, and the wooden 
trenchers that graced the shelves and tables of our 
grand-mothers, among the early settlers of New Eng- 
land, were not commonly seen in the outfit furnished 
the young couple commencing housekeeping among 
the first, on this part "of the Holland Purchase. — 
Spoons of tinned iron, or pewter — home made ; and a 
slender stock of necessary crockery, including the 
veritable "blue edged plates," comprised the table 
furniture ; not however forgetting the black earthen 
tea pot, in which the tea beverage for the family was 
duly prepared, whether the ingredient to be steeped 
was boughten tea, or sage, or pennyroyal, or anj- 
other herb of the fields. These little black steepers, 
holding about a quart, were claimed by their owners 
to make a better article of tea, than any other materi- 
al ; and were used for every day, some time after 
block tin had become the fashionable article for a tea 
pot, which increasing wealth and pride had introduced. 
To this day, one of these interesting relics of antiquity 
is occasionally seen, with its spout probably broken 
oflF, adorning the upper back shelf of some kitchen 
pantry, in the great new house, which has succeeded 
the log one, carefully preserved, and annually dusted 
by the loving hands of the venerable dame, who used 


it once ; or, of her grand-daughters who, inheriting the 
time-honored frugality of the family, in turning every 
thing to profitable account, make even the old teapot 
useful in storing a few garden seeds. 



Cutting down the Trees— Black Salts— Slashing— Clearing— Fallow — 
Planting and Sowing — Harvestmg- and Cleaning Up — How Done. 

RLEANS County was originally covered with 
a heavy growth of trees. These had to be re- 
moved to open the soil to cultivation. This 
was commonly done by cutting the trees so as to leave 
a stump, two or three feet high. The felled timber 
lay upon the ground until it was dry, when fire was 
put in, and the whole field was burned over at once. 
The logs were then cut off at proper length, to be 
hauled together in heaps by oxen, and burned ; and 
the ashes of the heaps collected and leached to make 
black salts and potash. The land being thus cleared 
of wood, the first crop was wheat, sown broadcast, 
and covered with earth by harrowing the ground with 
a triangular harrow, or drag. 

A field with the trees lying as they fell was called 
a " slashing," and sometimes a "clearing," or a "fal- 
low-," as the work progressed. 

The wheat was sown in the fall, to be harvested the 
next season ; no spring wheajt being raised. Some- 
times corn and potatoes were planted among the logs, 
the first season, by digging in the seed with a hoe. 

It was several years before the land could be plow- 
ed to much advantage, after the trees were felled, on 
account of the stumps, but as these were chiefly hard 
wood, they soon rbtted out. 

For some years, the first settlers cut their wheat 


crop with a sickle ; threshed out the grain with flails, 
OS trod it out with horses and cattle, and freed it 
from chalf by shoveling in the wind, or fanning with 
a hand fan. The want of barn floors, and other con- 
veniences, made all these operations exceedingly la- 
borious and slow, compared with such work now-a- 

Before barns, witli threshing floors in them, were 
made, some farmers made floors, or platforms of split 
logs, and laid tliem on the ground, without any roof 
over them. Beside these, they stacked their grain 
and threshed it on these floors in fair weather, or trod 
it out with oxen or horses. 



Want of BreadstufF— Scarcity of Mills — ^Difficulty of getting Grain 
Ground — Mill on a Stump — Fever and Ague — Quinine and Blue 
Pill— No Post Office— Keeping Cattle— Difficulty Keeping Fire- 
Instance of Fire Out — Want of Good Water — No Highways — Dis- 
couragement from Sicknfess — Social Amusements — Hospitality — 
Early Merchants — Their Stores and Goods — Domestic Manufac- 
tures — ^Post Offices and ilails. 

CARCITY of bread and breadstuffs before the 
war, and even down to 1818, is to be number- 
ed among the hardships and privations which 
beset tlie settlers ; and even when they could get a 
bushel of wheat, or corn, the difficulty in reducing 
the grain to flour, or meal, was truly formidable. — 
The nearest mill was 15 to 30 miles away ; there was 
no road leading to it ; and probably no horse to draw, 
or carry the grist, if a road had been opened. But 
meal must be had, the iindaunted emigrant would 
' hitch his oxen to his sled, or wagon, pile on a bag for 
Mmself, and as many bags for his neighbors, as 
the occasion required, and start for some mill. We 
will leave imagination to describe his journey. After 
three or four days absence, it is announced in the set- 
tlement that Mr. A. has got back from the mill, and 
marvelously soon would each family be eating pud- 
^ng, or have a cake. But, what if tlie family had no 
neighbors ; and no horse or ox, to carry their grist.— 
Still the grist must go at once. Its owner shoulders a 
half a bushel, or a bushel, according to his strength, 
-and carries it to the mill, be the distance what it may, 


threading his way by marked trees, through the 
woods. Such journeys were not lightly to be thought 
of, and they were honestly performed. 

A sort of domestic mill, in which corn could be' re- 
duced to meal, was made, and used, by some of the 
settlers, by making a hollow in the top of a hardwood 
stump for a mortar ; rigging a heavy pestle on a spring 
pole over the mortar; and thus pounding the corn 
fine enough to be cooked. 

But, if the new comers had bread enough and to 
spare, they all had to pay a penalty to Nature, in the 
acclimating process, which all went through almost 
without exception. Fever and ague attacked the pi- 
oneer, or his wife, or children, or all of them together, 
whenever an opening was made in the forest ; or the 
earth was turned up for the first time to the hot rays of 
the summer sun. 

Oh, the amount of quinine and blue pill, consumed 
in those days, by those who could get a doctor to pre- 
scribe, in their case ;' while those sick ones, who had 
no doctor, because there was none to be had, wore 
their ague out, and let it work itself ofi" the natural 
way ; generally coming out about as well as those 
who doctored, and tried to "break" it, excepting that 
they took more time to do it. 

The first professional doctors who came in were 
most intensely allopathic in their practice ; and dealt 
out quinine and blue pill in most heroic doses to their 
patients ; infinitessimal prescriptions, and homeopath- 
ic practice, had not then been thought of. 

Another privation, if not a hardship, consisted in a 
lack of post offices, and mail facilities. Coming as 
most of the pioneers did from New England, which 
they, and their fathers regarded as a civilized country; 
and where they had always had post office accommo- 
dations all they wanted, it was rather hard to be shut 
out completely from the outer world. 


The first settlers in Orleans County got their letters 
from Batavia, or Clarkson. They did not take news- 
papers by mail. 

The first winter was a hard time for the pioneer to 
keep his cattle, on account of the scarcity of fodder. 
It took several years to clear the trees, and get a crop 
of hay grown in their places ; and a year or two was 
required before cornstalks, or straw could be pro- 
duced. If nobody in the neighborhood had fodder to 
sell, the new settler must cut down trees for his cattle 
to browse, or feed upon the boughs, a work of im- 
mense labor, especially in severe cold weather, and 
deep snows ; and a sad time the poor cattle had, com- 
pelled to lie out exposed to all storms, and feeding on 
such diet. 

Especial care had to be taken to keep fire from go- 
ing out in their dwellings, it ^^as so difficult to recov- 
er it again. An instance is given of such a loss in the 
house of widow Gilbert, in Gaines, who returning 
from the funeral of her husband, found the fire was 
out, and no means at hand to kindle it. Fire had to 
be procured from the nearest neighbors,, then several 
miles oflf. The tinder box and powder horn, were the 
usual resort in such cases, but these might be out as 
well as the fire. Friction matches had not then been 
invented. And it was an inconvenience at least, to be 
deprived of soft water, the bark roof of a log cabin be- 
ing a poor contrivance for collecting it, when there 
was no snow to melt. The hard water from the 
ground was prepared for washing clothes by "cleans- 
ing," as they called it, by putting in wood ashes 
enough to form a weak lye. 

The Holland Company commonly sold their lands 
for a small payment down ; and gave a contract, ex- 
tending payments for the balance, from five to ten 
years ; with interest annually after about two years. 

This seemed to be a good bargain to the settler at 


first ; for, although he was poor, he felt hopeful and 
strong, and went into the woods to begin his clearing, 
sanguine in the belief that he could meet Ms payments 
as they fell due, from the produce of his land ; be- 
sides paying the necessary expenses of his living, and 
his improvements. But, after a year or two, a part 
of his family, are taken sick ; doctors and nurses 
must be paid ; stock, team, tools, furniture, and pro- 
visions, must be bought. He may have cleared a few 
acres, built a log cabin, and raised some crops, more 
than was needed for home consumption ; but the sur- 
plus he cotild not sell. The road to a market was im- 
passible for teams ; and, if the roads had been opened, 
it was hard work at best to pay for land by raising 
wheat among the stumps, at the price of thirty cents 
a bushel. Is it surprising that under circumstances 
like these, some of the earlier settlers of this county, 
after toihng several years, and finding themselves 
constantly running behind hand, got discouraged, and 
wanted to sell out, and go away. And many would 
have sold their claims, and left the country, or gone 
any way, whether they sold or not, if the Land Com- 
pany had enforced their legal rights on their Articles 
as they fell due. But the Company were lenient. — 
They gave oflT interest due them, and sometimes prin- 
cipal, in cases of great hardship to the settler. Many 
times, when he went to the Land Office to say he 
coiild not make his payments, and must give it up ; 
the agents of the Company finding him industrious and 
fragal, trying to do the best he could, would meet him 
with such words of kindness, generous encouragement 
and cheer, that he would go back to his home with 
fresh courage, to renew his battle with the musketos, 
the ague, and the bears ; and wait a little longer for 
the good time coming. But few were able to take 
deeds of their lands, and pay for them, until after the 
Ei-ie Canal was navigable. They kept on clearing 


land, and enlarging their fields; and between tlie 
years 1830 and 1836, good crops of wheat were raised, 
and sold at the canal, for about a dollar a bushel. — 
Then the clouds of gloom began to Hft from the face 
of the country. Prosperity had verily come ; no more 
"hardships, privations and sufferings" after that ; and 
more deeds of land were taken from the Holland Com- 
pany, in this county, in those years, than were given 
in all others together. 

Notwithstanding so many and so great discourage- 
ments, surrounded the pioneers, they never yielded to 
the gloom of the present, or suffered their great hope 
in the future to die. They had their joys as well as 
griefs, running along their pathway together. Social 
amusements, conviviality, fun and good feeling, were 
intermingled with their sadder experiences. 
They visited together, labored for and with each oth- 
er. They exchanged work in chopping, logging, and 
in heavy toil on their lands, where several together 
could work at better advantage than alone. 

They were " given to hospitality." They aided, as- 
sisted, and helped one another ; with a liberality and 
kindness, that seems remarkable in contrast with tlie 
selfishness of older society. ' 

If a family came in, who had not in advance built 
themselves a cabin for their residence, they had no 
difficulty in finding a stopping place with almost any 
settler, who had got a house, until a log house could 
be built. And the best of it was, all the men in the 
neighborhood assembled at a "bee," and built a log 
house gratis, for their new friends, if it was necessary. 

If a man fell sick in seed time, or harvest, and could 
not do his work, his neighbors would turn in and sow 
his seed, or gather his crop for Mm. If a family was 
out of provisions, everybody, who had a stock, shared 
with the needy ones. 

A happy feature of this primitive society was the 


entire absence of caste, dividing the people into class- 
es, and making social distinctions. Everybody was 
considered just as good, and no better, than every- 
body else. All met and mingled on terms of social 

At the dancing parties, quilting frolics, weddings 
and other gatherings of the people for social enjoy- 
ment, everybody in the neighborhood was invited, 
whether they wore " store clothes," or common home- 
spun ; and they commonly all attended. 

People generally were acquainted with everbody 
near them. Old people are living, who say for sever- 
al years they knew every family in town ; and used 
to visit with them, going often on foot miles through . 
the woods, by marked trees, to meet together. 

As clearing away the forest, and doing the heavy 
work of beginning settlements in the woods, constitu- 
ted the main business of the pioneers ; they thus 
learned to value ability to excel in whatever was use- 
ful in their calling. 

Hence, at their loggings, raisings, and other assem- 
blings for work, or play, friendly trials of strength or 
fskill, found favor. Contests in chopping, lifting, cut- 
ting wheat and other tests of muscle, were common ; 
;aud seldom did a number of young men meet on a 
festive occasion without forming a ring for wrestling. 

The pioneers, at their first coming here, were gener- 
ally young. , They were resolute, intelligent, deter- 
mined and persistent ; for no others would quit the 
comparative ease, safety and comfort of older socie- 
ty, to 'encounter the certain hardships, perils and dis- 
couragements of frontier settlement in the woods, in 
such a countrj'- as this was. The true grit of the emi- 
grant was proved by the fact that he came here ; and 
sucli men were not to be driven back by hardships, 
want, sickness or misfortune. 

AVhile tlie hope and resolution of the settler could 


not protect liim from sickness and calamity, they fill- 
ed Mm with fortitude to endure them, gave him a 
keen relish to fenjoy whatever in his way might aflford 
a pleasure. 

Looking at these pioneers from the standpoint of 
the present day, an observer might well conclude they 
were as happy then, as their descendents are now, on 
the same ground. Many who began here in poverty 
and want and worked their way through every difii- 
culty to wealth and abundance, have often said m 
their old age, their happiest days in life were spent in 
their old log houses, away back among the stumps. 


Soon after the settlement of this county, asheries 
were built; the large quantities of wood ashes, produced 
in burning the log heaps in clearing land, were a 
source from which money could be made easier than 
from crops of grain raised. 

These ashes were leached in rude leaches ; the lye 
obtained was boiled down to a semi-solid state, call- 
ed black salts ; and then sold to Mr. James Mather, 
or some owner of an ashery, who put the salts 
through the processes of making potash, or pearlash, 
a refined kind of potash, the use of which is now super- 
ceded by saleratus. 

These products of ashes brought some money and 
were taken by the merchants in exchange for their 

Before the canal was made, merchants' goods were 
brought in by water, by way of Lake Ontario, or on 
wagons, from Albany. 

Robert Hunter and brothers, of Eagle Harbor, were 
teamsters who traveled to and from Albany with 
large teams of horses to wagons and brought in most 
of the goods used liere for several years, before they 
came by the canal. 


A wagon load would go a great way in stocking a- 
store then. The important and heavy article of whisky 
was made sufficient for home consumption here. 

Merchants did not then as now confine their trade- 
to a single line of goods, as hardware, drugs, grocer- 
ies, &c., but their stock, in the- common language of 
their advertisements, comprised "all the articles usu- 
ally called for at a country store ;' ' and that meant 
everything the people wanted to buy at a store. The 
wants of the settlers were few and simple in the line 
of such goods. They confined their purchases to ar- 
ticles of prime necessity, which they could not well 
do without, such as tools to work with, building ma- 
terials, &c., which did not grow upon their land ; an oc 
casional calico dress, and a few kind_s of utensils^ 
such as they could not make at home. 

These goods were generally bought on credit, the 
pay being promised to meet the wants of the merchant 
when he went to New York, a, journey he undertook 
about twice a year. These debts were not all paid 
when due, and many of them were collected by legal, 
process, and many of them were lost to their owners. 
The credit system was a bad one for both parties in 
many cases. People found it very difficult to pay 
their store debts before the canal was made ; for 
though they had a large and good fai-m, plenty of the 
finest wheat, and possibly a stock of cattle, hogs and 
horses ; they had no money, and could not sell their 
stuif for money, as they could not get it to a market- 
Timber was plenty, and sawmills had been buUt 
about the time the canal became navigable ; and saw- 
ed lumber then paid store debts ; and wheat, pork, 
flour and produce of all kinds, that could go to mar- 
ket on the canal, found a leady sale, at fair prices ; 
and thus means to pay debts aould be obtained. 


Most of the early settlers were New England Yan- 


kees, of that class, who, if they wanted a thing they 
had not got, they made it. With very few tools, and 
"those of the simplest kinds, they made almost every 
"thing required, that could be produced from the ma- 
ierials on hand. 

They brought in a few clothes when they came ; 
when these were worn out, they supplied their wants 
with cloth made at home. The wom6n made up the 
common articles of clothing for their families. If the 
man had a new coat, or other garment his wife did 
not feel competent to make, the cloth was taken to 
«ome one properly skilled, to be cut out, and a taUor- 
ess would come to his house, and make it up. These 
itinerant seamstresses, did most of the needlework re- 
quu-ed by the family, and which they could not do 
themselves ; the modern classification of needle wo- 
men into milliners, mantau makers, dress makers, &c., 
did not then prevail. 

The people got their leather made .by neighboring 
tanners, and from such stock, a traveling shoemaker 
visited the houses of his customers, and made and 
mended their shoes and boots. The boys and girls, 
and some of the older folks, commonly went barefoot 
in the summer, and often in the winter likewise. 


Mr. Merwin S. Hawley of Buffalo, son of Judge 
Elijah Hawley, who resided in Eidgeway in his boy- 
hood, and speaks from his recollection says : 

"In 1816, the only mail to and through Ridgeway, 
was carried on horseback twice a week, between Can- 
andaigua and Lewiston. Oct. 22, 1816, a post office 
"was established at Ridgeway Corners, named "Oak 
Orchard," Elijah Hawley, postmaster. 

The mail was now carried in two horse carriages, 
"three times a week each way ; stopping over night at 
Huff's tavern in East Gaines. 


Aug. 24, 1817, a post office was established at Oak 
Orcliard Creek, on the Ridge, which place was then 
growing to be a smart village, and James Brown was 
appointed postmaster there. 

To make the names of the offices conform to the 
name of the places where they were located, the new 
post office was calle'd " Oak Orchard," and the name 
of the other was changed to "Ridgeway, " Mr. Haw- 
ley holding the office of postmaster there until his 
death. During this year, (1817,) a daily line of mail 
stages, eacli way, between Rochester and Lewiston, 
on the Ridge Road, was commenced. 

A post office was established at Q-aines, July 1, 
1816, Wm. J. Babbitt postmaster. 

The next post office in Orleans County was located 
at Shelby Center, and got its mail from Ridgeway. 

Post offices were located in other parts of the coun- 
ty from time to time, as the wants of increasing popu- 
lation required. 



When Begun — Effect — Rise In Price ot Everything— Progress of Im- 
provement — Carriages on Springs. 

HE work in digging the Erie Canal was begnn 
on the middle section near Utica, on the 4th of 
July, 1817. In 1823, the eastern part of the 
canal was so far completed, that in November boats 
from Rochester reached Albany, at the same time 
with boats from Lake Champlain, on the Champlain 
Canal. And in Nov., 1825, a fleet of boats from Btif- 
falo passed the entire length of the Erie Canal, carry- 
ing passengers to the Gr^nd Canal Celebration at New 

To no part of the State of New York has the Erie 
Canal proved of more benefit than to Orleans County. 

Although the soil was fertile and productive, and 
yielded abundant crops to reward the toil of the 
farmer, yet its inland location and great difficulty of 
transporting produce to market, rendered it of little 
value at home. Settlers who had located here, in 
many instances, had become discouraged. Others, 
who desired to emigrate to the Genesee country, were 
kept back by the gloomy accounts they got of life in 
the vsdlderness, with little prospect of easy communi- 
cation with the old Eastern States to cheer the hope. 

As soon as the Canal became navigable, HoUey, 
Albion, Knowlesville and Medina, villages on its 
banks, were built up. Actual settlers took up all 
the unoccupied lands, and cleared them up. No 


speculators came here and bought up large tracts;- 
and left them wild, to rise on the market. The lum- 
ber of the country found a ready market and floated 
away. Wheat was worth four times as much as the 
price .for which it had been previously selling. Pros- 
perity came in on every hand ; the mud dried up, and 
the musketoes, and the ague, and the fever, and the 
bears, left the couintry. Farmers paid for their 
lands, surrendered their articles, and took deeds from 
the Company. Good barns and framed houses, and 
houses of brick, and stone began to be built, as the 
common dwellings of the inhabitants. " The good 
time coming," which the first settlers could not see, 
but waited for, with a faint and dreamy \>XLt persistent 
kope, had come indeed. The price of land^ rose rap- 
idly, making many wealthy, who happened to locate 
farms in desirable places, from the rise in value of 
their lands. From this time forward, rich men, from 
the Eastern States, and older settlements, began to 
come in and buy out the farms and improvements of 
those who had begun in the woods and now found 
themselves, like Cooper's Leather Stocking, "lost in 
the clearings," and wished to move on to the borders 
of civilization, where the hunting and fishing was bet- 
ter and where the ruder institutions, manners and 
customs of frontier life, to which they had become at- 
attached, would be better enjoyed among congenial 

The clearing away of shade trees, thus drying up 
the mud and the substantial bridges over streams 
and leveled and graveled highways, which the num- 
bers and abundant means of the people, now enabled 
them to establish, occasioned a demand for other car- 
riages for the conveyance of these now independent 
farmers and their families. 

Time was when they went to mill and to meeting, 
to the social visit, or the quilting frolic, happy on an 


OX sled. A little progress, and pride and ambition 
substituted horses and lumber wagons as the common 
vehicles of travel, in place of the oxen and sleds. 
A buggy was no more known or iised than a balloon 
in those wagon days, and when the canal was first 
made navigable, there was not probably a one-horse 
buggy in Orleans County. Indeed several years after 
boats began trips on the canal, Messrs. R.' S. & L. 
Burrows, then merchants in Albion, brought on six 
or eight one-horse wagons, with wooden springs under 
the seats, manufactured in Connecticut, and put them 
on sale ; and great was the wonder of the people, and 
the comment they made upon the amazing luxury 
and comfort and ease in riding In these little rattling, 
jolting machines. 



The Ridge Road— AVhen Laid Out— Appropriation— Oak Orchard 
Road— Opened by Holland Company — Road from Shelby to Oak 
Orchard in Barre— Salt Works Roads— State Road along Canal — 
Judge Porter's Account of first Tracing the Ridge Road. 

LTHOUGH the Ridge Road had been travel- 
ed by the Indians from time immemorial, and 
after the settlement of the country by white 
men, improvements had been made by cutting out 
trees, and making the crossings at the streams of 
water more passable, yet many large trees still ob- 
structed the carriage, way, and bridges were wanted 
in many places. In April, 1814, the Legislature of 
the State appropriated $5,000, and appointed com- 
missioners to apply said sum to the improvements of 
such parts of said road between Rochester and Lewis- 
ton, as said commissioners should think proper, for 
the public benefit. This appropriation, together with 
some labor by the few inhabitants then living on this 
route, made the Ridge road a tolerably fair wagon 
The Ridge road, so called, was regulai'ly laid out 
\ and established by Philetus Swift and Caleb Hopkins, 
under an Act of the Legislature passed Feb. 10, 1815. 
An act providing for a re-survey of the Ridge Road, 
from Rochester to Lewiston, was passed March 24, 
1852, John LaValley, Grosvenor Daniels and William 
J. Babbitt were appointed commissioners to superin- 
tend the work through Orleans County. Darius W. 


Cole, of Medina, was the Surveyor, and the road was 
re-surveyed and established six rods wide. Although 
the Ridge road had been opened and traveled'many 
years, no survey and record of it had been made be- 
fore Swift & Hopkins' survey. < 

Mr. Lewis W. Gates, formerly of Gaines, relates 
that about the year 1843, Judge Augustus Porter, 
then of Niagara Palls, gave him the foEowing account 
of the Ridge Road. 

He, Judge Porter, and others, were interested in 
surveying and locating a large tract of land west of 
Genesee River, since known as The Tristagle. The 
Indians told them there was a gravelly ridge extend- 
ing from the ' Genesee to Niagara River. Porter and 
his company employed a surveyor named Eli Gran- 
ger, to go with a few men and trace a road through 
on this Ridge, from river to river, and they traced the 
Ridge Road through near its present location, in 1798. 

The Oak Orchard Road was the first highway cross- 
ing Orleans County north and south, that was open- 
ed and worked. Supposing, as everybody then did, 
that the trade from this part of the country must go 
by the lake, and that Oak Orchard Harbor would be 
its place of embarkation, the Holland Company and 
the settlers, at an early day opened this road for 
teams, made log causeways through wet places and 
bridged the streams. It was a rough road, but teams 
could get through with light loads, as early as before 
the war. 

Andrew A. EUicott built a mill on the Oak Orchard 
Creek, at Shelby Center, about the year 1813. To ac- 
commodate travel to this mill and promote the sale 
of land, the Holland Company cut out a highway 
leading from the Oak Orchard road near the County 
Poor House, to Shelby Center. This highway follow- 
ed the ridge of highest land, crooking about on places 
where it could be easiest constructed. It is still used 


as a public highway, and is traveled on or near the 
line originally followed. This was the first road cut 
out for teams, east and west, south of the ridge. As 
the timber which grew in this County was generally 
hard wood and decayed soon, few fallen trees, or logs 
lay in the woods to obstruct teams passing anywhere 
in the forest, where standing timber or swamps did 
not prevent ; and the course of travel was directed by 
marlced trees,, until enough inhabitants had come in 
to lay out and work roads. 

Before the forest was cleared from this county, 
much of th*e land was wet, and in fitting a highway 
for travel, a large amount of log causeway had to be 
laid, in places now dry hard land. Where the Oak 
Orchard Eoad crosses the canal in Albion, and for 
many rods north and, south of the canal, such a cause- 
way was laid. Indeed, many farms, which in a wild 
state, were not taken by settlers at first, because they 
were so low and wet, now; on draining the water off, 
and cutting away the trees, are the best farming land 
in the neighborhood. 

The Ridge Road was laid out six rods wide, and 
the Oak Orchard Road four rods wide. In selling 
lands bordering on the Ridge Road, or tlie Oak Orch- 
ard Road, the Holland Company bounded the tract 
they sold by the outer lines of tlie road ; thus giving 
the lands the roads covered to the public. In selling 
lands on all other roads, they deeded to the center of 
the highway. When no natural obstruction prevent- 
ed, highways were laid out on the line of lot's accord- 
ing to the Company's survey, and then the owners on 
each side gave each the half of the road. 

Works were put up by the Holland Company for 
the manufacture of salt, at the salt springs north of 
Medina, as early as 1805, and opened for use by the 
settlers. To facilitate access to these works, the Com- 


pany cut out two roads, about the same time, one 
leading south from the works, to the " Old BuflFalo 
Road ;" the other south-easterly, to the Oak Orchard 
Road. These highways were known as the Salt 
Works Road. When the manufacture of salt there 
wa;s discontinued, the Salt Works Road was dicontin- 

Frequently, when a new road became a necessity, 
all the settlers would turn out with their teams, and, 
cut out the trees, and clear them from the roadwa;y, 
and build such sluiceways as were necessary and so 
make a highway passable, to be worked up when the 
roots had rotted out and the people of the district 
had got able to do so. 

About the year 1824, the people along the Ridge 
Road turned out on the 4th day of July and celebra- 
ted the day, by cutting out a highway from the Ridge 
north to Waterport which is now the road leading 
from Eagle Harbor to Waterport. 

An Act of the Legislature was passed April 2, 1827, 
appointing John P. Patterson, Almon H. Millerd and 
Otis Turner, commissioners to locate and lay out a 
public highway, four rods wide, leading from Roch- 
ester to Lockport, " on, or near the banks of the Erie 
Canal." A highway was located and laid by said 
commissioners,^ Jesse P. Haines, of Lockport, being 
the surveyor, pursuant to said Act. For most of the 
way said highway was laid on the south side of the 
Canal. The records of said survey and highway 
were filed in the County Clerk's offices, and in the 
several towns through which it passed, and the road 
established Oct. 1, 1827. The law required the com- 
missioners of highways in the several towns, to open 
the road to travel ; and it was done by them along 
the most of the line where the public convenience re- 
quired it Considerable of this road was never open- 


ed, and the franchise was suffered to be lost to the 
public by non-user. 

This ,was known as the State Road. Through the 
village of Albion, it is called State Street. 



Medina and Darien— Medina and Lake Ontario— Rochester, Lockport 
and Niagara Falls. 

AY 5, 1834, an Act of the Legislature was 
passed incorporating the Medina and Darien 
Railroad Company, to construct a Railroad ; 
and the road was built from Medina to Akron, in Erie 
County, twelve or fourteen miles, and fitted for cars, 
to be drawn by horses. It went into operation about 
1836. After a short trial, it was found to be an un- 
profitable investment, the track was taken up, and 
the road discontinued. 

This was the first Railroad incorporated to be made 
in this county. 

In 1836, the Medina and Ontario Railroad Company 
was incorporated by the Legislature, to construct a 
Railroad between Medina and Lake Ontario, at the 
mouth of Oak Orchard Creek. Nothing ' further was 
ever done towards opening this road. 

The Rochester, Lockport and Niagara Falls Rail- 
road Co. was organized December 10, 1850. It passes 
through the county near the Erie Canal on the south 
side. This road has since been consolidated in the 
New York Central Railroad, by which name it is. 
now known, its original corporate name being drop- 
ped. I 

The construction of tliis Railroad has proved of im- 
mense benefit to Orleans County. 



School Houses— Description — Gaines A.cademy — Other Academies and 

ETTLERS on the Holland Purchase reverenced 
the institutions existing in N"ew England, from 
which the majority of them came, and endeav- 
ored to engraft them upon their social organization in 
their new homes in the woods. They believed the 
safety and permanence of the free government of their 
country was found in the intelligence of the people ; 
and among their iirst labors, after providing shelter 
and food for their children, was the building of school 
houses and furnishing instruction there. Before 
enough families had located in a neighborhood to 
erect even a log school house and supply it with 
scholars, it was not uncommon for a school to be 
opened in some log cabin, where a family resided. — 
All the children in the neighborhood came in, or were 
brought upon the backs of their fathers through the 
pathless forest, when the weather was bad, and at- 
tended these schools. School houses were built, and 
well patronized, before school districts were organized, 
and parents did the best they could to give their 
children the elements of a common education, at least. 
Orleans County was not behind any part of the 
country in its zeal for schools. The earlier school 
houses were made of logs, much after the same pat- 
tern as the dwelling places of the people, such struc- 


tures as would now be considered extremely ixncom- 
fortable, inconvenient and ill adapted to the purpose 
for which they were made. 

They were badly lighted, badl}- ventilated, small, 
cold, cheerless and dismal places. Every internal ar- 
rangement was uncomfortable compared with school 
houses now. But nobody complained. 

After a few years this state of things improved. Af 
population increased, and wealth began to accumu- 
late, better accommodations were procured. 

The people of the town of Gaines, living along their 
beautiful natural Ridge Road, believed trade and 
business for the county miist center there ; and before 
the county buildings were located at Albion, they be- 
gan to devise projects for building up a tillage there, 
which should insure to them the full benefit of the lo- 
cation. They had several stores, and mechanic shops. 
They established a printing press, and published the 
first newspaper in the county, and proposed to found 
an Academy. The location of the Court House at Al 
bion was to them a sad disappointment, tliey did not 
despair, however, but established their Academy, 
which was incorporated in the year 1827. This was 
the first incorporated literary institution in Orleans 
County. A brick building, three stories high, was 
erected by the joint efi"orts of the school district, and 
the friends of the Academy and for some years it was 
occupied by both schools. The Academy was well 
patronized, while it was without a rival, but when. 
Academies were erected in other towns in the neigh- 
borhood, Gaines Academy began to languish, and fi- 
nally ceased to exist as a school. The building was 
fitted up as a dwelling house, and as sucli still re- 
mains. Academies were established at Albion ini 
1837, at Millville in 1840, at Yates in 1842, at Medina. 
in 1849, at HoUey in 1850. The Phipps Union Semi- 
nary was established at Albion about 1833, and in- 


corporated by the Kegents of the University in 1840. 
This Seminary is a boarding and day school for the 
instruction of girls only. Its course of study includes 
all the solid and ornamental branches of education 
usually taught in the best schools for females in this 
country. It is one of the oldest institutions of the 
kind in this part of the State, and has sustained a 
high reputation. 



Religious Feeling among the People— Ministers and Missionaries- 
Meeting House in Gaines — First in County — Building. 

ELIGION" was not forgotten by tlie first set- 
tlers of Orleans Connty, and amid all their 
hardships and difficulties, they never omitted 
attending to the public worship of God. For some 
years they had no church organizations, or settled 
ministers of the gospel, or houses built expressly for 
places of public worship. They had religious meet- 
ings however in their log cabins, sometimes conduct- 
ed by a preacher, sometimes with none. As soon as 
school houses were built, they held their meetings in 
them. Though many of the settlers were members of 
Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, or other denomina- 
tions, in the old States, from which they came, here 
they kept up no denominational distinction. If it 
was announced that a religious meeting was to be held 
in some place, everybody for miles around attended 
it, never stopping to inquire to what denomination 
the preacher belonged. Many old people remember 
with deep emotion some of those solemn seasons of 
prayer and praise, enjoyed by them in company with 
all those who loved God and his worship, in their 
neighborhood, in some little log shanty in the woods. 
As the first settlement of the county began on the 
lake shore in Carlton, and gradually extended along 
the Ridge Road, so religious meetings were held first 
in Carlton. 


About the year 1809, Rev. Mr. Steele, a Methodist 
preacher, came over from Canada and visited as a 
missionary those settlers, who had come into Carlton, 
and preached to them whenever he could get a con- 
gregation together. He is said to have been the first 
preacher of any denomination. He was soon follow- 
ed by Elders Irons, Dutcher, and Carpenter, Baptists; 
and Puffer, Hall, Gregory, and others, Methodists. 

Before 1820, a IBaptist church was formed in Gaines, 
a Congregational church in Barre, another in Ridge- 
way, and from that time forward, the people united 
in such church organizations as were agreeable to 
their views of religious truth and duty, instead of 
those common meetings of all, which prevailed at an 
earlier day. 

In the year 1824, a company of citizens of Gaines, 
viz: Oliver Booth, 2d, Elisha Mchols, Elijah D. 
Mchols, James Mather, VanRensselaer Hawkins, 
Elijah Blount, Jonathan Blount, Jr., Zelotes Sheldon, 
John J. Walbridge, Romeyn Osti-ander and Asahel 
Lee, united together and built the meeting house now 
standing in the west part of the village, " for the ben- 
efit of the Congregational and Baptist Societies in the 
town of Gaines, each society to use the same for one- 
half of the time alternately. When not occupied by 
said societies, to be free for public worship for any 
other religious society." The proprietors sold the 
slips in the house, and gave the purchase money, af- 
ter paying for building the house, to aid in building 
Gaines Academy. 

This was the first church edifice erected in Orleans 
County. For several years it was occupied according 
to the intent of the founders. It has now been trans- 
ferred to a Methodist society. 



Mount Albion Cemetery — Boxwood Cemetery— Hillside Cemetery. 

UE.YING places for the dead were established 
in convenient localities, in the early settlement 
of Orleans County. One of the oldest of these 
is at the village of Gaines, on the Ridge Road. Mr. 
Oliver Booth, who owned the land, gave half an acre* 
on condition that the neighboring inhabitants would 
clear off the trees with which it was covered, which 
they did. 

Under the statute in such case made, many of these 
rural old burjang places have been put under the care 
of Cemetery Associations, duly incorporated under 
the general law. Others have been vested in the 
towns in which they are situated, under an old law, 
which provided that burying grounds, which before 
then had been used a certain length of time by the 
public, should be so vested. 

In the vicinity of the large villages however, more 
extensive grounds have been devoted as burial places. 
The most considerable of these is "MotriirT Albion 
Cemetery," situate two miles south-east from the vil- 
lage of Albion. This burying place, including about 
twenty-five acres, was purchased by the village of Al- 
bion, in May, 1843, for $1,000. It was then an un- 
broken forest. The natural advantages of this Ceme- 
tery, for the purpose designed, can scarcely be equal- 


ed by any similar grounds in the country. It was 
.dedicated Sept. 7, 1843. 

Before Mpunt Albion was purchased, a burying 
ground was. used on the south side of the canal, east 
of the creek, in Albion. The bodies have all been re- 
moved from that ground, and burying there discon- 

From the first, and 'until 1862, Mount Albion Cem- 
etery was under the care of the Trustees of the village. 
By an Act passed March 26, 1862, the control of the 
Cemetery was vested in three commissioners, to be ap- 
pointed by the village Trustees. Dr. Lemuel C. Paine, 
Lorenzo Burrows and Henry J. Sickels, were appoint- 
ed such commissioners, and they have been ever since 
continued in office. Lots in this Cemetery are sold to 
whoever will buy, the purchasers not being confined 
to inhabitants of the village of Albion, and owners of 
lots reside in every town in the county. 

The first persons dying in Medin a , were buried 
wherever their friends could find a place ; but in the 
fall of 1830, Mr. David E. Evans, by his agent Mr. 
Gwjmn, gave an acre of land for a burying ground, on 
the east side of Gwynn Street, south from the railroad 
depot, on which the first corpse buried was the wife of 
Edmund Puller, in 1830. 

These grounds have been used for burials ever since. 
In 1860, Mr. John Parsons interested himself in get- 
ting the fences around these grounds repaired, with 
contributions furnished him for the purpose ; and in 
order suitably to mark the spot, by some fitting mem- 
orial, which at small expense would be likely to stand 
many years ; ho procured and planted, as near as 
might be, in the center of the grounds, a fir tret^, un- 
der the center of which, in a glass jar, inclosed in lead, 
he deposited various articles, as mementos of the times 
and people of Medina at pres.Mit. This tr(>i' is now 
growing vigorously. 


'' Boxwood Cemeteey" lies a little iiortli of Medi- 
na, on the east side of tlie gravel road leading to the 
Ridge, and contains about six kcres, and is owned by 
the village of Medina. Messrs. S. M. Burroughs, 
Geo. Northrop, Caleb Hill and others, bought this 
ground while a forest, of Mr. Gfwynn, for a Cemetery, 
in 1848. They sold it to the village for $600, and 
it was .laid out in lots, and formally opened for 
burial purposes, in 1850. David Card was the first 
person buried here, in 1849. 

Many /bodies of the dead buried in the old ground 
in Medina, have been removed to Boxwood Cemetery, 
and this is now the principal burying place for the 
village and vicinity. 

" Hillside Cemetery" is the name of a burying 
place belonging to "The HoUoy Cemetery Associa- 
tion," which was organized Dec. 11, 1866. In Jan., 
1867, the association purchased about seven and three- 
fourths acres of land, lying about half a mile south of 
the business part of Holley village, and south of the 
corporation limits, at a cost of $1 ,100. A large 
sum has since then been expended by the Association 
in improving these grounds, grading the street, and 
ornamenting and fitting up the premises. 

A large part of this burying place has been laid out 
in lots, carefully numbered, mapped and the map filed 
in the County Clerk' s ofiice. These lots are sold by 
the Trustees and deeded to purchasers. 

August 17, 1867, this Cemetery was formally dedi- 
cated by appropriate religious ceremonies. 

The afiairs of the A ssociation are managed by nine 
Trustees, who serve in classes, three years. Trustees 
now in office, (1871,) are John Berry, Sargent Ensign, 
Nelson Hatch, James Gibson, Samuel Spear, Humph- 
rey Ruggles, Simon Harwood, Ely H. Cook and Or- 
ange A. . Eddy. John Berry, President, Orange A. 
Eddy, Secretary. 


Shade trees have been set around the grounds and 
many trees and ornamental shrubs planted. 

The soil is well adapted to the purpose designed. — 
The location is pleasant and commodious to the vil- 
lage of HoUey and surrounding country and the 
good taste and liberality displayed by the people of 
lioUey and vicinity in founding and fostering this 
Cemetery is creditable to their public spirit, refined 
feelings and proper regard for their best interests. 



First settled along Oak Orchard Road — Land Given by the Holland 
Company to Congregational Society— Congregational Church — Pres- 
byterian Church in Albion — First Tavern — First Store — First Law- 
yer — First Doctor — First Deed of Land to Settler— Deeds of Land in 
Albion — First House in Albion — Death of Mrs. McCallister — First 
"Warehouse — First Saw Mill— First Grist Mill— Trade in Lumber — 
First Ball— First Town Meeting— Fourth of July, 1831— First Wed- 
ding in Albion — Story — Biographies of Early Settlers. 

HIS town, so named by Judge John Lee, in 
honor of Barre, Mass., his native town, was 
set off from Gaines, by Act of the Legislature, 
March 6, 1818. At the time of the first settlement of 
this town, the main road, by which people traveled to 
and from the old States, was the Ridge road. The 
Ridge was always dry and comfortable for travel 
when the streams, which cross it, could be forded, be- 
fore the bridges were made ; but on leaving the Ridge 
north or south, when the ground was not frozen, the 
roads were terribly muddy, long tracts of low land 
requiring to be covered with logs laid transversely 
side by side for a carriage track, called " corduroy.'''' 
As this was a work of considerable labor, the settlers 
had to wallow through the mud as best they could, 
until they were able to build their highways. 

There were no sawmills, and even if there had been 

mills, upon such roads lumber could not be moved to 

market, and there was no market for lumber south of 

the Ridge, before the canal was dug. 

The Indians had a trail, or Indian road, from their 


settlements in Livingston county, on tlie Genesee riv- 
er, to an Indian village in Niagara county ; and an- 
other trail from the mouth of Oak Orchard Creek, to 
intersect the first mentioned trail, which was used by 
white men and known as the Oak OrchaM Road, 
passing through Barre, from north to south. On this 
trail or road, the travel to Batavia was conducted. — 
It was not passable for carriages, as the ^Indians had 
none, and the settlers had to clear the brush and re- 
move the fallen trees, which obstructed, before they 
could get their teams through. This was done by the 
Holland Company at an early day. 

Several families came into Barre before the war of 
1812, but that event nearly suspended emigration 
while it lasted. 

Salt was made on the Oak Orchard Creek north of 
Medina, before the canal was made ; and to accom- 
modate the people and benefit themselves, the Holland 
Company opened a road from the Salt "Works, in a 
south-easterly direction, to intersect the Oak Orchard 
Road, about two miles south of Albion. This was 
known as the " Salt Works Road" and was discon- 
tinued many years ago. 

Among the inducements offered by the Land Com- 
pany to settlers on their lands, was an offer of a tract 
of land, to the first religious society that should be 
organized in each town on their Purchase. In pursu- 
ance of this custom, the Holland Company deeded, 
March 8, 1822, to the Trustees of "The First Congre- 
gational Society in the town of Barre," one himdred 
acres of land, lying on the north part of lot nineteen, 
town fifteen, range two ; being part of the farm after- 
wards cleared and owned by Azariah Loveland. — 
The deed conveys this land to said "Trustees and 
their successors in office, for the benefit of the said 
Congregational order, and those who preach the doc- 
trines contained in the Assembly's Catechism, and no 


other." So careful were our fathers in Barre, to pro- 
vide for keeping their religious faith pure, and free 
from heresy, as they regarded it. That religious so- 
ciety was the first organized in Barre, and still exists, 
now located at Barre Center. Its first board of Trus- 
tees was Orange Starr, Cyril Wilson, Itha;paar Hib- 
bardjJohn Bradner, Caleb C.Thurston and Oliver Ben- 
ton. The church connected with this society, was or- 
ganized Dec. 5, 1817. 

''The First Presbyterian Society of Albion" was 
incorporated March 20, 1826, and was the second re- 
ligious society incorporated in the town of Barre, and 
the first in the village of Albion. Its first Trustees 
were Harvey Goodrich, Joseph Hart, Ebenezer Rogers, 
William Wliite, Hiram Sickels, and Milton W. Hop- 
kins. Their first house of worship, the same now oc- 
cupied by the Episcopalians, was erected in 1830. — 
The whole number of communicants, in this church 
at its organization, was sixteen. Rev.Wm. Johnson, 
their first pastor, commenced his labors here in 1824. 

The first tavern in Barre was kept by Abram Mat- 
tison, in 1815, on the west side of the Oak Orchard 
Road, about two miles south of Albion. The first 

tavern in Albion was kept by Churchill, on the 

south corner of Main and Canal Streets. The first 
school was" taught by Mrs. Silas Benton, in the south 
part of what is now the village of Albion. 

The first store, for the sale of dry goods and grocer- 
ies, is believed to have been kept by E. & A. Mix, at 
Porter' s Corners. Mr. Abiathar Mix removed to that 
- place, and took an Article for a tract of land, in 1817. 
Being a mason by trade, and having no mason work 
to do, he went into the business of making potash, 
and selling goods, his brother, Ebenezer Mix, of Ba- 
tavia, furnishing a part of the capital. 

About the year 1819, a store was opened by Orris 


H. Gardner, near Benton's Corners, on the Oak Orch- 
ard Road. 

The Oak Orchard Road was the first public high- 
way laid out in this town. About 1803; the Holland 
Company caused a survey to be made of this road 
from "The Five Corners," in Gaines, about a mile 
north of Albion, to the forks of the road south of Bar- 
re Center. This survey was due north and south, to 
straighten the old trail. The highway was not open- 
ed and worked precisely as laid. 

Many of the earliest locations of land hj settlers 
were made along this road, and it was these locations, 
this highway and the Erie Canal, which established 
the village of Albion. 

The first regular lawyer in this town was Theophi- 
lus Capen, who came here about the time work on 
the Canal was begun, and kept an office for a while 
in Albion. William J. Moody came to Albion to 
practice law, a short time before the county of Orleans 
was organized, he was followed by Alexis Ward, 
Henry R. Curtis, A. Hyde Cole, Geo. W. Fleming 
and several others. 

Dr. Orson Nichoson was the first physician. He 
settled in Barre in 1819. 

The first deed of land lying in the town of Barre, 
from the Holland Land Company, was given to Jacob 
Young, dated June 7, 1813, and conveyed one hun- 
dred acres of lot thirty-three, town fifteen, range one. 
This land is now owned by Stephen IST. Whitney, and 
lies about a mile and a half south from Albion, on 
the east side of the Oak Orchard Road. 

William Bradner took a deed from the Company, 
of the land in Albion, on the east side of Main Street, 
from Bailey Street, to the north bounds of Barre, 
December 3, 1819, containing two hundred and sixty- 
six acres. Roswell Burrows took a like deed of one 
hundred and sixty-one acres, lying on the west side 


of Main Street, bounded north by the town line of 
Gaines, October 11, 1825. This tract, so deeded to 
Burrows, was taken up by Article from the Company 
by Jesse Bumpus, in August, 1815, and afterwards 
sold ty l^im to Mr. Burrows. The land so deeded to 
William Bradner, was taken by Article from the Land 
Company, by William McCollister, about the year 
1811. Mr. McCollister made the first clearing in the 
village of Albion, where the Court House now stands. 
The first dwelling house erected in Albion was a log 
cabin, buUt by McCollister, near where Phipps Union 
Seminary now stands. In that he lived, and there his 
wife died, about the year 1812 ; being the first white 
woman who died in the town of Barre. No clergy- 
man was then in town to conduct religious services 
on the occasion and no boards could be obtained to 
make her cofiin. Her sorrowing husband, assisted by 
two or three men, split and hewed some rough planks 
from trees, pinned them together with wooden pins, 
to make a box, in which the corpse was placed, and 
buried, this little company, present at this first funer- 
al, comprised almost the entire population of the 

The first warehouse in town was buUt by Wehemiah 
Ingersoll, on the canal, about fifteen rods east of Main 
Street, in Albion. 

The first saw-mill in town was built by Dr. Wm. 
White, on the creek south-east of Albion, about eighty 
rods south of the railroad, in the year 1816. William 
Bradner built a small grist-mill on this creek, farther 
down, in 1819. 

For several years after the Erie Canal was first 
opened, a brisk trade in white-wood lumber was car- 
ried on, from timber cut convenient to draw to the ca- 
nal. Good whitewood boards sold on the jbank of the 
canal for $5 per thousand feet, and other lumber at 
corresponding prices. Whitewood was a common 

78 pionej:b iiistoky 

,tree in this town. The lumber was carried to Albany. 
After buildings began to be constructed by carpenters 
and joiners, the floors and finishing were principally 
done with whitewood. 

The first regular Tjall in Barre was at Mattison' s 
tavern, July 4, 1819. To fit the house for the party, 
they took up the split basswood floor and laid down 
boards in the bar-room to dance on. 

The first town meetings, after this town was organ- 
ized, were held at Mattison' s tavern, the next after- 
wards at Benton' s tavern. 

The 4th of July, 1821, was celebrated by the peo- 
ple of Barre in a grove near where " the round school 
house" was afterwards built, on Lee Street. A com- 
mittee was appointed, who procured the necessary 
gunpowder, liquor and sugar, at Batavia. Provisions 
for the tables were furnished by voluntary contribu- 
tion, and a dinner gotten up which was partaken of 
by everybody in pic-nic style. Dr. Orson Nichoson 
delivered an oration and the customary patriotic 
toasts were drank, to the sound of discharges of mus- 
ketry, as they had no cannon. In the evening, the 
remains from the tables and the bottles, were taken 
to a neighboring log cabin, and there disposed of by 
all who chose to take part ; and music and dancing, 
and festivity, were kept up till next morning, by a 
company ,of old and young. This was the first public 
celebration of our National Independence in Barre. 

Among the first settlers in Barre were William Mc- 
CoUister, Lansing Bailey, Joseph Hart, Joseph Stod- 
dard, Elijah Darrow, Reuben Clark and Silas Benton. 

The first marriage, in what is now the village of Al- 
bion, took place under the following circumstances. 
An action was tried before Robert Anderson, a Justice 
of the Peace, at the village of Gaines, to recover dam- 
ages for a hog that had been killed by the defendant 
wrongfully.' The plaintiif recovered a judgment. As 


soon as the result was declared, the defendant took 
the Justice aside, and asked him to go at once to a 
house mentioned and many him ; giving as his reason 
for haste, that execution would soon be issued agaiust 
him on the judgment, which he was unable to pay ; 
that he would be taken to Batavia to jail, and, if he 
was a single man, he did not know when he should 
get out, but if he was married he could swear out in 
thirty days. The Justice objected, that it was then 
midnight, the house named was three miles off, the 
night was dark, and the road was through the woods 
most of the way. He finally agreed to go after get- 
ting supper. In the mean time the would-be bride- 
groom hurried to the house to wake up the family, 
and the bride, and put a light in the window to guide 
the Esquire. The marriage took place according to 
programme. The house stood on the west side of 
Main Street, about a quarter of a mile north of the 



The following is Lansing Bailey' s history, written 
by himself, for the Pioneer Association : 

" I was born in the town of Stephentown, Rensse- 
laer County, New York, Nov. 11, 1787. 

When I was seven years old, my father removed to 
Whitestown, Oneida County, New York. 

In 1809, being then in my twenty-second year, I was 
married to Miss Loda Parmelee, and in Nov. 1811, I 
started, in company vsdtli two others, for the Genesee 
country, on foot, with knapsacks and provisions on 
our backs. 

On the evening of the fifth day, we arrived at Dan- 
iel Pratt' s, an old acquaintance and relative, then re- 


siding on the Ridge Road, in the town of Gaines, a 
little west of Gaines Corners. 

The best locations on the Ridge Road had been ta- 
ken, and also the best lots on the Oak Orchard Road, 
for several miles south of the Ridge Road, but they 
were not settled south of the 'Five Corners,' in what 
is now Gaines. 

Myselt and brother, took an Article from the Hol- 
land Land Company, of two hundred and sixty acres, 
lying one mile west of where Albion now stands. — 
Five days after making our location, we started for 
home by the way of Batavia. We had but little mon- 
ey, consequently we bought but one meal on our out- 
ward and homeward trip, $3.50 being the entire 
amount of our expenses, which consisted in lodging 
and a little of ' the creature' to wash down our dry 

In February, 1812, putting all on board an ox sled 
covered with cloth, with two yoke, of oxen attached, 
after bidding farewell to friends, with wife and child 
aboard, whip in hand, we set out for our wilderness 
home, my brother driving two cows, and three young 

After a journey of nine days, we arrived at Daniel 
Pratt's, where we unloaded our goods, and I soon 
started to find some wheat, which I found in Riga, 
and got it ground in Churchville. 

Soon after my return, myself and brother set out 
for our future home. 

There was a track as far as the Five Corners. Thus 
far we took a grind stone, and six pail kettle, with 
some other articles, were then about a mile and a half 
from our place, and no track. The snow was about 
three feet deep, with a hard crust about two feet from 
the ground, sufficient to bear a man, but not a beast. 

We commenced breaking the crust in the direction 
of our place, and drove the cattle as far as we could 


"break that day, fell some trees for them to browse, 
and one across the path to keep them from returning, 
and we went back to the Five Corners for our lodging. 

In the morning, we took a straw bed and some oth- 
er articles on our backs, and went and found the cat- 
tle aU safe. That day we got through just before 
night, foddered our cattle on browse ; fell a dry stub 
and made a good fire from it ; shoveled away the 
snow, made us a bush shanty vdth some boughs to 
lay our bed on, took supper and went to bed. 

Kext morning the snow on our feet and limbs, 
which were a little too long for our shanty, was two 
or three inches deep. However, we had a good nights 
rest. We staid there until some time in April, going 
to the Kidge every Saturday night, and returning ev- 
ery Monday morning, with a weeks' provisions. 

On one occasion we found one of our cows cast. — 
We divided the loaf with her, put a bell on her, and 
if we could not hear the tinkle of the bell in the night 
we got up and looked after her. Thus we carried our 
cattle all safe through the winter. 

When we went to the Five Corners to fetch our ket- 
tle, while the snow crust was hard, on our return, our 
dog barked earnestly at a large hollow tree, that had 
fallen down. On looking into the hollow, we saw 
two eyes, but could not tell what animal it was with- 
in. My brother went after an ax and gun, while I 
watched the hole. After filling the hollow,Mdth sticks, 
we cut several holes in the log, to ascertain the char- 
acter of the animal. Soon however she passed one of 
the holes, and we knew it was a bear. We then re- 
moved, the sticks, and put in the dog. The bear 
seized the dog, and my brother reached in his hand 
and pulled the dog out badly hurt. The bear pre- 
sented her head at the hole, and I kiUed her with the 

On searching the log, we found a cub, which we 


took home with us. It could not bite, but would try. 

A Mrs. Adams, who had recently lost a babe, took 
it and nursed it, until it got to be quite a bear, and 
rather Tiarsli in its manners. 

As soon as the snow settled, we made us a hovel 
house, such as we could lay up ourselves of logs, 
twelve by fourteen feet square, with split logs for floor 
and roof, the roof projecting over, to afford a shelter 
to put things under, outside the house. 

When the snow was mostly gone, three of us with 
ax in hand went through on a line as near as we could, 
cutting out the under-brush for a road, coming out a 
little west of where Gaines village now is, on the Ridge 
road, which is now called ' the Gaines Basin road.' 
This we accomplished in less than half a day. 

In a few days we had the satisfaction of introducing 
Mrs. Bailey, my wife, into oxu* new house and were 
happy to get home. 

Our next work was to clear a small patch and sow 
some apple seeds, carrying dirt in a tray to cover 
them ; from those seeds originated many of the orch- 
ards in Orleans County. 

In June following we peeled basswood bark for 
our chamber floor and elm bark for a roof to our 

Harvesting came and we went to Mr. James Math- 
er's in Gaines, to reap wheat. He would not give us 
one bushel of wheat per day for our work, as he gave 
his other hands, but would give us seven bushels for 
cutting a certain piece, which we did in two days. — 
On my return home at night I found Mrs. Bailey had 
left home, where she had gone I knew not till next 
morning I learned she had been sent for to attend 
Mrs. Daniel Pratt, who was sick and died soon after. 
We cleared fifteen acres the first season. It was a 
task in time of logging to get up our oxen in the 


morning, especially on Mondays, as they would have 
Sundays to stray away into the woods. 

On one occasion I started after them and found 
their tracks near where Jonathan Whitney now lives, 
on the Oak Orchard road, a mile and a half south of 
Albion. I followed the tracks eastward all day, 
crossing the Transit Line several times. I could tell 
that line by the timber having been cut on it by the 
Holland Company. 

After a hard day' s toil and travel, making a good 
fire I camped by it for the night and had a good 
night' s rest. In the morning I heard a dog bark and 
a bell tinkle, I followed in the direction of these 
sounds, carefully noting where I left the cattle tracks 
and came out on the Ridge road, at Huff's tavern, in 
East Gaines and was right glad to get something to 

Mr. Rosier was there returning from the dangers of 
the war, driving some cattle and nline had got in 
with them. I renewed my pursuit and found my ox- 
en about two miles south of the marsh, which lies 
south of the Ridge, in East Gaines and glad was I to 
get them home again. 

, When it was time to sow our wheat, we went with- 
out bread three days rather than leave our work to 
go to mill. I have been to Churchville, Johnson's 
Creek, Rochester and Salmon Creek, for milling, be- 
fore there were mills built nearer. 

In the fall, I built me a good, comfortable log 
house, without a board, nail, or pane of glass in it, 
using bark for roof and chamber floor, split stuff for 
gable ends, lower floor and doors and oiled paper 
for windows, being compelled to exercise strict econ- 
omy and also to be quite independent in building my 
house. I found it however a good shelter and a com- 
foi-table home for several years. 

Soon after I moved into my house, my brother left 


for the east, leaving me in care of seven head of cattle 
to carry through the winter, with no fodder except a 
few cornstalks. Winter set in early and "by the time 
I had killed my winter's supply of venison, the corn- 
stalks were all gone and I found all I could do to 
keep fires qm^ fodder my cattle, Sundays not except- 

Thus I labored, cutting trees for the cattle as best 
I could, until my brother's return, the latter part of 
winter. We should not have attempted to winter our 
cattle, had not persons here assured us our cattle 
would winter with little or no care. 

In June, 1812, the town of Ridgeway was set off 
from Batavia, which before then comprised the whole 
present county of Orleans. In April, 1813, the first 
town meeting was held on the Ridge road, west of 
Oak Orchard Creek. At that time, the flats along 
the creek were covered with water from bank to bank. 
In going to the town meeting, we, who lived east, 
crossed the creek as best we could, on rafts of felled 

At that election I was chosen one of the assessors 
for the east part of the town. On the day appointed 
for holding the general election, I started for Mr. 
Brown' s, on Johnson' s Creek, where we were to open 
the polls. When I came to the Oak Orchard Creek, 
I put off my clothes and went through. On opening 
the polls, the board were challenged by Paul Brown, 
as not being free-holders ; true we were not, but we 
did not regard it. We adjourned at noon to Mr. El- 
hcott's, at Barnegat, in what is now the town of 
Shelby and next day to Ridgeway Corners and from 
thence to Gaines Comers, where we closed. 

The above journey was performed by the Board of 
Inspectors of the Election on foot. I do not think 
there was a horse in town at that time. 

Thus far all had passed off pleasantly, soon after. 


however, I was taken sick with the- fever and ague, 
which was so severe as to confine me to the house. — 
Dr. Wm. White was called to attend me. He came, 
said he could give me something that would stop it, 
hut would not advise me to take it. I replied I would 
take it on my own responsibility. He gave me arse- 
nic. I took it. It stopped the ague, but I did not 
get well for a long time. 

On the 3d of May, 1813, my wife was confined. My 
brother went to Five Corners for assistance, and when 
he returned with one of the neighboring women, they 
found me on one bed, my wife and one babe on an- 
other bed, and another babe on a pillow, on a chair, 
all right and doing well. I thought the woods was a 
fruitful place. 

I made a cradle from a hollow log, long enough to 
hold one baby in each end, and being round, it need- 
ed no rockers, and served our purpose nicely. 

In July after, I called upon my neighbors, some of 
whom lived several mUes from me, to help me put up 
a log barn. Some fifteen came. We found we could 
not get. through in season for them to get home that 
day and rather than come again, they finished it, 
though it got to be late before it was done and they. 
all staid over night, on beds spread on the floor, pio 
neer fashion. 

About this time, in 1813, one morning while we 
were at breakfast, a man came in from the Ridge and 
said the British had landed from the lake at the mouth 
of Oak Orchard Creek and would probably come up 
to the Ridge, if not repulsed. We were well armed. 
My brother took the rifle and started on quick time. 
I could not go as fast as they, but followed on as fast 
as my strength would admit. I soon reached the 
Ridge road and was glad to learn there was no dan- 
ger. The eiijemy only wanted to steal some of Mr. 
Brown' Seattle, from near the Two Bridges, in Carlton. 


After I left h^ome on this military expedition Mr. 
Farr and Mr. Holsenburgh came to chop for me.— 
They left their homes before the news came. We re- 
turned about 4 o'clock afternoon the same day. Mr. 
Darrow came with us to get a pig. With some diffi- 
culty the men chopping could see my cabin from 
where they were at work. My brother, as we came 
near, gave a loud whoop, like an Indian. I stopped 
him. He then blew a blast on a tin horn he had. I 
stopped him again, saying supper was not ready. I 
then threw my frock over my shoulders and went to 
the pen to catch the pig. Farr and Holsenburgh 
heard the whoop and the horn and saw me going to 
the pen and mistook my frock for the blanket of an 
Indian ; and hearing the pig squeal soon after, they 
concluded the Indians had come and killed my fam- 
ily and were going to finish with a feast from the 
pigs ; and they started for their homes to get their 
guns to fight the Indians. Mr. Farr then lived at the 
Five Corners in Gaines and Mr. Holsenburgh, on the 
place afterwards owned by Ebenezer Rogers, a mile 
south of Albion. 

Mr. Farr hurried home, got his gun and was ready 
for a fight. Mr. Chaffee, on hearing the story, told 
Mr. Farr it could not be true, as there were no Indians 
landed and he saw xis when we started for home. 

Holsenburgh went directly to Mr. Barrow's, before 
any of the party had got back, told what had happen- 
ed at my house, said- Mrs. Darrow and Mrs. Hart and 
their families must hide in the woods, as the Indians 
would soon be there and actually got them started. 
The men returned however in time to stop them. 

While the above was being performed, we could 
hear no sound from the axes, and knew not the reason 
until near sunset, when Mr. Farr came and explained 
the whole transaction. 

About the first of August, my brother was taken 


with fever and ague. Some one told Mm of a remedy. 
He tried it, a violent fever ensued, v^hich lasted but a 
few days, and he died, August 8th. Before my broth- 
er was buried, my wife was taken sick with the same 
fever and died on the 13th of the same month. They 
were both in succession carried hy friends to the 
burying ground in Gaines, and interred there. Some 
friends living on the Kidge took my children home 
with them, while' I returned to my desolate house to 
spend one of the loneliest nights I ever knew, as there 
was no one to accompany me home. 

I informed my father of what had transpired. He 
soon came and took two of my children home with 
him. I hired a Mrs. Adams, a cousin of mine, to take 
care of the other. 

I was now so lonely that as soon as I could secure 
my crops, I left home and went to my father' s. 

In the fall before leaving, Mr. Parmelee, a brother- 
in-law came with a wagon to help secure my com, 
which we had planted among the logs. I did but lit- 
tle work that season, not logging one acre. 

On going into my cornfield we found it badly torn 
down. We got a dog, and lantern in hand went at 
night to the field. Tlie dog started off furiously and 
soon treed some animal up a large hemlock. On 
looking up I coiild at times see eyes shine. We con- 
cluded it was a bear, and each one selecting a small 
tree to climb, in case the bear should come down and 
attack us, I went to try my skill in shooting in the 
darkness. Soon as I fired there was a screeching up 
the tree. The creature must have gone nearly to the 
top of the tree. Directly there was a cracking heard 
among the limbs, I scrambled up my tree, and the 
bear came down from hers. 

No sooner had she struck the ground than the dog 
grappled in with her, but soon cried out piteously. — 
We thought the dog was being killed. I hastened 


down from my tree, called for the light to see to load 
my gun. We walked up to the combatants and found 
the dog biting instead of being bitten. Parmelee said 
he did not climb his tree. He had" some sport after- 
wards telling how he had saved my life by holding 
the lantern so that I could see and not climb off at 
the top of the tree. 

Before my return to the east, Mr. Caleb C. Thurs- 
ton came to view the country, said lie would move in- 
to my house, if I would drive my oxen down and help 
him up, as he did not wish to buy another yoke, and 
would hire me to clear five acres when he bought a 
lot ; to this I consented. 

In the winter of 1814, Mr. Thurston moved on with 
oxen and wagon. While gone to my father's, Lewis- 
ton and Buffalo were burned and Capt. McCarty, 
with a part of the Company to which I belonged, 
went as far as Molyneaux tavern, where they sur- 
rounded the house, shooting one Indian through the 
window. Finding another helpless on the floor drunk, 
a Mr. Cass pinned him to the floor with his bayonet. 
The British soldiers ran up stairs and were taken 
prisoners. Mr. Molyneaux said he would find rails 
as long as they would find Indians, and they burned 
the bodies of the killed. 

In the summer following, I took my oxen and wag- 
on and seventeen bushels of w^heat, with Mrs. Thurs- 
ton on the load, for a visit to Mr. Pratt' s and went to 
mill beyond Clarkson. I returned as far as Mr. 
Pratt's the next i^ight about dark. I asked Mrs. 
Thurston if she would venture through the woods with 
me. She said she would and if we had to lay out, 
we would do the best we could. 

When we left the Ridge and turned into the woods, 
it was so dark I could not see my oxen, although I 
was sitting on the foreboard. We arrived safe home, 
without accident. 


I think it would be difficult in these days to find 
women of sufficient fortitude to endure such hard- 
ships and privations, as did these early pioneer 

At this time there was no clearing between my 
place and the Ridge road. 

The war with Great Britain was now raging along 
our frontiers, in all /its horrors. More settlers were 
then leaving the country than were coming in. There 
were then but five families in what was then called 
Freeman's settlement, west of Eagle Harbor. No 
road had been opened. We had to follow marked 
trees as our guide. 

Mr. Thurston's eldest daughter, then about ten 
years old, w^nt to stay with our friends there a few 
days. She was taken sick and not able to walk 
home. Her father and myself went after her and car- 
ried her back to her father' s house, the most of the 
distance on our backs. It was a hard liftforusto get 
her up the bank of Otter Creek. 

The first of September, our militia company was or- 
dered to Buffalo. On the fifth we reached Batavia.— 
Mr. Thurston being infirm, was allowed to return to 
his family in their solitude. I was kept with the 
Company, until the first of October, when I was dis- 
charged and returned home, having received seven 
dollars and fifty cents pay for services and two dol- 
lars for extra labor. 

I lodged the first night on my return with the Ton- 
awanda Indians. I have never since turned an Indian 
away, who desired to stay with me over night. 

Before I left home to go to Buffalo, as a soldier, I 
had baited some pigeons. After we were gone, Mrs. 
Thurston took the net and caught them and in this 
way herself and children were provided with a rich 
repast, although so far off in the wilderness alone. 

In the winter of 1815, with my pack on my back, I 


returned to Whitestown, and on the 8th day of Feb- 
ruary, was married to Miss Sylvia Pratt, who return- 
ed with me to share alike the toils and blessings of 
life, where, by the blessing of God, we still remain. 

I have had twelve children ;' three died young, I 
had the pleasure of sitting down with all the others at 
my own table, the present summer, (1861) although 
some of them reside eight hundred miles away from 

At the close of the war, settlers came in rapidly 
and soon I was out of the woods, having it cleared 
and settled all around me. 

In the early settlement' of the country, it was diffi- 
cult to raise pigs, as the bears would catch them in 
the summer. Consequently, pork was high priced, 
and scarce. With my rifle, I could take what veni- 
son I needed, and therefore fared well for meat. The 
oil of the raccoon was first rate for frying cakes. — 
Thus we fared sumptuously. 

At one time, I had a sow and pigs in the woods. — 
One day I heard the sow squeal. Being nearer to 
them than to the house, I ran, supposing I could save 
her. As I came near and hallooed, bruin dropped his 
prey and reared up on his hind legs, when he saw 
me he ran ofi", but he had killed the hog. I got my 
rifle and pursued, but saw no more of him. 

In the summer of 1816, I heard a man's voice hal- 
looing in the woods south of my house. I went to' see 
what was going on. Saw several men there and in- 
quired what they were about. One of them said 
they were going to make us a canal. I laughed at 
them, and told them they would hardly make water 
run up hill between here and Albany. I added, it 
would be as long as I would ask to live, to be able to 
see such a canal as they talked of in operation. How 
little did I then know of what men could perform, 
aided by intellectual culture and public wealth, hav- 


ing up to that time spent most of my life in the woods. 
Before this we had to go to Batavia for our merchants 
goods and to the Post-office. 

The foregoing comprises what I thinlc of now of my 
pioneer life. 

I cannot look back upon the past of my life and 
contemplate what the good Lord has in his loving 
kindness done for me, without acknowledging his 
preserving care, and that too when the most of my 
days have been spent in rebellion against him, in not 
obeying his commands and in neglecting to acknowl- 
edge him under the sore afflictions he has seen -fit to 
bring upon me and to sustain me under them ; and 
above all, that in after life, He by his good spirit 
should call after me, until I was brought to see and 
feel his goodness, in the forgiveness of my sins and 
to thank and praise him for all his mercies and to 
ask that I may be accepted by him through the 
merits of his Son, and have the pleasure of meeting 
in his kingdom above, with all the old pioneers, not 
of the woods only, but all those that are seeking a 
better and a heavenly country. 

Dated— Barre, August 1, 1861. 

Mr. Lansing Bailey, the author of the foregoing 
sketch, died at his residence in Barre, December 1866, 
aged 79 years. Many years before his death he sold 
out the land he^took up from the Holland Company 
and bought the north-east part of lot 10, town 15, 
range 2, of the Holland Purchase, on which he ever 
afte^ resided, and which is now occupied and owned 
by his son, Timothy C. Bailey. 

Lansing Bailey was a man of strong, native good 
sense, who always ^tood Mgh in the estimation of all 
who knew him, highest with those who knew him best. 
He used to say when he left his father' s house, his 
father gave him a hoe and three sheep, and he thought 


Ms father did as well by him as he was able, as he 
not only gave him a hoe, but taught him to dig, for 
which he always felt grateful. 

Mr. Bailey was always industrious and frugal and 
by a- life of economy and prudence, acquired a 
handsome property. He was liberal and public 
spirited in his character, almost always holding some 
public office or trust. He was for many years Super- 
visor of the town of Barre and was relieved from that 
office only after he had peremtorily declined being 
a candidate, against the wishes of a large majority in 
his town. 


Hon. Gideon Hard was born in Arlington, Vermont, 
April 29, 1797. His grand-mother was sister of Gol. 
Seth Warner, celebrated in the history of the Revo- 
lutionary war for his services in taking Ticonderoga, 
and in the battle of Bennington. In his youth he 
labored first upon a farm, afterwards with an older 
brother at the trade of house joiner for two years. 

About this time he resolved to obtain a college 
education. Being poor and dependent mainly on his 
ovm exertions, like many other New England boys, 
he taught school in the winter seasons and studied the 
remainder of the time, until he succeeded in passing 
through Union College at Schenectady, where he re- 
ceived his first degree in July, 1822. In the autumn 
of that year he commenced studying law with Hon. 
John L. Wendell, then of Cambridge, Washington 
county, since law reporter of the Supreme Court of 
the State of New York. 

The rules of the Supreme Court at that time re- 
quired three years of law study previous to admission 
to practice. By the aid of his friend and teacher, J.L. 
Wendell, he was allowed to take his examination at 
the May Tenn of the Court 1825, and was then ad- 
mitted attorney in the Supreme Court. 

•c^t^d'^x. Wa^(^ 


In March, 1826, he settled to practice his profession 
in Newport, now Albion, but did not move his wife to 
his new home until July of the same year. 

He opened his office and began his practice. 

In 1827 he was elected Commissioner of Schools for 
Barre and in the autumn of that year he was ap- 
pointed County Treasurer, an office he held six years. 
In 1832 he was elected a Representative in Congress 
from the district comprising Orleans and Niagara 
counties, and took his seat in Congress in Dec. 1833, 
during the first year of President Jackson' s adminis- 
tration, in political classification being ranked as a 
Whig. Inl834 he was re-elected to Congress, and dur- 
ing the long session of 1836 he served on the committee 
on elections. The case ol James Graham, a member 
from North Carolina, whose seat Avas contested, came 
before that committee, where after a lengthy examin- 
ation a majority of the committee reported in favor of 
the contestant. General Newland. 

Mr. Hard drafted a counter report of the minority 
in favor of Graham, which he presented and advo- 
cated in a personal effort before the House. He was 
sustained by the vote of the House. This result, in a 
body where he was largely in the minority, on a 
question which was decided mainly on party grounds 
and by his political opponents, was highly gratifying 
to his political friends and party and flattering to his 

On the 4th of March 1837, he left Congress and re- 
turned to Albion to practice his profession. 

In 1841 he' was elected Senator in the State Senate 
to represent the eighth district of New York, and was 
the only Whig Senator elected in the State that year. 
The Senate of the State at that time constituted the 
Court for the Correction of Errors, of which Court he 
thus became a member. 

The business of the Court consisted in reviewing 


the decisions of the Supreme Court and the Court of 
Chancery, which might be brought before them on 
appeal. The Court held three terms of four weeks 
each annually. 

As the Senate was composed largely of civilians, 
who in the decision of cases which came before them 
while sitting as a court of law, did little more then 
vote upon the final questions, the main labor of the 
Court fell upon the members who were lav^yers, in 
investigating the questions of law presented, and 
writing out the opinions that were given. 

Mr. Hard took his share of this labor, thoroughly 
examining the causes in the Cpurt and writing out 
his opinions in support of the conclusions to which 
he arrived, many of which are published in the Law 
Keports of the State. 

In 1845 he was re-elected to the State Senate and 
appointed Chairman of the Committee on Railroads. 

In 1848 his ofiice as Senator having terminated by 
the adoption of the new constitution of the State, 
which abolished the old Senate and Court for Correc- 
tion of Errors, Mr. Hard was appointed a Canal Ap- 
praiser, which ofiice he held two years, and in 1850 
returned to the practice of his profession until the fall 
of 1856, when he was elected County Judge and Sur- 
rogate of Orleans county, which office he held four 

The year 1860 he was in ill health and did little 
business. The next three years he spent mainly in 
attendance upon his sick wife. She died, an event 
which broke up his family, and since then he has re- 
sided most of the time with his cTiildren engaged in 
no business. 

Mr. Hard married Adeline Burrell, of Hoosic Falls 
New York, in August, 1824. 

They had two children, Samuel B. Hard, a lawyer 
and business man residing in the city of New York, 


and Helen B. who married Geo. H. Potts, and resides 
in New York also. 
Mrs. Hard died at Albion Sept. 15, 1864. 


Dea. Ebenezer Rogers was born in Norwich Conn., 
October 3, 1769. He married Betsey Lyman of Leba- 
non, Connecticut, who died August 28, 1849. Mr. 
Rogers removed from New England to Onondaga Co., 
N. Y., in 1812, and in March, 1816, settled on the 
farm on which he afterwards resided in the south part 
of the village of Albion. When he came, not more 
than twenty families had settled in Barre and his 
house was a home for many of the young men, who 
came here to select a farm for themselves, or, who, 
having a lot, were clearing it^ and building a cabin, 
preparatory to occupying with their families. 

Being a professor of religion and deeply impressed 
with the importance of that subject, he was among 
the most earnest of the settlers in introducing the 
stated observance of the forms of public worship 
among them ; and with his near neighbor, Joseph 
Hart and others, he assisted to form the first Congre- 
gational Church and Society in Barre, which finally 
was established at Barre Center, and after Albion 
became a village, he was conspicuous in organizing 
the First Presbyterian Church and Society in Albion, 
which was an oftshoot from the organization first de- 
scribed. Of the latter church, Mr. Rogers was a long 
time deacon, and a ruling elder. 

He was by trade a tanner and shoemaker, but nev- 
er followed that business. 

Of a strong physical constitution, Mr. Rogers lived 
to see his children settled around him in competence, 
enjoying the abundance of the good things of this 
good land, which he and his worthy compeers 
had done so much to reclaim from the wilderness of 


nature. Mr. Rogers died January 28, 1865, aged 
ninety-six years, three months and twenty-five days. 


" I was born in the town of Parmington, Hartford 
Co., Conn., June 2, 1797. My parents were members 
of the Presbyterian Church and gave their children a 
strictly religious, as well as a common school educa- 
tion, as was the custom in Kew England. In Febru- 
ary, 1806, my father removed with his family, then 
consisting of- wife, four sons and two daughters, to 
Candor, Tioga Co., N. Y., a journey of about three 
hundred miles. 

My father, oldest brother and myself, performed 
this journey, with a pair of oxen and one horse, at- 
tached to a sled, being twelve days on the road. 

A hired man brought my mother and her other 
children in a sleigh. 

That country was then wild, with but few settlers 
scattered along the Susquehanna and Chemung riv- 
ers, with dense forests stretching back thirty miles 
without a human being, inhabited by bears, wolves, 
panthers, deer and smaller animals. * 

A road had been opened between Owego and Ithaca, 
on which a few settlers had located. 

In the fall of 1806, 1 went to Ithaca with my father, 
with oxen and wagon, after a load of salt. 

I think Ithaca was then the most loathsome and 
desolate place I had ever seen. It stood on low, 
black soil, surrounded north and west by a quagmire 
swamp. It -sained hard, and the black mud was so 
deep, it was with difficulty our oxen could draw two 
barrels of salt home. 

My father and another man, built the first school 
house in the town of Candor, and opened the first 
school there. The school house stood three miles 
from my. father's dwelling and I went there to school 


through the woods, with no other shoes than sncti as 
ray mother made from wook^ii cloth from day to day. 
In J^une, 1806, my fathei-, his hired man, my broth- 
ers and myself, were lioeing corn, between ten an(i 
eleven o'clock in the forenoon, when we noticed a sin- 
gular appearance in the atmosphere ; the sky looked, 
sombre, the birds retired to the woods, the hens to 
their roosts, and we went to the house. The sun wa.s 
all darkened, but a lim around the edge ; tlie 
gloom and chill of evening settled on all the eai'tlv. 
around. This lasted but a short time, when the sun 
came out from its dark pall, everything assumed its 
wonted activity and light and the ' great eclipses' 
passed off. 

I continued most of tlie time working with and foi 
my father, occasionally working for others, till one 
day as I was chopping in the woods, a young man- 
(;ame along and said to me, he was not going to liv(i 
longer in that hilly, sterile place : that he had been 
to the ' Genesee' and found a country far preferable 
to that for beauty and farming purposes. 

I heard his story and determined that at some tiuio 
I would see that famous ' (^enesee country.' 

In the spring of 181(1 I bought my time of my 
father, for $100. I was nineteen years old. I hired 
out to work for !?14 per month and in less than a 
year earned enough to pay my father for my thm\ 
and had money left. I continued working where 1 
could make it most profitable, got plenty of work and 
good pay, until in the summer of 1819, feeling as if I 
had worked for others long enough, having then ten 
acres of land and several head of cattle, I felt a desii-e 
to get a good wheat farm for myself. 

I started with two young men, on foot, knapsacks 
on our backs, Aug. 27, 1819, to go to the Genesee 
country. "We went through Ithaca, and took the 
road to Geneva, traveling as far as Ovid the tifst day. 


forty miles. Next day through Geneva and Canan- 
daigua, we reached West'Bloomfield. IS'ext day 
through Lima and Avon, we arrived at Batavia and 
went to the office of the Holland Company to see 
about land. 

