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Full text of "History and directory of Yates County : containing a sketch of its original settlement by the Public Universal Friends, the lessee company and others, with an account of individual pioneers and their families ; also of other leading citizens ; including church, school and civil history, and a narrative of the Universal Friend, her society and doctrine"

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The Universal Friend, 










Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1873, 

In the office of the Librarian of CoDgress, at Washington. 




















Illustrations to Volume One. 

I — Friend's Log Meeting House. 

fT was to satisfy their religious aspirations that the Friend 
and her disciples left their homes in Rhode Island, Con- 
necticut and Pennsylvania, to found a new settlement far away 
from the comforts and privileges of long settled communities. 
That Religion was uppermost in their minds, is evinced by the 
fact that one of the first acts of the society was to erect a 
structure for public worship. They did not wait for the con- 
struction of a costly temple, but made with logs an edifice very 
similar to their own rude dwellings. The sketch of the Log 
Meeting House, which serves as a frontispiece to this volume, 
was drawn from a very minute and careful description of the 
building by Henry Barnes, who often attended meeting in it 
in his childhood, and retains a very vivid recollection of its 
figure and appearance. He was able to tell just how many 
logs could be counted between the ground and the roof, the 
number and position of the windows, and the number of panes 
in each ; the way the doors were hung, how they opened, and 
how they were latched. He also described the chimney and 
how it was built, and the roof covered with puncheon, and the 
pine tree standing near. According to Mr. Barnes, the picture 
is a faithful reproduction of the actual structure, which was 
about thirty by forty feet in its dimensions. It was in this 
house that the meetings of the Friends were held for eight or 
nine years, except when occasions rendered it more convenient 
and suitable to hold them at the house of the Friend. The 
seats for the congregation were rude benches made of slabs. 
The fire place was a large open one in which large wood was 
burned. In cold weather a huge blazing fire was kept up to 


warm the room. Frequently the attendance was so large that 
the meeting house was very much crowded. The same building 
was also used as a school house, and the first public school, as 
well as the first public worship, was under its shelter. After 
the career of the Jesuits in Acadie, there is no doubt this cheap 
and simple edifice devoted to religious worship and education was 
the first one for either purpose erected west of Fort Stanwix. 
It well deserves to be held in honorable remembrance, not only 
for its sacred and beneficent uses, but for the sake of the pious 
and earnest people who fashioned it from the trees of the forest 
and sought religious consecration under its roof. It stood very 
near the site of the Buckley mansion, now owned by James M. 
Clark, and close by the eastern line of the Gore proper; in 
other words the New Pre-emption Line. 

II — The Universal Friend. 

The portrait of the Friend, presented at page thirty-eight, is 
affirmed by the few aged persons who have seen it, and who 
were also familiar with the features of the original, to be a 
good and expressive likeness. It represents the Friend as she 
appeared in middle life, before the bodily infirmities of her later 
years had wrought any tendency to coarseness in her physique ; 
while yet her fine personal symmetry was perfect, and the 
delicate bloom of healthy tissues was unclouded in her com- 
plexion. The original work of the artist who had the living 
form for his inspiration was somewhat marred by his incompe- 
tence, and probably still more by those who rendered it in the 
printed engraving. These defects have been well overcome 
by hands more deft with the pencil and a brain endowed with 
higher capacity to idealize the various descriptive testimonies 
and traditions, oral and written, which have been gathered up 
with much care, relating to the personal presence of this noted 
woman. Every picture is at the best but a striking suggestion 
of its subject ; and this one has proved so perfectly suggestive 
as to reveal itself at once to those who have seen both it and 
its prototype. It will be a source of pleasure to thousands of 


persons to find in this book an illustration that represents 
" The Public Universal Friend "; the woman whose career 
has been so widely bruited and so much distorted by the 
voice of ungenerous prejudice; — prejudice formed in sources 
of cotemporary bitterness, and echoed with subsiding force 
along the years which compass nearly two generations 
since her departure from the world. If there is not 
in this delineation the most marked suggestion of that regal 
quality of her character which gave her ascendancy and 
authority over others by force of moral pre-eminence ; there is 
at least an affluent expression of benevolence and philanthropic 
feeling which confutes the old detractions and justifies the 
generous title she assumed for herself and the assemblage of 
her faith. 

Ill— Friend's House— Erected 1790. 

That this was the first framed house built in Western New 
York, has been confidently asserted, and that it was the first 
after the purchase of Phelps and Gorham, is probably true. 
Framed houses were not unknown among the Senecas, due to 
their long intercourse with the French and the advance in 
civilization, awakened among them by the Jesuit missionaries. 
Several framed dwellings were destroyed by Sullivan's soldiers 
at Canadai-que and on the Genessee during his destructive raid in 
1779. This house was a remarkable edifice, considering the 
time and circumstances which produced it. An antiquated 
relic, it belongs to a time to which we look back, as if to a very 
ancient period, although a few living persons remember it and 
its mistress when she had but just moved away from it to the 
dense wilderness of Jerusalem, which she did in 1794. Many 
curious recollections cling to this old building. Its architect 
and builder was Elijah Malin, an eminently pious Friend, who 
was almost as much identified with the household of their leader 
as were his sisters, Rachel and Margaret. He married the 
Friend's sister, Deborah, after she became a widow by the 
death of her first husband, Benajah Botsford. The house was 


not finished when the Friend arrived in the settlement, and 
while the work was going forward, she resided in a temporary 
structure called the " Shingle House " somewhat nearer the 
Lake. The Friend's house when finished, was like a palace in 
comparison with the humble domicils built with logs, which 
dotted the surrounding wilderness, over which the Friend's 
Settlement extended. The farm on which this house belonged 
was the property'of the Friend as long as she lived. The 
house has usually been kept in tolerable repair, and while its 
framework and siding has remained the same, its roof has been 
once or twice renewed. Its first siding was of plank nailed 
vertically. It is situated on lot one, of the Friends' lands or 
Potter Location. 

IV — First House of the Friend in Jerusalem. 

Till 1803 the Friend's Settlement, including the lands known 
as the Gore and eastward to Seneca Lake, belonged in Jerusa- 
lem. Since that period Jerusalem must only be understood to 
embrace the town bearing that name. "When the Friend first 
established her residence in the " Second Seventh,"^it was in 
the valley east of her final residence. There she moved into a 
log house of humble pretensions. To this was added another, 
and then a third. Still later the first part was raised a story 
higher and sided over, when it presented the appearance of a 
frame building as rendered in the picture presented at page 
sixty-six. The entire building is drawn precisely as described 
by Henry Barnes. In this abode|.the Friend and her family 
resided twenty years, during which period their fortunes were 
shaken by many important events. This house stood on the 
south side of the road, was flanked on the east by a very fine 
garden ; a few rods south of it bubbled up a noble spring of 
excellent water, and still farther in the rear were log barns for 
farm uses. On the north side of the highway was a log build- 
ing used as a workshop by the women, where the spinning and 
weaving and much of the sewing was done. The flat on the 
north was covered by as fine a sugar camp as ever stood in the 


county. Within the space of a half mile square 2,000 maple 
trees could be counted. These were large and thrifty and 
yielded sap in the sugar making season in wonderful abundance. 
Henry Barnes relates that he tapped 636 trees in this camp in 
one day with an axe and gouge. It was while the Friend lived in 
this residence that repeated attempts were made on one pretence 
and another, to arrest her, but without success. From this 
house, Eliza Richards, a giddy girl, the ward of the Friend, 
elcped with Enoch Malin, bringing by this and subsequent acts 
of hers, a long train of vexatious evils on the Friend and her 
society. In this house the worship of the society was conducted 
when the meetings were held in Jerusalem ; though frequently 
the Friend accompanied by some members of her household 
and others of the society went down to the original settlement 
and preached on their Saturday-Sabbath at the house of Adam 
Hunt, or that of Isaac Nichols. These journeys they usually 
made on Friday afternoon on horseback, and sometimes they 
formed quite an imposing cavalcade. When the meetings were 
to be at the Friend's house, Silas Spink, some of the Nichols 
family, and also the Hunts, and other steadfast Friends would 
go in solemn horseback procession to Jerusalem on the preceding 
day. With their broad-brimmed hats and peculiarly staid 
demeanor, riding excellent horses, they always made a notable 
and highly respectable appearance. Scarce a sign is left of the 
domicil which for so many years was the favorite rendezvous 
for their devotions. Some years after the Friend's decease the 
building was destroyed by fire. 

V — Final Residence of the Friend. 

A house designed for a permanent home was not erected by 
the Friend till a late period of her life. It was commenced by 
Thomas Clark, in 1809, and not till five years later was it 
finished. The work done slowly, was also done well. Thomas 
Clark, the architect and builder was from Philadelphia, and his 
wife was a sister of Rachel and Margaret Malin. He was not 
a Friend, but a Free Will Baptist of the strictest faith, and 


aided in excommunicating James Parker from that denomination 
when Mr. Parker had grown too liberal in his faith to find the 
doctrine of endless misery congenial with his sentiments. 
Thomas Clark was a good mechanic and builder, and whether 
he builded better or worse in his theology is not in question 
here. The house he erected for the Friend is a structure of 
historic interest. ;It was her abode but little more than five 
years, and during a considerable portion of that time she was 
a declining, suffering invalid. Many interesting meetings of 
the society were held there, and some of the most touching in 
their history. There the Friend died ; and there died Rachel 
and Margaret Malin ; also several other devoted members of 
the society. There the hapless sequel of the Friend's will had 
its melancholy development. There the society, deprived of 
its head, lost its steadiness and unity of purpose and came to 
its end. Most mournful of all, the needy Friends had not the 
life long home secured to them, which by right, and by the 
terms of the Friend's will, was their due. The place with its 
sadly interesting memories, will always have associations to 
challenge the regard of the thoughtful. It was well chosen for 
a pleasant home. The west arm of Lake Keuka lies in view, 
and the surrounding country forms a beautiful landscape in all 
directions. Located on lot twenty-three, of Guernsey's survey 
it was eligible as a central situation on the Friend's domain. 
Could she have perpetuated her vigor and equity of judgment 
in those who followed her in the control of affairs, it might 
have long remained a home of interest and happiness for the 
household of the Friend's faith. It remains simply a historic 
landmark, which will probably last much longer in the memory 
oi the people than the strong framework will resist the ravages 
of time. 

The sketches of these residences of the Friend, together with that 
of the Log Meeting House and Mausoleum of the Friend, were 
drawn by Mrs. S. C. Cleveland, and engraved by her sister, Mrs. 
Olive Fraser Ingalls, of Glenora. 


VI — Mrs. Elizabeth Barden. 
In the subject of this illustration we have an excellent repre- 
sentative of the pioneer women ; more than that she represents 
in her ancestry as the daughter of .lames Parker, a conspicuous 
force in the pioneer movement, and of the early period of the 
Friend's society ; — in her descendants a very prominent Benton 
family. She was of Rhode Island birth and training, a model 
of the industrious and thrifty housewife, and possessed of sound 
religious and moral characteristics. It was her lot to find, with 
her sisters, a home in the Friend's settlement at a very early 
period, and soon after to be wedded to Otis Barden, a young 
pioneer just opening to the sunlight a home in the dense forests 
of township number eight in the first range of Phelps and 
Gorham's purchase. How well this home was established from 
humble beginnings, and enlarged to competence and independ- 
ence, is eloquently described by her son, Dr. Henry Barden, 
in the text accompanying the portrait. It is due to the good 
sense of the Doctor, and his profound regard for his excellent 
mother, together with his high appreciation of local historical 
records, that the fine portrait of his mother graces this work. 
There ought to have been several of her contemporaries to 
represent the femenine element of the pioneer period. No 
better class of women ever labored in the cause of civilization. 
It was theirs to meet great hardships with heroic patience, and 
to preserve, amid their trying labors and severe privations, the 
sweet amenities of life, and the blessing of pure moral senti- 
ments to restrain vice and license. The daughters of James 
Parker were all good women in the best and broadest sense of 
the word, and did well their part in the several allotments of 
lite which fell to them. They deserve, with all the admirablo 
women of their period, to be held in long and grateful remem- 

VII — General Abner Woodworth. 
One of the most noted families among the earlier residents 
of Benton, was that of the Woodworths. They were from 
Connecticut, and people of sterling worth. Abner Woodworth, 


the grandfather of the late General Abner Woodworth, and 
two of his sons and two of his daughters became citizens of 
Benton. The prominent place they filled in their day is alluded 
to in its proper place. Molly was the wife of Levi Benton, 
Sr., and Hannah, of Gideon Wolcott, Sr. Dyer Woodworth 
was a very useful man in the Barden neighborhood, and Elisha 
Woodworth's family cleared the farm of John Merrifield, on 
Flat street. They were widely connected with the leading 
families of Benton. Polly, the oldest daughter, was the wife 
of Dr. Calvin Fargo, whom she outlived over half a century. 
She died in 1873, upwards of ninety-six years old, the last of 
her father's family. General Abner Woodworth reached the 
age of eighty-three, though during a few of his later years 
confined to his house by paralysis of one side of his body. He 
was long a prominent and popular citizen, genial in his manners 
and a man of genuine kindness of heart. In the later period 
of his life he resided in Penn Yan. His military title was 
derived from an organization of the veterans of 1812, kept up 
to secure the claims of that class of the public defenders from 
the State. To that work General Woodworth devoted several 
of the later years of his active life. As a representative of 
that class of citizens who succeeded the immediate pioneers of 
the country he is well chosen. Few men in his day were 
equally well known to all the people of the county, and there 
were very few toward whom there was such universal good 
will and kindly feeling. His portrait will recall very vividly to 
many citizens an epoch that is receding into the past. It is by 
the liberality of our fellow-citizen, Samuel S. Ellsworth, that 
General Woodworth's portrait is numbered among the illustra- 
tions of this book. He was the last of his name, and the last 
of the male line of his family in the county. 

VIII— Elijah Spencer. 

One of the justly honored names in the annals of Yates 
county, is that of Elijah Spencer. In his lifetime he received 
frequent expressions of the high esteem of his fellow-citizens 


and the confidence they reposed in him. He began life with 
empty hands, accepting hard labor as his means of livelihood. 
With vigorous resolution and robust energy, he overcame all 
the difficulties that obstructed his advancement. He wrought 
his way by simple industry, and inofficial station served the 
people with the same fidelity that he regarded his own interests. 
He belonged to the period when honorable service was the rule 
in public life, and mercenary aims the rare exception, and even 
in that time his public career was one to be mentioned with 
special respect. Mr. Spencer was a leading citizen and 
belonged to a family of exceptional strength and ability as well 
as social prominence. His brother Captain Truman Spencer 
was not only one of the first settlers of Benton, but for a long 
period one of its first citizens. And the brothers, Martin, 
Horace, James, Simeon and Justus P., were all men of more 
than common ability and force of character. The sisters, too, 
were women of exceptional worth. James Spencer who was 
Supervisor of Jerusalem, in 1797 may have been the father, 
rather than the brother of Elijah Spencer, as stated on page 
260, and the latter hypothesis is the most probable. The 
portrait of Elijah Spencer is engraved from a photograph taken 
rather late in life, and the effort to relieve the features a trifle 
from the marks of age and infirmity, has, perhaps, been rather 
too successful. He was, till past middle age, a man of remark- 
ably fresh and youthful appearance, and his portrait, painted 
on ivory while he was a member of Congress, depicts him with 
a clear and ruddy countenance and a luxuriant head of bright 
red hair. The later picture has been followed in the production 
of the portrait presented in this work. Tbe Spencer family 
once so numerous in Yates county, still has numerous descend- 
ants, but in the male line has for its only adult representatives 
George W. Spencer, the present County Clerk, and Newton 
B. Spencer, Printer and Editor, of Penn Yan. 

IX— William T. Remer. 
Native born to Yates county, William T. Remer represents 


pioneer families of prominence on both lines of his ancestry. 
His father was a man of remarkable energy of character and 
extended influence. Politically he was a power of no common 
significance during the active period of his mature life. Aaron 
Remer as a member of the Legislature was chiefly instrumental 
in securing the organization of Yates county, and afterwards 
was repeatedly its representative in the Assembly. His son, 
William T. Remer, has since held the same position and others 
of public responsibility. Another son, Lawrence T. Remer, 
was a member of- the last legislature of Michigan. William 
T. Remer is a liberal citizen, a good farmer, and generously 
responsive to every duty that belongs to a kind neighbor and 
a well-wisher of the public good. As a grower of fine 
wooled sheep he has taken a leading rank with the farmers of 
the county. As a representative of the family name no more 
appropriate selection could be made. But it is proper to add 
that if any portrait of his father had ever been taken, he would 
have preferred such picture as an illustration for this work. 

X — Lewis B. Graham. 

There could not be selected for the town of Italy a more 
representative man than Lewis B. Graham, though he has resided 
without the precincts of the town during the past seventeen 
years. He is a native of Italy, and the most conspicuous 
representative of an extensive family of its early settlers. His 
early education was such as the town afforded, yet his remarka- 
ble quickness of apprehension enabled him to become well 
qualified as a business man for promptness, accuracy and 
efficiency. After serving as Justice of ihe Peace and Super- 
visor in his native town, he was chosen County Clerk, and made 
one of the best clerks the county ever had during two 
terms. He is an apt and ready man, and an intelligent and 
valued citizen. Earnest and sincere in his convictions, he is 
never lukewarm in affairs that concern the political and social 
welfare of the community. Instinctively he espouses the moral 
right of public questions and adheres tenaciously to his views 


of what is just and consistent with the public good. His 
portrait represents him at a somewhat earlier period of life 
than his present appearance indicates, but is correctly rendered 
from a photograph. 

XI — Nathaniel Squier. 

Slender opportunities of early culture do not repress the 
better aspirations in every case, nor quench the ambition to 
excel in the honorable struggles of life. Nathaniel Squier was 
one of a large family whose chief inheritance was poverty and 
its hard conditions. Means of education and culture were 
scanty, almost wholly absent in the surroundings of his early 
life. While his father was a man of easy and passive nature with 
little ambition to strive for better conditions of life, his mother, 
a woman of the kindest affections was zealous to elevate the 
lot of her family and secure their moral and social improvement, 
but she struggled against the fate of adverse circumstances. 
She died of consumption in Benton, in 1826, at fifty-two and 
her husband nine years later in Michigan, whither the family 
had moved. There two of the sisters are still living. Nathaniel 
Squier never had any school education, but the winter after 
gaining his majority, he took to the study of arithmetic, and 
made a conquest of the old Daboll text book in thirty-one days. 
The next winter he studied grammar, and then taught school 
several winters following. While young he states that he 
scarcely ever had a pair of shoes, and almost invariably went 
with bare feet, especially during the milder months of the year. 
The first pair of shoes he ever had, he says, were made by a 
local Methodist minister, called " Thundering Mars," who went 
from house to house shoemaking. Shooting was as great an 
accomplishment then as • now, and Nathaniel Squier in his 
young days could out-shoot any and all competitors with whom 
he tested his markmanship. He could also excel in most of 
the rougher sports, and gamble with such dexterity that he 
was never worsted in games of chance. All these diversions he 
resolutely put aside when he assumed the sober business of life. 


Among the friends of his early days, he mentions Edward Hall, 
of Seneca, with high respect. When he went to Italy Hill in 
1833, the land was nearly all covered by its native forest, and 
was so heavily timbered with pine, that had it been left standing 
it would now have been worth $200 an acre. One Tyler kept a 
tavern there and was a tenant of Abraham Maxfield. The 
amount of work accomplished in getting out lumber and 
clearing the land was prodigious. With his adroitness for 
management, and the influence inspired by his generosity of 
character, Nathaniel Squier soon became a leading citizen of 
his town, and his alliance was sought by those who bore sway 
in county affairs. No one could be more skillful nor more 
successful in keeping the upper hand in that wrestle of tact 
and strategy known as local politics ; reticent and cautious in 
his steps, his purposes were accomplished before his opponents 
were awake to the occasion. In 1852 he was chosen sheriff, 
and thereafter was less active in political contests, though 
frequently taking a part to help old friends or gratify some 
feeling other than general politics. Naturally social and 
sympathetic and endowed with a strong sense of justice, 
Nathaniel Squier is a character worthy of study, and entitled to 
earnest respect. His native shrewdness gives him a ready 
insight into the character and motives of others, and his lenient 
feeling leads him to a kindly judgment of his fellow-men. 
Kind himself, he waimly appreciates kind treatment from those 
who grant him aid or favor, and what is rare in men of advanced 
years he has a generous and comprehensive sympathy with 
human nature. He speaks in high terms of William M. Oliver, 
Eli Sheldon, and Abraham V. Harpending, men whose friendship 
he tested, and who in all pecuniary transactions gave him his 
own time and terms, and trusted implicitly, as did Martin Gage, 
to his integrity and memory of facts. Though he has rounded 
off his three score and ten he is still robust and in the full 
enjoyment of his faculties. After a life of much severe toil 
and many embarrassments it is pleasant to see that he is still 
taking life zestfully, and finding genuine enjoyment in the care 


of his broad acres and his fine wooled sheep. The past he 
lives over with serene satisfaction, and finds the present cheerful 
and happy. 

XII — Israel Comstock. 

With the early immigration connected with the Friend's 
Society came Achilles Comstock, whose wife was a daughter of 
Elnathan Botsford, Sr., and herself a devoted Friend, while he 
was a Methodist. But the family never had a jar on account of 
theological difference. He was a citizen of sterling worth and 
manhood, and transmitted to his children the excellent traits of 
his own character. His son Israel followed his father in 
religious convictions, while his two daughters* Apphi and 
Martha, like their mother, were devout unwavering Friends to 
the end of their days. Israel Cornstook was a good and useful 
citizen. His life was one of industry and probity, and he 
always took a lively interest in all questions that concerned the 
public welfare. He was always ready to do his part as a 
neighbor and citizen. Born a few years before the close of the 
last century, he was familiar with all the early history of the 
Friend's Settlement and of Jerusalem. In taking an active part 
in the Historical Society, he brought to the work a full knowl- 
edge of the work to be done, and a cheerful willingness to do 
it. No one contributed more fully nor with more accuracy to 
the records of that society. His extended relationship among 
the Friends and his intimate knowledge of the long strife and 
litigation over the Jerusalem lands, made him a good authority 
on all subjects connected with the Society and its troubles. 
His testimony was never in anywise unkind or disparagiug in 
regard to the character and worth of the Friend. Israel 
Comstock was a man so just and true, and withal so kind and 
benevolent that he enjoyed universal respect and esteem. His 
sons occupy the parental homestead, Botsford A., with his 
mother and sister residing on the same spot when Achilles 
Comstock established his home. 


XIII— Peter H. Bitley. 

Men of enterprise and vigorous capacity for large business 
operations, like Peter H. Bitley, are not a numerous class. 
For such men to begin life with slender means is but to stimu- 
late them to large and successful achievements. Obstacles that 
seem formidable, and resources that are diminutive, only act 
on such men by way of discipline and as agencies of qualifica- 
tion for the work they have in hand. Peter H. Bitley was too 
well fitted for an independent and successful business man to 
remain for any long period the employee of others. As a timber 
dealer he was for many years largely engaged with profitable 
results. He became a citizen of Branchpoint soon after the 
place was founded, and made his fortune there, and he has been 
one of its most valued and worthy citizens. He is a man of 
liberal heart and generous in a large degree. His feelings are 
very strong and his purposes fixed and resolute. Popular 
opinion has very little to do with his opinion, and when once his 
stand taken, lie is not easily changed. This quality of his char- 
acter rendtrs him an uncomfortable opponent and a very 
valuable ally. Of strong religious prepossessions he is a firm 
adherent of the Universalist faith ; and it has been chiefly due 
to his liberality that a church of that denomination has been 
sustained in Branchport. He has also been a generous contri- 
butor to the educational interests of the Universalist church at 
large and to its publications. As a citizen he is a zealous sup- 
porter of local improvements, and ready to bear his part of all 
necessary burdens for their prosecution. Equally strong in his 
likes and dislikes, he is a friend that sticks like a brother, and if 
thoroughly hostile not easily placated, though a quiet man with 
no disposition to interfere with the concerns of others. And 
his thorough sense of justice and fair dealing make it impossible 
for him to perform any act that will operate to the perceptible 
harm of his fellow-man. Although Peter H. Bitley has drifted 
aw?y from the popular current in politics since the days of the 
"irrepressible conflict" begun, and has been extreme and 


radical in his opposition to the overwhelming .tide of public 
sentiment, he has always retained the good will of his fellow- 
citizens who have conceded the honesty of his convictions, and 
have respected him for the sincere manliness of his character. 

XIV — Mausoleum of the Friend. 

Monumental vanity had no place in the Friend's theory of 
human duty. She held that the living owed their best expen- 
diture of love and labor to the living, and that the dead could 
be best remembered in the fragrance of lives consecrated to 
j righteous endeavor. The earliest graves at City Hill are not 
marked by so much as the simplest head stone. And in the 
Friend's burying ground in Jerusalem there are no graves 
designated by monuments of any kind. Many members of 
the Society were there consigned to their final rest ; but no' 
inequalities of their temporal fortune can be inferred from 
anything that appears above the common sod under which they 
repose. At an early date in the present century, under the 
direction of the Friend, a vault for the reception of the dead 
was placed in the verge ot the bank bordering the valley west 
of the residence she then occupied. That vault wae built by 
James Hathaway, with brick, and was an arched structure. In 
that vault were deposited the bodies of Thomas Hathaway, Sr., 
his brother, James Hathaway, and General William Wall. It 
came to need repair, and on commencement of the work the 
arch fell in. The bodies there were then taken to the general 
burying ground ; and at a later period the burial vault was 
constructed near the final residence of the Friend, the figure 
of which is given at the end of Chapter IX. This was built 
by a mason whose name was Jayne, and was designed as a 
sepulchral deposit for the Friend. For reasons elsewhere indi- 
cated, the body of the Friend was never placed in that recep- 
table, nor were those of either Rachel or Margaret Malin. 
The bodies of the three rest together in a hillock on that 
beautiful domain once presided over by the pious leader of 
the " Public Universal Friends." It is most probable that 


they will never have any other monument than that afforded 
by the memory of their lives. It is perhaps as well so. Shafts 
of marble and granite are, at the best, transient and illusive 
memorials of human worth. Moral rectitude and faithful 
devotion to an exalted ideal of duty will reach higher in the 
esteem of the future and perpetuate their grateful halo longer 
than the chiseled rock will challenge the credulity of posterity. 
The Friend has better chances of a place in the recollection of 
the coming generations than can be traced on the polished stone. 

XV— Vine Valley. 

This excellent sketch ot natural scenery was photographed 
by Alanson Beers, of Rushville, and engraved for Moore's Rural 
New-Yorker, as one of the illustrations of an article on 
Canandaigua Lake, by Richard H. Williams. It presents a 
fine view of Vine Valley as it skirts the base of Bare Hill, with 
a considerable section of the hill itself; also a glimpse of the 
Lake lying in its quiet beauty like a gem that irradites its 
modest sheen to embellish the rougher surroundings, and unite 
with swelling hills and green forests to form a most enchanting 
landscape. * The Bristol hills west of the Lake which rise to a 
towering altitude (2,000 feet above sea level), and overlook all 
the adjoining country, are well defined in this perspective, and 
and the picture gives a good delineation of a well chosen rural 
scene that fitly represents the picturesque elements of the Lake 
country. It is a notable success in sketches of that character. 
The point of view is well chosen and the engraver has rendered 
the scene with good effect. Vine Valley is a recent designation 
for the Boat Brook opening from the Lake to the fertile back 
country of Middlesex. It was the original gateway of the 
town to all comers by way of the Lake, and many of the early 
settlers made their advent by that route. The valley extending 
back to Overackers Corners has a gradual elevation of 300 
feet from the Lake, and in this depression so advantageously 
sheltered by the headlands of Bare Hill and South Hill was 
early found the best locality in all the country round for the 


cultivation of wheat and all the choice fruits of our climate. 
This suggested it as a superior situation for grape culture, and 
Azariah C. Younglove commenced the experiment about 18G5, 
and gave the valley the name it now bears. Hezekiah Green, 
Edward and Woodworth N. Perry and Drs. Seeley and Nichols 
soon embarked with others in vino culture in this iavored 
locality. Their success has been highly satisfactory. Bare 
Ilil! is guessed an altitude of 000 feet above the Lake. No 
accurate measurement is recorded. Canandaigua Lake is 0G8 
feet above the sea level, 437 feet above Lake Ontario, 221 feet 
above Seneca Lake, and fifty feet below Lake Keuka. It 
gives a lake line of about seven miles including the sinuosities 
of the shore for the west boundary of Middlesex, and against 
the hills the shore is extremely abrupt and precipitous. 

XVI — Seneca Point. 

Opposite and a trifle below Bare Hill on Canandaigua Lake 
j lies Seneca Point, one of the most attractive situations which 
adorn the shores of that beautiful sheet of water. From Bare 
Hill and its Lake side environs this point is a striking and de- 
lightful feature of the landscape. It thus becomes a goodly por- 
tion of the scenic value of the Middlesex shore ; and this is the 
excuse for giving it a place in this book, together with the fact 
that it accompanied the Vine Valley sketch as an illustration of 
Lake scenery in Mr. Williams' article in the Rural New-Yorker. 
The picture given here is a reproduction of Mr. Moore's. The 
view is taken from the water side and is a good one. Seneca 
Point has become a place of much fashionable resort. 

XVII— Dr. Joshua Lee. 

For the town of Milo and its early history, Dr. Joshua Lee 
stands forth a conspicuous representative. His father's family 
was one of the earliest among the pioneers on the outskirts of 
the Friend's Settlement. When he was but seven years old 
they made a home in a log house not far from the Friend's 
mill. There he was a pupil of Benajah Andrews, and later of 


John L. Lewis, Sr., traveling as far as Benton Center every 
school day for the valued tuition of that noted teacher, and not 
deeming it a hardship. He commenced his adult life as a 
practitioner of medicine, and was one of the most successful and 
popular of his class. His ride as a physician extended nearly 
over the whole county, and he was a friend and confidant in 
nearly every family. Though he passed away over thirty years 
ago he is still remembered by many of the living, and always 
spoken of with kindly feelings. He was a man of sunny 
temper and mirthful and genial in his social intercourse. It is 
due to his nephew and son-in-law, Dr. Lewis A. Birdsall, that 
his portrait is added to this book. The picture was photo- 
graphed from an oil painting and reproduced by what is called 
the Bierdstadt process, a recently discovered method of photo- 

XVIII— Outline Map of Yates County. 

The map presented here is simply an outline exhibiting the 
boundaries of Yates County and its several towns, the principal 
thoroughfares and streams, and the location of villages. 

In 1829 a map of Ontario and Yates counties, prepared by 
David M. Burr, was published by Simeon DeWitt, Surveyor 
General of the State, pursuant to an act of the Legislature. It 
was drawn on a scale of one-half inch to the mile,and is a map 
of general accuracy. The lots by the original surveys are given 
with numbers, except on Ryckman's Location, and two or three 
other patents of minor consequence. It indicates a westward 
deflection of the old Pre-emption Line at the southeast 
corner of township number eight, a bend which in fact does 
not exist. By this map the meridian of Washington from 
which our longitude is reckoned, runs a trifle east of the village 
of Rock Stream, strikes the Lake directly east of Eddytown, 
and passes about two miles east of Geneva. The extreme south 
boundary of the county is forty-two degrees and thirty minutes 
north latitude ; the north boundary forty-two degrees and forty- 
six minutes ; Penn Yan forty-two degrees and forty-one minutes. 


Seneca Lake is traversed by the initial meridian of longitude 
and the west boundary of Italy is in twenty-five minutes west 
longitude. A stage road is designated running from Geneva 
southward by way of Livingston (now West Dresden), thence 
lo Eddytown southward to Elmira, but no stage route is indi- 
cated as passing through Penn Yan. A conspicuous road pass- 
es through West River Hollow, another through the valley of 
Flint Creek. These two converge at Bethel and pass on to 
Geneva. Another passes from Head street, Penn Yan, by way 
of Larzelere's Hollow to Italy Hill and Prattsburg. Another is 
the Bath road from Penn Yan through Barrington. These are 
distinguished as "County roads." On this map Barrington has 
a post effice but no village, Benton has the villages of Bellona, 
Hopeton and Livingston, and post offices known as Benton 
(Bellona), Hopeton and Benton Center. Italy has Italy and 
Italy Hill post offices : Jerusalem has the Jerusalem post office 
(at Larzelere's) and no village ; Yatesville is the only village of 
Middlesex, but there is a Middlesex as well as a Yatesville post 
office; Rushville is designated as "Burning Spring;" Milo has 
Penn Yan and Milo Center post offices, and a village with no 
name is indicated at Himrods. The only Starkey village is 
Eddytown, which has no post office, but post offices are indica- 
ted at Rock Stream, Reeder's Corners (now Starkey Corners), 
and Harpending's Corners. Barriugtou has one grist mill and 
five saw mills. Beuton three grist mills and six saw mills. 
Italy one grist and six saw mills. Jerusalem one gristmill and 
eight saw mills. Milo ten grists mills and fifteen saw mills, an 
oil mill and seven fulling mills and carding machines. Benton 
two fulling mills and four carding machines. Italy one fulling 
mill and two carding machines. Middlesex one fulling mill and 
four carding machines. Milo two trip hammers, seven distil- 
leries and two asheries. Barrington one distillery. Benton 
seven and five asheries. Italy one distillery and three asheries. 
Jerusalem one distillery and one ashery. Middlesex three dis- 
tilleries and five asheries. Copies of this old map are now 
very rare. 


The first separate map of Yates County was published in 
1852, by F. W. Keenan, who made his own survey, traversing 
the county with his apparatus for taking bearings and measur- 
ing distances. Before disposing of many copies of his map he 
sold it to James Burns and Howard R. Miller, then partners in 
the book trade in Penn Yan. They soon found that the map 
was inaccurate in some respects, chiefly in the location of dwel- 
lings, some of which were placed on the wrong side of the high- 
way. They had these errors -corrected by their lithograper, R. 
II. Pease, of Albany, added a map of West Dresden, and enlarged 
those of Penn Yan and Dundee already belonging to the map. 
L. & S. Denton were admitted to an interest in the publication, 
but soon withdrew. This re-publication was in 1854. Owing 
to the original discredit of the map Burns & Miller never suc- 
ceeded in disposing of enough copies to reimburse them for 
their investment. Keenan's map is plotted on a scale of one 
inch and a half to the mile, and is quite correct in its geograph- 
ical delineations. The southward line of the county is placed 
at forty-two degrees, twenty-six minutes and ten seconds north 
latitude ; the north line forty-two degrees, forty-four minutes 
and ten seconds, the meridian of Washington passes by this 
map about two miles west of Rock Stream, is nearly coincident 
with the east boundary of Dundee village, runs about. eighty 
rods west of Hopeton, and at Kashong runs half a mile west of 
the Lake. Tke eastern extremity of Long Point is in about four 
minutes of east longitude, and the west line of Italy twenty- 
three minutes west. The Old Pre-emption Line is indicated, 
the new one is not, except on the Dresden map. The names 
of residents are given both on the county and village maps. 
The statistics of population are given, and the map is embellish- 
ed by a diminutive sketch of the residence of John N. Rose. 
There must be <1 considerable number of these maps in exis- 
tence, and they are well worth preserving. 

The latest map of Yates county was published in 18G5, by 
Stone & Stewart, 600 Chestnut street, Philadelphia, from actual 
surveys by S. N. & D. G. Beers, assisted by A. B. Prindle and 


H. A. Hawley ; scale one and one-half inch to the mile. No 
attention is given on this map to latitude and longitude, but 
other lines are given with commendable accurracy Lots by the 
original surveys with their numbers are laid down the same as 
on Burr's map. The names of principal residents are given at 
their proper location, and there is an excellent table of distances 
between the chief places within the couuty. Separate plots are 
given of Penn Yan, Duudee, Kushville, Dresden, Branchport, 
Bellona, Eddytown, Rock Stream, Ilimrods, Milo Center, Ben- 
ton Center, Potter Center and Middlesex Center, with partial 
business directories for each place. The map is embellished by 
excellent views of the residences of James A. Belknapp of Jeru- 
salem, and Darwin S. Peck of Benton. There is also a list of 
the Post Offices in the county, twenty-three in number. This 
map of the county is decidedly the most useful one yet pub- 
lished. It was issued under the direction of J. H. French, who 
edited the State Gazzetteer of 1860. 

In 18.57 a map of the town of Milo and village of Penu was 
published by J. II. French, surveyed and drawn by Frank 
French, which is an elegant and creditable work. Its scale is 
three hundred feet to an inch for the village, and four hundred 
rods to three and three-eighth inches for the town. It is far 
the best representation of both village and town that has been 
given. The original lots are designated by numbers, the Gar- 
ter is delineated, and so are the purchases of "Walker, Vreden- 
burg and Lansing, and the Potter Location, and Little Gore, 
so far as contained in Milo. The names of residents are given, 
and separate plots represent Milo Center and Ilimrods. The 
south line of the town is placed in north latitude forty-two de- 
grees, thirty-six minutes and fifteen seconds, and the north line 
forty-two degrees, forty-one minutes and ten seconds; and twen- 
ty seconds west longitude is indicated on the east, and nine min- 
utes, thirty seconds on the west verge of the town. This map is 
handsomely embellished by a fine landscape view of Penn Yan, 
also views of the Court House and yard, and Clerk's Office, the 
Penn Yan Malt House, Mill of Casner & Scheetz, Mill and res- 


idence of Jeremiah S. Jillet, Rice & Tunnicliff 's Store House, 
and the residences of Ebenezer B. Jones, Nathaniel R. Long, 
Oliver Stark, Henry Welles, Benedict W. Franklin, William M. 
Oliver, John Rice, Nelson Tunnicliff, Job T. Smith, Darius A. 
Ogden and Henry N. Wagener. There is also added a plot of 
the new Penn Yan Cemetery, which was previous to the last 
enlargement extending west of the rivulet that now divides the 
burial grounds. Finally, there is the following table showing 
the elevation of Lake Keuka compared with other lakes of the 
State and noted points : 



feet higher 


Canandaigua Lake. 


a u 


Lake Erie. 




Seneca Lake. 


u tc 


Caynga Lake. 


u cc 


Oneida Lake. 


C( t< 


Cross Lake. 




Onondaga Lake. 




Lake Ontario. 




Lake Champlaiu. 




Level of the Ocean. 




Owasco Lake, 



Skaneateles Lake. 




Cazenovia Lake. 




Otsego Lake. 




Chautauque Lake. 




Source of Genesee River. 




Highest of the Catskills. 


The following are added to those on the map. 

I , A K E K F. U K A I S 

Little and Mud Lakes. 

Crystal Spring. 



Milo Center. 

Barrington Summit. 


Bluff Point Summit. 


Italy Summit. 

Rose Hill, Jerusalem. 

The Barrington and Prattsburg elevations are not known to 
be actual measurements. 


ftet below 


" " 




(C t( 




it l( 






(i (C 


u a 


it a 

The wood enslaving for portraits in this work was performed by P. Ti. B. Pierson, 
in accomplished Engraver, 7 Beekman street, New York. 

The portrait of ihe Universal Friend was lithographed and printed by the Graphic 
Company of New York, by the patented process by which the illustrations of the 
Graphic Newspaper are produced. 


JOUR years have passed since Rodney L. Adams pro- 
posed to the writer hereof, the enterprise of publishing a 
Gazetteer of Yates County ; a work of some four hundred and 
fifty pages, which should be more thorough and complete in its 
facts, and contain more local history than such works ordinarily 
furnish. Mr. Adams was to print the book at his office in 
Geneva, his associate to prepare the material, or the chief part 
of it for publication, and it was to be finished and disposed of 
in the year 1869. With a vague and inadequate conception of 
the work, yet with grave misgivings, so far at least as one of 
the partners was concerned, the task was commenced. And 
had it been skimmed as first proposed, and compressed within 
the pages first promised, as perhaps would have been better, 
it would have been completed and on the way to its destined 
oblivion long ago. 

One who has already more work that presses every day for 
performance than he can possibly accomplish, is rash if not 
foolish to take still more. And few persons have less time for 
other work than one who has sole charge of a weekly country 
newspaper. So much to apologise for the lapse of these four 
years. The work expanded, the time flew. To frame local 
history required much enquiry, and delay was often necessary 
for that. Any reqivsite fulness of statement it was found, 
would require much enlargement of the dimensions originally 
assigned to the book. Still more delay and more work grew 
out of the desire to do whatever should be done as well as pos- 
sible, and make as good a local history as the accessible facts 
and circumstances would allow. Hence, month after month, 
and year after year has glided away, and the work still lingers. 
Its esteemed projector, Mr. Adams, after printing four hundred 

pages withdrew from the enterprise, and transferred his interest 
therein to his partner. He, along with many others who took 
a lively interest in the work in its inception, has since passed 
to his final sleep. It is proposed to give him a kindly word of 
remembrance in connection with the newspaper history of 
Penn Yan. 

After reaching more than twelve hundred pages, with ex- 
tended additions yet requisite, it has been reluctantly determin- 
ed as a necessity of the situation, to issue the work in two 
volumes, either of which will be about double the size of that 
originally promised. This enlargement has been undesirable, 
yet apparently unavoidable. It has grown chiefly out of the 
desire to make the local history as complete as possible by giv- 
ing some account ot the pioneer families, and that to be worth 
anything, in a historical point of view, must be somewhat ex- 
plicit and genealogical. These family sketches, with few 
exceptions, have been confined to the pioneer class. Seldom 
have any been noticed of a later date of settlement than 1820, 
though a number have been omitted of whom it would have 
been well, had there been information collected for the purpose, 
to have made more or less note. But none except those who 
undertake the task can appreciate the labor and difficulty of 
making the researches essential to fulness and accuracy. Those 
who had fears that some pecuniary gain would accrue from the 
work can quiet their apprehensions. It will not be possible to 
avoid severe loss by the publication, andjoss which less effort 
at thoroughness would have avoided. 

That grave defects mar the work none can be more'painfully 
sensible than he who is to be responsible for its character. 
While far too much time has passed in its preparation, too little 
has really been devoted to its careful elaboration. Many literary 
blemishes might have been pruned out by more thoughtful 
attention. For some typographical errors it would seem that 
no valid excuse could be given. Yet they exist in spite of the 
most anxious and diligent endeavor on the part of the writer to 
avoid them. Proof readers and printers are wonderfully fallible, 

and what is worse, often careless if not willfully, lazily negli- 
gent. Their blunders are among the most trying tests of 
human patience. But there are numerous other sources of 
error. No power short of omniscience can write human history 
devoid of inaccuracies. Every step is attended with multiplied 
chances of misconception and misstatement. Every event 
paints a different picture on the memory of every witness that 
beholds it ; and human memory, with all its untold worth to 
man, has many caprices and tendencies to false impression. It 
need not be strange then that in our local annals, depending 
chit fly on oral information, there appear occasional mistakes of 
fact, as well as mistakes in rendering facts. Some of them 
are provoking, and all are to be regretted ; but they can only 
be satisfactorily corrected by going over the work with a view 
to a new edition with more lull and accurate information. 

But with all the faults and shortcomings of this work, the 
pernuasion is strong in the mind of the writer that it has con- 
siderable value to the present generation, and must have more 
as the years pass by. It deals with names, events and local 
interests that must always have a curious charm for every intel- 
ligent dweller in Yates county, and every descendant of the 
pioneer families whose plane of thought rises above mere animal 
existence. To all such it makes accessible a stock of informa- 
tion which would otherwise have been lost in hazy traditions, 
or so scattered and overlaid with forgetfulness as to be of little 

No reasonable effort has been spared to make a faithful • in- 
vestigation of facts, and to collect everything that would illus- 
trate the early annals of the territory to which our work refers. 
In accomplishing what has been done, essential assistance has 
been rendered b} r a number of persons. Valuable papers of 
James Parker have been furnished by Dr. Henry Barden, who 
also prepared a history of his branch of the Barden family. 
Important papers of Benedict Robinson were furnished by Dr. 
John Hatmaker, who also tendered additional information. A 
number of papers of considerable value were put in the hands 

of the writer by James M. Clark, found by him in the Buckley 
Mansion, which came into his possession by purchase. Special 
credit is due to Job L. Babcock for assistance in gaining in- 
formation in relation to the early history of Barrington ; also 
to Peter H. Crosby, for aid of the same kind in that town. 

In Benton much information was gathered by Edward J. 
Fowle, in the first instance, and a series of articles written by 
him for the Yates County Chronicle awakened a lively interest 
in matters pertaining to the early history of our locality. David 
H. Buell was also a zealous friend of the enterprise, and did all 
in his power to forward its success. It is a source of painful 
regret that he did not live to see it completed. . Martin Brown 
should also be mentioned as a kindly assistant in gathering in- 
formation in that town. 

To Lewis B. Graham is chiefly due the collection of facts for 
the history of the towrl of Italy, and in some particulars it is 
better than that of other towns. 

In Jerusalem assistance of value was rendered by Botsford 
A. Comstock, and also in a special manner by Albert R. Cow- 
ing ; also to some extent by Bartleson Shearman, Jackson 
Wright and Miles A. Davis. 

What is furnished in regard to Middlesex and Potter was 
chiefly contributed by Richard H. Williams, who also did much 
to gather up material from nearly all the other towns, and 
especially in Milo, Benton and Jerusalem. He entered into the 
work with zeal and a just comprehension of its value, and 
made full endeavor to do his work faithfully and well The 
sketches of John Race and Jacob Conklin are from his pen. 

The collection of materials for the history of Starkey is 
chiefly due to John D. Wolcott, who did his work well. The 
history of that town owes much to the preparation and consid- 
eration given to the subject by Mr. Wolcott, who also, by his 
wide early acquaintance there was able to offer many timely 
and judicious suggestions, and make the work more thorough 
and comprehensive. 

Acknowledgments are due to Squier B. Whitaker and Adam 

Clark, of Torrey, for assistance and information. Quite a num- 
ber more should be named for the aid they have gladly render- 
ed, among whom are Joseph Remer, Luther Sisson and Isaac 

But the most serviceable among living witnesses was Henry 
Barnes, who as a member of the Friend's Society from his boy- 
hood had an acquaintance with facts which it was important to 
understand fully and correctly. Mr; Barnes at eighty years of 
age had a memory of wonderful accuracy. His simple and 
temperate habits of life seem to have kept his memory and his 
mental perceptions exceedingly clear, and no other person met 
by the writer had a tithe of his knowledge respecting the fam- 
ilies embraced within the range of the Friend's Settlement and 
the pioneers of Jerusalem. Of everything that happened with- 
in that scope during the first thirty years of the present century 
he was almost a perfect encyclopedia, and such is his integrity 
and simplicity of character that his truthfulness cannot be ques- 
tioned. This rare old man is what has remained to this day to 
represent the teachings and moral fruits of the life and doctrine 
of the Universal Friend. And no unfavorable judgment of 
their value can be passed upon them from the evidence of either 
his life or personal testimony. What creed or phase of chris- 
tian theory better demonstrates its claims to the respect of 
mankind than that which points to its disciples as examples of 
unpretending piety faithful to the domestic and social virtues, 
truthful, trustful and charitable ? Such is the character of Henry 
Barnes and the devotees of the Friend who conformed their 
lives with perseverance and fidelity to the religious inculcations 
of their remarkable leader. 

Of the Friend and her following, the first comers, as abiding 
residents of this new world, as it was then regarded west of 
Seneca Lake, an account of some fulness is given in these pages. 
Still more would have been desirable in view of the fact that 
this most exceptional woman and her work must always furnish 
the most interesting and conspicuous chapter of our immediate 
history. It was hers to create the foundation of our annals, 

and she will be known the widest and remembered longest. 
Not only, nor chiefly will this be, because she was first and 
foremost on the scene ; nor yet because so many of the best 
people of the county have descended from her disciples; but 
for the reason that she was a distinct and peculiar being ; a 
vigorous moral force : a person who made a vivid impression on 
the society in which she moved, and one who must remain to 
those who study the singularities of human development a 
character worthy of profound and respectful consideration. 
It is time to redeem such a character from that moral exile to 
which she has long been banished by unjust obloquy, merciless^ 
bigotry and vulgar misinterpretation of her motives and her 
deeds. More than half a century has elapsed since her personal 
career was closed, and that time has sufficed, without any formal 
or effective vindication that could reach the public ear, to mel- 
low the asperity of many prejudices once rife and acrimonious. 
Founded as most of these unkind prepossessions were in irrita- 
tions and selfish controversies arising in the earlier years of pio- 
neer life, it is but the natural result of time to sweep them away 
with the memory of the causes that brought them into being. It 
is possible therefore, to present at this time a more tolerant and 
just appreciation of that rare and singular woman who sum- 
moned so large a constituency to her support by a purely spirit- 
ual authority, who was at once a prophet and a ruler, and who, 
if not worthy to be accredited to the full extent of her claims, 
was at least a sincere religious teacher, whose life and character 
were not at variance with the spirit of her inculcations. 

Of that early feud, which broke out so soon after the Friend's 
Settlement was formed, between the Friend and two of her 
most powerful adherents, James Parker and William Potter, 
enough has been indicated to show that it was highly disastrous 
to the interests of the society ; but the writer is not well satis- 
fied that the causes of that bitter alienation occurring, where the 
most extraordinary trust had previously prevailed, have come to 
the light. Traditions which have come down from both sides of 
the controversy are equally obscure as to its origin. If it all be- 

gun in the disagreement about the disposal of the land purchased 
by the joint action of the society it is a history by no means dis- 
creditable to the Friend. The fact that she maintained with 
heroic firmness, against the influence of wealth and power, the 
rights of the poor among her followers, and never swerved from 
her position, will always redound to her credit. There is how- 
ever, a lingering doubt whether the whole story has been un- 
raveled. There may be something back which, without incul- 
pating the integrity and justice of the Friend would yet give a 
color of reason and moral soundness to the action of those who 
changed their attitude of friendship and patronage to one of 
hostility toward their previous leader and her teachings. They 
were men of character who had proved their title to the confi- 
dence and esteem of their fellow men, and, in changing their 
homes in Rhode Island for a home in the New Jerusalem could 
not have changed in any essential regard their manhood. 
There was some powerful motive that swayed their minds, and 
one that has not been well accounted for. It is not improbable 
that future investigation will throw further light on this appar- 
ently unremembered history. 

The persona], biographical and genealogical sketches which 
occupy so much space in this work will have a varying interest, 
as readers are more or less remotely connected or acquainted 
with the groups, families and localities presented. That which 
reaches nearest to us by consanguinity or by the experience 
j and scope ot our lives, quite naturally and justly has the most 
ready and absorbing claim upon our attention, and awakens 
the most lively response of our feelings. Hence, it will perhaps 
occur that some will find but little directly interesting to them- 
selves in these local records. The more will this be true of 
those most restricted in acquaintance and sympathy within the 
boundaries to which our work extends, and least connected with 
those of whom it treats. It might also be true of such as live 
most in themselves and project their existence least into the 
life of humanity. The most narrow and ill informed creature 
is the most certain to feel himself the grandest product of time, 
and to sum up the world and all it contains in his own empty 
personality. To such a being ancestry is nothing, relationship 
is nothing ; and even less than nothing to him will be ancestry 
or relationship not of his immediate line. 

That must indeed be a dwarfed and shiiveled existence into 
which there enters no aspiration to know what may be known 
of the chain of human life to which it belongs. Aside from the 
question whether man begun high in personal perfections and 
fell to a low estate, or begun low in the scale of animal life and 


ascended by gradual development to his present place of com- 
parative exaltation ; — aside from this there is mnch to claim oar 
interest embraced within the very few generations with which 
human memory and tradition can make us acquainted. Like 
transmits its like, not without variation, but so nearly true that 
the real stamp of all character may be read in its pedigree. It 
has been well said that the individual man is a bundle of his 
ancestral peculiarities. It does concern us then, to know the 
past, even to furnish information of ourselves as well as others. 
We can hardly be sufficiently impressed with the pregnant fact 
that the past is the architect of the present and the future. To 
learn the past is the only way to comprehend the present, or 
gain any sound prevision of the future. In this, as in all other 
things, the knowledge of what is nearest to us and most con- 
nected with our daily life is of more value than that which 
is more remote. The geography, history, and traditions of our 
own home, are the environment of our lives and enter into the 
web and woof of our entire being. If "the proper study of 
mankind is man," it must include the sum total of all that aids 
to fashion his nature. The sky above his head, the earth 
beneath his feet, the landscape, lake and forest, not less than 
the social surroundings and moral and intellectual atmosphere 
breathed in the plastic age of man, go to form his character 
both in its external and internal lineaments. If we unfold this 
wonderfnl scroll of a human existence we shall find it an epit- 
ome of the universe. 

Memory is that precious capacity of the mind which gives us 
the large inheritance of the past that is one of the chief glories 
of civilized man. With all its limitations and errors, it is an 
attribute of God-like power and beneficence. It rebuilds the 
past, and repeoples it with vital and ambitious forces. It makes 
each succeeding generation the inheritor of the intellectual 
wealth, the moral progress, and the material improvement of 
its predecessors. Memory ties the past to the future and pre- 
serves the continuity of historical succession. History is the 
cumulative memory of ages and the storehouse of human wis- 
dom and experience. It gives a unitary life U> the race, rank- 
ing the individual as but a leaf on the great tree of Humanity, 
of which the trunk and spreading branches are represented by 
the past and present of the entire human evolution. 

Penn Yan, February, 1873. 





fIGIITEEN Hundred Sixty-Nine looks back one hundred 
years and inquires of Seventeen Hundred Sixty-Nine. 
No living actors of that time report the answer. It must be 
gathered from the traditions, the accessible records, the history, 
so far as any has been written. 

Of the little county of Yates, or the space now bounded and 
defined with fixed lines and so called, we know it was then a 
part of the land of the Senecas. It belonged to the Indian 
Paradise of the Genesee country. As it lies now between the 
great thoroughfares of eastern and western travel in this State, 
so it did then between the east and west trails of the Iroquois. 
The great Ganundasaga trail passed on the west side of Seneca 
Lake from Tioga and Chemung to Kanaclesaga, Kanadarq and 
the west ; but probably then as now the most frequented route 
from the Susquehanna valley to the western bounds of the Sene- 
ca dominion, was by way of the vale of Canisteo. 

We are not aware that any villages of national importance 
among the aborigines existed within the boundaries of our 
county. Their most important towns were on the great central 
trail which connected their Long House from east to west. 
Rich and inviting as this region must have been, and bountiful 
in the products of the chase and the spontaneous fruits of the 
forest, it does not seem to have been a focal point for tribal 


gatherings or a seat of authority and power. The Senecas, 
however, traced their supernatural origin to Bare Hill in our 
northwestern town on Canandaigua Lake. 

Going back one hundred years, we find these remarkable 
children of the forest in full and undisturbed possession of this 
blooming land. It was yet ten years before the irruption of 
Sullivan carried desolation to their settlements and ruined 
their budding industries. That hard and cruel blow would 
then have seemed an event impossible to anticipate. Ten 
years before, the French had been driven from their beautiful 
Acadie, of which, in their liberal geography, western New 
York was a part. For one hundred and fifty years they had 
struggled with pertinacious and almost indomitable energy to 
establish their sway. Their admirable foresight in the selec- 
tion of their posts, and their wise alliances with the western 
tribes of the wilderness had seemed certain to place the destiny 
of the continent within their grasp. But the fatal hostility of 
the Iroquois, added to the military power of England and her 
Atlantic colonies, turned the scale against them. The French 
were driven out, and the English took possession of what 
would otherwise have been, perhaps to this day, a part of the 
French empire. Had the English been vanquished, the result 
would probably have been a far happier one for the natives. The 
French and Indians meeting on peaceful terms, assimilated 
readily. Not so the English. Their contact with the Indian 
was fatal to the feebler race, who melted away from the pres- 
ence of the Anglo Saxon as if pursued by the hand of fate. 
And rum, the Englishman's constant and powerful ally in deal- 
ing with the simple denizens of the forest, was the most des- 
perate and deadly fiend that ever interfered with their social 
and national well-being. The French did not resort to this 
wicked device for success with the Indians, .until the British 
had gained such advantages by it as to drive their rivals to the 
same expedient. Besides, let it be told to the lasting honor of 
the Jesuit Missionaries, that for a long period they Avholly pre- 
vented the French traders from dealing in spirituous liquors 


with the Indians, and that so long as the French occupancy 
lasted, they greatly restricted this terrible traffic among them. 
The labors of these missionaries are among [the brightest 
examples of devotion and self-sacrifice. They penetrated to 
the deepest recesses of the wilderness, and cheerfully endured 
all manner of toils and hardships to plant the germs of the 
Christian faith among the untutored natives. Their records 
show that they planted considerable missions among the Iro- 
quois, and but for the fell influence of recurring wars, they 
undoubtedly would have achieved a lasting and highly civiliz- 
ing influence among those progressive and teachable tribes. 
They were zealous and untiring ; and if white men anterior to 
one hundred years ago, trod the soil of what is now Yates 
county, they probably belonged .to the emissaries of the ever 
active and indefatigable Order of Jesus. 

They passed away, and no marks remain to testify of their 
labors, except a few scattered fruit trees, called Indian Apple 
trees, which are said to have been planted or sprung from seed 
introduced by these Catholic Missionaries. More than a hundred 
years ago their work in this part of Acadie was ended. Their 
proselytes among the Indians were not numerous, but their 
influence on the thought of the rude savages was very consider- 
able, and is said to be still apparent among the scattered rem- 
nants of these, once formidable tribes. 

The powerful league of the Six Nations had given their aid 
to the King of England in the expulsion of the French and 
had become his firm allies, much to their ultimate cost. The 
support they had rendered in the French war, they put forth again 
when the colonies rebelled, to uphold the King; and this fatally 
erroneous policy cost them their very national life, and the 
possession of the Long House in which they and their ances- 
tors had flourished for centuries. They delighted to call their 
admirable political fabric, which extended from the Hudson on 
the east to Lake Erie on the w T est, the Long House, of which 
the Mohawks guarded the eastern door and the Senecas the 
western. Their friendship toward the British was powerfully 


promoted by Sir William Johnson, whose home was among the 
Mohawks, and who was a virtual monarch in that tribe and 
held a great ascendancy throughout the league. He was the 
dispenser of royal favors among the aborigines, and by liberal 
and conciliatory conduct, secured an influence with the Six 
Nations far greater than any other man of the white race ever 
enjoyed. His power with the Senecas was less conspicuous 
than with the eastern nations, but on most questions he carried 
the Senecas with the rest, and attached the entire league to 
the interests of his master, the King. 

Thus stood matters one hundred years ago. The colonial 
settlements were gradually crowding into the borders of the 
wilderness. The colonists and the Indians were at peace. A 
very few Protestant Missionaries had penetrated among the 
Indians, and some advances toward civilization had developed 
among them ; enough to show that could they have been pro- 
tected from rum and the absorption of their lands by the 
a<ro-ressive race, they would have risen gradually but certainly 
to the civilized state in the course of a few generations. 

Let us contemplate for a moment the wide gap that divided 
them from us, even in the external conditions of life. On the 
territory now embraced within the county of Yates, laced with 
highways at regular and convenient distances for travel in all 
directions, supporting twenty thousand people, many of them 
in homes of lavish bounty and luxury, and all in respectable 
comfort, with more than three-fourths of the land under good 
cultivation, with abuudance of first-class domestic animals, and 
all the fruits and grains of our latitude in profusion, with daily 
railway connections with the sea-board and towards every point 
of the compass, with the lightning ready to leap with intelli- 
gence to every corner of the earth, at our command, — on this 
favored ground there lived, a century ago, perhaps five hundred 
of the Red race — certainly not more than a thousand — if the 
estimates of the native populations which have been preserved 
. are correct. The Senecas, the most formidable of the Iroquois 
nations, weie never supposed to number more than twenty -five 


thousand, and some careful authorities have placed them as 
low as ten thousand. Their territory, embracing both banks of 
the Seneca Lake, extended to Lake Erie. Hence it will be seen 
that our estimate of the number that found homes on our little 
space of 320 square miles, is large enough. For roadsthey had a 
few trails or paths leading through the forest to their favorite 
haunts. Their dwellings were mostly made from the bark of trees, 
with a few poles for their principal support. The skins of animals 
furnished them with much oi their bedding and clothing. Their 
only domestic animal was the dog. The squaws raised little 
areas of corn, beans and squashes. Near some of the larger 
villages at the time of Sullivan's invasion, there were large 
fields of corn and fine orchards. Some of their dwellings 
were also framed buildings, tastily painted, but there were few 
of these. The most of the Indians still followed the habits of 
their ancestors. Intercourse with Europeans had furnished 
them with powder and fire-arms, which added greatly to their 
potency as hunters and warriors. 

The principal part of their education consisted in woodcraft, 
which, in its full sense, embraces much that is real wisdom and 
would be a proud acquisition to the most learned. They had 
social laws and a political system that seemed to be wisely 
adapted to their needs, • and by no means inconsistent with 
moderate and wholesome progress. In religious ideas and 
practices, they were like others, with no more light than they 
possessed, crude and illogical. Feeling about in the dark for 
a road to the light, they had a child-like solution for the mys- 
teries of life and death, the past and the future. 

Compared with his white brother, the Indian was but a 
child. Of what avail was his subtle comprehension of the 
hunter's art, of the secrets of the woods and waters, of the 
habits of the animal kingdom, and the virtues of plants, and 
all that forms a well trained native of the wilds, against the 
far higher culture and more extended resources of the Cauca- 
sian? The attrition of European enterprise and thought 
| against the comparatively inert or rather undeveloped Indian, 



with the little conscience that too generally actuated the strong- 
er race, could bring only fatal results to the weaker. Neither 
seemed capable of accurately and justly estimating the other. 
The Indian could not feel the advantage which long centuries 
of civilized training had given to the white man ;■ and the 
white man judged the Indian by modes of thought to which 
the Indian had not approached. Besides, English civilization 
has always been selfish and absorbing. With a few honorable 
exceptions, the desire to possess the soil on the part of the 
settler, has been a sufficient excuse to take it, without a thought 
of the wrong to those who had owned it, perhaps when Europe 
was the property of the Roman Empire. 

Yet it ill-becomes us to sit in judgment on our ancestors. 
They followed the drift of their time, and acted as well as its 
average moral sentiment required. They found the forest and 
the Indian both in their way, and pushed both before them to 
establish their own social system. The axe and the rifle in 
their hands were powerful agencies of civilization, but they 
did not stimulate the most refined speculations on human rights 
or human duties. They served the pressing wants of their 
day, and gave the descendants of the pioneers an unimpeded 
theatre for the grandest national experiment in the long train 
of the ages. It was due to human^ and far-seeing rulers to 
protect weak peoples and see that no vital wrong was done to 
natives of western wilds. But Europe sent us rulers who 
were charged with other aims, and did their work so badly on 
the whole, as to quicken the germs of self-government budding 
everywhere in the new world. They neither protected the 
aborigines nor cherished the loyalty of the colonists. 

The Indian perished. It is mournful to contemplate his exit ; 
but it seems to be in harmony with the course of nature and 
the teachings of history. The new and beautiful growths 
spring up from the mould of the decayed organisms of the 
past. There is a grand continuity in the march of Humanity. 
Though individuals drop away like leaves from the trees, and 
nations flash up and disappear like the shifting scenes of a 


dramatic parade, Man endures. The dust of one proud race 
fertilizes the plain on which a succeeding race erects the monu- 
ments of its industry and pride. Yet the Human Family is 
one : one in flesh and blood, one in emotion and aspiration, 
one in helpless submission to the fiat of a common destiny, one 
in the hopeless struggle to solve the riddle of existence. 

One hundred years ago the Indian seemed secure of this 
part of his Eden, at least so far as his vision might prognosti- 
cate the future. This was a region claimed by England as it 
had been by France. The war of the revolution was yet in the 
future, but its preliminary vibrations were beginning to shake 
the colonies. In the lapse of the next five years it boiled up 
into the final eruption. With short-sighted loyalty to the 
King, the Six Nations sided with the British. They aggravated 
the struggle by falling on the border settlements, and urged on 
by Tory hate ami Tory assistance, they perpetrated many bar- 
barous horrors in these incursions. And fearful was the retri- 
bution which folloAved. Cherry Valley and Wyoming were 
terribly avenged. No doubt it was a gala-day for the ferocious 
Butler and his Indian allies in 1778, when they proceeded 
from Fort Niagara and launched their canoes on the Canisteo, 
to move down on the devoted valley of Wyoming. It is said 
they were joined by Catharine Montour, who left her lodge 
just beyond the head of Seneca Lake, and by a motley host of 
warriors from all the Six Nations, with a large number of Tories, 
who added fury to the flame of barbarous cruelty that inspired 
the forest warriors. They did their bloody work and returned 
in triumph. But their triumph was brief and dearly atoned 
for. Washington heard the wail of the border settlements and 
resolved upon energetic retaliation. The next Summer Gen. 
Sullivan was sent into the wilderness with orders to lay waste 
and destroy without reserve or pity. He entered the land of 
the Senecas by the gateway of the Chemung Valley. Brant 
headed the warriors of the league for a determined stand on 
the Chemung river ; but it was in vain. They were driven 
from the field, and flew before the thunder of his artillery till 


his vindictive march was ended. They were only able to keep 
their wives and little ones away from immediate harm, to suffer 
the agonies of starvation the following winter. Queen Catharine 
fled from her lodge never to return. Sullivan's men destroyed her 
home and laid waste its pleasant surroundings. They marched 
down the eastern shore of Seneca lake, and the echo of their 
cannon from the western bank of that beautiful water, was like 
a reverberating prophecy of the new order of things shortly to 
follow in their train. It is said they gazed across with delight- 
ed eyes, viewing, as they most justly believed they did, a good- 
ly land. The summer sunshine reflected to their vision no 
deceitful images. They had a glimpse of the glorious land 
that soon became famous as the Genesee Country. The garden 
of the Lake country inspired them with a warm admiration for 
its beauty and fertility ; and they carried back to their homes 
such stories of its natural wealth and singular attractions, that 
the emigration of a few years' later time was greatly stimulated 
by the impression which had thus gone abroad at the east. 

The punishment inflicted on the Senecas and Cayugas by 
Sullivan, sufficed for the purpose it was intended to serve. The 
Indians were thoroughly broken and depressed, and were never 
afterwards led into a hostile attitude on the soil of New York. 
The war soon after closed, and the ill-starred Iroquois were 
left at the mercy of the victors. It was much to the credit of 
the authorities that they did not exact the conditions which the 
laws of war might have claimed from the vanquished. The 
right of the Indians to the fee simple of the soil was recognized. 
In fighting with the British they had done themselves a griev- 
ous wrong. But they had stood by friends whose battles they 
had fought in a previous war. They had evinced fidelity, and 
were far less culpable than those vindictive Tories who had 
planned and led on the most bloody forays, which had rendered 
both the Indians and their allies a by-word of terror through 
all the border lands. It was well that the principal weight of 
hatred and wrath on the part of the colonists fell on the Tory 




S^T is now just ninety years since the vengeful incursion of 
ot^R Sullivan broke the spirit and destroyed the political fabric 
of the Iroquois. It was on the 9th day of September, 1779, 
that a detachment of 400 of his riflemen was sent up from 
Kanadesaga, on the west side of Seneca Lake, to Kashong 
Creek, where they destroyed a large Indian village, with exten- 
sive fields of corn and great numbers of apple trees. The wig- 
wams, and all means of subsistence on the part of the Indians, 
were completely annihilated. A portion of the apple trees 
only remained. This is the only recorded vestige of war that 
ever occurred on the soil of Yates county. It was connected 
twith the perishing throes of the Great Confederacy of Red 
Men, which had dominated with an imperial sway from the 
St. Lawrence to the Gulf of Mexico. It was preliminary to a 
new invasion of powerful arts, of cunning industries, of anoth- 
er system of social and political laws, of new religious concep- 

The war of the revolution closed in 1783. Immediately on 
the consummation of peace, the colonies settled their disputed 
boundaries and rival claims to the interior wilderness. With 
little actual knowledge of the geography of the country, 
British monarchs had granted charters which conflicted in their 
outlines. New York and Massachusetts finally settled their 
differences by a convention of commissioners, who agreed to 
give to the State of Massachusetts the pre-emptive right to 
purchase of the Indians all of Western New York, west of a 


meridian line, to start from the eighty-second milestone, on the 
State line of Pennsylvania ; the civil jurisdiction to remain 
with New York. If the State of New York had purchased 
this claim of Massachusetts, and then setting apart a liberal 
reservation for the Indians, and settling with them on equitable 
terms, had presented the entire residue of the country to actu- 
al settlers in restricted areas, it would have accomplished an 
untold amount of good for the commonwealth, and prevented 
a vast amount of injury and suffering on the part of the settlers. 
This would have cut off that system of outside and foreign 
ownership, which is the blight and depression of most new 
communities. But it had not then entered into the conceptions 
of men, that such a procedure would not only be the most 
rapid means of enriching the State, but a measure of actual 
justice to the primitive settlers. 

The State of Massachusetts sold to a company, of which 
Oliver Phelps and Nathaniel Gorham were the principal repre- 
sentatives, its pre-emptive right to Western New York, for the 
insignificant sum of £300,000, payable in the depreciated bonds 
of that State. This was in 1788. The prospect of the forma- 
tion of a Federal Government soon brought these bonds to 
par, and Phelps and Gorham finding themselves unable to pay 
as they had stipulated, on petition to the Legislature of Massa- 
chusetts, were released from their contract to purchase, except 
so much as they had already bought of the Indians, embracing 
2,600,000 acres, and extending from the Pre-emption Line to 
the Genesee River, for which £100,000 was paid. 

The purchase of the Indians had been accomplished with 
much difficulty, owing to the interference and intrigues of 
the celebrated Lessee Company. This company was what 
would be called in modern phraseology, a formidable Ring, 
composed of men with means and influence to forward 
their operations. Dr. Caleb Benton, John Livingston, and 
Jared Coffin, were their principal managers. They were called 
the "New York Genesee Land Company," and their seat of 
operations was at Hudson. An auxiliary company, styled the 


"Niagara Genesee Company," was organized On the Canadian 
border, with men of known influence with the Indians, such as 
John Butler, Samuel Street, John Powell, and Benjamin Barton. 
With such influences, and aided with the usual stimulating 
appliances in such cases, a lease was obtained of the Indian 
Lands for 999 years, for a yearly consideration of 2,000 Spanish 
milled dollars, and a promised bonus of $20,000, the Indians to 
retain certain hunting and fishing privileges. 

The State authorities, headed by Governor George Clinton, 
fought the Lessee claims with energy and decision, and fm:illy 
baffled the whole scheme so completely, that the Lessees eventu- 
ally accepted a compromise which shut them off by taking 
ten miles square on the military tract. 

The five townships deeded by Phelps and Gorham to Dr. 
Caleb Benton, three of which, in the first range, are now em- 
braced in Yates county, were also ceded as a part of this com- 

While these events were in progress, movements for settling 
the country were awakening in various quarters, the most im- 
portant of which at this early day was that of the Universal 
Friend. This remarkable personage had for fourteen years 
preached in Rhode Island, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. She 
had a numerous body of adherents, including families of char- 
acter and influence, and considerable possessions. She had 
conceived the idea of founding a community of her disciples 
where they might stand as a support to each other, and a light 
to the surrounding world This proposition had been discussed 
in their councils with earnestness, and in 1786 they held a 
meeting in Connecticut, at which they resolved to send forth a 
committee of exploration to select some place, far from towns 
and cities, where they might live in peace, and establish with- 
out interference the peculiar faith and social tenets of their 
new religion, under the direct control of its living founder and 
apostle. Like many other migrations before it, this was initia- 
ted under the impulse of religious sentiment, and it had the 
fervor and thoroughness of purpose which accompany such 


movements. A new and somewhat singular body of people, 
under the leadership of a gifted and striking character, they 
naturally sought an unrestricted field for the development of 
their society and one from which the pressure of existing or- 
ganizations, and their unbending prejudices would be removed. 
They desired to plant the new society outside the shadow of 
older and better organized creeds, where its roots might strike 
into a new and virgin soil, and its branches reach forth to the 
heavens without hindrance or compression. 

The ministry of the Friend had enlisted an earnest and devo- 
ted band of followers and believers. Under the inspiration of 
her zeal, they had lighted the lamps of their faith by the fire 
of the old Hebrew prophets. Dreams of millenial peace float- 
ed through their minds. Visions of the New Heaven and the 
New Earth appeared before them. As all things are possible 
to religious enthusiasm, in the plenitude of their ardent faith 
they saw the New Jerusalem descending from the sky to be- 
come the tabernacle of men. This was no longer a vague 
presentiment of another world, but a glorious reality within 
their reach. It was a grand inspiration that nerved their souls 
to the self-denial and toil necessaiy to fix their abodes in the 
woods of Western New York. They came to found a pure 
social order under a new religious conviction. It was to such 
an impulse that the first settlement of Yates county owed its 

Among the nobler nations of our race, the aspirations for a 
better social state, and dreams of their realization, have prompt- 
ed many grand attempts to found new communities. Many 
wrecks of these broken and abortive schemes are strewed along 
the pathway of human history, as well as many glorious suc- 
cesses. That they have helped forward the improvement of 
human nature can not be reasonably doubted. Crude as many 
of them are, they point to a principle in man that bespeaks his 
fitness for an exalted destiny ; and the fact that he will contin- 
ue to translate his dreams of perfectibility into schemes of 
actual life, indicates the possibility of even a terrestrial destiny 


for the family of man, so rich in its fruitions as to surpass all 
that visionaries and prophets have been able to portray in their 
most glowing raptures as the allotment of the future. 

The Universal Friend but followed the example of many 
before her, when she sought the depths of the wilderness to 
gather about her the flock her ministry had attached to her 
standard. Utopias had been seai*ched for in both the old 
world and the new, and in the islands of the distaut seas. 
Her's was another, in which the behests of an unseen world 
w T ere to blossom into beauty and sweetness in the common af- 
fairs of life. It was a great undertaking, and it had for a lead- 
er one who did not lack the boldness, courage and genius for 
the task. She had not only the confidence, but the reverence 
of her disciples.. 

At the meeting in 1786, they delegated Richard Smith, 
Thomas Hathaway and Abraham Dayton, to search for some 
fertile location suited to their wants. They set out the follow- 
ing year on their errand. They passed on horseback through 
the interior of Pennsylvania. In the valley of Wyoming 
they met a backwoods explorer by the name of Spalding, who 
gave them some account of the Seneca Lake region, and di- 
rected them how to reach it, as they did by following the track 
of Sullivan's march seven years before. It is said they kept on 
Sullivan's track to the foot of Seneca Lake, from whence they 
came to Kashong, where they found two French traders, Domi- 
nick De Bartzach, and Pierre Pondre, from whom they also had a 
good account of the country. They informed the explorers 
that they had traveled through Canada and the Western Terri- 
tory, and had nowhere seen so fine a country as this. A few 
days exploration satisfied them fully, and they returned by the 
route they came to report to the Friend the result of their mis- 

In 1788, the first settlement was made. A party of twenty- 
five persons, among whom were Abel Botsford, Peleg and 
John Briggs, George Sisson, Isaac Nichols, Stephen Card, John 
Reynolds, James Parker, and some of their families, came by 


way of Albany, making their way to Geneva on batteaux. 
At Geneva they found but a solitary log house, still unfinished 
and inhabited by Clark Jennings. The story of their travels 
is that they went up the east side of the lake to Apple- 
town, and searched there for a mill site. The noise of falling 
water, it is said, finally drew them to the west shore. Consid] 
ering the size of the cascade, which must have made this noise 
and its distance within the forest, many deem this account in- 
credible. Joseph Remer, however, who has passed all his life 
near the lake, assured the writer that he deemed it a truthful 
statement. With a full stream and a quiet atmosphere, the 
sound of rushing waters, over even a moderate precipice, can be 
heard a great distance. 

So the New Jerusalem was located on the west bank of 
Seneca Lake. This little band arrived in August, and erected 
their cabins close by the Indian trail leading from the Chemung 
Valley to Kanadesaga, a mile from the lake and about a mile 
south of Dresden. They sowed a field of wheat of about 
twelve acres the same' fall, and, so far as known, were the only 
actual and permanent settlers that passed the following winter 
west of Seneca Lake. They, were, in truth, the pioneer party 
of the pioneers. They were the boldest of the bold. While 
the country was still tremulous with fear of Indian hostitities, 
which were not fully allayed till half a dozen years later, by 
Pickering's treaty at Canandaigua, they ventured directly upon 
their choicest territory, before they could hardly have been 
aware that the Red Man's title had been eliminated. They were 
the first to confront as actual neighbors on this beautiful ground, 
both the Indian and the still wilder inhabitants of the forest. 
Now that their work has loomed up into historical importance, 
it would be deeply interesting to know the minutest particulars 
of their history during that first fall and winter. They were 
completely shut out from the world. No mail could carry mes- 
sages to their friends in New England, or bring them a lisp of 
what was transpiring there. Their sole society outside their 
own little colony, Avas the Indian and the wild beast. Their 


intellectual comforts were drawn almost solely from their Bibles 
and the dark pervading forest. Would that we might have a 
record of that winter, of their thoughts and activities, of their 
comforts and distresses, of the hopes that inspired them to 
labor and to patience. But they were not literary and made 
no recorded statement that is known to the writer of these 
pages. Perhaps they did not conceive that their advent to 
these unbroken wilds, was to be thought in after time a matter 
of curious scrutiny to the compiler of history. They deemed 
themselves but humble workers in the advance line, to prepare 
the ground for the building of the New Jerusalem ; and expect- 
ed only, that like other builders, their glory would be lost in 
the beauty of tbe structure to grow up under their hands. 

Reserving for another chapter the further details of this 
movement, we will look to what was going forward in other 
quarters. Phelps and Gorham completed their purchase of 
Massachusetts, April 1st, 1788. It is claimed by one of our 
surveyors in this county, Israel H. Arnold, that the old Pre- 
emption Line was surveyed in 1787, deducing his opinion from 
tree markings which he has seen on that line. It would hardly 
seem probable, however, that the survey could have been made 
before the purchase was consummated. As the Lessee Com- 
pany expected to have the land that might lie between the 
Military tract and the Massachusetts Lands, they took a lively 
interest in this survey. So two surveyors were employed ; 
Hugh Maxwell, on the part of Phelps and Gorham, and a Mr. 
Jenkins, (another authority says a Mr. Allen,) on the part of 
the Lessees. The following account of their work is taken 
from O'Reiley's "Incidental Notices of Western New York," 
incorporated with his "Sketches of Rochester." 

"These surveyors started from a point on the Pennsylvania 
line, and proceeded together till the provisions were nearly ex- 
hausted. When within about twenty miles of Geneva, and a 
few miles below Hopetown, near to the creek by which the 
Seneca Lake receives the waters of the Crooked Lake, one of 
the surveyors, (Maxwell,) went to Geneva for supplies. Jen- 


kins, meanwhile, continued surveying the line ; and it was 
while he was thus alone that a slight jog occurred in the line, 
the prolongation of which northward, threw Geneva, the settle- 
ments at which had already attracted some attention, on the 
east side of the boundary ; that side whereon it was most 
agreeable to Jenkins' employers it should continue. Maxwell 
returned and resumed the survey when within about ten miles 
of Geneva, and, unconscious of the deviation which had oc- 
curred in his absence, he aided in running the boundary so 
that it passed somewhat westward of Geneva. The present 
site of the village of Lyons, and the whole of Sodus Bay were 
also thrown eastward of the line thus run out. The variation 
of the compass was, however, the cause of a far greater error 
in running this line, than resulted from the covetousness of 
possessing Geneva, &c. One of the surveyors of the Holland 
Company, informed Maude in 1800, that they put no depend- 
ence now on Mariner's compass in surveying land, that it will 
frequently give an error of sixty rods, or three hundred and 
thirty yards in ten miles'; that it gave an error of eighty- 
four thousand acres in running the east line of Captain Wil- 
liamson's purchase, which was not discovered till after the 
deeds were signed and the money paid. It is added that the 
difference was generously yielded up by Mr. Morris, the 
purchaser of Phelps and Gorham's title, to Mr. Williamson, 
(for the Pultney Estate,) who otherwise would not only have 
lost this quantity of land, but would have been cut off 
from Sodus Bay, Seneca Lake, with Geneva, and the excel- 
lent situation of Hopetown Mills, on the Outlet of Crooked 
Lake, a little eastward of what is now called Penn Yan." 

Whether by mistake or design, the line diverged to the west, 
and it was early suspected that it was not correctly surveyed ; 
but the new survey, it appears, was not made till 1793. 

The old Pre-emption Line, from which Phelps and Gorham's 
purchase was surveyed into Ranges and Townships, constitutes 
the town line between Starkey and Barrington, passes through 
Milo Centre on the highway to the outlet of Keuka Lake, and 


thence on the road leading north beyond the residence of Caleb 
J. Legg, in Torrey, and so on northward crossing the Kashong 
creek some two hundred rods or thereabout east of Bellona. 
What is called the Pre-emption road, is nowhere on the Pre- 
emption Line till we pass north of Cromwell's Hollow, in the 
town of Seneca. Thence the highway is on the Pre-emption 
Line as far northward as Geneva, and the old stage road from 
Geneva to Bath, was undoubtedly called the Pre-emption road 
from that fact, although it diverges from the line through the 
town of Benton, and more than a mile at the south line of the 

Soon after the Pre-emption Line was surveyed, the whole 
purchase was surveyed into Ranges and Townships, under the 
charge of Hugh Maxwell, who begun the work in 1788, and 
completed it in 1789. The Ranges were six miles wide run- 
ning north and south, counting from east to west ; and the 
Townships six miles square, counting from south to north. 
Hence it is that the town of Barrington falls in township num- 
ber six in the first range ; the town of Milo, so much as lies 
west of the old Pre-emption Line, in township number seven, 
first range ; Benton number eight, first range ; Jerusalem, 
number seven, second range, &c. 

It will be seen, therefore, that the Friends must have come 
before they could have been aware that the Indian title had 
been extinguished, or surveys of the country entered upon. 
Other settlers followed close upon the heels of the surveyors, 
and in 1789, not only a large reinforcement to the Friends' 
settlement aFrived, but others began to push in. The door 
was opened and the fame of the country as one of earth's 
choicest allotments to man, soon made it a popular point for 
the tide of emigration. 

Phelps and Gorham having completed the purchase and 
survey of their tract of land, covering what now constitutes 
Ontario, Wayne, Yates, Steuben, Livingston, and parts of Mon- 
roe and Allegany counties, proceeded at once to make every 
exertion to people it with settlers. Mr. Phelps superintended 


the business in person. Their first sale was township number 
eleven, third range, now the town of Farmington, to a compa- 
ny of Massachusetts settlers, mostly Quakers. In 1791, these 
settlers carried grists on horses to the Friends' mill in Jerusa- 
lem, where Joy's Oil Mill is now located. 

Of the time now about to open, when emigration was to 
pour into the Genesee country, Mr. Turner in his history of 
Phelps and Gorham's purchase says : "At Geneva, (then called 
Kanadesaga,) there was a cluster of buildings occupied by In- 
dian traders, and a few settlers who had come in under the aus- 
pices of the Lessee Company. Jemima Wilkinson with her 
small colony, was upon her first location upon the west bank of 
Seneca Lake, upon the Indian trail through the valley of the 
Susquehanna, and across Western New York to upper Canada, 
the primitive highway of all this region. One or two white 
families had settled at Catharine's Town, at the head of Seneca 
Lake. A wide i-egion of wilderness separated the most north- 
ern and western settlements of Pennsylvania from all this re- 
gion. Within the Genesee country other than the small settle- 
ment at Geneva, and the Friends' settlement, there were two or 
three Indian traders upon the Genesee River, a few white fami- 
lies who were squatters upon the flats, one or two white fami- 
lies at Lewiston, one at Schlosser, a Negro with a Squaw wife 
at Tonawanda, an Indian interpreter and two or three traders 
at the mouth of Buffalo Creek, a Negro and Indian trader at 
the mouth of Cattaraugus Creek, Fort Niagara was a British 
garrison. All else was Seneca Indian occupancy." 

About thirty Townships were sold or contracted in 1788 ; 
but the most of these very early sales were to those who held 
small shares in the association of which Phelps and Gorham 
were the principal shareholders. Benedict Robinson and 
Thomas Hathaway were original shareholders, and Township 
number seven, in the second range, now Jerusalem, was deeded 
to them ; which accounts for the comparatively small price at 
which it was sold, $4,320, or eighteen pence per acre. In the 
first range, township number six, Barrington ; number seven, 


Milo ; number eight, Benton; number nine, Seneca; were 
deeded by Phelps and Gorham to Caleb Benton, in behalf* of 
the Lessees ; and by Caleb Benton to John Livingston, also of 
the Lessee Company. 

The deed of Phelps and Gorham to Caleb Benton, bears date 
January 16, 1789, and is for the expressed consideration of 
£3,000. The deed of Caleb Benton to John Livingston for 
the same townships, 6, 7 and 8, bears date April 27, 1789, for 
the expressed consideration of £4,000. John Livingston deed- 
ed to Levi Benton, December 24, 1789, lot 37, in township 
number 8, first range ; and August G, 1790, half of lot 13 of 
the same township, the place whereon he resided. 

On the 28th of November, 1788, Caleb Benton, by virtue of 
a resolution of the Lessee Company, set off to James Parker 
and his associates of the Friend's Society a belt of land on the 
east side of township number 7, to extend westward far enough 
to be equal in value to three and one quarter shares of the 
Company, the west line to run parallel with the Pre-emption 
Line. This location is six miles long, contains 1104 acres and 
is the strip since known as the Garter. 

In the year 1789, the wilderness was dotted with pioneer 
commencements in many directions. The Friends had a large 
accession to their colony, and the Friend herself arrived a year 
later to give life and direction to the new movement. On 
the east side of Seneca Lake several settlers made beginnings. 
In that year, Levi Benton, the first settler of the town that 
bears his name, and a cousin of Dr. Caleb Benton, of the 
Lessee Company, settled at the north termination of Flat street, 
on the farm since occupied by Henry Hicks, and now by Dan- 
iel Sherwood. Around Levi Benton, clustered in the next few 
years a very interesting neighborhood of pioneers. 

At this time the Lesees were operating at Geneva, though 
toward the end of that year they abandoned their most impor- 
tant pretensions. Says Mr. Turner : — "The little village of 
Kanadesaga at the foot of Seneca Lake, had been going ahead 
under the auspices of Reed, and Ryckman, and the Lessees." 


"In the Fall of 1788," says a manuscript in the author's pos- 
session, "number 8 was divided into lots and balloted for at 
Geneva." He further says, that the lots drawn were over a 
hundred in number, and that the manuscript referred to gave 
the numbers of the several lots, with the names of the parties 
who drew them. It would seem to have been for the most 
part a distribution by lottery to the members of the Niagara or 
Canada Lessee Company, and Benjamin Barton and Mr. Bird- 
sail drew for their associates. 

The following picture of Geneva is given in the same con- 
nection. "In the Fall of 1788, about the time the pioneer 
movements were making at Canandaigua, Geneva had become 
a pretty brisk place; the focus of speculators, explorers, the 
Lessee Company and their agents, and the principal seat of the 
Indian trade for a wide region. Horatio Jones, an Indian in- 
terpreter and early pioneer, was living in a log house covered 
with bark, on the bank of the Lake, and had a small stock of 
goods for the Indian trade. Asa Ransom, the afterwards pio- 
neer at Buffalo, occupied a hut and was manufacturing Indian 
trinkets. Elark Jennings had a log tavern on the bank of the 
Lake. The Lessee Company had a framed tavern and trading 
establishment, covered with bark on the lake shore, which was 
occupied by Dr. Caleb Benton. There was a cluster of log 
houses all along on the low ground near the lake shore. The 
geographical designations were "hill and bottom." Peter 
Ryekman and Peter Bortle were residing there. Col. Seth 
Reed was residing at the Old Castle. Dominick De Bartzch, 
an Indian trader from Montreal, was rather the great man 
of the country. His principal seat was at the Kashong 
which lie claimed as an Indian grant, and where he had a 
trading establishment, though his trade extended to the west- 
ern Indians, among whom he went after selling his claim to 
the Kashong farm, to the late Major Benjamin Barton. 

It, is further stated, that John II. Jones witnessed this bar- 
gain ; and that Major Barton, in part payment, pulled off his 
overcoat and f?ave it to De Bartzch. On the other hand it is 



affirmed, by James L. Barton, a son of Major Barton, that the 
farm was bought of Pierre Poudre. He made this statement in 
an address before the Young Men's Association of Buffalo, in 
1848, and his testimony ought to be conclusive. Both De 
Bartzch and Poudre had Indian wives. 

The Lessees at this time were strenuously claiming all the 
lands east of the old Pre-emption Line, that had not been dis- 
tinctly ceded by the Six Nations, expecting to secure a profita- 
ble compromise ; and Reed and Ryckman's large tract of 16,000 
acres on the west bank of Seneca Lake, grew out of this claim, 
and for services in negotiating Indian treaties, they being mem- 
bers of the Lessee Company. It was their grasping effort to 
get the Indian lands, that was supposed to cause so large a di- 
vergence of the Pre-emption Line west of its true course. All 
that was done at Geneva previous to the Spring of 1793, was 
under the auspices of Reed, and Ryckman, and the Lessees. 
It was principally a trading point for the Indians and the very 
few settlers that had penetrated the country in various direc- 

Phelps and Gorharn, after having sold rather less than one- 
half of their extensive purchase, in townships and half-town- 
ships, conveyed the entire remainder to Robert Morris, of 
Philadelphia, the patriotic friend of Washington, whose purse . 
had aided so essentially in the success of the Revolutionary 
War. The price paid was thirty thousand pounds, New York 
currency, (175,000.) Mr. Morris undertook large preparations 
for the settlement of his purchase, but before he had accom- 
plished anything of importance, his agent in London, Wm. 
Temple Franklin, a grandson of Dr. Franklin, sold his entire 
purchase of Phelps and Gorham, to Sir Wm. Pultney, John 
Hornby, and Patrick Colquhoun. These were men of wealth 
and eminence. The price they paid was thirty-five thousand 
pounds sterling ($170^000) for about one million two hundred 
thousand acres of land. The conveyance was made by Robert 
Morris to Charles Williamson, agent of the London Associa- 
tion, by deed bearing date April 11, 1792. Mr. Williamson 


became naturalized for the purpose of holding this title, as his 
principals, being aliens and non-residents, could not under then 
existing laws, hold real estate. No better man than Mr. Wil- 
liamson could have been delegated to the important work of 
opening up the new country to the advance of the pioneers, so 
far as the interests of the pioneers themselves were concerned. 
He was kind and forbearing ; a man of dash and enterprise ; 
liberal to a fault, and sanguine of results. In the end his em- 
ployers found him too expensive in his outlays for the safety of 
their fortune ; but they did not withhold their personal esteem 
for him as a man of integrity and the highest personal worth. 

Mr. Williamson, in the prosecution of his great enterprise, 
reached this country early in 1792, landing at Baltimore. It 
was toward Baltimore and Philadelphia that he expected to 
establish the principal routes of ingress and egress to and from 
the Genesee country ; and during the nine- years that he re- 
mained at the head of affairs as the agent of the Pultney title, 
he never abandoned that idea. It may sound strangely to many 
now, but that was then the only conclusion to which a man of 
Mr. Williamson's breadth of judgment could arrive. The route 
by way of the Mohawk and Seneca Rivers, was difficult and 
tedious, and seemed likely never to become a thoroughfare 
suitable to the transit to eastern markets of the productions of 
so rich a country as the Genesee lands. On the other hand, 
the Susquehanna and Cohocton seemed to offer a natural high- 
way to the seaboard, over which could be carried all that the 
country might yield. This was no mistaken view. Some of 
the early annalists state that in 1800 a bushel of wheat was 
better worth one hundred cents at Bath, than sixty cents at 
Geneva. And it was confidently predicted that this difference 
would grow wider every year, for little if any additional im- 
provement could be made in the water communication with 
New York, while that to Baltimore would admit of very exten- 
sive and advantageous ones. It was with this view that Mr. 
Williamson founded Bath, expecting it to become the entrepot 
of trade for one of the richest countries in the world, and a 


city of metropolitan greatness. Looking at this view as the san- 
guine Scott regarded it before the Erie Canal was dreamed of, 
there was method, not madness in his plans. 

In February, 1792, Mr. Williamson made a flying visit to the 
Genesee country by way of New York and Albany. He wrote 
to Mr. Colquhoun that he passed through an uninhabited wil- 
derness of more than one hundred miles before reaching Gene- 
va, which consisted of a few straggling huts. There is not a 
road, he added, within one hundred miles of the Genesee coun- 
try, that will admit of any sort of conveyance, otherwise than 
on horseback or on a sled, when the ground is covered with 
snow. He further stated that the price of land had in a few 
instances exceeded twenty-five cents per acre. Some few farms 
of first rate quality, had been sold on a credit for fifty cents 
per acre. 

Returning to Baltimore he resolved to open a communication 
with the Genesee country from the south. A colony of very 
worthless Germans from Hamburg, accompanied his ax-men 
while cutting a road from Northumberland, by way of what is 
now Williamsport, over the mountains to Painted Post, and 
thence to the Genesee River. This road ran by the present site 
of Blossburg, and was for many years the principal route by 
which emigrants reached Western New York from Pennsylva- 
nia, New Jersey and the South. 

By this road provisions were sent from Northumberland to 
sustain Capt. Williamson's new city at Bath, and the neighbor- 
ing settlers during the first years of their occupation. They 
had no other resource of any importance, except the Friend's 
Settlement, which had five years the start of them, and was a 
large and comparatively thrifty community, that acted like a 
sustaining Providence to the destitute pioneers of the surround- 
ing wilderness. Says Guy H. McMaster, in his history of 
Steuben County: "Captain Williamson transported his first 
flour from Northumberland, and a quantity of pork from Phila- 
delphia. After these luxuries were obtained, as best they could 
be, flour was brought on pack horses from Tioga point, now 


Athens, Pa., and a treaty of commerce was entered into with 
Jemima Wilkinson, the prophetess, who had established her 
oracle on the outlet to Crooked Lake, where her disciples had 
a mill and good farms. The first navigators of Crooked Lake 
carried their cargoes in Durham boats of five or six tons bur- 
den, which they poled along the shores, or when favoring 
breezes filled their sails, steered through the mid channel. 
These primitive gondoliers have lived to see the end of their 

In 1790 a national census was taken. A return of the depu- 
ty Marshall of New York shows that there were 1047 inhabi- 
tants on the seven Ranges of Phelps and Gorham's purchase, 
and west of the Genesee River. Hence the statement has 
frequently appeared in local histories, that this number of peo- 
ple included all residing at that time west of Seneca Lake. If 
we add, however, the Friend's Settlement east of the Pre-emp- 
tion Line, numbering 260 persons, Geneva and its surrounding 
settlers 1 00, also east of the old Pre-emption, and Culver's at 
the head cf Seneca Lake, 70, we have 1477 for the whole re- 
gion west of Seneca Lake, then known as the Genesee Country 
and comprised in Ontario county. 

Of these inhabitants, there were in Township number 7, 
first Range, Milo, 6G ; number 8, Benton, 25 ; number 8, 
second Range, then Augusta, now Potter, 33. This would 
give us 388 for the population of what is now Yates county, 
in 1790. It will be seen that the Friend's Settlement was at 
that time much the largest and most important community 
west of Seneca Lake, and even west of Fort Stanwix and the 
Susquehanna River. It is spoken of in one of Mr. Wil- 
liamson's earliest letters as "a very industrious community who 
have already made considerable improvements, having comple- 
ted an excellent grist and saw mill sometime since. It is ex- 
pected there will be double their present number before a 
twelvemonth." They were considerably reinforced after this, 
but to what precise extent we have no means of stating. It is 
said that the disappointment in regard to holding the land by 


the Society prevented, to a large extent, additions to their 
number from among their eastern friends. Before this check 
occurred their gain was rapid, and their prosperity all that 
could be expected from the conditions of their position. They 
had established themselves in a beautiful and advantageous sit- 
uation, they had a good name with the people around them, 
and numerous sympathisers in the communities from which 
they had emigrated in New England and Pennsylvania. It is 
not wonderful that they indulged in bright anticipations, and ex- 
pected to be the founders of a city Hence their beautiful 
cemetery ground was called City Hill, the title it has continued 
to bear. 

Another of these early letters, speaking of the Friend's Set- 
tlement, says, "there are 80 families in it, each has a fine farm, 
and they are a quiet, moral, industrious people." This was 
the best of testimony in behalf of the good character of those 
who adhered to the Friend, and who led the van in the settle- 
ment of Yates county. 

Of the natural condition of the country, a few remarks will 
be in order. It was a country for the most part very heavily 
wooded, a few ridges forming exceptions, where it is said 
the Indians had repeatedly burned the land over, for the double 
purpose of securing open spaces in the forest, and furnishing 
by the new growth the food most eagerly sought for by the 
deer and elk. These open spaces were supposed by the early 
settlers to be worthless barrens, and were shunned in selecting 
lots for permanent locations. They have since been found as 
good land as the best. The land for some distance east and 
northeast of Penn Yan was of this character. That the timber 
was dwarfish and scattering, was evidently due to some other 
cause than lack of fertility in the soil. The trees which pre- 
vailed almost everywhere, and often the chief occupant of the 
forest, was the Hard Maple, which afforded one of the princi- 
pal resources of the country, that of sugar making. White 
oak, of the finest quality, was very abundant, and there was 
besides an abundance of all the varieties known to this region, 


such as hickory, black walnut, along the Seneca Lake chiefly, 
chestnut on dry ridges, ash of different kinds, elm, butternut, 
basswood or linden, poplar, pine, in some parts of Jerusalem, 
very largely in East and South Barrington, and all along Big 
Stream. The Dundee locality, however, was one of the open 
plains regarded in the early days as nearly worthless. A strik- 
ing characteristic of the heavily timbered land, was the remark- 
able density of the undergrowth. The hazel bushes, shrubs 
and young trees of all kinds, made a thicket almost impenetra- 
ble on most lands covered by a good forest growth. Mr. Wil- 
liamson speaks of the wild fruits with great enthusiasm, and 
among them mentions the plum, cherry, mulberry, grape, rasp- 
berry, blackberry, huckleberry, gooseberry, cranberry, straw- 
berry, and black haw. The older citizens now speak of 
some varieties of the wild plum with great admiration, regard- 
ing it as an -excellent fruit. Near the lakes and streams it was 
quite prevalent, and was much sought after. The stream now 
known as Jacob's Brook, emptying into the Keuka Lake out- 
let, in Penn Yan, was a famous locality for the wild plum. 
Some of the wild grapes are also spoken of by the older resi- 
dents as hardly surpassed by the best cultivated varieties. 
Doubtless the absence of a good variety of fruits, sharpened 
their appreciation of the native products. It is a happy spirit 
of accommodation in human nature, that we learn to relish the 
best we have, and regard it as the best the earth affords. 

To those who understood the indications of good land, there 
was evidence enough that this was a country of abounding fer- 
tility. The pioneers judged of this largely by the timber and 
the large and towering forest trees, with trunks almost as large 
at an altitude of fifty to sixty feet, as at the root, afforded an 
index of deep and excellent soil, which could not be mis- 

Wild animals were for a time a source of fear and trouble to 
the early settlers. The wolf, a great coward by day, set up his 
frightful howl at night, and made the deep recesses of the for- 
est resound with his discordant chorus. During the first few 


years, and even as late as 1815, in the pine woods of East 
Barrington, there was a fastness from which the wolves made 
frequent raids on the sheep-folds of the farmers. Thousands of 
sheep were destroyed by these ravenous depredators during the 
early years of the pioneer occupation. Only those who folded 
them with the greatest care could be secure of their flocks 
Avhile the wolves remained. But they were hunted without 
mercy, and bounties were offered for their scalps; and thus 
they were finally driven off to wilder and less inviting -egions. 

The bear was perhaps a still more common denizen of the 
woods, but less hurtful and less feared. This animal frightened 
more people than he harmed, but was not considered a pleasant 
companion in the woods. His attentions towards the civilizees 
were mostly directed to the swine, for which he had a re- 
markable fondness. It would not be difficult to fill a moderate 
volume with incidents relating to the raids of the bears upon 
the swine of the early settlers, many of them quite tragic so 
far as the animals, one or both, were concerned. Unlike the 
wolf, the bear often afforded savory food and sustenance for 
the flesh eating pioneers. It was in this way that Bruin often 
settled for the damages he had inflicted on the growing pork 
or corn field of the backwoodsman. David II. Buel informs 
the writer that tame bears were very common about the coun- 
try, as cubs were often caught and kept as curiosities, but they 
were dangerous pets, and always required to be held by a chain 
to prevent casualties. Like most of the natives of the woods, 
they did not harmonize Avith civilization, and were crowded 
away by its advancing waves. Their exit is not deplored. 

Deer were very numerous and sometimes troublesome, but 
furnished excellent food for the pioneer larder, which helped 
greatly in some instances to eke out the scanty supplies other- 
wise obtained. About the only damage these animals did was 
to the growing wheat in the fall. This was sometimes a little 
grievous, but the venison they supplied no doubt afforded am- 
ple compensation for that. The deer lingered in the country 
much longer than the wolf and bear. 


Mr. Williamson in his enumeration of the animals of the 
Genesee district, speaks of moose, deer and elk, but no tradi- 
tion of these have come to the knowledge of the writer. He 
also speaks of beavers, otters, martins, minxes, rabbits, squir- 
rels, racoons and wild cats, many of which, said he, furnish 
excellent furs and pelts. Of game birds, he mentions wild 
turkies, pheasants, partridges, pigeons, plovers, ' heath fowls, 
and meadow hen, besides waterfowl. Among the fish, especial 
note is made of salmon of two kinds, besides the varieties now 
so well known. That the salmon were plenty in the lakes and 
rivers of the country, while the Indians were the principal fish- 
ermen, is well attested, but that wild turkies abounded does 
not seem to be confirmed by the traditions that have come to 
the knowledge of the author. 

It was a country in which the hunter's life could be as well 
maintained as almost any other that ever answered that pur- 
pose for a savage population, and the white hunters who fell 
into that sort of life, found a rich field for the exercise of their 

The rattlesnake was one of the most dreaded of the native 
occupants, and in some localities was a scourge of the most 
formidable character. They had a geographical distribution 
restricted to certain limited districts, beyond which they were 
very rare if found at all. The places they inhabited were gen- 
erally contiguous to rocky ledges, which formed the best refuge 
for these venomous serpents. In some places they were so 
abundant as to be exceedingly pestilent as a foe to the settler. 
The hog in such localities was very useful in the war he waged 
upon the snakes. Impervious to the reptile venom, he followed 
the snake to his last retreat, and was as sure on the trail as a 
dog in pursuit of a deer or fox. The swine killed more rattle- 
snakes than the people, and by their industrious aid these ter- 
rible ophidians were finally driven from the land. 

The pioneers were not mistaken in their most sanguine and 
exalted estimate of the country. The sun shines on few better 
if any. But it was a savage wilderness, remote from the 


abodes of civilized life. Its wild estate required an incalcula- 
ble amount of labor to subdue it and make it the pleasant 
abode of peaceful industry and social culture it has become. 
The obstacles before the early settlers were numerous and for- 
bidding. The Indian left his trail a mere pathway through 
the dense and overhanging forest. He left also the wolf and 
the rattlesnake, and the mighty and deep-rooted forest itself to 
be removed, so that the sunshine of the coming years might 
light up the beautiful meadows and waving grain fields that 
distinguish it as a land of rare beauty and overrunning bounty. 
The early settlers found also the ague and fever, which was 
often worse than all other discouragements and despondencies. 
Some of the richest lands were the worst afflicted with this 
scourge. The highlands of Steuben and Alleghany were even 
sought by some to avoid the sickly vapors which covered the 
fruitful and inviting region of the lakes to the northward. 
Their descendants in after years often expressed the most pro- 
found regrets at the loss of what "might have been" in the 
possession of rich lands, their fathers had shunned to escape the 
fever and ague. This scourge too, though it lingered long in 
various localities, was finally quelled. It did not impede the 
rapid settlement and clearing up of the country, though it en- 
feebled many a stalwart arm, sometimes for more than a whole 
year, and sometimes illness of the most fatal character was its 

All these obstacles and drawbacks, were but the shadows of 
the wilderness and its barbarities passing away to give place to 
what we must all esteem a more benign and superior condition 
of social existence, to the softened ray of modern civilization. 
It was the Genesee country, it was better still the New Jerusa- 
lem, and the ground was wisely selected. The pious disciples 
of the new faith had chosen as wisely as the "children of this 
world" could have done with all their shrewdness. 




jjfHATEVER conclusion may be reached by the historian 
upon a fair and patient investigation of the character 
and career of the woman who planted the first settlement in 
the Genesee country, and made the soil of Yates county the 
seat of her remarkable influence and power, it must be acknowl- 
edged that she was an extraordinary personage. It has been 
common to class her with those who have made deception the 
study of their lives, and to dismiss her from honorable consid- 
eration as a vulgar mystagogue. She has been relentlessly 
written down as a cheat and impostor, who by artful assurance 
made others subservient to her unscrupulous designs. It is 
now fifty years.since she closed her earthly mission, and though 
the tongue of detraction, has grown somewhat sluggish in that 
long interval, it has never been silenced. The public mind is 
full of misconceptions engendered by a vigorous and long re- 
peated statement of the malign story that has gone forth, with- 
out efficient contradiction, as her life. It is time that story 
was confronted with, at least, a just statement of accessible 

Though it may not belong to such a work as this to enter 
upon a close analysis of character, it is proper to make it the 
medium of correct estimates of the principal actors who have 
preceded us, so far as it may be accomplished by presenting the 
truth unwarped by prejudice. The space we have will not ad- 
mit of extended reflections or carefully studied deductions. 
These must be left to the elaborate biographer. What is aimed 

Sfke. HLrLLU££MiL Sfiiend. 