In the office the agent appeared rather sour, little 
disposed to he sociahle. We asked him if he had 
land to sell. He said he had. He was asked where 
it lay and replied ' everywhere, all over, you cannot 
go amiss.' I asked him if it was wild, or improved 
farms > He answered ' go and look, when you run 
jour head into a great impi'ovemfent you vdll know 
it, won't you i' I turned indignantly and Avalked out 
of the office, saying ' I had a mind to hoot that fellow.' 

The agent followed us out to close the blinds and 
hearing our conversation, said rather pleasantly. 
' boys keep a stiff upper lip.' 

We stayed that night at the old 'Pioneer tavern." 
The landlord tried hard to coijvince me that the agent 
was a New England gentleman, one that I would he 
pleased to do business with. 

We were informed of tlip rapid growth of a new 
town north from Batavia, called Ban-e, lying between 
the tonawanda Swamp and the Ridge road. Towards 
this new town we set out next morning. 

After examining various parts of Barre and Gaines. 
we selected our locations in Barre, and returned to 
the Land office to secure our Articles for our land ; 
but finding we lacked a few dollars required to pay 
the first payment, the agent kindly offered to ' book' 
the lots to us, until we got the money. 

We made no farther complaint against the agent, 
who ' booked' the land to us and we returned t(.) 
make preparations for felling the timber on our new 
farms. Never before did we complain of the rapid 
flight of time, but here, while laboring for ourselves, 
we thought these the shortest days we had e^er seen. 


On the 12th of October, 1819, having obtained thi' 
money, we went to the office and took out our Articles 
for our land, went back to our work and aft6r chop- 
ping five or six acres apiece, we returned to on/' 
friends in Tioga county. 

During the next winter, we fitted out with teams, 
tools, clothing and a quantity of pork, and in March, 
1820, set out for our new homes and after a tedious 
journey of twelve days, through snow, water and 
mud, we arrived home April 1st. 

Having no hay for our cattle, we cut browse to feed 
them, giving a few ears of corn procured from onr 
neighbors, till vegetation grew so that they could livf 
in the woods. 

We hired our board cooked at a neighbors and 
-<?leared ofl" what we had chopped the previous season 
and planted the land with corn. The season being- 
propitious, we had good crops of corn, with oats, po- 
tatoes, beans and other vegetables and melons in 
abundance. We also cleared off and sowed several 
.acres with wheat. 

In the autumn the bears were very troublesome in 
our cornfields, committing their nightly depredations, 
-till it became necessary to put our veto upon them : 
this we did in various ways — by trapping, shooting, 
night watching, &c., until we liad captured four of 
them and thus saved our corn. 

After securing our crops and preparing for winter, 
-we sold our teams and i-eturned to our parental 

During the next season we experienced much incon- 
venience in getting our board dressed for us. The 
woman who did it became quite tired of doing the 
work for the ' old bachelors,' and I began to realize 
the truth of the Divine declaration that ' it is not good 
for man to be alone.' 

After visiting among friends in Tioga County a few 


(lays, I ]iii('(l out for three months. March 1, 1821, I 
was man-ied. About the middle of the month, putting- 
all on hoard a coA'ered wagon, with two yoke of oxein- 
attat'lied. and in company with the two young men 
previously referred to, we set out again for our new 
wilderness home, in the Clenesee country. 

After two weeks hard labor, we arrived at our home 
t() the great joy of our neighbors, especially the 
loomen.. "We moved into a small house with one of 
our neiglibors, until we could build us a house, 
Avliich we built in a few weeks after. 

While th(! earl}' pioneers of a new country are 
] ie(.'essai-ily subject to many hardships and privations, 
unknown to settlers of older countries, still there are 
many eiijoyujents and pleasing reminiscences for" 
these pioneejs, which they never forget. Aristocracy 
is unknown in a new country. The people are all 
friendly and kindl}' disposed towards each other. If 
;iny are .sick, they are at once cared for. If a farmer 
was attacked \\\W\ ague, that dread disease, so com- 
mon among tlie pioneers of this county, before he 
c(juld get his spring crops into the ground, his neigh- 
bors would turn out and put them in for him and if 
necessary, the}- would keep his work along until Ik? 
was able to do it himself. If 1>here is any state of so- 
ciety where men fullil the Divine injunction ' love thy 
neighbor as thys(']f,' it is found among the pioneers 
of a new country. 

If any one got lost in the woods, and did not return 
!it night, search Avas at once made by e\'eryl_)ody and 
no sleep was had until the lost one was found. 

After we moved into our new house, I started out - 
to buj- ni<^ a vow, bought one and we now commenced! 
housekeeping under circumstances quite favorable, at 
least our neighbors thought so.' My wife had a few 
necessary articles of furniture, so that we were about 
as well off as any of our neighbors. 

Of ORLEANS COU?{Tr. 101 

There wore no pianos or melodeons in tliose days. 
"The little wheel for spinning flax and the great wheel 
for spinning tow, furnished the music. A few years 
later and we had other house music. 

I plodded on for eight years, adding field to field of 
my cleared, improved land and then found myself un- 
.able to pay even the interest due on my Article to the 
X/and Company. 

I raised about ^70, and with this went to Batavia 
to see the agent. I determined this time to w^alk into 
the office with liead up and meet any insult I might 
receive with manly independence. 
I I found the agent alone in the office, went up to 
him and laid down my Article and all the money I 
had, saying my Article has expired and here is all 
the money I have. I want to renew my contract, 
, as I have no idea of giving up my premises yet. 

The agent walked up, took my Article, unfolded it 
.and said 'you have not assigned it I see.' Then 
taking up the money he said pleasantly, ' walk into 
the other room.' I did. so and in less time than I 
.have been writing this, my new Article was made out, 
; my payment indorsed and I was ready to start for 
home. But on returning to the contractor's room, 
the agent said to me he had relinquished all the back 
interest and $1 per acre of the principal, making an 
entire new sale, with eight years' pay day, as at first, 
.and asked me if I was satisfied. , My gratitude had 
by this time become almost unbounded and I left 
: the office, thanking the old agent for his kindness and' 
thinking after all, beneath a rough exterior he liad a 
generous heart. 

I mention this incident to show the kind and gener- 

' ous treatment extended towards the poor industrioias 

settlers upon the lands of the Holland Company. — 

Many incidents of a like character might be recorded 

:-to the credit of the Company. 


I (lame home inspired with new energy and determi- 
nation to struggle on and overcome every hardship ■ 
and difficulty in my way. 

We had but little sickness compared with our 
neighbors, as yet. In the spring of 1823, 1 had severe 
inflamation of the lungs, and in the spring of 1828, 
I was taken with fever and ague, which held me 
through the season. 

The next spring my wife was sick with fever and 
ague and thrush, which kept her ill till the October 

Our children, then four in number, had their full 
shares of fever and ague. It was painful to see the 
little ones draw up to the fire while suffering their 
chill, then see them retire to their beds, tormented 
with the raging thirst and fever following the chiUs, 
while their mother could do little for them, except to- 
supply their frequent calls for water. 

In the fall of 1824 or 1825 two mea living near Barre 
Center, named Selah Belden, and Nathan Angel, 
started on Saturday morning to hunt deer west from 
the Center. They parted in the afternoon, each after 
separate game. At night Mr. Belden returned — Mr. 
Angel did not. Next morning Belden, Avith some of 
his neiglibors, went out and spent the day looking for 
Angel, but not finding him, the next morning a gene- 
ral rally of all the men in town was made and the 
woods thoroughly searched and the dead body of Mr. 
Angel found, having apparently fallen and died from 
exhaustion. The body was carried to Benton's Corn- 
ers, — then the centre of the settlement, — a jury called 
by Ithamar Hibbard, Esq., one of the first coro- 
ners and it is believed this was the first coroner's in- 
((upst in Orleans county. As the county was cl^aried 
up and the low lands drained of their surface water 
the people suffered less from ague. 

The canal being now opened, farmers found a readv 


market and 'better- ]3!ri<!es for their produce. Home 
manufactures were protected from foreign compe- 
tition and the price of domestic goods gi-eatly 
reduced. It was then the farmers began to thrive 
and soon to pay up for their lands. The price of real 
estate [advanced and some even predicted the time 
would come when the best farms would be worth one 
hundred dollars per acre, hardly expecting to live to 
see their predictions fulfilled as they have done. 

The attention of the early pioneers was called to 
the subject of common schools for their children and 
the next building to go up after a log cabin fo3' a 
dwelling was a log school house. 

One of our own statesmen while a member of the 
Legislature being asked where he graduated, replied : 
' In a log school house up in Orleans county.' I have 
often carried my eldest son to and from school on my 
back through the deep snows of winter. 

More than forty years ago I united with the Meth- 
odist Episcopal Church at West Barre and in 1843 
withdrew from that church and united with the Wes- 
leyan Methodists. 

Many years ago, convinced of the sin of intemper- 
ance, I resolved to use no more intoxicating liquor as 
a beverage, a resolution to which I have strictly ad- 

Jiered ever since. , 

January 38tli, 1862. 


Andrew H. Green, of Byron, Genesee county, N. 
Y., writes for the Orleans county Pioneer Association 
records, his local history as follows : 

"I was born in Johnstown, Montgomery Co., N. 
Y., Oct. 16th, 1797, and in June, 1809, came to Gene- / 
see county from Rome, Oneida county, N. Y. ' ' 

In 1792, my father and Judge Try on, of New Leb- 
anon, came to Irondequoit, near Rochester and built 


a'storeliouse ; and. in 1808, my father came to what is 
now Bergen and Sweden and purchased something of 
a farm and commenced on the north bounds of what 
is now the Methodist camp ground, in Bergen, run- 
ning north to the road running ea'st to Sweden Centre, 
twenty-five lots containing three thousand acres at 
twenty-two shillings jier acre. 

It was a hard country to settle. There were but 
few inhabitants and the roads were very bad. As 
soon as they began to erect liiill-dams there was a 
great deal of sickness. 

We werit to Hanford'a Landing, at the mouth of 
Genesee River, to trade and sell potash. I found but 
two houses between our house and Clarkson Corners, 
and but two from there to Genesee river. For several 
y(>ars I was as familiar in every family from my 
father' s to Genesee river as I am now with my near 

The first time I passed through Rochester was, in 
tlie summer of 1809. The next I remember about it 
was the bad roads and that I was very much fright- 
ened crossing the Genesee river. The water was deep 
and ran very swift. T expected to go down stream 
and over the falls. 

I think there was one mill and two or three shanties 
tf) be seen there then. There was a small clearing 
where the Eagle tavern 'formerly stood, but I had as 
rn uch as T could do to get my load through the mud. 
J little thought then that black ash swamp was ever 
to be the place it now is. Late in the fall of 1809 my 
father sent me to Sangersfield Huddle after a load of 
merchandise. East of Canandaigvia was a new turn- 
pike where I got stuck in the mud and' had to wait 
until the next teamster came along to help nie out. 
I was then fourteen yearJ^ old. My father had fifteen 
workmen and the first sumnjer cleared one hundred 


In October Judge Fiiidley from (TPnesee came on 
with a company of men to survey township niuTi))er 
two of the one hundred thoiisand acre tract. Tliey 
also stopped witli us, making a family of t\\'ent\-six 
men, besides having' two families in the house. 

The ' latch-string ' was always out and none ever 
went away hungry as we had plenty of pork and wild 
game » to season it. Deerj bears and wolves' were 
plenty. I never heard of but one panther. The sur- 
veyors had their tent near where the steam saw mill 
now stands in Clarendon. Their cook came in on 
^Vednesday night for bread. One e\'ening he had 
got to where Col. Shubael Lewis afterwards lived 
when he heard some one halloo. He st)on ft)und it 
was a panther on his track. It followed him to the 
clearing. The man was much exhausted when he 
came in. He was an old hunter and said he knew it 
was a panther.' The men all came in Satui-day after- 
noon. The Sabbath was as well kept in 1809 as in 
1863. We were seldom without evangelical preach- 
ing. We had one close communion Baptist Elder, 
some Methodists and some Pi-esbyterians. All could 
sing the good old tunes and sing them with a will. The 
year 1809 was productive and liealthy. In 1810, 
about July 20th, we had a frost that killed most of the 
wheat and corn. The fall of 1811 was very sickly. 
There were several families settled at Sandj' Creek 
village. They were all sick. We made? up a load of 
some six or seven and went down to help them. I 
never saw so ^"kSkp^^ji a company. We carried two 
loads of necessaries and staid two nights and when 
some of them got so they cOuld take care of the 
others we left for home. 

I used to have many hard and lonesome; rides 
through the woods on horseback. Ojie very dark 
night I had been to Dr. Ward's after medi(;ine. ('om- 
ing home I lost my road and also my hat. Before I 


found my hat the wolves began to howl. I took off 
my shoes so that I might find the road, and by the 
time I had mounted my horse to go on, the wolves 
were within "speaking distance" and before I had 
gone far they struck my barefoot tracks ; then they 
made a terrific roaring. I thought I was a 'goner' 
sure enough, but I presume if the wolves had seen 
me then on the old white horse they would have been 
as frightened as I was. 

Our men had all kinds of musical instruments and 
any time when the drum was beat the wolves were 
almost sure to respond. 

About the beginning of winter my father started 
me off with an ox team and load of grain to find 
Judge Fai'well's grist mill. After a tedious day's 
travel I came in sight of water pouring over rocks. 
It was no small stream. I thought it must be Niag- 
ara Falls. I was glad to find I could get my grist 
ground, so I chained my oxen to a tree and found a 
comfortable night's lodging among the bags in the 
mill. I got home the the next day with my grist. 
Our folks thought I had done well and I thought so 

The first winter I walked seven miles to school every 

day and back again. 

A. H. GKEEN." 
Byron, Genesee Co. X. Y., Juno 16, 1863. 

In a letter written by the above named A. H. Green 
to the Secretary of the Orleans County Pioneer Asso- 
ciation, dated June 14th, 1866, he says: "I was 
quite interested the other day, while hunting up the 
old road records of our town, Byron, in 1809. It was 
then the town of Murray, but now contains eight or 
nine towns entire. 


Mr. Peck furnished his local history for the Orleans 


County Pioneer Association Records as follows : 

"I was bom October 2Tth, 1816, in a very cheap 
log house on Onondaga Hill, in Onondaga Co., N. Y., 
about a mUe and a half from the old Court House. 
Up to eleven years of age I was engaged principally 
in endeavoring to get something to eat, not always 
however with much success, and in going to school 
barefoot both summer and Avinter. 

I never had anything made of leather to wear on 
my feet until the spring of 1828. 

My amusements consisted in listening to the bowl- 
ings of the wolves and in gymnastic exercises with 
the musketoes. 

In May, 1828, I had a pair of shoes goid was sent 
to Pike, Allegany county, to live with my brother 
Ljither. I stayed there until May 1833, when I re- 
turned to my parents with whom I lived until 1836, 
when I went to Wyoming to attend the Middlebury 

In the spring of 1838 1 returned to Pike to read 
law in my brothers' office. In 1841 he rdmoved to 
Nunda, now in Livingston county and I stayed with 
him in his office till 1848. In July of that year I 
commenced jobbing on the canals and continued in 
that business until the summer uf 1861, since which 
time I have done little business of any kind. I was 
never married. 

I left the town where I was born in 1817 and ar- 
rived in Clarendon, or what is now Clarendon, Orleans 
county, just forty years ago to-day (March 20, 1864.) 
I came to HoUey first in the spring of 1856 and stayed 
until December. I then returned to Pendleton in 
Niagara cotinty and completed a large job I had on 
the Erie Canal through the Mountain Ridge and 
went back to HoUey in the spring of 1857, since which 
time HoUey has been my residence. 

My mother died March 4, 1848, aged 71 } eaiis. My 


father died Junes, .1852, aged 82 years. I am the 
youngest of ihy brotliers, all of whom are living. 

There are, or were, no incidents in my early history 
or that of my brothers, not common to all the early 
settlers in this vicinity, except I thought we managed 
to be a little poorer than any body else. My father 
had the misfortune of having two ti-ades, that of a 
farmer and carpenter and .joiner. He worked his 
hands altogether too much and his brains altogether 
too little, and dividing the time betv/een the two, nec- 
essarily resulted in doing neither well. Consequently 
neither prospered. This his sons turned all about in 
1825, when my brothers became old enough to take 
charge of affairs. Sinci- whicli time there has been 

an improvement. 

Dated— Holley, March 20, 1864. 


Harvey (xoodrich was born in Herkimer county, N. 
Y., in Nov. 1791. His father, Zenas rxoodrich, re- 
moved to that place from Berkshire, Mass. When a 
young man Harvey Groodrich removed to Auburn, N. 
Y., and worked for some time at the business of mak- 
ing hats, and for several years he officiated as a 
constable. Having been successful in accumulating 
property, he with his brother-in-law, George AV. 
Standart, took a job of work in making the Erie 
canal, and leaving Auburn after his canal work was 
completed,' he located permanentlj^ at ^Vlbion in the 
year 1824, and engaged in selling dry goods and 
groceries in (company with George W. Standart. 

After the death of Mr. Standart Mr. Goodrich soon 
quit selling dry goods and for ntany years carried on 
the business of manufacturing hats and dealing in 
hats and furs- He was also engaged in buying pro- 
duce. For a number of years lie held the office of 
postmaster in Albion. 

OF orlt-:ans ("ounty. 109 

Being of an active, energetic temperment and by 
education and inclination fitted to talte a leading part 
in public affairs, he was one of the prominent men in 
the commiinity where he lived, always conspicuous 
and busy on public occasions, generally holding some 
official position. 

In politics he was a democrat of the straitest sect, 
faithful and true to his party. 

But perhaps the ardent and earnest character of 
the man appeared clearest in his zeal in the cause of 

While a resident in Auburn and about the year 
1817, he made a public profession of religion and 
united with tlie First Presbyterian Churfih in that 
place, then under the pastoral care; of B.ev. Dr. 

One of the first enterprises in which he became in- 
terested after he came to Albion was in establishing 
a Presbyterian church there. That denomination 
had no church organization in Barre. 

Through the agem^ of Mr. Goodrich, more especi- 
ally, aided by several other Presbyterians who had 
settled in Albion and its vicinity, the services of a 
young preacher from Auburn Theological Seminary, 
Bev. William Johnson, were obtained and the Pres- 
byterian Chxirch in Albion was organiz(?d about Feb. 
22, 1824 by Bev. ^Vndrew Bawson, then laboring as a 
missionary here, who was distinguished as a veteran 
pioneer minister iii Orleans county, the new church 
consisting at th<' first of Harvey (roodrich, Jedediah 
Phelps, Joseph Hart, Ebenezer Bogers, James Smith 
and Franklin Cowdry and their wives, and Artemas 
Thayer, Fay Clark, Lavinia Bassett and' Betsey 
Phelps, sixteen members in all. 

July 29, 1824, together with Messrs. Hart and 
Phelps, Mr. Groodrich was elected a ruling elder in 
the Presbyterian Church, an office he continued to 


hold until liis deatli. Although never formally chose» 
as a Deacon in the church to which he belonged, he 
was always known and called "Deacon Goodrich" 
by every body who spoke to him or of him. 

It was a remarkable trait in Mr. Groodrich's charac- 
ter, that seldom a case of sickness and death of any 
person in his neighborhood occured but what he 
attended, administering what he could to aid the suf- 
ferers according to their needs and usually taking 
charge of the funeral ceremonies over the dead. 

Thus for over forty years, he was a leading and 
useful man in the church and society at large, largely 
identified with the business and growth of the vil 
lage of Albion, a friend of the poor and needy, 
and well known and respected by the people of the 

About two years before his death he suffered 
a stroke of paralysis, completely disabling him in 
the midst of Ms most active industry, from which he 
lingered and languished until he died August 4, 1863, 
aged 71 years. 


Dr. Orson Nichoson was born in Galway, Saratoga 
county, If ew York, March 2, 1795. He was educated 
as a physician. In tlie year 1822 he removed to the 
village of Albion which was then beginning to be 
settled. He entered ardently into every undertaking 
of a public character connected with the organization 
of the county of Orleans and the civil and social in- 
stitutions which such an organization occasioned. 

He was elected the first County Clerk of Orleans 
county and by a re-election to a second term, held 
that office six years. 

In August 1819, he settled about two miles south 
of Albion. In 1822 he moved to Albion and there 
tor mam-, years had a large practice as a physician. 




His health failing, he went into husiness with Dr. L. 
C. Paine and dealt in drugs, medicines and books 
until a few years hefore his death. 

He was the first regular physician who settled in 
Barre, he was also the first physician who settled in 

Dr. Mchoson married Lucy Morris in the year 1820. 
They had thi-ee children, Adeline E., Caroline A. 
and Helen J. Adeline E. married Jonathan S. Stew- 
art, and Helen J. married Charles A. Stanton. She 
died May 12, 1862. Mrs. Lucy Mchoson died Oc- 
tober 8, 1864. Dr. Orson Mchoson died Ma>- 7, 1 870. 


Timothy C. Strong was born in Sontliamptou. 
Mass., Mai'ch 15, 1790. At the age of sixteen years 
he entered as an apprentice to learn the art of print- 
ing with J. D. Huntington, at Middlebury, Vermont. 
He married Aurelia Goodsell, daughter of Dr. Pen- 
field Goodsell, of Litchfield, Ct., April 14, 1811. He 
commenced business for himself at Middlebury, by 
publishing a newspaper called the " Vermont Mir- 
ror," also a magazine edited by Samuel Swift, and a 
literary work called the " Philosophical Repository," 
edited by Prof. Hall, of Middlebury College.' 

In Sept. 1817, 1ih removed to Palmyra, N. Y., 
where he published a newspaper. In the fall of 1823 
he removed to Ann Arbor, Michigan, and in February 
1825, he removed to Newport, now Albion, Orleans 
county, N. Y., and purchased of Franklin Cowdry 
a newspaper establishment called " The Newport Pat- 
riot," which was started by Mr. Cowdry, Feb. 9tli, 
1824. Mr. Strong (.•hanged the name 6f this paper to 
' The Orleans Advocate.' In Febuary, 1828, in the 
midst of the excitement following the abduction of 
Morgian, Mr. Strong <:hanged it to the ' Tlie Orleans 


A(lvo('at(\ and Anti-Masonit; Telegraph,' and soon 
after to ' Tlie Ame}i('an Standard.' Undei- this name 
it was published two years by Mr. J. Kempshall, 
when it passed back into the hands of Mr. Strong 
who changed it to the ' Orleans American,' and pub- 
lished it till in April 1844, when he sold his paper 
iind printing establishment to J. & J. H. Denio, who 
continued the paper till 1858, when they sold out : 
and after passing through several hands it was bought 
in January, ]861, by H. A. Bruner, its present pro- 

In November, 1834, Mr. Strong was elected Countj- 
(Jlerk of Orleans county, an office he continued to hold 
hj re-election for nine years. 

'SU: Strong made a profession of religion in early 
life and united with the Presbyterian Church. He 
(lied at Albion of a cancer August 6th, 1844, in the 
liftA'-fifth year of his age, leaving a wife and twelve 
children surviving. 


Nathan Whitney was born in Conway, Massachu- 
setts, January 22d, 1791. He removed to Orleans 
county, in February, 1814,, and settled in what is now 
Harre. He was at the taking of Fort Erie in Septem- 
ber, 18J4. When the town of Barre was Organized 
he was elected Justice of the Peace, an office he held 
s(?veral years and when Orleans county was set off"' 
he was elected Supervisor of Barre and served in the 
year 1826. Being fond of milit^ary exercises, he held 
various military offices from Lieutenant to Lieutenant- 
Colonel. Being regarded as a capable, honest and 
efficient man by his fellow citizens, he was often put 
forward by them to official positions and discharged 
the duties of almost every town office. He removed 
from Barre to Elba, Grenesee county, in 1827, and at- 


terwards removed to Lee county, Illinois, where he 
was living in the fall of 1869. 

AVJ:RY M. star K we ATI! ek. 

Avery M. Starkweather was born in Preston, Con- 
necticut, October 3d, 1790. He resided a time in Pal- 
myra, IST. Y., and came to the town of Barre and took 
an article for his farm in April, 1816. After the Erie 
Canal was opened, for thirteen years he had charge 
of the first State repairing scow boat on this section. 
He was Superintendent of Canal Repairs one year. 
His beat extended from HoUey to Lockport and at a 
salary of $1500, without a clerk or any perquisites. 
Hip instructions required him to travel over and per 
sonally inspect his section at least once each week in 
the season of navigation, which he did. 

For thirteen years he was an assessor of the town of 
Barre, and was Supervisor of the town for the years 
1842 and 1843. He was an active, thorough business 
man, honest and conscientious, much respected as far 
as he'was known. He died Oct. 3, 1865. 


Amos Root was born at Sand Lake, Rensselaei 
county, N. Y., July 12th, 1803. He was apprenticed 
to learn the trade of blacksmith and removed to Alle- 
gany county, N. Y., in 1818. After serving his ap- 
prenticeship he carried on business as a blacksmith 
nearly thirty years, since which time he has been a 

About 1836, he moved from Allegany county to 
Michigan, and returned to the town of Barre in 1838, 
• where he has since resided. 

He married Rhoda Ann Bennett July lltli, 1824. 
Being a large and strong man in his youth he was 
noted as a great wood chopper. While residing in 
Allegany county he was engaged with a large compa- 
ny cutting out a new road. A bet of fifty dollars was 


tnacl(" by the company as to liis power as a cliopper. 
A large white oak tree was felled and Mr. Root and 
ills antagonist, stood on it to try which could first 
cJiop off a log, Root taking the butt. Mr. Root won 
Mir bor. It was a hot day in July. The man op- 
posinl tf( him overworked himself and died in a week 
afterwards' from the effects. 

Mr. Israel Root, father of Amos, who was a soldier 
of the Revolution, removed from Allegany to Orleans 
county in 1825, and settled on the farm now owned 
])y his son Amos, in Barre. He came across the 
country in a wagon with his family, and Amos 
brought the goods on two canoes made of large pine 
logs and lashed together. These he launched on the 
(lenf^see river at Gardeaii and paddled down to Roch 
ester and then put them in the canal and came to 
(iaines' Basin, then a favorite landing place for emi- 
grants who I'onie by canal to settle in this vicinity. 


Ozias S. Church was born in Windham, Connecti- 
riit, Jaiuiary 81st, 1785. By occupation he was a 
farmer, tliough he labored with his father at the 
il.>lacksniithing business during his minority. Octo- 
])pr i:3tli, 1809, he married Parmelia Palmer, who 
was born in Windham, Oct. 3d, 1786. They removed 
fo Otsego county, N. Y., in 1812, where he worked at 
farming until 1817, when he removed to Henrietta, 
Monroe Co., X. Y., and from thence to tlie town of 

Mr. Cluu'cli was a democrat in politics and took a 
deep and active interest in his party. As United 
•States Marshal he took tlie census of Monroe county 
in 1830, and of Orleans county in 1840. He was 
Post Master at South Barre for twenty years. 

Mrs. (;ihurch died Dec. 7, 1861, and Mr. Church 
Dec. 10th, 18G3. They were parents of John P. 
CI lurch, who died while County Clerk of Orleans 



■county, in December, 1858, and of Hon. Sanfprd E. 
'Church, present Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals 
yjf the State of New York. 


William Bradner removed to the town ot Gaines 
from Palmyra, N. Y. Soon after he bought of Mr. 
McCoUister the article for lot thirty -five, on the East 
fside of Main street in Albion, and took a deed from 
the Holland Company for 266 1-2 acres, December 3, 
1819. His brother, Joel Bradner, took a dee^ from 
the Company for ninety -two acres lying on the south- 
west corner of said lot thirty -five. William Bradner 
sold one hundred acre*; of the north-west part of his 
tract April 22nd, 1822, to IngersoU, Smith & Buck- 


Hon. Almeron Hyde Cole was born at Lavanna, 
Oayuga county, N. Y., April 20th, 1798. His pa- 
rents removed to Auburn in 1807, and there he pre- 
pared for college and entered the Sophomore class in 
Union College in 1815. Among his classmates were 
' '^George W. Doane, late Bishop of New Jersej^ Alonzo 
Potter, late Bishop of Pennsylvania, Dr. Hickok, 
late President of Union College, and William H. 
■Seward, late Governor of New York, Senator, &c. 
He remained in college two years and then left with- 
out completing his college course, in consequence of 
the death of his mother, and other changes in his 
fiather's family. 

In the fall of 1817, he entered the law office of 
Judge Joseph L. Richardson, then first Judge of 
•Cayuga county, as a student. He was admitted At- 
•torney in the Supreme Court in his twenty -first year 
-aud formed a partnership with Judge Richardson in 
practice. A few months afterwards he dissolved with 
^Judge Richardson and entered into partnership to 


practice law with Mr. George W. Fleming. After' 
beiiig at Seneca Falls for a time, they removed to-- 
Albion in the spring of 1825, where they practiced 
law together till 1832. After dissolving with Mr, 
Fleming, Mr. Cole was for some years in practice of 
law with his brother, Hon. Dan H. Cole. 

Mr. Cole served seventeen years as a Justice of the 
Peace of the town of Barre, and transacted an im- 
mense amount of official business. 

In November, 1847, he was elected member of the 
Senate of the State of New York, where he served one 
term of two years and declined a re-election. After' 
leaving the Senate he resumed his law practice in 
Albion, but a large amount of business coming into 
his hands as executor in the settlement of an estate 
in Cayuga county, he closed his law practice in Al- 
bion and devoted his time exclusively to the duties of 
his executorship, and to the management of a large 
farm he owned in the town of Gaines. 

Although a good advocate and a strong and logical 
reasoner at the bar, Mr. Cole was not so fluent and 
polished a speaker as his partner Mr. Fleming. In 
their earlier years of practice together, Mr. Cole fur- 
nished his quota of brains to the firm, while Mr. Flem- 
ing furnished the tongue. 

Mr. Cole was esteemed to be a well read and sound 
lawyer whose opinions on legal questions were much 
sought and relied on. His counsel and advice were 
so much valued among the people that he early be- 
came distinguished by way of eminence as the ' coun- 
selor' or 'counselor Cole,' by which title or name 
he was always spoken of and well known. 

In temperament he was ardent, impulsive and sen- 
sitive, feeling quick and sharply the iritations of the 
moment. But nothing like hatred ever had a place in ■ 
his bosom. 
From the peculiarity of his character he sometimes- 


-appeared brusque and rough to those who approached 
him, but no man had a kinder heart. The sternness or 
-apparent harshness of manner which he possessed, 
was more than balanced in his case by the 
keen regret he felt when he knew he had caiised 
pain to any and the hearty sympathy and generosity 
he ever manifested to those in distress. 

Mr. Cole was never married. Coming to Orleans 
-county when il was first organi^sed, among the first 
lawyers who settled here, he was a pronainent man in 
public aflFairs and well known to the people of the 
<;ounty. He died Oct. 14, 1859. 


"I was born in the town of New Baltimore, Greene 
•county, N. Y., March 12th, 1807. The death of my 
mother which occurred when I was twelve years of 
.^age, threw me upon the family of my grand parents 
where I remained until I was fourteen years old. My 
father, who was a blacksmith by trade, and who re- 
■sided in the county of Chenango, having married a 
second time and closed up his business in Chenango, 
started for the State of Ohio with a view of commen- 
-cing business there as a farmer. This was in the fall 
of 1821 . When he arrived in the town of Clarence, 
Erie county, a snow storm set in and prevented his 
further progress that fall, and having with him some 
tools and a small stock of iron he rented a shop and 
began work as a blacksmith at Ransom' s Grove, as it 
is now called, at Clarence Hollow. He soon after 
purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land 
at the Great Rapids on the the Tonawanda Creek, 
six miles south of Lockport. 

In the summer of 1822, having obtained a scanty 
jcomraon school education, and being large enough to 
help my father in his shop and on his farm, he wrote 
to me giving a glowing account of the country, of his 


farm, of the fine fish in the cr^ek and the fine sport 
in taking them, and desiiing me to come and help- 

I accordingly went to Albany and put my baggage- 
on board a seven horse wagon, then about to sail for' 
Buffalo, loaded with specie for the United States' 
Banli at Erie, Pennsylvania. Thus equipped I 
started for the Holland Purchase in July, 1822, iiii 
care of Mr. Hockins, the owner of the establishment- 
We traveled slowly, not making over fifteen miles a- 
day, sleeping in our wagon nights and watching oui" 
treasure. Getting tired of this slow mode of travel- 
ing, when we arrived at Canandaigua I took the stage ■ 
and came on to Clarence, and arrived at my father's 
July 22d, 1822. In a few days I went with my father 
to explore"his new farm, he carying a bag of provis- 
ions and I a compass and chain with other articles 
for our journey. My half-brother William, then 
thirteen years old, accompanied us. 

It was here, in July, 1822, in what was then called 
' tlie north woods ' that I commenced my pioneer life^ 
and for the next three years, and until October, 1825, 
I shared in the hardships, labors ahd privations of 
the early settlers. During that time I assisted in. 
chopping and partly clearing forty acres of heaviljr 
timbered land and erecting a comfortable log build- 
ing. Being possessed of a strong, athletic frame, anA 
a good robust constitution, and never having been 
sick a day in my life, I endured the hardships and 
labors of the wilderness with cheerfulness and 
pleasure, and I often look back to those days and 
reckon them among the happiest of my life. And I 
would not omit to record here with grateful heart 
the kind care of my Heavenly Father in preserving: 
my life amid the dangers and accidents through 
which I passed in my youthful days. 

Not possessing at my fathers the advantages for 

OF ORLEA]^js col^^'Ty. 110 

mental improvement which I desh-ed, I conchxded in the 
fall of 1825 to abandon my pioneer life, return to tlic 
east, obtain an education and study a professiois. 
Accordingly October 2d, 1825, 1 left my ax and hand- 
spike and went to Lockport, got on board the canrt,] 
boat ' De Witt Clinton ' and nailed 'for the east. 
Stopping in Albion for the boat to take on loading I 
took an excursion through that low, muddy, and as 
I thought unsightly young village.' I little thouglit 
then that 'j^Tewport,' as it was called was destined 
to be my future home. I then pronounced ]S>w])oit 
a queer place on which to build a town. 

I returned to the boat and passed on tlirough Iloi- 
ley, Brockport, Adams' and Spencer's Easins, all 
little straggling hamlets, as I thought them, ar- 
riving in Rochester in the night. Here I expected to 
meet a gentleman from Tompkins county by appoint- 
ment, with whom I was intending to ti-avel to visit my 
relatives in this vicinity and then go by boat witln 
some relatives to Albany. But the gentleman did 
not come as I expected. My little stock of nionc^y 
was exhausted on Tuesday night in paying for iny 
supper. I was now a stranger in a strange land. 1 
knew not what to do or how I should be j)rovided 
for. I wandered about Rocheste]' until Saturday 
morning, eating nothing except a few apples which 1 
picked up in an orchard in the town of Brighton. I 
slept nights on the piazza of tlie Exchange Hott?!, on 
the corner at the intersection of the canal with tlie 
basin, where the packet boats used to la_y uj). Every 
morning when a lire was made up 'in the old bakery 
at the west end of the aqueduct, I went into the front 
room and warmed myself, tantalized b}- the smell <j1 
the bread which was piled uj) on the coniitei-, steam- 
ing hot, and for which I was starving. I was too 
proud to beg, and I thank God for it. too honest to 
steal. . ■ 


Thus the week passed uiiti] Saturday morning when 
I had a pressing invitation to join a circus company- 
then performing there. I was then young, active and 
strong, but my good quaker training, and above all 
the hand of Providence shaping my waj-s, kept my 
youthful feet from that path. 

On Saturday morning I met a man who asked me 
if I would work, and I gladlj' hired to him for a part 
of the day. He led the way to the barn back of 
the canal, between Fitzhugh and Sophia streets, 
where the ground was literally strewn with heavy 
cannon, and I worked until the middle of tlie after- 
noon assisting to put them on a scow boat for 
distribution along the canal, to be used in firing a 
grand salute at the meeting of the w-aters of Lake 
Erie with the Hudson river, November 2d, 1825, a 
day never to be forgotten in Western IsTew York. I 
received half a dollar for my work and went to a 
Iiumble tavern for supper and had lodging in a bed. 
A better meal or sweeter sleep I never enjoyed. The 
next morning I went out on the street and almost the 
first man I met was the friend for whom I was wait- 

After writing to my relatives in Tompkins county I 
left for Albany and entered the city with the fleet of 
canal boats in the canal celebration November 2d, 
1825, amid the roar of artillery and the sound of mar- 
tial music. 

The Erie and Champlain canals were now finished. 
Navigation between the ocean and lake was now 
opened, and a new era of unparalleled prosperity had 
commenced, and the exultant people were duly cele- 
brating the auspicious event: ' Peace hath her victo- 

After mingling with the throng that crowded the 
streets a few hours, 1 started on foot for the home of 
ray childhood, when- loved ones I had not seen for 


more than three years were daily expecting me. It 
was night-fall when I ascended the last hill and the 
well-known trees were standing like sentinels around 
the old homestead in the fading twilight. My truant 
feet once more passed the threshold. The old watch- 
dog knew my step. With a fluttering heart I looked 
in at the window, and for a moment surveyed the 
group as they sat aronnd the cheerful fireside. God 
in his goodness had kept them all and the wandering 
child had got home. 

I was past eighteen years of age when I returned 
from Western New York. I had seen something of 
the world and had some experience in pioneer life. 
My education was not such as the district schools of 
this day afford. My mind had been somewhat im- 
proved by reading in a desultory and aimless man- 
ner. I taught a winter school in my native town, and 
in the spring of 1826 hired out as farm laborer at nine 
dollars per month in the county of Albany. 

I taught school in the same county the winter of 
1826-7, and in the spring entered the Greenville Acad- 
emy, in Greene county, where I remained until the 
coming fall, and by this time I had succeded in pre- 
paring myself to enter the sophomore class at Union 
College ; my friends however prefered that I should 
follow a mercantile life, and procured me a situation 
in a wholesale dry goods house in the city of 
New York, where 1 remained until the termination 
of fall business. I then returned to my native town 
intending to go back to New York the following 

I taught school at Marbletown, Ulster county, N. 
Y., the winter of 1827-8, with great success, forrtiing 
many pleasant acquaintances that have been cher- 
ished through subsequent life. 

Early in the spring I was attacked with Pleurisy, 
and lay at the point of death for a number of days. 

1*22 PXONP^KU HfSTOlty 

On recovering the spring had so far advanced I did 
not go to New York as I intended, but continued my 
sehool until the spring of 1829, when laying down 
iliQ ferule I commenced business on my own account 
in the village of West Troy, Albany county, being 
nearl}- twenty -two years old. 

April 11, 1830, I was married to Deborah, daughter 
of Rev. Simeon Dickinson, of East Haddam, Conn. 
She was at that time a teacher in Mrs. Willard's Fe- 
male Seminary at Troy. 

I continued my business at W^est Troy, until the 
fall of that year, when I sold out and removed with 
my wife to the city of Mobile, Alabama, where she 
opened the Mobile Female Seminary, under the most 
favorable auspices. 

I was clerk in the United States Bank in that city. 
In the month of Dec. 1 831 my wife died suddenly, 
and I was left alone in a strange city without a rela- 
tive nearer than the State of New York. 

I transferred the Seminary to other hands, resigned 
my clerkship in the Bank, closed np my business 
matters, and in March 1832 returned to my old home. 

I spent that summer and the following winter in 
traveling for recreation, and in the spring of 1833, 
being twenty-six years old, I entered upon the study 
of the law with Amasa Mattison Esq. , then a promis- 
ing lawyer pf Cairo, in the county of Greene, where I 
remained until fall, when I entered the'office of Judge 
Hiram Gardner of Lockport and remained with him 
imtil April 1835, when I came to Albion where I have 
ever since resided. 

June 18, 1835, I was married to Caroline G., daugh- 
ter of Samuel Baker of Coeymans, in the county of 
Albany and in August following purchased the prop- 
erty on which I liave since resided. 

I am now (1862) nearly fifty -four years of age, and 
must soon, in all human probability, lay aside the 


active duties of my profession, and yield my place to 
those younger and better fitted for the responsibilities 
of the station. 

In reviewing the pathway of my life I behold it 
plentifully strewn with incidents, always overshadow- 
ed by the watchful care of my Heavenly Father, 
whose unnumbered mercies I am called upon to record. 

When fourteen years of age I united with the Re- 
formed Dutch Church in Greene county, upon a con- 
fession of my faith, and in 1842 I united with the 
Presbyterian church in Albion,' my wife coming with 
me to the same altar. 

Albion, January 8, 1863. 


Hon. Henry R. Curtis was born in Hoosic, Rensse- 
laer county New York, in the year 1800. After pass- 
ing his youth at labor on a farm, and in acquiring 
such elementary educatio]i as his own exertions and 
the limited means of his widowed mother could sup- 
ply, he commenced the study of law with Daniel 
Kellogg of Skaneateles, and pursued it afterward.'* 
with Hon. Hiram Mather in f^lbridge. New York. • 

In the fall of 1824 he settled in Albion, Orleans 
county before he was admitted to the Bar, going into 
partnership with Alexis Ward, who was here before 
him, and who had been admitted to the Supreme 

In 1831 he was appointed District Attorney for 
Orleans county, in which office he was continued by 
subsequent appointments, (excepting the year 1832,) 
until June 1847, when he was elected County Judge 
and Surrogate, being the first County Judge <!hosen 
under the constitution of 1846. He was re-elected to 
the same office in Nov. 1850, and died before the ex- 
piration of his second term. 

Before he was a judge he had held the offices of 


Examiner and Master in Chancfry. and many civil 
offices in town and village^ 

He was a hard student devoting himself to the 
labors of his profession with untiring assiduity, never 
engaging in other business speculations. 

For twenty-five years he was a ruling Elder in the 
Presbyterian Church and much of that time a faith- 
ful teacher in the Sunday School in his church. 

As, an advocate he was cool, clear and persuasive, 
and the known honesty of his character and the sin- 
cerity of his manner and language, commonly carried 
conviction in his favor to the courts and juries he 

As a counselor he was a peacemaker, judicious, 
cautious and sound. Never encouraging litigation 
when it could be avoided. He was a man with few 
enemies and many friends, an honest lawyer and good 
man. He died September 20, 18o.'5., 


" I was born in Scroon, Essex county, New York, 
April 4, 1804. My ancestors were of Scotch descent, 
and were among those who fled to this country from 
the oppressions of the old world, to enjoy civil and 
religious liberty in the new world. 

My father afterwards removed from Scroon to Bran- 
don, Vermont, and from Brandon he moved in the 
summer of 1816, to what is now Barre, New York. 
July 12, 1816, on lot 10, township 15, range 3, of the 
Holland Purchase, one mile west of Albion where he 
lived sixteen years. He then removed to Barre Center 
where he resided until his death, which occurred 
February 5, 1853. 

I attended the first school taught in Barre, in a log 
school house, which stood' on the west side of Oak 
Orchard road, in what is now the village of Albion, 
al so attended the first town meeting in Barre after . 


the town was organized, at the house of Abraham 
Mattison, about two miles south of Albion. I also 
attended the great celebration of the 'opening of the 
Erie Canal, when' the waters of Lake Erie mingled 
with those of the Hudson River. I was also present 
when the site for the county buildings was located at 
Albion, which was the most_ exciting time, perhaps, 
ever kflown in this county. 

I was present when the first Congregational church 
in the town of Barre was formed, at the house of 
Joseph Hart. This cliurch then consisted of the fol- 
lowing named persons, viz: Joseph Hart and wife, 
Ebenezer Rogers and wife, Ithamar Hibbard and wife, 
Artemas Thayer and wife, Artemas Houghton and 
Thankful Thurston." 

I was married to Amanda Wrisley, ,in Barre, June 
19, 1828. She was born in Gill. Mass., ]!fov. 18, 1809. 

Dated— BSirre Center, April 4tli, 1865. 

Letter from William Tanner, formerly of Orleans 
county, 'N. Y., written to the Pioneer Association : 
"To the officers and members of the Orleans County 

Pioneer Association: 

Gentlemen : As fond memory often sharpens old 
ears to catch some word of the old home of our youth, 
so now at three score years and one I have heard of 
your society. What you do or what you say, I do 
not know, but I do know if you are the real pioneers 
I should be glad indeed to meet with yoii at your 
annual gathering. 

Tell me, dear sirs, are you together to speak of the 
days when Albion was a mud hole, and Jesse Bum- 
pus and Dea. Hart and a few others owned the whole 
of it? And when the old log school house half a 
mile north of Albion was built, where Francis Tanner 
first declared martial law among the little folks ; and 
•when Mr. Jakeway so well adapted to the business by 


his six feet four inches of body and legs, used to break 
the road through four feet of snow, with three yoke of 
oxen, from the Ridge Road to father Crandall's near 
one Angel's, not Gabriel, but 'Cabin Angel,' as he 
was called by way of distinction. 

And there was Dea. Daniels, and Esq. Babbitt a 
little east, the workings Qf whose face denoted wis- 
dom as he sat in judgment to decide weighty matters 
between neighbors. 

Never shall I forget envying that man his high 
office as justice of the peace when I was a small 

Then there was John Proctor and his tall and ami- 
able wife and large farm. 

Then again at Gaines Corners, the corpulent land- 
lord Booth, together with Dr. Anderson, with his 
mild and pleasant way of telling people it wouldn't 
hurt much to pull teeth, and then almost taking their 
heads off with his strong arm. 

Later, there was good Jeptha Wood, who first 
taught me that hot and cold iron would not weld 

But I must not name others lest I have not room to 
say a word to the old Pioneers. 

How simple was I in my boyhood days to envy 
the honored Esq. Babbitt, or the rich farmer Proctor 
of those early times. I have since been ' Esq.' my- 
self. I have been rich also ; but neither the honor of 
the one nor the gold of the other, brings happiness 
while here on this mundane sphere. When 
I turn my thoughts to the spot of all others most 
dear to me, Samuel N. Tanners old farm, and the ' city 
of the dead,' Mount Albion, opposite to his once 
earthly habitation, where I once chased the deer, and 
see the monumental slabs erected over heads many of 
whom were my friends in youth, I am ready to ex- 
claim — ' Where are the pioneers I once knew V 


But sirs, some of }on still live, and allow- me to 
speak of wliat you have done. You are among the 
greatest men of the nation. You have leveled the 
sturdy forest, planted fruitful fields, orchards and 
gardens, built railroads and canals, set np talking 
wires by which we carrj'' our freight and travel 
cheaply over three hundred miles a day and converse 
with lightning speed with far distant friends. 

I imagine I see De Witt Clinton standing in his 
beautiful garden in the city of 'New York, listening, 
as it were, to hear the sound of the axes of Dea. 
Hart, Bumpus, Proctor, Babbitt, and a, long list of 
names I have no room to refer to. And I see him 
turn to give the Commissions' to the Chief Engineer 
and Surveyor ; and what do I hear him say ? ' The 
pioneers are there at work ; you can accomplish your 
work now." 

Teach it to your children and grand-children, that 
they are indebted to you for all the vast improve- 
ments made in the great west, as the residt of hard 
toil and labor. Labor, which alwaj'^s precedes the 
development of everything great and good ; labor, 
that God ordained, sanctioned and approved ; labor 
that is so conducive to health and comfort and that 
brings its sure reward. I love labor, even in deepest 
old age. I would obey God and benefit myself by 
laboring when able, seeing it is the only sure road 
leading to individual and national wealth and great- 
ness, as well as to personal happiness and com- 

Had our statesmen spent money without stint and 
built your railroads and canals, iinless preceded and 
accompanied by the pioneers, it would have availed 
but little. 

Education is a priceless acquisition ; give it to the 
young by all means, but do not forget to teach them 


the great value and benefit of intelligent and well di- 
rected labor. 

And now, gentlemen, I ask your patience in deci- 
])liering my trembling writing, and excuse bad spell- 
ing, for I see much of it. I have labored too long 
and hard to be able now to write elegantly. 
Respectfully, your obedient servant, 

Bast Liberty, Allen Oo., Intl., March 13, 1865. 


Roswell S. Burrows was born in Groton, Conn. , 
Feb. 22, 1798. He was fitted for college at Bacon 
Academy, Conn., entered the Sophomore Class in 
Yale College in 1819, and took a dismission in the 
fall of 1820, in consequence of protracted ill health. 
He never returned to college, but in. the year 1867, the 
honorary degree of A. M. was conferred on him by 
Yale College. 

He received some capital by devise from his grand- 
father with which he purchased a cotton factory in 
Rhode Island, and there carried on business for some 
time for himself. His factory not proving as profita- 
ble an investment as he expected, he sold out, receiv- 
ing a small payment down and a mortgage for the 
balance, which, through the fraud of another party, 
proved a total loss. 

In July, 1824, he came to Orleans county and lo- 
cated at Albion, and in Sept. next after, he borrowed 
two thousand dollars of his father, and a like sum of 
his father-in-law, laid it out in a stock of goods, and 
with this capital, increased by a small sum saved 
from the ruin of his factory speculation, commenced 
business as a merchant, in a little wooden building, 
standing very near the site of the First National Bank 
of Albion. 

In November 1824, his younger brother, Lorenzo 
Burrows, came to Albion to assist him as his clerk. 




This ananginiient continued until in 1826 the lirm < f 
R. S. & L. Burrows was tbrraed, which existed in 
"business as dry goods merchants, produce dealers, 
and in warehousing and forwarding on the Erie Canal 
for ten or eleven j^ears, when tliey sold out their entiro 
stock of goods. 

When Mr. Burrows settled in Albion the canal was 
made navigable as fa,r west as Lockport, and one in- 
ducement he had to stop here was the promise of 
Canal Commissioner, Wm. C Bouck, that he should 
receive the appointment of Collector of Canal revenue 
an office then about to be established at Albion. 

This office of Collector was given to him in 182fi, 
and was continued by re-appointment until 1832, 
when he was succeeded by C. S. McConnell. 

Mr. Burrows built the warehouse now standing next 
east from Main street on the canal, in 1827. After tlie 
sale of their goods in store, as above stated, Messrs. 
B. S. & L. Burrows continued their warehouse busi- 
ness and dealt in produce until the general banking 
law went into operation, under which they estab- 
lished the Bank of Albion, which commenced busi- 
ness under that law July 15th, 1839. This bank coii- 
tinued in operation about twenty-seven years, and 
was finally closed under the new policy which sui;- 
stituted National Banks. Its first officers were Ros-. 
well S. Burrows, President; Lorenzo Burrows, Casi,- 
ier; and" Andrew J. Chester, Teller. 

Mr. Burt-ows organized a new bank in Albion, Iic- 
ceniber 23, 1863, called ' The First National Bank <-r 
Albion.' This was the first National Bank which weiit 
into operation in the State of New York west of Sy- 
racuse. Roswell S. Burrows, President ; Alexander 
Stewart, Cashier; and Albert S. "Warner, Telles. 
Mr. R. S. Bun-ows owned a majority of the capit;xJ 
stock of both these banks, was always their President 
and a Director and the principal manager. 


Within the last forty years Mi\ Burrows has been 
Director and Trustee of many corporations and com- 
panies, such as railroad companies, telegraph com- 
ijaiiies, the Niagara Falls Suspension Bridge compa- 
!!>', and one mining company. He has been Trustee 
of several religious, benevolent and Hterary institu- 
tions. He has frequently been proposed by his 
friends as a candidate for ^-arious civil offices but al- 
\v'a}s declined a nomination. 

Several years since the extensive and very valuable 
library of Professor Neander, of Germany, was of- 
fered for sale by reason of the death of its owner. 
Mr. Burrows purchased this library and presented it 
to the Rochester Theological Seminary, connected with 
tlie Baptist denomination. This library, consisting of 
several thousand volumes of rare and valuable books 
( ollected through many years by one of the best 
scholars of his time in Europe, is valued at from fif- 
n'eu to twenty thousand dollars. 

In addition to this library, a few years ago Mr. Bur- 
iows offered to give this Theological Seminary the mu- 
nificent gift of one hundred thousand dollars to add 
to its endowments, with the promise of more if pros- 
[sered in business as he ]ioj)ed to be. The Trustees 
of the Seminary proposed to Mr. Burrows if he 
would increase his proposed endowment of that insti- 
tution to two hundred and fifty thousand dollars they 
vouldgive it the name of ' The Burrows Theological 
Hpiiiinary of Eochester, N. Y.' 

These proposals it is understood ha^•e never been 
formally witlidrawn or acted on. 

An a business man Mr. Burrows is cool, slu'ewd, 
(.liv^ar-headed and sagacious; never distirrbed bj' 
j);iui<'s, or deceived by false appearances. He has 
accumulated a great fortune by indefatigable indus- 
try, and prudentl}' and safely investing his accumu- 
Uition.s. Although advanced in years, he was 


never perhaps more busy than now, and never found 
his great experience and capital yielding him a larger 


Judge Penniman was born in Peterborough, Hills- 
borough County, N. H., August 5, 1793. After ob- 
taining a good common school and academic educa- 
tion in his native State, he emigrated to Ontario Co., 
Ifew York, in Sept., 1816, and from thence to Shelby, 
Orleans County, in Octoher, 1820. He took up land 
in that town on which he resided about eight years ; 
lie then removed to Albion, remaining there more 
than two years, finally settling on a farm in Barre, 
near Eagle Harbor, where he has ever since resided. 

In 1825, Mr. Penniman was appointed a Judge of 
the Court of Common Pleas, for Orleans County, then 
lately organized, and was one of the first bench of 
Judges, which composed that Court, which oflice he 
held five years. In 1881, he was elected Justice of 
the Peace of Barre and served in that office until he 
removed to Eagle Harbor, when he resigned. 

In 1846, he represented Orleans County, as a mem- 
ber of the Convention to revise the Constitution of the 
State of New York. 

Judge Penniman was a celebrated school teacher 
for many years after he came to Orleans County, 
liaving taught school fourteen vdnters and seven sum- 
mers. He always took a lively interest in .the subject of 
common schools, was Commissioner of schools and 
town inspector each of the eight years he resided in 
Shelby, and served as town superintendent of schools 
in Barre three years, while that system was the law. 

He was a popular Justice of the Peace, while act- 
ing in that capacity. He used to say, he once issued 
108 summons in one day, in all of which Dr. William 
White was plaintiff. As a Judge he was firm, up- 


right and impartial, aiming to sustain the right in hisi 
decisions, and in all his official and social relations he 
has sustained a character marked for sound views of 
men and things, honest, faithful, sagacious and true ;• 
and now in his old age and retirement enjoys the re- 
spect of all who know him. 


.lesse Mason was born in Cheshire, Mass., July 24^ 
1779. By occupation he was a farmer. He removed 
to Phelps, Ontario County N". Y., about the year 
1810, where he resided six years, then removed to- 
Barre, Orleans County, and settled on lot 17, in town- 
ship 15, range 2, now owned by Wm. H. Pendry. 

In the year 1837, he sold his property in Barre and 
removed to Ohio, where he resided until his death, in*, 
iM"ov., 16!54. 

Mr. Mason served one campaign in the war of 1812,. 
was one of the last American soldiers to leave Buffa- 
lo when it was burned by the British. 

Mr. Mason was a man of positive convictions in all 
matters of his belief, political, moral or religious- 
Energetic, enterprising and liberal in all that pertain 
ed to public affairs in his neighborhood, he bore even? 
more than his .share in all the labors, expense and 
trouble in opening roads, foiTuding schools and 
churches and organizing society in the new country, 
xill such duties and burthens were pertbrmed and 
borne by him as labors of love, in which he seemed 
to delight. 

Mrs. Hannah Mason, wife of Jesse Mason, daugh- 
ter of Rev. John Leland, a Baptist minister, residing^ 
in Orange county, Va. was born Dec. 18, 1778' Mr.. 
Leland was originally from Mass. While living in- 
Virginia he became the intimate friend of President 
Jeff'erson, and it is said Mr. Jefferson derived his first 
clear idea of genuine democracy from what he saw of 


the working of that principle in a church, of which Mr. 
Leland was pastor. Miss Leland married Mr. Mason, 
in Cheshire, abont the year 1800,moved with him to the 
west, and as long as he lived, proved herself a help- 
meet indeed, fully sharing and sympathizing with 
him in all the toils, hardships and anxieties through 
which he passed in a long and active life. She died 
January 21, 1867. 


" I was horn in Westmoreland, Oneida Co., N. Y., 
January 3, 1808, and removed with my father, Caleb 
"C. Thurston, to Barre to reside, in the spring of 1814. 
My father being a farmer, brought me up to labor in 
that honorable calling. I resided with my father, at- 
tending school occasionally winters, until I was twen- 
ty-two years old, when I bought seventy-six acres of 
land, part of lot 19, township W, range 2, in Barre, 
on which I resided until April, 1865, when I removed 
into the village of Albion, where I now reside. 

I was married to Miss Julianna Williams, daughter 
■of Samuel Williams, of Barre, January 11, 1832. — 
She was born in Burlington, Otsego Co., N. Y., April 
S, 1812. 

Albion, July, 1867. 


Eufus Ilallock was born in Richmond, Chittenden 
-Co., Vt., Nov. 7, 1802. His father was a farmer, and 
young Rufus labored on his father' s farm summers 
and attended school winters. 

In February, 181 S, with his father's family; lie re- 
moved to Murray, Orleans Co., N. Y'. In 1823, he 
removed with his father's family to Louisville, St. 
Lawrence Co., where he resided two years, and then 
■came to Barre, Orleans Co., and settled on lot 43, 
township 14, range 2, of the Holland Purchase, where 


he resided till his death in 1870. He was married July 
3, 1826, to Susan Tucker, of Shelby, who was born ini 
New Hampshire, May 9, 1804. 

Mrs. Hallock died at her home in Barre, May 18th, 
1868, aged 64 years. 

Mr. Hallock by his industry and economy ac- 
cumulated a competence of property. 

In religious belief a Baptist, Mr. Hallock was regard- 
ed as an exemplary christian man, respected by all 
who knew him. Resolute and prompt in his charac- 
ter and conduct, he generally met and overcome- 
or removed every obstacle and adversity which he- 
has encountered in his path in life. 

He told a story of his father which illustrates what 
sort of a man his father was, and exhibits a dash ■ 
and courage which has been transmitted to his de- 

Traveling alone through th(- woods one day after he 
came to this county, he saw a bear and two cub& 
asleep under the roots of a fallen tree. Resolving to' 
capture a cub, Mr. Hallock stealthily crept up to the 
spot where they lay and seized a cub by its hind legs- 
and backed away dragging his prize and keeping his 
eyes fixed on the mother bear who followed after him 
growling and gnashing her teeth. He kept on in thi* 
way several rods until he backed and f<^]l over a fal- 
len tree, when the old bear attracted by the cries of 
the cub left behind returned to that and came after 
him no more. Mr. Hallock carried tlie cub home- 
tamed and raised it. He died Jan. 1 6, 1871 . 

,IOJS^ATirA:N cr.ARK. 

" I was born in Londonderi-y, Rockingham county^ 
New Hampshire, July 3d, 1790. My father died! 
when I was quite young. I lived with my grandfath- 
er, John Clark, until I was fifteen years of age ; I 
then went to live with my ITncle, John Clark. Jr., in. 


Salem, Massaclmsetts, wlien- I remained until 1 was 
twenty-one years of age. 

March,1812,I went aboard the schooner Talbot, Capt. 
(xeorge Bnrchmore, headed for the East Indies, witii 
a miscellaneous cargo in the capacity of a cominoii 

Nothing worthy of note happened to us imtil vh'. 
reached tlie equinoctial line, when the Captain said 
" Old Neptune must come aboard that afternoon and 
the green ones must be shaved and sworn.'' Tlic 
oath which we were required to take in connection 
with the other raw hands, was as follows : 

"I promise to never eat brown bread when I can 
get white ; never to leave the pump until I call for n 
spell ; and never to ki-ss the maid when I can Ivis-s 
the mistress." 

The shaving process consisted, in brief, in placing 
the subject on the windlass, brushing liis face with 
iilth and scraping it off with an iron hoop, as a sub- 
stitute for a razor, the subject in the meantime beini;' 
in great danger of having the unsavoiy lather thrust 
into his mouth while taking the oath. Luckily fcn- 
me I passed the ordeal more happily than my cdm- 
rades having, in advance, circulated a bottle of sailors 
' O be joyful.' 

Crossing the line is a, great occasion for jokes and 
fun in general among sailors. 

In due time, and without hann, we reached the 
vicinity of the capes, when we encountered heavy 

We ran twenty-three days under close reefed toj)- 
sails, shipped a heavy sea on our starboard quarter 
which washed the whole length of the deck and car- 
ried away our bulwarks. We doubled the Cap<^ o1 
Cxood Hope and reached the Isle of France one hun- 
dred and thirteen days out from Salem. We lay there 
two months, discharged cargo, took in ballast and 


sailed for the Island of Sumatra. We were running 
into Lemonarger when v/o were met by an armed boat 
commanded by a man claiming to be king of Ar- 
cheen, who demanded of us a duty on the pepper 
we might purchase. We regarded him and his crew 
as savages and pirates, and declining to trade with 
them put to sea again. We ran to Soo-Soo and saw 
a sail approaching. That excited our apprehensions 
of danger. 

The Captain inquired if we would light should the 
occasion demand it. Our unanimous response was 
'• we will." 

We were tlien stationed where we (;ould do the best 
execution in self defence. 

My station was on the side of the ship with an ax 
N) cut off their hands should they attempt to board 
us. All the men were armed with deadly weapons, 
and we had a six-pounder ready for any emer- 

The strange vessel sent a boat to us with a letter 
written in English, requesting u ' to trade with the king 
of Archeen, or in case of our i lifusal he would seize 
us and our vessel. 

The night following being ^ery dark we weighed 
anchor and put to sea, bidding his suspicious majes- 
ty good-bye. 

We then sailed to an English port, Topanooley, 
where we took in a cargo of pepper and sailed for 

We were to touch tlie Brazils to receive the orders 
of the owners. Here we were hailed by what we re- 
garded as a hostile vessel and chased and iired at 
astern ; and when forced to yield, to our great joy 
we found the strange vessel to be a man-of-war from 
our own Salem, named 'The Grand Turk,' a priva- 
tcier sent out to re-take our ship, which the owners 
supposed to be in the liands of the British. 


The mutual congratulations between the crews of 
the 'Talbot' and 'The Grand Turk" were very 
pleasant to us all. Here we first learned of the war 
between the United States and Great Britain, which 
had then been doing its work of destruction ten 

We entered the port of Pernambuco, March 18th, 
1813, having been absent just one year. The cargo 
was put in Portuguese bottoms and sent to Europe. 
The second mate and myself remained to take care 
of the ship until November, 1815, when I left for Gib- 
raltar on board the Rebecca, with a cargo of hides 
and sugar. We stopped at Gibraltar a few days, 
then ran down to Naples and discharged cargo and 
took in a miscellaneous loading and returned home- 
wards, landing in New York where I was discharged, 
"and started, for Salem where I arrived January 1st, 

I give the names of the places in the East Indies as 
I heard them pronounced. I may have spelled them 
wrong. Thus ends my seafaring life. 

July oth, 1816, I left Boston for Western New 
York. I traveled through Albany, taking the Great 
Western Turnpike, walking on foot all the way, until 
near Auburn when a traveler kindly permitted me to 
ride with him, saying he would take me to where I 
could find good land. 

We passed through Rochester, and taking the 
Ri^ge Road came to Sheldon's Corners, now West 
Gaines. We then turned south, and traveling about 
a mile reached a school house just as the school was 
out for noon. A little sunny-faced girl ran up to us 
and said to the man who had so Jtindly assisted me : 
' Well dad, we are glad you have come for we are 
about half starved out.' 

That man was Gideon Freeman and the little giil 
was Sally Freeman. 

138 i'ione?:k htstory 

I looked around t\ littlt' and finally bought the 
farm on which I havo tncr since resided, part of lot 
fifty, in township fifteen, range two, of the Holland 
Purchase, lying in the north-western part of Barre. 
then Gaines, near the south end of what is now 
known as ' The Long Bridge,-' over the Erie canal. 
My land cost me five dollars per acre. I took an ar- 
ticle for it and was able to pay in full in about eight 

I underbrushed five acies. built a loy house and 
went back to Salem. 

I was married Js'^ovember 25th, 1816, to Abigail 
Simonds, who was born in Salem, Massachusetts* 
July 6th, 1790. 

"While I was preparing to sttii-t (jii our journey 
west I was accosted by an old sailor friend 
who inquired where I was going ( T said ' to the 
Holland Purchase.' Said he. 'where can that bet 
I never heard of that place •before." T told him 'it 
was a fine country in Western jS'ew York ;" that ' I 
had bought a farm there, built a log house and was 
going to live there.' Said he. ' T would not give the 
gold I could scrape frOm a card of gingerbread for 
the entire Holland Purchase." But he did not know 

My wife and I left Salem for oui- new western liome 
with a span of horses and a wagon. We were twen^ 
ty one days on the road. We arrived fit my place 
and began house-keeping January 1st. 1817, without 
a table, a chair or a bedstead, all of which articles I 
soon made in true Genesee pioneer style. 

For many years in the settlement T was called 
' Sailor Clark ' to distinguish me from another Clark 
who was,'! am happy to say, a very decent man. 

Money being very hard to be got, we made UaQk 
fialtn, which became practically a legal tender or sub 
stitute for money. 


I and my neighbor, Mr. Benjamin Foot, worked 
together in the manufacture, but after a time he sold 
to a Mr. Elijah Shaw, who conducted the business 
with me until that necessary calling was 'played 

Mr. Shaw and myself are the only persons living in 
this school district who came in as early as 1816. 

My wife having been reared in the city knew noth- 
ing of spinning wheels, though she was a good house- 
keeper ; but under the influence of her neighbor' s . 
example, she urged me to raise flax and purchase 
her a Pioneer Piano, which I did, bringing home 
one of the largest size on njy shoulder from a dis- 
tance of several miles ; and before long she could 
discourse as melodious music as any in the settle- 

In the early part of my pioneer life, like others, I 
had to cut browse for my cow. One evening I went 
out and felled a tree, thinking it would certainly fall 
west, but alas for my sagacity, it fell east striking 
our house, breaking down about half the roof and 
alarming me greatly for the safety of my family. 
However no one was hurt except by being badlj'' 
frightened. The roof was easily repaired, but a fine 
mirror, a very elegant one for a new country, which 
my wife's father, who was a seaman, had brought 
from Hamburgh, in Europe, was brolten into frag- 
ments, and could not be repaired. 

During the cold seasons many of the settlers suf- 
fered for the necessaries of life, but happily for me 
and mine we did not suffer. I went east with my 
team far enough to find all the provisions we needed 
and brought home a full supply for all our necessi- 

The fall of 1824 was a sad period to me. My wife 
died October 20th of this year. 

I desire here to record my grateful sense of the kind- 


ness of our neiglibors during lier sickness. Their at- 
tentions were timely, cordial and continued. All 
those kind women then living in the district are dead 
except Mrs. Benj. Foot. 

I married my present wife, Elizabeth Stephens, in 
Gaines, March 20th, 1825. She was born in Middle- 
town, Rutland county, Vt., June 20th, 1806. 

We left our pioneer log house and moved into our 
present dwelling in 1825. About this time the boats 
were seen passing along in 'Gov. Clinton's big 
ditch,' the Erie canal, on the north border of my 
farm, connecting the great commercial and agricultu- 
ral interests of our country. And I trust that our nat- 
ural and artificial channels of trade may remain 
open, and the love of freedom artong our people con- 
tinue to aid, with the blessing of God, to preserve and 
perpetuate our nationality, restore the Union of these 
States and the free institutions of our country. 

In 1825 I experienced religion, and about 1829 my 
wife and myself connected ourselves with the Metho- 
dist Episcopal Church, in whose communion we still 


Barre, April 7lh, 1864. 


Oliver Benton was born in Ashfield, Mass., April 
10th, 1791. He came to Bane to reside in 1812. He 
married Elvira Star,r, May 15th, 1817. Mr. Benton 
took up a large tract of land two miles south of Al- 
bion, on w'hich he resided, i* ^ 

After the town of Barre was organized, and about 
1818 or '19 the first postoffice in the town was estab- 
lished and called Barre, and Mr. Benton was ap- 
pointed'postmaster, an office he held many years. 

For many years he was a noted tavern keeper on 
the Oak Orchard Road, and as he had a large and 


commodious house for the times, town meetings, balls 
and gatlierings of the people were held at his house. 
On the death of William Lewis, who was the first 
Sheriff, Mr. Benton was elected Sheriff of Orleans co. 
Nov. 1825, and held the office three vears. He died 
Feb. 12th, 1848. 


Moses Smith was born in Newburg, New York, 
February 6th, 1785. He married Chloe Dickinson, of 
Phelps, New York, April 11th, 1811, and moved to 
Earre, Orleans county, Nov. 16th, 1824, and took a 
de«d from the Holland Company of a part of lot two, 
township fifteen, range one, on which he continued to 
reside until his death May 16th, 1869. He had four- 
teen children, eight of whom survived him. He was 
a cai-penter and joiner by trade, but the main occu- 
pation of his life was farming. 

He was of Scotch descent. His grandmother emi- 
grated from Scotland ajid settled on what is known 
in history as the Hasbrouck place, in the South part 
of the city of Newburgh, on two hundred and fifty 
acres. On this farm Mr. Moses Srnitli was born, and 
on this farm stands the celebrated building known as 
" Washington's Headquarters." 

Anthoiiy Tripp was born in Pi-ovidencc, Bhode Is- 
land. In his childhood he removed witii his father's 
family to Columbia county, N. Y., M'ht^ic he grew 
up to manliood, was married and settled. He after- 
terwards removed to Delaware county, where he re- 
sided until he moved to Barre. 

In 1811 he came to Barre and took up one hundred 
acres of land about two miles South of Albion. It 
is claimed this was the first article for land issued by 


the Holland Company in Barre. The war breaking 
out next year he did not settle on his land. 

In 1817 his eldest son, Samuel, commenced clear- 
ing this land and built a log house there, into 
which Mr. Tripp moved with his family in 1824, and 
where he continued to reside until his death. 

He married Mary Brown. Their children were 
Samuel ; Talitha, who married Sylvester Patterson ; 
Stephen E., who, married Kuth Mott ; Anthony ; Al- 
vah, who married Jane H. Blakely. She was killed 
January, 1866, by a chimney and battlement from an 
adjoining building falling through the roof of a store 
in Albion, in which she was trading, crushing her to 
death. Mary, who married Psalter S. Mason. Al- 
meron, who married Sylvia Burns. 


Allen Porter was born in Franklin county, Mass., 
Aug. 24th, 1795. He married Electa Scott, i)ec. 22d, 
1819. In the fall of 1815 he located for himself a 
tarm in the town of Barre, upon which he removed 
in March, 1816, and commenced felling the trees, and 
on which he has ever since resided. 

At the time Mr. Porter came in, not more than fif- 
teen families had settled in the present limits of 

Previous to this time the Holland Company had 
cut out the road from the Oak Orchard Road to Shel- 
by Center, which now passes the County Poor House. 
A few lots had been taken but no dwelling had been 
erected on the road so cut out in Barre and no set- 
tlement had been made in this town south of the Poor 
House Hoad and west of the Oak Orchard Road. 

Mr. Porter remembers hauling wheat raised on his 
farm, to Rochester, and selling it there for thirty -one 
cents a bushel, and paying five dollars per barrel for 



salt, seventeen cents per i)oiind for nails, and other 
goods in like proportion. 

Wliile Mr. Porter was a boy his father removed to 
Seneca county, N. Y. allien being yet in his minori- 
ty was drafted in the war of 1812 and sent to the 
frontier. He Aolunteered at Buffalo to go over into 
Canada to reinforce our troops in Fort Eric, and was 
present in the sortie from that Fort in Sept. 1814. Mr. 
Porter has held various offices, civil and military, and 
Is a well known and mucli respected citizen. 


Eliznr Hart was born in Durham, Greene countA". 
X. Y., May 23d, 1803. His father, Dea. Joseph Hart, 
removed to Seneca county, IST. Y., in 1806, and to 
. Barre, Orleans county, in October, 1812. It was sev- 
eral years after he came to Barre, before any school 
was opened in his father's neighborhood, and he 
never had the benefit of much instruction in school. 
While residing with his father he was employed 
mainly in clearing up land and in labor on the farm, 
and gi*ew up to manhood as other boj^s did in that 
new country, without much knowledge of books or 
business, or oi" the world beyond the community 
where he lived. 

About the year 1827 he was elected constable, an 
oflBce he held two years. His business now called 
him to spend much of his time in Albion. He had 
about five hundred dollars in money. His brother 
William hads a like sum which Ik.' put into Elizur' s 
hands to use for their joint benefit. Elizur began tt> 
buy small i)romissory notes and to lend small sums 
to such customers as applied, and sometimes to re- 
lieve debtors in executions which wen,' put in his 
hands to collect as eogstable. 

About this time his father deeded to his sons Wil- 
liam and Elizur one hundred acres of his farm for 


which they paid liim five hundred dollars. They con- 
tinued joint, owners several years when William gave 
Elizur the five hundred dollars he had put into his 
hands and all the profit he had made on it for a deed 
of the whole one hundred acres to himself. This 
land lies in the village of Albion ; is still owned and 
occupied by Wm. Hart, and the rise in its value has 
made him a wealthy man. 

As Mr. Hart found his means increase he began to 
invest in bonds and mortgages, and in articles for 
land issued by tlie Holland Company. He seldom 
lost but generally made money in all his trades, and 
continued this business for many years. 

In 1852 he was made an assignee, and in a year or 
two after receiver of tlie property of the Orleans 
Insurance Company. And on the failure of the old 
Bank of Orleans he was appointed receiver of that 

On February 10th, 1860, in company with Mr. Jos. 
M. Cornell he established 'The Orleans County 
Bank' at Albion, with a capital of $100,000. Of this 
Bank ,he was President as long as it existed. When 
all State Banks were superseded by National Banks, 
jje changed his institution and organized ' The Or- 
leans County National Bank ' in its stead Aug. 9th, 
1 865, ^ of which he was President the I'emainper of 
of his life. 

Mr. Hart was not a speculator in business, advan- 
cing money in uncertain ventures and taking the 
chances on their success. His investments were the 
results of careful calculations, and usually returned 
the profit he had computed before hand. 

Always attentive to his business, but never dilatory 
or impulsive, correct and exemplary in all his habits, 
beginning with comparatively nothing, without the 
aid or influence of wealthy connections, he became 
one of the opulent country bankers in the State, and 


at liis death was master of a fortune aiiionnting 
to hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

In his will he gave the Presbyterian Church in Al- 
hion, of which he was a member, fiftj^ thousand dol- 
lars to build a house of worship, and an endowment 
of five thousand dollars to the Sunday School con- 
nected with his church. 

Mr. Hart married Miss Loraine Field in May, 1835. 
She died Feb. 11th, 1847. He married Miss Cornelia 
King, Oct. 16th, 1849. 

His surviving children are Frances E., who married 
Oliver C. Bay, and resides in Adrian, Michigan. 
Jennie K. and E. Kirk ; the last named married Lou- 
isa Sanderson and resides in Albion, is Cashier and 
principal owner of the Orleans County National Bank. 

Elizur Hart died August 13th, 1870. 


"I was born in Providence, Saratoga Co., Is. Y., 
June 8, 1799. I married Mary Delano, Feb. 14, 1822. 
She Avas bom in Providence, Dec. 25, 1800. 

I labored on a farm, of which my father had a lease, 
in the summer season, and with my father in the win- 
ter, a part of the time, in his shop, making saddles 
and harness, he being a saddler by trade. 

When I became of age, I hired out to v.'ork on a 
farm for Earl Stimson, then a large farmer in Gal way, 
first eight months, at $11 a month, then a jaav for 
§110. My wages for this work, deducting my cloth- 
ing bills, constituted all my capital. 

On the 18th day of March, 1822, I started for the 
Holland Purchase, and came alone to Durfee Delano' s, 
a little west of Eagle Harbor, in Gaines. 

I bought fifty-five acres of land of Winsor Paine, 
for which I agreed to give him $250 — $100 down, my 
horse, saddle and bridle, for $80, and $70 worth of 
saddles, to be delivered in a year. 


I worked on my place until the next fall ; Mrs. 
Paine did my washing and cooking and I furnished a 
portion of the provisions. I chopped and cleared and 
sowed with wheat, six acres ; raised one acre of spring 
wheat, one hundred Taushels of corn. I returned to 
Saratoga in the fall, made the saddles in the winter, 
to pay for my farm, and in January 1823, moved mj' 
wife to our new home in Barre, where we have since 
resided, on lot 33, township 15, range 2. 

Dated, Dec. 1, 1863. JAEVIS M. SKINNEK." 


Was bbrn in Savoy, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts, 
Dec. 14, 1796. He has always followed farming. He 
(.ame to Palmyra in 1801, settled in Gaines, Orleans 
Co., N. Y., in 1819, married Sarah Wickham in 1821. 
She was born in Chatham, Columbia Co., July 15, 
1799, and removed to Gaines in 1816. 

Mr. Braley removed to Barre, where he now re- 
sides, in 1838. 


"I was born in West ■ Springfield, Massachusetts, 
Dec. 19, 1795. My father gave me a good common 
school education for those times and brought me up 
in his occupation, as a farmer. 

I followed the business of teachiiig school for sever- 
al winters, when I was a young man. 

May 5, 1818, my brother Chapin and myself started 
from my father's house in Hinsdale, Mass., on foot, 
with knapsacks on our backs, for the 'Genesee' 

After going to Batavia and looking over the towns 
of Orangeville and China, we came to Barre and set- 
tled on lot 3, township 14, range 2, of the Holland 
Purchase, about two miles south of Barre Center 
where we still reside, (1864.) 


We- took our article for our land, May 18, 1818, and 
immediately began chopping, boarding with a family 
mamed Cuthbret. 

I taught a district school, in all, seven winters, and 
singing school two terms. 

One of our neighbors, Henry Edgerton, a strong, 
•athletic man, carried a bushel and a half of wheat on 
Ms back, to Farwell's mill, in Clarendon, eight miles, 
got it ground and brought it home. 

In the fall of 1820, my brother and myself, having 
partially recovered from fever and ague, from which 
■we had suffered, and getting somewhat homesick, 
went on foot back to Mass., being quite discouraged 
at the prospect of ever paying for our land, as the 
price of produce was so low. We wanted to sell out. 

Finding no opportunity to sell our articles, we 
'worked out for farmers in Massachusetts the next, 
cseason, at $8 a month, then the common wages, and 
a-eturned to Barre, in the fall of 1821, to sell our im- 
provements, but found no buyers. 