Entered according to act of Congrexs, in the year 1873, by S. ('. CLEVELAND, 
in the office of the Librarian of Congress, «t Washington. 


at here, is a truthful summary of the leading events of a singu- 
lar and impressive life. 

Jemima Wilkinson was born in the town of Cumberland, 
and county of Providence, Rhode Island, in the year 1758. 
Her father, Jeremiah Wilkinson, was a farmer of moderate 
estate, good character, strong native ability, and firm purpose. 
He married in early life Amy Whipple, a member of the Socie- 
ty of Friends, and a young woman of excellent character and 
amiable disposition. Twelve children were born to this couple 
the eighth of whom was the subject of this sketch, and the 
personage who has given celebrity to the family. 

Of her earlier life there is but little known of an authentic 
nature. When she was eight years old her mother died, leav- 
ing her to the charge of her elder sisters. It is said she was 
not remarkably plastic to their control, and that she become 
rather the ruler than the ruled in the domestic realm. Her in- 
tellectual culture was that common to the children of New 
England at that day, and was limited to reading and the more 
moderate common school accomplishments. She was favored 
with personal beauty, and took pleasure in adding to her good 
appearance the graceful drapery of elegant apparel. It is not 
strange, therefore, that she was a punctual attendant of public 
worship. Until about sixteen years of age her mind was most- 
ly engrossed with external things, and her reading, which was 
considerable, was that of poetry, romance, current news, and 
light literature. 

About this time there appeared in her vicinity a new sect of 
religious zealots, who rejected church organization and insisted 
upon constant and direct guidance from Heaven. They awak- 
ened much interest, and among the most regular attendants of 
their meetings was Jemima Wilkinson, who became very serious 
and gave evidence of a great change in her thoughts. Social 
gaiety gave place to gravity and sedateness. The Bible was her 
constant study, and other reading was rejected. Yet she did 
not enter into the enthusiasm of the separatists, as they were 
called, and consequently was not regarded as one of their 


members. As usual with such spasmodic growths, bound by 
no external organization, they soon dissolved away ; but while 
they lasted they had the constant attendance of Jemima at 
their meetings, and apparently her most profound regard. She 
continued remarkably serious, betook herself to solitude and 
seemed to be absorbed with studious and melancholy reflec- 
tions. Her mood was indulged by her family until she grew 
averse to social intercourse, and finally in the summer of 1776, 
secluded herself wholly, kept in her room, and complaining of 
ill health, become pale and enfeebled in physical tone. A phy- 
sician was called who pronounced the malady mental, and be- 
yond his skill to counteract. 

In the Autumn her illness seemed to increase, and she was 
not only confined to her bed, but required nightly watchers. 
The solicitude of her friends was greatly excited, but the phy- 
sician insisted that her disorder was the result of no bodily 
debility, but rather the outgrowth of a morbid imagination, 
and the gloomy tendencies of solitude. Her attendants were 
startled by her repeated stories of sights and scenes not obvi- 
ous to their senses. She described heavenly landscapes, beauti- 
ful visions, angelic forms, and seemed to rejoice in the society 
of a brighter world. These remarkable visions were minutely 
portrayed by the invalid girl and solemnly stated as real and 
vital to her senses. No contradiction or reproof had the slight- 
est effect to diminish her assurance of their actual existence. 

Finally, late in October, she fell into a deep trance, or almost 
lifeless state, during which she scarcely breathed, and her pulse 
almost subsided. For about thirty-six hours or more she re- 
mained in this state, motionless and apparently hovering on the 
boundaries of life. She was watched with intense anxiety by 
her friends, but no perceptible change occurred till about mid- 
night of the second day, when she raised up as if awaking 
from a profound refreshing sleep. Her attendants were more 
than ever surprised by the sudden change in her state and de- 
meanor. She called for her clothing with a mien of authority 
which admitted of no refusal, and would no longer be treated 


as an invalid. She dressed herself and went about as if fully re- 
stored, though still pale and reduced in flesh. She insisted that 
Jemima Wilkinson had passed to the angel world, and that her 
body was reanimated by a spirit whose mission was to deliver 
the oracles of God to mankind. 

As might be supposed, these declarations were received with 
surprise and concern by her relatives and friends. To them 
her conduct was exceedingly strange and unaccountable, and 
they could not believe she would persevere in claims which 
seemed so untenable and absurd. Let it be remarked here, 
that this girl of eighteen not only did maintain her claims then 
and there in the face of all expostulation and argument, but 
steadily and with unshaken firmness to the hour of her depart- 
ure from the world, at the age of sixty-one. 

Her solitary life and weary vigils were passed, and a new- ca- 
reer was about to open before this remarkable woman. On the 
Sunday succeeding her trance, she went to the place of public 
worship. After morning service she repaired to a tree near by, 
and in its shade delivered a discourse of considerable length to 
the crowd who assembled about her. Though late in Autumn, 
the weather was fine, and there was a large attendance of peo- 
ple, who were greatly impressed by such an address from the 
lips of a young woman who thus broke upon them like a mete- 
or from the sky. Her discourse consisted largely of moral 
maxims and scriptural quotations, and she evinced a familiarity 
with sacred topics which astonished the oldest experts in theo- 
logical lore. After this, her public addresses were frequent, 
and she soon received invitations from far and near, many of 
which she accepted. She rapidly became famous as a preacher 
of remarkable power, and the fruits of her labors were appa- 
rent in a large number of disciples who were converted by her 
appeals. She visited various places in Rhode Island, Connec- 
ticut and Massachusetts ; and at New Milford, in Connecticut, 
and South Kingston, in Rhode Island, meeting houses were 
erected by her converts for their own worship. 


She accepted the principal doctrines of the Christian faith, 
but rejected the formalities and ceremonies generally practiced. 
With more zeal for the spirit than the form of faith, she incul- 
cated sobriety, temperance, chastity, all the higher virtues and 
humility before God as necessary to the new life, and entrance 
into a better world. She continued her work with a good de- 
gree of success for about six years in the region of her acquaint- 
ance, visiting the several localities where her disciples lived, 
confirming them in the faith, and consolidating her work. 
Among the more important of her adherents in Rhode Island 
was James Parker, a man of high character and wealth, who 
aided her greatly in her labors, and was strongly attached to 
her cause. She made her home at his house a share of the 
time, and also at that of Wra. Potter, another influential and 
wealthy adherent. 

In the summer of 1782, a new mission was entered upon. 
Accompanied by a small band of her disciples, she went to 
Philadelphia, where she was cordially received by the Quakers 
and others. A church was procured for her use, and she 
preached for some time to large audiences. She then removed 
to Worcester in the county of Montgomery, about twenty 
miles from Philadelphia, where she received an enthusiastic 
welcome and met with much success. It was here that David 
Wagener and other important additions were made to her 
society. She remained but a few weeks before returning to 
Rhode Island, where she tarried till the summer of 1784, 
when she visited Worcester again, and remained till the Spring 
of 1785. She established a society during this visit, and in- 
stalled her attendants in a home set apart to her use, consist- 
ing of a fine farm with an elegant stone mansion. 

Leaving the place under competent management she returned 
to Rhode Island, and remained till her final leave of that State 
about two years later. The idea of bringing her disciples to- 
gether into one community had been cherished for some time, 
and was much discussed among them. As early as 1786, Eze- 
kiel Sherman, one of the Society, made a visit of exploration 



to the Lake Country, spent some time at Kanadesaga with two 
Indian traders, the only white men there, gathered what in- 
formation he could of the. country and returned. His journey 
to the country was by the way of the Susquehanna Valley to 
Newtown, and he was five days working his way in a deep 
snow from Newtown to Kanadesaga, sleeping at night on cedar 
boughs laid on the snow. On his return he reported that the 
hostile attitude of the Indians would make it useless to venture 
on making a settlement in the Genesee Country. Notwith- 
standing this, a meeting of the principal members of the Soci- 
ety was held the same year at New Milford, in Connecticut, 
and a committee was appointed to make further exploration. 

This committee, consisting of Thomas Hathaway, Richard 
Smith and Abraham Dayton, set out in pursuance of their ap- 
pointment in 1787. They went to Philadelphia and traveling 
on horseback, explored the interior of Pennsylvania, and in 
the Valley of Wyoming heard glowing accounts of the region 
in the vicinity of Seneca Lake. Following the track of Sulli- 
van's army they reached Kanadesaga, and from thence proceed- 
ed to Kashong, where they were entertained by DeBartzch and 
Poudre, the French Traders, who informed them that there 
was nowhere so fine a country as the one they looked upon 
here. By a brief sojourn they became satisfied this information 
was correct, and returned to give an account of what they had 
learned. It does not appear that this committee fixed upon any 
precise location, but emigration was resolved upon by the Socie- 
ty, and the region of Seneca Lake was the locality where they 
resolved to settle. The exact place was left for determination 
by those who came as the advance guard. In June, 1788, Abel 
Botsford, Peleg and John Briggs, Isaac Nichols, George Sisson, 
Ezekiel Shearman, Stephen Card, and others to the number of 
twenty-five, embarked from Schenectady for the land of promise. 

In August they reached the spot where they made their set- 
tlement at City Hill. The sound of falling water heard across 
the broad expanse of the Seneca at that point, it is said, deter- 
mined the location of the New Jerusalem. Though late in the 


season, they made a clearing in the forest and sowed, it is said, 
about twelve acres of wheat. Who staid and who remained 
during the first winter, does not seem to be clear in the mist of 
all the traditions. But that some remained is quite certain, 
for some of the pioneer families were in that company. Nor 
does it appear that they had any distinct notion of whom the 
lands were to be purchased. Application was made, however, 
to Gov. George Clinton, at an early day, for a grant of land. 
But they were not ignorant of the operations of the Lessee 
Company, and James Parker very early became interested in 
the claims advanced by that organization. There is reason to 
believe that Thomas Hathaway and Benedict Robinson also ac- 
quired some interest in the Lessee Company. 

The Spring of 1 789 brought large accessions of the Society 
to the new settlement, both from Connecticut, and Rhode 
Island, and from Pennsylvania. It is quite clear, however, 
from a careful examination of all the accessible evidence. on 
that subject, that the Friend herself did not come till 1790. 
She remained at Worcester in charge of the interests of the 
Society, and raising from the farm permitted to her use 
means, which were afterwards employed to purchase lands 
and found a home in the New Jerusalem. It was designed 
on the part of the Friend to come in 1789, and the journey 
was undertaken, but owing to a casualty which occurred about 
fifty miles from Worcester, she returned, and postponed her 
coming to the new seat of her influence and labor till the fol- 
lowing year. The accident which caused this delay, resulted 
from a perilous attempt to ford the Bushkill Creek, which, swol- 
len by recent rains, had a^deep, swift current. The driver of 
the carriage, Barnabas Brown, asked a man standing near, if 
they could ford the creek. Misunderstanding his answer, they 
drove in, and soon found that the horses were obliged to swim, 
and the carriage was afloat on a violent currrent. Mehitable 
Smith, who accompanied the Friend, escaped with very little 
harm, as did the driver, but the Friend, herself, came near be- 
ing drowned, and was so much enfeebled by the shock, that her 
health was not restored for some time. 


Instead of coming that year to join her colony on the banks 
of Seneca Lake, she sent Sarah Richards, who had become her 
most important counsellor and associate, to observe how affairs 
were progressing, and make report to her of the state of things 
in the distant settlement. Sarah came and visited the strug- 
gling pioneers, and the writer learns from the last member of 
the Society able to recount its traditions, that she was not alto- 
gether pleased with the doings she saw. One night in very 
warm weather she refused to sleep within the log tenement 
where the larger number abode, and made her lodgment out- 
side under a tree. During the night a heavy thunder storm 
arose with a fearful display of lightning and an incessant roar 
of thunder. Sarah availed herself of the occasion to go inside 
the dwelling and give a very earnest and impressive lecture, in 
reproof for unseemly proceedings, the nature of which is hap- 
pily forgotten. This is the most that is known of Sarah Rich- 
ard's first visit to the New Jerusalem. She did not come again 
till two years later. 

The year 1789 was a trying one to the settlers. They har- 
vested a small crop of wheat, but the wild animals had preyed 
upon it so much that it afforded a light supply. They had to 
subsist principally on provisions brought with them, eked out 
with such additions of game as the forest afforded to hunters 
who had their skill to acquire in the boundless wilderness 
around them. Some families subsisted for days and even weeks 
on milk and boiled nettles. Castle Dains and his family lived 
in this way for six weeks, with no other nourishment except 
nettles and a little bohea tea they had brought with them. 
John Lawrence finally discovered their situation and furnished 
them with a small supply of Indian meal. Jonathan Dains 
to obtain relief for his family, went to Newtown, and worked 
by the day until he obtained two bushels of wheat, which he 
had ground, doubtless at the mill at Tioga Point, (now Athens). 
He carried it on his back to the head of Seneca Lake, thence 
by a boat to Norris' Landing, and then on his back again to 
his house, near the Log Meeting House. Such were the straits 
of pioneers. 


That year some corn was raised, and about forty acres of 
wheat sowed by joint effort, which gave them abundance the 
next year, and famine never afterwards visited the Friend's 
settlement. The same year, Richard Smith, James Parker 
and Abraham Dayton, erected a Grist Mill Avhich was put in 
operation about the first of January, 1790. Before the Grist 
Mill was built, wheat and corn were prepared for cooking by 
pounding in a pestle. This consisted of a stump hollowed out 
on the top, with a cavity into which a small quantity of grain 
would be placed and pounded, with a mallet or large round 
stone until pretty thoroughly pulverized. Sometimes an appa- 
ratus like a well sweep would be used to expedite the work and 
render it lighter. Henry Barnes states that a white oak stump, 
which had been used for this purpose, was standing near the 
Friend's house, in Torrey, as late as 1814. Adam Clark remem- 
bers another which stood near the present four corners, just 
west of Claries J. Townsend's, near where Elnathan and Jona- 
than Botsford first settled. The Mill soon put this primitive 
system of manufacturing meal out of use. Indeed the Mill was 
a great achievement, humble as it was, and added largely to 
the wealth of the young settlement. It was the first structure 
of the kind by at least two to four years west of Seneca Lake. 
The only one that could have preceded it west of Fort Stanwix, 
was that at Tioga Point, before alluded to. The pioneers come 
to it with their little grists for a distance of thirty to fifty and 
even seventy miles. This mill was located on the south bank 
of the point where the Oil Mill now stands, and a cascade is 
formed by the waters of the outlet of Keuka Lake, falling over 
the Tully Limestone. It was a well selected point for a good 
mill site, and it was that waterfall that determined the location 
of the New Jerusalem. That the Saw Mill just below it was 
built a little sooner, is inferred from the fact that the grist mill 
probably could not have been constructed without some sawed 
lumber, for which there was no other resource. The mill-stones 
were brought, like most of the supplies of the early settlers, on 
batteaux, to Norris' Landing, and on ox sleds from the land- 
ing to the mill seat. 


An anecdote was long current in regard to the mill-stones, 
to the effect that Richard Smith transported them in his leather 
apron. The fact was that, in putting them into place, by some 
accident one was allowed to slip from the platform on which it 
rested, and it fell to the story below. This was looked upon 
as a very discouraging situation, as the means of raising it were 
not apparent. While the rest of those engaged in the work 
went to dinner, Friend Richard remained, and when they re- 
turned from their repast, greatly to their astonishment, he had 
the stone, which seemed so difficult to move, almost back to its 
place. He had accomplished alone, by ingenious leverage and 
industrious prying, in a single hour, what they had supposed 
would be a much longer task for a large number of men. 
Hence the jest arose that Richard Smith had picked up the 
mill-stone and carried it in his apron. 

In March, 1790, the Friend left Worcester, in Pennsylvania, 
for the Genesee Country, accompanied by a number of her fol- 
lowers, and greatly rejoiced the new settlement by her arrival 
among them early in the Spring, the journey occupying but two 
weeks. Many of the Society had not seen the Friend for 
about three years, and her coming, on which they had earnestly 
relied, added greatly to their confidence in the success of their 
arduous enterprise. Doubtless it would have been better for 
the unity and stability of the Society, had she come still earlier. 
It was now a community of two hundred and sixty persons, as 
proved by the census report of that year ; and a more orderly, 
industrious and well-disposed body of people than these, were 
never brought together for the foundation of a new communi- 
ty. They were held together by a common bond of religious 
sentiment, in which they were peculiar and alien to the world. 
Their apostle and head was present with them. They had every 
moral and material element of success within and ijbout them. 
This year they erected a Log Meeting House, a sketch of which, 
as described by Henry Barnes, is herewith given. It was loca- 
ted very near the present residence of James M. Clark on the 
road from Norris' Landing to the Friend's Mill, as the road 


then run direct by the head of Brace's Gully, or Lander's 
Gully, as it was then called, and cutting off the angle since 
made. It was in this rude edifice that the Society held its 
public worship, for about nine years, except when it was held 
at the residence of the Friend. A domicil was also erected 
the same Summer for the Friend and her household, which 
still stands on the farm of Charles J. Townsend. A sketch of 
the original part of this structure is also given. It was built 
by Elijah Malin, who was at that time an inmate of the Friend's 
family, and Avas the first framed house erected in the new set- 
tlement, or in the whole Genesee Country, as all west of 
Seneca Lake was called. Anna Wagener furnished much of 
the means to erect this building. It was a quaint structure, 
and for so small a building accommodated a large household. 
Mr. Townsend states that when he remodeled it internally, 
after it came into his possession, he found it to contain nine 
fire places, all attached to one chimney. This house was also 
on the road from Norris' Landing to the Mill, about a mile 
from the lake, and when it was built that highway was the only 
one in the country ; Other roads at that time were quite infor- 
mal and without system. 

The Friend was now located with comparative comfort in 
the midst of her flock. She was thirty-two years old and had 
labored fourteen years as a religious teacher and evangelist. 
Early in her apostleship she had dropped the name of Jemima 
Wilkinson, and adopted that of Public Universal Friend. By 
this title she was ever called by her disciples, who always spoke 
to her and of her as Friend, or The Friend, and never used 
pronouns to designate their mistress. That they regarded her 
with great reverence and affection, is an unquestionable fact. 
A large share of those who had given credence to her teach- 
ings, were now with her in a separate community, and nothing 
was needed but unity and industry to make it a great power in 
the land. That unity, however, was the difficult thing to pre- 
serve, though the most needful for the perpetuity and prosperity 
of the Society, we shall soon see how dissensions disturbed 




this admirable community, and greatly circumscribed its influ- 

At this period, the Indians, although they had sold to Phelps 
and Gorham the great tract, reaching from the Pre-emption 
Line to the Genesee River, still had hunting and fishing privi- 
leges in the country, and were still very ill-disposed toward the 
State authorities and white people generally. They had been 
incited to hostility by the wiles of the Lessee Company, who 
had intended to get control of all the Indian lands under their 
long lease, but had been successfully thwarted by Gov. George 
Clinton. The bewildered and demoralized natives were also 
influenced to hostile action by British agency on the Frontier, 
which still dreamed of repossessing the country. The Indians 
of the west were also full of warlike feeling and costing the 
Government much trouble. The boldest warriors of the Six 
Nations were mingling with the contest against white encroach- 
ment, and it was but natural that those who remained on the 
glorious territory of the Senecas, should regard with sullen 
discontent the settlement of these lands by the hated race. 
The powerful settlement of the Friend's Society would have 
been easily exterminated by an onslaught of the native war- 
riors. They felt the critical nature of their position, and the 
well known vindictive attitude of the Indians, gave them much 
concern. It prevented many from coming to the new country, 
and gave those who were on the spot much solicitude to avoid 
all occasion of offence toward their red brethren of the forest. 
The Friend succeeded in making a favorable impression on the 
natives, who always treated her with great respect, and none 
of her followers ever had reason to complain of their aggres- 
sions. In the summer of 1791, when Col. Pickering, on behalf 
of the U. S. Government, held a treaty at Newtown, about 
five hundred Senecas on their way thither, encamped at Norris' 
Landing. Red Jacket, Corn Planter, Good Peter, an Indian 
Preacher, Rev. Mr. Kirkland, the Indian Missionary, Horatio 
Jones and Jasper Parrish, the celebrated Indian Interpreters 
were in the company. The occasion was improved for an in- 
terchange of civilities. The Friend preached, and the Indians 


listened to her interpreted words with attention and respect. 
She did not claim to be Christ nor his substitute, but rather his 
messenger, and the story afterwards reported that Good Peter 
turned away in disgust, because she had not the supernatural 
power to understand the address he made after her's in the In- 
dian dialect, was a wanton fabrication. The Indians were cor- 
dial and sincerely friendly, as all their subsequent conduct to- 
ward the Friend and her Society most clearly proved. It is 
true they were always treated with hospitality and generosity 
at her abode. They were never turned away hungry, and 
they never made unreasonable requests. Singly, and in larger 
delegations, they often called at the Friend's house, and were 
always treated with the same unvarying kindness and respect. 
They did not fail when hunting in the vicinity, to keep the 
Friend's larder well supplied with venison, and they never 
missed a suitable reward for their thoughtful attention. When 
the great treaty was held in Canandaigua, in 1794, which ended 
all the Indian troubles in Western New York, the Friend at- 
tended and preached to a large concourse of the Indians and 
pioneers, from the text : " Have we not all one Father ? 
Hath not one God created ns all f 

The Indians were greatly pleased with this discourse, and 
pronounced the Friend — Squaw Shinnewaivna gis taw, ge — 
"A great Woman Preacher." Nor did they forget ever after 
to manifest their respect for the personage whose benevolence 
toward them was so earnest in both word and deed, thus prov- 
ing that the native heart was prompt and true in its response 
to just and generous treatment. 

J In 1791, Sarah Richards, who had remained at Worcester 
to close xip affairs at that place, came to the New Jerusalem 
with a number of others. Sarah was the prime minister, so to 
speak, of the Friend, and the household and Society were now 
fully consolidated. The following memorandums made by 
Sarah Richards, which have been preserved, are interesting 
scraps of this early history : m 


First of the 6th Month, 1791. 
I arrived with Rachel Malin, Elijah Malin, E. Mehitable 
Smith, Mariah and the rest of the Friend's family, together 
with the Friend's goods, which the Friend sent Elijah to assist 
in bringing them on. We all safe arrived on the west side of 
the Seneca Lake, and reached the Friend's house Avhich the 
Universal Friend had got built for our reception, and with 
great joy met the Friend once more in time and all in walking 
health as well as usual. 


Jerusalem, 7th of the 6th Month, 1791. 
Then reckoned and settled up with Thomas Orman, the boat- 
man, for bringing up the Universal Friend's goods. Settled, I 
say, to his full satisfaction, being in trust for the Friend. The 
Friend has paid him ten dollars and a half, which is his full 


In the year ninety-one, settled with Elijah Malin, being in 
trust for the Universal Friend at this time, reckoned and set- 
tled with him for building the Friend's house, and passed re- 
ceipts 24th of the 6th Month, 1791. 


Reckoned and settled with Richard Hathaway, being in 
trust for the Universal Friend, for goods which the carpenters 
took up at his store for building the Friend's house in Jerusa- 
lem. Settled, I say, this 3d of the 7th Month, 1791. 


19th of the 7th Month, 1791. 
This day the Universal Friend sent me with Rachel Malin to 
Benedict Robinson to deliver one hundred dollars in silver, for 
which he promised and agreed with the Friend to let the 


Friend have land out of the second seventh township, in the 
Boston Pre-emption at the prime cost, and necessary expenses, 
for which he gave me his receipt. 


About the 26th of the 7th Month, 1791, I and Rachel Malin 
were taken sick, about the time of wheat harvest, and never 
were able to go out of the house until the ground was covered 
with snow, but entirely confined to our chamber, which finished 
up the year 1791. 


16th of the 6th Month, in the year 1792. 
Then reckoned and settled with Jacob Wagener, in trust for 
the Friend, and he has reoeived twelve pounds of the Friend 
in full of all demands whatsoever. 


26th of the 6th Month, 1792. 

Asa Richards departed this life 28th. The Friend attended 
his funeral. He said he had a hope in his death, that he was 
going into a better world. The Friend spoke from these 
words': "The wicked is driven away in his wickedness, but 
the righteous hath hope in his death." 

Asa Richards came to the Friend's house sick with consump- 
tion nearly two years before his death. He gave the Friend 
the receipt which he held from Robinson in proprietorship to 
draw land in his stead at the prime cost and necessary expen- 
ses. This he delivered to the Universal Friend sometime be- 
fore his death, to make remittance for the care of all his sick- 
ness and funeral charges to the amount of fifty pounds lawful 
money of the State of Connecticut. 



7th of the 7th Month, 1792. 
Then reckoned and settled with Benjamin Brown, for driving 
the Friend's cattle from New England, by delivering him ten 
dollars in trust for the Friend, being in full of all demands. 


5th day of the 1st Month. 1792. 
This day I received a deed of Benedict Robinson, to hold in 
trust for the Universal Friend, for which the Friend sent me 
with a hundred dollars in silver, and then sent two yoke of fat 
oxen to Phelps and Gorham, to make out the payment for the 
land, which he said would not be more than one shilling per 
acre, and the deed contains five lots which makes sixteen hun- 
dred acres. 


10th of the 3d Month, 1793. 
First day morn. This day, Mehitable Smith left time after 
about four month's illness. She joyfully met death, giving 
glory to God and the Lamb. The Friend attended her funeral. 
Text — "The righteous perisheth, and no man Layeth it to 
heart, and the merciful are taken away, none considering that the 
righteous are taken away from the evil to come. 

2d of the 5th Month, 1793. 
This day I received a deed from Thomas Hathaway, to hold 
in trust for the Friend, and the Friend has paid all the consid- 
eration money to Hathaway. 


1st of the Gth Month, 1793. 
This day I have received another deed from Thomas Hatha- 
way to hold in trust for the Universal Friend, bearing date 1st 
of the 6th Month, ninety-three, lot number 47th, which the 
Friend purchased for Mary Bartleson, widow, and has paid the 
consideration money. 



24th of the 10th Month, 1793. 
Being in trust for the Universal Friend, then settled with 
Barnabas Brown, by delivering him a pair of oxen valued at 
forty dollars. 


The old Pre-emption Line which was run in 1788, indicated 
that the lands on which the settlement made its start, were to 
be obtained of the State of New York, though the operations 
and claims of the Lessee Company, very actively prosecuted 
at that time, involved the question in some confusion. Early 
measures were adopted to make interest with that company, by 
James Parker and his associates, as papers of Mr. Parker very 
clearly show. As soon as November, 1788, a portion of town- 
ship number seven, first range, now Milo, was set off to James 
Parker and several others, his associates, by Caleb Benton on 
behalf of the Lessee Company. The amount thus taken was 
eleven hundred and four acres, and is the belt since known as 
the Garter, and shows that the Friends built their mill on their 
own land, though a trifle west of the old Pre-emption Line. 

Early application was made to Gov. George Clinton, for 
land by James Parker and his associates, and they were invited 
by the Governor to attend the land sales in Albany, and make 
such purchases as they wished. They did so, and secured 
14,040 acres, afterwards called the Potter Location, lying on 
the west bank of Seneca Lake, bounded on the north by Reed 
and Ryckman's location, west by Lansing's location, and other 
lands already granted, and extending south far enough to in- 
clude the number of acres before specified. This deed Avas 
signed by George Clinton, the Executive of the State, and the 
grantees were James Parker, William Potter and Thomas 
Hathaway, as Tenants in Common, and not as Joint Tenants, for 
themselves and their associates, with no consideration expressed 
except the requirement that there shall within seven years be 
one family located on each six hundred and forty acres of the 
land. This deed was dated October 10th, 1792. It would 


seem, that while waiting on the operations of the Lessee Com- 
pany, some lands occupied by the Society, had been located by 

At what precise time the New Pre-emption Line was run, 
has not come to the knowledge of the writer, but probably as 
early as 1793. That line run through the Friend's settlement 
more than a mile eastward of the Old Line, and the space be- 
tween fell into the possession of Charles Williamson, then act- 
ing agent for the London Association, who had become suc- 
cessors, through Robert Morris, of Phelps and Gorham. 
Thus the State grants west of the New Pre-emption Line, be- 
came void, and the settlers were obliged to look elsewhere for 
their source of title. The following letter shows that those re- 
siding on the Gore, or space included between the two Pre- 
emption Lines, had become satisfied that they were on Phelps 
and Gorham' s Purchase. 

Jerusalem, 13th of the 1st Month, 1794, 

Friend Williamson : — We take this opportunity to let thee 
know our wishes, who are now on thy land at the Friend's Set- 
tlement, in Jerusalem, in the county of Ontario, and in the 
State of New York. We, the subscribers, wish to take deeds 
from friend Williamson for the land our improvements is on, 
rather than any other person. Our desire is, that thee would 
not dispose of the land to any other person but to us who are 
on the land. 













Other letters from Benedict Robinson and others of the 
Friends, are of similar import. James Parker says to Mr. Wil- 
liamson : "It is my desire to settle the several branches of my 
family near me ; for that reason we began where we now are, 
with the intention to buy of the right owner when I could see 
him. The 1,000 acres may seem too much for one man, but 
when it is divided between myself and son, and three sons-in- 
law, it, I think, will not be deemed extravagant ; especially, 
considering I know not how soon I may have two more sons- 
in-law. A man like myseif, who was one of the first settlers, 
and began our settlement, which would have been elsewhere 
had it not been for me ; and also encouraged many emigrants 
into this country, may claim to be indulged in having the sev- 
eral branches of his family settled near him." 

Satisfactory arrangements were made with Mr. Williamson, 
who was a man of remarkable fairness and liberality in his 
dealings with all the settlers, and their titles were confirmed as 
they desired. The space known as the Little Gore, lying in a 
triangular form between the New Pre-emption Line and Walk- 
er and Lansing's locations, was released to Mr. Williamson in 
1797, by Arnold Potter and Eliphalet Norris. It was stated 
in the deed to contain eleven hundred and forty-seven acres ol 
land, and the consideration of six thousand three hundred 
eight dollars and fifty cents, is also expressed. Why this re- 
lease was necessary, after the new Pre-emption Line was estab- 
lished, is not understood by the writer. 

Before the Universal Friends left New England, they had, 
according to their means, contributed and pledged them- 
selves to contribute to a joint fund for the purchase of land, in 
which each contributor was to share in proportion to his or her 
investment, the land to be valued at prime cost. The land pur- 
chased of the State was entered upon by the Society in com- 
mon. It was early surveyed into lots, and the members of the 
Society took up locations, some larger and some smaller, accord- 
ing to their ability, confidently expecting to be secured in their 
several titles, by a faithiul execution of the original compact, 



in pursuance of which the deed from the Land Office of the 
State had been granted. They were, however, to undergo a 
painful experience. Where unity of interest and action should 
have prevailed, there was to be severance of interests and bitter 

Up to this time, James Parker had been the most important 
member of the Friend's Society, as well as the most active and 
valuable man to its interests, as a negotiator for land, and a ready 
and efficient man of business. His force and activity were felt 
in every direction. He had been a magistrate for twenty years 
in Rhode Island, and was a man of substance and high consid- 
eration. Besides he was an enthusiastic devotee of the Friend 
and one of her most useful and trusted counsellors. It was 
through him that interest was obtained in the Lessee Company 
and at the Land Office. He was appointed a Justice of the 
Peace almost as soon as Oliver Phelps was appointed Judge of 
Ontario county, and held the office sometime after 1800, and 
did a large amount of business as such magistrate. For rea- 
sons not fully brought to light, Mr. Parker and the Friend 
came to a parting of the ways. Whether he felt that just con- 
sideration was not permitted him in the councils of the Society, 
or his religious sentiments had undergone a change, or whether 
the Friend had just cause of any character for impugning his 
fidelity to the faith, is now enveloped in too much of the mists 
of oblivion to be distinctly traced. Let it suffice to say that 
there was a separation, a schism. Mr. Parker was no longer a 
member of the Friend's Society, and the Friend no longer 
countenanced Mr. Parker. 

That this was a great misfortune to both sides is most evi- 
dent from all the subsequent history of the Society. Whether 
the alienation of James Parker carried that of William Potter, 
or not, it is evident that they were simultaneous seceders. 
From having been friends they became opponents of the Socie- 
ty, and very damaging opponents. Mr. Potter, who had also 
been a very prominent man in Rhode Island, and Treasurer of 
the State, had been the largest contributor in the purchase of 



the land, having paid $2,000, or more than half the entire cost 
of the 14,040 acres patented by the State at twenty-five cents 
per acre. That a convulsion in the Society should be the re- 
sult is not to be wondered at, and that both "sides should insist 
on all the law would allow, is perhaps the most natural result 
of the passions engendered. 

A suit was tried at the Ontario Circuit in June, 1800, in which 
William Potter was the plaintiff in the action, for ejectment, 
against George Sisson, who held lot No. 16 in the Parker, Pot- 
ter and Hathaway patent. Potter claimed the sole title, by a 
deed from Parker and Hathaway to himself, their common title 
resting on a deed from the State. The defendant showed by 
letters of James Parker, addressed to the Society, and the peti- 
tions of the Society addressed to the Commissioners of the 
Land Office, the nature of the compact by which the purchase 
of lands had been effected, and the just rights of its members. 

In Johnson's reports of cases, volume two, the report of this 
case goes on to say : 

"The contract with the Commissioners was fulfilled by the 
Society, of Avhich James Parker appeared to be the principal 
member, on the 29th of February, 1792. By another letter of 
James Parker, addressed to the Commissioners on the 15th of 
September, 1792, he stated his former contract with the Com- 
missioners for 12,000 acres of land, (finally 14,040,) for himself 
and his associates, and named the other two patentees and de- 

"The community of Friends met on the 27th of October, 
1791, among whom was William Potter, one of the lessors of 
the plaintiff. They came to sundry resolutions, by which they 
appointed the other two patentees above named, a committee 
to receive the contract from Parker, and to indemnify him for 
his contract with the Commissioners of the Land Office, and 
compensate him for his trouble, and directed the members of 
the Community to pay their proportion of the expense of the 
lands, and that they should receive land in proportion to their 


It was made to appear that George Sisson had paid thirty- 
seven dollars and fifty cents, while William Potter had paid 
two thousand dollars. Upon these facts a verdict was taken 
for the plaintiff, by consent, subject to the opinion of the court. 
That opinion was rendered by Justice Kent, to the effect that 
no legal estate was created by the patent, but what vested in 
the three patentees named, Parker, Potter and Hathaway, and 
that an equitable titls cannot prevail in ejectment against the 
legal estate, especially if such equitable estate be dubious. In 
other words, that the equitable title was too indefinite for a 
court of law, and the only remedy was by an action of equity. 
This was one of those fine legal discriminations so glorious for 
the profession, but so wearisome to justice, and oppressive to 
those seeking the aid of courts to redress their wrongs. 

The remedy indicated by the opinion of Judge Kent, was 
attempted with very unfortunate results. Richard Smith, John 
Briggs and George Sisson, Trustees of the Society of Friends, 
consulted one William Stewart, a pretentious lawyer, who gave 
them encouraging advice, and exacted of them a note of fifteen 
hundred dollars, as a modest retaining fee, before commencing 
an equity suit. With a remarkable lack of wise foresight, they 
gave the note, which Stewart sold, and went his way without 
doing anything for the relief of his clients. No step was taken 
to initiate the equity suit. But payment of the note was ex- 
acted to the uttermost farthing. The Society had not sanc- 
tioned the action of the trustees, and declined to be held ac- 
countable for their loss. Being comparatively poor, the conse- 
quences were quite disastrous to them. George Sisson and 
John Briggs had all their property sold by the Sheriff to the 
last and least of their household goods, and Sisson was taken 
to Canandaigua and confined within the jail limits, according 
to the stupid law of those days which allowed imprisonment for 
debt. His wife made a weary pilgrimage on horseback every 
week, to carry him provisions and carry some word of home, 
or what should have been home, until he was in some way re- 
leased. His fellow trustees were greatly straightened and dis- 


tressed by this procedure, and the Society could but feel it as 
a deep injury. 

At the time when these troubles begun, Abraham Dayton 
was sent to Canada to negotiate with Governor Simcoe 
for a grant of land for a new location, and partly from 
fear of Indian troubles. The Governor made a grant in the 
township of Beauford, Canada West. But after some prepara- 
tions had been made to remove thither, the Governor annulled 
his grant. He exculpated himself by the statement that he 
had supposed the society to be Quakers, of whom he entertain- 
ed a high opinion, but learning that this was a new sect, he did 
not wish to encourage their emigration to his territory. He 
made the grant, however, to Mr. Dayton, individually, who re- 
moved to it with his family, and died there in early years. The 
Dayton family, it would seem, was one of the best in the Socie- 
ty, and one desirable to retain. They were besides sincere 
Friends, and it must have been a strong temptation that led 
them away. Possibly the troubles of the Society may have 
influenced them somewhat to leave. Mrs. Dayton is said to 
have been the first Cheese maker in the Genesee Country. Her 
curd was laid in a hoop on a stump, and stones laid on to press 
it. Mrs. Dayton was always mentioned with great affection 
for her kindness in affording relief in the season of great scar- 
city, 1789, from the stock of provisions her husband brought 
into the country. The Dayton family lived near the primitive 
mill, and Mrs. Dayton had one day rather a thrilling adventure 
with a snake. Near the bank she saw a large black snake en- 
twined about the limb of a tree projecting over a stream. 
Taking a stick in her hand, she stepped on a pile of boards 
and gave the snake a blow, which loosened its hold and it fell 
into the stream. At the same time the boards gave way and 
precipitated Mrs. Dayton down the bank about thirty feet, 
along with the snake and the boards. When her husband 
came to her aid, he found her standing in the water, the bones 
from a broken leg protruding through the skin and stocking, 
while she was beating off the snake with a stick in her hand, 
his snakeship having concluded to give battle under the new 


turn of affairs. She was rescued, and the bones were set and 
the limb dressed by the Friend in the absence of a surgeon, 
and the fracture was as speedily cured as if managed by the 
most skillful expert in surgery. She married a second husband, 
(Col. Stone,) and died at the age of ninety-three years. A 
daughter of Mrs. Dayton married Benajah Mallory, who was a 
trader in the settlement at a very early day, and died at an ad- 
vanced age at Lockport a few years ago. 

The interest of Mr. Dayton in the Pioneer Mills, he sold to 
David Wagener, another very important adherent of the 
Friend, from Pennsylvania, on the "27th day of ye 12th Mo., 
1791." The consideration for grist and saw mill, was one hun- 
dred and fifty pounds ; and for improved lands adjoining, fifty 
pounds. The deed was witnessed by Daniel Guernsey, a sur- 
veyor, and Barnabas Brown. 

Among the early sales of Phelps and Gorham, was that of 
township number seven, second range, (now Jerusalem,) to 
Thomas Hathaway and Benedict Robinson, September 2, 1790. 
Consideration, $4,320 for thirty-six square miles. The Senior 
Hathaway, who was Mr. Robinson's associate in this purchase, 
does not appear to have retained for any length of time an* in- 
terest in the 14,040 acres patented to himself and Parker, Pot- 
ter and others on Seneca Lake. Neither did he become alien- 
ated from the Society, but retained his standing therein till his 
death, and was ever regarded by the Society Avith the highest 

Benedict Robinson was another prominent man in the New 
Community. He, too, was at first an enthusiastic adherent of 
the Friend, and the design to have the Friend's abode in his 
township was very early entertained, as appears by the follow- 
ing letter, which it is supposed was addressed to Sarah Rich- 
ards : 

New Settlement, 13th of the 12th Mouth, 1789. 

Friend Sarah : — I arrived here after a fatiguing journey 
of twelve day's travel ; am kindly received, have explored the 
second seventh township, two days and three nights successive- 


ly together, and find it not as report says altogether. We are 
satisfied with our purchase altogether, one thing excepted, that 
is, the land does not lay so compact as one would wish for every 
convenience we want. "Would the Friend accept the offer of 
such a piece as I have mentioned in thy hearing ? I think it 
would well accommodate our first intention. The land most 
of it that we have seen, is good enough, and I do not want bet- 
ter. The timber exceeds any I have ever seen in this or any 
other country. The Sugar Maple aboundeth in plenty, the 
Oak, the Pine and Walnut, with divers sorts makes it complete. 
I think there is a pleasant brook from the North to the Northwest 
branch of the Crooked Lake, from the distance of one mile to 
one and a half miles from the east line, where is a good place 
for sheep, which we call Shepherd's Hill, where one may view 
almost all the township. With some good timber, good springs, 
and some runs of water, all which is very advantageous to the 
situation of said hill, descending to the aforesaid brook, which 
Thomas saith must be called the brook Kedron. Two very fine 
mill seats thereon, and a third if wanted can be had ; then as 
excellent an interval, as good as is desired, or can be, from one 
quarter to one mile wide; from thence ascending until we 
come to the west side of said town, except about one and one 
half miles, &c, * * * I thought I would mention my de- 
sire — if may be — to be assisted in making the payment, where 
I have had encouragement from. As circumstances is with 
us, I can not say what is or will be right, but do mean to do 
right as far as can be. Desiring to be remembered to and 
by the Friend in supplication and intercession for a remnant 
off a remnant, and by all those to whom the spirit of prayer 
is given, not forgetting my love to thee and all those who 
were and are my friends. As the bearer can inform more 
particulars of affairs, I shall omit it, and subscribe with my 
hand that I mean to be thy sincere friend. 

That the township was bought in consultation with the Friend 
and by her concurrence appears from the fact that Robinson 
and Hathaway, under the Friend's advice, resigned their oppor- 


tunity to buy the township where Geneseo is now situated. It 
was a rule at that period in selling picked townships to re<fhire 
the purchasers to draw for another township at the same price. 
In this way the purchasers of Jerusalem drew the rich and valua- 
ble township afterwards owned by the Wadsworths. The 
Friend objected to her people "trading and buying property at 
a distance," and they prevailed on Mr. Phelps to release them 
from the. bargain, which he was not unwilling to do, as he 
had learned the value of the township. Possibly the Friend 
was wiser than most worldly minded people would be willing 
to concede. 

In January, 1792, Benedict Robinson conveyed by a deed, 
witnessed by Ruth Pritchard and Lucy Brown, lots 23, 24, 25, 
26, and the north half of lots 22 and 27, in township num- 
ber seven, second range, supposed to contain 1,400 acres, to 
Sarah Richards on behalf of the Friend. Thomas Hathaway, 
by a deed witnessed by Susannah and Temperance Brown, had 
conveyed his interest in the same land to Benedict Robinson 
for this purpose in September of the previous year. The con- 
sideration expressed in Hathaway's deed was twenty pounds, 
and in Robinson's forty pounds. June 28th, 1793, Benedict 
Robinson conveyed to William Carter for £1,000, all his inter- 
est in the township except 550 acres. 

August 4, 1795., Thomas Hathaway made a like conveyance 
to William Carter for £6,000,'of all his interest in the township 
except 3,960 acres, a part of which he had before sold. Four- 
teenth of July, 1795, William Carter conveyed to Rachel Ma- 
lin, lots 45 and 46 — 640 acres. Consideration, £56, received 
by Benedict Robinson of Asa Richards, deceased. August 
14, 1785, William Carter conveyed to Rachel Malin, for £140, 
lots 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 45, 46, 47, 50, 51 and 52. 
This would show that the full proportions of the Friend's estate 
in Jerusalem, were in extent 4,480 acres, allowing each lot to 
contain 320 acres as stated in these deeds ; and generally they 
contained more. 

The selection of the Friend's location in Jerusalem, was 
made in 1791, by herself and Sarah Richards, and others who 


accompanied Benedict Robinson to his township for that pur- 
pose ; George Brown, afterwards Supervisor of the town, serv- 
ing as a guide ; and in 1792 some work was done by way of 
clearing and making preparations for the erection of a house 
in the valley eastward of the final residence of the Friend 

The question whether the first conveyance of lands by Bene- 
dict Robinson to Sarah Richards on behalf of the Friend was 
a gift on his part, was a subject of much dispute. The follow- 
ing covenant, witnessed by Lucy Brown, would seem to set the 
question at rest : 

"This agreement witnesseth, that whereas I have this day 
received a deed of several lots of lands lying and being'' in the 
town of Jerusalem, county of Ontario, and State of New 
York, in township number seven, second range of towns, as 
they were surveyed and numbered throughout the county, 
twelve hundred acres of which is made a present, on the East part 
the remainder of which I have at the averaged price as said 
township may be apprized, and given one hundred Dollars in 
part pay thereof or if said sum of one hundred dollars doth 
purchase more land than what's contained in the deed, I am to 
have it added on the west part adjoining by the grantor there- 
of. In witness whereof, we have set our hands and seals in 
presents of this fifth day of the first Month, in the year sev- 
enteen hundred and ninety-two. (1792). 



Lots 45 and 46, called the Mile Square, or Asa Richards lot, 
was granted for money, £56, paid by Asa Richards to Bene- 
dict Robinson, the receipt for which on his death was given to 
the Friend, in compensation for care extended to him in his 
sickness, and to pay his funeral charges. 

The north half of lot 47, (160 acres,) was deeded to Mary, 
the wife of Ezekiel Shearman, by Rachal Malin, in 1797, for 
payment, in part, of money loaned to pay the expense of trans- 
porting the property and effects of the Friend from Pennsylva- 
nia to the New Jerusalem ; another hundred acres was added 


from lot 48 by David Wagener, it is said to pay Ezekiel Shear- 
man for his pioneer explorations for the Society of Friends in 

In 1793, Sarah Richards directed in person further improve- 
ments in Jerusalem, on the new location. Ten or twelve acres 
were enclosed and a log tenement erected. Her health, which 
had been poor for some time, and which the hardships of the 
wilderness did not renovate, continued to decline, and she died 
late in that year. Her attending physician was Moses Atwater, 
of Canandaigua, who wrote her will, committing her trust to 
Rachel Malin, who from that time forth held the Friend's prop- 
erty, as sole trustee, while the Friend remained with her disci- 
ples. Sarah Richards left one child, a daughter, Eliza, which 
she committed to the care and tutilage of the Friend. Her 
subsequent career had a less favorable influence on the destinies 
of the Society, than her mother would have wished. 

In the Spring of 1794, after a residence of four years in the 
original settlement, near Seneca Lake, the Friend removed her 
household to her new abode in the vale of the "Brook Kedron." 
It would seem that no ordinary inducements could have im- 
pelled such a removal. Most of her people were settled on 
and east of the Gore, in a region of rare beauty and natural 
wealth, where they had already made a goodly beginning. On 
the other hand, the new location was in the midst of a dense 
unbroken wilderness. It was not less than ten or twelve miles 
away from those on whom she depended for assistance and 
sympathy. There can be no doubt that a desire to be removed 
from hostile influences, which had become bitter and intolerant, 
was largely a motive for this early removal. That the Friend 
sided with those of her Society who deemed themselves injured 
in the disposition of the lands, is well attested : and she did 
not change her attitude on that question when the worst results 
of the situation wei-e experienced. While this intensified the 
attachment of one class toward their beloved leader, it greatly 
embittered others whose powers were much to be dreaded by 
reason of their position and power. 


Whatever the intention may have been in granting a tract 
of land in the "second seventh," there is no doubt that its ori- 
ginal impulse, was to a large extent to provide a home and 
nucleus for the Society. If <& desire to bring settlers to the 
township was mixed with this purpose, it was not an unwise 
design, for it produced the desired effect. Members of the So- 
ciety actuated by a wish to be near the Friend, gathered about 
in the same vicinity. A number of the poorer ones were 
granted homes on the Friend's own land, and for several years 
the larger portion of the settlers in this township, were Friends 
or attracted by some influence connected with the Friend's 

The Friend retained a farm of about three hundred acres in 
the original settlement while she lived. Anna Wagener occu- 
pied the house for a few years after the Friend removed to 
Jerusalem. A room was kept in it for the Friend when she 
visited there, and a bed which no other person ever occupied, 
till about 1812, after which she seldom if ever came there. 
Meetings were held not only at the Friend's house in Jerusalem, 
but at her house in what is now Torrey, at the Log Meeting 
House, and at the residences in later years of Isaac Mchols and 
Adam Hunt, who after a few years had commodious framed 
dwellings. The Log Meeting House was only used for worship 
till 1799. Henry Barnes, still living, remembers the last ser- 
vice in that primitive temple. It was a warm summer day, 
and a heavy thunder shower arose, the rain come down like a 
flood and the roof leaked badly. Some of the women held a 
blanket or shawl over the Friend for protection, while she con- 
tinued her discourse, which was one of the most impressive and 
eloquent of her life, and was listened to with profound atten- 
tion by a large congregation, who crowded very compactly into 
the leaky structure. The Log Meeting House served as a 
school house as well as a meeting house for some time. Here 
Sarah Richards commenced teaching a few weeks before she 
died, another proof of her rare excellence of character. Here, 
also, Ruth Pritchard taught a school in 1796, and John Briggs 

jjjllijj;:^ , f««^^ 


not far from the same time. The old Log Meeting House fiud- 
]y became a dwelling. It is remembered by very few who 
still survive. 

The Friend gradually improved her surroundings in the deep 
forests of Jerusalem, by the co-operation of her society, of 
whom she retained a large number in spite of all hostilities and 
persecutions. The single log house had added to it another, 
and afterwards a third. The first and east part, of somewhat 
the largest dimensions, Avas finally raised a story higher and 
covered with clapboards, making a very comfortable abode. 
Her own room was above stairs in the east portion. The mid- 
dle building was used as a room for the meetings of the Society. 
This triple log house was the home of the Friend and her 
household till about 1814. Thomas Clark, whose wife, Eliza- 
beth, was a sister of Rachel and Margaret Malin, commenced 
the erection of the large dwelling since known as the Friend's 
House, in 1809, and finished the principal part in 1814. He 
was evidently not a rapid builder, but his work was exceeding- 
ly well done, and all the materials used were of the most sub- 
stantial quality. The building is still in a good state of preser- 
vation, and when new was a marvelous advance upon the cur- 
rent ideas of architecture. The rooms are high and commodi- 
ous, and well arranged for a patritiate residence. After twenty- 
four years of hard sacrifices and doubtful struggles, this resi- 
dence, in the midst of her own domain, afforded a home of 
comfort commensurate with the wants of her family and its 
relations to the Society. Here, after the erection of this dwel- 
ling, the meetings of the Society were held. Here the career 
of the Universal Friend came to a close five years later and 
here the Society held its shrine after that sad event, until its di- 
minishing votaries had mostly passed away. 

The influence of this remarkable woman continued unabated 
with a large body of her followers throughout her life and after 
her death, notwithstanding all adverse circumstances, all the 
litigations, personal asperities, and the repugnance of many to 
tfle strictness of the faith held by the Society, That this won- 



derful ascendancy was the result of mere religious credulity 
and superstitious awe, is not to be tolerated as an explanation 
of the fact, when we take into account the intelligence, consci- 
entiousness and independence of character, that prevailed with 
a large share of these people. The secret of her power rested 
in her sterling humanity, far more than any peculiarity of doc- 
trinal teaching. She had a lively and zealous concern in all 
that affected the welfare of her people She was truly a nurs- 
ing mother to her flock. Her ministrations were first and 
foremost in sickness and sorrow. Her affectionate hand was a 
sure support in every trouble ; and her sympathy was unfailing. 
All funeral services within the Society, and many without, were 
attended by her. When called upon for aid to the poor, or 
comfort to the sorrowing, whether within or without her own 
fold, it was never withheld. 

The life of the Friend, therefore, was one of manifold cares 
and labors. For many years frequent visits were necessary to 
the neighborhood of the first settlement, sometimes to attend 
the burial of the dead, or visit the sick, and often for religious 
service at the public meetings. These journeys, until the later 
period of the Friend's life, were performed on horseback, al- 
ways with one or more attendants, and often with a dozen, 
more or less, of whom Rachel Malin was usually one, and fre- 
quently Margaret. Saturday was the Sabbath day of the Socie- 
ty, and when meetings were to be held in Milo, the cavalcade 
went down on Friday afternoon, and would go back on Sunday 
afternoon.; although Sunday, which they did not hold as a 
Sabbath or sacred day, was generally observed as a day of rest 
by the Society, from deference to other people whose Sabbath 
it was. To the public meetings in Jerusalem, there would 
usually go up a company from Milo on horseback, many of 
them remaining two nights at the Friend's house, and the hos- 
pitality of that mansion was never at fault. A dinner was 
always provided for those who attended the public meetings, 
free to all who would partake. This liberal hospitality was 
always a feature of the Friend's abode, and was especially ex- 



tended to all strangers or persons from a distance who happen- 
ed to be present from motives of interest or curiosity. 

At the meetings, the Society usually gathered promptly at 
the proper hour, and sat in silence. The Friend would enter 
soon and sit for a few moments, lay off her hat, kneel and pray 
aloud fervently for some time, then after remaining seated in 
silence for a few moments arise and speak, generally from an 
hour to an hour and a half. These discourses were always list- 
ened to with the utmost quiet. The voice of the speaker was 
musical and pleasant to the ear. The gestures, mostly an easy 
waving motion of the hand, were always graceful. The eyes 
black and highly expressive, seemed to animate the language of 
the Friend, and add intensity to her eloquence. After her dis- 
course closed others sometimes spoke. Of these were Richard 
Smith, Asahel Stone, Benajah Botsford, Elnathan Botsford, 
senior, Deborah Malin, Mercy Aldrich, Abigail Barnes, Lucina 
Goodspeed, Experience Ingraham, Lucy Botsford and others. 
When all speaking was closed, the meeting was dismissed by 
shaking hands. The Friend commenced usually by shaking- 
hands with Rachel Malin, when all would arise and the hand 
shaking would become general. Every member present would 
make it a point to shake hands with the Friend. There was 
no singing in public worship, but a profoundly devotional spir- 
it was cultivated, and a more reverential body of worshippers 
it would be difficult to find. 

The separation of James Parker from the Society, occurred 
very soon after the new colony was planted near Seneca Lake, 
and bore bitter fruits on both sides. Mr. Parker lost his relig- 
ious home, and was very much afloat in spiritual relations there- 
after. For a time he was somewhat zealously identified with 
the Free Will Baptists, afterwards strongly inclined to the 
Universalists, and finally died at a very advanced age, a mem- 
ber of the Methodist Church, by which people he was cor- 
dially received and kindly regarded in his later years. For a 
time after his breaking off from the Society, he was a leader in 
the hostilities which raged against the Friend and her Society. 


As a magistrate, he issued a warrant on the complaint of Wil- 
liam Potter, against the Friend, for blasphemy. The event 
proved this to be a grave error, but the prosecution was urged 
with an earnestness which showed that strong and passionate 
feeling was enlisted in the work, and that many prominent per- 
sons in the community gave it countenance and support. This 
was in the Autumn of 1799. The warrant was placed in the 
hands of an officer, who met the Friend on horseback accom- 
panied by Rachel Malm, a short way from Smith's Mills, on 
the road to Noras' Landing. He made a dash to seize his in- 
tended prisoner, who being an accomplished horsewoman, was 
not easily caught. She turned her horse about instantly and 
galloped swiftly down the hill, and her pursuer not being able 
to follow so rapidly, was left considerably in the rear. She 
reined up at the house of Richard Smith, a little west of the 
Mills, dismounted and took refuge among those who were ready 
to protect her. The officer found the door barricaded and 
threatened to break it down, but met with so much resolute re- 
sistance, that he desisted and went his way. 

Shortly after, another officer made his appearance in Jerusa- 
lem, armed with his warrant. The Friend was in a little house 
opposite her then residence, on the north side of the road, 
used as a shop for weaving. Here the Friend, with several 
women of her household, was engaged when the constable 
walked in, his attendant, Enoch Malm, remaining outside. 
His mission was at once understood, and no time was given 
him to make explanations or commence offensive operations. 
He found himself outside the door in such precipitate haste, 
that he could hardly comprehend what was going on. The 
women handled him with so little care, that some of his gar- 
ments were badly torn, and a renewal of the onslaught was 
impossible Avithout a repair of his breeches. Thus ended the 
second attempt at arrest. 

The next was much more formidable and more craftily man- 
aged. A posse of about thirty men was collected, some of 
them the most prominent men in the new settlement. They 


took along a cart and oxen to convey their prisoner away, and 
hearing that the Friend was reported sick, they had a physician 
in their company to decide whether she was in sufficient bodily 
health to endure the proposed arrest. Sometime after midnight 
they surrounded the house, which was soon in a state of alarm. 
Stout resistance was made to their entrance, but they broke 
down the door with an ax, and took possession of the premises. 
The physician soon informed them that an attempt to carry the 
Friend away would not be advisable. A man from the outside 
of one of the windows called out "throw her in the cart and 
carry her off." This was a man, too, who had been one of her 
warmest adherents. And the same man, in after years, when 
disease reminded him of his mortality, was glad to be recon- 
ciled to the Friend, and become the subject of her sympathy 
and her spiritual consolation. 

Finding that their third attempt at arrest must prove abor- 
tive, a parley was held. An attorney representing the Friend 
was on hand, as it happened ; a recognizance was entered into 
for her appearance at the next Ontario Circuit, and the idea of 
a trial before Justice Parker was abandoned. 

In the following June, the Friend and her accusers were in 
attendance at the Circuit Court in Cananddigua. The venera- 
ble Ambrose Spencer was the presiding Judge. The Grand 
Jury listened to all the evidence presented ~on the charge of 
blasphemy against the Friend, and unanimously agreed that 
there was nothing on which to base an indictment. When 
this conclusion was announced, the Friend was respectfully in- 
vited to preach before the Court and the people in attendance. 
She did so, and was listened to with the deepest attention. 
Judge Spencer, on being asked his opinion of the discourse re- 
plied : "We have heard good counsel, and if we live in harmony 
with what that woman has told us, we shall be sure to be good 
people here, and reach a final rest in Heaven.." 

On another occasion, a woman who had been one of the So- 
ciety, made affidavit that she had reason to fear for the safety 
of her life, on account of the Friend. That a warrant of arrest 


was issued in this case is probable but not quite clear. But 
the woman who made the affidavit, accidentally confronted the 
Friend sometime after at the house of a sick neighbor. "Chloe," 
said the Friend, "did thee think I would kill thee ?" "No, 
Friend," she replied. "Then why did thee swear so wickedly?" 
continued the Friend. There was no answer for some time, 
but she finally declared that she had been "put up to it." 

These incidents serve to show the extreme intensity of hos- 
tile feeling that prevailed for a time on the part of some, which 
was none the less bitter from the fact that it was led by those 
who had been personal adherents of the Friend. 

The long litigation which hung like a cloud over the affairs 
of the Friend in the last years of her life, and which did not 
reach its conclusion till some years after her death, was another 
source of ill-feeling toward her and the Society, and doubtless 
laid the foundation for much of that venomous detraction which 
pursued her fame and character [through the lifetime of more 
than one generation after her departure. Sarah Richards, the 
first trustee of the Friend, and one of the early and firm adher- 
ents of the Society, and its founder, dying in the latter part of 
1793, left an only child, Eliza, in charge of the Friend to be 
reared in her family, doubtless with the expectation that she 
would remain a permanent member of the household, and at- 
tached like her mother to the Friend. Sarah, by a will execu- 
ted a short time before her death, devised her trust to Rachel 
Malin, including all the land she held in Jerusalem, and among 
the rest lots 45 and 46, held by virtue of Asa Richard's will, 
leaving to Sarah the receipt (for money paid to Benedict Rob- 
inson,) by which the land was obtained. To her daughter, 
Eliza, she left nothing except a remnant of property, which she 
owned at Watertown, Connecticut, before joining the Friend. 

Eliza seemed to be more disposed to follow the fortunes of 
a husband than adhere to the faith of the Friend. In 1796, 
about three years after her mother's decease, while she was still 
veiy young, she eloped from the house of the Friend, leaving 
through a window, in the hour of public meeting, met Enoch 


Malin, who was waiting for her by previous arrangement, at a 
house near by, and was wedded to him. It does not appear 
that claim was immediately made to any of the Friend's land 
by inheritance from Eliza's mother. But in 1799, Eliza and 
her husband conveyed by deed, a strip of land one hundred 
rods in width, off the north side of lots 24 and 25, two miles 
long, containing four hundred acres, to Elnathan Botsford, jr., 
and Benajah Botsford, his brother, and the husband of Deborah, 
the youngest sister of the Friend. It was afterwards testified 
by Elnathan Botsford, senior, that he obtained the assent of 
the Friend to this purchase ; and whether such assent was giv- 
en in explicit terms or not, it appears that the purchasers held 
undisturbed possession of it for twelve years, and lived on and 
improved it. Whether the Friend regarded their source of 
title just or not, she was probably willing that parties holding 
their relations to herself and the Society, should hold the land 
thus taken, so long as no farther loss to her domain was in- 
volved. There were other and subsequent sales, however, by 
Enoch and Eliza Malin, which could not bo so tamely acqui- 
esced in. These were to Asahel Stone, jr., Asa Ingraham and 
Truman Stone. It Avas now perceived that all the Friend's 
estate might be taken away in the same manner, and legal re- 
dress appeared to be required to establish her rights. Measures 
were accordingly taken to prove the title of the Friend, through 
her trustee, Rachel Malin, to all the land that had been con- 
veyed to her from Robinson, Hathaway and Carter. 

In 1811, Rachel Malin filed a bill in Chancery, against Enoch 
and'Eliza Malin, and the purchasers under their assumed title. 
The defendants by their answer, denied the trust claimed by 
Rachel, and alleged that one thousand acres of the land con- 
veyed to Sarah Richards was a gift, and, therefore that no result- 
ing trust was conveyed. The cause was brought to a hearing 
on the pleadings before Chancellor Kent, in 1816. After per- 
mitting the bill to be amended by inserting the name of Jemi- 
ma Wilkinson as a party complainant, he directed a feigned issue 
to be tried by a jury in the County of Ontario, to ascertain 



whether Jemima Wilkinson had advanced any money or other 
valuable consideration for the lands, or any other part thereof 
contained in the conveyance from Benedict Robinson to Sarah 
Richards ; whether the will of Sarah Richards had been altered ; 
whether the whole or any, and if any, what part of the lands 
conveyed by Robinson to Sarah Richards, passed by that con- 
veyance ; and whether the Botsfords and others were bona-fide 
purchasers, without notice of the trust. This feigned issue was 
noticed for trial at the Ontario Circuit in June, 1817, but was 
put off for want of a material witness by Rachel Malin. 

Enoch and Eliza Malin both died before this stage of the 
case was reached, he in Canada and she in Ohio. They left two 
sons, David H. Malin and Avery Malin, who were substituted 
for their parents as parties to the suit. Elisha Williams, their 
attorney and guardian, brought actions of ejectment against 
parties occupying the lands in dispute, and upon the trial, a 
verdict unfavorable to the Friend and her claims was rendered, 
and the case was at once carried to the Court of Chancery, 
where it was tried before Chancellor Kent, in 1823, the feigned 
issue, having been set aside as the evidence adduced on the tri- 
al of the ejectment suits, supplied the information sought by 
that issue. The decease of the Friend in 1819, left Rachel and 
Margaret Malin, under her will, the representatives of her in- 
terests in the suit, and John C. Spencer was their counsel. The 
Chancellor made a decree affirming the trust, and upholding 
the title of the Friend, and the defendants took their appeal to 
the Court of Errors. A final decision was reached in that 
Court in 1828, nine years after the decease of the Friend, and 
seventeen years after the commencement of the suit. 

A full statement of the case is given in the first volume of 
Wendell's reports, by which it appears that the litigation was 
one that must have enlisted the best energies of both sides, 
and the best legal talent of the period. Thomas R. Gold, of 
TJtica, was the counsel for the respondents, Rachel and Margar- 
et Malin, in the Court of Errors. The question of the trust 
was the main point of attack, and it was triumphantly sustained. 


The memorandums of Sarah Richards, given a few pages back, 
were offered in support of the trust, and were assailed as for- 
geries, several good witnesses affirming that they were written 
by Ruth Pritchard, and not by Sarah Richards. The similarity 
of handwriting on the part of these persons, no doubt led to 
an honest difference of opinion on the subject. The ultimate 
conviction of all unprejudiced minds, must have been in favor 
of their authenticity. And the following letters, which could 
have presented no stronger claims to verity, were much less 
questioned, and helped materially the cause of the Friend. 

Jerusalem, 3d of the 6th Month, 1793. 
Deak Ruth : — I take this opportunity to inform thee further 
about the situation of earthly concerns. The Friend has also 
taken a deed of Thomas Hathaway, containing south of that 
which Robinson deeded to me to hold in trust for the Friend. 
And this deed is witnessed by William Carter and Abel Bots- 
ford. I hope we shall get together before long. This is from 
thy affectionate friend, 


Jerusalem, 12th of the 3d Month, 1793. 
Dear Ruth : — This is to be a messenger of my love to thee. 
Hold out faith and patience. Thy letter was very welcome to 
me. I want thee should make ready to come where the Friend 
is in this town. The Friend has got land enough here for all 
that will be faithful and true. Dear Ruth, I will inform thee 
that Benedict Robinson has given the Friend a deed of some 
land in the second seventh, in the Boston Pre-emption, wdiich 
deed contains five lots, and the Friend has made use of my 
name to hold it in trust for the Friend, and now I hope the 
Friend will have a home, and likewise for the poor Friends, 
and such as have no helper, where no intruding foot can enter. 
Farewell. From thy affectionate friend, 


Justice Sutherland, who wrote an able and exhaustive opin- 
ion in the cause, was sustained by a concurring and still more 
emphatic opinion, by William M. Oliver, then a State Senator, 


and member of the Court for the Correction of Errors, and a 
majority of the Court decided in accordance with their opin- 
ions, establishing the trust and confirming the title of the 
Friend, but affirming a valid title on the part of the Botsfords, 
whose purchase it was decided had been made without notice 
of the trust. A life estate only was granted to Rachel and 
Margaret Malin, in lots 45 and 46, the title to which was de- 
rived from Asa Richards, on the ground that the title to these 
lots was the personal estate of Sarah Richards, and that her 
will conveyed only a life estate thereto to Rachel Malin, leav- 
ing the remainder in fee to her own heirs. It was also held 
by the terms of Benedict Robinson's original deed to Sarah 
Richards, that a consideration was expressed which precluded the 
idea of a gift, and that what was paid covered the whole con- 
veyance, as the consideration could not be limited to any par- 
ticular portion. It was also held by Justice Sutherland, that 
the settlement on the land by the Friend, drawing others as it 
must, was a very valuable consideration, and probably a suffi- 
cient one for the land. 

This unhappy litigation, although it resulted in the end fa- 
vorably to the Friend and her associates and supporters, was a 
great misfortune to all concerned. It alienated from the Friend 
and her Society, some who had been early and warmly identi- 
fied with it. It was tedious, expensive and embarrassing. For 
many years it was an impending peril that threatened to engulf 
them. On the other hand, the contestants who gained the four 
hundred acres, admitted that they had better never entered the 
struggle, for they lost the whole more than once in the finally 
successful effort to gain it. Yet, though this tedious litigation 
cost so much in harmony and good will as well as money, it 
was the fruit of too much confidence and good will, as the 
writer interprets the facts, and no desire on the part of the 
Friend to do more than vindicate her just rights. 

The adverse fruits of the litigation were manifold. Owing 
to its cost, the erection of a meeting house was given up, even 
after the timber for the frame was hewed and drawn on the 


ground, whereon the edifice was to stand. Lands which had 
been given by David Wagener, on condition that snch a house 
should be built, went back finally to his heirs. Old calumnies 
were revived and strengthened and new ones propagated, and 
if it were possible for personal fame to be utterly trampled 
down, the Friend must have been overwhelmed. Yet through 
it all the Friend bore her way to the last with firmness, patience 
and unswerving tenacity of purpose. Preachers of opposing 
sects often wielded their theological clubs against her, with 
such denunciation as the spirit of the times seemed to warrant, 
and weighty words of opprobrium often passed for conclusive 
argument But the Friend retorted not. She yielded no pre- 
tension or proper right of her own, but taught her flock the 
essential virtues of the Christian life with assiduity, and with 
exemplary consistency. 

Her house and grounds were always models of order, neat- 
ness and thrifty life. Those who belonged to her household 
were neither drones nor idlers. The work of her domain went 
forward in season, and those who performed the labor, whether 
members of the family or hirelings, were always treated with 
kindness and respect. Sometimes the members of the Society 
did the Friend's work as a voluntary contribution. But this 
was principally in the earlier years, and was always much more 
than repaid by the generous hospitalities of the Friend's man- 
sion. She personally directed and controled the operations of 
the farm, and would often ride from field to field on horseback, 
and point out the work to be done. Henry Barnes states, that 
when a lad, he has often accompanied the Friend about the 
farm to let down and put up bars. 

In the later years of her life, when disease impaired her en- 
ergies, she ceased riding on horseback, and the running gear of 
a carriage she had in Pennsylvania, which had been laid away 
for many years while roads were bad, was taken to Canandai- 
gua and fitted up with a comfortable body. In this she rode 
during the years of her decline. That carriage is still occa- 
sionally seen in our streets, the property of Wm. T. Remer. 


Her final illness was long and painful, and for sometime pre- 
vious to her decease, she was borne to the room where the 
meetings were held by her attendants, and would address her 
flock while keeping her seat in a chair. No one could be more 
devotedly beloved and tenderly cared for than was the Friend 
by the members of her household and Society. She had 
proved herself a devoted and heroic leader. She had been 
their trusted guide and counsellor in all difficulties and trying- 
straits, and her ministrations had sufficed for their sorrows 
and sufferings. It was but natural that her prospective 
departure should be a source of the keenest grief. Through 
all her painful struggle with a dropsical disease, the solicitude 
of her people was unsleeping and most touching in its tender- 
ness. It has been alleged that they did not believe the Friend 
subject to the conditions of mortality. If any such views were 
held by them, it was in direct contradiction of her own solemn 
and repeated assurances, and does not seem at all probable. 
Death finally visited her on the early morning of July 1st, 
1819, at the age of sixty one years. Lucy Brown and Rachel 
and Margaret Malin, were her attendants in the last hours, which 
were peacefully and gently breathed away. 

It has been said that the grief-stricken Society were unwil- 
ling to bury their dead, and that they deposited the body of 
the Friend in an apartment of the cellar, which was carefully 
walled up. This is true. They had been informed, either mis- 
chievously or earnestly, that some of the physicians had deter- 
mined to secure the body for dissection. This they determined 
to prevent ; and hence the conduct so curiously regarded by 
the public. The burial was finally made on a hillock, where 
Rachel and Margaret were afterwards laid by her side, but no 
headstone or monument marks the grave. True to her princi- 
ples and teachings, she bequeathed her estate to Rachel and 
Margaret Malin, who were to succeed her as guardians of the 
poor of the Society, and continue to make the Friend's house 
the home of those who belonged to the faith, which they did. 

Thus terminated the career of one of the most singular 
and remarkable characters of modern history. She has been 



treated as an impostor. A conscious imposter she could not 
have been ; for sincerity, earnestness, probity and undeviating 
consistency, were the conspicuous elements of her character. 
Her ministry of forty-three years was an unvarying assertion 
of the same claims, without a lapse or single act or expression 
that could be construed into an indication that she was actuated 
by purposes of chicanery. She confronted her fellow beings 
with counsel and warning in relation to their spiritual interests, 
with a manner that always impressed serious minds with the 
highest respect for her devotional sentiments, and the transpa- 
rent integrity of her convictions. It is worthy of remark, that 
those who adhered with the most fidelity to her teachings, 
were, without exception, people of pure and upright lives. On 
the other hand, without casting unkind reflections upon any 
who left the Society, it may be said with all truth, that those 
who found delight in vicious ways, no longer found a congen- 
ial home in the Friend's Society. No pi-eaching could be more 
pointed and emphatic than the Friend's against the popular 
vices of her time. Intemperance, licentiousness, and like mor- 
al irregularities, were never winked at by her. "John," said 
she to one of the early settlers who proposed to erect a distil- 
lery, "it will prove a snare to thee." And the sequel proved 
that her prediction was true. 

A man who had been an early member of the Society, and 
afterwards left it and united with another religious body, said 
to one of his former brethren in later years, "The Friend was 
all love." The very name she assumed — Public Universal 
Friend*-indicated a sentiment of broad and generous philan- 
thropy, worthy, in this too selfish world, of the most profound 
respect. It may be said that there was ambition and a desire 
to lead and to rule, mingled with this zeal for the welfare of 
the human family. All this may be admitted without diminish- 
ing the nobility and integrity of her chai'acter. If she ruled, it 
was by virtue of characteristics that made her a ruling mind. 
If there was too much of unquestioned submission to her rule, 
that could hardly be deemed a fault of hers. Like all real 
rulers she elected herself, and proceeded with her work. 


That the Friend was largely endowed with benevolence, 
there is abundant proof, for no charitable appeal was ever 
made to her in vain. This was also manifested in her uniform 
kindness to the poor residents, whether of her own flock or 
not. William Hencher, a settler who lived at Newtown Point, 
when the Friend came into the country, helped her on with 
his teams through the woods to the head of Seneca Lake. His 
son accompanied the expedition, and in after years related to 
Mr. Turner the impression it made upon him. He was struck 
by the singular dress of the Friend, and still more by the 
strangeness, as it appeared to him, of a woman directing men 
in all things relating to the journey. Yet he remembered most 
gratefully her kindness and hospitality when his father's family 
came through the wilderness, and stopped at her residence on 
their way to the Genesee River. 

In one instance, her hospitality was greatly abused. A 
French Duke, Liancourt, visited the Friend's Settlement in 
1795. He was very hospitably entertained by Benedict Robin- 
son, Arnold Potter and others and by the Friend herself, at 
whose house he was a guest with his travelling companions. 
It is said that Louis Phillippe, afterwards King of France, was 
in disguise, a member of this party. The Duke, in a work 
giving an account of his travels, repaid the kindness of the 
Friend very shabbily, by retailing gossip and giving currency 
to slanders he should have been ashamed to endorse. He list- 
ened with too ready credulity to the partizan animosities of 
those who at that time were at variance with the Friend and 
her Society ; and it is said she was not slow to express her dis- 
approval of some gallantries imputed to the Duke, by which 
she incurred his thorough dislike. His revenge was taken in 
his book, which is now out of print and rarely seen. Another 
book, written two or three years after her death, was too evi- 
dently the work of embittered malice and uncharitable bigotry, 
to be anywise fair or truthful in its statements. It contains so 
many wanton, unfounded calumnies, and averments clearly 
false, as to be utterly unworthy of the least historical credit. 



The Friend has usually been represented as an ignorant per- 
son. This is by no means just. That she was a person of re- 
fined literary culture we cannot pretend. But no mind like 
hers observes the panorama of life without gaining an educa- 
tion. She had great respect for education, and a strong prefer- 
ence for the society of those who possessed more than com- 
mon intelligence and accomplishments. This was particularly 
manifest in her later years, after the buffetings of a hard experi- 
ence had taught her the value of legal information as»well as other 
general knowledge. The visits of people of note and intelli- 
gence were not unfrequent at her residence, and they were al- 
ways cordially entertained. She had a considerable library, 
mostly of religious and historical books. Her familiarity with 
the Bible was truly wonderful. She always quoted it largely 
and with accuracy, from memory, in her discourses and was able 
to give the chapter if not the verse of her quotation. She was 
therefore too much learned, and too sharp and practical an ob- 
server of human life to be accounted ignorant. 

Space does not permit us to hunt down all the derogatory 
and scandalous stuff, founded in rumor and senseless gossip, 
which has been kept alive these many years by the same power 
that gave it birth. It can be said, however, with the utmost 
assurance of truth, that the Friend never pretended to be able 
to walk on the water, and therefore could never have appointed 
a time and place to do it. She never claimed to be able to 
work miracles, and never made any pretense of attempting 
such a thing. She never claimed to be the Messiah nor a sub- 
stitute for the Messiah, but simply a minister of truth sent by 
divine authority to preach a better life to the world. She never 
appropriated the property of her disciples by saying, "the Lord 
hath need of this," nor exacted anything more than they volun- 
tarily and freely granted. She never made one of her followers 
wear a bell as a punishment for impertinent curiosity. Sarah 
Richards did something of that sort while she was at the head 
of affairs in Pennsylvania in the absence of the Friend, and 

that was as much a matter of hilarity as otherwise. 



In personal appearance, the Friend was, till late in life, when 
sadly afflicted by dropsy, decidedly prepossessing. She had a 
good figure, with black, lustrous eyes, and black hair, which, 
combed without parting, fell in beautiful ringlets about her 
neck. She always dressed with good taste, and in such a man- 
ner as to heighten the impressiveness of her appearance. She 
wore a fine silk neck cloth, with a loose fold falling in front 
with graceful negligence ; and a comely broad brimmed hat 
of fine texture was worn on her head, and laid off when preach- 
ing. This, with, her style of dress, gave her a singularly mas- 
culine look. Her portrait was painted a year or two previous 
to her decease, by an artist at Canandaigua, whose name is not 
known, but this was after her figure had lost its finest tone. 
It is said, however, to be a good likeness. The picture is now 
in the possession of Peter S. Oliver. 

"Who that shall justly estimate this courageous and large- 
hearted woman, in her remarkable force of character, in her 
devotion and constancy, in her benevolence and generosity, in 
her power to rule, in her wealth of affectionate feeling, in her 
love of justice, in her persevering fidelity to her convictions 
and personal claims, can deny her genius and originality, and 
that sincerity of heart and greatness of mind which shed lustre 
on the history of her sex ? 





fIKE all religious organizations of the Protestant order, the 
Friend's Society had its nucleus or core of thoroughly 
committed, earnest and devoted members, with a further belong- 
ing of those who were vacillating and periodical in their attach- 
ment. Some run well for a season, and dropped off into indif- 
ference or positive hostility. Others yielded to the adverse in- 
fluences caused by the land troubles ; and the doctrine of celib- 
ate life inculcated by the Friend, was not one that could be 
popular with the youthful and ardent, whose lives were yet un- 
scarred by disappointments and sad experiences. Hence it oc- 
curred that comparatively few of the second generation united 
with the Society, and of those who did there were not many 
who lived through life quite up to the rigid requirements of 
the faith. The list of members given herewith, includes only 
those whose names were actually enrolled at their own request, 
and who remained throughout devoted and firm adherents of 
the society. Some of these never came to the New Jerusalem, 
but the most of them belonged to the pioneer families, and 
they were, as a body, people of the highest moral and personal 
worth. They were as follows : 

William Aldrich, [1] 

Samuel Barnes, junior, 

Joseph Ballou, 

Elizur Barnes, 

John Bartleson, [2] 

Henry Barnes, 

Samuel Barnes, senior, 

Jonathan Botsford, senior, 

1. The husband of Mercy Aldrich. 

2. Husband of Mary Bartleson, afterwards wife of Ezekiel Shearman. 


Jonathan Botsford, junior. 

Eleazer Ingraham, 

Jonathan Botsford, Bro. of Elijah 

Elisha Ingraham, 

Abel Botsford, 

John Ingraham, 

Elijah Botsford, 

Nathaniel Ingraham, 

Benajah Botsford, [3] 

Remington Kenyon, 

John Briggs, senior, 

Ephraim Kinney, senior, [8] 

John Briggs, junior, 

Beloved Luther, 

Peleg Briggs, senior, 

Elisha Luther, 

Benjamin Brown, senior, 

Sheffield Luther, 

Benjamin Brown, junior, 

Stephen Luther, 

George Brown, [4] 

Elijah Malin, 

James Brown, junior, 

Meredith Mallory, senior, 

Abraham Dayton, 

Isaac Nichols 

j Castle Dains, 

George Nichols, 

Jonathan Dains, 

Joseph Niles, 

John Davis, 

Israel Perry, 

Samuel Doolittle, [51 

Samuel Potter, 

John Gardner, [6] 

Abraham Richards, [9] 

Amos Guernsey, senior, 

Asa Richards, 

Amos Guernsey, junior, 

Richard Smith, 

Jonathan Guernsey, 

Silas Spink, 

Spencer Hall, i 

Asahel Stone, senior, 

Arnold Hazard, 

George Sisson, 

David Harris, 

Gilbert Sisson, 

Nathaniel Hathaway, senior, [7] 

Joseph Turpin, 

Nathaniel Hathaway, junior, 

John Tripp, 

Thomas Hathaway, senior, 

David Wagener, 

James Hathaway, 

Jacob Wagener, 

Jedediah Holmes, senior, 

Jared Weaver, 

Jedediah Holmes, junior, 

John Willard, 

Adam Hunt, 

Eleazer Whipple, 

Silas Hunt, 

Benoni Wilkinson, 

Abel Hunt, 

Simon Wilkinson, 

3. Son of Elnathan Botsford, and first husband of Deborah Wilkinson. 

4. Brother of James Brown, junior. 

5. Was found a confirmed lunatic by the Friend, and after her discourse 
■with him became rational, and lived an inmate of the Friend's family 
about fifty years, and until he died at about seventy years of age. 

6. Supposed to have been the husband of Mary Gardner. 

7. Supposed husband of Susannah Hathaway. 

8. Supposed husband of Elizabeth Kinney. 

9. Supposed husband of Sarah Richards, and brother of Asa Richards. 



Joseph Turpin was an early adherent of the Friend in New 
England. He never came here as a settler, but went to South 
Carolina where he amassed a fortune. He visited the Friend 
in 1802 and afterwards ; and the Society several times after the 
decease of the Friend. He left thirteen thousand dollars by 
his will to the Society — six thousand to Rachel Malin, and 
seven thousand to poor Friends. He was never a married man. 
Before he died he liberated all his slaves and gave them good 

Eleazer Whipple and Simon Wilkinson were probably rela- 
tives of the Friend's family. Stephen Wilkinson was the only 
brother of the Friend known to have settled here with the 
Friends. He came very early and started a nursery on the op- 
posite side of the road from the Friend's house in Torrey. The 
trees in the Friend's orchard were all from this nursery and 
these were all ",slugg sweets," a good sweet apple of small size. 
About half the original orchard still stands. The reason they 
were all of one variety, is said to have been that the young 
trees were all suckers brought from New England, and not 
seedlings, which seldom reproduce the original fruit, or any 
number of a single variety. Stephen Wilkinson after two or 
three years returned to New England, came back about 1805, 
sold out his nursery, married for his second Avife, Lucy, the 
daughter of Elnathan Botsford, an amiable and interesting avo- 
man, and then settled in Genesee county. A son of Stephen 
Wilkinson by a former wife, Preston P. Wilkinson, now resides 
with John Comstock, in Jerusalem, at an advanced age. He is 
an intelligent man and has always lived unmarried. 

Solomon Ingraham was the son of Nathaniel Ingraham, who 
commenced living in the Friend's family near Philadelphia, and 
remained with that family a very devoted adherent till 1814, 
when he seceded and turned against the Friend. He was 
about to join Daniel Bracket, an eccentric religious zealot, 
when he was accidentally buried in a well he was digging and 
lost his life. 

The most of the male members of prominence were heads of 


families, and are noticed in their order, chiefly in the towns of 
Milo, Jerusalem and Torrey, as pioneer settlers. 


There was a remarkable feature in the Universal Friend's 
Society, and probably the most effective result of her spiritual 
ministrations, in the number of respectable and truly excellent 
women, who, as persistent celibates, adhered to her teachings. 
Some of these lived on her domain and some in her family, 
and all were true and consistent representatives of her doctrine. 
Representing chastity and purity ol life, they proved not only 
their own faith by their life, but that the affective sex are the 
best examples of morality if not of religion. In this respect 
they were the jewels of the Friend's coronet. They justified 
the faith she reposed in female integrity and character, and the 
partiality it is claimed she manifested for women as controlers 
of all social and domestic concerns. Their record, as abiding 
and conscientious devotees of the faith they adopted, is certain- 
ly much brighter than that of the masculine portion of the 
Society ; for few of the latter adhered with like fidelity to the 
Friend's doctrine to the end. Perhaps this may be met by a 
wicked sneer to the effect that celibacy or its opposite was not 
equally a question of choice with the gentle sex as with the 
brethren of the fold. 

It is quite clear, from all the facts within our reach, that 
there was very little if any constraint to single life, other than 
voluntary choice among these worthy and true hearted women. 
Besides, temptation is common to all, and there is no such thing 
as a life of persevering, indomitable virtue, without un waver - 
ing.devotion to a lofty ideal, and the constant cultivation of 
the purest and sweetest sentiments of the heart. That sexual 
asceticism is essential to the best results of spiritual culture, is 
not a question to be discussed here. The Bible inculcates it 
very distinctly, and the Friend and her earnest disciples en- 
deavored to be faithful exponents of the Bible teaching. The 
following members of the Society belong to the group, which 
may properly be ranked as the Faithful Sisterhood . 


Sarah Richards, whose maiden name was Sarah Skilton, was a 
woman of superior mind and pure character. She and her hus- 
band became members of the Friend's Society in Connecticut, 
or interested in her religious teaching. Whil e they were on a 
visit to the Friend in Rhode Island he died, and Sarah at once 
became an inmate of the Friend's household, and while she 
lived, the Friend's most intimate and confidential associate. As 
the Friend desired to keep aloof from direct responsibility for 
worldly affairs, Sarah Richards became her agent to hold in 
trust her property. She co-operated faithfully with the Friend 
in all their works, whether of religious propagandism or family 
and society support, and the final great enterprise of founding 
a new society in the wilderness. It was to her that all the pos- 
sessions of the Friend were deeded in the New Jerusalem, and 
by and through her that most of the business was performed 
till the period of her death, which occurred in 1793. 

Mehitable Smith was the sister of Richard Smith. She was an 
inmate of the Friend's family and a person of pure and estima- 
ble character. She was very affectionately regarded by the 
Friend and Sarah Richards, and much esteemed by the Society. 
She lived unmarried, and died at the Friend's house in 1792. 

Anna Wagener was a sister of David Wagener. She was in- 
telligent, well educated and wealthy. She aided with her 
means in the construction of the Friend's house in the first set- 
tlement, and lived there some time after the Friend moved to 
Jerusalem. Afterwards she became the owner of several hun- 
dred acres of land in Jerusalem, and lived on the place where 
Watkins Davis now resides, and died' there unmarried a few 
years later than the Friend, at an advanced age. She was re- 
markable for her sincerity of character and strong religious 
sentiment, and was highly respected by all that knew her. 

Lucy Brown was the sister of Susannah and Temperance 
Brown, and of Daniel Brown, senior, of the Friend's Society. 
She was a person of the highest moral worth, and one of the 
first characters in the Society. She lived on the corner a little 


south of the residence of Watkins Davis, where her house, 
built by herself, still stands. Her residence was on the Friend's 
land, where she led her single life and supported herself by- 
making butter and cheese and other little industries. She lived 
to be quite aged and survived the Friend several years. 

Rachel and Margaret Malin, two sisters, were members of 
the Friend's family after coming to the New Jerusalem till they 
died, and inheritors by will in behalf of the Society, and in 
trust for its benefit, of all her estate. Rachel, after the 
decease of Sarah Richards, was the agent by whom property 
was held in trust for the Friend and all business transacted. 
Both were fully devoted to the Friend, whom they survived 
many years, and both were women of irreproachable character. 

Mercy Aldrich, an elder sister of the Friend, came early to 
the country, a widow without children. She had a respectable 
property, and lived north of Anna Wagener's, and beyond the 
residence of Benoni Wilkinson, afterwards the place of Ashbel 
Beers. Lucina Goodspeed for a time made her home with 
Mercy Aldrich, who was a very prominent character in the So- 
ciety. She took part in speaking and praying in the meetings, 
always with ability and pertinence. She bore an excellent 
character, and died well advanced in age, surviving the Friend 
several years. 

Patience Wilkinson, an elder sister of the Friend, married 
Thomas Hazard Potter, a brother of Judge Arnold Potter. 
Her husband died about 1804, and she afterwards resided with 
her son-in-law, Job Briggs, of Potter. She survived her hus- 
band about a dozen years. Her body, at her own request, was 
placed in the old vault of the Friend. Her funeral discourse 
was preached by the Friend, and it was the last funeral at which 
she officiated. Patience was a highly estimable woman and 
was greatly devoted to the Friend. 

Alice Hazard was generally called Elsie Hazard. She was a 
daughter of Judge William Potter, and married George Haz- 
ard. She visited the Friend several times in Pennsylvania, 
and in 1790 arrived there again a few days after the Friend, 
and her retinue, including Mrs. Hazard's daughter, had left for 


the Genesee country. She followed on horseback, making the 
whole wilderness journey alone, on the track of the company 
of which she was in pursuit, and arrived simultaneously with 
them. They had but barely reached their destination, when 
speaking of her, some one of the party remarked "we have 
come to a place now where Elsie can't find us." Almost at 
that instant she made her appearance, to their intense astonish- 
ment. They could hardly believe their senses when she stood 
before them. She made the same journey on horseback three 
times, the last time bringing her son, eight years old, behind 
her. Dr. Brinton W. Hazard, and Mrs. Asa Russel were her 
children. Her husband died in Rhode Island before her first 
visit to the New Jerusalem. She was a very warm adherent of 
the Friend, to whom she was always true, and she was a tal- 
ented, intelligent and highly respected woman. For a time 
she lived with her two daughters, Martha and Penelope. Mar- 
tha married Asa Russell, and Penelope died. Mrs. Hazard then 
lived some years in Larzelere's Hollow, with her nephew, Wil- 
liam Potter, and finally made her home with her surviving daugh- 
ter, where she died well advanced in years. 

Lucina Goodspeed had a home on the Friend's domain, a 
short distance south of Lucy Brown and Anna Wagener, be- 
low the highway. She was a maiden lady, an excellent woman 
and a zealous Friend. She took part in the public meetings, 
was a person of intelligence and active life, and died at an ad- 
vanced age. 

Susannah Spencer came early to the country with the Friends, 
a widow, and sister of the elder Peleg Briggs. She had a house 
in the valley north of the Friend's, a little southwest of Moses 
Hartwell's residence, and west of the valley road. She was a 
mother in the Society and greatly esteemed. In the course of 
the struggle in regard to the land titles, she w r as ejected from 
her home and her house was burned. She outlived the Friend 
a short time, and died upwards of ninety years old. 

Martha Reynolds was another faithful spinster of the Friend's 
Society. Martha and her sister came with the earliest migra- 
tion and lived at Nichols' Corners till Sarah married Enoch 



Shearman. Then Martha went to Jerusalem, and built a 
house on the Friend's land, about forty rods west of Lucy- 
Brown's, on the south side of the road, as it now runs. She 
made butter and cheese, and supported herself quite indepen- 
dently. She was an estimable person of very capable mind, and 
much beloved in the Society. She lived to be quite old, and 
became palsied, after which one John Kritson worked the land 
for her. She died about 1844. 

Patience Allen was from New London, Connecticut, and came 
with the first settlers, was greatly respected in the Society, and 
was a diligent, intelligent and worthy woman. She kept house 
a few years for Samuel Barnes, jr, and was afterwards a member 
of the Friend's household. She survived the Friend about 
fourteen years and died an unmarried woman. 

Hannah Baldwin, was also an early member of the Society, 
who came with the first tide of settlement. She was distantly 
connected with the Comstocks, and was a devoted, consistent 
and good woman, living singly through life. She was very 
prominent in the Society and much respected. She maintained 
herself on the Friend's land by her own industry, making butter 
and cheese, with little farming operations. Her house was east- 
ward of the creek from the Friend's house, on the north side 
of the road. She survived the Friend about twenty-five years, 
and died at a very advanced age. She was remarkable for her 
youthful and fresh appearance even in old age. 

Sarah and Mary Briggs, sisters of Peleg Briggs, jr., were al- 
ways great favorites of the Friend, and devotedly religious 
women. They inhabited a log house about a mile south of the 
Friend's, in Jerusalem, and afterwards built a frame house on 
the west side of the road which still stands. That house was 
built for them by Abraham Prosser, the father of David B. 
Prosser. These were excellent women and lived to be very 
aged. Sarah, who outlived her sister a long while, was very 
old at her decease. They, too, exalted the doctrine of celibacy 
by lives of industry, piety and devotion. 

Lydia and Phoebe Cogswell, two spinster sisters, came with 
the pioneers to the New Jerusalem, living near the Friend's 


Mills in the early settlement, and were pious and devoted 
Friends. Lydia, the most talented, was a leading woman in 
the Society. She died before 1800 in the Friend's Settlement, 
and Phcebe, after the death of her sister, lived near Mary 
Holmes, in Jerusalem, and still later in the Friend's family. 
She survived the Friend several years, and died at the age of 
one hundred. 

Mary Gardner came with the earliest settlers ; was a widow, 
a sister of Martha Reynolds and Mrs. Stephen Card, and the 
mother of Abner and George Gardner. She was the mother 
of an important family, a devoted Friend, and a woman of re- 
markable and excellent traits of character. She lived with her 
sons, and finally with her grand-daughter in Jerusalem, where 
she died in 1848 at the age of ninety-four. 

Mary Hunt was the daughter of the elder Adam Hunt ; lived 
unmarried, and was a devoted adherent of the Friend. She 
was housekeeper for Silas Spink for many years, and died at 
his house. She was an excellent and highly esteemed woman. 

Lydia Davis was a daughter of John Davis, and a sister of 
Jonathan Davis. She came early with the Friends from Pennsyl- 
vania, and lived with her parents in Jerusalem. She died at 
about sixty years of age, her death preceding that of her pa- 
rents. She was a good woman and a steadfast Friend. 

Eunice Hathaway was from New Bedford. She and her 
mother, Freelove Hathaway, came early and lived in the log 
part, that then was, of the Friend's house, now standing in 
Torrey, and there the mother died. Eunice, for some time, 
lived with Mary Holmes, and was afterwards a member of the 
Friend's household. She was a much respected woman, and 
survived the Friend a few years. 

Susannah Hathaway was a widow Avho kept house for Jacob 
Wagener, on Long Point, till about 1800. She then lived with 
her son Nathaniel, a shoemaker, in the Log Meeting House, 
and afterwards in a house belonging to Benedict Robinson. 
The son, under the ministration and counsel of the Friend, had 
a very bright religious experience, and died about 1811. The 


Friend preached the funeral discourse at the house of Benedict 
Robinson. The mother was a devoted and worthy woman, 
and died soon after. 

Mary Hathaway was the widow of James Hathaway, a broth- 
er of Thomas Hathaway, senior. They settled near the west 
branch of Keuka Lake, on the east side, where he erected a log 
house and made considerable improvement. They had a son, 
an only child, named Hunnewell, a young man who was cap- 
sized in a canoe on the lake in a violent wind. He called 
"Help !" "Help !" As the dog's name was help, it was sup- 
posed to be a call for the dog. When rescued he was so chilled 
he could not be restored. This was in 1794, and the first death 
in that township. The father died two years later, after build- 
ing the first vault for the Friend, in which his own body was 
laid. The widow remained a protege of the Friend, whom she 
survived a few years. She lived in the old house of the Friend 
after the removal of the Friend to the large mansion. She 
was a woman of excellent character. 

Lavina Dains was a daughter of Jonathan Dains, senior. 
She came with her father in 1784, and was a thoroughly devoted 
adherent of the Friend, always remaining single. She was for 
a long time an inmate of the Friend's family, and finally lived 
with her nephew, John Dains, of Jerusalem, where she died at 
the age of ninety. It was Lavina that pitehed the constable 
out doors with his raiment somewhat tattered, when he at- 
tempted to arrest the Friend for blasphemy. 

Elizabeth Carr was a widow and a relative of the Havens 
family of Benton. She came with the earlier settlers, making 
her home with the Friends. Was an 'inmate of the Friend's 
family most of the time, and died about 1833. She was called 
"Mother Carr" in the Society, and was very kindly regarded 
by all. 

Anna Styer was a relative of the Wageners and Supplees, 
and resided at first with Anna Wagener, and afterwards with 
the Friend, and other families of the Society. She was an 
agreeable person, but subject to an occasional alienation of 


mind, and fits of melancholy and self-reproach. She died 
about 1815, while living with Lucina Goodspeed, upwards of 

Sarah Clark was from Boston, a widow lady of character and 
ability, with no known relatives in the Society or settlement. 
She was one of the earliest comers, and kept house for Thomas 
Hathaway, senior. At his death, he left her by will, 300 acres 
of land, of which Beloved Luther bought a part just east of 
Simeon Cole's. She lived for a time in the house where Thomas 
Hathaway died, and finally in one part of the double log house 
where Hannah Baldwin resided. In old age she resided with 
Beloved Luther, and died at the age of ninety-six. She, too, 
was one of the most faithful of the Friends. 

Mary Holmes was a sister of Jedediah Holmes. She was 
quite independent in property, and lived at first in the early 
settlement of the Friends, and afterwards till she died, a little 
way south of Moses Hart well's, just east of the creek, where 
she kept house mostly by herself, always living singly. She 
died at a very advanced age, some years after the Friend, of 
whom she was a devoted adherent. She was regarded as one 
of the best of women. 

Catharine White, generally known as "Aunt Katy White," 
was a widow, and kept house for a time for Jacob Wagener. 
She was a kind, matronly woman, and much beloved. Her fu- 
neral was attended at the Friend's house about 1815. 

Mary Bean was a near relative of the Supplees. She became 
an inmate of the Friend's family in early life and continued so 
while she lived. She was mistress of the dairy, and a very in- 
dustrious and worthy person. She died about 1840, over sixty 
years old. 

Eunice Beard dwelt on the Friend's land in a log house built 
for her, about fifty rods northeast of the residence of James 
Brown, jr. She was a single woman and a person of very 
amiable character, much respected by the Society. She sur- 
vived the Friend. 


Lydia Wood was a widow, and lived in the next house north 
of Anna Wagener, of whom she bought her land. When she 
became feeble with age she lived with her daughter, the widow 
of Beloved Luther. She was an estimable woman and much 
respected. She died later than the Friend at a very advanced 

Mary Ingraham was the daughter of Nathaniel Ingraham, 
and lived with her parents while they survived. She was a 
steadfast Friend and a worthy woman, and died at an advanced 
age, firm in the Friend's faith, and an unmarried woman. 

Rachel Ingraham, who still lives a single woman at the age 
of eighty-eight, is the daughter of Eleazer Ingraham. She has 
led a blameless and pious life, and was a member of the Friend's 
family for several years with her father. Henry Barnes, who, 
with her, are the only survivors of the Friend's Society, relates 
that he and Rachel, almost unassisted, in the Spring of 1816, 
made over 1,500 pounds of sugar in the Friend's sugar camp. 

Chloe Towerhill was the daughter of an African slave, stolen 
from his native country, and she too was a slave. She was 
bought by Benjamin Brown, an uncle of James Brown, jr. 
The Friend would not tolerate slavery, and Benjamin Brown 
becoming a member of the Society, gave Chloe her freedom. 
She voluntarily joined the Friend's family, was devout and faith- 
ful, uneducated but intelligent, and a very sweet singer. She 
was mistress of the kitchen and laundry, over which she presi- 
ded with industry and system. She was devotedly attached to 
the Friend, and lamented her death very tenderly. She died 
at about seventy. 

Elizabeth Kenyon and her daughter Hannah came early to 
the Friend's Settlement from Rhode Island, leaving her hus- 
band, Remington Kenyon, behind. The daughter married 
George Nichols, son of Isaac Nichols, and the mother, on re- 
moving to Jerusalem, lived on a little spot on the Friend's land 
that was cleared for her, about half-way between Hannah Bald- 
win and Mary Holmes. It is related of her that on one occa- 
sion she was lost in the woods at nio-ht. She took refuge in a 


hollow tree. She hung an apron before her for protection from a 
violent thunder storm, and remained there till morning. Her 
husband came about 1806 and lived with her. After a bright 
and sincere religious experience, he joined the Society and died 
a year or two after. His wife survived him several years, and 
was called "Mother Kenyon." She was greatly respected in 
the Society. 

Elizabeth Kinney came from Connecticut a widow, with the 
earliest of the Friends. She was the mother of Ephraim, Isaac, 
Samuel and Mary Kinney. The daughter married a man by 
the name of Butler, and the sons went west in after years. 
The mother became a member of the Friend's family, where 
she remained several years. She was a pious and devoted woman, 
and greatly esteemed. She died in 1S17, and her funeral was at 
the Friend's house. 

Rebecca Hartwell was the mother of Samuel Hartwell, who 
married Elizabeth Wilkinson, one of the sisters of the Friend. 
She came early to the New Settlement, and lived with her 
daughter, the wife of Abel Botsford. She was a faithful 
Friend and a woman of excellent character. She died at the 
age of about ninety years. 

Elizabeth Luther was the mother of the Luther Family. 
Coming with the first settlers. When her family dispersed 
by marriage, she lived with her son Reuben many years, and a 
few of her last years with her son Beloved. She was a woman 
without reproach, pious and faithful, one of the most devoted 
Friends. She died upwards of eighty years old. 

Elizabeth Ovett, the sister of Abel, Jonathan and Elnathan 
Botsford, was a widow who came with the first settlers, and 
lived alone in the Friend's Settlement, near the Friend's house, 
till late in life, when she had a home with her brother Abel. 
She lived to be quite advanced in years, and was a woman of 
the most amiable and cheerful character, and a favorite with all 
who knew her, and especially with children. She was a true 
Friend and deeply pious. 



Susannah Potter was a daughter of Judge William Potter. 
She never married, and never came to this country. The 
Friend bore strong testimony to her worth of character' and 
religious sincerity. 

Rebecca Scott came a widow to the New Jerusalem in 1790, 
with her two daughters, Orpha and Margaret. Orpha married 
Perley Gates and died atninety-seven. Margaret married Elijah 
Botsford, and still lives with her son Samuel Botsford, at the 
age of ninety-five. Mrs. Scott was a woman of rare energy and 
virtue of character, and one of the most steadfast Friends. Her 
home was for a considerable time in the Friend's family. None 
could be more highly esteemed. She died well advanced in 

Aphi and Martha Comstock were sisters of Israel Comstock, 
and women of rare excellence of character. They lived to- 
gether a little north of the Friend's Mansion, and remained 
single women. They died in 18G7 within a few days of each 
other, Aphi eighty-one and Martha seventy-seven years of age. 
They were firm adherents of the Friend, and were among the 
best of her disciples. Their nephew, Botsford A. Comstock, 
cared for his worthy aunts in their old age, and was greatly 
beloved by them. Their names were always mentioned with the 
highest respect. Aphi, in early life, was one of the pioneer 
school teachers. 

This closes our record of the devoted sisterhood. Perhaps a 
few others should have been included, but the testimony within 
reach does not warrant it, and guess-work will not pass for his- 
tory. There was a noble array of devoted women not of this 
select band, who, as wives and mothers, and true exponents of 
the highest morality and social virtue, illustrated the pioneer 
life with examples worthy to be held in honored remembrance, 
and gave the Friend's Society a name for virtue, industry and 
matronly worth, of which no pen can speak in adequate praise. 
They were as follows : 


Sarah Alswortli 
Huldah Andrews, 
Susannah Avery, [1] 
Abigail Barnes, [2] 
Experience Barnes, [2A-] 
Mary Bartleson, [3] 
Elizabeth Botsford, [4] 
Elizabeth Botsford, [5] 
Lucy Botsford, [6] 
Lucy Botsford, [7] 
Mary Botsford, [8] 
Mary Botsford, [9J 
Elizabeth Briggs [10] 
Esther Briggs, [11] 
Anna Briggs, 
Margaret Briggs, 
Lavina Briggs, 
Buth Briggs, [12] 
Anna Brown, 
Anna Brown, 

Abigail Brown, 
Catharine Brown, [12 J] 
Charlotte Brown, 
Desiah Brown, 
Bachel Broun, [13] 
Sarah Brown, [14] 
Susannah Brown. 
Zeruah Brown, [15j 
Hannah Buckingham, 
Mabel Bush, 
Susannah Clanford, [16] 
Sarah Corustock, [17] 
Bathsheba Cohoon, 
Abigail Congol, 
Eunice Crary, 
Phoebe Carr, 
Mary Dains, [18] 
Joana Dains, [19] 
Abigail Dayton, [20] 

1. Wife of Daniel Brown, jr., a cousin of James Brown, jr. ; lived in 
Benton, now Torrey. 

2. Mother of Henry Barnes ; a much beloved member of the Society. 
2+. Daughter of Nathaniel Ingraham ; wife of Eleazur Barnes, now 

eighty six years old. 

3. Mother of Isaac and Bartlesou Shearman. 

4. Wife of Jonathan Botsford, jr. ; mother of Elijah. 

5. Daughter of Jonathan Botsford, jr., and wife of Abel Hunt. 
G. Wife of Elnathan Botsford. 

7. Daughter of Elnathan Botsford ; second wife of Stephen Wilkinson. 

8. Wife of Abel Botsford. 

9. Daughter of Abel Botsford ; first wife of Robert Buckley. 

10. Wife of Peleg Briggs, senior. 

11. Sometimes called Esther Plant ; had a fine estate at Norris' Landing. 

12. Wife of Peleg Gifford. 

12+. Wife of David Fish ; daughter of Benjamin Brown, senior. 

13. Daughter of Thomas Clark ; wife of Henry Brown, of Benton. 

14. Daughter of Benjamin Brown, sn'r, and wife of Judge Arnold Potter. 

15. Mother of James Brown, jr. 

16. Sister of David Wagener ; married first Peter Supplee ; was the 
mother of Rachel, wife of Morris F. Sheppardand Peter Supplee, jr ; after- 
wards married Clanford, lived a second time a widow, at; first in 

a part of the Friend's house, now in Torrey, and subsequently on the 
place now owned by John R. Hatmaker, where she died. 

17. Mother of Israel, Aphi and Martha Comstock. 

18. Wife of Jonathan Dains ; lived to be very old. 

19. Wife of Castle Dains. 20. Wife of Abraham Dayton. 



Dinah Dayton, 

Mary Malin Hopkins, [29] 

I Anice Dayton, 

Abigail Holmes, [30] 

Anna Davis, |21] 

Elizabeth Holmes, [31] 

Leah Davis, [22] 

Margaret Holmes, 

Rachel Davis, [23] 

Lucy Holmes, 

Sinah Davis, [24] 

Mary Hunt, [31*] 

j Anice Dayton, 

Sarah Hunt, [32] 

Anna Fannin, 

Anna Ingraham, [32*] 

Hannah Fisher, [25] 

Abigail Ingraham, [33] 

Frances Gardner, 

Experience Ingraham, [34] 

Mary Green, 

Lydia Ingraham, [35] 

Kesiah Guernsey, 

Lydia Ingraham., [36] 

Mary Guernsey, [26] 

Elizabeth Jacques, 

Mary Guernsey, 

Ruth Jailor, 

Fear Hathaway, [27] 

Hannah Kenyon, [37] 

Deborah Hathaway, 

Candace Kinney, 

Freelove Hathaway, 

Eunice Kinney, 

Mary Hathaway, 

Martha Luther, [38] 

Mary Hall, 

Mary Luther, [39] 

Mary Hall, [28] 

Lydia Luther, 

21. Mother of Jesse Davis; wife of William Davis. 

22. Wife of John Davis. 

23. Wife of Jonathan Davis. 

24. Daughter of John Davis ; wife of Stewart Oohoon. 

25. Wife of Silas Hunt. 

26. Wife of Amos Guernsey. 

27. Daughter of Susannah Hathaway, and wife of Bruce, from 

whom Bruce's Gully took its name. 

28. The two Mary Halls are not remembered as residents here ; proba- 

bly mother and daughter. 

29. Daughter of Mary Malin, whose second husband was James Beau- 

mont ; wife of Jocob Rensselaer. 

30. Believed to be the wife of Jedediah Holmes ; buried at City Hill. 

31. Daughter of Jedediah Holmes ; wife of Elisha Luther. 

31+. Wife of Adam Hunt. 

32. Daughter of Adam Hunt ; married Mapes. 

32+. Wife of John Ingraham ; sister of the wife of Jonathan Davis. 

33. Daughter of Eleazer Ingraham. 

34. Wife of Nathaniel Ingraham. 

35. Wife of Eleazer Ingraham - 

36. Daughter of Eleazer Ingraham. 

37. Wife of George Nichols. 

38. Sister of Beloved and Reuben Luther, and wife of George Brown, 

the brother of James Brown, jr. 

:j 39. Sister of the Luthers of the original family ; wife of Reuben Hud- 

|| son. 




Sarah Luther, [40] 
Elizabeth Miller, 
Sarah Negers, 
Annie Nichlos, [41] 
Margaret Palmer, 
Mercy Perry, 
Sarah Potter, 
Hannah Potter, 
Susannah Potter, 
Armenia Potter, 
Penelope Potter, [42] 
Ruth Pritchard, [43] 
Elizabeth Rose. 
Orpha Rose, 
Bethany Sisson, [441 

Lydia Sisson, [45] 
Mary Sisson, 
Tamar Stone, [46] 
Elizabeth Stone, 
Elizabeth Shearman, 
Rhoda Shearman, 
Rachel Supplee, [47] 
Lydia Turpin , 
Mary Turpin, 
Lydia Wall, 
Mary Wall, 
Rhoda Westcott, 
Almy Wilkinson, 
Deborah Wilkinson, 


The Friend's Doctrine as Stated by Henry Barnes. 

The Friend believed that there are three persons in the God- 
head — Father, Son and Holy Ghost ; and that the three are 
eternal. The Father is the Judge of all ; Christ the Mediator ; 
and the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, promised by Jesus to his 
disciples. These three form one tribunal. 

God created man upright and holy, and gave him a law by 
the breaking of which he shall surely die ; and the Friend held 
that where there is a law, there is liberty to keep it or break it. 

Man broke the law given by his Maker, and thus caused 
death, both spiritual and temporal, to enter the world. As a 
consequence of the broken law, there was required an infinite 
sacrifice of atonement for man so that the favor of God might 
be regained. Christ, therefore, was made an Offering for the 

40. Wife of Beloved Luther ; daughter of Lydia Wood. 

41. Wife of Isaac Nichols. 

42. Daughter of Judge William Potter, and wife of Benjamin Brown, 
j unior. 

43 Wife of Justus P. Spencer, one of the first school teachers. 

44. Wife of George Sisson, and sister of the Luthers. 

45. Daughter of George Sisson ; wife of Isaac Prosser. 

46. Sister of John Davis; lived in Pnltney; husband's name, Stone. 

47. Daughter of Peter Supplee ; wife of Morris F. Sheppard. 

48. Youngest sister of the Friend ; wife first of Benajah Botsford, and 
after his decease of Elijah Malin. 


redemption of the Human Family from their lost estate, and 
hence no other name is given by which man can be saved, ex- 
cept Christ, the Universal Savior, who atoned for All. 

All souls that God has introduced on earth to dwell in human 
bodies, came perfect and pure from God their Creator, and 
have remained so till they reached the years of understanding, 
and became old enough to know good from evil. At the age 
of responsible discretion, they enjoy Free Will, or the choice 
of good and evil. 

If human beings, with full understanding, and the free 
choice before them, do that which they know to be evil, they 
realize the just condemnation of a broken law, and consciously 
forfeit their title to Heaven and happiness. 

The only remedy for this forlorn estate is to repent and pray 
to God for pardon through the merits of the Redeemer; and 
not only to be sorry for sin and the forfeiture of Heaven and 
happiness, but to be sincerely sorry to have grieved the Holy 
Spirit. This is a repentance unto life and not to be repented 

It is also essential, as the Friend taught, to persevere in the 
humble service of the Lord through life, and labor for a growth 
in grace, and the knowledge of the Lord and Savior. The' 
just man's path is a shining light which grows brighter and 
brighter till he arrives at the perfect day of peace. 

In regard to the resurrection, it was held by the Friend that 
"flesh and blood cannot enter into the kingdom of Heaven," 
and that consequently there is no reappearance of the natural 
or carnal body. The resurrection is spiritual, and consists in 
the separation of the soul from its earthly tenement. 

The Friend endeavored always to expound religious doctrine 
in perfect harmony with the Bible. 

This creed, it will be observed, is substantially the common 
Trinitarian Creed of Christendom, with the doctrine of natural 
depravity omitted. As a doctrine, it is certainly entitled to 
very respectful treatment at the hands of Orthodox people. 
The apostle of this creed was a woman, a product of New 


England in the days of its rigid devotion to a rigid theology. 
She softened its harshest feature, and taught a simple doctrine 
of duty, repentance and upright living. It cannot be denied 
that she and the faithful portion of her Society honored the 
doctrine by consistent, pious lives. Their remarkable longev- 
ity as a body of people, is one proof that they shunned the 
vices and excesses which shorten life ; and their quiet, uni- 
form demeanor and daily habits, with avoidance of all strife 
and improper excitement, at once extended their 'days and 
afforded a proof of the general correctness of their motives. 

The only printed or recorded discourse, or summary of doc- 
trine or sentiment ever given by the Friend, that is now known 
to be in existence, is the following, copied from a little printed 
book, now in the possession of Peter S. ■ Oliver. The same 
book contains, on otherwise blank pages, the names of those 
who belonged to the Society, as probably recorded before the 
decease of the Friend : — 





Philadelphia : — Printed by Thomas Bailey, at Yorick's 
Head, Market Street, MDCCLXXXIV. 

The Public Universal Friend adviseth all, who desire to 
be one with the Friend in spirit, and to be wise unto salvation, 
that they be punctual in attending meeting, as many as con- 
veniently can. That they meet at the tenth hour of the day, as 
near as possible. That those who can not go to meeting, must 
sit down at their several homes, about the time meeting begins, 
in order to wait for and upon the Lord. 


That they shun, at all times, the company and conversation 
of the wicked world, as much as possible. But when any of 
you are under a necessity of being with them do your business 
with few words, and retire from them as soon as you can get 
your business done ; remembering to keep on your watch, and 
pray for assistance, especially when the wicked are before you. 

That you do not enquire after news, or the public reports of 
any one, and be careful not to spread any yourselves that are 
not of the Lord. 

That you deal justly with all men, and do unto all men as 
you would be willing they should do unto you, and walk' order- 
ly that none occasion of stumbling be given by you to any. 

Let all your conversation, at all times, be such as becometh 
the Gospel of Christ. 

Do good to all as opportunity offers, especially to the house- 
hold of faith. 

Live peaceably with all men as much as possible ; in an espe- 
cial inanner do not strive against one another for mastery, but 
all of you keep your ranks in righteousness, and let not one 
thrust another. 

Let none debate, evil surmisings, jealousies, evil speaking, 
or hard thinking be named among you, but be at peace among 

Take up your daily cross against all ungodliness and worldly 
lusts, and live as you would be willing to die, loving one anoth- 
er, forgiving one another, as ye desire to be forgiven by God 
and his Holy One. 

Obey and practice the divine counsel you have heard, or may 
hear from time to time, living every day as if it were the last, 
remembering you are always in the presence of the High and 
Lofty One who inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy, and 
without holiness, no one can see the Lord in peace. There- 
fore, be ye holy in all your conversation, and labor to keep 
yourselves unspotted from the world, and possess your vessels 
in sanctification and honor, knowing that ye ought to be tem- 
ples for the Holy Spirt to dwell in ; and, if your vessels are 



unclean, that which is holy cannot dwell in you. And, know 
ye not your own selves, that if Christ dwells not in you, and 
reigns not in you, ye are yet in a reprobate state, or out of favor 
with God and his Holy One. Therefore, ye are to shun the 
very appearance of evil in ail things, as foolish talking, and 
vain jesting, with all unprofitable conversation, which is not 
convenient, but flee from bad company as from a serpent. Be 
not drunk with wine or any other spirituous liquors, wherein is 
excess, but be filled with the Holy Spirit, building one another 
up in the most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost. 

Keep yourselves in the love of God, and when you come into 
meetings or evening sittings, make as little stir as possible, that 
you may not disturb the solemn meditations of others, but con- 
sider you are drawing near to approach the holy, pure, eternal 
Spirit, that cannot look on sin with any allowance. 

Endeavor to meet all at one time, and keep your seat until 
meeting is over, except upon extraordinary occasions. 

Gather in all your wandering thoughts, that you may sit 
down in solemn silence, to wait for the aid and assistance of 
the Holy Spirit, and not speak out vocally in meetings, except 
ye are moved thereunto by the Holy Spirit, or that there be a 
real necessity. Worship God and his Holy One in spirit and 
in truth. 

Use plainness of speech and apparel, and let your adorning, 
not be outward but inward, even that of a meek and quiet 
spirit, which- in the sight of God is of great price. Thus saith 
the Psalmist — It is most like the King's daughter, all glorious 
within, her clothing is of wrought gold. 

Consider how great a thing it is to worship God and the 
Lamb acceptably, who is a spirit, and must be worshipped in 
spirit and in truth. Therefore, deceive not yourselves by in- 
dulging drowsiness, or other mockery, instead of worshipping 
God and the Lamb. God is not mocked, for such as each of 
you sow, the same must ye also reap. If ye sow to the flesh, 
ye must of the flesh reap corruption ; but if ye are so wise as 
to sow to the Spirit, ye will of the Spirit reap life everlasting. 


Rom. viii, from the 6th to the 19th verse. "For to be carnally 
minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 
Because the carnal mind is enmity against God, for it is not 
subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So, then, 
they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not 
in the flesh but in the spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God 
dwell in you. Now, if any man hath not the Spirit of Christ, 
he is none of his. And, if Christ be in you, the body is dead, 
because of sin ; but the spirit is life because of righteousness. 
But if the spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead 
dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead, shall also 
quicken your mortal bodies by his spirit that dwelleth in you. 
Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live 
after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh ye shall die ; but 
if ye, through the spirit, do mortify the deeds of the body ye 
shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they 
are the Sons of God. For, ye have not received the spirit of 
bondage again to fear, but ye have received the spirit of adop- 
tion, whereby we cry Abba Father. The Spirit itself beareth 
witness with our spirits, that we are the children of God, and 
if children, then heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ ; 
if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified 
together with him. For I reckon that the sufferings of this 
present time, are not worthy to be compared with the glory 
that shall be revealed in us. 

Ye cannot be my friends, except ye do whatsoever I com- 
mand you. Therefore be not weary in well-doing, for, in due 
season, ye shall reap if ye faint not." 

Those whose mouths have been opened to speak, or to pray 
in public,* are to wait for the movings of the Holy Spirit, and 
then speak or pray as the Spirit giveth utterance ; not running 
without divine authority, nor speak nor pray any longer than 
the Spirit remaineth with you, nor linger when moved to speak 
as mouth for the Holy One, or moved to pray by the same pow- 


Let not contention, confusion, jarring-, or wrong speaking 
have any place amongst you. Use not whisperings in meetings, 
for whisperers separate chief friends. 

Above all, give all diligence to make your calling and elec- 
tion sure, and work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 
redeeming your time, because the days are evil. Forget the 
things that are behind, and press forward towards the mark 
and the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus, that 
ye may be found without spot or rebuke before the Lord, that 
ye may be delivered from the bondage of corruption, and 
brought into the glorious liberty of the Sons of God, where 
the morning stars sing together, and all the Sons of God shout 
for joy ; having oil in your vessels with your lamps, like the 
wise virgins, trimmed and burning ; having on your wedding- 
garments, that when the Holy One ceaseth to intercede for a 
dying world, you may also appear with him in glory, not hav- 
ing on your own righteousness, but the righteousness of God 
in Christ Jesus. 

You, who are parents, or intrusted with the tuition of child- 
ren, consider your calling, and the charge committed unto you, 
and be careful to bring them up in the nurture and admonition 
of the Lord, and educate them in a just and reverend regard 
thereunto. And whilst you are careful to provide for the sup- 
port of their bodies, do not neglect the welfare of their souls, 
seeing the earliest impression, in general, lasts the longest, as 
it is written — "Train up a child in the way that he should go, 
and when he is old he will not, easily, depart from it," and let 
example teach as loud as your precepts. 

Children, obey your parents in all things, in the Lord, for it 
is right and acceptable in the sight of God. Honor your fath- 
ers and your mothers, and the way to honor father and mother 
is not to give them nattering titles, or vain compliments, but 
to obey the counsel of the Lord, and them, in the Lord. Thus 
saith the wisdom of the Lord by the mouth of the wise King 
Solomon. My son, forget not my law, but let thine heart keep 

my commandments, for length of days, long life, and peace, 



shall they add to thee. Let not mercy and truth forsake thee, 
bind them about thy neck, write them upon the table of thine 
heart, so shalt thou find favor and good understanding in the 
sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, 
and lean not to thine own understanding ; in all thy ways ac- 
knowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths. Be not wise 
in thine own eyes, fear the Lord and depart from evil. Hear, 
ye children, the instruction of your Father, and attend to know 
understanding, for I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not 
my law. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, 
but fools despise wisdom and instruction. My son, hear the 
instructions of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy 
mother, for they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, 
and chains about thy neck. My son, if sinners entice thee, 
consent thou not ; if they say, come let us lay wait for blood, 
let us lurk privily for the innocent without a cause, let us swal- 
low them up alive as the grave, and whole as those that go 
down into the pit, we shall find all precious substance, we shall 
fill our homes with spoil, cast in thy lot amongst us, let us all 
have one purse. My son, walk not thou in the way with them, 
refrain thy foot from their path, for their feet run to do evil, 
and they make haste to shed blood. They lay in wait for their 
own blood, they lurk privily for their own lives, so is every 
one that is greedy of gain, that taketh away the life of the 
owners thereof. All of you be careful not to grieve away the 
Holy Spirit that is striving with you, in this the day of your 
visitation, and is setting in order before you, your sins and 
short comings. But, turn ye at the proofs of instruction, 
which is the way to life. 

Masters, give unto your servants that which is lawful and 
right, and deal with other people's children as you would be 
willing others should deal with you, and your children also, in 
your absence, knowing, that whatsoever ye would that others 
do unto you, ye ought to do likewise unto them, for this is the 
law and the prophets. 

Servants, be obedient to your masters according to the flesh, 
in fear and trembling, in singleness of heart, as unto Christ, 


doing the will of God from the heart, with good will doing 
service as unto the Lord, and not unto man, knowing that 
whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall be re- 
ceived of the Lord, whether he be bond or free. And you, 
Masters, do the same thing unto them, forbearing threatening, 
knowing your master is in Heaven. Neither is there respect 
of persons with Him, but he is merciful and kind even to the 
unthankful, and to the evil. 

And all of you, who have been or may be so divinely favored, 
as to be mouth for the Holy One. I entreat you, in the bonds 
of love, that when you are moved upon to speak in public, that 
ye speak as the Oracles of God, and as the Holy Spirit giveth 
utterance, not withholding more than is meet, which tendeth 
to poverty ; neither add to his Avords lest he reprove thee, and 
thou be found a liar. But do all with a single eye to the glory 
of God, that God and the Lamb may be glorified by you and 
through you, for he that winneth souls is wise, and the wise 
shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they that 
turn many to righteousness, as the stars, for ever and ever. 

The time is fulfilled, the kingdom of God is at hand. Re- 
pent ye, and believe the Gospel, that the kingdom of God may 
begin within you. 

He hath shewed thee, O, man, what is good ; and what doth 
the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, love mercy, and 
walk humbly with thy God 1 AMEN. 

Will of the Universal Friend. 
The Last Will and Testament of the person called the Uni- 
versal Friend, of Jerusalem, in the county of Ontario, and 
State of New York, who in the year one thousand seven hun- 
dred and seventy-six, was called Jemima Wilkinson, and ever 
since that time the Universal Friend, a new name which the 
mouth of the Lord hath named. Considering the uncertainty 
of this mortal life, and being of sound mind and memory, 
blessed be the Lord of Sabaoth and father of mercies therefor, 
I do make and publish this my Last Will and Testament. 


1st. My will is that all ray just debts be paid by my executors 
hereafter named. 

2d. I give bequeath and devise unto Rachel Malm and Mar- 
garet Malin, now of said Jerusalem, all my earthly property, 
both real and personal, that is to say, all my land lying in said 
Jerusalem, and in Benton or elsewhere in the county of Onta- 
rio, together with all the buildings thereon, to them the said 
Rachel and Margaret, and their heirs and assigns forever, to be 
equally and amicably shared between them, the said Rachel 
and Margaret; and I do also give and bequeath to the said 
Rachel Malin and Margaret Malin, all my wearing apparel, all 
my household furniture, all my horses, cattle, sheep and swine, 
of every kind and description, and also all my carriages, wagons 
and carts of every kind, together with all my farming tools and 
utensils, and all my moveable property of every nature and 
description whatever. 

3d. My will is that all the -present members of my family, 
and each of them, be employed if they please, and if employed, 
supported during natural life by the said Rachel and Margaret, 
and whenever any of them become unable to help themselves, 
they are, according to such inability, kindly to be taken care of 
by the said Rachel and Margaret ; and my will also is that all 
poor persons belonging to the Society of Universal Friends, 
shall receive from the said Rachel and Margaret such assistance, 
comfort and support during natural life as they may need ; and 
in case any, either of my family or elsewhere in the Society, 
shall turn away, such shall forfeit the provisions herein made 
for them. 

4th. I hereby ordain and appoint the above named Rachel 
Malin and Margaret Malin, Executors of my Last Will and 
Testament. In witness whereof, I, the person once called Je- 
mima Wikinson, but in and ever since the year 1777, known 
as and called the Public Universal Friend, hereunto set my 
name and seal the 2oth day of 2d mo., 1818. 


Ann Collins, I 

Sakah Gkegoky. ) [l. s.] 


Be it remembered, that in order to remove all doubts of the 
execution; of the foregoing Last Will and Testament, being the 
person who before the year 1777, was known and called by the 
name of Jemima Wilkinson, but since that time as the Univer- 
sal Friend, do make, publish and declare the within instrument 
as my Last Will and Testament, as witness my hand and seal 
the 7th day of the 7th mo., 1818. 



cross mark. 
Tho's E. Gold, 
John Beiggs, 
Jajies Brown, Jim'r. 

In pursuance of the Friend's will, her mansion and home- 
stead, under the control of Rachel and Margaret Malin, con- 
tinued to be the home of the Friend's family, the place of 
meetings and focus of the Society. All things went on as 
before in peace and quietness, till some elements of division 
were introduced, after the arrival among them of Michael H. 
Barton, who was originally an Orthodox Quaker from Dutchess 
county, and came to Jerusalem in 1830. He was a man of 
engaging address, and had the friendship of Rachel and James 
Brown, jr., but had not the favor of Margaret and others of 
the Society. He preached at the meetings, and had more or 
less connection with the Society for several years. In the me- 
morable political canvass of 1840, he took the field as a canvas- 
ser for General Harrison, addressed a number of Mass Meetings 
in Ohio, and gained a friendly recognition from the old Gener- 
al himself. The early death of the new President cut off his 
expectation of an important appointment at his hands. Mr. 
Barton died in 1857, at the age of fifty-nine. His widow, 
Sarah F. Barton, still survives. His son, George F. Barton, is 
a citizen of Jerusalem, and his daughter, Angeline S. Barton, 
who was a school teacher, died in 1864, at the age of twenty- 


George Clark and Osa Hymes, came a little later than Mich- 
ael H. Barton, and united in engrafting new features on the 
steady going Society that cherished the faith and tradition of 
the Friend. They claimed to give a fresh inspiration of the 
Friend's doctrine, but the results were a notable departure 
therefrom. The strictness of the Friend's faith and discipline, 
was not maintained by the new infusion. Hymes attempted 
to prepare a history of the Friend and the Society, with abort- 
ive results so far as the writer has been able to learn. He was 
shortly driven off. George Clark, after a few years' residence at 
the Friend's house, brought there his daughter Maria, who by 
her amiable character became favorite of the family. After 
his marriage, he made little if any pretence to religious charac- 
ter, and his career was not favorable to the interests of the es- 
tablishment or his own welfare. He died a few years ago in 
New York. Margaret Malin died in 1844, leaving by will her 
estate and interest to James Brown, jr., with the purpose to 
place him in her own position toward the Society. He was a 
life-long devoted disciple of the Friend, had been for a long 
period a member of the Friend's household, and was an impor- 
tant member of the Society. After the death of Margaret, and 
at sixty years of age or upwards, he married Maria Clark, who 
was still under twenty, and accepted a division of the estate, 
taking for his portion seven hundred acres of land, and several 
thousand dollars of personal property. He lived to be eighty- 
six years old, a much respected citizen. He served the town of 
Jerusalem as Supervisor in 1838 and 1S39, and made a good 
officer. Peter S. Oliver afterwards married his widow, and she 
died in 1868, leaving in Mr. Oliver's possession such memen- 
toes of the Friend's Society as had been preserved by James 
Brown, jr., including the portrait of the Friend, which -was 
framed by John Malin in very elaborate style, from a number 
of different varieties of wood that grew on the Friend's domain. 

In 1848 Rachel Malin died, after conveying to descendants 
of her brothers and sisters a large share of the Friend's estate. 
This was a departure from the will of the Friend, and doubt- 


less proved moi-e so than Rachel designed. She was nearly 
eighty years old and Avas surrounded by those who had selfish 
purposes to subserve. What they did not appropriate, she 
gave chiefly to her relatives. John A. Gallett obtained fifty 
acres of land, it is said, in consideration of money advanced 
by his grandmother, Lydia Wood, to the purchase of the land 
originally bought of the State for the Friend's Settlement on 
the shore of Seneca Lake. The Friend's mansion, with one 
hundred and fifty acres of land, was bequeathed to Mary Ann, 
the wife of George Clark. James Harvey and William T. 
Clark, his sons, each had farms given them. William died a 
soldier in the war of the rebellion, and James Harvey still sur- 
vives ; but the Friend's place, which became his inheritance, 
has been for some years out of his possession. 

It was purchased at the close of the war by John Alcooke, 
who claimed to be an English Quaker, for a home for disabled 
soldiers. He collected a considerable number of these unfor- 
tunate men and made them a comfortable abode in the old 
residence of the. Friend. By appeals to the charity of the 
people, aid from the Sanitary Commission, and other contribu- 
tions, he was supporting his crippled veterans and paying for 
their home, when he suddenly died in 1866. Leaving no heirs 
, known to the authorities, his property fell to the State. It 
was discovered that his charities were coupled with some du- 
plicity, but it is to be hoped his general intentions were good. 
The Friend's place has since passed through the hands of 
Charles C. Sheppard to his sou, Morris F. Sheppard, by whom 
it was considerably improved and renovated. It is now the 
property of Thomas J. White. It is no longer a shrine of re- 
ligious worship, nor a centre of great social interest. The fifty 
years that have elapsed since the Friend departed, have brought 
their mighty changes, and still tho old mansion stands a subject 
of curious interest and enquiry. The engraving which repre- 
sents it will be readily recognized by those who have seen the 
building. The tall fir trees which stand before it were planted 
by Henry Barnes, whose pious hands wrought so much and so 
willingly there in the earlier years. 


Rachel Ingrahara, Henry Barnes and Experience Barnes, are 
still surviving members of the Friend's Society. In contra- 
vention of her just and straightforward will, iii which kin and 
consanguinity were disregarded, and spiritual and social ties 
alone recognized, Henry Barnes is dependent in his declining 
years on the generosity of others. They should all have had 
an assured and liberal competence to the latest day of their 
lives, as they would, but for the perversion of trusts designed 
and undesigned, which accompanied the distribution of the 
Friend's estate. 

The longevity of these worthy persons, is carrying the life 
of the Friend's Society almost to the end of a century from its 
inception in that wonderful Trance in 1776, when the mind of 
a young girl was impressed with the conviction that the efful- 
gence of a brighter and purer order of existence was disclosed 
to her vision. She was thus prompted to a life-long effort to 
bring others as near as possible to the better and higher state, 
as she interpreted the vision. It was a noble essay, whatever 
its errors, against long and weary discouragements, and was 
not without its fruits. The best successes of life, are not 
always its most showy and apparent triumphs. A few, won to 
the side of self-denying virtue, weigh more in the best results 
of life, than crowds led by acquiesence in the baser tendencies 
of perverted humanity. 

The Friend's Society belongs to the past. That it could not 
perpetuate itself must have been evident to its founder long 
before her own decease. Perhaps it was no part of her final 
purpose that it should. It was an interesting social and relig- 
ious experiment, that can be studied with profit by those who 
would read aright the structure of human character and antici- 
pate its developments in the future. 




fHE preceding chapter gives a sketch cf tho Friend's Socic- 
*p ty, pruned of all dissenters and seceders. This does not 
include all of that notable emigration that came to found the 
New Jerusalem, some of whom after arriving here did not re- 
main followers of the Friend. Most of those original founders 
have representatives, both in the Society and out of it. It re- 
mains to trace them as families without regard to their affilia- 
tion with the Society, except as coming with it. 


One of the early patriarchs of the Friend's Society, was 
Thomas Hathaway, who belonged to the committee of pioneer 
explorers, and was one of the historical three, to whom the 
deed from the State was granted for the 14,040 acres, on which 
the Friend's Settlement was first made. He was a native of 
New Bedford, Massachusetts, was an inheritor of wealth, and 
had such social connections as led him to the Tory side in the 
Revolution. An elegant private residence erected by him in 
New Bedford, before the Revolution, is still standing in its 
original style. He joined the Friend's Society in 1784, and 
remained a faithful and devoted member while he lived. His 
son Thomas, then a lad of fifteen, traveled with the Friend on 
some of her religious journeys, riding by her side on horse- 
back. In a journal, still in the possession of his descendants, 
he recorded proofs of the Friend's industrious study of the 

Bible, and the interest and attention she excited on the part of 



many of the foremost people far and near. "When the Friends 
resolved to form a community by themselves, Thomas Hatha- 
way parted with all his property at New Bedford, and came to 
the New Jerusalem, bringing his four children — Thomas, Maiy, 
Elizabeth and Gilbert. His wife had died shortly after the 
close of the war. He was an active member of the Society, 
and one of its trusted leaders. He and Benedict Robinson 
purchased, with the advice and concurrence of the Friend, 
township number seven, in the second range, of Phelps and 
Gorliam. And it appears that his interest in the Gore, so 
called, as well as that of James Parker, soon passed, or princi- 
pally so, into the hands of Win. Potter. He sold most of his 
interest in what is now Jerusalem, to Wm. Carter for £6,000, 
August 4. 1795, reserving 5,960 acres, a part of which he had 
before sold. He commenced the erection of a saw-mill on the 
place now occupied by Simeon Cole, in 1798, having previ- 
ously erected a log house. Before his mill was finished he 
contracted a fever, and died in 1798, at the age of 66 years, 
and his body was placed in the Friend's vault. As one of the 
early pillars of the Friend's Society, his name was always held 
in reverence by that body of people; and nothing to his 
reproach has mingled with the traditions that relate to his name. 
Thomas and Gilbert, his sons, were active young men in the 
pioneer settlement, and built the first sail boat on Seneca Lake, 
a vessel in which they transported supplies for the new settle- 
ment. Thomas also built two flat boats to navigate the Mo- 
hawk river, and invented a rack to suspend between two horses, 
one in advance of the other, to transport merchandize along 
the Indian trail between Utica and Seneca Lake. By this line 
much of the goods for the primitive settlement was brought 
for a few years from Albany. 

Thomas Hathaway, junior, married Mary Botsford, the 
daughter of Elnathan Botsford, and resided fifty-nine years on 
his place in Milo, now Torrey, where for a long period he kept 
the principal public house in all this region. He was a popu- 
lar public man, a surveyor and an accurate business man. 
Many maps, deeds and contracts exist that were drawn in his 



beautiful hand writing. He held various military commissions, 
the last, that of Major, being from Governor Tompkins, in 
1810. He was also one of three commissioners, who, by ap- 
pointment of the Governor, divided the town of Benton, 
which then included what is now Milo and Torrey, into school 
districts. His house was the principal place of public resort 
for a large circuit of country, and town meetings, trainings, and 
all public gatherings were held there within the recollection of 
many now living. He died there in 1850, at the age of eighty- 
four, and his was the first death under hi3 roof. His wife sur- 
vived him thirteen years and died in 18G6, at the age of ninety- 
six. She came to the Friend's Settlement in 1792, a year later 
than her father's family, and was married the following year. 
She was a person of eminent social qualities and remarkable 
memory. Their seven children were Lucy, George, Susan, 
Thomas and Gilbert, (twins), Mary and Caroline. Lucy mar- 
ried Oliver Hartwell and had four children, Mary, Susan, Caro- 
line and Thomas. George married Louisa Mc Math and had 
two children, Anna and William. Susan married Henry A. 
Wisner, a talented young lawyer and a son of Polydore B. Wis- 
ner, a noted lawyer and legislator of Western New York. 
Their children were Polydore B., Sarah, Henry A., and Freder- 
ick. The father died early, and Mrs. Wisner is still a resident 
of Penn Yan. Her son Polydore, married Miss Hodge of 
Trumansburg, and has two children. Sarah married first, Rev. 
James Richards, and for her second husband, M. Shoemaker, 
of Jackson, Michigan. A daughter was the fruit of the first 
marriage, and two children of the subsequent union. Henry 
A. Wisner commands the passenger steamer, A. W. Langdon, 
on Seneca Lake. He married Eliza, daughter of Hiram Bell, 
of Dundee, and has two children, Walter H. and Harry. 

Thomas Hathaway of the third generation, married Mary, 
the daughter of Samuel Headly, and their children Avere Eliza 
Antoinette, Elizabeth, Electa and Emma. Eliza married Ezra 
Longcor ; Elizabeth married George Downey, and both live in 
Michigan. Antoinette married James S. Tuttle, and died leav- 
ing one child. Electa married J. Slawson. 


Gilbert married Mary, the daughter of Gen. Timothy Hurd. 
Their children are Henry, Rebecca, Timothy, Ann and Fran- 
ces. Henry married ■, daughter .of Benjamin Youngs. 

The others are mostly out of the county. 

Mary married her cousin, Capt. Wm. Hathaway, junior, of 
New Bedford, and has three children, Wm. B., Mary and 
Thomas. She is a person of superior personal endowments, 
and has written the family history. 

Caroline married John Tims Raplee, and has two daughters, 
Cornelia and Frances. Cornelia married Otis Haggerty, and 
Frances married James C. Lanning. Each has one child. 

Gilbert, the brother of Thomas Hathaway, junior, married 
Mary, the daughter of Richard Hurd, of Rock Stream. He 
was a large land owner, and for many years kept a public house 
at Rock Stream, formerly known as Kurd's Corners. It was a 
popular resort for a long period, and the Military Musters 
known as General Trainings, were sometimes held there. Mr. 
Hathaway lived to be eighty-seven years old. His children were 
Gilbert, junior, Deborah, Bradford G. H., Richard H., Maria, 
and Charles. 

Gilbert, junior, married a daughter of Allen Boardman, and 
had a farm of 500 acres in Barrington when he died. His 
children were Roderick N., Mortimer H., Adelaide, Allen and 
Edward. Adelaide married Joseph L. Bellis, of Eddytown. 
All of them are said to be prosperously situated at the west 
and their mother with them. 

Deborah was the first wife of George W. Simmons, a noted 
merchant at Dundee, Rock Stream, Big Stream, Eddytown, 
and finally at Dresden, where he died. Mr. Simmons was a 
man of great force and energy of character, and did a large 
amouut of business. His children are John, Mary E. and 
George. John died during the war ; Mary E. married Wm. 
Newcomb aud lives at Rock Stream ; George A. is the active 
General Agent of the Hahnnemann Life Insurance Company. 

Bradford G. H. married Catharine Shears, and resides at 
Rock Stream. He is a remarkably ingenious inventor and pat- 
entee of numerous machines, especially Reapers, Mowers and 


Threshers. His children are Mary, Estella M , George M., and 
Frank. Mary married James Archer and lives at Rock Stream. 
The others are single. 

Richard H. married first, Mary, daughter of John Hetfield, 
of Rock Stream. He formerly resided at Rock Stream and 
Penn Yan, and now resides in Torrey on a farm. He has a 
second wife, Mary Higley, daughter of the late Elijah Higley, 
of Penn Yan. The children are Thomas B., Hannah A., 
Gertrude and Deborah, by the first marriage, and Albert 
"W. by the second. Frances B. married Alonzo S. Nichols and 
lives in Michigan. Hannah A. married Wm. Baker and lives 
in Rochester. 

Maria married Abner Gilbert and died early, leaving no 
children. She was distinguished both for personal beauty and 
exce^ence of heart, and was much lamented. 

Charles married Ann Basil, lives at Rock Stream and has 
three children, Charles, Thomas and Mary. 

This concludes a brief sketch of one of the most famous 
families of the pioneer class. 


One of the principal spirits engaged in the great enterprise 
of founding the new community of Friends, was James Par- 
ker. He was a man of great energy of character, religious ex- 
citability and liberal views. He was a native of South King- 
ston, Rhode Island. His father, George Parker, and his moth- 
er, Catharine Cole, were from London. James was their sev- 
enth child. They had but one younger, who became Sir Peter 
Parker, of the British Navy, and with the rank of Admiral, 
commanded the fleet which attacked Charleston without suc- 
cess early in the Revolutionary war. While he was earning 
his advancement among the English nobility in the service of 
the crown, his brother, James Parker, was Captain of a milita- 
ry company in Rhode Island, employed in the cause of Coloni- 
al Independence. James was a staunch Whig, and although of 
a Quaker family, deemed the cause of the Colonies worth fight- 
ing for. He became early and enthusiastically identified with 


the Society and the aims of the Universal Friend. Late in 
the same year (1787) that t!te committee of exploration visited 
this region, he was at Niagara negotiating for land with the 
Canadian branch of the Lessee Company. He was here again 
the next year when the Garter was set off to him from the east 
side of township number seven, first range, on behalf of the 
Society ; and in 1789 he came on with his children, his wife 
having previously died. The application to the Land office for 
the territory finally granted to the Society in the name of Par- 
ker, Potter and Hathaway, was in the name of James Parker 
and his associates, a settlement of Friends. 

On an old map of the Gore in the writer's possession, James 
Parker's place, (413 acres,) was a little eastward of Smith's 
Mills, and his first residence was in a log house on the road to 
Norris' Landing. He afterwards erected a fine framed house, 
near the outlet and close by the location of the large mill he 
built about 1816, where he also had a saw mill. The mill was 
situated where the Henderson mill is now. Mr. Parker's mill 
was in after years destroyed by fire, and his house is no longer 
standing. The first Justice of the Peace in what is now Yates 
County, was James Parker, and probably the first west of Sene- 
ca Lake. In 1793, a party of three young couples crossed 
Seneca Lake from Ovid to find a Justice of the Peace to marry 
them, and James Parker was the magistrate that performed the 
ceremony. The last of that wedding party, Abram A. Covert, 
was till quite recently among the living. Mr. Parker held the 
office of Justice of the Peace by appointment of the Governor, 
for several years, and his docket, still in the hands of his grand- 
son, Dr. Henry Barden, shows that suing was a very popular 
employment of the people in those days, though it would ap- 
pear that few of the prosecutions resulted in trials. The sep- 
aration of James Parker from the Friend's Society, occurred 
very early in the history of the new settlement, and whatever 
its cause, was the root of much hostility and ill-feeling between 
the seceding and adhering portions of that community. For 
about twenty years thereafter Mr. Parker was identified with 


the Free Will Baptists, and a popular and influential preacher 
in that denomination. Upon his revolt from the doctrine of 
eternal punishment, they withdrew their fellowship from him, 
and in his last years he was a member of the Methodist church. 
His death occurred in 1829, at the age of nearly eighty-six, 
and he was buried in the family burying ground of Otis Barden 
in Benton. 

James Parker Avas a man of ability and a natural leader 
among men, and it is much to his credit, that the embittered 
controversies and animosities growing out of his changed atti- 
tude toward the Friend, did not chill the warmth of his heart 
nor diminish his faith in human nature. He led an industrious, 
cheerful, ambitious life to the end. His first wife and the 
mother of his children, was Elizabeth, the sister of Ezekiel 
Shearman, the original explorer of the country, and father of 
Bartleson Shearman of Jerusalem. Their seven children were 
Henry, Mary, Alice, Oliver, Elizabeth, Nancy and Catharine. 
Henry died young, Mary became the wife of Griffin B. Hazard, 
Alice of Thomas Prentiss, Elizabeth of Otis Barden, Nancy of 
Levi Benton, junior, Catharine of James Whitney of Hopewell. 
Oliver married his cousin, Hannah Shearman, and had a large 
family of children. He resided on the Gore for a time, and 
afterwards in Barrington, from whence he removed to Steuben 
county. The Prentiss family were connected with James Par- 
ker in the erection of the large mill before alluded to, which 
proved a disastrous enterprise financially. One of the sons, 
Oliver Prentiss, a member of the celebrated Shaker Societv, at 
Mt. Lebanon, N. Y., has recently written a number of inter- 
esting sketches of early history in this county for the Yates 
County Chronicle. They afford evidence that the ancestral 
fire has not expired. James Parker married for his second wife 
Esther Whitney, the mother of Jonas Whitney. After her 
death he married a third wife, Miriam, the widow of Jonathan 
Hazard, and sister of Reuben Gage. She survived him, and 
drew his Revolutionary pension till her death. Numerous 
descendants of James Packer will be noticed in coming chap- 
ters, as connected with the families to which they belong. 




The Malin family were from Philadelphia, and there came 
here Elijah, Rachel, Margaret, Enoch, Mary, John and Abi- 
gail. Of these Rachel and Margaret became members of the 
Friend's family, where they lived and died, devoted to the 
Friend, and faithful, personal and doctrinal adherents. They 
were women of attractive presence, mild and gentle manners, 
and kind hearts. 

Abigail lived unmarried, and did not come to Jerusalem till 
sometime after the decease of the Friend, but afterwards lived 
there with her sisters, dying at eighty years of age. 

Eliiah married Deborah, the widow of Benajah Botsford, 
and youngest sister of the Friend. He was a skillful carpen- 
ter and built the Friend's house which still stands in Torrey. 
He was for some years an inmate of the Friend's family. After 
his marriage to Deborah, they had a place on the north border 
of the Friend's premises in the valley, where they lived to be 
aged persons. Fifty acres now owned by Moses Hartwell, was 
willed to him by Deborah, who was his aunt, Moses being a 
eon of Elizabeth Hartwell, another sister of the Friend. 

Enoch married Eliza Richards, the only daughter of Sarah 
Richards, who eloped from the Friend's house in the hour of 
meeting, making her exit through a window, to become his 
wife. Enoch, too, was a carpenter and mill builder, and erect- 
ed the first mill in Penn Yan by contract with Lewis Birdsall, 
and for him. At an early period he kept a tavern for a time in 
a log building about a mile north of the Hathaway place, in 
what is now Torrey. He died in Canada long before the law- 
suits were ended which grew out of the sales he and his wife 
made of the Friend's domain, claiming the right of inheritance 
from Eliza's mother, who owned the property in trust for the 
Friend. Eliza also died early in Ohio, and they left two sons, 
David and Avery. 

John, another brother, came about 1820, and he too was an 
ingenious worker in wood. He had two sons and two daugh- 
ters. The sons were George W. and David. George W. was 


a physician. He married Rosetta Hyers from New Jersey, and 
practiced medicine in Jerusalem, living several years where 
William Blanshard now resides. David became a distinguished 
minister of the Presbyterian faith, and married a daughter of 
Judge Porter of Prattsburg. Both George and David reside 
now in Philadelphia. The daughters of John were Rebecca 
and Sarah. Rebecca married William S. Hudson, lately de- 
ceased, of Benton, leaving four children, Susan, Margaret, Mary 
and William. Sarah married John Gardner, of Potter, and 
left one daughter, Sarah, now married to Newton G. Genung. 

Mary Malin married a man by the name of Hopkins, and 
bore him two children, a daughter Mary and a son James. 
She married for a second husband James Beaumont, and her 
children by the second marriage, were Joseph H. Beaumont, 
of Penn Yan, Sarah, the wife of Elijah Spencer, and George, 
who lived unmarried. Mary, her daughter by the first mar- 
riage, became the wife of Jacob Rensselaer, whose daughter 
Mary Ann Rensselaer, married George Clark. 

Elizabeth married Thomas Clark ; they were not among the 
first comers, but arrived about 1795. Clark was a superior 
mechanic, and the builder of the Friend's house in Jerusalem. 
He settled at Hopeton, where he purchased a village lot, and 
moved from there after he finished the Friend's house, about 
1S15, to Eddy town. They had two daughters, Nancy and 
Rachael, and one son Thomas. Nancy married John J. Smith, 
a wealthy resident of Hopeton, who moved to Starkey. 
Rachael married Henry Brown, a brother of James Brown, 
junior, of the Friend's Society. They had a daughter Zeruah 
and a son Harrison. Zeruah married Anthony Ryal, of Tor- 
rey. Harrison lives in Jerusalem. Thomas Clark, junior, mar- 
ried Jane Pluramer, of Starkey, and moved west. 

A few of the descendants of Mary and Elizabeth Malin, are 

all that remain of that rather remarkable family in Yates 





Three brothers, Elnathan, Jonathan and Abel Botsford, were 
among the earliest settlers of the Friend's Society, coming in 
1789. Elnathan was a British soldier in the French war previ- 
ous to the Revolution, but was a staunch defender of the Colo- 
nial cause when the time of separation from England arrived. 
He was also a very prominent and influential member of the 
Society, which sought to build a new social system in the west- 
ern wilderness. He married Lucy, the sister of Asahel Stone, 
senior, and had six children — Benajah, Sarah, Mary, Lucy, 
Ruth and Elnathan. He and his brother Jonathan had a large 
farm on the Gore, some part of which is now known as the 
Embree farm. Elnathan, junior, his son, came with the first 
company of settlers, and remained over the first winter, when 
he went back to New Milford for the rest of the family. 

In the Spring of 1798, Elnathan, junior, his brother, Bena- 
jah, and his brother-in-law, Achilles Comstock, agreed with 
Charles Williamson for a tract of land near the present site of 
Dundee. They built a log house and chopped a large fallow 
before the land was surveyed. The surveyors, in running the 
lines of lots, placed the corners of four lots about the middle 
of their falloAV, two of the lots belonging on one location, 
and two on another The fire in the meantime broke out 
in the woods, burnt over their fallow and burnt up their house 
and its contents. They then went to Jerusalem, and made 
that purchase of Enoch and Eliza Malin, of a strip of land on 
the north side of the Friend's domain, one hundred rods wide 
and two miles long, (400 acres,) out of which grew the long 
and embittered litigation, which has been described in a pre- 
ceding chapter, and which resulted in sustaining their title, 
and confirming that of the Friend to the rest of her lands. 
Elnathan Botsford and his family were by this unfortunate issue 
forever alienated from the Friend, and sundered from the So- 
ciety, a loss of grave importance. 

Elnathan Botsford, senior, was one of the venerated patri- 
archs of the land, and his name is held in high regard by his 


descendants. He was hale and cheerful, and a great favorite 
with his grand-children. His later years were passed in Jeru- 
salem, where he died at the age of eighty-eight, after sustain- 
ing a very active and prominent part in the early settlement of 
the country. His son Bonajah, married Deborah Wilkinson, 
the youngest sister of the Friend, and died in 1801 by falling 
from a load of hay. His daughter, Sarah, married Achilles 
Comstock ; Mary married Thomas Hathaway, junior ; Lucy 
married Stephen, a brother of the Friend. 

Elnathan, junior, married his cousin Aurelia, the daughter of 
Asahel Stone, senior. His children were Anna, Lucy, Aurelia, 
Lorenzo and Elnathan. Anna married Daniel Sutton, of Ben- 
ton ; Lucy married Amos Genung, and has one son, Newton 
G. ; Aurelia married James Olney, and has two children, Lucy 
Ann and Floyd ; Lorenzo married Elizabeth, daughter of Bal- 
tus Wheeler, and has two children, Asahel and Martha Jane. 
These are both married, Asahel to Elizabeth, daughter of Na- 
thaniel Keech, and Martha Jane to Edwin Thomas, both of 

Elnathan Botsford, of the third generation, married Mary, 
the daughter of Baltus Wheeler, and has three sons, Arestes, 
Miles and Millard. . 

Ruth, the fourth daughter of Elnathan Botsford, senior, mar- 
ried first, Daniel Comstock, brother of Achilles, and had a son 
Daniel, who died in Texas. Her second husband was Rufus 
Gale, who lived first in Middlesex and afterwards west. 

Jonathan Botsford, of the original family, had two sons and 
four daughters. Elizabeth, one of the daughters, married 
Abel Hunt, son of the elder Adam Hunt. Abigail married 
Jacob Nichols ; Achsa married John Supplee ; Peace married 
John Fitzwater. Of the sons, Jonathan died young, and Elijah 
married Margaret Scott, who still survives at the age of ninety- 
six. Elijah bad two sons, Elijah B. and Samuel ; the first was 
an indefatigable traveler, and died of cholera in 1832, at Plaque- 
mine, on the Mississippi river. Samuel married Hester Spang- 
ler, and has three children. He is a prominent citizen of Jeru- 


salem, and was elected County Clerk in 18G1, and served a 
term in that office. His mother, almost a centenarian, still re- 
counts the early incidents of the new settlement. She came in 
1790, with her mother and sister Orpha, and a company which 
included Adam Hunt, Isaac Nichols, Silas Spink, Seth Jones, 
Nicholas Briggs, John Briggs, and Esther Briggs. Silas Spink 
and Isaac Nichols, she says, were expert rowers, and it took 
twenty days to reach Geneva from Schenectady. Mrs. Bots- 
ford made her husband a coat the year they were married, 
carding the wool herself, spinning and weaving the yarn and 
coloring the cloth. It was sent to Geneva for fulling. Her 
sister Orpha, who was one of the earliest school teachers, mar- 
ried Perley Gates, and died at the age of ninety-seven. Her 
husband was one of the steadfast Friends, like his father before 
him, and a very worthy man. He died in 1829, upwards of 

Abel Botsford had a fine estate next to the Friend's place, in 
what is now Torrey, where he died in 1817 a man of wealth. 
The inventory of his personal property, made by George Sis- 
son and James Brown, junior, was over $3,500 in the moderate 
valuations of that day. Abel Botsford has no living descend- 
ants except those of his daughter Mary, who married Robert 
Buckley, whose son, Samuel Botsford Buckley, is the present 
State Geologist of Texas. 


Asahel Stone was from New Milford, in Connecticut. He 
was married to Anna Sherwood in 17S0. She died in 1852 at 
the age of ninety-two, and he in 1833 at the age of seventy -five. 
They early became members of the Friend's Society. He was 
one who came with the first company of settlers, and helped to 
clear the ground for the first crop of wheat, and brought his 
wife and three children in 1789. Mr. Stone was one of the 
pillars in the Society, firm and steadfast through life, was a 
speaker in the meetings and a man highly regarded by his fel- 
low men. His children were Aurelia, Mary and Asahel. The 
youngest was named by the Friend herself after his father and 


grand-father. After a few years residence in the Friend's Set- 
tlement, Mr. Stone bonght a farm in what is now Potter, which 
he subsequently sold to Abraham Lain, and since known as the 
Lain farm. He then returned to his former home near Seneca 
Lake, and after a few years settled on a homestead about a 
mile south of Yatesville, and east of the Friend's premises, 
where he died. Mrs. Stone did not adhere to the Friends in 
her later years. 

Aurelia, their eldest daughter, married Elnathan Botsford, 
junior. They settled on the homestead of his father in Jeru- 
salem, where she still resides a widow at the age of eighty- 
nine, with her son-in-law, Amos Genung. Her memory is re- 
tentive, and her mind clear and active. Aside from deafness, 
she appears to be in the full enjoyment of her natural powers, 
and full of interesting recollections. 

Mary married Dr. Nathan L. Kidder of Benton, and still 
lives a widow at the age of eighty-seven, on what is known as 
the Dr. Kidder farm, enjoying great physical and mental vigor 
for her years. 

Asahel Stone, junior, married Rebecca, the daughter of South- 
mit Guernsey, of Gorham. They settled in Italy Hollow, 
where he built the first saw and grist mill. He was the first 
Supervisor of Italy. After selling out there he built mills at 
Naples, where he pursued an active business for some years, 
when he sold to James L. Monier, and returned to the old 
homestead in Jerusalem. Finally he emigrated to Athens, 
Michigan, where he was an extensive and successful farmer. 
He left three daughters who all reside in Michigan. Ann 
married Alfred Holcomb of Naples ; Sabra, Benjamin Ferris 
of Naples ; Laura, Norton Hobart, a son of Baxter Hobart of 


Richard Smith was a native of Groton, Connecticut. His 
wife was Elizabeth Allen, descended from a family of that 
name who landed in the May Flower on Plymouth Rock in 
1620. Mr. Smith became early identified with the Friend and 


her Society, and came with the earliest emigration to the New 
Jerusalem, leaving his family and possessions to unite his des- 
tinies with his religious brethren. The first grist mill as well 
as the first saw mill was in part his property when first built, 
and his labor and means contributed largely to their erection. 
A memorandum in the old family Bible read as follows : "4th 
of July, 1790. I have this day completed my grist mill, and 
have ground ten bushels of Rye." Again — "July 5. I have 
this day ground ten bushels of wheat, the same having been 
raised in the immediate neighborhood last year, (1789.)" 

His children were Russell, David and Jonathan, twins, Avery 
and Sarah. When about fourteen years of age, Avery sudden- 
ly left the homestead in Connecticut, and unknown to the family, 
found his way to the home of his father, who, on his application 
for work, hired him without knowing him to be his own son. 
He soon influenced the other members of the family to join the 
father, and after ten years of separation, they were thenceforward 
residents here. The oldest son, Russell, died in Connecticut, 
and Jonathan was drowned in a tan vat. The house of Friend 
Smith, as he was usually called, was a little west of the Mills 
on the north side of the stream. Hannah Baldwin and others 
of the Society kept house for him during the early years. A 
fine property, consisting of mills, tannery and real estate, in- 
herited from wealthy ancestors, was disposed of when they 
came here. Of the children who came, David died early of 
what was called yellow fever, and his is one of the earliest 
graves in the Penn Yan cemetry. His headstone reads — "Born 
1778, died 1805." 

Avery, who was two years younger, married Lament, the 
daughter of David Wagener, some years his junior. He set- 
tled at the mill, and from that time had chief charge of the 
property, consisting of the mills and about two hundred acres 
of land adjoining. The father, who remained a steadfast and 
Faithful Friend to the last, lived in the same log house he first 
built, nearly forty years. Both parents resided with the son at 
the time of their decease, his house being on the hill just above 


and south of the mills. Richard Smith died in 1836, at the 
age of ninety, and his wife died in 1838, at the age of eighty- 
four. In 1818 Avery Smith sold the mill property to James 
Lee, and took up his residence on the opposite farm, known as 
the Griffin B. Hazard place. Avery Smith held the rank of 
Colonel in the wa~ ->f 1812, and served with the 103d Regi- 
ment, under General Hugh Brady, through the war. Joshua 
Lee was Surgeon of this regiment, and Jeremiah B. Andrews 
an attendant. In 1826, Avery Smith represented Yates county 
in the Assembly, and he was always a prominent and influen- 
tial citizen. His family numbered twelve children. 

Elizabeth A became the wife of William Armstrong. She 
is now a widow at her home in the town of Seneca, Ontario 
county, and has three children, Berian, Rebecca and William. 
David W. married Sarah A., the daughter of George V. Hazard, 
of Milo, and is a farmer in Jerusalem. His children are Eliza- 
beth, Frank, Sarah, Avery and Anna. 

Richard M. is a well-known citizen of Penn Yan, and has 
been employed as a subordinate and principal in the United 
States Indian Agency in Michigan for nearly twenty years, 
and until a recent date, where his work has greatly tended to 
the protection and regeneration of the natives. Mr. Smith 
married Elizabeth A. Beach, of New Windsor, Orange county, 
and settled in Penn Yan, where they have since resided. 
Their children are Helen Augusta, the wife of Charles Strow- 
bridge, and Mary Castuer. 

Rebecca W. married Zenas P. Wise of Benton, where she 
died, leaving one daughter, since dead. Jackson J. married and 
resides in Minnesota, near St. Anthony. Sarah L. married 
Thomas Briggs of Milo, and died leaving no children. Mary 
M. married for her second husband, Thomas Briggs, and also 
died leaving no children. Avery A. is a resident of Eugene 
City, Oregon, where he married. George S. emigrated to 
Texas, Rachel J. married Mr. Dunn of Dundee, and went to 
Kansas. Charles T. also married and went to Kansas. 


Sarah, the only daughter of Richard Smith, the elder, was 
born January 15, 1780,' married in 1803 James Lee, the broth- 
er of Dr. Joshua Lee. She became the mother of a large 
family, and died in 1858, at the age of seventy-seven, 


Benjamin Brown, senior, came from New London, Connecti- 
cut, with the earliest settlers and with a large family, and loca- 
ted just eastward of the Friend's house in the original settle- 
ment, where he lived and died very aged before the close of 
the last century. Among his brothers were' James, Micajah, 
Elijah and Daniel, all early settlers. Among his children were 
Benjamin, Sarah, Catharine, Desiah and Frances. The father 
was one of the best of men, and was held in high estimation. 
He was one of the devout and abiding Friends. 

Benjamin, junior, married Penelope, the daughter of Judge 
William Potter. They had one child, Penelope, who became 
the wife of Israel Arnold. 

Sarah became the wife of Arnold Potter, the most distin- 
guished of William Potter's sons. She and her husband were 
both early disciples of the Friend, and belonged to her retinue 
on her first visit to Philadelphia. The wife remained a faithful 
and firm adherent while she lived, and her husband fell off with 
the early schism in the new settlement. 

Catharine was the wife of David Fish, the Nimrod of the 
New Jerusalem. He was celebrated for hunting and fishing, 
and it is said built upwards of thirty huts in the woods, and 
about the lakes and streams of the new settlement, for his 
convenience in the pursuits which absorbed his principal atten- 
tion. He had followed the life of a sailor, and has been termed 
"Commodore Fish." The children of this family were Daniel, 
David and Charlotte. It is said some of their descendants still 
live in Torrey. 

Desiah was the wife of Rows Perry of Middlesex. 

Frances married her cousin, Joshua Brown of Potter, a 
brother of James Brown, junior. 


The children of James Brown, senior, were Joshua and Jesse 
twins, James, junior, George and Henry. Jesse married a 
daughter of David Culver of Culverstown, at the head of 
Seneca Lake, and lived in Benton where he has descendants. 

Henry married Rachel Clark, a niece of Rachel Malin, and is 
now an aged resident of Benton. His second wife was Eliza- 
beth Carrol. Of his first wife's children, Zeruah married An- 
thony Ryal, and had four children Lucy A., Rachel, Mary 
and John H. Lucy A. married William Kress, and Rachel 
married Starkey Kress. Both live in Reading. John IT. is 
married and lives in Torrey. 

Henry H., the son of Henry Brown, married Amanda Hnzle- 
ton, and they reside in Jerusalem. They have four children, 
Maria, Henry, Mary and Oliver. Henry H. has a second wife. 
His daughter Mary married Peter Blakesly. 

James Brown, junior, the Friend, was born in Connecticut 
in 177C. From about 1810, till long after th'e decease of the 
Friend, he was superintendent of the estate and a member of 
the household. His oldest daughter Margaret, is the wife of 
Charles L. Townsend of Jerusalem. 

George, the brother of James Brown, junior, married Martha 
Luther, and settled on the homestead in Benton, where she died, 
leaving two children, Cephas and Anna. He then married 
Sarah, the sister of Dr. Nathan Kidder of Benton, and died 
leaving three children by the second marriage, Dennis, Anna 
and Martha. Cephas and Darius emigrated to Cold water, 


Samuel Barnes was of Puritan descent, the third in the 
genealogical line of the same name, and a Connecticut farmer 
when he and his family united with the Friend's Society. His 
wife was Abigail Dains, sister of the Dains brothers of the 
'Friend's Society. Their eldest son Parmelee came to the New 
Jerusalem with the settlers of 1789, and Elizur, the next son, 
in 1791. The parents came with the remaining children, 



Julius, Samuel and Henry, in March, 1793, with a sleigh 
and horses, driven by Daniel, a son of Eleazer Ingraham, by 
way of Albany, a jom-ney of sixteen days. They contracted 
for land of Charles Williamson, near Himrods, where they 
cleared 22 acres, and remained till 1800, when they sold 
out and removed to Jerusalem. They took up a home in what 
was then a dense wilderness, on the "Asa Richard's lot," where 
the wild animals made it very difficult for years to rear those 
of the domestic species. After clearing a little space, they 
moved on a homestead near by of 21 acres, deeded to his pa- 
rents by the elder son, Parmalee Barnes. Here the father died 
in 1809 at the age of sixty-six. His wife, a most estimable 
matron, died in 18-42, at the age of ninety-two. 

Parmalee Barnes died in 1820 without children. His widow 
married Peter Kinney of Benton, whose son Jonathan Kinney, 
married Almira, a daughter of Samuel Barnes, junior. 

Ehzur Barnes married Experience, a daughter of Nathaniel 
Ingraham, and lived in Jerusalem, west of Larzelere's Hollow, 
where he died. His widow still survives at the age of eighty- 
six. Their children were Huldah, Amy, Mary and Ira. Hul- 
dah became the second wife of Jesse Davis ; Amy married 
Cornelius Van Scoy. The others died unmarried. 

Julius Barnes became the third husband of Mis. Keturah 
Updegrove, and had two children, Alvira and Samuel. Alvira 
was a school teacher nearly foi'ty years ago in Jerusalem and 
Italy, and still lives unmarried. Samuel married Saloma Tor- 
rance, and moved to Wisconsin. Two of his sons Ay ere killed 
in battles of the Rebellion fighting for the Union. 

Samuel Barnes, junior, married Rachel Meek, sister of Charles 
Meek, and lived and died on a farm of 110 acres, a mile west 
of Larzelere's in Jerusalem, bought of Jacob Wagener. His 
children were Abigail, James, Almira, Mary Ann, George, 
Daniel D. and Rosetta. Abigail married first, Lewis Finch, 
and still lives in Pultney with John Waterous, her second hus- 
band. James married Submit Rogers and lives in Allegany 
county. Almira is the widow of Jonathan Kinney, before 


mentioned, and has five children — Elizabeth, Samuel, James, 
Henry and Melaucthon. Of these, Elizabeth is the wife of 
John H. Robson of Geneva ; Jane, of George Huie of Sene- 
ca, and Charles married Eliza Mc Gonegal of Geneva. Mary 
Ann, the fourth child of Samuel Barnes, married Peter Finger, 
a farmer of Jerusalem, and has one son and one daughter. 
George and Samuel are unmarried, and David D. married Mar- 
garet, the daughter of John G. Lown of Jerusalem, and lives 
in southwest Benton. They have two children. Rosetta mar- 
ried Andrew Finger of Benton, and they have three children. 
Mary Ann, Almira and Rosetta have been school teachers of 
Yates county. 

Henry Barnes, the youngest of the original family, is now 
eighty years old. He was born and reared in the midst of the 
Friend's Society, and has been true to his early education. 
For sixty-eight years he has led a religious life in conformity 
to the doctrine and precepts of the Friend, with whom he was 
a favorite from a child. He was a member of the Friend's 
household for many years, and regarded that place as his home, 
until counsels not congenial to his views obtained an influence 
there. In early life he was a farmer and a cooper. In 1814 
he settled with Abraham Dox, at Hopeton, for 1,600 flour bar- 
rels he had made for him. He commenced school teach; 
ing in 1823, almost wholly self-prepared, having enjoyed but 
fifteen weeks schooling in his childhood. He proved a very 
competent and popular teacher, and taught thirty terms of 
school in Jerusalem, Milo, Potter, Benton and Italy, the last 
one a very successful term in Italy, at the age of seventy-six. 
Twelve years he served as Inspector of Schools in Jerusalem, 
and once as Town Superintendent in Wheeler, where he resided 
twelve years. He was accurate, painstaking and conscientious 
in all his labors. He was married at the age of forty-six to 
Sarah Whitney, sister of Dr. David Whitney of Jerusalem, 
and after her decease to Elizabeth Mills, the widow of David 
Mills of Benton, who also died several years ago, leaving him 
no children. He has lod a devout, upright and industrious life, 


and now in his eighty-first year is a subject of remarkable 
interest as the last male survivor of the remarkable Society of 
Public Universal Friends, and the only one now competent to 
give a clear account of its history from personal experience and 
observation. His excellent memory and conscientious state- 
ments, have aided greatly in furnishing information for this 


Jonathan, Castle, Jesse, Ephraim and Abigail Dains, were a 
family of Connecticut birth, who came to the New Jerusalem 
with the earliest pioneers, and all but Ephraim were at first of 
the Friend's Society. Their Father was Henry Dains, who 
married Margaret Bates of Rhode Island, and this matron lived 
to be one hundred years old. Abigail, her daughtei*, became 
the wife of Samuel Barnes, senior, of the Friend's Society, and 
the mother of the Barnes family. 

Jonathan Dains married Mary Green of Connecticut, and had 
six children, Margaret, Francis, Lavina, Stephen, Jonathan and 
Mar}% The father, who was an industrious man and useful 
citizen, died in Jerusalem, in the ninety-third year of his age, 
a firm adherent of the Friend to the last. The oldest 
daughter, Margaret, married John Weston of Connecticut, and 
lived to be eighty-six years old. Francis was never married. 
Lavina lived unmarried, and was an exemplary member of the 
Friend's family. She died in 1850 at the age of eighty-six. 
Stephen, after the loss of his first wife, who was the mother of 
a daughter, Eliza, that died a young woman, married Rachel 
Fitzwater. They had several children and removed to Michi- 
gan, where he died advanced in years. George Dains of Jeru- 
salem, is a son of Stephen Dains. George married Mary Hop- 
kins, and for his second wife, Elizabeth Hopkins, and has four 
children. Mary Dains, the youngest of the children of Jona- 
than Dains, senior, married Ephraim Kinney, and settled in 
Potter, afterwards going west. 

Jonathan Dains, junior, married Nancy Mc Graw, and had 
eight children, John, Jesse, Francis, Cyrus, Orilla, Perry, Rich- 


ard and Ezra. Of these, John married Catharine Saunders of 
Jerusalem, and has two sons and one daughter. Jesse, who 
also resided in Jerusalem, married Chloe Stark, and died leav- 
ing two daughters. Francis, who is a well-known shoemaker 
in Penn Yan, married Mary Jane Lewis, daughter of George 
Lewis, who established the Seneca Patriot, a newspaper at 
Ovid, in 1815, and has two children, Henry Clay and Libbie. 
Henry Clay is a graduate of the U. S. Military Academy at 
West Point, and a Second Lieutenant in the U. S. Artillery 
service. Libbie is the wife of Francis M. Gifford. Cyrus 
Dains married Jane Stout of Potter, is a merchant at Potter 
Center, and has one child, a daughter. Orilla Married Jose- 
phus Barrett of Jerusalem, and has three children, one of 
whom, George, perished in the rebel prison at Andersonville. 
Perry Dains is a thrifty gardener of Penn Yan. He married 
Ann Sherratt and has no children. Richard is another shoe- 
maker of Penn Yan. He married Sarah Tucker and has one 
daughter. Ezra is also married and resides in Michigan. 

Castle Dains married Joanna Barman, in the State of Con- 
necticut. He was a revolutionary soldier, and in the Census of 
1840 was returned as ninety-one years old. He died three 
years later at the age of ninety-four. He was a carpenter and 
made ox yokes and plows. He and his brother Jonathan were 
both very ingenious mechanics, the latter being a tanner ; and 
they were both noted cattle and horse doctors. Castle was also 
famous for his efficiency in curing the bites of rattlesnakes, 
which he did by means of some plant known to him which 
grew in the woods. His children were Salmon, Elizabeth, 
Abel, Saloma and Simeon. Salmon left home about the age of 
twenty-five, and it was reported that he was seized in New 
York by the Press Gang and forced on board a British Man 
of War. He was not afterwards heard from. Elizabeth mar- 
ried Benjamin Durham, celebrated as an excellent mill-wright 
of the early days. Their descendants are numerous in Jerusa- 
lem. Abel Dains married Mrs. Clarissa Baker, who had been 
Clarissa Bellonge, and had four sons, not known to the writer. 


Saloma married William Torrance. They have several chil- 
dren and live in Steuben county. Simeon married Kitty Bel- 
longe, and .lives, advanced in years, at Branchport. He has 
had a large family, few of whom are known to reside in Yates 
county. One of his sons died from service in the war of the 
rebellion. A daughter, Eliza, married first, Chester Lamb, and 
for a second husband, James Paris, lately deceased. 

Jesse Dains married Chloe Thompson of Connecticut. He 
was a shoemaker and a farmer, and lived in Milo. For many 
years he did the shoemaking for the Friend's family, and was a 
superior workman. He and his family did not adhere to the 
Friend's Society after the divisions occurred in the Friend's 
Settlement. His children were David, Jesse, Orilla, Therza 
and Eli. 

David married Sarah, a sister of Aaron Remer, and his chil- 
dren were Mahala, Rebecca, Thompson, Richmond, Abram R., 
Chloe, Jane, Esther and Bryant. Mahala married Silas Rider. 
Rebecca married Arnold Raplee, near Himrods, and has two 
daughters living, Susan and Sarah. Thompson married. Susan 
Peters and lives in New Jersey. Richmond married Polly 
Burtch, resides in Torrey, and has four children, Antoinette, 
Clarissa, Francis and Clark. Abram R. married Matilda Tay- 
lor, resides in Torrey and has four daughters. Chloe married 
Myron IT. Durham of Jerusalem. Jane married Andrew Hew- 
itt, and lives west with two children. Esther died single. 
Bryant was a soldier in the army of the Union during the late 
war, and died in the service. 

Jesse Dains, junior, married Mary, a sister of George and 
Benjamin Youngs, and had the following children : Avery, 
Josephus, Nancy, George, Aaron, Mary and Fanny. Avery 
married and took up his residence west, as did Josephus. 
Nancy married Alexander Hodge, and lives in Italy Hollow. 
George married Eliza, daughter of Samuel Headly. Mary is 
the widow of the late Stephen H. Cleveland of Milo. Fanny 
died single. Orilla married Ezra Raplee, lives at Himrods, 
and has five children, all of whom are married. Therza died 


young. Eli resides in Pennsylvania. Aaron married Acbsa, a 
sister of Timothy Supplee, resides at Himrods and has a family 
of children. 

Ephraim Dains was not of the Friend's Society. He mar- 
ried Jane Stedman, and was a farmer and hunter. He was 
celebrated for deer and wolf hunting, and among his children 
were Henry, Ira, Samuel, Orpha and others. The whole fami- 
ly emigrated west many years ago. 

This is a brief sketch of one of the most extensive of the 
early families, and an important one in the early history of the 


Elizabeth Luther came from Rhode Island with the first set- 
tlers of the New Jerusalem, accompanied by her children, 
Sheffield, Reuben, Beloved, Elisha, Jonathan, Mary, Bethany 
and Martha. She was a woman of excellent character, a devo- 
ted Friend and a good mother. The family lived at first in the 
Friend's Settlement, and afterwards in Jerusalem. Sheffield 
married and lived on the Gore, where he died an aged and 
much respected man. Reuben was never married, but lived 
with his mother and died in advanced age a highly respected 
Friend. Beloved was another man of sterling character and a 
firm Friend. He married Sarah, a daughter of Lydia Wood. 
Their children were Peleg, Stephen and Lydia. Of them, 
Stephen and Lydia died before reaching middle life ; and of 
Peleg, little is known. 

Elisha Luther married first, Elizabeth, a daughter of Jede- 
diah Holmes, and they had two children, a son and a daughter. 
The daughter married Aaron Van Marter, and lives in Hector, 
Schuyler county. For his second wife, Elisha married Sidna 
Barrett, a widow, and the mother of Azor Barrett, of Jerusa- 
lem. By this marriage there were five children, David, Debo- 
rah, Mary, John and Elisha, junior. David married Eliza 
Smalley and moved to Michigan. Deborah become the wife of 
Jeremiah S. Burtch of Jerusalem ; and Mary, the wife of 


McDowell Boyd of Jerusalem, and died in 1867. She was 
the mother of five sons and two daughters. 

John Luther married Mary, the daughter of George Briggs 
of Potter, and lives in Jerusalem on his father's homestead. 
They have two children, Elisha and Sarah. Elisha married a 
Miss Elvoy and lives in Chicago with three children. Sarah 
is the wife of Charles Waterous, and resides in Jerusalem. 

Jonathan Luther went to the west many years ago, and 
Mary married Reuben Hudson ; was a firm Friend and died on 
her homestead in Jerusalem. Bethany was the wife of George 
Sisson, a very worthy woman and the mother of a large family. 
Martha married George, the brother of James Brown, junior, 
of the Friend's Society, and had two children, Cephas, a wagon- 
maker, and a very lovely daughter who died at the age of ten 

The original Luther family, except Jonathan, were all mem- 
bers of the Friend's Society, and exemplary people, whose 
lives were a credit to their religious pretentions. 


Two brothers, Elisha and Eleazer Ingraham, and their cousin, 
Nathaniel, were among the early settlers of the Friend's Society. 
They were all married and had families, and lived in the 
Friend's Settlement. Elisha's children were Jerusha, Asa and 
Lament. The parents died when Lament was an infant, and 
she was reared in the family of Asahel Stone, senior. She 
married first, William Pearce, and after his death Daniel Sutton. 
They both live now in Jerusalem at an advanced age. Asa 
lived with the Friend till he grew up, learned the shoemaker's 
trade and moved to Canada, 

Eleazer Ingraham's children were Daniel, Philo, Eleazer, 
junior, John, Abigail, Lydia, Rachel, Lament and Patience. 
Daniel moved the Barnes family to the Friend's Settlement, 
but never came here to live. Philo married early and went to 
the Wabash region. Eleazer, junior, married Dorcas Gardner, 
sister of George and Abner, of the original family, and settled 
in Pultney, where they reared a large family. He died at a 



very great age. One of his daughters married Rowland Cham- 
plin, junior, and reared a large family in Jerusalem. Another 
daughter of Eleazer, junior, married John Sisson, a grandson 
of George Sisson. They live now at Branchport. 

John married Anna Updegrove, sister to the wife of Jona- 
than Davis. They had one son who married Esther Boyd, and 
reared a family, some of whom now live in Jerusalem. Among 
the names of John's children are Elisha, Mary Ann, Semanthn, 
Rachel and Eleanor. Three of the daughters are school 

Rachel still lives, one of the last of the Friends, at the age 
of eighty-eight. 

Lament married Samuc' Davis, son of Malachi Davis. 

Patience married Asa Brown, son of Micajah Brown. 

Nathaniel Ingraham lived at first in the Friend's Settlement, 
and afterwards on West Hill in Jerusalem. His children were 
Mary, Huldah, Chloe, Nathaniel, Solomon, David and Experi- 
ence. The descendants are mostly out of the county. The 
father was a good man and a staunch Friend. 

His daughter Experience, became the wife of Elizur Barnes, 
and still survives, a widow, at the age of eighty-six, one of the 
three remaining members of the Friend's Society. 

Among the early Friends were two or three families of the 
name of Guernsey, of whom little trace seems left. Daniel 
Guernsey was an important surveyor, and surveyed township 
number seven, second range, into lots, and made the first map 
of that township for Benedict Robinson and Thomas Hatha- 
way. Daniel Guernsey went west in 1812. Southmit Guern- 
sey settled near Rushville, and had a son whom he named Ra- 
phael ; and Raphael had a son Elijah, who married a daughter 
of Elijah Hart well. William Guernsey settled in Potter at an 
early day. A daughter of his was an early school teacher. Little 
more is now known of the Guernseys. 

Jedediah Holmes was an important member of the first set- 
settlement, and a man of some property. His wife was the 
first that died, and hers was the first grave in the City Hill 



Cemetery. They had no boards of which to make a coffin, 
and were obliged to hollow out a log for that use, first splitting 
off a slab which was afterwards laid on for the coffin lid. 
Elizabeth, the daughter of Jedediah Holmes, was the first wife 
of Elisha Luther. Mary, another daughter, is named among 
the devoted sisterhood. 

William Robinson was one of the Friends who came from 
Pennsylvania. At first he lived at John Supplee's, and made 
the first Fanning Mill in the Friend's Settlement, which was 
consequently the first in the country. He Avas always a single 
man ; lived afterwards with William Davis in Jerusalem, and 
was the first person buried in the Friend's burying ground. 
That burial occurred in 1806. The next was that of Mary, 
the wife of Jonathan Dains, senior. 




§HE town of Barrington is formed of so much of township 
^p number six, in the first range of Phelps and Gorham's 
purchase, as lies east of Keuka Lake. Lots 73, 74 and 75 of 
the original survey of that township are west of the lake, and 
included in the town of Jerusalem. This township was one of 
those ceded by Phelps and Gorham to the New York Genesee 
Company, otherwise known as the Lessee Company, in the 
final settlement of their claims ; and like townships seven and 
eight was "draughted," as it was called, after being surveyed 
into lots, and drawn by lot, by those holding stock in the Lessee 
Company. The map of what purports to be the original sur- 
vey of the township by B. Allen, in the writer's possession, 
gives the names of those by whom the lots were drawn. James 
Parker drew lot 64. William Potter drew lot 27, and Benja- 
min Birdsall drew lots 17 and 52. B. Allen, the surveyor, drew 
lots 23 and 36. H. Tremper, lots 53 and 46. L. Tremper, lot 13. 
A. Latting, lot 34. As these lots are all designated on the latest 
county map, (that of 1865,) they can be easily traced. Some 
of the land was afterwards bought by Charles "Williamson, and 
passed to the Pultney estate. Some fell in some way to the 
Hornby estate, and little if any of it was bought by the settlers 
directly from those who drew the several lots on behalf of the 
Lessee Company. The origin of the strip or parallellograin, 
called the Gore, on the south line of Barrington, is not ex- 
plained by the map of B. Allen's survey, and how it occurred 


has not been elucidated by any reseai-ches that have been made 
in the preparation of this work. It has been conjectured that 
it arose from the survey of lots from north to south, by which 
a remnant was left on the south side. If this is the true explana- 
tion, it occurred from a re-survey, made after that of B. Allen, 
ns nothing of the kind was noted on his map. 

The land was heavily timbered in the east and south part 
with a dense growth of pine, and on the westeim slope more 
with oak and other hard wood. The ascent from Keuka Lake 
to the ridge in the middle of the town is quite steep, and is 
said to be not less than four hundred feet higher than Braff 
Point, though no actual measurement of either elevation is re- 
corded. The descent eastward to the Big Stream valley, is 
even more steep, for a considerable distance, and these abrupt 
elevations and depressions, extending to what is called "East 
Hill" in the southeast corner of the town, invest it with a de- 
cidedly rugged appearance, which no doubt aided to give it an 
unfavorable repute with the early settlers of the country. 

For nearly twenty years after the first settlement by the 
Friends on the west bank of Seneca Lake, the now fruitful and 
populous town of Barrington was a dense and uninviting wil- 
derness, and the valley of that branch of Big Stream; known 
as Chubb Hollow, was the favorite refuge for wolves for nearly 
thirty years after the occupation of civilized men had begun 
to make inroads upon the forests. It was an upland which 
looked to the early settlers like a hard and unpromising tract 
of country, and the wolf and deer were left in undisturbed 
possession until what were thought the better lands of Milo 
and Benton had become pretty well occupied. In 1800, Jacob 
Teeples, called Col. Teeples, erected the first habitation on the 
spot where about 1804 he commenced keeping a public house, 
which continued to be kept as a tavern by himself and after- 
wards by Daniel Raplee, Levi Knox, and others for many years, 
and until the village, since known as Warsaw, became the cen- 
tre of affairs in that town. It would seem that Jacob Teeples 
for several years occupied a very isolated position. He was on 


Capt. Williamson's road leading from Geneva to Bath, and that 
became an important highway in later years, but before 1810 it 
was not a route largely traveled. But Jacob Teeples could not 
have been an unsocial man, for he provided cheer for his fellow 
men when they began to pass his door in sufficient numbers to 
make it an object. And a few years later he was sent to the Legis- 
lature as a member of Assembly from Steuben county. He 
served two terms in 1812-13 ; and was also Sheriff of Steuben 
county from 1808 to 1810. He sold his place finally to Daniel 
Raplee, and removed from that town. He was evidently a 
man of considerable prominence, but is remembered now by 
few of the living. After abiding alone in that township half a 
dozen years, there came in 1806 a number of neighbors; peo- 
ple were neighbors then for a dozen miles around. That year 
William Ovenshire bought and located on the place now owned 
by Erasmus Wright. Thomas Bronson took up his residence 
on the place afterwards owned by John Spicer. Oliver Parker, 
the only son of James Parker, on lot 27. William Coolbaugh, 
near the same valley, on land now owned by John Miller. 
Joseph Finton came the same year and located where Joseph 
S. Finton, his son, now resides. James Finley also located in 
1806 on the Bath road, on the town line of Barrington and 
Milo. James and Nehemiah Higby, brothers, and sons-in-law 
of Joseph Finton, settled the same year adjoining Joseph Fin- 
ton, and the same year John Carr located near the lake, on the 
place where Job L. Babcock lived about thirty years. John 
Carr built the first and only grist mill in that town, till the 
past year, when one has been started by Clinton Raplee on 
Big Stream, near the east line of the town. Carr's mill was a 
moderate affair, and was long since discontinued. Mathew 
Knapp soon settled near the old Teeple's tavern, and Peter 
Retan and Janna Osgood in the same neighborhood. A man 
by the name of Granger was the first settler on the farm now 
owned by Erasmus Wright. Granger raised his house on the 
day of the total eclipse of 1806. Eclipses were probably not 
as well advertised then as now, for the people at the house- 
raising were much frightened, till a young man who had read 


of it in a newspaper, told them what was causing the untimely 
darkness, when their fears were allayed, 

It was a region of very abundant game. William Ovenshire 
states that he has seen fifteen deer in a single drove, and has 
known them to come familiarly among his cattle to browse on 
trees cut down for them to feed upon the tender twigs in the 
absence of hay. Every Fall, for several, years, the Indians 
came and occupied their wigwams along Big Stream, and 
hunted through most of the winter. In 1807 a snow fell four 
feet deep in the month of April ; and an immediate thaw,/ol- 
lowed by a hard freeze, left such a crust on the surface of the 
snow, that the wolves could run on it while the deer broke 
through. The consequence was a terrific slaughter of the poor 
helpless deer by the ravenous wolves. A wolf would seize a 
deer, insert his nose in the jugular vein, suck up its blood and 
pass on in pursuit of another. The bodies of slain deer were 
thick in every direction. 

The west side of the town was thickly infested with rattle- 
snakes. Joseph S. Finton relates that his brother and brother- 
in-law, killed nine of these serpents in one half day. But bad- 
ly as these creatures were feared they did but little actual harm, 
and were far less dangerous than the whisky bottles that were 
cherished so warmly by many of the early settlers. They had 
other foes to contend with more difficult to drive away than 
the snakes. Money was hard to get, and ashes were sometimes 
the best commodity they could sell. Peter H. Crosby states 
that he sometimes cut down trees in the woods, and burned 
them for no other purpose but to get the ashes to sell to raise a 
little money. It is not strange that people who stood their 
ground against these hardships, have held a goodly inheritance 
in the land since, and made it smile with plenty. 


Almost alone among the primitive settlers of Barrington, is 
William Ovenshire, a native of the State of Delaware, who is 
still among the living, at the age of eighty-six. When but six 
years old, his father moved to Sheshequin, Pennsylvania, and 



died there a few years later. At the age of twenty he was 
married to Mary Cole, about four miles below Elmira, where 
he then lived, nnd in the Spring of 180G, came to Barrington, 
(then Yfayne,) and bought a farm now owned by Erasmus 
"Wright. He states that at that time there was no road along 
Big Stream, but an Indian trail, and he was obliged to work 
his way as best he could through a dense forest, and around 
fallen trees, which made the route almost impassable. There 
were no inhabitants except a few who were just penetrating 
that region to make a beginning. An old man by the name of 
Doty lived near the present site of the Wayne Hotel, who was 
a manufacturer and vender of counterfeit money, and was 
afterwards sent to the State Prison. After two years residence 
on his first purchase, he found his land extended on the Gore, 
and that its title was doubtful. This induced him to sell his 
interest there, when he bought a place afterwards owned by 
Ezekiel Blue, and now by Joshua Raplee. This he soon ex- 
changed for the one where he has lived sixty-one years, a short 
distance from the Methodist Church. He states that in trading 
for his farm when he left the Gore, the property exchanged 
paid for all but thirty-eight dollars on the new place. A cow 
paid twenty dollars more, and the remaining eighteen dollars 
he raised by selling wheat at fifty cents a bushel. The wheat 
was taken to Melchoir Wagener's mill, at Penn Yan, three 
bushels at a time, on the back of a horse, by a path only recog- 
nized by blazed trees through the woods. Near where the 
Second Milo Baptist Church now stands, there was then a very 
steep place, where steps had been dug in the bank to enable 
travelers to climb it. Up this steep ascent the horse clambered, 
stopping two or three times to get breath. In this way thirty- 
six bushels of wheat finally made the last payment on the farm. 
The land was bought of the Pultney estate at four dollars per 
acre. Mr. Ovenshire was for many years a constable, and 
traveled over all parts of Steuben county, then quite a state of 
itself, in his official capacity. As a constable, and afterwards 
Justice of the Peace, he did a large amount of business for the 
Penn Yan merchants. In those days Penn Yan was "Egypt" 


for Barrington, and many debts had to be collected by legal 
process. As Justice, he sometimes had 30 to 40 precepts 
returned in one day. 

Mr. Ovenshire is the patriarch of the only Methodist Church 
ever organized in Barrington. His own conversion occurred 
in 1809, and he immediately held meetings among his own 
neighbors, and had a class of fifteen organized before any 
preacher could be obtained. Rev. B. G. Paddock gave them 
the first preaching and took them into the Church. Arnpng 
the first admitted to church fellowship in 1810, was William 
Ovenshire and Mary, his wife, Joseph Gibbs and Mary, his wife, 
Joseph Kanaan and wife, Peter Putnam and wife, Mrs. Mary 
Norns, Mrs. Dean, Mrs. Shoults, Mrs. Barnes, and James Tay- 
lor and wife. Among the early preachers were George Hor- 
man, Palmer Roberts, P. Bennett, Reuben Farley, Loring 
Grant, James Gilmore, William Snow, William Kent, Friend 
Draper, Robert Parker, John Beggarly and others ; and of a 
later period there were Asa Story, J. Chamberlain, Ira Fairbanks, 
Allen Steele, Jonas Dodge, and others well known on most of 
the former Methodist circuits of this region. Mr. Ovenshire 
had preaching in his own house about fifteen years. After- 
wards the meetings were held in the nearest school house till 
1842, when the present church was erected in sight of his own 
residence. He was himself the class-leader about thirty years. 
His son, Samuel Ovenshire, with whom the old patriarch now 
lives, is the present class-leader. The church has had one 
hundred and fifty members at one time, and has sixty now. 
The present trustees of the church are Samuel Ovenshire, Cran- 
ston Hewitt, Lewis B. Ovenshire, Myron Ovenshire, and 
Charles Swartz. The second class-leader was Jonathan Young. 
Mr. Ovenshire married a second wife, after the loss of his first 
in 1816. His second marriage was to Elizabeth Gibbs, who is 
still living. He has had fifteen children four of whom were 
children of his first wife, and eleven of the second. Paulina, 
the oldest, born in 1806, married Meli Todd, and lives in Jeru- 
salem. Mi. Todd first married Lydia, the third daughter, who 



died early. They have one son and other adopted children. 
Nancy married Orlando Skiff, had two daughters and died in 
middle life. 

Samuel, the fourth child, and only son of the first wife, born 
1812, married Sophronia Beebe. They have had six children 
Samuel owns the homestead, and takes his father's place in 
business and in the church. William, the next son, married 
Almira Jane Gray, lives near Dundee, and has had four 
ehildreu, cno of whom Sarah Jane, at the age of 22, was killed 
by an accident on the Northern Central Railway in the winter 
of 18G8. Isaac married Matilda Snook. He is now dead, 
leaving six children, who reside in Barrington. Mary married 
first, Rev. Charles W. Barclay, and Gilbert Lamb for her sec- 
ond husband; has no living children. Lewis married Sophro- 
nia Hyatt, and lives in Barrington. They have two children 
living ; one was killed by a horse running away. Morris mar- 
ried Matilda Finton, and lives in Michigan. John married 
Druzilla, daughter of Peter H. Crosby. They live in Barring- 
ton and have three children. Albert married first Sarah Miles, 
and second Mary Lord, and had two children. Susan married 
Thomas Bardman, and lives in Schuyler county. Mr. Ovenshire 
has of sons and daughters, with their wives and husbands, twen- 
ty-two ; grand-children, thirty-one ; great-grand-children, five, 
and two of the fifth generation among his descendants. His 
house has been one of hospitality, and hislife without reproach. 


Joseph Finton was a revolutionary soldier, and came with 
his family into Barrington, (then Wayne,) from New Jersey in 
the Spring of 1 806, and settled on land in the northwest part 
of the town, which, for some unexplained reason, was not run 
into lots and numbered with the original survey. There was 
enough of this land for about five lots, and it was marked 
on an early map as "very poor." Mr. Finton chose this 
location rather than land more heavily timbered in Milo, because 
in the open, less wooded land, there seemed a prospect of soon- 
er getting food for stock, which w r as an object of great impor- 



tance to the pioneer settler. The Bath road at that time was a 
crooked way through the woods, and Mr. Joseph S. Finton. 
who lives now on the spot where his father settled, thinks it 
was not opened as a highway till after the lake road. Their 
first school for that neighborhood, was in a log house, north of 
the Barrington line, near the present residence of Job. L. Bab- 
cock, on land long owned by Jonathan Bailey. The house was 
warmed by a huge old-fashioned fireplace, capable of holding 
almost a cord of wood. School was principally attended Jo in 
the winter ; and Mr. Finton says that on all the pleasant days 
they had to stay at home and break flax. Cotton was not king 
then, and flax wrought by home industry, was the most impor- 
tant element for clothing the family. 

Joseph Finton's children were Mary, Phoebe. Eleanor, Steph- 
en, Charity, Isaac R., Joseph S., Catharine, Susan and Amelia. 
The last was the only one born in Barrington. Mary married 
James Higby. Phcebe married Samuel Carr. Eleanor married 
Nehemiah Higby, and moved to Ohio, where she died. Stephen 
married Mary Ann Maring, and went to Michigan, where she 
died. Charity died at thirty-six unmarried. Isaac R. married 
Esther, a sister of Peter H. Crosby, for his second wife, and 
removed to Steuben county. Catharine married Peter H. Cros- 
by. Susan married John Gibbs, the father of Joseph F. Gibbs. 
Amelia married Samuel Wheaton. 

Joseph S. Finton; Avho resides at the age of sixty-nine, on 
the original homestead, married Mary Porter, and has a second 
wife, Emerancy Gleason. His children are Susan, Mary Ann, 
George W., Joseph, William W. and Druzilla. Susan married 
David Lockwood, and after his decease, George Kels of Bar- 
rington. Mary Ann married Peter S. Bellis. George W. 
married Martha Ann Bailey, and lives in Barrington. Joseph 
married Minerva Spink, and lives on the homestead farm. 
William W. married Amanda Castner, and lives in Michigan. 

Nathan Crosby came from Putnam county in 1812, and set- 
tled near the Crystal Spring in Sunderlin Hollow ; lived there 
two years and went back to Delaware county. A year 



later he returned to Milo and lived three years, and then went 
to Barrington, then Wayne, and settled where his son, Peter 
H. Crosby, now resides, on land adjoining Joseph Finton on 
the south. He died in 1825. His children were Selah, Mari- 
am, Sarah, Esther, Abigail, Peter H. and Cyrus. Selah Crosby 
was one of the early school teachers of Barrington. He taught 
in 1815 and 1816 near the residence of Lodowick Disbrow, on 
the Parker farm, near the Shoemaker place, and taught winters 
for a number of years. Selah Crosby married Fanny Wortman, 
sister of Andrew and Joel Wortman ; has raised a large family 
and lives now, well advanced in years, near where his father 
first settled in Barrington. Few of his descendants remain in 
this county. Mariam, the oldest daughter of Nathan Crosby, 
married David Bennett and went to Michigan. Sarah, the next 
sister, married Thomas Tuttle and also emigrated to Michigan. 
Esther became the second wife of Isaac R. Finton, and died 
sixteen years ago. Abigail married Daniel Holmes, and moved 
to Pennsylvania where she died. Cyrus married, lost his wife 
and went to Texas. 

Peter H. Crosby, now sixty-seven years old, is one of the 
most substantial citizens of Barrington. He married Catharine, 
the daughter of Joseph Finton, and their children are Emillia, 
Alanson, Joseph F., Selah, Druzilla and Isaac. Mr. Crosby 
has long been a leading man in the Baptist Church in Barring- 
ton, a firm supporter of temperance, and prompt and ready in 
the aid of benevolent and reformatory measures. He has held 
numerous town offices, and as commissioner of highways laid 
out many of the roads of the town. His life has been one of 
industry and good example. His recollections are good of the 
early years, when Barrington was principally a forest, and when 
James Finley's tavern on the town line, was but one of ten 
between Penn Yan and the present line of Wayne. His sec- 
ond wife is widow Hair, daughter of Andrew Raplee. Of his 
children, Emillia married John, son of William Mc Dowell, and 
Alanson married Catharine, daughter of William Mc Dowell, 
both living near by in Barrington. Selah married Elsie, anoth- 


cr daughter of William Mc Dowell, and lives on the lake road 
in Harrington. Druzilla married John Ovenshire, and lives on 
the place formerly known as the Putnam farm. Isaac married 
Druzilla Eddy, and lives on the Carr farm, long owned by 
Job L. Babcock. 

Joseph F. Crosby married first, Amanda Ketchum, and for a 
second wife, Phoebe Swarthout. He is an enterprising and 
successful grape grower, at Point Pleasant on the lake ; is an 
active business man, and was Sheriff of Yates county three 
years, beginning with 1865. 


John McDowell came from New Jersey, and \vr 1795 settled 
in Jerusalem, on the west branch of Keuka Lake ; he bought 
land of John Greig, agent of the Hornby Estate, and lost a 
large part of it by the re-survey of the line of Steuben county, 
throwing most of his farm into Ontario instead of Steuben, 
where it was before. He left there about 1808, and lived for a 
time at the foot of Keuka Lake, where he worked land for 
Abraham Wagener. After living there about six years, he set- 
tled on the farm now owned by James M. Lewis, where he 
died in 1814. Among the children he left, were William, 
Sarah and Esther. Sarah married David Hall, and they made 
the fivst beginning where Alfred Brown now resides, on the 
south boundary of Penn Yan ; they moved to Steuben, where 
he became a leading man. Esther married Wallace Finch, 
who lived near David Hall. Esther died early leaving two or 
three children. 

William Mc Dowell, now in his seventy-eighth year, married 
Dorothea Decker in 1813, who still survives with her husband. 
Mr. Mc Dowell remembers well the incidents of his father's 
early labors in the wild region where he settled. He has seen 
the wolves devour their sheep almost before their eyes, and 
bears testimony to the manifold hardships of the pioneer life. 
The enterprise of Gen. Wall, who attempted to found a village 
at the foot of Keuka Lake, was entirely familiar to him. The 
streets, he says, were surveyed and lots numbered, and it was 


confidently expected a village would grow up on the west side 
of the outlet. A mill was built on the east side by John Ca- 
pell for Meredith Mallory, and there was a bridge across. The 
failure of the mill and the death of Gen. Wall, put an end to 
that embryo town. In 1825 Mr Mc Dowell bought 250 acres 
of land on lot 46 in Barrington, one mile south of Warsaw, 
where he has lived forty-four years. He paid four dollars an 
acre for his land, and cleared it all himself, and it is now worth 
$100 an acre. Eleven of their thirteen children are still living. 
Among them are William, John, Matthew, Catharine, Elizabeth, 
Nancy and Elsie. William is married and lives in Barrington. 
John married Emillia, daughter of Peter H. Crosby, and is also 
a citizen of Barrington. Matthew was for a time a citizen of 
Barrington, and moved to Wayne, where he died. Frank and 
George Me Dowell of that town are his sons, and the widow of 
the late Samuel Hallett is his daughter. Catharine Mc Dowell 
married the late Henry Cronkright of Tyrone. Elizabeth was 
the first wife of Jonathan Taylor of Barrington. Nancy mar- 
ried Caleb Hedges of Bradford, a brother of Daniel Hedges of 
Milo. Elsie married Selah, a son of Peter H. Crosby. 

William Mc Dowell was a member of the Presbyterian 
church, organized in Barrington in 1830, of which George 
Kels, Andrew Fleming, David Putnam, Elam Stebbins and 
Roscius Morse were also members. They erected a meeting 
house at Warsaw, but the church was disbanded in a few years 
and the edifice became a private residence. 


At the age of eighty-eight years, this primitive settler of 
Barrington still survives. When he went to that town he says 
there was but one house between Penn Yan and Col. Teeples', 
and that was Finley's tavern. He is a native of Orange coun- 
ty, and his wife was Mary Knapp, (not a relative,) who died at 
the age of eighty-seven. He had a brother Charles who lived 
in Barrington, and John, another brother, who lived and died 
there. Mr. Knapp was largely instrumental in organizing a 
Free Will Baptist Church, near the old Teeples place at an 


early day, and was one of its earnest leaders. His children 
are Hannah, Sally, Christiana, Eliza, William, Levi C. and 
Jesse C. Hannah married John Pratt, and had four sons and 
two daughters. Sally married James Bignall, a Free Will 
Baptist preacher, had seven children and died in Pultney. 
Christiana married David Randolph of Milo, and has four 
children. Eliza married Ira Derring, lived in Barrington till 
recently and now in Elmira. She has several children. Wil- 
liam married Eliza Osborn and moved to Steuben county. 
Levi C. Knapp married Maria Turner of Jerusalem. They 
have had five children of whom but two are living ; both 
are married and living in Wayne. Jesse C. Knapp married 
Rachel Hopkins, and has had seven children, of whom two 
are married. He is a prominent citizen and has held various 
public positions. 


Elders Zebulon Dean and John Mugg organized a Free 
Will Baptist Church of eleven persons, on the first day of May, 
1819. The members were Matthew Knapp, John West, John 
Swain, Joseph B. Retan, Mary Knapp, Margaret Swain, Han- 
nah Knapp, Sarah Knapp, Christiana Knapp, Electa West, and 
Catharine Soles. At that time John West was chosen clerk, 
and Matthew Knapp elected deacon. The records previous to 
1827 were destroyed by fire. At that time Elder John Stew- 
art was their preacher. In March, 1828, Cyrus B. Feagles was 
expelled for drunkenness and profanity. Mathew Knapp, 
James Bignal and David F. Randolph, appear to have been the 
leading members at this time. In 1829 Zebulon Dean was 
their pastor, and John Pratt and Miss Benton became members. 
In 1830 Henry Wisner and wife, Thomas Tuttle and wife, El- 
kanah Feagles and others united with the church. In 1831, 
Mary Ann Patterson, Samuel Delong, George Soules, D. Os- 
borne, Jacob Stewart and others became members. Elder 
James Bignal, Thomas Tuttle and Elkanah Feagles and David 
F. Randolph were the delegates to the Quarterly Meeting. In 
1833 the Society erected a meeting house. In 1834 the church 


voted that Matthew Knapp have license to preach. Thomas 
Tuttle, William Knapp, Matthew Knapp and Elkanah Feagles, 
were the delegates to the Quarterly Meeting held in Gorham. 
Nathan Bailey was expelled for falsehood and drunkenness. In 
1835 the Society voted that John Pratt have license to preach 
the gospel ; and this year Elder James Bignal baptized several 
members. In 1837, Elder Ezra F. Crane preached and baptized 
several persons. In 1841, Elder Beebe was their preacher, and 
the regular meetings were kept up in 1847. Soon after the 
church was wholly disbanded, and the meeting house has been 
turned to other uses. 


This locality, that has become so famous by reason of the 
Crystal Springs, was settled about 1812, by a cluster of settlers 
who came from Putnam county, of whom the Sunderlins were 
the most numerous, and it took the name of Sunderlin Hol- 
low. David Sunderlin followed his son Dennis to this locality 
in 1814, having visited it the previous year. The children of 
this family were Dennis, Joseph, Daniel W., Tippett, Ira, Eli, 
Anna, Lydia, Elizabeth and Polly, all of whom came to this 
place. Eli, Ira, Tippett and Dennis settled in Barrington. — 
Tippett and Ira have no children. Eli had two, of whom Lew- 
is Sunderlin of Rochester is one, and a daughter Alice the oth- 
er. Eli married Minerva Kendall, sister of Abel Kendall. — 
Tippett married Almeda Beach. Anna married Edmund Ba- 
ker and lived in Tyrone. Lydia married John Wi*ight. Polly 
married Elijah Wright, and settled in Barrington, afterwards 
going to Michigan. Elizabeth married Lodowick Disbrow. 

Dennis Sunderlin married Nancy Finch and had two child- 
ren, Alonzo and Delazon J. Alonzo has been a noted minis- 
ter of the Baptist faith, preached a number of years in Milo, 
and lives now at Wayne. He married Mary Ann Wortman 
and had five sons, some of whom reside in Yates county. Del- 
azon J. Sunderlin is a capable lawyer of extended reputation 
and large practice, as well as a farmer and grape grower. He 
was admitted in 1833 in the Common Pleas, under the old 



Chancery forms, and three years later in the Supreme Court, 
and has always maintained a leading position in the Yates 
county bar. His success has arisen from his innate ability and 
energy, as his education was derived wholly from early and 
slender opportunities in the common school, except Avhat he 
has gained at home, including his legal acquirements. He was 
District Attorney one term, and has been for many years a 
leading man in the county. As a conspicuous member of the 
Democratic party, he has stood firmly by all its fortunes, and 
has always been honored by its confidence. In 1856 he was 
chosen a delegate to the Democratic National Convention. In 
early life he attended school with Francis Kernan, in a log 
school house on the border of Tyrone. He resides where his 
father originally settled, and the road that passes his house, is 
the one which was early laid out from Seneca Lake to Bath, by 
way of Eddytown. Mr. Sunderlin married Louisa, daughter 
of James A. Swarthout of Harrington. Their children are 
Ursula, Emily Ann, Martin J., Edward D., John Lewis, Nan- 
cy E. Ursula married Erastus Swarthout, and lives in Wayne. 
Emily Ann married first, Nathaniel Berry of Dutchess county, 
who died in 185G. She afterwards married Edward Kernan, a 
son of Gen. William Kernan, formerly of Tyrone. He left 
her a widow again in 1867, with four daughters. Martin J. 
Sunderlin is also a lawyer, admitted in 1856, but omits the prac- 
tice of his profession and engages in the labors of agricultural 
life. He married Eliza Sharpe, and has no children. Edward 

D. married Augusta Sleeper, and died a few years ago leaving 
one son, Edward. John Lewis married Emeline Putnam, and 
lives on the homestead. He is also without children. Nancy 

E. married Hiram Murdock, a hardware merchant of Dundee, 
now of Rochester. 

The first of the numerous saw mills on Big Stream, in Bar- 
rington was built by Tippett Sunderlin and his father at the Crys- 
tal Spring. Dennis Sunderlin built another just below in 1817. 


In 1812, John Wright and Joseph Sunderlin, his brother-in- 


law, came from Putnam county to Barrington. They bought 
a wagon in partnership, and each owning one horse put the 
two together, and brought their possessions to the new country. 
Both had been to view it the year before, on foot. John 
Wright married Lydia Sunderlin of the family just mentioned, 
and from the most humble beginning acquired a large estate 
by industry and good management of his affairs. He died at 
the age of seventy in 1858. His children were Maria, Martha, 
Lydia, Erasmus and Alzada. 

Maria married first, James Swarthout, and after his decease 
Joseph Merritt. Some of her children reside in Barrington. 
Martha married Samuel Bailey, and lives in Barrington. She 
has two children. Lydia married Joel Wixson, and lives in 
Wayne. Alzada married Baxter Kinne, and lives near New 

Erasmus Wright married Sally, the daughter of William 
Wortman. They have had ten children, of whom but four are 
living. The oldest, a daughter, married Henry Armstrong, 
and resides at the Crystal Spring. Erasmus owns the home- 
stead of his father, (500 acres,) and one-half the Crystal Spring 
property, and has lost none of the hereditary qualities by which 
it was acquired. 