We had agreed to give six dollars an acre for our 
iand, on ten years' time — the first two years without 
interest^ At this time, wheat was worth in Rochester 
fi-om thirty-one to thirty-seven cents a bushel. 

While I was teaching school in Springfield, Mass., 
in 1821, I saw Esq. Brewster of Riga, Monroe Co., 'N. 
"Y., who, with one of his neighbors, had come there 
ii-om Riga, with two large loads of flour, drawn by 
four yoke of oxen. The flour sold for $5 a barrel. — 
They sold their oxen and Genesee sleds, bought a 
span of horses and an old sleigh and returned to Riga. 

In the summer of 1822, I boarded with Mr. Edger- 
ton, and worked two days of every nine for him, to 
pay my board. That season I cleared, fenced and 
sowed ten acres with wheat, from which next season 
I harvested 255 bushels of good wheat. The canal 


being then navigable west as far as Brockport, I 
could sell my wheat there for $1 a bushel. 

My brother and myself divided our land, giving me 
109 acres. I then abandoned the intention of selling, 
and Nov. 16, 1823, was married to Miss Martha M. 
Buckland, daughter of John A. Buckland, of South 

In those days we were required by law to ' trairi' 
as soldiers, two days in each year, viz : on the first 
Monday in June and September, company training, 
and one day for a general muster, which was often 
held at Oak Orchard Creek. We were often called 
to meet at Oak Orchard and made the journey, 16- 
miles, on foot, carrying our gun and equipments and 
paying our own expenses. We would drill until 
near night, then on being dismissed, return home the 
same day, if indeed we were able to reach home be- 
fore the next morning. 

In the early times in this country, inspectors of ' 
Common Schools were allowed no compensation for 
their services, the honor of the office being deemed 
sufficient remuneration. After serving the town in 
that ofiice several years gratis. Dr. J. K. Brown and 
I agreed and declared to the electors, that ifap-- 
pointed to that ofiice again we would pay our fines of 
$10 and thus relieve ourselves of the service, where- 
upon the town voted to give us seventy-five cents each 
per day, for the time we might be on duty. 

Under circumstances like these, not as many were 
seeking the small town oifices then as now. 

Bears, wolves, wild cats, deer, raccoons, hedge- 
hogs and other wild animals, were plenty here then. 

In the summer of 1818, my brother and I be- 
ing at work chopping on our farm, heard a hog- 
squeal, and saw a bear walking off very deliberately 
carrying the hog in his paws. We gave chase and as • 
we came near, the bear dropped his prey and ran off;,., 


he had killed the hog. We then made 'a dead fall,' 
.-as it was called, in which to entrap the bear, which 
was a pen made by driving stakes into the gronnd, 
• and interweaving them with brush horizontally, in 
which the hog was placed. Into this pen we expect- 
ed the bear would come and spring a trap, which 
would let a weight fall upon him. It proved a suc- 
cess, for in the morning we found the bear in the pen ; 
he had sprung the trap, and a spike of the dead fall 
through his leg held him fast. 

Religious meetings were early established and 
maintained at South Barre and Barre Center. " Dea- 
-con Orange Starr was among the foremost in these 

Many pleasant reminiscences of pioneer life might 
be mentioned, for though we endured many hard- 
ships and privations, we had plenty of sport mingled 
with them, giving us a pleasant variety of mirthful 
enjoyment. Major Daniel Bigelow, being a good 
jiiorseman, and having, no horse, broke one of his ox- 
en to the saddle, and was accustomed to ride him 
through the settlement. 

Riding out one day, his ox being very thirsty and 
'Coming near a large piiddle of water, started forward 
to the drink on double-quick time, and plunging into 
the water, stopped so suddenly as to throw his good- 
natured rider over his head, sprawling into the mud, 
"much to the amusement of those looking on. 

I am a descendant, on my mother's side, of the 
■seventh generation, from Samuel Chapin, an early pi- 
'Oneer of Springfield, M&,ss., who settled there when 
■ only three families were in the place. At a gathering 
of his descendants at Springfield, on Sept. 17, 1862, 
"fifteen hundred such descendants were present. Dr. 
J. G. Holland, known as 'Timothy Titcomb,' deliver - 
-ed a poem on the occasion, which he said he was re- 


quested to do because he had married into the Chapiis 

I am also descen,ded in the sixth generation on my 
father's side, from Kev. Nicholas Street, who came- 
from England and was ordained pastor over the tirst. 
church in New, Haven, in 1659. 

Dated, Barrej Feb. 25, 1864. 


Extracts from the local history of Thomas W. Allis^ 
written by himself for the Pioneer Association. 

"I was born in Grorham, Ontario Co., N. Y., Nov_ 
1, 1798. My father died in the year 1805, and I was. 
brought up from that time until I attained my ma,ior- 
ity, in the family of an uncle, in Hampshire, Mass. 

In March, 1820, in company vdth a younger broth- 
er, I moved to Murray, in Orleans County, to what is. 
now the town of Kendall. 

We brought with us four barrels of flour, one bai- 
rel of pork, one barrel of whisjiy and a bed. 
■ We located three and one-fourth miles north of thfr 
Ridge road, and one mile east of the Transit Line. 

In going from the Ridge to our place, we passed, 
but one family and they lived in a log house, in the- 
woods, with no plastering between the logs, with only- 
part of the ground covered by a floor, a bark roof, no 

We hired our provisions cooked, and lived with a 
family near by, in a log cabin similar to the one 
above described. 

We bought a contract for one hundred acres of 
land, by the terms of which we agree<l to pay fSOO' 
for the improvements, and $600 for the soil. 

We kept bachelor's hall there most of the time for- 
four years. 

I soon bought fifty acres more of land, with six: 
acres improvement on it, for which I agreed to pay- 


$450. But few families were then nortli of the Eidge, 
in that section of country. 

I worked at clearing land and raising crops. 
Wheat was worth only three shillings per bushel, de- 
livered in Rochester. 

The first plow in our settlement, I bought in com- 
pany with two neighbors. We walked to Grain»t-i 
village, bought one of Wood' s patent plows and car- 
ried it on our backs from the Ridge road three and 
one-fourth miles to our home. 

I was married Nov. 18, 1824, to Miss Elizabttk 
Clements, of Queensbury, Warren Co. IS". Y. 

On the 9th of January, 1826, my house was burned 
with all my furniture and clothing and one years' 
provision. Our neighbors turned out and drew logs 
and rolled up part of a house, but a snow storm came 
on and stopped the work before it was finished. My 
brother and myself afterwards built a log house, com- 
mencing on Thursday at noon, built a stone chimney, 
finished and moved into it the next Saturday. Size 
of the house was sixteen by thirteen feet. We lived 
in this small house about two years and then I finish- 
ed the house which had been begun by my neighbors 
soon after the fire. 

I resided in the house last built about fourteen 

' I paid interest on the'purchase money, for the first 
hundred acres I bought, to about the amount of the 
principal before I took a deed. 

I afterwards bought fifty-three acres for $450, fcr 
wliich I paid with the avails of one crop of wheat. 

In 1887 I bought a timber lot of 48 acres. 

In 1840 I built a frame house, thirty by seventy 
feet, which cost me $2,000. 

In March, 1860, I sold my farm in Kendall, part oi 
which I had held for forty years, and bought a house 


and fifteen acres of land in Albion, on which I now 


Albion, January, 18G3. 

Mr. T. W. Allis, above referred to, was for many 
years one of the solid men of the town of Kendall, 
Honored and respected by all who knew him. He 
was a Justice of the Peace and held various other 
town offices. Having acquired a competency, by 
many years' steady toil and economy, he retired from 
hard labor on a farm, to a village residence, where he 
is now (1871) spending a quiet old age, in the enjoy- 
ment of the fruits of his labors. 


Extracts from the local history of Col. Joseph Bar- 
ker, written by himself. 

' ■ I was born in Tadmorden, Lancashire, England, 
September 21st, 1802, and emigrated with mj;' father's 
family to America in the spring of 1816. I arrived in 
the tov/n of Seneca, Ontario county, in July of that 
year, and resided there until I bought the farm in 
Barre, in November, 1825, on wJiich I now reside. I 
was married in October, 1822, to Miss Submit Cowles, 
who v/as born in Heath, Franklin county, Massachu- 
setts, by whom I had nine children. My wife died 
February 15th, 1851. I lived a widower two and a 
half years, and then married widow Elizabeth Gruern- 
sey, who was born in Middleburgh, Schoharrie Co,. 
K". Y., March 19th, 1810. 

In the fall of 1819, I started with another man from 
Seneca, IST. Y., to go to Lundy's Lane, in Canada. 
' We traveled on foot with knapsacks on our backs. 
Passing through Rochester, then a small town and 
very muddy, we took the Ridge Road, then thinly 
settled. Before we arrived at Hartland Corners our 
provisions gave out ; we tried to buy some bread ; 
could get none ; then tried begging, with no better 


success. We went on to Buck's tavern in the Eleven 
Mile Woods. It v^as very dark when we got there 
and rained very hard. We had not a dry thread in 
our clothes, and our shoes and stockings were full of 
mud and water. Buck' s tavern was a log house with 
a Dutch fire place, and had a good rousing fire. Af- 
ter taking some Q-um and supper, we hung our outer 
garments up to dry and went to bed. The next morn- 
ing we started early, and after getting through the 
woods, I went into a house and bought six pence 
worth of bread which' lasted us through to Lundy' s 
Lane. We stayed there three weeks and returned 

In September, 1823, 1 set out to look me up a farm; 
eame by way of Batavia, and through the Indian 
Eeservation to a place now called Alabama Center, 
and took up sixty acres of land lying about three- 
fourths of a mile north of that place. I chopped the 
trees on' about one acre, when finding half of my lot 
was swamp I felt sick of it and left for home, where I 
stayed, working out until the fall of 1825, then start- 
ed again and bought the place on which I have ever 
since resided in Barre, lot fifty -four, township fourteen, 
range two. 

I moved to my place in January, 1826. There was 
a shanty on my land with a shingled roof. I got 
ready to begin work about February 1st, and meas- 
ured off ten acres of woods for my next year' s work 
to chop, clear, fence and sow with v/heat; all of 
which I did, sowing the last ,of my wheat in October. 
The reason of my being so late sowing wheat was, 
my wife was taken sick soon after harvest. I could 
get no girl to work and I was obliged to take care of 
my sick wife and do all my work in doors, and out of 
doors. I had to milk, churn, work butter, wash and 
iron clothes, mix and bake bread, and in fact do all 
thei-e was to be done. I worked on my fallow days 


and nights whenever I could leave my sick wife. At 
last I hired a girl, but she stayed with us only four or 
five days, and I then had to do housework again. 
My wife recovered so as to be about, the forepart of 
October. ^ 

I worked out some the next winter to get potatoes to 
eat and to plant and to pay my doctor' s bill. I bought 
four small pigs in the summer, and beachnuts being 
plenty they grew finely and when killed weighed 
about one hiindred and twenty pounds apiece. The 
pork was rather soft but tasted good. 

The second winter I chopped about seven acres. 
The weather was fine, but on the night of Ajaril 13th, 
the wind blowing a fearful gale while we were snugly 
in bed, took the roof off our shanty leaving us in bed, 
but with neither roof or chamber fioor in our house. 
I got up and put out the fire; we put on our clothes 
and taking our little girl went to Mr. Russells, our 
nearest neighbor, about forty rods, where we stayed 
until, with the help of our kind neighbors, we got up 
the body of another log house. In two or three 
weeks we had our house so far made that we moved 
into it and lived in it all summer without a chimney. 
In the fall I built a Dutch fire place and a stick chim- 

It was about two years after I moved on mj lot be- 
fore the highway was chopped out either way, north 
or south from me. The logs and underbrush were 
cut so that we "could drive a team through. I 
was poor when I came here and I livgd according to 
my means. One-fourth pound of tea lasted us over 
seven months. I bought a barrel of pork and half a 
barrel of beef, when I got the tea, and they were all 
gone in about the same time together. 

We had plenty of fiour and some potatoes. My 
cow was not used to the woods, and sometimes I could 
find her and again I could not, so sometimes we were 


obliged to eat our bread and potatoes for a meal. I 
thought it rather dry living to work hard on, but we 
lived through it, always hoping for "the better time 

The next year I fatted three fine hogs and put them 
all down for home nse. The third summer I had over 
20 acres cleared and had got to living pretty comfoi-ta ^ 
bly. In July of this year I was elected Second Ser- 
geant in Capt. Gates Infantry Company rather against 
my wishes. I however accepted. 

In August following I was taken sick with fever 
and ague which lasted me three months. I could hire 
no men to work for me for love or money. Almost 
everybody was sick this year. The neighbors turned 
out however, late in the fall and sowed about six 
acres with wheat for me, and I liired a boy a month 
to husk corn and dig potatoes. About the time the 
boy got through work the ague left me and I was 
pretty well all the next winter. Thp next spring I 
had three fits of ague, then sores came all o^'er my 
face. I had no more ague shakes for the next three 
or four years. 

About this time my wife was taken sick with in- 
flammation in the bowels just at the commencement 
of the wheat harvest. I had fourteen acres to 
harvest and no one to help me. I got a 
physician to attend my wife, and my little girl and 
myself nursed her as well as we could ; and when I 
could be spared I went to my harvest field and 
worked, whether by day or night. Thus I harvested 
my fourteen acres and took care of my wife. Just 
before I finished cutting my wheat however, I was 
again taken with "chills" and began to shake, and 
kept on shaking about an hour, did not stop cradling 
but when the fever came on I had to quit and steer 
for the house and had a hard time to get there. I 
had two more fits, when my face broke out in sores 

156 pio-vp:kh iiistoey 

as formerly and I had no more fever and ague. My 
wife getting no better, I went to find a girl to take 
care of her, feeling I was not able to take proper care 
of myself, much less of her. I traveled all day, 
found plenty of girls that wanted to go out to spin, 
but would not do housework. I went a second and 
third day with like results, and came home sick 
both in body and mind, and found my wife some bet- 
ter. I finally succeeded in getting a woman to help 
until my wife got able to be about. 

I kept chopping and clearing my land as fast as I 
could alone, for I was not able to hire. I changed 
work occasionally with my neighbors, and sometimes 
hired a day' s work. My crops were sometimes good, 
sometimes poor ; but I got along and made 

In July, 1833, I was elected Captain over the Com- 
pany in which I had served as Sergeant over four 
years, and I was afterwards elected Colonel. This 
military office, as every body knows, was not a monej' 
making business in those days ; but I had got into it 
and determined to carry it through to the best of my 
ability. It cost me much time and money, for which 
I received nothing back. I had the honor of com- 
manding as good a regiment as there was in the coun- 
ty, and felt proud of it. I did military duty nineteen 
years ; eleven years as an officer, serving as a Cap- 
tain before I was naturalized, or a voter in town 
or State. I resigned all military office April 20th, 

^I have labored steadily as a farmer, enjoying good 
health, except having the ague, as I have stated, and 
had a good degree of prosperity attend my labors. 


March 9th, 1803. 


Enos Rice was born in Conway, Hampshire county, 


Massachusetts, in 1790, and came with his father's 
family in 1804, to Madison county, N. Y. 

In June, 1816, with a pack on his back, he came to 
Barre, Orleans county, and located on lot eighteen, in 
township fifteen, range two, where he cleared about 
twenty acres. He next lived a few years in Shelby, 
and in 1831 bought a farm near Porter's Corners, 
where he has ever since resided. 

Mr. Rice began in the world poor, but by persever- 
ing industry and frugality he has acquired a fair 
amount of property to make his old age comfort- 


" My father, Stephen Porter, was born in Lebanon, 
Connecticut. About the year 1812 or '13 he started 
with his wife and live children on an ox sled, Avif h one 
yoke of small oxen to come to 'York State.' He 
had but Itnv ai'ticles of furniture and but S65 in 
money. After a journey of twenty -two days, with 
extraordinary good luck, ho landed in Smyrna, Che- 
nango county, IST. Y., Avith cash reduced to §18. 
Here he hired an old log house in which he resided 
one year. Then he hitched his oxen to the old sled, 
and with his trajjs and family aboard, started for 
Ontario county. After traveling seven days, he ar- 
rived at his place of destination and hired a house 
and twenty-five acres of land. 

In the fall of 1815, he took an article from the Hol- 
land Land Company, of the west hundred acres of 
lot 40, township 14, range 2, in Barre, the same on 
which I now reside, about three-fourths of a mile 
west of Porter's Corners. In March following, in 
company with Allen Porter, Samuel Porter and Jo- 
seph Rockwood, he started with provisions for five 
weeks, to make a beginning on their lands. They es- 
tablished their depot of provisions at the house of 


Dea. Ebenezer Rogers, in the south part of what is 
novr the village of Albion. 

They took what provisions they wanted for a week 
on their backs, with their axes and started through 
the woods to their lands, about five miles away, the 
snow being about knee deep. 

The first thing in order was to select a place to 
build their cabin. The site was fixed on the farm 
now owned by J. W. Stocking, about twenty rods 
east of where Stocking' s house stands. They cut such 
poles as they could carry and built their first cabin 
ten by twelve feet square, covered it with split bass- 
wood troughs, got it tenable, and the colony moved 
in and took possession the same day. They cut hem- 
lock boughs and spread them on the ground, covering 
them with blankets, which made a good bed. The 
room «iot occupied by the bed served for culinary and 
dining purposes. After thus preparing their house 
they commenced chopping in earnest, working through 
the week imtil Satiirday afternoon, when they all re- 
turned to Mr. Rogers' to spend the Sabbath and get 
another weeks' provisions. In this way they worked 
until they had chopped about five acres each, when 
they all returned to Ontario Co., to spend the sum- 

In January, 1820, my father moved his family to 
his new home in Barre, where he made a comfortable 
residence the remainder of his life, and died in the 
fall of 1831, aged 53 years. 

My father paid little more than the interest on the 
purchase moiiey for his land, while he lived. It was 
paid for by his sons and has been a home for the 
family ever since. 

In the spring of 1816 there was no house occupied 
by a family in Barre, west of the Oak Orchard Road, 
on the line on which my father located, although sev- 
eral were in process of erection. My mother died on 


the homestead, August 1857, aged 77 years. I was 
my father' s second son, and now own and reside on 
the old premises, to which I have made additions by 

I was born in Ashfield, Mass., in 1805, and came to 
this county with my father, in 1820, being then about 
fifteen years old. 

I have had abundant experience in pioneer life. I 
have chopped and logged and cleared land. I boiled 
hlaclc salts three or four years, a part of the time 
barefoot, because my father was too poor to furnish 
me shoes, with little other damage than the occasion- 
al loss of a toe nail, or a small wound in the foot from 
sharp stubs. 

I have lived through it all, and by dint of economy 
and industry have advanced from poverty to compe- 

I have held various offices in the gift of my fellow- 
citizens. I was Supervisor of the town of Barre from 
1857 to 1862, five successive years. 

There was no school in my neighborhood for sever- 
al years after 1820. The first district school house 
built there was erected at Sheldon's Corners. The 
district was afterwards divided and a log school 
house built about a mile north of Ferguson's Cor- 
ners. Again the district was divided and now stands 
as district No. 12, with a good school house. 

I married for my first wife, Lydia Scoot, daughter 
of Capt. Justin Scoot, of Ontario County, Oct. 20, 
1830. She died Dec. 3, 1842. I married for my sec- 
ond wife, Caroline Culver, daughter of Orange Culver 
of South Barre, June 27, 1844, with whom I am still 


Barre, May 27, 1863. 


.Nehemiah Ingersoll was born in Stanford, Dutchess 


Co., N. Y., in 1786. In 1816, lie removed to Batavia, 
where he remained a year or two, then bought a farm 
in Elba, five miles north of Batavia, to which he re- 
moved and where he kept a public house several 
years. In April, 1822, in company with James P. 
Smith and Chillian F. Buckley, he bought of Wilham 
Bradner one hundred acres of land in Albion, bound- 
ed north by the town of Gaines ; west by the Oak 
Orchard road ; by Joel Bradner' s farm, and ex- 
tending east one hundred rods from> the Oak Orchard 
Koad. For this tract they paid $4,000. Mr. Inger- 
soll soon bought of Smith and Buckley, all their in- 
terest in this land. 

Soon after purchasing this tract Mr. IngersoU had 
a large part of it surveyed and laid out into village 
lots, believing a town would soon grow up. He 
did not immediately remove to Albion but did com- 
mence improving his property there. 

He and his associates built the large warehouse 
standing on the canal at the foot of Piatt street and 
a framed building for a store on the corner of Main 
and Canal streets, where the Empire block now 

Ingersoll & Wells (Dudley Wells) traded some 
years in this store, and business was carried on in 
the w^arehouse by Ingersoll and Lewis P. Buckley. 

In the struggle for the location of the County build' 
ings, Mr. Ingersoll engaged with spirit. In competing 
with the village of Gfaines, he offered the commission- 
ers appointed to locate the Court House, the grounds 
on which the Court House now stands as a free gift, 
which offer was finally accepted and the location thus 
secured here. 

Early in 1826 he removed to Ablion to reside. He 
was prominent among those engaged in effecting the 
organization of the county of Orleans from the county 
of Genesee, and in establishing all those institutions 


required and consequent upon beginning a new 

In 1835, having sold or contracted for the sale of most 
of his land in Albion, he removed to Detroit and en- 
gaged in large business there, in which he sustained 
severe loss ; and in 1845 he went to Lee, Oneida covmty, 
J^. Y., at which place he resided until his death. 

Mr. Ingersoll married in his youth Miss Polly Hal- 
sey, daughter of Col. Jfathan Halsey, of Columbia 
county. She died in 1831. 

For a second wife he married Miss Elizabeth C. 
Brown, of Lee avIio survived him. 

Mr. Ingersoll died February 21, 1868, aged eighty- 
two years. He was naturally of a strong constitu- 
tion and of an active temperament and ap- 
peared twenty years younger than he was. Although 
the later years of his life were spent away from Albion, 
he was often here and always manifested the deepest 
interest in the prosperity of the village and county of 
Orleans. At his request his remains were brought to 
Albion after his decease and deposited beside his first 
wife in Mount Albion Cemetery. 

His second wife, Mrs. Elizabeth C. Ingersoll, died 
August 17th, 1869. After her marriage, she resided 
several years in Albion and shared Avith her hus- 
band in a feeling of attachment to the place and peo- 
ple, which proved itself in a generous gift of ten 
thousand doUars, which she made in her will to the 
Prostestant Episcopal Church in Albion. Both Mr. 
Ingersoll and his wife were members of that com- 


Hon. Justus Ingersoll was born in Stanford, Dutch- 
ess county, ]Sr. Y., in 1794. He learned the -trade of 

On the breaking out of war with Great Britain, in 


1812, lie entered tlie United States army as ensign in 
the twenty-third regiment of infantry. He served on 
t!ie northern frontier in several engagements, and was 
in the celebrated charge on Queenstown Heights. He 
was promoted to the rank of Captain for meritorious 
service. , 

In one of the battles in Canada, in which he served 
as Captain of Infantry, he was wounded in the foot. 
Refusing to leave his Company, and being unable to 
walk, he mounted a horse and continued with his 
men. In another engagement he was shot through 
the body, the ball lodging in a rib. He refused to 
have it removed, as he was informed a portion of 
rfb would have to be cut away, which would proba- 
bly cause him to stoop ever after in his gait. 

He was a favorite with his company and much es- 
teemed by Gen. Scott under whom he served. 

In 1818 he came to Elba, Genesee county, IS". Y., 
and soon after settled at Shelby Center, in Orleans 
.r.ounty, where he carried- on tanning and shoe-mak- 
ing, and held the office of Justice of the Peace. 

After the canal was made navigable, and Medina 
began to be settled as a village, he removed there, 
built a large tannery and transfered his business 
to that place. 

He was appointed Indian Agent and postmaster at 
Medina, by President Jackson ; he was also Judge 
of Orleans County Courts. 

His tannery being accidentally burned and sus- 
taining other misfprtunes in business, he removed to 
Detroit with his brother Nehemiah, in 1835, where 
they went into the leather business on a large scale, 
in which they were not finally successful. 

Mr. Ingersoll was a man of firm and persistent 
character, active and enterprising— esteemed among 
his acquaintances for the uprightness of his conducl 


:and tlie courtesy ' of his manners. He died in 1845. 


Lorenzo Burrows was born in Groton, Conn., 

: March 15th, 1805. In his boyhood he attended the 
Academj^ at Plainfield, Conn., and Westerly, Rhode 
Island. In Nov., 1824, he came to Albioii, iST. Y., to 

.-assist his brother, Roswell S. Burrows, as his clerk. 
He continued to act in that capacity until in 1826, 

,after he attained his majority,- he went in company 
with his brother in business under the firm name of 
R. S. & L. BmTows. 

He assisted his brother in establishing the Bank of 
.Albion in 1839, and after it went into operation he 
was appointed Cashier and devoted himself mainly 
to the business of the bank and to the duties of -Re- 

.ceiver of the Farmer s Bank of Orleans, until in No- 
vember, 1848, he was elected a Member of the House 

-of Represeijtatives in Congress, for the District which 
comprised Niagara and Orleans counties. He was 
re-elected to Congress in Nov., 1850, and served in 

"that office, in all, four years. 

Since his election to Congress he has done no busi- 

vness as an officer of this "bank. 

He was elected Comptroller of the State of New 
York m Nov. 1865, which office he held one term of 
two years.. 

In Feb., 1858, he was chosen a Regent of the Uni- 
versity of the State of New York, an office he has 
held ever since. 

He was County Treasurer of Orleans county in the 
year 1840, and Supervisor of the town of Barre for 
the year 1845. He was Assignee in Bankruptcy for 
the county of Orleans, under the law of 1841. In 
the year 1862 he was appointed one of the Commis- 
sioners of Mount Albion Cemetery — an office to 

tvhich no salary or pecuniary compensation is 


attached, but which is attended with consideraWe- 
labor. To this labor he has devoted all the time neces- - 
sary, discharging the principal part of the duties 
of the Commission, with what success let the beauti- 
ful terraces, trees, paths, walks, avenues, roads, and'l 
improvements which adorn this "city of the dead," 
and which remain the creations of his taste and skill,, 
bear witness. 

Since leaving Congress Mr. Burrows has emploj'-edl 
himself principally in discharging the duties of the 
offices above mentioned in taldng care of consider- - 
able real estate he owns in connection with his broth- 
er, and in his own right, in, or near Albion, and else- 
where ; and in the enjoyment of such leisure as an 
ample fortune which he has secured in eailier" 
life affords, in social intercourse -with his family 
and friends. 


" I was born in Greenfield, Saratoga county, N. Y.- 
My father's name was Abiathar Mix. In May, 1817, 
when I was less than one year old, my father re-- 
moved with his family to what is now Barre, Orleans 
county, N. Y. There I had my bringing up and have- 
ever since resided. My Genesee cradle was a sap- 
trough. Genesee school rooms were log houses, log" 
bams, and other like accoinihodations. 

I stayed at home and worked on the farm summers, 
and went to schools winters when I could, until I was - 
eighteen years of age. My father then gave me my 
time, saying he had nothing else he could give^ me" 
then, but that I could make his house my home. 

After that I worked by the day and month summers, 
and attended school winters — went several terms to- 
an Academy. 

At the age of twenty-three I commenced teaching- 
district school and taught five winters in succession.. 


"During those five years I traveled Considerably in the 
-western and southern States, and became quite a rad- 
ical reformer in sentiment. 

I was nominated County Clerk by the Liberty Par- 
ity but was not elected. 

I married Miss Ellen De Bow, of Batavia, N. Y., 
in 1852. 

I have always made a living, and got it honestly I 
think, and have laid by a little every year for myself 
,and others I have to care for. I never sued a person 
;^nd never was sued. I never lost a debt of any great 
.amount, for if a person who owed me could not pay 
iit, I forgave the debt. 

I made a public profession of religion when I was 

««leven years old, and several years afterwards united 

with the Free Congregational Church in Gaines and re- 

,mained a member of that Church as long as it was in 


I never held any civil office of profit. My political 
principles were not formerly popular with the major- 
ity of the people. 

I held military office in the 214th regiment N. Y. 
.State militia, from 1837 to 1844, and served as ensign, 
^lieutenant and captain. 

I have lived to see slavery abolished in this coun- 

itry. The -landless can now have land if they will. 

l^ow let us drive liquor and tobacco from the coun- 


.Barre, February 1869. 

"things I CAN KEMEMBER." 


"I can remember the dark and heavy forest that 
once covered this land, with only now and then a lit- 
tle ' clearing ' that made a little hole to let in the 
fSunshine ; the large creeks that seemed to flow and 


flood the whole country during a freshet ; the large 
swamps and marshes, in almost every valley ; the 
wild deer that roamed the woods almost undisturbed 
hy men ; the bear that plodded his way through the- 
swamps and the wolf that made night hideous with 
his howling. 

I remember when the roads ran crooking around- 
on the high grounds, and when roads on the low 
lands were mostly causeways of logs. AVhen almost 
all the houses were made of logs, and almost all the 
chimneys were made of sticks and mud, and the lire-- 
places were' of Dutch pattern. 

But the sound of the axman was heard at his toil 
through the forest, hurling the old trees headlong. 
The woods and the heavens were lit up with the lurid 
glare of fire by night, and the heavy forest soon 
melted away. Tliose little holes in the old woods, 
soon became enlarged to broad fields of waving 
grain, that glistened in the sun light. 

The foaming creeks soon became rivulets, or dried, 
up. The swamps disappeared and nothing remains 
to show where many of the great marshes of the old, 
time were. The deer, bear and wolf have departed. 
The crooked roads have been straightened, and the- 
log causeways, have been buried out of sight. The 
log houses, stick chimneys, and Dutch fireplaces, 
are reckoned among the things that were and are not ■ 

I can remember when my mother spun flax on a 
'little wheel and carded wool and tow by hand and 
spun them on a great wheel ; when she colored her- 
yarn with the bark and leaves of trees and had a 
loom, and wove cloth and made it up into clothing 
for her family. 

I can remember wlien my father plowed with a 
wooden plow with an iron share and reaped his grain 
with a sickle and threshed it with a flail ; when he- 


mowed Ms grass with a scythe and raked it with a 
hand rake. I remember when no frnit grew here hut 
wild fruit, hut we soon had peaches in profusion, 
bushels of them rotting under the trees. 

At the first settlement of this county, fruits, such 
as grapes, strawberries, cranberries, blackberries, 
gooseberries, raspberries and mandrakes, were to be 
found growing wild. We had nuts from the trees^ 
such as butternuts, chestnuts, beachnuts and wal- 

Pumpkins, squashes and melons, were largely 
raised and of great value to the people. Pumpkins 
were cut in strips and dried on poles in the log- 
cabins and kept for use the year round. Maple treees 
furnished tis nearly all our sugar. At our fall par- 
ties and our husking and logging bees we had pump- 
kin pies. At our winter parties we had nvits and 
popped corn and in the summer, berries and 

I can remember when the common vehicle for trav- 
eling about was an ox sled with wooden shoes and 
the only wheel carriages were lumber wagons and 
they were few, when the Ridge Road was the main 
thoroughfare by which to reach the old settlements 
and stage coaches were the fastest means of convey- 

It was considered an impossibility to make tin > 
Erie Canal. People said possibly water might b(> 
made to run up hill, but canal boats, never. 

Some said tliey would be willing to die, having 
lived long enough when boats in a canal should float 
through their farms ; but afterwards when they saw 
the boats passing by, they wanted to live more than 
ever to see what would be done next. 

Next after the canal came the railroad. I heard 
the cars were running at Batavia and I went out there 
to see the great wonder of the age, and saw them. 


We were next told of the telegrapli. Knowing ones 
said that was a humbug, sure. I remember even 
some members of Congress ridiculed Professor Morse 
and his telegraph as a delusion. Biit in spite of rid- 
icule, and doubt, and incredulity, the telegraph be- 
came a success, and by it the ends of the earth have 
been brought together. These things I have seen and 
remembered while living here in Orleans county. 


' ' I was born in Brantf ord, Connecticut, in 1783. At 
the age of eighteen I married Abiathar Mix, and re- 
moved to Dutchess county, N. Y., where my hus- 
band owned a farm, on which we lived, working it 
chiefly by hired men, my husband being a mason bj- 
trade, labored at that business in the summer and 
winters he made nails and buttons. 

We resided there until May, 1817, when we sold 
our farm and removed to Barre, . Orleans Co., and lo- 
cated on lot 32, township 14, range 2. Very little 
land was then cleared in that neighborhood, and even 
that was covered with stumps of trees. Mr. -Mix had 
been here the year before and engaged a man to build 
a log house for him. AVhen we came on we found our 
house with walls up and roof on. My husband split 
some basswood logs and hewed them to plank, with 
which he laid a floor, and we began housekeeping in 
our new house. 

My husband had ten or fifteen hundred dollars in 
money, when he moved here. He took an article for 
a large tract of land and went to making potash and 
selling goods and merchandise, in company with his 
brother, Ebenezer Mix, who was then a clerk in the 
land office of the Holland Company, at Batavia. 

The settlers, building their houses of logs and their 
chimneys of sticks and mud, my husband found noth- 


ing to do at his trade, until they began making brick 
and making their chimneys of stone, with brick ovens. 

He then closed out his mercantile business and 
■went to work at his trade and being something of a 
lawyer, he used to do that kind of business consider- 
ably for the settlers. 

We had pretty hard times occasionally but managed 
to get along with what we had and raised our seven 
children to be men and women. 

My husband died in 1856. Three of my children 
have died. I shall be 86 years old in a few days, if I 

Barre, February, 1869. 


Joseph Hart was born in Berlin, Hartford Co., 
Conn., in Nov., 1775, and died in Barre, Orleans Co., 
N. Y., July, 1855. 

Mr. Hart moved to Seneca, Ontario County, N. Y., 
in the year 1806. In the fall of 1811, he came to Bar- 
re and took an article from the Holland Land Co., of 
lot 34, township 15, range 1, containing 360 acres, the 
principal part of which is still owned by his sons, 
WiUiam and Joseph. 

In April, 1812, in company with Elijah Darrow, 
Frederick Holsenburgh and Silas Benton, then young 
unmarried men, he returned and built a log house on 
Ms lot and moved his family into it in October follow- 

Elijah Darrow took an article of part of lot 1, town- 
ship 15, range 2, held the land and worked on it about 
two years, then sold it to Mr. Hart, who sold it to Eb- 
enezer Rogers, about the year 1816. 

Silas Benton took an article of part of a lot lying 
next north of Darrow' s land, which was for many • 
years afterwards owned by Samuel Fitch. Benton 
made a clearing on Ms land, built a log house on it, 


in which he lived several years and in which his wife^ 
Mrs. Silas Benton, taught a school, probably the first 
school in the town of Barre, boarded several men and 
did her house work at the same time, all in one room. 
A log school house was afterwards built on Benton's 
land, to which Mrs. Benton moved her school, whick 
was said to have been the first school house built in. 

Frederick Holsenburgh took an article of part of 
the lot lying next north of Benton's, in the village of 
xilbion, on the west side of the Oak Orchard Road. — 
The Depot of the N". Y. Central Railroad stands on 
the Holsenburgh tract. 

Joseph Hart married Lucy Kirtland, who was borii 
in Say brook, Conn., and who died at Adrian, Mich., 
January, 1868, aged 89 years. 

He was here during the war of 1812, and was sever- 
al times called out to do military service in that war. 
He was a prominent and active man in all matters 
pertaining to the organization of society in the new 
country, He assisted in forming the Presbyterian 
Church, in Albion, in which he was a ruling elder 
while he lived, and from his oflice in that chtirch he 
was always known as Dea. Hart. 

He almost always held some town office, and for 
many of his later years he was overseer of the poor of 
the town of Barre, a position the kindness of his na- 
ture well qualified him to fill. His fortunate location 
near the thriving village of Albion, which has been 
extended over a part of his farm, made him a wealthy 
man. Through a long life, he maintained a high 
character for probity and good judgment, and died 
respected by all Avho knew him. 


Was, born in Sudbury, Vermont, July 20, 1791 ; 
married Sarah Hall, of Brandon, Vt., Jan. 28, 1817; 


came to Barre in the winter of 1817 and settled on lot 
36, township 14, range 1, half a mile south of Barre 
Center. He cleared up his farm and resided on it un- 
til his death, Feb. 18, 1838. Mr. Foster was an active 
business man, a leading man among the early settlei's. 
He was for several j^ears Capt. of a militia company', 
and for some years a Justice of the Peace. 


Alexis AVard was born in the town of Addi- 
son, Vermont, May 18, 1802. His parents removed 
to Cayuga county. New York, when he was quite a 
lad. He studied law with Judge Wilson of Auburn, 
and was admitted to the bar in 1823. In 1824 he re- 
moved to Albion, where he Avas soon appointed a Jus- 
tice of the Peace. 

On the retirement of Judge Foot, who ^vas the first 
Judge of Orleans county, Mr. AVard was appointed 
First Judge in his place Feb. 10, 1830. an office he 
held by re-appointment until January 27, 1840. 

In 1834-5 he was mainly instrumental in procuring 
the charter incorporating the Bank of Orleans, which 
was the first bank incorporated in Orleans county, 
and in 1836 was elected its President and held that 
office until his death. 

He was one of the movers in founding the Phipps 
Union Seminary and the Albion Academy, and was 
always liberal in sustaining our public schools. 

It was mainly owing to his exertions that the Roch- 
ester, Lockport and Niagara Falls Railroad was built, 
and if it has proved a benefit the thanks for its con- 
struction are chiefly due to Judge Ward. 

The Suspension Bridge across Niagara River made 
a part of his original plan in connexion with this rail 
road, and his arguments and exertions were mainly 
effectual in inducing American capitalists to take 
stock in this Bridge. 


He projected the plank roads from the Ridge through 
Albion to Barre Center and took a large pecuniary 
interest in them. 

He, with Roswell and Freeman Clarke, built the 
large stone flouring mill in Albion. He also built 
several dwelling liouses. 

He was a large hearted, public spirited man, always 
ready to do anything he thought might benefit Albion. 

In all his business relations he was just, honorable 
and upright, every man received his due ; his purse 
was always open to the calls of charity. A man of 
untiring energy and perseverance, — to start a project 
was with him a certainty of its completion. 

In his intercourse with those about him he was 
kind, afiable and generous. His reserve might be 
construed by those who did not know him well, as 
haughtiness, but few men were freer from this than 

As a Cliristian, he was an exemplary member of 
the Presbyterian Church of Albion, with which he 
connected himself in 1831. He always gave greater 
pecuniary contributions to sustain that church and 
its ministers than any other man. He did much by 
his prayers, counsel, Charities and example to siistain 
the cause of religion generally. 

In November, 1854, he was elected Member of As- 
sembly for Orleans count}-, but his death prevented 
his taking his seat in the Legislature. 

He married Miss Laura , Groodrich of Auburn in - 
1826. He died November 28th, 1854. 


Judge John Lee, the ancestor of this family and the 
man after whom the Lee Settlement in Barre was 
named, was born in Barre, Massachusetts, June 25th, 
1763. In an early day he emigrated to Madison 
county, New York, wliere he resided fourteen years. 


and came to Barre, Orleans county in 1816, and took 
up a tract of land. He returned home, but his sons, 
Charles and Ora, then young men, came on and 
cleared up several acre^ of their fathers purchase, 
and huilt a log house into which Mr. John Lee and 
his family moved in February, 1817. 

Mr. Lee was an intelligent, energetic man, benevo- 
lent and patriotic in his character, always among the 
first to engage in any work tending to premote the 
good of his neighbors or the prosperity of the country. 
With the hospitality common to all the pioneers, he 
kept open house to all comers and frequently half a 
dozen men looking after land or waiting till their log 
houses could be put up, would be quartered with him 
though his own family was large. 

He was always conspicuous in aiding to lay out 
and open roads, build school houses and induce set- 
tlers to come in and stay. He was appointed a 
Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Genesee 
county and his opinions and counsel in all matters 
of local interest were much sought by his neighbors. 
He died in October 1823. 

His children were Dencey, wife of Benj. Godard, 
who 'died in Barre in 1831. Submit, wife of Judge 
Eldridge Farwell, who is stiU living. Charles, Ora 
and Asa. Sally wife of Andrew Stevens. She taught 
the first school kept in the settlement in a log school 
house in which the family of a Mr. Pierce then re- 
sided, in 1818-19. She died at Knowlesville in 1828. 
Esther wife qf Gen. Wm. C. Tanner, died in 1835. 
John B. who died in September 1860. Clarissa wife 
of John Proctor, who died in 1832. Cynthia married 
William Mudgett of Yates, in 1837, she is now living 
the widow of John Proctor. Charles has always ' 
resided on a part of the land originally taken up by 
Ms father. He has always been a prominent man in 

174 PIONEElt iriSTOliY 

public affairs in town and. county, and was for a 
number of years a Justice of the Peace. 

Ora Lee also has resided on a part of the land, so 
taken up by his father. It is said he cut the first tree 
that was felled between the village of Millville in 
Shelby and the Oak Orchard Road in Barre. Gen. 
John B. Lee removed to Albion about the year 1832^ 
and engaged in warehousing and forwarding on the 
canal. Shortly alter this he purchased of the Hol- 
land Company a large number of outstanding con- 
tracts made by the Company with settlers on the sale 
of their lands in the north part of this county. He 
conveyed these lands to the purchasers as they were 
paid for. 

A few years afterwards he engaged in selling dry 
goods in Albion. In a short time he left this and 
devoted himself mainly to buying and selling- flour 
and grain, and in manufacturing flour during the re- 
mainder of his life. He took delight in military 
affairs, held various offices in the State militia, rising 
gradually to the rank of Brigadier-General. 


Abraham Cantine was born in Marbletown, 
Ulster county. He volunteered as a soldier in the 
United States Army in the war with Great Britain, in 
1812, and served as a Captain in the stirring scenes 
of that war on the Canadian frontier. He was 
wounded in the sortie at the battle of Fort Erie. 

After the war he was discharged from the army 
and returned to Ulster county, of which he was ap- 
pointed Sheriff by the old Council of Appointment, 
in Feb. 1819. Soon after the expiration of his office 
as Sheriff, he removed to the town of Murray, in Or- 
leans county. He was employed about the year 1829, 
to re-survey that portion of the 100,000 acre tract ly- 
'mg mainly in the town of Murray, which belonged to 


the Pultney estate, part of township number three, a 
labor he carefully and faithfully performed. 

He represented the county of Orleans in the State 
Legislature in 1827. He served five years as an As- 
sociate Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Or- 
leans county. He was Collector of Tolls on the Erie 
Canal at Albion in 1835. 

Several years befor his death he removed to Albion 
to reside, and died there about Aug. 1, 1840, aged 
fifty years. 

Judge Cantine was a clear headed man, of sound 
judgTuent, well informed and always sustained 
a high reputation for ability wherever he was known. 
He was a warm personal and political friend of Pres- 
ident VanBuren. 


Daughter of Mr. Joseph Phipps, was bora in Rome, 
New York. She was one in a numerous familj' of 
daughters, whose early education was superintended 
by her father with more than ordinary care at home, 
though she had the advantages of the best private 
schools and of the district schools in the vicinity. — 
While she was quite young her father settled in Bar- 
re, and at an early age she was permitted to gratify 
the ambition she then manifested and which has been 
a ruling passion of her life, to become a teacher, by 
taking a small district school, at a salarj^ of one dol- 
lar per week 'and board around,' as was then cus- 
tomary in such schools. The salary, however, was 
no object to her, she vrished to teach a school, not to 
make money. After teaching this school two or three 
terms, she attended the Gaines Academy then in the 
zenith of its prosperity. Having spent some time 
here she was sent to a ' finishing' Ladies School kept 
by Mrs. and Miss Nicholas, in Whitesboro, N. Y. 

On leaving "Whitesboro she determined to engage in 


teaching permanently and accepted a situation to in- 
struct as assistant, in a classical school which had 
been opened hy two ladies in Albion, 

Finally an arrangement was made between the two 
principals and their assistant, under which they trans- 
ferred their lease of premises, and all their interests 
in the school to Miss Phipps. 

She now associated with an elder sister and the 
two commenced their labors as teachers on their own 
account, in a building then standing on the site of the 
present Phipps Union Seminary, in April, 1833. 

Acting on a favorite theory with her, that it is bet- 
ter to teach boys and girls in separate schools, she di- 
vided her scholars accordingly, and after a time she 
declined to receive boys as pupils and devoted aU 
her energies to her school for young ladies. 

This proved a success. So many pupils had come 
in that in August of her first year, she had been join- 
ed by another and younger sister as teacher, besides 
a teacher in music and all found themselves fully 

She thus became convinced a Female Seminary 
could be supported in Albion and that she was ca- 
pable of superintending it, and encouraged by the 
counsel and influence of some of the best citizens of 
the village, she issued a circular to the public, an- 
nouncing the founding of such an institution of learn- 
ing here. 

After near a year's trial the new Seminary was 
proved to require additional buildings, to accommo- 
date the large school. Miss Phipps invited some of 
the most wealthy and influential, men of Albion, to 
meet and hear her proposition to erect a new Semi- 
nary Building, which was in substance, that they 
should loan to her four thousand doUars, with which, 
and funds she could otherwise procure, she would 
erect a building and repay the loan to the subscribers 

I <' 


*>■ w' 



OF OKr>>3A\S ((JUXTY. 177 

in installments, and thus establish permanently the 
Seminary she proposed. 

Such proceedings were had upon this proposal that 
a paper was circulated, and the required sum sub- 
scribed, with a condition added that the avails of this 
loan to be repaid by Miss Phipps, should be used to 
found an Academy for boys in Albion. This plan 
was eventually carried into effect, and the brick edi- 
fice still used as a Seminary, built in the year 1836, 
and Phipps Union Seminary duly incorporated in 

Miss Phipps was tlms instrumental in founding two 
incorporated schools in Albion, which have proved of 
great public .benefit. 

Miss Phipps was married to Col. H. L. Achilles, of 
Rochester, N. Y., in February, 1839, and soon after 
resigning the care of the Seminary to her younger sis- 
ter, she removed to Boston, Mass., where she resided 
the succeeding ten years. During this time this 
younger sister married, when the' Seminary was trans- 
ferred to others, less competent to manage its affairs, 
in whose hands it • lost the large patronage it had re- 
ceived, and was well nigh ruined. 

This compelled Mr. and Mrs. Achilles to return to 
Albion, in 1849, and resume charge of the Seminary, 
or lose a large pecuniary interest they had invested 

The tact and energy of Mrs. Achilles, well sustain- 
ed by her husband, gave new vigor to the institution, 
and soon brought the Seminary back to the high 
standing it had under her former administration. 

Tired and worn down by the harrassing cares, anx- 
ieties and labor of superintending so large an estab- 
lishment and school, so many years, in 1866 Mrs. 
Achilles reluctantly consented to transfer her dearly 
cherished Seminary again to strangers. 

After three years' trial by these parties however, it 



was thought best that Mrs. Achilles should again 
take charge of Phipps Union Seminary, which she 
did, bringing with her to her duties the skill, experience 
and practical ability which have given her such emi- 
nent success as a teacher. 

Mrs. AchiUes has devoted tlie best years of her life 
to the cause of female education. She has labored in 
her chosen vocation, with the zeal and enthusiasm of 
genius, and may enjoy her reward in the good she 
knows she has done, and in the success with which 
she sees her work has been crowned. 



jFirst Inhabitants — First Business Men — Strife witli Gaines for Court 
House — Strategy used by Albion men to get Court House— First 
Court House — Second Court House — County Jail — First Hotel — 
First Warehouse — Stone Flouring Mill — Lawyers — Drs. Nichoson 
and White— First Tanyard— First 'Blacksmiths— Name of the Vil- 

AK Orchard Road intersects this village and 
now forms Main Street, north and south, in 
the center of the place. It was this road and 
the Erie Canal that fixed a village here. 

When the canal was commenced Albion was used 
for farms, but by the time the canal became naviga- 
ble considerable of a town had sprung up. 

"William McCoUister cleared the first land on what 
-is now in the corporation, where the Court House and 
Female Seminary stand, and built his log house on 
'the Seminary lot in 1812. He took up lot thirty-five, 
iownship fifteen, range one, on the east side of Main 
•street, under article from the Holland Company, 
which he sold to WiUiam Bradner, who took the deed 
from the company of two hundred and sixty -six and 
one-half acres of the north part, his brother Joel 
•taking a deed of ninety-two acres on the south part, 
on the west side of Main street. 

Jesse Bumpus took up by article from the compa- 
:,ny, the land from the town line of Gaines on the north, 
^to near State street on the south. John Holtzbarger, 
lOr Holsenburgh, as he was sometimes called, took up 


the next land south of Bumpus, and Elijah Darrow 
took the next. 

Before the canal was made Mr. William Bradner- 
sold one hundred acres of the north-west part of his- 
tract to JSTehemiah IngersoU and others. Mr. Inger- 
soil employed Orange Eisden to lay out his land bor- 
dering on the Oak Orchard Road and canal, into vil- 
lage lots, and to make a plat of the same. From this- 
Mr. IngersoU sold lots and opened the streets, he hav- 
ing bought out his partners. 

The Bumpus tract, on the west side of Main street, - 
at this time was owned by Mr. Roswell Burrows, the • 
-father of Messrs. R. S. & L. Burrows. He did not 
lay out his land into village lots by any general sur- 
vey and plan, but laid off' lots and opened streets - 
from time to time as the wants of the public required. 
The land fronting on Main street, through the village, 
was taken up and mostly occupied by purchasers 
from the original proprietors, about the time the canal 
was made navigable. 

The location of the County Seat in Albion, aboixt 
this time, and the bustle and business of erecting 
county buildings, establishing the courts and public of- 
fices and organizing the affairs of a new county, town 
and village, brought in an influx of inhabitants at 
once, representing the different callings and employ- 
ments pursued by those who settled in villages along.' 
the canal. 

The south side of the canal^ — the north being the 
towing path — was soon occupied by buildings put 
up for the canal trade, such as warehouses and gro- 
cery stores. The lax'ge number of passengers who- 
filled the canal boats, made the grocery stores, from 
which they and the boatmen procured their supplies, 
places of lively trade, by night and day. Variety 
stores, each filled with goods of every name, class and- 


^description demanded by the customers, were nnmer- 
ous, though small. 
Among the first merchants were Goodrich & Stan- 

. dart, John Tucker, O. H. Gardner, R. S. & L. Bur- 
rows, Alderman Butts, and Freeman Clarke, of late 
years a prominent banker in Rochester^ N. Y. 

When the Commissioners appointed to select the 
site for the Court House came on to fix the spot, their 
choice lay between Gaines and Albion. Gaines had 
the advantage of being the largest village, being on 
the Ridge Road, and being well supplied with me- 

-chanics and merchants, and of having many of the 
institutions of old and well organized communities es- 
tablished there. Albion was nearest the geographical 

-center of the county, and was intersected by the Erie 
Canal and Oak Orchard Road. The west branch of 
Sandy Creek runs through the east part of the vil- 
lage. Rising in -some swamps in the south pari of 
the town, it afibrded sufficient water after the melting 
of the snow in spring, and after rains to turn ma- 
chinery a part of the year, but in summer was nearly 

- dry. On this stream two saw mills had been built, 
"one in the village, the other south of it. 

The Commissioners came to consider the claims of 
the rival villages about the middle of the dry season. 
Mr. ]S"ehemiah IngersoU, Philetus Bumpus, Henry 

.Henderson, and a few other Albion men, determined 
to use a little strategy to help Albion. Knowing 
when tlie Commissioners would be here the creek 
would be too low to move the sawmills, and foresee- 
ing the advantage a good miU stream would give 
them, they patched the two dams and flumes and 

-closed the gates to hold all the water some days be- 
fore the Commissioners would arrive ; sent some 
teams to haul logs and lumber about the saw mill 

.and mill yard, in the village to mark the ground and 

.give the appearance of business there. 


When the Commissioners came to see Albion., 
having been generously dined and wined by its hospi- 
table people, they were taken in a carriage to see the* 
place, and in the course of the ride driven along the- 
creek and by the sawmill, then in full operation, with 
men and teams at work among the lumber, with a 
good supply of water from the ponds thus made for 
the occasion. The Commissioners were impressed 
with the importance of this fine water power and 
gave the county buildings to Albion before the ponds- 
ran out. 

Mr. IngersoU donated to the county the grounds 
now occupied by the court house and jail and public 

The first court house was built in 1827, of brick, 
with the County Clerk's office in the lower story. 
Gilbert Howell, Calvin Smith and Elihu Mather were 
building committee. 

This Court House was pulled down and a new one 
erected in its place in 1857-8, at a cost of $20,000,. 
W. V. N. Barlow was the architect, and Lyman Bates,, 
Henry A. King and Charles Baker, building com- 

The present jail was built in 1838, and the clerk's- 
office in 1836. 

The first hotel was kept on the south-west comer" 

of Main and Canal streets, by Churchill. The 

next hotel, called Albion Hotel, was built byPhiletus- 
Bumpus about twenty rods south of the canal on the- 
west side of Main street, and kept several years by 
Bumpus & Howland, succeeded by Hiram Sickles. 
Mr. Bumpus then built the Mansion House, a hotel- 
standing on the north side of the canal, on Main St.,, 
which he kept several years. 

Mr. Philetus Bumpus, and his father, Jesse Bum- 
pus, built the first framed dwelling house in Albion,, 
on the lot on which Mr. L. Burrows now resides. 


Tlie first warehouse was built by Nehemiah Inger- 
soll, on the canal about twenty rods east of Main St. 
The next by Cary & Tilden, on the west side of Main 
street, on the canal. 

The first sawmill in the coi-poration of Albion was 
built in 1819, by William Bradner. 

Mr. William Bradner built the first grist mill, the 
raiU stones for which he cut in person from a rock in 
Palmyra. One of these stones is now used for a 
corner guard stone on the corner of State and Claren- 
don streets. These mills were cheap structures and 
were taken away after a few years. 

The stone flouring mill on the ca^al was built by 
Ward & Clarks in 1833. 

The first lawyer in Albion was Theophilus Capen. 
He remained here but a short time. The next law- 
yers were William J. Moody, Alexis Ward, Henry E. 
Curtis, Grideon Hard, William W. Ruggles, and 
others came about the time the county was or- 

Dr. Orson Nichoson was the first physician. He 
located two miles south of the village in 1819, and 
removed to Albion about 1822. Dr. William White, 
who had been in practice at Oak Orchard in Ridge- 
way, came here about the time the county was organ- 
ized, and opened a drug store and went into partner- 
ship with Dr. Nichoson in the practice of medicine. 

Dr. Stephen M. Potter was one of the early-physi- 
cians who settled in Albion. He was born in West- 
port, Mass., removed to Cazenovia, N. Y., and frofti 
thence to Albion. About the year 1837 he removed 
to Cazenovia again. He represented Madison county 
in the State Legislature in 1846. 

The first tanyard was located on the south side 
of the canal on the lot now occupied by the gas works, 
by Jacob Ingersoll, about the year 1825. Tanning 


was continued here until the gas works were built in 

The first blacksmiths were John Moe, Rodney A. 
Torrey, and Phineas Phillips. 

Albion was at first for some years called K^ewport, 
but on account of trouble witli the mails, there being 
another post office in this state by tlie name of New- 
port, at a meeting of the inhabitants to take meas- 
ures' to get the village incorporated, on motion of 
Gideon Hard, the name was changed to Albion in the 
first Act of incorporation passed April 21st, 1828. 
The first company of fireman was organized in 1831. 

John Henderson settled in Albion in Sept. 1825 and 
established the first shop for making carriages. He 
kept the first liverj^ stable in 1834, and started the 
first horse and cart for public accommodation in 1837. 
He has been an active man, an ingenious mechanic, 
and has built ten or twelve dwelling houses and nu- 
merous shops, barns and other buildings here. 



Name — Lumber Trade — ^First Settlement of White Men in County — 
James Walsworth — Village of Manilla — Names of Persons who took 
Articles of Land in Carlton in 1803, 1804 and 1805— Matthew Dun- 
ham — Curious Mill to Pound Corn — Dunham's Saw Mill and Grist 
Mill — First in County — First Frame Bam — The L'nion Company — 
Death of Elijah Brown— First Children Born in Town— First Store 
— Biographies of Early Settlers. 

AKLTON was set off from Gaines and Ridge- 
way April 13, 1822, by tlie name of Oalc 
Orcllard. The name was changed to Carlton 
in 1825. 

The region of land lying north of the Ridge Road 
in this vicinity was called the "north woods" in early 
times. It was heavily timbered land, containing lai'ge 
numbers of immense whitewood trees and white and 
red oaks of the largest kind. Some pine grew near 
the Oak Orchard Creek. Hemlock was abundant in 
some localities, and basswood, elm, beech and some 
maple comprised the principal kinds of trees. 

The settlers in their haste to clear their lands, gen- 
erally burned up all of this fine timber that they did 
not want for fencing, in the first few years of their 
settlement. After sawmills were built, white wood 
was sawed and the boards hauled to the canal for sale, 
and large quantities of oak trees were squared to the 
top and sent down the Lake to Europe for ship timber. 
The prices obtained were barely sufficient to pay the 
expense of the labor required to move the lumber, 


but the destructive work was kept up till most of 
the timber trees of every kind have been cut down 
through this town. 

The first settlement of white men in Orleans county 
mas made in this town in the year 1803 by William 
and James Walsworth, who came from Canada. 
James settled near the mouth of Oak Orchard Creek, 
and William near the mouth of Johnson's Creek. 
James Walsworth was the pioneer settler of this 
county. He came across from Canada in May 1803, 
in an open boat with his family, and built a log cabin 
for his residence, which at that time was the only 
house near the shore of Lake Ontario, between Fort 
Niagara and Braddock' s Bay. His nearest neighbor 
at first, resided near Lockport, Niagara county. Mr. 
Walsworth was very poor then. The only provisions 
they had when they landed were a few potatoes ; these 
and fish from Oak Orchard Creek, in Which there was 
then an abundance, supplied their sustenance, ex- 
cept an occasional barter with boatmen, who, coast- 
ing along the south shore of the lake, would put into 
the mouth of the Oak Orchard for shelter. Wals- 
worth hunted and fished mainly for a living, and 
when he collected any store of peltries he took them 
east along the shore of the lake to a market. After 
two or three years he removed to what used to be 
called "The LewistonRojad," between Lockport and 
Batavia, where he was afterwards well known as a 
tavern keeper. 

The Walsworths and the few other settlers who came 
in and stopped along the Lake Shore in Carlton, com- 
prised all the settlers in Orleans county before the 
year 1,809, with one or two exceptions. 

About the year 1803, Joseph Ellicott concluded 
that eventually a village must grow up at the mouth 
of Oak Orchard Creek. In anticipation of that event 
he made a plat for a town there and called it Manilla, 


a name which is now found on some maps for the 
place more commonly known as Oak Orchard Harbor. 
It was supposed in those days that most of the trade 
to and from the Holland Purchase, would take the 
lake route, and Manilla would be the depot. At that ' 
time the sand bar, at the mouth of Oak Orchard 
Creek was less then in later years, and the small 
schooners then on the lake could come over it with- 
out difficulty. It was in furtherance of this thought 
that the Holland Company did what they did towards 
opening tlie Oak Orchard road to travel. The Erie 
Canal, however, effectually stifled this project, and 
turned'trade and commerce in another direction. 

John Gr. Brown took up two and one-half acres of 
land from the Company, on the west side of Oak 
Orchard Creek near the mouth and held it on specu- 
lation for a time, but nothing was done in the way of 
founding a village. This land was deeded to him by 
the Holland Company Dec. 2, 1806, and was described 
in the deed as lot No. 15, on a plan of the village of 
Manilla. This was the first deed of land in the town 
of Carlton given by the Company. Brown conveyed 
the land to Silas Joy, Nov. 28, 1815. The following 
named persons took Articles of the Holland Company 
for land lying in the present town of Carlton, in the 
years following, viz : 

IN 1803. 

John Farrin, James DeGraw, Cornelius DeGraw, 
James Walsworth, Elijah Brown, John G. Brown, 
James McKinney, Elijah Hunt, James Dunham, 
David Musleman, Samuel Utter, Ray Marsh, Heniy 
Lovewell, John Parmeter, William Carter, Martii^ 
Griffin, Eli Griffith, William Griffith and Stephen 

IN 1804. 

Samuel McKinney, John Jason, Henry Lovewell, 


^^'illiaIn Cai-ter, Job Shipman and Ephraim Waldo. 

IN 1805. 

Paul Brown, Job Johnson, Ephraim Waldo, David 
Miller, and Thaddeus Moore. 

Matthew Dunham and his sons Matthew, James 
-and Charles, came from Berkshire county, Mass., to 
Wayne county, New York, about 1795. They re- 
moved to Carlton in 1804. They were chair makers, 
and began working at their trade soon as they could 
get settled after they came in. 

Henry Lovewell from New Hampshire, and Moses 
Root and his family from Cooperstown, N. Y., came 
to Carlton with Mr. Dunham and his family. 

Matthew Dunham, Jr. married Rachel Lovewell, 
daughter of Henry Lovewell, in the year 1814. Mr. 
Dunham died in 1854, but Mrs. Rachel Dunham is 
yet living, 1871, aged about eighty-six years. 

In the summer of 1804, Matthew Dunham and his 
sons built a dam aqross Johnson' s Creek where the 
dam now stands at Kuckville, and erected a small 
building on it, with machinery for turning wood. 
The Dunham familj- carried on the business of turn- 
ing in a small way in this building several years. 
They did not find much sale for their goods near 
home, but sold some chairs and wooden bowls to the 
new settlers. The most of their work they took across 
the lake and disposed of in Canada. They continued 
this commerce until the embargo was declared in 
1808, and after that they smuggled their chair stuflF 
over to considerable extent on a sail boat which they 
owned. , 

It is related by some of the first settlers that in this 
turning shop the Dunhams fixed an apparatus for 
pounding corn, by making a tub or box in which the 
corn was placed, and a heavy pestle was made to fall 
at each tnrn of the water wheel. Into this box they 


would put about a bushel of corn, occasionally stir- 
ring it up to bring it under the pestle, and thus pound 
it until it was reduced to meal. It took considerable 
time to turn a bushel of corn into meal by this pro- 
cess, and aid could be afforded to but few families 
in this way. 

Several families coming in to settle in the neighbor- 
hood, the' want of a sawmill and a gristmill was great- 
ly felt. Three or four years after the Dunhams built 
their turning snop, the Holland Land Company of- 
fered to furnish the irons for a sawmill, and the ii'ons 
and a pair of mill stones for a grist mill if they 
would erect such mills on their dam. A saw mill 
and a grist mill were built accordingly. 

These were the first saw and grist mills built iii 
Carlton. They were small, coarse affairs, but 
they were very useful to those living near them. 
They remained the property of the Dunhams until 
a,bout 1816, they were purchased by George Kuck, 
and rebuilt on a much larger pattern than the old 

Mr. Reuben Root owned a small sail boat of a few 
tons burthen which he used to run across tlie lake. 
On this, pine lumber was brought from Canada before 
sawmills were built here, and it was the principal 
conveyance by which passengers and property were 
carried across the lake either way for a number of 

Mr. Moses Root built a framed barn before Dun- 
ham's sawmill was erected, biinging the boards from 
Canada. This is supposed to have been, the first 
frame barn built in Orleans county. 

Reuben Fuller and John Fuller came from Brad- 
ford county, in Pennsylvania, and settled near Kuck- 
■ville in 1811. 


In December, 1810, eight young men in Stock- 


bridge, Massachusetts, formed a company, which 
they named "The Union Company," and agreed 
eacli to contribute an equal share of stock, and go 
together and forai a settlement on the Holland Pur- 
chase, where each partner should bay for himself a 
farm with his own means, and the company would 
help him clear a certain portion of land and build a 
house and bam. The buildings to be alike on each 
man'.s farm. 

They limited the company to two years, during 
which they would all live and work together and 
share the avails of their labor equally. 

Before leaving Stockbridge they drew up and 
signed their agreement in writing. 

Thus organized they came to Carlton and took up 
land west of Oak Orchard Creek, each a farm, which 
was worked according to contract. 

Fitch Chamberlain was married but left his wife at 
home until he could get a home for, her made ready, 
They brought no women with them and kept bache- 
lor' s hall the first year when Giles Slater, Jr. , went back 
to Stockbridge and married a wife and brought her 
to his new home, and soon after his example was 
followed by the remainder of the company. 

The company made judicious selections of land ; 
its affairs were well managed and successful. All of 
the partners were fortunate in accumulating proper- 
ty, the sure reward of honest, persevering industry. 
Their families have ever been among the most respec- 
ted and influential in town. 

Fitch Chamberlain was a physician and practiced 
medicine in the later years of his life. The members 
of the company are all dead except Anthony Miles, 
now aged 84 years, in 1871. 

The Union Company consisted of Minoris Day, 
Pitch Chamberlain, Charles Webster, Anthony Miles,^ 


Selali Bardslee, Moses Barnum, Jr., Russell Smith, 
and Giles Slater, Jr. 

The first death among the settlers was that of 
Elijah Brown. The first Isirth was a pair of twins, 
children of James Walsworth, in 1806. At their 
"biith no physician or person of her own sex 
was present with the mother. The first marriage was 
that of William Carter and Amy Hunt, in 1804. Pe- 
leg Helms taught the first school in 1810-11. And 
George Kuck kept the first store in 1816. 

The first public religious services in Carlton were 
held about the year 1810, and were conducted by 
Bev. Mr. Steele, a Methodist preacher who came 
from Canada. 

Elder Simeon Butcher, of the Baptist denomina- 
tion, settled in Carlton in lSl7. He was the only 
preacher residing in town for several years. 

Among the first settlers were Elijah Hunt, Moses 
Boot, Henry Lovewell, Paul Brown, Elijah Brown, 
Job Shipman, Matthew Dunham. 

Dr. Richard W. Gates was the first regular phy- 
sician who settled in the practice of his profession in 
Carlton. After a few years he moved to Barre, and 
thence to Yates. He represented Orleans county in 
the State Legislature in 1841, and was Supervisor of 
Carlton in 1826. 



Rev. George Kuck was born in the city of London, 
England, December 2'S, 1791, and educated at King's 
College, London. He came to New York city in 
1806, and removed to Toronto, Canada West, in 1807. 
In the war between England and the United States in 
1812, ho served as Lieutenant in the Canada militia. 


After the war, and until 1815, lie was clerk in the 
employ of the Canadian Government, at Toronto, 
until October, when he removed to Carlton and piir- 
chased the farm on which he resided ever afterwards, 
now known as Kuckville. 

He erected a frame gristmill on the site of the log 
mill built by M. Dunham 'on Johnson's Creek. 
In 1816 he opened a store near his residence, at that 
time the only store north of the Ridge in this part of 
the country, where he kept a large store of goods 
aud carried on a great trade. 

He soon after built a warehouse at the mouth of 
Johnson's Creek. At one time he had a store, 
gristmill, sawmill, ashery, warehouse and farm, all 
under his personal supervision and in successful ope- 
ration. His investments were judicious and safe, his 
affairs all maiiaged with economy and skill, which 
resulted in making him a wealthy man. 

He married ]\fiss Electa Fuller March 25th, 1819. 
In March 1821, he joined the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, in which he was ever after a prominent mem- 
ber. He helped to form the first religious class in his 
church in the town of Carlton, and was its leader. 
In 1825 he organized and taught the first Sunday 
School in the county north of the Ridge. In April, 
1829, he was licensed to exhort, in 1833 he was 
licensed to preach, and in 1837 he was ordained 
Deacon by Bishop Hedding, and in 1849 he was or- 
dained Elder by Bishop Morris, at Albion. 

He was appointed Postmaster at West Carlton, 
since Kuckville, an office he held, in all, about 30 

He was a man of good education and fine natural 
ability and his life was filled with usefulness. He 
was among the first and foremost in all matters of re- 
form and advancement, active in the cause of temper- 
ance, morality and religion, always a leading man in 


the counsels of the chnrch. He died March 16, 
1868, aged 76 years. 


Daniel Gates was born in Rutland county, Vermont, 
March 11th, 1786. . He married Ann Anderson, March 
12th, 1808. 

About Noveinber, 1811, he removed to Orleans 
county, and bought an article of part of lot twenty- 
nine, township fifteen, range two, on the south side of 
the Ridge. A former owner had cleared a small spot 
and built a log house there. On this farm Mr. Gates 
resided several years. He afterwards bought a farm 
in Carlton, where he resided at the time of his death, 
January 31st, 1858. 

Mrs. Ann Gates died Januaiy 1st, 1866. They were 
parents of John and Nehemiah F. Gates, of Carlton, 
Lewis W. Gates, residing in Michigan, and Matthew 
A. Gates, of Yates. 

Mr. Gates moved his family in witli a yoke of oxen 
and wagon. JSTo bridge had been built across Gene- 
see River, and lie forded the stream at Rochester, a 
man riding a horse hitched before the oxen, to guide 
them through the river. 

Few settlers along the Ridge Road came in advance 
of Mr. Gates, or braved the hardships and difficulties 
of pioneer life with better courage. They had very 
few of the conveniences and comforts of civilized life, 
and sometimes were in want of food. Once about 
the last year of the war a scarcity prevailed among 
the four families then comprising all the inhabitants 
in the vicinity of Mr. Gates. But one pan full of 
flour remained among them all, and that they kept 
to feed the children, the older folks expecting to sub- 
stitute boiled green wheat in place of. bread. Mr. 
Gates cut a few bundles of his wheat then in the 



milk, and dried it in the sun. They rubbed the soft 
grain out of the straw and boUed it. This was eaten 
with milk and relished very much by the family, and 
it supplied them until wheat ripened and dried fit to 

For several yeai-s no settler locaited between Mr. 
Gates' place on the Eidge, and Shelby. Along the 
line of the canal was then a solid forest. Mr. Gates" 
cattle_were suffered to range the woods to browse in 
summer. They usuallj- returned to the clearing at 
night. Once his oxen, one of which wore a bell, with 
his cow failed to come in at night. Mr. Gates armed 
himself with a bayonet on the end of a staff to repel 
a bear or wolf if he chanced to be attacked, and went 
out to hunt for them, his old English musket being 
too heavy to carry. After several days hunting he 
found his cattle where Knowlesville now stands — at- 
tracted there by some wild grass growing along the 


Elijah Hunt was born in Pennsylvania. He was a 
soldier in the Kevolutionary War. While in the ser- 
vice, being in a scouting party in Pennsylvania, he, 
with his party, was taken prisoner by the Indians. 
He with the other prisoners was made to o'un the 
gauntlet from one point to another, fixed for the pur- 
pose. The Indians — men, women and children — 
posted themselves on each side of the track to be 
run over by their prisoners, and assaulted them as 
they passed with clubs, hatchetfe, knives, stones, &c. 
If the prisoners were fortunate enough they might 
get through and live, and they might be severely 
w6unded, or even killed by the way. Mr. Hunt got 
through without serious damage. After reaching 
their village on the Genesee River, the Indians con- 


eluded to sacrifice Mr. Hunt after tlieir terrible 
fashion. He was stripped and painted black prepar- 
.atory to his suffering ; but before they began to tor- 
ture him, an old squaw, whose son had been killed 
in the fight when Hunt was taken, came forward and 
claimed her right by Indian custom to adopt him as 
her son, in place of the one that was killed. He was 
released to her and adopted as she proposed, and re- 
jnained with the Indians near the Genesee river, in 
Livingston county, about three years, when the war 
having ended, he was permitted to return to his 
friends in Pennsylvania. 

He was always treated kindly after his adoption by 
•the Indians, especially by his new mother. Many 
years after his settlement in Carlton, the Indians 
found him out and visited him with many demoiistra- 
-tions of their friendship. 

In the depth of winter, after the cold siimnier of 
1816, fearing he might be in want with his family, on 
.account of the loss of crops that year, two Indians, 
-one of whom claimed to be his brother, being a son 
-of the squaw who adopted Mr. Hunt, came to Carlton 
ito visit him and afford relief if he needed it. 

He came to Carlton in the summer of 1804 and 
•took up a farm about a mile west of the moutli 
of Johnson' s Creek, on the Lake shore. After a year 
or two he went back to Pennsylvania with his family 
,and remained until October, 1806j when he returned 
;and settled permanently on his farm, where he ever 
;afterward9 resided, and died in 1830, aged seventy- 
iuine years. 

The long residence of Mr. Hunt among the Indians 
qualified him to become a pioneer in this new settle- 
ment, and fitted him to endure the piivations and 
difficulties he had to encounter. 

The da-ughter of Mr. Hunt, Amy Hunt, married 
William Carter in 1804, which was the first marriage 


in that town, and probaMy the first marriage iii Or- 
leans county. 


Ray Marsh was born in Connecticut. About tlie- 
year 1800 he went to Canada "West and was employed" 
in teaching school. In 1803 he married Martha Shaw, 
who was born in Nova Scotia. In that year, he left 
Canada at Queenstown, in a small boat, and coasted' 
along the south shore of Lake Ontario to Oak Or- 
chard Creek, in Carlton, and took an article for land" 
lying near the lake in Carlton. 

In 1805, on account of sickness in the neighborhood 
of his home in Carlton, he removed to Cambria, in 
Niagara county, and located on the Ridge, about five ■ 
miles from Lewiston. He was driven away from here- 
by the British and Indians when Lewiston was burned' . 
by them in the war with England, losing almost ev- 
ery thing he had in the world, except the lives of him- 
seK and family. ""They fled to Ontario county, but' 
returned the next year to near Ridgeway Corners and' 
stopped there. He had now a large family of chil- 
dren ; to maintain them he had to sell his interest in 
his farm in Cambria ; and in the cold seasons of" 
1816-17 they suffered for necessary food ; and few 
families suffered more from the prevailing sickness of 
the country, aggravated as it was by their poverty 
and want of means to afford relief. 

Mr. Marsh died about 1852. His widow, now 
(1870) eighty six years old, is living. She had seven 
grand-sons soldiers in the Union army in 'the war or 
the great rebellion. During the war she spent a 
large portion of her time knitting stockings for the 
soldiers. Such women are worthy the name of" 
" Revolutionary Mothers," and are an honor to the- 
American name. 


Job Shipman was born in Saybrook, Connecticut;^ 


-June 2d, 1772. After lie arrived at manliood he re- 
sided for a time in Greene county, N. Y., and at 
vlength. came to Wayne county, where he joined the 
family of Mr. Elijah Brown, and removed by way of 
Lake Ontario, to the town of Carlton, in the summer 

• of 1804. 

While coming up the lake Mr. Elijah Brown died, 
.,and his body was brought ito Carlton and buried 
there. His sons were James, John Gardner, Paul, 
Elijah, Jr., and Robert M. 

Mr. Shipman took an article of part of lot twelve, 
section two, range two, of which his son Israel after- 
wards took a deed from the land company, and on 
which he resides. 

He married widow Ann Tomblin in May, 1815. 
Israel Shipman was his only child. 

Job Shipman died January 12th, 1833. His wife 
■ died February 8th, 1858. 

The first town meetings in Carlton for two or three 
years were held at his dwelling, because it was one 
-of the best log houses in town ; had a shingled roof, 
board floor, and stood near the middle of the town ; 
but it was so small that few of the voters assembled 
could get in the house at once. They compromised 
the matter by allowing the Inspectors to sit in the 
house while the voters handed in their ballots to them 
through the vrindow from without. 

As it was in cold weather, even the liberal potations 

-of whisky in which they indulged would not warm 

the crowd sufficiently, so they made a large log heap 

near the house which being set on fire answered the 



Lyman Fuller was born in Pennsylvania, August 
'16th, 1808. In February 1811, his father, Reuben 


Fuller, moved with his family to near the lake shore- 
in West Carlton. 

In the fall of 1811, Capt. John Fuller, a brother of 
Reuben, settled in Carlton. Mr. Reuben Fuller died 
July 4th, 1837. Mr. Lyman Fuller succeeded to the 
possession of his father' s homestead, on which he re. 
sided and where he died March 22d, 1866. He was a- 
much respected man among all who knew him. 



Difficulty in getting Titles from Piiltney Estate— Eldredge Farwell— 
Farwell's Mills— First School— First Merchants— J. and D. Sturges 
—First Postmaster— First Physician— Presbyterian Church— First 
Town Meeting — Biographies of Early Settlers. 

LARENDON comprises a portion of tlie one 
hundred thousand acre tract, and was formed 
from Sweden February 23d, 1821. 

Owing in part to the difficulty of getting a good 
title to the land, which up to about 1811, was owned 
for several years by the State of Connecticut and the 
Pultney Estate jointly, settlers came in slowly at 

The land was divided between the State of Connec- 
ticut and the Pultney Estate, in 1811 ; but the lots 
which fell to the Pultney Estate, were not surveyed 
and put in the market for sale until about the year 
1821. Settlers were allowed to take posses- 
sion of land and make improvements with the expec- 
tation that when the lands came in market they 
would retain what they had so taken and then get a 
title. Some settlers located on these lands under 
these circumstances and cleared them up and built 
houses. When they finally came in market the set- 
tlers was charged $8 or $10 per acre, — a much higher 
price than he expected when he came in. and a higher 
price than the Holland Company charged for their 
lands of like quality ; but he was compelled to 
pay it or leave and lose his labor. 


Among the first settlers in Clarendon were Eldridge 
Parwell, John Cone, Bradstreet Spafford, Elisha 
Huntley, David Church, and Chauncey Robinson. 
Eldridge Farwell erected the first sawmill on Sandy 
Creek in 1811, and the first gristmill at the same place 
in 1813. A village grew up in the vicinity of these 
mills which, in honor of Mr. Farwell, was called and 
known as Farwell' s Mills. Situated a little north- 
west of the center of the town, it has been the princi- 
pal place of trade and business. 

Judge Eldridge Farwell was the pioneer settler. 
The next settler was Alanson Dudley, in 1812. 

The first store was kept at Farwell' s Mills by Pris- 
bie & Pierpont, in 1821. 

The first school was taught by Mrs. Amanda Bills. 
The first school house built in Clarendon stood a 
little south of Farwell' s Mills, or Clarendon, as the 
place is now being called, was built in 1813 of logs, 
and was foni-teen by eighteen feet square. 

Frisbie & Pierpont traded in the little red store 
building in which after they left, David Sturges sold 
goods for jnany years. 

In addition to his business as a merchant with Mr. 
Frisbie, William Pierpont kept a tavern. After two 
or three years he moved away and Mr. Hiram Frisbie, 
his partner, succeeded to the store and tavern to 
which had been added an ashery, all three of which 
Mr. Frisbie carried on two or three years, and until 
he removed to HoUey a,boiit the year 1828. 

In 1815, Joseph Sturges built a distillery at Far- 
well's Mills, which he carried on with his brother 
David, eight or ten years, when Mr. Frisbie having 
moved away, and Joseph Sturges having died in 
March, 1828, David Sturges began to sell dry goods 
and groceries here. He was a sharp business man 
and drove a large trade. He was the next merchant 


in town after Pierpont & Frisbie. He died in Septem- 
ber, 1848. 