This Barrington Octogenarian, also came from Putnam 
county in 1813, at the age of twenty-four. He too made a 
very humble beginning in the woods, having married in 1814 
Elizabeth Sunderlin, of the family herewith noted. Their cab- 
in was provided with scarcely more furniture than his axe could 
supply, but they had courageous hearts and industrious hands, 
and soon ameliorated their circumstances. After two years' 
residence on another place, Mr. Disbrow bought the farm he 
still owns, and where he has resided over fifty years. He 
bought the land of Israel Arnold, to whose wife, Penelope 
Brown, it had been given by her grand-father, Judge William 
Potter, who drew the lot, (No. 27,) in the original draft of the 



township. James Parker had an interest in it, and Oliver 
Parker, his son, was given 100 acres, 150 going to the Potter 
interest. Oliver Parker lived on his land for several years, but 
did not prosper, and the family is not now in the county. By 
industry, temperance and frugality, Mr. Disbrow became one 
of the most substantial and prosperous citizens of Barrington. 
He has dealt with great .liberality towards his children, and 
still retains his premises at home, which he considers, perhaps 
with good reason, the most desirable situation in Barrington. 
His children are Dennis W., Watson, Ira S., Daniel and Anna 
Maria and Mary Ann, (twins.) Dennis W. married Dorcas 
Rapalee, lives in Starkey and has three daughters, two of whom 
are married. Watson married Anna, daughter of Alexander 
Patten. He was accidentally drowned at Big Stream in sheep 
washing. He had one posthumous child, a daughter, who mar- 
ried Oliver Plurd, District Attorney of Schuyler county. Ira S. 
married Mary Jane Hause, lives in Rochester and has two chil- 
dren. Daniel married Hannah Secor, lives in Barrington near 
his father, and has four children, one of whom is married and 
lives west. Anna Maria married Charles Hause, had three chil- 
dren, and died in 1840. Mary Ann married Oliver Snook, lives 
in Barrington and has five sons. 

Lodowick Disbrow relates that he paid less than four dollars 
an acre for his land, and that when he first settled on it the 
wolves continued to howl frightfully in the dense forest about 
the Crystal Spring. Before Barrington was taken from Yates 
county, he was three times a grand juryman at Bath, where he 
served without a cent of pay. He never used tobacco, never 
went to a ball or a circus, never belonged to any society, never 
used profane language, is a thorough cold water man, and was 
one of the first to quit the use of liquor for work hands. His 
life and vigor of frame have evidently been prolonged by his 
good habits. He was always popular with his fellow citizens, 
and has held many town offices. In 1862 his first wife died, 
and he subsequently married the widoAv of Julius Stanton, 
the mother of George and Julius Stanton of Barrington. He 
has a brother in Tyrone two years his senior. 



Mr. Disbrow states that Thomas Bronson, who settled in the 
valley in 1806, sold his place to Elisha Booth, a Baptist clergy- 
man. Cyrus Booth, a son of this minister, was the founder of 
the Dundee Record. Booth sold his place to Eli Northrop, 
and he to John Spicer, who lived there forty years and did a 
large business both as a farmer and mill-wright. He and Julius 
Stanton, his partner in the mill-wright enterprise, built a large 
number of mills; among others, those in Penn Yan were re- 
built by them. They made their labors highly profitable. Mr. 
Spicer finally emigrated to Kansas, where he died. One of his 
sons, James Spicer, is a lawyer at Dundee. 

On the Daniel Rapalee farm, John Shoemaker, the father of 
Smith Shoemaker, was the original settler. Richard Eddy, the 
first Supervisor of Barrington, was the first settler on the Allen 
Bassett place. Mr. Eddy was a man of great personal worth, 
and was a severe sufferer by the famine which pervaded the 
country in 1817. A number of the early settlers were dispos- 
sessed by Herman H. Bogert, whose title from Livingston pre- 
vailed where mistakes or carelessness had made any lapse in the 
titles of the settlers. He acquired the Gore on the south line 
of Barrington in this way. The lot on which Joshua Raplee 
now resides was taken from a Mr. Dean in this way, and one 
from a Mr. Cuyler, near Mr. Disbrow. There was a distillery 
near Mr. Disbrow at an early day, run by one Bishop, and an 
ashery run by Isaac P. Seymour, now keeping a store at the 
Crystal Spring. Thomas Bronson carried the mail for many 
years on horseback from Eddytown to Wayne once a week, 
and there was then a Post Office at Spicer's, called East Bar- 
rington. The only Post Office in Barrington since that was 
discontinued, has been at Warsaw, under the name of Barring- 
ton, and Cranston Hewitt is the present Post Master. 


The father of Allen Bassett was Justus Bassett of Connecti- 
cut, and his mother Beulah Tuttle of the same State. In 1800 
the father died in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, where 
they had taken up their abode, leaving their children, Polly, 


Julia and Allen. The widow afterwards married John Boyce 
of Hillsdale, Columbia county, New York, whither tlie family 
removed. They came to Barrington, (then Wayne,) in 1812. 
Three children were added to the family by the second marriage. 
Clorinda, Chauncey and Harriet. They settled on lot 16 
where Mr. Boyce died three years later, leaving the mother's 
oldest son, Allen, the dependence of the family. He has there- 
fore had a large experience of life in a new country, and has 
borne himself bravely and well in the battle of life. 

Polly, the elder sister, married Hiram Bishop of Hillsdale, 
settled in Barrington and had seven children, who reached 
adult age and married : Sally, Betsey, Louisa, William, James 
S., Emily and George W. Emily married Alexander Patten, 
and resides at Kornellsville. They all reside beyond the limits 
of Yates county. Julia Bassett married Orrin Bishop of Hills- 
dale, and settled near her mother and brother in Barrington, 
where he died, leaving four children, Philemon, Mary A., Beu- 
lah E. and Harriet. Philemon married Caroline Big_elow of 
Barrington, and died, leaving his widow and one child, Charles 
P. This boy was a drummer in the 33d regiment of N. Y. 
Volunteers, enlisting at the age of twenty, and serving in the 
Army of the Potomac, through all its campaigns and all its 
principal engagements, until Grant conquered at Richmond, 
after which he was honorably discharged. Mary A. Bishop 
married George P. Lord of Barrington. They reside at Urba- 
na and have seven children. Beulah E. Bishop married Joseph 
Westcott of Dundee, a son of James M. Westcott. They have 
four children, Mary, Corinne, Ella and Ruth. Harriet D. 
Bishop married Martin R. Westcott, a brother of Joseph, 
resides in Urbana, and has two children, William W. and 
James M. 

Allen Bassett married Druzilla W. Eddy, and settled near 
the maternal homestead, where she died in 1829, leaving four 
surviving children. Mr. Bassett' s mother died the same year. 
The children of the first marriage were Zenecia F., Palmer H., 
Julia and Richard A. Zenecia F. married James Thayer of 



Milo. Palmer H. married Susan J. Smith, and resides in Dun- 
dee. They have had two children, Charles E. and Fred P. 
Charles E. was a member of the Brass Band of Dundee, and 
though but a lad of fifteen accompanied them when they en- 
listed, and went to Norfolk, Va., during the war of the Rebel- 
lion, where they were stationed as a Post Band. He there 
died and was much lamented by his associates and friends, to 
whom he was greatly endeared both by reason of his personal 
and musical accomplishments. He was a proficient with several 
musical instruments, but his favorite was the tenor drum. His 
monument stands in the Dundee Cemetery, a broken column, 
with his drum and the flag of the Union, representing his un- 
timely death and its accompaniments. Palmer H. Bassett can- 
vassed the county of Yates for the sale of this book. Julia mar- 
ried Andrew Wortman of Barrington, in 1845. They have three 
children, Huldah A., Eugene A. and Cassie L. Huldah mar- 
ried Henry Freeman, and they reside in Steuben county. 

Richard A. married Mary A. Hendrickson, and has two 
children, Edward P. and George W., and resides at Warsaw, 
Indiana. He entered the military service during the late war 
as First Lieutenant of Company B, 126th Regiment N. Y. 
Volunteers, of which he was subsequently Captain. He shared 
the hard fortunes of that regiment through the war, and after 
the battle of Gettysburg was Captain of the Provost Guard 
before Richmond, where he participated in the closing scenes 
of the war. 

Allen Bassett married for his second wife, Jemima C. Mann, 
of Truxton, N. Y., and they have eight adult children, Ansem 
L., Druzilla J., Erasmus E., George W., Helen C, A. Carlton, 
Charles M. and Frances A. Ansem L. is a fur merchant at 
Cleveland, Ohio, where he married Angia Cook. He has no 
children. Druzilla J. lives at home single. 

Erasmns E. was unmarried, and was a volunteer in Company 
B, 126th regiment, and fell at Gettysburg, July 2, 1863, at the 
age of twenty-seven, while bearing the colors of the regiment, 
which he had taken from the hands of a falling comrade a few 


moments before, while making a charge to recover a piece of 
artillery. He was Sergeant while his brother was acting Cap- 
tain in this battle. He was buried in the Cemetery of the 
Methodist Church in Barrington, near his brother George, who 
fell at Antietam. 

George W. enlisted at the opening of the war in the 33d 
regiment. He was Sergeant Major, and followed all the for- 
tunes of the Army of the Potomac till he was killed at Antie- 
tam, September 18, 1862, by a fragment of a bursting shell, 
while making a charge. He died at the age of twenty-four, 
and was a young man of much promise, having nearly com- 
pleted his law studies in the office of Judge Henry Welles, 
when he responded to the call of his country. 

Helen C. Bassett, born in 1842, is a Preceptress in Starkey 
Seminary, and Charles M. and Frances A. are students in that 
institution. Archibald C. resides with his parents. The father, 
at the age of seventy-three, is still a man, of vigorous habit, 
and one of the most useful and respected citizens of his town. 
It remains to speak of his mother's children by her second 

Clorinda Boyce married James Longcor, and settled in Bar- 
rington. They had two children, Beulah Ann and Harriet A. 
Beulah Ann married Cyrus Sunderlin, and died in Pennsyl- 
vania. Harriet A. married Clinton "Walling of Starkey. They 
moved to Rockford, Illinois, where she was left a widow with 
three children, Emma, Sarah and Clinton. She is the matron 
of the Female Seminary at Rockford. 

Harriet Boyce married Asa Wortman of Barrington. They 
have seven children, Emily, William, Ezra, Chauncey, Andrew, 
Charlotte and John A. Of these, Emily married James Baskin 
of Starkey, and resides in Tyrone. William married Susan 
Huson of Starkey, and lives in Barrington. Ezra married 
Mary Horton of Barrington, and died, leaving three children, 
Samuel, Herbert and Ezra. Chauncey married Anna Cole and 
lives in Barrington. 


Ckauncey Boyce married Betsey Bunce of Barrington, set- 
tled at first on the maternal homestead, and afterwards moved 
to another location. He was a man of ability and note in his 
town, and was Supervisor when he died in 1850. His term 
was filled out by Lodowick Disbrow. His children were Maria 
A., John, Edmund, Melissa and Margenia, two of whom are 
not married. Maria married Mr. Fletcher of Otsego, lives 
in Tyrone and has four children. John married Lucretia 
Baskin of Starkey, and moved to Iowa, Edmund married 
Susan Baskin of Starkey, and lives in Barrington. They have 
two children, Francis E. and Helen. John Boyce was the first 
settler where Lodowick Disbrow lives. 

Daniel Husted owned one of the original lots in Barrington, 
and one in Milo. He was a remarkably capable and efficient 
business man, and established a woolen factory near the east 
line of Barrington, on Big Stream, where Clinton Raplee has 
a mill. Mr. Husted did not prosper, although he was fruitful 
in enterprises of great public benefit. He died some years ago. 
He has a son in Chicago. 

east mix. 
The southeast corner of Barrington was some years later in 
being occupied than the valley below. Daniel Winters came 
from Putnam county in 1820, bought 80 acres of Daniel Hus- 
ted on lot 30, where he built a log house and commenced to 
clear away the forest. He has been a valuable and prosperous 
citizen, added much to his original purchase and made valuable 
improvements. His wife was Mary Roblyer, (or Raplee as 
modernized,) and they have a very worthy family of children. 
They are William, Alonzo, Augustus C, Emily, Olive, Addie 
and Annette. William married Mariette Mather, and resides 
near his father. Alonzo married Ann Eliza Peck, and also re- 
sides in the same vicinity. Augustus C. married Hetty Paine. 
He and his wife are both teachers of celebrity and rare acquire- 
ments, and have since their marriage spent some time in Europe 
perfecting their studies. Emily Winters is also a superior 
teacher, now at Nyack, N. Y. 


Julius Stanton was from Connecticut. He also bought land 
in the woods on lot 29. He was a very industrious man, a 
good citizen and skillful mill-wright, and was for many years a 
partner of John Spicer in mill building. His son Julius lives 
on the original homestead. One brother, Lorenzo, lives in 
Starkey, and another, George, in Barrington. 

Benjamin Osborn was another settler in the same neighbor- 
hood about the same time, and also a man of worth and a good 

Isaac H. Maples was another settler of the same date on lot 
20. His youngest son, Josiah, who married Jane Coykendall, 
lives on the place his father redeemed from the wilderness. 

Orange Hollister, the father of Ashbel Hollister of Dundee, 
was a settler on East Hill in 1814. When Mr. Winters came, 
the road from Eddytown to Bath was the only road in the 

Jonathan Taylor of Barrington is a son of Francis Taylor, 
who moved into Milo in 1810, near the Luther Spooner place, 
from Otsego county. Jonathan, the oldest of the family, mar- 
ried Elizabeth, a daughter of William Mc Dowell. Of their 
children, Hiley E., the oldest, married Joel Wortman of Milo, 
and died leaving two children. Nancy married Truman Goble, 
and lives in Orange, Schuyler county. George W. Taylor mar- 
ried Mary, a daughter of Reuben Horton, and resides on lot 48 
in Barrington. On his place, formerly known as the Crow 
farm, it is said the first framed barn in Barrington was erected 
in 1813. Matilda married John Bailey and is now a widow 
without children. William M. is single. Sarah Elizabeth 
married John Johnson, now of Penn Yan. Jonathan Taylor 
married for a second wife, the widow of Chauncey Boyce. 

The Bailey and Fish families were later in the town than 
those we have mentioned. Sylvenus Bailey has held the 
office of Justice of the Peace more years than any other person 
in the town. 

The first saw mill in Barrington was erected by William 
Cummins, near the present residence of George J. Lazear, od 
lot 14, and remained many years. 


John Kress was the predecessor of William Ovenshire on 
the same place, and Henry Spring was near the same location. 

Elijah Townsend had the first store in Barrington, near the 
location of the Methodist Church. The older residents say he 
was a man without hair on his head or beard on his face. He 
had an ashery at the same place. Near the old Coolbaugh farm 
there was a distillery run by Norman Wells. 

Abraham Freeland, a blacksmith, made the start for a village 
at Warsaw. William H. Lamport and James Holmes, had the 
first store there, about 1825. After them was Horace Holmes, 
John Moore and Sylvauus Barden, and now J. C. (xiithrie. 
Oliver P. Wolcott was the first physician at Warsaw. He suc- 
ceeded Lewis A. Birdsall, who began near where the Methodist 
Church stands. The place was named during the Polish revo- 
lution of 1830, and hence was called Warsaw from the Metrop- 
olis of Poland. 

Major Coolbaugh, a grandson of William Coolbaugh, one of 
the original settlers, is still a resident of Barrington. 


In 1S15, Elder Simon Sutherland commenced holding meet- 
ings in Sunderlin Hollow, A revival followed which led to 
the organization of a Church, called the "Second Baptist 
Church of Wayne," in the Spring of IS 19. A council was 
called to organize the church March 24, 1819, and met at Fred- 
erick Townsend' s for the purpose of constituting a church. 
The following churches met, namely : There were present 

Wayne — Elder Ephraim Sanford, Gersham Bennett, Asa 

Pultney — Peter Powers, Samuel Drew. ^ 

Second Milo— Elder Sutherland, John R. Powell, Thomas 
Bennett, Isaac Hedges, Samuel Sherman, and others. 

Elder Powers was chosen Moderator, and Elder Bigelow 

Clerk. The following names are those of the constituent 

members of this Church when thus organized : 



Brethren — Jaima Osgood, Ephraim Wright, Joseph Sun- 
derlin, Eli Northrup. 

Sisters — Deborah Baker, Anna Baker, Susan Sunderlin, 
Catharine Sutton, Esther Hause, Clarissa Brown, Martha Kirk- 
ham, Hannah Townsend, Lydia Sunderlin, Lydia Wright, Olla 
I'oblyer, Bethiah Burr, Pothena Walker, Lana Osgood, Miriam 
Bennett, Sally Demond, Betsey Booth, Elizabeth, wife of Lo- 
dewick Disbrow. 

On the 27th of March, 1819, the first regular Church Meet- 
ing was held ; and at this meeting Janna Osgood was chosen 
Moderator, and Joseph Sunderlin, standing Clerk. And 
amongst other things, they voted to hold their Church Meet- 
ings on the first Saturday of each month at John Wright's. 

Elder Sutherland was invited to supply the church with 
preaching; and on Wednesday, April Gth, 3 819, he preached, 
and the following were baptized : William Wortman, John 
Wright, Charles Knspp, Selah Crosby, Eunice Knapp, Lydia 
Chase, Elizabeth, the mother of Anthony Rarick, and Fanny 
Wortman. Wednesday, May 12th, 1819, there was a meeting 
held at Frederick Townsend's ; preaching by Elder Sutherland, 
and James A. Swartkout and Miss Jacoby were baptised. 

June 6th, 1819, Jane Sutton and Nancy Brown were baptised 
into the church. 

Sunday, August 1st, 1819, Elder Sutherland preached, and 
the following were baptised by him, namely : Daniel Sunder- 
lin and his sons, Dennis, Daniel W., Tippet, Ira and Eli Sun- 
derlin, and three of their wives, Nancy S., Hannah and Fanny 
Sunderlin, Azariah Finch and his wife, Hannah Silsbee, Polly 
Dakin, Nancy Lang and Polly Burr. Elder Sutherland said 
he baptised fifteen persons that day in sixteen minutes. 

fcsptember 5th, 1819, the following were baptised : Stephen 
Robinson and wife, and Almeda Sunderlin. Jonathan Ketch- 
urn joined the church by letter April 8, 1820, and in October, 
1821, the "Church voted that Brother Jonathan Ketchum have 
the privelege of preaching in the bounds of the church." They 
erected their meeting house in 1821, in Sunderlin Hollow, on 


163 j! 

the north side of the east and west road, nearly opposite John 
Wright's. The first meeting was held in this meeting house 
April, 1822. In February, 1822, they chose Ephraim 
Wright and Charles Knapp deacons. When the town of 
Wayne was divided, the greater part of the church society fell 
in Barrington,. hence the name was subsequently changed to 
"The Barrington Baptist Church," which name it now bears. 
The dilapidated remains of this meeting house still stand. 
The Barrington Baptist Church have a house of worship in the 
village of Wayne. 

The second minister that served this church was Daniel Sher- 
wood, and he was followed by Jonathan Ketchum, who preach- 
ed for them over twenty years. Jonathan Ferris was also a 
preacher for them at an early period. Elder Ferris was killed 
by lightning in his own house in the south part of Milo. A 
daughter of Elder Ketchum is the wife of Sackett B. Wixson, 
the present Supervisor of Barrington. 


This church was organized at a meeting held at the house of 
John Moore March 20th, 1838, the following persons, mostly 
from the Barrington and Second Milo churches, constituting 
the original membership: Tippett Sunderlin, Peter H. Crosby, 
Abraham Hopkins, Elam W. Hopkins, Thomas Hopkins, 
Samuel B. Seymour, John Moore, William Freeman, Robert E. 
Baker, Stephen Robinson, John Smith, jr., Janna Osgood, Jo- 
seph Finton, James Baker, Stephen. Smith, Loranee Chubb, 
Susan Smith, Lucretia Kenyon, Rebecca Smith, Eliza Osgood, 
Thankful Finton, Almedia Sunderlin, Grace A. Beach, Naomi 
Hopkins, Rachel M. Hopkins, Rebecca Miles, Mary Oakley, 
Sabra Moore, Lucy Freeman, Aliva Robinson, Sally Miles, 
Deborah Baker, Julia Baker, Mary A. Moore, Charity Baxter, 
Mahala Kinne. 

A meeting house was built in 1838, at a cost of §1,200. The 
church was supplied by Simon Sutherland the first six months, 
until the house was erected. Reuben P. Lamb was the first 
pastor, and he served three years. The next was Horace Spencer, 


and after him David B. Olney preached for this church twelve 
years. Then J. S. Webber, one year : Reuben P. Lamb, 
three and one-half years ; A. J. Buel, one year ; George 
Baptist, nine months ; Lewis Brasted, now serving. The 
first deacons, were Stephen Robinson and Abraham Hopkins ; 
and subsequently Tippett Sunderlin, Peter H. Crosby, John 
Wilkins, Richard Lawrence and Sackett B. Wixson, have filled 
that office. John Moore was clerk three and one-half years. 
Peter H. Crosby, twenty-one years, and Sackett B. Wixson 
seven years. The trustees have been — Tippett Sunderlin, eight 
years. ; Philo Chubb, twenty-three years ; William Kinne, ten; 
Peter H. Crosby, fourteen ; Henry Kinne, three ; Samuel Wil- 
liams, twelve ; Robert E. Baker, one ; John Gibbs, two ; Dar- 
win Sunderlin, three ; Jesse C. Knapp, eight; Martin Wixson, 
five ; Daniel Tattle, three years. The present house of wor- 
ship was erected in 1867, and dedicated April 17th, 1868. Its 
cost, with lot and furnishing, was $5,000. This church has had 
several important revivals during the thirty-one years of its 

A Presbyterian Church was organized at Warsaw, September 
21, 1830. It had fifteen members in 1832, twenty-nine in 
1837, and ceased to exist in 1840. The clergymen of that 
faith who labored with them, were Benjamin B. Smith, John 
S. Reasoner, Samuel T. Babbitt and George T. Everest. The 
American Home Missionary Society aided in their support. 


When Steuben county was organized, all that now forms 
the towns of Tyrone, Wayne, Reading, Starkey and Barring 
ton, was included in the town of Frederickton, so named in 
honor of Frederick Bartles, a German, who built a mill at the 
outlet of Mud Lake in 1793, under the patronage of Charles 
Williamson. Afterwards Reading was cut off, and the town of 
Wayne organized, including what is now Barrington. Finally 
in 1822 the town of Barrington was created with its present 
boundaries, and in 1826 it was added with Starkey to Yates 
county. The first town meeting was held February 24th, 1823, 


at the house ot Daniel Rapalee, (the old Teeples place.) Rich- 

ard Eddy was elected Supervisoi 

• ; Daniel Rapalee, Town Clerk ; 

Joseph Mc Cain, Collector ; 

James A. Swarthout, Jeremiah 

Shaw and Lodowick Disbrow 

Commissioners of Highways ; 

Ephraira Bennett, Matthew Mc Dowell and Robert Armstrong, 

Commissioners of Schools ; Ira Church, Matthew Knapp and 

Tippett Suhderlin, Assessors ; 

Ezekiel Blue and Victor Put- 

nam, Overseers of the Poor ; 

Joseph Mc Cain, Elijah Baker 

and Peter Putnam, jr., Constables ; Dennis Sunderlin, Richard 

Eddy and Ira Sunderlin, Inspectors of Common Schools; Dan- 

iel Rapalee, Pound Master. The subsequent Supervisors have 

been — 

1824 Alexander Patten, 

1847 John Wright, 

1825 Alexander Patten, 

1848 Archibald Campbell, 

1826 Alexander Patten, 

1849 Archibald Campbell, 

1827 Alexander Patten, 

1850 Chauncey Boyce, 

1828 Ephraim Bennett, 

1851 Daniel Disbrow, 

1829 Asker Spicer, 

1852 Daniel Disbrow, 

1830 James A. Swarthout, 

1853 William Kinne, 

1831 James A. Swarthout, 

1854 Martin Holmes, 

1832 Stephen Bobinson, 

1855 Samuel V. Miller, 

1833 Stephen Bobinson, 

1856 Daniel Disbrow, 

1834 Ezekiel Blue, 

1857 Joseph F. Crosby, 

1835 Ezekiel Blue, 

1858 Samuel Williams, 

1836 John Spicer, 

1859 George N. Wilson, 

1837 John Spicer, 

1860 Abel Ward, 

1838 Levi Knox, 

1861 Peter H. Crosby, 

1839 Levi Knox, 

1862 Jonathan Taylor, 

1840 Lodowick Disbrow, 

1863 Asa P. Fish, 

1841 Lodowick Disbrow, 

1864 Asa P. Fish, 

1842 Lodowick Disbrow, 

1865 Delazon J. Sunderlin, 

1843 George W. Wolcott, 

1866 Delazon J. Sunderlin, 

1844 George W. Wolcott, 

1867 Benson Smith, 

1845 Martin Holmes, 

1868 Jesse C. Knapp, 

1846 John Wright, 

1869 Sackett B. Wixson. 

The town meetings were hel< 

I for many years at the Daniel 

Rapalee tavern, afterwards kep 

t by Levi Knox, and finally by 


James Ketchum, until Warsaw became a centre of sufficient 
importance to eclipse this ancient stand. The place is now 
owned by Lewis Mc Connell. 

Amos C. West, it is said, was the first school teacher in Bar- 
rington, and taught in 1810, a school not far from the Teeples 
neighborhood. West afterwards kept a tavern at the foot of 
Keuka Lake. James A. Jackson, a stammering man, and the 
father of Gen. Daniel Jackson, now of Watkins, taught a term 
quite early, attended by children from Barrington, in the log 
school house, on Jonathan Bailey's old place in Milo. Ezra Win- 
ship, who lived in Jerusalem, taught in 1815, near the Teeple's 
tavern, called the Knapp district. Richard Eddy, Enoch De 
Camp, Selah Crosby, Ira Sunderlin, Elder Jonathan Ketchum, 
James L. Seeley, George W. Simmons, Sarah Lounsbury, 
Semantha Robinson, Daniel Bateman, Mr. Van Croft and Lizzie 
Stewart were also early teachers in that town. 

The population of Barrington decreased four hundred in the 
twenty-five years included between 1840 and 1865, and in 
1825 it was larger by 630 than in 1865. From 1840 to 1850 
the decrease was 338. 


In the Spring of 1865, when the country was crazy with oil 
speculation, indications of petroleum were believed to exist 
wherever gases of an inflamable character escaped from the 
earth. A " deer lick " on lot 50 in Barrington affording rich 
appearances of this sort, a company was formed in the vicin- 
ity to bore for oil. At a depth of forty-three feet the water came 
up so abundantly it was difficult to go farther. This was soon 
found to have medicinal virtues, for which it has acquired a 
great fame. Erasmus Wright and Benson Smith, becoming 
proprietors of the location, erected, in 1867, a house of four 
stories, one hundred feet long, and forty-two wide, with a two 
story wing seventy by thirty-two feet. The place has become 
a very popular resort, and very many people who have tested 
the virtues of the water have believed themselves much bene- 
fitted by its use. The flow of water is sufficent to fill a two 


inch tube constantly. A house was opened at the Spring by 
Sylvester Bowers in 1866, before the larger structure was 

No account has been furnished to the writer of more than 
five distilleries that ever existed in Barrington. One of them 
was on the Gore operated by John C. Bodine ; another by 
John Carr near his grist mill. 

Lorenzo D. Snook, of Barrington, a young man of twenty- 
four, a son of Oliver Snook, and grandson of Lodowick Dis- 
brow, is an industrious and prolific writer for agricultural publi- 
cations, a regular contributor to the Rural New Yorker and 
other papers. He adds interest and value to his articles in the 
use of his pencil by giving ingenious and tasteful illustrations 
of his subjects. He has received many commendations 
from the agricultural papers for his contributions. 

Joshua Raplee is one of the largest land owners of Barring- 
ton, and a farmer who has taken much interest in the cultiva- 
tion of stock, especially sheep and horses of the best quality. 

Near the Lake within the past few yea' s grapes have been 
extensively planted with good success. The leading cultiva- 
tors are Joseph F. Crosby, Amos Egleston, Isaac Crosby, 
Alanson Crosby, Selah Crosby, George W. Finton, Arthur O. 
Kane and Ogden Wortman. Delazon J. Sunderlin, and his 
sons have also been very successful cultivators of grapes on 
their premises near the Crystal Spring. 

Chubb Hollow, a valley which forms the bed of the north 
branch of Big Stream, was so named from Philo Chubb, who 
was for many years a resident in that locality. He is no long- 
er a citizen of the town. 

Barrington has now but two churches, one Baptist and one 

William Ovenshire states that Barrington was so named, by 
residents of the town who came from Great Barrington, Massa- 
chusetts, in honor of the place from which they emigrated. 




tS originally constituted, the town of Benton embraced, 
in addition to its present territory, all that is included in 
Milo and Torrey. It was taken from Jerusalem, February 12, 
1803., and named Vernon. A town was formed with the name 
of Vernon the previous year in Oneida county, and the incon- 
venience of having two towns of the same name was remedied 
in 1808, by an act of the Legislature passed April 6, changing 
the name of the Ontario County Vernon, to Snell, in honor of 
Jacob Snell, at that time a State Senator from Montgomery 
county. The people were dissatisfied with the new name, and 
early in 1810, a meeting was held at the Inn of Luman Phelps, 
on the corner of Main and Head streets, in Penn Yan, at which 
it was resolved to petition the Legislature to change the name 
of the town to Benton, in honor of Levi Benton, the first set- 
tler in township number eight, first range, and a justly popular 
and prominent citizen. Nathan P. Cole, was one of the com- 
mittee to draw the petition, to which the Legislature responded 
by the act of April 2, 1810, giving the town the name it very 
properly retains. Milo was taken off in 1818, leaving to Ben- 
ton all of township number eight, and all that lay eastward 
thereof to Seneca Lake. Its fine proportions were marred in 
1851, by the creation of Torrey, which took from Benton six 
entire lots of number eight and a corner from the seventh by 
a northeastward line to the lake, then including what was east 
of the old Pre-emption line within these boundaries. 



The land between the old Pre-emption line and Seneca Lake 
was on Reed and Ryekman's location, and township number 
eight was one of those ceded to the Lessee Company by Phelps 
and Gorham. Of course the territory between the two Pre- 
emption lines fell under the control of Charles Williamson, as 
part of the Pultney estate, and titles thereon are all derived 
from him, or from the State in his stead, to indemnify him. 
The disposition made of number eight by the Lessees, is ex- 
plained by an old document in the hands of the writer, which 
gives the "draught," as it was called, of the lots. The numbers 
in the schedule following are arranged consecutively, and not 
according to the original order. The change is made for the 
convenience of the reader. 


2 James Parker, 

3 James Dean. 

4 Annanias Cooper, 

6 Henry Trernper, 

7 Henry G. Livingston, 

8 Colton M. Smith, 

10 Hugh Walsh, 

11 Henry B. Livingston. 

13 Charles Mc Kinstry, 

14 Ezra Reed, 

16 Bazalean Seeley, 

17 Abraham Cuyler, 

18 Hezekiah Olcott, 

19 James Bryant, 

22 Dominick De Bartzch, 
25 Morris Graham, 

27 Peter Bartle, 

28 Jeremiah Jahin, 

29 Abraham Schuyler, 

30 John McKinstry and Garrett 


32 Sarah Reed, 

33 John Collins, 

34 Robert Troup, 

35 Henry Platner, 

36 Obadiah Gore, 

38 Matthias Visscher, 
40 John Mc Kinstry, 
42 Shepherd and Shaw, 

47 Andrew Latting, 

48 Lawrence Trernper, 

49 John Bartle, 

53 Benjamin Chase and Jarei 

' Coffin, 

54 William Badcliff, 

55 Ezekiel Gilbert, 

56 Simeon Spalding, 

58 Peter Loop, 

59 William H. and Peter Lud 


60 Peter Ryckman, 

61 John Bay, 

63 Elark Jennings, 

64 Nathaniel Jeribu, 

65 Daniel Niven, 

66 Benjamin Allen, 




70 John D. P. Douw, 

71 Jacob J. Shaver, 

72 William Hopkins, 

73 William Whiting, 

75 John and Andrew White. 
76,Seth Jenkins and Panl Hus- 

77 Peter Bishop. 

78 Henry Livingston, 

79 David Collin, 

81 Caleb Benton, 

82 John Graham, 

83 John Livingston, 

84 Wm. Wall, 

85 Benjaman Birdsall, 

86 Richard D. Cantling, 

87 Stephen Hogeboom and Hen- 

ry Trempcr, 

88 Joseph Baruard, 

89 William Pearce, 

90 Benjamin Brown, 
92 William Potter, 

96 Jacob H. Wendle, 

97 Peter Schuyler and Henry 


98 Prince Bryant, 

99 Joseph Hamilton, 

100 Eleazer Lindley, 

101 Walter Wemple, 

104 Henry J. Van Renssalaer, 

105 Isaiah Paris, 

106 Peter R. Livingston, 
110 Ebenezer Husted, 
112 John Mai lev, 


"Blank lots, left in township No. 8 for surveying, viz : 
95, 5 and 9." 

"Lots said to. be sold to Joseph Smith, to discount his bond 
given by the agents for the sum of £1,000, or an equivalent in 
lands, and taken up by John Livingston for the five lots of 
land in township No. 8, viz : Nos. 39, 41, 43, 45 and 62." 

"A disposition of five lots of land in said township No. 8, 
given to Nicholas Rosecrants to discharge his bond for £1,000 
dues given to him by the said agents, viz : Nos. 67, 69, 94, 91 
and 93." 

"Lots No. 1 and 26 in said Township No. 8, sold to Caleb 
Benton, for which the company have credit in his private ac- 

"Lot 37 sold to Levi Benton, for which the company have 
credit in the agent's account." 

"Lots 44 and 50 said to be disposed of to surveyors " 

"The remaining 24 lots in township No. 8, viz : — 12, 15, 20, 
21, 23, 24, 31, 46, 51, 52, 57, 68, 74, 80, 102, 103, 107, 103, 
109, 113, 114, 115, 116, are balloted for this 20th November, 


1789, in township No., 9, to make the division equal, as refer- 
ence being thereunto had, will more fully appear. Done by us. 


It is probable that the disposition of the several lots in town- 
ship number eight, mentioned by Mr. Turner as occurring in 
1788, was not carried out, as it varies widely from the forego- 
ing schedule. 

To whom the balloted lots fell does not appear. The lots 
are somewhat singularly numbered in pairs, and two lines of 
lots are taken together across the township, from north to south 
beginning on the east side. No. 1 falls in the second tier of 
lots, and No. 2 is the northeast corner lot of the township. 
The lots were designed to include two hundred acres each, ex- 
cept four in the centre of the township which were to contain one 
hundred and sixty acres each, embracing together just a square 
mile. These were intended to be set apart for school purposes, 
but the design was abandoned. The lots are said to have 
mostly overrun the original survey in the quantity of land. 

The earliest white occupation was at Kashong, by the French 
traders De Bartzch and Poudre, but they could not be called in 
any just sense settlers. Levi Benton and his family were the 
first who came to stay and stand by civilized ideas of life. His 
cabin was erected on lot 37, the next year after the beginning 
made by the Friends near City Hill. Dr. Caleb Benton, the 
cousin of Levi Benton, and the indefatigable operator of the 
Lessee Company, had his saw mill in operation on Kashong 
Creek, where the Tully limestone forms a cascade, in the pres- 
ent village of Bellona, nearly or quite as soon as the Friends 
had theirs, where the same rock forms a similar cascade on the 
Keuka outlet. Dr. Benton, it would seem, either by purchase 
or agency, became the vendor of much of the land, as many of 
the present titles rest on his deeds. More, however, are de- 
rived from John Livingston, who succeeded Dr. Benton in the 
direct capacity of agent for the company. 


Kashong was the gateway by which settlers entered that 
part of the country. It was known for many years as "Ben. 
Barton's Landing." It was a beautiful point where a fine In- 
dian village had been destroyed by Sullivan's men. Some of 
the Indian apple trees it is said remained over fifty years after 
the first settlement of the country. Major Barton was inter- 
ested in the Niagara Lessee Company, and agent for it. In 
1787, he aided in driving a drove of cattle and sheep from New 
Jersey to Niagara, to simply the British garrison and Indian 
department. He bought of Dominick De Bartzch a farm of 
seven hnndred acres at Kashong. ' It has been stated by Major 
Barton's son, that the purchase was made of Poudre ; but John 
H. Jones, an early surveyor and Indian interpreter, who wit- 
nessed the confirmation of the bargain, does not so relate. He 
states that Poudre was the servant of De Bartzch, and assisted 
him in the Indian trade. He says De Bartzch made the sale 
and Major Barton afterwards had some difficulty to get it rati- 
fied by the State, as it was strenuously opposed, probably by 
Reed and Ryckman. He succeeded by the kind assistance of 
Gov. George Clinton. 

It has been said, and it is not improbable, that a Catholic 
priest from Oswego visited Kashong while De Bartzch and 
Poudre were there, and held religious service, the red men and 
women of the vicinity forming the principal audience. Such a 
visitation, if it occurred, was in the footsteps of the Jesuit 
fathers who had done so much' more than a century before to 
convert the Iroquois to Catholicism. 

Major Barton resided at Kashong about twenty years. He 
married the daughter of James Latta, an early settler in the 
town of Seneca. From 1802 to 1806 he was Sheriff of Ontario 
County, by appointment of Gov. George Clinton, and was a 
man of high consideration in the country. He was a surveyor, 
and was long employed by the Surveyor General in the survey 
of the Military Tract. As his son, James L. Barton, related, 
in an address at Buffalo, in 1848, he became "forehanded," and 



determined to build a better house than the log cabin he at first 
inhabited. He proceeds with the narrative as follows : 

"He commenced in 1796 or 1797, the erection of a large 
square two story frame house, and from its peculiar and favora- 
ble locality and beautiful site, on the traveled road from Gene- 
va to Bath, in Steuben county, supposed it might be wanted in 
time for a tavern, and had a large ball-room made in it. Owing 
to adverse circumstances, one of which was the failure of the 
contractor, he lost three hundred dollars, a large sum at that 
time. Another was, that his lumber after being well dried and 
fit for use, caught fire in the kiln and was destroyed. These 
retarded its completion for several years. At length it was 
finished, and being the only house for several miles around of 
a suitable size for the purpose, the master workmen and his 
joiners, together with some other young men, were desirous of 
having a house warming and spinning bee. That year he had 
grown an extraordinary crop of flax, and the young men said 
if he would let them have the frolic, they would hackle and 
dress the flax, get the'fiddlers, collect the girls, and do all they 
could to lighten the burthen on him. He gave his permission 
— they turned in, dressed the flax, and then making up seventy- 
two half pound bunches, put them in bags and scattered them 
round the country for several miles, amongst the girls as cards 
of invitation. 

"In those days there were no pianos nor guitars in the coun- 
try, and the girls made music on spinning wheels, and the 
notes they practiced upon were flax and wool. The flax was 
to be spun into threads of a certain number, and on the even- 
ing of the party, each girl was to bring her skein of thread. 
Those who lived on roads leading direct, came in wagons. 
Others, who lived in the woods, where some of the prettiest 
girls were found, mounted a horse behind a young man, with a 
blanket to sit upon, dressed in their every day apparel, with 
woolen stockings and strong shoes on. They would dash 
through the woods on some trail, through brooks, and over 
every obstacle in their way, carrying their ball dress and skein 


of thread in a bundle in their hand. A few minutes at the 
toilet put them in a condition for the ball room. Others living 
only a mile or two away, thought it no great task to come on 
foot. In the ball room, their rosy cheeks, their sparkling eyes 
and blooming health, gave pleasure to all who beheld them ; 
and their vigorous systems, strengthened by hard daily labor, 
enabled them to dance and enjoy it, and with life and spirit 
would they skip through the dance, like the young fawns of 
their own woods. The supper was prepared by my mother, 
and well, too, from the products of the farm, and with the ad- 
dition of coffee, tea, sugar, and some light wine, was all that 
was necessary or desired. Information reaching Geneva of 
the party, about thirty of the elite of that place came down 
and joined heartily in the pleasures going on. As no barn 
could hold the horses, they were picketed around the wagons 
and fences, and plenty of hay spread before them. As daylight 
began to appear, the girls would doff their ball dresses, and 
having again donned the homespun, disappear for their homes 
in the woods." 

In 1809 Major Barton removed to Lewiston. The roads 
during the first few years were quite provisional, and run in any 
convenient direction through the woods. When farms were 
somewhat cleared, regular roads became necessary. The earli- 
est record that exists of any in Benton, is that from Benton 
Centre to Penn Yan, surveyed by Joseph Jones and Joshua 
Andrews, Commissioners, in 1799, "beginning at the centre of 
No. 8, first range, running south through the middle of said 
town 940 rods, thence south 40 degrees east, 150 rods to the 
northeast corner of Robert Chissom's lot." The same day they 
recorded a road running from the southwest corner of lot 58, 
eastward to Perley Dean's, or near there, intersecting a road 
said to run from Levi Benton's to township No. 7. So it would 
appear that the Flat Street road was then a recognized highway. 

Blazed trees marked the corners and lines of lots, and finally 
roads were made to follow these lines, except where other 
routes had become so much established that they could not be 


conveniently changed. December 3, 17Q9, Joseph Jones and 
Daniel Brown, jr., as Commissioners, surveyed a road "begin- 
ning at the east line of Township No. 8, in the second range, 
38 rods north of lot No. 9 in said town ; thence north 40 de- 
grees east, to the north line of township No. 8, in first range, 
being about two miles." This road passes through Ferguson's 
Corners, and was formerly called the "Potter road." The Pre- 
emption road was surveyed in 1802, Nov. 18th. Levi Benton 
was Commissioner of Highways most of the time till 1812, 
and by him nearly all the more important roads in Benton and 
Milo were laid out. His son, Joseph Benton, is frequently 
mentioned in the record, as the surveyor by whom the roads 
were run out. Levi Benton had as associate Commissioners 
during the time he served, Joseph Jones, Daniel Brown, John 
Lawrence, Robert Downey, Thomas Howard, Griffin B. Haz- 
ard, Morris F. Sheppard, Charles Roberts and Stephen Whita- 
ker. After them came Isaac Hedges, Abner Woodworth, 
Joshua Way, Jonathan Whitaker, Robert Buckley, John Re- 
iner, Meredith Mallory, Avery Smith, David Briggs, Robert 
Patterson Jared Patchen, Stephen Purdy and Abel Peck. 
These were all previous to 1819. Of surveyors mentioned in 
connection with the laying out of these roads, there were Bene- 
dict Robinson, Joseph Jones, Joseph Benton, Robert Patterson, 
Ephraim S. Kidder and Seth Clark. 

The earliest roads or pathways through the forest, were those 
which led to Kashong as one important point, to Smith's mills 
and the Friend's Settlement, to Dr. Benton's saw mill, and to 
Geneva. Dr. Benton, when he built his mill, must have owned 
lots one and two entire. The mill was on the spot Avhere the 
grist mill owned by George R. Barden and his son Ashley now 
stands in Bellona. He reserved the timber on four hundred 
acres for the use of the mill, and rented the whole tract and 
mill to Thomas and James Barden, for four years at ninety 
dollars a year. The Bardens, during their lease, furnished the 
lumber for Mr. Williamson to build the Geneva Hotel and 
Mile Point house. It was shipped from the mouth of Kashong 


Creek and was a profitable contract. They received one cent 
per foot, running measure, for all sizes and widths of lumber, 
the whole amounting to four thousand dollars, a large sum in 
those days, which was promptly paid by Mr. Williamson in 
silver coin. 

After the expiration of the Barden lease, the entire tract and 
mill were sold to Joseph Loughead from Pennsylvania, for 
four thousand dollars, and he built a grist mill on the north 
side of the creek opposite the saw mill of that day. The mill 
was provided with two run of stone. The first pair was 
wrought from boulders of granite found in the vicinity, and 
were fashioned by Dyer Woodworth, and by him ironed and 
hung, he being both a blacksmith and stone cutter. One of 
the rocks from which an upper stone was split, is now to be 
seen on the Buel Mariner farm. The bed stone was taken 
from a boulder found by the roadside, on Thomas Barden's 
premises. These rude fixtures were used for many years, and 
made flour that was thought good enough in those days. To 
bolt the flour was a separate operation, for which it was carried 
by the miller from the lower to the upper story. The old mill- 
stones may now be seen, one covering a well at Mrs. Slater's, 
and the other at the north end of the bridge in Bellona. 

Loughead owned the property about fifteen years, in which 
time but little more than the mill and blacksmith shop were 
added to the place. He lived in a framed house built- by Dr. 
Caleb Benton, which was only removed from its location a few 
months ago. In this house Thomas Barden was born March 
11, 1793. He was a grandson of Levi Benton, and the second 
birth in the town. John Pembroke, an early settler, died in 
the same house a few years ago. About 1815, Thomas Wood, 
from Ulster county, bought the mill and two hundred acres of 
the land. Jacob Whitney and Robert and Henry Oxtoby 
bought the remaining two hundred acres and occupied it long 
after. From this period the village began to grow, and it was 
variously called Slab Hollow, Pinkneyville, Wood's Hollow, 
and finally Benton, which name it retained as a Post Office 


designation till 1868, when it was changed to Bellona, the 
name given to the village by Samuel G. Gage, in 1818. Tra- 
dition says the name was suggested by a fierce fight which oc- 
curred in the place, under alcoholic inspiration, between John 
McDermott and his wife, in which the lady was triumphant. 

The village is located where the valley widens, at a point 
where another and smaller stream comes in from the northwest, 
and the banks have a moderate inclination, and where the Tnlly 
limestone forms a cascade of twenty-seven feet. There is a 
descent of one hundred and sixty feet to the lake from this 
point, through a deep ravine, with some smaller cascades. The 
elevation from Bellona south to the point where the waterSow 
turns to the Keuka Lake outlet is thought to be not less than j 
one hundred feet. The waters are found to divide on the prem- i 
ises of Lewis R. Peck, on lot No. 40. 

It is related that in 1791, Caleb Benton builta barn 30 by 40 
feet, beginning on Monday morning with the trees standing in 
the woods. The trees were felled, hewed and framed, and the ' 
barn enclosed so that wheat was drawn into it on Saturday of \ 
the same week. This barn is supposed to have been the first 
erected west of Seneca Lake. 

About half a mile east of Bellona, by the creek, there was a 
deer lick. Here Archibald Cole, in one of the early years, shot 
John Taylor, supposing by the motion through the bushes that j 
he was taking aim at a deer. He carried the wounded man to 
his home, where the stone house of David Barnes now stands ; 
in Seneca. Here he was kindly cared for till he was able to 
leave, and Dr. Henry's bill of fifty dollars was also cheerfully 
paid by the man whose hazardous shot had proved so near a 

The first blacksmith at Bellona was Robert Longhead, who 
manufactured sickles, and whose shop stood in 1805 where the 
hotel shed now stands. Joseph Reynolds was the first cooper, 
and his shop in 1805 stood near the location of the present 
stone building of George G. Gage & Co. William Bridges 



was a tanner whose shop in 1808 was the building which Dr. 
A. B. Sloan now lives in and owns. 

John Dye, the father of a noted family, bought the Kashong 
farm of Benjamin Barton, and made it his homestead for many 
years. He built a grist mill, it is said, as early as 1805, or 
sooner, on the Kashong, about midway between Bellona and 
the lake. A saw mill had been built at the same place some 
years before, it is thought, by Thomas Gray, a bachelor, who 
owned the north part of the Peacock farm, the next south of 
Jephthah Earl, on the lake road. This saw mill was owned 
by the Dyes. The grist mill was constructed by John Lafever, 
millwright, and was afterwards known as the Barnes Mill. 
The decease of Jchn Dye occurred about 1820, and both he 
and Thomas Gray were buried in the Indian cemetery on the 
Kashong bluff. After this the Dye farm was sold to Andrew 
Brum, a showman, who exhibited the first elephant in this 
region, previous to his purchase of the farm. His two sons, 
Alexander and John, and his son-in-law, Augustus J. Batten, 
came from New York city and lived with him on the farm. 
He and both his sons died there and were buried in the Indian 
burial ground. Batten then emigrated west. The Dye family 
removed to Geneva, or near there. One of the daughters mar- 
ried William Lilly, of the firm of Lathrop & Lilly, merchants 
of Geneva. Benjamin, one of the sons, died in Geneva, un- 
married, a lawyer. Peter married Maria Shepherd of Benton, 
lived for a time at the mills owned by the family, then moved 
to Geneva where he died. Sears, another son, is now a tanner 
at Seneca Falls. William is supposed to have died at sea, 
Eleanor married a relative by the name of Dye, and lives in 
Seneca county. There were others of whom no information 
has been obtained for these chronicles. 

The Kashong farm, originally purchased by Barton, is now 
owned as follows : 200 acres by Egbert Hurd, 325 by Jephthah 
Earl, 100 by Arthur Earl, and 44 by Ebenezer Holcomb. The 
creek runs through Mr. Holcomb's land, which also includes the 
sacred burial place of the Senecas, but little of which remains 
undisturbed by cultivation. 


Egbert Hurd has been a resident here since 1847. He was 
born in Dutchess county in 1804, married in 1839 Eliza Lacey, 
who was born in Saratoga county in 1815. After living a few 
years in Chemung county, he purchased 244 acr es of the Ka- 
shong farm, of James Simons at $30 per acre. He has been a 
successful farmer, and has made a specialty of rearing stock 
and fattening for market. He has commenced the grape cul- 
ture and has a vineyard of eight acres in bearing. His house 
is the one built by Benjamin Barton before 1800, in the erec- 
tion of which only wrought nails were used. It was inhabited 
by the Dye family and has since been remodeled, but the frame 
and siding are still well preserved. The yard about the house 
is fenced with red cedar posts from the banks of the Kashong, 
which have stood more than sixty years without apparent 
decay. Several yellow locust trees in the yard will measure 
two and two and one half feet in diameter. '} ; 5 They have but 
one surviving child, Albert R., who married Hannah, the 
daughter of Owen R. Swarthont of Torrey, and they have one 
child, Egbert S. Both parents of both Mr. and Mrs. Hurd have 
deceased at their house since they have lived on this place. 
Ebenezer Hurd, aged 94; Rebecca Hurd, 91 ; Edward Lacey, 
nearly 90; Huldah Lacey, 91. 


Jephthah Earl, senior, was from Wilkesbarre, Pa., where he 
married in 1789 Bridget Arthur, he being twenty-two and she 
fifteen years old. They settled soon after on two hundred 
acres bought of Charles Williamson, about two miles south- 
west from Geneva, in the town of Seneca. At that time Gene- 
va consisted of a few log habitations, and the young pioneer 
followed an Indian trail to his location in the unbroken wilder- 
ness. He paid four dollars per acre for his land, and it was a 
struggle of long years to accomplish it, as shown by his deed 
given in 1810 by Robert Troup, a successor of Mr. Williamson 
in the control of the Pultney estate. He worked for Samuel 
Latta sometimes for four dollars a month, to raise money to 
make payments. Latta was deemed a man of great wealth, as 


he was able to hire, and was estimated as worth three or four 
thousand dollars. Their family numbered thirteen children, 
of whom ten reached adult age, viz : Jesse, Clarry, Zeruah, 
Susan, Fanny and Stephen, twins, Jephthah, Arthur, Matilda 
and Laura. Of these, only Jesse, Jephthah and Arthur became 
residents of Yates county. 

In 1821, Jephthah Earl, senior, purchased the mill property 
and sixty acres of land at Bellona, which he put in charge of 
his son Jesse, who had married Janet Hooper of Seneca. They 
afterwards purchased a farm east of the mill property, known 
as the Lynn lot, where they removed and remained till 1836, 
when Jesse disposed of his interest to his brother Jephthah, and 
removed to Michigan, where he and his wife died, leaving four 
children, survivors of a family of twelve, Susan J., Amelia, 
John and George. 

Jephthah Earl, the present resident at Kashong, was born in 
1806. When about seventeen, he came to Bellona and worked 
on the mill property with his brother Jesse, of which they be- 
came joint owners by gift of their father. In 1827 he became 
sole owner by purchase of his brother. In 1829 he married 
Eliza Hutchinson of Bellona, who was born at Chittenango in 
1804. They remained at Bellona till 1830, when he sold the 
property there and purchased the farm on which he now resides 
at Kashong. His original purchase was 210 acres, to which he 
has added the farm originally owned by his brother Jesse, of 
125 acres. These premises were then but little improved, sixty 
acres only being cleared, and there was only a log house and 
a frame barn. This barn was one of the oldest if not the first 
built in the town. He erected a distillery on an extended scale 
and run it for several years, and also built a store house at the 
Kashong landing and established a grain market, which has 
proved a great benefit to that region. His brother Arthur was 
for several years associated with him in the distillery and pur- 
chase of grain. They have frequently purchased seventy-five 
thousand bushels of grain in one season, which has been 
shipped at Kashong, and the Earls have ever been regarded as 
dealers of probity and responsibility. 


The farm is now in a high state of cultivation, well stocked 
with cattle and sheep of superior quality which are fed for the 
winter market, thus consuming the products t>f the land. The 
mansion is a fine structure of cobble stone of generous dimen- 
sions without extravagance. The barns and outbuildings are 
ample, and well provided with all needed conveniences for 
stock feeding and protection. They have had seven children, 
of whom there survive, George W., Edwin L. and Xvaty A., 
all unmarried and residing at the homestead. 

Arthur, the youngest son of the family, born in 1810, mar- 
ried Sybil Conklin of Canaudaigua. She was born in New 
Jersey in 1825, and died in 1860. His farm was a part of the 
Barton tract. They had seven children, of whom are now 
living, Frances A., Jesse, Albert and Dewitt C. The daughter 
married W. Sterling Gunn, a hardware merchant at Grand 
Rapids, Michigan. They have two children, Charles and 

Arthur Earl has also a highly improved farm productive of 
both grain and grass, and devoted largely to the production of 
the best grade of fat stock, principally sheep. 

The Kashong place or old Barton farm, is chiefly contained 
in lots 41 and 44 of Ryckman's location, but never belonged 
to Reed or Ryckman, as Barton's purchase of De Bartzch, was 
confirmed to him by the State. The word Kashong is said to 
be of Indian deriviation, signifying absence of frost, or a spot 
where frost is rare. 


Charles Williamson never failed to engage his brother 
Scotchmen in his employ when opportunity offered, and seldom 
made a mistake in so doing. He employed Walter Angus to 
build his mill at Hopeton. The young Scot was a millwright 
who had been but a short time in America, having landed in 
New York in 1793. He lived at Hopeton, and worked for 
Captain Williamson there and at Bath till 1800, when he 
bought a firm of 114 acres of Benjamin Barton, on which he 
settled the next year. He went to New York once with a 



sleigh to get castings for the Hopeton mill. His son John re- 
lates among reminiscenses given by Mr. Angus, that of a bear 
hunt, in which he and his neighbor, with several dogs, chased 
a bear up the Kashong creek to Bellona, through the saw mill, 
and was only diverted from running into a house by a woman 
in the door. He ran a mile or two further before he •took 
refuge in a tree. They killed this one and the dogs treed 
another which they shot at sixteen times ineffectually, and only 
secured by cutting down the tree. Walter Angus was noted 
for fruit grafting, and for having the best apples in any of the 
orchards of his day. On one occasion he took a single bushel 
of his greenings to the Salt Works at Syracuse, and received 
quite a load of salt for them. He lived on his farm till 1855, 
when he sold it to his son David. He went afterwards to 
Michigan and lived with his daughter Agnes one year, and 
died there in the ninety-first year of his age. He was buried 
on the old farm where he had lived over half a century. His 
wife was a Miss Davis, who died in 1855 at the age of seventy- 
eight. They had ten children, Lydia 1st, Lydia 2d, Ann, Mary, 
David, Charles, John, Andrew, Agnes and Maria. The first 
two died in infancy as did the fourth. 

Ann married Elijah Shaw, and lived and died in Barry, 
Orleans county, N. Y., without children. 

David, the fifth child, was born in 1800. He married Mary 
Burge, lived for a time in Hornby, Steuben county, and after- 
wards in Benton. He was a carpenter and builder of thresh- 
ing machines. He owned one half the Bellona mill property a 
number of years, and had charge of it. For some years he 
was a miller at Branchport. He finally built a steamboat at 
West Dresden, on a plan of his own invention, which did not 
prove successful. His children were Phebe J., Andrew B., Delia 
D., Elihu W., Maria E., Melissa, David H, William H., Jonathan 
and Aner. Phoebe J. married, first, Barney Campbell, and after- 
wards, on his decease, John Ames. She had two children by 
the first marriage, Mortimer and William, and four by the sec- 
ond. They live now in Indiana. Andrew B. has been three 



times married, has one child, lives near Buffalo. His first two 
wives were Mary Ann and Susan Slingerland, sisters, and his 
third Louisa Pearce, the mother of his child. Delia D, 
married John White, lives in Buffalo and has three or four 
children. Maria married Arthur Tucker and lives in Indiana. 
Melissa married a Mr. Bartholomew, has one child and lives in 
West Dresden. Jonathan died a young man, and David and 
William died young. Aner is not married. 

Charles Angus, born 1802, married Mary, daughter of Thom- 
as Barnes. Their children were George W., Maria E., Mary J., 
Charles T. and William D. He was a farmer in Benton, many 
years a deacon in the Baptist church, and died in 1854. His 
sons, George W. and William D. live on the farm with their 
mother, and are not married. Maria E. married James Dorman, 
and lives on a place near her fathers old home. Charles T. was a 
volunteer in the 50th N. Y. Regiment of Engineers, and served 
through most of the late war. He married Jennie Nares of 
Geneva, has one child, and lives near his brothers. 

John Angus, born 1804, married Deborah M. Smalley, of 
New Jersey. He is a joiner and has made that his avocation 
through life. He resides now in the town of Seneca. His 
children are Andrew A., Walter W., Ellen M., Phoebe A., 
Mary E., Luther W., Jane S. and Julia E. 

Walter W., now thirty-nine, became deaf at the age of 
seven, by reason of scarlet fever. He learned the language of 
mutes in New York, taught there several years, afterwards in 
Michigan, and is now a teacher in the State Institution for the 
deaf and dumb in Indiana. Phoebe A. lives at homeunmarried. 
Luther W. enlisted in 1861, at the age of twenty, in the 74th 
N. Y. Volunteers, was in nearly all the great battles of the 
Army of the Potomac, and was wounded at Gettysburg. Jane 
S. married Anthony Jackson of Seneca, and has two children, 
Minnie and George Walter. Julia E. lives with her father 

Andrew Angus died in 1828, at the age of twenty-two. 


Agnes, born in 1809, married Horace G. Holcomb, lives in 
Michigan and has two children, Walter and Isabella, each of 
whom has been married, and each has one child. 

Maria died at eighteen in 1831. 

Agnes Angus, the sister of Walter Angus, married Angus 
Mc Donald, and had one daughter, Agnes. On the death of her 
parents, her uncle Walter sent for her 'and had her brought to 
this country. She married Cornelius Hood of Seneca Falls, 
and had a daughter Agnes and two sons, one of whom is sup- 
posed to have died in a rebel prison. David, a younger broth- 
er of Walter Angus, married a Miss Downs and had ten chil- 
dren. Among their names are Euphemia, Margaret, Janette, 
Mary, Agnes, Ann and Maria, twins, William and Isabella. On 
the death of their mother, they were also sent for by their 
uncle, Walter An ejus, and brought from Scotland. The most 
of the family are in Minnesota. Euphenr a, Margaret and Ann 
arc deceased. 


Otis Barden, then a young man of nineteen, and his brother 
Thomas, six years older, in the Autumn of 1789, journeyed on 
foot from their home in Attleborough, Massachusetts, to the 
wilderness of the then far west, arriving at Caleb Benton's 
saw mill, September 29th. Thomas had served in the war of 
the Revolution, on the side of liberty, as had his brother George, 
his father and grandfather, the latter having been killed in bat- 
tle. His brother George also died in the service. They work- 
ed for Dr. Benton and aided in getting out the lumber for the 
Geneva Hotel, completed by Charles Williamson in 1794. 
Having the first choice, they selected places to suit themselves 
and bought land of Dr Benton — Otis on lot 50 in number eight 
and Thomas near by in number nine. Their commencement is 
so well described by their family historian, Dr. Henry Barden, 
that we copy from him. 

"In North Benton the surface of the land was rolling, and 
watere d with brooks and springs, the ridges of gravel or loam 
soil, some clay, interspersed with intervals of flat lands of 


muck soil ; a heavy, tall growth of timber, consisting largely 
of sugar maple, oak, elm, ash, basswood, beach, hickory, &c, 
with .thick undergrowth, some swamp white oak that would 
hew from 60 to 65 feet, with scarcely a limb ; hard maple from 
two to three feet, and basswood frcm three to four feet through, 
were specimens of the vast woodlands that determined their 
choice in selecting farms. 

In 1789 they struck the first blow and made the first clearing 
for their future home, changed works with each othtr in chop- 
ping down the heavy woods and cleaving the lands, kept bach- 
elor's hall, and ground and pounded their corn to samp on the 
top of a stump. "Samp and milk," and "milk and samp" were 
principal articles in their bill of fare, and "they used to take 
a dish of samp and milk very often, about every log, when 
they got on a large tree," as they said when recounting their 
early toils. 

Otis revisited his New England home and returned with his 
brother James. His arrival is stated in his journal, — via "Day- 
ton to No, 8, thence to No. 9 in the first range, where I got 
home February 21, 1792." In the mean time his brother 
Thomas had happily found a help-mate, and wao married to Olive 
Benton, a worthy daughter of Levi Benton, February 2d, 1792. 
Polly Benton, an elder sister of Olive's, married Ezekiel Crock- 
er, in 1791. This was the first marriage in the town, and it 
was often said at the time and afterwards, "that everybody in 
town was at the wedding." 

It was a valuable discovery in those early days, that "blazed 

trees" showed not only the laud-marks, but the path that led 

from one neighbor to another, and by the light of these, Otis 

often found his way to the Friend's Settlement and made 

the acquaintance of James Parker and his amiable daughters. 

What came of that happy adventure and acquaintance, is duly 

recorded in the early chronicles of the following year, viz : — 

that in January the faithful Elizabeth became his wife — 

"Fly to the desert, fly with me." 



But the poetry of desert life was never fully realized, until 
they occupied the log cabin 12 by 12 feet square, in the clear- 
ing on the south 100 acres of lot No. 50. A delightful spot, 
hemmed in on all sides by a dense living forest, the song of 
wild birds, the swift foot of the deer, with an occasional glance 
from old Bruin to break the monotony, constituted their daily 
surroundings, and their morning or evening calls. 

They bought, at Geneva, March 10, 1793 of Captain Timothy 
Allen one pot, fourteen shillings ; tea kettle, twelve shillings ; 
broken kettle, four shillings ; skillet, three shillings sixpence ; 
bowl two shillings, and began housekeeping in their solitary log 
cabin, two to three miles distant through the woods, to their near- 
est neighbors, Levi Benton, Thomas Barden, Truman Spencer 
and Caleb Rice, toward Geneva. The next year they built a 
larger log house on the north bank of the brook opposite the 
cabin (which stood for nearly twenty years after, and much re- 
spected, though rather dilapidated,) next another house of hewn 
logs, two stories high, was added to the south side and extended 
to the brink of the hill, with a space of ten or twelve feet be- 
tween the houses, which was enclosed and served as entry, or 
hall, with a double door on the east side, and a west door to 
the deep cool well about ten feet distant from the door, with 
the iron bound bucket hanging in the curb at the end of a long 
pole and sweep that overlooked the premises. 

Still an additional log room was annexed to the first on the 
north side, and afterwards a house on the west side of the two 
story house was built. By this time the log mansion began to 
present an aspect as a model of the rustic architecture of the 
times ; the doves cooed and built their nests in the sunny end 
of the garret, the bees hummed and swarmed in the door yard 
and garden, the children played on the side of the hill and 
gathered wild flowers and touch-me-nots on the banks of the 
brook ; while currants, cherries, apples, rareripes and grapes 
were yielding their abundance in this fruitful Eden. 

New settlers yearly came in. Enterprising men, stimulated 
with hope and working with courage, took hold. The farming 



operations went bravely on. The women were equally, if not 
more prompt and skillful in their department ; never were 
neighbors so kind and happy. 

In some few years the forests were transformed, as if by 
magic, to cultivated fields, waving with grain, and orchards 
bending with fruit ; diligent and fair hands had planted seeds 
that budded and blossomed in the wilderness in common with 
the native stock ; a healthy generation of children had 
sprung up. 

Dyer Woodworth owned the farm and lived in a log house 
situated a few feet in front of the present residence of Homer 
Mariner, and his shop was four or five rods to the south of his 

Dennis Dean was the first school master, and taught in the 
Tubbs log school house in 1803. The first school mistress was 
CI any Smith, who taught in Dyer Woodworth's blacksmith 
shop, fitted up in the summer of 1802. 

Otis Barden took an active part in the early military organi- 
zations, and as Sergeant received orders from Lieutenant Tru- 
man Spencer to warn all the men within his bounds to appear 
at the house of John Crow, in Geneva, on the twelfth day of 
June, 1799, "complete in arms as the law directs." Thomas 
Barden was Captain. Under a Lieutenant's commission, he re- 
ceived the following note : 

"Lieutenant Otis Bakden :— You are hereby notified to ap- 
pear at Powell's Hotel, Geneva, on Wednesday, the fifth instant 
precisely at one o'clock P. M., in uniform and with side armg, 
for military improvement, and have with you your commission. 
By order of LIEIT'T COLONEL. 

Joseph Hall, Adj. 

Dated, Phelps, October 2, 1805. 

He was promoted to the rank of Captain, but resigned in 
favor of his neighbor, Stephen "Wilcox. 

The north 100 acres of lot No. 50, was purchased by his wife 
of Dr. Benton for $300, November 14, 1805, and they added 
other farms until they found themselves the owners of about 
600 acres. 


The following names of inhabitants were taken about 1804, 
by Otis Barden, overseer of the highway, extending from the 
north town line, below the centre road to the road running 
east from Benton Centre, by Levi Benton's and were mostly 
the first settlers and purchasers of the farms : 

Joseph Richie, Joseph Corey, Rilish Woodworth, Dyer 
Woodworth, Elisha Smith, Elihu White, Timothy Goff, Silas 
H. Mapes, Abraham Florence, James Springstead, Jesse Lamer- 
eaux, Isaac Horton, Stephen Wilcox, Enos Tubbs, Lyman 
Tubbs, Jcseph Smith, Richard Wood, James Davison, Arteme- 
dorus Woodworth. 

Sluman and John Wattle previously owned the farm of Jo- 
seph Richie in 1802. It is now owned and occupied by John 
W. Williams. 

Persevering industry and economy, with a desire to help 
those needing assistance, were the strong traits of Oris Barden's 
character. Many a pool family found a house and support in his 
employ, and some even grew forehanded in working his lands. 
He lived in the days Hushed with cider, cherry bounce, pure 
rye, and good cheer generally, and neighbors participated freely 
thereof for years. But when the Reform came, the decanters 
and glasses were gradually cleared from the board, and there is 
not a member of his family at this day but what is strictly 
temperance, and for many years before his death, he adhered 
to the principles and practice of temperance. 

During the years of 1818 and 1819, he built his large man- 
sion east of the old site, to be nearer the road, which still 
stands. Some three or four years previous to his decease, he 
divided and apportioned all his real estate among his children; 
granting and conveying to each their portion by his warrantee 
deed, which deeds were confirmed after his death by a de- 
cree in chancery. 

He died in January, 1832*, at the age of sixty-two, and 
Elder John Goff preached his funeral discourse. He was kind, 
affectionate and just in his relations as husband, father and 


citizen, and respected by all. His ever faithful and aged wife 
survived him upwards of twenty years, and died in 1855 at the 
age of eighty-one. 

They had eleven children, who all lived to adult age, viz : — 
Betsey, Sally, Charlotte, Susan, Otis, James P., Henry, Ira P., 
William M., Eleanor C. and Lois E. 

Betsey was born December 16, 1793, and is single ; she resides 
on the homestead, which she owns in common with her sister, 
Mrs. Susan Carpenter. She remembers distinctly the names 
of the first settlers, and many interesting events of that early 
day. Sally remained single*. She died in 1849, aged fifty-four 

Charlotte was born June 17, 1799. She married Aaron Dex- 
ter, merchant. They moved to Albany, and thence to New 
York. He purchased, and removed with his family on the 
homestead in Benton, thence to Elmira, N. Y., where he died 
October 20, 1865. They had three children : Hamilton 
P., Caroline E., and John M. Mrs. Dexter, Caroline and John 
M., reside at Elmira ; Hamilton P., in New Jersey. 

Susan was born March 14, 1801. She married George Car- 
penter, son of Daniel Carpenter of Ontario county. They 
have no children. They moved to Greece, N. Y, where he died 
May 2, 1864. Mrs. Carpenter removed to Benton, and resides 
on the homestead with her sister Betsey. 

Otis was born January 28, 1803. He was a farmer; he mar- 
ried Cata Butler, daughter of Stephen Butler of Perinton N. 
Y., October 25, 1827. They resided on the homestead and had 
eight children : Willafd F., Orin, Stephen B., Otis, Catha- 
rine, Henry P., Elizabeth and Myron. Otis, Catharine and 
Myron died when young. He moved with his family to Man- 
chester, N. Y. ; thence he emigrated with his family to Eureka, 
Wis., where they now reside. Orin Barden was a member of 
a Wisconsin regiment, and participated in numerous engage- 
ments in the south west, during the rebellion. 

James P. was born November 4, 1804. He was a farmer. 
He married Charlotte C. Gage, daughter of Isaac D. Gage of 



Benton, April 14, 1827, and resided in Benton. They have two 
children, Almeda and Melvin G. He moved with his family 
to Jerusalem N. Y., thence to his residence near Havana, K Y., 
where they now reside. 

Henry was born September 11, 1806. He is a practicing 
physician and surgeon, a pupil of Prof. Valentine Mott, and 
a graduate in medicine and surgery at the college of Physi- 
cians and Surgeons of the University of this State. He has held 
offices under the state and general governments, but has devo- 
ted his life ably and successfully to the improvement of popu- 
lar medicine, in establishing a syste'm of protective and cura- 
tive specifics, He married Caroline Purdy, daughter of Steph- 
en Purdy, March 26, 1836. They have two children, Helen J. 
and W. Wallace, the last a graduate in medicine and surgery at 
the Eclectic Medical College of Philadelphia, in 1867 ; and also 
of the Homoeapathic Medical College of Philadelphia, in 1869. 
They reside in Penn Yan. 

Ira P., was born October 17, 1808. He was a farmer, and mar- 
ried Susan, daughter of Samuel Hanley of Hector, N. Y., and 
resided in Benton. They had one child, Elizabeth. They 
moved to Hector. Elizabeth survives both her parents. She 
married Reading B. Lefferts, and resides in Penn Yan. 

William M. was born February 14, 1812, and married Olive, 
daughter of Samuel Hanley of Hector. They resided in Ben- 
ton and had six children : John M., Oliver P., Aaron, 
Levi and Louisa, twins, and Samuel H. Olive and three of 
her children died while living at Benton. He moved with the 
remainder of his family, John M., Oliver P. and Samuel 
H., to Mansfield, Pa., where he is a practicing Homoeopathic 
physician of good standing. 

Oliver P. has an honorable war record. He enlisted in Co. F, 
11th Regiment Pa. V. Cavalry and served during a three 
years' term. He is a graduate of the Homasopathic Medical 
College of Philadelphia. He and his brother John are prac- 
ticing physicians in Tioga county, Pa. 


Eleanor C. was born February 10, 1815, and married Daniel 
Ryal of Milo. a farmer ; moved to Faraiington, Michigan, 
thence to Milo, N. Y., and occupied her residence on the 
Prentiss farm. She had one child, Otis B., who died in his 
infancy in 1840. He was adopted and brought up by his aunts 
Betsey and Sally Barden and Mrs. Carpenter to adult age. He 
enlisted in Co. I, 148th Regiment N. Y. Volunteers, and died 
in the service at Yorktown, in 1863, aged twenty-three. He was 
beloved by his comrades and officers, who sent his body to his 
northern home for burial. Rev. Frederick Starr, jr., preached 
the funeral discourse, and a long procession of friends and 
neighbors followed his remains to the grave, his coffin draped 
with the national flag. 

Lois E. was born February 14, 1817. She married Henry 
H. Gage, a farmer. 

Capt. Thomas Barden, who married Olive Benton, as before 
stated, February 2, 1792, had the following children : Thomas 
4th, Ezekiel C, Levi, Otis B., Olive, Isaac, Richard and Polly. 
Thomas 4th served in a cavalry regiment in the war of 1812, 
making four generations of Thomas Bardens that resisted Brit- 
ish agression. Capt. Thomas Barden was killed on the 11th 
of June, 1813, by one John Decker, a blacksmith, of Potter 
Centre, at or a little north of the Old Castle, on his march 
from the lines with his company, in Major Huie's regiment. 
In the hurry and crowding of the march, the horse of Capt. 
Barden, pressed and jostled Decker. Fearing that Decker 
might think it intentional, he rode back, dismounted his horse, 
and while putting out his hand with an apology for the collis- 
sion, Decker dealt him a violent blow under the left ear and 
felled him dead at his feet. Decker was tried for murder, at 
Canandaigua, convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 
State Prison for a term of four years. Thomas 4th, Levi and 
Otis, reside on the homestead in No. 9. 

Susannah remaiued in New England, and married Nebediah 

James Barden married Olive Wolcott, a sister of Elisha and 
Walter Wolcott, and resided in Seneca. They had four children: 


Chauncey, Olive, Harriet and James. Harriet is the only 
survivor. She married Samuel Wheeler, son of George Wheel- 
er of Benton, and resides in Green Valle3 r , Sonoma county, Cali- 
fornia. In the fall of 1807, Olive, relict of James Barden, 
married for her second husband, Dr. Erastus B. Woodworth. 

Thomas Barden and his wife, the father and mother of Otis, 
afterwards emigrated to this country with the remainder of 
their children : Sylvanus, Milly, Eunice, Lois and George. 
They prepared two ox-sleds of capacious dimensions in which 
they packed their household goods. They put before each sled 
a yoke of large oxen, and one horse before each yoke as leader. 
They arrived with much joy and cordial welcome at the heme 
of their son Otis in March, 1799. A new log house was soon 
built on a lot of fifty acres, appropriated by their son Thomas 
as their homestead, on the north side of his lot, and they all 
moved there. 

Sylvanus married Patty Atwater, and resided on the home- 
stead. They had one child, Sylvanus Perry, who owns and oc- 
cupies the homestead. 

Milly married Rufus Smith of Seneca, a farmer, and had 
sons and daughters. 

Eunice married Elijah Witter of Seneca, Ontario county, 
who owned the mills north of Bethel. 

Lois married Calvin Benton, a son of Levi Benton. 

George Barden was born February 26, 1788, and named 
after his brother, who died as before stated, and came with his 
father to the town of Seneca, N. Y., in 1799. In August, 
1808, he married Dolly Witter, daughter of Elijah Witter of 
Seneca. She was born at Lackawaxen, Pa., February 22, 1789, 
and in 1810 they moved on the farm where they now reside, 
in the town of Benton, it being the south half of lot No. 49. 

Here they raised their large family of thirteen children, all 
of whom reached adult age : Dolly, Hannah, George R., 
Elizabeth, Sylvanus, James, Levi, Philo, Lucy A., Minerva, 
Mary J.. Martin W. and Tilson C. James, Philo and Lucy 
died single. 


Dolly married George Whitney of Seneca, and emigrated to 
Wheatland, Michigan, where they now reside with their family : 
Jane, Barden, Emma and Levi M. 

Hannah married William L. Mitchel of Benton, and resides 
at Bellona. They had no children. 

George R. married Elmira Southerland of Potter, daughter 
of James Southerland. They settled in Benton, where he now 
lives, and where she died, leaving four children : Ashley R., 
Lucy, Jennie and Theda H. Mr. Barden married for his sec- 
ond wife, Jennie Wilkinson, of Penn Yan. George R. Barden 
represented the county in the Legislature in the session of 

Elizabeth married William Nichols of Seneca. They settled 
in Benton, where he died, leaving his widow and four children : 
Marian B., Mary E., Hannah and George. 

Sylvanus married Jane Hedges of Barrington, and settled in 
Seneca, where she died leaving five children, : James, George, 
Alice, William and John J. Mr. B. married a sister of his 
first wife, Lucinda. 

Levi married Jane Corning of Ohio, and settled at Portage 
City, Wisconsin. They have three children : Willie, Mary E. 
and Marshal, twins. 

Minerva married John W. Mapes of Gorham, N. Y., where 
they settled. They have two children, Ella and Arley. 

Mary J. married William Barnes of Seneca, and resides on 
the Barnes homestead. They have four children : Grace, Albert 
W., Arthur L. and Freddie C. 

Martin W. married Margaret Brice of Gorham, N. Y. They 
reside on the Barden homestead in Benton, and have seven 
children : Leolan P., Llewellyn J., Archey B., Cassie L., 
Jennie, Delfield and Lilly. 

Tilson C. married Ruth, daughter of Samuel G. Gage. They 

emigrated to Portage City, Wis., where she died without children. 

He joined the 2d Regiment of Michigan Volunteers, and served 

through the wtir, being promoted from Lieutenant to Colonel, 

Judge Advocate, &c, and was commissioned in the regular 



army as Major at the close of the war. He now resides in 
Texas, where he is engaged in his profession as a lawyer, and 
is a judge of the court of his locality. For his second wife he 
married Eva Louis of Chicago. 

The Barden family is a numerous one, and was so at an early 
day. It is said that many years ago, the Bardens joined farms 
in Seneca and Benton for more than three miles in extent on 
the roads. 


This pioneer was one of the noblest of the early settlers of 
Bento*;, a good man with endowments and acquirements that 
made him useful to his own generation and doubly so to the 
youth of the new settlement. He was the first school teacher 
in what is now Benton, the first Methodist class leader Avest of 
Utica, and a teacher of singing, capable of writing musical 
note books with his pen, hardly surpassed in beauty by the 
neatest print. His zealous labors in behalf of education and 
religion, no less than the long line of his descendants, mark 
him as a noted father in the land. He was a native of Con- 
necticut, and married Huldah, the sister of Jared Patchen. 
They first settled in 1771 at Ballston, K Y., where they lived 
till after the Revolutionary War, being twice obliged to flee to 
Connecticut for safety during that period. He was largely en- 
gaged in the war, and in his absence his wife and children 
sometimes fled to the woods for safety. With his team of two 
yoke of oxen, he aided in placing the great chain across the 
Hudson, below West Point, by which British vessels were to 
be kept from passing up the river. Receiving no pay from 
the government, he found his reward in the blessings of that 
independence, in which he and his children's children have 
rejoiced. In 1788, he and his brother-in-law, Ezra Cole, moved 
with their families to Unadilla, N". Y., where they lived four 
years ; and in the spring of 1792, united with the family of 
Samuel Buell, whose son, Cyrus Buell, was already Mr. Hull's 
son-in-law, and formed a company of thirty for emigration to 
the Genesee Country. There came first seven to spy theout 



land, Eliphaiet Hull and his son Daniel, Samuel Buell and 
his sons Samuel, Cyrus and Ichabod, and Mathew, a son of 
Ezra Cole. They made judicious locations for settlement, and 
all but Ichabod Buel and Mathew Cole returned to bring their 
families and possessions to their wildei'ness home. The two 
who remained took care of a field of corn planted by the com- 
pany at Kashong, and worked what other time they had in 
Dr. Benton's saw mill. The entire colony arrived in July. 
The women and children were placed in four large canoes, 
lashed in pairs, and covered over, making two respectable bar- 
ges, and carrying the household goods, while the men and boys 
drove the stock by land ; and thus they followed the Susque- 
hanna to Owego. There taking sleds and a cart, they reached 
Ithaca, a distance of twenty -nine miles, in four days, and found 
not a single house on the road. They found the people cele- 
brating the Fourth of July at Ithaca, and it is worthy of re- 
mark, that Mrs. Cyrus Buell was present at a celebration at 
Ithaca just fifty years after that date, in 1842. They descended 
Cayuga Lake in boats to a point opposite their destination, 
crossed the peninsula between the lakes with their ox cart and 
sleds, and again taking water passage, crossed the Seneca to 
Kashong, the stock being driven around by Geneva. Elijah 
Spencer stood on the shore at Kashong, and was the first to 
welcome theni to the new country. 

Mr. Hull located at first on what is now the homestead of 
the Joseph Ketchum family, but on account of the frostiness 
of the valley, he soon removed and made his home on lot 58 
where David L. Becker now resides, which Avas long known as 
the "Hull Farm." Here he was the first settler, and here he 

They had eight children : Salmon, Hannah, David, Sarah, 
Martha, Anna, Eliphaiet and Seth. Salmon married Aletha 
Fox. Settled at first on the homestead, and finally moved to 
Erie county where he died. They had seven children : Sam- 
uel, Mary, Harriet, Eliza, John, David B. and Lewis. Of these, 
Mary married David Botsford, then of Canada West. They 


reside now at Rochester and have no children. Eliza married 
David Ream of Canada West, and finally removed to Roch- 
ester where both died, leaving several children, among whom 
were, George, John, Mary, Harriet and Eliza. Harriet Hull 
married Clinton True, who is the present IT. S. Consul at St. 
Thomas, in the West Indies. 

Hannah Hull married Jacob Baldwin, of Ballston, N. Y., and 
settled on the north part of the Hull homestead, where both 
died well advanced in years. Their children were, Mary, Dan- 
iel, Alfred, Delorville, Eliza, Emeline and Huldah. Mary mar- 
ried Wakeman Burr of Ballston, who bought the farm first 
ocoupied by Salmon Hull, and resided there till the death of 
Mr. Burr, when she moved with one of her sons to Italy, where 
she died. Their children were Mary A., George, Nelson, Hul- 
dah, Hannah and John. Mary A. married Lyman Griswold of 
Italy. George did not marry, was a soldier in the late war 
and did honorable service. Nelson married and resides in 
Italy. Huldah married Simon Stevens and moved west. 

Daniel Baldwin married Anna Peck of Benton, and settled 
at Italy Hill, where both died. Their children were Alfred, 
George, Amanda and Julia. George married Mary Taylor and 
resides in Gorham. Julia married Thomas Sanders of Jerusa- 
lem, where they reside. Amanda married O. Guernsey of Jeru- 
salem, and emigrated to California. 

Alfred Baldwin was a physician, and long a prominent citi- 
zen of Benton. He was a man of strict integrity, and noted 
for his settled disbelief in revealed religion. He married 
Mary Jacobus, and settled on a portion of the George Wheeler 
farm, on lot 57. His wife died leaving one son, Mason L., and 
he subsequently married Nancy Whitehead of Saratoga, who 
survives him. He died in 1865, in the seventieth year of his 
age. Mason L. Baldwin married Catharine, daughter of Jacob 
Meserole, and resides on the homestead. He has been Assist- 
ant U. S. Assessor several years, and is now engaged in bank- 
ing in Penn Yan. They have one child, Mary T. 


Delorville Baldwin married Lydia, daughter of Nathan 
Wheeler, and emigrated to Lake county, Illinois. Eliza mar- 
ried Sherwood S. Ball of Penn Yan, where she died without 
children. Emeline married Peter C. Anderson, and they reside 
on the Jacob Baldwin farm in Benton. Their children are, 
Mary T., Isadore A. and Charles A. Huldah died unmarried. 

Daniel Hull married Nancy Chapman, of Urbana, Steuben 
county, where he settled and kept a public house many years. 
They have one surviving son, Wakeman Hull of Wayland, N Y. 

Sarah Hull was the wife of Cyrus Buell. 

Martha Hull was the wife of George Wheeler, jr. They 
settled on the farm now owned by Mason L. Baldwin, which 
was long known as the "Wheeler Place." Their children 
were, Huldah, Eleanor, Ephraim, Samuel, Henry C, Catharine 
and Martha. Huldah was the wife of James S. Lansing. They 
lived near Benton Centre, and had several children, of whom 
Abraham is married and is a merchant at Palmyra, Missouri, 
and Eleanor married Lansing Koon, and resides in Virginia, 
near Washington. 

Eleanor Wheeler married Jabez Card of Potter, and both are 
deceased without children. 

Ephraim Wheeler married Fanny, daughter of Joshua Brown 
of Potter, and settled on the Brown homestead. Their child- 
ren are Martha E., Horace B., James IL, George C, Francis, 
Charles W., Joshua B., Edwin G. and Mary E. Martha E. 
married George W. Spencer, and after her decease, Mary be- 
came the second wife of Mr. Spencer. Horace B. married 
Elizabeth, daughter of Silas Lacey. They reside on the Brown- 
Wheeler homestead in Potter, and have two children : Glennis 
and Bradley. James H. married Janett Boswell of Jerusalem, 
and settled on the homestead in Potter, where he died leaving 
one child, Daniel W. George C. resides at Bloomsburg, Indi- 
ana. Francis J. married Bertrim Semple of Oxford, Indiana, 
where she died leaving no children. Charles W. resides in 
Iowa. Joshua B. resides at Coldwater, Michigan, unmarried. 
Edwin G. resides on the homestead in Potter, unmarried. 


Samuel Wheeler married Harriet Barden, daughter of Olive 
Wolcott and her first husband and James Barden, and step- 
daughter of Dr. Erastus Woodworth. They lived in Benton for 
a time and emigrated to Michigan, and thence to California, 
where they reside. Their children are Sarah, George and 

Henry C. Wheeler married Mary, daughter of Elijah Spencer, 
engaged for some time in the book trade in Penn Yan, was 
County Superintendent of Schools several years, and a farmer. 
He finally emigrated to Minnesota, and moved thence to Chi- 
cago, where they reside. Their children are E. Spencer, Frank 
and Caroline. Frank is married and was connected with the 
army during the rebellion, and engaged in the recent Indian 

Catharine Wheeler married Alva Buckbee of Benton. He 
died, leaving one daughter, and his widow married for her 
second husband, Stephen, a son of Peleg Briggs of Potter 
Peleg and Stephen Briggs were born of the second marriage. 

Martha Wheeler married Mr. Crittenden, and moved to 
Allegany county, from whence, after his death, she has removed 
to Virginia, near Alexandria with her family. 

George Wheeler, jr., when married, was a man of the world. 
His wife led him to think of religion, and he was converted 
and became an ardent Methodist and defender of the faith with 
tongue, heart and soul, and especially against the Unitarian 
heresies of a certain brother, Reuben Finley, who, though a 
Methodist, leaned toward the Unitarian interpretation of the 
mysteries of the Godhead. He ultimately became a local 
preacher, and for many years officiated in the neighborhoods 
about, in barns, private houses and elsewhere, as circumstances 
demanded. Was active in causing to be erected the first 
Methodist Meeting House built exclusively for that purpose, 
within the bounds of this county. It was located on his home- 
stead farm, near the Elisha Wolcott residence, on the road run- 
ning west from the South Centre road, a short distance west of 
the school house that used to stand on the three corners. 


It remained a standing monument of Mr. Wheeler's and his 
neighbor's energies and devotion to the Christian cause for 
many years. It was a frame building, clapboarded and rudely 
seated, without steeple, paint, lath or plaster, and no means of 
warming, except through the use of coals in iron kettles dis- 
persed about the floor. It was furnished with a pulpit of re- 
markable altitude, but circumscribed in dimensions, which was 
reached by a straight, narrow stairway from each side, repre- 
senting the "straight and narrow path," doubtless, while it was 
surrounded by a circular chancel for penitents and members to 
kneel and pray for and receive blessings. Robert Patterson 
was the architect and builder, in 1807. 

A circumstance occurred during one of the many exciting 
seasons this house and neighborhood were blessed with, and 
still remembered by the believing faithful, and runs in this 
wise : A worthy brother, Rev. Samuel Rowley, was holding 
forth in strains of exhuberant exhortation to the surrounding 
mourners, such extatic visions of the future, that he became so 
spiritual and etherial, during one of the singing intervals as at 
a single impulse, to leap over the high front of the pulpit and 
land in the midst of the vocal group surrounding the altar be- 
low, without the least harm to himself or others, and at once 
joined with them in raising the choral strains to the highest 

Richard H. Williams, who contributes this paragraph, says 
he well remembers this old house, as it stood vacant long after 
it was abandoned as a place of worship, and its shelly, dilapi- 
dated character, and also seeing Dr. Erastus B. Wolcott, (who 
was an expert with a bow and arrow,) shoot a blunt or square 
ended arrow through its siding from a bow once belonging to 
the celebrated Indian Chief, Red Jacket, a distance of twenty 

This bow was lost in the burning of the residence of George 
W. Wolcott, of Barrington. It doubtless was one of the most 
remarkable and powerful articles of the kind, and it is well 
authenticated that it was long the prized and favorite bow of 


that noted chief, and that with it he had slain many a deer and 
other large wild game, even to the buffalo. The wood of which 
it was made was of the most dense and perfect hickory, and of 
marked and unusual weight. The bow was backed with sinew 
from the back of the deer, most ingeniously and perfectly at- 
tached to the wood, and in such manner as to add to it all the 
elasticity and strength of that material, while the union of the 
wood aDd sinew was perfect and even closer than the natural 

Thus in this brief note do we transmit to posterity four im- 
portant and well authenticated facts. George Wheeler, jr.'s 
christian energy and devotion; the old and first Methodist 
Meeting House, with some of its leading incidents and spiritual 
scenes ; the remarkable bow of Red Jacket, the more remarka- 
ble Indian Chief, and the consummate skill of Dr. Wolcott in 
the use of the bow — for it may be remarked and remembered, 
that not one man in a thousand could draw that bow to its 
maximum power ; to which should be added the remarkable 
feat of muscular Christianity here related. 

Anna Hull married Elisha Wolcott, who came from Litch- 
field county, Connecticut, in 1795, and settled on lot 59, where 
they resided till 1834, when they removed to Barring! on, with 
their youngest son, where both died, he nearly eighty, in 1856, 
and she in 1857. They were a pair happily united, and lived 
to improve and enjoy life, for others as well as themselves. 
The gentle and kindly amenities of social intercourse, were 
beautifully illustrated by their example, in which a frank 
and generous sociability triumphed over selfishness. Their 
children were Gideon, Hannah, Oliver P., Erastus B. and 
George W. Gideon was born November 7, 1798. He mar- 
ried Anna, daughter of Daniel Brown, jr., of Jerusalem, Jan- 
uary 22, 1825. They settled in that town and resided there 
till recently. Mrs. Wolcott died in 1864, and Mr. Wolcott re- 
sides in Brooklyn with his daughter, Mary, an only child, the 
wife of Gen. C. L. Kilbourn, of the U. S. Army. 



Hannah Wolcott was born August 21, 1800. She married 
Dr. Mason Laman of Benton Centre. He followed his pro- 
fession for a short time, and died leaving one child, Mary, who 
became the wife of Henry N\ Wagener of Penn Yan. Mrs. 
Laman married a second husband, James Mc Auley of Seneca, 
and they reside in Barrington. They have had one child, Mar- 
garet, not now living. 

Oliver P. Wolcott married Sophia Stewart of Penn Yan. 
He commenced his practice as a physician, at Warsaw, in Bar- 
rington, and afterwards removed to Benton Centre, where he 
had a large practice for seventeen years. In 1857 he removed 
to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where his wife died ten years later. 
He resides there still, and is eminent in his profession. They 
have two surviving children, Jane S. and Hubert. The daughter 
married Joel K Jillett of Benton. They reside in Milwaukee 
and have two children, Frank and Harriet. Hubert married 
Anna Swift of Milwaukee, and resides there. 

Erastus B. was born in 1806, also became a physician, joined 
the United States Army as Assistant Surgeon, and served 
through the Cherokee campaigns, was afterwards stationed at 
Fort Snelling, in Minnesota, and for a time at Mackinaw, where 
he married Jane, daughter of Michael Dousman, long associa- 
ted with the army, and connected with the fur trade, and one 
of the founders of the city of Milwaukee, where the Doctor 
finally located. He has been identified with the growth and 
prosperity of that city. He is regarded as the head of his 
profession in that State, especially as a surgeon. During the 
late war he was Surgeon General of Wisconsin, and is one of 
the commissioners for founding and locating soldiers' homes in 
several of the States. He is also surgeon in charge of the 
Wisconsin Soldier's Home, at Milwaukee.. They have two sur- 
viving children, Marian and Douglass. The daughter is the wife 
of Major Yates of the United States Army, residing at Milwau- 
kee, and in charge of the Soldiers' Home at that place. The 
son is unmarried. Jane Dousman, the first wife of Dr. Erastus 
B. Wolcott, died several years ago, and he married in 1869, 
Miss Ross, a celebrated lady physician of Milwaukee. 


George W. Wolcott was born in 1811. He married Flora 
Shaw and resides on the homestead in Barrington. He has 
been an active and successful farmer, and he represented the 
county in the Assembly in 1846. Their children are Saxton S., 
Grurtha, Emma and Arthur. 

Eliphalet Hull, jr. married Mary, daughter of Moses Van 
Campen of Benton. He was a soldier in the war of 1812, be- 
longing to Captain Stanley's Rifle Company. The heavy can- 
nonade at the storming of Fort Erie, with sickness that fol- 
lowed, caused him to become deaf. He removed west where 
he died, and where he has numerous descendants, widely 

Seth Hull was thrice married. His third wife and the mother 
of his children, was Mary Brown, a widow, of Benton. They 
resided some time in Italy, from whence they removed to 
Michigan, where he died. Their surviving children are Cyrus 
and Emeline. Cyrus did honorable service under Gen. Sheri- 
dan in the war of the rebellion. 

In reviewing the Hull family, it is proper to say, that how- 
ever praiseworthy the male members of the several families 
were as men and citizens, Grandmother Hull, the wife of Eli- 
phalet Hull, was a woman of remarkable capacities and worth. 
Her experiences covered the whole period of the Revolution 
and many years thereafter, buffeting the trials and perils inci- 
dent to pioneer life, which involved hardships and privations 
inconceivable to our time, and made her an oracle of her period 
among a wide circle of acquaintances. Her four daughters 
who settled near her, Mrs. Cyrus Buel, Mrs. Jacob Baldwin, 
Mrs. Elisha Wolcott, and Mrs. George Wheeler, jr., all partook 
largely of her characteristics, and each filled the station of an 
intelligent and exemplary mother and citizen so conspicuously, 
as to receive unusual consideration and respect from all who 
knew them. The social favor of Grandmother Hull and her 
daughters, was proudly sought and rejoiced in by those who ap- 
preciated an elevated womanly standard, assumed in early life, 
and maintained with increased dignity and a loving spirit to 


the end of a long life, as was the case Avith each. Such moth- 
ers deserve the kindest regards of history. 


This was a brother of Eliphalet Hull. He was a soldier un- 
der Gen. Montgomery at the siege and storming of Quebec. 
He came to township No. 8 about 1800, and located on the 
South Centre road near his brother. His wife was Sarah, the 
sister of Jared Patchen, and their children were Jared, Nathan, 
Polly, Milley, Seth, Daniel and Laura. Polly became the wife 
of Artemas Buel. Nathan married a Miss Lamb of Barring- 
ton and settled in Benton, where she died leaving three chil- 
dren, Abel, Dillis and Sarah. The sons emigrated to Chautau- 
qua county, and Sarah married Reuben Wells and settled at 
Italy Hill. Milley married Dr. Archibald Barnett, and settled 
in Potter. Laura married Rev. Mr. Chandler, a Methodist 
preacher, and moved to Illinois. The other children of Seth 
Hull did not become married residents of Yates county. 


Ezra Cole was born April 26, 1751, in Litchfield, Connecti- 
cut, and married the sister of Jared Patchen December 21, 
1774. They and their children were of the little colony of 
settlers who came from Unadilla in 1792. It is said that Ezra 
Cole, who was at that time an itinerant minister of the Metho- 
dist church, had gained some previous knoAvledge of the coun- 
try, and set on foot the expedition. They settled on lot 113, 
at the centre of No. 8, and he became the proprietor of four or 
five hundred acres of land. He built a respectable log house 
at first, a little west on the northwest corner, which he opened 
as a public house before 1800. In 1804 he built a frame house 
30 by 40 feet, two stories high, with four large rooms below, 
and two above, besides a long ball room the whole length of 
the house, which was located a few rods west of the corners, on 
the north side of the road. The building had a large wing and 
wood house. Here Ezra Cole flourished as dispensor of refresh- 
ments for man and beast, till his death in 1821, at the age of sev- 
enty, He did not, however, abide with the church. Their chil- 



dren were Matthew, Delliah, Lois, Nathan P., Daniel, Asa, 
Smith M., Sabra and Ezra. Only the last two were born after 
they settled in Benton, (then Jerusalem.) Matthew married 
Martha Gregory, a widow, in 1797; her maiden name was 
Whitehead. They settled on the homestead north of the Cen- 
tre, where they died, she March 2, 1841, aged seventy-four, and 
he May 6, 1841, aged sixty-five. They had two children, 
Martha and Polly. Martha became the wife of the late Samuel 
G. Gage, and Polly married Anthony H. Lewis of Benton, still 
residing on the old homestead, the parents of a large family. 

Their children are Lucy Jane, Louise, Martha, Erasmus D., 
George, Charles, Mary and Myron. Lucy Jane married Nor- 
man, son of Ezra Cole, jr., and was his second wife. He and 
his oldest son were killed by Indians on a buffalo hunt in Kan- 
sas, leaving her a widow with one child, a son. Louise mar- 
ried Mr. Smalley and has several children. Martha married 
Daniel Millspaugh, a merchant of Benton Centre. Erasmus D. 
married Charlotte, daughter of Dr. John L. Cleveland. George 
married Martha Mott of Montezuma. They have three chil- 
dren : Elizabeth, Charles and Clarence. Charles is unmarried 
and Mary is dead. Myron married Jane Bedell. They have 
one child, Estella, and reside on the homestead. 

Delliah Cole married Jonathan Bateman, and settled at Lodi, 
Seneca county, where he died in 1806, leaving four children, 
Fletcher, Nancy, Amy and John. She subsequently married 
William Petti* of Benton, and settled near Bellona. They 
had three sons, Warren, Paris and Norman. 

Lois Cole married Lewis Morris in 1800. They moved to 
Indiana where he died, and she afterwards removed to Nan- 
kin, Michigan, where she still lives at the age of eighty. Her 
children are David, Delilah, Polly, Robert, Sabra, James and 

Nathan P. Cole was a prominent and active citizen in his 
day, and married Sally, daughter of Elisha Woodworth, in 
1808. They settled on a part of the homestead next south of 
Matthew, where they lived and died, she in 1844, at the age of 



sixty-one, and he in 1852, at the age of seventy. Their chil- 
dren were Elisha W., Caroline, Pamela, Elizabeth W., John B., 
Polly and Piatt. Elisha W. married Louisa Van Tuyl of Wa- 
terloo, and resides in Chicago. Caroline is dead and Pamela is 
unmarried. Elizabeth W. married Abraham W. Shearman of 
Milo. John B. died single. Polly married Josiah Elliott, and re- 
sides at Union City, Iowa. They have three children. Piatt 
married Martha Scott, and moved to Elmira, where he died in 
1862, leaving his widow and one son, Ross. 

Daniel Cole died single, at the age of fifty-six, in 1840. 

Asa Cole was born May 25, 1788. He married Sally Sprague 
of Benton, December 31, 1810. They settled on Head street 
in Penn Yan, where the Birdsall Machine Shop now stands, 
and where he was engaged in keeping a hotel and staging for 
many years. He was identified with the activities of the vil- 
lage when Head street was Penn Yan, and stages were the 
chief means of traveling. He maintained a high character as 
a business man, and finally moved on a farm a short distance 
north on the Benton Centre road, where his wife died in 1836, 
leaving one son, Myron. Subsequently he married Lydia Fran- 
cis, a widow, whose maiden name was Wilkinson. They had 
one son, Richard F. Mr. Cole died in 1860 at the age of 
seventy-two. For several years he was President of the Yates 
County Bank. As a prominent member of the Methodist 
church, he was noted for benevolence and sympathy with all 
religious and philanthropic movements. His widow survives 
and resides with her son. Myron married Susan, daughter of 
Morris F. Sheppard, who died without children. His second 
wife is Caroline, daughter of Dr. John L. Cleveland. They 
reside in Elmira and have two children, John A. and Sabra C. 
Richard F. married Mary J. Lazear of Barrington, and resides 
on the homestead. 

Smith M. Cole married Betsey Scofield of Benton. They 
settled in Penn Yan, and for many years kept a tavern where 
the present tavern is kept, and afterwards on Flat street, on the 
place now owned by Charles B. Shaw, and where he died in 


1864, at the age of seventy-four. He was a unique and rather 
remarkable character. For keeping a tavern he had a singular 
proneness, and yet no man detested the taste of liquor or the 
smell of tobacco more than he. A low drunkard or smoker 
was his horror, and he always refused to sell liquor to an intoxi- 
cated person. Yet he seemed to prefer to associate himself 
with the class most addicted to these evils, and their influence 
doubtless poisoned his life. He was remarkable for his accurate 
and almost encyclopedic memory of all early events in this re- 
gion. His wife survives him. They had three children, Mat- 
thew, Harriet and Calvin. The daughter died young. Mat- 
thew married Susan' Crawford of Penn Yan, and has long resi- 
ded in Iowa. Calvin emigrated while young to Warsaw, Illi- 
nois, where he resides. 

Sabra Cole married Dr. John L. Cleveland. 

Ezra Cole, jr., was born in 1799. He married Betsey Maker 
of Benton, in 1818, and emigrated to Three Rivers, Michigan, 
where they reside. They have had five children, Herman H., 
Norman, Susan and Lydia. 


Dr. Cleveland was born September 21, 1792, in Schoharie 
county, and came to Penn Yan in 1814, where he taught the 
first select school, and soon resumed the study of medicine 
under Dr. Joshua Lee. He had previously studied with anoth- 
er physician. After receiving his diploma, he married Sabra, 
daughter of Ezra Cole, and began his practice at Eddytown, 
early in 1816. They remained there two years and moved to 
Benton Centre, where he was a popular practitioner for a long 
period, and acquired a considerable estate in land. He was 
acting Under Sheriff under Samuel Lawrence, who was Sheriff 
of Ontario county when Yates was set off, and subsequently 
served as Associate Judge of the Yates County Courts for nine 
years, by appointment of Governors Marcy and Bouck. His 
wife died in 1855 at the age of fifty-nine, on the premises where 
she was born. Four of their children reached adult age and 
were married. Susan A. married Israel H Arnold. Charlee 


D. married Louisa A., daughter of John Payne of Potter, and 
lives west. They had five children, John W., Caroline, Charles, 
Catharine and Myron C. John W. was a successful school 
teacher and enlisted in the army on the first call when the 
rebellion broke out. He made an honorable record as a soldier, 
and died of disease contracted in the service, January 7, 1864. 
Caroline M. Cleveland married Myron Cole. Mary C. married 
Erasmus D. Lewis. They have one child, Sabra. 

Dr. Cleveland married a second wife, Caroline Lewis of Ge- 
neva, and resides now in that village. He has long been a firm 
adherent of the Methodist church. He relates that among the 
pupils of his Penn Yan school, still living, are George and 
Charles C. Sheppard, Charles Wagener and James Dwight 
Morgan. He has been a very firm Democratic politician all 
his life. 


William Buell, who emigrated from England, and landed at 
Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1630, is said to be the common 
ancestor of all the Buells in this country. Samuel Buell, senior, 
the Benton pioneer, was of the fifth generation from William 
of Dorchester. He was born at Hebron, Connecticut, in 1740, 
was a soldier in the French war, and captain of a militia com- 
pany in the Revolution, called out for the public defence in the 
vicinity of Fort Edward. His son, Cyrus Buell, at the age of 
fifteen years, was serving as a soldier within Fort Ann when it 
fell into the hands of the British. The young prisoner was 
taken to Canada, spent a winter among the Indians, and fell 
into the hands of a British officer, who kept him three years at 
Montreal and Quebec, and sent him to school. At the end of 
the war he returned to his father's family at Fort Edward. 
The family then removed to the Susquehanna valley, stopping 
one winter on Schoharie creek. Cyrus Buell built the first 
cabin at Great Bend. A freshet swept away his corn the first 
year, and he then removed to Unadilla. In 1792 the family 
came with that of Eliphalet Hull and Ezra Cole to this county, 
and settled around the centre of township No. 8 ; Cyrus Buell 
and his young wife on lot 115, and his father with the residue 


of the family, on lots 78 and 76, where Henry C. Collin now 
resides. There Samuel Buel, senior, died, seventeen years later, 
in 1809, at the age of sixty-nine. His first wife was Sarah, 
daughter of Peleg Holmes of Kent, Litchfield county, Con- 
necticut. She died at Fort Edward in 1772, at the age of 
thirty, leaving six children: Sarah, born in Connecticut in 
' 1761, and Samuel, Cyrus, Paulina, Betsey and Ichabod, born at 
Fort Edward, the latter the same month that his mother died. 
The second wife was Susan Morse, and the children of this mar- 
riage were Henry, Catharine, Anna, Hannah, Esther, Artemas, 
Mary and Matilda. The birth of Matilda Buell, in September, 
1792, was among the first in that town. 