Judge Eldridge Farwell was the first postmaster in 
town, and Dr. Bussy the first physician. 

On the 4th of February, 1823, a Presbyterian 
Church was organized in Clarendon. For several 
years it maintained a feeble existence, tintil in 1831, it 
united with the Presbyterian Church in HoUey, and 
became extinct as an organization in Clarendon. 

The first town meeting held in and for the town of 
Clarendon was at the school house at Farwell' s Mills, 
April 4th, 1821. 

Eldridge Farwell was a candidate for Supervisor 
on the Clinton ticket, and William Lewis on the 
Tompkins ticket. The Meeting was opened with 
prayer by Elder Stedman. The election of Supervi- 
sor was concluded to be first in order. No chairman 
had been, formally appointed, but on suggestion of 
somebody the entire meeting went out of doors in 
front of the school house. Some one held his hat and 
half a dozen voters stood by to see that nobody voted 
twice, or cast more than one ballot, and ballots for 
Supervisor were thrown into the hat by all the voters 
present. Eldridge Farwell was elected the first Su- 
pervisor, and Joseph M. Hamilton, Town Clerk. 

Jonas Davis made spinning wheels, and Alanson 
Dudley carried on tanning and shoemaking at Par- 
well' s Mills, at an early day. 



" I was born in Farmington, Hartford Co., Conn., 
April 15, 1802. In the spring of 1817, I hired out to 
drive cattle, sheep and hogs to Buffalo, and went on 
with a drove. The mud was deep and I had a hard 


time wading through it after my drove. I went through 
however, and come back to Farwell's Mills in Clar- 
endon, expecting to meet my father and his family 
there, as they had made arrangements to move when 
I left them. 

On my journey back from Buffalo, all I had to eat 
was six crackers, and I drank one glass of cider. 

I found my father had not come on. I was alone, 
but fourteen years of age, had but four dollars in 
money, my pay for driving the drove, and had no 
acquaintances there. This was the next spring after 
the cold season. It was difficult for me to find a 
place to stay for the reason no one had anything to 
eat or to spare. I found friends, however, in Mr. and 
Mrs. Leonard Foster. They said I might stay with 
them till my folks came on. After that I fared well. 
They divided their best fare with me, which consisted 
of hoe cake and maple molasses, and we had to be 
sparing of that. 

I stayed with my benefactors three weeks, when 
my parents and their family arrived. My father had 
prepared a small log cabin shingled with bark the 
summer before. We moved into it. All the provis- 
ion we had on hand to eat was half a barrel of very 
lean pork. 

My father had no money left, owned no living crea- 
ture except his family. We had no table and only 
two chairs. We had an acre of cleared land on our 
lot sown with wheat. These were gloomy times to me. 
The first thing was to procure something to eat. I 
paid my four dollars to David Church for two bushels 
of wheat. The next thing was to get some straw to 
sleep on. This we got of our neighbor, Chauncey 
Robinson, for two cents a bundle. 

We had hard fare until the next harvest. We ate 
bran bread and had not enough of that. After har- 
vest we had enough to eat, and I thought at this time, 


could I be sure, of enough to eat hereafter I should be 

The next year my father bought a two-year old 
cow, which helped us very much. 

In the winter of 1818-19, my eldest brother, Luther 
C. Peck, taught a district school near where HoUey 
now stands, for three months, for which he was to 
have thirty bushels of wheat after the next harvest. 

When father received the wheat the price had fal- 
len. Father drew the wheat to Rochester, and re- 
ceived after deducting expenses, thirty-one cents per 

In 1820 we bought a yoke of oxen. We then con- 
sidered ourselves well off. Previou^s to this I went to 
school winters. I went one, winter to Farwell' s Mills, 
three miles from my fathers. I worked summers 
chopping and logging with my father, working out 
for others when I could get an opportunity. 

In the winter of 1819-20, I taught school on the 
fourth section road for ten dollars per month. I fol- 
lowed that business for ten winters — had higher wages 
as I advanced in experience. 

During this time and up to my majority I began to 
consider myself a man, used to attend parties, would 
yoke the oxen and hitch them to a sled, go after the 
young ladies and wait on them very politely. And I 
enjoyed it as well and even better than in after times 
riding in a fashionable carriage. 

I once thought it quite smart to visit a young lady 
who resided in Le Roy. On one occasion I had been 
to see her, had a very pleasant visit, time passed very 
agreeably, and before I was aware it was getting 
rather late. Sometime before daylight, however, I 
started for home on foot through the woods near three 
miles. When I came to about the middle of the 
woods, a wolf appeared in the road before me. I 
halloed right lustily, the wolf left the road rather 


leisurely, and I passed on rapidly. Soon a howling 
commenced, which was answered by other wolves at 
a distance, and before I got through the woods, a 
pack of these animals was pn my track, and near to 
me judging by their cries. They made all sorts of 
noises but pleasant ones to me. I saved myself from 
them by the energetic use of my locomotive powers. 

I came readily to the conclusion that this business 
of being out so late nights ' would not pay.' 

I married Miss Anna White January 22, 1829. She 
was born June 19, 1802, and died January 15, 1834. 
I married Miss Adaline Nichols January 31, 1836. 
She was born February 6, 1809. 


Clarendon, 1871. 


"I was born in Lewiston, Lincoln count}-, in the 
State of Maine. In 1817, I started for the Genesee 
country with my pack on my back and walked to 
Portland, thirty- five miles, where I went on board a 
vessel and sailed to Boston. I left Boston on foot 
with my pack on my back for the place of my des- 
tination. My pack was not very heavy, but I had 
in it, among other things, forty silver dollars. After 
a hard journey I arrived at Ogden, Monroe county, 
on the first day of April. I stopped there a while 
with an uncle of mine, was very homesick, wished 
myself back in Maine many times. 

I worked out that summer by the month, and in 
the fall bought some land in what is now Clarendon, 
Orleans county, then a part of Sweden. 

I settled on my land, cleared it up, and in due time 
raised excellent crops, and in a few years found my- 
self out of debt and considered myself rather ' fore- 

I labored hard in the commencement, had consider- 


able sickness in my family, but a good Providence 
has been mindful of me and mine, and in all ray law- 
ful undertakings I have been blest, for which I feel 
truly grateful. 

Clarendon, 1864. 


Mrs. Harriet S. Memll, a daughter of Mr. Spafford, 
gives the following account of him : 

" My father came from Connecticut about the year 
1811, and purchased a farm about a mile south of 
HoUey, on which he resided until his death in 1828, 
He was twice married — my mother, Mrs. Eunice Dar- 
row, being his second wife. My father had but one 
child by his first wife, a daughter named Hester, who 
in after years became Mrs. Daniels, and is now Mrs. 

When this sister was four years old her mother 
died of consumption. At that time my father' s house 
was the only one between HoUey and Farwell' s Mills. 
In other directions it was a mile to the nearest neigh- 
bors. During her last illness my father was her prin- 
cipal physician and nurse. He used frequently to 
say to his friends he feared she would die suddenly 
while alone with him. 

It was arranged between my father and his nearest 
neighbors, that if anything more alarming occurred 
in her case, he should blow the horn as a signal for 
them to come. 

Not long after, at midnight of a dark winter night, 
death knocked at his door ; he took the tin horn and 
blew the warning notes ; but the winds were adverse, 
and nobody heard. Again and again he blew, lon- 
ger and louder, but no one heard or came. His wife 
soon expired. My father closed her eyes, placed a 
napkin about her head and covered her lifeless form 


more closely, fearing it would' become rigid before lie 
could obtain assistance to habit it in the winding sheet 
prepdratory for the tomb, for such were the habili- 
ments used in those days. 

He dressed his little daughter, placed her in her lit- 
tle chair by the fire, gave her her kitten to play with, 
and told her to sit there until he came back. He then 
went a mile to his nearest neighbors and roused 
them to come to his aid, and returned finding his 
little daughter as he had left her, alone with her dead 

I was one of the first children born in the town of 
Clarendon, being now 46 years of age. 


Clarendon, June 1863. 


"I was born in the town of Chatham, Columbia 
county, ]Sr. Y., April 1st, 1808 ; have been a farmer 
by occupation. My father, 'John Darrow, came to 
Wheatland, Monroe county, 'N. Y., in 1811, and 
worked there two seasons, then returned to Columbia 
county, sold his farm and was nearly ready to move 
his family to the Genesee country when he was taken 
sick and died March 22d. 1813. 

In June, 1815, my father's family removed to the 
farm he had bought two. years previous. My mother, 
then a widow, married Mr. Bradstreet Spafford, who 
had settled in Clarendon, about the year 1811 or '12. 
I grew up among the hardships of the new country, 
and December 30th, 1830, was married to Sarah A. 
Sweet, daughter of Noah Sweet, who came to Claren- 
don from Saratoga county, in 1815. My wife was 
born in Saratoga county in 1812. 

My father was a blacksmith by trade, but owned 
and worked a farm. He was one of the leading me- 
chanics who made the great chain which was put 


across the Hudson Rive'r to prevent the Britisli fleet 
from coming up in the Revolutionary War, links of 
vi'hich are now in the State Library at Albany. 

I have resided most of the time sin«e 1815, in Clar- 
endon ; and for the last twenty-four years on the same 
farm. I lived a short time in Murray and a short 
time in Ohio. 

I attended school in the first school house built in 
Clarendon. It stood a little south of Clarendon vil- 
lage, and was built in 1813, of logs, and in size was 
about fourteen by eighteen feet square, with slab floor 
and benches. The writing desks were made by bor- 
ing holes in the logs in the wall, driving in pins and 
putting boards on these. 
. We have ten children, nine of whom are living. 
My second son is now serving in the army of the Po- 
tomac in the war of the great rebellion. 

I should have said in connection with my father's 
history, that himself and three of his brothers served 
in the Revolutionary War. 

Clarendon, April 1864. 


Eldridge Farwell was born in Vermont in 1770. 

Sometime previous to 1811, Mr. Farwell located 
near Clarkson vUlage on the Ridge road, but removed 
in that year to the town of Clarendon, then an un- 
broken wilderness, where he built the first saw mUl 
in that town on Sandy Creek. This savrmill made 
the first boards had in all this region. In 1813, he 
built a grist mill on the same stream, which was the 
pioneer gristmill in that town. 

On the organization of Orleans county, Mr. Farwell 
was appointed in 1825 one of the Judges of the Court 
of Common Pleas, which ofiice he held five years. 
The village sometimes called Farwell' s Mills in the 


• town of Clarendon, was so named in his honor lie 
being the first to settle there. 

He married a daughter of Judge John Lee, of Bari-e. 
Judge Farvvell'died October 15, 1843. 


William Lewis was a Deputy Sheriff of Genesee 
county. He was the first Sheriff of Orleans county. 
He had held the ofiice of Supervisor and Justice of 
the Peace in Clarendon. He was a promjit and effi- 
cient oflicer, and a worthy man. He died July 23d, 
1824, aged about 43 years. 


Martin Evarts was born in Riga, Monroe county, 
N. Y., July 21st, 1812. He removed with his father's 
family to Clarendon in 1817. Until within a fev/ years 
he resided on the farm originally taken up by his 
father. Mr. Evarts was Supervisor of Clarendon in 
1863. He married Charlotte Burnham, August 19th, 
1835. She died June 20th, 1862. 


Lemuel Cook was born in N"ew Haven county, Ct., 
September 10th, 1763. His father died while Lemuel 
was a child, leaving his widow and children in desti- 
tute circumstances. 

In the revolutionary war he with his two brothers 
entered the army, Lemuel enlisting November 1st, 
1779, being then in his 17th year. He was honorably 
discharged June 11th, 1783. After leaving the army 
his poll tax was remitted to him by the Select Men of 
his town, on account of wounds he had received in 
battle while serving in the armies of his country. In 
1792, he settled in Pompey, Onondaga county. In 
1838, he removed to Bergen, Genesee county, and from 


thence to Clarendon, where he died May 20th, 1866, 
of old age, being 102 years, 8 months and 10 days old. 
He was probably the oldest man that has lived in 
Orleans county. He was a revolutionary pensioner. 


Isaac Cady was born in Alstead, New Hampshire, 
July 26, 1793. He married Betsey Pierce, October 
26th, 1816. He came' to Clarendon in 1815, on foot, 
from Kingston, Vt., and located the land on which 
he aftei-wards settled and has since resided. 




First Settlers — Case of Getting Fire — Noah Burgess — Mrs. Burgess — 
Cutting Logs for a House— First Orchard — First School House — 
Drake's Mill Dam and Saw Mill— Organization of McCarty's Mil- 
itia Company — Their Scout after British and Indians — Dr. Jesse 
Beach — Orange Butler— Fii-st Marriage — First Birth — First Kews- 
paper in Orleans County — First Tavern — Store — Grist .Mill — First 
Merchants — James Mather Dealing in Black Salts, &c.— Business at 
Gaines Basin— Village of Gaines — Gaines Academy — Efforts to Lo- 
cate Court House Here — Trade in Other Localities — Biographies of 
Early Settlers. 

AINES was formed from Eidgeway, Februa- 
ry 14th, 1816, and included the town of Barre, 
and the principal part of Carlton, within its 
original limits. William J. Babbitt was prominently 
active in getting this town organized, and on his sug- 
gestion it was named Gaines, in honor of Gen. E. P. 
Gaines, of the U. S. Army. 

A number of families had located along the Ridge 
Road before the war with England in 1812. One of 
the first settlers, if not the first, within the present 
bounds of the town of Gaines, was a Mr. Gilbert, 
who was living about two miles east of Gaines vil- 
lage, in 1809. He died in or about that year and was 
buried in Murray. A man who accompanied the 
widow and her niece home from the funeral, they being 
all the family, found their fire had gone out, and they 
had no means to kindle it, until this man, on his way 
home called and notified Mr. Elijah Downer, and he 


:sent Ills son several miles to carry them fire, they 

l)eing the nearest neighbors. 

The records of the Holland Land Company show 

that articles for land in the town of Gaines, parts of 

township fifteen, range two, were taken in the year 

1809, by the following named persons : Andrew Ja- 

'-COX, Whitfield Rathbu^i, William Sibley, Cotton M. 
Leach, Noah Burgess, James Mather, and Henry 

Turner's History of the Holland Purchase says: 
"Whitfield Rathbun was the pioneer upon all that 

■part of the Ridge Road, in Orleans county, embraced 
in the Holland Purchase." 
Noah Burgess came from Canada in a boat witli 

,his family and effects and landed at the head of Still- 

'water, in Carlton. He located on the soutli side of 
the Ridge, on the farm now occupied by Hon. Robert 

jLnderson and his son Nahum. 

Mr. Burgess was sick and unable to work when he 
first arrived, and the widow Grilbert, above referred to, 
took her oxen and moved the family and effects of 
Mr. Burgess from Stillwater to his place on the Ridge, 

-a distance of about four miles. Mrs. Burgess, who 
was a strong, athletic woman, then chopped down 
trees and cut logs for a log house, and Mrs. Gilbert 

•drew them to the spot with her oxen, and the walls 
of the house were rolled up from these logs by men 
who came along to look for land. The house so built 
was occupied for a time by Mr. Burgess, and stood 
where the Ridge Road is now laid in front of the 
dwelling house of Nahum Anderson. Mrs. Burgess 
set out a small orchard of apple trees near her house, 
which is supposed to be the first orchard set in 
Mr. Burgess sold his land to William Bradner, and 

Hocated a mile farther east, where he died some twen- 


ty years ago, and Mrs. Burgess, referred to, died in >. 
the summer of 1869. 

The widow Gilbert was a hardy pioneer. The 
next winter after the death of her husband, aided by 
her niece. Amy Scott, she cut down trees to furnish 
browse for a yoke of oxen and some other cattle 
through the winter. She removed to Canandaigua in 

Rowley, Wilcox, Leach, Adams, Rosier, Sprague, 
and Daniel Pratt were some of the settlers along the ■ 
Ridge in 1810. 

Daniel Gates came in 1811 and bought an article 
of a farm, about two miles west of the village of 
Gaines, on the south side of the Ridge, since known as ■ 
the Palmer farm. 

A former proprietor had chopped down the trees on 
a small spot and built a cabin of logs, twelve feet 
square, with a single roof. 

The Holland Company agreed with their settlers if 
they would make a clearing and build a log house, 
they might have the land two years without paying 
interest on the purchase money. 

■ This cabin was built to save such interest, and ac- 
quired additional notoriety from the fact that in this • 
building Orrin Gleason taught the first school in 
Gaines, in the winter of 1813. 

Henry Drake came to Gaines in 1811. In 181^- 
he built a dam and sawmill on Otter Creek, a few 
rods north of the Ridge — the first sawmill in this 

When war with Great Britain was declared in 1812,- 
the settlers in this vicinity apprehending danger froms^ 
their proximity to the frontier, assembled together 
and elected Eleazer McCarty, one of their number, . 
Captain, to lead them in their defence if the settle- 
ment was attacked by the enemy. 

In December 1813, the British burned Lewistony. 


r and news was brought to Capt. McCarty by the fleeing 
inhabitants, that British and Indians were coming 
east on the Ridge. He sent a messenger in the night 
to John Proctor, the only man who had a horse in 
the settlement, to carry the news to Murray, and call 
the men together to resist them. The next morning 
the company was en route towards the foe. The next 
night they came in sight of Molyneaux tavern, ten or 
12 miles east of Lewiston, and saw a light in the house. 

■ Captain McCarty halted his men and advanced him- 
r self to reconnoiter. Approaching the place he saw 

British and Indians in the house, their guns standing 
in a corner. He returned to his men and brought them 

- cautiously forward ; selected a few to follow him into 
the house, and ordered the remainder to surround it 

. and prevent the enemy from escaping. McCarty and 
his party rushed in at the door and sprang between 
the men and their guns and ordered them to surren- 

' der. 

The British soldiers and the Indians had been help- 
ing themselves to liquor in the tavern, and some were 

• drunk and asleep on the floor. The surprise was 
complete. Most of the party surrendered ; a few In- 

■ dians showed fight with their knives and hatchets and 
tried to recover their guns, and several of them were 
killed in the melee. One soldier made a dash to get 
his gun and was killed by McCarty at a blow. The 
remainder surrendered and were put upon their march 
towards Lewiston, near which our army had then ar- 
rived. One prisoner would not walk. The soldiers 
dragged him forward on the ground awhile, and get- 
ting tired of that, Henry Luce, one of McCarty' s men, 
declared with an oath, he would kill him, and was 
preparing for the act, when McCarty interfered and 

jsaved his life. 

McCarty encamped a* few miles east of Lewiston. 
'While there he went out with a number of his men 


and captured a scouting party of British soldiers re- 
turning to Fort Niagara laden with plunder they" 
had taken from the neighboring inhabitants. Mc-- 
Carty compelled them to carry the plunder back to- 
its owners, and then sent them prisoners of war to 

After fifteen or twenty days service, McCarty' s - 
company was discharged and returned home. Most ■ 
of his men resided in Gaines, and comprised nearly 
all the men in town. 

The first regular practicing physician in Graines was- 
Dr. Jesse Beach. 

The first licensed attorney was Orange Butler, who - 
settled here before it was determined whether the- 
county seat would be Gaines or Albion. Judge Eli- 
jah Foot and W. W. Euggles followed soon after. 

The first marriage in Gaines was that of Andrew 
Jacobs to Sally Wing, in the fall of 1810 or '11. 

The first child born in Gaines was Samuel Crippen, . 
Jr., in 1809. 

The first printing press in Orleans county was lo- - 
cated in Gaines, by Seymour Tracy, who published 
the first newspaper there. Tracy was succeeded by ~ 
John Fisk. 

The publication of this paper commenced about 
1824, and continued about four years. 

The first gristmill was built on Otter Creek, about 
the year 1822, by Jonathan Gates. 

The first tavern was kept by William Sibley in 
1811. The first store was kept by William Perry in 

Among the early merchants were E. &. E. D. Nich- 
ols, V. R. Hawkins, and J. J. Walbridge. 

James Mather, though he nevei- kept a store of ' 
goods, was an active trader in "black salts," potash, 
and staves, which he purchased from the settlers and 
took to the mouth of Oak Orchard Creek, or Gene- 


see River, and shipped to Montreal, for which he paid 
in iron, salt fish, leather, and some kinds of coarse 
goods most needed, and some money. 

Money to pay taxes, and to meet the pressing wants 
of the pioneers in this vicinity, was for some time 
mainly derived from this source. 

The merchants of Gaines" built a warehouse at 
Gaines' Basin, on the canal, soon after the canal was 
navigable, where the goods for Gaines and other 
towns north were mainly landed from the boats and 
where the produce from the same region was princi- 
pally shipped. 

A brisk "business was done here for some years, 
and until the improvement in the highways, and the 
gi'owth and competition of neighboring villages had 
drawn the trade elsewhere, when. this warehouse was 

About the time the canal was completed, the vil- 
lage of Gaines was a place of more trade and Ibusi- 
ness than any other in the county. 

E. &. E. D. Mchols, V. R. Hawkins, Bushnell & 
Guernsey, and John J. Walbridge were thriving mer- 
chants, doing a lively business in the dry goods 

A full line of mechanics shops was established. 
The only academy, meeting house and printing press 
in Orleans county were located here. 

Two hotels were well patronized ; stage coaches 
were plenty on the famous Ridge Road, and every- 
thing considered the good people of Gaines, and most 
of the county in fact, excepting Newport, since 
named Albion, thought the court house would be 
built in Gaines surely, and they put up the price of 
village lots accordingly, while the people of New- 
port, or Mudport, as Gaines men called it, when con- 
trasting places as sites for a Court House, oifered to 


give away lots, and do many other generous acts if 
the Court House was located there. 

But the court house went to Albion, a^nd the stream 
of travel which once went on the Ridge, took to 
the boats on the canal, and the post coaches hauled 
off; villages grew up along the canal and trade 
went there. 

The resolute business men of Gaines tried hard to 
retain their high position, they got their academy and 
their village and a bank (The Farmer' s Bank of Or- 
leans) incorporated ty the Legislature, and lowered 
the price of building lots. But their glory had de- 
parted ; their academy stopped, village franchises 
were lost by non-user ; their bank went to the bad ; 
but their fine farms, choice garden spots, and un- 
rivaled Ridge Road remain good as ever. 



" I was born in Weston, Fairfield county, Connect- 
icut, May l.')th, 1783. In the winter of 1796, my 
father, in company with a neighbor set out to move 
his family to the Genesee country. He had a covered 
sled drawn by a yoke of oxen and a span of horses. 
I well recollect as we were about to start, our friends 
around us thought my parents very cruel to take their 
children away to the Genesee to be murdered by the 

My father and all his children had the measles while 
on the journey. My father never fully recovered and 
died the next August. My mother was then left a 
widow with seven children, of whom I was the eldest, 
being then thirteen years old. 

When I was about fifteen years old I revisited my 
native town and took along some bear skins and 


other skins, to exhibit as trophies of my skill as a 

I attended school some and worked out the remain- 
der of the time till fall, then returned to my mother 
on foot, and then went to work to help her support 
her family. 

After my father's death, my mother sold her oxen 
for one hundred dollars and took a note in payment. 
The maker of the note failed and mother never re- 
ceived five dollars on the debt. One of her horses 
died, and the other was so ugly she gave him away, 
and thus lost her team, and the bears killed all her 

When I was eighteen or twenty years old I resolved 
to build a log house for mother on the land my father 
took up. It was usual then to raise such buildings 
at a 'bee,' and that could not be done without 

I went to a distillery in Bloomfield on horseback, 
with two wooden bottles in a bag to get the liquor. 
Following the Indian trail through the woods on my 
way back, I saw a cub climbing a tree and the 
mother bear coming towards me with hair erect and 
about two rods off. I put whip and spur to my 
horse and did not stop to look back until I was out 
of her reach. I had a small flock of sheep about 
that time. Neglecting to yard them one night, the 
wolves killed nearly all of them. 

A year or two after I first came into the country, a 
man hired me to take a horse to the Genesee River, 
where Rochester now stands. There was but one 
house on that road then. I forded the river with my 

I was married January 17th, 1809, to Miss Temper- 
ance Smith, of Palmyra. She died in May follow- 

For several years after I came into the county, the 


Indians were numerous here, hundreds of Indians to 
one white man. They were very friendly. I used to 
go to tlieir wigwams and have sport with them wrest- 
ling and pulling stick, at which I was an expert, fre- 
qently throwing their smartest young men at ' back 
hold,' or what we called 'Indian hug.' 

Bears, wolves and raccoons were plenty, and I 
caught them frequently. 

In March, 1810, I married Frances Bennett, and 
commenced house-keeping again, and went to work 
clearing my land. I think I have chopped and log- 
ged oif as much as one hundred and fifty acres in my 

I have had the fever and ague several times, but 
generally let it work itself oif. I used to work hard all 
day in my fallow, and frequently worked evenings 
there when it was good weather. 

My wife would often come out when I was at work 
and sometimes help me pile brush. 

During the war with England I was several times 
called out to do military duty. 

I moved into the town of Shelby in 1827, and after 
a few years sold out and moved to Gaines, on the 
farm on which I now reside. 

Gaines, 1863. 

Mr. Treadwell died June 9th, 1866 aged 83 years. 



"I was born in Pittsford, Vermont, September 10, 
1788. I married Polly Harwood, in Pittsford, in 1809, 
In August, 1810, I bought the farm I now own, in the 
town of Gaines, of the Land Company, for $2,50 
cents per acre, part of lot five, town fifteen, range 
two, on the Oak Orchard lload, about a mile south 
of the Ridge. 

In February, 1811, 1 moved my wife from Vennont 


to Gaines, and in April of that year we moved into a 
log cabin, in wMch James Mather was then keeping 
bachelor' s hall, and lived with him. In June after- 
wards I put up a log house 18 by 20 feet square and 
covered it with bark, with split basswood logs for a 
floor sufficient to set a bed on, and then we moved in. 
Our nearest neighbors south following the Oak Or- 
chard Road, were south of the Tonawanda Swamp. 

In August following my wife was taken sick. I 
could get no one to help about house, for such help 
was not in the country, and I was compelled to leave 
my work and attend to my wife for six weeks, during 
which time I did not take off my clothes except to 
change them. 

I was poor and had to work out for all I had. I 
came very near being homesick then, but I stood it 
through. The next winter I chopped two or three 
acres on my land, and in the spring burned the brush 
and planted it with corn among the logs, biat squir- 
rels and birds got the greater part of it, so we got but 
little corn that year. 

In the spring of 1812, some families located south of 
where Albion now is. Of those families I had stop- 
ping at my house at one time, while they were building 
their cabins, William McCollister, Joseph Hart, Silas 
Benton, Elijah Darrow, Frederick Holsenburgh, 
and John Holsenburgli, and the families of some of 

The war of 1812 put a stop to the settlement for 
a while. We w-ere troubled some with British desert- 

Up to 1813, our provisions were mainly fish, pota- 
toes, and turnips, — that is among the poorer class of 
settlers like myself. Sometimes we would have hulled 
wheat and hulled corn. Sometimes I went to Parma 
or Rochester to mill, and when I got back my grist 
would not pay my exj)enseiS. 


After the war and the cold seasons, the county 
filled up with settlers very fast. Roads and improve- 
ments were made, and the land cleared up and culti- 
vated, and the conveniences and comforts of life pro- 
cured, thus relieving the wants of the people and 
supplying their needs. 

Gaines, 1863. 

Mr. Walter Fairfield died January 9th, 1865. 


"I was was born- in the town of Dunstable, Mid- 
dlesex county, Massachusetts, January 22d, 1787. 
In March, 1810, I arrived in Batavia, since changed 
to Gaines, on the Holland Purchase, and purchased 
a lot of land near the Transit Line. I chopped over 
five acres of land and built a log cabin in what was 
then called the 'Nine Mile Woods.' My cabin was 
situated seven. miles from any cabin going east, and 
two miles west. There were no inbabitants going 
south nearer than Batavia village. Here I kept bache- 
lor' s hall, sleeping in the open air on hemlock boughs 
until I had completed the roof of my cabin, which I 
covered with bark. I had to travel seven miles to 
get bread baked. 

I went to Massachusetts in the summer and re- 
turned to my cabin in January. In the spring of 
1811, I cleared off and planted three acres to corn, 
and in "the fall sowed five acres to wheat. 

In December I went back to Massachusetts on foot. 
February 11th, 1812, I was married to Miss Polly 
Cummings, of Dunstable, and started on the 12th 
with my wife for my home in the woods, in a sleigh 
drawn by two horses. 

When we arrived at our new home, at what has since 
been called Fair Haveil, in the town of Gaines, there 
were but three families in Gaines, viz.: Elijah Dow- 


ner, Amy Gibert, and Elliott. The nearest 

grist mill was at Black Creek, twenty miles distant, 
and on account of bad roads it was as easy for us to 
go to Rochester to mill, a distance of thirty miles. 

In the fall of 1812, 1 harvested a good crop of wheat 
and corn. 

In the winter of 1813-14, the British and Indians 
came over from' Canada and massacred several of 
the inhabitants on the frontier, and many of 'the set- 
tlers fled out of the country for safety. The people 
throughout this region were in great consternation. 
The news of the approach of the savages spread rap- 

William Burlingame, who resided about four miles 
west of my place on the Ridge, called me out of bed 
and requested me to go immediately and arouse the 
people east. I immediately mounted my horse, the 
only horse then owned in the vicinity, and before next 
day light visited all the inhabitants as far east as 

The effect of the notice was almost electric, for 
quite a regiment of men in number were on the move 
early the next morning, to check the advance of the 
enemy. We marched west to a place called Hard- 
scrabble, near Lewiston, and there performed a sort 
of garrison duty for two weeks, when I with some 
others returned, for, having been elected collector of 
of taxes, it became necessary for me to attend to the 
duties of my office. 

Again in September, while the war was in progress 
at and near Fort Erie, in Canada, news came to us 
that the British were about to attack the Fort and 
our troops there must be reinforced. In company 
with several others I volunteered to go to their relief. 
On arriving at the Fort, via. Buffalo, we made several 
attacks on the enemy near the Fort, and in the woods 
opposite Black Rock. 


A sortie was made from the Fort September 17th, 
in which we routed the enemy. In these actions sev- 
eral bullets passed through my clothes, and one 
grazed my finger. 

A man of our company named Howard was killed, 
another named Sheldon was wounded in the shoul- 
der, and Moses Bacon was taken prisoner and carried 
to Halifax. 

In that sortie General Davis, of Le Roy, was 
killed, and Gen. Peter B. Porter was taken prisoner, 
and rescued again the same day. "We came home 
after an absence of twenty-four days. 

About February 1st, 1815, I was notified to attend 
the sitting of the court in Batavia as constable. Ow- 
ing to the situation of my family I could not be long 
absent from home ; and in order to get released from 
court, it was necessary for me to appear before the 
judge; so taking a rather early start I reached Batavia 
before the court had opened in the morning. After 
the court had organized for business I presented my 
excuse and was discharged. 

After that I collected over one hundred dollars 
taxes, made my returns as town collector, on half a 
a sheet of paper, took a deed of one hundred acres of 
land of the Holland Company, and an article for 
another hundred acres and started for home, where I 
arrived in the evening of the same day, having 
traveled a distance of not less than forty-four miles. 

In December, 1818, I made arrangements to visit 
my friends in Massachusetts, on horseback. Several 
of my neighbors were in to see me off. As I was 
about to mount my horse a deer came down the creek 
from the south. I ran into the house and got my 
gun and some cartridges I brought from the war, 
loaded my gun as I ran out, and as the deer was 
passing leveled my gun and snapped it, but it missed 
fire. I took up a stone and struck the flint, and snap- 


ped the gun again before the deer got out of range. 
This time it discharged killing the deer instantly. I 
remained now and helped dress the deer and divided 
it with our neighbors, and then went on my journey. 
I rode to Vermont, there exchanged my horse and 
saddle for a cutter and another horse, and drove 
to my destination, near Boston. After an ab- 
sence of about sixty days I returned home in time to 
dine off a piece of the venison I killed just before 
starting, which had been kept by my wife. 

Our associations in our wilderness home undergo- 
ing fatigue and hardships together, sharing alike in 
gratitude for every success, and in sympathy for 
every adversity, bound the early settlers together as 
a band of brothers. 

For many years our religious worship was held in 
common together, with no denominational distinc- 

Gaines, June 1863. 

Mr. John Proctor died in 1868. 


" I was born in Barrington, Kockingham county, 
N. H., November 18th, 1793. I was married Febru- 
ary 28th, 1815, to Miss Olive Knight. 

In the winter of 1823 we moved to Gaines, with 
means little more than enough to defray the expense of 
the journey, and settled on part of the farm on which 
I now reside. We began by building a log house, the 
crevices between the logs serving for windows. The 
children would sit on the fire sill in front of where 
was to be a chimney. Thus we lived from May 10th, 
to fall, when we made our house comfortable for 

My father was a practical farmer, and my first rec- 


oUections of work were of helping clear land. He 
with the help of his boys, of whom I was eldest but 
one, cleared one hundred and fifty acres. 

Begining with little, we have by hard labor, strict 
economy and the blessing of God, succeeded in se- 
curing a comfortable home and a competence of this 
world' s goods. 


Gaines, March 1864. 


" I was born in Jfewport, Herkimer county, N. Y., 
July 24, 1804. In January, 1817, 1 removed with my 
brother Stephen to the Holland Purchase and settled 
in Ridgeway. The country with few exceptions was 
a wilderness. Provisions were scarce and dear, 
wheat worth three dollars a bushel, corn two dollars, 
potatoes one dollar, and other things in proportion. 
Before harvest nearly every family was destitute of 
bread. Their resort for a substitute was to the grow- 
ing wheat, which was boiled and eaten with milk ; or 
by adding a little cream and maple sugar together, to 
make a kind of dessert after a meal of potatoes and 
butter, and possibly a little deer, squirrel and raccoon 

Our milk was strongly flavored with leeks occas- 
ionally, with which our native ' pastures ' abounded, 
but we used to correct this by eating a fresh leak 
before eating the milk. We had plenty of maple 

School houses were scarce, and of churches there 
were none. I attended school in a log house two miles 
from home, south, of what is now Lyndonville, and 
this school house was for many years used as a place 
for worship. Here I used to hear Elder Irons and 
Elder Dutcher, Baptists, and Elders Paddock, 
Boardman, Hall, and PuiFer, Methodists. 


Among my early school teachers were Gren. W. C. 
Tanner and Mrs. Mastin. 

Chopping, clearing and fencing land was the piin- 
cipal business in those days. 

My last feat in chopping was in 1832, when I walked 
three miles morning and evening, and chopped over 
three acres, leaving it fitted for logging in ten and a 
half days. 

InFebruarj', 1825, I crossed Niagara river on the 
ice which had wedged in near the mouth of the river. 
It was a warm day, the water was on tlie ice and 
large openings were frequent. In'.one place a sean^ 
of open water three feet across was passed on aboard 
which served as a bridge. I crossed in safety. 

In the winter of 1826-7, I united with the Methodist 
Episcopal Church. I had never, to this time, heard a. 
temperance lecture or known anything of temperance 
societies, but from that time I believed it wicked to. 
use intoxicating drinks as a beverage, and I have 
never used them since. 

I was married to Miss Electa Beal, February 23d, 

I was licensed to preached the gospel in July, 1832, 
by the Conference sitting in Penn Yan. Till then 
I had been a farmer and school teacher. Fron? 
that time till 1844, I laboi-ed in that vicinity in thf 
Methodist Episcopal Church. In May, 1843, 1 
withdrew from that church and joined in organizing 
the Wesleyan Methodist Connexion of America, and 
from then since, I have labored as a minister in that 

Eagle Harbor, March 1864. 


Perry Davis was born in Westport, Massachusetts, 
January 1st, 1773. 



In 1793, lie married Rebecca' Fotfer. She died Mar 
12tli, 1825. 

After his marrig,ge, he resided about thirteen years 
in Galway, Saratoga county. He then resided about 
eighteen years in Palmyra, N. Y. ; and in 1823, re- 
moved to Gaines, and took up land near the mouth 
of Otter Creek ; ^.nd in 1825, removed to the village of 
Oaines and bought the farm next north of the Ridge, 
and west of the Oak Orchard Road. He was an ac- 
tive business man, being engaged at different times 
as a merchant, farmer, scliocd teacher, and manufac- 
turer ; and while residing in Gaines, superintending 
at the same time three farms, a sawmill, a giistmill, 
and a small iron foundry, all in' operation. He was 
deacon, and a prominent member of the Baptist 
Churcli in Gaines. 

He had eight daughters, viz. : Barbara, who died In 
childhood ; Rowena married William Hay den ; Cj'n- 
thia married Daniel Ball ; Cinderilla married Samuel 
Parker ; Mary married Richard Workman ; Ann 
married William W.Ruggles; Eliza married Elonzo G. 
Hewitt ; and Laura married Dr. Alfred Babcock. In 
1827, he married Sarah Toby, of Stockton, N. Y. 
She died November 4th, 1856. Mr. Davis died April 
3d, 1841. 


Levi Atwell was born in Canaan. Columbia county, 
B. Y. 

He married Mabel Stoddard, and moved from Cay- 
uga county to Gaines in February, 1812, and took an 
article of part of lot forty-four, township fifteen, 
range two, and resided on the same land nntil he 
died, February, 1847. 

He took up his land in April, 1811, and in June 
after lie came on, chopped down the trees on a few 


:acres, and that season put up a log house, into which 
(he moved his family when they came. 

His brothers-in-law, Gideon Freeman and Joseph 
: Stoddard, came on and took upland at the same 
ttime. He remained on his land during the war with 

The house into which he moved had no door, or 
window or floor except the earth, and not a board 
:about it. The logs had been merely rolled up for the . 
*walls, without stopping the crevices between them. 
The roof was covered with " shakes" split from oak 
trees like stave bolts, about three feet long, laid on 
in courses like shingles, vdthout nails, and held on 
by poles laid on transversely, with no chimney, but a 
large hole in the roof left for the smoke, and which 
admitted the light. 

The snow was about three feet deep. A huge fire 
was kept up in one end of the cabin ; this heated the 
ixoot and melted the snow, which dripped most un- 
^comfortably upon everything in the house. A blan- 
ket hung at the doorway closed that, and chips 
(firiven into the crevices between the logs stopped 
•ffchem in part tiU spring, when stones were laid for a 
hearth, and a stick chimney put in. 

Mr. Atwell had a yoke of oxen and several other 
♦cattle that arrived a few days after he brought his 
family. He brought several bushels of ears of corn 
when he moved in, which he dealt out sparingly to 
his stock. They had no other food except the trees 
he cut down for them to browse, until they could get 
itheir living in the woods in the spring. 

His family consisted of himself, wife and four chil- 
- dren, the youngest about two years old. His chil- 
dren's names were Ira, Abbey, Koxy, Joseph and 
J Martin. 

In the fall of 1812, a man by the name of Crofoot 
.died in the neighborhood. No boards to make his 


coffin could be. found, not in use in tliq settlements 
When Mr. Atwell moved in his family, he brought 
a board for a side-board, on his sled. This he had put 
up for a shelf in his house for dishes, &c., and>this^ 
shelf, and a board from some other house were taken 
for the coffin, in which the corpse was buried. 


Samuel 0. Lewis was born in Poultney, Vermont, 
.June 8th, 1796. At the age of seventeen, he enlisted 
in the United States Army as a soldier in the war of 
1812, and served in a company commanded by Captain 
Miller, who was founder of the sect since known as 
Millerites, oi- Second Adventists. He was in the bat- 
tle of Plattsburgh, and at French Mills. He served 
in the army about two years. 

In February, 1816, in company with his brother 
Grideon, Roswell and Amos Clift, Elias Clift, and 
their sister Plsther Clift, who afterwards married Guy 
C. Merrill, he came in a lumber wagon drawn by two- 
yoke of Oxen, from Poultney, Vermont, to Gaines, 
being twenty -five days on the road, arriving in Gaines 
March 19th, 1816. 

Arba Chubb, a brother-in-law of the Lewises, with 
his wife and child, arrived in Gaines the day before 
Mr. Lewis and company, and moved into the log 
house built by Mrs. Burgess, near where Judge An- 
derson" now resides. The house had not been occu- 
pied for some time previous, and was not in good con- - 
dition to inhabit ; but it was the best they could get, 
and the three Lewis brothers went there to stay with 
Mr. Chubb. They had cleared away the snow and 
got a good supply of fuel for their fire heaped up* 
against the stoned up end of the house, which served 
as a chimney the night after their arrival, as the 
weather was stormy and cold, and the house had 
large crevices open between the logs. 


Mr. Chubb and his family had a bed in a corner of. 
-the room, while the three young men lay on the floor 
with their feet to the fire. In the night the great fire 
thawed out the old chimney, and the whole pile fell 
forward into the room, luckily, however, without 
-crushing any of the persons sleeping there. Next 
morning they piled the stones back in their places, 
. and made a chimney that answered their purpose. 

Mr. Lewis and his brothesr bought of Lansing 

Bailey, an article for one hundred and twenty -five 

:; acres of land, lying at Gaines Basin, on which Mr. 

Bailey had built a log house, which had not a shingle 

-or nail in it, all pieces being fastened with wooden 


On this lot they labored clearing laild the next 
summer, occupying their house, and getting their 
cooking and washing done in Mr.Bailey' s family, on aji 
adjoining lot, for which they worked for Mr. Bailey 
every seventh day that season to pay him. 

Samuel C. Lewis married Anna Frisbie, in March 
1819. She died the next year. 

January 30th, 1824, he married Anna Warner, of 
-Cornwall, Vt. She died April 10th, 1841. 

Mr. Lewis retains and resides on the lot of land on 
■ which he first settled. 

He has walked and carried his knapsack on his 

back, twelve times the whole distance between Gaines 

;iand Poultney, ^'t. Once he performed the journey 

in October, in six days, walking on an average nearly 

ififty miles a day. 

In the year 1819, he had a tax to pay and wanted 

r.a dollar to make the sum required. To raise the 

money, he cut four cords of body maple wood and 

*drew it a mile and sold it to Oliver Booth for twenty- 

Ave cents a cord, and so paid his tax. 


Gideon S. Lewis was born in Poultney, Vermont, 


' September, 1792. He mairied Betsey Mason, daugh- 
ter of the late Jesse Mason, of Barre, N. Y., in the- 
fall of 1820. She died in September, 1842. He them 
married Betsey Shelley, of Gaines. He had four chil- 
dren, Lestina, who married Henry Cox ; Homer, who-' 
studied medicine, and died some years ago ; Augus- 
tus and Augusta, twins. Augustus is dead. Au- 
gusta married Alonzo Morgan. Gideon S. Lewis died' 
October 6th, 1865. 

Roswell Lewis, brother of Samuel and Gideon, 
resided in Gaines about three years, then returned to^ 
Vennont. , 


Nathan Shelley was born in Hartford, Washingtoip 
county, N. Y., March 17th, 1798. In May, 1812, 
with his father's family he removed to Gaines. His 
father settled on the Ridge Road, two miles west of 
the village of Gaines. 

War with Great Britain was declared soon after he 
arrived. After the defeat of the Americans at^ 
Queenstown, in October, 1812, many of the inhabi- 
tants on the frontier retired eastward, and Mr. Shelley 
took his family and went with them, but returned in' 
December after. 

Nathan Shelley married Dorcas Tallman, May 21st,. 
1820. She was born in Washington county, N. Y.,. 
August 4th, 1795. 

In 1821, he took up and settled part of lot forty- 
tive, township fifteen, range two, on which he has ever 
since resided. 

His first log house had but one room, only four 
lights of glass, and a bedquilt for an outside door,, 
when he moved into it to reside in the the wintea' 
of 1821-2. 


Beginning poor, by a life of steady indnstry and 
prudence he became a wealthy farmer. 


This somewhat numerous family in Graines, are de- 
scendants of David BuUard, who was born in Ded- 
ham, Massachusetts, in 1761. He removed to Ver- 
mont, where he resided until September, 1814, when 
he removed to Gaines, N.Y., bringing with him as 
many of his children as had not gone there before. 
He first settled upon lot twenty-three, a little west of 
the village of Gaines, north of the Ridge, on a farm 
which had been taken up by his son William. 
After a year or two he removed south of the Ridge, 
upon lot twenty-one — a farm now owned by his son 
Brigadier, where he resided until his death in June, 

He mariied Elizabeth Hadley. His cMldren were 
WiUiam, who married Kellie Loveland. Polly mar- 
ried William Woolman. They settled in 1811, in 
Gaines, on the farm aftenvards owned by Phineas 
Rowley. Judith married John Witherell. They set- 
tled north of the Ridge, next east of Oliver Booth. 
Olive married James Bartlett. Betsey married Fred- 
erick Holsenburgh. Nancy married Samuel Scovill. 
Sally married Arba Chubb. David married Elvira 
Murwin. . Brigadier mavried Lovina Parker. Ran- 
som married Lydia Buck. 

William, Judith and Brigadier settled iu Gaines in 
February, 1812. William BuUard died in September, 


Joseph Billings, Sr., the ancestor of this family, 
was born in Somers, Connecticut, and settled in Che- 
nango county, New York, where he i-esided until 
his death. 


He purchased of Isaac Bennett a large quantity of 
land in Gaines, which Mr. Bennett had taken by 
article from the Land Company, which he afterwards 
divided among his sons, Joseph, Timothy, and Lau- 
ren. Joseph and Timothy settled on this land in 
1817, and Lauren in 1822. 

Joseph Billings married Charlotte Drake. His chil- 
dren, are J. Drake Billings, who married Melinda 
Shaw. Myron married Phebe B'ement. Clinton 
married Esther Murdock. Harlow married Adeline 
King. William H. married Sarah Everett. Clarissa 
married Elijah B. Lattin. Helen married John 

Timothy Billings married Betsey Bidwell. His 
children were Newton and Sanford, who died in early 
manhood, and Pomeroy, who died in childhood. 

Lauren Billings married Roxana C. Rexford. His 
children are, Karthalo R., who married Catharine 
Murdock. Pomeroy O., who married Harriet Thomp- 
son. Loverna C. married IVorman A. Beecher. L. 
Dwight. Simeon R. married Carrie E. Gray. Joseph 
P. married Josephine Eldridge. 

Joseph, Timothy, and Lauren Billings, occ,upied 
adjoining farms, which thej' cleared and improved. 
Joseph and Lauren were each Justices of the Peace 
in Gaines for a liumber of years. 

Lauren was a Colonel in the State Militia. Joseph 
was Supervisor of Gaines from 1837, to 1841, inclu- 

Joseph Billings died December 10, 1866. Timotliy 
Billings died May 10th, 1837. 

AKKA CllUliB. 

Arba Chubb was born in Poultuey, Yt., Septem- 
ber 18th, 1791. 

He married Emily Frisbie, October 17, 1813: Feb- 
ruary 20th, 1816, they started to move to Gaines, IS". 


Y., on a wagon, and arrived, there after being twenty 
days on the road. 

He bought a farm lying between tlie Ridge and 
Gaines Basin, and resided there until 1832, when he 
moved to Gaines Basin and bought a warehouse there 
and carried on business as a dealer in produce, and 
sold goods until 1840, when he moved to Gaines vil- 
lage, and from thence to Michigan, in 1856. 

His first wife died in 1829. For a second wife he 
married Sally, daughter of David BuUard, of 
Gaines. • 

In 1821, Mr. Chubb was appointed by the Council 
Justice of the Peace. He was after that elected Jus- 
tice by the people of Gaines, and held the office 
thirty-three years, a vacation of one year only occur- 
ring during that time. 

After moving to Michigan he was elected Justice of 
the Peace from time to time, until in the whole he 
served in that office 47 years. No man has held the 
ofiice of Justice of the Peace in Orleans county as 
long as Esquire Chubb. He also held every other 
town office but constable, and every office in the 
militia, from Corporal to Major, inclusive. He was 
for some time postmaster in Gaines, and Member of 
Assembly from Orleans county, for the year 1848. 

Esquire Chubb describes a lawsuit tried before 
him soon after he was elected Justice, wnicli occa- 
sioned him great trouble at the time. He gave the 
following account of it : 

"Orange Butler was on one side, and a young 
lawyer named Capen, from Albion, on the otliei-. I 
think they planned to give me a sweat. The plaintiff 
put in his declaration. The defendant demurred. 
Plaintiff put in a rejoinder. The defendant a surre- 
joinder. The plaintiff a rebutter. The defendant a 

Aboiit all this special pleading I knew nothing. I 


supposed, however, they would ask me to make a 
special decision ; but what the decision should be, I 
knew no more than the biggest fool alive. There I 
sat, the sweat rolling down my face, inwardly cursing' 
the day I was appointed Justice, and my folly in 
accepting an office I knew nothing about. 

I think the lawyers saw my trouble, had pity on 
me and helped me out as well as they could, and went 
on and tried the case." 

Esquire Chubb resides at Ionia, Michigan, and i& 
now (1871) serving in hi# old office of Justice of the 


Tlie ancestors of„this family originally emigrated 
from Scotland to Ireland, and thence to Londonderry, 
New Hampshire, at an early day. 

John Anderson, the ancestor of most of the families 
of his name in Gaines, was born in Londonderry, Aug. 
31, 1757. He was a soldier in the Revolution, fought 
at Bunker Hill, and was at the taking of Ticonderoga 
under Ethan Allen. He married Jane Archibald in 
Londonderry, Feb. 7, 1782, arid settled in Ira, Rut- 
land county Vermont, in the same year. He repre^ 
sented this town in the State Legislature eight or ten 
years in succession. His children were : Ann, Jane, 
John, Robert, Matthew, Betsey, Thomas A., Marga- 
ret, Nancy, Eli B. and Samuel F., all of whom were 
early settlers, in Gaines, except Betsey, who died in 
Malone, N. Y. January 11, 1813. 

John Anderson, senior, moved with his family to* 
Gaines in 1821, and located on lot twenty-nine, town- 
ship fifteen, range two, on the north side of the Ridge 
road, where he died October 22, 1827. He was a man 
of very great physical strength, of good intellect, 
energetic and persistent in his character. One of hi& 
rules of action was: Do what duty requires and 


Oonscience approves as right, without fear. Indeei. 
he never showed fear of anything. Many instances 
are recollected of his cool and determined courage in 
cases of danger. In several conflicts he had with 
bears, he performed exploits as hazardous and full of 
daring, as Gren. Putnam's battle vdth the wolf. 

One evening while he lived in Ira, dogs treed a bear 
not far from his residence. A number of men were 
present, but they had no gun. Mr. Anderson told 
them to build a tire around the tree and keep the bear 
up it until morning, and then he would go up and 
drive him down. The fire was made. Next morning 
Anderson arined with a club, climbed the tree to the 
bear thirty feet from the ground, and crept out on the 
limb on which he had retreated. .-"■ 

Disregarding the -growls and bristling of the feroci- 
ous creature, Mr. Anderson went within reach and 
aimed a blow at its head with his club which the bear 
warded off" and knocked the club to the ground, 
Nothing daunted, Mr. Anderson descended, got two 
clubs, and again went up the tree to the bear. Taking 
a club in each hand, he made motions to strike with 
his left hand, and when the bears attention was at- 
tracted to these, he struck him a terrible blow on the 
head with the other club, which knocked the body of 
the beast off" the limb, lea^'^ng him hanging by his 
fore paws. A blow or two on his claws loosened 
their hold, and the bear was killed by the men be- 
low when he struck the. ground: 

Another time while he lived in Vermont; being Ir 
the woods, he saw a bear coming towards him. Con- 
cealing himself in bushes on a steep place, he lay ia 
ambush, and the bear passed him so near that with 
a spring he rushed upon him, and armed only with a 
stone, pounded his head until he killed him. 

Ann Anderson married Daniel Gates of Rutland, 
Vermont, moved to Gaines in 1811, and settled 


on lot twenty-nine, township fifteen, range two. After 
, a few years lie sold this farm and removed to a f&rm 
in Carlton, where he died January 31, 1858. Mrs. 
Ann Gates died January 1, 1866. Two of her sona, 
John and N. ¥. Gates, now reside in Carlton, and 
another Matthew A. Gates, resides in Yates. 

Jane Anderson married Phineas Bowley, of Rut- 
land, Vermont, moved to Gaines in 1817, and settled 
on lot thirty, township fifteen, range one. They both 
died several years since. Two of their sons, John 
and Andrew J. Rowley, are yet living in Gaines. 

Margaret Anderson married John Farnham Jan. 22, 
1818. They removed to Gaines, Oct., 1824, and settled 
on lot forty, township fifteen, range two. John Farn- 
ham was born in Poultney, Vt., February 26, 1795, 
and died November 3, 1841. Margaret Farnham died 
in May, 1868. 

ISTancy Anderson married Solomon Kingsley in Ver- 
mont and moved to Orleans county about 1819. They 
removed to Michigan in 1835 and died there. 

John Anderson, Jr., was born in Ira, Vermont, 
Sept. 12, 1785. He settled in Gaines on lot twenty- 
two, township fifteen, range two, in 1810. 

At the first town meeting held in Ridgeway, April 
i, 1813, he was elected Overseer of the Poor. He 
was a man of positive character, a great lover of truth, 
withdrawing his confidence from the man who failed 
to keep his promises. 

A neighbor owed him twelve shillings, whicli he 
promised to pay in a few days. Mr. Anderson re- 
plied he hoped he would, that it was worth a shilling 
to dun a man any time. In a few days the neighbor 
met him, spoke oF his debt and renewed his promise 
to pay. 

As they met occasionally afterwards, the debtor 
would dun himself, but paid nothing, till one day 
having repeated his acknowledgement and promise. 


Mr. Anderson took out a shilling and handed him, 
saying, ' ' Here is a shilling for you, we are now even. 
I have given you credit on account one shilling each 
time you have dunned yourself for me and broken 
your promise. Your credits balance your debt and 
one shilling over, which I have paid you. It is settled, 
^on't speak to me about it again." 

Eli B. Anderson was married in Poultney, Yennont, 
removed to Gaines with his father, and resided with 
Mm until his death, and occupied the same place six 
or eight years after his death, when he removed to 

Samuel F. Anderson moved to Gaines with his fath- 
er, being then about eighteen years old. In 1836 he 
married Miss Mahala Phipps of Albion, and removed 
to Cassopolis, Michigan where he still resides. He 
has represented his county several years in the State 
Legislature and been Judge of County Courts. 

Matthew Anderson moved to Gaines in 1816 and 
took an article of part of lot twenty-seven, township 
fifteen, range two, since known as the ' ' Hunter Farm' ' 
a little north of Eagle Harbor, now owned by C. A. 
Danolds and S. W. Kneeland. He cleared some land 
and built a log house on his fai-m. He died Septem- 
ber 30, 1816. In 1814 or 1815, he represented the 
town of Ira in the Vermont Legislature. He was 
Captain of a company of militia, which under his 
command volunteered and went to meet the British 
at Plattsburgh in the war of 1812. 

Hon. Robert Anderson was born in the town of 
Ira, Vermont, April 21, 1787. 

In June, 1807, he was elected Lieutenant in the 
militia. In October 1812 he was appointed Justice 
of the Peace in Rutland. He went with a company 
of volunteers to fight the British at Plattsburgh in 
the war of 1812. 

In November 1812, he came to Gaines and bought 


ain article for 150 acres, part of lot 22, township fifteen, 
lange two, to which he moved his family in 1816, and 
where he has ever since resided. Two younger broth- 
ers, Matthew and Dr. Thomas A. .Anderson and their 
families came on at the ' same time from Vermont; 
The Dr. drove a two horse lumber wagon, which 
carried the women and children of the party, the 
other two men drove each a team of two yoke of oxen 
drawing a wagon laden with their goods, with a cow- 
fed behind each team. 

They arrived in Gaines March. 25th, having been 
twenty- five days on the road. 

On arriving in Gaines, Robert Anderson moved 
ilito the log house the logs for which were cut by 
Mrs. I^oah Burgess in 1809. It was roofed with elm 
bark and had a floor of split basswood in most ap- 
proved pioneer style. The next year he built a small 
framed house and lived in that. 

■In the suinmer of 1821, David Whipple and wife, 
parents of Mrs. Robert Anderson, came to Gaines 
from Vermont to visit their children. They rode in a 
one horse wagon with bolsters and box lumber style, 
eovered with cloth over hoops. The seat was a chair 
wide as the box, splint bottomed, the posts standing 
on the steel springs of a wolf trap. This was prob- 
ably the first wheel carnage rigged with steel springs 
tihat run in Orleans county, and was much admired 
for its novelty ond convenience. 

Mr. Anderson and his wife started with her parents 
on their return to Vermont, to visit friends on the way. 
They went as far as Brighton, where she was taken 
sick and died. The death of his wife and the sick- 
a^ss prevailing in the country, ■ with which he was 
attacked, so disheartened him he offered his fai-m for 
sale, and would have sold at almost any price, but 
no purchaser appearing and his health having im- 
proved, he concluded to stay. In August 1822, he 


married his second- wife, Miss Roxana Lamb, of 
Bridgewater, Vermont, who died March 27, 1837. 

In 1840, he rented his farm to his eldest son and 
only sui-viving oliild, Nahum Anderson, to whom in a 
few years after he sold it, reserving the right to live 
in his family during life. 

In 1817, he was elected Lieutenant of a militia 
company in Gaines, and resigned at the end of a year. 
The same year he was appointed a Justice of the 
Peace, which office he held until the winter of 1822. 
In that winter, hp was appointed Judge of the Coiirt 
of Common Pleas of Genesee county, an office he 
held over two years and resigned. In the spring of 
1818, he was elected Supervisor of the town of Gaines, 
an office to which he was annually elected as long as 
the town of Gaines belonged to Genesee county. 
After Orleans county was organized, he was elected 
the-first Supervisor from that town, to serve in the 
first Board sitting in the new county, in 1826, by 
whom he was appointed Chairman, in consequence 
of his experience as a Supervisor. 

In the session of 1822, he sei"ved as a member of 
the State Legislature, being one of three representa- 
tives sent from the county of Genesee. 

Judge Anderson was never ambitious to hold public 
offices, generally taking office only when it was of- 
fered him without his asking, and resigning the first 
proper opportunitj". He was regarded as a man of 
sound judgment, honest and faithful, and shared 
largely in the confidence of all who knew him. 

For some years past he has lived quietly, retired 
from the cares of business, possessing a competence 
of property acquired by his own exertions, happy in 
the society of his many friends, enjoying a pleasant 

** Dr. Thomas A. Anderson, son of John Anderson, 
senior, was born in Ira, Vt., May 14th, 1792. He 


married Sarah Whipple of Malone, j^-, Y., and moved 
to Gaines, as above stated, in 1816, and located at 
Fair Haven, or Proctor's Corners, in the town of 
Gaines, where he practiced his profession for some 
time in company with Dr. Truman S. Shaw, who af- , 
terwards practiced in Knowlesville, and Yates, and 
died a few years since in Medina, Orleans county, 
N. Y. 

Dr. Anderson had practiced medicine several years 
in Rutland, Vermont, before coming to Gaines. He 
was esteemed a skillful physician, and had as much 
business as he could do. He was constitutionally 
feeble, never had good health, and died September 
2d, 1829, leaving one child only, a daughter, now 
wife of S. Dewey Walbridge, of Rochester, N. Y, 
His wife died April 22d, 1829. 

MOSES bacon:. 

Moses Bacon was born April 5, 1787, in Burlington, 
Hartford county. Conn. He was a farmer. 

About the year 1809, he came to Gaines and took 
an article from the Holland Land Company of two 
hundred acres of land on the south part of lot thirty- 
seven, township fifteen, range one. He worked for 
the Land Company opening the Oak Orchard road 
the summer of that year, to apply towards paying 
for his land, and returned to Connecticut in the fall. 
The next spring he came back and commenced work 
upon his land as a permanent settler. 

In December, 1813, he went in Captain McCai-ty's 
company to the defence of the frontier, and in his 
charge upon the British and Indians at Molyneaux 
tavern, in Cambria, on that occasion Mr. Bacon was 
present and did good execution. 

In January, 1814, he married Miss Sarah Downer. 
In September of that year he was called out with the 


men on this frontier generally, to aid in repelling the 
British and Indians in the war with Great Britain. 
He was in the battle of Fort Erie, in which he Was 
shot through the neck and taken prisoner by the 
British, who carried him to Halifax, where he suffered 
greatly under the cruel treatment of the officers who 
had the American prisoners under their charge. The 
next year he was discharged, the war having closed, 
and returned home broken in constitution from the 
hardships of his wound and imprisonment, and with 
a cough contracted in Halifax from which iie never 
recovered, and for which he drew a pension from the 
United States ever afterwards. 

Mr. Bacon sold the east part of his farm to his 
brother Hosea, and the north part to his brother 
Elias, reserving one hundred acres for himself. Upon 
this place he lived until his death, which occurred 
June 28th, 1848. 


Samuel Bidelman was born in Manheim, Herkimer 
county, N. Y., June 29th, 3806. His grandparents 
both came to America from Germany, before the 
revolutionary war, and settled on the Mohawk river. 
In that war his grandfather's buildings were burned 
by the Indians, and his family narrowly escaped 
massacre by flying to the block house fort for pro- 

His father, Henry Bidelman, came to Shelby in 
1816, and bought an article for one hundred acres of 
land of John Timmerman. In January, 1817, he, 
came to Shelby with a part of his children, leaving 
liis wife and other children in Herkimer county until 
he could prepare a place for tliem. He was eleven 
days on the journey. 

In July, 1817, John Garlock, brother-in-law of 



Henry Bidelman, brought on Mrs. Bidelman and the 
remainder of her children, and with their other load- 
ing he brought three bags of flour. This was the 
next year after the cold season, and the neighborhood 
was destitute of flour ; some of the inhabitants had 
not even seen wheat bread' for weeks, having lived in 
that time, as far as bread was concerned, on bran 
bread and some sea biscuit — "hard tack," which 
they procured from the Arsenal at Batavia, which 
had been stored there to feed the soldiers in the war 
of 1812. • 

It was a custom then when a new family arrived, 
for all the settlers for miles around to come together 
and give them a greeting. Such a surprise party 
waited on the Bidelmans, and after they had broken 
up and gone home, Mr. Bidelman found he had 
only a part of one bag of his flour- left out of the 
three brought on by Garlock, as each family of the 
visitors must of course take home % little. Part of 
one bag of flour only for a family of twelve hungry 
persons to live on under the circumstances, looked as 
if the end was near. 

These sea biscuit furnished material for much talk, 
as well as some food for the people. Mr. Joseph 
Snell, who was something of a wag, reported that a 
Mr. Simons, who resided a little south from Mr. Bid- 
elman, got some of the biscuit and ate too freely of 
them ; that they had swelled in his stomach and had 
burst him. He said his attendants tied hankerchiefs 
and straps around him, and did the best they could 
to make him contain himself, but without success ; 
he burst and died, and was to be buried at a time 
specified. Several persons went to attend the funeral 
before they understood the hoax. 

The first year after he came to Shelby, Mr. H. Bid- 
elman ^took some land of D. Timmerman which lay 
about a mile from his house, to plant with corn on 


shares. In hoeing time, in the long days in June, he 
would get his boys together, Samuel being then about 
twelve years old, get them a breakfast of bran 
bread and milk and say to them, " now boys you can 
go and hoe corn, and when you get so tired and hun- 
gry you can't stand itany longer, come home and we 
will try and get you something to eat again. This 
was the way they fared before uncle Garlock came 
with flour. 

The cold season of 1816 cut off the crops, and there 
was but little to be had to eat. Flour was wortli 
fifteen dollars a barrel in Rochester, wheat three dol- 
lars a bushel here, and no money to buy it with. 
But crops were good , in 1817, and as soon as the 
farmers began to raise wheat, and about 1820 and 
1^21, as there was no way to get wheat to market, the 
price fell to twenty-five cents a bushel. Articles of 
wearing apparel were enormously dear. Cotton cloth I 
was worth fifty cents a yard. 

In 1818, Mr. H. Bidelman chopped and cleared ofl' 
six acres of land for A. A. EUicott, for which he ob- 
tained flour for his family for that season. He cleared 
five acres for Elijah Bent, a little South of Medina 
village, for which he received in payment one-third of 
the pork of a hog that weighed three hundred poimds 
in all ; that is, about one hundred pounds of pork cost 
twenty dollars, paid for in such hard work. So they 
managed to live along until they could, raise something 
of their own to live on. 

About this time young Samuel, being then twelve 
or thirteen years old, and his brother William two 
years older, got disgusted with Western New York 
and agreed to run away back to the Mohawk country, 
fearing they would starve to death if they remained 
here. They did not go however. 

In the year 1820, May 20th, barefoot, with an old 
straw hat, a pair of tow cloth pantaloons and a 


second hand coat on, Samuel Bidelman started on foot 
and alone for Ridgeway Corners, to learn the trade of 
tanning and currying leather, and ehoemaking, of 
Isaac A. BuUard, who carried on that business 

Before that time he had lived in Dutch settlements, 
and could hut imperfectly speak, or understand the 
English language. 

Mr. BuUard' s tanning then amounted to about fifty 
hides a year, but gradually increased to about one 
hundred hides a year while Samuel lived with him. 
"When he had been about three and a half years with 
Mr. Bullard, they had some difficulty and Samuel left 
him and went to his father. The difficulty was set- 
tled and Samuel was bound as apprentice to stay 
with Mr. Bullard until he was of age, and he went 
back and remained. 

Bullard was addicted to strong drink, which made 
him rather a hard master to his apprentice. He died 
April 9th, 1827. 

After Mr. BuUard' s death his wife carried on the 
business he had left, and Mr. Bidelman worked for her 
by the month six months, and then bought out the 
, tanyard and dwelling house and carried on the busi- 
ness on his own account. 

May 17th, 1829, he married Eliza Prussia. She was 
born in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, of German 

At Ridgeway Mr. Bidelman tanned about seventy- 
five hides a year. He kept two journeymen, made 
leather and carried on shoemaking. Stoga boots 
were worth four dollars a pair, coarse shoes two dol- 
lars. Boots were not so generally worn as now. 
Tanner's bark, hemlock, was worth one doUar and 
fifty cents a cord. 

In the spring of 1835, Mr. Bidelman sold hid place 
in Ridgeway, retaining possession untU the next Oc- 


"ber, intending to move to Michigan. He was now- 
worth about fifteen hundred dollars and was twenty - 
nine years old. 

He finally bought a tanyard at Gaines village of 
James Mather, and moved there Oct. second, eighteen 
hundred and thirty-five. Gaines was then quite a place 
of business. It had in active operation one academy, 
five dry goods stores, three groceries, one steam grist 
mill and furnace, three taverns, two churches, two 
tannery s, one cabinet shop, one large wagon factory, 
three law offices, three blacksmith shops, one milline- 
ry shop, one ashery, besides harness, shoe, and tailor 
shops, &c. 

At Gaines Mr. Bidelman employed four or five 
men in his tannery, and five or six men in his shoe- 
shop generally. 

In 1838, the Patriot War, as it was called, in Cana- 
da, closed. This part of the country had been in a 
high state of excitment for two years, the people de- 
siring to furnish aid to the Canadian rebels. Huntei'' s 
lodges, as they were called, were formed along thb 
frontier for this purpose. Sucha lodge used to meet 
in the upper room in Mr. Bidelman' s Tannery, which 
was formerly occupied by the Free Mason' s. Mr. 
Bidelman took great interest in this movement and 
gave an old cast iron bark mill to be cast into can- 
non balls. He gave the last gun he ever owned and 
a pair of boots, to fit out a soldier who went to Can- 
ada to join the insurgents. 

A cannon, which had belonged to an artiUery com- 
pany in Yates, in which Mr. Bidelman had held a 
commission as lieutenant, was sent to the Patriots. 
General Winfield Scott passed through on the Ridge 
Eoad with some United States troops to maintain 
peace on our borders, and in a short time urder was 
again restored. 


The Eidge Koad was then a great traveled thor- 
onghfare ; six to eight stage coaches passed through 
Gaines each way daily. 

In eighteen hundred and forty-one Mr. Robert Ran- 
ney went in company with Mr. Bidelman in business 
as tanners, in Gaines, for a term of five years. They 
put in a large stock and worked it, but the business 
was not profitable for the partners. They had 
difficulty in settling their partnership matters, 
and on the whole, these five years were the most un- 
pleasant and uuprosperoua in business to Mr. Bidel- 
man of any like time in his life. Since closing with 
Mr. Ranney, he has been connected with his sons in 
business. He was Supervisor of Gaines in the years 
1842, 1845, 1846, 1853, 1854, and 1857. 


The following extracts are taken from a memoir by 
Dr. John H. Beech, of Coldwater, Michigan, of him- 
self and his father. Dr. Jesse Beech, who was the pi- 
oneer physician of the town of Gaines : 

"Dr. Jesse Beech was born March 20th, 1787, at 
Ames, Montgomery county, New York. He studied 
medicine with Dr. Lathrop, of Charleston, and with 
Dr. Sheldon, of Florida, N. Y. In those days medi- 
cal colleges were not accessible to students of ordi- 
nary means. There was a public prejudice against 
dissections, and the students of the two doctors named 
occupied a room in a steeple on a church in Charles- 
ton, where they dissected bodies. One of the class 
would stay in the steeple all day Sundays with their 
eadavers to keep the hatch fastened down to exclude 
intruding boys. 

Dr. Jesse Beech commenced practice at Esperance, 
N. Y., in the year 1813, and in February of that 
year married Susannah, a daughter of John Brown, 
of that place. 


In the fall of 1815 lie came to Gaines, where he met 
James Mather, with whom he was acquainted, and 
was persuaded tq stop there, accepting a theory then 
believed in by settlers in that region, which was this : 
' Batavia must be the GotJiam of the Holland Purchase 
Oak Orchard Harbor must be the commercial port. 
The great commercial highway of the country would 
be from the head of navigation on Oak Orchard Creek 
to Batavia. The country north of the Ridge was too 
flat and poor to be of any account, and the town 
second to Batavia must be on the Ridge where the 
road from Batavia to the lake crossed it. A land of 
half shire town for Genesee county was then at Oak 
Orchard Creek on thq Ridge. Genesee county would 
be divided at Tonawanda Swamp, and the new coun- 
ty seat would be Gaines.' Philetus Bumpus was then 
hunting bears where Albion now is, and the future 
greatness of Gaines was not dimmed by pros;^ects of 
Clinton's Erie Canal. 

Such was the theory. The canal made dough of 
the whole ot that cake, and caused the whole country 
about here to change front. 

James Mather, and Oliver Booth, the tavern keep- 
er, were active men in Gaines, when my father came 
in, both being very attentive to new comers, and Esq. 
Arba Chubb came in soon after. He was the best 
wit and story teller of the times, full of talk and re- 
partee, a most social and agreeable man. 

My father bought some land near the ' Corners,' 
and brought my mother there the next spring. She 
found the ' house ' only half floored and not all 
' chinked.' The fire was built against the logs on the 
side which had no floor, over which the roof was 
open for the escape of smoke. 

She was told that the rule of the settlement was 
that new comers must burn out three logs in the 
house walls before they could be allowed to build a 


stone back for a chimney ; and they must have had 
at least three ' shakes ' of ague before they could be 
admitted to citizenship. 

The records are silent as to when she burned out her 
three logs ; but it is said that she soon attained to the 
rank of full citizenship, having her first shake of 
ague on the fourth day after arriving in town. My 
father must have found the people much in need of a 
doctor, for I find on page seVenty-one of his day book, 
previous pages being lost, a large amount of busi- 
ness charged for so small a population. The prices 
charged would now be deemed quite moderate, to 
wit. : Leonard Frisbie is charged ' To visit and setting, 
leg for self $2.50.' Subsequent visits and dressings 
from thirty- seven and a half to seventy-five cents 
each, and so in other cases. 

In 1817, 1818, and 1819, it took, ,him three or four 
days to make a circular visit to his patients. They 
resided in Murray, east of Sandy Creek, at Farwell' s 
Mills, in Clarendon, in different parts of Eidgeway, 
Barre, &c. 

On these circuits the kind people treated him to 
their best, which was often corn cake and whisky, or 
Evans' root coffee, with sorrel pie for dessert, for the 
doctor and basswood browse for his horse. 

I find a bill rendered iu pounds, shillings and pence 
to my father by George Kuck, for general merchan- 
dise had at his store in West Carlton, in 1818. Ira 
Webb was at the same time in trade at Oak Orchard 
Creek, on the Eidge, but the principal merchants were 
located at Gaines. 

In the spring of 1816, my father liad about half 
an acre of corn 'dug in' among the logs near his 
house. When it was a tew inches high a frost blight- 
ed the tops so tliat every leaf was held in a tight 
dead envelope. My mother cut off the tops with her 
scissors and a fair crop was harvested. 


In order to save the pig from the bears, its pen was 
made close to the house, and a piece of chinking 
left out to halloo ' shoo ' through. 

One day mother's attention was attracted hy an 
unusual hackling of the pig. Looking through the 
crevice she saw a large rattlesnake coiled up in the 
-hog-trough, with head erect, buzzing like a nest of 
bees. Fearing to attack the old fellow, she ran to 
the neighbors for help and when she returned the 
snake had gone. 

In 1816 they had a patch of oats near the house 
from which the deer had to be driven frequently. 

Their first child, and only daughter, Elizabeth, was 
born June 22d, 1817. She married Ezbon Gr. Fuller, 
and settled at Coldwater, Michigan, where she died in 
1853. Their only son, your humble servant, vvas born 
September 24th, 1819. I think I must have been one 
of the first draymen in the county, as I remember 
when a very small boy seizing the reins and backing 
my father' s horse and cart loaded with-merchandise, 
part of which was a demijohn of aquafortis, down a 
cellar gangway. Some smoke and some hurrying 
were among the consequences. 

A few years later a young clerk and myself sent a 
hogshead of molasses from a wagon down the same 
gangway at one 'pop.' The 'pop' carried away 
the heads of the cask and poured the sweet out to 
the rats. 

At the age of fourteen I tried clerking in a dry 
goods store for Fanning & Orton, in Albion. After 
six months probation I felt no further inspiration or 
aspiration in that line and resigned, I presume with 
the hearty consent of my employers, though they flat- 
tered me by expressing their regret, which I thought 
was proof of their politeness rather than my ability. 
I then attended Gaines Academy until I was eighteen 
years old, when I commenced studying medicine vdth 


Drs. Niclioson & Paine, in Albion ; afterwards with 
Dr. Pinkney, at Esperance, and graduating at tlie 
Albany Medical CoHege in 1841. 

I practiced my profession from the old homestead 
until 1850, then removed to Coldwater, Michigan, 
where I have been engaged in the same business 
since, except during the rebellion, in the greater part 
of which I served in the army as surgeon, first of 
Battery D. First Michigan Artillery; afterwards of 
Twenty-Fourth Michigan Volunteers, in the Army of 
the Potomac. The greater part of the time, besides 
performing my regimental duties, acting as Surgeon- 
in-Chief of the First Brigade, First Division, First 
Army Corps. 

In January, 1842, I married Mary Jane Perry, of 
Clarkson, N. Y. * '■ * * 

We have mentioned the anticipations of the people 
of securing the location of the county buildings at 
Gaines. The brick building standing on the hill south 
of the village, was built by contributions started with 
the intent to donate it to the county for a court house. 
It was originally three stories high, about forty by 
seventy feet on the ground. These anticipations of 
the contributors being blasted, they converted their 
building into an academy. 

At the organization of Orleans county, the village 
of Gaines contained three stores, three asheries, three 
tanneries, two taverns, one chair factory, one carriage 
factory, one cabinet shop, three blacksmith shops, 
one distillery, one cloth-dressing and wool-carding 
establishment, two brick yards, one printing office 
where a newspaper was published, one hat factory, 
and one saddle and harness shop. Works requiring 
motive power were driven by horses. * * * 

The first chapter of royal arch masons in the county 
No. 82, was ^organized at Gaines. Dr. Jesse Beech 
Avas H. P. in 1826. 


Previous to 1825, Col. Boardman's Cavalry was a 
marvel in the eyes of us youngsters. Dr. Jesse Beech 
was its surgeon. 

I find by an old receipt among my father' s papers, 
that Gaines Basin, in the canal, was excavated hy a 
suhscription fund, subscribed mainly by Gruernsey, 
Bushnell & Co., E. & E. D. Nichols, and James 

Dr. Jesse Beech was a temperance man even to total 
abstinence, enforcing his principles by banishing de- 
canters and wine glasses from his sideboard — a pro- 
ceeding rather unusual in those times. 

He was a fine horseman and occasionally officiated 
as marshal on public occasions. He was always ex- , 
ceedingly particular in his dress and personal appear- 
ance, and always wore an elaborate ruffle shirt. His 
dress never was allowed to interfere with business re- 
quiring his attention, and sometimes, when off pro- 
fessional duty, he would go into his field where his 
men were clearing land, and though he was small in 
stature, he would show by his agility and energy in 
working with his men that he was a match for their 

A few of the last years of my father's life, he kept 
a store of drugs and medicines on sale in connexion 
with his practice as a physician and surgeon. 

In February or March, 1826, he was hurt by a 
vicious hjorse from which he suffered greatly as long 
as he lived. He died March 4th, 1829. His widow 
afterwards married Captain Elihu Mather, and re- 
moved to Coldwater, Michigan, where she died March 
16th, 1869. 

J. H. BEECH." 

Oliver Booth was a well-known tavern keeper on 
the B,idge Road in Gaines. He came here from 


Wayne county in the spring of 1811, and settled on 
the farm north of the Ridge and east of the Oak Or- 
chard Road in the village of Gaines: He cleared his 
farm and biiilt a. double log house, with a huge chim- 
ney in the middle. Here he kept tavern a numlber 
of years. 

His house was always full of company. Travelers 
on the Ridge Road stopped here because it was a 
tavern and there was no other. Here he dispensed a 
vast amount of whisky, — for everybody was thirsty in 
those days, — and some victuals to such strangers as 
were not acquainted with the proverbial filthiness of 
the kitchen. 

After Gaines had become a village, and laid claims 
to the county seat, and people had come in who 
wanted more style, and whose stomachs could not 
stand such fare as Booth's tavern supplied, another 
tavern was opened and Booth sold out and moved 
away. He finally settled in Michigan where he 

No description of Booth or his tavern would be 
complete without including Sam. Wooster. Sam's 
father lived in the neighborhood, and he (Sam.) then a 
great lazy boy, strayed up to Booth' s tavern, where 
by hanging about he occasionally got a tastQ of 
Booth's whisky in consideration of bringing in wood 
for the fire and doing a few other chores. For these 
services and tlie pleasure of his company. Booth gave 
him what he ate and drank, with a place to sleep on 
the bar-room floor. His clothes did not cost much. 
He never wore a hat of any sort, seldom had on 
stockings or shoes. Nobody can remember that he 
wore a shirt, and his coats and pants were such as 
came to him, nobody could tell how or from whence. 
Sam. never washed his face and hands, or combed his 
head, and his general appearance, shirtless and shoe- 
less, with his great black, frowsy head bare, his pants 


ragged and torn, and Ms coat, if lie liad any, minus 
one sleeve, or half the skii-t, to one who did know him 
might befit a crazy prisoner just escaped from Bed- 
lam. Yet Sam. was not a fool or crazy. His wit was 
keen and ready, and his j6kes timely and sharp. He 
would not work, or do anything which required much 
effort any way. He was a good fisher however, and 
with his old friend Booth, he would sit patiently by 
the hour and angle in the Oak Orchard, or any other 
stream that had fish, perfectly content, if he had an 
occasional nibble at his hook. 

One year while he lived in Gaines, some wag for 
the fun of the thing nominated him for overseer of 
highways in the Gaines village district, and he was 
elected. He told the people they had elected him 
thinking he was too lazy to attend to the business, 
and would let them satisfy their assessments by mere 
nominal labor on the road; but they would find them- 
selves much mistaken, and they did. Sam. warned 
them to work as the law directed. He superintended 
everything vigorously, and every man and team and 
tool on the highway within his beat had to do its 
whole duty promptly that year at least. 

Although Sam. loved whisky and drank it whenever 
it was given to him, for he never had money to buy 
anything, he never got drunk. He never quarreled 
or stole or did any other miscliief. Bad as he looked, 
and lazy and dirty as* he was, he was harmless. 
When Mr. Booth sold out and moved to Michigan, 
Sam. went with him and lived in his family after- 

A few months after landlord Booth got his double 
log tavern going, a man rode up to the west front ^ 
door ,each half of the house had a front door, and^' 
asked Mrs. Booth if he could get dinner and feed ' 
his horse there. She sent her daughter, then ten years 
old, to show the man where he could get feed for his 


horse in the stable, and she went to work getting 
his dinner. 

Having taken care of his horse, the stranger came 
and took a seat by the front door of the room where 
Mrs. Booth was getting dinner and commenced talk 
by saying : 

"Well, Mrs. Booth, how do you like the Holland 

" O, pretty well," she replied, " I think it will be 
a good country when it is cleared up." 

"What place did you come from Mrs. Booth ?" 
" We came from down in the Jarseys." 
"Is the country settling about here very fast ?" 
"Yes, quite a good many settlers have come in." 
" How is it about the "mouth of Oak Orchard, are 
they settling there much ?" 

" N"o they are not, that cussed old Joe EUicott has 
reserved all the land there and wont sell it." 

Just then Mr. James Mather passed by, and seeing 
the stranger sitting in the door, whom he recognized 
as Mr. Joseph EUicott, the agent of the Holland Land 
Company, he turned to speak to him. As he came 
up, EUicott motioned him to be silent, fearing he would 
pronounce his name in hearing of Mrs. Booth and end 
the fun. After a salutation to Mr. Mather, Mr. El- 
licott said to Mrs. Booth : 

" Has old Joe EUicott then really reserved the land 
round the mouth of the Creek." 

"Yes, the devilish old scamp has reserved one or 
two thousand acres there as a harbor for bears and 
wolves to kill the sheep and hogs of the settlers." 

EUicott asked " What can induce uncle Joe to re- 
serve that land?" 

She replied, "Oh, the old scamp thinks he will make 
his Jack out of it. He thinks some day there will be 
a citv there, and he will survey the land into city 


tots and sell them. All, he is a long-headed old 

EUicott walked into the road and talked with Mr. 
Mather a few minutes till being called to his dinner 
he said to Mather : "Don't tellMrfe. Booth who I 
am until I am out of sight." 

After Ellicott was gone, Mr. Mather went over and 
Mrs. Booth asked him who that old fellow was who 
got dinner there ? 

He replied, "it was Mr. Joseph Ellicott, from Ba- 

"Good," says she, " didn't I give it to him ? Glad 
of it! Glad of it!" 

Mr. Booth was unable to read or write, and he was 
accustomed to keep his tavern accounts in chalk 
marks on the walls. Thus, for an account of six 
pence, he made a mark of a certain length ; for a 
shilling, a mark longer ; two shillings, longer still, 
and so on. He distinguished drinks, dinners, horse 
feed, &c., by peculiar hieroglyphics of his own inven- 

Booth, the tavern keeper, must not be confounded 
with Oliver Booth, 2d, better known to the old pio- 
neers as "Esq. Booth," who owned and resided on the 
next farm west, which lay on the west side of Oak 
Orchard Eoad, and north side of the Ridge. Esquire 
Booth was among the very first settlers of Gaines vil- 
lage. He was not related to the tavern keeper. He 
was bom in Granby, Connecticut, in 1779, and set- 
tled in Gaines, in 1810. He removed to Michigan in 
1833 and died there. 

Esq. Booth was the first Supervisor elected north of 
Tonawanda swamp to represent the town of Ridge- 
way, then the whole of Orleans county, in 1813. He 
served several years as a Justice of the Peace. He 


. was an odd man in appearance and manners, but» 
npriglit and honest. 


, James Mathewwas born in Marlborough, Vt., July 
23d, 1784. His family are said to be descendants 
from Eev. Increase Mather, President of Harvard 
University, who received the first degree of Doctor of 
Divinity, that was conferred by that college. Mr. 
Mather came to Gaines in the summer or fall of 1810, 
to look out a place for his settlement. There was 
then some travel on the Ridge Road, with a prospect 
of more when the country was settled. The Holland 
Company had establised their land office at Batavia, 
and it seemed to him sure that in time a village or 
city would grow up at the mouth of Oak Orchard 
Creek. The Oak Orchard trail was then marked from 
Batavia to the lake, and Mr. Mather shrewdly pre- 
dicting a village would be founded where that trail 
crossed the Ridge, took up some four hundred acres 
of land lying on each side of the Oak Orchard Road 
and south of the Ridge, on which he afterwards set- 
tled and resided while he lived. 

Before removing to Gaines, Mr. Mather had resided 
for some time in the town of Russia, Herkimer coun- 
ty, where he manufactured potash which he sent to 
the Canada market by way of Ogdensbarg. He was 
in this business when the embargo declaring non- 
intercourse with Great Britain was proclaimed., He 
continued his trade however, and by the skillful dis- 
tribution of a few dollars among the government offi- 
cials, his ashes were allowed to pass the lines and his 
profits were large. 

In the winter of 1811, he broke up his establish- 
ment in Herkimer county and removed to his land in 
Gaines. A younger brother, Rufus Mather, assisted 
by driving a team of two yoke of oxen before a sled 

i '/^Tk^Any 


which was loaded, among other things, with three 
potash kettles. There was no bridge over Genesee 
River, at Rochester, and Rufus attempted to cross on 
the ice near where the canal now is. In the middle 
of the river the ice broke and let the loaded sled into 
the water. . Rufus succeeded with great difficulty in 
getting out without loss,*' and followed the Ridge to 
his destination, and stopped at the house of Cotton 
Leach, west of the present village of Gaines. Rufus 
remained and labored for James the next summer. 
James Mather had cut down the trees on a small spot 
south of the Ridge, on the Oak Orchard Road, near 
where his son George Mather now resides ; but no 
clearing within the bounds of the village on the Ridge 
had then been made. 

Rufus Mather says he felled the first tree in the vil- 
lage of Gaines, on the Ridge Road. That tree stood 
on the west side of Oak Orchard Road. A piece of 
land was soon cleared there and James Mather built 
his log house on that corner in the spring of 1811. 
He married Fanny Bryant February 15th, 1813. 
She was born in Marlborough, Vermont, October 28th, 

In the winter of 1813, they commenced house keep- 
ing in the log house Mr. Mather had built on his lot, 
and remained there during the war, when so many 
went away. 

Mr. Mather always kept open house, according to 
the custom of the country there, though he never 
professed to keep tavern; entertaining every one who 
applied to him for accommodation as well as he could, 
and his house was generally fuU of newly arriving 
emigrants who were waiting till their own cabins could 
be built, or of such casual strangers as came 

Oliver Booth, afterwards the tavern keeper, stop- 


ped with Mr. Mather when he first came in, until he 
got his own house "built and fitted up. 

Soon after Mr. Mather settled in Gaines, he set the 
potash kettles he brought with him and commenced 
buying salts of lye, or "black salts," of the settlers 
as soon as settlers came in and made them. These 
salts he boiled down into potash and took them to 
the mouth of Genesee River, or the mouth of Oak 
Orchard Creek, and sent them to Montreal to a mar- 
ket. He paid for these salts in salt fish, iron, leather, 
coarse hardware, and a few axes, chains, and such 
tools as farmers must have, which he obtained in ex- 
change for his pot^ish, and took care to sell at a fair 
profit, and with these things he paid some money. 
He was in fact almost the only source from which 
those who did not bring money with them got any to 
supply their wants. 

Early in the spring of 1811, Mr. Mather finding his 
provisions getting low, went to the Oak Orchard 
Creek, at the head of Stillwater, from the lake, with 
two men and a seine and caught three barrels of fish 
in a few hours. These he drew to the Ridge with his 
oxen and took them to Black Creek Mill, a few miles 
south of Rochester, and with these fish and money, he 
bought wheat and pork, got his wheat ground and 
took it home, and so he was well supplied the first 
year with these proyisions. About the time Orleans 
county was organized, he built a large brick build- 
ing for a tannery, in which with his brothers and 
others he carried on tanning a number of years, 
though he never worked at that business himself. He 
dealt considerably in land, at one time owning a 
large farm where Eagle Harlaor village and flouring 
mills are now built, and several large farms in other 
places. From the rise of value in these lands, and 
the profits of his speculations, he became wealthy. 
He died August 29th, 1854. 


Mr. Mather had seven children. 

Louisa, who married Wheeler M. Dewej. She 
died many years since. 

Dwight, who died in yoiith. 

Adeline married Paul H. Stewart. 

Eunice married Daniel F. Walhridge. 

George married Mary Ann Crane. -He resides on 
his paternal homestead. 

Ellen married Hon. Noah Davis, of Alhion, late a 
Justice of the Supreme Court. 

Mary married Howard Abeel, a merchant of 


Elihu Mather was born in Marlborough, Yt., July 
26th, 1782. He was a tanner by trade. He came to 
Gaines to reside in 1825, and went into business 
with his brother James in his tannery and working 
his farm. 

In the great antimasonic excitement arising from 
the abduction of William Morgan, Mr. Elihu Mather 
was indicted as an accessory to the crime, and tried 
at Albion and acquitted. The trial occupied ten 
days. Mr. Mather continued to reside in Gaines 
until 1851, when he removed to Coldwater, in Michi- 
gan, where he died January 29th, 1866. 


Henry Drake was born in New Jersey, April 6tli, 
1770. He settled in Gaines in March, 1811. In 1812, 
he built a dam on Otter Creek, a few rods north of 
the Ridge, in Gaines, on which he erected a sawmill, 
which was the first sawmill built within the present 
town of Gaines. 

Mr. Drake learned the clothier's trade in his youth, 
but followed farming as his business in life. He 
Tuariied Betsey Parks, in New Jersey. She died 


April 16th, 1843. Mr. Drake died December 25th, 
1863, at the age of almost 94 years. 


Simeon Dutcher was Iborn in Dover, Dutchess Co., 
N. Y., April 21st, 1772. For fifteen years after ar- 
riving at manhood he labored as a millwright, a trade 
he assumed without serving any regular apprentice- 
ship. He then commenced preaching and was or- 
dained an Elder in the Baptist denomination. In the 
year 1817, Elder Dutcher removed with his family to 
Carlton, New York, and in 1820 he removed to the 
'town of Gaines, where he resided until he died. The 
primary object he had in coming to the Holland Pur- 
chase was to preach and serve as a missionary among 
the people, the Baptists having nO church organiza- 
tion in Orleans county. 

The people were few, poor and scattered, and Elder 
Dutcher never received much pay for his ministerial 
labors, but supported his family mostly by working 
a farm. He used to preach in several neighboring 
towns in the log cabins of settlers, or in the school 
houses after such were erected. And for several 
years he officiated at nearly all the marriages and fu- 
nerals in this part of the country. 

The iirst framed meeting house erected in Orleans 
county was built in the village of Gaines by a stock 
company, who sold the slips to whom they could, 
on the condition that the house should be used by 
different denominations, and it was so used. 

A Baptist church was organized at Gaines in 1816, 
under the pastoral care of Elder Dutcher, to whom 
he preached until 1827, when the anti-masonic excite- 
ment prevailed in his church. Elder Dutcher, who 
was a Free Mason, was required to renounce Freema- 
sonry. He declined to do so and was excommunica- 
ted, and dismissed from his church. 


In the later years of his life Elder Dutcher professed 
to be a universalist in religions sentiment. He was 
always regarded as a good man and was mnch be- 
loved by the early settlers.' He died January 22d, 


William J. Babbitt was born in Providence, Rhode 
Island, September 1786. He learned the blacksmiths 
trade of his father and worked at that business main- 
ly until he came to reside in Gaines, where he had a 
small shop and occasionally worked at his trade for 
several years. In the year 1812, he took up the farm 
on which he ever afterwards resided, part of lot thirty, 
township fifteen, range one, and moved his family 
there in 1813. 

For many years after Mr. Babbitt settled in 
Gaines no professional lawyer had come into what is 
now Orleans county. The people however would in- 
dulge occasionally in a lawsuit, and Mr. Babbitt be- 
ing a good talker, and a man of more than common 
shrewdness, they frequently employed him to try 
their cases in their justices' courts. He improved 
under his practice until he became the most noted 
"pettifogger" north of the Tonawanda Swamp, 
and 'whichever of the litigants secured the services of 
Esq. Babbitt, was quite sure to win his case. He 
was active in getting the town of Gaines set ofi" from 
Ridgeway in the wihter of 1816, and July 1st of the 
same year, on his application a postoffice was estab- 
lished in Gaines and he was appointed postmaster, 
which office/ he held five years. This was the first 
postoffice and he was the first postmaster in Gaines. 

In 1831-2 he represented Orleans county in the As- 
sembly of the State. He was appointed a Justice of 
the Peace by the council pf appointment in 1815, and 
reappointed from time to time until the elections to 


that office were given to the people under the consti- 
tution, when he was elected by the people holding 
the office of Justice of the Peace in Gaines, in all 23 

He was several times Supervisor of his town, and 
held' various other town offices from time to time. 
He took pleasure in serving in official and fiduciary 
positions, and was largely gratified in this particular 
by his fellow citizens. > 

He was remarkable for promptness in keeping en- 
gagements. Late in life he was heard to say he was 
never behind set time in being present in any legal 
proceeding to be had before him. He acquired a 
character for uncompromising fidelity in business 
matters, and by a life of industry and economy laid 
up a large property. 

He died July 20th, 1863. 

He married Eunice Losey, June 27th 1810. She 
died April 4th, 1867. 


Gideon Freeman was born in Stillwater, Saratoga 
county, January 11th, 1787. About 1799, he moved 
with his father to Ledyard, Cayuga county, and in 
March 1812, he settled northwest of what is called 
Long Bridge, and took up the southwest section of 
land now in the town of Gaines. He was the first 
settler in this locality south of the Ridge, and founder 
of what was for many years, known as "Freeman 

He cleared up a large farm and carried on a large 
business as a farmer. His son, Chester Freeman, 
now of Barre, relates that in the cold season of 1816, 
his father planted forty acjes to corn, which was a 
total failure. He had a large stock of hogs that year 
which he expected to fatten on his corn, from the loss 
of which, having nothing to feed them, many of them 

01' ORLEANS COUNT y. 203 

starved to death in the next fall and winter. He had 
a large stock of cattle at that time and but little food 
for them. 

Mr. Freeman chopped over nearly fifty acres of 
woods to browse his cattle in the winter of 1816-17, 
cutting down all trees suitable for that purpose, and 
losing only about six of his cattle from starvation. 
Mr. Freeman owned a part of the section lying next 
east of his home 'farm. On that land one year he 
sowed forty acres to wheat, which grew very large. 
At harvest time he measured off one acre of his field 
and cut and cleaned the wheat on it, getting fifty-five 
bushels of wheat on that acre. 

Mr. Freeman was a liberal, generous man, and la- 
bored hard to induce settlers to come in and to open 
the country to inhabitants. He sustained some large 
losses in his business and became insolvent, finally 
losing all his land. He removed to Ypsilanti, Mich- 
gan, where he died in 1832. 

Mr. Levi Atwell, Joseph Stoddard and Reuben 
Clark were among those who moved into the Freeman 
settlemen soon after it was commenced. 


Chester Freeman, son of Gideon Freeman, was 
born in Scipio, Cayuga county, August 18th, 1807. 
He married Eliza Chidester in 1835. She died in 
March, 1848, and October 30th, 1849, he married 
Amanda Morris. He has resided on lot thirty-one, 
in township fourteen range two, in Barre, since 
1842. He came into Orleans county with his father 
in 1812. 


Daniel Pratt was born in Westny)reland, Oneida 
county, N. Y., March 25th, 1788. He married Polly 
Bailey, August, 1809, and moved to Gaines and set- 


tied on the Ridge in the spring of 1810. His wife, 
Polly, died August 30th, 1813. He married Caroline 
Smith, January 8th, 1815. 

He went east during the war of 1812 and remained 
two years, then returned to his farm, on which he 
labored until his death, October 7th, 1845. Mrs. 
Caroline Pratt, died September 18th, 1831. 

The first wheat sold by Mr. Pratt was taken on 
an ox sled by him to Rochester, and sold for twenty- 
five cents a bushel. 

Mr. Pratt was a man of quiet habits, trusty and 
faithful. He was much respected by his acquaintan- 
ces. , 

He was Town Clerk of Gaines for many years and 
held the office of Overseer of the Poor a long time. 


Daniel BrQwn was born in Columbia county, N. Y., 
June 15th, 1787. He removed with his father' s fami- 
ly to Upper Canada, in the year 1800. He resided in 
Canada during the war 1812. He experienced much 
trouble in consequence of his refusal to bear arms 
in that war against his native country. He was in- 
dicted and tried for treason and acquitted. In Janu-. 
ary, 1816, he removed to the town of Gaines and set- 
tled one mile north-east from Albion. 

Mr. Brown has established an enviable character 
for integrity among his acquaintances, and has been 
honored and respected. 

He was Supervisor of the town of Gaines in 1844, 
and has held various other town offices. 

He married Mary Willsea, in Canada, in the year 

Mr. Brown is still living. 


Wm. W. Ruggles was born in Hard wick, Massa- 


chusetts, Janiiar}' 1st, 1800. His father, Seth Ru^- ' 
gles, removed with his family in 1804 to Poultney, 
Vermont, where VVm. W. labored on a farm until he 
was eighteen years old. He then entered the office of 
Judge Williams, at Salem, N. Y., aS a student at 
law. 'Here he studied law eight months in the year, 
teaching school winters. He closed his preparatory 
law study with Chief Justice Savage, at Albany. 
Having been admitted to the bar, he came to Albion 
and formed a partnership with Judge Moody, which 
was soon dissolved. 

He removed to Gaines in 1824, and began the prac- 
tice of his profession there. 

In the contest between Gaines and Albion for the 
county buildings, he took an active part for his vil- 

He aided in founding Gaines Academy and the 
Farmers Bank of Orleans, at Gaines. 

He exerted himself to have the New York Central 
Eailroad located along the Ridge, and used his influ- 
ence in favor of the building of Niagara Suspension 
Bridge, and was a stockholder in that company. 

In his profession as a lawyer he was diligent and 
successful'. He held the offices of Master in Chancey, 
Supreme Court Commissioner, Judge of the Court of 
Common Pleas, and Justice of the Peace and various 
other town offices. He was several times " the candi- 
date of the Democratic party for the State Legisla- 
ture, but failed of an election as his party was large- 
ly in the minority. 

Judge Raggles had a cultivated mind, enriched by 
studious habits of life. He was particularly fond of 
Astronomy, on which he left some lectures in manu- 
script, written by him. 

In the autiimn of 1849 he went to Chicago, intend- 
ing to reside and practice law there, but having taken 
cold while on his voyage around the lake, he was 


compelled to return to Gaines sick, and never re 
covered, dying at Gaines, April 22d, 1850. 

He spent a year surveying government land in 
Michigan, when General- Cass was Governor, where, 
lie contracted fever and ague, from which he suffered 
ever afterwards. 

He married Miss Ann Davis, daughter of Dea. Perry 
Davis, of Gaines, in 1827. She died Aug. 20th, 1846^ 
He left three children, William Oakley, now a broker 
in New York ; Henry C, a Civil Engineer in Cincin- 
natti, Ohio ; and Helen, who married Mr. Fred 
Boott, and resides in Gaines. 


Eagle Harbor, a thriving village on the Erie Canal^ 
in the town 6f Gaines, is said to have been so named 
because a large bird' s nest was found in a tree grow- 
ing there about the time the canal was surveyed, sup' 
posed to have been built by an eagle. 

The land on which the village is built was for a 
number of years at first held under articles from the 
Holland Company. 

Harvey Smith took a deed of eighty acres on the 
south-east corner of lot thirty-six, November 1, 1819> 
Stephen N. Chubb took a deed of fifty-three acres 
next north, September 6th, 1.834, and Macy Pratt, of 
one hundred and thirty-eight acres north of Chubb, 
November 29th, 1819. 

On the East side, Asahel Fitch took a deed of 
one hundred twenty-five acres, part of lot twenty- 
six, February 20th, 1821. James Mather took a 
deed of two hundred acres next north of Fitch, No- 
vember 27th, 1829 ; and Robert Hunter, one hun- 
dred and seventy-six acres next north of Mather, 
January 31st, 1828. 

South side of Canal, fifty acres of lot thirty-five 


were deeded to Amos S. Samson, December 22d, 

Stephen Abbott took up the land afterwards deeded 
to Harvey Smith, and commenced cutting down tim- 
ber on it in the winter of 1812. This was probably 
the first clearing done in Eagle Harbor. 

Little improvement was made until work was 
begun on the canal. The high embankment over Otter 
Creek was constructed by a man named Richardson. 
He opened a store here to accommodate his workmen, 
which was the first store. 

Hicks and Sherman bought Richardson's store and 
continued it after him. 

A Mr. Hicks built the old red warehouse, the first 
in the village, south side of the canal, where Collins' 
warehouse now stands. Tliis was owned and occu- 
pied by A. S. Samson afterwards. 

In 1832, this warehouse was sold to Willis P. Col- 
lias who opened a dry goods store in it and continued 
it about six years, then built a store and warehouse 
on the east side of the street and mpved there. 

David Smith built the first sawmill about forty 
rods north of the canal, on Otter Creek. 

James Mather built a sawmill on the south side of 
the canal in 1826. 

ST. Pratt, J. Delano and. L. Northrop, built the 
lower dam and sawmill in 1825. 

James Leaton bought the Hunter farm, and he in 
company with W. P. Collins, built the north flouring 
mm in 1 837. This mill was burned in the fall of 1839, 
and re-built immediately. 

A large flouring mill on the south side of the canal 
was built by General E. S. Beach, in 1847. This mill 
has since been burned. 

The brick church was built in 1827 by the united 
means of Presbyterians, Methodists and Baptists, 


and owlaed. half by Methodists, and one-fourth each 
by the other denominations. 

The first meeting house was taken down and rebuilt 
in 1845, the same parties building and owning the 
new house, as they did the old one. 

The Wesleyan Methodists erected their church ed- 
ifice in 1845-6. 

Eagle Harbor postoflice was established about the 
year 1837, with W. P. Collins first postmaster. 

The first school house was built in 1822, on the 
west side of the street. 

The second school house was built on the lot now 
owned by the district, in 1841 ; and the third school 
house in 1846. 

Col. Jonathan Delano was the first carpenter and 

Samuel Robinson was the first shoemaker, and Da- 
vid Smith the first tavern keeper. 

Col. Delano and Sam. Robinson the first grocers. 
Mr. Hurd the first blacksmith, and' Dr. James Brown 
the first physician. 

The growth of Eagle Harbor has been greatly pro- 
moted by the large capital employed there by Gen. 
Beach in erecting mills and mamifacturing flour, and 
by the active business energy of Mr. Willis P. Col- 
lins, for many years a resident in the village, and tlie 
foremost man in every enterprise tending to add wealth 
and importance to the place. 


Partitioned between State of Connecticut and Pultney Estate— First 
Settler— First Marriage— First Birth— First Tavern— First Death- 
First Store- First School— First Saw Mill— First Public Beligious 
Service— First Physician— First Highway from Kendall Corners to 
Ridge— Biographies of Early Settlers. 

END ALL was named in^ honor of Amos Ken- 
dall, Postmaster General at the time it was 
formed from Murray, April 7th, 1837. From 
its location, being off the line of travel, and because 
the land was not surveyed into lots, and formally put 
in market to sell to settlers as soon as lands on the 
Hollahd Purchase, settlements were not made as early 
or as numerous as in towns on the Purchase. The 
State of Connecticut and the Pultney Estate had 
owned these lands under a joint title, and for consid- 
erable time they remained undivided. 

In July, 1810, Dr. Levi Ward became agent for the 
State of Connecticut to sell their lands on the 100,000 
acre tract, of which Kendall forms a part. And in 
1811 a formal partition of land between the Sfate of 
Connecticut and the Pultney Estate was made, and 
Mr. Joseph Fellows was appointed agent of the Pult- 
ney Estate. 

Land offices were opened by these agents, and set- 
tlers were invited to come in and take lands. But few 
came into Kendall until after the cold season of 1816, 
and for some time after that they had difficulty in ac- 


quiring a good title to farms bought of the Pultney 

Samuel Bates, from Vermont, is said to have been 
the first white man who settled in this town, locating 
on lot 111, in East Kendall, in 1812. He cleared some 
land and sowed wheat, but did not move his family 
in until 1814. 

David Jones, Adin Manley, Amos Randall, John 
Farnsworth, Zebulon Rice, Benjamin Morse, and 
Nathaniel Brown, settled in 1815. 

Felix Augur, Rev. Stephen Randall, Ansel Bal- 
com, George Balcom, Stephen Bliss, James Weed, 
in 1816. 

Ethan Graham, William Clark and his son Robert 
Clark, came in 1817. 

The first marriage in town was that of James Aiken 
to Esther A. Bates, March 2d, 1817. 

The first birth was that of Bartlett B. Morse, in 
November, 1815.' 

The first death was that of a son of Geo. Balcom, 
in 1816. 

Hiram Thompson kept the first store in 1823. The 
first inn was kept by Lyman Spicer in 1823. 

The first sawmill was built by Augur and Boyden, 
in 1819, and Gurdon Balcom taught the first school 
in 1819. 

The first gristmill was built by Ose Webster, on the 
site on Sandy Creek, now oceupied by the mills of 
his son Ebenezer K. Webster, forming a nucleus for 
the settlement now known as Webster's Mills. Pre- 
vious to the erection of this gristmill, the people of 
Kendall took their grain to Rochester, or to Farwell's 
mill in Clarendon, to be ground. 

Farwell's mill was much nearest, but the road to it 
was almost impassable with a load, and the little mill 
had not capacity to do all the work in that part of the 


The first religious service in Kendall was conducted 
l)y Elder Stephen Randall, a Methodist preacher. 

The first physician who practiced in town was Dr. 
Theophilus Eandall, though Dr. Rowell, of Clarkson, 
was frequently called. 

When Mr. Bates settled in Kendall there was no 
puhlic highway in town. Settlers and others coming- 
there usually left the Ridge a little east of Kendall 
and traveled a road which had been opened into what 
is now Hamlin ; thence west to Kendall. The first high- 
way leading south from ^Kendall to the Ridge, was 
located and cut out by the early inhabitants without 
any public authority, from Kendall Mills following 
lip the west side of Sandy Creek to the Ridge road. 
This road- is yet traveled a part of the way. 

The first settlers of Kendall were chiefly from Ver- 
mont, bred among the Green Mountains, and the 
change of climate, air, water, food and occupation 
they experienced in this new and comparatively level 
country, was attended with the usual consequences. 
They were almost all sick at times, and although the 
utmost kindness prevailed, and every one did all they 
could to help themselves and others to alleviate suf- 
fering, yet so few were well, and in' their little rude 
huts furnished only with a most scanty stock of con- 
veniences, short of provisions, and no place near 
where the common necessaries for the sick could be 
obtained, some of these people suflfered great misery. 
Jf they sometimes felt discouraged and wished them- 
selves away, when they were sick they could not go, 
and when they got better they would not go, for they 
came here to make them homes, and with the stub- 
born resolution of their race they persisted in the 
work they had begun, till their fondest hopes were 
more than realized in the beautiful country their toils 
and sacrifices made out of the wilderness. 
, The principal settlement in town for several years 


at first, was in the east part, near the center. The 
Kandalls, Bates, Clarks, Manley, and other lead- 
ing men there were intelligent, and wanted the lights 
of civilization to shine into their settlement, if it was 
away in the woods. Accordingly they met together 
about the year 1820, and formed a Public Library 
Association. Among the names or prominent actors 
in this movement were H. W. Bates, Adin Manley, 
Dr. Theophilus Eandall, Amos Kandall,David Jones, 
Calvin Freeman, Orrin Doty, James M. Clark, Benj. 
Morse, Nathaniel Brown, Caleb Clark and Noah 

They raised by contribution among themselves in 
various ways, about seventy-five volumes of books, 
organized themselves into a society, elected "their offi- 
cers, and kept up their organization about ten years. 
Mr. Amos Eandall was librarian, and these books 
were well read in that neighborhood, and the habit of 
thought and study thus implanted has borne its 
proper fruit in after years, in the numbers of intelli- 
gent and influential men who have grown up there. 

They were too poor to each take a newspaper, and 
the nearest post office was at Clarkson. Several men 
^lnited in taking a paper. When it came to the post 
office whoever of the company happened there first 
took out the paper, and the neighbors would come 
together to hear it read — ^those who did not contribute 
to pay the expense as well as those who did — and the 
paper was then passed to some other family and read ' 
over and over until it was worn out. 

Salt water was early discovered in Kendall, and 
salt made there to supply the people. 

In 1821, Mr. H. W. Bates and Caleb Clark dug a 
well and planked it up to obtain brine on Mr. Bates' 
farm and there they made about one thousand bush- 
els of salt. They sold their kettles to a Mr. Owen, 
who made salt in them in the southwest part of the 


town. Salt making in Kendall was discontinued, 
when the Erie canal opened. 

About the year 1825, a company »of Norwegians, 
ahout lifty-two in number, settled on the lake shore, 
in the north-east part of the town. They came from 
Norway together and took up land in a body. They 
were an industrious, prudent and worthy j)eople held 
in good repute by people in that vicinty. After a few 
years they began to move away to join their country- 
men who had settled in Illinois, and but few of that 
colony are still in Kendall. 

They thought it very important that every family 
should have land and a home of their own. A neigh- 
bor once asked a little Norwegian boy whose father 
happened to be too poor to own land, where his 
father lived? and was answered, " O, we don't live 
nowhere, we hain't got no land." 



"I was born in Taunton, Mass., March 19, 1793. 
I was brought up among the boys of New England, 
never having belonged to the ' upper ten.' I roughed 
with the hardy sporting ones, always ready for ath- 
letic games, and could commonly act well my part. 
^ When about twenty-four years old I was taken mth 
the western fever, and having laid up two or three 
hundred dollars, in time saved while sowing my ' wild 
oats,' I bought a horse and wagon and started with 
three others for the Genesee country. Not knowing 
or thinking of any trouble ahead, we dashed away. 
One of my traveling companions was Stephen Ran- 
dall, Jr., son of Rev. Stephen Randall, who had 
previously gone west, and then resided at Avon. 


The son now resides in the town of Union, Monroe 
county, and has got to, be an old man and wealthy. 
We arrived in A^on in September, 1815. From thence 
we made our way into Murray, and to what is now 
Kendall, by way of Kochester. At Rochester we 
were glad to get into the barn with the horses for a 
night's lodging, there being about thirty men, and 
how many horses I cannot tell. Which made most 
noise would be difficult to tell ; one thing I do know, 
the men swore most and drank the most whisky. 
That was an awful company. It seemed as if they 
were the filth and offscouring of the whole country. 
In the morning I proposed to sell my horse for I was 
short of fvinds and had no farther use for him. A 
gentlemanly appearing man by the name of Gilvreed 
offered to buy him. He said he had good notes 
against a responsible man, but the notes amounted 
to more than the price of the horse, and I might give 
jny note for the balance, and as to the value of the 
notes, I might enquire of gentlemen who knew, at the 
same time referring to some standing by, who said 
they were good and no mistake. So the exchange 
was made in due form and both parties were highly 

But the result was that the maker of the notes was 
not worth a straw, and the man, Gilvreed, was worse. 
This was my first financial operation in the west. 
What added to my humiliation was, I thought I had 
such a vast knowledge of men and things as to be 
proof against being outwitted by anybody; and that 
I knew more - than 'old folks." I wonder if boys 
think so of themselves now-a-days? 

I then made my way west along the Eidge Eoad to 
Murray Corners, now Clarkson, where Dr. Baldwin 
had located and kept a tavern, which at that time was 
a very lucrative business, as people were flocking 
from the east rapidly. 


From Murray Comers we struck off north-west 
what was then called ' Black North,' a region where 
the probability was, what the musketoes did not eat 
up, the fever and ague would kill. On we went, 
nothing fearing, until we came to what was called 
' Yanty Creek,' where we found three families loca- 
ted, who I believe were the only white inhabitants 
in what is now the town of Kendall. They were H. 
W. Bates, Amos Randall, and Benjamin Morse and 
their families. I concluded to make a ' pitch ' here. 
I now had to learn the customs and employments of 
the people among whom I was going to reside, which 
consisted mainly of chopping, rolling logs, raising 
log houses, drinking whisky to keep off the fever 
and ague, hunting deer, bear, raccoons, bees and 
catching fish. 

After working hard at a log raising, and taking 
cold after it, I was awakened in the night by an aw- 
ful 'shaking' and could not tell what it meant, but 
found out sure enough afterward. 

In the spring of 1816, I went to work in good 
earnest to clear a patch of land on Which to raise a 
little ol the needful, and behold in June there came a 
frost arid spoiled all our labor and made our corn- 
fields in the wilderness, instead of ' blossoming like 
the rose,' look as though the fire had run through 

The next fall I was taken down with the ague 
'proper,' and in attempting to break it up I made it 
worse, until it became awful. I then made up my 
mind to make my way back to Massachusetts. But 
how was I to do it ? I was so weak I could not walk 
a mile. Finally I found some men going to Vermont, 
and agreed with them to take me along with them 
and let me ride part of the time. If I could remem- 
ber their names I would record them with gratitude 
for their kindness. 


I found my lanconquerable will had a wonderful effect 
upon my body. I had no more ague on my journey, 
though I had it every day before I set out. I went 
to Massachusetts, and remained till I got well re- 
cruited, and nothing daunted by what I had suffered, 
I determined to return again to the west, and Janua- 
ry 17th, 1817, I was married to Miss Miriam Deming, 
and in February following, with my wife, my brother 
and his wife and one child, Eri Twitchell and wife, 
and Nathaniel Brown, we started with three yoke of 
oxen hitched to a huge covered wagon. The perils of 
that journey were neither few nor small in pass- 
ing over mountains covered with snow and ice, 
sidling roads with yawning gulfs below, and crossing 
streams on ice, and floundering through snow drifts, 
with a constant headwind blowing in our faces for 
twenty -two days together. 

When we arrived in the neighborhood of our new 
home, our neighbors hailed our coming with joy, and 
wanted a little flour just to make a cake. I suppose 
they had gathered some sticks and had baked their 
last meal. 

We moved into a small log hut with only one room 
the fireplace against the logs at one end, with a stick 
chimney, bark roof and floor. Taking it altogether 
we thought it a terrible place to live in. 

We had three yoke of oxen and nothing for them 
to eat, tliis was the worst of all. We turned them 
into the woods and cut browse for them, but the poor 
cattle suffered much. 

In the next spring we had to pay one dollar a 
bushel for potatoes, and a like price for oats, and no 
money to buy .with at that. We got some potatoes to 
plant and they came up twice, once by natural growth 
and once rooted up by the hogs. We set them out 
again, my wife helping me, for she was a true 'yoke 


So we plodded on through the summer, with wheat 
costing $3.50 a bushel, pork twenty -five cents a pound. 
Our first child was born Sept. 24th of this year. It 
was very feeble, and remained so for a long time, its 
mother having the fever and ague every day for nearlj- 
seven months, and taking care of her child the most of 
the time. At six months old the child weighed only 
four pounds ! Thus we toUed on for three years. 
The third year we raised wheat and other crops 
enough for our comfort, and had built a framed ad- 
dition to our house. Our prospects now seemed fav- 
orable for going ahead, but in March following, our 
house took fire and was consumed, together with all 
our provisions, and nearly all our household furniture. 
Under the circumstances, this was a sore trial to us. 
We then had three children, and no where to lay our 
heads. We had nothing to eat except what came from 
charity. Our neighbors were poor but exceedingly 

After a whUe we got another house and toiled on, 
getting together some of this world's goods. We had 
ten children, all of whom lived to grow up to be men 
and women. We have sent nine of them to school at 

My wife died July 30, 1857, aged 64 years. I have 
' never experienced any calamity in my life that afflicted 
me like her death, with such severity. 

For several years after I came into this country, I 
spent considerable time going far and near to assist 
in raising log buildings. Sometimes going several 
miles and carrying my dinner in my hand. 

Mr. H. W. Bates and myself were accustomed to 
labor much together, changing works. In the winter 
of 1816, we went a mile into the woods to chop ; there 
by accident a tree fell on him crushing him badly. 
Had he been alone he would have perished. On an- 
other occasion Mr. Bates and another man with my- 


self, went two miles into the woods one day in June, 
and felled the timber on two acres. I think the like 
was never done in that neighborhood before or since. 

In the early settlement of the Genesee country, in- 
temperance prevailed to an alarming extent. Almost 
everybody drank whisky free as water when they 
could get it, and I am surprised so many escaped 
total and eternal ruin. Many years ago I saw the 
evil and totally abandoned the use of every thing that 
intoxicates as a beverage and labored faithfully as I 
could to save others. For my zeal and persistence in 
opposing the traflSc in licLuor, I have suffered much 
from rumsellers. At an early day I have seen Justi- 
ces Courts in session with a bottle of whisky on the 
table before them, thus polluting the fountains of 
justice with the vile abomination, and if the 
Honorable Court happened to become too much ab- 
sorbed with the creature, they would adjourn over to 
cool off. 

I have had a large experience in hunting bears, 
deer, raccoons and wolves, and camping out in the 
woods in cold and storm, without fire or food, working 
out in the dead of winter, eating frozen dinners "in the 
woods, sharing fully my part in all sorts of hardships 
which fell to the lot of the first settlers here. I have 
endured it all, and lived to a good old age, thankful 
to that good Providence which has carried me through 
so far and so safely. 


Albion, February 26th, 1861. 

Mr. Manley died in Albion, July 29th, 1867, aged 
74 years. 


" I was born in Lisbon, Connecticut, October 25th, 
1801. My ancestors came to America from England 
some time in the sixteenth century. My father re- 


moved to Columbus, Chenango county, N. Y. in 1805. 
In 1810 he removed to Utica, and in 1817 -he settled 
with his family on what was then called the Triangle 
Tract, near the county line, and b^ween the towns of 
Kendall and Hamlin, about three miles from Lake 
Ontario. The place was then called Clark's settle- 
ment, because three brothers of the name of Clark 
settled there. My uncles, Caleb and James settled 
there one year, before my father, whose name was 
William Clark, came on, which was quite a help to 
us, for they had a little wheat sown, and some corn 
and potatoes planted. 

When my father arrived there was not a pound of 
pork 'or flour in the settlement, except what he brought 
with him ; and the next day the pork, flour and whis- 
ky were divided among the neighbors. 

One reason for the entire destitution among the set- 
tlers was the anticipation of my father' s arrival, for 
they all knew he would bring a supply for a time, 
and so neglected to- provide for themselves otherwise. 

The names of the families then in the settlement 
were Bates, Priest, Randall, Balcom, Ross, Clark 
and two by name of Manley. 

The settlers, in anticipation of our coming had 
peeled elm bark in the month of June previous, 
enough to form a roof to a house, and on our arrival 
they commenced cutting logs for a house, and to clear 
a spot of ground large enough to set it on, and in a 
few days it was raised and covered with bark, in true 
pioneer style. They also split basswood and hewed 
slabs for a floor, which covered about two-thirds of 
the surface of the room, the remainder being left for 
the fire place and hearth. 

We now moved into our new house and commenced 
our pioneer labors. 

The door of our house was a bed blanket, and win- 
dows were hardly necessary, for our house was not 


' chinked ' and sufficient light came in through crevi- 
ces between the logs, and a large space was left open 
in the roof for the smoke to pass through. Our fire 
place was the entire end of the house, and our hearth 
the solid earth. 

, My father soon obtained some boards and made a 
door and tempoi^ary windows. The next thing to be 
done was to chink the cracks between the logs. This 
being done, we dug up the soil and wet it and made 
mud with which we plastered the outside over the 
chinks, which made our house quite warm and com- 

About this time our stock of provisions began to 
get short, and the entire settlement was getting hard 
lip for something to eat ; but as potatoes were about 
ripe we had plenty of them, and as we had a cow we 
lived quite well until we could get wheat ground, 
which at that time was very difficult. Before our 
wheat was hard enough to grind, our mother hulled 
and boiled it and we ate it with milk, and we thought 
it very good eating. 

This state of things did not last long, for my broth- 
er James had a great propensity iov hunting, my 
father having bought him a gun ; he very soon sup- 
plied us with venison which proved a luxury in the 
way of meat. 

At length our wheat crop having matured, a grist 
for each neighbor was prepared, and I started with an 
ox team and about twelve bushels of wlieat, which 
with fodder for the oxen by the way, was about as 
much as the team could draw. I staid at Murray 
Corners, now Clark.son, the first night, and the next 
day, a little before night, I got to the mill at Roches- 
ter, chained the oxen to the wagon and fed them for 
the night. I slept that night on the bags in the mill 
until my grist was ground, which was completed 
about daylight. After feeding my team and eating 


my venison, I started for lionie and got there about 
sundown the third day out. The next morning, 1 
guess, all the neighbors had short cake for breakfast. 

I will now give a description of what was called an 
Indian Mill which was used to some extent by the 
early settlers. We selected a solid stump of a tree 
in a suitable place near the house, cut a hole in the 
top with an axe, deep as we could, and then built a 
fire in the hole burning it, and putting in hot stones 
until it was sufficiently deep for a mortar. We then 
made a pestle of hard wood, took a strip of elm bark 
tied one end to the pestle and the other to the top of 
a limber sapling tree that would bend directly over 
the mortar, making a spring pole, which completed 
the machine. Put a quart of corn into this mortar, 
and a man could soon convert it into samp — coarse 
meal— which when well boiled, made very good eat- 
ing in milk. The Indians xised it almost exclusively 
for bread. 

I had never chopped down a tree or cut off a log- 
when I first came into the forest. The next morning 
after arriving in the woods, I took an ax and went 
to where my father was preparing to build his house, 
and commenced chopping down a tree perhaps six 
inches through. I chopped all around the tree till it 
fell. When the tree started to fall, I started to run, 
and if the tree had not lodged on another, I know not 
but I should have been killed, for I ran in the same 
direction the tree was falling. I was so scared at this 
my first attempt at falling timber, that I picked up 
my ax which I had thrown away in my fright, and 
made tracks for the house, concluding to chop no 
more until I had learned how to do it. 

The first school in the settlement was taught by 
Gurdon Balcom, the next by Wesley Randall. The 
first minister of the gospel who preached in this set- 
tlement was Elder Randall, a Methodist and a very 



good man. Dr. Theophilus Randall was the first 

In the fall of 1818 I went to Oneida county, and 
learned the art of distilling whisky, which at this- 
time was a very popular business. My mother died 
while I was there, which nearly broke up our home 
circle, and which was to me particularly, a cause of 
great sorrow. 

I returned home in Jime following and found my 
father's family, as I expected, in a very lonely con- 
dition. I went to work with my father and brothers, 
clearing land and securing our crops. When that 
was done, I went back to Verona and worked in a 
distillery another winter. Next spring I returned 
and worked in Whitney' s distillery in Rochester, and 
the fall after I went to Toronto, in Canada, and erect- 
ed the first steam distillery ever erected in Canada, 
which at that time was one of the curiosities of the 

I worked thousands of bushels of the finest wheat 
I ever saw into whisky. The Avheat was bought for 
two and six pence per bushel. 

The next June I returned home, my father in 
the meantime had married again and moved to 
Le Roy, having let out his farm in Murray. I worked 
in Le Roy and Clarendon. I became 21 years old 
October 25th, 1822. I took a job clearing land in 
Le Roy, for which I received $600. My father's fam- 
ily and myself then moved back to Murray, and I 
paid up the balance for his farm. 

I married Anna Augur, daughter of Felix Augur, 
of Murray, now Kendall, Feb. 18, 1824. Mr. Augur 
had come in from Vermont the year previous, and 
bought his land of the State of Connecticut for $3.00 
an acre. Dr. Levi Ward was the land agent. Mr. 
Augur was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, 


Gen. C. C. Augur, now of the United States army, is 
his grandson. 

The next spring after I was married, I bought a 
piece of land in Clark's settlement, which had some 
work done on it, and went to keeping house there. 

I chopped over twenty acres with my own hands, 
all but four days help of a man. I then sold out my 
chance on this lot, and bought fifty acres in another 
place ; which is a part of my present farm. It was 
then entirely wild, so that I commenced again in the 

I bought it second-handed, and agreed to pay eight 
dollars per acre. I worked some on my land, work- 
ed out some by the day and by the job ; but as grain 
brought but a small price, I concluded that was a 
pretty hard way to get a living, and built a distillery 
near my farm. At this time settlers had come in in 
numbers. Grain was raised in plenty, with no cash 
market for it. Money was scarce, and the little we 
had was what we received for ashes. We cut and 
burned our timber and made hla'ik salts from the 
ashes, which brought cash. I have carried ashes on 
my back to market, until my shoulders were blister- 
.ed, to get a little money to buy necessaries for my 
family. I built my distillery because grain was 
plenty and cheap. I could distill it, take it to mar- 
ket at Rochester and sell it for cash, at a good profit 
to me and to the settler, who sold me his grain, which 
he could not take to another market and make as 
much from it ; and he could raise grain easier than 
he could make and market black salts. 

I sold my distillery in 1830, and determined to 
make farming the business of my life after that. 

The year 1828 is well remembered and distinguish- 
ed, as being ' the sickly season,' through this country. 
The sickness began in July, and in August there were 
not well persons enough in town to take care of the 


eick. And in this neighborhood there was but one 
well man, Amnion Augur, and not one well woman, 
that could get out of the house. Many families suf- 
fered much for lack of help. My family was all sick. 
One day Dr. Robert Nichoson was the only person 
who entered my house. He called, prepared our 
medicine and left it at the head of our beds, and went 
on to other scenes of suffering. That was the most 
gloomy day I ever saw. My wife crept from her bed 
to mine, holding up by the door post, to see if I was 
alive, and then got back to her bed, where lay our 
little daughter, equally helpless. We all spent a 
dreary night. My hired man was down sick at the 
same time. The next day we got help. The years 
1826 and 1827 were also sickly years. I could give 
many cases of suffering in those times, but amid it all 
we had our pleasures, for we were all brethren and 

loved one another. 

Kendall, March, 18G4. 


Was the first white man who settled in what is now 
Kendall. He was. born in Haddara, Conn., Aug. 9, 
1760. He was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, 
during the last three and a half years of its continu- 
ance, serving in a New Hampshire regiment. He win- 
tered with Gen. Washington at Valley Forge, and 
participated in several important battles. He served 
under Gen. Sullivan in his memorable expedition 
against the Indians in Western New York. He had 
a fondness for military life and service ; a trait of 
character transmitted to his descendants, and honor- 
ably exemplified in his grandson, Lieut. Col. Willard 
W. Bates, who was killed while leading his regiment, 
the 8th Heavy Artillery, N. Y. Vols., in a bloody 
battle before Petersburg, Va., in the war of the Re- 


Prom what Mr. Bates saw while with Gen. Sullivan 
he early foi-med a desire to settle in the Genesee coun- 
try, a wish he was afterwards enabled to gratify. 

After leaving the anny, Mr. Samuel Bates resided 
several years in Randolph, Vt., removing from thence 
to Burlington, Vt. Leaving his family in Burlington, 
he came to Kendall, and took up lot 111, town 4, of 
the 100,000 acre tract, having the land 'booked' to 
him, as they called it, that is, having the agent of the 
State of Conn, note on his books that he had gone in- 
to possession, with a view of securing his right to the 
land when it should come in market for sale. Of this 
land, in due time he got a title and it is now owned 
by his son, Capt. H. W. Bates. 

The first year he was in Kendall, he cleared sever- 
al acres of land in the summer of 1813, he sowed two 
acres to wheat, built a log cabin, and returned to 
Burlington after his family, and brought them to 
Kendall in June 1814. His eldest son, Capt. H. W. 
Bates, then about twenty-one j^ears old, accompanied 

On arriving at his new log house he found his wheat 
field in full head, looking fine. The crop so raised 
fumisliing bread for the family the next year. 

Mr. Bates and his family, coming as they did from 
the Green Mountains of Vermont, suffered severly 
from fever and ague, some of the first years after they 
came to Kendall. They were all sick, Mr. Bates himself 
never fully recovering from his acclimating fever. He 
died August 21, 1822. 


Amos Randall was born in Ashburnham, Mass. 
January 3, 1788. He married Fanny Tabor in 1814. 
She was born in Shelburne, Vt., Feb. 11, 1793. 

In 1814, they removed to Avon, and in the spring of 


1815, settled in Kendall, on the farm now occupied 
l)y his son, Hon. Gideon Randall, where he after- 
wards resided, and died Aug. 28, 1830. Mr. Randall 
was a public spirited man, and entered zealously 
into every undertaking for the benefit of his neighbor- 
hood. He acted frequently as counselor and arbitra- 
tor among the settlers, to aid in arranging business 
matters, in Avhicli his neighbors needed such help. 

The first school house was erected on his land where 
the stone school house now stands. 

The first cemetery in town was located on his farm 
and the first burials of the dead were there. 

He was a Supervisor of the town of Murray before 
the county of Orleans was organized, or Murray had 
been divided into the several towns which now include 
its original territory. He left six children, viz : 
Charles T., Gideon, who resides on his paternal home- 
stead, Dr. James W. now a practicing physician in 
Albion, Fanny E. wife of O. M. Green, George W. 
and Amos S. 


David Jones was born in Pembrokeshire in Wales, 
July 17, 1792. He removed to America with his 
father' s family in the year 1801. His father settled 
in New Jersey and his son David remained with him 
until he was eighteen years old, then came to Ontario 
county, New York, where he resided four years, and 
then settled in Kendall in 1815. 

He married Miss Catharine Whitney February 24, 
1824. Their children are Claudius, who married 
Harriet Weed and resides in Illinois ; Thomas, un- 
married ; Almiretta S. J. married C. G. Root ; Seth 
married Sylvia Shelly ; Cynthia Ann married James 
R. Whitney, and David who married Lucy A. Chase 
all of whom reside in Kendall. 

Mr. Jones was poor when he settled in Kendall and 


^^^^^' ,^/>?^<5/ 


Douglit his land on credit. He was a large strong 
man able and willing to labor. He .cleared and im- 
proved a large farm and became a wealthy man. 

Sickness in his family and the want of a market 
for fai^m prodnce made it very difficult for him to ob- 
tain means to pay for his land improvements for some 
years at first. He said he agreed to pay four hundred 
dollars for his first hundred acres, and it was fifteen 
years before it was all paid. 

He was a man of strong native intellect and of 
sound judgment in matters that come within his ob- 
servation or experience, but he never had the benefit 
of much instruction in school. 

He died January 26, 1869. 



Towns Set Off— First Tavern— First Marriage— First Birth— First 
Death— First Store— First Grist Mill— First School— First Church 
— Sanely Creek — McCall & Perry's Mill — Sickness at Sandy Creek 
— Biographies of Early Settlers. 

LARGE part of the western portion of Monroe 
county Avas at first incorporated by the Leg- 
islature in March 1802, as Northampton. 
The town of Murray was formed from Northampton in 
June, 1812. It received its name in honor of John 
Murray, a merchant of the city of New York, who 
was a large proprietor. 

MuiTay, at its formation, included what now com- 
prises the town of Murray, Kendall, Clarendon, Union 
or Hamlin, Clarkson and Sweden. 

Sweden, which included Clarendon, was formed 
from Murray in 1813, and Clarkson, which included 
Hamlin, in 1819. 

Kendall was set off in 1837, leaving the town of 
Murray of its present dimensions. 

The first inn was kept in 1809, by Epaphras Mat- 

Messrs. Wait, Wright, Sisson, Farnsworth, and 
Rockwood, were among the earliest settlers. 

The first marriage was that of Solomon C. Wright 
and Tryphena Farnsworth. 

The first birth was that of Betsey Mattison. 

The first store was at Sandy Creek, by Isaac 
Leach, in 1815. 


The first gristmill was built by Perry and Luce 
in 1817. 

The first school was kept by Fanny Ferguson, in 

The first town meeting in the old town of Murray, 
before it was divided, was held in the barn of John- 
son Bedell, about four miles south of Brockport. 

The first church formed in this town was the Con- 
gregational by Rev. John E. Bliss, January 6th, 

The first settlements in what is now included in the 
town of Murray were made on the Eidge at and near 
Sandy Creek. 

Epaphras Mattison first settled here in 1809. In the 
year 1817, some fifteen or twenty families Jiad located 
at Sandy Creek, and in that year Henry McCall and 
Robert Perry built mills on the creek, their dam 
raising the water so as to ovei-flow eighteen or twenty 
acres then covered with heavy trees, which were left 
standing. The water killed the timber, and a terrible 
sickness followed among the inhabitants, about one- 
quarter of whom died in one season. The well per- 
sons were not nunjerous enough to take care of the 
sick and bu)'y the dead, and settlers from other neigh- 
borhoods came there and helped the needy ones. 
The mill dam was taken down and the sickness dis- 

Mr. Andrew H. Green, of Byron, Genesee county, 
relates that several families were settled at Sandy 
Creek, in 1811. In the fall of that year settlers in 
Byron heard that these people at Sandy Creek were 
nearly all sick and in great suffering, and they made 
up a company of six or eight and went over to help 
them, carrying a load of necessaries. Mr. Green 
says : " I never saw sp helpless a company." Sandy 
Creek was regarded as an unhealthy location for 


some years after its first settlement, occasioned in 
great part by building mills there in the woods. 

The first settlements in what is now Murray were 
made along the Ridge Road. MUls having been buUt 
in early times on Sandy Creek, near where that stream 
crosses the Ridge, mechanics and business men loca- 
ted there, and at the time the Erie Canal was first 
navigable here was a lively village known as Sandy 
Creek, a name by which it has ever since been dis- 

The first post office in town was established here, 
called Murray. 

Though the people suffered tei-ribly from sickness 
about the time mill dams were first built in the 
Creek here, and while neighboring lands were being 
opened to cultivation, yet Sandy Creek was the prin- 
cipal place of business in the town until HoUey and 
Hulberton, on the canal, were settled and gradually 
drew away most of the trade and business to these 
new villages. 



Harley N. Bushnell was born in Starksborough, Vt., 
the youngest of thirteen children in his father's fami- 
ly, Feb. 18th, 1796. When he was fifteen years old 
he went to Connecticut to learn the trade of a clothier 
of his brother. He served as an apprentice in that 
business five years, and received thirty days school- 
ing in the time. In February, 1817, he came to Ba- 
tavia, Genesee county, and went to work at his trade. 
In August afterwards his employer ran away, owing 
Mr. Bushnell one hundred doUars, and the Sheriff 
came and seized all his employer's property, turning 


Bushnell out of business. He finally bought the es- 
tablishment and run it on his own account, and with 
a partner ; but in the end found it a losing business. 
After a time he gave up his trade and was elected 
constable. In this business he was not successful in 
laying up money, and in the end found himself about 
even with the world. 

He did some business as a justice, and labored 
some at his trade until February, 1823, he removed 
to HoUey, north of where the canal now is, which was 
then covered with felled timber, not cle^-red off; 
bought two acres of ground and leased two acres 
more for a mill pond. He commenced getting out 
timber for a house eighteen by twenty-four feet 
square, hewing and framing it at the stump. There 
was considerable snow on the ground, and on the 
snow crust mbraings, he- drew all the timber for his 
house to the spot with a rope over his shoulder. Af- 
ter getting his family settled in his new house, he 
cleared off part of his land, and with the help of his 
neighbors at one or two "bees," he built a log dam, 
got out timber and built a sawmill, and began sawing 
about May 1st, 1824. In 1825, in company with 
Samuel Clark he built works for wool carding and 
cloth dressing at Holley. 

In October, 1826, his house burned with all its con- 
tents. In two weeks he had another house up. In 
June, 1828, he bought the interest of his partner in 
the wool carding and cloth dressing works, which he 
carried on alone until 1833, when he sold out and 
bought a farm. After a few years he sold his farm, 
moved to Holley, and ever after did business as an 
insurance agent. 

For many years he was Superintendent of the Pres- 
byterian Sunday School in Holley. 
, He was one of the founders of the Orleans Countj- 
Pioneer Association, and many years its President. 


He was a kind hearted, genial man, benevolent and 
philanthropic,' earnest and zealous in support of 
every good cause, and died lamented by all who- 
■knew him, October 38th, 1868. 


Aretas Pierce was born in St. Johnsbury, Vermont 
March 27th, 1799. He came with his father's family 
to settle in Clarendon, where he arrived April 7th, 
1815. The family moved into a house built for a 
school house, until they could build a house for 

They built a house and moved into it April 24th, 
1815. The first year they lived on provisions they 
brought in with them. The next year being the cold 
season, they bought rye at one dollar and twenty-five 
cents a bushel, and pork at twenty-five dollars a bar- 
rel, in Palmyra. The next year they were out of 
bi'ead stuff before harvest, and ate green wheat boiled 
in milk as a substitute, and what is strange none of 
the family had dyspepsia ! 

He married Matilda Stedman, May 8th, 1823, and 
has always resided on the lot originally taken by his 

When his father came in it was an unbroken wil- 
derness on the west, from his place to the Oak Or- 
chard Eoad, eight miles ; north to Sandy Creek, four 
miles; east two miles; south to Parwell's Mills, 
Eldridge Farwell, A. Dudley, John Cone, Wm. Aus- 
tin and Mr.. West, had settled in Clarendon, an^ 
other settlers towards Sandy Creek came in the same- 
year with Mr. Pierce. , A few came before them. 

In the years 1817-18, the inhabitants in this settle- 
ment suffered for want of food. 

Samuel Miller worked for Artemas Daggett chop-^ 
ping wood for one dollar a day and board himpelf. 
All he had to eat, most of the time, was corn meal 


jind water ; but he did not complain or tell of it 

Ebenezer Fox settled a mile and a half east of 
Murray depot, and all they had to eat for a number 
of weeks was what they could pick up in the woods. 
The best they could find was the inner bark of the 
beech tree. 

Mrs. Fox had a young babe, and her next oldest 
child was in feeble health, and she had to nurse them 
. both to keep them from starving. 

Almost all the money the settlers had was obtained 
Tsy leaching ashes and boiling the lye to black salts, 
and taking these to Gaines or Clarkson and selling 
them for about three dollars a hundred pounds. 

After 1818 the country filled up rapidly with set- 
tlers and more produce began to be raised than was 
wanted for home consumption. The price of wheat 
fell to twenty-five cents a bushel, and only thirty-one 
cents after hauling to Rochester, and so remained un- 
til the Erie Canal was opened. 

Mr. Pierce settled on lands owned by the Pultney 
estate, and these did not come into market for sale 
until 1821, though settlers were allowed to locate 
themselves with the expectation of buying their land 
when it came into market. The price of his lot was 
fixed at eight dollars per acre, but having expended 
so much in building and clearing, he was compelled 
to pay the price or suffer loss by abandoning all he 
had done. 

The reason given by the company for not bringing 
their lands into market was, they had '' so much bus- 
iness on hand they could not attend to it," but the 
settlers thought they were waiting to have the canal 
located before establishing their price. 


Hubbard Eice was born in Pompey, Onondaga coun- 


ty, July 28th, 1795. He removed with his father to 
the town of Murray, and settled on a lot adjoining 
the village of HoUey, in May 1812. His father, Mr. 
William Rice, continued to ^-eside on this place until 
about the year 1830, he went to Ohio to reside with 
his children, and died the^ e. 

Hubbard Rice lived with his father until 1825, then 
he moved to the south part of Clarendon, where he 
remained until he removed to Holley in 1864, where 
he still resides, 1871. 

After Lewiston was burned in the late war with 
England, Mr. Hubbard Rice, then a boy of eighteen 
years, volunteered as a soldier and served a campaign 
on the Niagara Frontier. 

Coming to Holley when a boy, he grew up to man- 
hood there, seeing and sharing' in all the toils, dan- 
gers, hardships and privations which the settlers en- 

He has been spared to a ripe old age to witness the 
founding, growth and development of a beautiful vil- 
lage on a spot he has seen when it was a native forest 
covered with mighty hemlocks, through which now 
by canal, railroad and telegraph, the commerce and 
intelligence of the world are flowing. 


Chauncey Robinson was born in Durham, Connect- 
icut, January 5th, 1792. When he was two years 
old he was carried with his father' s family to Sauquoit, 
Oneida county, N. Y., where, to use his own words, 
" I was educated in a district school, and graduated, 
at twelve years of age, between the plow han- 

He removed to Clarendon, Orleans county, and set- 
tled about two miles south of Farwell's Mills, July 
1813; cleared a farm and carried it on until May, ] 851, 


lie removed to Holley, where he resided until his 
death, which took place May 8th, 1866. 

In the war with England in 1814, he was called out 
with the other inhabitants of the frontier generally to 
aid in repelling the British who were then besieging 
Fort Erie. 

He was several months in this service ; was in the 
battle and sortie at Fort Erie, September 17th, 1814, 
which was the last battle of the war fought on this 

Very few families ha^l located in Clarendon when 
Mr. Robinson went there. He began in the woods, 
built a log house, and all its fixtures, furnitlire and 
surroundings, were in the primitive stj'lc of those 

He was a man of ardent temperament, a lluent and 
earnest talker in private conversation or ])ublic de- 
bate, noted for his intense hatred of slavt^ry and op- 
pression, and his love of freedom and free govern- 
ment, and for his zeal in the cause of temperant-e. 
Upon this and kindred topics he frequently wrote ai- 
ticles for the newspapers. 

He was an active man in organizing the town Vif 
Clarendon, laying out and opening highways, and loca- 
ting school districts, frequently holding public office; 
as the gift of his fellow townsmen. He was Supervisor 
of Clarendon four years in succession. He was an 
original and free thinker on those subjects of publii- 
policy which excited his attention, enforcing his doc- 
trines with a zeal which some of his opponents thought 

In his personal habits he was industrious, frugal 
and temperate. When he was an old man he said ^ 
"I have never used one pound of tea, coffee, or to- 
bacco, and comparatively little liquor; none for the 
last tliirty years; not even cider. My constant drink 
at home and abroad is cold water." 



Hiram Frisbie was bom in Granville, K". Y., Aug., 
1791. He first came to Orleans county with a view of 
taking the job of building the embankment for the 
Erie Canal, at Holle^'. Failing in this he went with 
his brother-in-law, William Pierpont, to Farwell's 
Mills in the town of Clarendon, and opened a store 
there in 1821. They sold goods and made pot and 
pearl ashes there, Pierpont also keeping tavern seve- 
ral years, when Pierpont sold out the whole business 
to Mr. Frisbie, who managed it all alone several 
years, until the insolvency of some leading merchants 
in Holley made an opening for his business there, 
lie then closed out in Clarendon and moved to Holley 
to reside about the year 1828 or 1829. 

In connexion with Mr. James Seymour of Clarksou^ 
he bought all the unsold land in Holley, of a one 
hundred acre tract, which had been taken up origi- 
nally by Mr. Areovester Hamlin. 

At Holley he sold goods as a merchant, built hous- 
es, sold village lots, bought produce, opened streets, 
alid became wealthy from the rise in price of his 
lands and the profits of his trade. 

He was appointed postmaster soon after he came 
to Holley, an office he held fifteen years. 

Some years ago he was thrown from his carriage 
while driving some high spirited horses, several of his 
bones broken, and was so badly injured as to render 
him incapable of active bodily labor^ as before. He 
still resides in Holley, one of the few old men yet re- 
maining who settled here before the canal was made, 
enjoying in quiet the avails of a long life of busy in- 
dustry and sagacious investment. 


.Facob Hinds was born in the town of Arlington, 


Bennington county, Vt. He settled in the town of 
Murray in 1829, and bought a farm which liad been 
taken up by article from the State of Connecticut by 
Jared Luttenton. 

The Erie Canal passes through this farm. Boating 
on the canal was then brisk, and iio station between 
Albion'and Hulberton was established at which boat- 
men could get their supplies. 

Mr. I-Iinds built a grocery store and began that 

. It was a good location from which to ship wheat, 
which began to be produced in considerable quanti- 
ties, and Mr. Hinds built a warehouse in 1830. 
About this time his brothers Joel, Darius, and Frank- 
lin, came on and joined him in business, and being 
active, energetic business men, a little settlement 
sprang up around them, which was named Hinds- 

J acob Hinds had been engaged in boating on the 
canal and became acquainted with the canal and its 
boatmen and men engaged in trafic through it; in 1839 
he was appointed Superintendent of Repairs on the 
western section, an office he held three years. 

After an interval of ten years, in 1849 he Was elec- 
ted one of the State Canal Commissioners and served 
three years in that capacity. 

Since retiring from these offices, Mr. Hinds has 
followed farming as his principal occupation. 


Austin Day was born in Winhall, Vermont, April 
10th, 1789. 

He married Polly Chapman, July 23d, 1810. He 
moved to the town of Murray ,in the winter of 

For some years after he came to M urray he served , 
as a constable, and being a good talker he practiced 



pettifogging, or acted: as counsel in Justice' s courts, 
and for a number of years, and until professional 
lawyers came in, he did a large business. 

After the Erie Canal was .made navigable he en- 
gaged in buying wheat, which he followed some 
jj^ears, shipping large quantities chiefly from Holley. 

He was appointed Judge in the Old Court of Com- 
mon Pleas, of Orleans county, an office ]ie held five 

He was elected Sheriff of Orleans county in No- 
vember, 1847, and held the office three years. la 
January, 1848, he removed to Albion, where until 
within a few years he lias resided. He was Supervi- 
sor of BaiTe in 1852. 

His wife died October 15th, 1858, which broke up 
his family, and since then he has resided in the fami- 
ly of his son, P. A. Day, in Albion, and lately with 
his daughter, Mrs. Buell, in Holley, relieved from the 
cares and anxieties of btisiness. 

ELl.JAH w. wooo. 

Elijah AV. Wood was born in Pelham, Mass., 
April 22d, 1782. He removed to the town of Murray 
at an early day, where for many years he served as 
Constable and Jiistice of the Peace, and during one 
terra of five years he was Judge in the Old Court of 
Common Pleas of Orleans county. 
' He was a shrewd and successful pettifogger in jus- 
tices' courts, where he made up in wit and natural 
sagacity any lack he may have suffi?red in legal at- 
tainments. He died in Murray at tlie age of eighty 


" 1 was born in St. Johnsbury, A'ennont, in 1795. 
My father removed with his family, including myself. 


to Leroy, New York, in 1816. We were twenty-one 
days on the journey. 

I came to Murray in 1817, and taught school in 
district 'No. 8, in a log house in which a family re- 
sided at the time. My wages was nine shillings a 
week and boarded among my patrons. I' taught 
eight months during which time I was happy and 
fared well. 

While I was boarding at the house of David Gould, 
in the winter time, his stock of fodder for his cattle 
gave out and he was obliged to feed them with 
'browse,' and to save them from starving on such 
fare he went to Victor, Ontario County, and bought a 
load of corn for his cattle. His brother-in-law brought 
the corn to Murray on a sleigh with two horses, 
and arrived at Mr. Gould's house late in the evening 
of a cold and stormy night. 

There was no stable nearer than Sandy Creek, three 
miles, where the horses could be sheltered. Mr. 
Gould's house had but one room, but it was conclud- 
ed to keep the horses there over night. Mr. Gould 
and wife occupied a bed in a corner of the room, two 
girls and myself had our bed with its foot at the side 
of Mr. Gould' s bed, and the horses stood in the other 
corner and ate their vcorn, and thus we all slept that 
night as we could. 

I married Artemas Daggett, February 14th, 1819, 
and commenced house-keeping on the farm where I 
now reside, September, 1870. 

Mr. Daggett died in 1831 and left me with three 
small children and one hundred acres of land, owing 
about nine hundred dollars. In two years I raised 
the money and paid our debts and took a deed of the 

About this time I married Isaac Smith, with whom 
I lived in peace and plenty until his death in Au- 
gust, 1866. 


During a great sickness at Sandy Creek, Mr. Brace, 
Ms wife, and six children resided there. One of his 
daughters fell sick and went to the house of a dpc- 
tress in town to be treated. Others of the children 
were taken ill. Mr. Brace was notified that his 
daughter under the doctress' care was much worse 
and he went to see her. She died and he was taken 
down sick and could not go home. In the mean 
time a son at home died. Mrs. Brace had taken sole 
care of him in his sickness, and while watching his 
corpse the dead body of Mr. Brace was brought 
home and father and- son buried at the same time. 
The other sick ones recovered. 

At this time Mr. Aretas Pierce, Sr., who lived four 
mUes away, came and found the Brace family misera- 
bly poor, and destitute of all the comforts and most 
of the necessaries of life." He went about and got a 
contribution, and next day the pressing wants of the 
family were supplied by the benevolent settlers 

Murray, September, 1870. 


Alansou Mansfield was born in Vermont, March 
9th, 1793. 

With an ax.whicli constituted his whole personal es- 
tate, he came into the town of Murray in the year 
1814, and hired out to work, chopping until he earned 
enough to take an article of lot number two hundred 
and nineteen, a little north of Hindsburgh. He then 
returned to Vermont to bring his father's family to 
settle on his land. They started from Vermont, his 
father and mother and six children, — Alanson be- 
ing oldest of the children, — with a pair of horses 
and a ' sleigh, in which was a barrel of pork 
and some meal, a few household goods and the fami- 



ly. A milch cow was led behind. The pork and 
meal and milk of the oow supplied most of their pro- 
visions on the road, and helped sustain them after 
arriving in Murray, until they could otherwise be 

They arrived in the winter of 1815, put up a log 
house for a dwelling, and began clearing the timber 
from a piece of land, and the first season planted 
the corn from foiir ears among the logs, from which 
they raised a good* crop. 

He married Polly Hart, in Murray, October 14th, 
1817. Her father settled near where Murray depot 
now stands, in 1816. 

He united with the Baptist church in HoUey, in 
1831. The next year the Gaines and Murray Baptist 
church on the Transit was formed, and Mr. Mansfield 
united with them and was chosen deacon. He was a 
worthy, honored and good man, and died respected 
by all who knew him, September 30th, 1850. 


Abner Balcom was born in Richfield, Otsego Co., 
N. Y., September 15, 1796, and brpught'up in Hope- 
well, Ontario county. 

He married Ruth Williams, of Hopewell, March, 
1816. She died in March, 1822. j, 

In the fall of 1822, he married Pliilotheta Baker.- 
She died February 7th, 1865, and for his third wife 
he married Mrs. Philena Waring. 

In the fall of 1812, in company with his older 
brother, Horace, and two other men, he chopped over 
twenty-two acres on lot one hundred and ninety-two, 
which Horace had purchased, and on which he set- 
tled in the spring of 1816, and where he died. This 
was the first clearing in Murray, on this line between 
the Ridge and Clarendon. 

Mr. Abner Balcom first settled in the town of 


Ridgeway, on the farm now or lately owned by Gros- 
venor Daniels, to whom he sold it and removed to 
Murray before the canal was made. 
' In company with Mr. Hiel Brockway he built the 
dam and mills on the west branch of Sandy Creek, 
on lot one hundred and ninety-five, near which he 
has ever since resided. - 

These mills, a sawmill and gristmill, are known 
as "Balcom's Mills," and in them Mr. Balcomhas 
always retained an interest. 

Mr. Balcom has always been much respected 
among his fellow townsmen. He has held all the 
town offices except clerk. He served as Supervisor 
of Murray in 1847-8. He is an influential and consis- 
tent member of the Transit Baptist church, in which 
he has been deacon. 

His son, Francis Balcom, was among the volunteers 
who went into the Union Army in the first years of 
the great rebellion, and was killed in battle while 
gallantly fighting to save the country which the in- 
structions of his father and the instincts of his own 
nature had taught him to love. 


Reuben Bryant was born at Templeton, Worces- 
ter county, Massachusetts, July 13th, 1792. He 
graduated at Brown University, Rhode Island, about 
the year 1815. 

After some time spent in teaching, he removed to 
Livingston county, N. Y., and studied law in the of- 
fice of the late Judge Smith, in Caledonia. Having 
been admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court, he 
settled to practice his profession in HoUey about 
the year 1823, in which village he was the pioneer 

In the fall of 1849 he removed to Albion, and in 
1855 he removed to Bufi"alo to aid his only son, Wil- 


Bam C. Bryant, a rising young lawyer just getting 
into practice in that city. 

He was appointed Master in Chancery by Governor 
Silas Wright, an office he held when the Court of 
Chancery was abolished under the Constitution of 

He was a thorough classical scholar, and had his 
mind well stored with Greek and Latin lore, which he 
delighted to quote in social moments with his friends 
when circumstances made it proper. 

As a lawyer he had a clear perception of the law 
and the facts, and of their bearing in his cases ; but 
he was too exact, cautious, and diffident of himself 
to be an advocate. All his life he suffered from a 
malady which was a perpetual burden and cross to 
him, and annoyed him in hia business. He died in 
Buffalo in January, 1863. 



Areovester Hamlin — First Store — Post Office — ^Frisbie & Seymour—^ 
Early Merchants — ^First Sawmill — Lawyer — Tavern — justice ot 
the Peace — Salt Brine — Mammoth Tooth — Salt Port — Presbyterian 
Church — Salt Spring. 

OLLEY, situate in the town of Murray, is 
a vUlage which owes its existence to the Erie 
Canal. The site of this village was originally 
covered with a heavy growth of hemlock trees. These 
were mostly standing when the canal was surveyed 
through, l)ut it teing apparent a town must grow up 
here, a vigorous settlement had been begun when 
work on the great embankment was commenced. 

Areovester Hamlin took up one hundred acres of 
land of the State of Connecticut, which included most 
of the present village of HoUey, about the the year 
1820, and immediately commenced clearing off the 
timber and laid out a village. 

Col. Ezra Brainard was the contractor who built 
the embankment for the canal over Sandy Creek, and 
while that work was progressing settlers came in and 
began to build up the place. 

Mr. Hamlin erected a store in which he traded. He 
built an ashery and carried on that business ; he also 
built the first warehouse on the canal. 

To help his village, and accommodate the settlers 
who were coming in, he got a post office established 
here of which he was first postmaster. He was an 


enterprising, active business man, but attempted to 
do more business than his means would permit, and 
failed. All his property was sold out by the Sheriff 
about the year 1828 or 1829. 

Mr. John AV. Strong opened a store here a little af- 
ter Mr. Hamlin, and he also failed about the time Mr. 
Hamlin did, when Hiram Frisbie and James Seymour 
purchased all the real estate that Hamlin had not 
sold to other settlers. 

Mr. Frisbie came here in 1828 and opened a store 
and commenced selling goods, a business in which he 
has more or less been engaged ever since. 

Mr. Frisbie bought out the interest of Mr. Seymour 
many years ago, and he has sold out the greater j)art 
of his tract of land into village lots. 

Among the early merchants, after those named, 
were Mower and Ward well, and Selby & ]!^ewe]]. 
Alva Hamlin, Geo. A. Porter, S. Stedman, and E. 
Taylor were carpenters and joiners, who settled hen^ 
in an early day. John Avery and brother were the 
first blacksmiths. Samuel Cone was the first shoe- 
maker. Dr. McClough first physician. 

Harley Jf. Bushnell built a sawmill on the creek 
north of the canal, in 1824. 

Reuben Bryant settled as a lawyer in HoUey about 
the time the canal was made and was tlie first lawyej-. 
John Onderdonk was the first tailor. 

A man by the name of Samuel Cone built and kept 
a tavern where the Mansion House now stands ; and 
a Mr. Barr built and kept another tavern house, a 
little west of the Mansion House. Both of these 
taverns were before the Canal was navigable. 

Turner was the first Justice of the Peace. 

The Presbyterian and Baptist meeting houses wer*'. 
built in 1831. 

Major William AUis came here as a clerk in the 
store of John W. Strong. After the closing out of 



Mr. strong's business Maj. AUis carried on business 
as a produce dealer and served a term as Sheriff of 
Orleans County. 

Salt was found in the ravine on the bank of the 
creek south of the canal. A brine spring was.located 
near where the railroad crosses the creek. In its nat- 
ural state this was known as a ' deer lick.' When 
the State of Connecticut sold the land on which this 
spring was found, in tlie deed given they reserved all 
mines, minerals and salt springs. The State after- 
wards agreed with Mr. John Reed that he should 
open the spring and test the water and share half the 
avails with the State. Mr. Reed dug out the spring, 
set two kettles near the creek in the ravine and com- 
menced boiling the water for salt. AVhen the water 
was pumped from the well it appeared limpid and 
clear, after boiling it became red colored, and if then 
boiled down to salt it remained red colored salt. To 
remedy this he boiled the water, then drew it off in 
vats to settle, the coloring matter fell to the bottom, 
the clear brine was then returned to the kettles, and 
made white salt. 

Reed commenced boiling in 1814. After a time six- 
teen kettles were set here to make salt and used un- 
til navigation was opened in the canal, when Onon- 
daga salt could be furnished here so cheap these 
works were abandoned. Indeed, they never afforded 
a profit to those working them. 

The wood for the fires was cut on the west side of 
the creek mainly, and drawn upon the top of the 
bank, of proper-length to put under the kettles, and 
thrown down the bank through a spout made of tim- 
ber. A load of wood was sold at the works for a 
bushel of salt, or one dollar. Although the brine so 
obtained was comparatively^ weak, they made hun- 
di^eds of bushels of salt, which was sold to settlers in 
this vicinity, and carried away in bags. 


Some years after the canal was dug, Erastus Cone 
bored for stronger brine to a depth of nearly one 
hundred feet, near the old spring, but the result did 
not warrant his making salt there and none has been 
made since. 