Sarah Buell, the oldest of the children, married Amaziah 
Phillips, and settled in Cayuga county about 1792. 

Samuel Buell, jr., married Jerusha Griswold, and settled on 
the west part of lot 115. The store of Oliver P. Guthrie 
stands on a corner of his farm. In 1816 they removed to 
Vevay, Switzerland county, Indiana, with their seven children, 
Elias, Anna, Henry, Mary, Eliza, Cyrus and Samuel. 

Cyrus Buell, who married Sarah Hull October 1, 1791, set- 
tled immediately on the arrival of the little colony, on the spot 
where David H. Buell now resides, on lot 115. They lived till 
the approach of cold weather in a hastily erected bark cabin. 
Then a good log house was built, which afforded them a com- 
fortable residence more than twenty years. It had a good 
shingle roof, nailed on, and glass windows. The glass and 
nails were happily brought with them, and these were unusual 
luxuries for the period. In 1814, the present mansion of 
David H. Buell was erected on nearly the same ground where 
the log house and bark cabin stood. Here Cyrus Buell died in 
1835, at the age of seventy, and his wife in 1866, at the pre- 
cise age of ninety-one and one-half years. Their only child 
was David H. Buell, born September 3, 1795, and now living 
at the age of seventy-four. He is one of a very small number 
native to this county born before the close of the eighteenth 
century, and few now living represent so worthily and perfectly 



the early life of Yates county. His residence on the same spot 
where his father settled in the unbroken thickets of a dense 
wilderness in 1792, illustrates that noble principle of social 
continuity which imparts the greatest value and power to all 
human society. It represents permanence and stability, as 
opposed to that ever changing dispersive tendency so common 
to American life, and so hurtful to the best features of social 
growth. We find too few examples of this family and local 
continuity in Yates county history. David H. Buell is the 
President of the Yates County Historical Society, worthily 
and wisely chosen. He is a personal embodiment of a large 
scope of early history. His mind is a valuable magazine of 
facts, and his memory is seldom at fault in regard to early 
events that came within his knowledge, and few appreciate so 
well the value of historical accuracy, and the wrong of allow- 
ing oblivion to cover, past redemption, the pioneer history of 
our locality. Mr. Buell has in his house a fine black walnut 
book case made from a tree of his father's planting. In the 
fall of 1792 when they drew home from Kashong the corn 
planted the spring before, they threw in some black walnuts. 
From one of these grew the tree which stood sixty-seven years 
near the residence of Mr. Buell. It began to decay, and he 
had it cut down, and a book case made from the lumber in 
memory of his fiither, and the tree he planted so early in the 
settlement of the country. 

When the company came from Unadilla, one of the most 
precious boxes of their baggage contained 600 young apple 
trees, all of which were planted out, and became in a few years 
a source of luxury and income. A cider mill was erected at 
an early date, and people came from far and near, and especially 
from the hills of Steuben for supplies of apples and cider. Men 
that could not pay with money, would pay in labor for the 
cherished fruits of the orchard. Some of those trees are still 
standing on Mr. Buell's farm. 

The character of the forest no doubt impressed the early 
settlers with the high quality of the soil that produced it. Mr. 



Buell still has twenty acres of original wood divested of its 
undergrowth, and finer timber cannot be found. The tall trees 
running from sixty to eighty feet, with trunks almost as large 
as at the base, indicate a remarkable soil for trees to grow in. 
The prevalence of the Sugar Maple, made the sugar making 
business every recurring spring, imperative, and never to be 
omitted until more recent years. 

The cattle, during the early years, found their living in the 
woods in summer, and at the first subsisted chiefly on browse 
in the winter. Every settler knew his own cow bell, and many 
of them were very clear and sweet toned bells in those days. 
Mr. Buell says that his father often traced his cattle a long dis- 
tance in the woods by the sound of his bell, and that he some- 
times heard and distinguished it as far as three or four miles. 

George Bennett, who married Betsey Buell, settled where 
Samuel B. Gage now lives, and was an excellent blacksmith, 
and manufactured these bells of all sizes, and of the most superior 
qualify. No such bells are to be had now. 

David H. Buell married Elizabeth, daughter of Joshua An- 
drews. Their children were Sarah E., Anna M., Mary A., 
Emily and Cyrus. He has a second wife, Margaret, daughter 
of Stephen A. Wolcott of Le Roy. Of his children, Mary mar- 
ried Robert S. Edmonds, and died leaving one child, Elizabeth. 
Cyrus married Elizabeth, daughter of Caleb J. Legg, and both 
died without children. Mr. Buell was elected County Clerk in 
1843, and filled the office one term. In early life, he and his 
cousin, Gideon Wolcott, and some of their associates, were ac- 
complished musicians, playing on the fife and clarionet with 
remarkable skill. He was a Fife Major in the old 42d Regi- 
ment of Militia, to which office he was appointed by Colonel 
James Bogert. They afterwards joined Captain George Shear- 
man's famous company of cavalry, where they played on the 
clarionet. It was their pride to attend the grand reception 
given to La Fayette at Geneva in 1825, where they were high- 
ly complimented. The full band was David H. Buell, Gideon 
Wolcott, Mordecai Ogden, Erastus B. Wolcott, Nathaniel 


Finch, bugler, and George W. Wolcott, key bugler. Their 
playing was everywhere praised as the best anywhere known. 
Mr. Buell's family represents the culture and advance of the 
times. The homestead is a delightful place, and the ancient 
domicil is the abode of kind and cheerful inmates, who regale 
their friends with artistic music and intelligent conversation, 
affording the visitor pleasing recollections of this life of change, 
hurry, toil, and too often bluff hospitality. 

Paulina Buell married John Coleman, and settled in St. Law- 
rence county, N. Y. 

Betsey Buell married George Bennett, and they, after a short 
residence where Samuel B. Gage resides, moved to Aurelius, 
Cayuga county, where she died about 1805. The husband and 
family subsequently removed to Switzerland county, Indiana. 

Ichabod Buell was born July 10, 1772. He married Phoebe 
Butler, and settled on a portion of the homestead, where they 
remained till 1837, when they moved to Jerusalem. Their 
children were John, Samuel, Robert, Lorenzo, Sally, Huldah, 
Harriet and Matilda. John moved to Pennsylvania, and died 
at Altoona, in that State, in 1867, leaving a widow and family. 
Samuel born November 30, 1800, married Jane A. Mun- 
ger of Jerusalem in 1837. He kept a public house for some 
time in Shearman's Hollow, and afterwards returned to Benton, 
where he has held the office of constable for many years, and 
has long been known throughout the county in that capacity, 
having done a large share of the business for the Penn Yan 
magistrates. He is usually so much a popular favorite that lit- 
tle if any opposition is made to him. Robert born in ] 802, 
married Phoebe Drew in 1843. He was twelve years a Justice 
of the Peace in Benton, residing at Penn Yan ; and moved to 
Plainfield, Michigan, where he died in 1854, leaving no chil- 
dren. Lorenzo born in 1807, married Amy Widner of 
Chili, K Y, in 1838. They lived in this county till 1853, 
when they emigrated to Howell, Michigan, where she died 
leaving three children, Huldah, Henry C. and Dewitt C. Polly 
married Michael Fisher, and lived in Gorham, removing to 


Michigan in 1835. They have a large family. Sally married 
Selah Randolph of Clarkson, N. Y., settled in Benton and 
afterwards in Potter, where she died leaving several children, 
among whom were Jane, Sarah, Harriet and John. Huldah 
married James Milhollon, settled in Benton, and moved to 
Michigan in 1836 with three children. Harriet married James 
T. Pearce of Jerusalem, and afterwards moved to Penn Yan, 
where her husband died in 1863, leaving one daughter, Sarah, 
who married A. Shepherd of Jerusalem. Matilda married 
James C. Denio of Perry, Shiawassee county, Michigan. 

Henry Buell died young at Unadilla. 

Catharine Buell married William Hilton, jr., and settled on 
the north part of the Hilton homestead, now the property of Dr. 
John L. Cleveland, where he died leaving 'five sons : Orman, 
Samuel, Ai-temas, Berget and Ariel. She afterwards married 
Clark Hilton, a brother of her first husband, and moved to 
Clarence, Erie County. They had several daughters by the 
second marriage. 

Anna Buell married Russel Youngs of Benton, and settled 
on a new farm in Benton about 1801, where he died in 1832, 
leaving six children : Alma, Polly, Maria, Milan, Oliver and 
Fanny. Alma died young, and Polly became the wife of Eze- 
kiel Clark of Jerusalem. Maria married John W. Cornwell, a 
tailor, of Benton, and settled near the homestead, where he 
died, leaving his widow and two children, John and Ann. 
Milan Youngs is unmarried, and resides with his mother on the 
homestead. Oliver married Miss Scott of Seneca, and emigra- 
ted to "Wisconsin. Fanny married Samuel H. Chapman, and 
resides on the Youngs homestead. He is a school teacher of 
note and thirty year's experience, and the present Crier of the 
Yates County Courts. Their children have been Charles E., 
Mary Jane, Henry O., Alson, Russel, Eugene and Fred. 
Charles was a soldier of Company I, 33d Regiment New York 
Volunteers, and died in a hospital, September 5, 1862. Henry 
O. died young, and Alson is a teacher in the Penn Yan 


Hannah Buell married Newell Mount, and settled in Clarence, 
Erie county, N Y. 

Esther Buell married Mr. French, and also settled in Clarence. 

Mary Buell married Luther Youngs, and likewise settled in 

Matilda Buell, one of the first born of Benton, married Levi 
Bunnell, and settled in Clarence. 

Artemas Buell married Mary, daughter of Seth Hull, and 
settled on the Buell homestead, about 1800, near the present 
residence of Henry C. Collin. In 1816 they emigrated to 
Ellery, Chautauqua county, and subsequently removed to Sugar 
Grove, Warren county, Pennsylvania, where he died and sev- 
eral of the family still reside. 


William Hilton was a native of Connecticut, and married 
Ruth Butler in 1772, he at the age of thirty and she twenty- 
one. They settled in Benton in 1794, on lot 56, moving there 
from Unadilla. He bought the whole of lot 56 of a man who 
had straggled into the country, had become homesick, and was 
returning to Connecticut. He accepted an eld horse for the 
premises, describing the place as rough, stony and forbidding, 
and declaring he would never go back to it. Mr. Hilton, who 
made the purchase as a dubious venture, was greatly surprised 
as well as pleased to find it all he could desire, and not as it 
was painted by the homesick Yankee who sold . it. They had 
a family of five hardy sons and three daughters, who in the 
earlier years were among the most sprightly and active of that 
muscular age. William Hilton died in 1828, at the age of 
eighty-six, and his wife in 1826, at the age of seventy-five. 
Their children were William, Daniel, Ruth, Benjamin, Clark, 
Eli, Hooper, Mary and Phoebe. William married Catharine, 
daughter of Samuel Buell, senior, and after his. decease, his 
widow became the wife of Clark Hilton. Daniel married Mary 
Williams of Seneca, and settled in Benton. She died leaving 
three children, Orange and Olive, who reside in Steuben county, 
and Paulina, who married Brown Davis of Benton, and moved 


to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Davis married a second wife, Mary 
Hovey of Benton, and their children were William, Eli, Emily 
and Daniel, all of whom are west except Daniel, who resides 
at Benton Centre. 

Benjamin, Eli and Hooper Hilton, enlisted in the United 
States Army, about the period of the embargo, 1810, for five 
years, and served in the war of 1812. They marched on foot 
from Geneva to Albany, and only Benjamin ever returned 
home. He soon after went west and was not further heard 
from. Mary and Phoebe also emigrated west, and the family 
seems to be extinct in Yates County. 


One of the earliest Benton pioneers, who is represented by 
a numerous line of descendants, was George Wheeler, senior. 
He and his wife, Catharine Lyon, were natives of Dutchess 
county, and of the same age, the birth day of one being Christ- 
mas, and the other New Years. He died in 1824 at the age of 
seventy-nine, and she three vears later. He purchased at an 
early day lot 37, of township 7, first range, 276 acres, the north- 
west corner lot of Milo, embracing so much of Penn Yan as 
lies north of the Keuka outlet, and west of a line nearly coin- 
cident with Benham and Sheppard streets. This tract he gave 
or sold to his two sons-in-law, Robert Chissom and James Sco- 
field, who settled on it in 1791. Chissom had the northwest 
and southeast quarters of the lot, and Scofield the southwest 
and northeast quarters ; and theirs is the first recorded title of 
the land on which Penn Yan stands. George Wheeler himself 
was one of the settlers of Benton in 1791. He was a quiet 
man and became a large land owner, giving each of his chil- 
dren farms of liberal dimensions. From old maps of No. 8, it 
would appear that he, owned lots 57, 43 and 45 of that town- 
ship. Some of his early purchases cost him but fifty cents per 
acre. Two of his sous, Ephraim and Samuel, young lads, died 
in 1791 of what was called Canker Hash They were the first 
calls of mortality among the settlers of that town, and were 
buried on the premises of Levi Benton, where the cemetery 


east of Benton Centre still remains. The other children of 
the Wheeler family were, Eleanor, George, jr., Nathan, Susan, 
Margaret and Zachariah. Eleanor married James Smith, and 
remained at Greenbush, N. Y. 

George, jr., married Martha Hull, and settled on the south 
half of lot 57, and his descendants are included in the Hull 
family record. He was noted as a preacher. 

Nathan married Mary Sherman of Utica, and settled on the 
north half of lot 57, where she died, leaving two children, 
George S. and Elizabeth. His second wife was Betsey Miller, 
a widow. He died, and his widow emigrated west with sev- 
eral children. Lydia, the oldest daughter of the second mar- 
riage, became the wife of Delorville Baldwin. George S. 
Wheeler married Elizabeth, daughter of Griffin B. Hazard. 
They settled in Benton, where she died, leaving one surviving 
daughter, Dorcas, the wife of Dr. Wemple II. Crane. The 
second wife of Mr. Wheeler was Jane Scott, who left three 
children, Hadley, Arthur and Scott. His third wife was widow 
Middleton, with whom he emigrated to Michigan. 

Elizabeth Wheeler married Henry Sayre of Benton. They 
settled in Starkey where he died. Their children were Job, 
Nathan, Mary, George and Henry. Job married Ann Rey- 
nolds of Starkey. Nathan married Emeline Sickles of Barring- 
ton, Mary married Asbury Harpending of Dundee. George mar- 
ried Harriet Gifford of Dundee, and moved to New York, 
where he died leaving one son, Wheeler. Henry married 
Mary, daughter of William S. Hudson of Benton. They re- 
side in Starkey and have two children, William and Ferdinand. 

Susan Wheeler married Robert Chissom. 

Margaret Wheeler married James Scofield of Hillsdale, 
Columbia county. They first built a small log house near the 
little brook running through the Penn Yan cemetery. One of 
the apple trees that sprang from seeds planted by him, is still 
in the field a little west of Sucker Brook. They removed soon 
after to the farm in Benton, since known as the Samuel Ran- 
dall farm, now owned by the Joseph Ketchum family. From 


there they removed to the locality where Rochester now stands, 
and left there because the land was poor and the place unheal- 
thy? going first to Chautauqua county, and thence to Ohio, 
and finally to Illinois. Their children were Elizabeth, Samuel, 
Phoebe, James, George, William, Hiram, Catharine, Robert 
and Margaret. James is a Baptist minister at Bristol, Illinois, 
and the father of Gen. John M. Scofield, a distinguished soldier 
during the rebellion, and late Secretary of War. Wheeler, 
another son of James Scofield, jr., was a Brigadier General 
during the war, and Charles, another, is now a Cadet at West 
Point. Elizabeth, one of the daughters of James Scofield, 
senior, married Smith M. Cole, and still survives at the age of 
nearly eighty. She came here before she was six months old, 
has been an eye witness of all the transformation that has 
come since, and is able to give many interesting reminisences 
of the early years. One day, going on a visit to her aunt, Mrs. 
Robert Chissom, where Stephen B. Ayers now resides, she was 
confronted by a large bear and two cubs. She was startled by 
a deep growl and turned for home, followed by Bruin who 
came very near, but turned back as she sprang, greatly fright- 
ened, over a fence. She proceeded home, on the Randall farm, 
and the men and boys with dog and gun, hunted down the old 
bear and one of the cubs the same day, and the other the next 
day. She was then fourteen years old. She relates also how 
one Robert Lennox lived in a log house on Jacob's Brook, not 
far from the place where the Benham House now stands, in 
Penn Yan. One day a bear entered their hog pen and com- 
menced depredations on their only porker. Lennox was fright- 
ened, and it is said even climbed a ladder, but the brave little 
wife assailed the bear with her frying pan, the first offensive 
weapon she could seize, and broke it over his head. She suc- 
ceeded in driving away the ravenous beast, and long kept the 
handle of her frying pan to exhibit as a memento of her 

Zachariah Wheeler married Margaret Weaver of Deerfield, 
N. Y., and settled on the place known as the Asa Cole farm, 
and afterwards moved to Jerusalem. Their children were 


Susan, George, Samuel, Elizabeth and Zachariah. George 
married Ethalinda, daughter of Lyman Tubbs of Benton, and 
all moved west. 


The pioneer settler on Head street was Robert Chissom, a 
native of Dover, Dutchess county. He married Susan, daugh- 
ter of George Wheeler, senior and located where Dr. Uri 
Judd lived many years, now the residence of Stephen B. Ay res. 
There they erected a log house, which became a tavern as soon 
as such a house was needed, and very naturally started a distillery. 
He died on the day of the great eclipse in 1806, at the age of 
thirty-five. Their children were Catharine, Peter, Ephraim, 
Hannah and George. 

Peter married Elizabeth Baldwin and emigrated to Indiana. 
Ephraim married Sally Mills and settled in Cameron, Steuben 
county. George married Ruth Williamson and also settled in 

Hannah married William, a son of Judge Arnold Potter, 
who died early, and she subsequently married Fisher W. Hew- 
son, and returned to the Chissom family homestead, where she 
still lives surviving her second husband. Her children are 
George A., Robert C. and Susan A., all by the second marriage. 

George A. Hewson is a physician of Penn Yan. He mar- 
ried Sabra, daughter of John Ellsworth. Robert C. has been 
admitted as a lawyer, but does not practice, is unmarried and 
resides with his mother on the homestead in a residence 
a few rods west of the place where the log house of 
Robert Chissom was erected in 1792, in the midst of an unbro- 
ken wilderness. Susan A. married Lyman W. Gage, formerly 
a railway conductor, and now of the firm of Armstrong & 
Gage, hardware merchants of Penn Yan. 

Catharine married Horatio Crane of Hartford, Connecticut, 
and settled in Penn Yan on the homestead. He died at Ben- 
ton Centre in 1867. Their children were Alma, George, 
Charles, William and Wemple H., all of whom reside in Michi- 
gan except Wemple H., who is a physician, heretofore of ex- 



tended practice, but now a farmer on the old Elisha Wolcott 
place, lately owned by George S. Wheeler, whose daughter, 
Dorcas E., is his wife. He is a valued and prominent citizen. 
Mrs. Catharine Crane, now residing with her son, Dr. Crane, 
was the oldest of Robert Chissom's children, and the first white 
child born within the boundaries of Penn Yan. She is now 
seventy-six years old. She relates that her father's residence 
was a double log house, with a hall in the centre large enough 
for setting a table. He afterwards erected a frame part in the 
rear. He obtained some lumber at Dr. Benton's saw mill to 
make a shanty to live in while putting up his log houses. 
Blankets were tacked oyer the windows before sash and glass 
were put in. One night a wolf put his paws on the window 
sill and pushed his nozzle against the blankets but did not 
push his way in. In the absence of better vehicles, the early 
settlers made what they called drays. This rig was a sapling 
with a crotch and boards fastened across the extended branch- 
es, with the single end fastened in the ring of the ox yoke, they 
were ready to go to mill or elsewhere as might be required. 
Mrs. Crane states that bears were very numerous, and no less 
than fifty were killed in one season around the lower part of 
Keuka Lake. Her father and Nathan Wheeler killed one in 
Sheppard's Gully that weighed 500 lbs. She says the first 
dry goods she ever saw were in the store of John Lawrence, 
where her father sent v her on horseback for a loaf of sugar. 
The first General Training was at her father's house in 1803. 
The field where they trained extended from Main street to 
Sucker Brook, and south to about the south line of the Acade- 
my lot. Some two or three hundred people were present in- 
cluding women and children. They trained all day with a 
slender supply and quality of music, and some stayed and trained 
all night. One Colonel French commanded. 


Moses, an older brother of Robert Chissom, was a native of 
Columbia county, born in 1764, and came to this county at the 
age of thirty a single man. He owned twenty acres of land 


on lot 45, which was afterwards purchased by Joseph Ketcbum 
and became the nucleus of his large estate. He purchased of 
James Scofield in 1801, fifty acres more, afterwards embraced 
in the Samuel Randall farm, on lot G2. In 1800 he married 
Mary, daughter of Philemon Baldwin, senior, then living at 
the foot of Keuka Lake. She was then seventeen and still 
survives with the living and enjoys remarkable health and vigor. 
Her husband died in 1840 at the age of seventy-six. About 
1800 they moved to the premises now occupied and owned by 
their son, Philemon Chissom on the South Centre road, on lot 
59. They had eleven children, eight of whom reached adult 
age, Robert, Israel, Philemon, Samuel, Rachel, John, Aloah B., 
and Lester B. Robert married first, Amanda Wagener, and 
they had two children, Hannah and James H. His second 
wife was Louisa McCann. He died at Kinney's Corners, leav- 
ing his widow and two children, of the second marriage, Mary 
and Henrietta. 

Israel is a physician and resides in Italy. His wife was Jane 
B. Mc Callup of Hammondsport. They have a daughter Mary 
E., who married Samuel Hayes of Italy, and emigrated west. 

Philemon is a bachelor, with whom his mother resides on the 
homestead, which is owned by him. 

Samuel married Margaret Ward of Rochester. They have 
two daughters, Mary E. and Sarah A. 

Rachel married Daniel B. Tuthill, the present Superintend- 
ent of the Poor of Yates county. They reside in Jerusalem 
and have two children, Mary J, and George M. 

Alvah B. married Margaret Hoffman of Indiana, resides at 
Kinney's Corners, and has three children, Israel B , Jennie C. 
and John M. 

Lester B. married Mary J., daughter of Elipha Peckins, and 
resides in Benton. Their children are Philemon and Charles E. 

Philemon Baldwin was a miller and a farmer, and engaged 
somewhat in both vocations. He settled at an early period on 
Flat street, and on what afterwards became the Weed farm. He 
was a man of shrewd and pointed wit, and greatly addicted to 


jokes and sarcasms. He was a lover of fun and joviality, and 
was regarded as a man of more than average intelligence, and 
remarkable for quick perception and keen repartee. The nam- 
ing of Penn Yan is attributed to him. It was a vexed question 
for some time, and other names came near being fastened on 
the nascent village. Finally, on one occasion, when the con- 
gregated wisdom of the place had grown somewhat mellow 
over the subject, as the liquor flowed and the discussion warmed, 
Baldwin said, "Let it be called Pang Yang." This was deemed 
a compromise by the Pennsylvanians and Yankees of the 
locality, and though received with repugnance at first, was 
finally adopted after being improved into Penn Yan. Mr. 
Baldwin, while living one year at the foot of Keuka Lake, 
killed twenty-five bears, mostly in the lake while they were 
crossing from one side to the other, and many deei besides. His. 
children were Asa, Philemon H, Amos, Caleb, Rune, George, 
Mary, Sally Ann, Elizabeth and Esther, only one of whom, Mrs. 
Mary Chissom, now remains in the county. His son, Philemon 
H., was for several years a steamboat captain on Keuka Lake. 
He died in Penn Yan about fifteen years ago. 


An interesting and important family in the early settlement 
about Benton Centre, was tbat of Phillip Biggs, who came a 
widower from Pennsylvania in 1795, and settled on lot 116, 
nearly opposite the residence of David H. Buell. His children 
were David, Reuben, Benjamin, John, Mary, Hannah, Anna, 
Betsey and Susan. They were a family of intelligence and su- 
perior qualities of character. David married Betsey Jayne of 
Pennsylvania, and settled on the east side of the homestead lot 
where he remained till 1819, and then moved to Indiana. He 
was a prominent member and deacon of the Baptist Church. 
One of his sons, William S, married Eunice, a daughter of 
David Brown of Benton, and emigrated to Michigan. 

Reuben and Benjamin emigrated while single to Angelica, 
N. Y., and became prominent in that locality. John married 
Nancy, daughter of Levi Benton, and settled about 1800 en 


the south side of lot 116, now known as the Judd farm. They 
also moved to Angelica where they kept a public house several 
yeai's, and afterwards returned to Benton, where he died, leav- 
ing one child, Saluvia. His widow married Ezra Rice. They 
emigrated to Michigan, and returned and died in Benton. 
Mary married Robert Patterson. 

Hannah married George Armstrong and settled in Seneca. 

Betsey married Joseph Jones, the Quaker, and early surveyor 
and hatter. They settled near the Friend's mill, and afterwards 
in Penn Yan, where he pursued his trade as a hatter. He was 
much employed as a surveyor, and as a referee in regard to 
disputed lines and landmarks, and in the division of lands. He 
also surveyed several townships in Allegany county, and the 
Indian Reservation at Tonawanda when it passed out of Indian 
ownership. He was held in high respect. Their children were 
Mary, Rachel K., Elizabeth R., Samuel K., Joseph R. and 
Richard M. Mary married Richard Snell of Lockport. Their 
children are Rachel, Elizabeth, Martha and Caleb. Rachel K. 
married Dr. Stephen Dean of Hamburg, N. Y., where she died 
leaving three children, Sophia L., John W. and Arthur M. 
Elizabeth R. married Isaac Baker of Hamburg, where she died 
leaving two children, Charles and Mary J. Samuel K. married 
Mary A. Buckley of Milo, and finally emigrated to Sparta, Wis- 
consin, where both died leaving one child, Mary E. Joseph R. 
was a physician, and married Anna Baker of Hamburg, and 
both are deceased. 

Richard M. Jones married Rachel Kester of Hamburg, lived 
there for a time and moved to Penn Yan. He joined the 
148th Regiment in the war, served usefully and faithfully as a 
soldier, and died in 1865, at the age of fifty-two, in the Point 
of Rocks hospital, Virginia. Their children are Joseph, Au- 
gusta M.j William K. and Sophia E. Joseph is a graduate of 
Genesee College, and is entitled to high credit for working his 
own way through. He was principal of theDansville Seminary 
for some time, and was associated for one or two years with O. 
A. Bunnell, in the editorial and business control of the Dans- 

222 HISTOKY OF YATES county. 

ville Advertiser. He married Susan A. George of Dansville, 
and emigrated to Waterloo, Iowa, where he is principal of an 
important school, and a local preacher of the Methodist fiith. 
They have two children Lewis B. and Winnifred. Augusta M. 
married Royal G. Kinner of Penn Yan. Their children are 
Josephine L. and Royal E. 

Joseph Jones, the surveyor, married in 1819 a second wife, 
Susan Atkinson, of Junius, N. Y., and they had three children 
Joshua W,, Susan A. and Ann N. Joshua W. married Corde- 
lia Webster of Hamburg. They have one child, Sarah A. 
Susan A. married Leverett Holbrook, now a physician in Chicago. 
Ann N. married Samuel Jennings and also resides in Chicago. 

Anna Riggs married Moses Van Campen of Pennsylvania, a 
tailor, and lived for a time on the present premises of Samuel 
B. Gage, and afterwards moved to Fairview, Erie county, 
Pennsylvania. Their children were Mary, Hannah, Benjamin 
and John. 

Susan Riggs married Armstrong Hart of Benton, a hatter. 
They removed to Farmington, N. Y., where she died leaving 
four daughters, Mariah, Eliza, Emma and Susan A. Mr. Hart 
removed to Missouri, where he married a widow Murphy, and 
died leaving three sons, Albert J., Joseph F., and Epenetus. 
Maria married William Shattuck of Penn Yan, a lawyer, whose 
house and office stood on the present premises of B. W. Frank- 
lin. Shattuck was a Quaker, and he had a partner by the name 
of John Willey. He was one of the earliest lawyers in Penn 
Yan, and about 1825 moved to Prattsburg and thence to 
Warren county, Pennsylvania, where he engaged largely in 
land speculation. He was Lieutenant Colonel of the old 103d 
Regiment of Infantry, his commission bearing date June 3, 
1820. This was no doubt before he became a Quaker. He 
now lives at Steamburg, Cattaraugus county. Their children 
were Sophia, Ann, Susan, John, Lydia, Emma, Philinda, Ellen, 
Clara and William. Eliza Hart married Dr. James Heermans 
of Milan, N. Y., long a noted citizen of Potter. 



Phillip Riggs, the father of the foregoing family, died in 
1821 at the age of seventy-seven. His first wife was Polly 
Pierce, the mother of all his children. He was afterwards 
married four times : to Hetty Smith, widow Ingles, Polly Smith, 
and widow Radley. His grand-daughter, Mrs. Orrin Shaw, 
daughter of Mary Patterson, relates that she had five grand- 
mothers on the maternal side ; and as her father's father had 
two wives, her husband's father two, and her husband a grand- 
mother on the maternal side, she recognized ten grandmothers. 


Jeremiah Shaw was a native of England, and came to this 
country in 1760 with two brothers, one of whom died on the 
passage. He married and settled near Sheshequin, Pennsylva- 
nia; was a Captain in the Revolution and is supposed to 
have participated in Sullivan's campaign against the Indians. 
He lived to a great age and several of his children have reached 
the longevity of nearly one hundred years. His descendants 
are still numerous where he first settled, and it is said that at 
the second election of Abraham Lincoln, there were twenty- 
one of his sons, grandsons and great grandsons, who voted for 
Lincoln at the same poll or in the near vicinity. 

His family consisted of five sons and four daughters, but three 
of whom, Benjamin, Jeremiah and Hannah, wife of Hezekiah 
Townsend, the pioneer blacksmith, beoame citizens of Yates 
county. Benjamin married Margaret, sister of John Powell of 
Dutchess county, at Sheshequin, and came to this county in 
1805. They located first on the farm now owned by Caleb 
Hazen, just east of Lawrence Townsend's, where he worked as 
a blacksmith, and subsequently purchased the place known as 
the Griswold farm, between the South Centre road and Flat 
Street, where he died in 1827, leaving three children, and his 
widow who died in 1866. Their children were Orrin, Eliza M. 
and Stephen P. Orrin married Adelia A., daughter of Robert 
Patterson, and settled on the Patterson homestead farm, where 
they still reside, and together with their son, own most of the 
original farm. They have had two childeren, Wilson B. and 

224 HISTORY OF YATES coxintt. 

Charles B. The first was a promising boy who died at eigh- 
teen. Charles B. married Ellen Reed of Hammondsport ; was 
for several years very popular and successful as a teacher, 
especially at Honesdale, Pennsylvania, where he was for a con- 
siderable period principal of a graded school of several 
hundred pupils. He is now the agent of the Northern Central 
Railway at Penn Yan. 

Eliza M. married Elijah G. Simonds of Vermont, settled in Ben- 
ton, and now resides at Milo Centre. They have three chil- 
dren, William G., Susan F. and Margaret. William G. married 
Hannah Mangus, and lives at Northville, Michigan. Susan 
married John R. Davis of Milo, and lives at Manistee, Michigan. 
Margaret married Joseph Wolfe, and resides at Milo Centre. 

Jeremiah Shaw, born in 1780, married Betsey Fitch of She- 
shequin. They settled on what was known as the Ryres' tract 
in Milo, where they lived about fifteen years, and as much long- 
er in Barrington, whence they removed to Gorham where he 
died in 1843, and she in 1846, leaving eight children : The- 
resa, Fitch, Lydia, Lucy, Gore, Laura, Guy, Martha and Ed- 
gar. Theresa married Job Pierce of Middlesex, and died there 
without surviving children. Fitch married Mary Kinney of 
Benton, and emigrated to Battle Creek, Michigan. Their chil- 
dren are Charles and Mary. Lydia died single and Lucy mar- 
ried Stephen Ferguson of Gorham, where they reside. Their 
children are George, Ellen, Charles, Gertrude, Frank, Monroe 
and Adelbert. Gore Shaw married Adaline Beacon of Jerusa- 
lem, and settled at Hornellsville, where she died leaving three 
children, Olive, Laura and Cornelia. Laura married Hiram 
Thomson, and settled in Constantine, Michigan, where she died 
leaving two children, Josephine and Adelaide. 

Guy Shaw born in Barrington in 1820, married Laura L., 
daughter of John Pearce of Middlesex. They lived for a time 
in Gorham, from whence they moved to Benton, afterwards to 
Middlesex, and finally back to Benton, where they now reside 
on the original Thomas Lee farm, lot 23, where the old three 
story house built by Thomas Lee stood, and where one of the 


earliest stores in Yates county was opened, before there was 
one at Peun Yan. The original mansion was erected with 
three stories ; it is said to afford a place in the third story for 
a Masonic Lodge Room, and it was here that the old Vernon 
Lodge was organized in 1809, and held its meetings for many 
years. The farm is noted for its fertility and beauty, and 
the place was long a point for public gatherings of various 
kinds, such as general trainings and horse races. The first 
race course in the county was on these premises, where there 
were annual races continuing three days, while they were oc- 
cupied by Samuel Wise ; and some of these races were memo- 
rable trials of equine speed. Many of the best horses of the 
times tried their powers on this course, among which were 
Sleepy John, Lady Vixen and other eminent racers. These 
races were in their glory from about 1825 to 1832, and drew 
together great crowds of people of all classes, and especially 
the leading sportsmen from long distances. 

Mr. Shaw has erected a new mansion of modern and attract- 
ive style in the place of the old, and improved and enlarged 
the farm buildings. He is an enterprising farmer, and in 18G8 
made sales of his farm .products to the amount of $4,700. In 
1863 Mr. Shaw represented Yates county in the Assembly. 
They have thi'ee children, Wealthy, Elizabeth and Marvin B. 

Wealthy, the daughter of Jeremiah Shaw, married Orris B. 
Wager of Gorham, and emigrated to Constantino, Michigan, 
where they reside. They have four children, Floyd, Annette, 
Edgar and Luella. 

Edgar Shaw is by profession a lawyer. He married Clarissa 
Brown of Middlesex, and emigrated to Iowa. They have five 


Robert Patterson was of Irish birth, and married Mary, 
daughter of Phillip Riggs, at Lower Smithfield, Northhampton 
county, Pennsylvania, in 1788. He was an ingenious and 
noted mechanic, working with facility at most sorts of handi- 
craft, but principally as a carpenter. As early as 1795 he 



worked on the Hopeton Mill, but did not bring his family to 
this county till a year or two later. They abode temporarily on 
Robert Chissom's place until he could erect a house on his own 
wilderness farm, on lot 43 in No. 8, where they moved soon 
after with their family of five children, subsequently increased 
to tea. They all reached adult age, and all married except the 
youngest, Hiram R., who died at the age of twenty-four. The 
others were Elizabeth, John, William, Rhoda, Mary, Reuben 
R., Robert, Ira S. and Adelia A. Elizabeth married William, 
son of Thomas Howard of Benton, (now Torrey.) where she 
died, leaving one daughter, Sidna, who emigrated with her 
father to the Maumee Valley, Ohio. John was a carpenter and 
married Sarah Halsted. They settled at Niagara Falls, and he 
was a soldier throughout the war of 1812, during which his 
property was destroyed by fire. He received a land warrant 
for his military services, and afterwards resided at Hopeton, 
where he died. 

Rhoda married Daniel Shay and settled in Barrington, after- 
wards moving to Italy Hill, where he died leaving his widow 
with four children. 

Mary married Salmon Smith of Bradford, Steuben county, 
and settled adjoining Daniel Shay, in Barrington, after- 
wards moving to Dansville, N. Y., where he died. His family 
emigrated west. 

Robert went to New Orleans, where he married and died. 

Ira S. married Phoebe, daughter of James Scofield of Ben- 
ton, resided on the homestead a few years, and emigrated with 
their family to Johnsonsburg, Pennsylvania. 

Adelia A. is the wife of Orrin Shaw of Benton. 


Abner Woodworth, born at Little Compton, Massachusetts, 
in 1725, married at the age of twenty -three, Hannah Dyer, of 
Norwich, Connecticut, and settled at Salisbury, in that State, 
where they reared a family of nine children, of whom Molly, 
Hannah, Elisha and Dyer became residents of this county. 
The father came here a widower, and although then about 


seventy years old, made his way on foot carrying a kit of shoe- 
maker's tools, and driving a cow. He lived on Flat street, and 
the last year of his life in the family of his daughter Molly, 
the wife of Levi Benton, senior. His death occurred at the 
age of eighty -four, in 1809. 

In the summer of 1798, Elisha Woodworth came on with 
his two sons, Erastus B. and Elisha, jr., and cleared eight acres 
on the farm now owned and occupied by John Merrifieid, on 
lot 41, and sowed it with wheat. He returned in January fol- 
lowing, and brought his wife and seven remaining children, 
Polly, Sally, Abner, Amy, Ariel, Anna and Amelia. The 
mother's name was Ann Bradley, a native of Dutchess county. 
For four weeks, while Mr. Woodworth and his sons erected a 
log house, they lived in the house of Daniel Brown, whose five 
children added to the rest made a household of eighte:n. By 
the aid of the saw mill in what is now Penn Yan, they were 
able to floor their new house with oak plank. Elisha Wood- 
worth died in 1808, at the age of fifty-seven, and his wife in 
1828, in her seventy-fourth year. 

Polly, the oldest child of Elisha Woodworth, married Dr. 
Calvin Fargo in 1809. He had been several years in the town 
and was at first a school teacher. He settled on Flat street and 
practiced as a physician till 1817, and had a very extensive ride, 
going to all parts of the country from Geneva to Bath. He 
then moved to Indiana where he died very suddenly in 1818. 
The family returned, and his widow still survives at the age of 
ninety-three, residing with her daughter, Mrs. Hiram Weed of 
Benton. Their children were Hiram S., Russel R., Julia, Eliza- 
beth, Abigail R., John C. and Elisha W. Hiram S. died single in 
1830. Russel R. married Mary, daughter of Hugh Chapman 
of Ovid, N. Y., and settled in Penn Yan, a cooper, where his 
wife died, leaving two children, Ann and Mary. His second 
wife was Mary St. John, a widow of Pultney, where they re- 
side and have one child, Sarah. Russel R. Fargo was elected 
Clerk of Yates county in 184G, and served three years. Julia 
married Hiram Weed of Benton, and settled finally on the old 


John Weed homestead in Benton, where he died and his widow 
still resides. Elizabeth is unmarried and resides with her moth- 
er. Abigail R. married William H. Gage. John C. is a phy- 
sician, married Irene Smith, removed finally to Council Bluffs, 
Iowa, where she died and he still resides. They had one child, 
William. Elisha W. married Harriet N., daughter of Samuel 
Wise of Benton, resides in Brooklyn, and is a commission mer- 
chant in New York. Their children are Julia and George. 

Erastus B. Woodworth, born in 1779, was a physician, and 
married Olive, widow of James Barden, and sister of Elisha 
and Dr. Walter Wolcott. They settled at Flint Creek, where 
both died leaving three children, John L., Hector T. and Ann 
H., none of whom survive. They were married in 1807, by 
his father, Elisha Woodworth, who was a Justice of the Peace. 
Dr. Woodworth studied his profession with Dr. Jareb Dyer of 
Middlesex, and Dr. Goodwin of Geneva. He was Surgeon of 
the old 42d Regiment of Infantry, on the Staff of Colonel 
Thomas Lee, his commision bearing date March 27, 1819. His 
brother Abner was a Captain in the regiment at the same time. 
Dr .Gavin L. Rose was Surgeon's Mate. James Bogert, famous 
as the old Editor of the Geneva Gazette, was Lieutenant Colo 
nel, and Lansing B. Misner, a talented young lawyer of Geneva, 
Adjutant. Dr. Woodworth was himself Justice of the Peace 
several years, and Post Master at Flint Creek for some time. 

Elisha Woodworth, jr., born in 1781, was an early school 
teacher in Benton, married Sarah Kelsey in 1805, and settled 
on the Pre-emption road near Bellona. Their children are 
Harriet, Jane, Catharine and Ariel. Harriet is the wife of 
Edward Perry of Middlesex. Jane married Rowland Perry 
and emigrated to Grand Blanc, Michigan. Catharine married 
Mr. Bates of Middlesex, and went to Grand Blanc. Ariel mar- 
ried a sister of Catharine's husband, and also moved to Michigan. 

Sarah Woodworth, born in 1783, married Nathan P. Cole of 
Benton, in 1808. 

Abner Woodworth, 2d, born in 1785, married in 181G, Isa- 
bella Black, of Seneca, and settled on the paternal homestead 



where they resided many years and finally moved to Penn Yan, 
where they died within a few weeks of each other in 18G8, he 
at the age of eighty-three, and she also quite aged. He was a 
genial, social and popular man, was a Justice of the Peace 
twenty-four years in Benton, County Clerk three years, elected 
in 1837, and candidate of the Whig party for Representative 
in Congress in 1842. In the war of 1812 he was captain of a 
company drafted from Benton, then embracing Milo and Tor- 
rey. In later life he was active in endeavoring to obtain from 
the State a proper remuneration for the soldiers of that war. 

Ariel Woodworth, born in 1787, was a physician, and died 
single, at Canandaigua, in 1812. 

Amy Woodworth, born in 1789, married Joseph Williams, 
and settled at Sodus, N. Y., where she died in 1869, at the age 
of eighty. They had three children, Susan A , Andrew C, 
Alexander B. and Charles O. 

Anna Woodworth, born in 1792, married John Shearman of 
Penn Yan. 

Pamela, born in 1794, married John Means cf Seneca, and 
settled in that town. Their children are Elizabeth, Ada B. and 

Hannah, daughter of Abner Woodworth, 1st, married Gideon 
Wolcott, senior. 

Dyer Woodworth was a blacksmith, and a man of general 
handicraft. He settled on lot 52, where Homer Mariner now 
resides. Their children were Mehitable, Hannah, Charity, Al- 
mira, Riley and Artemedorus. Mehitable married Amos, a son 
of Philemon Baldwin of Benton. Hannah married Phillip 
Shay of Benton. Almira married Joseph Shay, a brother of 
Phillip. Artemedorus married Polly Stull of Seneca. Riley 
married Keturah Newkirk of Seneca. They '#11 emigrated 
about 1814 to the west fork of the Whitewater River, Indiana. 


John Weed came to this county in 1808. He had previously 
married Rhoda Anderson, and their five sons were all born at 


Walkill, Orange county. They settled where the family home- 
stead remains on Flat street. 

John, the oldest son, died single at twenty-one. 

William married Harriet Gambee, and settled on the north 
part of the homestead, where he died in 1868, leaving six chil- 
dren : Bradley S., John, Charles, Margaret, George and Rhoda. 
Margaret married Tobias Southerland, and resides in Benton. 
Rhoda married James Carrol, and also resides in Benton. 

Hiram married Julia Fargo, and settled on the south part of 
the homestead, where he died in 18G5, leaving his widow and 
two daughters, Rhoda A. and Ruth T. The first married Wil- 
liam H. Clawson, and resides at Harrisburg, Texas. Ruth T. 
married Tobias Holloway of Toledo, Ohio, and resided on the 
homestead in Benton, where he died. Charles married Ellen 
Tuell of Penn Yan, where she still resides. 

James married Emma, daughter of Martin Brown jr., of Ben- 
ton, and settled in Italy, where he died. 

Thomas died single at twenty-nine. 

The wife of John Weed died in 1818, and in 1820 he mar- 
ried Anna Gambee, widow, of Benton. He died in 1832. 


• Moses Gage was a native of Rhode Island, and moved early 
to Dutchess county, N. Y., where he mai-ried Sarah Buckbee. 
They resided in the town of Southeast during the Revolution. 
Their children were Mariam, Buckbee, Reuben, Aaron and 
Isaac D., all of whom with their parents came to this county in 
1801. The parents and one son, Aaron, settled on a farm of 
two hundred acres, at Spencer's Corners. Moses Gage died 
there in 1812, at the age of eighty-three, and his wife the fol- 
lowing year at the age of eighty-six. 

Mariam Gasjp became the second wife of Jonathan J. Hazard, 
senior, neaivCJity Hill. He died within a year after the mar- 
riage, and subsequently in 1811, she became the third wife of 
James Parker, the distinguished pioneer leader. He died six- 
teen years later, and she survived him twenty-five years, reach- 
ing the advanced age of ninety-six. 


Reuben Gage married Azuba Hoyt of North Salem, N. Y. 
They settled on the farm west of Bellona, now owned by 
Charles Coleman, and subsequently exchanged farms with 
Aaron Gage, and moved to the paternal homestead, where they 
died, he in 1845 at seventy -seven, and she in 1840 at sixty four. 
Their children were Jesse T., Horace, Martha, Aaron, William 
H. and Reuben P. Jesse T. Gage, who was a prominent citi- 
zen of Benton, married Mary, daughter of Jonathan J. Hazard, 
2d, and settled on a portion of the homestead in Benton. He 
died in 1858, at the age of sixty-one, leaving his widow and 
eight surviving children, Murray, Arnold C, Martha, Daniel, 
Albina, Susan Ann, Patience and Charles. Of these, Murray 
married Ann Travis, and occupied the homestead in Benton, 
where she died. Their children are David, Remoin, Lewis and 
Sabra. Arnold C. married Mary, daughter of Josiah Page of 
Benton. She died leaving two children, Isadore and Byron. 
He resides on a part of the homestead, and has a second wife, 
Amanda Linkletter of Torrey. Martha married Lewis Randall 
and resides in Benton. Their children are George and Sarah. 
Albina married Thomas J. Vanderlip. They reside in Penn 
Yan. Daniel married Caroline Utter, and settled on the home- 
stead. He volunteered during the war of the rebellion, but 
sickened and died in the recruiting camp at Rochester, leaving 
three children, John, Sarah and Jeese. Susan Ann became the 
second wife of Lewis P. Holmes of Benton. They have two 
sons David and Bradley. Patience married Solomon Bates, 
and resides in West Benton. They have several children. 
Charles married Emma Bennett of Milo and resides on the 
homestead. They have one child. 

Horace Gage, born in 1800, married Sarah, daughter of An- 
thony Trimmer, senior, of Benton, and settled near Lima, 
Michigan. He died in 1851. Their children are Anthony, 
Sylva and Heman. 

Martha Gage married Lewis Gregory of Dutchess county, in 
1837. They settled on the Pre-emption road adjoining the 
homestead of Moses Gage, where she died in 1859, leaving 


three sons, George W., Aaron Y. and Ezra E. George W. 
married first, Asenath B., daughter of Lewis D. Gage, who 
died soon, and his present wife is Caroline- E., daughter of 
George Larham of Seneca. Ezra E. married Mary E., daugh- 
ter of Benjamin Bush. Aaron Y. was a soldier, and died in 
the service in 1862. 

Aaron D. Gage, born in 1808, was educated a physician, emi- 
grated to North Carolina, married Mary M. Young and resides 
there. They have a daughter, Sarah. 

William H. Gage, born 1810, married Abigail R., daughter 
of Dr. Calvin Fargo, settled on the Kidder farm, and resides 
now in Penn Yan. 

Reuben P. Gage emigrated to Marshall, Michigan, where he 
married Fanny Parker and settled. 

Aaron, the next son of Moses Gage, born in 1766", married 
Delilah Francis of Benton, and settled on "West street," 
about two miles northeast of Benton Centre, where his wife 
died leaving six children, Clarissa, Franklin, Benjamin, Eliza, 
Ruth and Ambrose. The father moved with his family to 
Marshall, Michigan, where he died. 

Isaac D. Gage, the youngest son of Moses Gage, born March 
8, 1773, married Huldah Benedict of South Salem, N. Y., 
born March 19, 1779. They settled in 1805 where they lived 
thereafter and died, on lot 30. Their family of fourteen chil- 
dren all reached adult age, viz : Sally, Betsey, Moses B., Mari- 
ana, Isaac N., Nancy M., Charlotte C, John M., Seneca II., 
Henry H., Huldah A., Lewis D., Armida J. and Augusta D. 
Sally, born in 1798, married Samuel Townsend of North Salem, 
where he died and she now resides on the homestead, a widow, 
without children. Betsey, born in 1800, resides on the home- 
stead unmarried. 

Moses B., born in 1802, married Ann M. Davis of Church- 
ville, Monroe county, and resides there, a physician. They 
have five children, Texas B., Ann M., Frances, Emma and 


Ann M., the oldest daughter, married Maurice Welch, who 
was a Sergeant in the 108th Regiment of N. Y. Volunteers, 
was wounded at Antietam, fought at Chancellorsville, and fell 
at Gettysburg in the thickest of the fight. Frances M. mar- 
ried Mahlon Balcom, of Orleans county, and resides in Chili, 
N. Y. Texas B., the oldest son, died young. 

Mariam, born .in 1803, married Thomas Vartie of Seneca, 
and settled near Hall's Corners, where both died, she in 1864, 
and he in 1865, without children. 

Isaac N., born in 1804, married Helen A. Quick of Benton, 
and resides on the homestead, a prominent and useful citizen. 
Their children are Robert Bloomer and Helen Arabell. 

Nancy, born in 1806, married Jewett Mariner. They lived 
in Penn Yan, where she died, leaving one child, Olive. He 
resides now in Jerusalem, and married for his second wife, Ar- 
minda Jane, sister of his first wife, born in 1820. Their chil- 
dren are Elizabeth, Francis, Ida and Charles Z. 

Charlotte C. born in 1808, married James Parker Barden. 

John M., born in 1810, married Martha, daughter of Jesse 
Cook of Potter. He died at Branchport leaving one son, 
Franklin. His widow is now the wife of Michael Gage of 

Seneca H., born in 1811, is a physician at Belleview, Michi- 
gan. He married first, Julia Harris, who died leaving no chil- 
dren. His second wife was Amanda Hewes, and they have six 

Henry H., born in 1813, married Emeline, daughter of Otis 
Barden, and resides adjoining the Barden homestead. Their 
children are George G., Henry Hazard, Emma and Carrie. 
The two sons are merchants at Bellona. Henry Hazard Gage 
married Mary Schoonmaker, and they have one child, Gene- 

Henry Harrison Gage represented Yates County in the 
Assembly in 1856. 

Huldah A., born in 1815, married James Burgess of Benton, 

and emigrated to Janesville, Wisconsin, where they reside. 

Their children are Gage and Texa. 


234 HISTORY or YATES county. 

Lewis D., born in 1817, married Abigail Pembroke of Ben- 
ton. They settled on the homestead, where she died, leaving 
four children, James P., Asenath B., Oliver K and Abigail M. 
Eliza Balls of Benton, was his second wife, and they moved to 
Janesville, Wisconsin, where he died in 1862. The children 
of the second marriage are Mary and Albert. James P., the 
oldest son, married Mary, daughter of Thomas Hall of Seneca, 
and removed to Wisconsin. Asenath B. married George W. 
Gregory, and died soon after. Oliver 1ST. married Janette Quick 
of Penn Yan, and settled at Roso Hill, Wisconsin. Abigail 
was the adopted daughter of Thomas Vartie of Seneca, mnr- 
ried George, son of James Southerland of Seneca, and resides 
on the Vartie homestead. 

Augusta I)., born in 1822, married Alvah, son of Jonathan 
Ketch urn, a harness maker at Bellona. Of this remarkable 
family it will be seen that all were married except two, and ten 
are still living. Isaac D. Gage died in 1854 at the age of 
eighty-one, and his wife in 1833 at the age of fifty-four. 

Buckbec Gage, the oldest son of the senior pioneer, Moses 
Gage, born in 1765, married Ruth Truesdell of Greene county, 
and came to this county in 1801. They settled on a new farm 
southwest of Bellona, where they reared two sons, Martin and 
Samuel Governeur. The parents subsequently lived at Bellona, 
where Buckbee Gage died in 1837, at the age of seventy-two. 
His wife lived thereafter with her sons, and died in 1856 at the 
age of eighty-six. 

Martin Gage, born in 1790, married Abigail Rockwell. He 
was a merchant at Bellona very early, and the first at that 
place ; was also a tavern keeper there and the first Postmaster. 
He had a large and prosperous business, advertising extensively 
and in a quaint style. He said his goods were usually received 
by the boats Dread and Driver, Captain Rummerfield, Master, 
at the Port of Kashong. He offered cash, and what he said 
was better, lottery tickets, for all kinds of grain. He had the 
fortune to draw on one occasion half of a $6,000 prize. His 
trade included all branches of the business, hardware and drugs 

TOWN or BENTON. 235 

as well as dry goods and groceries, and for many years an ex- 
tensive supply of liquors. But when tbe great evils of the 
traffic became apparent to his mind, he espoused the cause of 
Temperance, abandoned the whisky trade, exposed all its frauds 
and wickedness, took strong ground for total abstinence, and 
became noted as a writer and lecturer in behalf of the Reform. 
As a business man he was active and diligent, established a 
high reputation for intelligence and honorable dealing, and ac- 
cumulated a large property. He was a highly respected mem- 
ber of the Baptist church at Benton Centre, and one of its 
deacons for several years, and died of apoplexy in his fifty- 
first year, leaving six children, De Witt C, Rockwell, Mary A., 
E. Darwin, Charles and Webster. De Witt C. married Catha- 
rine A., sister of Justus S. Glover of Penn Yan, and moved to 
East Saginaw, Michigan, where he is a lawyer, a leading citizen 
and Postmaster. Their children are Glover, Henry and James. 
Martin R. is a physician, married first, Martha, daughter of 
David Barnes of Seneca, who died a few years after, and his 
second wife is a lady of Beloit, Wisconsin. He now resides 
at Sparta, Wisconsin. Mary A. married Stephen M. Whitaker. 
E. Darwin married EmelineFarrington of Bellona, and resided at 
Geneva. He was a captain in the 148th Regiment, and died 
of wounds received in battle ; was hurried at Geneva. He left 
several children. Charles was a lawyer and Settled at La Crosse. 
Wisconsin, where he recently died, a young man of noble 
qualities of character and much promise. He was unmarried. 
Webster is a resident of California 5 unmarried. 

Samuel G. Gage, born at Greenville in 1795, married Martha, 
daughter of Matthew Cole, in 1823. She was born in 1801. 
They settled on a part of the paternal homestead, where they 
lived ten years and then moved to Benton Centre. Mr. Gage 
was early appointed a Justice of the Peace, and held his pouri 
at Bellona. After he made his residence at Benton Centre, he 
was several times re-elected and held the office over twenty years 
in all, making a magistrate seldom equaled for his fairness, in- 
tegrity and discriminating judgment. The office of Supervisor 


he held seven years, and in all public positions, as in private life, 
he was a diligent, correct and methodical man. Ilis work was 
always performed well, seeking to give and impart useful 
knowledge, and he had a rare appreciation of the value of exact 
statistics. For many years he compiled annual tables of mor- 
tality for the town of Benton, which were published in the 
Yates County Chronicle, and for a considerable period monthly 
statements of fires throughout the United States, and the loss 
of property thereby as gathered from the published accounts. 
It was his pride to make clear and accurate record of all mat- 
ters of public importance. In 1841 he united with the Baptist 
church at Benton Centre, and was one of its deacons. He was 
man of good example, frugal, temperate and thrifty, and died in 
1867, at the age of seventy-two. The last six years of his life 
he was afflicted with paralysis. Their children were Helen M., 
Ruth M., Samuel B. and Francis G. The ycungest died in 
childhood. Helen M. married Lewis P. Holmes of Benton, 
and died in 18o8 leaving three children, Bradley, Alice and 
Ada. Bradley was a soldier of Company I, 33d Regiment. 
He was a determined and enthusiastic soldier, and kept the 
field till his captain, (Edward E. Root,) took his ai'ms away and 
sent him to the hospital at Hagerstown, Maryland, where he 
died December 17, 1862, at the age of nineteen. Ruth M. 
Gage married Tilson C. Barden, and moved to Portage City, 
Wisconsin, where she died in 1860, at the age of twenty-eight. 
Samuel B. Gage, born in 1833, married Louise A. Bennett of 
Benton, and settled on a farm adjoining the homestead, where 
he resides. He is the only surviving member of his father's 
family. They have one surviving child, Samuel Granger Gage. 
The mansion and premises of Samuel G. Gage are still occu- 
pied by Mrs. Gage, his widow, who survives him. 


It was at quite an early day that Dr. Anthony Gage located 
at Bellona, and built a log house near the town line, where he 
afterwards, built a fine residence and died about 1826. He 
came from Herkimer county, was a graduate of the Fairfield 


Medical College, a physician of celebrity and popularity, and a 
warm hearted, excellent citizen. He was a cousin of the chil- 
ren of Moses Gage, the head of the numerous and notable 
Gage family of Bellona. In politics he was a zealous Democrat, 
unlike most of his relatives of that name. His wife was Rhoda 
Evans, and she was a woman of fine appearance, much spirit and 
taste, and in every way a person ol superior character. Dr. 
Gage died at the age of fifty-five, and his wife is said to be still 
living. Their children were Caroline, George, Mary and La 
Fayette. Caroline married De Witt C. Lawrence. George 
died from injuries caused by a land roller, by which a leg and 
arm were broken. La Fayette resides in Michigan, and Mary 
at Washington with her sister. 


Ephraim Kidder was from Spencertown, Columbia county, 
born about 1754. He settled in Benton on the farm opposite 
the Dr. Nathan L. Kidder farm, in 1S00. His wife was Sarah 
Spencer, an aunt of Truman and Elijah Spencer, born in 
Columbia county, in 1763. All their children, except one, was 
born previous to their coming to this county. They were sev- 
enteen in number, fourteen of them reaching adult age. The 
father died in 1836, at the age of eighty-two, and the mother 
in 1821, at fifty-eight. Their children were David, Ephraim, 
Amos, Nathan L., Louisa, Sarah, Charlotte, Olive Anice, Isaac, 
Erastus, Abel, Cyrus and Horace. 

David married Miriam Stanton of Columbia county. They 
settled in Benton east of the Pre-emption road, where he died 
in 1853 at the age of seventy-five, and she in 1856 at the age of 
eighty. Their children were Samuel S., Sarah, Mary, Elizabeth, 
Olive and Nancy. Samuel S. married Elizabeth Bell of Ben- 
ton, and settled on a farm adjoining the paternal homestead, 
where his wife died leaving three children, Milan, David and 
Miriam. Milan married Susan Carr of Milo, and moved to 
Saline, Michigan, where they live and have three sons, Albert, 
Amos and Frank. David married Elizabeth Sheridan, and re- 
sides on the homestead. They have three children, Samuel, 


Bessey and Anna. Miriam, the daughter of Samuel S. Kidder, 
married Clement W. Kidder of Benton. Sarah, daughter of 
David Kidder, married Dr. Henry Pettibone, and settled at 
Naples, where she died, leaving three children, William, David 
and Harvey. Mary, the daughter of David Kidder, married 
Joseph, a son of Samuel Hartwell, and moved to Memphis, 
Tennessee. Elizabeth, the next sister, married Robert Shear- 
man of Penn Yan, settled on the farm now owned by John 
Hutton, and finallv moved to the village, where he died in 1852, 
leaving eight children : Joanna, Francis, Henry, Robert, Jane, 
Elizabeth, David and George. Joanna married George Howell, 
a saddler of Penn Yan, and moved to Indiana, where both died, 
leaving two sons, Charles and Jonas. Francis married Mary 
Knapp and moved to Minnesota. Henry married Harriet 
Hartwick, and resides at Mishawaka, Indiana. They have two 
children, Mary and Dora. Robert resides in Penn Yan, single. 
Jane married Edward Kimble, and moved to Des Moines, 
Iowa. Elizabeth married Miles V. Bush, moved to Indepen- 
pence, Iowa, and died there. David lives in Penn Yan single. 
George married Virginia Barker of Branchport, and resides in 
Penn Yan. Olive, daughter of David Kidder, died young, 
and Nancy married Henry Winters of Benton, where he died 
leaving seven children : William, Mary J., Samuel, Adaline, 
Frank and Edwin. 

Charlotte Kidder, born in 1787, married Amasa Kneeland, of 
East Haddam, Connecticut, at Benton in 1807, and settled in 
Marcellus, Onondaga county, where he died leaving ten survi- 
ving children : Stella, Ellen, Stillman, Spencer, Mary, John, 
Adoniram Judson, Jane, Ann, Benjamin and Adolphus. El- 
len married Seymour Tracy, who settled near the Hopeton Mills, 
and was there engaged in the Milling business as agent first, 
and subsequently on his own account. About 1849 they 
moved to Penn Yan where they still reside, and where Mr. 
Tracy and his son William are largely engaged in the purchase 
and shipment of grain and wool. Mr. Tracy is a prominent 
citizen and was recently President of the village. Their chil- 


dren are William C, Morgan D., Stella, Spencer S. and John. 
William married Adella Gould. Morgan D. married Emma, 
daughter of Daniel Morris. He was for some time a Special 
Detective in the United States Revenue service, and is now a 
merchant in this village. Jane Ann Kneeland married Martin 
Spencer, for many years a resident of Penn Yan, and now 
a resident at Galva, Illinois. They have one son, Judson. 
Adoniram J. Kneeland married Esther Griswold of Homer, N. 
Y., was a resident of Penn Yan some years, and held the office 
of Police Justice, and other positions. He is now a resident 
of New York City, where he is an able officer in the Revenue 
service. Mrs. Charlotte Kneeland survives with the living at 
the age of eighty -three, and resides with her daughter, Mrs. 
Seymour Tracy, in Penn Yan. 

Ephraim Kidder, jr., married Mary Bottghton of Columbia 
county, and lived on the Pre-emption road north of Dr. Kidder. 
They had four children, Hiram, Desdemona, Nathan B. and 
Calista* Hiram married Mary Brown of Bristol, Ontario 
county, and moved to Michigan, near Adrian, where he engaged 
largely in the lumber business. Desdemona became the wife of 
Abraham H. Bennett, senior. Nathan B. married Miss. Strow- 
bridge of Geneva, where he was a lawyer and banker ; was previ- 
ously a school teacher of note, and now resides at Chicago. 
They have two daughters. Calista married Spencer Booth, who 
was an important business man at Branchport for many years, 
and is now a resident of Syracuse. Mr. Booth died at Branch- 
port, leaving four children : William S., Virginia, James and 
Kitty. William S. married Frank, only daughter and only child 
of Robert Ferrier of Dundee, and is cashier of Harvey G. Staf- 
ford's bank in that village. Virginia married Pratt Hamilton 
and resides in Illinois. James is unmarried and a merchant at 
East Saginaw, Michigan. Kitty married Robert, a son of Tomp- 
kins W. Boyd, who is a partner of her brother James in trade 
at East Saginaw. 

Nathan L. Kidder was a physician, and married Mary, daugh- 
ter of Asahel Stone, senior, of the Friend's Society, and settled 


in Benton on what has since been known as the Dr. Kidder 
farm, where he died in 1847. They had five children, Almon 
S., Asahel S., Addison, George and Aurelia. Almon S. mar- 
ried Maria, daughter of Job Briggs of Potter, and settled on a 
part of the Asahel Stone homestead in Jerusalem, where he 
still resides. They have two children, Susan Ann and Frank. 
Susan Ann married Hiram Sprague, and resides on the home- 
stead. Asahel S. married Anna Lacey, and settled in "Warren, 
Pennsylvania. They have one child, Nathan H. Addison 
married Mary A. Pearce, and lived in Penn Yan, where he died 
in 1868, leaving five children : Adaline, Mary E., Caroline, Ann 
and Amorette. Adaline married Mr. Winants, and moved to 
Iowa. Caroline married Peter Mead of Penn Yan. Ann mar- 
ried Homer Wheeler of Jerusalem. George married Hansey 
Quick of Benton, and moved to Michigan. Their children are 
Mary, Helen and Emma. Aurelia A., daughter of Dr. Nathan 
L. Kidder, married Charles Ketchum of Benton. 

Amos Kidder married Anna Moore, a widow, and settled at 
Lewiston, N. Y., where he died leaving seven children : Wil- 
liam, Benjamin, Ephraim, Amos, Joseph, Jane and Susan. 

Louisa died single on the homestead. 

Sarah married George Brown, brother of James, the Friend, 
and resided on the family homestead during his life. They had 
two children, Darius and Ann. 

Olive married Abraham Oldfield of Benton, and settled in 
that town where both died. Their children were, Orson, Sa- 
brina, Charlotte, Maria, Valentine and Nelson. 

Anice married Simeon Hurd of Benton, and they now re- 
side near St. Paul, Minnesota. 

Abel married, and resides in the town of Flint, Michigan. 

Isaac was a physician, married Betsey Haxton of Benton, 
settled at Liberty, Steuben county, and removed thence to 
Pekin, Niagara county, where he died, leaving three children. 

Erastus married and resides in Michigan. 

Cyrus, born in 1799, married Maria Waldron, and settled on 
the homestead where he has lived since he was six months old, 


and where his wife died about 1858. They had twelve chil 
dren, eleven of whom reached adult age. They were Welling- 
ton, William, Caroline, Ephraim, Emily, Charlotte, Oliver C, 
John, Edwin, Clement W., Ann and Marietta. Wellington 
resides in Michigan. William married in Tennessee and set- 
tled in southern Illinois, where he died leaving two sons. Caro- 
line married Jeremiah Rapalee of Milo, and died leaving five 
children. Ephraim is married resides in Prattsburg, and 
has two children. Emily married Albeit Enos and settled in 
Benton, where she died leaving one son, Cyrus. Charlotte 
married Leonard Bohall of Benton, where she died leaving 
two children. Oliver C. is a physician and emigrated to Ten- 
nessee. John emigrated west. Clement W. married Miriam 
Kidder. Ann is unmarried. Mariette married Mr. Moore of 
Benton. They moved to Michigan with three children. 

Horace Kidder married Lydia Rippey, and settled in Benton, 
where she died leaving one son Henry. His second wife was 
Rachel Jones of Seneca, and they reside at Honeoye Lake, On- 
tario county, and have three children, Mary J., Henriette and 


Samuel Jayne, senior, was a native of Florida, Orange coun- 
ty, born in 1763. Near the close of the Revolutionary war he 
served nine months, and was stationed in the Minisink country 
as a guard against the British and Indians, for which service 
he received a pension, and ultimately a land warrant was issued 
to his widow. He came to the Genesee country in 1792, stop- 
ping at Geneva, where he wrought for a time. Geneva was in 
embryo then, and had but one framed house. Mr. Jayne built a 
rail fence about a lot on which the Methodist church in Geneva 
now stands. He was present at the raising of the old Geneva 
Hotel, now Water Cure, and the Mile Point House. To raise 
the latter building, Mr. Williamson hired men by the day, and 
it was a job of three clays. Mr. Jayne came to Benton, then 
Jerusalem, and in 1797 bought the farm still owned by his son 

Samuel, the east half of lot No. 8, of Nathaniel Norton, then 



Sheriff of Ontario county. After a commencement at clearing 
his land, he returned to Orange county, where, in 1802, he 
married Eleanor Van Zile, originally from New Jersey. In 
1803 they came with an ox team to their home in Benton, by 
way of Albany and the Mohawk Valley. The Indian trail 
from Kashong to the foot of Keuka Lake, passed over Mr. 
Jayne's farm. Samuel Jayne, jr., says that he well recollects 
seeing and traveling this path, which was a hard and thorough- 
ly beaten track, and so remained until broken by the plow. 

Samuel Jayne, senioi, after a very iudustrious and useful life 
of ninety years, died in April, 1853, and his worthy consort 
died in 1858, at the age of eighty-three They had three sons, 
Samuel, Henry and William. Samuel, born March 3, 1804, 
married Elizabeth Bacon, a native of London, England, born 
February 26, 1806, and married April 12, 1828. Mr. Jayne 
applied himself for some years to the trade of a mason, and 
assisted in that capacity in the erection of the Dox mansion, in 
Torrey, but for many years past he has been a farmer, fruit 
culturist and nursery grower. He has on his place a pear 
orchard of six hundred trees in good bearing condition. He 
has occupied many of the official positions of his town, and 
represented Yates county in the Assembly in 1851. He was 
also a candidate on the Grant and Colfax Electoral ticket in 
1868. He and his wife are held in high esteem by their neigh- 
bors. They are without children. 

Henry Jayne married Sarah, daughter of John Johnson, jr., 
of Benton, emigrated to Grass Lake, Michigan, in 1834, where 
he was a farmer for some time, and is now a druggist. They 
have three children, Elizabeth, John E. and Ella L. 

William died unmarried in 1831. 


John Mc Master was a native of Ireland, and came to Ameri- 
ca in 1792, landing at New Castle, Delaware. In 1795 he mar- 
ried Jane Barnes, in Little Britain, Lancaster county, Pennsyl- 
vania, and in 1797, located on what is still known as the Barnes 
farm in Seneca, on the Pre-emption road, a short distance north 


of Bellona. In 1806 he bought a farm on the west side of 
the Genesee river, within or near the present bounds of Roch- 
ester, but before moving his family he was cut off by death. 
The family remained in Seneca till 1810, when Mrs. Mc Master 
purchased two separate parcels of land in Benton, on one of 
which she moved with her family, and both were afterwards 
owned by her sons. She died in 1829. Their children were 
James W., David J., Mary, Jane and Sarah. James W. mar- 
ried Jemima, daughter of Stephen Haight. She is a native of 
Fishkill, N. Y., born in 1797. They settled on the premises 
west of the mother's homestead, where he died in 1863, at the 
age of sixty-six. He was a man of energy and thrift, and left 
his family a good estate. He filled various public stations and 
was several years one of the Loan Commissioners of the county. 
His widow survives him. Their children are Mary J., Sarah C, 
John J., Edwin R., George W., Laura E., James M., Jemima E. 
and Nancy E. 

Mary J. Mc Master married David Wilson of Seneca. They 
have two children, Caroline and Mary C. Laura married 
Arthur Edie, of York county, Pennsylvania, and resides in 
Seneca. They have one child, James A. John J. married 
Elizabeth Crozier of Seneca, and resides in Benton. They 
have had six children, James W., Eliza J., George C, Arabell, 
Charles and John J. The mother died in 1869. Edwin R. 
married Cynthia Smith of Connecticut, and resides in 
Benton. They have one child, Mary. George W. married 
Margaret Rippey of Seneca, and resides near his brother John, 
on what is known as the Watson farm. They have three chil- 
dren, John R., William and Fred. James M. is unmarried, re- 
sides on the homestead and owns it. Sarah C, Jemima E. and 
Nancy E., are unmarried and reside on the homestead. 

David J., the second son of John Mo Master, born in 1799, 
married Martha Black of Seneca, and settled in that town 
where she died in 1828, leaving five children, Elizabsth, Erne- 
line, John R., Aaron B. and Martha. His second wife was 
Laura Hulbert, widow. They settled in Potter where she died 



in 1859, leaving four surviving children by the second marriage, 
Mary, Sarah J., Laura and David M. His third wife, now liv- 
ing, was Eleanor Davis, widow, of Grand Rapids, Ohio. He 
has been a prominent citizen of Potter, held various local offi- 
ces and was six years a Loan Commissioner of the county. His 
oldest daughter, Elizabeth, married Alfred Page of Seneca, 
and resides on the old David Benton farm. Their children are 
Lucetta, wife of Rev. Newell S. Lowrey of Gorham, and Emma. 
Emeline married William Cronkhite of Sandy Hill, N. Y. 
They have six children, Augusta and five sons. John died sin- 
gle. Aaron married Sarah Harlow of Grass Lake, Michigan, 
and resides near Detroit. Martha married Dr. Alexander B. 
Sloan of Bellona. Mary married Daniel W. Dinturff of Potter, 
now of Fowlerville, Michigan. Sarah is unmarried and resides 
at Fowlerville Michigan. Laura married Ashley Thomas, 2d., 
of Potter, and resides at Ada Michigan. David M. married 
Emma, daughter of the late Charles Bordwell of Potter. They 
reside on the Mc Master homestead, in Potter, and have one 
child, Nellie. 

Mary Mc Master, born in 1802, married Moses Black of Sene- 
ca, and settled near the "No. 9 Church," where they have re- 
mained. Their children are Aaron, John, Elizabeth, James and 

Sarah Mc Master born in 1806, married Fletcher C. Bateman 
of Benton, and emigrated to Centreviile, Michigan. They 
have three sons, Emery J., David and Fletcher C. 


Samuel Mc Farren was a native of Northumberland county, 
Pennsylvania, and married Susannah Campbell of the same place 
in 1800. He died in 1828 at the age of sixty-eight, and she in 
1856 at the age of seventy-five. They came to the Genesee 
country in 1806, and landed at Long Point, south of Dresden, 
on the day cf the Great Total Eclipse. After a year's sojourn 
on the farm where Herman S. Barnes now resides, they pur- 
chased and removed to the farm where they died, which is still 
owned and occupied by their son Samuel, on lot No. 10 in 



Benton. Their children were James, William, Nancy, Samuel, 
John, James, Andrew C. and Robert N. James died single in 
1864, at the age of sixty-two. William died single in 1827, at 
the age of twenty -three. Nancy, born in 1 807, married Aaron 
B. Munn in 1830, and in 1838 they emigrated to Eaton Rapids, 
Michigan, where they reside. Their children are Mary J., Wil- 
liam, Andrew N. and Asa. 

Samuel, born in 1809, married Olive Baker of Benton, in 
1855. They have two children Samuel A. and Olive Adelia. 

John born in 1811 married Caroline Johnson of Benton in 
1833, and settled finally in Shiawassee county, Michigan. They 
have had twelve children, of whom nine survive. 

James, born in 1813, married Emily Biggers of Wayne, N. Y 
in 1833, where they remained till 1854, when they emigrated 
to Kite River, Ogle county, Illinois. Their children are Sarah, 
Marietta, Nancy J. and Susannah. Andrew C, born in 1815, 
married Mary Huber of Geneva. They reside at Painted 
Post and have one son, William R. 

Robert N., born in 1818, married Harriet A., daughter of 
Linus Bates of Benton, in 1843, and settled on the "Stokoe 
farm," lot No. 34, in Benton, where they still reside. ' This farm 
was originally owned by William Earl, an uncle of Jephthah 
and Arthur Earl, and Mr. Mc Farren found on the outer bark 
of a beech tree in 1865, on his premises, the plain and legible 
inscription — "W. E., 1808," and the tree still alive and grow- 
ing, but since uprooted by the wind. Mr. Mc Farren is an ac- 
tive and prominent citizen of his town, and held in high esteem 
as a neighbor. He has recently had charge of a store in Penn 
Yan, and is now Deputy IT. S. Revenue Assessor for Yates 
county. Their children are Cassius N., S. Runette and Wendell 
R. Cassius N., born in 1845, married Helen A. Rosenkrans of 
Benton, and has been a merchant in Penn Yan. He was a soldier 
in the Pennsylvania militia in 1863, drafted from Williamsport, 
where he then resided, to meet the rebel army at Gettysburg ; 
and afterwards enlisted in the company of Captain Morris F. 


Sheppard in the 16th 1ST. Y. Heavy Artillery, where he served 
till the end of the war. 


John Coleman was a native of Fishkill, N. Y., and while he 
was a child, his father, also John Coleman, emigrated to Ly- 
coming, Pennsylvania, where the son at the age of twenty-five, 
•married Christiana Rine. He came to this region as an explor- 
er in 1798, and bought fifty acres of what is now known as the 
old Purdy farm, on the second road west of Seneca Lake in 
Benton, where he built a house and sowed wheat preparatory 
to bringing his family. The following spring they came, the 
father driving his yoke of oxen and two cows. From the head 
of Seneca Lake the wife and three young children were rowed 
down by Moses Hall. A violent wind made a portion of the 
voyage terrifying if not perilous to the timid mother. After 
one year they sold their first location, and purchased at what is 
now Bellona, where their son, Henry R. Coleman, now resides. 
The place then included seventy acres of land, entirely wild. 
There John Coleman died in 1832, at the age of sixty-two, and 
his wife in IS 59 at the age of eighty-six. Their children are 
John, Margaret, Henry R., Elizabeth, Daniel, Sarah and 
Charles. John, born in 1796, married Julia, daughter of Wil- 
liam Ansley of Seneca. They settled finally at Perry, Wyo- 
ming county, N. Y., and their children are Sarah, Caroline, 
Mary and George. 

Margaret, born in 1797, married William Taylor of Benton. 

Henry R. Coleman born in 1800, married Caroline Squier of 
Seneca. They settled on the Coleman homestead, where she 
died the mother of six children: Mary C, Charlotte A., Caro- 
line E., Henry D., Charles S. and John W. Mr. Coleman's 
second wife was Laura Miles, widow, of Millport, N. Y. 
He greatly enlarged the original homestead and improved it. 
Some of it has been appropriated to village lots in Bellona, and 
otherwise sold off. He has been identified with nearly the 
whole history of Belloua, and has seen the country around re- 
deemed from its native wilderness. In fruit culture he has 


taken considerable interest, and is noted for his success in pear 
growing. Mary, his oldest daughter, married George Voor- 
hees of Romulus, Seneca county, where they reside. Their 
children are Caroline A. and Laura J. Charlotte married John 
Wilkie of Seneca. Their children are Henry D., William C. 
and Frederick S. Caroline married Henry McAlpine of Ben- 
ton, and resides on the James Smith farm. Their children are 
George, Charles and one other. Henry Dwight, a young man 
of much promise, emigrated to Centre Creek Mines, Missouri, 
where he died'in 1868. Charles S. resides with his father 

Elizabeth, born in 1803, married William Bamborough of 
Lyons, N. Y., and lives now in Michigan. Their children are 
Caroline, Flora, Thomas, Wesley and Daniel. 

Daniel Coleman, born in 1800, married Esther Ansley of 
Seneca, and located early at Jackson, Michigan, where his wife 
died. He married a second wife, Miss Blake of Livonia, N. Y., 
in 1836, and was soon after killed by the running away of his 
horse. He left a fine estate and no children. 

Sarah, born in 1808, married James Johnson of Benton, 
emigrated to Indiana, and thence to Watervliet, Missouri, where 
he died leaving three children : Christina, Coleman and Charles 
H. She married a second husband, Mr. Crossman. 

Charles Coleman, born in 1801, married Mary A. Seeley of 
Milo, and settled about one mile southwest of Bellona, on lot 
No. 3, where he now resides, and where his wife died in 1869. 
They had three children : George S., Edward and William 
H. Mr. Coleman was elected Justice of the Peace in 1849, 
and he was re-elected for his sixth term in the spring of 1869, 
thus affording the best proof of the high regard in which he is 
held by his fellow citizens. His son, George, became a prin- 
ter, and under a strong sense of patriotic duty, enlisted in the 
161st N. Y. Volunteers, accompanied the expedition of Gen. 
Banks in 1864, was wounded at the battle of Sabine Cross 
Roads, and finally died in hospital at New Orleans, at the age 
of twenty-one. He has a fine monument erected over his 


grave. Edward married Alice, adopted daughter of Charles 
Coe of Benton, where they reside. They have one child Mary. 


This early settler of Benton, was a native of Norwalk, Con- 
necticut. He settled on lot 70 of No. 8, in 1807, and died 
there just fifty years later, at the age of eighty-four. His wife 
was Nancy Nash, of Connecticut. She died in 1852 at the age 
of seventy-three. They redeemed their farm from the wilder- 
ness, and made a highly cultivated and productive homestead. 
He was a man of positive character and great energy, and his 
wife a woman of high moral and social standing, widely known 
and much esteemed. Their children were Abel, Levi, Sabra, 
Emily and Nancy. Abel married a daughter of the late Judge 
Aaron Younglove of Gorham, and emigrated to Washtenaw 
county, Michigan. 

Levi Patchen married Harriet Adkins of Benton, where she 
died leaving three children : Yolney, Emily and Harriet. He 
married again and died in Michigan. Emily mai'ried Rezie 
York of Benton, and moved to Michigan. 

Sabra Patchen married Joseph Wheeler of Waterloo, and 
settled at Brighton, Monroe county, where she died leaving 
three children : Jared, Jesse and Fanny. Jared is a physician, 
and was a surgeon in the army during the late war. He mar- 
ried Miss Baldwin and resides in Brighton. Jesse was a sol- 
dier in the war and died in hospital at Baton Rouge, Louisiana. 

Emily Patchen, became the wife of Daniel Gilbert of Benton, 
where he died without children. She married a second hus- 
band, John Powell of Penn Yan, where she died leaving one 
son, John J. Powell. 

Nancy Patchen married Peter York of Benton. They re- 
side in Geneva and have had three children : Delos, Frank and 


John Powell was a native of Dutchess county, and came to 
Penn Yan about 1816. After having worked at his trade as a 
blacksmith, for some time with Benjamin Shaw, his brother-in- 


law, whose apprentice he was, he married first, Almira, a sister 
of Carlton Leggy and they had two children : James S. and 
Mary J. His second wife was Emily, the widow of Daniel 
Gilbert, and daughter of Jared Patchen. They had one son, 
John J. His third wife was Jane Bellows of New Hampshire. 
They had five children, Charles F. William, Emily, Sarah and 
Lewis B. John Powell was a leading Methodist, and a man 
of sterling, upright character. For about twenty years he was 
Clerk of the Board of Supervisors of Yates county. His 
shop on Head street, was where his son, James S., subse- 
quently followed the same trade for many years. He died 
in 1852 at the age of fifty-eight. Only his oldest two 
children remain in the county. James S. married Maria daugh- 
ter of Enos Easton of Middlesex, and resides on the old home- 
stead. They have four children : George K., Cornelia B., 
Mary J. and Charles. George K. is a graduate of Genesee 
College, and a teacher of celebrity. Pie was a clerk on the 
II. S, "War Steamer Wateree, when it was stranded on the coast 
of Peru in 1863, being carried high on shore by a mighty earth- 
quake wave and left by the returning tide. 

Mary J. is the wife of Henry M. Stewart, a lawyer of Penn 
Yan, and a man of rare intellectual and moral characteristics. 
Their only son, John P, was an amiable and promising young 
lad who died while an apprentice in the printing office of the 
Yates County Chronicle in 1858. 

John J. Powell married Harriet Marble of Augelica, and re- 
sides at Bellaire, Ohio, a merchant. They have two children, 
Mary and Hattie Bell. 

Charles F. Powell married Juliette Alven and resides at 
St. Cloud, Minnesota. They have one child, Mary. 

William Powell married Annette Marvin and resides at St. 
Cloud where the two brothers are partners in the hardware 
trade. They have two children, James and Gertrude. 

Sarah Powell married Jesse Butterfield of Piqua, Ohio. He 

died at St. Anthony, Minnesota, and she resides at Scranton, 


J 32 


Lewis B. Powell is unmarried and a successful dealer iu music 
and musical instruments at Scranton, Pennsylvania. 


One cf the earliest and most important families who peopled 
Yates county, was that of James Spencer, whose descendants 
have been numerous, and some of them conspicuous and emi- 
nent citizens. The Spencer family is of Welsh origin. Their 
progenitor came to this country in 1650, and settled in East 
Haddam, Connecticut. James Spencer moved from there to 
Columbia county, 1ST. Y. He and his wife, Anna, were the 
parents of twelve children, and his sister, Sarah Spencer, mar- 
ried Ej)hrairn Kidder, from which pair the Kidder family of 
Yates county have descended. The children of James and 
Anna Spencer, were David, Truman, James, Martin, Elijah, 
Abner, Justus P., Simeon, Rhoda, Lovina, Anna and Angelina. 
David did not come to this country. Truman at the age of 
seventeen became a soldier of the Revolution, and for his ser- 
vices in that arduous struggle received a pension during the 
later years of his life. His wife was Lois Pattison, and in 1788, 
when he was twenty-four years old and she nineteen, they set 
out for the Genesee country, inspired with that noble courage 
Avhich made them prosperous and successful pioneers ; though 
their resources werje little more than their own healthful ener- 
gies and buoyant hopes. Ke brought his wile and her father 
and mother as far as Newtown, where they remained till the 
spring of 1789. In the meantime he came on with his knap- 
sack to township No. 8, first range, and selected his farm which 
he purchased, it is ascertained, of Levi Benton, on lot 13, for 
fifty cents per acre. The next spring they moved on it. Coming 
down Seneca Lake in a boat to Norris' Landing, they found 
some sort of conveyance thence to Levi Benton's, something 
more than a mile west of their own premises. It is hardly con- 
ceivable how they could have reached Mr. Benton's by that 
route at that time, as there was no sort of a road, unless the 
tracks of surveyors had opened some lines that could be fol- 
lowed through the dense undergrowth. They reached Mr. 


Benton's just before nightfall, and remained under bis roof tbe 
first night. The next day Mr. Benton sent his sons to assist 
Mr. Spencer to put up a cabin. They erected a rude log struc- 
ture, making use of split basswood for a floor, and basswood 
bark for a roof. This dwelling stood about two rods north of 
the present house, on the premises ever since known as Spen- 
cer's Corners. At this time there were but two other families 
in what is now Benton : that of Levi Benton, and the family 
that resided at Dr. Benton's saw mill, where it was pretty cer- 
tain there was one, though not the Doctor himself. There was 
a dense forest in every direction, full of wild animals, and little 
familiar to any human presence except that of red men. 

James Pattison, the father of Mrs. Spencer, after viewing the 
premises with his son-in-law, selected a place for his final repose, 
now a little west of the Pre-emption road, and south of the 
house, which was long used as a family burying ground. He 
cheered them with words that seemed to have a prophetic in- 
spiration, assuring them that "they would live to see the coun- 
try cleared and thickly settled, and a church on either side of 
them." How literally his prediction was fulfilled, will be real- 
ized by all who remember the old Baptist church northeast of 
Benton Centre, and the old Presbyterian Church on the ridge, 
east of Spencer's Corners. The old man died in the autumn 
of 1792, at the age of seventy-seven. His wife, Betsey Patti- 
son, thirteen years his junior, was a woman of great energy, 
whose precept and example gave life and encouragement, not 
only to her own family, but all the surrounding pioneer settlers. 
She had courage, knowledge, experience and address, which 
made her one of the most useful residents of the region 
peopliug with new beginners. In the absence of professional 
doctors, she was widely employed as a physician and midwife. 
She was as successful and no doubt as useful as the most accom- 
plished graduates of the schools, and being a skillful and sensi- 
ble horseback rider, made her visits promptly, while her fee of 
one dollar, was adapted to the slender purse of the early settler, j 

If any ambitious and talented young woman waits for a prece- i 

............ I 


dent before engaging in a profession to which her sex is admi- 
rably adapted, she will find in this worthy pioneer mother an 
example which sets the argument of propriety forever at rest, 
and a sanction three generations ago by an excellent communi- 
ty of New England people. Mrs. Pattison died in 1821, at the 
age of ninety-three. 

They brought provisions and clothing which would have suf- 
ficed until they could have replenished their stock from their 
own land, but Mr. Benton, whose supplies were short, prevailed 
on Mr. Spencer to divide with him, taking what he received as 
a payment on the laud: This reduced their resom*ces so much, 
that in the early summer of 1790, they had nothing left for 
food except a few nubbins of corn raised the previous year by 
scratching with a hoe among the stumps. In this straight, 
Mr. Spencer went on foot to a Mr. Stevens, about one mile and 
a half west of Geneva, of whom he bought one bushel of corn 
for which he paid a French crown. He carried it home by a 
path marked by blazed trees through the woods, and from 
thence to Smith's Mill on Keuka Outlet. In recounting after- 
wards the story of this dearly earned corn meal, he related that 
on returning home with his corn, he sat down on a log to rest, 
and while waiting there saw some rinds of pork thrown away 
by other travelers who had eaten a lunch on the same spot. 
These he picked up and ate, as he always said with more relish 
than anything he had fiver eaten before or after. t While he 
was on this trip for corn, Mrs. Pattison gathered up the nub- 
bins of corn, washed off the smoke stains and parched the 
corn for coffee which they drank. These famishing times were 
in marked contrast with the generous abundance which after- 
wards crowned their board, when scores at a time were fed at 
their table. 

An early and valuable acquisition was a fine sow, which rang- 
ing in the woods near by, was one day attacked by a huge bear. 
The terrified squeal of the hog soon drew her owner to the 
spot. He shouted, waved his hat, and made such demonstra- 
tions as attracted Bruin's attention for a moment, and the hog 


was not slow to improve the diversion by making a sally for 
home. Her owner covered the retreat, and the bear followed 
so closely after as to tear away one of his coat skirts, but con- 
cluded to retreat in time without securing any further spoil. 

On one occasion, an Indian stole his iron kettle in which 
he boiled his maple sap for sugar making, and carrying it to 
the Kashong Flats, hid it. Procuring the company of Samuel 
Jayne, senior, Captain Spencer, went to Kashong, and 
after diligent search, found the kettle buried in the mud, 
much to the chagrin of the felonious red skin, and the merri- 
ment of the other Indians, who ridiculed the thief for his lack 
of craft in hiding his booty. 

Mrs. Spencer would occasionally go on horseback to visit the 
family of Samuel Taylor, living about one mile north of Ka- 
shong, where the lake road now runs. She followed an Indian 
trail which ran to Kashong, crossing the premises now occu- 
pied by Samuel Jayne. Often, as the shades of evening gath- 
ered on her return, the wolves would keep even with her up 
the ravine of the Kashong, which she could well understand by 
their dismal howl. This was an escort not unlikely to make a 
solitary woman nervous, and anxious, to say the least. 

The deed of Truman Spencer's land was executed in 1792, 
signed by Levi Benton, witnessed by Martin Spencer and Seba 
Squiers, and acknowledged in 1807 before John Nicholas. 

Their first child, David, was born September 8, 1790, and 
was, beyond all doubt, the first white child born in Benton, if 
not in Yates county. He died of "canker rash," March 18, 
1793. The father rode to Geneva for a physician, but when he 
returned his child was dead. The inscription on the headstone 
of his grave, denoting his age and date of decease, proves the 
date of his birth. 

Levi Benton, jr., was the mechanic who framed Truman 
spencer's first barn, and at the supper when the barn was raised, 
every man, woman and child, in what is now Benton, was pres- 
ent. So few were the inhabitants that they had great difficulty 
in getting up the frame. These early difficulties were rapidly 


vanquished, and they lived to witness great changes. Mr. 
Spencer was soon followed to his new»home by his parents and 
all his brothers and sisters but one. Offices civil and military 
were conferred upon him. He was elected a captain in the 
militia, and was evpr afterwards called Captain Spencer. At 
the second election of Jackson in 1832, he was one of the 
Presidential Electors. When Martin Van Buren visited Gene- 
va, on his tour through the State, while President, he was sta- 
tioned in front of the old Geneva Hotel to receive the usual in- 
troductions. Captain Spencer's name being announced, the 
President recognized him at once. "Ah!" said he, "one of the 
old Electors." Mr. Van Buren was chosen Vice President by 
the Electoral College of 1832. 

Mr. Spencer and his wife made their first visit to their old 
home in Columbia county in the fall of 1804, going on horse- 
back. While absent, their youngest child, James, died of 
croup. He was a little prattler of eighteen months, whose loss 
was a sore affliction to them. 

Captain Spencer was ' an ardent politician, and made it a 
point to be the first man to vote on election days. The liber- 
ties he had fought for he was eager to maintain. He and his 
brother Elijah were much attached to each other, but in Jack- 
son times they differed politically, and their differences were 
sometimes acrimonious. He opened a public house at an early 
period, and there for many years the Benton town meetings 
and other public gatherings were held. 

The children of this family, other than those already men- 
tioned, were Nancy, David P., Laura and Olive. Mrs. Spencer 
died in 1830 at the age of sixty-two. He afterwards married 
Martha, widow of George Wheeler, jr., daughter of Eliphalet 
Hull. His death occurred in April, 1840, at the age of seventy- 
six. His name should be held in honorable memory, as one of 
the first and most distinguished pioneers of this county. A 
graceful obituary notice was penned by Elijah Spencer on his 
death, and published in the Yates County Whig of that date. 



Nancy, the oldest daughter, born in 1792. married Henry, 
son of Elijah Kelsey of Benton, and settled near the homestead. 
Their children were Caroline, George W., Charles R., Heth, 
Arabell, Olive, Laura and Myron. Charles R. married Eliza- 
beth Sawyer. They had a son, Charles, with whom the mother 
now lives in Michigan. Heth married Olive Barden of Seneca. 
Their children are George and Sarah. His widow married 
John Williams of Seneca, where the children reside. Arabell, 
the only survivor of her mother's family, married William 
Scoon of Seneca, where they now reside. Their children are 
Margaret A., Charles K., Helen A., Laura J. and William. 

David P., born in 1795, married Abigail Wood of Bellona, 
and their children were Truman, Isabell, Thomas, Lois, Andrew 
J., Augusta and Herman. They emigrated to Michigan. 
Truman married Susan A. Fisher of Benton, and afterwards 
moved to Ingham county, Michigan. Their children are 
Charles, George D. and James H. Isabell married Emory Lamb 
of Benton, and moved to Carrol county, Illinois. Their chil- 
dren are Theresa, Susan, Lucy, Bellina, Joanna and Laura. 
Thomas married Caroline Dennison of Torrey, and resides at 
Oaks Corners, Ontario county. Their children are George E. 
and Mary. Lois married Paschal P. Pettengill of Torrey. 
They moved to Ingham county, Michigan, and their children 
are John, Isabell and Catharine A. Andrew J. married Harriet 
Gage of Phelps, N. Y., and moved to Ingham county, Michi- 
gan. Their children are Mary Jane and Laura. The widow 
of David P. Spencer still survivesin Michigan. She is a daugh- 
ter of Thomas Wood, who moved from Ulster county in 1808, 
and bought a farm of Longhead, at Bellona. At that time 
there were but three families in Bellona : the Longheads, J. 
Reynolds and John Carr. 

Laura, born in 1798, married James Barnes, jr., of Seneca. 
She still survives with her natural powers of body and mind 
well preserved. Their children are Herman S , Augustus T., 
Mary E. and Charles P. Herman S., is a prominent citizen of 
Torrey. He married Deborah Goundry of Torrey. Their 


children are Wellington A., Josephine, James F. and Margaret. 
Augustus T. married Amelia Scott of Seneca. They have one 
son, Clarence Eugene. Mary E. married William T. Beattie 
of Seneca. Their children are Charles A., Laura, Mary and 
Herbert. Charles P. married first, Sarah Hewlett of Benton, 
and a second wife, Esther Hope of Benton. They reside in 
Seneca and have one child, Gertrude. 

Olive, born January 1, 1800, married David Barnes, brother 
of James. Their children were Martha and James W, neither 
of whom survives. James Warren raised a company of volun- 
teers during the rebellion, aud served as a captain for some 
time. He returned home and died of camp fever near the 
close of the war. His wife was Caroline Johnson of Benton. 
He left one child, Martha Lucinda. Martha, only daughter of 
David and Olive, married Martin R. Gage of Benton, and 
moved to Iowa, where she died. 

Elijah Spencer, then fifteen years old, came with his parents 
and the rest of the family to Benton, then Jerusalem, in 1791. 
The family located on what is now known as the Phelps farm, 
where the father died in- 1805, at the age of seventy, and the 
mother in 1806, at the age of sixty-four. Elijah was early in- 
ured to all the hardships of pioneer life. On one occasion, he 
and one of his brothers when searching for the cows were lost, 
and took refuge at nightfall in one of the huts of David Fish, 
on the Outlet of Keuka Lake, not far from Hopeton, (not yet 
founded.) The night seemed long and they found it impossi- 
ble to sleep. So they concluded to go home at all hazards, and 
proceeded to the lake, which they followed to Ivashong, and 
thence found their way home by an Indian trail early in the 
morning. In his early manhood Elijah Spencer was an enter- 
prising laborer, and for some years cleared land by the acre for 
the early settlers. In 1808, at the age of thirty-two, he mar- 
ried Sarah Beaumont, a niece of Rachel and Margaret Malin, 
who was ten years younger. They settled on lot 21 in No. 8, 
where they remained through life. 



Mr. Spencer early became a prominent and influential citi- 
zen, enjoyed the fullest confidence of the people, and was fre- 
quently called to important public stations. He was Supervi- 
sor of Benton, then including Milo and Torrey, in 1810, if not 
earlier. That year the county bounty for wolves was ten 
dollars, and Mr. Spencer's allowance for his services as Supervi- 
sor was twenty-eight dollars. In 1811 Elijah Spencer was 
again Supervisor, and the wolf and panther bounty was fifteen 
dollars. He had thirty-three dollars for his services. He was 
Supervisor in 1812-13-14, and again in 1816-17-18. In 1818 
he was chairman of the Board of Supervisors of Ontario coun- 
ty. That year Milo was set off from Benton, and Elijah Spencer 
was the first Supervisor of Benton as thus formed ; and after 
Yates county was set off from Ontario, he was again Supervi- 
sor, in 182C-27-28. In 1819 he was one of the seven members 
representing Ontario county in the Assembly. In the Seven- 
teenth Congress, (1821,) he and William B. Rochester, repre- 
sented the twenty-first district of this State, embracing all the 
State west of Seneca Lake, except Steuben county. Finally, 
in 1846, he was honored with a seat in the State Constitutional 
Convention of that year. His name was always a tower of 
strength with the people. It has been the lot of few citizens 
to be so much favored by public honors, and few men have so 
well deserved them by lives of equal probity and usefulness. 
He transformed hi3 homestead from total wildness to a beauti- 
ful and productive farm, accumulated a good estate, and died 
in 1852, at the age of seventy-six. His wife died in 1856 at 
the age of seventy. Their children were Harriet, Mary, James, 
Caroline, George W., Benjamin, Elijah P. and Sarah Jane, 

Harriet became the second wife of Thomas H. Locke and 
died in 1858 at the age of forty-eight leaving one son, Charles 
S. Mr. Locke still resides in Penn Yan, is a book-binder and 
Justice of the Peace of Benton. Various other offices have 
been held by him. He has a daughter, Cornelia, by his first 
marriage, who resides with her father. 


Mary, bora in 1814, married Henry C. Wheeler. They now 
reside in Chicago. Their children are E. Spencer, Frank and 

James died unmarried in 1849, at the age of thirty-three. 

Caroline died single in 1851 at the age of thirty-three. 

George W., born in 1821, married Elizabeth M., daughter of 
Ephraim Wheeler, in 1852. She died in 1860 leaving one son, 
Frank Elijah. Iq 1862 Mr. Spencer married Mary E., also a 
daughter of Ephraim Wheeler, and they have one son, Charles 
P. They reside on the paternal homestead which has always 
been retained by the family. George W. is a prominent and 
much respected citizen. 

Benjamin F. died single in 1855 at the age of thirty-one. 

Elijah P. married Elizabeth Hyer of Philadelphia, in 1852, 
where he died in 1860 at the age of thirty-four, leaving three 
children, Alexander H., Beaumont and Annie. 

Sarah J. married John Mc Niel of Penn Yan, and died soon 
after, in 1856, at the age of thirty. 

Martin, brother of Truman and Elijah Spencer, married 
Sybil, daughter of Stephen Richmond of Columbia county. 
Their children were Rhoda, Truman, Eliza Ann, Horace, Mar- 
tin, Corintha, Theresa and Louise. The father of this family 
came here when young, but returned to Columbia county, and 
married and died there. The children all came here except 
Rhoda. Truman, jr., married Christina Becker in Columbia 
county, moved to Prattsburgh and thence to Penn Yan, where 
he died in 1839, leaving two sons and two daughters, now living 
at Clyde, K Y. 

Horace was a Baptist clergyman, who preached at Reed's 
Corners, in Gorham and other places. He died leaving three 
children, Emily, Newton B. and Caroline. Emily died a young 
woman. Newton B., is editor and co-proprietor with Harrison 
De Long, of the Pomeroy, (Ohio), Crescent. Caroline lives 
with her uncle Edwin Williams at Galva, 111. He married 
Margaret Beyea, of Penn Yan. Their children are Albert and 


Eliza Ann married Henry Hicks, in Columbia count}'. He 
was a native of Long Island and moved to this county in 1833. 
He lived some time on Bluff Point, and about twenty years 
owned and occupied the farm first settled by Levi Benton, 
senior, at the intersection of Flat street and the east Centre 
Road in Benton. He is now a prominent citizen of Penn Yan, 
and has a second wife, Marietta, daughter of Jonathan Whita- 
ker. The surviving children of the first marriage are Mary 
Elizabeth, Martin S., Cordelia, Henry Augustus, George N, 
Ellen R., James E., Alice and Maleen. Mary Elizabeth mar- 
ried Andrew Chapman of Benton. Their children are Ida, 
Eddington, Hobart, Henry and Grace. Martin S. married 
Ellen Talmadge of Massachusetts. He was captain of company 
B, in the 148th Regiment, and performed honorable service in 
the war of the Rebellion. Cordelia married Thomas B. Morrell 
of Williamsburg, 1ST. Y., who died there leaving one child, 
Cornelia M. Mrs. Morrell resides in Penn Yan. Henry 
Augustus married Lucy, daughter of John O'Brien, of Penn 
Yan. He was a Second Lieutenant in the Ninth Battery 
of Wisconsin Volunteers during the war, and served in the 
Soivth-West. George N. married Lucy Sophia, daughter of 
Elisha H. Huntiugton, of Penn Yan. Ellen married Daniel 
Adams, of New York, a leather dealer residing at South 
Orange, New Jersey. James E. is unmarried. Alice mar- 
ried Emile A. Riege, a merchant of Y/illiamsburg, N. Y. 
They have one child. Maleen is unmarried. The children 
of Henry Hicks by the second marriage are Ruth Ann, Wil- 
liam J., and Henrietta. 

Martin Spencer, jr., married Jane Ann, sister ot A. J. Knee- 
land. They were for many years estimable residents of Penn 
Yan. They now reside at Galva, Illinois, and have one son, 

Corintha married Edson Williams, and resides at Galva, 
Illinois, and Theresa married Edwin Brown, a Baptist preaher, 
and resides also at Galva. 

Lauar married Morris M. Ford, for many years a successful 


merchant in Penn Yan, and now a prosperous citizen of Galva, 
Illinois. They have three surviving children, Florence, Jane 
and Dyer. 

James Spencer, jr., married Lizzie Philips, and died in 1801, 
leaving no children. He was Supervisor of Jerusalem, T(then 
embracing Milo and Benton,) as appears from old records of 

Abner Spencer married Hannah Macomber. They had two 
children, Ceressa and Chester. They moved early from Ben- 
ton, and settled in the Black River region. 

Simeon Spencer married Martha, daughter of Elijah Town- 
send, lived with his father on the old Phelps place in Benton, 
and died in a few months after his marriage, in 1805. He had 
a posthumous child, named Lydia, who became the wife of 
Aaron F. Carpenter and the mother of a large family, in 
Weschester county. The widow of Simeon Spencer became 
the second wife of Abraham, Prosser and step mother of 
David B. Prosser, of Penn Yan. 

Justus P. Spencer, born in 1774, was an active and conspi- 
cious citizen during the early years of the new settlement. At 
the age of twenty-three, he married Ruth Pritchard, of the 
Friend's Society, thirteen years his senior. She was born in 
1761, in Rhode Island, was an early and firm adherent of the 
Universal Friend, and for some time her secretary and 
amanuensis. She was a woman of intelligence and devoted 
piety, and for many years was a successful school teacher. 
Her hand-writing was clear and beautiful, and resembled that 
of Sarah Richards so much, that an attempt was made in the 
litigation relating to the Friend's estate in Jerusalem, to prove 
that certain memorandums signed by Sarah Richards had been 
fabricated by Ruth Pritchard. All the evidence we have re- 
lating to her character renders it quite certain that she was 
incapable of any such fraud. If her marriage was opposed to 
any injunction of the Friend, it did not interrupt their harmoni- 
ous relations, as she continued a steadfast Friend, and an at- 
tendant of the Friend's meeting. They resided in Penn Yan, 



where she taught school after her marriage for many years. 
She died in 1816, leaving two daughters, Almira S. and Ruth. 
Almira S. married Samuel Danforth, and died in 1830, at the 
age of thirty-two, leaving one son, Augustus, who followed 
ocean-life for many years, and once sailed round the globe. He 
was a gallant soldier in the Mexican war, during which he suf- 
fered indescribable hardships. He afterwards went west, and 
is supposed to be dead. 