The first school house in the village of Holley was 
made of logs, about th^ year 1815, and stood not fai' 
from the present railroad depot. It had no arrange- 
ments for making a fire in it, and was used for a 
school only in the summer, for several years. The 
first teacher in this school was Lydia Thomas, after- 
wards Mrs. Henry Hill. 

When laborers were excavating and building the 
canal embankment, a tooth of some huge animal, a 
mammoth, perhaps, was dug up. The tooth was a 
grinder, and weighed two pounds and two oxinces. 
N"o other bones of such a creature have been found, 
and it has been conjectured this tooth must have been 
shed there by the animal to which it belonged, when 
it came after salt. It is now in the State collection in 

HoUey was sometimes called 'Salt Port,' by the 
boatmen ; but that name was soon dropped for Hol- 
ley, a name given to the village in honor of Myron 
Holley, one of the Canal Commissioners, when the 
canal was dug. 

On the 5th of January, 1819, a Congregational 
Church was organized at the village of Sandy Creek, 
in Murray, which was distinguished as the ' Congre- 
gational Church of Sandy Creek.' July 13, 1831, bj- 
act of the Presby.tery of Eochester, this Church was 
united with the Presbyterian Church in Clarendon, 
and removed to Holley, where the new organization 
was thereafter known as the ' Church of Murray.' 

The village of Holley was incorporated under ttie 
general Act of the Legislature, July 1, 1850. 



Joseph Budd — Canal Basin — First "Warehouse — First Grocery — First 
Tavern — I. H. S. Hulbert — First Named Scio — Methodist Society — 
Ahijah Reed and Sons. 

HE village of Hulberton is a canal village 
in the town of Murray. Joseph Budd, from, 
the county of Rensselaer, New York, settled 
liereinMay, 1826, and purchased of a former proprietor 
about one hundred acres of land lying on both sides 
of the canal. At first Mr. Budd resided in a log 
house standing a little south of the Methodist Meeting; 
house. He afterwards erected a substantial stone 
dwelling in which h(i resided, noAv occupied by Mr.. 
Marcus H. Phillips. 

Mr. Budd was a large hearted, generous and public 
spirited man, with sagacity enough to see here must 
be a village if the advantages were properly improved, 
and he set to work accordingly. 

In 1828 he dug a basin in the south bank of the 
canal west of the bridge, large enough for canal boat& 
to turn about in, and commenced to sell village lots tO' 
such as he could induce to purchase of him. Settlers 
soon located here. 

In 1830, Dr. Frisbie built a warehouse on the basin. 
Budd had dug out. This was the first ware- 

Isaac H. S. Hulburt opened a grocery on the 
tow path east of the bridge in 1830, being the first 


Orsamus Squire built and occupied a store on the 
lot now used for a hotel, in 1828. This was the first 

This store was altered over and fitted up for a 
tavern, and the first tavern kept here by Timothy 
Tuttle, in 1832. 

In 1833 Mr. Budd caused his land next to the high- 
way and canal to be laid out into village lots by A. 
Oantine, surveyor, and the village has been built on 
this plan. 

I. H. S. Hulburt was an active business man, who 
sold goods, bought faim produce, staves and lumber, 
and drove a brisk trade with the boatmen, and served 
as justice of the peace. 

Finding it inconvenient to go over to Sandy Creek, 
on the Ridge for all their mail business, he applied 
for a post office here. 

The village was named Scio at an early day by Mr. 
<3reorge Squire. 

On examining for a name for the new post office, it 
Avas found there was one post office named Scio in 
New York ali-eady, and the village name of Scio was 
■changed to Hulberton, in honor of Mr. Hulburt, b,y 
which name the village and the post office have ever 
since been called. 

The post office was established in 1835, 1. H. S. Hul- 
burt, first postmaster. 

Mr. Joseph Budd was a religious man, and desiring 
to promote the cause of religion and good morals 
among the people in his settlement, he invited Elders 
Wooster and Hemenway of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, to make this one of their preaching stations, 
and through these instrumentalities, a society and 
ohurch of Methodists was organized. This society 
•erected their meeting house in 1835. Its trustees 
at that time were I. H. S. Hulburt, Samuel Cope- 


land, Hiram Hibbard, Joseph Bxidd, aUd George 

Among the prominent business men whose wealth 
and industry aided largely to build up Hulberton, 
were the Reed family, consisting of Abijah Reed 
and his sons Epenetus, Hercules and Jacob, and his 
son-in-law Edward Mulford. 

They were merchants, upright, honorable, and fair, 
who came here from Greene county, N. Y. They en- 
joyed the confidence of the community, and carried! 
on a large business while they lived. 

Gilbert Turner was the first blacksmith, and Wm. 
Perrigo was the first shoemaker. 

Among the early settlers in and near Hulberton 
were Remember S. Wheeler, George Squire, and 
Hanford Phillips, who bought the farm on which Mr, 
Budd formerly resided and on which he set ,out the 
apple orchard, which has since become justly cele- 
brated, now owned by Mr. Phillips. 

Mr. Joseph Budd, who is worthy to be called the- 
Pioneer of Hulberton, died in May, 1856. 



Jacob Luttenton— Jacob Hinds and Brothers— First Warcliouse— Jabc/, 
Allison— First Hotel. 

INDSBURGH, a little village in the town ot 
Murray, is situated on land which was first 
settled by Jacob Luttenton, who built the first 
house here. Mr L. sold out to Jacob Hinds in 1829, 
and Mr. Hinds commenced building up a village, 
Mr. Hinds built the first warehouse in 1830, and the 
first tavern in 1835. 

He, in connexion with his brother Joel, built the 
first store for selling dry goods and groceries, in 1835, 
opened it for trade in 1836. 

In the year 1832, considerable trade having been 
established here, and the emigration to Kendall and 
other places north generally, making this its point of 
debarkation from the canal^ the Hinds Brothers and 
their neighbors in public meeting resolved to call 
their place Hindsburgh, believing a small village 
would be here located. 

The trade in produce proving good at Hindsburgh, 
. Mr. W. "Whitney, of Rochester, built another ware- 
house here in 1836. 

Hindsburgh has always been a good place from 
which to ship the abundant crops of grain, apples, 
and farm produce raised in this neighborhood. As 
long as travel by passengers went by the canal, boats 
stopping here, with the help of local trade, made busi- 
ness lively. 


Several grocery stores have been kept here, a num- 
ber of mechanics maintained, and a large trade in 
drj^ goods sustained by the Hinds Brothers and 

The death of Joel and Darius Hinds, the removal 
of their younger brother Franklin to Iowa, and the 
death of Jabez Allison, who was an early settler 
J lere, and who had dealt largely in produce, seemed to 
check the transaction of business, and for some time 
Hindsburgh has not increased in trade or popula- 

Mr. Allison was for many years a justice of the 
peace, and Supervisor of the town. 



Formed from Batavia— First Town Meeting — Turner, Wliite & Hook- 
er's Grist Mill— First Saw Mill— Dr. "Wm. White— Salt Works- 
Seymour Murdock — Eli Moore First Tavern Keeper and Merch- 
ant—School Districts — First School — Universalist Society— First 
Stage — Isaac Bennett — Biographies of Early Settlers. 

IDGEWAY was formed from the town of Ba- 
tavia, June 8th, 1812, and included in its 
original limits what now comprises Ridgeway, 
Gaines, Barre, Shelby, Yates and Carlton. 

In 1830 the west tier of lots in the town of Gaines, 
and three lots lying next south of them in Barre, be- 
ing part of the most western tier of lots in the 15th town- 
ship, second range of the Holland Purchase, were 
added to the east side of Ridgeway, in order to in- 
clude the whole village of Knowlesville in onn 

This town was named from the Ridge Road, or 
natural embankment called "The Ridge," which runs 
through the county, parallel with the shore of Lake 
Ontario, and was the first town incorporated in Or- 
leans count)'. 

The first town meeting in this county was held at 
Oak Orchard, in Ridgeway, April 6th, 1813. At 
this meeting Oliver Booth, of Gaines Corners, was 
elected Supen'isor. 

A bounty of five dollars on each wolf killed iu 
town was voted yearly at several town meetings. 

Judge Otis Turner removed with Ids family from 


Palmyra, N. Y., and settled at Oak Orchard in No- 
vember, 1811. His brother-in-law, Dr. Wm. White, 
came from Palmyra shortly after and settled near 
Mr. Turner. 

Turner, White cS: Hooker built a grist mill on Oak 
Orchard Creek, between tlic Ridge and Medina in 

The Holland Company built a sawmill on the same 
creek, near Medina, in 1805. 

Dr. William White was the first physician who 
settled in Orleans Co. After a few years he removed 
to Albion and built a sawmill there on Sandy Creek, 
a little south of the village. 

As settlers came in Dr. White gave more attention 
to the practice of his profession, and did a large busi- 
ness. And about the time of the digging and, open- 
ing of the canal, he kept a small drug store in con- 
nexion with his other business, practicing medicine in 
partnership with Dr. O. Nichoson. 

AVhen Orleans county was organized lie was ap- 
pointed the first Surrogate. 

He was afterwards engaged in boating on tliecanal; 
then carried on a farm in Carlton, and about 1842 he 
returned to Albion and resumed tlie practice of med- 
icine, adopting the homeopathic system. Not getting 
much practice he removed to Holley, where he served 
several years as justice of the peace of Murray, and 
died a few years after. 

The Holland Company cut out roads to tlie brine 
springs north of Medina, and built works for making 
salt. But little salt was made until the works passed 
into possession of Isaac Beijinett, in ]818. He bored 
about one hundred and fifty feet and obtained brine 
which he boiled into salt, having at one time as many 
as seventy kettles in use, furnishing a large portion 
of all the salt used in this portion of the country. 
At the time of opening tht^ canal tht^so salt works 


were superseded by Onondaga salt, and discontinued. 

Mr. James H. Perry, of Ridgeway, has furnished 
the following additional history of this town : 

"The first permanent settlement in this town was 
made hy Seymour Murdock. In the spring of 1810, 
he started with his family to remove to western New 
York to settle where he might find a place to suit. 
Arriving at Avon, he left his family there, which con- 
sisted of twelve besides himself, and with his oldest 
son went to the land office at Batavia. He there learned 
that the Ridge Road had been opened, and a few set- 
tlements made on it. 

From Batavia he went to Buffalo, followed down 
the river to Lewiston, then went east along the Ridge 
Road, and when about two miles east of the western 
boundary of Orleans county, he came to two men by 
the name of Lampson, eating their dinner by a tree 
they had just cut down. 

These men had contracted with the Holland Com- 
pany to buy part of lot twenty-four, township fif- 
teen, range four, and Mr. Murdock purchased of 
them their rights to the land they had selected. This 
done he returned to Avon after his family, going by 
way of Batavia, while his son went east on the Ridge 
to find the best route to get through. 

His eldest daughter declared she would go no far- 
ther into the woods and was left at Avon. Taking 
the remainder of the family he started for Ridgeway, 
traveling through a dense forest to Clarkson, thence 
west on the Ridge Road, they reached their new 
home June 1st, 1810. 

A Mr. William Davis began to build a log house 
on the lot next west of Murdock' s about this time, 
but did not move his family there till September, 

Soon after this two men located at the Salt Works 
one and one-half miles south of the Ridge on the bank 


of Oak Orchard Creek, in a log house erected by the 
Land Company. 

Erza D. Barnes came the same summer and boarded 
atMurdocks while he was buUdinghis house two and 
a half miles east, and working two days in each 
week for Mr. Murdock to pay for his board. At that 
time there was in the present town of Ridgeway five 
horses, two yoke of oxen, and three cows, all the an- 
imals of the kind in town. These were brought in 
by Seymour Murdock. 

Eli Moore moved to Ridgeway Corners in the spring 
of 1811, and built a block house which he opened as a 
tavern the same season, and which still comprises a 
part of the large hotel standing there. 

The same season he opened a small store for the 
sale of dry goods and groceries, which makes him no 
doubt the pioneer landlord and merchant of Ridge- 
way, if not of Orleans county. 

Sholes and Cheeney were thtS first blacksmiths, 
Isaac A. BuUard the first tanner and currier and 
shoemaker. Dr. Wm. White the first physician, Israel 
Douglass the first justice of the peace, Cyrus Har- 
wood the first lawyer, arid Elijah Hawley the first 

In 1814, the town was divided into school districts, 
by William White, Micah Harrington and Gideon 
Freeman, three Commissioners of Common Schools. 

District No. 2 extended on the Ridge from the 
County Line on the west to Oak Orchard Creek on 
the east, a distance of about seven miles, the bounda- 
ries north and- south were unlimited. 

The first school was built of logs, in 1815, on 
the north-west corner of lot number twenty-four, on 
the south side of the Ridge Road. 

The first school in town was taught by Betsey 
Murdock in 1814, in a barn built by her father, 
Seymour Murdock. This barn is still standing. 


A daughter of William Davis was the first person 
who died in town. She was buried about a mile west 
of the Corners, in what is probably the oldest bury- 
ing ground in town, and by some said to be the old- 
est in the County. 

The first birtli in toAvn was a daughter of John 

The first Universalist Society was organized Dec, 
14, 1833. Mrs. Julia A. Perry gave them a site on 
which their present church edifice was erected and 
dedicated in June, 1835. Rev. Charles Hammond 
was the fii-st pastor of that church. 

Mr. Hildreth, of Vienna, drove the first public con- 
veyance for carrying passengers, and the mail between 
Rochester and Lewiston, being a covered vi^agon 
drawn by two horses. 

When Isaac Bennett commenced salt boiling at Oak 
Orchard, Israel and Seymour B. Murdock, contract- 
ed to furnish him sixty -five cauldron kettles by a day 
set. They bought the kettles near Utica, sent them 
by lake to the mouth of Oak Orchard Creek, where 
they did not arrive until the day before the contract 
expired. They raised teams enough to transport all 
the kettles to tlie Salt Works, at one trip in time to 
perform their contract and get their pay in gold." 



Mr. Douglass was born in New Milford,^ Connecti- 
cut, November 20, 1777. He moved to Scottsville, 
Monroe County, N. Y., in 1806. In 1810, he removed 
to the town of Batavia, now Ridgeway, Orleans Co. 
He was the first Justice of the Peace in Orleans Co. 


having been appointed previous to 1812, for the town 
of Batavia. 

At tlie first town meeting held in and for the town 
of Eidgeway, after that town was set off from Bata- 
via, at the house of John G. Brown, at Oak Orchard, 
April 6, 1813, he was elected town Clerk. This was 
the first town oflBcer elected by the people residing in 
what is now Orleans County. 

There being no magistrate to preside at town meet- 
ing in the new town of Ridgeway, a Justice by the 
name of Smith was sent from Batavia for that pur- 
pose. The other town officers w6re elected afterwards 
at the same meeting. 

Mr. Douglass held the office of Justice of the Peace 
for three terms in Ridgeway ; he also held various 
other town offices, and at one time was Justice, Over- 
seer of the Poor and Supervisor. 

He was generally and justly regarded as an 
honest, fair minded man, and one of the best 
business men in the county. He always resided on 
the Ridge Road, near Oak Orchard Creek. Mr. 
Douglass died January 2, 1864, aged 86 years. 


"I was born in Clai'endon, Rutland County, Ver- 
mont, April 30, 1793. My father gave me a good 
common school education, with a few months study 
at an academy. 

On the first day of May, 1815, I left home with a 
friend, and spent most of the next summer exploring 
the western country. We bought land in the town of 
Ridgeway, then nearly three miles away from any set- 
tlement. I returned to A^ermont to prepare for perma- 
nent settlement on my land the next spring. 

When the time came to go back, my friend was 
sick and could not go, and my father permitted my 


younger brother Josias, not then twenty-one years of 
age, to accompany me. 

We began our. journey February 14, 1816, with a 
good yoke of oxen and wagon, and in company with 
another team we went on our weary way. 

We bought two barrels of pork at Skaneatelas, 
which completed our outfit. AVe arrived at our new- 
home March 6, 1816, being twenty-one days on the 
road.. I cut the first tree that was cut on the farm on 
which I now live, lot seventeen, township fifteen, 
range three. Wf>, my brother and I, kept ' bachelors 
hall' on my land two years. 

In October, 1816, my brother went to Vermont, 
leaving me in the woods alone, out of sight, and hear- 
ing of my neighbors. I suffered many hardships that 
winter, principally for want of proper food. I cut all 
the trees I could and fed our oxen on the tops, for we 
had raised little in that cold season for the sustenance 
of man or beast. I enjoyed my work well, but the 
nights were long and lonesome. 

On leaving home, my mother gave me her bible and 
-I read it through that winter by fire light. 

My brother returned in February. The next win- 
ter I left him to 'keej) house,' but in comparative 
comfort, for we had plenty qf provisions. 

I went to Vermont in the fall of 1817, and returned 
in March following, bringing with me my younger 
sister for a hoiisekeeper. She still resides near me, 
as the wife of Averj- V. Andrews, is the mother of a 
large family, and in good circumstances. 

'My sister and myself left my father's the last day 
of February, in a cutter, and arrived in Eidgeway, 
March 12, 1818. Her bed, bedding and clothing we 
brought packed in a box, which contained all her 
worldly effects, witli which she commenced life as an 
independent housekeeper. 

She was a tall, slim girl, active and cheerful, car- 


ryiug sunshine in lier countenance and manners 
wherever she was. She left a large circle of young 
friends and associates, the pleasures of a father's 
house and a mother' s care, to obscure herself in the 
woods, for the benefit of her brothers. She found a 
respectable circle of young people here, although 
rather widely scattered. 

We brought with us at that time a favorite dog, 
concluding our sister would feel greater security in 
her wilderness home, when we were absent at our 
work ; and he fully justified our conclusions, for he 
soon learned to consider himself as her special pro- 
tector in our absence, and nothing could induce him 
to leave her when we were away from home. 

If she went for an afternoon's visit through the 
woods to a neighbor' s, the dog was sure to accom- 
pany her, lie 'down by the door, and be ready to at- 
tend her home. She always felt secure in his pres- 

As cold weather approached, our season for eve- 
ning parties commenced. Most of the houses in town 
were cheerfully opened for our accommodation, and 
the young folks, with a few couple of young married 
people, formed a company quite respectable in point 
of numbers. We were quite democratic, there were 
no exclusions. Many a time did we spend our eve- 
nings dancing on a split plank floor, traveling several 
miles to the place appointed, walking on logs, over 
brooks and wet grounds, some of the company car- 
rying a torch to light the way. 

We sometimes went four or five miles to an evening 
1 party, on an ox sled, drawn by two yoke of oxen, 
with as many passengers as could ' pile on ;' and as 
far as appearances would prove, all enjoyed both the 
ride and the dance first rate. 

The first regular ball we attended was held at what 
is now Millville, in Shelby, July 4, 1819, and as it 


was quite a primitive one, and perhaps the first one 
ever held in this county, it may justify an imperfect 

There were no carriages, and but few horses in the 
country. The young men would bring their girls be- 
hind them, both riding the same horse. Others 
would be in waiting to take the horse and go after 
their girls, and so on until the company liad assem- 
bled. The same course was pursued on their return 

At the time of which I write, we met in the upper 
room of a new building made for a store. The floor 
was good, but the ceiling over head was low at the 
sides where the seats were placed, and it caused much 
polite bowing, to prevent our heads from coming in 
contact with the rafters. 

Our table was spread in the street in -front of the 
store, and it was well supplied with substantial fare. 
We had a fine, social time, formed many p]easa,nt ac- 
quaintances and friendships, which were destined to 
endure through life. It is presumed there are few 
persons to whom it does not give pleasure, when the 
thought of such gatherings, in which they have par- 
ticipated, recurs to mind. Of more than twenty 
young ladies, who attended that party, but three are 
known to be living at this time (1863.) 

As bear stories are sometimes entertaining to pio- 
neers, I will relate one with which my sister was-; 
somewhat connected : 

A respectable young man of the neighborhood, 
called to visit her one evening, and continued his stay 
into the small hours of the night. His way home lay- 
for a mile and a half through the woods. He reported 
next day that as he was returning through these 
woods,- he treed a bear ; but men who were 
alarmed by his outcries, were so uncharitable as to 
report that the bear treed him. He, was never very 


communicative on the aubject, and it was generally 
believed the latter waa the fact. 

Our first religious meetings were held in a log 
school house, half a mile west of Millville. The peo- 
ple would assemble from quite a distance and the 
house would be well filled. 

Elder Gregory, a Methodist, was our preacher. 
He resided near by, was a good man and practiced 
what he taught. 

A Mr. Fairbanks preached occasionally. He or- 
ganized the first Presbyterian Church in Shelby, at 
that school house, in 1820. 

Judge William Penniman, a popular school teacher 
in those days, taught a school in that school house 
several terms. 

My sister Anna was a pupil in his school out 
there in the winter of 1820. The old school house 
has long since disappeared. An academy and fine 
church buildings liave. arisen in Millville in its stead. 
There are, however, associations connected with that 
old school house that will cause it to be remembered 
by the old settlers. 

I received a lieutenant' s commission in the militia 
service, dated March 4th, 1817, which I believe to be 
the oldest commission granted to any one now a resi- 
dent of Orleans county. I was promoted in regular 
, gradation to other military offices, and was finally 
elected Brigadier Greneral, my commission being da- 
ted April 30th. 1826. I was the first officer of that 
rank ever commissioned in this county. I discharged 
its duties as well as I was able for two years, and 
then resigned my commisaion. 

I appointed the following named gentlemen my 
brigade staff officers, viz. : William Allis, Brigade , 
Inspector ; Samuel B. Ay era, Paymaster ; John Fish,; Harmon Goodrich, Quartermaster ; Or- 


son Mchoson, Surgeon ; Alexis Ward, Judge Advo- 

. I was married March 15tli, 1821, to Esther Lee, 
daughter of Judge John Lee, of Barre. My wife 
died in August, 1835. 

I married for my second wife Julia A. Flagler, 
.daughter of Eev. J. S: Flagler, of Genesee county, 
JS. Y. 

Ridgeway, Dec. 5th, 1863. 

Gen. Wm. C. Tanner died July 8th, 1869. 


"I was horn in Wardshorough, Vermont, in 1793. 
My father was a revolutionary soldier. My father 
:;afterwards removed with his family to New Salem, 
Mass., at which place I was married in Novemher, 
1816, to Miss Lorana Hunt. 

In 1814 I served a short time as soldier in the war 
with England. 

Soon after I was married, in company with two 
other families, I moved my wife and a few articles 
of furniture with a y<5ke of oxen and wagon, to El- 
licott, Chautauqua county, N. Y., a journey it took 
us thirty-five days to perform, during which snow 
fell almost every day. 

After passing Canandaigua, we entered a forest 
with few settlers, and even these residing from three 
to ten miles apart ; and in one case we traveled four- 
teen miles vdthout passing a single house. The road 
most of the way was only marked trees, with the un- 
.derbrush cut out, and no bridges over tlie streams ex- 
cept the ice. 

On our way we exchanged our wagons for sleds, 
and how any of us lived through the last perilous day 
of fourteen miles travel through the woods, God only 


We started as early as possible in the morning,, 
overturned one load of goods, and fearing we should all 
perish in the woods, we unhitched our teams from the- 
sleds some time in the night, putting our oxen before 
us, the women being supported by holding fast to 
the tails of the oxen, and thus pursuing our way 
through the trackless forest four miles, we arrived at 
a log house about four o'clock in the morning. The 
house had been partially chinked but not plastered. 
Here we tarried the next day and night, during which 
time we went back, shod our sleds and got them out 
of the forest. 

We had to pay one dollar each for a yoke of oxen 
one night at hay, and one dollar a bushel for oats. 
So in about forty days, like the Israelites of old, we 
reached the promised land. 

In October, before tliis time, I had been to Chautau- 
qua county and contracted for a piece of land there, 
to do which 1 traveled out there from Massachusetts, 
and back again vrith my knapsack on my back, on, 
foot, averaging fifty miles travel per day on the 

The third day after arriving on my land, I pro- 
cured some boards and built a shanty twelve feet 
square, nailing two of the corners to two standing- 
trees, making a board roof, with not a tree cut 
down near it. 

The year 1816 was the 'cold season;" corn was 
cut off by frost and it was almost impossible to get 
bread. For three weeks before harvest we had 
nothing to eat but some very small new potatoes, but- . 
ter and milk. By changing the order of having these 
dishes, we made quite a variety, lived high, with 
hopes buoyant, and worked hard. Here we cleared 
up a new farm, raised an orchard from apple seeds 
brought out from Massachusetts, and also raised, 
eight children. 

^X^y)^A^■^■^AJxJL^ ,^?>'t77<-'2- 


I went into lumbering business in 1832 ; took my 
lumber to Cincinnati to sell, but the stagnation in 
trade, and scarcity of money, owing to the course 
taken by the Old United States Bank, after its re- 
newed charter was vetoed by President Jackson, 
made it impossible for me to dispose of my lumber 
without great loss, which obliged me to sell my prop- 
■erty in Chautauqua county to pay my debts, and I 
found even then I had not enough by $500 to pay up. 
That deficiency I afterwards earned by work at mason 
business and paid up in full. 

I removed to Orleans county in 1833, and worked 
as a mason several years. 

Previous to the opening of the Erie canal, I have 
paid seventy-five cents per yard for sheeting, and 
seventy -five, cents per yard for calico for my wife a 
^ess. I have also paid fifteen dollars a barrel for. 

I have laid the corners of over fifty log buildings, 
and have helped raise as many frames. I have spent 
more than six months of my labor gratuitously, in 
opening new public highways, and building cause- 

Ridgeway, February, 1863. 


"I was born in Cheshire, Massachusetts, July 7, 
1780. My father, who was an officer in the revolu- 
tionary war, died when I was seven years old. I 
lived with my eldest brother until I was sixteen years 
old, and then ran away from him and worked out 
by the month the next seven years. 

When I was nineteen years old J traveled with my 
knapsack on my back, on foot' from Massachusetts to 
Parmington, Ontario county, N. Y., spent a short 
time there, then returned as I came, most of the 
way alone. 


Again in 1807, I traveled the same ground over iw 
the same way., 

In 1809 I was married to Abigail Davis, daughter 
of the Rev. Paul Davis, of New Salem, Massachu- 

The winter after I was married I came on horse- 
back to Farmington, to seek a home in the wilder- 
ness of Western New York, and located a piece of 
land for that purpose. I went back to Massachu- 
setts and worked by the month to earn the means 
to move my family to my new farm. 

I arrived in Farmington in February, 1811, and- 
built me a log house in the woods one mile from* 
any inhabitant. I was then the happy possessor of 
a wife and one child, six dollars in money, a dog: 
and a gun. I exchanged my gun for a cow, which 
was the best trade I ever made except when I got 
my wife. The next spring 1 cleared my land, and 
raised over one hundred bushels of corn, the same- 

In 1812 the war broke out. I was called to the 
lines to defend my country. I received notice on 
Friday night, about nine o'clock, to be in Can- 
andai^ua on the next Monday morning at ten 
o'clock, to march to Buffalo. I hired a man and 
woman to take care of my sick wife and child du- 
ring my absence, while 1 responded to the call. I 
was then an officer in the militia, and I marched 
on foot with the rest of the officers and men to Buffalo, 
where we arrived the second day after the battle. 
Our company was the first that arrived and assisted- 
in collecting the dead. On receiving an honorable 
discharge I returned home. 

The two summers next following, myself and wife 
were sick with the ague and fever, aftnost con- 
In the winter of 1815, the ague having left me, and^ 


I'laving regained my health enough to move, I sold 
my land and returned to Massachusetts. The next 
spring I came to Eidgeway, in Orleans county, and 
bought me some land, and in May brought on my 

About the first of the next September, myself and 
wife and one child were taken sick, and until Decem- 
ber following, we suffered every thing but death. 
Often during that time while myself and wife were 
confined to 'our beds, our children were crying for 
food, and neither of us had strength sufficient to ena- 
ble us to get to the cupboard to help them. 

In the month of June next, Israel Murdock in- 
fonned me of several families who were destitute of 
bread, and asked if I thought it could be had for 
them at Farmington. I told him I thought it could, 
and taking his horse and wagon, I went there and got 
a load of corn for which I paid one dollar a bushel. 
This, together with some rye, which Israel Murdock 
had then growing, and wliich the neighbors com- 
menced cutting as soon as it was out of the milk, 
sufficed for all of us to live on until after the har- 

The favorite, because the only way to replenish our 
meat barrels, was to hunt raccoons, using their flesh 
in place of pork, and their fat to fry doughnuts in. 
The next winter (1816) I went to Farmington, and i 
bought two tons of pork, paying ten dollars per hun- 
dred for it, and one dollar and fifty cents each for 
barrels, and three dollars per barrel for salt. I 
brought my pork to Eidgeway with my oxen, and 
sold it to the inhabitants for from twenty-six to thirty 
dollars per barrel, trusting it out to such as could not 
then pay, and some of those old pork accounts re- 
maining unsettled, I am beginning to consider them 
rather doubtful demands. 

In the spring of 1816, we held our first town meet- 


ing, and elected our first town officers. There not b§- 
ing freeholders enough in town to fill. the offices to 
which we had chosen our candidates, Mr. Joseph El- 
licott sent Andrew EUicott to our town to notify the 
town officers elect, to go to Batavia and take deeds of 
their lands and give their mortgages, in order to 
become legal town officers, and they went and did so. 
I having been chosen commissioner of highways went 
v/ith the others. 

In my official capacity I assisted in laying out five 
highways from the Kidge to -the lake. We would lay 
a road, following the lines between lots to the lake, 
keeping us busy all day. At night we would make 
a fire, cut some hemlock boughs for a bed, and sleep 
on them before our fire. soundly till morning. Then 
making our breakfast, we would take another line 
back to the Ridge, and by the time we could get back 
to the settlement it would be afternoon, and when we 
could get something to eat we generally had excellent 

We were, however, amply compensated, our pay be- 
ing two dollars for every twenty -four hours we spent 
in this kind of labor, to apply on our taxes. Who 
would not desire to be a commissioner of highways 
under such circumstances ! 

. Since then I have held all the town offices in the 
gift of the people except clerk, collector, and consta- 
ble. I was once a candidate for the last named office, 
but to my great grief and mortification I was de- 

Our county was very unhealthy until 1828. That 
I think was the last sickly season, and during that 
season my health was good, and for eight weeks in 
that sirmmer I never undressed myself to go to bed 
at night, being constantly watching with, and taking 
care of the sick, either in my own family or among 


my neighbors. Since that time this county has been 
as healthy as any other section I ever knew. 

In 1822 I built the first furnace and cast the first 
plough ever made in this State west of Eochester. 

When I first settled in Ridgeway, the town of 
Ridgeway extended from Magdra county eastward to 
the Transit Line, having originally been the north 
part of Batavia, from which it was taken 

Such is some of my experience as a pioneer of 
Western New York. I have lived to see 'the 
wilderness blossom like the rose,' and to see many 
of my early companions in the hardships of this new 
county, depart before me to ' that bourne from whence 
no traveler returns.' 

Ridgeway, July, 1863. 

Mr. Jeremiah Brown died Nov. 17, 1 863. He was 
a man of large frame, strong and vigorous constitu- 
tion, a farmer by occupation, but sometimes varied 
Ms employment by buying cattle, and driving them 
to Philadelphia to market, and in other speculations 
in trade. 

Albert J^". Brown, late Mayor of Lockport, and Col. 
Edwin F. Brown, late of the Union Army, are his 


Joseph L. Perry was born in Huntington, Connnect- 
icut, November BOth, 1794. In 1804, his. father re- 
moved his family to Aurelius, Cayuga county, N. Y., 
to a farm near Auburn. 

Joseph L. Perry married Julia Ann Reed, daugh- 
ter of Jesse Reed, of Aurelius, July 15th, 1819, and 
in March, 1820, removed to Ridgeway, Orleans coun- 
ty, and located half a mile west 'of Ridgeway Cor- 
ners, on the Ridge Road, on lot twenty-four. 

He was town collector and clerk of Ridgeway, 


and deputy sheriff while this county was part of Gen- 
esee county, also deputy sheriff of Orleans county 

In 1825 he purchased the store and hotel at Ridge- 
Avay Corners, and carried on the mercantile business 
for a number of years, then moved into the hotel and 
kept tavern there many years. He also carried on 
the ashery business, and at one time run ten miles of 
the old pioneer line of stages, on the Ridge Road, in 
company with Champion, Bissell and Walbridge. 
He was postmaster a number of years, and mail con- 
tractor between Ridgeway and Shelby, several years. 
He was extensively engaged in buying and shipping 
grain on the Erie canal, running two boats of his 
own, which he sometimes commanded in person. He 
was a shrewd, sharp, quick witted man, a good judge 
of human nature, always jovial and abounding in 

He never lacked for expedients to extricate himself 
from any perplexity, and his sagacity and energy al- 
ways carried him safely through, or over, every imped- 
iment which interfered with his purposes. He died 
September 17th, 1845, at his residence in the town (rf 


"I was born in Greenfield, Saratoga Co., N. Y., 
February 8th, 1810, being the fifth of my father's 
eleven cliildren. 

In 1818 my father removed with his family to Per- 
ry, now in Wyoming county, on what is known as 
'The Cotringer Tract.' The western line of our 
farm was the eastern bounds of the Holland Purchase. 
The farm contained one hundred acres, fifteen of 
which had been cleared and a log house and 'barn 
erected when we came on. 

In clearing our land we were accustomed to make 


^ "black salts' for sale, asthese^with pot and pearlash 
were the principal articles of export that brought 
money into the settlement. 

In common with our neighbors, we sometimes suf- 
fered some hardships for lack of the necessaries of 
life. My father at one time went to the Genesee Flats, 
twelve or fifteen miles distant, and bought corn that 
was nearly spoiled by the flood of the previous sea- 
son, paying one dollar and twenty-five cents a bushel, 
to help us along in the spring. 

I ren).ember one pleasant incident of our pioneer 
history. After getting along as best we could at one 
time, without any bread for several weeks, we sat 
down to a meal of boiled new unground wheat, and 
maple molasses, all the product of our own farm, the 
most delicious dinner, it seemed to me, I ever ate. 
Ah, that was a dinner a little boy could not easily 
forget, and that was the crisis, the turning point ^^ 
the pinch. 

Not long after this we had grain to sell, wheat at 
the nominal price . of thirty-one cents, and corn at 
eighteen cents per bushel, with very limited sales at 
those prices. 

Our house stood, as I then thought, in about the 
center of the world, and having joined to it an addi- 
tion of another house of about the like size, we were 
frequently favored with social gatherings of people 
there of all classes during the winter evenings. Those 
were occasions never to be forgotten by me. The 
children and young people would amuse themselves 
in harmless play and gossip, and the parents enjoy 
themselves in planning and story telling, while a few 
of the venerable mothers were intent on preparing 
the invariable accornpaniment of every gathering, a 
good supper. 

Starch, prim, and upper ten, were unknown there. 
Liberty; equality and fraternity reigned supreme ia 


those halcyon days. Ah me, but those were days of 
'Auld Lang Syne,' the memory of which is exceeding 

In those times our religious meetings were held in 
a private house about half a mile from ours. Elder 
Luther, a man of more than ordinary ability, was the 
preacher who visited the place occasionally. He was 
a little eccentric in Ms manners and language, but 
quite well adapted to the times, and character of his 

As a specimen of pioneer preaching, it is remem- 
bered of Eider Luther, as he was in the midst of a 
sermon, urging some topic,- and wishing to adduce 
authority to sustain some point, he stopped a mo- 
ment, then said, 'John, what do you say?" Then 
changing his tone of voice to imitate a fancied reply, 
he repeated what the apostle says on that subject. 
And then he called out, ' Paul, what are your views V 
Giving a reply as before, in like manner thus interro- 
gating other apostles and our Savior, and giving their 
answers, closing up with — "And now, old Ben. Luther, 
what have you to say to all this ?' and* then- he gave 
his own conclusions, making the point deeply impres- 
sive upon his hearers. 

Our chorister was the blacksmith of the settlement, 
'Uncle Seava,' as he was called by everybody; a 
white haired, tall, slim, straight and solemn old gen- 
tleman. He would rise and give the pitch for New 
Durham, Exhortation, Northfield or Majesty, or 
some siich tune in which the whole congregation who 
could sing would join, taking their style from the 
chorister, giving to the words and the music that pe- 
culiar ' nasal twang ' common in those days, which 
was designed to be especially impressive upon.the 
hearers, and it had its intended effect, at least upon 
me, for I have not forgotten those auspicious occa- 
sions I witnessed when I was a little boy. Although 


some of the young people seemed to be amused by 
the queer preaching and nasal singing, and some who 
attended failed to be profited, apparently, by the,ser- 
vices, yet those religious meetings were really the 
' green spots ' in our early pioneer life, and were 
doubtless of great moral value to the settlement. 

Though district schools were estahlished at an early 
day around us, my early advantages for attending 
school were quite limited. However, at the the age 
of eighteen years, I went before the board of .inspec- 
tors for examination, and being found by them of 
sufficient capacity, I was installed into office as a 
school master in a district school, which calling I al- 
ternated with mercantile business, until I was thirty 
years old. 

I embraced religion while teaching school in Por- 
tageville, Wyoming county, in April 1831, and soon 
after became a memher of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church. ■ 

I married Adeline C. Miller, in New Berlin, N. Y., 
in September, 1834. 

In 1840 I was received as a member of the Grenesee 
Conference of the M. E. Church, and began preach- 
ing, in which service I have ever since been engaged, 
removing to Knowlesville in 1862. 

Knowlesville, April, 1864. 


"I was born in Clarendon, Vermont, August 17th, 

I received a fair common school education like 
other fanners' sons in that neighborhood. 

I came to the town of Eidgeway, IN". Y., with my 
brother, William C. Tanner, in March, 1816, where I 
have resided ever since. 

I was married November 28th, 1825, to Miss Lucy 


I have lived on my farm forty-eight years. I have 
had four children. My youngest son, Benj . B. Tanner, 
was a Lieutenant in the 151st Eegiment N. Y. Volun- 
teers? and died in the service of his country in the 

war of the rehellion. 

Bidgeway, April, 1864. 


"I was born in Falbius, N. Y., April 13th, 1807. 
I was son of Amos Barrett. My father removed with 
his family to Kidgeway, IST. Y., in March, 1812, and 
settled on the Ridge Road, one mile west of Ridge- 
way Corners. We moved into the house ot Jona- 
than Cohb, and resided with his family until my 
father got his house ready for his family. Mr. Cdhh 
was an old neighbor of my father, and had moved 
to Ridgeway the year before we came. 

I well remember the house my father first built 
with the help of the settlers in that vicinity. The 
walls were logs, the floor . basswood logs split, and 
hewed, the roof covered with long shingles split from 
black ash, not a door about the premises, nor a board. 
A blanket hung at the entrance served as a door, and 
kept out the cold and wild beasts. The fireplace was 
some stones against the logs at one end of the house, 
and the chimney was a hole through the roof. This 
sheltered us from the rain, but the snow sifted in 

Farming has been my business. I bought the 
•farm on which I have since resided, in 1831. 

I was married to Electa B. Chase, of Clarkson, N. 
Y., April 23d, 1833. 

I have lived to see the various changes through 
which this section of country has passed. I have 
known by experience the pinching pains of poverty, 
and I have enjoyed the comforts of competence. I 


have seen broad fields, smiling with harvests of plen- 
ty, emerge from the wild forests. I have not only 
seen this but I have realized it. I -have lived it, and 
I trust my claim will not be disallowed when I assert 
that, in a humble manner perhaps, I have contribu- 
ted my part to bring about these happy results. 



"I was born in Dutchess county, N. Y., April 8th, 

My father, Seymour Murdock, emigrated to Or- 
leans county in 1810, when I was fourteen years of 
age, and located on a part of the farm now owned 
and occupied by me on the Ridge, in Eidgeway. 

In the transit from Dutchess county, we had a hard 
time, traveling with an ox team, with a family of twelve 
persons. We were a little over a month on the way, 
and reached our place of destination June 1st, 1810, 
and dwelt in our wagons nearly six weeks, and untU 
we had time to erect a house in which we could 

From the Genesee River to Clarkson Corners was 
one dense wilderness, with only an occasional com- 
mencement of clearing made by a few settlers. At 
Clarkson was a log tavern at which we stopped. 
Prom Clarkson to our first stopping place there was 
then, I think, but three houses, and they were cheap- 
ly erected log cabins. 

We were two days in journeying from Clarkson to 
Eidgeway. The roads, if roads they could properly 
be called, were almost impassable. 

At the crossing of Otter Creek, in Gaines, fire had 
consumed the logs, which had been thrown into the 
bank to form a sort of dugway up the ascent from 
the stream, which left an almost perpendicular ascent 


for us to rise. , To accomplish this, we took off our 
oxen and drove them up the old road, and then with 
teams on the hill, and chains extending from them to 
the tongues of the wagon below, we drew our wagon 
up. ■ In doing this, at one time the draft appeared too 
much for the team, the oxen fell and were drawn back 
by the load, and the horn of one of the oxen patching 
under a root, was torn entirely off. 

The next difficulty we encountered was at a slash- 
ing about two miles east of Oak Orchard Creek, 
where a man by the name of Sibley had cut down 
timber along the track, and just then had set it on 
fire, which rendered our path both difficult and dan- 
gerous, as we were obliged to go through the midst 
of the fire. 

The next difficulty was at Oak Orchard Creek. A 
dugway had been made down the bank only to ac- 
commodate the Yankee Avagons, and ours being a 
Pennsylvania wagon, with longer axle, it was serious- 
ly endangered by its liability to be thrown down the 

On ascending the bank out of the creek on the west 
side, one of my brothers, then a little fellow, fell off 
the wagon and might have been left if he had not 
screamed lustily for help. 

On arriving at our journey's end, our first business 
was to eat from the stock of prepared provisions we 
brought with us. The food was laid out in order 
around a large stump which stood conveniently by, 
and I well remember the relish with which we all 
partook of this our first meal, at our new home in the 

The scenery here, as I now remember it, was truly 
magnificent,' one dense forest, composed of large, stur- 
dy oaks, extended as far as the eye could see, east and 
west, and on the south side of the Ridge' Road. On 
the north side the forest was more dense, and com- 


posed of a greater variety of timber. Tlie nearest 
opening east of us, was tlie one alluded to above, 
where we encountered the fire, two miles east of Oak 
Orchard Creek, The nearest one west was at John- 
son's Creek, although Mr. Dunn had erected the body 
of a log house, but had made no clearing at the place 
on which he has since resided, two miles east from 
Johnson's Creek. 

At Johnson' s Creek, which was about five miles 
west from our then home, there was one log house 
built, and a small clearing. This was our nearest 
neighbor, as north of us was an unbroken forest ex- 
tending to Lake Ontario, with no mark of human- 
habitation west of Oak Orchard Creek. 

At the head of Stillwater, in Carlton, lived a widow 
Brown, and I have heard of residents at the mouth of 
Johnson' s Creek, but of this we knew nothing then. 
South of us were no families, so far as we knew, ex- 
cept two families by the name of Coon, who I think 
came in the same season we did, and one family by 
the name of Walsworth, residing near Tonawanda 
Swamp, which was our only stopping place between 
our place and Batavia, on this side the swamp. We 
had no necessity then for the law we now have called 
the 'cattle law.' 

The store nearest to us then was at Batavia, thirty 
miles distant. 

Our nearest post office was also at Batavia, and 
there also was the.nearest church, and so far as I 
know, that was the nearest place to us where religious 
meetings were held. 

There was also the nearest school house known to 
me, unless there was one at what is called Slater' s 
Settlement, near Lockport. 

The nearest gristmill was at . 2^iagara Falls, forty 
miles distant. 

The health of our family continued good during the 


first year, and yet the season was so far adva,nced be- 
fore we could be prepared to put in seed, that we 
raised nothing the first year except some potatoes 
and a few turnips. 

I remember a man called at our house that sum- 
mer, and knowing the family he kindly offered to 
make my mother a garden gate, there being then no 
fence around the garden, or within five miles of it. 
The general health of our family, and of those who 
became our neighbors, continued good, with trifling 
exceptions in the form of ague and fevers, &c., until 
after the war of 1812. 

During this war much suffering prevailed, as no 
provisions had been laid by, and the war necessarily 
took the time of many who would have otherwise 
been raising all necessary food, thus ceasing to be 
producers, and yet remaining consumers. This pro- 
duced a great dearth of provisions, and much suffer- 
ing, consequently in some instances whole families 
left the county, some on foot ; in some instances wo- 
men went away carrying their children in their arms, 
in hopes of reaching a land of plenty and safety. 

At the taking of Port Niagara, I and most of our 
family, and our neighbors of sufficient age and size to 
bear arms, went to the defence of our country. Du- 
ring our absence a band of Tuscarora Indians on a 
retreat passed through our neighborhood and greatly 
frightened our yeomen and children before they could 
be made to understand that these Indians were our 

Up to this time the settlers were sparse and illy 
prepared to encounter the horrors of war in our 
midst, and were in constant preparation for immedate 

The hardships and privations and sufferings of our 
people consequent upon the war, were speedily fol- 
lowed by fearful sickness. 


About this ■ time emigrants coming to this region 
-were many and frequent, and as the population in- 
.^jreased so the sickness increased. Great and almost 
universal suffering among the inhabitants followed. If 
..any were so fortunate as to escape sickness themselves, 
theirphysical abilities were overtaxed with care of 
those who were sick, and still the improvement of the 
K!Ounty continued ; perfect harmony abounded among 
the people, and contentment, founded on hope, was 

On June 1st, 1825, just fifteen years after dining 
^off that stump above referred to, I was married to 
Miss Eliza Reed, of Cayuga county, 'N. Y., and we 
4ook up our residence within a stones throw of the 
ilog hut first erected by my father. I have resided on 
-the place ever since, and am happy and contented in 
the realization of the hopes entertained when a boy 
fighting musketoes and felling trees in the then wil- 
derness, where is now a good flourishing neighbor- 
/hood of inhabitants. 


.Ridgeway, June, 1864. 


Lyman Bates was born in Palmyra, N. Y., Janu- 
:ary'l6th, 1798. 

In November, 1819, he came to Ridgeway and 
-commenced clearing a new farm. 

In January, 1821, he married Miss Abinerva 
iKingman, who was born in Palmyra in June, 1796. 
"When not employed in discharging the duties of 
-public office, in which much of his life has been spent, 
■he has labored on his farm. He has served nine 
years as Supervisor of the town of Ridgeway, been 
several terms justice of the peace, and held other 
town offices. He served one term of five years as a 
Judge of the Old Court of Common Pleas of Orleans 


I'ounty. He was a member of Assembly for Orleans 
<:ounty in 1828. He was President of the Farmer's 
Bank of Orleans, and lias always been deeply en- 
gaged in business. 

Coming here when everything was new and unset- 
tled, he identified himself with every movement 
made to develop the resources ot the country, and 
to establish and maintain good order and prosperity. 
Of a plausible address and sound mind, honorable, 
fair, impartial and honest in all he did, his party, his 
ii-iends and all who knew him, have ever made him 
the prominent man in his town and neighborhood, 
whose opinions have been sought, whose counsel has- 
been followed, and whose influence for good has been 
seen and felt. 


David Hooker was born in Connecticut, July 9tli, • 
1771. He married Betsey Saunders in 1795. 

Mr. Hooker settled in Ridgeway, on lot thirty- 
seven, township fifteen, range three, in February, 

Soon afterwards in company with Dr. William 
White and Otis Turner, he was engaged in building 
the mills on Oak Orchard Creek, since known as 
Morris Mills, which are now destroyed. He served 
in the war against Great Britain, and was at the 
taking of Fort Erie. 

His wife died in Malrch, 1813. He married his sec- 
ond wife, Polly Pixley, February, 1814. 

He built the framed house now occupied by his 
son, PerlQy H. Hooker, in 1816. 

Besides his son Perley, he left one daughter, who 
still survives him as widow of the late Harvey Fran- 
cis, of Middleport, N. Y. David Hooker died Au- 
gust 6th, 1847. 



Otis Turner removed from "VS'ayne county, and 

. settled on the Ridge, east of Eidgeway Corners, in tlie 
year 1811 . He was a farmer by occupation, but pos- 

.sessing intelligence and aptitude for business, he was 
freqiTently employed in public, official stations. With 
his brother-in-law, Dr. White, and David Hooker, he 
built a sawmill on the Oak Orchard Creek, between 
Medina and the Ridge, the second in town. 

He was a Judge of the Old Court of Common 
Pleas of Genesee county, before Orleans was set oif, 

.and he represented Genesee county as one of hei- 

.Members of Assembly in 1823. 

He was for many years a prominent member of the 

..Baptist Church at Medina, being one of the few who 
took part in its organization. He djed in Rochester. 
]Sr. Y., August 14th, 1865. 


Thomas Weld, father of a large family who bear 
"his name, was born in Connecticut in 1771. He mar- 
ried Lorana Levins. 

They first settled in Vermont, and moved to Nortli 
Ridgeway in 1817. 

Mrs. Weld died in 1820, and Mr. 'Weld, November, 
18th, 1852. 

' They had five sons and two daughters. The sons 
were EUsha, Jacob, Andrew, Elias, and Marston. 
They all settled near their father. Elias now lives 
where his father did. They were industrious and 
thrifty farmers. 


Samuel Church was born in Brookfield, Massachu- 
setts, in 1781. He married Ann Daniels. They set- 
tled in North Ridgeway, in 1816. Mrs. Church died 
in 1855. They had four sons. 



William N. Preston was born in Lyme, N. H., in* 
1781. His wife, Sarah Daniels, was born in Pem- 
broke, N. H., in 1785. 

They settled in North Ridgeway, a mile and a half 
north of the Ridge, in 1819. 

His wife died October 3d, 1831. He died Decem- 
ber 29th, 1841. He had three sons, Isaac Samuel,., 
and Williston. 


James Daniels was born in Pembroke, K. H., in* 
1783. He settled in North Ridgeway, on the town 
line. A few years since he moved to Michigan. He' 
was brother of Grrosvenor Daniels. He had fonn' 



William Cochrane was born in Pembroke, N. H.,. 
in 1781. He married Rhoda Mudgett, of Pembroke. - 
They settled in Ridgeway in 1819. They had four" 
sons and three daughters. William Cochrane, of" 
Waterport, is eldest of the sons. 


William Cobb was born in Massachusetts. He- 
married Hannah Hemenway. They settled in Ridge- - 
way in 1817. They had four sons and one daugh- 
ter. He died on the farm where he settled, April 1st,. 
1855, aged sixty-six years. 


Seymour Murdock was born in Dutchess county^ 
N. Y., in 1764. 

He married Catharine Buck of Amenia. She was- 
born in 1768. 


They moved from Greene county to Eidgeway in 
1810, and located on the Ridge Road, about five 
miles east of Johnson' s Creek. At that time there 
was no settler between Mr. Murdock's settlement and 
lake Ontario on the aorth ; none south to the swamp 
but Coon and "VYalsworth in Shelby, and east and 
west, on the Ridge it was several miles to any neigh- 

The nearest postoffice, store or church, was at Ba- 
tavia, thirty miles distant. 

The nearest gristmill was at Niagara Falls, forty 
miles distant. 

Mr. Murdock was one of the first settlers on the 
Ridge, in Ridge way. 

He had eight sons and four daughters. His sons 
names were Israel, John, Seymour B., Henry, Zimri, 
Jasper, Hiram, and WUliam. 

Israel kept public house some fifteen years on the 
Ridge Road. He was one of the best business men 
in town. He died in 1831. 

John died in Gaines, September 19th, 1866. Mr. 
Seymoiir Murdock died April 14th, 1833. His wife 
died September 7th, 1823. ' 


Groevenor Daniels was born in Pembroke, Rocking- 
ham county, N. H., May 3d, 1793. 

He married Sally Palmer, of Vermont, in April, 
1813. She died in July, 1854, and he married Florinda 
Hicks, in 1855. 

Leaving his family in Vermont, Mr. Daniels came 
to Ridgeway in the spring of 1815 and took an article 
of part of lot forty-seven, township fifteen, range 

Robert Simpson came with Mr. Daniels and took 
one hundred acres adjoining his land. At that time 


there was no settlement between Ridgeway Corners 
and Lyndonville, in Yates. 

Simpson and Daniels built for themselves a famp 
and began cutting the trees on their lands, getting 
their washing done and bread baked at Eli Moore' s, 
on the Ridge. ^\.fter cutting the trees on five or six 
acres, Mr. Daniels went over to Canada to work a 
few weeks to get money, as he could get none in 
Ridgeway. After a few days he was taken sick with 
fever and ague, of which he did not get cured until 
the next spring. Being unable to work, he returned 
to Vermont, where he arrived in December, 1815. 
The next winter he started to move his family to 
his western home, on an ox sled. He had sixty dol- 
lars in money and thirty dollars worth of leather. 
On arriving at Rome, N.Y., the snow went off and lie 
bought a wagon, on which he made the remainder of 
his journey, and on arriving at his log cabin home 
lie had spent all his leather and money but six cents, 
and owed six dollars for money he borrowed of a 
friend on the journey. 

The next summer, 1816, was the cold season. He 
had not got his land fitted for crops ; prodube through 
the country was cut off by the frost, and Mr. Daniels 
found great difficulty in getting food for his family, 
bxit having recovered from his long sickness of the 
former year, and being strong and resolute, he worked 
with a will and got tlirough nntil lie had raised some- 
thing on his land. 

Being among the first settlers in his neighborhood, 
he had raised produce and had it to sell to settlers, 
who came in abundantly for several years next after, 
and soon found himself in affluence, a condition in 
which he has ever since remained. 

After a few years on the lot he first took up, he 
bought of Abner Balcom the farm lie now lives on. 
Having taste and ability for military service, he was 


commissioned Ensign not many years after he came 
here, and rose by regular promotions to Brigadier 
General in the militia. 

He has been a prominent man in public aflfairs, 
and though he has never sought official distinction in 
civil life, he has been honored with various town 
and local offices. 


Mrs. Laura Baker was born in Bristol, ^'ermont, 
March 16th, 1799, and married Samuel Bostwick, 
December 4th, 1816. 

In January, 1817, they emigrated from Fairfield, 
Vermont, in a wagon drawn by a yoke of three year 
old steers, to Shelby, N. Y. 

While at AVhitesboro, on their journey, their 
trunks were broken by thieves and robbed of every- 
thing valuable. This obliged them to sell part of their 
clothing to pay expenses by the way. They traveled 
in company with another ox team with another family 
of emigrants, averaging from eight to nineteen miles 
a day. 

They remained the last night on the road, at Gaines. 
The snow fell that night a foot deep. The road was 
so bad and the steers so exhausted by travel and 
hard work, that Mrs. Bostwick was obliged to walk 
the last six miles of the jway on foot, as she had done 
half the way from Vermont. 

The house into which they, with the other wagon 
load of emigrants, moved, was a nice log building 
with one door, no window or light except what came 
down chimney or between the logs. It was then 
occupied by another family fi-om Vermont, former 

A few weeks later another family of acquaintances 
came on from A^ermont and moved into the same 
house, where they all resided untU other houses could 
be built. 


The inmates of this cabin now numbered twenty- 
five persons. Their furniture was two chairs, a spin- 
ning wheel and a few pieces of iron ware. Their 
table Avas a chest, their bedsteads were round poles 
bottomed with bark, one on each side of the room, 
the other beds were made on the floor. Holes bored 
in the logs, in which pins were driven, supported 
shelves against the walls. 

The next spring, while making sap-troughs, Mr. 
Bostwick cut his foot and was disabled from work 
four weeks. Mrs. Bostwick hired a few trees tapped, 
gathered the sap herself, boiled it in the house in a 
twelve quart kettle, a six quart pot, and a small tea 
kettle, and made one hundz'ed and sixty pounds of 

When the snow went off she made a garden in 
which she set gooseberry, raspberry and blackberry 
roots which she found in the woods. She never 
feared wild animals that roamed in the forest, but she 
used to admit her fear of the Indians who frequently 
came along and remained all night, and she would 
watch and tremble with fear while they slept like 
logs on the floor, with their feet to the fire. 

Having worn out the clothing they brought from 
tlie east, Mrs. B. bought a loom and made cloth for 
her family and others^ She took in weaving of her 
neighbors, and received pay in wheat at six shillings 
a bushel, though the best she could do' with it was to 
take it to Bidgeway Corners and sell it for four shil- 
lings a bushel, paid for in goods at a high price. 

Mr. Samuel Bostwick died many years ago, and in 
the year 1833 his Widow married Mr. Otis Baker, a 
thriving farmer of Shelby. 

In 1853 he disposed of his farm and moved to Me- 
dina, where they yet reside. 

Married at the age of seventeen years, Mrs. Baker 
has passed a stirring and eventful life in things which 


belong to the settlement of a new country. She has 
passed through it all in triumph. From pinching 
poverty to the possession of abundance, she has 
traveled every step, and surrounded by kind friends 
and present plenty, she yet remains one of the best 
specimens of the noble women who did their part in 
bringing this county out of the woods. 


Nahum Barrett was born in Hinsdale, N. H. He 
married Sally Bennett of Westmoreland, N. H., in 

In March, 1815, he removed with his family to Ti- 
oga county. His wife died there in 1820. In Janua- 
ry, 1828, he removed to Ridgeway, and died there 
April 13tli, following, aged fifty-one years. He had 
nine children, of whom the eldest is 


Luther Barrett was born in Windham county, Vt., 
in 1806. While living in his father's family in Tioga 
Co., for three years of the time it was five miles from 
his father's to any school, and when a school was 
opened nearer, young Luther never had much op- 
portunity to attend it. 

In May, 1825, he left his father's family and came 
to Ridgeway and labored for his uncle, Amos Bar- 
rett, on his farm. He continued to work out by the 
month, until the year 1831 he purchased the farm 
three-fourths of a mile west from Ridgeway Corners, 
on which he has since resided. 

He married Miss Almira Flood, February 18th, 
1835. She was born in Londonderry, A'ermont, Jan- 
uary 2d, 1807. 

They have four children, Sylvester F., Elsie A., 
married Henrj^ Tanner ; Medora P., and Lodema A. 


Lodema married Andrew Weld, and reisides in Pax- 
ton, Illinois. 

Mr. Barrett is a farmer, who by a life of persistent 
industry and prudence, has accumulated a fair prop- 
erty, and by a life of honesty and integrity has se- 
cured a fair character. He enjoys the confidence of 
his townsmen and represented them as Supervisor of 
Eidgeway in the years 1857-8. 


Christopher Whaley was born in Montville, Con- 
necticut, June 16th, 1798. With his parents he re- 
moved to Verona, N. Y., in 1803. 

He was educated as a physician at the medical in- 
stitution at Fairfield, Herkimer county, and gradua- 
ted as Doctor of Medicine, June 18th, 1819. In Sep- 
tember, 1819, he settled in the practice of his profes- 
sion at Shelby Center. 

In February, 1832, he removed to Medina, where 
he resided until his death', October 26th, 1867. 

Dr. Whaley married Mary Ann S. Coffin, March 
20th 1824. After her death he married Soph- 
ronia Martin in 1841. After her death he married 
Carrie E. Perry, July 16th, 1863. His widow and 
three children survived him. 

Dr. Whaley devoted his life zealously to the prac- 
tice of his profession, in which he had a large ride 
and eminent success. It is truly said of him "he 
never refused his services to any one in need of them, 
whether they were rich or poor, and without taking 
into consideration the possibility of losing his fee.'" 


Andrew Weld was born in Reading, Vermont, Au- 
gust 6th, 1804. He came to Ridgeway in the fall of 
1817, in the family of his father, Thomas Weld. 


Th'ey came in a wagon drawn by three yoke of 
oxen, being twenty- seven days on their journey. Mr. 
Weld settled on lot nine, township fifteen, range 

Andrew resided with his father until he was twen- 
ty years old, then labored one year for his brother, 
Elislia, on a farm for one hundred dollars. 

In February, 1828, he married Roxy Stockwell. 
She died May 9th, 1839. He married Clarissa Root 
for his second wife. She died December 22d, 1866, 
and for Ids thii'd wife he married Mrs. Susan 

Mr. AVeld is a farmer, industrious and frugal who, 
in the honest pursuit of his chosen calling, has laid 
up a competence for his support and comfort Avhile 
lie lives. 


William Jackson was born in Duanesburg, N. Y., 
October 21st, 1799. 

He bought an article for one hundred acres of 
land in Ridgewaj'^, part of lot twenty-one, township 
fifteen, range four, in September, 1826. After build- 
ing a log house on his lot, he returned to Onondaga 
county after his family and brought them to 
their new home tlie • next February. His 
house was without a door or window or floor when 
he moved into it, but blankets for a few days were 
good substitutes for doors and windows, when he 
made a floor, and doors and lived comfortably. 
Prosperity attended his labor. In a short time he 
bought more land, which he has fitted and cultivated 
into one of the finest farms in the county. 

Mr. Jackson married Martha Comstock, January 
20th 1822. They have had eleven children, seven of 
whom are living. 


His father, James Jackson, was born in London, 
England, and emigrated to America in early life. 


Elijah Hawley was born in Bridgeport, Connecti- 
cut, June 2d, 1792. 

He married Khoda Spencer in May, 1805. In May, 
1815, he settled near Eidgeway Corners. 

Mr. Hawley was a practical surveyor, and many lines 
of lands in Ridgeway and Shelby were traced and 
settled by his surveys. 

From memoranda found among Mr. Hawley' s pa- 
pers after his death, made by himself, in 1814 the 
town of Ridgeway, which then comprised the present 
county of Orleans, contained six hundred and eighty- 
one inhabitants, one hundred and thirty electors, and 
but five freeholders worth two hundred and fifty 
dollars each. 

He was appointed justice of the peace by the coun- 
cil in March, 1816, and Judge of Genesee County 
Common Pleas, May 23d, 1818, which office he held 
until his death. 

He was Supervisor of Ridgeway in 1818. He was 
appointed postmaster at Ridgeway Corners in 

He died April 29th, 1820, leaving his widow and 
six children surviving. Merwin S. Hawley of Buffa- 
lo is his son. 


James Jackson, eldest son of James Jackson, was 
born in Duanesburg, N. Y., March 29th, 1798. He 
married Maria Marlatte, February 21st, 1819. He 
settled on part of lot twenty, township fifteen, range 
four, in Ridgeway, in February, 1823, where he has 
since resided. * 


He has been a successful farmer, overcoming by 
sturdy industry the obstacles of sickness, hardships 
and the privations of a new country, by which he 
has been beset. 

He has had ten children, nine' of whom survive. 
His wife died December 13th, 1870. 


John LeY alley was born at Paris Hill, N. Y., May 
81st, 1810. 

His parents removed to Holland, Niagara county, 
when he was nine years old. His father died poor, 
leaving a widow and live minor children, of whom 
.John was eldest. 

At the age of eighteen he commenced the battle of 
life on his own account, with a resolute will his only 
\capital, and his father's family on his hands to 
provide foi-. 

He first bought seventy rods of land adjoining the 
place on which his father had resided, and paid for 
it in work at seventy-five cents a day and boarded 
himself. On this, he built a small house, into which 
he moved his mother and her children. He then 
bought on credit one hundred acres of land. On this 
he cleared and fenced seventy acres, built a house 
and barn, dug wells and made other improvements, 
and at the end of three years sold his farm for three 
thousand six hundred dollars. This he accomplished 
though to begin with he had not a dollar in money, 
no team, or stock or seed ; but he did have good 
health, a strong will, and a noble mother's wise 
counsel and encouragement, to which he was ready 
to listen and follow, in whose welfare he has always 
felt the most tender solicitude, who has always shared 
his house and home, and still survives at the age of 
jeighty years, enjoying in the family of her son all 


that filial afiiection and abundant means can supply 
to make her old age happy. 

In 1835 he purchased the farm he now occupies, 
parts of lots twenty-nine and thirty, township fifteen,- 
range four, in Ridgeway, containing one hundred and 
ninety-two acres. 

He has huilt mills, worked a stone quarry, and 
cultivated his large farm with eminent success and 
become wealthy. 

In 1852 he was appointed one of the Commissioners 
by the Legislature to re-survey the Ridge Road. 

He has held various civil offices in the gift of his 
fellow citizens. 

He has been three times married, and is now living 
with his third wife, Seraphine M., daughter of the' 
late Joseph Davis, of Ridgeway, to whom lie was 
married January 13th, 1856. 


Amos Barrett was born in Chestei-field, N. H., May 
10th, 1778. 

In 1802 he married Lucy Thayer, and soon after 
settled in Fabius, Onondaga county, N. Y. His wife 
liaving died, he married Huldah Winegar, December 
20th, 1807. 

In 1811 he bought fifty acres of land, part of lot 
fifteen, lying one mile west of Ridgeway Corners, on 
the Ridge Road. 

He started to move his family to their new home 
with a sleigh and horses and an ox team. One of 
his oxen broke his leg while being shod. He made a 
single yoke for his remaining ox, hitched him in the 
team beside a horse, and thus performed his journey, 
his team attracting much notice in passing. The 
yoke is preserved as a valued relic by his chil- 

He crossed Genesee river on the ice, and arrived at 


his lot in Ridgeway, March 14th, 1812, and stopped 
with his neighbor, Jonathan Cobb, in liis log house, 
eighteen by twenty-four feet square, which on this 
occasion contained twenty-six inmates. 

Mr. Barrett soon built a log lioixse on his lot and 
moved into that. Snow was deep that spring. He 
had no hay ; as a substitute lie dug up a few brakes 
on low land near and felled trees, on which his ani- 
mals browsed, the poor horses hardly surviving on 
sach diet. 

In June, 1813, war with Great Britain was declared 
and Mr. Barrett went with his neighbors under Capt. 
McCarty, to the defense of the frontier. 

During this war, Mr. Barrett's family remained, 
while many others iled from the country. 

Beginning in the woods, with fields to be cleared of 
timber before they could be made productive, with 
fever and ague to contend with, and privations of so 
many of the necessaries and comforts of civilized life 
to be born, it was sometimes hard for Mr. Barrett to 
meet the wants of his somewhat numerous family 
with the needed supplies. Food sometimes ran short, 
and but for the fish in the streams, and game from 
the forest, they might have had more suffering. 

Mr. Barrett had a fowling piece with which he was 
a dead shot. He never had a rifle ; and a trusty steel 
trap, which did good service on occasion, once de- 
tained a wolf who happened " to put his foot in it." 
ITumerous deer, and occasionally a bear yielded to 
his prowess as a hunter, and furnished meat for the 

Mr. Barrett paid three dollars per acre for the first 
fifty acres of land he bought He had the sagacity to 
foresee that the price of lands would rise as settle- 
ments increased, and he secured to himself titles to a 
number of other parcels of land, and realized the 
rise in value as he had expected. 



Mr. Barrett had seven sons and one daughter, all 
of whom he lived to see married and, settled around 
him, with twenty-two grand children to perpetuate 
the family. 

He took pleasure in the last years of his life visi- 
ting the homes of his children. His social qualities 
made him a welcome guest always among all his ac- 
quaintances, ty whom he was familiarly known and 
addressed as "Uncle Amos." 

He was generous and kind to worthy objects of his 
bounty, but the profligate, dishonest and idle, found 
no favor at his hands. 

He was a pioneer in introducing improved modes 
and implements in agriculture. He was the first in 
liis vicinity to use cast iron plows in place of the old 
Dutch plow. A threshing machine took the place of 
the flail in his barn at an early day, a rude im- 
perfect machine, but it was an advance in the right 
direction, and his neighbors were induced to draw 
their grain to his machine, and thus taught its labor 
saving power. 

Mr. Barrett died in 1860, in the eighty-second year 
of his age. 


Sidney S. Barrett, eldest son of Amos Barrett, was 
born in Fabius, N. Y., May 8th, 1804. He came to 
Ridgeway with his father's family in March, 1812, 
and resided in that family until he was twenty-four 
years old, then with two younger brothers he bought 
part of lot twenty- four, township fifteen, range four, 
in Ridgeway. He worked his land in Company with 
these brothers for five or six years, when it was di- 
vided and he took a part to himself, on which he has 
ever since resided. 

He married Lydia H. Fox, February 23d, 1832, by 




whom he had two sons and two daughters, all of 
'.-whom lived to adult age. 


Mr. Knowles was horn in Sandersfield, Berkshire 

-county, Massachusetts, July 19, 1790. His ancestors, 

for several generations, had been residents of Cape 

Cod, and were of the true Kew England, Puritan 


They were God-fearing people, of deep religious sen- 
timent, and strict in their habits. His parents brought 
up their family of nine children according to the no- 
tions prevalent in those days among the descendants 
of the old Puritans. 

The school house and the church were prominent 
institutions in New England civilization, and Mr. 
Knowles had the advantages of both, as they were 
enjoyed seventy years ago. His schooling was re- 
stricted to the district school of that time. 

In December, 1813, Mr. Knowles collected his ef- 
fects together, purchased a span of horses and wagon, 
.and a quantity of iron and steel for loading, and 
■started to go to the Genesee country, where three of ' 
his brothers had already located. 

On his way west he stopped at Schenectady and 
bought eight kegs of oysters to add to his load. He 
;;arrived safely at the house of his brother in Riga, 
January 5th, 1814. > 

In January, 1815, he came to Ridgeway and stop- 
ped at the house of an old friend, Eleazer Slater. 
He took an article of lot three, township fifteen, range 
three, on which the village of Knowlesville, so named 
in his honor, now stands, on the Erie canal, contain- 
'Ing 341 acres. 

In March, 1815, he began to cut down the trees 
iipon his land so purchased, to build a house, then 


more than a mile from any house, or highway or foot 

The spot on which he cut the first tree is where the' 
residence of Mr. K. P. Wood now stands. In due 
time his cabin was raised, with sides of logs, roof of 
staves, or shakes, as they were called, fastened to 
their places by poles bound crosswise, with a floor 
of basswood logs roughly hewed on one side. 

Mr. John Canifee, having a wife and one child and 
no house, moved into the new house of Mr. Knowles - 
before it was completed, while the floor was only half 
laid down and a blanket was used for a door, and ■ 
lived in it in that condition for two weeks. 

Mr. Knowles hired two men to work for him, one of 
whom had a wife, who was their housekeeper.. Du- 
ring the first summer this woman, Mrs. Hill, wa& 
taken sick and died. 

At that time there were no roads, no barns, no pas- 
tures, and none of the modern conveniences for living . 
in the settlement. Mr. Knowles had obtained some 
cows which he hii'ed kept two miles from his house. 
He would work hard in his clearing all day, then go 
two miles to milk his cows and bring the milk home 
in pails through the woods. 

The death of Mrs. Hill was a sad event in the 
wilderness. It rendered the log cabin desolate. 
The men Mr. Knowles had hired soon left him. 

In November, 1815, he went back to Massachu- 
setts, and in January, 1816, was married to Miss 
Mary Baldwin. They came on to the house Mr. 
KnowleS had built. Mrs. Knowles soon accustomed 
herself to the inconveniences and difficulties of her 
new situation, went cheerfully to work and became a 
model housekeeper. The inconveniences of house- 
keeping were not a few. 

Mr. Knowles, on his way home with his wife, had 
purchased a set of chairs with splint seats. These 


--were regarded at first "by the neighbors as a great luxu- 
ry, and frequent comments were made by them upon 
-the extravagance, as they regarded it of the Knowles 
.fe,mily. But if they did indulge a little in the matter 
.of chairs, their other furniture of the house at first was 
sufficiently primitive to satisfy the most fastidious 
^of their friends, for they had at first no table but a 
board put on the top of a barrel. Their first bed- 
-stead was made by boring holes in the logs in the 
■side of the house, and putting in rods fastened to 
pole bedposts, with side pieces of like material. 

In the cold summer of 1816, frost in June killed 
»the corn, rendering the prospect gloomy and sad for 
the new settlers, but the wheat crop proved good in 
.quality, though less than an average yield in quan- 

In the summer of 1816, the engineers surveying for 

the Erie Canal, came along and pitched their tent on 

Mr. Knowles farm, on the spot where Abell & Brace 

.daow have a store, stopping there a week, and finally 

■ established the line for the canal through the center 

of his farm. 

The .canal was completed to Lockport from the 
«ast in 1824. 

Mr. Knowles built one section of the canal a little 
east of HoUey. 

In 1825 he built the first framed hotise in Knowles- 
ville, on the south side of the canal, in which he kept 
■a hotel for several years. Afterwards he built the 
brick house near the canal on the west ♦side of the 
Main street, in which he kept a temperance hotel for 
several years, until he finally closed the house as a 

Mr. Knowles built the first warehouse in Knowles- 
-ville, in 1825. 

He bought and shipped the first boat load of wheat 
■ever shipped from Orleans county. 


Mr. Knowles was always among the first engaged'^^ 
in all public enterprises for the benefit of the commu- 
nity in which he lived. 

He helped build the first school house in his dis- 
trict, which was made of logs. This served also as a 
place of public worship. Here ministers of various 
denominations preached the gospel, and the people 
flocked to hear them without regard to sectarian pre- 
judice or partiality. 

In 1838 Mr. Knowles built his late place of res- 
idence on the beautiful eminence in the west part of 
the village, and north of the canal. 

In 1830 the brick church in Knowlesville was erec- 
ted, Mr. K. furnishing one-half or more of the funds 
for that purpose. 

Mr. and Mrs. Knowles united with the Presbyte- 
rian church in 1820, which was the first religious so- 
ciety organized in Ridgeway. For nearly forty years 
he has been a ruling elder in that church. 

He never had children of his own, yet he has takeiv 
into his family and brought up and educated seven 
or eight children of others. To one of these Rev. I. 
O. Fillmore, he gave a liberal education, sending him 
to college and theological schools to fit for the gospel 
ministry, besides granting him a generous allowance: 
of means to establish himself with comfort in life,, 
in grateful remembrance of which favors, so bounti- 
fully and disinterestedly bestowed by Mr. Knowles ■ 
and his family, Mr. Fillmore acknowledges his obli- 
gation, and devotes himself with filial duty to 
make the last days of his kind benefacttn" as happy 
as possible. 

Mr. Knowles has been" twice married. His first 
wife died April 2d, 1861. He married Mrs. Mary 
Crippen for his second wife. 

He has sold his large farm and other real estate, re- 
serving only a house and lot in Knowlesville, where 


he resides, relieved from the cares and perplexities of 
business, calmly awaiting the approach of death, en- 
joying the full assurance of the good man's hope. 

The foregoing is the substance of a sketch of Mr. 
Knowles, furnished for, the Orleans County Pioneer 
Association by his adopted son, Eev. I. O. Fill- 


" I was born in Claremont, New Hampshire, July 
25th, 1798. 

In 1802 my father removed to Waterbury, Ver- 

In October, 1 817, he started with two yoke of oxen 
and a wagon to move his family to western New York, 
and after traveling thirty days arrived at Gaines, 
then Genesee county, N. Y. I was then eighteen 
years of age. ' 

In the fall of 1819, 1 bought an article for fifty acres 
of land in Ridgeway, and in 1821, I bought an arti- 
cle for sixty-two acres with a small log house on it. 
All my personal estate then consisted of one yoke of 
steers and a cow. 

I lived in my log house seventeen years, then built 
a dwelling house of stone in which I now reside. 

Ridgeway, June, 186G. 


"I was born in Warwick, Massachusetts, Septem- 
ber 20th, 1796. 

I was married to Ephraim G. Masten, at Albany, 
'N. Y., November 15th, 1815. 

We settled in Bethlehem, Albany county, N. Y. 
In 1819 my husband came to Ridgeway, Orleans Co. , 
and bought an article for one hundred and thirty 
acres of land on lot seventeen, township fifteen. 


range three, then in a wild state, cleared three acres 
and sowed it with wheat, and in November, 1819, 
moved upon his land with his family. 

We lived in a log house until in 1831 we built a 
dwelling of stone on the site of the old log house, 
Mr. Hasten died March 20th, 1840. 

Ridgeway, September, 1866. 


"I was born in Deerfield, Massachusetts, Jan- 
uary, 22d, 1802. 

In the fall of 1807; my father moved to Phelps, On- 
tario county, I being then in my sixth year. Here 
I spent my boyhood working on a farm summers 
and attending district school winters. When I was 
twelve years old my father sent me with his hired 
man a mile and a half into the woods to chop cord 
wood, and on my twelfth birth day I chopped and 
piled one cord of wood, and well do I remember of 
bragging of my exploit when I returned home. But 
strategy^ of which we hear occasionally, had some- 
thing to do with it, for I got the hired man to fall an 
old basswood tree with a dead top for me, and this 
helped materially to make out my pile. 

My father being of Green Mountain origin, where 
men were born with iron constitutions, required more 
work of me than my constitution could endure, con- 
sequently when I was about nineteen years old, I be- 
came physically unable to labor. 

In 1823 1 went to school at an academy in Geneva, 
and in the fall of that year I obtained a teacher's cer- 
tificate. Thus accoutered, and with little knowledge 
of the world, and still less of its lucre, I emerged as 
a pedagogue which occupation I followed with an in- 
crease both of success and wages. 

li'inding this business irksome and by no means de- 


sirable for life, I resolved upon a profession. When 
consulting with, friends for a choice it was thought 
my piety did not come up to the ministerial standard, 
and I had neither the confidence nor impudence to 
warrant success as a lawyer, therefore the only al- 
ternative was I must be a physician, which I resolved 
to be. 

I studied medicine with Dr. James Carter, of Gene- 
va, and attended medical lectures in the city of New 
York in the winter of 1827-8, and returned in the 
spring to Geneva, with just six cents capital in mj^ 
pocket with which to start in business. 

In January, 1829, I located for practice in the vil- 
lage of AUoway, in the town of Lyons. There, with 
a capital all borrowed, except the aforesaid six cents 
which I had not encroached upon, did I start out 
with saddle bags well filled, full of confidence of 
success. I stuck up my tin and was ready for 

It was in the healthy season of the year, and no- 
body would get sick to accommodate me, or test the 
efficiency of my drugs, or my ability in prescribing 
them. And it' was even more than hinted that the 
hlv^s were lurking about me. 

But at length by patient industry I eventually ac- 
quired a good and lucrative practice as a physician, 
and how well I have acquitted myself in my profes- 
sion, and in such other business as I have been en- 
gaged in, I leave for others to decide. 

I had not physical stamina sufiicient to enable me 
to enter the wilderness and lay low its primeval for- 
ests, supplant the ferocious bears, and prowling and 
howling wolves, — or to build log houses, and occupy 
them, — therefore I am scarcely entitled to have my 
name enrolled among the real settlers and early pio- 
neers of Orleans county fifty years ago, my only 
claim being that I swung the ax in my boyhood days 


in Ontario county, and also that I have cleared some 
land by proxy in Orlestns county. 

October 3d, 1831, I married a daughter of Henry 
Howard, of AUowaly, Wayne coijnty, N. Y. I car- 
ried on my professional business in connexion with 
merchandising, until in 1844, 1 removed to Alexander, 
Genesee county, and in February, 1845, I moved to 
Knovs^lesville, on the farm on which I now reside. 
Here I have practiced medicine but little, keeping a 
drug and book store, and superintending my farm. 