Ruth Spencer, born in 1800, married Joseph Shepherd in 
1826. They had one son, J. Wesley Shepherd, who resides on 
the old homestead in Jerusalem, a thrifty and intelligent far- 
mer. He married Mary L., daughter of Thomas Blansett, and 
they have two surviving children, Ella J. and Minnie A. 
Joseph Shepherd died in 1831, and his widow survived him 
twenty-nine years, dying in 1860. 

Justus P. Spencer married a second wife, Betsey Crawford, 
a widow, and they removed to Oakland county, Michigan, in 
1831, where he died in 1850, at the age of seventy-four. They 
had two children, Norman C. and Mary Jane. 

Rhoda Spencer married Roswell Woodworth, and lived in 
Columbia County. 

Anna Spencer married Nathaniel Frisbie, and they resided 
in Benton. Their children were Phillip, Sophronia, James, 
Laura and Martin. All the survivors moved to Michigan 
many years ago. 

Angelina died in 1801 unmarried. 

Of this extensive family it only remains to speak of Lovina, 
who married Luraan Phelps. He became the owner of the 
homestead where the family of James Spencer, senior, settled 
in Benton, which is still known as the Phelps farm, but kept 
a public house many years in Penn Yan, where the machine 
shop of H. Birdsall, Son & Co. now stands. He was a promi- 
nent and influential citizen, and died in 1823, at the age of 
fifty-five. His widow survived him twenty years. Their 
children were Mary, Rhoda, Angelina, Thomas J. and David. L. 
Mary married John Brooks, who was several years a merchant 


in Perm Yan, and moved to the town of Richmond, Ontario 
county, where he died. Rhoda died single. Angelina mar- 
ried Lewis Vanderlip, a tailor of Penn Yan, who died at Tole- 
do, Ohio. Their children were Lewis 1ST., Sarah E., Thomas J., 
Mary J., Lovina P. Lewis N. was a lawyer, and married 
Sarah C* Cornwell. He died at Havana. N. Y., at the age of 
twenty-seven, leaving one son, Charles C, now an active 
mercantile clerk in Penn Yan. Sarah E. died single at 
twenty-one. Thomas J. married Albina, daughter of Jesse 
T. Gage, and is a resident of Penn Yan. Mary J. married 
first Patrick H. Graham, of Rochester. They had two 
children, Edward and Nora, of whom Nora alone survives. 
The second husband of Mary is James Graham, brother 
of the first. They reside in Rochester. Lovina P. died 
in 1856, at twenty-one. Laura S. married Michael Ray, 
of Rochester, and died about one year after her marriage. 

Thomas J. Phelps was killed in 1816, by a tornado which 
passed over Benton one summer day, prostrating trees and 
carrying destruction in its path. The young man was return- 
ing home from the farm in company with Jonathan Coleman, 
of Jerusalem. They were struck down by a falling tree, and 
Coleman was able with returning consciousness to extricate 
himself, but could not relieve his companion who was held 
down by a limb which had struck his head. Pie ran for help 
and a party was soon raised that carried the sufferer home alive. 
Dr. Joshua Lee was sent for and by relays of horses a physi- 
cian arrived from Geneva in three hours. The skull was 
badly crushed, and the surgeon could do nothing to save the 
life of the young man, who shortly died. This catastrophe 
caused a great sensation at the time, more probably than a 
railway crash in these days that should destroy a dozen lives. 
David L. Phelps owned the homestead and married Mary, 
widow of Lewis Crawford. He died in 1859, at the age of 


The New York Lessee Company had its origin and principal 



seat of operations at Hudson, N. Y. Caleb Benton, of that 
place, was one of its most prominent and efficient members 
and managers, and through his patronage and influence, his 
cousin, Levi Benton, became a settler on the territory that 
finally fell into the possession of that ambitious organization 
of land speculators. The first man that made an English 
white man's home in No. 8, first range, and eastward to Seneca 
Lake, was Levi Benton, who came from Canaan Connecticut, 
where he married Molly Woodworth, a daughter of the elder 
Abner Woodworth of our history. Levi, jr., the oldest of their 
sons was about eighteen years old, when, in 1789 they came 
to the Genesee country, and erected their log house, on lot 37, 
in No. 8. To conceive that they were there far beyond even 
the borders of civilized life, on ground still trodden by the 
Red Men, and hundreds of miles beyond the line of their sav- 
age warfare, which but a short period before had reddened the 
border with slaughter and destruction, the wrongs and enmities 
of which were still cherished by the sanguinary warriors of 
the forest ; to conceive that for hundreds of miles in every di- 
rection, from the spot where their home was fixed, there was 
absolutely little more than the dark over-hanging woods, just 
beginning in a few directions, and at wide intervals to be dot- 
ted by the intruding cabins of the pioneers, is to gain some 
perception of the strong courage and resolute faith which in- 
spired Levi Benton and his family to make their residence, at 
that time near the centre of Number Eight. Kanadesaga 
was but an Indian trading post, the Friends were just rallying 
near City Hill, Caleb Benton was erecting his saw mill where 
Bellona stand3, and all the rest was the vision of hope. But 
it was a hope born of well grounded confidence, in the fertility 
of the country, and its manifold allurements to the hardy sons 
of the Atlantic border. 

Levi Benton was a man worthy of high regard. His char- 
acter was a personification of genial manliness. David H. 
Buel, who knew him, in a communication to the Yates County 
Historical Society, gave the following picture of this worthy 


pioneer : " Esq. Benton was of medium higkt, stout built, 
square features, with even rows of good teeth, fitting squarely 
together ; he had lost one eye. He was cheerful and indus- 
trious and constitutionally benevolent ; had a keen relish for a 
good joke, a loud and hearty laugh, which his family of four sons 
and five daughters inherited of him. Through the long and 
misty past, I can best recollect Esq. Benton as I have so often 
seen him with his long ox-whip at the side of two good yoke of 
oxen before the plow, with a loud " haw buck." His motto 
seemed to be to either hold or drive." Mr. Buel very happily 
proceeds: "As a just tribute to the memory of Mrs. Benton, 
the write will bear witness that she was in all respects a good 
pattern of New England housekeeper. The family was large, the 
farm and business were large, and all were trained up in the strict- 
est habits of industry and economy. Her form and features are 
engraved on my memory. Her cheerful smiles of welcome 
were brighter than the heavy gold beads she wore. All were 
happy in the aid and comfort she bestowed. ISTor was she en- 
tirely singular in this regard, for how many homes are held in 
lasting remembrance by their association with the presiding 
angel of the homestead. Their house was for many years one 
of the social centres of that part of Jerusalem, afterwards Ver- 
non. Religious meetings of the Methodists and Universalists 
were occasionally held there. The 4th of July celebrations 
were held at their house and barns. In the broad shade of 
the butternut trees that stood in the rear of the barns the 
leng tables of refreshments were spread, and the orations de- 
livered — the platoons of muskets were fired in honor of the 
patriotic toasts that were drank, and at evening a nice contra- 
dance to the music of the shnll fife or violin was enjoyed, and 
"all went merry as a marriage bell." 

In the miscellaneous records of Ontario county, there is this 
entry "Universalion Society of Vernon," organized 1808, Trus- 
tees, Levi Benton, of Vernon, Joshua Van Fleet, Farmington, 
Seldon Williams, Augusta, George Hosmer, Hartford, Martin 
Dudley and Samuel Gould, Canandaigua, Samuel Babcock, 


Gorham. This would seem to have covered a large share of 
Ontario county, yet it was called the Society of Vernon and 
Levi Benton was the first named trustee, showing that there 
was its principal focus. This society afterwards had a church 
in Gorham, and long maintained an important influence in 
Benton, where its impress is still palpable. Not only as first 
comers in the land, but as people of more than common use- 
fulness, intelligence and moral worth, were Levi Benton's 
family held in high esteem. The sons and daughters were all 
men and women of more than average character and capacity. 
Levi Benton was Supervisor of Jerusalem in 1800, and was 
Justice of the Peace several years. As commissioner of high- 
ways, he aided in laying out most of the principal roads in 
what is now Benton and Milo. His son, Joseph, surveyed 
many of them. It seems sad that this venerated pioneer felt 
irapeled in his old age to leave the town to which he had given 
his name, and move to a still farther western home. He was 
led into embarrassment by becoming surety in compliance with 
his too great generosity of feeling, and in 1816 sold out his 
beautiful Benton home, and emigrated to Indiana, where he 
and his wife died a few years later, upwards of seventy. The 
dust of this noble pair should have reposed in Benton soil, in 
the cemetery which he set apart for public, use on his own farm, 
instead of a far distant state. They have a lasting monument 
in the name which the people so wisely and justly conferred on 
No. 8. Their children were Polly, Olive, Levi, Luther, Calvin, 
Joseph, Nancy, Hannah and Ruby. Polly married Ezekiel 
Crocker in 1791, the first wedding in the town. She became 
a widow at an early period, and afterwards married Ezra Rice. 
She died at Prattsburg, and Mr. Rice subsequently married 
her sister, Nancy, widow of John Riggs. David H. Buell, 
who learned the alphabet, under the tuition of Ezra Rice, says 
of him that " he was a man of marked ability, that he taught 
a good winter school, was a good teacher of music, a good 
church chorister in the log house or barn, and later a good Jus- 
tice of the Peace. Light, firm and agile, in person he was expert 

in the various kinds of labor, and a good man in sickness. Mr. 



and Mrs. Rice (Polly) were renowned for Biblical knowledge 
as well as for controversial talents, both being good speakers. 
The right passage seemed always to flow from their lips at the 
right time. In those days religious discussion was inevitable 
and irrepressible, far more than political questions of the pres- 
ent day." 

Olive Benton married Thomas, brother of Otis Barden, Feb- 
ruary 21st, 1792. Their oldest son, Thomas Barden, was born 
in the first house built by Caleb Benton, where Bellona stands, 
in 1793. He still suiwives with a good degree of bodily and 
mental vigor, and from him many particulars of early history, 
near Bellona, have been gleaned. Hannah married Robert 
Havens, and moved to Franklin county, Indiana. 

Joseph Benton, born in 1783, was a man of ability, and a 
surveyor. He married a Miss Reynolds, of Benton, and moved 
to Franklin county, Southern Indiana, in 1815. His oldest 
son, Mortimer M., studied law in Cincinnati, became eminent 
in his profession, and settled at Covington, Kentucky, where 
he resides, a wealthy citizen, and the president of a railway 
company. One of his brothers, John, it is said, became a dis- 
tinguished physician at Covington. Joseph Benton is still 
living at the age of eighty-seven with his son, Mortimer. 
Little more is known of this family by their relatives in 
this region. Luther Benton went to sea and was not 
afterwards heard from. Calvin married Lois, a sister of 
Otis and Thomas Barden, and resided in Seneca, where 
they had two sons, Alva and Abner. She died early, and 
he afterwards married a sister of Enos T. Harford, of 
Benton, and moved to Indiana, finally settling in the north- 
ern part of the State. Ruby, the youngest of the family, 
married Dr. Webb, a practicing physician of Benton, who 
basely left her, and went to Ohio. She died in Benton some 
years after. 

Levi Benton, jr., inherited the noble qualities of his father, 
and was a man of superior mechanical ability. Before the 
family came to Jerusalem he had learned the trade of mill- 


wright, which Avas his principal business through life. He had 
an iron constitution and was a model of sobriety, integrity and 
industry. Yet it was not his to accumulate property, and he 
died poor. He married Nancy, daughter of James Parker, 
January, 24th, 179G. His wife was one of those excellent 
Rhode Island daughters, whose numerous children rise up and 
call them blessed. Their first house, built by himself, was 
where the residence of John W. Mc Alpine now stands, just 
opposite his father's home, and was made of white wood plank, 
three inches thick, laid up like a log house with the corners 
dove tailed, a very becoming structure and a nent house. 
Moses Hull bought that house in 1810, and moved it near 
Benton Centre. David PI. Buell finally took it down and hr-s 
some of the plank for scaffolding in his barn to this day. In 
the pursuit of his trade, Mr. Benton moved from place to place, 
where he had jobs of mill building, and he accordingly resided 
at Perry, Wyoming county, Forestville, Chautauqua county, 
Bethel, Ontario county, and other places, and finally died at 
Honeoye Falls, NT. Y., in 1850, about seventy-nine years old. 
His wife died at Forestville in 1329, and he afterwards married 
a widow, whose name has not appeared in these researches, 
who survived him. He built a saw-mill in North Benton, a 
grist-mill at Bethel, and one of his enterprises was the con- 
struction of a stave factory on the Keuka Outlet, just below 
Penn Yan, near the present location of the paper mill of Wm. 
H. Fox, which has long since disappeared. The machinery 
of this stave factory was ingenious and effective for its purpose, 
and was one of the inventions of his son, Ezra R, Their chil- 
dren were Henry Parker, Ezra Rice, Luther B., Hiram, Olive, 
Ruby and Eliza, 

Henry P., born December 2, 179G, relates that his education 
commenced in the first school house erected at Benton Centre, 
which he describes as built of split basswood logs with the split 
side inward, the cracks filled with chinks and daubed with im- 
tempered mortar. This at that time was the style of the best 
houses, not framed. He proceeds : 


" Those split logs had begun to season-crack before I com- 
menced my educational career, and at that time we had a ped- 
ao-o^ue who used to keep me with others of the little A-be-ab 
scholars, a good part of the time on a bench against the wall, 
with the hair of the head wedged into the cracks of the logs 
to keep us out of mischief. As near as I can now recollect, I 
made little or no progress under this teacher, but did better 
afterwards when my uncle Ezra Rice, and others had charge 
of the school." 

He afterwards, while attending a mill, built by his'father at 
Perry, studied grammar, having the best of all teaching, where 
there is will, and penetration of mind, because self-taught. 
The burning of a school house with his books and instruments, 
did not deter him from becoming an accomplished surveyor. 
In 1819 he went down the Ohio River, met his grand parents 
and other relatives in Indiana, soon joined a party of surveyors 
and spent five years in that employment. He aided in the 
survey of some of the large national reserves in Indiana, and 
finally while engaged in subdividing townships, during a rainy 
season, was attacked with fever, one hundred miles from any 
settlement. By riding a pack horse, two to five miles a day, 
he finally reached friends and assistance, and recovered. After 
teaching school a few months he returned to his native state, 
and was employed fourteen years on the Erie Railway as a sur- 
veyor. His computation of areas, with plans and descriptions 
of lands, taken for the road, were copied into the title deeds of 
the company. He resides at Elmira aud, although in his sev- 
enty-fourth year, takes the highest jyide in his accuracy and 
skill as a surveyor. He declares if he cannot make a survey 
close to the nine hundred and ninety-nine thousandth part of 
an inch, he cannot sleep nights ; and adds that though he has 
to use both hands to wield the pen, because his right hand was 
disabled by being ran over by a hand-car, he writes better than 
he did before. In 1841 he married Clarrissa T., daughter of 
Andrews A. Norton, of Angelica. Their children have been 
four, Henry Norton, Ezra Levi, and a daughter and son who 


died young. Henry Norton fell at the battle of Fair Oaks, in 
18G4, and Ezra Levi, served a full enlistment in the war, and 

Ezra Rice Benton, born in 1801, was an eminent millwright, 
built some of the best flouring mills at the west, invented much 
valuable machinery, and patented a World Challenging Bran 
Duster, which proved a lucrative invention, and made him in- 
dependent. He married Jane Lokin in 1827, and she died ten 
years later, leaving two children, William W. and Eliza Ann. 
The son died single, and the daughter married a man of wealth 
and influence, and is the mother of an interesting family in 
Michigan. Ezra R. Benton married a second wife, Martha 
Holliday, of Cleveland, Ohio, who survived him. 

Hiram Benton, born at Bethel, in 1807, was a young man of 
promise, who taught school and studied medicine, and was cut 
off by pulmonary disease at the age of twenty-three. Olive, also 
born at Bethel in 1809, married Reuben Griswold at Forest- 
ville, N. Y. He died, leaving her with two young sons Lever- 
ett and Walter, whom she educated by her own exertions. 
Leverett is a noted machinist in the city of New York, and 
Walter is a competent civil engineer, who has done considera- 
ble service in that capacity for the U. S. Government, and has 
retired from business on Grand Island, in Niagara River. The 
mother resides at Westfield, and is again married. 

Ruby Benton, born at Bethel, in 1813, married James Har- 
rington at Forestville. He is a tanner and boot and shoe 
dealer. They reside at Westfield, N. Y., and are the parents 
of three daughters, Anna, Ammie E. and Amelia. Anna became 
the wife of Jefferson Fraser, then of Elmira, and died a few 
months after. Mr. Fraser subsequently married Ammie, E. the 
second daughter in 1855, and they have an interesting family 
of children, Arthur C.,Anna, M. George H. and Charles K. They 
reside in Brooklyn, and Mr. Fraser is a noted and successful 
patent solicitor, and a man of cultivated artistic tastes. Amelia 
married George W. Holt a wealthy citizen of Buffalo, and re- 


sides in affluent circumstances, at Westfield, N". Y. They have 
one surviving child, William Elijah. 

Eliza, the youngest daughter of Levi Benton, jr., born in 
1816, married Greene Isham, of Westfield, who died, leaving a 
son and daughter. 

Luther B. Benton, horn in 1804, was like most of his family, 
an ingenious mechanic and inventor, a man of acute intelli- 
gence, amiable character, and industrious life. He married 
Henrietta Lake, and resided during the later period of his life, 
a mile south-east of Penn Yan, where he and his son-in-law, 
William H. Oliu, cultivated a nursery, and established a fruit 
plantation of considerable value. He died in I860. Their 
children are Mary and James F. Mary is the wife of Wm. H. 
Olin, a fruit culturist, and a man of wide and varied informa- 
tion. They have one son, Benton. James F. Benton, who is 
the only representative of the family name left in Yates 
county, is also an inventor, showing that he inherits the ruling 
trait of the Benton blood. He has invented a new form of 
landside for a plow, which is regarded as a useful improvement 
on that valuable implement. He married Elizabeth Lovejoy, 
and they reside in Penn Yan. 


One of the earliest and most noted public houses in this re- 
gion was that of Capt. Lawrence Townsend, a short distance 
east of Penn Yan, and just beyond the late residence of Amzi 
Bruen. That tavern was a famous resort and a central place 
for town meetings and all public gatherings long before Penn 
Yan had its beginning or a name in the land. 

Lawrence Townsend was born in Greenbush, near Albany, 
in 1740. He married Phebe Green, a cousin of the celebrated 
Gen. Green, of Revolutionary fame, in 1767. He Avas a Cap- 
tain in the army of the Revolution, and achieved distinction as 
a soldier by bravery, at the battle of Stillwater. He was at 
Saratoga when Burgoyne surrendered, and had charge of a 
portion of the prisoners, some of Avbom he took to his own 
home, aud kept there till they were exchanged. When the 


In 1790, having six ohildren, he resolved on emigrating to the 
West. Leaving his family, he came to the Lake Country, as 
this was then called, bought a large tract of land in the district 
of Jerusalem, a part on lot 48 of township No. 8, and a part on 
lot No. 17 of township No. 7. He built a log house near the 
centre of this tract on the present roadside, south of the ceme- 
tery, on the corner next the Boyd farm, made a little clearing, 
sowed some wheat, and returned to his eastern home. 

The following winter, John, his oldest son, went forward 
with the household goods, and the family soon followed to 
their new home in the wilderness. Their way was on the line 
of Indian settlements, with bears and wolves on every hand. 
The traveling was not of the most inviting character. At 
Geneva there was nothing but two or three log houses, and 
little more than an Indian trail from there to their log shanty 
in the woods. It is hard to imagine how utterly wild and for- 
bidding was the wintry landscape that met the vision of these 
pioneers on their entrance to this now beautiful and cultivated 

The first parading done on the site of Penn Yan was by the 
Captain's peacocks. They would stray down in the valley, and 
there remain contented until driven home. A few years after 
he came, and when settlers were more numerous, he built a 
public house, the first after that of David Wagener near Smith's 
Mills. It stood across the ro ad from his old log house, a trifle 
east of the Hazen Cemetery. Here was the centre of public 
business for many years. The Captain drew his supplies for 
his tavern from Albany, and this house in its day was a popu- 
lar resort. Dr. Calvin Fargo made his home there for a long 
time. Dr. Henry, of Geneva, used to come there and spend 
several days at a time. A few old pear trees still remain, that 
were planted by the Captain's own hand ; but there is little else 
except the h ead-stones in the adjoining cemetery to remind his 
descendants of his pioneer labors. Mrs. Townsend was a kind 
and benevolent woman. Their children were John, Anna, 
Henry, Phebe, Jairus and Abraham. 


war closed he returned to his farm, and was successful in his 
agricultural pursuits. 

John married Hannah, daughter of Randolph Fox, a wealthy 
farmer of Penn Flats. They had eleven children, Phebe, 
Stephen, Elizabeth, Pamela, Obadiah, Nancy, Hannah, John, 
Cyrenus, Mary Ann and Emma. Phebe married Christopher 
Chase, and resides in Jerusalem. Stephen married Abigail 
Ross, and lives in Iowa. Their children are Pamela, Mari- 
etta, John, Charles and Hobart. Elizabeth married George 
Conklin, and resides in Italy. Their children are George L. 
Caroline, Almina, Philo H. and Perceival. Caroline married 
Alonzo Fessenden, and lives at Naples, 1ST. Y. Obadiah Town- 
send married Eleanor Mc Auley, of Seneca, and resides in Mich- 
igan. Their children are William, Charles, George and Jane. 
Nancy married John Brown, and lives in Prattsburg. Their 
children are Arnold, Harriet, Sarah, Mary Jane, Charles, James 
and Frank. Charles is married. Arnold was a soldier and 
was killed in one of the battles of the Wilderness. Hannah 
married James Emory and lives in Illionis. John married 
Mahala, daughter of Sewell Shattuck, and resides in Jerusalem. 
They have one son, William Henry. Cyrenus married Mary 
Jane, daughter of Amos Perry of Jerusalem, where they re- 
side. Mary Ann married Charles Heydecker and lives in 111. 
Emma married John Johnson of Penn Yan, and their children 
are Mary and Alice. Anna died in her twentieth year un- 

Henry Townsend, born in 1781, married Anna, daughter of 
John Lawrence, senior, of Milo. They resided where Major 
George A. Shepherd now lives on lot 16 in Milo. He was an 
enterprising and prosperous citizen, and bid fair to become 
a man of large wealth, but died in 1821, at the age of forty. 
His death was the result of an injury received on the high- 
way, by being thrown out of his wagon. His afterwards be- 
came the second wife of Martin Kendig, jr., and died in 1860, 
at the age of seventy-four. The children of Henry Townsend 
were John, Lawrence Sabra, George N, Reliance W., Mary 



Jane and Olive D. John L., born in 1804, married Susan, daugh- 
ter of Martin Kendig, jr. Their children were Leah Ann, Nan- 
cy, Sarah and Ada. Leah Ann died young. Nancy married 
John L. Mercer a merchant of New York. Sarah married Mr. 
Hart of Chicago. Ada is single. Sabra Townsend, born 
in 180G, married Dikens Chase of Jerusalem, and both are 
dead, leaving no descendants. Reliance W., born in 1812, 
married Ludlow E. Lapham, in 1830, and died in 1855. Geo. 
N. died at Peoria, Illinois, in 1838 at the age of twenty-three, 
unmarried. Mary Jane, born in 1817, married Merritt Boyd, 
of Benton, who died leaving no children. She subsequently 
married James Armstrong, now a hardware merchant of the 
firm of Armstrong & Gage, and a leading citizen of Penn Yan. 
Their surviving children are Fred. S. and II. Kendig. Fred. 
S. is a graduate of Genessee College. Olive D. Townsend, 
born in 1819, married Job T. Smith in 1838, and died in 

Phoebe Townsend was the wife of Aaron Renier. 

Abraham married Sabra, daughter of John Lawrence, 
senior. Their children were Anna, Mary, James, Watson L. 
and Joel who died at twenty-one. Anna was the wife of Ben- 
jamin M. Remer. Mary married William H. Lamport, late 
Sheriff" of Ontario county, and one of its foremost citizens. 
Their children are Charles, William, Cornelia and Caroline. 
Charles married Susan Lamport, his cousin, and is a prosperous 
merchant in New York. William was a soldier in the 126th 
Regiment, and died in the service in 18G2. Cornelia married 
Edward C. Huntington, of Penn Yan, who died at Galesburg, 
Illinois, leaving his widow and a daughter, Gertrude. James 
H. is single, and lives in Jerusalem. Watson L. Townsend 
married Arabell Crane, of Penn Yan, and resided in Pultney. 
Their children were George A., Elizabeth E. and Sophia I. 
George A. married Louisa V. Breemer,' and resides in Steuben 
county. They have one child, Charles. Elizabeth E. married 
Edwin A. Amsbury, a machinist of Penn Yan. Their chil- 
dren are George T. and Fred G. Sophia I. married Jason T. 
Parker, of Pultney. Their children are Edwin L. and Harry. 



Captain Lawrence Towsend died in 1821, in the eighty-first 
year of his age. His son, John, who has numerous descend- 
ants in Jerusalem and Italy, resided on Head street, and at 
one time kept a public house where Luman Phelps afterwards 
was an inkeeper. Abraham Townsend resided on what is now 
known as the Boyd farm, a little west of his father's place in 


George Remer, of New Jersey, descended from a family of 
German Lutherans, that came across the Atlantic in the ship 
Caledonia, to escape religious persecutions. The vessel which 
landed these emigrants was worn out condemned and sunk in 
Raritan Bay. George Remer had six sons and three daugh- 
ters. All the sons participated in the War of the Revolution, 
and fought for independence. Two of them, John and Bryan, 
were early settlers of this county. John, born in 1744, came 
with his family in 1800, and first settled on the farm now 
owned by Griffin B. Hazard in Torrey. His wife was Leah 
An ten, of New Jersey, and their children were Rebecca, 
George I., Polly, Aaron, Sarah, John, Jane V. and Abraham. 
They afterwards purchased a farm near the Hopeton Mills, 
where they died, he in 1819 at seventy-five and she in 1817 at 
sixty-three. They were buried at City Hill. 

Rebecca was the wife of James Pitney, who settled in 
1796, and afterwards moved to a farm adjoining the paternal 
homestead. Mr. Pitney died in 1845 at eighty-three, and his 
wife in 1853 at eighty. Their children were Jonathan, May, 
Rebecca, Phebe and Aaron R. Jonathan died single, in 1854, 
at the age of sixty. May married Jacob Ellis, of Orange Co., 
N. J., and settled near the homestead, where he died in Janu- 
ary, 1870, at the age of eighty-one. Their children were 
James P., Rebecca P.,- Phcebe H., Lawrence R., Abram R., 
David D., and George T. David D. was killed at Petersburg, 
Va., while a soldier, by a shell, and died single. James P. mar- 
ried Hannah Rodman, of Milo. They had one son, Isaiah, who 
died single, and one daughter, Phebe Ann, who married John 


Lamphier. They all reside in Torrey. Rebecca P. married 
Frederick Poynear. They have three sons, George E., Law- 
rence E. and Norton, all residing in Penn Yan. Phebe H. 
married Elijah Scofield. They live in Milo, and have one son. 
Lawrence R. married Miss Knickerbocker, and moved to Iona, 
Michigan. Abram R. is single, and lives with his mother in 
Torrey. George Y. married Mary Rodman. They have child- 
ren now living in Torrey. Rebecca Pitney was the wife of 
George Youngs, and Phcebe was the wife of David Hender- 
son. Aaron is a bachelor, and resides on and owns the home- 

George I. Remer married Rachel Van Arsdol, of New 
Jersey. They resided on a farm west of and near Thomas 
Hathaway's old place in Torrey, where both died. They had 
three sons Abraham V., Daniel and George N. George I. 
Remer had a second wife, Arabella, sister of the late William 
Babcock, of Penn Yan. He died in 1845 at the age of sev- 
enty. His sons, Daniel and George N., died single, and Abra- 
ham V. married Sarah, daughter of Ransom T. Olney, of Milo, 
now Torrey, and settled on the farm of his father, in Torrey. 
Their children are Ransom O., George N., William H., John S., 
Charles H., Catharine and Henrietta. He married a second 
wife, Adelia Eldred, of Milo. Ransom O. married Jane Brown, 
of Geneva, and resides with his father. George N. married 
Mariette Lewis, of Orange Co. They have two sons and two 
daughters, now living in Orange Co. John S. married Mary 
Woolover. They reside in Dresden, and have one daughter. 
William H. married Harriet Spooner. She died in I860, leav- 
ing two sons. He married a second wife, Widow Uhl, of Bel- 
lona, where they reside. Catharine married Reuben Thayer, 
of Milo. Charles H. married Mary Sherman, of Benton. They 
have one son. Charles H. is a merchant at Dresden. Hen- 
riette is single, and resides with her father. 

Polly Remer, born in 1766, died in 1803. She married John 
Anton, senior, of New Jersey. They had one son, John. 
She subsequently married Stephen Dains, and removed to Je- 


rusalem. John 'Anton, jr., born in 1801, married Catharine, 
daughter of Bryon Remer. They had two sons, Joseph R. and 
George R. Joseph R., born in 1826, married in Illinois, and 
has three children. He was a volunteer in the wai', and marched 
with General Sherman to the sea. 

Aaron Remer, born in Somerset county, New Jersey, mar- 
ried Phoebe, daughter of Lawrence Townsend in 1804. They 
located, for a time, at the Lawrence Mills, on the outlet, then 
embracing a distillery, carding machine, and cloth dressing, in 
which he was interested. Subsequently they settled on a farm 
now owned by Thomas Gristock, on the Penn Yan and Dres- 
den read and adjoining what became and is still known as his 
homestead farm, where he died and his son, William T. Remer, 
now resides. He was also interested in building the Mosher 

In accordance with the custom of his German ancestors, and 
indeed with many of the present families of New Jersey, Aaron 
learned a trade, and served his apprenticeship as a shoemaker 
in the city of New York. After coming to this county he di- 
rected his mind and energies to other pursuits, soon attained 
the ownership of land and pursued the avocation of a farmer. 
He was early inclined to politics, and being active and ener- 
getic, soon made his influence felt. Associating with such men 
as Elijah Spencer, the Lawrences and others of that day, then 
young men, he became conspicuous as a leader. His first as- 
sociations were with the Federal party like most of his family. 
But the war of 1812 aroused his patriotic spirit, and he pro- 
ceded to the fron>t as Captain of a Compauy of Cavalry, organ- 
ized in Benton. This company did three months of stirring 
service near the close of the war. From that time he was iden- 
tified with the Democratic party, and adhered to it till 1840, 
when he espoused the cause of Gen. Harrison, the Whig candi- 
date for President. 

He was one of the five members of Assembly that repre- 
sented Ontario county, in the session of 1822, and one of the 
six, of the following year, when Richard Hogarth, of Seneca, and 


Philetus Swift, of Phelps, were also members. During that 
session he succeeded in procuring the organization of Yates 
county. He was also honored with, the first election to the 
Assembly from the new county. Again in 1831 and 1832, he 
filled the same position, making five terms that he served as 
Member of Assembly. In obtaining the construction of the 
Crooked Lake Canal, and the Charter of the Yates County 
Bank, he was largely instrumental. In 1832 (March 2,) a spe- 
cial committee of the Assembly was appointed to examine and 
put before the Committee of the whole House, such bills as in 
their judgment should receive the consideration of the House, 
as of the greatest public importance. This committee con- 
sitted of nine of the leading members, and Aaron Remer was 
its Chairman. With public men and leading citizens he held 
an extensive correspondence, and was for a long time sole 
agent of Henry Tremper, a wealthy citizen of Philadelphia, 
owning extensive tracts of land in Ontario county. Mr. Trem- 
per had an early interest in the operations of the Lessee Com- 
pany. In 1831 " Peter Gansevort, James Stevenson and John 
Webb, of Albany, Charles L. Livingston, Mordecai Myers and 
James Monroe, of the city of New York, and Aaron Remer, of 
Yates county," were associated in the purchase and sale of the 
village plot of Little Falls, Herkimer county. Mr. Remer was 
largely interested and furnished the principal means for the 
purchase of the Wagener Mill and the village property in Penn 

Among his personal correspondents were such men as Mor- 
decai M. Noah and William M. Oliver. In all his business re- 
lations he was prompt, active, generous and reliable, and he 
accumulated a fine estate. He was regarded as a man of tried 
fidelity, socially and politically, was affable and kind, made 
friends easily and kept them. It followed that he was a popu- 
lar and influential citizen. He died in 1811, of consumption, 
at the age of sixty-one, and his decease was regarded as a pub- 
lic calamity. His excellent wife died in December, 1867, at 
the age of eighty-three. Both were buried at City Hill- 


Their children were Lawrence T., Ann, Phoebe, Mary, Jane, 
William T. and Sarah. 

Lawrence T. married Sarah, Sears, of Penn Yan, and was 
foi some time a merchant at Dresden. Subsequently he occu- 
pied a farm near the homestead, and finally moved to St. Clair, 
Michigan, where he resides, a farmer. His wife died leaving 
one child, Phoebe J., and he married a second wife, Sarah J. 
Gage, of St. Clair. They have two daughters, Francis E. and 
Anna F. 

Ann is unmarried and resideson the homestead. 

Phoebe married Ray G. Wait, a lawyer, who settled on a 
place in Milo, known as the Vosbinder farm^ where both died 
leaving three children : Aaron B., Mary E. and Francis E. 
Aaron B. was accidentally drowned in Keuka Lake, in 1854. 
Mary E. married John Fish of Kentucky, and resides at Moors- 
ville, Missouri. Francis E. is unmarried. 

Mary married Bradley Shearman. They lived on a farm in 
Benton, where she died. Mary, their only surviving child, is 
the wife of Charles H. Remer, a merchant of Dresden. 

Jane and Sarah died single. 

William T., born in 1822, married Mary H. daughter of An- 
thony Trimmer, jr., of Benton. They reside on and own a portion 
of the homestead, on lot 46. He has erected a fine mansion 
and greatly improved the premises, making his home one of 
the most desirable country residences in the county. He is an 
intelligent and progressive farmer, and his wife is*a genial and 
efficient helpmate. In all public affairs he has been active and 
prominent, and has held various public stations : was Sheriff 
one term, having been elected in 1858, and Provost Marshal 
of the 25th Congressional District, from April, 1863, till the 
close of the war, and is now (1870) Member of Assembly. 
They have three sons : Melville W., William A. and George A. 

Sarah Remer, born in 1789, married David Dains of Jerusa- 
lem, and died at the age of eighty Their children were Maha- 
la, Rebecca, Thompson, Richmond, Abram R., Peoebe, Chloe, 
Jane, Bryan and Esther. These are all mentioned in a preced- 



ing sketch of the Dains family, except Phoebe, who married Wil- 
liam Mariner, and resides, a widow, on his former homestead, 
on the Pre-emption road, lot 42, in Benton. Samuel S. Mari- 
ner, a son of the* late Miles and nephew of William Mariner, 
occupies with her and has charge of the old homestead. 

John Renier, jr., went to Cincinnati, where he married and 
had two sons. He removed thence to Davenport, Iowa. 

Jane V. Remer was the wife of John A. Mc Lean of Benton, 
now Torrey. 

Abraham Remer, born in 1794, died in 1832 married Anna 
Terrey of Milo, now Torrey. Their children were David D., 
Oscar, Leah, Rebecca P., Mary Ann and Sarah Jane. The 
family lived on the old homestead of John Remer. After his 
death the widow re-married, and moved to Springwater, Liv- 
ingston county, N. Y. Leah Remer, their oldest daughter, 
married Edward Quick of West Bloomfield, and they now re- 
side in Bristol, Ontario county. David D. married Mary Pea- 
body of Naples, and moved to St. Joseph county, Michigan. 
Oscar married Cordelia Adams of West Bloomfield. Margaret 
married Shubael Barber of Springwater, and they reside in 
Ontario county. Rebecca married William Chase of Ontario 
county. Sarah Jane married William Stacy of Ontario county. 
Mary Ann married Homer Hill, of Ontario county. All these 
families have children except that of Leah. 

Bryan Remer was born at Bridgwater, New Jersey, in 1762, 
and married 'Mary^Runy an of the same place, born in 1770. 
They came to this couDty in 1804, and soon settled at Hopeton. 
He was a shoemaker and worked at and conducted the busi- 
ness until 1812. They moved to a farm for a short period, 
where Mrs. Remer died in 1813, after which he returned to 
Hopeton, and resided there till he died in 1825. Their children 
were Joseph, Maria, Catharine, Benjamin M. and Enos S. 

Joseph, born at Princeton, New Jersey, in 1793, married 
Mary, daughter of Rowland Embree, in 1820. She was born 
in 1795, at Stillwater, Saratoga county. They were married by 
Elijah Spencer. They lived at Hopeton, where he followed 


the trade of his father. He says the folly of fashion, then as 
now, compelled women to submit to the excruciations and dis- 
tortions of high heels, and the fashionable "knot heel," which 
then prevailed, was made of a hard knot of wood, and was 
often as high as one and -a half or two inches, and tapered until 
a quarter of a dollar or an old fashioned cent, cut in two, would 
face the bottom, and one or the other was applied as a finish, 
according to the grade and means of the wearer. Such was 
the power and rule of the autocrat, fashion, that even the meek 
followers of the Universal Friend, mounted upon them on all 
occasions of form, and he made them for both Rachel and 
Margaret Malin, and others, and they cost, in those days, from 
two to five dollars per pair. The Friend, herself, wore the low 
'•'court heel," on account of her infirmities. This note is made 
to show how very little we change, in fact, from generation to 
generation, where folly is the rule. Mr. Remer finally changed 
his shoe business to that of a general mercantile trade, and in 
1830 moved to Dresden, and there conducted a forwarding and 
shipping business, established the Dresden Hotel, kept 
it about ten years, and also was interested in the manufac- 
ture of wagons and carriages. Briefly, he may be said to have 
been an industrious and busy man. 

He was called out several times on alarms and emergencies 
during the war of 1812, and aeted as Ensign in his company. 
He stood every requsition by draft during the war, and drew 
clear each time, to the number of nine. 

He was the first Post Master of Hopeton, in 1819, and 
served as Collector on the Crooked Lake Canal, at Dresden, 
several years. 

In his advanced years he is a well preserved man of much 
intelligence and highly social nature, and is able to relate many 
incidents of the earlier history of Yates. He helped with his 
own hands to cut the road from Hopeton to Penn Yan, the only 
previous road having been by way of Smith's Mills. He states 
that until 1812, it was an unbroken forest at Dresden. When 
his father's family moved to Hopeton, there was no clearing 


from the Mile Point house, in Geneva, to Samuel Taylor's), a 
mile north of Kashong. He remembers well the great Indian 
trail leading from the Chemung to Kanadesaga. The Friend 
settled at first almost directly on this trail. At Dresden he is 
confident there was an important centre of Indian population 
for a long period, and especially one of their favorite burying 
grounds. In digging the canal at that point, and in other ex- 
cavations, hundreds of skeletons have been exhumed. He has 
taken not less than a bushel of arrow heads from his own gar- 
den, and cleared off at an early period what seemed to have 
been an ancient council ground of the Aborigines, on the flat 
near the lake. This w T as shaded by about thirty old and very 
large butternut trees, which had apparently been planted with 
remarkable regularity. The enquiring mind of Mr. Remer, 
has made him a careful observer of all these evidences of the 
Indian occupation in that locality. 

The children of Joseph and Mary Remer are Susan, Bryan, 
John L., Mary E., Catharine F. and Nancy A. Susan married 
Dr. Charles A. Bogart. They reside at Bay City, Michigan. 
Bryan is single and resides at Dresden. John married Rachel, 
daughter of Moses A. Legg of Torrey, and resides at Dresden. 
Their children are Charles B., Frederic A., Gilbert Y. and 
Mary C. Mary E. is single and resides with her parents. 
Catharine is unmarried and resides at Bay City, Michigan. 
Nancy A. died in 1868 unmarried. 

Maria married Hosea Palmer. They resided in Geneva, and 
both died leaving three children : Catharine, Helen and Napo- 
leon B. 

Catharine married John Auton, jr., of Milo, and died at Dres- 
dren, leaving one child, Joseph R., who resides at Copperas 
Creek, Illinois. 

Benjamin M. married Anna, daughter of Abraham To wnsend 
of Benton. He was a merchant and forwarder in Penn Yan, 
and afterwards moved to Albany, where his wife died leaving 
five children : Charles L., Ellen M., Theodore, Clarence and 
Josephine. He married a second wife, Catharine Fonda, and 



died leaving his widow and one child, Mary E., by the second 
marriage. The son, Clarence, was a soldier in the war of the 
Rebellion, and died from disabilities contracted in the service. 
Enos S., the only member of the family born at Hopeton, 
married Catharine Blood of Rushville, where he was for some- 
time a merchant. He moved thence to Canton, Illinois, from 
there to Ottawa, and finally to California. His wife died in 
1868 at Canton, Illinois. Their children were Charles B., Har- 
riet, Caroline and Henry. 


Stephen Whitaker was the owner of an iron forge in New 
Jersey, which he traded for five hundred acres of forest land 
in the town of Jersey, now Bradford, Steuben county. He 
had not seen his land, but attempted to reach it in 1798. There 
being no road leading to it, he stopped on Mud Creek, and 
hired a farm one year, and in the autumn came to No. 8, and 
purchased the premises where he thenceforward resided through 
life, on lot No. 20, now in Torrey, where he was the original 
settler. He was a man of sterling character, sustaining good 
morals and endeavoring to promote religion. It was by his 
labor and influence that the first Presbyterian church was 
formed in Benton, from which have descended those at Penn 
Yan, Bellona and Dresden. He had the highest respect and 
confidence of his fellow citizens, and held various local offices. 
His death occurred in 1827, at the age of eighty. Stephen 
Whitaker married Susannah White, in 1772, Ruth Conklin in 
1779, Mary, widow of John Cross, in 1803, Agnes Van Court, 
widow of Daniel Potter, in 1816. The first wife had one child 
which died in New Jersey. The second wife was the mother 
of all his remaining children, as follows: Jonathan, Mary, 
Deborah, Stephen, Ruth, Isaac, Phcebe and Ann. 

Jonathan Whitaker, born in 1780, inherited his father's vir- 
tues, and his religious tendencies, and was a citizen of true 
worth. He was a young man when the family came from 
New Jersey, and participated in the arduous labors of pioneer 
life, working out by the month, clearing land, and putting 


forth every energy of his life to secure by industry a compe- 
tence and honorable independence in the land. With but six 
months of early schooling he was yet well educated for the 
practical affairs of his day, ready in computation, able to write 
a good hand and a competent business man. In 1806 he mar- 
ried Mary Bailey, of Sussex county, New Jersey. They united 
with the Presbyterian church of Benton, in 1825. He was 
soon made an elder of the church, and honored his office over 
thirty years, and until his death in 1856, at the age of seventy- 
six. His name was identified with all the religious and benev- 
olent movements of his time, and he Avas a man whose life 
was squared by his principles. He was frequentl} r elected to 
office in his town, and was supervisor several times. The 
implicit trust of his fellow men in his integrity, led him often 
to be chosen as arbritrator, referee and administrator, the 
duties of which positions he always discharged with fidelity. 
Of his iron muscle and unyielding energ3 T , it is related that, 
when the nearest wheat market was at Mud Creek, he set out 
on one occasion with forty bushels on a sled drawn by two 
yoke of oxen. The day proved warm, the sled sunk in the 
snow and the oxen became so tired and discouraged, that at 
the foot of a hill they would not draw at all. So he would 
carry the most of his load up the hill on his shoulder before 
his team would move. This he was obliged to repeat several 
times, and when he reached the mill where he disposed of his 
grain, he had to carry it again up two flights of stairs to empty 
it. After all this he received the meager pittance of twenty- 
five cents a bushel for his wheat. Late in his life there was 
an attempt made to rob his house. A villain wearing a mask 
entered the bed room where he and his aged consort were 
sleeping, while a confederate stood at the door. The robber 
lighted a candle which awakened Mrs. "VYhitaker, and a scream 
from her awakened her husband, who asked the intruder what 
he wanted. He replied, money, and held a pistol in his hand 
to enforce his demand. In getting up as if to comply, the 
room being narrow, the robber was backed up to the doorway 


where he stood, a pistol in one hand and a candle in the other. 
By a sudden movement, Mr. Whitaker pushed the door against 
him and shut it, upon which the two inside held it, against 
the best efforts ol the two outside to crowd it open. The en- 
raged and baffled burglar threatened to shoot, and when he 
found his threats ineffective did shoot, the bullet passing 
through the door between the pair inside. The noise aroused 
others of the household and the scoundrels soon deemed it wise 
to decamp. It is said that Mrs. Whitaker never recovered 
from the shock caused by this attempted robbery, and that her 
life was shortened by it. She died in 1854 on her seventy - 
first birthday. Their children were Squier Bailey, Stephen M., 
Alexander F., William H., Ephraim M., Ruth Ann, Marietta 
and George W., who died young. 

Squier B., born in 1807, married first, Mercy Amsbury, 
second, Lydia C. Amsbury, third, Mary L. Olmsted. He has 
one son, James S., the child of his second wife, resides on the 
old Stephen Whitaker homestead, and is a useful citizen. 

Stephen M., born in 1809, married Mary Ann, daughter of 
Martin Gage, and resides in Gorham. Their children are 
Ephraim S., George H., Mary V., Stephen E., Emma F. and 
Hattie L. Ephraim S. married Lizzie Thayer, of Ohio. They 
have one child. Virginia married Dr. Obadiah Rogers, of 
Gorham. They reside at Charles City, Iowa, and have one 

Alexander F., born in 1811, married Louisa P. Torrance. 
They resided in Benton many years, and now live in Penn 
Yan. Their surviving children are Helen, Lucinda and 
Mellville Torrance. Alexander F. Whitaker was long con- 
nected with the old Rifle Corps under the military laws, pre- 
vious to 1849, and attained the rank of Major General in that 
finely equipped and well drilled organization. He was raised 
at one promotion from the rank of Sergeant to Lieutenant 
Colonel, and from that passed to the highest rank, which he 
resigned in 1849. 

William Harlow, born in 1813, married Ann Eliza Mc 



Do well, and liyes on the old homestead of Jonathan Whitaker 
in Benton. Their children are William Henry, Jonathan, 
Augustus, Marietta, Frank, Alice, Kate L. and Charles F. 
William PI. married Emily A. Hewlett, and resides at Harri- 
sonburg, ^Virginia. Their children are Emily A., Mary L. 
Mattie and Ella Bertha. Jonathan married Phoebe E., daugh- 
ter of Wm. Woolly, of Jamaica, Long Island. Their children 
are Clarence A., Cornelia and Anna. Augustus was a soldier 
of the company of Captain Martin S. Hicks, 148th Regiment 
and died in 1865, of disabilities resulting from the service. 

Ephraim M., born in 1816, married Eliza W., daughter of 
Linus Bates, of Benton, and resides in Washington, D. C. 
He was a Colonel in the Rifle Corps. They have had two 
children, Greenville Adelbert and Herbert B., of whom the 
first is the only survivor, and is engaged in the book and sta- 
tionery trade in Washington. 

Ruth Ann, born in 1818, is unmarried. 

Marietta, born in 1820, is the wife of Henry Hicks, of Penn 

Mary, daughter of Stephen Whitaker, born in 1781, married 
Moses Hall, and lived in Geneva. 

Deborah, born in 1783, married William Roy, jr.. and lived 
in Benton, now Torrey, on the farm where her son, Charles 
Roy, now resides. 

Stephen, born in 1784, married Mary Hall, sister of Moses 
Hall, and lived in Cleveland, Ohio. 

Ruth, born in 1786, married, first, Ephraim Mallory, and 
lived on the farm where John Ross now resides ; second, Ja- 
cob Vandeventer, and died where Stephen W. Vandeventer 
now lives, in Torrey. 

Isaac, born in 1792, married Achsa Cushman, and lived on 
the farm where Peter Meserole now lives, for a time, and then 
moved to Michigan. 

Phoebe, born in 1789, married Moses Hall, after the death 
of her sister, and lived in Geneva. 

Anna, born in 1796, married Jonathan A. Hall, and lived on 


the farm where Dr. R. R. C. Bordwell now lives in Milo. 
Their children were Mary Ann, Deborah, Moses and Stephen 
C. Mary Ann married Rev. Luther Littell, of New Jersey, a 
Presbyterian clergyman at Goshen, Orange counry. Deborah 
married John, a brother of Luther Littell, a farmer at New 
Providence, New Jersey. Moses married a Miss Clark, and 
Stephen C, a sister of fche si me lady. Moses lives at Whitehall, 
Michigan, and Stephen C, at Muskegon, Michigan, where he 
is a prosperous and successful man. 


Enos Tubbs was a native of Connecticut, and a soldier of the 
Revolution. He married Molly Earl, a sister of Jephthah Earl, 
senior, and settled for a time at Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania, 
They came to what is now Benton almost as early as Levi Ben- 
ton, and purchased a farm of one hundred acres on lot 31, w T here 
Mrs. Tubbs died in 1815, at the age of fifty-three. He married 
a second wife, Sarah, widow of James Jackson of Seneca. She 
died in 1861 in Benton, at the age of ninety, leaving no children. 
The children by the first marriage were Lyman, Anna, Seman- 
tha, Amos, Roswell, Dorcas, Roxa and Alpha. 

Lyman married Phoebe Springstead of Benton, and settled for 
a time on part of the homestead, and afterwards emigrated to 
St. Joseph, Michigan. Their children Avere Ethalinda, Delia, 
Nelson and Lyman. Ethalinda married George, a son of Zach- 
ariah Wheeler, and Delia married Mr. Gallagher of Benton. 

Anna Tubbs married Joshua Smith of Seneca, and settled 
there, but afterwards emigrated to Ohio, near Cleveland. They 
had several children. 

Semantha married Ayers Raymond of Benton, and settled at 
Benton Centre where he died, leaving two children: Charlotte 
and Ayers. She married next, Mr. Hopkins, and settled on the 
lake road in Barrington, where they kept a tavern several years, 
and finally emigrated with their family and her's to St. Joseph, 

Amos did not many. In the war "of 1812 he volunteered as 
a substitute for his uncle, William Earl, and belonged to a rifle 



corps. He was sent, along with his cousin, as sharp shooters to 
guard against Indian scouts, at the battle of Queenston Hights, 
and fell, mortally wounded, by the shot of an Indian, who fell 
the same instant from the well aimed rifle of his cousin, who 
stood by his side. 

Roswell married Sally Sackett, and settled on the farm now 
owned and occupied by Robert N. Mc Farren, then owned by 
William Earl. He died while on a journey of observation at 
the west, leaving his Avidow and one child, Alvira. 

Dorcas married Ziba, son of Joseph Smith of Benton, and 
finally emigrated to St. Joseph, Michigan. They had two sons, 
Conklin and Amos. 

Roxa married Colville Pearce of Benton, and emigrated to 
Ohio, near Cleveland. 

Alpha married Jane Low of Benton, settled on the Tubbs 
homestead, and subsequently moved to St. Joseph, Michigan. 

The Tubbs family were among the primitive settlers of Ben 
ton, and improved a fine farm, which put them in good circum 
stances. In his old age the father followed his children, who 
had gone to St. Joseph, Michigan, and died there quite aged. 
The farm is now mostly owned by Jacob Watson. 

Enos T. Harford was an adopted son of Enos Tubbs, was 
reared with the family, and is now its only representative in this 
county. He still resides in the immediate neighborhood of the 
Tubbs homestead, on lot 33. Mr. Harford married Sally Jack- 
son, daughter of Enos Tubbs' second wife. Then- children are 
Diana J., Marcus H, Sarah E., Calvin J., Susan C, Richard J., 
Francis A. and Charles. 

Diana J. married Philip Schuyler of Benton, and settled at 
Mitchelville, Steuben county, where he was accidentally killed. 
His widow and one child, Sarah E., reside in Benton. 

Marcus H. married Mary Barnes of Benton, and resides at 
Bellona. They have eight children: Arnieda J., Eunice M., 
Horace E., Frank, Walter, George, Lillie E. and Bertha L. 

Sarah E. is single. 

Calvin J. married Susan Baker of Benton, and resides in that 
town. They have two children : John and Jay C. 



Susan married David, son of Murray Gage, and they reside in 

Richard J. married Mary E. Hoose of Prattsburg, and resides 
at Bellona. Their children are Minnie J., Ida May, Alice and 
James H. 

Francis A. was a volunteer in Company A, 126th Regiment, 
shared the perils and hardships of that regiment, and finally 
died in hospital at Union Mills, Virginia, January 10, 1863. 

Charles A. is single, residing with his parents. 

The Tubbs and Harfords were near neighbors and friends of 
Elder John Gough. All their marriage ceremonies and funeral 
services were performed by him while he remained in Benton. 

Mrs. Harford says that she well remembers many of those oc- 
casions, and that the Elder occupied from three-fourths of an 
horn - to a full horn- at a wedding, and two hours at a funeral. 


Thomas Havens, a native of Wickford, Rhode Island, was a 
soldier of the Revolution, and served from the beginning to the 
end of that memorable conflict. He fought at Bunker Hill, and 
was a militia man, minute man and volunteer, at call, but not 
belonging to the regular army, never received a pension. He 
married Mary Smith of Wickford, in 1770, and after the war 
they moved to Ballston, Saratoga county, where their family was 
mostly reared. Some of the older children came to this county 
before their parents, who came in 1810. Then- children were 
Joseph, Elizabeth, Benjamin, Stephen, Robert, John, Polly, 
Nancy and Susan. 

Joseph, born in 1773, married Mary Weed of Ballston, in 
1800. She was born in 1780, on the day Cornwallis surrendered, 
October 17th. They moved to this county early in 1806, and 
first settled on the farm now known as the Lamport place, which 
he sold to William Lamport and his son Robert. He then pur- 
chased in 1812, the farm on the four corners, since known as the 
Joseph Havens farm, on lot 76, where he lived the remainder of 
his days. He died in 1856 at the age of eighty-three, and his 
wife survives at the age of eighty-eight. Here they reared their 


family of twelve children. Mr. Havens was a carpenter, and 
worked at the building of the first hotel and spring house at 
Ballston Spa, After coming here he devoted himself to farming, 
and kept a public house from 1822 to 1832, which was noted as 
a good country tavern. Becoming disgusted with the traffic in 
whisky, he quit the business. He served in various official sta- 
tions in his town with credit, was an ardent' f politician, and 
especially warm admirer of General Jackson, to whom he pre- 
sented soon after his election to the Presidency in 1828, a sulky 
made entirely of hickory saplings with the bark on. It was a 
unique vehicle, and attracted much attention as he rode in it to 
Washington to witness the inauguration. It was received by 
the old hero as a handsome compliment. The children of this 
family were Hiram, John H., Ephraim S., Fanny, Horace, Mary, 
Harriet, Minerva, J. W. Harrison, Nancy, Caroline and Eveline. 
Hiram married Louisa Stetson of Boston, and settled in Buffalo, 
where both died leaving one son, Joseph S., a resident of that 

John H. married Elizabeth, daughter of Nehemiah Cole of 
Benton, and moved to Hudson, Michigan, where they reared a 

Ephraim S. married Mariette Moore of Alexander, Genesee 
county, and they reside in Buffalo. 

Fanny married Hezekiah Ferguson of Seneca, and moved to 
Dansville, Michigan, where she still resides with a second hus- 
band, Mr. Blake. There were several children of the first 

Horace married Emeline Bachelor of Perry, N. Y., and moved 
to Lansing Michigan. They had three sons, two of whom Egbert 
and Edgar, were soldiers during the rebellion. Egbert inarched 
with Sherman to the sea, and afterwards died in hospital in 
New York, after the close of the war. He was three or four 
years in the w T ar, and left a widow and one child at Grand Rap- 
ids, Michigan. Edgar was six months in the rebel prison at 
Belle Isle, w T as in all the battles of the Wilderness, at Gettys- 
burg, and many others. He resides at Skaneateles, N. Y., and 

is married. 



Mary married Philander "VVinslow of Marion, N. Y., where 
both died, leaving three sons. 

-' Harriet married James Hunt of Gorham, and settled at Perry, 
N. Y., where he died leaving four children. They had two sons 
in the war of the rebellion : George and Marriot, who both died 
in hospital. The widow married Edward Richards of Perry. 

Joseph W. H. married Louisa Wagener of Fort Plain, N. Y. 
They reside on and own the homestead; and then children are 
Mary, Jennie and Charley. 

Nancy married Peleg Gardner of Potter, and resided at Yates- 
ville, where she died leaving four children : Mary, Kate, Hiram 
and John. 

Caroline married Bleecker L. Webb of F airport, N. Y. They 
now reside at Coldwater, Michigan, and have four children. 

Eveline married William Penfield of Buffalo, and resides at 
St. Joseph, Michigan. He was engaged as a contractor in the 
construction of the first Pacific railway. 

Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Havens, born in 1780, mar- 
ried Griffin Sweet, and moved to Chautauqua county. 

Benjamin, born in 1777 married Lovina Phelps, of Auburn, 
N". Y. She died leaving one child, Calista. He married a sec- 
ond wife, Paulina Adkins of Ballston. They settled in Benton 
in 1807, on the farm known by his name near the Lamport 
farm, where both died, leaving two additional children : Lusilva 
and Morgan S. Calista married Daniel Miller of Auburn, near 
which place they settled, and where he has since died. Lusilva 
married Wellington Secor of Benton. They reside in Bath, 
N. Y., and have one son and two daughters. Morgan S. marriad 
Marietta Bates of Potter, owns and resides on the homestead 
and has five sons: Byron, Emmet, Benjamin, Frederic and Charles. 

Stephen, born in 1774, married Phoebe Sprague of Ballston, 
and settled in the neighborhood of his brothers in Benton. 
Their children were James, Stephen and TJretta. James mar- 
ried Ruth Coleman of Jerusalem ; Stephen married Mary Crane 
of Penn Yan ; Urefcta married Henry Hutchinson of Benton, and 
all emigrated west. 


Robert, born in 1786, married Hannah, daughter of Levi 
Benton, senior, and emigrated with him to Indiana. 

Polly married Mr. Northrup, and moved to Detroit at an early 

Nancy, born in 1788, married Jacob Briggs, of Potter, where 
they settled, and he died leaving four children, Miles, Elizabeth, 
Susan and Perry, with wdiom the mother emigrated west. 


William Lamport was a native of Wickford, Ireland, ran 
away from a master to whom he was apprenticed, and whom he 
disliked, and came to America while a lad. Landing at New- 
port, Rhode Island, he learned the trade of blacksmith, and 
was engaged in the Revolution as a minute man, and as a black- 
smith for the army. In one case of emergency he was sent on 
horseback for powder, and returned with two kegs suspended 
across the back of his horse. He w r as accosted by British ma- 
rauders, who demanded what he had. He replied that it was 
"black pepper," and was allowed to pass and reach the American 
camp in safety. He married Mary, sister of Thomas Havens. 
They moved first to Rensselaer county, N. Y., where their fami- 
ly grew up. Their children were William, John, Robert and 
Mary. William, jr., settled at Troy, N. Y., as a merchant. 
John and family located in Gorham, Ontario county. Mary 
married John Palmer and also settled in Gorham. William 
Lamport, senior, and his son Robert, with their families, came 
to Benton in 1812. The wife of Robert was Abigail Sisson of 
Swanzea, Rhode Island, and they were married in 1810. 
The father purchased of Joseph Havens about three hundred 
acres of land, one mile and a half north of Havens' Corners, 
Avhere they all settled, and where the parents died well advanced 
in years. Robert also finished his life on the same premises in 
1865,, in his eightieth year, and his wife still survives at the age 
of eighty-one. Their children were Erastus, Caroline, Emeline 
C, May S. and Edwin. Erastus married Racelia Ware of 
Trumbull county, Ohio, and settled on the Jared Patchen farm. 
They have two children, Grace S. and Franze W, 


Caroline married Aaron Crittenden of Gorharn, where she 
died leaving two children : Emily J. and James L. Mr. Critten- 
den afterwards married Martha, daughter of George Wheeler of 
Benton, and removed to Allegany county. 

Emeline C. married George B. Stanton, of Benton, and set- 
tled on the James Havens farm, south of the Lamport farm. 

May S. married George B. Cook of Gorham, and they reside 
at Bethel, where he is a merchant. Their children are Caroline 
M., Mary A., Nathaniel B. and Eliza. 

Edwin married Mary J., daughter of Benjamin Stanton, of 
Benton, and resides on a portion of the old homestead. Their g 
children are Olive E., Elizabeth S. and John 11. 


One of the noted citizens of Benton in the early days, was 
Abel Peck, a native of Newtown, Connecticut. He learned the 
trade of shoemaking, and lived at Fishkill, N. Y., in the family 
of Hezekiah Peck, till he became of age, when he established 
himself as a shoemaker, tanner and currier, at Kent, Putnam 
Co. There he married Elizabeth, daughter of John Randall, in 
1798. She was a native of Westchester Co., born in 1776. In 
1813 they moved with sleighs, taking ten days for the journey, 
to Benton, with their family of five children, and located on 
what is known as the Samuel Randall farm, between Flat street 
and the South Centre road. In the autumn of 1814 they pur- 
chased the Eli Kelsey farm, on the Pre-emption road, where 
they permanently settled. Here they pursued chiefly the busi- 
ness of farming, Mr. Peck working at his trade only for his 
own family and a few preferred neighbors. He occupied offi- 
cial positions for many years in his town, and as school com- 
missioner, aided in the organization of most of the early school 
districts in Benton, then embracing Milo and Torrey. He was 
appointed one of the Judges of Yates county, and hefd the 
office until exempt by age (at sixty), under the constitution of 
1821. He sustained a high character for integrity, and his wife 
was a worthy aid in upholding the family name and credit. 
She died in 1856 at the age of eighty, and he in 1859 at the 



age of eighty-three. Their children, three of whom were born 
in Benton, were Lemira, Mary, Sarah, Emeline, Mercy, Eliza, 
Lewis R. and Darwin S. 

Lemira became the third wife of Robert Boyd, of Benton, 
and they resided on the Boyd homestead, where she died. 

Mary is single, and resides on the homestead. 

Sarah married Henry Riley, of Herkimer Co. They remained 
on the homestead until his death, leaving one child, Elizabeth, 
who became the wife of George Long. They are both dead. 
Mrs. Riley married a second husband, Andrew Ross, of Pult- 
ney. She is a second time a widow, residing in Penn Yan. 

Emeline married Romulus Gildersleeve, of Scipio, N. Y. 
They reside in Penn Yan, and have one surviving son, Fred- 
erick P. He married Mary, daughter of Samuel Street, of 
Yatesville, and resides in Chicago, where he is engaged in the 
stationery trade. They have two children, Grace and Nellie. 

Mercy married Harvey C. Boyd, of Benton. They emigrated 
to Sylvan, Mich., and have four children, Darwin W., Orlando 
A., Merritt and Homer. 

Eliza died single. 

Lewis R. married Olive Vandemark, of Junius, N. Y. They 
reside on the Pre-emption road, adjoining the old homestead 
on the south, and he is a thorough and prosperous farmer. 
Their children are Henry A. and Elizabeth. 

Henry married Elvira Wheeler, of Bath. 

Darwin S. married Rebecca E. Miller, of Seneca. They re- 
side on the homestead, which, nnder his enterprise, thrift and 
taste, is one of the finest places in Benton. Their children are 
Alice E., Mary L. and Walter D. 


John Randall was from Frederickstown, Dutchess Co., where 
he married Elizabeth Buckbee. He was born in 174G, and 
died at the age of eighty-six. They came to this county and 
settled between Flat street and the South Centre road, bringing 
but one unmarried member of their family, their daughter 
Mercy, who married Joseph Ketchum, in 1812. Their sons 


were Elijah, John, James B., Lewis and Samuel ; their daugh- 
ters, Esther, Elizabeth, Anna and Mercy, 

Esther, born in 1771, married John Ganung. 

Elizabeth was the wife of Abel Peck. 

Anna, born in 1781, married Robert Boyd. 

Mercy, born in 1790, became the wife of Joseph Ketchum. 

James B., born in 1778, married Eunice Crosby, of Putnam 
Co., and settled near and west of Milo Centre. Of their thir- 
teen children, eleven reached adult age, and married. They 
were Darius C, Orlin, Orson, Emily, Eliza, Eunice, James H., 
Jarvis W., Angeline, Louisa, and Lewis B. Darius C. married 
Eliza J. Soverhill, of Wayne Co., and emigrated to Michigan. 
They had one child, Joseph. Orlin married Loana Main, of 
Milo, and moved to Michigan where she died. His second 
wife was Eliza J. Diltz. They now reside near Maumee, in 
Ohio. Orson married Laura J. Gilbert, of Benton, and settled 
near Cold Water, Michigan. They have five children. Emily 
married Samuel Linkletter, of Howard, N. Y. They have two 
surviving children, Amanda and Orson. Eliza married New- 
man, son of David J. Bennett, of Milo, and settled in Tyrone. 
Their children are Matilda, Lucius B., Emma E., Sarah, Amelia 
D., and Myron C. Of these, Lucius B. married Sophronia 
Phelps, of Dundee. He was drowned in Seneca Lake in 1869. 
Emma E. married Charles C. Gage, of Benton, and resides on 
the homestead of Jesse T. Gage. They have one son, Hobart. 
Sarah R. married Charles, son of Caleb J. Legg. They reside 
in Penn Yan, and have one son, Albert H. Amelia D. mar- 
ried Robert McVean, who was also drowned at the same time 
with Lucius B. Bennett, while crossing in a skiff from Ovid 
Landing to Dresden, with a third person, who was also drowned. 
Myron C. is married and resides in Penn Yan. Eunice, the 
third daughter of James B. Randall, married Calvin Linkletter, 
brother of Samuel, and died in Michigan, leaving two children, 
Charles and Homer. Homer was a soldier in the war of the 
rebellion, and died in the service, of fever. James H. married 
Martha, daughter of Jesse T. Gage. They have two children, 


George and Sarah. James W. married Mary Enos, of Benton, 
and resides in Torrey. Their children are Frank, Frederick 
and Ella. Angeline married Stephen Lozier, of Dansville. 
She resides there a widow with three children, Rockwell, Mi- 
ner and Kate. Loana married Walter P. Hobart, of Potter. 
They have one child, Arthur. Lewis B. married Harriett 
Corey, of Jerusalem, and resides at Bellona. They have one 
child, Rolla. 

Lewis Randall, born in 1783, married Sally Maples, of Milo, 
and settled on the Bath road. Among their children, were 
Palmer, George, John W., Amos C, Elizabeth, Purdy B., and 
Charles C. Mr. Randall married a second wife, Rachel Mon- 
roe, of Benton. They resided in Starkey, and finally in Read- 
ing, where he died, leaving one child by the second marriage, 
Lewis A. His sons, Palmer, George and Charles, died single, 
after reaching adult age. John W. married Keziah, daughter ' 
of Thomas Raplee, of Milo, where he died, leaving five child- 
ren, Ceylon, Edwin, Byron, Sophia and Norton. Byron mar- 
ried Catharine Hendrickson, of Penn Yan, and emigrated to 
Michigan. Amos C. married Sophronia Anderson, of Milo, and 
moved to Michigan. Their children are Cedrick, John D., 
Llewellyn and Lewis (twins), and Elizabeth. Of Lewis Ran- 
dall's daughters, Elizabeth married John D. King, of Seneca 
Co., and resided at Farmer, where he died. Purdy B. married 
Louisa Drake, of Starkey, and settled in Jerusalem, where he 
died, leaving three children, Myron, Purdy, and one other. 
Lewis A. married May E. Nichols, of Reading. They have one 
daughter, Esther. 

Samuel Randall, born in 1785, married Irene, daughter of 
Dr. Partridge Parsons, of Litchfield, Conn., who was an 
early resident of Penn Yan. They lived on the Randall 
homestead in Benton, where five of their six children reached 
adult age, Edwin R, Albert P., Homer W., Charles H., and 
Francis H. The father died in 1836, and the mother resides 
with her son, Albert P. Edwin R. married Annette, daughter 
of Uriah Hanford, and resided in Penn Yan, where he died in 


1869, leaving three children, Louisa, "Willie and Mary J. Al- 
bert P. married Emeline Mc Alpine, of Benton, and resides on 
the outlet, a short distance below Penn Yan, where he has a 
saw mill and an establishment for the manufacture of flax straw 
into tow for upholstering purposes. Their children are Frank 
K., Henry, John and Alida. Homer W. died single. Charles 
II. married first, Jane Smith, of Bellona, and for a second wife, 
Sarah Hayes, of Prattsburg, where they reside. They have 
one son, George. Francis H. married Eunice, daughter of 
John H. Lapham, of Penn Yan. He died in California, and 
his widow returned to Penn Yan. She is now the wife of 
Ralph T. Wood, Deputy U. S. Revenue Collector for the 
Twenty-fifth district, of New York, residing in Penn Yan. 


Locey Ketchum married Susannah Scofield, and lived in the 
town of Kent, Putnam (then Dutchess) Co. The family was 
originally from Long Island, and of German descent. Their 
children were Elias, Jonathan, Joseph, James and Sarah. Elias 
settled near Hammondsport, where some of his descendants 
still reside. The others became residents of this county about 
1812. r 

Jonathan, born in 1788, married Matilda Cushman, of Fred- 
erickstown, Dutchess Co. She was born in 1789. They came 
to this county with one child, Charles, and settled first on Flat 
street, but subsequently'located on the Pre-emption road, where 
he died, leaving five children, Charles, Darius, Rhoda, Alvah 
and Charlotte. Mrs. Ketchum is still living, and resides with 
her daughter Charlotte, in Prattsburg. She is a daughter of 
Consider Cushman, of Duxbury, Mass., who was of the sixth 
generation from Robert Cushman, born in England in 1580, 
and one of the Plymouth colony of 1620, coming in the second 
vessel that brought over the liberty seeking Puritans. He was 
prominently associated with the leading characters of the colo- 
ny, and preached the first sermon printed in America, in the 
English tongue. This sermon was preached from the text, 
" Let no man seek his own, but every man another's worth." 


This was a discourse of two parts ; the first proposition of the 
text a dehortation, and the second an exhortation. It was 
a pointed hcmily, and has become memorable, having been 
printed in London, in 1C22, re-published in Boston in 1724, 
and several times since at Plymouth and other places in New 
England. It is reprinted entire in the " Historical and Bio- 
graphical Genealogy of the Cushmans," descendants of Robert 

Charles, the eldest son of Jonathan Ketchum, born in 1813, 
married Amelia A., daughter of Dr. Nathan L. Kidder, of Ben- 
ton, and is a resident of Penn Yan. He is a Machinist, In- 
ventor, and Patent Solicitor. They have one son, George A., 
who married Ida Haviland, of Middlesex, and also resides in 
Penn Yan. They have a son, Charles. Darius was a physician, 
married Clarissa Vandenburg, of Jackson, Mich., and died in 
Penn Yan in 1854. Rhoda, born in 1818, married Erastus'B. 
Miller, of Pultney. They reside near Seneca Lake, in Milo, and 
have four children, Lee, Jonathan, Adelaide and Mary. Alvah, 
born in 1821, married Augusta D., daughter of Isaac D. Gage, 
of Benton, and resides at Bellona, a mechanic. Charlotte, born 
in 1824, married Lucas Voorhees, of Benton. They reside in 
Prattsburg, and their children are Matilda, Augusta, Emma 
and Horatio S. 

Joseph Ketchum, born in 1790, married Mercy, daughter of 
John Randall. She was born in Dutchess Co., in 1790. They 
settled on lot 45, on Flat street, where he died in 1860, at the 
age of seventy. They had thirteen children, of whom eight 
reached adult age ; Abel, Norman, George R , Celina B., Anna 
M., Oliver J., Caroline E. and Charles H. Norman and Oliver 
C. died in early life. Abel married Phebe Ann, daughter of 
Lewis Boyd, of Michigan, formerly of Benton. He was a mer- 
chant in Penn Yan, and afterwards lived on the Jonathan 
Ketchum farm, in Benton, where he died, leaving five children, 
Henry W., Sophia, Frank, Emma C. and Edward. Norman 
and Oliver, sons of Joseph Ketchum, died single, and the re- 
maining children are unmarried, and reside on the homestead 



with their mother. The sons are enterprising farmers, and 
noted for raising choice and thorough-bred stock, especially 
short horn cattle. Charles H. is the present President of the 
Yates County Agricultural Society. 

Joseph Ketchum was by trade a tanner and shoemaker. He 
served his apprenticeship with Abel Peck, and came to this 
county under his patronage, two years before Judge Peck. He 
started a tannery, and established the shoe and leather business, 
which, on becoming twenty-one, he assumed on his own ac- 
count, and conducted prosperously for many years. His indus- 
try and economy were such, that wealth could not resist his 
grasp, and he had the sagacity to invest his gains chiefly in ad- 
joining lands, sometimes at prices that others thought high, 
until his home farm embraced five hundred acres ; and he was 
the owner of other farms of much value, amounting to twelve 
hundred acres. He was elected Sheriff of Yates county in 
1834, and served three years in that office ; and in the militia 
rose from corporal to colonel. His life was remarkably busy 
and laborious, and left him but little time to mingle in political 
excitements, though he was identified with the Democratic 
party, and finally with the Republican. Religiously, his ten- 
dencies were toward the Quakers, having been reared within 
their influence. He was a man of integrity, and highly honor- 
able character. His wife, who has survived him ten years, is 
still in the enjoyment of health and vigor of body and mind, 
and has evidently been a strong stay to her husband and family 
in their remarkable history. 

James Ketchum married Clarrissa Dean, of Putnam Co , set- 
tled first in Benton, and subsequently in Barrington, where he 
owned the Old Teeples place, and kept a tavern many years. 
His widow still resides on the homestead. Their children are 
Susan, Harriet, Joseph and Tyler. Susan married Joshua D. 
Corey. They reside on part of the Ketchum homestead, in 
Barrington, and have one child, Hattie. Harriet married 
Lewis McConnell, of Barrington, and resides on the homestead, 
occupying the house long used for a hotel. Joseph married 


Angelina DeGraw, of Barrington, and resides near Hammonds- 
port. They have two children, Edmund and one other. Tyler 
married Miss Ellis, of Barrington, and emigrated to California. 

Sarah Ketchum died single at Prattsbnrg. 

The Ketchums were noted for patriotism in the revolutionary 
struggle. In August, 1775, an association was formed in 
Dutchess and adjoining counties, for prosecuting the war. 
Twenty-eight of this name signed the compact "of this league, 
in the counties of Dutchess, Orange and Suffolk. (See Appen- 
dix to Cushman's Genealogy.) 


Robert, Lewis and Phebe, were children of Ebenezer Boyd, 
of Kent, Putnam county, and came to this county in 1814, and 
located in Benton. Robert Boyd married Anna, daughter of 
John Randall. They settled in Benton, about one mile east of 
Penn Yan, on lot 48, where he died. They had three children, 
Salina, Pamelia and Merritt. Salina died single. Pamelia 
married Samuel F. Curtis. Merritt married Mary Jane, daugh- 
der of Henry Townsend, and settled on the homestead, where 
he died. His widow married James Armstrong. 

Lewis Boyd married Sophia Cushman, a sister of Mrs. Jona- 
than Ketchum, and settled on the Pre-emption road, and finally, 
in 1834, emigrated to Washtenaw Co., Michigan, where he 
died, in 1848, and where his widow has since died. Their 
children are Emeline, Harvey, Phebe A., Mial, George, Sarah, 
Ebenezer, Robert, Almira, Mina and Adaline. 

Phebe Boyd married Archibald Crawford. They settled in 
Benton. He died leaving several children, Coleman, Maria, 
Susan, Lewis, Barger and Sarah. The widow married a second 
husband, Nathaniel Huson, of Starkey, and the father of Dr. 
Richard Huson, of Lawrence, Kansas. He is dead, and his 
w r idow still survives. 


John Ganung was a native of Dutches Co., where he married 
Esther, daughter of John Randall. They settled on the Pre- 
emption road, and afterwards moved to the town of Richmond, 


Ontario Co. They had several children, but three of whom 
were identified with Yates county. These were Edward, Han- 
nah and Anna. Edward married Celia, daughter of Allen 
Eggleston, of Potter, and settled in Canadice, where he died, 
leaving three children, Mary, William and Asa. Hannah 
resided with her father, and died single. Anna married An- 
thony Trimmer, jr., of Benton. 


During the last year or two of the eighteenth century, 
there came a colony of settlers from Pennsylvania, who located 
in east Benton, some of them in what is now Torrey. Among 
them was Anthony Trimmer, who was descended from Scotch 
or Irish people, who had settled an early colony in Northum- 
berland county, Pa. His wife was Sarah Howard, a sister of 
Thomas Howard, also an early settler and noted citizen, who 
resided about one mile north of Hopeton. The Armstrongs:, 
Harts, McLeans, Howards and Trimmers were all members of 
the same colony. The Trimmer family located on a farm, near 
the old Presbyterian Church, where they continued until the 
parents died. Anthony Trimmer died in 1838, at the age of 
eighty-four, and his wife in 1832, at the age .of seventy -three. 
Their children were David, Isaiah, Betsey, Amy, Epcnetus, 
Anthony, Polly, Sally and Thcmas. David married Susan 
Reading, who died in Benton. He married a second wife, 
Mary Kelly, a widow, and moved to Kent Co., Michigan, where 
they reside. Isaiah married in Benton, and moved to North- 
eastern Ohio. His children are Chester, Frances and Amy. 

Betsey married Frederick Backenstose, a tailor of Geneva. 
He died there leaving three children, Frederick, Eliza and 
Sally. She married^a second husband, Leonard Smith, of Sen- 
eca, of whom she was the second wife. Their children were 
George, Hiram and others. They afterwards moved to Angel- 
ica, where both died. 

Amy was the first wife, of Leonard Smith, of Seneca. 

Epenetus married Rebecca, daughter of William Ellis, and 
settledon the Trimmer family homestead, where he died. Their 



children were Jemima, Mary, Ellsworth, Eliza, Sally, Thomas, 
William and Ruth. Jemima married Aaron E. Swarthout, son 
of John Swarthout. They reside on and own the old Trimmer 
homestead, and have one son, Ray. Mary married Vincent 
Swarthout, a son of Anthony Swarthout, and resides in Torrey. 
He is a farmer. Ellsworth married Ellen Perine, and resides in 
Dresden. They have a son named Ellsworth. Eliza is the 
wife of Luther Harris, a resident of Dresden, and a boat builder 
and farmer. Their children are Ella and William. Sally mar- 
ried Lewis Cuddeback, a carpenter at Dresden. Their children 
are Vincent and Ida. Thomas died single at the age of eighteen. 

William married Mary Harris, of Dresden, and resides there. 
They have one son, Epenetus. Ruth died single, at eighteen. 

Anthony Trimmer, jr. married Anna, daughter of John Ga- 
ming, of Benton. He was constable and collector of that town 
many years, and was crier of the courts in Yates county, 
from the organization of the county, for a period of about 
twenty years. His immediate successor in that office was John 
D. Wolcott. Their children are Betsey, John C, Harriet, 
George, Edward M., Rebecca E., Mary H., William H., Charles 
M. and Anna E. Betsey married Joshua Swan, of Canadice, 1ST. 
Y., where they reside. Their children are Albert and Rosetta. 
John C. married Mary Baldwin, of Lapeer, Mich., and resides 
in Benton. They have one child, Anna E. Harriet married 
Sylvester Simmons, now residing in Milo. George married 
Sarah Swan, of Canadice, where they settled, and where he 
died. Edward M. married Ellen Patten, of Richmond, Ontario 
county, and resides in that town. Their children are Ida M., 
Charles and Horace P. Rebecca E. married Van Rensselaer 
Van Scoy, of Milo. They reside in Benton. Mary H. is the 
wife of William T. Remer. William H. married Emeline 
Gould, of Richmond, Ontario Co., where they now live. Then- 
children are William, Alice and Fanny. Charles M. married 
Rosetta Lundy, of Canada. They reside in Rockton, 111., and 
have two children. Anna E. married Niel Gould, of Richmond, 
Ontario Co. They have two children. 


Polly married William Gates, who was a merchant at Spen- 
cer's Corners. He died leaving two daughters, Sally and Amy. 
Mrs. Gates died in Orleans, K Y. Sally married William 
Lamb, of Benton. They reside at Orleans, Ontario county. 
Their children are Epenetus, Isadore, Austin, Avery, Gena and 
Charles. Amy married William Hosier, son of Davison 
Hosier, of Hilo. They reside in Iowa, and their children are 
Harvey, Mary, John and Davison. 

Sally Trimmer married Horace Gage, son of Reuben Gage, 
of Benton. They reside in Michigan, and their children are 
Anthony, Heman and Azuba. 

Thomas Trimmer never married, and was for many years 
celebrated in Benton as a school teacher. He was one of the 
early pupils of John L. Lewis. His death occurred in 1858, at 
the age of fifty-seven. 


Another contributor of Dutchess Co. to Benton, was Benja- 
min Dean, who married Zilpha Harrington, of that county, 
and came from Shepherd's Creek, Pa., in 1798, a widower, 
locating at first near Norris' Landing. Of his family by the 
first marriage, there were Eliakim, Zebulon and William, and 
their daughters Abigail, Hannah and Lucy, who had preceded 
the father to the Genesee country. He married a second wife, 
widow Martha Blake, at Norris' Landing, and in 1804 pur- 
chased the farm now owned and occupied by George B. Stan- 
ton, on lot 74, where he died in 1815, at the age of sixty -four, 
leaving by the second marriage one daughter, Polly. The 
mother died in 1821. Polly Dean married Benjamin Stanton, 
of Gorham. They lived on the Dean homestead, and had three 
children, Martha E., George B. and Mary J. Martha E. mar 
ried Norman Holmes, of Benton, who died leaving one daugh- 
ter, Harriet E. She married a second husband, Charles Lloyd, 
of English birth. They have one child, Mary E., and reside 
on the homestead. 

George B. Stanton married Emeline C. Lamport. They have 
two children, Richard B. and May C. 

Mary J. married Edwin Lamport. 


Zebulon Dean married Sarah, sister of Russell and Elijah 
Brown. They settled in East Benton, near Seneca Lake, 
where their son, Daniel Dean now lives, about two miles 
north of Hopeton. Their children were Benjamin, Daniel, 
John, Alexander and Ira. He married a second wife, Nancy 
Scritchel, and they had seven children, Jarvis, George, Julia, 
Hannah, Eliza, Zilpha and Sarah. Zebulon Dean was a man 
of note in his day. In 1807, he and his neighbor John Mugg, 
by mutual concert became religious men, and were soon ac- 
tively engaged as preachers of the Free Will Baptist Faith. 
They found their reward for their religious labors in the work 
itself, and the hopes that reached beyond the present life. 
They wrought willingly with their hands for the daily bread of 
their families, and went long distances to preach on Sunday, 
without accepting a farthing.for their spiritual service. Their 
names are blended with the organization of numerous churches 
of that faith in this and surrounding counties. They travelled 
in this work as far as Sodus, and at that day their disciples 
were neither few nor lacking in zeal ; but for some reason, few 
of these churches are left in the land. For twenty-five or thirty 
years, John Mugg lived in Jerusalem, a little west of Penn 
Yan. It is said he still lives at Upper Sandusky, Ohio, at the 
age of nearly one hundred. His spiritual brother, Zebulon 
Dean, died at the age of fifty-four, in 1832. Of his children, 
Benjamin married Eliza Randolph of Milo. She died leaving 
four children, Sarah M., Elizabeth, Jephtha F. and Mary Jane. 
He married a second wife, Fanny Marriner, of Benton, and 
moved to Jerusalem, where he died in 1869, at the age of 
seventy. The children of the second marriage were Amanda, 
William M., Albert and Persis A. Persis A. married William 
Griswold, of Jerusalem, and they have one child. 

Daniel Dean resides on the paternal homestead. He married 
Diana Lamb, of Benton, and moved to Wayne county, where 
she died, and he re-married ; afterwards he returned to Yates 
county. The children of the first marriage were Hannah F. 
and Harvey C. ; of the second, Diana E., Avery C, Jennie S. 



and Deborah. The land where Daniel Dean resides, was 
bought by Zebulon Dean, of Charles Williamson, in 1798. Of 
Daniel Dean's Children, Hannah married Adin Gauntt, of 
Chaggrin Falls, Ohio. Harvey C. married Eveline, sister of 
Charles V. Bush, of Penn Yan. They reside at Benton Cen- 
tre, and their children are Florence M. and Decora D. Diana 
is unmarried. Avevy C. married Mary E., daughter of Levi 
Speelman, of Torrey. Jennie S. married Edwin L. Swarthout, 
of Torrey, where they reside; and Deborah A. married Charles 
M. Speelman, of Torrey, 

John married Maria Titus, and resides in Torrey. Their 
children are James, Harriet E., Lewis and David. 

Alexander married Lois Griswold, and resides in Jerusalem. 
Their children are Julius Z., Ezra, Sarah A., Abraham V., Di- 
antha and Elizabeth. Ira married and emigrated to Louisana. 
Jarvis married Almira Dean, of Newfield, where they reside. 
George married Maria Houghtaling, and emigrated to California. 

Julia married James P. Winants, of Benton. They reside in 
Potter, and their children are David, Augustus, Orville, Julia 
A., Adelia, Adora and Kate. David married Hannah Church, 
of Benton, and resides in Steuben county. Augustus was a 
soldier in a western regiment, was taken prisoner at Pittsburg 
Landing, and died in a rebel prison at Macon, Georgia. Orville 
married Mary Bergstrsser, of Potter, where they reside. Ju- 
lia married Sheldon Slaughter, of Potter, and they reside in 
that town. 

Hannah married Russell Thurber, of Owego, N. Y. They 
reside in Elmira, and have two children, Nancy and Helen. 

Eliza married Orville Allerton, a merchant of Newark, N. Y. 
They have one child, Harry. 

Zilpha married Eliakim Bailey, of Newfield, N. Y., where 
she died, leaving two children, Helen and George F. 

Sarah married George Casterline, and emigrated to Wai'saw, 
Wis., where they reside, and have one child. Margaret. 

Eliakim Dean, the elder brother of Zebulon, was the father 
ol Jefferson Dean, of Newfield, Tompkins Co., whose daughter 


Kate Dean, is a cultivated and noted concert singer. William 
Dean, the remaining brother of Zebulon, was a millwright. 
He went west and remained there several years. Hearing that 
his brother Zebulon was near his death, he came back to see 
him, but arrived too late. Fatigue and depression of mind 
produced illness, which soon resulted in his burial by the side 
of his brother. 


The first settler on Flat Street, where Augustus Stewart re- 
sides, was Perley Dean, a native of Ashford, Connecticut, who 
was a good farmer, and an excellent and much esteemed citi- 
zen. His wife was Abigail Baxter, a daughter of Col. Baxter, 
of Revolutionary fame. They were married in 1788, and 
shortly made a home at or near Newtown, which they left on 
account of unhealthiness, and in 1793 located permanently on 
lot 39, buying the land of Levi Benton. He died in 1811, and 
his wife in 1813, after the most discouraging impediments of 
pioneer life had been overcome. Their children were Arminda, 
Perley, Leonard, Anna, Betsey and Danford. Arminda mar- 
ried Israel Brown, from Norwich, Vermont. They died in 
Penn Yan, leaving five children, Amandn, Eliza, Oliver, Mary 
and Abner. Amanda married Cyrus Russel, and Eliza married 
William Keeler, and both went west. Oliver also married and 
emigrated to Illinois. Mary married a Mr. Barber, who died 
at Troy, N. Y., and his widow and children emigrated to Mar- 
shall, Michigan. Abner was blind, but was educated and intel- 
ligent, and lived to the age of thirty -two, dying at Marshall, 

Perley Dean jr. married Phebe, a sister of Israel Brown. 

They emigrated to Tekonsha, Michigan. They have five 
children, Eliza, Nelson, Leonard, Chester and Jane, all of whom 
are married, and settled in good circumstances, about their 

Leonard was a soldier through the war of 1812, after which 
he died at the west, single. Anna married Mr. Tubbs, nephew 
of Enos Tubbs. They reside at Cleveland, Ohio. 


Betsey married Frederick H. Rohde, a native of Germany, and 
a shoemaker. They lived on grounds now occupied by the Penn 
Yan Academy. He was a good citizen, and died suddenly at 
Geneva, while there on business, at the age of fifty-two. His 
widow resides in Penn Yan. Their children were Caroline, 
Lewis S., Henrietta, Adelia, Frederick, Maxwell and John. 
Caroline married Hugh Joint, and resides at Oil City, Pa. 
Henrietta died single. Lewis S. married Helen Mc Lean, of 
Penn Yan, and she died leaving one child, Carrie. He mar- 
ried a second wife, Caroline, daughter of Daniel Hedges, of 
Milo. They have two surviving children, Frank and Spencer. 
He is a boot and shoe merchant and manufacturer, of the firm 
of Corey & Rohde, of Penn Yan, and an exemplary citizen. 
Adelia married Peter Shaw, of New York, and resides in 
Brooklyn. They have four children, Christopher, William, 
Carrie and Hetty. Frederick ia single, and resides in Australia. 
Maxwell married Lucy Green, and is a shoe dealer and manu- 
facturer at Dundee. They have two children, Lucy and Mary. 
John is a machinist at Owego, and married Amelia Robertson, 
of Binghamton. 

Dandford Dean was a farmer, and died unmarried, in Ben- 
ton, in 1868, about fifty-four years of age. 


These were three of seven brothers, sons of Elisha Brown, 
who were born at Bolton, Connecticut, whence their family 
moved to Vermont, where their father died in 1802, at the age 
of seventy-nine. Elisha jr., and Daniel, were soldiers of the 
Revolution. They emigrated quite early from Vermont to 
Newtown, where in April, 1790, Elisha jr. married Jemima, 
sister of Perley Dean. In February, 1793, they moved to 
Benton, then Jerusalem, and settled first on lot 31, on land now 
occupied by Jacob Watson, afterwards a little west of Benton 
Centre, on land now owned by Dr. John L. Cleveland. He 
was a mechanic, and assisted Levi Benton, jr., in the construc- 
tion of several mills, built at an early period about the country. 
He was also employed by the Potters, and was an industrious 


and useful man. He died in 1815, at the age of sixty-seven. 
His wife died in 1819, at the age of forty-eight. Their child- 
ren were Pamela, Almira, Polly, Tamasin, Sarah, Harriet, Eph- 
raim and Elisha. Pamela became the wife of Luther Winants. 
Almira married Daniel Van Tyne. He was a prosperous mer- 
chant at Cleveland, Ohio, from whence he moved to Racine, 
Wis., where he died, leaving three children, Ann Eliza, William 
and Kate. Polly married Peter Moon, and resides in Perm 
Yan, with her daughter, Mrs. Joseph Holliday. Tamasin 
married William Moon, a nephew of Peter, and lives west, a 
widow. Sarah married Jonathan Russel, and is a widow at 
Marietta, Onondaga Co., X. Y. Harriet married Robert Mead, 
a nephew of Daniel Van Tyne. He has also been a business 
man of note, and resides at Racine, Wis. They have two 
children, Frank and A.nn. Ephraim died single. Elisha mar- 
ried Margaret, sister of Daniel Van Tyne, and died in Ohio, in 
1869, at the age of fifty-nine, leaving no children. 

Daniel Brown, born in 1750, married Anna Hall, at New- 
town, and moved to Benton (then Jerusalem), in 1797, settling 
on the place now owned by Mrs. Susan C. Sherman, on Flat 
Street, lot 39. Daniel Brown was employed many years as a 
mail and newspaper carrier, having a route that extended from 
Geneva and Canandaigua, to Bath. As this was the only 
means of circulating intelligence for many years, his weekly 
advent in each neighborhood with the local papers, with news 
perhaps a month old, was an event of the greatest importance. 
He carried the Geneva Gazette and Ontario Repository, through 
what is now Yates county ; his package consisting most largely 
of the Gazette. He was also constable and collector of the town 
many years. He and his wife both died on their homestead, 
leaving five children, Samuel S., Eunice, Olive, Clorinda and 
Eliza. Samuel S. married Elizabeth Newman, of Benton. He 
was a captain of militia, and w T as familiarly known as "Capt. 
Sam Brown." He was a good citizen, and died very suddenly 
in Penn Yan, about fifteen years ago, and his widow and four 
children have moved west. Eunice became the wife of William 


Riggs, and moved to Monroe, Michigan. Olive resides at Mon- 
roe, Michigan, single. Clorinda married Isaac Newton, of Ver- 
mont, and moved to Cattaraugus Co., N. Y., where he died leav- 
ing several children. Eliza died single, in Benton. 

Martin Brown, born in 1761, married at the age of nineteen, 
Sarah Hammond, of Windsor Co., Vermont. He came to Ver- 
non in 1803, and purchased 107 acres of land on Flat Street, lot 
41, of Elisha Wood worth, at nine dollars per acre, now the south 
part of John Merrifield's estate. He put up a log cabin, and 
accompanied by his brother Elisha, returned to Vermont for his 
family and effects. With two loaded wagons, one drawn by 
three horses, and the other by two pairs o£oxen, and driving six- 
cows and thirty sheep, they started on the first day of June, 
1803, and in twenty-six days arrived at their log cabin on Flat 
Etreet. Their domicil, until the following winter, had neither 
door, window nor chimney, and only some loose boards for a 
floor. There they lived and aided in the steady work of pioneer 
improvement, until Mr. Brown died, in 1824, at the age of sixty- 
three. His wife survived him till 1852, dying at the age of 
eighty-eight. Their children who reached adult age, were Ebe- 
nezer, William S., Martin, Daniel, Deborah, Lora, Lydia and 

Ebenezer married Hannah Shay, and resided for a considerable 
period in Penn Yan. He was sheriff of Yates county one term, 
to which office he was elected in 1825, and postmaster at Penn 
Yan several years. He emigrated to Goshen, Indiana, where 
he died in 1853, leaving four daughters, who reside there: Sa- 
rah, Emma, Henrietta and Janette. 

William S. married Eliza Sweet, of Benton, and emigrated to 
Plymouth, Indiana, where his widow survives, with three child- 
ren, Charlotte, Martin and Hatley N. 

Martin jr. married Elizabeth, daughter of Andrew Rector, of 
Benton, in 1824. They had four children, Charles H., Andrew 
M., Charity C. and Calista E. In 1849 he married a second 
wife, Mary Finger ; and in 1859 a third, Epha Millspaugh. He 
has always resided in Benton, where he has been a useful and 



respected citizen, and survives at the age of sixty -eight. He has 
filled numerous offices in his town, and was eight years a Justice 
of the Peace. He resides in south-west Benton, where Clark 
Winans was the original settler, on lot 83, though he lived about 
thirty years on Flat street. His son Charles H. married Lydia 
Wagner, of Benton. They reside at Ada, Kent Co., Mich., and 
have two children, Eleanor A. and Haley N. Andrew M. 
married Caroline Benedict, of Jerusalem, where they reside. 
Charity C. married Jacob Schenck, of Potter, and resides at Ada, 
Kent Co., Mich. Their children are Martin, Fred, Eleanor and 
Elizabeth. Calista married Jacob N. Jones, of Benton, where 
they reside. Their children are Hannah E., Mary E., Flora J., 
Alice and James M. 

Daniel died single, while on a journey west, at Cleveland. 
Cause not known. 

Deborah married Bela Richards, who came with her father's 
family from Vermont. They lived on Flat street, on land now 
belonging to the Ketchum estate. He died while on a journey 
west to view the country, and his widow resides in Jerusalem. 
Their children were Maria, Sarah, Eliza and Almena. Sarah 
married Augustus L. Cookingham, of Jerusalem. They have'four 
children, Marietta, Dallas M., Eliza and John P. Dallas M. 
married Nancy Robinson, of Middlesex, and resides in that town. 
Eliza Richards married Abraham Beyea, and resides at Tyrone, 
N. Y. Their children are Frank, Fanny and one more. Alme- 
na married Alexander Keech, of Jerusalem, and resides at Rock- 
ford, Michigan. They have two children. Maria married 
Milton S. Buell, adopted son of Cyrus Buell, of Benton, and 
settled on Bluff Point, where he died leaving three children, 
Ann, Helen and Frank. Ann married Perry Dains, of Jerusa- 
lem, where they reside. Helen married Augustus A. Chidsey, a 
printer of Penn Yan. They reside at Detroit, and have one 
child, Charles. Frank died single. 

Lora married John L. Lewis, the early and highly distin- 
guished school teacher. 

Lydia became the second wife of James Sherland, the father 


of William H. Sherland, now residing in Benton. They emi- 
grated to Plymouth, Indiana, where she died, leaving four child- 
ren, Ebenezer, George, Madama and Sarah. 

Emma married James Weed. He died without children, and 
she married Andrew Lamereaux. They now reside in Michigan. 


Jacob Winants was from eastern New York, and married Re- 
becca Talmadge, an aunt of Nathaniel P. Talmadge, at one time 
U. S. Senator from this State. They came to this county in 
1800, and settled in east Benton, where he died in 1814, and 
she in 1828. They had eleven children: James, Josiah, Fanny, 
Asenath, Abraham, Sybil, Martha, George R., Pamela and Lu- 
ther. Six of these were never residents here. Fanny married 
John Suylandt, of Seneca Falls, and emigrated to St. Joseph, 
Michigan. Asenath married Col. Thomas Lee, of Benton. 
Abraham married Lucinda Keeler, niece of Dr. Joshua Lee. 
He died near New York, leaving two children, George and Jane, 
and his widow became the wife of Judge John Knox, of Water- 
loo, the father of Judge Addison T., and William Knox. 

George R. Winants married Mary Swarthout, of Barrington. 
They settled in Potter, near Rushville. He has been a man of 
prominence in the town, and held various civil stations. Their 
children are Marietta, Martha J. and Edward J. Marietta mar- 
ried Timothy Blodgett, of Potter. Their children are Helen. 
George and Grace. Martha J. married Henry Chesebro, of 
Naples. They reside on the Winants homestead in Potter, and 
their children are Henry and Mary. Edward J. married Bella 
Noble, of Detroit, granddaughter of Col. Thomas Lee. They 
reside in New York. 

Luther Winants married Pamela, daughter of Elisha Brown, 
of Benton. They were married July 19, 1812. He was in the 
early years a school teacher, and a shoemaker. They resided 
in Oneida county about ten years, and returned in 1823, resid- 
ing thereafter in Penn Yan, where he died in 1864, at the age 
of seventy-four. He was village clerk eighteen years, and at 
one time Justice of the Peace in Benton. Their children were 


Alvin, Herman H., Mary Ann, George M., Caroline A., Harvey 
L., Sarah Jane, Charles V., Margaret M., Roderick N. and 
Susan S. Alvin was a lawyer, and for some time a partner of 
David B. Prosser. His wife was Saiah A., daughter of Samuel 
Wise. He was several years in California, and died in Kansas 
in 18G0, at the age of forty-seven. His widow married Judge 
Wm. H. McGrew, of San Francisco, and resides in that city. 
His only son, Samuel N. Winants, married Sarah Shumway, of 
San Francisco, and resides there. They have one daughter, 

Herman H. was a printer, and married Ann Bannister, of 
Newark, N. Y. They had one son, Henry W. He afterwards 
married a widow Seely, in Pennsylvania, and died in Illinois, 
at the age of forty-seven. 

Mary Ann married Abraham Miller, a highly respected me- 
chanic of Penn Yan. Their children are Susan C, Frederick 
M. and Maiy A. 

George M. was a painter, and married Marian A. Nash, of 
Penn Yan. He died in Louisville, Ky., in 1859, leaving a son 
George H. 

Caroline A. married Homer M. Townsend, and died in 1852, 
leaving a daughter, Mary Jane, now resident in Penn Yan. 

Harvey L. was a printer and editor. He learned his trade as a 
printer with one Gilbert, in Penn Yan, and was editor of a third 
paper in Penn Yan, called the Democratic Organ, in which 
his brother Alvin was associated with him. They also con- 
ducted a paper at Newark, N. Y., for some time. Harvey was 
afterwards associate editor of the Rochester Advertiser, for a 
brief period. He married Cornelia Z., daughter of Stephen 
Elmendorf, of Penn Yan, and died at Cincinnati, in 1866, at 
the age of forty-four. His only son, William H., is a bank 
clerk at Kansas City. He is married, and his mother has a 
home with him. 

Sarah Jane married James McLean, of Benton. They lived 
at Lima, Mich., where she died at thirty-four, leaving five child- 
ren, George H., Morris L., Fanny C, Sophia S. and Charles J. 


Charles V. was a blacksmith, and married Mary Gay, of 
Aurora, N. Y. He died in California, leaving one daughter, 
Anna, who married west. 

Margaret M. married Ephraim S. Fletcher, a Methodist 
preacher, living at South Hansom, Mass. He is a man of worth, 
and held in high esteem. Their children are Albert, Frank and 
George. , 

Roderick N. is a printer, and remarkable as a rapid compos- 
itor. He married Cornelia W. Wood, of East Mendon, N. Y„ 
and lives at Bloomington, 111. Their children are Cora and 

Mrs. Pamela Winants survives at the age of seventy-seven, 
with a clear and accurate recollection of the early years. She 
attended the school taught by Olivia Smith, at Benton Centre, 
and remembers all the pioneers of No. 8, so few of whom are 
yet numbered with the living. It was her lot to assist Daniel 
Goff, a tailor, who boarded at her father's house, in making the 
dress coat, vest and pants, all of pure white dimity, worn by 
Master John L. Lewis, as manager, in a play written by himself, 
and performed in one of the earliest years of the present century, 
at the house of Ezra Cole. When a few more like her have 
passed away, nobody can relate from personal recollection the 
primitive scenes of this county, then so new, now so old in 
comparison with the larger portion of our land. 


The forefathers of both Jacob Meserole and his wife, Ann 
Remsen, were among the first settlers of Long Island. The 
paternal ancestors of Mr. Meserole were French, and the ma- 
ternal Hollanders, and the parents of Mrs. Meserole were also 
French or Flemish Hollanders. He was born in 1783, and she 
in 1801, and the homes where both were born have be- 
longed to their respective families for a long period, and are 
now both embraced within the city of Brooklyn, and divided 
into city lots. The Meserole farm originally contained sixty 
acres, and the taxes thereon in 1800 amounted to one dollar ; 
in 1801 to one dollar and fifty cents, and were thought to be 


excessive or erroneous. The same territory is now judged to 
pay not less than $100,000 of annual tax. The Meseroles 
were the first settlers in Bushwick, now known as Green Point, 
and the Remsens and Schencks on the Wallabout ; and the 
first white child born on Long Island, was on the Schenck 
farm. The paternal farm of Mrs. Meserole and her ancestors, 
of about seventy-two acres, lies east of the U. S. Navy Yard, 
and borders on the Wallabout Bay. Thus are these two per- 
sons representatives of great changes and developments, the 
period of their lives having witnessed the growth of the great 
city of Brooklyn, on the ground whereon they were born in 
rural seclusion. In about the same period Yates county has 
merged from the wilderness and reached its present fruitful 
condition. They were married in 1829, and in 1831 purchased 
and settled on the place known as the Jonathan Hall farm, on 
the East Centre road leading to Seneca Lake, and about one 
mile west of the Lake, now in Torrey, where they lived till 
1863, since which time they have resided in Penn Yan. Their 
children were Jeremiah Remsen, Peter, Elizabeth, Catharine 
and Matilda. Jeremiah died single, in 1845, at twenty-two. 
Peter married Louisa Stone, of Trumansburg, was a hardware 
merchant in Penn Yan from 1851 to 1857, and then moved to 
Red Wing, Minnesota, where he engaged in the forwarding 
and commission business. His health failing he returned to 
Trumansburg, and died in 1867, at the age of thirty-eight. 

Elizabeth, born in 1833, married John P. Banks, a son of 
Summers Banks, of Benton, in 1853. They resided on the 
William Hall farm, near her father's homestead, where he died 
in 1856, leaving one child, Fanny Loella. The widow subse- 
quently married a second husband, William Roy, and they 
reside in Penn Yan. Their children are Elizabeth, Ann and 

Catharine, born in 1837, married Mason L. Baldwin, of Ben- 

Matilda, born in 1840, married Silas Kinney, of Ovid, a son 
of Cyrus Kinney, and a lawyer. They have one child, Elsie. 