My wife died April 8th, 1847, and I married for a 
second wife, Mrs. Eliza Ann Brown, August 12th, 

I have failed to get rich, being too timid to make 
any bold and great business strikes, having too great 
a development of the organ of cautiousness to 
secure the avails of any great far-reaching enter- 

To sum up the events of my history in short, in my 
boyhood I was a farmer, then a teacher, then a clerk, 
next a student of medicine, after that a doctor, then 
a merchant. 

I have run an ashery and a distillery, for which lat- 
ter business I trust I am now sufficiently penitent. I 
have kept a drug and book store, and am now living 
quietly on my farm in Knowlesville. 


Knowlesville, January 21, 1867. 


" My father moved from Massachusetts to Marcel' 
lus, N. Y. in 1805. 

I was born in Marcellus, Onondaga county, N. Y., 
April 14th, 1812, and was brought up at labor on my 
father's farm until I became a man. 

I taught school four years, then studied med- 
icine, and graduated in my profession in 1837, 


and. settled to practice in CortlandvOle, N. Y. In 
1838 I was married to Miss Maria Thomas, of Skane- 
atelas, and began housekeeping immediately. 

I practiced my profession eighteen years, then from 
failing health was compelled to abandon the practice 
of medicine and removed to Medina, N. Y., in 1856, 
and engaged in the business of selling drugs and 
medicines, which I still follow. 

Medina, April, 1867. 


Milo Coon was bom in DeRuyter, N. Y., Novem- 
ber 4th, 1799. 

His father, Hezekiah Coon, was a native of Rhode 
Island. He came to Ridgeway in 1809, and took an 
article for one hundred acres of land one mUe east of 
Ridgeway Corners, upon which he moved with his 
family September 29th, 1811. 

When he settled here his neighbors were Ezra D. 
Barnes, Israel Douglass and Seymour Murdock. 

Milo Coon married Edith L. Willets, August 31st, 


Peter Hoag was born at Independence, New Jer- 
sey, December 3d, 1794. 

In 1804 he came with his family to Farmington, 
Ontario county, N. Y. From that time until Octo- 
ber, 1815, he labored on a farm, or went to school, or 
kept school. In October, 1815, he took up a lot of 
land in Ridgeway and bujlt a log house on it, into 
which he moved his family in March, 1816. 

About the year 1838 he disposed of his lot, bought 
part of lot nineteen, township fifteen, range three, on 
which he resides with his son Lewis. 

Mr. Hoag married Hannah Vandxiser, March 15th, 
1816. She died August 18th, 1831. 


He married Maria Douglass, January 5th, 1832. 
She died March 20th, 1866. 

His children are Mary, who died in infancy. Zach- 
aiiah married Maria Temple, and resides in Michi- 
gan. James, who married Elizabeth Slade, resides 
in Kendall. Ransom, who married Melvina Porter, 
resides in Medina. Mary, who married Sylvester 
Gillett, resides in Bergen. Lyman died in infancy. 
William L., who married Clara Bigford, resides in 
Wisconsin. Charles Henry, who married Minerva 
Powers, resides in Wayne county, N. Y., and Lewis 
H., who married Sarah Hoag, and resides on his pa- 
ternal homestead. 


"I was born in the town of Tarbot, Pennsylvania, 
August 2d, 1794. 

In 1797 my parents removed to Seneca, N. Y., town 
of Romulus. We had many hardships and priva- 
tions to endure, the country being new and we so far 
from school and religious meetings. Our land was 
heavily timbered and required a great deal of hard 
work to get it in a condition to till. AYe had to go 
ten miles to mill. 

I went to school after I was nine or ten years 
old, what I could, and worked on the farm summers 
until in September, 1813, I was drafted for a soldier, 
being then nineteen years old, and went to Fort 
George, in Canada, which had been taken by our for- 
ces in the spring before. 

I was three months in the army, and was then dis- 

I continued with my parents until 1 816, when I came 
1iO the town of Ridgeway and worked oHiB summer for 
a brother of mine who had located one mile south of 
KnowlesviUe. The next spring I bought an article 


for one hundred and nineteen acres of land, upon 
which I went to work clearing. 

The title to the fai-m on which my father had re- 
sided and labored for twenty years in Seneca county 
proved bad and he was compelled to abandon it, 
leaving him almost penniless, and he came to the town 
of Shelby and began again anew. 

I built a house on my land in Ridgeway, in Octo- 
ber, 1818. 

In May, 1819, I was married to Miss Elizabeth 
Burroughs, daughter of David Burroughs, of Shelby, 
and in June after, we moved into my house upon my 
farm, on which farm I have resided now forty-seven 

I worked my farm and my wife took good care of 
things about the house, and so we prospered as well 
as any of our neighbors. I built my first barn in 

Presbyterian churches were organized at Oak Or- 
chard Creek, and at Millville at an early day. In 
the year 1831 a Church edifice was erected by the 
Presbyterians at Knowlesville. 

During these years so long ago, although our labor 
was hard and fatiguing, yet we performed it with 
cheerfulness and in hope. Onr neighbors knew no 
broils, families were all peaceful and friendly with 
each other, kind and attentive in sickness, even unto 

Thus we toiled on from year to year, the forest gradu- 
ally retiring before us, and giving place to fruitful 
fields, and gardens, and orchards, yielding a gene- 
rous reward for our labors. 

I built a new house which I finished in 1835, but 
our old log house was like a sacred spot, cherished 
in our memories. 

Since occupying my present residence I have seen 
the present wilderness exchanged for cultivated 


land, filled with the habitations of industry. I have 
witnessed the introduction into our county of those 
great works of improvement, the Erie Canal, the 
Railroad, and the Electric Telegraph, and now, in 
the evening ot my days, I am enjoying a competence 
of this world's goods for my comfort, expecting soon 
to pass over the 'river,' where I hope to meet not 
only the pioneers of the woods here, but all who are 
here 'seeking a better country,' 


Ridgeway, January, 1865. 



Saw Mill by Land Company— Evan's Grist Mill— Canal Feeder— Nix- 
on's Brewery— Coan's Store— First Tavern— First Merchants— Phy- 
sician — Attorney — Quarries — Justus IngersoU — Baptist Meeting 

HE territory included in the village of Medi- 
na was mainly covered with forest trees when 
work was hegun here on the Erie canal. 
Mr. Joseph Ellicott had, at an early day, located a 
large tract of land here of the Holland Land Compa- 
ny, including the rapids in the Oak Orchard Creek, 
but settlement was commenced at Shelby Center, no- 
body at that time expecting a village would grow up 

Mr. Samuel F. Gear built a sawmill for the Hol- 
land Company or Mr. Ellicott, on the falls in the Oak 
Orchard Creek, in Medina, about the year 1805, and 
about the same time the Salt Works were established 
at the brine 'springs, north of the village. This miU 
was a cheaply constructed affair. No roads leading 
to it were made, and before the war of 1812, few set- 
tlers located here. They could not get their logs 
to the mill for the distance and bad roads. The mill 
was not kept in repair and soon tumbled into 

Mr. Ellicott rented out the salt works, but working 
them was impracticable, and not much salt was made 
there untU. the springs came into possession of Isaac 
Bennett in 1818. 


Mr. Sylvanus Coan opened the first store in 1824, 
before the canal was finished, and some small estab-^ 
lishments for selling goods to those working on the 
canal soon followed, hut the opening of navigation 
was the signal for commencing the improvement of 
the water power on the Creek and building up the 

In May, 1825, David E. Evans laid the foundations 
of his large flouring mill, afterwards owned by Wil- 
liam R. Gwynn, standing on the race near the rail' 

This mill was built of stone, John Ryan master 
mason, and finished in 1826. It was finally burned 
in December, 1859. 

The State of New York built a dam in the creek 
at the time the canal was dug, and made a raceway 
to carry the creek water into the canal, as a feeder. 
This race proved too low for the purpose and was 

In 1825 Mr. Evans made an arrangement with the 
State, under which he raised a dam higher up the 
stream, and connected this by a raceway to the 
canal. Evans drew water from this raceway to turn 
his mill, and sold water power to others to be drawn 
from his race. 

Joseph Mxon built a brewery here about the year 
1827. After a few years it was turned into a distille- 
ry, and malt liquors or whisky were made there for 
several years. 

This brewery was burned three times, and the site 
is now occupied by Bignall & Co. as a foundry. 

Uri D. Moore kept the first hotel, on Shelby St., 
in 1824. 

Ashael Wooodrutf and brother were merchants 
here in 1826. 

John Ryan, mason, settled here in 1827 ; Simeon 
Downs, blacksmith, in 1825 ; Dr. Rumsey, 


the first regular physician, in J 827. Dr. Lathrop fol- 
lowed soon after. 

The first attorney was Nathan Sawjer. The first 
carpenter, Samuel P. Gear. The first iron founder 
was Simeon Bathgate. 

The postoffice was established in Medina in 1829, 
and Justus IngersoU was the first postmaster. 

David Ford and John Parsons were tinsmiths. 
Otis Turner, and Chase and Britt were grocers. Clark 
and Fairman were early merchants. 

The first fire company was organized August 16th, 

The first bell in a steeple was raised on the Presby- 
terian Church in 1836. 

This was the first bell in the village, and the only 
church bell between Albion and Lockport for several 
years. It was rung a number of times every day to 
regulate the hours of labor and rest of the inhabi- 

A town clock was afterwards procured and placed 
in the steeple of the Methodist Church, to serve in the 
place of so much bell ringing. The clock proving a 
poor machine was soon given up. 

Justus IngersoU, who had been a tanner in Shelby,.^ 
moved to Medina in 1826, and built a large brick 
building for a tannery west of the creek, near the 
the canal. 

This was afterwards converted into a flouring mill, 
and burned December, 1858. 

Mr. IngersoU was justice of the peace, postmaster, 
Indian agent and Judge of the Court of Common 
Pleas of the county, and an active man in village 

The first religious society organized in Medina was 
the Episcopalian. . ■ ' ■ ■■ " 

"St. John's Church in Medina," filed a certificate 



of incorporation in the county clerk's office under 
that name November 12th, 1827. 

Rev. Richard Salmon, missionary, was then in 

Bishop Hobart held the first Episcopal service by a 
Bishop in Orleans county, in this church Septem- 
ber 7th, 1828. 

The corporate officers of the church for its first 
year were Justus IngersoU and Richard Van Dyke, 

Christopher Whaley, Elijah Beech, John B. EUi- 
cott, Joseph Nixon, Henry Yerrington, ' Benjamin W. 
Van Dyke, Jonas S. Billings and Hezekiah R. War- 
ner, Vestrymen. 

Mr. David E. Evans gave the church a piece of 
land on which to erect their church edifice, the foun- 
dations of which were laid in 1831. 

The first religious services were held in this build- 
ing, in the basement, on Christmas Eve, 1832. 
Joshua M. Rogers was the minister. 

The house was finished, and consecrated by Bishop 
Onderdonk, September 30th, 1836, where it now 
stands, on Center street. 

The Methodists filed a certificate to incorporate a 
society by name of "The first Methodist Episcopal 
Society in Medina," October 1st, 1830. 

They filed another certificate altering their name, 
among other things, April 7th, 1834. 

They commenced building their house of worship 
of stone, in 1833. In raising the roof the timbers 
gave way and eleven men fell in the ruins. No one 
was killed, some bones were broken. 

The basement of this house was finished and used 
in 1834, but it was several years before the whole 
house was completed. 

This house was taken down and rebuilt in 1850, 
and thoroughly repaired in 1869. 


The Baptists filed a certificate to incorporate "The 
First Baptist Church and Society in Medina," March 
14th, 1831. 

Their first house of worship was a building put up 
for a barn in the rear of the brick hotel, on the south- 
west corner of Center and Shelby streets. This was 
lathed and plastered and seated, and used for reli- 
gious meetings until their first meeting house was 
dedicated in the winter of 1832. 

Their new church on the corner of West and Cen- 
ter streets was commenced in the fall of 1870. 

The Presbyterians built the first building designed 
for religious worship in Medina, on the north side of 
Cross, near the corner of West street. 

Deacon Theophilus Cook commenced, alone and 
unaided, getting out the timber for this house. See- 
ing his zeal showing itself in faith and worJcs, Mr. 
Ephraim Scovill joined him in the work. Others fol- 
lowed with their labor and contributions, till 
a building about thirty by forty-five feet was 
erected, in which the Presbyterians worshipped from 
about 1830, to February 17th, 1836, when their new 
church edifice was dedicated. 

The first house was then used for school purposes 
several years, when it was sold to the Roman Catho- 
lics, who moved it upon the same lot with their 
church, built an addition to it, and it is now their 
school house. 

The Presbyterian Church was organized with sev- 
enteen members, March 19th, 1829. 

The Presbyterian Society was incorporated August 
27th, 1831, by name of "The Trustees of the first 
Society of the Congregational Church at Medina." 

The first printing press in Medina was set up in 
the fall of 1832, and the first newspaper called "Me- 
dina Herald," published by D. P. Adams. 

After the Erie canal was located and surveyed 


through Medina, attention was called to this place as 
the probable site of a village, and about the year 
1823, Mr. Ebenezer Mix surveyed and laid out the 
village for the proprietors and named it Medina. 

Mr. John B. EUicott, a relative of Joseph Ellicott, 
was sent hei'e by the proprietors to superintend their 
interests, as local agent. 

Mr. Artemas Allen came to Medina in 1822, and 
was the first mason who settled in the village. He 
had charge as master mason in building the aqueduct 
foi- the Erie canal on Oak Orchard Creek. 

The stone for this work were mainly obtained from 
the bank of the creek north of the canal. The re- 
maining stone were from Shelby Center, or Claren- 
don, and a few from Lockport. 

Mr. Allen built a large brick tanneiy and dwelling 
house for Justus Ingersoll, and a large stone build- 
ing called the Eagle Hotel, which was burned some 
years ago. 

Mr. Allen claims he first discovered the quarry of 
flaging stone at Medina, got out the first flags, and 
laid a number of rods of sidewalk in front of the 
residence of David E. Evans in Batavia. 

The stone from which the water lime used 
on the aqueduct was made were obtained be- 
tween Medina and Shelby Center, burned on log 
heaps, and ground with an upright revolving 

Mr. Artemas Allen removed to Coldwater, Michi- 
gan, where he is now living. 

The village of Medina was incoi-porated March 3d, 



Wm. Knowles, Founder and First Settler— First Clearing— First 
Framed House— First Tavern — First Wareliouse — First Boat Load 
of Wheat— First Asliery— First School House— Post OfiBce- First 
Keligious Society. 

NOWLESVILLE, situate on the eastern 
bounds of the town of Ridgeway, as at pres- 
ent bounded, owes its existence to the Erie 
canal. When work was begun on the canal, but 
two or three families had located on the ground now 
covered by the village. 

Mr. William Knowles, the pioneer and founder of 
the village, was the first settler. He took up from 
the Land OoDiipany and settled upon lot three, town- 
ship fifteen, range three, in the winter of 1815. 

Shortly after John Caniff took up one hundred 
acres of the north part of lot fifty-nine, in town- 
ship fifteen, range three, adioining Mr. Knowles' land 
and east gf it. 

The first tree cut on the site of Knowlesville stood 
where the residence of R,. P. Wood now stands, and 
was felled in March, 1815. There Mr. Knowles built 
the first log cabin, in which he resided. He hired a 
Mr. Hill to work for him in clearing land, and bis 
wife was their house-keeper. In course of that sea- 
son, 1815, Mrs. Hill died, being the first person who 
died in what is now Knowlesville. 

The Erie canal was finished from Lockport to Roch- 
ester a year or two before it was completed from 


Lockport to Buffalo ; but as this long level had to be 
fed mainly by water let into it from Genesee River, 
it was impossible to raise the water in the western 
part more than two or three feet deep ; but even then 
some little flat-bottomed boats were run through to 
Rochester regularly to carry passengers and light 
parcels, before the water was let in from lake Erie to 
lill the canal. 

In 1825 Mr. Knowles built the first framed house, 
on the south side of the canal, and west side of Main 
street, yet standing, in which he kept the first tavern 
for several years. Afterwards he built the first brick 
house erected, near the canal, and north from his old 
tavern house, and kept a tavern some time there. 

Mr. Knowles built the first warehouse in 1825, and 
Mr. Wm. Van Dorn kept the first store in Knowles' 

Nathan S. Wood opened the second store in 

In 1827 Mr. Knowles bought twenty thousand 
bushels of wheat at Knowlesville. The first boat he 
loaded with this wheat is said to have been the first 
boatload of grain shipped from Orleans county by 

Moses Huxley kept the first grocery store on the 
canal in 1.825. Philo Dewey kept a grocery here in 

The first tanner and shoemaker was Andrew 

The first blacksmith was Daniel Batty. The first 
carpenter and joiner was Andrew Ryan. 

Mr. Knowles built an ashery in 1816. He manu- 
factured a little potash; afterwards, for about four 
years, he used his works solely for making black 
salts, which he sold to James Mather and others at 

The first school house was built of logs in 1817, 


and stood a little north of where a brick school house 
was afterwards built, on the west side of the street, 
north of the canal. 

The post oflBce was established here in 1826. It 
became necessary to give the village and postofEce a 
name. The inhabitants met together and requested 
Mr. Knowles to give the name, and he called it Port- 
ville. It was afterwards ascertained that there was 
already a postoffice in New York named Portville, 
and the name was then changed to Knowlesville. 

The Presbyterian Church was first organized after 
the Congregational form, by Rev. Eleazer Fairbanks, 
with eleven members, Aug. 27, 1817. In June, 1820, 
it united with the Presbytery of Rochester, and 
since then has been Presbyterian in its form of Gov- 

This was the first religious society organized in the 
present town of Ridgeway, and as such received the 
deed of the " Gospel Lot," so called, of one hundred 
acres given by the Holland Land Company. The 
first fourteen years of its existence its meetings for 
worship were held in ihe school houses, and some- 
times in the dwellings of its members in this part of 
the town. 

Their first public house of worship, now standing 
in Knowlesville, was built of brick, and dedicated 
in 1832. 

The first Baptist meeting house, and the first Meth- 
odist meeting house, which was afterwards burned, 
were erected in 1833. 

The village of Oak Orchard, on the Ridge Road, 
in Ridgeway, was the principal village in town be- 
fore the Erie Canal was made. After the canal was 
completed Oak Orchard began to decline, and 
Knowlesville took the trade,, population and busi- 



Jo. EUicott Locating Land— EUicott's Mills— Eoad from Oak Orchard 
Road to Shelby— Salt Works Road— Anecdote of Luther Porter- 
Col. A. A. BUicott^BaU in EUicott's Mill— Abner Hunt— Fiddler 
HackettH-First Physician— Post Office— Iron Foundry— Tannery- 
Biographies of Early Settlers. 

HELBY was set off from Ridgeway, March 
6th, 1818, and was named in honor of Gover- 
nor Shelby, of Kentucky. 
In surveying the Holland Purchase for the propri- 
etors, Mr. Joseph EUicott noticed those tracts of land 
that seeihed to possess peculiar advantages., and lo- 
cated some of the best for himself. The falls on the 
Oak Orchard Creek attracted his attention as afford- 
ing a good site for mills, and he laid off for himself 
and purchased seven hundred acres of land here in 
a body, including this water power. At an early 
day he located some of his relations here and fur- 
nished means to begin a settlement and improve the 
water power, and in the year 1813 he bnilt a sawmill, 
and in 1813 a gristmill, under the supervision of his 
nephew, Col. Andrew A. EUicott. 

To facilitate the growth of this settlement, the EUi- 
cotts, with the aid of the Holland Company, opened 
the first highway from Shelby Center east to intersect 
the Oak Orchard Road in Barre, and the Holland 
Company built the Salt Works Road from the Brine 


Springs, North of Medina, one branch of which led 
south-west through Shelby, to the Lewiston Road. 

The mills first built at Shelby Center were small, 
coarse and clumsy affairs, which, when driven to 
their utmost capacity for work, could not supply all 
the wants of the settlers. 

The little grist mill wa"S ^'enerally crowded with 
customers at all seasons of the year, some coming 
many miles. And at seasons when the water was 
low it could not do half the grinding required, and 
grists sometimes lay weeks at the mill before they 
were ground. 

. Late in the siimmer one year when the water was 
lowest in the creek, Luther Porter, of Barre, then a 
boy fifteen years of age, was sent there, some ten 
miles, to mill with two bags of grain, on horseback, 
and told by his father to stay till he got his grist. 
Arriving at the mill, Luther hitched his horse and 
went in. He saw the mill full of bags, unground, 
and a number of men waiting their turns, and con- 
cluding at the rate things moved it was likely to be 
several days before his turn would come, he resolved 
to try a little strategy to get his meal sooner. Say- 
ing nothing to anybody he unloaded his bags on 
some lumber, and watching his oportunity when the 
miller had put in a fresh grist and gone out to wait 
upon his customers at a little grocery he earned on 
near by in connexion with his mill, he carried his 
bags into the mill, nobody seeing him, and set them 
back in a retired place among the most dusty bags in 
the mill, collected some mill dust and sifted it care- 
fully over and about his bags and the place where 
he set them. This done, he waited the return of the 
miller, and going to him asked very innocently if his 
grist was ground ? " When did you bring it here ?" 
said the miller. "Oh, a great while ago," says Lu- 


The miller had forgotten, said he would look. Lu- 
ther went and helped find the tags. The miller see- 
ing the dust, said they had accidentally been over- 
looked, but if he would put out his horse and stop 
at his house he would try and put them through be- 
fore the next morning. 

Luther staid of course, the work was done, and by 
daylight next morning he started for home with his 

" Col. Andrew A. Ellicott was the patroon of Shelby 
village. He is remembered for his many acts of 
kindness to the new settlers, and especially for the in- 
terest he took in the welfare of the Indians at Tona- 
wanda. He was adopted into their nation, under the 
Indian name of "Kiawana," which means "a good 
man." He often helped them to bread in seasons of 

Col; Ellicott removed from Batavia with his fam- 
ily to reside in Shelby, in 1817. He had been em- 
ployed with his uncle, Joseph Ellicott, in surveying 
the Holland Purchase. 

He built a second grist mill at Shelby Center, or 
Barnegat, as it was then called, about the year 1819. 
It was afterwards burned. When this mill was fin- 
ished it contained the largest and best floor for dan- 
cing then in town, and the young people of Shelby 
and vicinity used it for the first hall in town. It was 
several times afterwards used by dancing parties, a 
man by name of Hackett, who resided in Shelby, 
furnishing the music on a violin. 

The young people were very fond of dancing, and 
got up parties to enjoy that amusement frequently 
whenever they could find a floor, and whenever they 
could secure the services of Hackett with his violin. 
If he was not to be had they managed with such 
other music as they could get, and some of the old 


people yet remember attending parties at an early 
day in this neighborhood, and dancing, right merrily 
to the music of a Jewsharp. 

Col. EUicott died in September, 1839. 

The first birth in Shelby was that of Asa Coon, 
son of Alexander Coon, senior, February 14th, 

The first death was that of William Bennett, Oc- 
tober 4th, 1812. 

The first tavern was kept by Daniel Timmerman, 
in 1816, and the first store by Christian Groff in 

The first school was taught by Cornelius Ashton in 
the winter of 1815-16. 

In the winter of 1819, in order to get money to pay 
his taxes, Abner Hunt threshed wheat for John Burt, 
for every tenth bushel. 

The work was done on the floor of a log barn ten by 
eighteen « feet and the chaff' was separated 
from the wheat with a hand fan made of boards. 
Mr. Hunt carried his share of the wheat on his back 
two miles, and sold it to Micah Harrington for twen- 
ty-five cents a bushel. 

The first regular physician who settled in Shelby 
was Dr. Christopher Whaley, who came in 1819. Dr. 
George Norton came soon after. 

The first postofiice in town was at Shelby Center, 
and the first postmaster was Colonel Andrew A. El- 

John Van Brocklin built and carried on a small 
iron foundry at Shelby Center, about 1821-2 which is 
said to be the first iro n foundry established in the 
county of Orleans. 

Justus Ingersoll built and carried on a tannery in 
Shelby about 1821. 




Among the old families in Orleans county, none are 
better known or more favorably considered than the 
Gregory family, of Shelby. Of Scotch descent, 
Ralph Grregor}' removed from Fairfield, Vermont, to 
Shelby, in 1816, where he followed the occupation of 
a farmer and brought up his six sons to the same 

Mr. Gregory, the father, died in 1837. His six sons 
still survive and live in or near Shelby, except Philo, 
who moved to Michigan ten years ago. 

Brought up in habits of industry and strict econo- 
my, they have each acquired a competence of prop- 
erty, and arc enjoying a serene and quiet old age, 
honored and respected by all who know them. It is 
rare that so large a family of brothers live together 
so long, and the Gregory Brothers may be referred 
to for proof tliat in this good land of ours, perseve- 
rance and energy will achieve success, and health 
and long life made happy will very surely be attained 
by those who live worthy of such rewards. Ex- 
tracts from the local history of two of the brothers 
are as follows : 


"I am fourth son of Ralph Gregory. 1 was born 
in Fairfield, Franklin county, Vermont, April 18th, 

In the winter of 1817, my lather with Ids family re- 
moved to what is now Shelby, Orleans county, N. Y. 
On that journey it fell to my lot to drive the team of 
two yoke of Oxen attached to a wooden shod sled. 
We were on the road from February 5th to April 3d, 
making some stops, waiting for snow and to recruit. 
The greatest distance travelecj in any one day was 


twenty miles, and that was on the ice on Lake Cham- 

But in the closing up of our journey we were three 
days getting from four or five miles north of Batavia 
to our stopping place. I married Betsey Wyman, 
April 5th, 1818. 



"I was born in Fairfield, Vermont, April 10, 1802, 
being the youngest of seven sons. I was a cripple 
in my feet and ankles from birth. I did not walk 
until I was foxir years old. My crippled condition 
and my extraordinary birth, being a ' seventh son,' 
occasioned my being called while a boy, 'doctor.' 
This title was peculiarly annoying to me. This and 
the drunkenness, profanity and infidelity which char- 
acterized some of the faculty with whom I was early 
acquainted, prejudiced my mind strongly against the 
medical profession. I have lived to find honorable ex- 
ceptions to this character among some of the profes- 
sion I have since known. 

My only sister died before she was quite five years 

In the early part of September, 1815, there were 
severe frosts destroying the crops before they had 
matured. This so discouraged my two oldest broth- 
ers, who then had families living a few miles distant 
from each other, that they told my father they were 
done with Vermont, and had determined to seek their 
fortunes in the west. 

At their suggestion, and in order to keep his family 
together, my father, then fifty years old, consented 
to go with them, patriarch like, to seek for himself 
and family 'a better country.' He accordingly took a 
saddle horse and visited the Genesee country, and 
spent some six weeks in vewing the entire region, 


when he returned home bringing in a favorable report 
of the land. 

This was hs^iled with joy by us all except my 
mother, who was much attached to her old home. 
Houses and lands, and everything else too cumber- 
some to carry were disposed of, so that by the 
first of February, 1816, we were on our way to the 
far famed Genessee. 

Our caravan consisted of two four ox teams, each 
attached to heavy wooden shod sleds, starting on the 
5th, and a two horse team starting on the 6th. We 
had good teams, but we had a tedious journey. The 
most of the way the sleighing was bad. From White- 
hall to near Auburn, our sleds had to be newly shod 
every other morning, and from Auburn west we had 
to mount ou.r sleds on wheels. 

After refreshing ourselves awhile with friends ' in 
Gorham, Ontario county, we came on to Batavia and 
there made another stop. It was now about the mid- 
dle of March, and the younger boys went to work, 
while my father and the two eldest of his sons went 
out to look for land. The place where we stopped 
was about four miles north from Batavia, and is now 
called Dawes Corners. 

My father located a farm for himself on Maple 
Kidge, in Shelby, paying one hundred dollars for 
his ' chance ' on one hundred acres, and buying ar- 
ticles of land in the vicinity for his'sons. 

On the third of April we again startedjon our jour- 
ney, and arrived at our new home' near the close of 
the third day, a short journey this last, but a very 
wearisome one. I was then about thirteen years 

When we arrived at our future residence, we had 
no shelter for men or beast. Orange Wells and Sam- 
uel Wyman had located in that neighborhood in the 


spring previous and made small improvements, and 
built log houses. 

Through the hospitality of Mr. Wells, we were 
kindly sheltered for a week, by wliich time we had 
built a cabin for ourselves. 

Our oxen could very well live on browse, but our 
horses after standing one night tied to a brush 
heap, looked so sorry that my father took them back 
to Batavia. 

We were all happy when we got into our new 
house, not a costly edifice like those dwellings of 
some of our rich neighbors of the present day, but 
made of rough unhewn logs, notched down together 
at the corners, shingled' with rough hemlock boards, 
with joints broken and battened with slabs round 
side up, the floor made of split basswood logs spotted 
upon the sleepers, and flattened on the top, leaving 
an open space at one end for the fire place on the 
ground, the end of the floor planks affording a con- 
venient seat for the children around the fire, in the 
absence of chairs and sofas. 

Our first work was to fell trees around our dwell- 
ing, burn off the brush and logs, and enclose a patch 
of land for a garden and a fruit nursery, my father 
having brought a small bag of apple seeds from Ver- 

We procured peach stones in Ontario county. 
This was in the spring of 1816. Four families had 
wintered near our location, but on the opening of 
spring neighbors came in frequently, and the forest 
resounded with the sound of the woodman's ax and 
the crash of falling trees. 

Among the names of settlers who had located in 
our neighborhood about the time of which I have 
spoken, I remember Elijah Bent, Alexander Coon, 
Oliver R. Bennett, James Mason, Leonard Dresser, 
Andrew Stevens, William Knowles, William C. Taur 


iier, Josias Tanner, Elijah Foot, Peter Hoag, Stephen 
Hill, Franklin Bennett, Micah Harrington, Daniel 
Fuller, Daniel Timmerraan, William Dunlap and 
Blizur Frary. 

There was a will and indomitable courage enter- 
tained on the part of the settlers, but it was exceed- 
ingly difficult for them to obtain money for the com- 
mon necessaries of life. 

Mr. Hiel Brockway bought a lot in this vicinity, 
and sent on Mr. Calvin C. Phelps (now of Barre) to 
chop, 61ear, and sow with wheat ten acres of land. 
He boarded with Mr. Wells. To him Mr. Brockway 
would send barrels of pork, flour, and whisky, the 
last of which was considered in those days about as 
much of a necessary as pork or flour, for him to sell 
to the inhabitants. 

This was a relief to many, and saved the buyers 
much time in looking up their supplies and trans- 
porting them home. 

At one time my father paid Mr. Phelps eleven dol- 
lars for as much pork as he could carry away in a 
peck measure. I don't recollect the number of 

At another time he paid Elijah Bent twenty-five 
cents a pound for pork. 

By the first of June in the year we came, we had driv- 
en the woods back from the house in one direction 
thirty or forty rods. The brush was burned off and 
the ground planted with corn among the logs. This 
was in 1816, known as * the cold season,' when snow 
feU in every month in the year but two, with frost 
every month. Consequently we raised but little 
corn, and even that was saved in an unmatured 
condition. We were, however, with much care, able 
to make passable meal from some of it. 

The little wheat sown the fall before yielded boun- 


tifully, but the supply not "being equal to the demand, 
owing to the large emigration of people into the 
country, scarcity and high prices prevailed before 
the next harvest. 

Witli so small a supply to be obtained, roads so 
new and rougli, prices high, settlers poor, and their 
best and almost only means of conveyance an ox 
team, it is no wonder much sutfering and want pre- 

My father had one horse, and he assumed the office 
of commissary of subsistence in part, for the whole 
settlement, and acted as mill boy for the family. 
He would ride about the countrj'' to find grain, some- 
times getting a grist near Batavia, the next on the 
Ridge Road, between home and Rochester. Not- 
withstanding my father' s faithful efforts, we would 
sometimes come short for food, then our good mother 
would put us on ' half rations.' 

At one time our supplies were comi^letely exhaus- 
ted. We had been expecting our father home all day,, 
with his bushel grist perhaps, but he did not comsr 
and we went nearly supperless to bed, expecting he 
would arrive before morning. 

Morning came but father did not. We hoped he- 
would come soon, and took our axes and went to- 
work, but our axes were unusually lieamj. FaiHt 
and slow were the blows we struck that morning. 
While we boys were trying to chop, mother sifted a 
bag of bran we had and made a cake of the finest, 
- which she brought out to us during the forenoon. 
We ate tliis which stayed us up till noon, when father 
came and brought us plenty to eat, such as it was. 
Variety was not to be had in those times. 

In course of this season most of the lands near my 
fathers were located by a hardy and energetic popu- 
lation, mostly from New England. 

By the fall most of the occupied farms had their 



/fallows, of from three to twenty acres in extent, ready 
for sowing. This crop, though sowed among roots 
and stumps of trees, produced a yield of from thirty 
to fifty bushels per acre. 

This bountiful return, together with a fair corn 
crop, placed us above want and fully satisfied us 
with the country we had adopted as our home. Pei\- 
dmg this harvest there was great scarcity, of provi- 
sions, but neighbor lent to neighbor ; the half layer 
of meat and loaf of bread was divided, while for 
weeks many families subsisted on boiled' potatoes 
and milk, and such vegetables as the forest af- 

When the earliest patches of wheat were cut and 
threshed, there was no mill to grind nearer than 
Rochester. There were mills on the Oak Orchard 
Creek, but they were of such construction there was 
not water at that season sufficient to turn them. 
Neighbors would join together and send a team to 
Rochester to carry grists to mill for them all at 

In many instances green wheat was boiled whole 
and eaten with milk. I ate of it and thought it good. 
Tlie products of this harvest exceeded the wants of 
the producers for their bread, and as we had no high- 
ways on which we could send our grain to market, 
v/e were restricted in our sales mainly to new comers 
who had not time to raise a crop. A bushel of wheat 
was the price of a day's work ot a man, and he was 
considered lucky who had an opportunity to sell 
wheat for money, at even a low price. 

On the first day of July, 1817, wheat was worth 
two dollars and fifty cents a bushel in Orleans coun- 
ty, and in the winter next after farmers drew their 
wheat to Rochester with ox teams, a journey round 
taking three days or more, and sold it for from twen- 


ty-live to thirty-one cents a bushel in money, and we 
felt that was better than to go home hungry. 

In consequence of my lameness my parents did 
not design that I should be a farmer, but Providence 
seemed to order otherwise. My privileges and means 
for obtaining an education were limited, and to tlie 
business of felling the forest, clearing land, and reap- 
ing the harvest I became much attached, so that even 
to the present day, the ax and the sickle are my fa- 
vorite tools. 

At one time I came near entering as clerk in a drug 
store, but the proprietor proved to be a worthless 
character, broke down and ran away. N^o other 
business appearing to oifer for me, I accepted the 
occupation of a farmer, which I have followed ever 
since, now residing on the homestead of my father. 

The first school taught in our neighborhood was 
by Miss Caroline Fuller, of Batavia, in the summer 
of 1817. The next winter we had a full school taught 
by Mr. J. N. Frost, of Riga. I taught school myself 
two terms before I was twenty- one years old. When 
I was twenty-one years old I was elected constable, 
which office I held three years in succession. Since 
then I have held a few offices both in town and 
county, but never depended upon the fees of office 
for my support. 

I was married April 20th, 1828, to Mary A Potter, 
daughter of Wm. C. Potter, of Shelby. 

My mother died April 4th, 1832, aged 65 years, 
and my father died April 20th, 1837, aged seventy- 
two years. 

My father was a local preacher of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, and in connexion with Kev. Jas. 
Carpenter, of the Baptist denomination, he labored 
faithfully to plant and foster the principles of evan- 
gelical truth in the minds of a people otherwise most- 
ly destitute of religious instruction. 


I have been connected with the temperance organi- 
zations of all sorts that have been established here in 
the last thirty years. 

At the age of eighteen years I was led to embrace 
the Savior of the world as my Savior, and from that 
time through much unworthiness, I have been en- 
deavoring to hold on my way, trusting that the merits- 
of Christ will avaU for my short comings. 


Millville, January, 1863. 


David Demara was born in Albany county, Octo- 
ber 26th, 1808, and removed with his father's family 
to Shelby, in 1811. His father first located in the 
woods two mUes from any house, built a log house 
fourteen by sixteen feet, covered it with bark and 
moved into it, without floors, doors, or windows. 
He left the county in 1813, on account of the war, 
and returned in 1815. 

David Demara married Maria Upham, April 12th, 
1837. She was born in Ward, Massachusetts, March, 
29th, 1814. 


" I was born March 10th, 1800, in Manheiin, Mont- 
gomery county, N. Y. 

In January, 1817, I removed with my father's fam- 
ily to Ridgeway, Orleans county. We built a log 
house and moved into it in the month of March. 
While building our house, and just previous to put- 
ting on the roof, a large tree fell upon the building, 
and cost us much labor to remove it and repaii' 

Cornelius Asliton and John Timmerman had set- 
tled witMn half a mile of my father's location when 
we came in. 


My father's family consisted, of my father and 
mother and ten children. When he moved here, lie 
was to all intents and purposes, poor. I do not 
think, besides a pair of old ordinary horses and a 
■cow, my father could boast he was worth other prop- 
erty worth fifty dollars. I worked out to help sup- 
port the family until I was twenty-one years of 

I married Miss Lucinda Michael in 1824. My 
father, Henry Bidelman, died in 1860, aged eighty - 
two years. 

In March, 1818, snow fell about two feet deep; next 
day it thawed, and a frost following made a hard 
crust on the snow. On this James Woodward and 
myself resolved to have a day hunting deer. We made 
snow shoes from a seasoned board, which enabled us 
to walk on the crust with ease. We were attended by 
a small dog, and armed each with a common pocket 
knife. We soon started a fine buck from his browse 
in a fallen tree top, the dog gave chase, and after a 
few bounds, in which the deer broke through the crust 
to the ground, he stood at bay. We rushed upon 
the deer with our knives and cut his throat. We 
soon started another deer, which we killed in the 
same manner. So we brought in two deer in about 
an hour. Our success so animated George Holsen 
burgh, a neighbor, that he joined us in another-hunt. 
In our second hunt we had not gone far into the woods 
before we started as large a buck as I ever saw. The 
dog soon brought him to a bay. Holsenburgh, who 
was a quick, athletic man, rushed u^ to the head of 
the deer with intent to seize his horns, when he re- 
ceived a blow from the fore foot of the animal which 
laid open his clothing from his chin down, as if cut 
by a knife. The hoof took the skin off upon his 
breast, and left a visible mark down his body. Hol- 
senburgh was terribly alarmed at this change in af- 


fairs. He turned pale, and retired from the contest 
lie was so prompt to commence. Woodward and 
myself went to the rescue, and quickly despatched 
the deer as we had done the others. Our friend Hol- 
senhurgh had had sutBcient experience of that kind 
of deer hunting to satisfy him, and we went in with 
our game. Woodward and myself went out again 
the third time and brought in two more deer, making 
live in all killed by us in one day. 

In Marcli, 1822, I helped the contractor who had 
taken a section of canal to dig where Medina now 
stands, build a log cabin. We cut our trees for the 
building on the ground now the site of the village. 
We finished our cabin in five and a half days. I 
then engaged to work for the contractor half a month 
for six dollars and fifty cents and be boarded. Oar 
work was digging for the canal. The first two days 
we had fifteen hands, and the third day about 
fifty. We were allowed a liquor ratioii. Mr. Eggles- 
ton, the contractor, brought in on an ox cart from 
Rochester., three barrels of whisky among other 
stores to use on his job. Of this each man was al- 
lowed one gill a day. 

At this time I was unacquainted with, the nature of 
whisky, and I \vith the others, drank my first al- 
lowance. I will not here attempt to de- 
scribe its effects. Suffice it to say, it was the first 
and last liquor ration I ever drank. I sold the re- 
mainder of my whisky rations to those who were fa- 
miliar with their use, at three cents each. 

In the year 1828 I built for myself a log house 
twenty feet square, into which I moved my family, 
liaving but one room whicli we used for kitchen and. 
parlor, dining room, bedroom, &c. Our furniture 
was such as pioneer farmers in this country usually 
posssessed, viz.: a loom, quill wheel and swifts, 
great wheel and little wheel for spinning, necessary 


bedding, seven chairs, a table and a cradle, with a 
few exceedingly plain culinary utensils, which were 
indispensible to our comfort. 

For many years my wife manufactured our cloth- 
ing, both woolen and linen, wove our own cover- 
lets and blankets, and hundreds of yards for our 

Shelby, October, 18G6. 

Ml-. Abram Bidelman died June 8th, 1808. 


"I was born in Providence, Saratoga county, N. 
Y., June 14th, 1793. 

I was married to Dorcas Ferris, August 15th, 1814. 
I hired a man to move me to Ridgeway, agreeing to 
pay him forty dollars for it. Our outfit consisted of a 
good team of horses and wagon, as there was no 
snow then. My family consisted of my mother, my 
wife and two children. 

After we had been two or three days on the road, 
a ' thaw ' came that compelled us to stop a week. 
The earth then became frozen and we went to Palmy- 
ra, when one horse gave out. I bought another horse 
for forty-five dollars, paid my watch, a fur hat, and 
a pair of boots, for thirty -two dollars, and gave my 
note for the thirteen dollars, and witli my three horse 
team went on to Rochester, which then consisted^ c/iAy 
of a few log buildings, one of which was a tavern 
where v>-e stopped. On examining here I found our 
only bed had been stolen. I afterwards found it 
pawned at Palmyra by the thief and had to -pay two 
dollars and a half to get it again. We came by the 
Ridge Road to West Gaines, where we found an 
empty shanty and moved into it. I went to Batavia 
through Shelby and procured an article Of a piece of 
land west of Eagle Harbor, and returned in one day 


as far as Millville. It snowed hard all that day, and 
I think I did a good day's work, traveling so far 
through the woods on foot. I acknowledge my steps 
were some hurried by seeing tracks of wolves in the 
snow, and seeing soms! evidences of a bloody encoun- 
ter they had had. 

I bought a three-year old heifer and paid for her 
chopping three acres of timber, and fitting it for log- 
ging, going three miles to the place where I did my 

In tiraiiof haying and harvest I walked to Palmyra 
and worked there three weeks to buy pork and 
wheat for ray family. The next fall I moved into a 
log house I had built, and felt at home. The next 
year I had a little trial such as was common to pio- 
neer settlers in those days. It was before harvest. 
My cow had lost her bell, and had been gone in the 
woods eight days. AVo were destitute of provisions, 
except a small piece of bread, some sugar, and some 
vinegar. I went to the nearest place where flour was 
sold and could get none. On my return we gave the 
last morsel of bread to our children. I picked some 
potato tops which my wife boiled and we ate, dress- 
ing them with vinegar. Our empty stomachs would 
not retain this diet. We speedily vomited them up 
and retired supperless to bed. Earl>f next morning 
I arose and went to my neighbors a mile away, and 
they divided their small store of flour with me. I 
carried it home and my wife speedily salted some 
water and made some pudding, which we ate with 
maple sugar, and this seemed to me to be truly the 
best meal of victuals I evei- ate. I felt, even in this 
straight, the v/ords of Solomon to be true: "Better 
is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox 
and contention therewith." 

Another incident. Myself and immediate neigh- 
bors were destitnte of flour. I had money whicli I had 


taken in exchange of land, so a neigliboi" took me 
with Ms team and wagon to Hanford's Landing, at 
the mouth of Genesee river, to purchase flour. I bought 
six barrels of flour and one barrel of salt and took 
out my money to pay for it. Mr. Hanford, the man 
of whom I had made my purchase, divided the money 
I handed him into piles of about thirty-six dollars 
in each pile, after doing which I was astonished to 
hear him accuse me, in an angry tone, of being a 
dealer in counterfeit money, and to learn that he had 
condemned about one-half of what I had paid him. 
He ordered a man in his employ to go immediately 
to Rochester and procure a precept for my arrest: I 
felt alarmed, and that I was in trouble. I knew not 
what to do, but God, who is ever watchful over those 
who put their trust in Him, was with me. While 
things were growing more threatening, a gentleman 
whom I had never seen but once before came up, and 
after learning the facts, strongly condemned Mr. Han- 
ford' s course. The money was again examined, and 
only about nineteen dollars found bad. This was re- 
placed by current funds, and we were then allowed 
to return to oui- homes in peace. 

This supply carried the settlement through until 
harvest, and by the blessing of Heaven and our own 
industry and economy, we have been saved from 
such destitution until the present time. 

I have seen the wilderness disappear, and beauty 
and civilization spring up in its place around me. _I 
have, in conjmon with mankind, drank of the cup of 
aflliction, perhaps more deeply than many others. 
I have been called to mourn over the graves of two 
loved companions and four children, from a family of 

I now reside with my third wife, in West Shelby, 
and preach every Sunday at the Christian Churcli in 


Barre, N. Y., where I have labored in the ministry, 

more or less, for fifty years. 

"West Shelby, May. 1868. 


David Burroughs vi^as born near Trenton, "New Jer- 
sey, and died in the town of Shelby, Orleans Co., 
N. Y., in 1822, aged 46 years. 

Mr. Burroughs removed to Ovid, Seneca county, 
about the year 1798, where he resided, working a 
farm and keeping hotel until the year 1818, when he 
removed to Shelby, and settled on a farm about two 
miles south-west from Shelby Center. 

Mr. Burroughs took first rank among his tov/ns- 
men for his capacity and intelligence. He was the 
first Supen.'isor of Sheliay, while it belonged to Gen- 
esee county, and was appointed justice of the peace 
about the year 1820, an office he held till his death. 
He was a member of the Convention that framed the 
Constitution for the State in the year 1821. He took 
an article of his farm from the Holland Company a 
year or two before he moved his family to Shelby. 
.He had a few acres cleared and a log house built, 
ready for his family when they came in. He left 
two sons, I. K. Burroughs, formerly a merchant and 
business man in Medina, where he now resides, 
and Hon. Silas M. Burroughs, who began life for 
himself as a merchant. Pie afterwards abandoned 
merchandise for the practice of law. He represented 
the county of Orleans four years in the lower House, 
in the legislature of the State, and was twice elected 
member of Congress, and died before the end of his 
second term. He also resided in Medina. 


Darius Southworth was born in Palmyra, IST. Y., 


March 18th, 1800. He -vvorked. some at the trade of a 
carpenter while a minor, but since the year 1825, he 
has made that his principal business. 

He married Mercy Mason, daughter of James 
Mason, of Millville, in Shelby, where he has ever 
since resided. They have four children, Elvira A., 
Albert, Dexter L., and George J. H., all now liv- 


Newman Curtis was born in Dalton, Massachu- 
setts, September 9th, 1797. 

He married Maria Van Bergen, of Kattskill, N". Y. , 
June 9th, 1818. In September, 1824, he settled on a 
farm in Shelby, one mile south of Millville. Mr. 
Curtis had fourteen children, eight sons and six 
daughters, all of whom live4 to become men and wo- 
men, and all of whom received their education at 
Millville Academy. 

In 1854 Mr. Curtis sold his farm in Shelby and re- 
moved to the town of Independence, in Iowa, where 
he purchased two hundred and fifty acres for his own 
farm, and located a large quantity of wild land of 
the Government, for his children. Mr. Curtis became 
wealthy from the rise in the value of these lands, 
and the practice of industry and economy. He died 
in the year 1858. His widow and twelve children 
survived him. 


Horatio N. Hewes settled in Shelby in the year 
1825, as a partner in business with L. A. G. B. 
Grant. He was engaged in selling goods, running 
mills, and dealing in produce with Mr. Grant for 
some years, and after that became a large contractor 
to do public work, and had large jobs of work on 
the Erie canal. He removed to Medina to reside 


about the yt?ar 18fi4, where he died Juue 17th, 

He was an energetic business man, and was exten- 
sively known in this part of the State. He married 
a daughter of Col. A. A. Ellicott. 


Lathrop A. G. B. Grant settled in Shelby • about 
the year 1824, as a merchant. He married a daugh- 
ter of Col. A. A. Ellicott. 

Mr. Grant gradually extended his business opera- 
tions, and at length became a large dealer in farmer's 

About the year 1851 he built the large stone mills 
at Shelby Center, and run them for a time. He was 
an active and influential man in public affaii-s of his 
town and county, and was the representative of Or- 
leans county in the State legislature in 1826, being 
the first member elected after the county was organ- 

Twelve or fifteen years ago he sold out his property 
in Shelby, and removed to Oswego, N. Y., where he 
has since i-esided engaged in extensive business. 


Andrew A. EUicott was born in Lancaster, Penn- 

He married Sarah A. Williams, of Elizabethtown, 
Xew Jersey. He came to Batavia in May, 1803. 

In July, 1817, he removed to Shelby, Orleans coun- 
ty, where his uncle, Joseph Ellicott, had given him 
eight hundred acres of land, which included the 
water power at Shelby Center. He settled at Shelby 
Center, where he built mills, officiated as justice of 
the peace, and postmaster. He was the first post- 
master in that town. 

His influence with his ^\'ealthy and numerous fam- 

OF oeleajSts county. 397 

ly connexions, his own benevolence and disposition 
to aid such as needed help, which he always be- 
stowed liberally when he had opportunity, en- 
deared him to the pioneers in Shelby, and contribu- 
ted much towards inducing settlements to be made 

He died September 7th, 1839. His wife died Au- 
gust 26th, 1850. His daughter Sarah, widow of the 
late Horatio N. Hewes, resides in Medina. 

aijExakdeji coon. 

Alexander Coon was the first, or among the first 
settlers in Shelby. He came from Rensselaer county, 
N. Y., and located about two miles west of Shelby 
Center,, in 1810. 

In a statement furnished by Mr. Alexander Coon, 
Jr., for Turner's History of the Holland Purchase, 
he says : 

"My father's family left the Lewiston Road at 
Walsworths, and arriving upon our land, four crotch- 
es were set in the ground, sticks laid across, the whole 
covered with elm bark, making a sleeping place. 
The cooking was done in the open air. A very com- 
fortable log house was then built in five days, with> 
out boards, nails, or shingles. Our cattle were fed 
the first winter on browse, the next winter on browse 
and cornstalks. 

Our nearest neighbor south, was Walsworth ; west, 
the nearest was in Hartland ; north, one family on 
the Ridge Road." 

Mr. Alexander Coon, senior, left several sons, and 
the family became among the most respectable in the 

Alexander Coon, Jr., was afterward a prominent 
public man, well and favorably Known in the affairs 
of his town and county. For eleven years he rep- 
resented the town of Shelby in the Board of Super- 


visors of Orleans county,— a longer time than any 
other man ever served as a member of that Board. 
He also held many other town offices. He said when 
he was collector of taxes in Shelby, he had a tax of 
less'^than, a dollar against a man who, to pay it, 
made hlack salts, drew them to Gaines on a hand- 
sled, and sold them for the money. 


Jacob A. Zimmerman was born InManheim, IST. Y., 
August 23d, 1795. 

In 1817 he came to Shelby with John B. Snell, who 
moved from the same town. 

In the summer of 1817, he married Nancy Snell. 
In the spring of 1819, they commenced keeping 
house in Shelby, on the farm they ever afterwards 

Mr. Zimmerman says : 

" I made a table. We had no chairs. I made 
three stools, two for ourselves and one for company. 
Our window lights were white paper ; no window 
glass could be had here then. Our cooking utensils 
were a four quart kettle, and a black earthen teapot. 
I gave a dollar for six cast iron knives and forks and 
six cups and saucers, which completed our eating 

Times were very hard. I was eleven months with- 
out a sixpence in money ; two months without any 
shoes. When we saw shoes tied up with bark we 
called them half worn out. I gave five bushels of 
wheat for a pair of poor^ coarse shoes, made of flank 

In 1821 my log house was burned. The neighbors 
helpsd ' ma baild aaothar hoasa, and in two 
weeks after the fire we moved to the new house. In 
November, 1826, I had bought and paid" for eighty- 


seven acres of land. I afterwards increased my fann 
to one hundred sixteen acres.'" 

Mr. Zimmerman's cliildren are Morris, married 
Phete Bent ; Eleanor, unmarried ; Gilbert, married 
Janette Sanderson ; John A., married, Mary Powers; 
Arvilla, married Egbert B. Simonds ; and Andrew L., 
married Jennie Bartsom. Jacob A. Zimmerman, died 
December 6th, 1864. 


John Grinnell was born in Edinburgh, Saratoga 
County, Decem^^i;^|th, 1796. . a^^n 

His father, - Jmitih Grinnell, was a native of ^li©de 
Maffd: He settled in Saratoga county and removed 
from there to Oneida county, where he died. 

John Grinnell purchased a farm in Barre, in 1820, 
on which in the fall of that year he built a log 
house into which he moved in April, 1821. He cleared 
his farm and resided there till 1854, when he moved 
to Shelby. 

Efe was three times married. First, to Roxana 
&^lia»T; second, to Lucy Babcock ; she died Janu- 
ary 25th, 1846 ; third, to Mrs. Julia Ann Abbott, Oc- 
tober 27th, 1847. 

His children, Gyrene and Daniel, are dead. Paul, 
married Sarah Butler ; Peter, married Eliza Berry ; 
Lyman, married Leonora Rooker ; Andrew J., mar- 
ried Mary Rodman ; J. Wesley, married Alice 
Haines ; Mahala, married William J. Caldwell ; 
Harley, married Maria Kelsey ; John Jr., married 
Margaret Root ; Ella J., married Frederick Hop- 

His brothers, Ezra, Major and Amos, and his sis- 
ters, Betsey, wife of Alanson Tinkham ; Eliza, wife 
of William Tyler ; Chloe, wife of Relly Tinkham, 
. and Anna, ■ wife of Weston Wetherby, all settled 


ill Orleans county soon after ]\Ir. John Grinnell 
came in. 

These families so early settled here, have been 
prosperous in business. Being upright in purpose, 
and honorable in character, they have become 
among the most respected families in the county. 



Formerly called Northton— George Houseman — Discouragement to 
Early Settlement— First Deed— Tappan's Tavern— Liquor Sold— 
First Marriage— First Death — First Store— First Sawmill— Bear 
Story — Preserved Greenman — Anecdotes of first Justice— Yates 
Center— First Post Office- Peter Saxe— Names of First Settlers 
along Range Line Road— Village of Lyndonville— Biographies d 
Early Settlers. 

ATES was formed from Ridgeway, April 1%' 
1822, by the name of NiyrtMon. The next 
year the name was changed to Yates, in 
honor of Governor Yates. 

George Houseman, from Adams, Jefferson county, 
came into this town and settled in 1809. John Eaton 
came in 1810. 

Veiy few settlers came in before or during the war 
of 1812, The extreme diffictilty of getting farm pro- 
duce to a market, and the prospect that such a diffi- 
culty would long exist, from the locality, discouraged 
emigrants from stopping liere, and little land was 
taken before 1817. 

Persons coming to this county to look for a place 
for their home, generally sought a locality in the vi- 
cinity of neighbors, where roads were opened, and. 
where the social enjojrments of human life could in 
some degree be realized. It required considerable 
heroism for a man to go back five or eight miles from' 
any settlement into the thick, heavy forest, and begio 
with the intention there to clear for himself, a 
farm. , 



A few hardy resolute men located in Yates, re- 
gardless of every discouragement, but no considera- 
ble settlement was eflfected until after the cold season 
of 1816-17, when the country rapidly filled up with 

The first deed of land given by the Holland Land 
Company, in this town, was to Preserved Grreenman, 
June 18th, 1810. ' Almost the whole of this town was 
deeded by the Holland Company between the years 
1831 and 1836. 

' The first tavern was kept by Samuel Tappan, at 
Yates Center, in the year 1825. The population of 
the town at that time was less than eight hundred, 
yet Judge Tappan, in a biographical sketch of him- 
self, says: 

"In the thirteen months in which I kept this 
tavern, I retailed fifty-three barrels of spiritous li- 

The first marriage in town was that of George 
Houseman, Jr., and Sally Covert, in 1817. The first 
death that of Mrs. George ■ Houseman, senior, De- 
cember, 1813. 

The first store was kept by Moore & Hughes, at 
Yates Center, in 1824. 

The first school was taught by Josiah Perry, in 
the year 1819, in the district including Yates Cen- 

A sawmUl was built on Johnson's Creek, below 
LyndonyiHe, by Gardner and Irons, about the year 
1819, and a gristmill on the same dam in 1821. 
These mills, at a later day, have been known as Bul- 
lock' s Mills, named from a subsequent owner. The 
mills and dam are now gone. 

Chamberlain & Simpson built the warehouse on 
the Lake shore, north from Yates Center. 

A family by the name of Wilkeson lived in the east 
part of the town in 1811 or '12. In the summer sea- 


son of that year, Miss Eliza Wilkeson saw a young 
cub bear near the house, among some vines they had 
planted. She was alone in the house, but seizing the 
old-fashioned fire shovel, she went and killed the bear 
with it. 

Mr. Preserved Greenman took up about six hun- 
dred acres of land lying east from Lyndonville, be- 
fore the war of 1812. Mr. Greenman did not occupy 
his land himself, but settled his sons Daniel and 
Enos there, giving the neighborhood the name of the 
"Greenman Settlement." 

Some years after, Mr. P. Greenman removed from 
Montgomery county to Yates, to reside. After a 
few years he removed to Genesee county, and died 

Mr. P. Greenman was noted for being " set in his 
way," and having made up his mind, it was hard to 
turn him. Having sold his farm in Montgomery Co,, 
while preparing to move to Yates, he had a valuable 
ox-cart to dispose of. He named a price for his cart. 
A man offered him a less price and would give no 
more. Greenman declared he would not abate a 
cent, and would burn his cart before he would sell 
for less. No better offer was made, and when he 
came awav he piled his cart in a heap and burat 

A rule he made was, that a pail of water must bo 
left standing in his house every night, and the last 
person who retired must see that it was done, under 
the penalty of being horse-whipped by Mr. Green- 
man next morning, in case of neglect. It happened 
once his daughter had a beau who made her a rather 
long evening visit, and she was the last in the family 
to retire for the night, and forgot the pail of water. 
Her father rose first, as usual, in the morning, and 
finding the waterpaU empty, called up his daughter 


and gave her a sound thrashing to maintain the rule 
he had established. 

Amos Spencer was the first justice of the peace 
within the territory now called Yates. He was ap- 
pointed by the Council in 1819. 

The first school house in town stoo^ three-fourths 
of a mile north of Yates Center, and was built in 
1818. Mr. Josiah Perry kept the first school there 
in 1819. 


Yates Center at first seemed to be the point where 
the village would be built. A hotel was opened here 
by Samuel Tappan, and a store by Moore & 
Hughes, the first in tdwn, and several dwelling 
houses were built. 

Here the first postoffice was located, Wm. Hughes 
first postmaster. 

When population and trade began to settle at 
Lyndonville, Yates Center ceased to enlarge, but i^s 
inhabitants were not discouraged. About this time 
Peter Saxe, from Vermont, a brother of John Gr. 
Saxe, the poet, located here as a merchant. He may 
be considered the founder of Yates Academy, for 
through Ms influence and energy it was planned, the 
stock subscribed, and the institution incorporated. 
Mr. Saxe traded here a few years, then removed 
to Troy, N. Y. 

After the canal was made navigable, much of the 
produce of the town of Yates found a market that 
way ; this trade, and the miUs at LyndonviUe, opera- 
ted in favor of that place, and against the Center. 

The Methodist Chapel at Lyndonville, which -vyas 
the first house of worship built in town, was soon 
followed by the building of the Baptist and Presby- 
terian churches at that place. 

Considerable oak timber grew in Yates. This was 


cut down long since, squared for sliip building, or 
riven into staves, and sent down the lake to 

The following is £l list of names of persons who, if 
not first the first, were among the first who settled on 
the road in the center of the town from the lake to 
Ridgeway, beginning on the lake : 

On the west side of the highway. — Amos Spencer 
settled here on the lake shore in 1818. Next south, 
Simeon Gilbert, in 1818. Next, Baruch H. Gilbert, 
in 1817. Next, Luther St. John. Next, Isaiah Lew- 
is, in 1818. Next a man by the name of Wing sold 
to Dr. Elisha Bowen, who resided there many years. 

Next, Zenas Conger. Next, Nellis. Next, 

Thomas Stafi"ord. Next, Moses Wheeler. Next, 

Nichols. Next, Rowley, Next, 

Samuel and O. Whipple. Next, Peck. 

Next, Collins. Next, Josiah Campbell. 

Next, Elisha Sawyer. 

On the east side of the highway, beginning at the 
lake. First, Robert Simpson. Next, Elisha Gilbert. 
Next Nathan Skellinger. Next Zacheus Swift. 
Next, Comfort Joy, in 1817. Next Lemuel L. Downs. 
Next, Isaac Hurd took two hundred acres. Next, 
Stephen Austin. Next, Benjamin Drake. Next, 
Truman Austin. Next, Jacob Winegar. Next, 
Stephen B. Johnson, in 1817. 

The next two hundred acres were owned by several 
different parties under article, but the deed from, the 
Land Company was taken hy Samuel Clark, Esq. 

Next, was Peck. Next, Abner Balcom. 

Next, Harvey Clark. Next, Elisha Sawyer. These 
settlements were chiefly made between the years 
1816 and 1819. 


Mr. Stephen W. Mudgett, who had carried on tan- 


ning and slioeraaking in Ridgeway, purchased fifty 
acres of land, part of lot two, section seven, on the 
east side of the north and south road in Lyndonville, 
and removed there and set up .tanning and shoe- 

Samuel Clark took a deed of two hundred acres 
next nortli of S. W. Mudgett, on the east side of the 

About the year 1817, a man by the name of Peck 
took up one hundred acres on the west side where 
William Mudgett afterwards resided. Samuel and 
Oliver Whipple took up land next noith of 

Soon after the county of Orleans was organized, 
settlers began to gather here. Mechanics and trades- 
men came in and a village began to be formed. Sam- 
uel Tappan, who Avas postmaster, and kept his office 
at Yates Center, removed it here, much to the dis- 
gust of those living at the Center. 

L. & N". Martin, from Peacham, Vermont, kept the 
first store in 1830. Smith & Babcock soon followed, 
and Royal Chamberlain was an early merchant. C. 
Peabody was first blacksmith. 

Blanchard and Chamberlain built the tavern 
which stands there yet, which was kept by Miner 
Sherwin, in 1830. 

To settle the postoffice satisfactorily to the people, 
Yates postoffice was transfered to the Center, and 
application was made to the department for a new 
postoffice, to be called Lyndon, that being the name 
that had been agreed on at a public meeting of the 
inhabitants, several of whom came from Lyndon, 
Vermont. The postoffice department established the 
postoffice by name ot Lyndonville, to distinguish it 
from Linden, in Genesee county. 

S. \V. Mudgett, Samuel Tappan, Richard Barry 
iind otheis, built the first flouring Mills at Lyndon- 



ville, in 1836. The Union School house was built in 

Royal Chamberlain, from Vermont, settled here as 
a merchant about the time the village began to be 

As there was no lawyer by profession in town, Mr. 
Chamberlain being a ready talker and possessed of 
some education'and sufficient self assurance, engaged 
in trying suitsl in justice' s courts, and continued the 
practice several years, until he became a noted 
•'pettifogger" through several towns around. He 
was a judge of tbe Court of Common Pleas one term. 
He removed from Yates several years ago, and now 
resides in Lockport,*wliere he has edited a news- 
paper. He did considerable to build up a callage at 

Dr. Horace Phippany was the first regular physi- 
cian who settled in Lyndonville. 

Rev. Jeremiali Irons was the first Baptist minister 
who resided in Yates. 



." I was born in Cooperstown, Otsego county, N. 
Y., December 28th, 1792. My father removed with 
his family, then consisting of his wife and five sons, 
to Big Sodus Bay, in 1801 or '2. In April, 1804, we 
moved by way of Irondequoit Bay and lake Ontario, 
to the mouth of Johnson's Creek, in Carlton, near 
wliich place my father took an article of land from 
the Holland Land Company, and located on it to 
make him a farm. 

The party that came consisted of my father's fami- 
ly and the Dunham family, of six or seven persons, 

408 pioni:ee history 

and these constituted the whole white population 
north of the Ridge, between the Niagara and Gene- 
see rivers, except a family by the name of Wals- 
worth, who had settled at the mouth of Oak Or- 
chard Creek. 

My father built a house of such poles as we could 
carry, as we had no team to draw logs, and covered 
it .with elm bark, in which we lived without a floor 
for one or iwo years, then a floor was made of split 
basswood logs. 

After building a shelter for the family, the next 
thing in order was to get supplied with food and 
clothing, the stock we brought with us getting low. 
We cleared a small piece of land and planted it with 
corn ; from this we made our bread. Our meat con- 
sisted of fish, venison, bear, raccoon and hedgehog. 
We pounded our corn for meal two or three years, 
by which time we began to raise wheat, which we 
took to Norton' s mill, in Lima, to be ground. It 
was about seventy miles by way of Irondequoit Bay 
and the lake. The country was so infested with 
bears and wolves at that time we could not keep do- 
mestic animals. 

In the summer of 1806 or "7, my father got a cow 
fipom Canada, but the following fall she was killed 
by wolves. 

Our clothing was made from hemp of our own rais- 
ing. We could not raise flax on account of the rust 
that destroyed the fibre. 

For several years we had no boots or shoes for 
want of material to make them. 

My father built the first frame barn in what is now 
Orleans county. The lumber and nails he brought 
from Canada. 

Turner, in his history of the Holland Purchase, is 
in error when he says that " James Mather built the 
first frame barn, and got part of his lumber from 


Dunham's mill." Our barn was built before Dun- 
ham' s sawmill was built. The barn was torn down 
by Daniel Gates twenty-two or twenty-three years 
since, who then owned the place, and some of the 
flooring can now be seen on the premises. They 
were split and hewn from whitewood logs. The nails 
used were all wrought nails. 

In September, 1814, my father and myself being 
the only ones in oar family liable to do military 
duty, were ordered to meet at Batavia, aiid go 
from there to Buffalo to serve in the United States 
army, in the war then being carried on against Great 

On our arrival at Buffalo, there was a call made 
for volunteers to go to Fort^Erie, under General Por- 
ter, to take the British batteries that were then be- 
seiging Fort Erie. My father and myself volunteered 
and went over and assisted in taking the batterieLs 
and capturing some five hundred prisoners. This 
was on the 17th of September, 1814. After this we 
were discharged, receiving at the rate of SS per month 
for our services. 

In 1814, I took an article from the Holland Land 
Company of the land on which I now reside, on lot 
one, section three, township sixteen, range three. 

In April, 1815, I went to Canada and worked on a 
farm there during the summer. The winter following 
I returned and chopped over twentj^-five acres on my 
farm, and in March, 1816, I went to Toronto and 
took command of a vessel and sailed on lake 
Ontario during the season of navigation until the 
year 1820. 

In January 28th, 1819, I was married to Miss Eliz-. 
abeth Hastings, of Toronto. We moved upon my 
farm in Yates, in December, 1820, where we still re- 
side. We have raised a family of ten children, five ' 
sons and five daughters. My eldest and yeungest 


sons are now sei-ving in tlie armies of their country 


in the war of the great rebellion. 

Yates, June, 1864. 

S.AMTjEL tappan. 

Samuel Tappan was born in Saco, Maine, I^^ovem- 
ber 19, 1781. When nine years old he went to reside 
with an uncle in Massachusetts. His father was a 
Quaker in religious opinion, a zealous advocate of 
their peculiar principles until his death. On the death 
of his father Samuel was placed with a man in Saco, to 
learn the tailor' s trade. Disliking this business he was 
soon after bound as an apprentice to a shoemaker, 
and commenced his ''servitude," .is lie called it, 
August, 1793. His master belonged to the sect of 
Quakers, hard and exacting, he made no allow- 
ance for the faults and failings, or the weakness or 
feelings of others. He obliged his apprentice to as- 
sume the dress, and conform to the mode of worship 
of the Quakers, both of which were repugnant to the 
feelings of the young man. His master had no 
books but the Bible, and a few religious works on 
subjects connected with the Quakers. Samuel was 
inclined to read whatever came in his way. His incli- 
nations, however, were strictly restrained by his mas- 
ter, by whom all books of poetry and romance were 
absolutely forbidden, and the range of other books 
to which he was admitted, was exceedingly limited. 
After several years spent in this manner, a friendly 
Congregational minister kindh' supplied him with 
books, and gave Mm discreet counsel, which 
rendered liis servitude more tolerable and happy. 
He had no benefit of schooling, never having 
attended school as a scholar but three days in his 

In 1801, with the help of friends he inirchased his 


freedom from his apprenticeship, and returned to 
Saco and worked at his trade about two years, 
studying what he could in the mean time to fit him- 
self for a school teacher. 

In 1803 he taught his first school, in which occupa- 
tion he was mainly employed for a number of years, 
occasionally working at his trade, and studying when 
he could without a teacher. 

For several years he supplied the poets corner in a 
village newspaper, and became considerably inter- 
ested in politics, on the Republican side, under the 
lead of Mr. Jefferson. 

In 1809 he was appointed deputy Sheriff for York 
and Oxford counties, which office he held for two 

In 1811 he removed to Pittstown, Rensselaer coun- 
ty, N. Y. The troubles between the United States 
and Great Britain thickening at this time, on his ap- 
plication he was appointed an Ensign in the Infantry in 
the United States Army, and assigned to duty in the 
18th Regiment, and stationed in the recruiting service 
at Hoosic, N. Y. 

After war was declared in 1812, he was transferred 
to the 23d regiment. 

In May, 1818, he was ordered with his company to 
the Niagara frontier. Fort George, at the mouth of 
Niagara river, on the Canada side, was taken by our 
forces, and Ensign Tappan was sent with forty men 
to plant the American flag on the fort, which was the 
first time that flag was raised over conquered British 
territory in that war. Ensign Tappan was now ap- 
pointed adjutant. In September he was sent with a 
convoy of prisoners to Greenbush, being twenty-one 
days on the road. He remained in Greenbush the 
next autumn and winter, teaching school in the mean 


In June, 1814, he was again ordered to the fron- 
tier and assigned to the command of a company, and 
served at the capture of Fort Erie. He was engaged 
in the battles of Chippewa and Lundy' s Lane. In 
this last battle his company lost seventeen out of 
forty-five in killed and wounded. In this battle 
Lieutenant Tappan, at the head of his company, cap- 
tured Capt. Frazier, of the Royal Scotts, with twenty 
of his men. The American army afterwards retired 
to Fort Erie, and was besieged there by the Britishj 
but they were finally compelled to raise the siege. 
Afterwards, by the bursting of a shell in our camp 
which had been thrown there by the British, his knee 
was broken, which confined him in hospital a long 
time, and on account of which he received a pension 
the remainder of his life. After he became suffi- 
ciently recovered to return to duty, he was retained 
on the peace establishment, war with England being 
ended, but resigned his commission in February, 
1816. He then returned to Pittstown, and there 
taught school the next seven years, serving in the 
mean time as inspector and commissioner of schools, 
commissioner of deeds, auctioneer and coroner. In 
1823 he moved to Ridgeway, moving in October, his 
family consisting of a wife and five children, mth all 
his effects on two Dutch Wagons, reaching Ridge- 
way, November ] 0th. Aftfer fitting a log cabin for 
his family he took a school for the winter. In the 
spring he went to work clearing land, but as he said 
his farming was not a success. "My fruit trees 
would fall down and my forest trees would stand up; 
my crops were light but my bills were heavy, and 
one year's experience taught me 1 was not born to 
be a farmer." 

In the spring of 1825 lie moved to Yates and opened 
a tavern at Yates Center, keeping the first tavern 
opened in that town. After keeping -tavern one 


year and retailing fifty-three barrels of liquor in that 
time, he sold out his tavern, was elected constable 
and inspector of schools and commissioner of deeds, 
which last named office he held twenty years. He 
was elected justice of the peace in 1828. In the win- 
ter of 1827 he taught school for the last time, conclu- 
ding his nineteen years service in that capacity. In 
1829 he was appointed postmaster, which office he 
held thirteen years. In 1832 he was appointed one of 
the Judges of the Orleans County Court of Common 
Pleas, which office he held five years. In 1846 he 
was elected town superintendent of common schools. 
The later years of his life were spent in quiet at home 
with his books, and enjoying the society of family 
and friends. He was constitutionally frail in body, 
but energetic and active in his habits of life. Being 
ready with his pen, and having considerable expe- 
rience in business, he was frequently employed to 
draft deeds, wills and contracts for his neighbors, 
and had some practice in trying suits in justices' 
courts, as counsel for parties. Of a cheerful and 
lively turn of mind and easy flow of language, and 
having an inexhaustible fund of anecdotes and sto- 
ries at his command, he would make himself exceed- 
ingly interesting in conversation, and give zest and 
enjoyment to society wherever he was. His charac- 
ter as a man is aptly described by his daughter in a 
memoir of him prepared by her, from which we ex- 
tract as follows : 

" Judge Tappan maybe described as a man of 
more than ordinary intellect, well acquainted with 
the leading events of the day. Of the strictest integ- 
rity in his business relations, noted for punctuality, 
a public spirited citizen, ready to bear his full share 
of responsibility. In his social relations, his keen 
perceptions and ready wit made him an instructive 
ooiapanion; Although many excentricities mingled 


in his character, yet those who knew him Tbest over- 
looked these, knowing his heart was right, though 
his words might sometimes wound." 

He was married four times and had nineteen chil- 

Many anecdotes might be told of him illustrative 
of his different traits of character. He posssessed 
no mechanical ability and often related one of his 
experiments in this department. After he moved to 
Ridgeway and became a farmer he found a well curb 
needed and concluded to make one without assis- 
tance. He ascertained the size required, collected 
the materials together and made it in the house du- 
ring ^he evenings, being engaged in teaching in the 
day time, but after its completion, when he at- 
tempted to take it through the doorway he found it 
several inches wider than the door. He was a great 
pedestrian, often making excursions on foot, showing 
greater powers of endurance than many younger and 
stronger men. 

In the spring of 1844, when starting on one of his 
eastern journeys, he tells us in his journal that ar- 
riving in Albion and not finding the water let into the 
canal as he expected, he managed to get as far as 
Rochester, and walked most of the distance to Ge- 
neva. After he was seventy years old he walked 
from Medina to Daw's Corners, near Batavia, at one 

While postmaster, he often left two horses in his 
stable and walked from Yates to Ridgeway with the 
mail bag on his arm. 

He died February 8th, 1868, aged eighty-six 


John H. Tyler was born in Randolph, Orange Co., 
Vermont, November 30th, 1793. He attended the 

01' 0BLEA]S"8 COUTNTY. 415 

academy in Randolph a short time and removed to 
Massena, N. Y., in 1810. On war with Great Britain 
being declared in 1812, he volunteered as a soldier 
and served near.Ogdensburgh six months. In 1817 
he removed to the Holland Purchase, and March 22d 
took an article for one hundred seventy-six acres of 
land in Yates, part of lot two, section two, range 
three, on Johnson's Creek, on which he afterwards 
resided and labored as a farmer. He was Supervisor 
of the town of Yates nine years, justice of the peace 
a number of years, and .represented the county of 
Orleans in the Assembly of the State in 1830 and '31. 
He wa,s a man of vigorous intellect and good judg- 
ment, and enjoyed the confidence of all who knew 

He married Selina Gilbert, daughter of Simeon Gil- 
bert, of Yates, in 1819. She died October 7th, 1842. 
He married Saloma Gates, daughter of Daniel Gates, 
of Carlton, in 1843. 

He died in August, 1856. 


Horace O. Goold was born in Lyme, Kew Lon- 
don county, Connecticut, August 12th, 1800. In 
March, 1818, in company with two other men in a 
one horse wagon, he came to Bloomfield, N". Y., after 
a journey of fifteen days. He labored on a farm the 
next summer, taught school the next winter, and in 
the spring of 1819, removed to Carlton, N. Y., and 
located about two miles west of the head of Still- 

The first year of his settlement here he raised 
thirty bushels of corn and as many bushels of pota- 

Mr. Goold said: ''During the first season we 
\vere sometimes rather short of food, especially meat, 
but some of the boys would often kill some wild an- 


imal, and we were not very particular what name it 
bore, as hunger had driven us ' to esteem nothing un- 
clean, "but to receive it with thanksgiving.'" 

Mr. Goold married Laurenda Fuller, of Carlton, 
November 15th, 1820. 

Several years before his death, Mr. Goold removed 
to Lyndonville, in Yates, where he died October 5th, 
1865. His wife died October 24th, 1865. 


Josiah Perry was born in Shaftsbury, Vermont, 
September 6th, 1787. He removed to Yates in April, 
1817, and commenced clearing a farm, and planted 
and raised corn and potatoes among the logs and 
sowed some wheat, all the first year. 

The people in Yates, in those days, generally went 
to Dunham's gristmill, at Kuckville, in Carlton, to 
get grain ground, and Mr. Perry relates of his carry- 
ing a bushel of wheat on his back a half dozen miles 
to that mill to be ground, going through the woods 
by marked trees, no road being cut out. 

Mr. Perry taught the first school that was kept in 
town. He held ofiice as justice of the peace a short 
time. He is yet living in Yates. 


Alfred BuUard was born in Barre, Massachusetts, 
February 19lh, 1793. 

He removed with his parents to Shrewsbury, Ver- 
mont, and there received a fair common school edu- 
cation, -with the addition of a knowledge of field sur- 

In 1817 he came to Batavia, Genesee county, and 
in 1818 he removed to Barre, Orleans county, and he 
finally settled in Yates in 1824, where he has ever 
since resided. 

For many years after coming into this county, his 


principal employment consisted in surveying land, 
and he was known to almost everybody in Orleans 
county as " Surveyor BuUard.' When he was not 
surveying he worked on a farm. He married Cynthia 
Peck in 1821. She died and he married Sally Smith, 
who is dead also. 

Mr. BuUard has not engaged in surveying for a 
number of years on account of lameness, which com- 
pelled him to, use one, and sometimes two canes in 
walking. He may be considered the pioneer surveyor 
located in Orleans county. 


Henry McNeal was born in Pittstown, Rensselaer 
county, N. Y., in 1792. 

He married Lucy Sternberg in 1814. They moved 
to Yates in 1817. 

Mr. McJSTeal was the first Captain of a militia com- 
pa,ny in Yates. 


Amos Spencer was born in Connecticut in l787r 
He married Jerusha Murdock, September 10th, 
1811. They moved to Yates and settled on the lake 
shore in 1818. 

After a few years they removed to Hartland, Ni- 
agara county, where he was living in 1870. The ufst 
year he resided in Yates, he cleared the land and sowed 
ten acres with wintei- wheat. On this the next year 
he harvested three hundred and thirty bushels of 
wheat. He drew forty bushels to Ridgeway Corners, 
hired Amos Barrett to carry it to Rochester with Ms 
team, gave him five dollars for drawing and paid his 
expenses on the road. He sold his wheat for fifty- 
four cents per bushel. They were gone four days, 
and on getting home found thay had only five dollars 


of the money received for their wheat left, all the re- 
mainder having been spent in paying necessary ex- 


Elisha Sawyer was born in Reading, Vermont, 
September 30th, 1785. He settled in Yates in 181G. 
He took up four hundred acres of land on the south 
line of the town. After some years he removed to 
Lyndonville on a small place. He removed to Pax- 
ton, Illinois, and died there December Sth, 1868. 


Baruch H. Gilbert was born in the town of North- 
east, Dutchess county. New York, August 24th, 

His father, Simeon Gilbert, came to Yates in the 
fall of 1816, and took an article of land on the west 
side of the line between ranges three and fonr, about 
a mile and a half south from lake Ontario, and re- 
turned to his eastern home without making any im- 
provement on his lands, to which he did not return 
until the spring of 1818. 

Baruch H. Gilbert settled on the south part of the 
land so taken by his father in the spring of 1817, and 
cleared a farm there On which he resided about fifty 

Mr. Gilbert was of fair education, of considerable 
spirit and energy of character, and settling in this 
town among the very first, he interested himself in 
every movement made to improve the country, intro- 
duce and maintain the institutions of civilized society 
and induce people to settle in Yates. He soon took a 
prominent position in the business of his town and 
neighborhood, and as long as he resided here he 
was one of the leading men in all public affairs. He 
officiated as justice of the peace for thirty years- 


He martied Miss Fanny Skellenger in 1821. His 
<5hildi-en are Simeon, who married Olive Skellinger, 
and resides in Illinois ; Stephen B., married Ann 
Watkins, resides in California ; Natlian S., married 
Mary E. Lane, resides in Lockport ; and Cordelia, 
who is unmarried. 


Dr. Elisha Bowen was born in Reading, Windsor 
county, Vermont, in the year 1791. 

He -received a diploma from Dartmouth College. 
He was first married and removed to Palmyra, N. Y., 
in 1817, where his wife died. 

In the year 1820 he removed to the town of Yates, 
and settled on a farm between Yates Center and the 

He was the first, and for several years tlie only 
regular physician residing and practicing in the town 
of Yates. 

He married for his second wife Miss Adeline Raw- 
son. After her death he married for his third wife 
Miss Mary Ann Clark. She died in 1861. 

Dr. Bowen had twelve children, of whom nine are 
living, viz.: Francis W., riiarried a daughter of Dr. 
Whaley, resides in Sacramento, California ; Samuel 
C, married Kate, daughter of Janies Jackson, of 
Ridgeway, resides in Medina ; Adeline, unmarried, 
resides in Wisconson; Charles C, married Julia Hard, 
resides in Detroit ; Edgar J., married Mary Winn, 
resides in Chicago ; Susan, married H. L. Achilles, 
Jr., resides in Rochester ; Cornelia, married Samuel 
Boyd, resides in Appleton, Wisconsin ; Mary, un- 
married resides at Appleton, Wisconsin ; Theodore 
E., married Mary Loomis, resides in Chicago. 

Dr. Bowen was one of thirteen persons who united 
to form the Baptist Church in Yates, in 1822, ot 
which church he continued an active member until 


his death. He was a strong advocate of temperance,, 
and among the first who united in the town of Yates- 
to form a society to promote that cause. 

Dr. Bowen was conscientious and correct in all the 
habits of his life, and had the confidence and respect 
of all who knew him. In the later years of Ms life 
he did not practice his profession. He died April 6^ 
1863, aged 72 years.. 





Although Mr. EUicott was never a resident of Or- 
leans county, and consequently not strictly included 
among its pioneers, whose history it is the main ob- 
ject of this work to record, yet, as the agent of the 
Holland Land Company for so many years- no man 
had more to do in organizing and settling this county, 
^nd in planning and bringing into action the means by 
•which the varied resources of Western New York 
have been developed. 

The ancestors of Mr. Ellicott came from Wales to 
America at an early day, and were among the early 
pioneers of Buck's county, Pennsylvania. 

Mr. Joseph EUicott was thoroughly educated as a 
^surveyor, by lessons given him by his elder brother 
Andrew. His first practical lessons were taken while 
.assisting his brother in surveying the city of Wash- 
ington, after that place had been selected for the Na- 
tional Capitol. 

In 1791 he was appointed to run the line between 
■Georgia and the Creek Indians. He was then en- 
gaged in surveying the lands of the Holland Company 
jlying in the State of Pennsylvania. When this was 
•completed he was sent to survey the Company's lands 
an Western New York. 

He spent many years in the woods, in the arduous 
labors of a surveyor, and when he left the woods to 


engage in the business of local agent of the Company, 
his toil was scarcely lessened. During this time he 
carried on an immense correspondence with the gene- 
ral office, at Philadelphia, in reference to the business 
entrusted to him, and also with the prominent men 
of his time and country in relation to public affairs 
generally, in which he manifested great interest. He 
is especially remembered aside from his connexion 
with the Holland Land Company, for the part he 
took in promoting that great work of internal im- 
provement, the Erie Canal. With the schemes for 
the origin and prosecution of that work, and its pro- 
gress to success, he was conspicuously identified; 
and among the great men whose comprehensive 
minds devised that canal, and urged it forward to 
completion, his name Avill ever rank among the 

By a life of activity and enterprise, he was enabled 
to accumulate a large property without being 
charged with peculation in ofiice, or mal-admin- 
istration of the vast business entrusted to his 

A spirit of discontent had begun to be manifested 
among the settlers on the Holland Purchase, growing 
out of their enormous indebtedness to the Company 
for their lands which they had been permitted to 
buy on credit, and while the leniency of the agents 
had not enforced payment on their contracts, accu- 
mlating interest had largely swelled the original 

Worried and worn by the load of labor he had 
sustained, and aware of the discontent which pre- 
vailed, and which he hoped might be allayed if direc- 
ted by other counsels, Mr. E. resigned his agency, and 
thus closed a busy life. From that time he was afflic- 
ted with a monomania upon real or imaginary diseases 
with which he believed himself to suffer. He was 


taken by his friends to New York and placed in the 
hospital at Bellevue, where abont Angust, 1826, he 
committed suicide. 

Joseph EUicott was never married, but for his nu- 
merous family of relatives he made most ample pro- 
vision, some of the choicest lands on the Holland Pur- 
chase being selected and secured by title to the Elli- 

His remains were brought to Batavia and interred 
in the village cemetery, a beautiful monument being 
erected under the superintence of David E. Evans, 
his nephew, and successor as local agent of the Hol- 
land Company, marks the spot. 

From his intimate acquaintance as surveyor with 
the Holland Purchase lands in Western New York, 
he was enabled to make some judicious selections of 
lands for himself. 

In the original survey of Bufi'alo, he laid 
off for himself one hundred acres, now included in 
the best part of that city. 

In the county of Orleans he bought seven hundred 
acres, including the water power at Shelby Center, 
and afterwards fourteen hundred acres farther down 
the Oak Orchard Creek, which included the vil- 
lage of Medina, and the best water power on that 

About the year 1824 he made his Will, in which he 
devised a large part of his great landed estate in 
special gifts to his favorite relatives. The residue 
was devised to others of his kindred, nearly one hun- 
dred in number, share and share alike, with a few 

His property at the time of his death, e-s-en at the 
low price lands then bore, was estimated at six 
hundred thousand dollars. Prom the g:^eat advance 
in value at this time, this property is worth many 
millions of dollars. 


He was the first Judge appointed in and for Gene- 
see county courts. 


Ebenezer Mix is a name familiar as household 
words to the old settlers on the Holland Purchase, 
and no history of the pioneers, or of the early settle- 
ment, could be made complete without a reference to 

Mr. Mix was born at New Haven, Connecticut. He 
. died at Cleveland, Ohio, January 12th, 1869, aged 
81 years. 

In his native New England he learned and worked 
at the trade of a mason. 

He came to Batavia, Genesee county, to seek his 
fortune, in the year 1809. There he worked first at 
his trade as a mason. He afterwards taught school ; 
was for" a time a student in a law office, and finally 
went into the service of the' Holland Land Company 
as a clerk in their oflice at Batavia, in 1811, where he 
remained twenty-seven years. 

Being a good theoretical and practical surveyor, 
and a clear headed and competent business man, in 
a short time he was made contracting clerk in the 
Batavia ofiice, in which capacity it was his duty 
to make, renew and modify contracts for the sale of 
land, calculate quantities of land, make sub-divisions 
of tracts of land, and act as salesman generally. In 
this way he became intimately connected with every 
transaction of the Company relating to gifts of land 
to churches and school districts, and took part in all 
business matters between the company and the people 
who settled on their lands. And few men could be 
found who would have done the business as well. 
He excelled as a mathematician, was a practical sur- 
veyor and possessed a remarkable memory of boun- 
daries, localities, dates and distances. Indeed the 


Triiole transactions of the Land Company, and the 
map of their territory seemed to be pictured on his 
mind with singular fidelity, making it a treasury of 
facts, exceedingly convenient for reference in settling 
ceaiflicting questions concerning highways, bounda- 
ries and original surveys, which arise among the 

Naturally of a somewhat irritable temperament, 
when aroused by the perplexities of business, he 
was sometimes rather sour and rough in manner to- 
wards persons by whom he was annoyed, but his 
wish and aim was to do right and justice, and how- 
ever austere and crabbed his manner, his conclusions 
and final settlement of matters he had in hand was 
kind and benevolent to those with whom he had to 

Full many a time has the unfortunate settler who 
had been unable to make the payments on his article, 
and whom sickness and calamity had driven almost 
to despair of ever paying for his land, had reason to 
be grateful for the humanity and generous treatment 
he received from Mr. Mix in extending his payments, 
renewing his article, and abating his Interest 

In the war of 1812 he served for a time as volun- 
teer aid to Gen. P. B. Porter, and was at the sortie 
at Fort Erie. 

For twenty years in succession he was the Surro- 
gate of Genesee county. 


This Association was organized June, 1859. Its 
members are persons who at any time previous to 
January, 1826, were residents of Western New York, 
who sign its Constitution. The objects of the Asso- 
ciation, as contained in its constitution, are to pro- 
mote social intercourse by meeting together statedly, 
in order to preserve and perpetuate the remembrance 
of interesting facts connected with the early history 
of the settlement of Orleans county and its vicini- ' 
ty. The annual meetings are held at the Court 
House, in Albion, on the tliird Saturday in June. 

It has been an object of the Association to collect 
and preserve as much of the history of the early set- 
tlement of Orleans couilty as possible. The local 
history of many of the <early pioneers has been obf 
tained and written out in books kept for that pur- 
pose, and several photograph albums have been 
filled with the pictures of the men and women who 
came here at an early day. 

At these yearly gatherings, and at occasional spe- 
cial meetings held from time to time in various places 
in the county, the old people are accustomed to meet 
together and recount their adventures while subduing 
the wilderness, and have a good time generally. 

It is intended to obtain as much of such history of 
" 'ye olden time " as possible, and when the actors 
in these old scenes are no more, and the last of the 
log houses shall exist only in the memory and rec 


ords of the'times gone by, then these old manuscripts 
and relics, laid up in some public depository, shall 
remain for the information of posterity of the things 
that were here, memories of the hardships, labors, 
and privations of the pioneers of Orleans county. 


TION, SEPT. 10th, 1859, 

Mr. President, and Members of i7ie Orleans County Pioneer Association : — 

In discharging the pleasant duty of addressing you 
on the present occasion, I am desirous to devote my 
thouglits to the. consideration of topics kindred to the 
sentiments which led to the formation of this associ- 

This seems no fit time to indulge in abstruse spec- 
ulations, or idle rhetoric. I address a practical com- 
pany, ^ — men who have been trained to meet the stern 
realities of life, and accomplish their destiny with un- 
flinching labor ; and having achieved a good work, 
well may they enjoy the triumph it affords. Let us 
then contemplate the past, and learn wisdom- for the 

A stranger, who now for the first time should come 
into our county, judging from appearances, would 
be apt to think this an old settlement, where genera- 
tion after generation of men had lived and died, and 
where their accumulated labor had been expended 
upon those works of enlightened civilization which 
cover the land. But we know scarce fifty years 
since the first acre of this territory was cleared of its 
native forest, and the men are now living who recol- 
lect when here was nothing but a dark, unbroken 

Many of the first settlers of this county have 
passed away from among the living. Others follow- 


ing in the tide of emigration are now inhabitants of 
some Western States. A few survivors and represen- 
tatives of a generation rapidly passing away, remain 
quiet possessors of the soil their hands first subjected to 
cultivation, and today they have assembled to talk over 
the trials and privations, the hardships and the suf- 
ferings, the varied events of fortune, prosperous and 
adverse, which have fallen to their lot since first they 
came into this county. 

The occasion is replete with interest to us all. To 
the aged veterans, it brings up memories of events, 
which in passing thrilled their hearts with intensest 

To the more youthful spectator it affords encour- 
agement to labor, in view of these examples of suc- 
cess over every opposition, obtained by resolute and 
continued exertion. And to us all, it shows convin- 
cing proofs that honest and laudable industry will 
reap its rewards in due time. 

Our theme embraces the consideration of subjects 
connected with the early settlement of Orleans county. 
In tracing the history of mankind in their migrations 
since their memorable dispersion on the plains of 
Shinar, we find a variety of causes which have impelled 
men to remove from the places of their nativity. The 
venerable founder of the Jewish nation went down to 
Egypt to save his family from death by famine, and 
his descendents came out of Egypt to save themselves 
from a terrible bondage. 

The builders of ancient Rome were the scattered 
fragments of various nations who assembled there as 
to a common asylum of outcasts from everywhere, 
and raised their walls for mutual protection and sup- 
port; and by encouraging immigration frombroad,and 
the gradual accretion of power by treaty, and con- 
quest of foreign nations, in time they became the 
mightiest empire on earth, in tjieir turn to be overrun 


"by swarms from tlie northern hive, who, deserting their 
inhospitable homes, came down with all their move- 
able possessions, by fire and sword, to drive out the 
inhabitants of the fair provinces of Italy, and give 
themselves a better land. 

The Spaniards who first settled "in America, were 
attracted there by their cnpidity for gold. And 
the ranks of the settlers in most new countries have 
been swelled by adventurers who had been obliged 
to leave their native land to escape the consequences 
of their crimes. 

A nobler impulse prompted our ancestors in their 
migrations from Europe. 

The discovery of America, the invention of print- 
ing, and the Protestant Reformation had roused the 
minds of the most intelligent natioUs of the world to a 
more exalted sense of the value of liberty, and a keen 
perception of those natural and inalienable rights of 
conscience which form the richest possession of a free 
people. Persecuted for conscience sake in their na- 
tive country, England, they had borne for years the 
cruel oppression which religious intolerance and po- 
litical tyranny forced upon them there, with christian 
endurance, till overcome by suffering too grievous to 
be borne, and hopeless of relief, they solemnly with- 
drew from their national church and from the land 
of their birth, to Holland, where, some years after 
they formed and carried out the resolution to emi- 
grate to America, there, under the protection of the 
King of England, they thought to worship God in 
peace, as they believed to be right. 

Piety and love of liberty furnished them suflacient 
motives for removal, and armed them ;with fortitude 
required to meet the perils and hardships of their 
new home. 

With all proper admiration which'we ought to feel 
for the early New England Puritans, the^ancestors 


of SO many of tliose who hear me, we may admit 
tliey had their failings. In the austerity of their 
faith they often forgot the mild spirit of charity 
which pervades the gospel they revered, and in the 
ardor of their zeal they made and sought to en- 
force laws of great severity against those professing 
religious belief at variance with the dogmas of their 
stern creed, and pimished and persecuted with a 
strange infatuation, those charged with the crime of 
witchcraft. • 

But in reviewing this portion of the history of our 
forefathers, we should remember not to judge them 
by the lights of the present age. Toleration to faith 
and worship, contrary to the forms declared by the 
civil govex'nment for a thousand years, had then not 
been known in Europe, and the opinion of good men 
had before then always been, that such religious free- 
dom would destroy the best institutions of society. 
A belief in witchcraft was as old as history itself, 
and was a common superstition of the times. The 
excellent and pious Baxter held the existence of 
witches as certain as the punishment of the wicked, 
and the great and good Sir Matthew Hale, that able 
judge, and profound luminary of the law, believed in 
witchcraft as sincerely as did Cotton Mather. 

The superstitions of the dark ages were then enter- 
tained by the most enlightened and liberal minded men 
everywhere, and it would be requiring too much, to 
expect our forefathers to have freed themselves from 
opinions we may deem absurd, but which up to that 
time, and by all other men then, were held worthy of 

I know we are sometimes charged with using ex- 
travagant eulogium in speaking of the New England 
Puritans of the olden time. But making due allow- 
ance for their eccentricities of character and conduct, 
resulting from circumstances with which they stood 


connected, we may look in vain to find in the early 
history of any other people, such noble patriotism, 
fervent piety, sound wisdom, and incorruptible hon- 
esty as in the case before us. 

They had all been trained in the same school of 
adversity, and possessed in a wonderful degree iden- 
tity of sentiment, sympathy and character in all their 
conduct and opinions which impressed itself upon all 
their laws, their individual and social arrangements, 
and upon every institution and action which found 
place among them. 

Inflexible and steadfast in their cherished princi- 
ples, they trained their children in the faith and prac- 
tices of their fathers, and the combined influence of 
such faith and works, we may see in their efiects 
upon the energy and enterprise, the love of liberty, 
*he respect for law and order, good morals, religion, 
learning and true patriotism, which, inspired by such 
examples, has ever distingushed their descendants 
down through the period of more than two hundred 

We need not sounding eulogy or 'words of windy 
panegyric to prove the value of New England intelli- 
gence, integrity and power, in moulding and guiding 
the rising destinies of our country. The wisdom of 
her statesmen, the heroism of her soldiers, and the 
spirit and conduct of her people, secured our nation- 
al independence, and established our national federa- 
tion of independent States upon the broad basis of 
constitutional liberty. And even up to now this ele- 
ment has always been prominent, I had almost said 
controlling, in the legislation of most of the States, 
and at Washington. 

A few years since some curious individual ascer- 
tained on enquiry, that thirty-six of the members of 
the two Houses of Congress, then in session, were 
born in the single State of Connecticut. 


In the language of Mr. Malthus, man coming up 
to take upon himself his place, and the responsibili- 
ties of life, finds no cover laid for him on nature's 
table, and he goes out to spread a table for himself 
where he deems the prospect most inviting. The rich 
treasures of experince and vsrisdom, and the abundant 
stores of material good things the past has garnered 
up, aflford him capital with which to work out the 
fulfilment of his own and his country's hopes. 

These magnificent results of the skill and enter- 
prise of the present day, are only other phases and 
demonstrations of the same spirit which led to the 
first settlement in America, and which has attended 
every step of our progress since, as well exemplified in 
the resolution of the solitary emigrant who sets his 
stake in the wilderness and determines there to dig 
up for himself a farm, as in that mightier work of q, 
statesman, or a nation, which makes a canal or a 
railroad across a continent, lays a telegraph wire 
across an ocean, or solves the deepest problem of 
state policy for the world. 

Soon after the revolutionary war had ended, the 
settlements in New England were extended over the 
the principal part of those States suitable for tillage, 
and multitudes of their active and adventurous young 
men went out to seek their fortunes among the bor- 
derers who were pushing the bounds of civilization 
and improvement back into the new territories, skirt- 
ing the old Atlantic States upon the West. 

A large majority of the first settlers of Orleans 
county were either emigrants from New England^ 
or descended from the Puritan stock, who traced their 
origin back to those who, in December, 1620, landed 
from the May Flower upon Plymouth Kock. It is 
admitted that as a class they were poor but honest, 
possessing strong moral convictions, of efifective force 
of intellect and will, they determined to plant and 


grow up the institutions of religion, order and 
civilization in this wilderness, such as prevailed in 
their New England homes. Such views, habits and 
purposes, characterized the emigrants who first set- 
tied Western New York. Here was not the hiding 
place of a population of whom it might justly be 
said they had left the homes of their youth as a 
measure of prudent care for their personal safety, 
or from a kind regard for the good of the place they 
had left. Neither did they come here to buy choice 
lots and leave them till the toil of others on adjoin- 
ing farms should add value to their purchases. Here 
were few non-resident land holders at an early 

The Holland Land Company had purchased the 
Western part of the State of New York, bounded on 
the east by a line extending north from Penn- 
sylvania to Lake Ontario^ known as the Transit 

Before the last war with Great Britain, a portion of 
this tract which has been distinguished as the Hol- 
land Purchase, had been surveyed by the Company 
and offered for sale to settlers. The wonderful fertil- 
iiy of the Genesee country had been reported abroad, 
and before the war a few emigrants had begun to 
make their homes among the heavy forests which 
covered this country, some of whom had located 
themselves in what is now Orleans county. 

The possibility of such a work as the Erie Canal 
had not then entered the great mind of Dewitt Clin- 
ton, or been dreamed of even by the great men of 
that day. 

The most favorable means in prospect, then far in 
the future, for communicating with the old settle- 
ments at the east, was by wagons on the highways, 
or boats down the Mohawk or Si. Lawrence. But 
ibc pionivr settlers of the Holland Purchase belonged 


to a bold and fearless race, who did not stop to en- 
quire whether the trail of civilization had extended 
to the new country, by which they could retreat with 
ease and safety to the homes of their fathers, if life 
in the woods should happen to prove uncongenial to 
their tastes. They expected to overcome the formi- 
dable obstacles before them by their own strong 
arms and stout hearts. They knew that wealth was 
in their farms, not perhaps in the shape of golden 
nuggets, such as fire the imagination of emigrants 
to Pike's Peak, or the other El Dorados of the West, 
but in the golden produce of well tilled fields, which 
honest hard work was sure to raise in abundance 
in time to come, and they meant to have it. 

It is really not as great an undertaking for the em- 
igrant, who at this day goes from the Atlantic States 
lo settle in Kansas or California, as it was fifty years 
ago to make a settlement in Western New York. 
Railroads and telegraphs have made communication 
-easy and rapid between places most distant, and 
modern improvements in the economy and arts of do- 
mestic life are such, that most of the necessaries and 
comforts enjoyed by residents in older towns can 
readily be procured everywhere. 

The farmer who locates on a prairie at the West, be- 
gins his work by plowing the primitive sod, and the 
next year he reaps his crop and finds his field as 
clean and mellow as plow land along the Connecticut 
river, and he can sell his products for almost New 
York prices. But beginning a farm on the Holland 
Purchase, fitty years ago, was quite a different busi- 

Indeed, we who have not learned by experience, 
can hardly imagine the obstacles and difficulties to 
be surmounted by the first settlers of Orleans county. 
Roads from Albany, westward, were bad ; merchants 
and mechanics had not yet arrived. A dense and 


heavy forest of hard, huge trees covered the land, to 
be felled and cleared away before the plow of the 
farmer could turn up t^e genial soil. Pestilential fe- 
vers racked the nerves and prostrated the vigor of 
the stoutest, as well as the weakest among them. 
The ague, that pest indigenous to all new countries, 
came up from every clearing, usually in the best 
days of summer, to seize upon the settler, his wife 
and children, some or all of them, and shake out all 
their strength and energy. 

Though the noblest timber trees tor their buildings 
existed in troublesome abundance, sawmills had not 
then been erected. 

Though their lands produced the finest of wheat 
whenever it could be sown, it cost more than its mar- 
ket price to take it to the distant grist mills to be 
ground. Sales of farm produce were limited to 
home consumption. 

Before the War of 1812 but few settlers had loca- 
ted in Orleans county. 

From Canandaigua to Lewiston, along the Ridge 
Road, and from the mouth of Oak Orchard Creek, 
along an Indian Trail to Batavia, the trees had prin- 
cipally been cut wide enough for a highway. A few 
log cabins had been erected, and the sturdy emigrants 
had begun by felling the trees to open little patches 
of cleared land around their dwellings to form the 
nucleus of their farms. 

War was declared. The regular pursuits of peace- 
ful industry were broken up. The settler was sum- 
moned to become a soldier, and at the call of bis 
country, at times almost every able-bodied man in 
the settlement was away in the ranks of the army, 
leaving their scattered, unprotected families, to risk 
the chances of hostile forays of the enemy, often 
threatened from the west along the lake. The cour- 
age and spirit of the women of those days was equal 


to the best examples to be found in American border 
warfare. Neither the frightful rumors of the massa- 
cre of their husbands and brothers in the fight, or the 
terrible announcements that the Indians, with mur- 
der and pillage, were sweeping down the Ridge Road 
or coming up the Creek, could drive them to abandon 
the homes they had chosen in the woods, or make 
them turn a point from the performance of what their 
duty required. 

Perhaps the gloomiest time in the experience of the 
pioneers was during and after the war, before the com- 
mencement of work on the Erie canal. Considerable 
wheat was annually grown, but beyond what the 
farmer wanted for his own consumption it was of lit- 
tle value, bearing a nominal price of about twenty- 
five cents a bushel. 

A kind of crude potash, made by leaching wood 
ashes, and known as " black salts," was almost the 
only product which brought money, and became, in 
fact, almost a lawful tender for value in trade, and 
this had to be taken to market for miles upon ox 
sleds or hand sleds, or on the backs of the makers, 
through woods and swamps, following a line of marked 
trees. After the war, came the memorable cold seasons 
of 1816-17. About these years, a cotemporary says, 
" from half to two-thirds of all the people were down 
sick in the summer time." 

"Without a supply of physicians or nurses, or med- 
icines, or even 'bread, how Avere such sick men to se- 
cure their crops or clear their land, endure storm, 
and want, and trouble and distress, which beset 
them at every turn ? Surely nothing but an iron will 
which no impediment could break or bend, an abid- 
ing faith and hope which no disasters or discourage- 
ments could overcome or crush out, sustained them 
through these dark days. Like heroes of another time, 
"through the thick gloom of the present, they beheld 


the brightness of the future," and they struggled 

It has been playftilly said that you may place a 
Yankee in the woods with an ax, an augur and a knife, 
his only tools, and with the trees his only material 
for use, and he will build a palace, if need be, want- 
ing perhaps in the finish which other tools, and the 
aid of iron trimmings, nails and glass would afford, 
but possessing the substantial requisites of conve- 
nience, and fitness and strength. 

The first log houses built in this county, proved al- 
most literally the truth of this remark. They were 
the dwelling places of the best families in the land, 
made by their owners, where the latch string was al- 
ways oiit at the call of the stranger, and the best of 
their plain and scanty store was always generously 
shared with the weary and destitute, whoever he 
might be. 

The builders and occupants of those rude tene- 
ments were then J)robably poor, as can well be im- 
agined, sick and suffering, with none of the luxuries, 
and few even of the necessaries of their former expe- 
rience, but withal contented and happy. 

How often do we hear these persons, now occupy- 
ing their noble mansions, fitted and furnished and 
adorned with all the elegance and profusion whicb 
the abundant means of their owners, and the taste and 
fashion of the times command, refer to the little, old 
log cabin first built upon their farm, and count their 
residence there the happiest in their lives. These 
buildings belong to the time gone by, and the last of 
the log houses will soon have gone down with their 
builders to that destruction which awaits all things 

For some years none new have been erected in this- 
county, and but rarely now can the travisler see one 
left standing in dilapidated humility behind the great 


new house, maintaming to llie last its character for 
usefulness, as a shelter for the grind stone, the ealt 
iDarrel, the swill tub, the work bench, and all the 
hand tools there carefully treasured up for use on 
the extensive domain of their wealthy owner. 

Among these primitive settlers, the advent of a new 
family to locate among them, was an occasion of 
joy through the town. The acquaintance of the stran- 
gers was promptly sought, a cordial welcome? ■ ex- 
tended, and the more material aid of all the force in 
the neighborhood, kindly volunteered to help the new 
comer roll the logs to begin his clearing, or pile them 
into the walls of his cabin home. Such friendly 
feeling prevailed in all their social aflairs. Eelations 
of acquaintance and friendship were sustained be- 
tween all the families for miles around, and no dis- 
tinctions of wealth or party, sect or condition were 
known. > 

It is true no such visionary scheme of community 
of goods, as was attempted by the old Plymouth 
Colony, or by the Fourierites of a later day, with all 
its attendant idleness and discontent obtained among 
them, but a most generous spirit to lend to and help 
the needy was a prominent trait in their character. 
They were not speculators who entered upon the 
lands to secure a title, trusting by a fortunate sale, 
or by the" rise in the market price to derive large prof- 
its on their investment. The fever for land specula- 
tion had not then set in. 

The policy of the Holland Company was to get 
their lands taken up and occupied as fast as possible. 
With this in view they gave contracts for deeds of 
conveyance on payment of a small portion of the 
purchase money, giving the purchaser some years of 
credit in which to pay the residue. This policy bro't 
in settlers, and the liberality of the company in ex- 


tending contracts where prompt payment could not 
he made, kept them on their lots. 

A portion, however, of the first inhabitants of this 
county, like a portion pf the first inhabitants in every 
new settlement, became charmed with their life of 
vicissitude and hardship, and the varied advantages 
of pioneer settlement, and soOn as the farms were, 
mostly taken up and occupied, and the progress of 
cultivation had driven away the game and introduced 
in some degree the order of civilized society, thej^ be- 
came uneasy and discontented, and longed for tlie 
freedom and excitments of wilder life on the border. 
Like Cooper's hero, "Leather Stocking," thej' would 
"get lost among the clearings," and moved to the 
West to begin again in the forests of Michigan or 

To those who remained and labored on through 
every affliction and discouragement, using such means 
as their own sagacity and industry afforded them to 
assist their efforts, we are indebted for such success- 
ful results as we now see. 

And I may repeat, what but an intelligent 
and confiding hope in " the good time coming" could 
have sustained these men under all discouragements 
they endured ? What but that indomitable spirit of 
the race, which never falters at perils or hindrances 
in the way wheu a desirable object is to be gained, 
under the wise ordering of a mysterious good Provi- 
dence, nerved them for their work, and cheered them 
on to its succesful accomplishment? 

In ardent imagination the young emigrant, who 
had selected and contracted for his farm, looked over 
his future abode and traced the boundaries of orchard 
and meadow, and pasture, and plain, and saw the 
shadowy outlines of his houses and his barns, his 
fences and his fields, looming into being where 
then the graj"- old trees stood in solemn grandeur. 


the sturdy sentinels of nature for centuries keeping 
watch over the primitive wilderness. He saw in 
vision of the future his crops of waving corn and his 
granaries bursting out with plenty, and himself the 
happy possessor of a home blessed with comforts and 
luxuries of life in abundance, and seizing his ax, 
then perhaps his only chattel, he v/ent to work 
with a will, to prove the scenes his fancy had por- 

It is a remai'kable fact that the English settlemeuts 
in America were in the main first made at points the 
most inhospitable and uninviting, thus bringing every 
part of our country to be settled and improved. The 
Puritans, who came over in the May Flower, intended 
to have gone to Virginia, but through the treachery 
of the captain of their ship, as some assert, they 
were landed at Plymouth. 

The first emigrants westward from New England, 
located in the forests of New York, Michigan and 
Ohio, because they came from a forest country and 
were not afraid of the woods, and because they could 
not get to the fertile prairies of the West. There 
were no roads by land,and no communication by water 
to these beautiful territories. They were compelled 
by necessity to clear up and settle the country as 
they went through it. 

Had the Puritans reached their intended destina- 
tion in the sunny South, and located along those 
noble rivers and fertile plains, they would never have 
removed to the hard, cold, ironbound hills of New 
England. When then would New England have 
been settled < Never by emigrants from the West. 
And had the southern and middle States been first 
settled, and the application of steam to motive ma- 
chinery been made, and the railroad and the telegraph 
and the knowledge of the useful arts we now possess 
been known 200 years ago, Maine, New Hampshire 


and Vermont, would be to-day like parts of Lower 
Canada, a vast and dreary wilderness, and as such to 
remain until the more inviting regions of the West 
had all been settled. And had railroads and tele- 
graphs, and steam power, as now used, been known 
even fifty years ago, I fancy some of these venerable 
pioneers would be now rejoicing in homes made happy 
upon the banks of the Missouri, or perhaps west of 
the Rocky Mountains. 

The interesting details of border settlement in this 
country have so often been the theme of remark that 
they have become trite matters of history. The 
solemn and deepening shade of antiquity is begin^ 
ning to clothe them with its mysterious interest, and 
as the immediate actors leave us, slowly and silently 
fading away from among the living, their memory Is 
cherished as the pride of their kindred, and they come 
to be regarded as the benefactors of their country. 
The Pioneers of Orleans county are not all dead, 
but the times of their trouble have gone by. The Hol- 
land Purchase is settled, subdued, and made the 
cheerful home of an industrious and thriving popu- 
lation, now in their turn sending out their caravans of 
emigrants, with the fervent spirit of their fathers, 
carrying the arts and institutions of our favored 
country to those new States so rapidly growing up in 
the regions of the West. All the improvements in 
science and the arts are brought to aid the swift pro- 
gress of our people in spreading themselves over our 
entire national territory. 

If the earlier march of emigration and settlement, 
from the Atlantic westward has been toilsome and 
Blow, and two hundred years scarce brought settlers 
to the great lakes and the slopes of the AUeghanies, 
what shall we say of the advances of the last fifty 
years, and which are now going forward ! 

Since the first tree fell here under the ax of the white 


man, the triumphs of steam power have appeared.— 
By the help of this tremendous agent; a voyage across 
theAtlantiCjVv^hich took the May Flower months to ac- 
complish, is now made in a week. A trip to Boston, 
which once cost these pioneers a month to perform, is 
now .the business of a day. Steam drives our mills, 
carries our burdens, plows our fields, warms our 
houses, digs our canals, and furnishes a motive pow- 
er, to effect the mightiest and minutest work attempt- 
ed by the ingenuity of man. 

But steam, though admitted to be strong is voted 
slow, in this fast age, and electricity is sent out to run 
the errands of our ordinary business. 

Excelsior ! Higher ! is the motto of our noble Em- 
pire State, and Forward is the cry of encouragement 
with which Young America stimulates its ardor in the 
race for victory. , 

My friends, we who are the juniors of these noble 
men, whose praise we have thus faintly endeavored 
to celebrate, should never forget that we are building 
upon foundations they have laid for us. That we in- 
herit the lands their hands have cleared ; that we en- 
joy the liberties they have achieved. 

We shall ever admire their enterprise, patience and 
fortitude. We shall justly feel proud to claim ac- 
quaintance, perhaps relationship with such worthy 

We shall teach our children the story of their la- 
bors and success, as examples to be imitated ; and 
from every memorial they have left us of strenuous 
effort in a good cause, take courage and gain strength 
to help our resolution in the performance of all the 
duties, which have fallen to our lot. And when we 
look about us upon the broad patrimony we have de- 
rived from them, and take an inventory of the abun- 
dant good things they have bequeathed to us, as the 
fruits of their labors, let us not forget our duty of 


gratitude to the memory of these our benefactors, to 
whom we owe so much, nor fail to improve as we 
ought, the rich inheritance we enjoy. 

Venerable Pioneers — You have not met on the 
present occasion to gratify your vanity by publishing 
to the world the exploits you have performed, or 
boasting for the wonder of others of the marvelous 
adventures you may have achieved ; but, like a com- 
pany of weary travelers, life's toilsome journey al- 
most done, — you are here to spend an evening hour 
in social, converse, on scenes you have witnessed by 
the way, to bring to mind again the stirring events in 
which you have been called to mingle ; and to soothe 
your spirits hj a grateful recollection of that kind 
Providence which has sustained you in all your toils 
and brought you in old age , to the abundant enjoy- 
ment and realization of the most ardent hopes of your 

You have seen the country of your choice a gloomy 
wilderness. You now behold it, by your exertions 
changed to cultivated fields, and dotted over with 
noble houses, interspersed with thriving villages and 
eonnected by public highways. 

Where a few years ago you hunted the savage 
bear, your splendid herds and numerous flocks now 
roam and feed in safety. Where but lately you was 
compelled to grope your way from town to town 
through pathless woods, by marked trees, or Indian 
trails, the railroad or telegraph afford you means of 
communication, in which time and distance are 
scarcely items in the account of delay. 

The rich produce of your fields, instead of rot- 
ting on your hands, valueless because no buyer 
fflould be found, commands at all times the highest 
price in the markets of the world. 

The howl of the wolf is exchanged for the scream 
9f tlie steam whistle, and though you live so far in- 


land, the gallant steam vessel is made to float by 
your very doors. 

How astonishing, how stupendous the change 1 
We have read of the Wonderful Lamp of Aladdin, 
and stories of Oriental Necromancy, where by the 
superhuman power of magic, and the agency of 
demons, the loftiest works of art, and the noblest 
productions of industry and skill were made to 
appear or vanish at a word,- — but the magic which 
wrought the works we celebrate, was the power of in- 
domitable energy, applied with strong hands and 
stubborn • perseverence. The mighty improvements 
which excite our admiration are only the happy re- 
sults of your steady, well directed industry overcom- 
ing its early discouragements and trials, — the honor- 
able testimonials of the sternest conflict and most 
complete success. 

Fortunate men and women.! Long, long may you 
live, enjoying the rich fruits of your early toils. 
And may you be permitted to witness the return of 
many anniversaries of your present association, hap- 
py in the consciousness that you have accomplished 
the objects of your youthful ambition, and leaving, 
when at last yon shall be called to your rest, a noble 
history, and a worthy example embalmed in the 
memory of your grateful posterity. 


Towns ia Orleans County — Their Organization — ^Villages in Orleans 
County — Table of Elevations — Members of Assembly Elected from 
Orleans County since its Organization — County Clerks of Orleans 
County— County Treaaurers — County Superintendents of Common 
Schools — First Judges of Orleans County Courts — District Attorneys 
of Orleans County — Sheriffs of Orleans County — Surrogates of Or- 
leans County — First Courts of Record — Supervisors of the Ditferent 
Towns in Orleans County since their Organization. 





March 30tb, 1803. Batavia is now divided into other 

towns, and not known by that 

name in Orleans county. 


March 6th, 1818, from Gaines. 


April 13th, 1832, from Gaines and Ridgeway. 


Feb'y 23rd, 1831, from Sweden. 


Feb'y 14th, 1816, from Ridgeway. 


April 7th, 1837, from Murray. 


April 8th, 1803, from Northampton. 


June 8th, 1813, from Batavia. 


March 6th, 1818, from Ridgeway. 


April 17th, 1833, from Ridgeway. 

* The town of Carlton was originally named " Oak Orchard," and waa 
changed to " Carlton " in 1825. 

+ The town of Tates was originally named " Northton," and waa changed 
to Tates, January 21st, 1823. 





April 31st, 1838. Incorporated by special act. 
April 26th, 1832. " •' " " 

July l8t, 1850. " " general " 

March 2d, 1832. " •• special " 

* Albion was originally named " Newport," and the name changed to Al- 
bion when it was incorporated as a village. 
+ The village of Gaines has ceased to use jts corporate franchises. 


The following Liax ov Elevatioks is taken from O'Reilt's 



Lake trie above level of tide water is 57O 

Top of Niagara Palls is below Lake Erie 66 

Bottom of Niagara Falls below Lake Erie --.226 

Lake Ontario below Lake Erie,- - _ 3go 

Canal at Albion below Lake Erie - 64 

Erie Canal at Albion above Lake Ontario is _ 266 

MidcUe Falls, Genesee River at Rochester, perpendicular pitch, 96 

Canal in Orleans countj-, level above tide water. - 509 


Distance from Albion by canal to Albany - 293 

From Albion to Buffalo,- - _ _59 

From Albion to Rochester _ 34 

The descent given to cause a flow of water between locks in the Erie 
Canal does not vary much from oae inch in a mile. 


Distance from Albion by railroad to Suspension Bridge 44i 

From Albion to Rochester _ _30f 

Membeks of AssEy:BLY elected from Orleans County since 
ITS Organization : 

Lathrop A. G. B. Grant, from Shelby 1326 

Abraham Cantine, from Murra3' 1827 

Lyman Bates, frbm Ridgewaj-. .- 1828 

Georee W. Flemming..4rom Barre. ^ 1829 

John H. Tyler, from Yates, - 1880 

John H.Tyler, from Yates 1831 

"William J. Babbitt, from Gaines 1832 

Asahel Byington, from Carlton 1883 

Asa Clark, Jr., from Murray 1834 

Asa Clark, Jr., from Murray -1835 

John Chamberlain, from Barre -- — 1836 

Silas M. Burroughs, from Ridge way - 1837 

Horatio Reed, from Clarendon --- -- 1838 

Horatio Reed, from Clarendon — -- 1839 

John J. Walbridge, from Gaines 1840 

Richard W. Gates, from Yates - - 1841 

SanfordE. Church, from Barre -- 1842 

Elisha Wright, from Barre --- --- 1843 

Sands Cole, from Ridgeway 1844 

Gardner Goold, from Carlton - 1845 

De.xter Kingman, from Ridgeway, - - - - 1846 

Abner Hubbard, from Murraj"-. - 1S47 

Arba Chubb, from Gaines - -848 


Reuben Roblce, from Kendall - 1849 

Silas M. Burroughs, from Rirlgeway '- 1850 

Silas M. Burroughs, from Ridgeway 1851 

George M. Copeland, from Clarendon. ._ _ 1853 

Silas M. Burroughs, from Ridgeway 1853 

Jeremiah Freeman, from Shelby 1854 

Elisba S. Whalen, from Ridgeway - - 1855 

Dan. H. Cole, from Barre '. 1850 

Almanzor Hutchinson, from Gaines _ _ 1857 

Almanzor Hutchinson, from Gaines , 1858 

Almanzor Hutchinson, from Gaines 1859 

Abel Stilson, from Barre 1860 

Gideon Randall, from Kendall _ 1861 

Nicholas E. Darrow, from Clarendon 1862 

John Parks, from Ridgeway 1863 

Edmund L. Pitts, from Ridgeway _ 1864 

Edmund L. Pitts, from Ridgeway 1865 

Edmund L. Pitts, from Ridgeway 1866 

Edmund L. Pitts, from Ridgeway: 1867 

Edmund L. Pitts, from Ridgeway. .-. 1868 

Marvin Harris, from Kendall 1869 

John Berry, from Murray 1870 

John Berry, from Murray. 1871 

Note. — Alexia Ward was elected in November, 1854, and died be- 
fore the session began, and E. S. Whalen was elected in his place. 

County Clerks of OrtjEans County fsom its Organization: 
names. when elected ob appointed. 

Orson Nichoson, : November, 1825 

Abraham B. Mills November, 1831 

Timothy C. Strong November, 1834 

Elijah Dana November, 1843 

Harmon Goodrich* March, 1848 

Dan. H. Cole... November, 1848 

Willard F. Warren. November, 1854 

John P. Church November, 1857 

Gaorge A. Porterf Dec'r SOlh, 1858 

James M. Paltoer November, 1859 

Edwin F. Brown November, 1862 

George A. Porter November, 1865 

George D. Church.. .i November, 1868 

* Appointed in place ot E. Dana, deoeasoa, under Act passed March 20th, 
+ Appointed in place of J. P. Church, deceased. 




Ist. Appointed by the Board of SuptTvisois to hold during tho 
pleasure of the Board — 

William Perry ^ 1835 Lorenzo Burrows ...1840 

James Mather 1826 Codington W. Swan 1841 

Gideon Hard _ _ -1827 Joseph M. Cornell 1843 

Truxton Burrell 1835 Lemuel C. Paine 1845 

Hugh McCurdy 1837 John H. Denio 1847 

3d. Elected under the Constitution ol 1846, for ;i term of three 
John H. Denio November, 1848 

Ambrose Wood * " 1851 

Joseph M. CornelL- " 1857 

EzraT. Coann " 1863 

Samuel C. Bowen •' 1866 

Albert S. Wamer " 1860 

County SurEEESTESUKXTS of Common Schools for OkleAjs'S 


Edwin E. Keynolds, Jonathan O. Wilsea, .John G. Smith, Oliver 
Morehouse, Marcus H. Phillips, Abel Stilson, and .James 11. Matli- 

First Judges of Orleans County 
TioN of the County: 


Elijah Foot, 
Alexis Ward, 
Henry Angevine, 
Benj. L. Bessac, 
James Gilson, 

April 22d, "1825. 
Feb. 10th, 1830. 
Jan. 37th, 1840. 
Feb'y 7th, 1844. 
Jan. 10th, 1846. 

Courts biNCE the Orgaxiza- ■ 


Henry B. Curtis, June, 1847 
Dan H. Cole, app. in place of 
Gideon Hard, Novenrber, ISSd' 
Arad Thomas, November, 1859 
Edwin R. Reynolds, Nov., 1863 
John G. Sawyer, Nov'r, 1867 

District Attorniys op 0rl3ans County from its First Or- 

ganization : 



Orange Butler, 1825. 

George W. Fleming 1828. 

Henry R. Curtis, 1831. 

George W. Fleming, 1832. 

Henry R. Curtis, 1833. 

OE 1846. 

Sanford E. Church, June 1847 
Wm. K. McAllister, Nov. 1850 
Benjamin li. Bessac, Nov. 1853 
Henry D. Tucker, Nov. 1856 
John W. Graves, Nov. 1850 
John G. Sawyer, Nov. 1862 
Irving M. Thompson, Nov. 1865 
Henry A. Childs, Nor, 1868 



William Lewis On organizing County. 

Oliver Benton November, 1826 

\7m. Allis '. " 1839 

Harmon Goodrich " 1833 

Asahel Woodrnft ' ." 1835 

Jidui Boarclman c " 1838 

Horace B. Perry . " 1841 

Aram Beebe " 1844 

AustinDay " 1847 

F.ufusE.riill '■ 1850 

Ferdinand A. Day " 1853 

George W. Bedell " 1856 

Danly D. Sprague " 1859 

Kobert P. Bordwell 1 " 1803 

Erastus M. Spaulding " 1865 

]:.obertP. Bordwell j '' 1868 



V'i:iiamWhito.. _._-April 19,1835 

Alexis Ward ^April 3,1839 

John Chamberlain .March 8, 1833 

Thomas S. Clark January 31,1836 

pan H. Colo _ January 31,1840 

Thomas S. Clark,. . January 31, 1844 

Since 1847 the duties of Surrogate "have been performed by the 
Coimtv Judge. 

Sui'!;kvisoks of Towks, as Elected fiiom the Oec+ast/.ation of 
Ohleass Couxty. 


ITalhau Whitney 1836 Lansing Bailey. 1839 

Lansing Bailey. 1837 Alvah Mattison. 1840 

Li\nsing Bailey 1838 Alvah Mattison 1841 

Lansing Bailey 1839 Avery M. Starkweather 1843 

Lansing Bailey 1830 Avery M. Starkweather 1843 

Lansing Bailey 1831 Elisha Wright 1844 

T^ansing Bailey 1833 Lorenzo Burrows 1845 

A. Hyde Colo 1833 Warren Parker. 1846 

Alvaii Mattison 1834 William Love :..1847 

Alvah Mattison 1835 William Love 1848 

Lansing Bailey 1836 Anthony Brown 1849 

l/uising Bailey 1837 Anthony Brown. .1850 

) Allying Bailey .1838 Anthony Brown. 1851 


.Austin Day 1853 Luther Porter 1863 

.Henry M. Gibson _1853 John D. Buckland 1863 

.Henry M. Gibson. _ 1854 John D. Buckland 1864 

Henry M. Gibson 1855 Norman S. Field 18C5 

John D. Buckland 1856 Orpheus A. Root 1866 

John D. Buckland 1857 Orpheus A.Root 1867 

Luther Porter. 1858 Orpheus A.Root _1868 

Luther Porter 1859 Charles H. Mattison 1889 

Luther Porter 1860 Charles H. Mattison 1870 

Luther Porter 1861 Charles H. Mattison 1871 


Richard W. Gates 1826 Jasper M. Grow 1849 

■Minoris Day 1837 Willard P.Warren 1850 

Minoris Day__ 1838 Gardner Goold 1851 

.John M.Randall 1839 John Dunham 1833 

John M. Randall 1830 Nelson Shattuck 1853 

Minoris Day 1831 Reuben N.Warren. ..1854 

Isaac Mason. 1833 Marvin C. Lacey 1855 

Isaac Mason. 1833 Gardner Goold .1856 

Chester Bidwell 1884 Joseph D. Billings 1857 

Joshua E. Hall 1835 Joseph D. Billings 1858 

Horace O. Goold 183G Joseph D. Billings 1850 

Hiram Merrick 1837 Daniel Howe 1860 

Hiram Merrick 1838 Daniel Howe 1861 

Alfred Bidwell 1839 Joseph D. Billings 1863 

Gardner Goold .1840 John H. Harris 1863 

Gardner Goold 1841 John H. Plarris 1864 

Alfred Bidwell. 1843 George L.Baker 1865 

Gardner Goold 1843 George L. Baker 1860 

Asahel Byington, 3d 1844 Dennis Bickford 1867 

Epenetus A. Reed 1845 Dennis Bickford 1868 

Asahel Byington, 3d 1846 Benjamin P. Tan Camp 1869 

Alfred Bidwell 1847 Benjamin P. Van Camp 1870 

Dalphon V. Simpson .1848 John Gates ISTl 


Eldridge Farwell. 1831 Elizur Warren 1833 

Eldridge Farwell 1833 Elizur Warren 1833 

Jeremiah Glidden 1833 Zardius Tousley 1834 

.Jeremiah Glidden 1834 Horatio Reed 1835 

Henry Hill 1835 Horatio Reed 1836 

Hiram Frisbie 1836 Horatio Reed 1887 

Chauncey Robinson... 1827 Horatio Reed 1888 

Chauncey Robinson.. ..1828 Benjamin G. Pettingill ..1839 

Chauncey Robinson... .1839 John Millard 1840 

Chauncey Robinson 1830 Jason A. Sheldon 1841 

John Millard 1831 Jason A. Sheldon.... ..184'2 


Jason A. Sheldon 1843 Thomas Turner 1858 

Benjamin G. Pettengill 1844 George M. Copeland 1859 

Benjamin G.Pettengill 1845 Dan Martin 1860 

Ira B. Keeler 1846 Mortimer D. MiUiken 1861 

Ira B. Keeler- 1847 Mortimer D. Milll^en. 1862 

Orson Tousley 1848 Martin Evarts 1863 

George M. Copeland 1849 Nicholas E. Darrow 1864 

George M. Copeland 1850 Nicholas E. Darrow 1865 

Nicholas E. Darrow 1851 Henry C. Martm 1866 

Nicholas E. Darrow 1853 Henry C. Martin 1867 

Daniel F. St. John 1883 Henry C.Martin 1868 

Nicholas E. Darrow .1854 David N. Pettengill 1869 

Dan Martin _ 1855 David N. Pettengill 1870 

Lucius B. Coy 1856 Darwin M. Inman 1871 

Amasa Patterson 1857 


Samuel Clark 1816 Daniel Brown 1844 

Samuel Clark. . . : : 1817 Samuel Bidelman 1845 

Robert Anderson 1818 Samuel Bidelman 1846 

Robert Anderson 1819 Arba Chubb 1847 

Robert Anderson. 1820 Henry Miller _ 1848 

Robert Anderson. _ 1831 Benj. Chester 1849 

Robert Anderson 1833 Aram Beebe 1850 

Robert Anderson 1823 Aram Beebe _ 1851 

Robert Anderson -.1824 Aram Beebe 1853 

Robert Anderson _ 1835 Samuel Bidelman _ .1853 

Robert Anderson 1836 Samuel Bidelman 1854 

Daniel Pratt 1837 Gershom R. Cady 1855 

Arba Chubb 1828 Jonas Sawens. _ 1856 

Arba Chubb .1829 Samuel Bidelman 1857 

Arba Chubb 1830 Nalium Anderson 1858 

Wm. J. Babbitt ..1831 Nahum Anderson 1859 

John J. "Walbridge. 1833 Nahum Anderson .I860 

Russel Gillett _ .1833 Almanzor Hutchinson 1861 

Wm. J. Babbitt... 1834 Nahum Anderson ..1863 

Arba Chubb 1835 Charles T. Richards 1863 

William W. Ruggles 1836 Charles T.Richards 1864 

Joseph Billings 1837 Nahum Anderson .1865 

Joseph Billings 1838 Matthew T. Anderson 1866 

Joseph Billmgs .1839 Matthew T. Anderson 1867 

Joseph Billings 1840 Samuel W. Smith 1868 

Palmer Cady 1841 Samuel "V^. Smith 1869 

Samuel Bidelman 1843 Elijah B. Lattin .1870 

Wm. W. Ruggles 1843 Elijah B. Lattin. 1871 

Ryan Barber 1840 Ryan Barber 184i' 


Henry Higgins- 1842 Philo P.Prosser. 1857 

Joseph Mann-- _ 1843 Philo F. Prosser 1858 

Joseph Mann_ _ _ 1844 Philo P. Prosser 1859 

Levi Hard 1845 Maryin Harris ---I860 

Levi Hard 1846 Marvin Harris 1861 

AbramOdell 1847 Pierre A. Simkins 1863 

Abram Odell 1848 William K. Townsend 1863 

Wm. R. Bassett- 1849 Nathaniel S.Bennett 1864 

Wm. R. Bassett 1850 Nathaniel S. Bennett 1865 

Alanson Whitney _-.1851 Gideon Randall 1866 

Reuben Roblee 1853 Gideon Randall 1867 

William R. Bassett 1853 Oscar Munn 1868 

William R. Bassett 1854 Oscar Munn 1869 

Pierre A. Simkins- -1855 Oscai Munn, 1870 

Philo F. Prosser 1856 Wm. O. Hardenbrook. _ _ 1871 


. Asahel Balcom 1836 Harrison Hatch- _ - - -1849 

William Allis. - - - - - - -1827 Benj. P. Van Dake 1850 

Amos Randall --1838 Jabez Allison 1851 

Hiram Prisbie 1829 Jabez Allison 1852 

Hiram Frisbie 1830 Ezra N. HilL 1853 

William James- - 1831 Danly D. Sprague 1854 

Asa Clark, Jr ---1833 Danly D. Sprague 1855 

Asa Clark, Jr - - -1833 Benj. F. Van Dake -1856 

Asa Clark, Jr ■..1834 Jabez Allison 1857 

Robert Nichoson 1835 Jabez Allison 1858 

Robert Nichoson 1836 Jabez Allison 1859 

George Squires- 1887 Ezra N.Hill 1860 

George Squires 1888 Jabez Allison 1861 

. Joshua Garrison 1839 Linus Jones Peck 1863 

.Joshua Garrison 1840 Roland Farnsworth 1863 

Cornelius Thomas 1841 Roland Farnsworth- -1864 

■ Cornelius Thomas 1843 Roland Farnsworth 1865 

John Berry 1843 Roland Farnsworth 1866 

• George Squires 1844 Roland Farnsworth 1867 

Abijah Reed 1845 Roland Farnsworth.- 1868 

Hercules Reed 1846 Roland Farnsworth 1869 

Abner Balcom 1847 Roland Farnsworth 1870 

Abner Balcom ...1848 Roland FarnSworth 1871 


Oliver Booth - -1813 Elijah Hawley 1818 

Samuel Clark.- 1814 Jeremiah Brown 1819 

Samuel Clark 1815 Israel Douglass---- ----1820 

Israel Douglass 1816 Israel Douglass 1831 

■•.Israel Douglass 1817 Jeremiah Brown 1823 


Jereminh Brown 1833 "William C. Tanner 1848 

.leremiali Brown 1824 John F. Sawyer 1 1849 

Jjymau Bates 1825 John F. Sawyer. ,. 1850' 

Lyman Bates 1826 Chnstopher Whaley 1851 

Lyman Bates 1827 Allen Bacon 1852 

Lyman Bates 1828 Marson Weld... ...1853 

Lyman Bates 1839 Borden H. Mills 1854 

Lyman Bates 1830 John R. Weld 1855 

Lj'man Bates 1831 Lyman Bates 1856 

William C. Tanner 1832 Alexander H. Jameson 1857 

William C. Tanner 1833 Luther Barrett 1858 

William C. Tanner 1834 Luther Barrett 1859 

Seymour B. Mm-dock 1835 Dyer B. Abell I860 

Lyman Bates 1836 Dyer B. Abell 1861 

William V.Wilson ...1837 Hezeldah Bowen, Jr 1862" 

Nathan S. Wood... 1838 Henry A. Glidden 1863 

Nathan S.Wood 1839 Henry A. Glidden 1864 

.losias Tanner 1840 Samuel C. Bowen 1865 

Josias Tanner... .-.1841 William W. Potter 1866 

Job Fish 1842 William ,W. Potter 1867 

William V. Wilson 1843 Allea P. Scott 1868 

Dexter Kingman 1844 Allen P. Scott 1869 

Dexter Kina;man 1845 Henry A. •Glidden 1870- 

Roswell Starr 1846 Elisha S. Whalen 1871* 

Allen Bacon 1847' 


Lathrop A. G. B. Grant 1826 Lathrop A. G. B. Grant 1846 

Christopher Whaley 1827 Alexander Coon 1847 

Christopher Whaley 1838 Alexander Coon 1848 

Andrew EUicott 1829 Lathrop A. G. .B. Grant 1849 

Joseph Rickey 1880 Lathrop A. G. B. Grant 1850 

Joseph Ricksy 1831 Jeremiah Freeman 1851 

William Cunningham 1832 Elisha Whalen 1852 ■ 

William Cunningham 1833 John M. Culver 1853 

Adam Garter 1834 John M. Culver 1854 

Horatio N. Hewes 1835 Alexander Coon 1855 

Adam Garter 1836 Philip Winegar 1856 

John M. Culver 1837 Philip Winegar 1857 

Alexander Coen 1838 Philip Winegar 1858 

Alexander Coon 1839 Philip Winegar 1859 

Alexander Coon 1 840 Alexander Coou I860 

Alexander Coon 1841 John T. Gillett 1861 

Alexander Coon 1843 John T. Gillett 1863 

Alexander Coon 1843 John T. Gillett 1863 

Alexander Coon 1844 John T. Gillett 1864 

Lathrop A. G. B. Grant 1845 John T. Gillett 1865- * 


Joseph W.Roas 1866 John P. Gates 18C9 

Joseph W.Ross 1867 David G. Deuel 1870 

David G. Deuei 1868 Ela 0. Baidwel! 1871 


Samuel "Warner 1826 Reuben Hungerforil iSiO 

Grindal Davis 1837 Asahel Johnson 1850 

John H.Tyler 1828 Asahel Johnson 1851 

.John H. Tyler 1829 John .1. Sawyer 1S&3 

John H.Tyler 1830 John Gates 1853 

.John H. Tyler 1831 Charles Lum 18i.4 

Luther St. John 1833 Charles Lum 1855 

John H Tyler 1833 David I. Henion 1866 

John H. Tyler 1834 David I. Henion 1857 

.John H. Tyler 1835 Daniel Clark 1858 

John. H. Tyler 1836 Chauncey H. Lum 181.0 

John 11. Tyler 1837 Chauncey H. Lum 1860 

John L.Lewis 1838 Daniel Clark 1801 

Asahel Johnson 1839 Tunis H. Coe 1862 

John L.Lewis 1840 Tunis H. Coe 180o 

John Ix Lewis 1841 Tunis H. Coe 18G4 

Samuel Taylor 1843 George Clark 18C5 

John L. Lewis 1843 Jonathan A. Johnson 1866 

Daniel Starr 1844 Jonathan A. Johnson 1867 

S^ohn L. Lewis 1845 Jonathan A. Johnson 1868 

Daniel Starr 1846 Henly Spalding 1869 • 

Horace Phippany 1847 Henry Spalding 1870 

Horace Phippany 1848 C. Jackson Blood 1871 


The Courts for Orleans County before the County Seat was' located 
at Albion, were held at Bronson's Hotel, in the town of Gaines. The 
record of the opening of the first Circuit Court is as follows : 

" At a Circuit Court held at the House of Selah Bronson, in the 
town of Gaines, in and for the County of Orleans, on Thursday, the 
13th day of October, 1825, present, His Honor William B. Rochester, 
Judge 8th Circuit. DAVID STRICKLAND, 



The following persons appeared and were sworn i as traversejurors, 
to wit: 

Martin Ilobart, Oliver Brown, Samuel Norton, Joshua Raymond, 
Nathan Whitney, Curtis Tomlinson, Zebulon Packard, Thomas Annis, 
Zardius Tousley, Dudley Watson, Seymour B. Murdoch, Bphraim Mas- 
ten, Oliver Booth, 3nd., Daniel Gates, Archibald L. Daniels, Richard 
M'Omber, Timothy Ruggles, Daniel Reed, Ethan Graham, John Hall, 
Philo Elmer, Joseph Davis, John Sherwood. 

Four causes were tried by jury, viz.: Moses Bacon vs. Ger- 
shom Proctor. Samuel Finch vs. Charles Sayree. Berjamin Bab- 
cock vs. Curtis Tomlinson and Sophia Kingsbury. Irene Tieacli vs. 
Henry Drake. 

The first Court ot Common Pleas and General Sessions, held in and 
for Orleans county, was at the House of Selah Bronson, in Gaines, 
June 33d, 1835. Present, Hon. Elijah Foot, First Judge, Eldridge Far- 
well, Wm. J. Moody, Wm. Penniman and Cyrus Harwood, Judges. 
The members of the Grand Jury at this Court were Ralph H. Brown, 
William Love, Harvey Goodrich, Hiram Sickels, Henry Carter, Hiram 
Ei'risbie, David Sturges, Joseph Hamilton, Levi Preston, John Proctor, 
Robert Anderson, Zelotes Sheldon, Silas Benton, Ebenezer M. Pease, 
L. A. G. B. Grant, Benjamin Howe, Elijah Bent, Abraham Cantine 
Kri Wood and Oliver Bennett. 

William Lewis, Sheriff. Orange Butler, District Attorney. Orson 
Nichoson, Clevk. 


Articles of Land, given by Holland Co., 24 

Animals, wild, 29. 

Anecdote of John Anderson, 236. 

Academy, Firsf in County, at Gaines, 215, 250, 65. 

Albion, Village of, 179. 

Anecdote of locating Court House, 181. 

Address before Pioneer Association, by Arad Thomas, 428. 

Appendix, 446. 

Assembly, Members of, from Orleans County, 447. 

Attorneys, District of Orleans County, 449. 

Busti, Mr., Anecdote of, 26. 

Beaver and beaver dams, 32. 

Black Salts, 51. 

Burying Grounds. Mount Albion Cemetery, 09. Boxwood Cemetery, 
71. Hillside/Cemetery, 71. 

Barre, Town of, 73. Land to Religious Society, 74. Condition in deed 
to Congregational Society, 74. First Presbyterian Society, 75, 
Store, Tavern, 75. Survey of Oak Orchard Boad, 76. First 
Lawyer, Doctor, Deed of Land, 76. Death of Mrs. McCoUister, 

77. Warehouse, Sawmill, 77. Price of Lumber, 77. First Ball, 

78. Fourth of July, 1821, 77. First Marriage in Albion, 78. 
First Deed of Land in, 76. 

Bear Stories, 81, 87, 235, 134, 403. 

Burgess, Mrs. N. Cut logs for House, 211. 

Ball at Millville, 320. 

Barn, first in Orleans County, 408. 

British at mouth of Oak Orchard Creek, alarm from, 84. 

Counties in New York 100 years ago, 22. 

•Clemency of Holland Co., 25. 

Clearing land, manner of, 40. First crops raised, 44. 

Credit system, 52. 

Canal, Erie, when begun, 55, effect of, 56. 

Court House, locating of, 181. 

Clarendon, town of, 199. First town meeting in, 201. 

.Carlton, town of, 185. First town meeting in, 197. First settlement in 
the County by Walsworth, 186. Manilla, 186. Mill for pound- 
ing com, 188. Union Company, 189. 

458 IN'DKX. 

Carriage seat on bpriugs of wolf trap, 338. 

Cemeterys, 69. Mount Albion, 69. Boxwood, 71. Hillside, 71. 

Congregational Society in Barre, deed of land to, 74. 

Cradle, Pioneer, description of, 85. 

County Clerk's list of 448. 

Courts of Record in Orleans County, lirst, 4.}0. 

County Treasurers, list of, 449. 

Common Scliools, County Superintendents of, 449. 

Domestie manufactures, 53. Clothing, how made, Ti^. 

Doctor's bill, specimen of, 348. 

Deer hunting, 389. 

District Attorneys, list of;449. 

BUicott, Jo., agent, 33. Anecdote of, 353. 

Eagle Harbor, village of, 260. 

Erie Canal, when and where first work on, 55, J ts bonellts, 50. 

Education, state of, 64. Gaines Academy, O."). 

Fortifications, ancient, 14. 

Pish, 39. 

Friendship among settlers, 4U. 

Fire, loss of, anecdote, 310. 

Gospel Lots, 30. 

Genesee County, 38. 

Gospel Lot in Barre, 74. 

Gauntlet run by E. Hunt, 194. 

Gaines, business in, when County organized, 350. 

Gaines, town of, 310. Mrs. Burgess' log house, 311. Capt. McCarty's 

Company in war of 1813, 313. First printing press there, 314. 

Booth's tavern, 353. Sam Wooster, 353. Mrs. Booth and Jo. 

EUicott, 354. 
Greonman, Preserved, anecdotes of, 403. 
Hundred Thousand Acre Tract, 19. 
Holland Purchase, 31. 
Hackett, violin player, 378. 
Hedgehogs, 31. 
Hardships of settlers. Domestic mill, 40. Fever and Ague, 40. Brews- 

ing cattle, 47. Keeping five, 47. 
Highways, public, 58. Ridge road, 58. Oak Orchard road, 59. Stale 

road, 61. Salt Works roads, 60. 
Holland Land Company, names of, 31. Generositj- of agent, 101. Do- 
nations to School Districts, 35. Donations of 
land to religious societies, 86. Anecdote of 
Rev. Mr. Rawson and Mr. Busti, 36. 
Holley, village of, 805. Salt found there, 300. Jrammotli tooth, 807, 

First school house in, 307. 
Hunters lodges, 345. 
Hulberton, village of, 308. 

INDEX. 459 

Hindsburgli, village of, 311. 

Indian mill, description of, 3T8. 

Indians, false alarm, 86, 338. 

Judges of County Courts, 449. 

July 4, 1831, celebration, Barre, 78. 

Knowlesville, village ot, 873. 

Kendall, town of, 269. Public library, 373. Salt makiug, 373. Noi^- 

■wegians in, 273. 
Land oflace ot Holland Company, 24. 
Log house, description of, 36. 

Furniture of, 40. 
Lawsuit before Esq. Cliubb, 233. 
Library in Kendall, 273. 
Lutker„Eld. Ben., style of preaching, 332. 
Lyndonville, village of, 405. 
Lumber, price of, 77. 
Millyard tract, 18. 
Manufactures, domestic, 52. 
Merchants, early, and their stores, 51. 
Mails and post otSces, 53. 
Manilla, 186. 

Mill to pound corn, 186, 378. 
McCarty, Capt., Company in war of 1813, 312, 88. 
Meeting house, flrst^framed in County, 360. 
Mammoth tooth found at Holley, 307. 
Medina, village of, 367. Stone quarry, 372. 
Murray, town of, 288. 

Orleans County, first white man settled in, 186. 
Phelps and Gorbam's Purchase, 16. 
Pre-emption line, 17. 
Pultney. Sir Wm., 19. 
Peaches and apples, 33. 
Patriot war, 348. 
Post office, first, 361. 

Porter, Luther, strategy to get his grist, 377. 
Pioneer Association of Orleans County, 426. 
Quails, 31. 

Rawson,Rev. A., anecdote of, 38. 
Rattlesnakes, 30. 

Ridge Road, when traced out, 59. Surveyed, 58, 60. 
Railroads in Orleans County, 63. 
Religion, state of, 07. First meetings in Carlton, 67. Rev. Mr. Steele, 

68. Baptist Church in Gaines, 68. Building' Meeting House 

in Gaines, 68. Specimen preaching, 333. 
Ridge road, 58. When laid out, 58. Judge Porters account of, 59. 
Rid^ewav, town of, 313. First town election in, 84. 

460 INDEX. 

Bailroads, 63. 

Sulliyan's Expedition, 13. 

School House sites, 25. 

Salmon and other fish, 30. 

Schools and school houses, 64. Description of, 65. Gaines Academy, 

65. Academies at Albion, Yates, MilMUe, 

HoUey and Medina, 65. 
Salt Works roads, 60, 74. 
State Road, 61. 

Sandy Creek, sickness at, 103, 389. 
Salt at Hollej", 306, at Medina, 314. 
Sawmill at Medina first, 367. 
Shelby, town of, 376. Deer hunting, 389. Dancing in a gristmill, 378. 

How Luther Porter got his grist ,877. 
Supervisors of towns in Orleans county, 450. 
Sheriffs of Orleans county, 450. 
Surrogates of Orleans county, 450. 
Triangle Tract, 18 
Transit Line, 20, 83. 
Trees, kinds of in Orleans county, 39, 
Tonawanda Swamp, 33. 
Threshing grain, manner of, 44. 
Taxes, raising money to pay, by S. C. Lewie, 330. 
Town meeting, first in county, 314. 
" Things I can remember," by Q. E. Mix, 165. 
Towns in the county, when organized, 446. 
Treasurers of Orleans county ,449. 
Union company in Carlton, 190. 
Villages in county, 446. 
Ward Levi & Levi A., agents, 19. 
Wood, per acre, 29. 
Wrestling, ring for, 50. 
Wagons, one horse, 57. 
Wedding in Albion, story of, 78. 
Yates, town of, 401. 
Yates Center, 404. Academy, 404. 



Achilles, Caroline, P., 175. 
Allis, Thomas "W., 150. 
Allison, Jahez, 312. 
Anderson Family, 234. 
Angel, Nathan, 102. 
Allis, Maj. William, 305. 
Allen, Artemas, 372. 
Anderson, Robert, 78. 
Andrews, Avery V. 359. 
Atwell, Levi, 326. 
Busti, Paul, 26. 
Bailey, Lansing, 79. 
Bacon, Moses, 240. 
Balcom, Abner, 801, 405. 
Barrett, Amos, 334, 352. 
Barrett, Nahum, 347. 
Barrett, Sidney S., 354. 
Baker, Mrs. Laura 345. 
Benton, Oliver 140. 
Beech, Dr. J. H., 246. 
Bessac, Benjamin L., 117. 
Bidelman, Samuel, 2H, 
Booth, Oliver, 69, 251. 
Bowen, Dr. Elisha, 255, 419. 
Brown, James, 54. 
Brown, Jeremiah, 325. 
Bryant, Reuben, 302, 305. 
Burrows, Roswell S., 76.<a«'. 
Bumpus, Philetus, 182. 
BuUard Family, 231. 
Bumpus, Jesse, 76, 178. 
Budd, Jaseph, 308. 
Burroughs, David, 394. 
BuUard, Alfred, 416. 
Babbitt, William J., 54, 58, 261. 

Barker, Joseph. 152. 
Bates, Samuel, 284. 
Barnes, Ezra D., 316. 
Barrett, Lucius 334. 
Barrett, Luther, 347. 
Bates, Lyman, 339. 
Benton, Mrs. Silas, 75, 170. 
Beech, Dr. Jesse, 246. 
Bennett, Isaac, 314. 
Billings Family, 231. 
Bidelman, Abram, 388. 
Booth, Oliver, 2nd., 255. 
Bradner, Wm., 76, 115, 183. 
Brown, John G., 187. 
Brown, Daniel, 264. 
Bradley, Nathaniel, 146. 
Burrows, Lorenzo, i^i. I 63. 
Burgess, Noah, 211. 
Butler, Orange, 233. 
Bushnell, Harley N., 290. 
Burlingham, Charles D., 330, 
Burroughs, Silas M. 394. 
Clark, Jonathan, 134. 
Clark, Robert, 278. 
Cantiue, Abram, 174. 
Cole, Darius W., 59 
Cook, Lemuel, 208. 
Cobb, William 342. 
Coon, Alexander, 397. 
Capen, Theophilus, 76. 
Cady, Isaac, 209. 
Cole, A. Hyde, 76, 115. 
Cochrane, William, 342. 
Coon, Milo, 373. 
Coan Sylvanus, 368. 



Curtis, Henry R., 133, 70. 

Chubb, Arba, 233. 

Curtis, Newman, 895. 

Cliamberlain, Fitch, 190. 

Church, Ozias S. 114. 

Church, Samuel, 341. 

Chamberlain, Royal, 407. 

Daniels, Grosvenor, 58, 343. 

Davis, Levi, 333. 

Day, Austin, 397. 

Demara, David, 388. 

Dutcher, Elder Simeon, 360. 

Drake, Henry, 359. 

Daniels, James, 343. 

DaviSj Perry, 335. 

Darrow, Nicholas E., 306. 

Douglass, Israel, 317. 

Dunham, Matthew, 188. 
Ellicott, Andrew A., 59. 376, 396. 
Evans, David E., 70, 378. 
Ellicott, Joseph, 23, 353, 376. 
Evarts, Martin, 308. 
Farwell, Eldridge, 300, 307. 
Fellows, Joseph, 30. 
Freeman, Chester. 363. 
Foster, Aden, 170. 
Fuller, Lyman, 197. 
Farnham, John, 336. 
Fairfield, Walter, 318. 
Freeman, Gideon, 363. 
' ' Frisbie, Hiram, 296. 
Fuller, Edmund, 70. 
Gates, Daniel, 193, 312. 
Green, Andrew H., 103. 
Grea;ory Family, 380. 
Gregory Matthew, 381. 
Grinnell, John, 399. 
Goold, Horace O., 415. 
Goodrich, Harvey, 108. 
Grant, L. A. G. B., 396. 
Gates, Dr. Richard W., 191. 
Greenman, Preserved, 403. 
Gregory, Amos, 380. 
Gilbert, Baruch H., 418. 
Gilbert, Widow, 213,47.' 
Grovcr, Dr. I-. C, 300. 

Gwynn, William R., 70,71. 
Hawley, Hon. Elijah 350, 53. 
Haines, Jesse P., 61. 
Hallock, Rufus, 133. 
Hart, Elizur, 143. 
Henderson, John, 184. 
Hewes, Horatio N., 395. 
Hill, Samuel, 233. 
Hopkins, Caleb, 58. 
Hoag, Peter, 363. 
Hunter, Robert, 51. 
Hulbert, Isaac H. S., 309. 
Hawley, Merwih S., 53. 
Hard, Hon. Gideon, 93. 
Hart, Joseph, 169. 
Plamlin, Areovester, 304. 
Healey, Dr. E. P., 363. 
Hibbard, Zenas F. 134. 
Hinds, Jacob, 396, 311. 
Hooker, David, 340. 
Hood, David, 364. 
Hunt, Elijah, 194. 
Houseman, George, 501. 
Ingersoll, Nchemiah, 77, 159. 
Ingersoll, Justus, 161. 
Jackson, William, 349. 
Johnson, Rev. Wm., 75. 
Jackson, James, 350. 
Jones, David, 386. 
Knowles, William, 855, 373. 
Kuck, Rev. George, 191. 
Lee, Hon. John, 73. 
Lewis, William, 308. 
Lewis, Gideon, 229. 
Lee Family, 172. 
Lewis, Samuel C, 338. 
LeValley, John, 851. 
Mattison, Abram 75, 78. 
Marsh, Ray, 196. ^ 
Mather, Elihu, 259. 
Manley, Adin, 378. 
-Masten, Mrs. Nancy, 359. 
Mason, Jesse, 133. 
Mather, James, 356, 366, 314. 
Mather, Rufus, 256. 
Mansfield, Alanson, 300. 



McCarty, Captain E., 212. 
Mix, Abiathar, 7"). 
^hx, Ebenezer, 70; Memoir of 42-i. 
Monell, Henry 34. 
Moore, Eli, 316. 
Murdock, Seymour, 342, 315. 
JIudgett, Stephen W. 405. 
McCollister William, 77. 
Mix, Mrs. Lydia, 108. 
Mix, George C, 164, IG:.. 
Moody, William J., 76. 
Morse, Jotham, 391. 
Murdock, Seymour B., 335. 
Morris, Kobert, 17. 
'Niclioson, Dr.Orson, 76, 78, 110, 183 . 
Paine, Dr. L. C, 70. 
Peck, Linus Jones, 106. 
Perry, Joseph L., 329. 
Preston, William X. 342. 
Pettengill, Benjamin G., 204. 
Pierce, Aretas, 292. 
Porter, Allen, 142. 
Potter, Dr. Stephen M., 183. 
Phelps & Gorham, 10. 
Rawson, Rey. Andrew, 20, 109. 
Parsons, John, 70. 
Peck, Horace, 201. 
Perry, Josiah, 410. 
Pratt, Daniel, 263. 
Penniman, William, 131. 
Porter, Augustus, 59. 
Porter, Luther, 157. 
Proctor, John, 220. 
Randall, Amos, 285. 
Reed Family, 310. 
Rice, Hubbard, 293. 
Rogers, Ebenezer, 95. 
Root, Reuben 407. 
Rice, Enos, 156. 
Root, Amos, 32, 34, 113. 
Robinson, Chauncey, 294. 
Ruggles, William W., 264. 
Salsbury, Samuel, 224. 

Sawyer, Elisha, 41(5. 

Starkweather, A. M,, 113. 

Street, Lucius, 146. 

Spencer, Amos, 417. 

Swift, Philetus, 58. 

Smith, Mrs. Sally, 298. 

Stone, Enos 30. 

Strong, John W., 305. 

Sanford, Asa, 96. 

Saxe, Peter, 404. 

Spaffof d, Bradstreet, 205. 

Steele, Rev. Mr. 68. 

Shelly, Nathan, 230. 

Smith, Moses, 141. 

Shipman, Job, 196. 

Skinner, Jarvis M. 145. 

Strong, Timothy C. 111. 

Southworth, Darius, 394. 

Tanner, Gen. William C.,318. 

Tappan, Hon. Samuel, 410. 

Tripp, Anthony, 141. 

Thurstcn, Stephen B. 138. 

Tyler, John H., memoir of, 414. 

Tanner, Josias, 333. 

Treadwell, Richard, 216. 

Thurston, Caleb C, 88. 

Tanner, William, 125. 

Turner, Otis, 314, 341. 

Van Brocklin, John, 379. 

Ward, Dr. Levi, 19. 

Ward, Hon. Alexis, 171. 

Walsworth, James 186. 

Weld, Andrew, 348. 

Whitney, Nathan, 112. 

Whaley, Dr. Christopher, 348, 379 

Ward, Levi A. 19. 

Walsworth, William, 186. 

Weld, Thomas, 341. 

White, Dr. William, 77, 314, 75. 

Wood, Elijah W., 298. 

Yates, town of, 401. 

Zimmerman, Jacob A., 398. 

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