Lodowick Bush, born in 1762, married, in 1787, Laney 
Visshee, who was born in 1771. They were natives of New 
Jersey, and had fourteen children, twelve of whom become 
adults, and nine were married. They were Margaret, Bernard, 
Peter, John L., Andrew, Francis C, Hannah, Catharine, 
Henry, Mary, David and Maria Jane. They were all born in 
New Jersey, near Bergen, and in 1817 came to this county, and 
located where Bernard Bush now lives, near the old Presbyte- 
rian Meeting House. The father bought about six hundred 
acres of land, intending one hundred for each son. He subse- 
quently moved to a farm on the Pre-emption road, where he 
built a saw mill, and made other improvements. Here his son 
John L. Bush settled and resided while he lived. The parents 
finally removed to Romulus, Seneca county, where they died 
within a few weeks of each other, in 1839. Margaret, born in 
1788, married Albert Van Winkle, of New Jersey, where he 
died. She afterwards resided with her parents. She had three 
children, none of whom survive. 

Bernard, born in 1790, married Mary Forshee, of New 
Jersey. They settled on the first home of Lodowick, in Benton, 
where he resides, a widower. Their children were Ellen, John, 
Peter and Rebecca. Ellen married Palmer Ellis, residing in 
Torrey. John married Huldah Benedict, and resides in Milo. 
Peter married Julina Hall, and resides in Potter. Rebecca 
married Joseph Mapes, and resides on the homestead. 

Peter, born in 1794, married Ellen Denniston, of Geneva, 
where they reside. They have three children, Alexander H, 
Hannah and Caroline. Alexander H. was a volunteer in the 
12Gth regiment, and died while they were encamped at Chicago. 

John L., born in 1797, married Hannah H. Coddington, of 
Benton, and settled on the paternal farm on the Pre-emption 
road, where he died in 1865. Their children were Mary, Ben- 
jamin, Stephen, Catharine, Sarah, Charles D. and George. Mary 
married Henry L. Green, and resides at Baltimore. Benjamin 
married Margaret Turner, of Benton, and resides near the old 


homestead. They have two children, Elizabeth and Harriet. 
Stephen married Elizabeth Turner, and resides at Baltimore. 
Charles D. married Martha Lynn, of Newburg, N. Y. They re- 
side in Benton, near the homestead, and have one child, Bell. 
George married Althea Rosenkrans, of Benton, and emigrated 
to Fowlerville, Michigan. They have one child, Helen. Cath- 
arine and Sarah are single, and reside with their mother, at 

Andrew, born in 1799, married Elizabeth Ackerman, of New 
Jersey. She died in Benton, leaving three sons, James, Peter 
and one other. He married a second wife, and emigrated to 
Salone, Michigan, where he resides with a third wife, Elizabeth 
Carbon, of Fayette, N. Y. There is one daughter, Francis, by 
the second marriage, and two children, Andrew and Elizabeth, 
by the third. 

Frances C, born in 1801, married John Van Gieson, of Var- 
ick, N. Y., and emigrated to Lodi Plains, Michigan, where both 
died, leaving seven children, Andrew, John, Peter, Catharine, 
Henry, Jane and Mary A. 

Hannah married David Dennison, and lived in Orleans Co., 
New York. 

Henry, born in 1808, married Margaretta Lacey, of Benton, 
and emigrated to Cottage Grove, Wis., where they reside. 
Their children are Asahel, Anderson, Silas, Mary and Dora. 

David, born in 1813, married Rachel, daughter of William 
McLean, of Benton (now Torrey), and emigrated to State Line, 
Indiana, where he died, and his family resides. Their children 
are William, Hatley, Peter and Harriet. 

Catharine and Maria Jane are unmarried, and reside at 


John Merrifield, senior, was from Columbia county, where he 
married Catharine Simmons. They came to Benton with then- 
then family of six children, after 1820, locating at first in the 
neighborhood of the Carroll school house, and removing to Pot- 
ter in 1832, Avhere they lived on a farm now belonging to the 


Charles Bordwell estate. The parents finally emigrated to 
lona, Michigan, where the father died in 1851, at the ag f 
sixty-four. The mother still smwives at the age of eighty-one, 
residing with her children in this county. Then- children who 
reached adult age were John, Robert, George C, Charlotte, Ja- 
cob, William H., Elizabeth, Sarah A., Peter S., Hannah C, and 
Thomas. J. 

John, jr., born in 1809, married Sarah, daughter of John 
Crank, of Benton, in 1832. They remained for a time on the 
home farm in Potter, of which Mr. Merrifield was joint owner 
with his father ; subsequently he returned to Benton, residing on 
various farms till 1848, when they purchased the Abner Wood- 
worth farm, of one hundred and sixty acres, on Flatt street, 
where they still reside, having added other acres to the original 
purchase, till then - farm embraced nearly four hundred acres. 
Mr. Merrifield began with nothing, and seconded by his wife, 
has gained a handsome competence, by industry and frugality, 
the only trusty keys of fortune. Happily they are well preserved 
for the enjoyment of then- well-earned abundance, in their ad- 
vancing years. He is a leading citizen of his town, en- 
joys in the fullest degree the confidence of his fellow citizens, 
and has been several times supervisor, serving with credit to 
himself and satisfaction to the public. They have two surviving 
children, John W. and Mary D. John W. married Elvira, 
daughter of Wm. M. Crosby, of Benton, and resides at Vine- 
land, New Jersey. They have one child, Sarah A. Mary D. 
married James M. Lown, of Jerusalem. They reside on the pa- 
ternal homestead, and have two children, Jennie and John M. 

Robert married Eliza, daughter of Josiah Rudd, of Italy. . 
They reside in Michigan, and have six children. 

George C. married Mary A. Parks, of Benton, and resides at 
Mishawaka, Indiana. They have four children. He is a teacher 
and fruit culturist ; has represented his county in the State As- 
sembly, and holds the office of U. S. Revenue Assessor. 

Charlotte is the wife of Culver S. Barber, of Potter. 

Jacob married Emily, daughter of James P. Robinson, of Pot- 



ter, and emigrated to Mishawaka, Indiana, where she died, leav- 
ing three children. He is now living with a second wife, at 
Decatur, Michigan, and is a Universalist Clergyman and fruit 

William H. married Emily Paul, of Coloma, Michigan, where 
they reside. He is a farmer, and they have five children. 

Elizabeth married Ira Barber, of Potter. 

Sarah A. married Charles Bostwick, a physician of Colon a, 
Michigan, and resides at New Troy, Michigan. 

Peter S. married Sally A. Dayton, of Welshfield, Granger Co., 
Ohio. He is a farmer and teacher. They have one son. 

Hannah C. married Charles Reading, of Colona, Michigan, 
where he died, leaving three children. She is now the wife of 
Franklin Vinton, and resides at Carlisle Hill, Indiana. They 
have one child. 

Thomas J. married Paulina Skinner, of Valparaiso, Indiana. 
He is a lawyer, and has been Mayor of the city. He has also 
represented his county (Porter) in the Legislature, They have 
six children. 


Henry Collin, born in Dutches Co., in 1792, married Maiy 
McAlpine, at Hillsdale, in 1814. She was born in Dutchess Co., 
in 1793. They came to Benton, April 26, 1814, and settled on 
a farm then new, in the pine woods of West Benton. They 
subsequently moved to the premises originally settled by Samuel 
Buell, senior, in 1792, on lot 78, where they remained through 
life. Mrs. Collin died in 1832, and her husband in 1835. Their 
children were Harriet A., Henry C. and Emeline. 

Harriet A., born in 1816, married Alfred G. Bid well, of Hills- 
dale, Columbia Co., N. Y., and resides in Hudson City, New 
Jersey. They have several children. 

Henry C. Collin, born in 1818, married Maria L. Park, of 
Burlington, Otsego county, N. Y. They reside on the family 
homestead, which they own, together with the premises first 
settled by the father of Mr. Collin. By successful industry, they 
have added largely to their estate in land, having now 880 acres 
in Benton. Mr. Collin w r as born on his present homestead, and 


has always resided there. His remarkable thrift and pecuniary 
success is due to unremitting toil and sagacious attention to bus- 
iness, which has borne its usual result of independence and 
abundance. They have eight children, and some of their sons 
have graduated at Yale College, and entered upon successful 
professional pursuits. Mr. Collin is a progressive farmer, and a 
highly useful and respected citizen, and was the supervisor of 
Benton in 1869-70. 

Emeline, born in 1822, married Dr. William W. Welch, of 
Norfolk, Connecticut, and died there in 1850, leaving two child- 
ren. He still resides there. 


David Peckens was a native of Massachusetts, and married 
Experience Pierce, of that State. They came to this county in 
1810, and finally settled on a farm known as the Seeley farm, in 
Jerusalem. Their Children were Hannah, Elipha, David, Lydia, 
James, Alexander, Sabra, Elisha, Martha, George and Samuel. 
Of these, but three remain in this county, Martha, James and 
Elipha. Martha never married. Elipha married Patty Ray- 
mond, of Benton, and settled on what was known as the Sher- 
wood farm, on the Potter road, where they lived many years. 
He pursued the trade of a carpenter and joiner, having served 
his time as an apprentice, with James Sherwood. By means of 
unwearied industry and economy, they gained a generous com- 
petency, securing a fine homestead on the South Centre Road 
for themselves, and other farms for then- children. They two are 
examples of the infallible success of thrifty integrity and careful 
economy, engrafted on a life of earnest labor. Their children 
are Myron, Arabell, Charles R. and Jane. 

Myron married Sarah J., daughter of Alva Taylor, of Benton, 
and resides on the farm long owned by the Buckbee family, on 
lot 84. Their children are Jane and Byron E. 

Arabell married Daniel Sprague, of Benton, and resides 
on the original family homestead. They have one child, 
James E. 

Charles R. married Eleanor A., daughter of Seth B. Briggs, 



of Benton, and resides on what is known as the Nathan Lacey 
farm, on the South Centre Road in Benton, Their children are 
E. Burnett and Martha J. 

Jane married Lester B. Chissom, of Benton. 

James Peckens married Matilda Briggs, of Marcellus, N. Y. 
They settled in Jerusalem, near Sabin town, and on a part of 
the tract that went by that designation at an early day, where 
they still reside. They had nine children, of whom seven sur- 
vive : George, Edward, Olive, Sabra A., Mary, Amanda and 
James. Four of these are married. ■ 

George married Ellen, daughter of Elisha West, of Jerusa- 
lem, and emigrated to Bureau county, Blinois. Their children 
are Ellen, DeWitt and Ida. 

Edward married Caroline Ayres, of Michigan, and resides 
near Lyons, in that State. Their children are Jennie, James, 
Eleanor and Oscar. 

Olive married Daniel W. Benedict, of Jerusalem, and resides 
in Prattsburg. Their children are Frank and Carrie. 

Sabra Ann married David Clark, of Jerusalem, where they 
reside. Their children are Wilson and James. 


James Taylor was a native of Ireland, born in County Down, 
and came in 1755, at nineteen years of age to America. He re- 
sided in the town of New Windsor, Orange county, and enlisted 
in 1776 in the army of the Revolution. He was in New York 
when it was captured by the British. After his enlistment ex- 
pired, he was often engaged as a militiaman for occasional ser- 
vice. He was in the engagement at the battle of Whiteplains, 
and shared in much of the irregular but trying service along 
the Hudson River. Although entitled to a pension, and in 
moderate circumstances, he never applied for it. The poverty 
of the nation deterred many of the old patriots from asking 
that just recognition of their services. After his death, his 
widow presented his claims, which were at once allowed, and 
afforded her a small income in the closing years of her life. 
His wife was Elizabeth Thompson, of Plattskill, N. Y., and 


they were married in 1781. Their family of eight children 
were born in Orange county. They were Joseph, Ann, Han- 
nah, Mary, Elsie, William, Margaret and Alva. In 1816 they 
came to Ontario county, leaving behind Ann and Mary, who 
were married and remained in Orange county. They stopped 
in Seneca, and the following spring moved into Benton. In 
1821 they took up their residence in South West Benton, 
en lot 112, where they remained till the parents died. The 
father died in 1832, and the mother in 1840. Their son Joseph 
died single, in 1831, and Hannah, one of the daughters, died 
single at an advanced age. 

Elsie married Gillett Kelsey, a son of Elijah Kelsey, of Ben- 
ten, in 1819, and settled in Benton, where she died leaving 
five children, Elijah, Ann E., Helen M., James F. and Alexan- 
der. Elijah married Lucretia Stanton, of Prattsburg, and emi- 
grated to Michigan about 1867, with their family. Ann E. 
married Edward R. Briggs, of Benton. Helen M. is single. 
James F. emigrated to Havana, Illinois, where he married Lu- 
cinda Connet. They have two children, James and Fanny. 
He has been highly successful in business ; has become a lead- 
ing railroad man in that locality, and is Vice-president and 
principal manager of the Peoria, Pekin and Jacksonville Rail- 
road. Alexander married Georgiana Grott, of Butler, Wayne 
county, and resides on the homestead in West Benton. 

William Taylor, born in 1793, married Margaret, daughter 
of John Coleman, of Benton, in 1821, her age being twenty- 
three. They settled where they still reside, on the Potter 
road, on lot 87, never having moved except from the old house 
to the new. They have enjoyed the prosperity that is the nat- 
ural fruit of industrious lives and frugal habits, and have the 
satisfaction of seeing their children inheritors of the parental 
virtues. Their children are Charles W., James F., Sarah E., 
Henry R., John C. and William M. Charles W. married 
Francis, daughter of Abraham Rapelyea, of Seneca county, and 
is a prosperous farmer and esteemed citizen of Jerusalem. Their 
children are Sarah Lorain, Harriet N. and Mary Agnes. James 


F. married Mary A., daughter of Wra. L. Porter, of Perm 
Tan. He is pastor of the Congregational Church at Sauga- 
tuck, Allegan county, Michigan. They have two children, 
William A., and Grace M. Sarah married Firman R. Rapelyea, 
of Farmer, Seneca county, a^brother to the wife of Charles 
W. Taylor. They reside near Bellona. Their children are 
Helen L., Kitty 11., Elizabeth T. and James F. " Henry R. 
married Adelia C, daughter of James G. Barnes, of Seneca. 
They reside near the family homestead in Benton, and their 
children are Sarah E., Henry S., Margaret A. and Ralph 
B. John C. married Sarah J. McCarrick, of Prattsburg. 
They settled at Groton, Tompkins county, where she died, 
leaving one child, George W. He is pastor of the Congrega- 
tional Church at Groton. William M. married Mary E., daugh- 
ter of Co). William Carroll, of Benton, and resides on the 
the homestead. James F. and John C. are both graduates of 
Union College. 

Margaret married Moses L. Rugar, of Benton, and resides 
on the Thomas Rugar farm in Potter. Their children are 
Francis H., Lewis M. and Mary E. Francis H. married Eliza- 
beth Beers, of Dauby, Tompkins county, and emigrated to 
Galesburg, Elinois, where he was a merchant. He was a 
quarter-master in the army, through the war, and died at 
Nashville, in 1865, before being discharged. Lewis M. mar- 
ried Mary Comstock, at Galesburg, Illinois, and resides in Pot- 
ter. His children are Margaret, Francis, Cornelia and Moses 
L. Mary E. married Milton, son of Isaac Lain, of Potter, and 
resides near the Isaac Lain homestead. 

Alya Taylor married Artelissa, daughter of William Genung, 
of Jerusalem. They settled on the homestead of James Taylor, 
in Benton, where they still reside. They have three children, 
Sarah J., Mary E. and William J. Sarah J. is the wife of My- 
ron Peckens. William J. married Harriet, daughter of Elna- 
than R. Hunt. 


Briggs Bellknap settled in 1819 where his son, Isaac J. Bell- 



knap now resides, in South West Benton, on lot 112. He 
bought the land of one Cuyler, and it was then all forest, except 
three acres. Mr. Bellknap was captain of a sloop on the Hud- 
sou River, and had not previously been a farmer. He married 
Miama Drake, of Orange county, and they came through the 
" Beech Woods," a journey of ten days, bringing their family 
and possessions in a lumber wagon. Mr. Bellknap was a good 
citizen, and a good parent, and his wife, who was one of the 
early members of the Presbyterian Chui-ch in Benton, was a 
truly excellent woman. They went six miles to attend church 
in the coldest weather, and would remain at two services, nei- 
ther of them brief, in a meeting house not warmed with fire. 
It is not strange that such a mother impressed her religious 
convictions on her children. The father died in 1841, at the 
age of fifty-nine, and the mother in 1863, at the age of seventy- 
three. Their children were Lydia, Francis A., James A., Sarah 
A., Mary E., Isaac J. and George. 

Lydia, the eldest, married Ira Barber, a brother of Jeremiah 
Barber, of Potter. Francis A. married Robert P. Shepherd, 
and resides on a part of the original homestead. They have 
three children, Sarah A., George B. and Stephen C. Sarah A. 
is the wife of William Larzelere, of Jerusalem. 

James A. is a prominent, energetic farmer of Jerusalem. He 
married Submit C. Green, *of that town. Their children are 
Mary E., Adaline B., Charles C. and Francis A. Mary E. mar- 
ried Morrison Chase, a school teacher of Jerusalem, and they 
have one child, Submit. Adaline married Melmcuth Davis, a 
carpenter of Jerusalem, and the*y have one child. 

Isaac J., a substantial farmer and good citizen, and his sister 
Sarah A., both single, retain the old home, which has belonged 
to the family fifty years. Mary and George died early. 


These were sons of Thomas and Eleanor Davis, who were 
born and married in Wales, and came to America in 1800. 
They settled at Newport, Herkimer county, N. Y., with their 
family of three sons and two daughters. Two of the sons, 


Thomas and Noah, married wives who were half sisters, and 
came to Benton, Noah, in 1813, and Thomas in 1814. Tho- 
mas, born in 1778, married in 180G, Irene Perry, a widow, born 
in 1774, whose maiden name was Watkins, and who was also 
a native of Wales. They settled on the farm now owned by 
their son, Stephen N. Davis, one mile west of Penn Yan, on lot 
87, where they were the original settlers. Their children were 
Hannah, James T., Stephen N., Mary J., Watkins and Eleanor. 

Hannah, born in 1808, married George W. Hopkins. They 
reside on the farm lately owned by Gideon Wolcott, in Jeru- 
salem, and their children are Janette, Mariette and Ezra B. 
Janette married John Hankinson, of Potter. They have one 
child, Mettabell. Mrs. Hankinson resides with her parents. 
Mariette married Daniel M. Hulse, and resides in Canandaigua. 
They have two children, Ferdinand and Metta Isabella. Ezra 
B. is unmarried. 

James T. Davis, born in 1811, married Nancy Millspaugh, of 
Milo, and settled adjoining the homestead, where his wife died 
in 1860, leaving two children, Mary J. and Sarah A. Mary J. 
is the wife of William Blanshard, a native of England. They 
reside in Jerusalem, on the farm formerly owned by Dr. George 
W. Malin. He is noted for rearing choice thoroughbred stock. 
They have one child, Eda J. Sarah A. is the wife of George 
W. Hobart, son of Walter P. Hobart, of Potter. They reside 
on the town line road in North Jerusalem. James T. Davis 
married a second wife, Emeline J. Stewart, widow, and daugh- 
ter of John Merritt, of Jerusalem. They reside in Penn Yan. 

Stephen N. Davis, born in 1814, married Hannah R., daugh- 
ter of Peleg Briggs, of Benton. She died, and he subsequently 
married Sarah S. Coons, of Jerusalem. They have two sons 
by the second marriage, Thomas N. and William J. Stephen 
N. Davis owns and resides on the paternal homestead. 

Mary J., born in 1816, married Seth B. Briggs, son of Rob- 
ert Briggs, of Benton, and died in 1866. 

Watkins Davis, born in 1819, married Emeline, daughter of 
Joshua Beard, of Milo. They own and reside on the Anna 


Wagner homestead in Jerusalem. He is an enterprising far- 
mer, and a noted breeder of short horn cattle. They have three 
children, Ida J., James and John. 

Eleanor, horn in 1824, married William J. Rector, of Benton. 

Noah Davis, brother of Thomas, born in Wales, September 4, 
1702, married at Newport', Hannah Edwards, also born in 
Wales, in 1793. They settled in Benton, and afterwards 
moved to Jerusalem, where he was keeper of the county poor 
for several years. Subsequently they removed to Pultney, 
where they both died, he in 1855, and she in 1856. Their 
children were Edward, Sarah, Mary and Harriet. Edward, 
born in 1815, married Philinda Townsend, of Benton, and re- 
sides at Parma, Monroe Co., N. Y. Their children are Will- 
iam, John, Albert, Sarah, Rosetta and Susan. 

Sarah, born in 1816, is the wife of Jephthah A. Potter. 

Mary, born in 1819, married John C. Miller, of Milo, and 
they reside at Branchport. 

Hannah, born in 1824, married Ephraim Miller, of Milo. 
His wife and two children reside with Jephthah A. Potter, at 
Penn Yan. The children are Sarah and Mary. 


In one of a series of articles contributed in 1869, to the 
Yates County Chronicle, concerning the " Yates County Gazet- 
teer," Edward J. Fowle, wrote as follows : 

"After the earlier settlers of Benton, about 1816, there came 
a colony from Livingston's Manor, Columbia county, who lo- 
cated in the west part of the town, which for many years was 
designated as the West or Dutch Woods. They were an hon- 
est, frugal and industrious people. The ' Old Folks' are nearly 
all departed, as are most of the log houses they built. Many 
of the descendants reside there, possessing the virtues of the 
parents. They are well-to-do farmers, and good livers. Among 
them will be found the family names of Crank, Rector, Finger, 
Wheeler, Simmons, Carrol, Hoos, Moon, Miller and Niver. In 
the young days of the old people, the winters afforded good 
times for visiting and social enjoyments. Every week, if not 



oftener, at the log residence of some one of them, the families 
would all congregate, coming in sleighs or sleds, when there 
would be music and dancing, story telling, refreshments and 
smoking, while the huge logs blazed away in the good large 
fire-places ; and so the evening or night passed away. There 
was usually one double log house, with only one room below, 
which had two fire-places, two looms, two beds, and other fur- 
niture, and occupied by two families. And those primitive 
times were happy times with them, with few artificial wants, 
with no heed to fashions, no class distinctions, no envyings nor 
jealousies, their lives glided along smoothly and pleasantly. 
Their spiritual wants were supplied occasionally by an itinerant 
Dutch or Methodist minister. They were always kind to one 
another, at house raisings and logging bees, at marriages, in 
sickness and at death and burial. The large and small wheel, 
the reel and the loom, have nearly disappeard from among 
them, but agriculture, the dairy, poultry flocks and herds, and 
general household duties, now claim the attention of both men 
and women, old and young, conducing to health and compe- 
tence. They have rarely if ever been engaged in law suits, 
and never has one of them been before the courts for wrong 
doing. It would be hard for our friends in high life to frame 
for themselves a more exalted eulogy." 


Andrew Rector was a native of Copake, originally Taghka- 
nick, Columbia Co., N. Y., and was born in 17G2. He married 
Charity Rockefellow, of the same place. He died in Benton, 
in 1S42, at the age of eighty, and she in 1838, at the age of 
seventy-two. They came to Benton in 1817, bringing most of 
their family of nine children, and settled in the West "Woods, 
on lot 104, where there was no house or clearing, buying the 
land of Samuel Colt, of Geneva, who was a considerable land- 
holder in that vicinity, and paying ten dollars per acre. Here 
they tarried the remainder of their days. Their children were 
William, Hannah, Mary, Teal, Andrew, Eva, Christiana, Cath- 
arine and Elizabeth. 


William, born in 1782, married Hannah Simmons, in Colum- 
bia county. They settled its Benton, in 1810, and on lot 101, 
in 1813, coming with Henry Simmons previous to his father. 
Hannah, his wife, was bom in 1786, and died in 1870. 
Their children were Elizabeth, Andrew W., Conrad, Jacob, 
Charity, David. Catharine and William J. 

Elizabeth, daughter of William Rector, born in 1806, married 
James Jennings, of Benton, where she died. Her children were 
Hannah, Thomas, William J., Nelson, Sarah and Jerusha. 
Hannah married Jesse Tiers, of Benton. They reside on the 
Pottertown road, and have one child, Hannah. Thomas mar- 
ried Anna Wheat, of Benton. They reside in Naples, and have 
six children. William Married Cyntha Kirkham, of Benton. 
They settled in Naples, and have three children. J. Nelson 
married Ursula Wheat, of Benton, a sister of the wife of Tho 
mas, and has resided with his father. He has a second wife, 
Annie E. Washburn, of Naples. They reside now in Penn 
Yan. Sarah married John Miller, resides in Michigan, and has 
one child. Jerusha married William Washburn, of Naples, and 
has one child. 

Andrew W., son of William Rector, born in 1806, married 
Elizabeth Coons ,of Benton, and settled in Potter. He has held 
the office of justice of the peace in that town several years. Their 
children are Nelson, Hannah E., Sarah C, Emily J., Amelia 
M. and Julia A. Nelson married Caroline Coons, of Naples, 
and resided in Benton, where she died, leaving two children, 
Elizabeth and William. He has a second wife, Harriet Shaw, 
of Benton, and there are two children of the second marriage, 
Caroline and Andrew. Hannah E. is unmarried. Sarah mar- 
rien Orson Linkletter, of Steuben county. They reside in Na- 
ples. Emily married Daniel Reynolds, of Middlesex, and 
resides in Michigan. They have one child, Llewellyn. Amelia 
M. married Daniel Olcott, of Naples, where they reside. They 
have one child. Julia married Addison Hawley, of Potter, 
and resides with her father. 

Conrad Rector, born in 1809, married Mary Wheeler, of Ben- 



ton, and settled in Naples. They have one child, Caroline. 
Jacob, born in 1812, married Maria Coons, of Benton, and 
resides in Naples. They have one son, John. Catharine, born 
in 1822, married Seymour Wheeler, of Potter, and resides in 
Naples. Their children are Werder, Malcom and Hannah. 
Charity, born in 1815, married John Rector, of Benton. Da- 
vid, born in 1815, married Susan Bates, of Potter, and resides 
in Naples. They have one child, Hannah. William J. born 
in 182G, married Cataline Kelsey, of Benton, and resides with 
his father on the homestead. He is an enterprizing and thrifty 
farmer. He has a second wife, Eleanor, daughter of Thomas 
Davis, of Benton. 

Hannah, daughter of Andrew Rector, senior, married Henry 

Mary married Christian Niver, of Columbia county. They 
did not come to this county. Their children were Andrew, 
Elizabeth, Henry, Charity, Hannah, Catharine, Mary A. and 
Norman. Elizabeth and Catharine only became residents of 
this county. Elizabeth Niver married Col. William Carroll, 
and settled in Benton, where she died, leaving seven children, 
James, Peter D., Alfred, Ann, William, Worthy and Mary E. 
Col. Carrol married a second wife, Catharine Niver, sister of 
his first wife. Their children were Adelaide, Hannah J., Mer- 
cena and Frank. William Carroll was the successor of Col. 
Gilbert Sherer, as colonel of the old 103d regiment of Militia. 
He died in 1860, at the age of fifty-one. His son James Carroll 
is a Methodist clergyman. He is married, and resides in Con- 
necticut. Peter D. married Mary J. Miller, of Columbia Co., 
and resides on a portion of the paternal homestead, on lot 10G. 
Their children are Jane, Deloss, Seneca, Gazelle and Floyd. 
Alfred married Sarah Doremus, of Penn Yan, and resides on 
the place known as the Lovejoy farm, south of Cranks Corners. 
Their Children are Grace, Charles and Fred. Aaron married 
Mary, daughter of Simon Forshay, of Penn Yan. They reside 
in Torrey, on the Penn Yan and Dresden road, and their children 
are Job and Will. William married Alice Niver, of Columbia 


county, and resides there. Mary E. is the wife of William 
Miner Taylor, of Benton. Worthy is single, and is one of the 
firm of S. J. Larham & Co., grocers, and resides in Penn Yan. 
Adelaide married Charles Swarthout, of Torrey, and resides on 
the Swarthout family homestead. They have one son, Henry. 
Hannah J. married Dudley Olney, of Torrey. They reside at 
Ypsilanti, Michigan. Marcena and Frank are unmarried, and 
reside in Penn Yan. 

Teal Rector, born in 1789, married Eleanor Finger, of Co- 
lumbia county, and settled on the homestead in Benton, where 
he died, in 1859, leaving eight children : Charity, John, Jacob 
T., Eliza, William T., Simeon, and Lucetta and Lewis, twins. 
Charity, born in 1812, married David Lovejoy, of Benton, and 
they reside in Ohio. Their children are John, Albert and Sim- 
eon. John, son of Teal Rector, born in 1813, married his 
cousin, B Charity, daughter of William Rector. They reside in 
Naples, and their children are James and Hannah. Jacob T., 
born in 1815, married Catharine Baker, of Benton, and resides 
in Milo, on the Conrad Shattuck farm. Their children are 
Madriff, May and Stephen. Madriff married Sarah Gordon, of 
Barrington, and resides with his father. Mary married Holly 
Snyder, of Barrington. Eliza, born in 1817, married John Fin- 
ger, jr.* and settled in Benton, where she died, in 1839, leaving 
one surviving child, McKendric. William T., born in 1820, 
married Mary Church, of Benton, and moved to Conhocton, 
N. Y., where she and her four children died within one month, 
the children of diptheria, and she of pulmonary disease. He 
married a second wife, Catharine Harris, of Conhocton, and 
resides there. Simeon, born in 1822, married Hannah Elder, 
of Benton, and resides at Iona, Michigan,. They have two 
children, George and Oscar. Lewis married Catharine Potts, 
of Benton, and resides in Jerusalem. Lucretia was the first 
wife of^Freeman G. Wheeler, of Penn Yan, and died in 1864. 
Eleanor, wife of Teal Rector, died in 18G6. 

Andrew Rector, jr., born in 1792, married Dorothea Finger, 
of Columbia county, and settled in Benton, with his father. 


He died in 1842. Their children were John II., Andrew, Ed- 
ward and Henry, twins, Elizabeth, Jane, Jeremiah, Norman 
Polly, William F. and Jacob. John H., born in 1814, died 
single, in 1833. Andrew, born in 181G, married Elizabeth 
Finger, of Benton. Their children are John and Helen. Ed- 
ward, born in 1820, married Diantha Sbaw, of Benton, and 
moved to Rockford, Michigan. Henry married Harriet Gilbert, 
of Benton, and resides in that town. Their children are Will- 
iam W., Charles, Albert, Madison, John and Rosa, of whom 
William W. married Margaret Shaw, and resides in Naples. 
Elizabeth, born in 1828, married Freeman Carroll, and resides 
at Benton Centre. Their children are James and Anna. Fan- 
ny Jane, born in 1825, married Jefferson B. Briggs, of Totter, 
and they reside at Potter Hollow, Michigan. Jeremiah, born 
in 1827, married Artimetia Shaw, of Benton, and resides on the 
old Andrew Rector family homestead, on lot 104. Their child- 
ren are Dorothea, Miner and George. Norman married Har- 
riet, daughter of Baltus Wheeler, of Jerusalem, and resides 
in that town. They have one .son, Jerome. William F., born 
in 1834, married Phebe Jane, daughter of Theron R. Finch, 
of Potter. They have one child, and reside at Cascade, Michi- 
gan. Jacob T., born 183G, married Esther J. Corey, of Jeru- 
salem. They reside at Birchtown, Michigan. 

Eva Rector, born in 1794, married Jeremiah Finger, of Co- 
lumbia county, and settled in the "West Woods." Their 
children were John J., Andrew, Mary, Catharine, Charity, Han- 
nah and Norton. John J., born in 1813, married Sally Coons, 
of Benton, and resides in that town. Their children arj Emily, 
Hannah, Jane, William and Sidney. Emily married Charles 
Owen. Their children are Wilkie and Florence. The others 
are single. Andrew married Rosetta, daughter of Julius 
Barnes, jr., of Jerusalem, and resides in Benton. Their child- 
ren are Samuel, Rachel and Margaret. Mary was the second 
wife of Martin Brown, jr., of Benton. . Hannah married Abra- 
ham Bain, of Benton, and resides there. Their children are 
Theodore, Andrew and Martin. Catharine died single. Char- 



ity is unmarried. Norton married Emily Hainer, of Benton, 
and resides on his father's homestead. Their children are 
Oliver, Mary, Alice, Margaret, Irene and Eva. 

Christiana Rector, born in 1789, married Garnet Crank, of 
Columbia county. They settled near her father. He was a 
blacksmith, and gave the name to Crank's Corners, where they 
reside. Their children are Andrew, Amy, Charity and John 
M. Andrew married Mary A. Simmons, of Schoharie county, 
and resided in Benton, at the old Mclntyre blacksmith stand 
on the Pottertown road, where he died, leaving three children, 
Emma, Catharine and Bradford. Emma married George Samp- 
son, of Benton. They reside in Penn Yan, and have one son, 
George. Catharine married William Barringer, of Benton, 
where they reside. They have two children, Lizzie and Minnie. 
Bradford married Delia Hatch, of Penn Yan, and resides in 
Benton. Amy Crank died single. Charity married Clinton 
Chrysler, of Benton, where she died, leaving one child, Charity. 
John M. married Samantha Simmons, sister of the wife of An- 
drew 3d, and settled on the homestead with his father. He 
died, leaving two children, Christina and Maria. 

Catharine Rector, born in 1802, married William H. Simmons. 

Elizabeth Rector, born in 1806, was the first wife of Martin 
Brown, jr., and the mother of his children. 


Henry Simmons was born at Taghkanick, near Copake, Co- 
lumbia county, in 1780, and married Elizabeth Bogert, of the 
same place, in 1300. They came to this county about 1804, 
and lived one or two years on the farm of Robert Chissom, 
where Penn Yan now stands. They then purchased two hund- 
red and forty acres, which afterwards became the farm of Col. 
William Carroll. His wife failing in health, they returned to 
Columbia county,. in 1808, and she died there, leaving three 
children, William H, Catharine and Peter. Mr. Simmons 
married a second wife, Hannah, daughter of Andrew Rector, 
senior, and in 1810 returned to Penn Yan. At first he worked 
the Sp eel man farm, north of the Centre, but afterwards pur- 


chased a farm of 120 acres near his first purchase, and at the 
Crank four corners, from which a few acres immediately at the 
corners were sold to Garnet Crank, who established his black- 
smith shop there at an early day, and still resides there. This 
farm was then entirely new, except that a small house had been 
erected, and a few acres about it partially cleared. Here Henry 
Simmons died, in 1858, at the age of eighty, and his wife in 
1862, at eighty-two. Their children were Andrew, Betsey, 
Sylvester and Mary. 

William H. Simmons, born in 1801, of the first marriage, 
at Copake, married Catharine, daughter of Andrew Rector, 
senior. They finally settled on the premises where they now 
reside, near Potter Centre. Their children are Charity, Justus 
M., Christiana E., Henry M„ Catharine A., James M. and 
Charles M. Charity, born in 1823, married Samuel Van Zandt. 
Justus M., died single, in 1850, at the age cf twenty-five. Chris- 
tina, born in 1827, married Samuel C, son of Samuel Boots. 
They reside on the Boots homestead, in Potter, and have a 
daughter, Mary. Henry M., born in 1829, died of lockjaw in 
in 1847. Catharine A., born in 1837, married in 18G8, John 
H. Price, of Livonia, Livingston county, N". Y. They now 
reside in Springwater, Livingston county. Their children are 
George E., Dexter E. and Leola B. James M., born in 1839, 
married Frances E. Hotchkiss, in 1861. They reside with his 
father. Charles M., born in 1848, married in 1869, Alice E., 
daughter of John S. Knapp, of Penn Yan. 

Catharine Simmons, born in 1803, married George Lown, of 
Columbia Co. They lived first in Benton, then Potter, and 
afterwards removed to Ypsilanti, Michigan, in 1853, where they 
reside. They have one son, Henry, who married in Potter, 
Amanda Stearns, who died there, leaving two sons, Edwin and 
Worthy. They went to Wayne, Michigan, with their father, 
who married a second wife, Delia Barber, of Cattaraugus Co. 
There are two children of the second marriage, Irene and 

Peter Simmons, born in 1805, married Sally Perry, of Ben- 


ton, and moved to Independence, Alleghany county, where she 
died, leaving four children, William, Charles H., Joseph P. and 
Deliverance. He married a second wife, Cyntha Lilly, of In- 
dependence. They reside at Greenwood, Steuben county, and 
their children are Leonard, Peter, Wilbur, Lafayette, Elizabeth 
and Tryphena. 

Andrew Simmons, born of the second marriage, married 
Hannah, daughter of Baltus Wheeler, of Benton. They set- 
tled at Naples, where he died, leaving four children, Henry, 
William, Jane and Delilah. 

Betsey Simmons became the second wife of Clinton Chrysler, 
of Benton, and resided in that town, where he died, leaving 
three children, Henrietta, Marietta and Hannah. Marrietta 
married David L. Becker, jr., and resides in Benton. 

Sylvester Simmons married Harriet, daughter of Anthony 
Trimmer, jr., of Benton. They now reside in South Milo, near 
Chubb Hollow, and have one son, Justus M. 

Mary Simmons married James, a son of Thomas Carroll, 
of Benton. They settled on the Simmons family homestead, 
where she died, leaving a daughter, Emma. He married a 
second Avife, Jane, daughter of Andrew Simmons. She died, 
leaving a sdn, James. Mr. Carroll married a third wife, PJioda 
Weed, of Flat street, Benton. The mother of James Carroll 
is now the wife of Henry Brown of Benton Centre. 


Gideon Allen was a native of New Jersey, a nephew of Col. 
Ethan Allen of Revolutionary fame, and was married in Orange 
county, N. Y., to Sophronia Ayres, in 1797. Samuel, their 
oldest son, was born in 1799. Gideon Allen was a miller, came 
to Penn Yan 1810, and was the first miller in the mill built by 
Abraham Wagener, on the north side of the outlet, where the 
mill of Casner & Scheet now stands. In less than a year he 
died of typhoid fever, leaving six children, Samuel, Catharine, 
David, Abigail, Martha and Gideon, the last born a few weeks 
after the death of the father. The mother kept the'family to- 
gether, and moving into what is now Benton, reared them in a 


highly creditable manner by the aid of the elder children. The 
oldest, now Col. Samuel Allen, went to service at the age of 
twelve years, and worked five years for Levi Benton, senior, 
at three dollars a month. Mr. Benton paid him better than the 
contract required, and Col. Allen holds his old employer in the 
highest esteem, and regards him as a man of great personal 
worth. After serving his time with Mr. Benton, he learned the 
trade of chair maker with Joseph Safford, of Penn Yan. Af- 
terwards he worked with a Scotchman, named Robinson, as a 
carpenter and joiner, which trade he followed eighteen years. 
He worked with Miles Lefever, in the erection of the Court 
House and Jail in Pcnn Yan, and also in the construction of 
the Presbyterian church in Penn Yan. When twenty-five 
years old, he married Charity Perkins. They have four child- 
ren, Smith, Valentine, Catharine and Mary. Smith married 
Nancy, daughter of Josiah Voak, and resides in Benton. Val- 
entine married Harriet Waddel, and lives on the homestend. 
He was a soldier in the 11th Pa. cavalry, and served four years 
in the war of the rebellion, a large part of the time on patrol 
duty in East Virginia, under Col. Speer. His duties were diffi- 
cult and dangerous, and he was engaged in many critical skir- 
mishes, but no large battles. Catharine is unmarried. Mary 
married Wilbur Sharpstien, a farmer ot Cayuga county. 

Catharine, daughter of Gideon Allen, married James Mc- 
Carter, and moved to Reading, Pa., where she died. 

David married Elizabeth, daughter of Clark Winans, and 
moved to Ohio, thence to Iowa. 

Abigail married Granville Hawkes, and moved to Ohio, 
thence to Michigan. Martha died single, at twenty-two. 

Gideon married Laura Snook, and moved to Ohio He wh 
an accomplished architect, and supplied the design for the St ite 
capitol at Columbus, Ohio. 

Col. Samuel Allen, the only representative of the oiig'mal 
family left in Yates county, bought a farm on lot 65, in north- 
west Benton, near Ferguson's Corners, where he has resided 
fifty-four years. His mother made her home with him till she 


died, in 18-17, at the age of seventy-five. Like her, Col. Allen 
has always been a universalist in his religious faith. He aided 
in building a Universalist church at Rushville, and in former 
years sometimes attended meetings there. He was supervi- 
sor of Benton in 1860, and has held the office of assessor 
sixteen years. In the old rifle corps he rose from the rank 
of sergeant, to be colonel of the regiment, which embraced the 
county of Yates. Col. Allen states that he remembers hearing 
James Parker preach, when a Universalist, at Benton Centre, 
and at Truman Spencer's, and always thought him a man of 
much ability. 

Col. Allen states that he is the first man that held a cast iron 
plow Avest of Cayuga Lake. It was one of Wood's patent man- 
ufactured at Aurora. One Towsley, the real inventor cf the 
plow, was an acquaintance of Levi Benton, senior, and at his 
request Mr. Benton went to Aurora and brought home one of 
the plows, in 1815, the first they informed him, that came west 
of the Lake. Col. Allen was then a lad in the employ of Mr. 
Benton. Soon afterwards, Mr. Benton brought a number of 
these plows to that neighborhood, and they were sold to most 
of the principal farmers thereabouts. They were steel pointed, 
and sold at the price of twenty-five dollars. Even at that price, 
the farmers were not slow to learn that they were a great im- 
provement on the old "Bull Plow." 


Peter Ferguson was from Orange county, and settled in the 
town of Seneca in 1807. Two of his sons, John S. and Walter 
S.. settled in Benton, in 1833, buying the tavern property at 
what is now known as Ferguson's Corners, which they pur- 
chased of John Buckley, a son of Major Robert Buckley. Both 
have resided in that vicinity for the most part since that time. 

John S. married Mary, daughter of John Reed, and sister cf 
Melancthon S. Reed, of Seneca. They have two daughters, 
Melissa and Ellen. Ellen is the wife of George Dinehavt, of 

Walter S. married a daughter of Andrew W. McAlpine, of 


Benton. Their children are Marion, Rosetta B., Sarah Alice, 
Jane and Colton. Sarah Alice is the wife of Walter Fjjch of 

John S. and Walter S. Ferguson are both farmers. Martha, 
a sister of theirs, is the wife of John Southerland, of Potter. 


It was in 1812 that James Smith and his family moved from 
Goshen, Orange county, and settled on the farm on which he 
lived and died, on lots 59 and 60. The land is now occupied 
by Henry and David McAlpine, and Frederick Spooner was 
the first settler on this place. The family arrived at their new 
home in the Spring, and were delighted by the gorgeous bloom 
of peach trees, which spangled the road sides with objects of 
beauty most refreshing to the wearied travellers. The peach 
trees in those days seldom failed to yield them delicious fruit. 
Mr. Smith paid from six to eighteen dollars per acre for his 
land, and finally owned three hundred acres, and one of the 
best farms in the county. He was drafted in the war of 1812, 
and supplied a substitute, but when the British landed at Sodus, 
he shouldered his gun and went with many of his neighbors to 
meet the foe. When they reached Sodus, they found the ene- 
my had decamped, and they were soon discharged. Mr. Smith 
and his family cleared up the fine homestead, and gained a good 
competence. He delighted in a good horse, a fancy which re-ap- 
peared in his son, Job T. His wife Ruth, died in 1820, and he 
survived till 1861, dying at the age of eighty. Their children 
were Job T., Julia Ann, Mary, Sophia H., Emily T. and 
Susan T. 

Job T. married Olive D., daughter of Henry Townsead, and 
resided in Penn Yan. Both are deceased. Their children 
are Susan A., Olive T. and Eva S. Susan A. is the wife of 
Capt. Edward E. Boot, formerly of Penn Yan, now of Kansas. 
Capt. Root performed brave and honorable service in the war, 
and was captain of company I, 33d regiment, the first raised in 
Penn Yan, in 1861. They have one child. Olive T. married 
Theodore O. Hamlin, a prominent merchant of the firm of Ham- 

336 histoky or YATES county. 

lin & Sons, Penn Yan. Eva S. is a boarding school student, 
at Pelham Priory, New Rochelle, N. Y. 

Julia Ann Smith is the wife of Edward J. Fowle. They 
were married in the Spring of 1827, Mr. Fowle being then the 
publisher of the Yates Republican. They have had three 
daughters, Ruth Ann, Sophia, and Julia S., who died young. 
Ruth Ann is the wife of John J. Wise, and Sophia is the wife 
of Joshua L. Andrews, a farmer of Milo. 

Mary Smith married Nelson Tunnicliff, of Penn Yan. Mr. 
Tunnicliff was for many years in partnership with John D. Stew- 
art, heavily engaged in selling merchandize in Penn Yan, and 
as extensive dealers in produce. They still reside in Penn Yan, 
and have two sons, John James and George. James married 
Kate L. Burrows, of Gambia, Ohio, and is a prominent lawyer 
of the firm of Frost & Tunnicliff, at Galesburg, Illinois. George 
is appointment clerk of Gov. John T. Hoffman, in the Execu- 
tive Chamber at Albany. 

Sophia H. was the first wife of Eli Sheldon. 

Emily T. married Augustus Stewart, then a merchant of 
Penn Yan, now a farmer in Benton, on Flat street, where Per- 
ley Dean was the original settler. She is dead. Their child- 
ren were Frederick, Helen, George and Henry *Clay. Frederick 
married Hattie Smith, of Syracuse. She died leaving a daugh- 
ter, Hattie, Frederick is a dentist at Ithaca. Helen and 
Henry Clay reside on the homestead with their father, and the 
daughter of Frederick. 

Susan T. Smith was an engaging young lady, and died in 
1839, at the age of nineteen. 


Samuel Wise was the son of John Wise, of Columbia county. 
He married there, Lovica Newell, and about 1823 came to 
Benton, where he bought of Elisha Williams the old Thomas 
Lee farm, now owned by Guy Shaw, and resided there about 
twenty years. Zenas P. Wise, his brother, purchased a farm 
of 150 acres adjoining him on the east. They laid out a fine 
race course, partly on both farms, which for many years was 


a very popular track, and drew multitudes of people on 
various occasions to witness the races, some of which Avere 
quite memorable. The house was an important tavern in those 
days ; trainings and other gatherings were often held there. 
After selling that place, he kept the American Hotel in Penn 
Yan, about five years, after which, he resided on Flat street, and 
finally moved to New York, where he died at the age of sixty- 
four. His children were John J., Adaline, Augustus, Charlotte, 
Harriet N., Nancy and Mary. 

John J. kept a hotel in New York for some time. He is now 
a hardware merchant in Penn Yan, and postmaster. He mar- 
ried Maria, daughter of Wm. H. Stark. She died leaving two 
children, William and Harriet M. He has a second wife, Ruth 
Ann, daughter of Edward J. Fowle, and they have a daughter, 

Adaline married Benjamin B. Stark. They moved west, 
where he died, leaving a large family. 

Augusta married Alvin Winants. 

Charlotte married William T. Scott, formerly president of 
the old Bank of Geneva, and now cashier of the First Na- 
tional Bank of that place. She died leaving two children, 
Frances and William. 

Harriet N. married Elisha W. Fargo, who is a commission 
merchant in New York, and resides in Brooklyn. Their child- 
ren are Julia and George. 

Nancy died unmarried, in Benton. 

Mary married Edwin Hyatt, a commission merchant in New 
York, also residing in Brooklyn. Their children are Harriet, 
George and Caroline. 


Joseph Guthrie was born in the city of New York, in 1784. 
His father died while he was a child, and his mother took 
him to the province of New Brunswick, where he grew to man- 
hood, and married Eleanor Grant, who died leaving two sur- 
viving children that reached adult age, Jane and Eleanor. He 
afterwards returned to New York, removed thence to Dutchess 



county, and thence to Benton, in 1819. He settled at Benton 
Centre, where he married Rhoda, daughter of Ezra M. Cole. 
He was both a shoemaker and a farmer, and for two years kept a 
tavern on the south-west corner at Benton Centre. Not relish- 
ing that business, he abandoned it and pursued his former avoca- 
tions. He died in 1861, and his widow still survives. The 
children of the second marriage were Henry A., Oliver P., Jo- 
seph O, Rhoda A., John C, Horace C. and Myron A. Henry 
A. married Harriet, daughter of Josiah Young, of Benton, in 
January, 1 870, and resides at Benton Centre, a farmer. 

Oliver P. married Mary, daughter of Nahum Rugg, of Potter, 
and resides at Benton Centre. He is a tailor, and is now en- 
gaged as a merchant. He is town clerk and postmaster. He 
owns and resides on the property lately owned by John PI. 
Haight. They have two surviving children, Henry W. and 
Edward F. 

Joseph married Mary McDowell, of. Barrington, and is a 
merchant at Warsaw, in that town. They have a daughter, 

Rhoda A. married George A. Ringer, of Dresden. They 
reside at Watkins, N. Y. Their children are Clarence, Susan 
A., John, Willie and Emma. 

John C. went to California in 1850, and died after returning 
home, unmarried. 

Horace C. is a book and Stationery dealer in Penn Yan. He 
married Albina Benedict, of Schoharie, N. Y. They have one 
son, Charles. 

Myron married Louisa Robinson, of Watkins, where he is a 
mercantile clerk. He was a soldier in the 148th regiment, en- 
listing in 1862, and serving till the end of the war. 

Of the children of Joseph Guthrie by the first marriage, Jane 
married, Horace Holmes, of. Benton. He was a merchant at 
Warsaw, in Barrington, several years, and emigrated thence to 
Three Rivers, Michigan, where he died. His widow resides at 

Eleanor married James G. Bailey, of Barrington. They emi- 


grated to Macon, Lenawee county, Michigan, where she died, 
leaving two son.*, Joseph and Martin. 


Among those who escaped the massacre by Indians and To- 
ries in 1778, in the ill-fated Valley of Wyoming, was a Mr. 
Fox, who left the burning fort and swam the river, while his 
wife and two or three children, unknown to him, escaped by 
some other means. They resided some years after in Pennsyl- 
vania, where he died. She came with her children, seven 
in number, to what is now Benton, in 1800, and lived near the 
Centre many years. The children were Worthy, Althea, Fully, 
Brentha, Lee, Phineas and Chauncey. Worthy mairied Elijah 
Clark, son of Col. William Clark, the pioneer of Naples. Al- 
thea married Salmon Hull, son of Eliphalet Hull. Polly mar- 
ried Mr. Davidson, one of the earliest residents of Rochester. 
Brentha married a Mr. Wright, and the two families of Wright 
and Davidson were afterwards settlers on what was known in 
Genesee county as "The Triangle." Lee married Cyntha 
Wadsworth, of Pot f er. Phineas married Fanny Lennox, of 
Benton, and moved to Michigan. Chauncey married Rosana 
Lennox, sister of Fanny, and also moved to Michigan. Mrs. 
David Botsford, of the Waverly House, Rochester, and David 
B. Hull, of Buffalo, are her grand-children. 


On the 14th of July, 1801, at the end of a voyage of seven 
weeks from Glasgow, the families of Thomas Robinson, Thomas 
Robinson, jr., John Renwn-k, George Gri.y, Robert Stratighan 
ham, Mr. Cowin, and Adam Crozier, senior, landed in New 
York, all but the Cowin family on their way to what has since 
been known as the English Settlement in the town of Seneca, 
where they had been preceded two or three years, by Edward 
Stokoe, Mathew and John Robinson, Edward Birrell, and 
George Renwick. From New York they continued their water 
passage to Albany, and after a land carriage to Schenectady, 
took a boat, which conveyed them in three weeks more to Ge- 
neva. The boat was tediously propelled by poling, except in 


passing from Wood's Creek to Oneida Lake, and across the 
lake. Down the small stream passing into the lake, they 
floated by means of dams, which were drawn off as each was 
reached, to make a sufficient volume of water to carry the boat. 
A sail was used to cross the lake, but a storm carried it away 
and greatly imperiled their lives. But they effected their pas- 
sage, passed into the Oswego river, thence into the Seneca, and 
followed it to Geneva. At Seneca Falls they had to unload 
their boat, and reload above the rapids. 

Adam Crozier, senior, was a Scotch shepherd, born in 1751. 
He married Isabella lien wick, in 1780. She was of Scotch and 
English descent, and was born in 1759. After their marriage 
they lived in one of the northern counties of England, where 
six of their children were born. Upon arriving in Seneca, they 
lived in a house with another family, until a house was pro- 
vided on what is now the Vartie farm near Hall's Corners. 
Before winter, however, they took up their residence on the 
farm where George Crozier, their son, now lives, in Seneca, 
and where no improvement had then been made. Their dom- 
icil was a log structure, with a hole cut in one side for a door, 
and another for a window, which was unprovided with glass. 
The fire-place had no back but the logs. The fire was built on 
the ground, and a stick chimney conducted the smoke from the 
upper floor upwards. In such a tenement as this they passed 
the winter. In the spring, the logs back of the fire were nearly 
burned through. How they escaped burning up may well be 
regarded as a puzzle. In the same house they lived several 
years, and until the front part of the house now standing on the 
premises was built. 

In 1817, Adam Crozier, senior, purchased of Samuel Colt 
and Ezra Cole, for $1,774, the farm on lot 51, in Benton, where 
Adam Crosier, jr., now lives. After the purchase, John Ren- 
wick and family lived on it, and also George Crozier and wife. 
Adam Crozier moved on it in the spring of 1821, and has since 
resided there. Adam Crozier, senior, died in 1829, in his sev- 
enty-eighth year. His wife survived him till 1853, reaching 



the remarkable age of ninety-four years. At the time of her 
death her children were all living, the eldest seventy-two, and 
the youngest fifty years old. Their children were Robert, 
George, Margaret, Elizabeth, Adam, Isabella, John and Elea- 
nor, twins, born in America, in 1803. Robert, the eldest, born 
in 1781, married Eleanor Stokoe, and moved in 1818 to South- 
ern Indiana, about forty miles below the falls of the Ohio river, 
accompanied by the family of his father-in-law, Edward Stokoe. 
He still lives there, surrounded by numerous descendants, to 
the third generation. Two or three years after he moved west, 
he came all the way back on foot to visit his parents. 

George Crozier, born in 1783, married Abagail Crawford, of 
Saratoga Springs, in 1820, and resides on the old family home- 
stead, in Seneca. They have had eight children, Jefferson, 
Adam, Elizabeth, Henderson, T. Wilson, George W., Isabella and 
Mary Jane. Jefferson, born in 1821, married Helen Blodgett, 
of Gorham, in 1849. They have three sons and two daughters. 
Adam, born in 1823, married Gertrude Haug, and has two 
daughters. Elizabeth, born in 1825, married James J. McMas- 
ter, of Benton, in 1851, and died in 1869. Henderson, born in 
1827, married Sarah Ann Clark, of Seneca. They have three 
sons and a daughter. T. Wilson, born in 1830, married Matil- 
da Fiero, and has one son. George W., born in 1 835, died in 
1865, from infirmities contracted in the war. He was orderly 
sergeant in company L., of Merrill's Horse, a regiment of dra- 
goons with the army at Little Rock, Arkansas. Isabella, born 
in 1837, married Edward S. Dixon, of Hall's Corners, in 1860, 
and they have three sons. Mary Jane, born in 1840, married 
Myron C. Southerland, of Seneca. They have one son, Frank. 
Margaret, the eldest daughter of Adam Crozier, senior, born 
in 1787, married John Charlton. Their children were Thomas, 
Elizabeth, Adam, Isabella, John, Margaret, William, Anna and 
George. Thomas married Catharine Nixon. They had an 
infant son, and the three died within a day or two of each 
other, and all were buried together. Elizabeth married Samuel 
Cook. They have six children, and reside in Michigan. Adam 


married Anna Westfall. They reside at Battle Creek, Michi- 
gan. Isabella married Ezra Wilbur. They reside in Gcrham, 
and have one son. Margaret married Alvin Mead. They have 
three daughters, and live in Michigan. William married Sarah 
Hutchinson, in 1869, and lives on the homestead in Seneca. 
George married Snsan Youngs. They have two children, and 
reside in Gorham. The others died young. 

Elizabeth Crozier, born in 1793, married Thomas Wilson, of 
Seneca. Their children were Sarah, Adam, John, Mary Jane 
and Isabella. Sarah married John Wheeler, and has four chil- 
dren. Adam married Elizabeth Cool, and has three children. 
John married Catharine Burrell, and has three children. Mary 
Jane married Edward N. Hall, and has four children. Isabella 
died in 1845, at the age of seventeen. 

Adam Crozier, born in 1797, married in 1821, Amy, daughter 
of Joseph Southerland, and grand-daughter of that noted pioneer, 
David Southerland, of Potter. They have had four children, 
Elizabeth, John W., David S. and George E. Elizabeth and 
John W. died in infancy. David S., born in 1826, married 
Dolly Whitney, of Seneca Castle, in 1844. He resides on the 
homestead, and is a prominent citizen. George E., born in 
1833, married Fannie H. Becker, of Benton, in 1855. They 
have one son, Frank W., born in 1857. He also resides on the 
homestead. The farm on which Adam Crozier, jr., and his 
sons live, was willed to hi in and his brother John, in 1829, by 
their father. Adam bought his brother's interest for eleven 
hundred dollars. When first purchased, seventeen acres were 
partially cleared on the farm. George, John and Adam cleared 
the first fallow of seventeen acres, and the rest was mostly done 
by Adam, who also helped to clear a considerable portion of 
the original family homestead. 

Isabella Crozier, born in 1800, married Walter Renwick. 
They have two sons, Robert, unmarried, and John, who married 
Harriet Seeley, of Allegany county. They have two daugh- 
ters, and all live in Gorham. 

Eleanor Crozier resides in Seneca, unmarried. 

John Crozier died in Seneca, unmarried, in 1867. 




Robert Watson was an early settler in the town of Seneca. 
He was an Englishman, and was born in Northumberland, in 
1708. His wife, Jane Sinclair, was native to the same place, 
born in 1766. They were married in 1790, and afterwards 
emigrated direct to the farm where their subsequent lives were 
spent, about one mile and a half north of the Benton line, on 
the first road eastward of Benton Centre, leading north. He 
died at the age of seventy-three, and his wife at the age of 
ninety. Six of their children were born in England, and three 
in America. They were Jacob and Sarah, twins, Isabella, 
James, Robert, Foster S., Jacob, Ebenezer and Joseph. Of 
this family, but two became residents of Yates county. The 
eldset son, Jacob, was killed when a child by the fall of a tree, 
and a subsequent son took the same name. 

Foster S. Watson, born in England, in 1801, married Jane 
A. Walker, of Caledonia, N. Y., in 1838. She was a native of 
Delaware county, and was of Scotch descent. They first settled 
near Seneca Lake, and subsequently moved to his present home 
on lot 35. They have no surviving children. 

Jacob Watson, born in 1804, married Maria Shaw, of Cale- 
donia, N. Y., in 1834. They first settled on the farm now 
owned by George McMaster, and afterwards at their present 
home on lot 31, where Elisha Brown was the original settler, 
about one mile north of his brother. Their children are Will- 
iam, Henry, James, Samuel and Jane, two of whom are mar- 
ried. William married Ann E. Litchfield, daughter of Rev. 
Daniel W. Litchfield, at one time pastor of the Baptist Church 
at Benton Centre. They reside near and north of the paternal 
homestead in Benton, and have four children, Franklin, Har- 
riet, Albert and Clement. Henry Watson married Elizabeth 
Bushnell, of Columbia county, N. Y. They reside in Bar- 

Joseph Watson married Elizabeth, daughter of Joshua Mead, 
of Benton. They reside on and own the original Watson 
homestead, in Seneca. They have one surviving child, Phebe Ann. 



The first settler on the farm now owned and occupied by 
William Taylor, on the Pottertown road in south west Benton, 
was James Sherland. He was a native of Massachusetts, born 
in 1785, and married there, Maria Moore. They moved to 
Chenango county in 1812, and a year later to Penn Tan. In 
1814 they moved into the woods in Benton, where the family 
remained till 1825, when they removed to Wheeler, Steuben 
ccunty, and afterwards to Indiana, where James Sherland still 
lives, at the age of eighty-five. His first wife died in Benton, 
in 1816, leaving four children, William H., Nancy M., Nathan- 
iel M. and Luther M. He married a second wife, Lydia, daugh- 
ter of Martin Brown, senior, of Benton. 

William H. Sherland, the oldest son, born in Massachusetts 
in 180G, married Ann G. McLean. He is a skillful mechanic 
and inventor, an ingenious artificer in wood, and a successful 
grape grower. They have resided on lot 23, in No. 8, on the 
Penn Yan and Dresden road, sinoe 1832. They have two 
children, George F. and Charlotte E. The daughter is the 
wife of David S. Kidder, and they have three children, Samuel, 
Betsey and Anna. 

Nancy M. Sherland married John Wagener, and moved to 
Pennsylvania. Nathaniel M. and Luther M. were both early 
pioneers in California, from whence Luther M. returned with a 
fortune, married and settled at South Bend, Indiana, where he 


An early improvement made by David Squier, on lot 86, in 
Benton, was bought by John R. Townsend, the father of Tho- 
mas M. Townsend, now a prosperous farmer residing on lot 85, 
on the Potter road, and also owning the land of his father's first 
purchase. John R. and his brother Thomas Townsend, came to 
Benton about 1811, from Greene county. Thomas sold out and 
moved west in a few years, and John R. died in 1825, at the age 
of forty. His wife, who was Abagail Mead, of Greene county, 
is still living with her children, at the age of seventy-eight. 



Their children were Amanda, Hannah, Philinda, Susan, Tho- 
mas M. and Deborah L. Amanda married Joseph Merritt, and 
moved to Illinois, about 1850. Their children are Emerson, Ab- 
agail, Jane, Ilnldah, Philinda, Electa, Daniel, Stephen and Ed- 
win. The mother died a few years since. 

Hannah married Sheldon W. Munger, a tailor, residing- in 
Penn Yan. Their children are John, Deloss, Amanda, Mary 
and George. John is married and resides in Chicago, and 
George is married and resides in Buffalo. 

Philinda married Edward Davis, of Pultney. They reside 
near Rochester, and have six children, William, John, Albert, 
Sarah, Rosetta and Susan. 

Susan Townsend married John Wixson, a farmer of Wayne, 
Steuben county. Their children are Florence and Clarence. 

Thomas M. Townsend, born in 1821, married Sarah, daughter 
of Abram Rapelyea, of Farmer, Seneca county. He has a farm 
of two hundred and eighty acres, including the premises first 
owned by his father, and his uncle, Thomas Townsend. Their 
children are Abram R., Sarah A. and Thomas I. Abram R. is 
a student of Cornell University. 

Deborah L. is the wife of John P. Scofield, of Benton. Their 
children are Arthur, Herbert and Hattie. 


Ezra Cole was a local preacher of the Methodist faith, when 
he first came to Benton, and held meetings in the barn, of Levi 
Benton, in the summer of 1792. The Philadelphia Conference 
of 1795, framed a district with four circuits, Northumberland, 
Wyoming, Tioga and Seneca Lake, Valentine Cook, Presiding 
Elder. Seneca Lake circuit extended from Onondaga county to 
Canandaigua Lake, and from Lyons to the head of Seneca and 
Cayuga Lakes. Ezra Cole attended the Philadelphia Conference 
of 1793, and on his return a class was organized, consisting of 
himself and wife, Eliphalet Hull and wife, George Wheeler, jr., 
and wife, Mathew Cole, Lois Cole, Delila Cole, and Mrs. Sarah 
Buell, mother of David H. Buell. Eliphalet Hull was the first 
class leader, and George Wheeler, jr., succeeded him. James 


Smith was the preacher on the Seneca Lake circuit. The second 
and third Quarterly Meetings of the circuit were held in the log 
house of Eliphalet Hull, who then lived on Flat street, near the 
present residence of Orrin Shaw. This class was the first Meth 
odist Society of western New York, and after the Friends, the 
first religious organization within the boundaries of Yates 
county. Meetings for preaching and prayer were held at the 
house of George Wheeler, jr., and quarterly meetings and other 
large gatherings in his barn. Rev. William Colbert visited 
Seneca Lake circuit in November, 1793. In his journal he says: 
"Nov. 18, I preached in Geneva, at the house of Mr. Anning. 
Nov. 19, Smith, Cole and myself were well used at the house of 
Mr. Manning, where we lodged last night," This was James 
Smith, in charge of the Seneca Lake circuit, and Ezra Cole. 
Mr. Cole did not long continue a preacher. The iron strictness 
of early Methodism did not agree with his views of life, and he 
gradually fell away from the faith. In 1794, Al ward White was 
preacher on Seneca Lake circuit, and Thornton Fleming Presid- 
ing Elder. This Jerusalem, afterwards Vernon church, was , 
part of the Seneca Lake circuit till 1806. The preachers were, 
in 1795, Joseph Whitby, John Lackey; 1796, Hamilton Jeffer- 
son, Anning Owen; 1797, Anning Owen, Johnson Dunham; 
1798, Jonas Stokes, Richard Lyons; 1799, Johathan Bateman, 
who located the next year and married Delila, daughter of Ezra 
Cole ; 1800, David Dunham, Benjamin Bidlack ; 1801, David 
James, Josiah Wilkinson; 1802, Smith Weeks, John Billings; 
1803, Griffin Sweet, Sharon Booth ; 1804, Roger Barton, Syl- 
vester Hill; 1805, Thomas Smith, Charles Giles. The Presid- 
ing Elders diu-ing this time were, Valentine Cook, Thomas 
Moore, Freeborn Garretson, William McLanahan, William Col- 
bert, and Joseph Jewell, jr. May 1796, at George Wheeler, jr's., 
Rev. Valentine Cook held a quarterly meeting. It is said that 
on these occasions every board in the floor of the house accom- 
modated a lodger, and "field beds," probably little more than 
the floor itself, were offered for their repose. The people flocked 
to these meetings from long distances, sometimes thirty to forty 


miles. At this meeting in 1796, Polly and Anna Chambers, 
aged respectively fourteen and sixteen years, came from Bath on 
foot, traveling the Indian trail along the lake. They reached a 
log tavern at the place now known as Kenka Landing, jnst at 
dusk, and were there overtaken by their brother. They were 
kindly entertained, the mistress of the house being an acquaint- 
ance of their father. The next night they stayed at the house of 
Robert Chissom, after crossing the outlet at the foot of the lake 
on floating logs and fallen trees. Anna Chambers afterwards 
became the wife of David Briggs, and the mother of William S. 
Briggs, the present judge and surrogate of Yates county ; and 
Polly Chambers became the wife of Alexander Nichols. 

In 1797, Rev. William Colbert preached in this region, and 
his public journal speaks of a quarterly meeting and love feast 
at the house of David Benton, in Seneca, and of being enter- 
tained at the house of Ezra Cole, also at Squire Parker's, (James 
Parker, no doubt,) and of preaching at Mr. Parker's, and at the 
Townsend school house. He relates that in riding from Elijah 
Townsend's to Michael Pearce's, in Middlesex, he encountered 
a thunder storm that was truly alarming. The wind and rain 
were so blinding he could not see the trees falling around him. 
The Lyons circuit was formed in 1806, and Lawrence Riley was 
the preacher in charge, followed the next year by James Kelsev 
and George McCracken. In 1807, a meeting house was erected 
on the corner of the farm of George Wheeler, jr., now owned by 
Mason L. Baldwin, one mile south of Benton Centre. This was 
the first meeting house erected within the boundaries of Yates 
county, after the log meeting house of the Friends, near City Hill. 
A Genesee conference w r as formed in 1809, and a Crooked Lake 
circuit in 1814. The preachers until 1825 included such names 
as Benjamin Bidlack, Benjamin G. Paddock, George Harmon, 
Palmer Roberts, William Snow, James Gilmore, Reuben Farley, 
Jasper Bennett, Ralph Lanning, Loren Grant, John Baggerly, 
William J. Kent, and Robert Parker. Reuben Farley became 
a dissenter from the Trinitarian creed, and joined the Christians. 
He was a man of talent, and wielded so much influence, that the 


Methodist society at the Centre was greatly weakened. But 
preaching was kept up, and in the winter of 1825-6, there was a 
revival, and Dr. John L. Cleveland, and Joseph Guthrie and 
wife joined the class. In 1828, the Benton circuit was formed, 
and by the joint efforts of the class at the Centre, the class at 
Y oak's, and another in the south-west part of the town, a meet- 
ing house was erected at Havens' Corners, one mile west of the 
Centre, which became an important appointment, A parsonage 
was bought a little north of the church, in 1833. The trustees 
of the church in 1833, were William Scofield, Hubbell Gregory, 
Henry Collin, Martin Brown, and "William Rector. The preach- 
ers from 1825 to 1833, were Denison Smith, Nathan B. Dod- 
son, Jacob Early, Jonas Dodge, R. M. Everts, C. Strong, Israel 
Chamberlain, Calvin S. Coats, Ira Fairbanks, William Jones, and 
Allen Steele. 

The church at Benton Centre was built in 1855, with a steeple, 
and provided with a bell. After this there was no more preach- 
ing at Havens' Corners. 

The circuit preachers and presiding elders until 1841, when 
Benton Centre became a station, were Ira Fairbanks, Orrin F. 
Comfort, William Osband, Friend Draper, Jonathan Burton, 
Asbury Lowrey, Zenas J. Buck, Abner Chase, Joseph Jewell, 
James Herron, Jonathan Heustis, George Low, Robert Burch, 
J. Hemmingway, Manley Tooker, J. W. Nevins, David Nutten, 
F. G. Hibbard, Moses Crow, J. H. Kellogg, J. K. Tuttle, A. 
Southerland, J. G. Gulick, T. B. Hudson. Among the preachers 
since that time have been Robert Parker, Asa Adams, Nathan 
Fellows, James Dunham, E. Latimer, Ralph Clapp, Luther 
Northway, E. H. Cranmer, J. M. Bull, Delos Hutchins, A. S. 
Baker, D. Leisenring, Charles Z. Case, and Samuel McGerald, 
now serving. 

A notable camp meeting was held on the Benton Centre 
charge in 1855, commencing September 12th. On the 14th and 
15th, it rained nearly all the time. Saturday the 17th was a 
pleasant day, followed at night by a memorable thunder storm. 
The rain fell like a deluge, the lightnings kept up a constant 


and terrific blaze, and the thunders echoed with an unceasing 
roar. The scene was at once awful and sublime. As the storm 
rolled past, the light of four burning buildings, kindled by light- 
ning, could be seen from the camp ground. The next day being 
Sunday, the camp ground was thronged by an immense crowd 
of people. On Monday, wiiile all was still, a large oak tree fell 
a few rods from the camp ; where, had it fallen the day before, 
it would have crushed a number of teams, and probably persons. 
From the 14th to the 20th, it is said the volume of water that 
fell, was two feet in depth, making frightful floods, and raising 
the lakes and streams almost beyond precedent. 

In 1859, the church was remodled and much improved. Dr. 
Wemple H. Crane, George B. Stanton, and Homer Mariner, 
serving as building committee. The latest board of trustees is 
Ebenezer Scofield, Homer Mariner, George B. Stanton, Harrison 
Hyatt, and Daniel Millspaugh. The board of Stewards is Eben- 
ezer Scofield, Homer Mariner, Edwin Lamport, William Best, 
Dr. W. H. Crane, James Carroll, George B. Stanton, Oliver P. 
Guthrie, and Gains Truesdell. 


Henry Oxtoby invited local ministers of the Methodist faith 
to preach at Bellona, in 1805, and they held meetings in the log- 
school house. In 1809 a preaching place was established there, 
and Benjamin Bidlack and Samuel Rowley, preachers of the 
Lyons circuit, Susquehanna district, visited them, and preached 
in their regular rounds, each once in four weeks. Mr. Bidlack 
was a preacher of note, who, previous to his conversion Avas an 
intemperate man. He was a fine singer, and aided in starting 
the tunes at the meetings, sometimes when too much intoxicated 
to stand on his feet. He was converted under the preaching of 
Rev. Anthony Turck, and became himself an efficient pioneer 
preacher. He was a tall, strong, broad-shouldered man, of large 
proportions, and a man of great physical energy. He died in 
1843, at the age of eighty-seven. He formed the first class at 
Bellona in 1809. Henry Oxtoby, Jacob Wood, John Davis, and 
their wives, E. Mather, William Pettit, and others were mem- 


bers of this class, and Jacob Wood was the first class leader. 
His successors have been Thomas Griswold, James Hitchcock, 
William Watkins, Oliver Pettibone, and Henry A Coleman. In 
1810, a meeting house was raised, and the frame enclosed, twen- 
ty-eight by thirty-six feet in dimensions, on the hill a little north 
of the village. For some years the society worshipped in this 
house without any regular floor or desk, with slab benches for 
seats, and a carpenter's bench for a pulpit. The house was fin- 
ished in 1820. The preachers who served at Benton Centre, 
also preached at Bellona, until each was made a separate charge. 
In 1841, a new church was erected, thirty-six by fifty-six feet on 
the ground, surmounted by a steeple, and furnished with a fine 
toned bell. This was centrally located in the village. Henry R. 
Coleman, Summers Banks, J. W. Wood, George Waite, and 
Charles Coleman were the trustees and building committee. In 
1843, Bellona was made a separate charge, and Seth Mattison 
was the first stationed preacher. The subsequent preachers have 
been E. Hitchcock, D. F. Parsons, D. Ferris, A. Plumly, J. Ed- 
son, A. E. Chubbuck, D. Crow, Ralph Clapp, J. E. Hyde, A. G. 
Laman, E. Latimer, Nathan Fellows, J. H. Day, James Land- 
reth, and Charles L. Brown. In 1866, the church was much en- 
larged, and a fine stone basement placed under the entire building, 
which was finished in an elegant and attractive manner, making 
it a neat, commodious church. The building committee were 
Charles Coleman, Summers Banks, C. Lazenby, J. H. Huie, 
George H. Banks, William Barnes, and George H. Brooks. 

The most efficient contributors towards the erection of the first 
church edifice in 1810, were Henry Oxtoby, John Coleman, and 
Joshua Dunbar, a colored man. Robert Patterson was the 
builder. This society has had numerous and marked revivals 
during its history, and it has a strong and flourishing organiza 


Deacon Samuel G. Gage, who had a special taste for histori- 
cal accuracy, and authentic records, was clerk of the Baptist 
church at Benton Centre, about eighteen years, beginning in 


1847. He made a careful and studied research into the origin 
of that church, and stated that there was good reason to be- 
lieve it was constituted in 1797, but that that there was no 
extant record of a date earlier than 1800. The first record that 
remains, is an account of the ordination of Elder John Goff, 
which took place on the 12th of November, 1800. Elder Goff 
had previovsly lived in Frederickstown, now Wayne, and had 
visited the people at Benton Centre, then Jerusalem, and 
preached for them. A council was called, consisting of Elder 
Ephraim Sanford, from Frederickstown, John Trimmer, from 
Canandaigua, Elder Jonathan Finch and Jeremiah McLouth, 
from Farmington, Abner Hill and Abram Spear, from Palmyra, 
and Jesse Warren from Phelps. The meeting was held in the 
log school house at the Centre, and the ordination sermon was 
preached by Elder Finch, from Farmington. The same eve- 
ning, Elder Goff received the unanimous call of the church to 
become its pastor, an office he filled for thirty-six years. At 
the same time two of the members, David Southerland and 
Moses Finch, were elected deacons. David Southerland was 
also licensed to preach, and served as a minister within the 
circuit of his acquaintance in various neighborhoods as oppor- 
tunity offered, and his public and private cares permitted. 
During the month following his ordination, Elder Goff held 
meetings at the house of Anna Wagener, the Friend, in Jeru- 
salem, which resulted in a number of conversions, including 
Mrs. Martha Cole, the mother of Mrs. Samuel C. Cage. In 
1801, this church passed a resolution adopting the Bible as the 
only standard of faith and practice. In 1802, after a faithful 
effort at correction, they expelled Mrs Phebe Smith, for intem- 
perance. Elder Simon Sutherland was licensed to preach by 
the Benton, then Vernon church, in 1803. There were numer- 
ous revivals under the preaching of Elder Goff during his ser- 
vice with this church, and it is believed that he baptised not less 
than three hundred, persons, although there is a record of but 
one hundred and fifty-eight in existence. He was a plain, 
faithful preacher, and sometimes held his congregation during 


a discourse of three hours, an evidence of remarkable patience 
on the part of his hearers. His honesty and sincerity of char- 
acter gave him a strong hold upon the people, not only of his 
church, but the community at large. No doubt his unaffected 
goodness of heart, and genial social qualities, added to his pop- 
ularity. He married a widow Johnson, old enough to have 
been his mother ; indeed his mother attended the first wedding 
of Mrs. Johnson, carrying her son John in her arms, a mere 
infant. Roxana Goff, their only child, married Henry Ander- 
son, of Benton, and emigrated to Michican. Elder Gofi* con- 
tinued his ministrations at Benton Centre until 1836, when he 
moved to Michigan, where he continued to preach for many 
years, and died in 1861, upwards of ninety. He remarked on 
leaving Benton, that he had done all the good he could there. 
" I will go," said he, "into a new country, collect a flock and 
preach to them as I have done here, in barns, log dwellings 
and log school houses." He was very firm in the technical 
faith of his church, and remarkable for the prolixity of his ser- 
vices. His funeral discourses were usually two hours in length, 
and marriage ceremonies were extended to forty-five minutes. 
And at an early day when clergymen were few and far between, 
he had many calls to join the living in wedlock, and bury the 
dead. It may well be admitted that all joined heartily iD his 
final Amen. 

After the departure of Elder Gofi", the church was two years 
without a pastor, and in 1838, Elder Elias Burdick was called 
to that position, and held it # twD years ; William H. Delano in 
1840, and served four years; John W. Wiggins in 1845, and 
served two years; Daniel W. Litchfield in 1847, and was the 
pastor four years. In 1851, Elder Almon C. Mallory was con- 
stituted the pastor of the church, and has held the position 
nineteen years, still serving with great acceptability. During 
the seventy-three years since the organization of this church, it 
has been six years without a pastor, three years of which time 
were the first years of its existence, 

Among the earlier members of the church were Samuel Buell, 


grandfather of David II. Buell, and Samuel Buell, now citizens 
of Benton, Moses Finch, one of the first deacons, William Gil- 
bert, David Riggs, David Southerland, a minister and a deacon, 
and an eminent pioneer of Augusta now Potter, Benjamin 
Fowle, Dennis Dean, an early school teacher, Isaac Lain, sen 
ior, Simon Sutherland, Joseph Southerland, Smith Mapes, 
Isaac Whitney, Elisha Benedict, Ephraim Kidder. The first 
appointment of delegates to an association was in 1803, but 
there is no record of the name of the association, nor the place 
of its meeting. David Biggs was elected deacon in 1805. 
Among the prominent members after 1810, were Benjamin 
Dean, Buckbee Gage, Robert Watson, Samuel Raymond, David 
Kidder, Jesse Brown, Jonathan Brown, and Stephen Wilkins. 
Robert Watson was elected deacon in 1819, and served until 
his death in 1841. He was also elected clerk in 1822. He 
was the father of Deacon Joseph Watson, and has three sons, 
one daughter, and seven grand children, including Robert Tel- 
ford, now a missionary in Siam, who are respected and useful 
members of this church After 1820, among the leading mem- 
bers were Stephen Coe, David Holmes, David Trimmer, John 
L. Swarthout, Heman Chapman, James Southerland, Joel Jil- 
lett, Charles Jillett, Jacob Watson, Henry Nutt. David Holmes 
was elected Deacon in 1822, and filled the office nineteen 
years. He is spoken of as an estimable man. He died in 1841. 
Jacob Watson was elected clerk in 1833. 

After 1 830, we find among the more efficient members of the 
church, Foster S. Watson, Horace Kidder, Daniel Lovejoy, 
Charles Angus, Martin Gage, John W. McAlpine, and Joseph 
Watson. Martin Gage was elected deacon in 1838, Charles 
Angus and John W. McAlpine in 1841, and Joseph Watson in 
1849. After 1840, among the prominent members are Samuel 
GG. age, George R. Barden, John Church, James Southerland, 
David S. Croziei", Charles and William Becker, and since 1850 
Daniel Sprague, James H. Newcomb, Zadoc B. St. John, Will- 
iam D. Swarthout, James Balls, Peter Oakley, John Truesdell, 
Walter W. Becker, James S. Williams, Walter S. Marble, and 



David Armstrong. Samuel G. Gage was elected a deacon in 
1841, and James Balls in 1856. 

In 1828, a resolution was adopted by this church, requiring 
all their brethren who were connected with the Masonic frater- 
nity, to withdraw therefrom, and refusing to fellowship Masons 
unless they renounced the institution. This rule had a strong 
influence on the church for many years. Under the preaching 
of Elder Elias Burdick there were seventy-seven baptisms in 
the church : one hundred and sixty by Elder William H. De- 
lano, and seventy-six by Elder Daniel W. Litchfield. The 
clerks of the church in the order of their service, have been : 
David Southerland, David Riggs, Jesse Young, William Gil- 
bert, Stephen Coe, James Wilkins, Jacob Watson, Horace Kid- 
der, Samuel G. Gage and David S. Crozier. 

The first house of worship was erected in 1818, a short dis- 
tance north of the East Centre road, on the next road leading 
north, eastward of Benton Centre. The Universalists contrib- 
uted towards the construction of that building and for some 
time held occasional meetings in it. The present church edifice 
at the Centre, was built in 1848, by J. L. Van Winkle, of Mos- 
cow, Livingston county, N. Y. ; and the lumber was brought 
from that town. The large timber was brought over by land, 
and the small timber and lumber came by water to Earl's 
Landing at the month of Kashong Creek. The cost of the lot, 
house and fixtures was about four thousand dollars. The build- 
ing committee were the trustees of the church, Samuel G. Gage, 
George R. Barden, James Southerland, John Church and 
Charles Gilbert. A parsonage house and lot was bought in 
1856, at a cost of $1200. A fine toned steel composition bell 
was presented to the church in 1861, by Deacon Samuel G. 
Gage. The number of members in 1865 was 205, in 1869, 208. 
The present trustees are David S. Crozier, James S. Williams 
and Walter W. Becker. 


The father of the Presbyterian church in Benton was Stephen 
Whitaker, who, within tws or three years after his first set- 


tleraent in the town, and as early as 1802, commenced holding 
prayer meetings and induced his neighbors to meet and listen to 
the reading of sermons. Occasionally a missionary would visit 
them, and one of them, John Lindsley, organized a Presbyterian 
church of sixteen members, in Stephen Whitaker's log house, 
Nov. 7, 1809. The members were Stephen Whitaker, and 
Mary, his wife ; John Armstrong, and Susannah, his wife ; John 
Hall, and Sarah, his wife ; John A. McLean, and Sarah, his wife ; 
George Armstrong, and Elizabeth, his wife ; Solomon Couch, 
William Roy, Terry Owen and wife ; William Read, and Re- 
becca, wife of Robert N. Boyd. Five days later Stephen 
Whitaker, John Hall and Solomon Couch were ordained elders, 
and the following members were added : Jonathan A. Hall, 
and Ann his wife ; Ephraim Mallory, and Ruth, his wife ; 
Waitstel Dickinson and wife ; David Morse and wife ; Mr. Wi- 
nants and Mr. McMullen. For several years they had no 
preaching except by missionaries. In 1815 Rev. Ebenezer 
Lazell began to preach as a stated supply, but no pastor was 
installed till Sept. 13, 1820, when Rev. Richard Williams be- 
came the first regular pastor of the cliurch. The committee of 
Presbytery met the day before at the house of William Babcock, 
in Penn Yan, and was constituted as follows : Rev. John Ev- 
ans, of Canandaigua, Rev. Renry Axtell, of Geneva, Rev. Jo- 
seph Merrill, of Gorham, Rev. Samuel Brace, of Phelps, Rev. 
Moses Young, of Romulus, and Elder Moses Hall, of Geneva. 
Mr. Williams preached half of the time in a log house near the 
spot where the church was afterwards erected, and the other 
half in a dilapidated school house in Penn Yan. In 1821, the 
society commenced the erection of a house of worship on the 
rising ground east of Spencer's Corners, which they occupied 
about fifteen years, when they purchased the Dutch Reformed 
church edifice in Belloua, which they enlarged and improved, 
and still occupy. This church was taken under the care. of the 
Presbytery of Geneva in 1825. In 1825 it numbered fifty-five 
members; in 1832, one hundred and twenty-five; in 1843, one 
hundred and seventy-nine ; in 1846, one hundred and sixty- 


eight. Rev. R' chard Williams officiated as pastor till 1825, 
when he was succeeded by Rev. Alfred E. Campbell. In 1827, 
l.e was succeeded by Rev. William Todd, since a missionary 
in India. In 1830, Rev. Stalham Clary succeeded as a stated 
supply, and preached until his decease, in 1831. Rev. Michael 
Carpenter followed as pastor in 1832, and continued one year. 
He was followed by Rev. Mr. Ingersol, and he by Rev. William 
Johnson, who served from 1834 to 1837. He was followed 
by Rev. William W. Backus, who continued until late in the 
year 1839. Rev. Alfred Eddy followed, and was installed pas- 
tor in 1841, remaining about ten years. Rev. Benjamin M. 
Goldsmith was settled as pastor of the church in 1852, having 
preached two years previously as a stated supply, and he is the 
pastor still, maintaining a strong hold upon the respect and con- 
fidence of his congregation, and all who share his acquaintance. 
There was a revival in this church in 1826, which added 
quite a number to its connexion. Another in 1831 added about 
thirty. In 1837 twenty-three were added by another revival, 
and forty-two more by a revival in 1840. It has always been a 
self-supporting church, and is now a wealthy and influential 
organization. It has been the mother of two others, one at 
Penn Yan, and the other at West Dresden. 

The congregational organization of this church was effected 
June 17, 1816. After due notice, "a meeting of the male 
members" was held on that day at the house of Stephen Whit- 
aker, at which three trustees were elected, and a name adopted, 
"The First Presbyterian Congregation of the town of Benton." 
The trustees chosen were Jonathan Whitaker, William Roy, 
and Waitstel Dickinson. The certificate of organization was 
acknowledged before Judge John Nicholas, July 8, 1816, and 
recorded the 8th of April, 1817. 

The initial steps for a church edifice were taken at a meeting 
held January 25, 1821. It was decided to circulate subscrip- 
tions " to obtain funds to build a Presbyterian ohurch on the 
height of ground north of the road, opposite to John Johnson's 
barn." The location thus specified was in the lot now known 


as theM ount Pleasant Cemetery, on the southwest corner of 
lot 12 of No. 8. The work was begun in less than one month. 
Niram Crane was the builder, and the church members and 
other citizens lent such aid to the work by their labor and 
other contributions as their means and liberality prompted. 
The house contained forty pews on the ground floor, and 
twenty-eight in the galleries. The date of its completion is 
not clearly ascertained. The regular services were transfered 
to the Bellona church in January, 1839. The latter edifice was 
enlarged, and the whole interior remodled in 1850. The 
ruling elders of the church since the first chosen in 1809, have 
been William Roy and Jonathan A. Hall, chosen in 1817; John 
Hatmaker, M. D., Henry Snapp, Amzi Bruen and Josiah Ja- 
cobus, in 1821 ; Jonathan Whitsiker, Moses Munn and Silas 
Lacey, in J825 ; Cornelius Hood, Henry L. Bush, and William 
L. Mitchell, in 1838 ; Eli Wood, Ashahel Clark, M. D., Philip 
Rupert, and Horace B. Taylor, in 1840 ; James M. Pow,* in 
1841 ; Squier B. Whitaker,* Hiram Ansley, John K. Crom- 
well,* in 185G; Alexander B. Sloan,* M. D., Augustus T. 
Barnes,* Jacob I. Denman, and Christopher Spinkj in 1869. 
It will be noted that the continuity of Stephen Whitaker's in- 
fluence has not been broken from the first, in this church. Its 
pious founder in the pioneer period, he has been worthily repre- 
sented in its labors and its councils by his son, Jonathan Whit- 
aker, and by his Grandson, Squier B. Whitaker, now one of 
its ruling elders. Rev. Andi-ew Oliver, Rev. James South worth, 
and Rev. Prince Hawes, are mentioned in the records as tran- 
sient missionary laborers with this church, in its earlier years. 
Its average membership for thirty years has been upwards of 
one hundred and fifty. The old Cemetery connected with the 
church has been set apart as a public burial ground under the 
laws of the State, and is still used for burial of the dead. Ma- 
ny of the older residents have been interred there. 


In 1833, Rev. Mr. Mandeville, of Geneva, organized a church 

' Members of the Session at the present time. 


of the Dutch Reformed denomination at Bellona, of which the 
original members were Jacob Meserole and wife, William 
Bloomer and wife, A. J, Batten and wife, Alexander Holliday 
and Mrs. John L. Bush. Jacob Meserole and John Pembroke 
built the church at their own expense in 1?33, for which the 
sale of the pews nearly re-imbursed them. Hubbell Gregory, 
of Benton Centre, was the builder. Mr. Pembroke withdrew, 
and Lodowick Bash took hold in his place. The deacons and 
elders forming the Consistory were Messrs. Meserole, Batten, 
Bloomer and Holliday. The church numbered over one hund- 
red members at one time, and about sixty when the organiza- 
tion was broken up. The first pastor was Rev. Charles Walk, 
of Pennsylvania, who remained about four years. Rev. Mr. 
Ivison was his successor, and remained two years. In 1839, 
the church edifice was sold to the Presbyterian church of Ben- 
ton, and the members and congregation were chiefly merged 
in that organization. When the building was afterwards en- 
larged, it was mainly at the expense of Mr. Meserole, who was 
again reimbursed by the sale of the pews, sixteen of which were 
added by the enlargement. Charles V. Bush, of Penn Yan, 
was the builder. 

It will be seen by the foregoing sketch of church history in 
Banton, that the Methodists, with their admirable system of 
itinerancy, were the first to sow the seeds of religious tftought 
among the log cabins of the pioneers. Their preachers were 
men adapted to their work. They made the wilderness ring 
with their admonitions and exhortations, by which the people 
were greatly swayed, and the church enlarged Their ablest 
men penetrated to the remotest recesses of civilization. Men 
like Valentine Cook and William Colbert, were no common char- 
acters. They were men of ability, learning and eloquence, and 
they had many colleagues in their work, of whom as much 
could be said. Their glowing earnestness w is imparted to 
their adherents, and Methodism was everywhere known as the 
religion of zeal and enthusiasm. Their classes were large, their 
meetings fervent. Camp meetings were very popular with the 


Methodists of the early time, and were occasions of great 

The Baptists made a very early beginning in Benton, and 
have held their ground with great success. The same may be 
said of the Presbyterians of East Benton. The Free Will 
Baptists had many early adherents, but no organization in 
that town of which any record remains. The Christians, who 
could perhaps be more sharply defined as Unitarians, had some 
strength for a time, and disorganized other denominations, es- 
pecially the Methodists, to a considerable degree, have passed 
away from Benton, and left but little impress. 

Levi Benton, the first settler of the town was a Universalist, 
and was forward to promote the fortunes of that faith, which 
has had numerous adherents in that town, as well as still more 
liberal forms of free thinking. The Universalist society of 
Vernon organized in 1808, had among its trustees the celebra- 
ted George Hosmer, of Hartford (now Avon), the father of the 
poet Wm. H. C. Hosmer. He was a leading lawyer of his day, 
and a judge of Ontario county. Other leading men in the 
various towns of the broad old county of Ontario were num- 
bered among its trustees. But Levi Benton was evidently its 
leading spirit, and among the people of his town Universalism 
had a strong hold. They had frequent meetings, and among 
their earlier preachers were Dr. Michael Coffin, Rev. Mr. Mur- 
ray, Rev. Mr. Fisk, and others, able men. The leaven of this 
influence is still palpable in that town. But for some reason, 
men that have a hell to shun work with more zeal and efficiency 
for the advancement of their faith, than those who see no ter- 
rors beyond the grave. The consequence has been that the 
Universalists have nothing in the form of church organization 
to show as the fruit of their eai-ly start and large advantages at 
an early period in Benton. The ground is occupied by those 
who preach a radically different faith. 


Incidentally some mention has already been made of the 
earlier teachers, and little more remains that can be added. 


Schools have been permanent and generally well sustained, but 
school teachers have been mostly transient, and not well re- 
membered. Eliphalet Hull was the first teacher. The old log 
school house which stood on the highway near the present 
Baptist church, was first opened for a winter school ; in just 
what year no one remembers, but before 1800. From the log 
houses for two miles or more around, the young people and 
little ones gathered to be taught to read and write and spell, 
and Ct cypher." Perhaps no log structure of its kind performed 
a grander service in its day, than did this unpretending school 
house. It was dedicated to its benificent purpose by " grand- 
father Hull," whose children's children were among his pupils. 
The same building, with its four little windows, one door, and 
huge fire-pkce, was also a house of worship for many years, fjr 
the Methodists, the Baptists, Universalists, and others, though 
private houses were much used for religious meetings. The 
second teacher was John Coats ; the third, Titus V. Mun- 
son ; the fourth, Ezra Rice, the worthy son-in-law of Levi Ben- 
ton. The first summer school was taught by Ruth Pritchard, 
of the Friend's Society. She was brought to the house of Cy- 
rus Buell, where she boarded, by Richard Smith. She was a 
teacher of no little note in her day, and continued to teach for 
years after she became the wife of Justus P. Spencer. Olivia 
Smith taught a summer school in 1801, and her sister Clara 
taught a school the same season in the Tubbs district, the first 
one there. Then followed John L. Lewis, and after him Na- 
than P. Cole, Ezra Rice, Walter Wolcott, Elisha Woodworth, 
Calvin Fargo, Joseph Benton, and an Irishman whose name is 
not remembered. Mrs. Sarah Knapp taught many years at her 
own house, where the late Samuel G. Gage afterwards resided. 
James Wilkins, James Winkler, Gurdon Badger, and others 
followed. The most distinguished among these was John L. 
Lewis. Some of the incidents of his career in that locality are 
so well described by David II. Buell, that we quote from him : 
" I will recall one other reminiscence of the olden times, for I 
love to dwell upon the scenes of my youth, with the friends of my 


youth, in those happy, primitive days, as it seems to be identi- 
fied with the old Benton home. In the spring of 1802, a young 
man by the name of John L. Lewis, some twenty years of age, 
came to Squire Benton's in company with and recommended 
by Capt. Thomas Howard, from the Gore, as a good school 
teacher. The young man proposed to teach the Centre school. 
He being a graduate of Yale, it seemed a good show of ability. 
Squire Benton introduced him to my father, Uncle Ezra Cole, 
Uncle Perley Dean, Uncle Daniel Brown, Squire Wood worth, 
and other neighbors. The young man was employed, and 
commenced his school April 19, 1802. I well recollect that 
day. I was in my seventh year. I sat on the little boys' bench 
in the northeast corner of the house, north of the fire-place, 
which extended nearly across the east end of the old log school 
house that stood in the road about opposite the west end of the 
Baptist church shed at Benton Centre. After sitting awhile, 
my nerves became restless, and I turned my face to the logs, 
and began picking at the dry mortar between them. Master 
Lewis gently reversed my position with the remark that I 
' would appear better facing the company.' The school was 
successful, and continued three years. We lived together night 
and day the whole time, after which Master Lewis commenced 
teaching on Flat street, near the pine tree on the Patterson place. 
" The ordinary routine of the school was spiced up with many 
little pleasantries not found in the text books of Dilworth, 
Dwight or Webster. They were both pleasing and profitable, 
giving a zest to the whole never to be forgotten by Master 
Lewis' pupils of 1802 to 1805. There was one rich passage 
that occurred during the school that I will allude to, as it 
formed a marked epoch in the history of those early, happy 
years. Master Lewis ' got up' a play, a comedy brim full of 
original character, humor and fun, with many a well pointed 
moral. It embraced a good many characters, and carried the 
evenings into the large hours to complete the rehearsals, which 
frequently occurred at Squire Benton's. Joseph Benton was 
the ' Mother Fret' of the play. I can see her now with her 

plain, close cap, her sleeves rolled above the elbows, with her 



scissors and thimbles jingling in her huge pocket, as sltfi storms 
about the house, ordering ' Silas' to ' tumble the swill barrel 
up against the door, prop it up at the bottom with the lever, 
and make it tight as Bunker Hill — do you hear — budge.' The 
play finally culminated in a grand exhibition, in full costume, 
of character all through, the manager appearing in a dress coat, 
vest and pants, all of pure white dimity ; the pants were fitted 
to the ankle and foot in the form of a white stocking, enclosed 
in neat pumps of the same material. The exhibition came off 
at Uncle Cole's new ball-room, not yet quite finished, but fitted 
up expressly for the occasion, with stage, curtains, rooms, seats, 
&c, in the fall of 1804." 

This is believed to have been the first theatrical exhibition 
that had ever occurred in Ontario county, and possibly west of 
Albany. The audience were delighted, and Master Lewis' ex- 
hibition was often quoted, and once or twice re-enacted before 
the first elephant was exhibited at Zachariah Wheeler's barn, 
Head street, Penn Yan, and prior to the war of 1812. 

Many of these scholars have been prominent actors, filling 
useful positions on the stage of life. Among the scholars of 
that period were the Bentons, Woodworths, Coles, Buells, 
Hulls, Spencers, Wolcotts, Browns, Deans, Wheelers, Riggses, 
Hiltons, Gilberts, Van Campens, Hobarts, McManes, Knapps, 
Bennets, Smiths, Griswoulds, Couches, Bardens, Pearces, 
Spooners, Powers, Utters, Stevens, Sweets, Dormans, Kelseys, 
Safibrds, Posts, Rices, Ingrahams, Towers, Tubbses, Budds, 
Bottsfords, Hartwells, Foxes, Gregorys, Jaynes, Howards, &6. 

Of all that group of joyous faces, but one remains within the 
large bounds of the old Centre school district. " Like the last 
member of the annual banquet, the broken silence is only an- 
swered by the echoing walls." "Like the last leaf on the tree 
in the spring." Many rest in early graves that have been lost 
for more than half a century. A few yet remain in the wide 
world, bending, furrowed wrecks, seeking rest. 

" Back on the misty track of time by memory's flickering light, 
I see the scenes of other days light meteors in the night." 


The first school at Bellona was taught in 1805, by William 
Worlan, an Englishman, whose school was in a log house a 
little north of Bellona, on the northeast corner of the present 
farm of Firman Rapelyea. The names of subsequent teachers 
have not been given to the writer. Among others of note in 
Benton from time to time, may be mentioned Thomas J. Kev- 
ins, David H. Buell, Dauiel Gilbert, Hallet Dean, Erastus B. 
Wolcott, Heman Chapman, Luther Winants, Horace Kidder, 
Simeon Goss, Coe B. Sayre, Henry Barnes, Reuben Crawford, 
Mr. Newtown, Enos Tubbs, Joseph Bloomingdale, Richard 
Taylor, Henry S. Chapman. Henna Jewett has been a noted 
lady teacher in that town for thirty years, and is still engaged 
in that calling. 


By an act of the Legislature in 1789, the Courts of General 
Sessions in the several counties, were authorized to organize 
towns, and under this act Jerusalem and Augusta were organ- 
ized ; Jerusalem in 1792. Thomas Lee was the first supervisor, 
and the town embraced townships 7 of both the first and second 
range ; No. 8 of the first range, and all eastward of both 7 and 
8, to Seneca Lake. There is reason for stating that James 
Spencer, a brother of Truman and Elijah, was supervisor in 
1797. In 1799 Eliphalet Norris was supervisor, and Levi Ban- 
ton in 1800, Benjamin Barton in 1801, Daniel Brown, senior, an 
early settler in Jerusalem, in 1802. In 1803, Jerusalem was 
restricted to its present limits, not including Bluff Point, and 
the name of Vernon given to the rest of the old town. An 
effort was made at an early day to have a town erected to in- 
clude No. 8 alone, as the following petition to the court will 
show : 

To the Honourable, the Spfcial Court of Sessions to be held at 
Canandaigua, the 3d Tuesday in February, instant : 
The petition of many of the inhabitants of Jerusalem humbly showeth 
that whereas many of the reputable inhabitants of No. eight in the first 
Range in this town do wish to be incorporated into a town by themselves 
— and to prevent disputes and preserve friendship among us, we pray this 
Honourable Court to set off said No. eight into a separate town by the 



name of Wilton, with all the liberty and privileges which other towns 
in the State of New York have and enjoy — and your petitioners in duty 
bound will ever pray. 

February 1st. 1799. 

Griffin B. HAzaRD, 
Enoch Shearman, 
Benjamin Durham, 
Silas Hunt, 
James Parker, 
John Plympton, 
Benj. Briggs, 
william ardery, 
James Scofield, 
GeorGe Wheeler, 
Nathan Wheeler, 
Elisha Wolcott, 
Elisha Woodworth, 
Ezra Rice, 
Samuel Buell, Jr., 
Eliphalet Hull, 
Joel P. Sawyer, 
Daniel Stull, 
Daniel Brown, 
Perley Dean, 
Francis Dains. 
Jesse Dains, 

Joshua Andrews, 
Levi Benton, 
Enos Fuller, 
Silas H. Mapes, 
Smith Mapes, 
Dyer Woodworth, 
Otis Barden, 


John Knapp, 
James Springsted, 
William Gilbert, 
William Hilton, Jr., 
William Hilton, 
David Biggs, first, 
Elisha Brown, 
Ichabod Buell, 
Samuel Buell, 
George Bennett, 
Cyrus Buell, 
David Riggs, 
Philip Riggs, 

Wheeler, Jr., 

M. Lawrence, 
Thomas Lee, Jr., 
James McCust, 
Thos. Hathaway, 
Daniel S, Judd, 
Daniel Larzelere, 
Dennis Shaw, 
James Allen, 
Thomas Clark, 
James Beaumont, 
John Neil, 
James Brown. 
Ellis Pearce, 
Henry Mapes, 
Simeon Lee, 
Wm. Cunningham, 
John Muckelnane, 
John Bruce, 
Hezekiah Townsend, 
Matehew Cole, 
Reuben Riggs, 
Ezra Cole. 

This petition, drawn by James Parker, and so respectably 
signed, it appears was not granted by the court. Whether it 
was opposed by any portion of the people, is to the writer un- 
known. Aside from the erection of Jerusalem in 1803, the 
town was preserved in its large proportions as Vernon, Snell 
and Benton, till 1818, when Milo was erected. And during 
that time there is no record in existence, in either Benton or 
Milo, so far as has become known in the researches for this 
work, to show who were town officers. From records of the 
proceedings of the Board of Supervisors of Ontario county, it 
is ascertained that Samuel Lawrence was supervisor of Vernon 
in 1808, and beginning with 1810, the supervisors of Benton 
were as follows : 

1810, Elijah Spencer, 1815, Joshua Lee, 

1811, Elijah Spencer, 1816, Joshua Lee, 

1812, Elijah Spencer, 1817, Elijah Spencer, 

1813, Elijah Spencer, 1818, Elijah Spencer. 

1814, Elijah Spencer, 



In 1819, after the separation from Milo, the first town meet- 
ing was held at Truman Spencer's. They had previously been 
held at the house of Lawrence Townsend. The following ticket 
was elected : 

Supervisor — Elijah Spencer; Town Clerk — Jonathan Whit- 
aker ; Assessors — Jared Patchen, Meredith Mallory ; Overseei'3 
of the Poor — John Crawford, William Roy ; Collector — An- 
thony Trimmer, jr. ; Commissioners of Highways — Stephen 
Purdy, Reuben Gage, Joseph Havens ; Constables — Anthony 
Trimmer, jr., John Powell, Joseph Whitney; Commissioners of 
Common Schools — John L. Cleveland, Nathan P. Cole, Martin 
Gage ; Inspectors of Common Schools — William Shattuck, 
Thomas J. Nevins, Abner Woodworth, Samuel G. Gage, Gur- 
don Badger, Anthony Gage ; Fence Viewers — Joseph Smith, 
Abraham Townsend, Samuel Randall, Walter Angus, Otis Bar- 
den, Thomas Howard ; Pound Master — Ezra Cole. 

The subsequent Supervisors have been : 

1820, Meredith Mallory, 

1821, Abner Woodworth, 

1822, Abner Woodworth, 

1823, Jonathan Whitaker, 

1824, John L. Cleveland, 

1825, Jonathan Whitaker, 

1826, Elijah Spencer, 

1827, Elijah Spencer, 

1828, Elijah Spencer, 

1829, Jonathan Whitaker, 

1830, Aaron Remer, 

1831, Abner Woodworth, 

1832, Abner Woodworth, 

1833, Anthony Gage, 

1834, Samuel G. Gage, 

1835, Samuel G. Gage, 

1836, Heman Chapman, 

1837, Heman Chapman, 

1838, Samuel G. Gage, 

1839, Samuel G. Gage, 

1840, Samuel G. Gage, 

1841, Samuel G. Gage, 

1842, Samuel G. Gage, 

1843, Abner Woodworth, 

1844, Aaron Edmonds, 

1845, Hatley N. Dox, 

1846, Hatley N. Dox, 

1847, Hatley N. Dox, 

1848, James Simons, 

1849, Alfred Baldwin, 

1850, William S. Hudson, 

1851, Edward E. Briggs, 

1852, Henry Hicks, 

1853, William Taylor, 

1854, Isaac N. Gage, 

1855, George W. Spencer, 

1856, William T. Remer, 

1857, George A. Sheppard, 

1858, John Merrifield, 

1859, John Merrifield, 

1860, Samuel Allen. 

1861, Homer Mariner, 


1862, Homer Mariner, 1867, John Mernfield, 

1863, Caleb Hazen, 1868, Samuel Jayne, 

1864, Caleb Hazen, 1869, Henry C. Collin, 

1865, John Merrifield, 1870, Henry C. Collin. 

1866, Joliu Merrifield, 

Jonathan Whitaker was town clerk four years before being 
supervisor, and after him Coe B. Sayre and Heman Chapman, 
each one year; Jesse T. Gage, seven years; Heman Chapman, 
four years, beginning in 1832 ; John A. Haight, four years ; 
Ezra B. Potter, two years ; Daniel Foster in 1842, followed two 
years by Ezra B. Potter ; Jesse T. Gage, one year ; Nathan P. 
Cole, one year ; Isaac 1ST. Gage, one year ; Henry Hicks, two 
years; Garret V. Scott, in 1850 ; Oliver P. Guthrie, in 1851, 
followed three years by Mason L. Baldwin ; one year by Robert 
S. Edmonds; Oliver P. Guthrie in 1855 : Isaac N. Gage, one 
year; Joseph J. Hollett, two years; Daniel Millspaugh, two 
years, then Oliver P. Guthrie, ten years, including 1870. 

There is no record of the election of Justices of the Peace 
before 1830, in which year Abner Woodworth was elected, and 
again in 1834. Samuel C. Lyon was elected in 1831, and 1835. 
John A. McLean in 1831, 1836 and 1847 ; Jesse T. Gage in 
1833, 1837, 1841 and 1853 ; Edward Young, in 1838 ; Samuel 
G. Gage, in 1839, 1847, 1848 and 1851 ; Robert P. Buell, in 
1842, 1846 and 1850 ; Levi Patchen and James Young in 1843; 
Alpheus Veazie, in 1844 ; Josiah S. Carr, in 1848 ; Charles 
Coleman, in 1849, 1857, 1861, 1865 and 1869 ; George B. Stan- 
ton, in 1852 ; William Comstock, in 1854, 1858 and 1862 ; 
William S. Hudson, in 1855 ; James Durham, in 1856 and 
1860; Martin Brown, jr., in 1859 and 1863 ; Edwin Lamport, 
in 1862 and 1864 ; Thomas H. Locke, in 1866 and 1870 ; Henry 
R. Taylor, in 1867 ; James S. Williams, in 1868. 

Previous to 1818, town meetings were held at the house of 
Lawrence Townsend, and after that for three years at Truman 
Spencer's ; in 1822, at Mathew Cole's ; again two years at Tru- 
man Spencer's; in 1825, at Z. P. Wier's ; in 1827, at Alfred 
Gully's ; in 1829, at Truman Spencer's. They have for many 


years been held at Benton Centre, and with little or no opposi- 
tion since a part of the town was taken off to form Torrey. 


A post office was established at Benton Centre in 1825. 
Joel H. Ross was the first postmaster. David H. Buell was 
appointed in 1828, and served through both terras of General 
Jackson's Presidency. John A. Haight, Isaac N. Gage, Asahel 
Savage, Myron Cole, Edwin Lamport, and Oliver P. Guthrie 
have since held the office. 

A post office was established at Fergeson's Corners in 1842. 
This was on the old stage route between Canandaigua and 
Penn Yan. Edward L. Jacobus, now of Penn Yan, then a 
tailor at that place, was the first postmaster. He was succeeded 
by Walter S. Ferguson, and he by Col. Samuel Allen. George 
Partis was the next and last, the office having been discon- 
tinued in 1865. 

At Bellona, a post office was established in 1813. Martin 
Gage was the first postmaster, and held the office till 1839. Dr. 
Anthony Gage was his successor in 1839, and died the same 
year. Frederick T. Backenstose was appointed December 31, 
1839, and he was succeeded by Dr. Henry Barden in 1841 ; 
DeWitt C. Gage, in 1844 ; Stephen Garrison, in 1845 ; Reuben 
M. Gage, in 1849. Benjamin Coddington was the postmaster 
for some years, and after him John L. Lewis, senior, and Amasa 
Smith. George H. Brooks was appointed in 1861, and held 
the office a few years. He was succeeded by Charles W. Cof- 
fin, and he by George G. Gage, the present postmaster. 

Among the merchants at Bellona, besides Martin Gage, are 
Robert Johnson, William Huson, A. J. Batten, Stephem M. and 
Ephraim M. Whitaker, George H. Brooks, .Amasa Smith, 
Charles W. Coffin, and George G. and Hazard Gage. The 
stone mill was erected by David Hudson and David Angus, 
about thirty years age. The population of Bellona in 1855, 
was 205, and in 1865 it was 270. 

The first store in Benton was that of Luther Benton and 
James Stoddard, opened in 1791, on the first corner east of 


Benton Centre. They were succeeded a few years later by 
Joshua Andrews, at the same place. 

John A. Haight, who was for a time a partner with Martin 
Gage, in trade at Bellona, was for some years a merchant at 
Benton Centre, and he has been followed by Isaac N. Gage, 
Asahel Savage, Myron Cole, Edwin Lamport, and Oliver P- 
Guthrie. Joseph J. Hollett, who was prosperously engaged in 
the place as a wagon maker, was burned out with heavy loss, 
in 1864. 

The stream known as Sucker Brook, in Penn Yan, running 
from Sheppard's Gully, was once a mill stream. Morris F. 
Sheppard built a grist mill a short distance up the ravine, about 
1818. The mill did very well for a few years ; but as the back 
country was cleared of its forests, the water failed, and the mill 
had to be abandoned. Stone have been quarried to some ex- 
is tent in this gully, and some nagging has been obtained, but is 
not of the best quality. Morris F. Sheppard built his residence 
now owned by Jephthah A. Potter, on Main near Head street, 
of stone from these quarries. 

A fulling mill was erected about 1818, on Jacob's Brook, 
east of the residence of Major Asa Cole, by Caleb and Samuel 
Clark, who continued the business of wool carding and cloth 
4 dressing several years. " The building," says Mr. Fowle, " has 
long since passed away, and the tuneful notes of the whippoor- 
will that used to animate that neighborhood with his song, are 
heard no more." 

Vineyards are cultivated in Benton with success, by Henry 
M. Stewart, Win. H. Sherland, Thomas H. Locke, and Alfred 
Rose, near Penn Yan, and J. J. Mead, near Bellona. 

By the census of 1820, Benton had ten school houses, and 
thirteen school districts, and public monies for schools in 1821, 
to the amount of $238 43. The town had 1050 children be- 
tween five and fifteen years, 957 of whom were taught in the 
schools of 1821. The number of farms in the town was 687 ; 
mechanics, 151 ; traders, 5 ; taxable property, $304,757 ; elect- 
ors, 633 (the property qualification existed then) ; improved land 


14,741 acres; cattle, 3,565; horses, 819; sheep, 8.602; yards of 
cloth made in families in 1821, 22,292. There were three grist 
mills, five saw mills, two fulling mills, two carding machines, nine 
distilleries, which made 54,000 gallons of whiskey in 1821, and 
three asheries. Bellona is spoken of by Spafford's Gazetteer in 
, 1824, as having a meeting house, a school house, two mills, a 
store, two inns, a small library, a number of mechanic's shops, 
an ashery, and a distillery. 

In 1800, the town of Jerusalem, which then included the en- 
tire original district of that name, numbered but 1219 inhabit- 
ants. Restricted to its present limits, less Bluff Point, it num- 
bered but 450 inhabitants in 1810, while Benton had 3,339. 
Hence the gain in the two towns had been 2,570 in ten years. 
Benton reported three slaves in 1810, and the manufacture the 
preceding year of 35,352 yards of cloth. By the State census 
of 1814, Benton had a population of 3,403. Milo was taken off 
in 1818, and by the census of 1820, there was still left to Ben- 
ton a population of 3,357, while Milo had 2,602. The gain for 
the two towns in six years had been 2,564. In 1N25, Benton had 
gone forward to a population of 3,730. In 1 S30 it reached 
3,957 ; in 1835 it was 3,851 ; in 1840, 3,911 ; in 1845, 3,681 ; 
in 1850, 3,456. Torrey took off a portion of the town in 1851, 
and in 1855, Benton had a population of 2,500; in 1860, 2,462, 
and in 1865, 2,400. Of the 2,500 inhabitants of Benton in 
1855, those who were natives of the town numbered 1199, and 
2011 of the State, 2224 of the United States, 127 cf England, 
98 of Ireland, 12 of Scotland, and 13 of Canada. 

In 1865, Benton, had 466 male citizens between the ages of 
18 and 45. She furnished 131 soldiers to the war of the Rebel- 
lion, of whom thirty-eight sacrificed their lives in the service. 

By the census ot 1865, Benton had 20,371 acres of improved 
land. The cash value of farms reported, was $1,753,525 ; of 
stock, $199,028; of tools and implements, $55,681. Acres 
plowed in 1864, 5001; acres of pasture in 1865, 4,672; of 
meadow, 3,759. Tons of hay harvested in 1864, 4,319 ; acres 
wheat sowed in 1864, 2,814; bushels of wheat gathered the 



same year, 36,400, on 2,779 acres of land. In 1854 Benton 
harvested 22,911 bushels of wheat on 1,765 acres of land. In 
1864, 31,292 bushels of oats were harvested from 1,475 acres of 
land; 22,045 bushels of barley from 1,179 acres; 56,006 bush- 
of corn from 1,607 acres; 1,787 barrels of apples were gathered 
from 17,809 trees, and 499 barrels cider made. For 1865, only. 
3,535 pounds of maple sugar were reported, which must have 
been but a trifle compared with the amount made forty years 
before ; 2,498 pounds of honey were reported; 921 milch cows; 
103,245 pounds of butter, and 4,439 pounds of cheese ; 848 
horses; 1,101 pigs; 205,611 pounds of pork; 10,966 sheep; 
66,805 pounds of wool ; 36 yards of fulled cloth, and 45 yards 
of flannel. 

By the tax roll of Vernon in 1808, there appears to have 
been twelve distilleries in the town, owned respectively by John 
Nicholas, Joseph Benton, Gilbert Dorman, Thomas Lee, jr., John 
Lawrence, John Midtorn, Charles Roberts, David Roy, John 
Supplee, Henry Townsend, David Vosbinder and Melchoir 
Wagener. But one ashery is mentioned, and that was owned 
by Armstrong Hart. One fulling mill is reported, owned by 
Samuel Lawrence. The assessors were Truman Spencer, Ben- 
edict Robinson and Ezra Rice. 

Distilleries in the earlier years were not generally large af- 
fairs, but they seem to have been rather numerous. Whiskey 
was one of the great forces of the age, and although its ravages 
were quite as appalling then as now, it was felt to be an indis- 
pensable lever in promoting the rugged industries by which the 
early improvements were made. " Chopping bees," " logging 
bees," and other " bees," were devices by which the early set- 
tlers aided each other largely in getting forward work, which 
single handed it would have been hard to accomplish, and often 
impossible. Whiskey added nerve and social spirit to these co- 
operative labors, and without it, no such combined efforts could 
then have been possible. 

John Coleman built a distillery in 1805, at Bellona, and run 
it about two years. Another was erected about 1812, where 



Charles Coe's blacksmith shop now stands. About 1818, 
another was located just below the grist mill, by Jephthah Earl 
and S. Turner. Mr. Earl sold out afterwards, and in 1823 
built another on the lake shore. Joseph Benton's distillery- 
was a shortdistance eastward of the present residence of Alfred 
Crosby, on Flat street. There were many of these little facto- 
ries of liquor at various times, in different parts of the town. 

Martin Gage was largely interested in the manufacture of pot- 
ash, at Bellona, and used the old distillery building for that pur- 
pose, about 1814. He also built an ashery below the grist mill, 
which was destroyed by fire. About 1815, George Benton & 
Co., built an ashery half a mile south of Bellona, on land now 
owned by John H. Plattman. There were several of these es- 
tablishments near Benton Centre, and other parts of the town, 
at various times. Potash was a large product for a considerable 
period. It was exported to England in large quantities, and be- 
fore the period of canal transportation, was marketed to a large 
extent at Sodus. . 

The town book of Benton contains the following record of the 
birth of a slave : " This will certify that Harriet, an infant 
slave, belonging to me at this time, was born the 20th of Sept., 
one thousand eight hundred and twenty-two. Certified by 
Matthew Cole. Benton, 18th March, 1823." 

People now living, speak of a time when there were nine 
taverns between Penn Yan and the north line of Benton, by way 
of the Pre-emption road, and all doing well. This was a period 
when this was a great thoroughfare, not only for stages from 
Geneva to Bath, and farther on, but when merchandize and pro- 
duce were chiefly transported by wagons, and a great outlet for 
emigration westward was by way of Olean, down the Allegany 
and Ohio rivers. 

Among the early settlers of Benton, of whom no history has 
been traced, are appended a few names. David Clark was the 
first settler where John P. Scofield resides, on lot 88 ; James 
Sherratt, where Daniel Sprague resides, on lot 87 ; John Jaqua, 
where William Taylor resides, on lot 85 ; Allen Wilkinson, 


where Samuel Fullager occupies, on lot 110 ; Gilbert Ireland, on 
the place of Daniel Sutton, lot 111 ; Jabez Lamb, Jasper Hoos, 
William Wheeler, Clark Winans, Daniel Lovejoy, Jehiel Gris- 
wold, in West Benton ; Nathan Lacey, Elisha Pierce, Frederick 
Spooner, John Gilbert, John Knapp, John West and Robert 
Lennox, on the south centre road. On Flat street, Caleb Clark, 
Ezekiel Newman and Mr. Tinkham. On the east and west 
centre road, William Norton, Archibald Meeker, Andrew and 
Hugh Rippey, William Hedges, and William Erwin. Haines 
and Smith Mapes where George R. Barden and William Wal- 
dron reside. On the north centre road, David Mapes, Timothy 
Green and Michael Coffin. On the road north of Havens' Cor- 
ners, Gideon Scott, Russell Youngs, Solomon Millard, John 
Crawford, Isaac Slaughter, David Smith, Mr. Waite, and Isaac 
Thompson. North of Ferguson's Corners, Oliver Hoxter, Ne- 
hemiah Cole, John Halsted, John Slaughter, Joseph Corey, Tim- 
othy Goff, Cato Hounson, and James Reynolds. Where Wm. 
T. Reiner resides, Levi Macomber was the first settler, and Will- 
iam Oldfield, on the premises of Lewis R. Peck. 



§HE southmost of the two western towns of Yates county is 
Italy. It embraces township number seven of the third 
Range of Phelps' and Gorham's purchase, and in its natural fea- 
tures is extremely rugged. It is drained by two important 
streams, running in opposite directions, through narrow valleys, 
Availed in by high and abrupt hills, which form some of the most 
elevated land in the county. One of these stream?, known as 
West River, and originally called Potter's Creek, has its source 
in the town of Gorham, and running southwest through Middle- 
sex, cuts off the northwest corner of Italy, and empties into Na- 
ples Creek, about one mile above the head of Canandaigua Lake, 
into which its waters are thus conveyed. The other, known 
as Flint Creek, the Ah-ta-gweh-da-ga of the Senecas, takes its rise 
in the southeast part of Italy ; running west to the valley, it takes 
a northeasterly direction and leaves the town near the northeast 
corner. It has several tributary rivulets which drain all the 
south and southwest part of the town. The vales bordering 
these streams are called respectively West River Hollow and 
Italy Hollow. The Ah-ta-gweh-da-ga was a favorite fishing 
ground of the Indians, and when first' visited by the whites, 
speckled trout were so abundant in that stream, that all a man 
could carry could be taken in a short time with his naked hands. 
From a dividing ridge in the south part of Italy, water flows 
to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, by way of Flint Creek, Seneca 

I — 


River and Lake Ontario ; on the other, to Chesapeake Bay, by 
way of the Conhocton, Chemung and Susquehanna Rivers. 

The town for the most part has an excellent soil, that of the 
valleys being especially rich and productive, abounding in a 
gravelly loam, while the hills are covered with a gravelly drift 
well adapted to the staple crops of the country. Although the 
hills are precipitous and difficult to cultivate, they yield good 
crops, and there is little absolutely poor land in the town. The 
elevations of the town have never been measured, nor have the 
differences of level between the West River and Flint Creek 
valley been ascertained. The steep West Hill between Flint 
Creek and West River can hardly ascend less than 800 feet from 
either stream, and the two creeks are said to be no more than 
three miles apart, at the space measured between the Big Elm of 
Italy Hollow, and the north line of the town on West River. 
The East Hill rises, it is thought, three or four hundred feet 
higher still, making the highest land of the county, but slopes 
off more gradually to the east and south from the higher points 
of the ridge. 

The land was originally covered by dense forests ; in some lo- 
calities with pines of large and beautiful growth, and in others 
with much excellent oak, interspersed with ridges of chestnut. 
Beech and maple were plentiful, and hickory to some extent. 
There was fine" basswood and some butternut in the valleys. 
Both hollows when first penetrated by white men, were so filled 
with fallen trees and dense undergrowth, and so overflowed by 
the winding streams, that it was almost impossible to thread a 
passage through them even on foot ; and being abundantly pop- 
ulated with rattlesnakes, they were by no means inviting places 
to visit, except to the most hardy and daring woodmen. Yet in 
a state of nature, this was a wild a beautifnl region. The lus- 
trous evergreen of the towering hills was a perpetual picture of 
the grandest beauty. The rich and matted jungle of the valleys, 
surmounted by grand and graceful elms, gigantic basswoods and 
maples, was in its season of verdure, equally beautiful and capti- 
vating to the poetic eye. Artemas Crouch, now an aged man, 


but always alive to the beauties of nature, on being questioned 
by the writer in regard to the appearance of the country when 
new, replied with much animation, " it was a pretty place," and 
proceded to speak of the grand landscapes, and the majestic 
trees, among which the chestnuts ranked very high, both for their 
beauty and their productiveness. He says they bore profusely, 
and the chestnuts could be gathered up by bushels from the 
ground in the autumn. The town is well supplied with springs 
of the finest quality ; and there is a fine salt spring in the Flint 
Creek valley, on the northwest corner of lot 19, of the north 
survey. The settlement of the town w T as commenced in West 
River Hollow as early as 1790; but it was very little inhabited 
for twenty years thereafter. It was long the refuge of wolves, 
panthers, bear and deer, and the point where they held then- 
ground after they were driven out of the less rugged portions of 
the country. Italy was originally part of the town of Naples, 
which w r as organized in 1789, as Middletown. It was changed 
to Naples in 1808. In 1815, Italy was set off. Naples con- 
sists, since the division, of township No. 7, of the fourth range 
of Phelps' and Gorham's purchase, bounding Italy therefore on 
the west. It does not appear that any part of Italy was sold by 
Phelps and Graham, and it was included entire in their convey- 
ance to Robert Morris, and by him to the London Association, 
part of the lands going to the Pultney estate, and part to the 
Hornby estate, each taking alternate lots. 

The land of this township was surveyed in separate parcels, 
somewhat singularly. The first survey was made in 1793 by 
Alexander Slot, and designated at Slot's Survey. It was an 
irregular tract, and consisted of thirteen lots of unequal size, 
eight of which bordered on Potter's Creek, two being on the 
west side. Another survey of about ten thousand acres of the 
south side of the township w r as made in 1795, by John Biles and 
David W. Patterson, and designated as the South Survey. 
This survey numbered sixty-five lots, of one hundred and sixty 
acres each, or half mile squares. This tract was re-surveyed in 
1826, by Jesse Stevens. Another tract, embracing the north- 

376 history or YATES county. 

east corner of the town, extending to the South Survey, and 
west to the middle of the town, was surveyed in June, 1795, 
by John Smith. This was designated the Northeast section, 
and contains forty-eight lots, of 160 acres each. This section 
was partially re-surveyed in 1826, by Jesse Stevens. Another 
tract of thirty lots was surveyed by Valentine Brother, and 
designated Brother's survey. It embraces the middle section 
of the town west of the North East Survey, and extending 
in the form of an L, about a portion of Slot's survey. Still 
another survey was made by Jeffrey Chipman, which has not 
been traced on any public map ; and the marsh about the head 
of Canandaigua Lake is known as an unsurveyed tract. 

The office for the sale of the Pultney estate lands was located 
at Geneva, where Robert Troup succeeded Charles Williamson 
as agent, and after him Joseph Fellows. The office for the sale 
of the Hornby lands was at Canandaigua, and John Greig was 
the agent for this estate during his life, and after him William 
Jeffrey, his executor. Mr. Greig became the owner in person of 
a large portion of the Hornby lands. The primitive settlers of 
Italy were almost without exception, men of very limited means, 
who bought their lands upor. contracts by which they stipulated 
to pay in small instalments, extending over a series of years. 
The agents with whom they dealt have always been kindly re- 
membered by the original settlers for their uniform forbearence 
and lenity, when hardships, ill-paid toils, sickness and privation, 
incident to the first settlement of the country made it often im- 
possible for them to make the stipulated payment. Most of 
them had families to support ; crops were small and uncertain ; 
prices low, and markets nearest and best at Canandaigua and 
Geneva. Many acres of Italy land Avere paid for with money 
procured by the sale of wheat at from thirty-one cents to seventy- 
five cents per bushel. No honest, industrions man was dispos- 
sessed of his land, and no man in that town ever sympathized 
with the " Anti-Pultneyites" in Steuben county. The last of 
Hornby and Greig land in Italy, was purchased by Lewis B. 
Graham, in 1859. It was in part the North East Survey. 


Italy was neither early nor rapid in its settlement, bnt it is said 
that John Mower settled in West River Hollow^, as early as 
1790. As he was at that time but nineteen years old, and not 
married till five years later, it is not probable that he made an 
abiding foothold at that early period. He was a chain bearer in 
the survey of the New Pre-emption Line, and also acted as cook, 
and had charge of the pack horse for the surveying party. 
He received a dollar a day for his work, and paid a dollar an 
acre for his land, which was conveyed by Charles Williamson in 
two deeds, both of the date of December 16, 1793, and acknowl- 
edged in 1812, before Moses Atwater. His land embraced lots 
6 and 7, of Slot's survey. No. 7 embraced 160 acres, and No. 
6 132 acres. Commencing with his land paid for, he had advan- 
tages as a pioneer not generally enjoyed by the first settlers. 
He was an industrious man, and a good citizen, dying in 1855, 
at the age of nearly eighty-four. His son, John W. Merwin, 
still owns ane occupies the same premises, the only instance in 
Italy in which continuity of ownership has been retained by 
father and son through tw T o generations. The first frame build 
ing erected in Italy was built by John Mower. He was mar- 
ried three times, fiirst in 1795, to Anna Watkins, who w T as born 
in 1771, and died in 1802; in 1803 to Polly Williams, who died 
in 1813, at the age of thirty-five; in 1813, to Judith Larned 
Torrey, who died in 1856, at the age of seventy-four. The 
children of the first marriage were Polly, Simeon and John W. ; 
of the second, Mary Ann, Huldah and John W. ; of the third 
marriage, Sally and Mary Ann. Polly died single in 1869, at 
the age of seventy-two. Simeon, born in 1799, died at the age 
of nine months, in 1800, and this was the first decease of a 
white person in that town. John W., born in 1801, died the 
same year. Mary Ann, born in 1805, died in 1863. Huldah, 
an infant, born in 1807, died in 1809. Huldah 2d, born 
in 1809, died in 1833. John Warner, born in 1811, is the 
present proprietor of the homestead, i e married in 1837, 
Betsey Folsom. Their children have been William H., Byron 
H. and Alice Elizabeth. The sons died young, and the daugh 
ter, born in 1813, survives, residing with her parents. 



John Mower, the pioneer, related as one of the startling 
reminiscenses of the settlement of the country, that on one oc- 
casion while "baiting" his oxen at dinner time, in early spring, 
he killed three hundred and fourteen rattlesnakes. This was 
on the west side of the creek, and not far from the rocky ledges 
where these venomous creatures had hibernated. Mrs. Pedee 
Hooker, an early resident of the'same locality, related that she 
had on more than one occasion seen a mass of rattlesnakes in 
a pile as large as a bushel basket ; and among these at one 
time was a blacksnake. 

William Dunton settled in 1793, on what was then called 
lot 14, but which was afterwards lot 30, of Valentine Brother's 
survey. He resided there till his death in 1806. Lucina Dunton, 
his widow, and Edward Kibbee, Administrators of William Dun- 
ton deeded the farm to Huram Sabin in 1808 ; and by Sabin it was 
sold in 3 813, to Jeremian B. Parish, from whom it passed to 
his son, Edwin R. Parish, whose mansion stands on the same 
lot. "William Dunton, jr., lived some years in Italy, and after- 
wards in Middlesex, where he kept a public house many years. 
He married Judith Slayton, and their children were William, 
Esther, Carry, Lorenzo, Henry, Bingham and Helen. Some of 
these were married and still reside in Yates county, but the 
father resides in Michigan. The wife of William Dunton, sen- 
ior, was Lucina Kibbee, and her second husband was Levi 

William Clark settled on lot No. 8, Slot's survey, in 1790, 
and lived there till his death, at the age of eighty-one in 1851. 
His son, Erastus G. Clark, lived on the same place till his 
death, in 1803, at the age of fifty, and the son's widow, Mrs. 
Silas Wiley, still resides on the same premises. A barn of the 
elder Mr. Clark was the third frame erected in Italy. The 
wife of William Clark was Fanny Metcalf, who died in 1845/ 
at the age of sixty-nine. Their children were Nancy, Orisa, 
Bathena, William, J. Metcalf, Fanny, Aaron B., Erastus G., 
Submit, Solon and Clarissa. Nancy married Jared Watkins, 
and lived in Italy. Orisa married Benoni Green. Bathena 



married Russel Slayton, and lived in Middlesex. William mar- 
ried Eunice Williams, and died in 1829, at twenty-eight. 
Jabez M. married Miss Ferguson, and moved west. Fanny 
married Barlow Bartow, and they moved west. Aaron mar- 
ried, first, Miss Dennison, and, second, Louisa Watkins. Sub- 
mit married, first, James Harkness, and had a second hus- 
band, Mr. Grimes. Solon married Miss Nellis, and moved to 
Michigan. Clarissa married William Wyckoff, and resides 
west. Erastus G. married Hannah Green. Their chil- 
dren were Helen, Emma, John and Mary. Helen married 
Orville Chaffee, and they have one child. John married Miss 

Edward Low settled, in 1796, on lot No. 1, of Slot's survey. 
He died in 1806, and his son, Edward, resided on the same 
premises for many years, and sold to William Dunton and 
Charles Becket. They afterwards sold to Joseph L. Green. 
Mr. Low moved to Middlesex, where he died, in 1862. Ed- 
ward Low, jr., held the office of Justice of the Peace in Italy, 
during several terms, and was a prominent well-known citizen. 
The farm first settled by Edward Low, senior, in Italy, is 
now the property of William Clark Williams. The first mar- 
riage, in what is now Italy, was that of Adelman Johnson, and 
Deborah, sister of Edward Low, senior, in 1798. Edward Low 
jr., married Lucy Williams, and their children were Adaline, 
Minerva, Pamelia and Priscilla, twins, Elizabeth, Mary and 
Lucy. Adaline married Morey Philipps of Middlesex. Min- 
erva married Henry Hobart of Middlesex, and they emigrated 
to Michigan. Pamelia married George Nutten, jr., and they 
also reside in Michigan. Priscilla married first Job Pierce, of 
Middlesex, and a second husband, Mr. Case. Elizabeth is the 
wife of Abraham Mather, of Middlesex. Mary and Lucy are 

Fisher Whitney settled in 1800 on lot No. 4, of Slot's sur- 
vey, where be died in 1805, at the age of twenty-nine. His 
wife was Patty Watkins and they were married in Partridge- 
field, Mass., in J.799. They had two children, Patty and James. 


Jabez Metcalf settled in 1807 on Lot No. 5, Slot's survey, 
and resided there till he died in 1859, at the age of seventy- 
L-ight He was a man of rare excellence and nobility of char- 
acter. His intelligence, pure morals, and simple character* 
made him a leading and influential citizen. He was a Method- 
ist, and his house was the home of the early itinerants of that 
faith. He was the first Town Clerk of Italy, and several times 
Supervisor. The office of Justice of the Peace he held by 
appointment when the town was erected and continued to hold 
it long after the office was filled by popular election. His wife 
was Nancy Torrey, who died in 1843 at the age of sixty. Their 
children were Chester, Fanny, Henry A., Jabez H., Mary, 
Hiram and John A. Polly Torrey, the sister of Mrs. Jabez 
Metcalf, taught the first school in Italy, in 1804. 

Fisher Metcalf setttled in 1805 on forty 4ive acres of the 
unsurveyed tract. At the age of twenty-eight, in 1815, he was 
drowned in Canandaigua Lake. He, with William Dunton, 
Elias Kinney and William Wiley, were upset in a skiff. All 
wei-e good swimmers, but he was chilled and disabled by cramps, 
which caused him to drown. His wife was Pedee Watkins, and 
they had two children : Kuby and Lucretia. The widow mar- 
ried a second husband, Richard Hooker. They resided on 
the same premises till his death in 1832, at the age of sixty-one. 
The children of the second marriage were Fisher M., Elizabeth, 
Rachael, Martha and Samuel. 

Jason Watkins, born in Berkshire, Mass., in 1768, settled on 
lot No. 2 of Slot's survey, in 1807, and died there in 1844. He 
married Polly Ide, also a native of Berkshire, and she died in 
1833, at the age of sixty- three. Their children were Vesta, 
Jared and Jason, twins, Lucinda, Polly Asahel and Orren. 
Vesta born in 1792 ; married Charles Clark. Jared born in 
1794, married Nancy, daughter of William Clark. She died at 
forty-five, in 1841. Jason Watkins, jr., married Electa Abbey, 
and moved to Michigan. Lucinda born in 1796, married Pitts 
Parker. Polly born in 1798, was not married. Asahel born 
in 1799, married first, Sally Crouch, and a second wife, Hannah 


Wing, and moved to Michigan. Orren married first Amanda 
Wing, who died in Italy in 1853. Their children were Maria, 
Orrin E., Jane, Vesta and Charles. Orrin E. married Martha- 
Sprague and resides in Italy. They have a daughter, Helen 
Maria and Jane died young. Vesta married Floyd Robinson, 
and they reside in Michigan. Charles is unmarried and resides 
with his father, who has a second wife, Jane Ketchum, widow, 
and still resides in Italy. 


The following brief skstch of the Parish family is furnished 
by Seymour H. Sutton of Naples : 

In February, 1791, Samuel Parish, his wife and two sons, 
Reuben and Levi, were the first to emigrate from Berkshire, 
Massachusetts, to the Genesee country. Coming all the way 
in the dead of winter through a new and sparsely settled 
country pathless forests, and untrodden snows, crossing rivers 
and lakes upon ice, with twoox teams hauling the goods of the 
family upon ox sleds, they arrived late in the still cold evening, 
hungry and cold, in the Valley of Kojandaga, (meaning at the 
head of Canandaigua Lake, now Naples,) and unyoked their 
tired oxen to feed on the wild grass, while the pioneers sought 
shelter in an Indian wigwam, where the dusky savages with 
sullen silence beheld their white intruders partake of the frozen 
food that was once warm in the kitchens of Berkshire. Living 
in the smoky hut until a log house was erected, using the sled 
boards for a floor and table, and split basswood for a floor 
while the roof was made of such bark as could be found on 
dead trees, and split hollow trees. While in this lonely 
abode, far from friends and neighbors, they were visited 
by the Indians in great numbers. The tall Indian chief 
Hointoula, and the venerable ex-chief Canesque, often visited 
the Parish family, talking in a language that the pioneers did 
not understand. The Parish family endured many hardships 
and dangers, until other emigrants came on. 

Samuel Parish, the great-grandfather, had three sons, Reu- 
ben, Levi and Elisha, and one daughter, Susannah, who taught 
the first school in the new settlement. 


Elisha Parish married Louisa Wilder, daughter of Gamaliel 
Wilder, the first pioneer and proprietor of South Bristol, in 
Ontario county. 

Reuben married a Miss Bishop, and had four sons, Jere- 
miah B., Oris, Erastus and Fielden, and three daughters, Al- 
mira, Fanny and Polly. Almira married Lemuel Metcalf, and 
Polly married Dr. Dillis Newcomb. 

Jeremiah B. Parish married Clarissa, daughter of Col. William 
Clark, one of the first settlers and proprietors of the town. 

Jeremiah B. Parish, the subject of this history, was born in 
Massachusetts, in 1785, studied law in Mr. Saltonstal's office in 
Canandaigua, and was a successful school teacher in Middle- 
town, now Naples, was elected Supervisor, Justice of the Peace, 
and to various other offices for many years in the town of Na- 
ples. He was elected a member of the Assembly, also elected 
one of the associate judges of Ontario county. He was engaged 
in the service of his country in the war of 1812, and was a 
captain of a rifle company after the war. 

He had four sons and three daughters. His son Bishop, re- 
moved to Kankakee, 111., and died there. William and Cory- 
don removed to the same place, and have become wealthy. The 
other son, Edwin P. Parish, now lives in the town of Italy, 
Yates county, and is the owner of a large estate of several hund- 
red acres of land. He embarked early, raising the best breeds 
of sheep that could be obtained in Vermont and elsewhere, and 
has obtained fabulous prices for his best breeds of sheep, in the 
State and some of the western States. Also the wool grown by 
him is allowed to be among the best in the United States. His 
sheep barns and sheds are elegant in finish and model in con- 
struction for convenience and comfort. The three daughters 
of Jeremiah B. Parish were Mary, Emily and Caroline. Mary 
and Emily were married to gentlemen by the name of Higgins; 
they are both dead. The youngest daughter, Caroline, married 
a Mr. A. J. Byington, and now lives in the village of Naples, 
New York. 


Fanny married Tomer Stetson, and now lives in Kankakee 
county, 111. 

Oris Parish removed to Columbia, Ohio, became a lawyer 
and circuit judge. 

Erastus Parish married Charlotte Kent, and removed to Ash- 
tabula county, Ohio. 

Fielden Parish volunteered in the war of 1812. 

Levi Parish married Miss Durphy, had four sons, Hardin, 
Ephraim, Russel and Levi H. Parish, and four daughters, Laura, 
Betsey, Chloe and Sylvia. 

Levi H. Parish, son of Levi Parish, married Mahala Lyon. 
He was in the war of 1812, was wounded at the battle of 
Queenston, drew a pension, was a clerk in the P. O. Depart- 
ment in Washington, and died there in 1858 or '59. 

Laura Parish married Calvin Clark, a celebrated hunter, hav- 
ing once shot a panther with the last ball he had, in the town 
of Italy. 

Betsey Parish married Jacob B. Sutton, who volunteered in 
the war of 1812, and held office a long time in the town of 

Chloe Parish married Eli Watkins. 

Sylvia Parish married Eli Brown, a celebrated schoolteacher, 
and lives west. 

Edwin R. Parish, the principal representative of the family 
in Yates county, is the owner of one thousand acres of land in 
the town of Italy, bordering on Naples, and is one of the most 
thoroughly enterprizing men in the country. As a stock grower 
he has few equals. His work is not only personally superin- 
tended by himself, but engaged in with his own hands. It 
consequently moves with expedition and efficiency. His lands 
overlook the valley of Naples, and include a beautiful view 
of Canandaigua Lake. 

Josiah Bradish settled en Slot's survey, in 1793, remaining 
till 1806, when he returned to Naples. Among his children 
were John, Josiah and Luther Bradish, and Mrs. John Lyon, 
Mrs. Davis Dean, and Mrs. Jacob N. Hannah. 


John Bradish settled with his father, Josiah, in 1793 but 
lived with John Mower until he was twenty-one, when he mar- 
ried and settled on the unsurveye'd tract where he lived till 
1830. He moved to Mendon, Monroe county, N. Y., where he 
died in 1863. His wife was Martha, daughter of Benjamin 
Bartlett. She died in 1862. Their children were Lorenzo 
Dow, Judith, Henry, Nancy, Lydia, William, Benjamin and 
Francis. Lorenzo D. married Lydia, daughter of William 
Fisher. They have one son, and reside in North Bloomfield. 
Judith and Francis died unmarried at Mendon. Henry and 
Nancy died young. Lydia married Mr. Brown, and they live 
at Grand Rapids, Michigan, and have children. 

Seth Spragu^ settled on lot No. 2, Slot's survey, in 1793, 
and remained till 1805. His daughter Olive, was the first white 
child born within the boundaries of Italy. He sold his place to 
Mr. Cone, by whom it was sold to Jason Watkins. Isaac 
Whitney settled on lot 4, Slot's survey, in 1800, and moved 
away in 1806. 

Elias Lee settled on lot No. 3, of Slot's survey, in 1800. He 
married in 1806, the widow of Fisher Whitney (Polly Wat- 
kins). They opened the first public house within the limits of 
Italy, and kept it until his death in 1826, at the age of forty- 
eight. His widow continued to keep it till 1840. For many 
years it was the only inn between Rushville and Naples. Their 
son, Roswell R. Lee, continned to own and occupy the same, 
with enough adjoining for a very large farm, till 1869. He is 
now a resident of Lima, Livingston county. The children of 
Elias Lee were Betsey, William D., Esther, Clark, Polly Ros- 
well R., Diana, Phebe and Olive. Betsey married Jason Gris- 
wold, who died in 1842, at the age of forty-five. She still lives 
on a part of the old homestead. Her children are Sophronia, 
Fisher W., Lucia Ann and Mary Ann, twins. Sophronia mar- 
ried Adolphus R. Flint, and they reside in Italy. Fisher W. 
married Jane Styles, and they reside with his mother. Lucia 
Ann married Thomas Claik. They reside in Italy. Mary Ann 
married Gilbert Graham. They reside at Lima, N. Y. 


Roswell R. Lee married first, Roxana, daughter of Charles 
Clark. She died leaving one son, Clark. His second wife was 
a sister of Robert Shay, and they have several children. 


William S. Green states that Nathan Clark, an old surveyor, 
told him that a man by the name of Flint was the first settler 
in Italy Hollow, and that from him Flint Creek took its name. 
No other account of the origin of this name has ever come to 
the knowledge of the writer, and no other account of the man 

Archibald Armstrong settled in this hollow in 1794, on lot 
No. 11 of the North Suiwey, or northeast section, and resided 
there till 1817, when he sold to Philander Woodworth, and 
moved to Middlesex. He belonged to the advance guard of 
civilization, and was in some respects a rough character. Ow- 
ing to his great physical strength, he was seldom worsted in 
his pugilistic contests, which were very frequent, and gave him 
the name of the "Old Algerine." His brother-in-law, Alexan- 
der Porter, was however, sometimes able to thrash him very 
soundly, and no doubt with salutary effect. Armstrong was of 
Scotch descent, and was very familiar with the Indians, under- 
standing their language perfectly, and speaking it fluently. 
His wife was buried in the orchard on the farm on which he 
settled in Italy Hollow, and her grave is still enclosed with a 
picket fence. Philander Woodworth sold this place in 1818, 
to Elder Amos Chase, by whom it was again sold in 1822 to 
Jeremiah Keeney, and by him in 1853 to William S. Green, 
who again sold it in 1869 to Spencer Clark, 2d. 

Alexander Porter settled on lot No. 15, North Survey, in 
1794, where he lived till 1808, when he moved to Middlesex, 
where he resided many years, and again moved to Naples, 
where he died. 

John Armstrong, cousin of Archibald, settled on lot No. 3, 
North Survey, in 1795, remaining there till 1806. 

Stephen and Isaiah Post settled near the Armstrongs in 1796, 
and left about 1801. 



Sylvenus Hastings and John Morris settled in the same vicin- 
ity in 1798, and both left before 1805. 

John Card Knowles, and a man named Van Ness, settled in 
the same neighborhood in 1798, and left before 1806. 

Jacob Virgil settled on lot 7, North Survey, in 1798, remain- 
ing thereon till 1815, when he sold to William Green, and 
moved away. 


Andrew Robson was a native of England, and married 
Phillis Straughan. They both came across the ocean in the 
same vessel while children, but were not aware of the fact till 
many years later. They settled on lot 38, North Survey, in 
1806, and their deed for the lot bears date in 1809. He died 
there in 1852, at the age of seventy-three, and his wife in 1865, 
at the age of seventy-five. The old homestead is still owned by 
their son, Joseph S. Robson. Their children Avere fourteen in 
number, and thirteen of them in 1870 are still among the liv- 
ing, probably an example without a paralel in Yates county. 
Their names are Nancy, Thomas S., Robert, Mary, Timothy, 
Helen, Hannah, Amy, James, David, Joseph S , Charles, Jane 
and Ann Grace. Nancy married Asahel Harris. They settled 
in Goshen, Stark county, 111., five miles distant from all neigh- 
bors, where they now have a homestead of six hundred and 
forty acres, in a rich community, besides owning much other • 
land in Kansas and Missouri. They have eleven children, Jo- 
seph, James, Isaac, Charles, Almeron, Thomas, Phillis, George, 
Mary, David and DeWitt. 

Thomas S. married late in life, Abigail Hodge, and they have 
one son, Flagg. 

Mary married first, Rufus P. Cowing, and they had one son, 
Warren, now living in Lucas county, Iowa, Mr. Cowing died 
in 1849, at Toulon, Illinois, and his widow married in 1852, 
Henry A. Metcalf, son of Jabez Metcalf. They reside at Hall's 
Corners, Ontario county, and have one child, Alice. 

Helen married George G. Hayes, and they reside on a por- 
tion of the old homestead. Their surviving children are War- 
ren H. and Roy. 


Hannah married Daniel Howard, and tliey reside at Watkins, 
N. Y. Their children are two daughters. 

Robert married first, Theresa Maria Kipp. She died in 18G5, 
at the age of forty-nine, and has one surviving son, Seward. 
Mr. Robson married a second wife, Almira Kipp, cousin of his 
first Avife. He is a man of acute intelligence, noted as a bee 
culturist, nurseryman and grape grower. 

Amy married Alden D. Fox, the present county clerk. 

James married Mary Mathe,ws in 1818. They reside in 
Illinois, and have a large family. 

David married Sarah Johnson. She died leaving one daugh- 
ter, residing with her father at Watkins. 

Joseph S. married Elizabeth Williamson. Their children are 
Emma O., Andrew, Alice, Isabella, Grace A. and Elizabeth. 
Emma O. is the wife of Robert Kennedy. 

Charles married Esther Williamson. They reside in Illinois. 

Jane married George Geer. Thev live in Italy, and their 
children are Charles M., Mary Jane, George LeRoy, Emma F., 
Hubert D., Nellie and William B. 

Ann Grace married Champion K. Green, and they live at 
Saxon, Henry county, Illinois. 


In 1809, Nathan Scott settled on lot No. 30, North Survey, 
which he owned till 1814, when he sold to Henry RofF, jr. 
Nathan Scott, born in Peterborough, New Hampshire, in 
1782, w&i a remarkable example of Yankee pluck and per- 
severance. Born with club feet, he found it difficult to walk, 
yet he made his way on foot to the Genesee country and by 
his unaided industry, achieved a home and independence for 
his family. With rare generosity he gave up to an elder 
brother, his paternal inheritance, to enable that brother to gain 
a collegiate education, and enter the profession of law. The 
early death of his brother left him empty handed, and he was 
robbed of a little store of cash that he had when he reached his 
new home. In 1812 he married Lucy Graham, sister of John 
Graham, jr., and Mrs. Daniel Smith. The ceremony was per- 


formed by George Green, of Potter, then Middlesex. After 
1814, they resided on lot 42, of the North Survey, where he 
died in 1864, at the age of eighty-two. His widow still resides 
on and owns the place, now at the age of eighty-two. Their 
children were William, James, John, Sarah, Frank, Mary Ann, 
Azubah, Franklin, Nancy, Henry and Robert. 

William is a prominent citizen of Italy ; is a merchant in 
Italy Hollow, and postmaster. He married first, Fanny M. 
Geer, who died in 1847, and his second wife was Sophronia E. 
Fish. By the first wife there were two daughters, Marian and 
Lucy ; and by the second, two daughters, Frances M. and Sarah 
Jane. Marian died young, and Lucy married Chaides H. Grow, 
and resides on the homestead with her grandmother. 

James died at Sacramento, California, in 1849. 

Sarah, who never married, died in 1868. Her father's prop- 
erty was willed to her, possession to follow her mother's death. 
She left her inheritance to her sister, Azubah, who with her 
mother still occupies the property. 

John married Cornelia Kipp, who died at Naples, leaving 
three children. He still resides at Naples. 

Franklin is unmarried, and resides with his mother. 

Nancy died at twenty-one, and Robert and Henry in infancy. 


John Crouch, who married Elizabeth Agard, settled in Italy 
in 1813. They were two of the constituent or first members of 
the Baptist Church in Italy Hollow, and died members thereof. 
Their son, Artemas Crouch, who was born in Vermont, also 
settled in Italy the same year, and relates that when he came 
into the town there was no clearing from Potter Centre to 
Armstrong's. Silas and Caleb, his brothers, came about four 
years eailier. Artemas Crouch is a character worthy of note. 
He is now seventy-seven years old, and his wife seventy-five. 
They have been married over half a c ntiuy. and have had 
twelve children Two of his sons died in the war of t : e rebell- 
ion, leaving a good record as soldiers ; and two are in Califor- 
nia,. He has borne the load of poverty through a lonu' life, 


without crushing the elasticity of his spirit, or diminishing his 
trust in religion and its concomitant virtues. At an early 
period he became a convert to the Free Will Baptist faith. 
He soon became an exhorter, and was afterwards licensed to 
preach. His circuit extended through the towns of Wheeler 
and Pultney, and eastward to Seneca Lake. Unable to own a 
horse, he was obliged to go to his appointments on foot, and 
receiving little or no pay, he was finally obliged to desist from 
preaching. Endowed with lively poetic sensibilities, and a 
passionate love of nature, he would with better advantages have 
made a preacher of distinction. But the hard pressure of pov- 
erty kept down his spirit, and cramped his culture Some of 
his discourses are remembered now by the older people as ex- 
ceedingly moving and eloquent. His talent has been like a 
diamond unpolished, but a diamond still. 

Caleb Crouch married Eunice Graham, and settled on lot 42, 
North Survey, in 1810. In 1815 he sold it to Nathan Scott. 
He then purchased a part of lot 34, South Survey, and remained 
on it till 1831, when he sold to Samuel Graham, and removed 
to Venango county, Pa. He returned to Italy in 1836, settling 
on a part of lot 53, South Survey, inherited by his wife from 
the estate of her father, Robert Graham. He died there in 
1855, at the age of sixty-six. She died in 1862. Their child- 
ren were Robert G., Maiy Ann, Clemy Jane, Electa, David M., 
Sophia, Valentine, John, Edward, Ayres, Francis and Eliza. 

Asa Ellis, who married Olive P., daughter of John Graham, 
senior, and sister of Mrs. Nathan Scott and Mrs. Daniel 
Smith, settled in 1810 on lot 34, North Survey. Their child- 
ren were Asa, Gideon, Joseph, John, Mary, Daniel P. and 
Laura. The family moved early to Ohio. Asa Ellis had been 
a sailor, and on account of his rolling gait and old look, was 
nick-named "Old Wither." He was the subject of many anec- 
dotes, of which not a few are still remembered. It was his 
boast that he could carry a bushel of corn on his back to mill at 
Geneva, nnd return quicker than he could go without, as the 
weight balanced him for steadier motion. His prowess at fist- 


cuffs was often tested. At a militia training at Naples on one 
occasion, he subdued a boasting, blackguard bully, by thrusting 
his fore-fingers into the fellow's eyes, by way of explaining to 
him how even larger men than he had been whipped with two 

Robert Straughan settled in 1808 on a part of lot 34, North 
Survey. His deed for eighty acres bears date August 1, 1809. 
He sold his land in 1816, to James Scofield, who built a framed 
house, and resided there till 1819, when he sold it to Andrew 
Robson, who remained on it till he died. A part of this land 
belongs now to Mrs. Daniel Smith, and the rest to G. G. Hayes. 
Mr. Straughan was a brother of Mrs. Andrew Robson. 
They came from England. 

Joshua Stearns settled on a part of lot 11, North Survey, in 
1806, remained there till 1810, and then moved to Middlesex. 
The land then became the property of Thaddeus Parsons. It 
is now owned and occupied by Jacob Smith. Mr. Stearns, who 
was a prosaic man, had a vision in his dreams which occurred 
three times. A stranger of foreign aspect appeared before him 
and related how he and others had come from distant climes 
and buried treasure and built a fort, and returned home to lose 
their lives. It is said the directions were followed, the fort 
found on the hill west of Italy Hollow, on ground that bore the 
outlines of a fort overgrown with trees. They found also a 
trench and stream of water that had been described. But 
much digging did not reveal the buried treasure. The fort 
was probably one of those curious earth works, which have been 
found in all parts of the country, and have been referred by 
archasologists to a race of people who preceded the Indian oc- 
cupation. It was located directly west of the residence of 
Ansel Mumford, on lot 21 

John Brown settled in 1800, on a part of lot 19, North Sur- 
vey, and remained there ten years, when he moved to Ohio. 
He was the father of Arza Brown, a noted Methodist preacher 
of Ohio. 

John Hood settled on ten acres of the northeast corner of lot 



23, North Survey, in 1800. A few years later he sold it to Joel 
Cooper and moved away. 


Robert, William and John Graham, were brothers, and sol- 
diers of the Revolution. Robert died in Windham, Vermont, 
and William in Scipio, Cayuga county. John Graham married 
Olive Prouty, and they settled on lot 30, South Survey, in 1811. 
His deed for twenty-six and one-half acres, on the southwest 
corner of the lot was given in 1819. The brothers were of 
powerful physical development, and it is said William was able 
to knock down a horse with his fist. John died in 1834, at the 
age of seventy-seven, and his wife in 1824, at the age of sixty- 
seven. Their children were Olive P., Betsey, John, Mary, 
Lucy, Nancy, Azuba, William and David. 

John Graham, jr., born in Vermont in 1784, settled in 1812 
on thirty acres of the southwest corner of lot 39, South Survey, 
and still resides there with his daughter-in-law. He sold it in 
1835, to his son, William D. Graham, who died in 1861, at the 
age of fifty-three. The wife of John Graham, jr., was Rachel 
Dean, born in Vermont in 1785. She died in 1845. Their 
children were Elizabeth, William D., Alura, Jeremiah, Adaline, 
Phebe, Nancy, John B., Rachel and Edward B. 

William D. married Adaline Fisher, who is still living. Their 
children are Homer A., Francis M., Rachel A., Susan M. and 
Azora A. 

Elizabeth married John Fox, jr., and died in Italy in 1849, 
at the age of forty-four. 

Alura was the second wife of George C. Elliott, and they re- 
sided in Michigan, 

Jeremiah married Harriet Barker. They reside in Italy, 
and have two children. 

Adaline married Joshua H. Burk. She died in 1852, at forty- 
six, leaving children. 

Phebe married Henry Barker, and died in 1848, at the age 
of thirty, leaving three children. 

Nancy married Jeremiah Van Riper, and died in 1848, leav- 
ing children. 


John B. died in 1850, and Rachel in 1848. Edward B. mar- 
ried Rhoda Cornish, and they reside in Michigan. 

Robert Graham, the oldest son of Robert Graham heretofore 
mentioned, married Mary j^nn Ayres, of Chester, Vermont, and 
in 1811 settled on lot 34, South Survey, where he died in 1835, 
at the age of sixty-three. He was the first Methodist class 
leader in Raly Hollow, and remained the leader of the class 
while he lived. He was a man of piety and personal worth, 
and his house was the home of the itinerant preachers. Their 
children were Eunice, Valentine, Samuel, Abagail and Mary 
Ann. The mother of this family was a woman of remarkable 
industry and business capacity. She was particularly distin- 
guished as a knitter. Several times a year she would fill a large 
pair of saddle bags with socks and mittens, and hanging another 
large bundle on the horns of the side saddle, she would visit 
Geneva and Canandaigua, where she would exchange her work 
for merchandize, some of which would be again exchanged for 
more knitting material. In this way she contributed largely to 
the family income. She died in 1836, at the age of sixty-five. 

A remarkable incident is related concerning a " bound boy," 
reared by this family, named Robert Razee, and familiarly 
called " Hardshell." Finding the rats very numerous in a pile 
of unthreshed wheat he moved it, one day ; the rats scudding 
one by one as he proceded, to a dove-cot near by, the outside 
entrance of which was closed. His method of destroying them 
was to reach his hand into the box, and seize one at a time and 
kill it. In this way he actually destroyed ninety of the black 
rascals. This was before the gray or Norway rat invaded the 
country. It may well be credited as related, that the lad pre- 
sented a bloody spectacle when his work was done and bore nu- 
merous and severe wounds. 

Valentine Graham came into the town with his father Robert, 
in 1811. He married Fanny Pierce, and they settled on a part 
of lot 34, South Survey, where he erected the first distillery in 
tnat town, about 1818. That was burned down, and he built 
another on a different site. He was the first postmaster, and 



was .appointed in 1824. The office was then called Italy, and 
was changed to Italy Hollow in 1833, when the Italy Hill office 
was established. He was Justice of the Peace and Town Clerk 
several years. He sold his original residence in 184-1, to William 
Griswold, and moved on lot 49, South Survey, which he had 
previously owned. He died there in 1864. His son-in-law, 
William Bookstaver, then became the owner of the place, and 
afterward sold it to Uretta L. Mann, the present owner and 
occupant. They had twelve children, Fidelia, Amy, Lydia, 
Electa, Valentine, Jane, Mary, Thankful, Guy D., Martin P., 
Eliza and one that died in infancy. 

Samuel Graham, brother of Valentine, came in 1811 with his 
father, after whose death he occupied the same premises, and 
still resides thereon with his son-in-law, Bradford S. Wixom, 
who owns with his wife the homestead. He married first Elea- 
nor Gilbert, who died in 1833, at the age of twenty-four. His 
second wife was Mrs. Lydia Fox. By the first marriage there 
were three children, Gilbert, Semantha and Washington ; by 
the second, Elisha B. and Helen. Gilbert married Mary Ann, 
daughter of Jason Griswold, and they have two children, Mer- 
ita and Emma. They reside at Lima, N. Y. Washington 
married Phebe Pelton. They reside at Kanona, Steuben Co., 
and have children. Semantha is unmarried, residing with her 
father. Elisha B. married Miss Hutchinson, and is a physician 
at Three Rivers, Michigan. Helen is the wife of Bradford S. 

Jonathan Graham married Hannah Arnold, and settled on a 
portion of lot 34, South Survey, in 1812, where he resided till 
1828, when he sold to James Aiken. The children of Jonathan 
Graham were Huldah, Seba Ann and Gorton. Huldah married 
Roswell Lord, and moved to Ohio. Seba Ann married David 
D. W. Foster. They reside in Springwater, Livingston county. 
Gorton was a soldier in the war, belonging to the 12th Mich. 
Volunteers. He was wounded at Pittsburg Landing and 
Shilo, and again at Hatchie Run, and died at Middlebury, 
Tennessee, in hospital in 18G2, leaving a widow and several 




children at Marshall, Michigan. Jonathan Graham died in 
Italy, in 1855, at the age of seventy, and his wife in 1845, at 
the age of sixty-five. The premises whereon he first settled 
were sold by James Aiken in 1832, to A. C. and J. H. Sabin, 
by them in 1838 to Daniel and William Waterbury, who again 
sold in 1849 to James Fisher, and he in 1851 to Stephen Mum- 
ford. After several other transfers, the place is now occupied 
by John Fish. 

Orison Graham, born in Windham, Chester county, VermoDt, 
in 1794, came to Italy Hollow in 1813, and December 10, 1815, 
married Phebe, daughter of Benjamin Bartlett, who was born 
in West Hampton, Mass., in 1795. They settled on the west 
half of lot 25, South Survey, but moved in 1817 on a part of lot 
34, South Survey, where they resided till 1848, when they re- 
moved to Lima, N. Y., where Mrs. Graham died in 1866, just 
fifty-one years after the day of her marriage. She was one of 
the early school teachers in Italy, and a woman of rare excel- 
lence of character. Orison Graham is a carpenter, joiner and 
millwright, and has been a man of laborious industry all his 
life. He built the Baptist Church in Italy Hollow, in 1823, 
which was the first church erected in the town. He also built 
and assisted in the building of most of the mills erected in Italy 
previous to 1848. He still lives, at the age of seventy-six, at 
Honeoye Falls, and delights in the labors of his trade, which 
his good health and active bodily powers enable him to pursue. 
The children of this pair were eleven in number : Lewis B., 
Emily M., Francis S., Oracy S., Sally A., Orison E., Andrew 
J., Phebe L., Robert H. and Ira S., besides one that died in 

Lewis B. Graham, born in Italy in 1816, has been one of its 
most noted sons. At an early day he was active in local affairs, 
and with his ready aptitude for business, held almost every 
town office. He was supervisor four terms, and was postmas- 
ter in Italy Hollow several years, while doing business there 
as a merchant. In 1855 he was elected county clerk, and held 
the office through two terms. For some time he was a Lieut. 




in the eighth Kansas Infantry, a regiment of which his brother 
Robert H. Graham, Avas Colonel. He was honorably dis- 
charged from this service for physical disability. Afterwards 
he was Assistant IT. S. Assessor for three years, and is now en- 
gaged in the insurance business in Penn Yan, where he has 
resided since his first election as county clerk. He married 
first in 1838, Maria Gillet, of Italy. He married in 1849 a sec- 
ond wife, Pamela S., daughter of William S. Green. She died 
in 1860. By each of these marriages three children were born. 
Those of the first, Emily M., Alice A. and Lewis C, are all 
dead. The children of the second marriage were Orison W., O. 
Lucretia and P. Theodocia, In 1862 Mr. Graham married a 
third wife, Sarah, daughter of James NcNair. They have one 
son, Robert Henry. 

Emily M. became the second wife of Martin R. Pierce. They 
reside at Honeoye Falls. Their surviving children are Martin, 
Seymour, Emily L., Maria J., Fanny C. and Ella W. 

Francis S. married first, Lucy Markham. She died in 1853, 
in Italy. Their surviving children are Susan A., and Francis 
P. He married a second wife, Amanda Miller, and they now 
reside [at Sherman City, Cherokee county, Kansas. Their 
children are John J. and Robert H. 

Orison E. died of consumption in 1848, at the age of twenty- 

Andrew J. married Helen Wilcox. They live at Leonidas, 
St. Joseph county, Michigan, and have three children. 

Robert H. Graham married Elizabeth Kuck, of Orleans Co., 
and died of consumption in 1862, at the age of twenty-nine. 
He was a young man of remarkable ability and personal worth. 
Beginning life with few resom'ces except his capacity and cour- 
age, in his twentieth year he edited and published the Genesee 
Valley Gazette, at Lima, which he continued to conduct for two 
years, while pursuing his academical studies. Owing to ill 
health, he left that position, and afterwards graduated at the Al- 
bany Law School, in 1857. Taking up his residence at Moline, 
Illinois, he conducted there the Moline Independent, and prac- 


ticed law till 1861. In the summer of that year he raised a 
company of cavalry at Moline, and repaired to Leavenworth, 
where his ability and judgment at once made him a prominent 
military leader. He had command at Lexington, Mo., kept a 
large rebel force at bay, and performed other valuable services. 
Major General David Hunter, appointed him Colonel of the 8th 
Kansas Volunteers, Provost Marshal General of Kansas, and 
commander of a camp of instruction at Leavenworth. Failing 
health compelled him to a reluctant resignation, and he died 
soon after. His was a light of no common brilliancy. 

Ira S. married Maria Wells. They live at Hampton, 111., and 
have two children, Lewis W. and a daughter. 

Oracy S. resides with her father, unmarried. 

Lucretia died of consumption .in 1848, at eighteen. Sally 
died young, in 1823. 

One summer evening in 1812, John and Valentine Graham 
watched a deer lick , near the bank of a ravine, on the place af- 
terwards owned by Amos Arnold. Each climbed a tree to be 
above the keen scented animals when they came to the lick. 
After waiting somewhat late, and the moon had gone down, they 
heard the sniffing of some animal which seemed to suspect their 
proximity. After some time its fears seemed to subside, and it 
commenced sipping the water. They fired simultaneously, and 
a shriek so human in its tone echoed through the woods, that 
they supposed they had shot an Indian. The wounded creature 
struggled to escape, and they heard it fall down the steep bank 
into the ravine below. They carefully descended and went 
home. Early the next morning they procured of Robert Gra- 
ham an Indian dog, and returned to rescue the Indian they be- 
lieved they had shot. Samuel Graham, a brother of Valentine, 
accompanied them, and the dog pursued the trail till they found 
a large bear at bay, instead of the Indian they were looking for. 
Bruin had tried to climb the sides of the ravine, but could not, 
had finally slipped from the body of a fallen tree on which he 
was trying to cross the stream, and was found in deep water. 
He taspt the dog aloof by his offered embraces, and the hunters 



fired nearly all their bullets into his head without any apparent 
effect. One finally severed the jugular vein and finished him. 
They found their previous bullets had all flattened on his skull. 
The bear was a fat one, weighing about four hundred pounds, 
and the meat was considered a valuable acquisition. 

In the fall of 1816, Orison Graham, who lived near to where 
the Italy Hollow churches are located, had a hog taken from his 
pen at night by a bear. Mr. Graham's gun was lent, and his 
axe was not in its place, but he soon found it and pursued the 
feloniousHbear, but too late. Bruin bore off his booty in triumph. 
A trap set by what remained of the hog after the bear's feast, 
caught the old Indian dog, but the bear did not return. 

Benjamin Bartlett, born at North Hampton, Mass., in 1774, 
married Martha Montgomery, of the same place, born in 1775. 
They settled on a part of lot 30, South Survey, in 1811, and 
lived there till 1850, when they moved to Castile, Wyoming 
county, where he died in 1857, at the age of eighty-three. He 
was a man of large reading and superior intelligence, and his 
memory w T as an inexhaustible treasury of incidents and anecdotes, 
especially of revolutionary times. Then- children were Phebe, 
Martha, Benjamin, Marian, John M., Jane, Nancy, Elizabeth, 
Silas, George W. and Sybil. The mother died in Italy, in 1852, 
at the age of seventy-seven. Phebe was the wife of Orison Gra- 
ham, and Martha of John Bradish. Benjamin and Marian died 
young. John M. married late in life, Mary Montgomery, a 
widow. They had one son, George W., who was killed in 
Tennessee while in the Federal -service, during the recent war. 
Jane married Benjamin Dumbolton, and lives at Mt. Carrol, 
Illinois. Nancy married Martin R. Pierce, and died at West 
Mendon, N. Y., leaving two children, Francis and Byron. 
Elizabeth married Leonard White, and had two children, Martha 
and Morris. They reside at Honeoye Falls, N. Y. Silas mar- 
ried Hannah Preston. They had three children, Morris, James 
and Clinton. Morris was killed in the battle at Peach Orchard, 
Tennessee, while in the Union service. James served three 
years as a soldier, and married Octavia Barker. They reside at 


Prattsburg. Silas Bartlett died in Italy, in 1866, at the age of 
fifty-two. His widow has since married Justus H. Simpson, 
and they reside at Prattsburg. George W. Bartlett is still 
single. Sybil married Benjamin F. Taylor. They reside at 
Prattsburg, and have four children. 

George McMurphy married Eunice, sister of Robert and Ori- 
son Graham. He was a man noted for ingenuity, activity and 
enterprize. They settled in 1812, on a part of lot 30, South 
Survey, and remained there till 1823, when the family emigrated 
to Rock Island, 111. Going to Olean, he constructed with his 
own hands, a flat bottomed boat with which he reached St. 
Louis. He was restless and changable, and had owned land 
where Rochester, Seneca Falls and Waterloo are respectively 
situated. In Illinois he was made county surveyor and swamp 
commissioner. He and his wife both died at Rock Island. 
Their children were Solomon, Betsey, Sophia, Eunice, Margaret, 
Mary, George R. and Irene. 

James Aiken, who bought the place of Jonathan Graham in 
1828, on lot 34, South Survey, afterwards purchased a farm of 
Amos Dean, on lot 30, where he lived till 1850. He married 
first, a sister of Ezekiel and John M. Page, and Mrs. Jesse Mc- 
Allaster. His second wife was the widow of Josephus Wood- 
ruff, and his third, Mrs. French, of Naples, with whom he re- 
moved to Michigan. Of the children of the first marriage, Lois 
married Eldridge R. Herrick, and died in Italy. Loretta died 
unmarried. James M. married Philena Arnold, and moved to 
Michigan. Erasmus also married and moved to Michigan. 
Olive married Landy Corey. Sarah married John Thomas, and 
resides in Rushville. 


One of the most peculiar characters of the early period of 
Italy history was Isaac Barker, who came from North Hampton, 
Mass. He married Martha Mc Niel, and they settled on lot 30, 
South Survey in 1810; and there they lived till he died. He 
was an intense lover of wild sport, a great deer and bee hunter, 
and fisherman. He and his "Chum Ben," as lie called Benjamin 


Bartlett, after both were past middle age, delighted in fine "bee 
weather," and pickerel fishing, long after most of the brook trout 
had disappeared. Italy was chiefly a wilderness yet, and the 
deer lingered in its solitudes. The doe with lively maternal in- 
stincts would lead her speckled fawns into the clearings at dusk 
or early dawn to crop the tender herbage, and no one was so 
cruel as to raise the murderous rifle to destroy them. But when 
the hoar frost had killed the verdure, the leaves had fallen, and 
the slightest noise could be heard, the hunter felt that all his ad- 
dress and craft, were required to hunt down the fleet-footed deer, 
and the chase was all life and strategy. 

Italy was for a long period a perfect Gibraltar for the Democ- 
racy, and Isaac Barker was an unfaltering Democrat. lie looked 
with disdain on a Federalist, and in his eyes a Whig was scarcely 
better. When Dr. Doubleday was in the zenith of his power, 
and " Uncle Ike" and all his sons were his backers, the Whigs 
made a light shoAV of strength in Italy. But the old traditional 
story was hardly true, that Italy would keep on voting till the 
exigencies required by the canvass at Penn Yan were fully sat- 
isfied. "Uncle Ike" was an ardent politician, and true to his 
convictions, but not insensible to acts of kindness, and therefore 
not impregnable to the wiles of politicians. Mordecai Ogden 
was a candidate for re-election to the Assembly in 1836. He 
had grievously offended his Italy friends by voting for a tax on 
dogs, and something had to be done to placate them. Mr. Og- 
den was a man of tact and ready resources. He and " Phil 
Baldwin," John Thomas and other men of political diplomacy, 
visited Italy, a grand deer hunt was organized, and the boys 
were well paid to drive the deer. Always thereafter, a favorite 
deer gun of Mordecai Ogden's hung on " Uncle Ike's" gun hook, 
and was known as " Old Ogden." The election which soon fol- 
lowed was satisfactory in its results. Italy discomfited and dis- 
appointed the Whigs very sorely. The children of this family 
were Isaac, Enoch, Nelson ("Nub"), Hiram, Judith, Moses, 
Henry, Martha, Almira, Whitman H., Nancy, Ichabod B. and 


Amos Arnold, whose wife was Eliza, daughter of Rufus Ed- 
son, senior, settled on lot 38, South Survey, in 1812. He con- 
tinued to reside there while he lived, and his wife some years 
later, till her decease, when it became the property of their son- 
in-law, Philip C. Wetherby, who still resides on it. Their 
children'were Henry G., Mary, Cephas H, Philena, William, 
Louisa, Rufus E., James and Lucy. Henry G., Rufus E. and 
James married and moved to Michigan. Mary is married and 
resides in Ontario county. William married and died at Naples. 
Cephas and Louisa died unmarried. Philena is the wife of 
George R. Youngs, of Penn Yan, and Lucy is the wife of Philip 
C. Wetherby, of Italy. 


James Fox, born in Vermont, married Jane Dean, and they 
settled in 1813, on lot 30, South Survey. He was the first mili- 
tia captain in the town, and was always known as Captain Fox. 
He was a school teacher, and held various town offices, including 
that of Justice of the Peace, from 1819 to 1843. He was a 
widely known and highly respected citizen, and died in 1868, 
at the age of eighty -two. His wife died in 1852, at the age of 
sixty-seven. They had nine sons, Thomas J., James L., Amos 
D., William H., Ira S., Lewis M., Alden D., Charles H. and 
Jeremiah F. Thomas J. married first, Jane Cameron, and a 
second wife, widow Mary Fuller. A son, Melvin, was the fruit 
of the second marriage. James L. married first, Judith Barker, 
and they had two children, Ira and Alden. He married a sec- 
ond wife, Mary, daughter of Judge John Crawford, of Dix, 
Schuyler county, where they reside. 

Amos D. Fox married first, Mary McConnell. Their children 
were Holden, Braman, Jane, Freeman, Eugene and Alzina. 
He has a second wife, widow Hannah Burk. 

William H. married Elizabeth Gillett, and they have three 
children Rosalie, Osbert and Celestia. Ira S. died young. 

Lewis M. married Emeline Ingraham, and both are dead, 
leaving one son, Harlan. 

Alden D. Fox married Amy Robson. They have two child- 



rep, Anna and Elmer. He is the present Comity Clerk of Yates 
comity, and has been oftener supervisor than any other citizen of 

Charles H. married Maria Fuller, and their surviving child- 
ren are Oscar, Merrill and Irving. Both parents are dead. 

Jeremiah F. married Mary Smith. They had one daughter. 
He died in 1854, and his widow married again. 

Josiah Barker settled on Lot 30, South Survey, in 1813, and 
died there soon after, when the farm went into the possession 
of Asahel Stone, jr., who sold it to Asa Cooper, who also died 
in 181G. Cooper's administrators sold the land to Asahel Stone, 
jr., again, who re-sold it to Whitman Reynolds, who settled on 
it in 1810, and died there in 1819 at the age of twenty-seven ; 
the third young and active citizen who died in the same house 
within six years, all married men. The wife of Whitman 
Reynolds was Pamelja White, and she continued to reside on 
the same premises till her death in 1842, at the age of forty- 
nine. Their children were Laura, Minerva, Sally and Whit- 
man H. The widow married a second husband, Joseph Cole, 
and they had a daughter, Roxana. Laura married Hiram Ca- 
rey, and both are dead, leaving children. Minerva married 
Charles G. Maxfield, and they reside in Italy. Sally married 
Ansel Treat, and their children were Whitman R. and Eunice. 
She obtained a divorce from Treat, and married Ambrose Bur- 
den. There were four children by the second marriage. Whit- 
man H. Reynolds married Ruth Pelton. They have had four 
children, and reside in Italy. Roxana Cole married Albert 
Baxter, and died in Steuben county, leaving children. 

Elisha Barker settled on lot 63, South Survey, in 1814, and 
lived there till 1846, when he sold to his son Elisha D. Barker, 
who sold it a few years later to Isaac Barclay, from whom it 
passed to Edwin R. Potter, and from him to Lorenzo D. Fox, 
the present owner and occupant. Mr. Bai'ker built a saw mill 
on this place in 1820. His wife was Thankful Strong, and their 
children were Orlando, Moses, Lydia, Joseph S., Thankful, 
Eliza, Elisha D. and Anna. Orlando married Fidelia, daugh- 



ter of Samuel Barker, senior. They lived many years in Italy 
and Naples, and finally moved to Michigan, where both died 
in 1869. Moses died unmarried in Italy. Lydia married first, 
Dudley Fox, a brother of James and John Fox, and they had a 
daughter, Thankful, who died in Michigan. She afterwards 
became the second wife of Samual Graham, and they had two 
children, Helen and Elisha B. 

Joseph S. married a Miss McConnell, and moved to Michigan. 
Thankful died young. Eliza moved to Michigan, and is dead. 
Anna married her cousin, Samuel Barker, jr., and they had 
three children. Elisha D. married Clarissa, daughter of Jere- 
miah Fisher, and they reside in Italy, on her father's home- 

Elisha Barker was several times supervisor of Italy. He had 
twelve brothers, of whom Isaac and Samuel were two, and one 
sister. It was a favorite conundrum of his father to state that 
he had twelve sons, and each son had a sister. The common 
response to his query, " How many children have I," was 
" twenty-four." 

Henderson Cole, settled in 1810, on lot No. 8, north east 
section, remaining there till 1837, when he sold to John Haga- 
dorn, who lived on it till 1851. He sold it to David Servise, 
who died in 1856, and his executor, Henry Servise, sold it to 
Inslee McLoud. Mr. Cole, who removed from the county in 
1837, was one of the Justices of the Peace by appointment, pre- 
vious to the election of Justices by the people. 

Daniel Ensign settled on lot 44, South Survey, in 1812, and 
remained there ten years, when he removed to Bristol, Ontario 
county, and thence to Ohio. His wife was Sally, a sister of 
Robert, Jonathan and Orison Graham, and they had nine 
children. A small stream, tributary to Flint Creek, on his land 
was formerly known as " Ensign Gully." 

James Slaughter settled on the east part of lot 11, South Sur- 
vey, in 1812, and lived there till 1820. He sold to Thomas 
Smith, a colored man, who died suddenly in 1823, and whose 
body was " snatched" by the physicians, as was proved by 


opening his grave. His widow sold the land in 1830, to Alex- 
ander Southerland, by whom it was again sold in 1846 to Dr. 
Israel Chissom, who sold it the following year to Isaac D. Ells- 
worth, the present owner. 

John Craft settled in 1812, on lot 36, North East Survey. 
He sold to Philip Buckhout, in 1823, who sold to William C. 
Keech. The land is now owned by Peter Pulver. 

Rufus Edson, jr., settled on lot 16, South Survey, in 1809. 
He took a deed from Robert Troup in 1814, for lots 16 and 21, 
and March 5, 1816, deeded lot 16 to his father, Rufus Edson, 
senior. He soon after moved away. 

Rufus Edson, senior, settled on lot 16, South Survey, in 1816, 
whei-e he lived until his decease. He was killed by lightning 
in 1828. The land then passed into possession of his son, 
Bazaleel Edson, who held it during his life time, and it is now 
owned and occupied by his son, Elisha B. Edson. Rufus Ed- 
son, senior, was an early Methodist, having joined that church 
in Vermont, with John Graham, senior, and Robert Graham 
and wife. John Wesley, another son of Bazaleel Edson, married 
Miss Gillett, of Naples. She is dead, and he still lives in Italy. 

James Tourtelotte settled on lot 29, South Survey, in 1818, 
and resided there many years. His wife Lucy, was a sister of 
Mrs. William Smith. Their children were Adam, Lucy and 
Abraham. Mr. Tourtelotte was an excellent nurse, and was 
long remembered for his care of the sick during an " Epidemic 
Fever" in 1820. Adam Tourtelotte married first, Amy Gay, 
and his second wife was Miss Wing. The children of the first 
wife were Joseph, Amos, Lucy and others. There was one 
child by the second marriage. Joseph, son of Adam Tourtelotte, 
married Almina Wood. They liver at Liberty, N. Y. Amos 
married Octavia Barker, and they reside in Italy. Lucy is 
the second wife of Walter D. Green. 

Abraham Tourtelotte moved away, and Lucy married Amos 
Tanner, residing in Steuben county. 

William Douglass, whose wife Betsey, was a sister of Arte- 
mas Crouch, was the first Quaker in Italy. He settled on lot 


17, South Survey, in 1816, and moved elsewhere after a few 

Amos Fowler was the first man of African lineage who set- 
tled in Italy, and he took up his residence on lot 7, North Sur- 
vey, in 1815. He was an industrious man, a good citizen, and 
much esteemed. He gained a considerable property, which he 
lost through the knavery of white men. He and his wife still 
live in Michigan. 


William Green settled on lot 7, North Survey, in 1815, and 
on land previously owned by Jacob Virgil. He there erected 
the first ashery in town, which he carried on for several years. 
He lived on the same place until his death, in 1860. He was 
one of the constituent members of the first Baptist church in 
Italy, and his widow, who died in Potter, in 1868, was the last 
one of that original number. William Green was a man who 
honored his christian profession, and of him it could truly be 
said, he had no enemy. His first wife was Pamila Sanger, 
and their children were William S. and an infant that was 
buried with its mother, in 1810. Mr. Green's second wife was 
Polly Hutchins, and their children were Lyman H., Henry, Pa- 
mila S., Charles H., Semantha, Harriet, George W. and Esther 
A. Lyman H. Green died in Middlesex, in 1849, from injuries 
by a fall from an apple tree. His wife was Bathena Christie, 
and their children were William, Franklin J. and Ella. 
Pamila S. married Eldridge R. Herri ck. 
Charles H. married first, Nancy Markham, and his second 
wife was Miss Blair. He lives in Gorham, with a third wife, 
Miss Blair, a sister of the second. One child was born of the 
first, and one by the second marriage, and there are also child- 
ren by the third marriage. 

George W. married Clarissa, daughter of Truman Reed. They 

reside in Middlesex, and have children. Semantha married Eli 

Quick, and they also live in Middlesex. Esther A. married 

John S. Phelps. They reside in Potter, and have children. 

William S. Green, the oldest son of William Green, and still 



a prominent and estimable citizen of Italy, married Theodosia 
Keeney. He came into the town with his father, and settled 
on lot 23, North Survey, where he now resides. He has been 
a careful, upright, industrious and religious citizen from his 
earliest manhood. He has held numerous offices in the town, 
and is in the quiet enjoyment of a well-earned competence. 
His first wife died in 1856. Their children were Lucy L., Pa- 
mila S., Walter D., Champion K., Emily A., Laura J. and 
Charlotte A. 

Lucy L. married Spencer Clark, 2d. They have two child- 
ren, Charles W. and Edwin, and reside in Italy. 

Pamila S. was the second wife of Lewis B. Graham, and 
died in Penn Yan, in 1860, at the age of twenty-nine. 

Walter D. married first, Frances Blair, in 1855. His second 
wife was Lucy Tourtelotte, and they reside at Canandaigua. 

Champion K. married Ann Grace Robson, and they reside 
in Illinois. Emily A. married Charles Bell, and they reside at 
Rushville. Laura J. married Elzor B. James, and they reside 
in Italy. Charlotte A. marrietl Robert McGilliard. They have 
one child, and reside at Saxon, Henry county, Illinois. 

William S. Green has a second wife, Elmina Colton. 

William Green, the head of this family, was a son of Captain 
Henry Green, one of the pioneers of Rushville, and who died 
there in 1849, at the age of eighty-six. His children were 
William, John, Clark, Henry, Erastus, Bingham, Hezekiah, 
Esther, Jerusha and Sally. The sons all became fathers of 
families. William and John settled in Italy, and some of their 
descendants remain there still. 

John Green settled on lot 28, Brother's Survey, in 1825. 
His wife was a sister of Mrs. William Green, and Harvey, Hez- 
ekiah and Asahel Green were their sons. John Green died in 
1865, at the age of seventy-seven. His son Harvey has been 
twice married. Hezekiah married Miss Geroulds, and has a 
surviving daughter, Alice. They reside in Middlesex. Asa- 
hel H. married Miss Bennett, and also re sides in Middlesex. 
A daughter of John Green married Erastus G. Clark. She is 


now the wife of Silas Wiley, and resides on the old William 
Clark homestead. Another daughter of John Green married 
Alanson L. Parsons, and resides in Middlesex. 

Charles Hutching was the father of the wives of William and 
John Green. He settled in Italy in 1815, and lived on lot 3, 
North Survey. He died of sunstroke by the roadside, unat- 
tended, on the 4th of July, 1828. He was the first revolution 
ary pensioner in Italy, and is well remembered by the people 
of Italy as the man who always had a kernel of corn in his 
mouth instead of a quid of tobacco. 

Thadeus Parsons settled on lot 11, North Survey, in 1809, 
and lived there many years, when he sold it to his son, Alanson 
L., who afterwards sold it to Charles H. Green, and he to Wash- 
ington Graham, by whom it was again sold to its present owner, 
Jacob Smith. Warham Parsons, the father of Thadeus, came 
to the town with his son, and resided with him while he lived. 
Thadeous Parsons is still living, in the town of Phelps. His 
wife was Sophia Read, and their children were Alanson L., 
Elisha, Orrin, Elzor B., Truman R., Franklin, Emeline, Ange- 
line and Caroline. Alanson married a daughter of John 
Green. Elisha married Sally Phelps, and they reside in the 
town of Phelps. Orrin is a physician, and resides in Wayne 
county. Franklin died in Italy, unmarried. Emeline married 
Charles Bell, and died on the birth of a daughter. Caroline 
died unmarried. 

Charles Mumford settled on a part of Lot 18, North Survey, 
in 1819, and lived there till 1837, when the place became the 
property of his son, Ansel Mumford, who occupied it till 1863, 
and then sold it to H. U. Garrett, who lived on it till his death, in 
18G9. His widow still retains it. Charles Mumford was a quiet, 
dustrious citizen, and served many years as constable and col- 
lector. He reached the age of eighty-nine, and died in 1869. 
He married three times, and by the first marriage, with a Miss 
Curtiss, the children were Ira, Stephen, Elijah, Curtiss and An- 
sel. By the third, with Miss Bell, there was one child, Alsina. 


Ira married Uretta L. sister of Russell A. Mann, and removed 
to St. Joseph, Michigan. 

Stephen married Mary Ann, daughter of Robert Graham, 
and their children were Jane, Mary Ann, Semantha, Charles, 
Adaline, Martin V. B., Thales L., Stephen and Adelaide. 

Stephen Mumford was many years a class-leader in Italy 
Hollow ; was a supervisor several times, and a man of activity 
and importance in the community. He was celebrated as a 
veterinary surgeon, and in late years as a homoeopathic phy- 
sician. He died in Naples, in 1863. 

Elijah married Clarinda Gilman, and their children were 
Lavina and Emory. He has been dead many years. 

Curtiss married Amanda Cole, and they reside in Rushville. 
Their children are Josephine, Julia and Ella. 

Ansel Mumford married Mary, daughter of William Green. 
Their children are Mary, Ira and Ella. They are residents of 
Italy. Mary married Elzor B. Lindsley, of Middlesex, a noted 
farmer of that town. Ira married Emma Jones, of Middlesex. 
Ella married James W. Kartsough. 

Alsina Mumford married Lorenzo Herriok. 

Joel Cooper settled on lot 26, North Survey, in 1818, and 
lived there a number of years, finally selling his land to Charles 
Clark, and removing to Allegany county. A daughter of his 
married Doctor Allen, of Middlesex. 

Charles Clark, whose wife was Vesta Watkins, settled on 
the north half of Lot 26, North Survey in 1818. He purchased 
other lands, and resided there through life. He died in 1862, 
at the age of seventy -two, and his wife in 1863, at the age of 
seventy-one. Their children were Pharez, Spencer, Roxana, 
Jason W., Arza B., Orrin W. and Mary. 

Pharez married first Olive P., daughter of Daniel Smith, and 
a second wife, Jane Rathburn. By' the first marriage the 
children were Lucy and Daniel C, and by the second, one son. 
They reside in Italy. 

Spencer, generally known as Spencer Clark, 2nd, married 
Lucy L., oldest daughter William S. Green. They have two 


children: Charles C. and Edward K, and reside on the Keeney 
homestead in Italy. 

Roxana married Roswell R. Lee, and bore him one son, 
Charles. She died in 1850, at the age of thirty. 

Jason W. lives in Oswego, N. Y., where he has been twice 

Arza B. married Mary Cotton. They live in Italy and 
have one son, Orison. 

Orrin W. married Margaret Wing. He died leaving two 
children, and she married a second husband, Alvin Dexter. 
They reside on her paternal homestead. 

Mary married Stephen Merritt. He died, and she married a 
second husband, Shepherd Rowell. 

Spencer Clark, a brother of Charles Clark, came to Italy in 
1819, and resided with his brother. He was a prominent citi- 
citizen, and held the office of supervisor and assessor a number 
of years. He died in 1869, at the age of eighty -four. 

Jeduthan Wing settled on the south half of lot 26, North 
Survey, in 1817, where he remained through life. He died 
within a few years, while/m a visit to his son, Holden T. Wing, 
in Michigan. His widow occupied the place some years later. 
It is now the home of his son-in-law, Alvin Dexter, who mar- 
ried their daughter Margaret, the widow of Orrin Clark. Sa- 
rah, the first wife of Jeduthan Wing, died in 1829, at the age 
of thirty-nine. His second wife was Mrs. Cyntha Odell, who 
died in 1834, at the age of forty-three. His third wife was 
Mrs. Hubbard. By the first marriage the children were Hol- 
den T., Minerva and Jeduthan ; and by the third, George, 
Samuel J., Margaret and Robert. Holden T. Wing was a 
prominent citizen of Italy, and a candidate in the election of 
1844 for Member of Assembly. He was a native of Italy, and 
was one of the early school teachers in that town. His defeat 
as a candidate for the Assembly was caused by the " Hunker" 
Democrats, he being an ardent Anti-slavery man. He moved 
to St. Joseph, Michigan, where he is a leading citizen. 

James Scofield settled on lot 3, South Survey (Italy Hill), 


in 1812, and lived there four years, when he sold his place and 
purchased of Robert Straughan a part of lot 31, North Survey, 
where he erected a framed house which h still standing, and is 
known as the " Scofield House." He was a Methodist, and the 
grandfather of Major General John M. Scofield, late Secretary 
of War. In 1819 he sold his place to Andrew Robson, and 
moved away. 

Samuel H. Torrey settled on the south half of lot 15, North 
Survey, in 1812, and lived there till 1821. He then moved on 
lot 45, North Survey, and continued to keep the public house 
previously kept by Charles Graves, with whom he exchanged 
land. In 1825 he sold the place to Abraham and Michael 
Maxfield. While he owned this place, he sold from it the site 
of the Baptist church in Italy Hollow, acd the Society built on 
it the house of worship they still occupy. The Maxfields sold 
the place to Pelton, Pelton to Nickerson, and he to Obadiah 
Geer. It is now owned by his son, George W. Geer. 

The wife of Samuel H. Torrey was Mary Straughan, sister 
of Mrs. Andrew Robson. Their children were Jane, Samuel 
II., Nicholas, Lucy, Olive and Henry. Samuel II. Torrey, jr., 
married Elizabeth, daughter of Michael Maxfield. He repre- 
sented the western district of Ontario county in the Assembly, 
in 1868 and '69. 

Samuel Dean, senior, settled in 1820, on let 34, North Sur- 
vey. He was from Taunton, Mass., and first settled in Jeffer- 
son county, moving thence to Italy. His first wife was Electa 
Chamberlain, who died in Jefferson county, and his second 
wife, widow Pierce, of Italy. Among the children of the first 
marriage were Mrs. James Fox, and Mrs. John Graham, jr. 
Besides these there were Rachel, Hannah, Hepsabah, Samuel J., 
Amos, Davis, Increase, Freeman and Nancy. By the second 
marriage there were three children, Harry, Eliza and Harriet. 
Samuel Dean, jr., married Miss Haynes, and settled on lot 56, 
South Survey, where he died. They had six children. Davis 
Dean married a sister of John Bradish. He settled in Italy as 
early as 1820, where he has lived since, except while a portion 



of the time residing in Naples. Amos Dean came with his 
father, bought land of Isaac Barker, and married Betsey Lud- 
low. Their children were Amos, Nancy and Darius. Nancy 
married Jeremiah Laflin. She had one child, and died in Italy. 
Samuel Dean, senior, sold his property in Italy, and moved to 

Charles Graves settled on the east half of lot 45, North Sur- 
vey, in 1813, where he erected and kept the first inn in Italy. 
He remained there till 1821, when he exchanged farms with 
Samuel H. Torrey, senior. In the mean time, he had sold 
parcels of his first purchase to his brother, Eli Graves, Austin 
Graves, Joseph Brownell, Michael Maxfield and Truman Cur- 
tiss, and a cluster of houses had been erected near the carding 
and cloth dressing works of Michael Maxfield. While Mr. 
Graves owned the land, he also erected the saw mill which pre- 
ceded the one now owned by Aaron Matthews. He next 
moved on that part of lot 15, obtained of Samuel H. Torrey, 
and lived there till 1828, when he sold to Geoi-ge Nutten, and 
moved to Howard, Steuben county. Nutten sold the place in 
1851 to Salmon Burtch, who afterwards sold it to Henry W. 
Smith. By him it was again sold to Charles H. Green. It is 
now owned by David Schuyler, the present occupant. 

On this lot stands the celebrated Big Elm of Italy Hollow, 
by far the largest tree in the county. Tradition says the In- 
dians met in council under its branches. A lew rods from the 
northwest corner of this lot, a boring for oil was made in 1865 
to the depth of six hundred and eighty feet. An excellent salt 
well was the result, and many barrels of a fine quality of salt 
Avere manufactured from this brine, in 1867. 

Eli Graves settled on a part of lot 45, in 1814, and resided 
there till 1828, when he sold his place to Russel A. Mann, by 
whom it was sold to his daughter, Uretta L. Mann. She sold 
it to Henry Williams, who still owns and lives on it. 

Truman Curtiss settled on a part of lot 31, North Survey, in 
1810. He afterwards moved on lot 45, South Survey, where 
he lived many years. But two of his children remained in the 


county, Joshua B., who moved away some years ago, and Mrs. 
Reuben Wheaton. 

Rufus Razee settled on a part of lot 42, North Survey, in 
1814. He was a small, lithe and irascable man, concerning 
whom many anecdotes are rife. He was plaintiff in a law suit, 
in which occurred the first jury trial in Italy. Israel Mead, the 
defendant, was charged with killing the plaintiff's horse. 
Asahel Stone, jr., was the justice before whom the trial took 
place. This was in 1816, and every freeholder in town, twelve 
in all, was summoned and in attendance. The jurors drawn 
and sworn were Jabez Metcalf, Henry Roff, jr., Elias Lee, Silas 
Crouch, Edward. Low and Benjamin Bartlett. It was proved 
that on a certain night, defendant and others watched at a deer 
lick, and that during the night, defendant discharged his gun at 
something he heard, but found nothing as the effect of his shot. 
It was also proved that the horse in question was found shot 
and dead near the deer lick. The jury found no cause of action. 
David. Mead settled on lot 29, South Survey, in 1815, where 
he lived four years, and. left without the cognizance of his 
neighbors, to avoid imprisonment for debt. Some of the living 
remember yet the excitement caused by a story that he had 
been murdered. Search was even made for his body, and it 
was reported that his ghost had been seen. Parties were set 
to watch in the haunted house, who gave account of strange 
sights and noises. Mead afterwards returned, and thus spoiled 
the ghost story. 

William J. Kinney settled on a part of lot 34, about 1815. 
He sold to Robert Graham, and left the town. 

RusselA. Mann settled in 1824, on the farm purchased of 
Eli Graves, and died there in 1854. He deeded the property 
to Uretta Louisa, his daughter, who resided on it till 1866. 
Mrs. Mann was a Miss Bull, of Prattsburg. She still resides in 
Italy with her daughter, Uretta. Their children were Elisha 
G. A., Uretta L., Charles, Edward, Harmon and Emily. Eli- 
sha G. A. married Sarah Abbey, and moved west. Uretta 
never married. Charles, Edward and Harmon died unmarried. 


Emily married Fenton Coville. She died in Italy in 1869, 
leaving children. 

William E. Smith settled on a part of lot 29, North Survey, 
in 1813. His wife was Margaret, daughter of Rufus Edson, 
senior. After his death she married Moses Bardeen. 

William Smith came from Vermont, but was a native of 
Hartford, Ct. He settled first in Prattsburg, came into Italy 
in 1814, and settled on lot 29, South Survey. He was the 
father of Daniel, Chester, William E., Newman S., Abagail and 
Sally. He lived with his son Daniel, until his death. 

Daniel Smith came into Italy with his father, and took title 
to a part of lot 29, South Survey. His wife was Nancy, daugh- 
ter of John Graham, senior. He sold his place to Newton Bax- 
ter, and purchased the farm owned by Robert Tait, where he 
resided till his death. His widow still occupies the farm. He 
was commissioner of highways, and supervisor of Italy many 
years. Their children were Olive P., Henry W. and Elisha D. 
Olive married Pharez Clark, and had two children, Lucy and 
Daniel C. She died in Italy, in 1854. Henry W. Smith mar- 
ried first, Ann Markham, and she bore him two children. She 
died in Rushville, in 1868. He married a second wife, Miss 
Borden. He is a homoeopathic physician, and resides again in 
Italy Hollow, after several years residence at Rushville. Elisha 
D. married Helen Henderson, who died in 1866. He married 
a second wife, Miss Rowell, and they have one child. He is 
also a practising homoeopathic physician. 

Chester Smith settled in Italy with his father, and lived on a 
part of lot 30, South Survey. His wife was Lora, daughter of 
Thomas Treat, and she survived her husband many years, resid- 
ing where they first settled. Their daughter Sally, married a 
Mr. Wheaton, and died in Prattsburg. Clarissa, another 
daughter, married Charles W. Brown, residing at Dresden, in 
this county. They have three children. Emily, another 
daughter, married Andrew J. Barker, a son of Orlando Barker. 
She was the mother of three children, and died in Italy. Mary 



Jane, the fourth daughter, married Andrew J. Ferguson. They 
reside in Torrey, and have had three children. 

Newman S. Smith married Eunice Blackrnan, and both died 
in Italy. Their children were George E. and Reuben B. 
George E. married and died in Michigan, and his brother went 
to Illinois with his mother's family. 

Abagail Smith married a Mr. Latimore. 

Sally, the remaining sister, married a Mr. Prouty. They live 
in Ontario county, and have several children 

Elisha Pierce settled on lot 3, South Survey (Italy Hill), in 
1816, and remained there till 1823. He sold it to Moses Locke, 
who lived on it till 1828, and sold it to Dr. Elisha Doubleday. 
Mr. Pierce was a constable many years in Italy. 

Holden Stone settled on a part of lot 4, South Survey, in 
1816, and resided there till his death, in 1843, at the age of 
seventy-six. His wife, Sally, remained on the same premises 
till her death, in 1857, at the age of seventy-nine ; their son, 
Leonard, lived on the same land till 1860, when he sold it and 
moved from the county. 


Truman Reed, born in Windsor, Mass., in 1790, settled on 
lot 3, North Survey, in 1815, and still resides on a portion of 
the same land in 1870. His first wife was Sally, daughter of 
John and Sally Brown. They were married in 1821. They 
made their home in the woods when they first settled in Italy. 
There was no road through the Hollow, except as the brush 
had been cut away, and the trees blazed. A road had been 
partly cut through by Charles Williamson, who had designed to 
make a highway in that direction from Bath to Canandaigua 
and Geneva, and after a part of the work had been accomplished 
abandoned the project. The Indians made their annual hunt- 
ing visits to that locality, some years after Mr. Reed settled 
there. He states that one day they came to his place with five 
young wolves they had just caught east ot his house, for which 
they obtained a large bounty. It was impossible for some time 
to keep sheep, and the second season he settled there, a bear 


came down from the hill and carried off a hog. It was also a 
remarkable locality for rattlesnakes, large numbers of them 
being killed every year. They are now nearly extinct. JSfr. 
Reed and his family supported themselves by the most unre- 
mitting industry and careful economy. His father, Joshua 
Reed, came with him, and died in Italy, at the age of sixty -five. 
He was the second person buried in the cemetery in Italy Hol- 
low. Truman Reed's mother, Judith, also died in Italy, in 
1821, at the age of sixty-five. She was one of the constituent 
members of the Baptist Church organized in Italy Hollow in 
1816. Mr. Reed was a member of the first grand jury called 
in Yates county. He was also a constable before the town was 
set off from Naples. He has always been an estimable citizen. 
He married a second wife, Rebecca Henneberg, in 1842. The 
children of the first marriage were Wealthy, Clarissa, Calvin B. 
and Mary ; and by the second marriage, Jane and Henry F. 
Wealthy married James Stebbins of Middlesex. Clarissa mar- 
ried George W. Green, of Middlesex. Calvin B. married Miss 
Reynolds, and lives in Michigan. Mary married George Hun- 
ter, and resides in Itaiy. Jane married Harvey Storm, and 
resides in Naples. Henry T. is married, and occupies the 
homestead with his father. 

Henry Henneberg, father of Mrs. Truman Reed, was born in 
Dutchess county, in 1780, and resides in the family of his daughter, 
at the age of ninety. He states that he saw the first steamboat 
of Robert Fulton, launched in 1801. He had the yellow fever 
in 1804, and came to this county with Dr. Uri Judd, in 1820. 
His mental powers are well preserved and he still leads an in- 
dustrious life. 

Josiah Reed, a brother of Truman, and youngest son of Joshua 
Reed, settled on a portion of lot No. 4, North Survey, in 1814., 
After living there many years he sold his farm and moved to 
Potter in 1851, where he died in 1859, at the age of sixty-three. 
His wife was Betsey, a sister of Henry Roff, jr. They were 
married in 1818, and she died in 1864, at the age of sixty-three. 
They had thirteen children, eleven of whom reached adult age: 



Harriet N., Eliza, Caroline, Josiah, Austin, Ahnon, Alanson, 
Laura C, Janette, Emma and Frank M. Harriet married Wil- 
liam S. Bostwick of Potter, in 1839. They moved to Clifton 
Springs in 1864, where she died in 1868, just twenty-nine years 
from the day of her marriage. Eliza married Robert Merrjfield, 
late a resident of Benton, and now of Niles, Michigan. Caro- 
line married William E. Johnson of Michigan, now residing at 
Addison, N. Y. Josiah Reed, jr. married Mrs. Mary Finch in 
1866, and lives in Potter. Austin Reed married Elizabeth 
Irwin, of Mies, Michigan, in 1851, and resides in Potter. Al- 
mon Reed married Harriet, daughter of Moses A. Legg, of Tor- 
rey, in 1853, and resides in that town. Alanson married Emma 
W. Irwin of Niles, Michigan, in 1856, lived in Potter till 1866, 
and then moved to Torrey, where he died in 1869. Laura mar- 
ried Sanford G. Strowbridge of Potter, in 1858, and resides in 
that town. Janette married George Irwin of Berrien, Michigan, 
where they live. Emma married Benjamin Gleason of Potter, 
in 1861, and died there in 1869. Frank M., the youngest 
daughter, is single. 

Stephen Johnson settled on lot No. 11, Chipman's Survey, in 
1819, and there died. His widow still occupies the same place. 
They had several children, among w r hom were Piatt, John and 
Jesse, twins, and Hollett. 

Stephen Hendrickson settled no lot 12, Chipman's Survey, at 
an early date, and afterwards moved away. 

Asahel Stone, jr., settled on lot 39, South Survey in 1815, 
and built the first saw-mill and the first grist-mill in Italy, in 
1817. He sold the property in 1818 to Timothy Burns, who 
again sold it in 1827 to William L. Hobart. Mr. Stone moved 
to Naples and lived there several years. He was a son of Asa- 
hel Stone of the Friend's Society, and was the first supervisor of 

Pannuel Cady came into the town with Asahal Stone, jr., 
lived with and worked for him and left the town with him. 

Hugh Burns came to Italy about the same time that Henry 
Roff, jr. settled there. His wife was a sister of Mrs. Roff and 


Mrs. Josiah Reed. In 1830 he purchased a part of lot 6, Broth- 
er's Survey, where he resided till 1844, when he sold to William 
L. Hobart, and moved to Wisconsin. 

William Griswold settled in 1815 on the west part of lot 9, 
North Survey, and remained there till 1838. He sold to Peter 
Dagan. He then purchased of Valentine Graham a part of lot 
34, South Survey. He afterwards sold to John Fisher, and then 
moved on a part of lot 54, South Survey, which he soon sold 
and left the county. 

Erastus Griswold settled in 1815, on the east part of lot 9, 
North Survey, and remained there many years. He sold to 
David Burk, and he to Hiram Doubleday, who again sold to Dan 
Swift. John Kennedy, a native of Scotland, bought it about 
1845, of Dan Swift. He still owns that and adjoining lands. 

James Kennedy, a brother of John, came to Italy about 1845, 
and lived first on lot 32, North Survey, and afterwards purchased 
a part of lot 48, South Survey, where he still resides. Francis 
M. Kennedy, his son, married Phebe Fisher and resides in Italy. 
He has other sons and daughters, as also has John Kennedy. 

David Burk settled in 1820 on a part of lot 9, South Survey. 
He afterwards sold to Hiram Doubleday, and settled on the west 
part of lot 38, South Survey, where he lived till his death, in 
1853. The land is still owned by his widow who resides on it 
with her son Edward M. Burk. David Burk was an honest, 
careful man. He held the office of supervisor several times, and 
that of assessor. He was one of the chain-bearers for Jesse 
Stevens in his surveys in Italy in 1826, and Dennis Frost of 
Sparta was the other. He had six children: Joshua H, Albert, 
Lurania, Harvey H., Horace, Edward M. and Jane. Joshua H. 
is still a resident of Italy, living on a part of lot 37, South Sur- 
vey. He married first Almira A., daughter of John Graham jr. 
She died in 1852 at the age of thirty-six. He married a second 
wife, Miss Mack. Children were born of both marriages. Al- 
bert married first Miss Shaw, and a second wife, Hannah Foster 
and children were born of both unions. He died in Italy. 
Lurania married George H. Hayes, and died leaving no child- 


ren. Horace married Miss Noble. They live at Wallace, Steu- 
ben county. Harvey married Jane, daughter of Stephen Mum- 
ford. They reside in Italy, and have children. Edward M. 
married Miss Rogers. They occupy the homestead and have 
children. Jane married George A. Gelder and resides in Italy. 

Worcester Burk settled in Italy in 1817. He was a black- 
smith and a character of note. He was a Methodist and a man 
of remarkable truthfulness and integrity. His besetment was 
strong drink by which he was sometimes hired from his religious 
rectitude. But he always broke the bands of his enemy, and on 
these occasions expressions of penitence, and his calls on his 
brethren for forgiveness and aid, were most eloquent and mov- 
ing. He died a christian's death. His wife was Eunice Treat, 
and their children were William P., Lyman and George W. 

Philip Cool, Jr., settled on a part of lot 3, South Survey, in 
1820, where he kept a public house a number of years, and in 
1834 sold to Nathaniel Squier, who still owns the same land. 
He also purchased fifty-six acres of the northeast part of lot 4, 
South Survey, and sold the same to Nathaniel Squier and Martin 
Gage. Mr. Cool kept the first public house at Italy Hill. In 
this house, in 1824, was organized the only Masonic Lodge ever 
established in Italy. 

John Packard settled on a part of lot 39, South Survey, in 
1S19. He started a tannery, or put down vats outdoors, and 
curried the leather in a part of his dwelling. This was the first 
enterprise of the ki,nd in town. He sold his place in 1827, to 
William L. Hobart, who soon erected a large building and 
ground the bark with water power ; Packard having done so 
with a horse and sweep. 

Alanson Packard, a brother of John, was a cloth-dresser by 
trade, and lived many years in Italy. His wife Avas Abigail, 
daughter of Robert Graham. Their children were Lydia L., 
Jeremiah, Mary A., Thomas B., Sterry, George W., and 
Otis. Mrs. Packard died in Italy in 1839, at the age of thirty- 
five, and he removed to Ohio. 

Jesse McAllaster settled in 1821 on a part of lot 39, South 



Survey, on the corner of the highway leading to the grist mill. 
He was a blacksmith and worked at his calling there several 
years, when he sold to George C. Elliott, also a blacksmith. 
He moved to Italy Hill and there continued his business for 
some years. He was the father of George McAUaster, late a 
well known merchant of Penn Yan and now of Rochester. He 
was also the father of William D., Ezekiel P., Edward G., Mc 
Allaster, former business men of Penn Yan, who died in that 
village. Harriet and Mary were daughters of the same family. 

John Hopper came from Middlesex and settled on lot 50, 
North Survey, in 1820, residing there till 1836. He was ad- 
dicted to " Coon hunting " and fishing and was a particularly 
thriftless and improvident citizen. He was the poor man of the 
town. His children were ill fed, ill clad, and almost unschool- 
ed, liviug two miles from a school house and unable to attend 
school except in summer. Fortunately for the children, the ill 
mated father and mother separated when the youngest was an 
infant, and the mother was no doubt the redeeming angel of 
the family. William the oldest son is a wealthy farmer in a 
neighboring county. John the second son is a farmer and me- 
chanic ; is also well off and blessed with an interesting family. 
Samuel is a prosperous farmer. The daughters, Deborah, Car- 
oline and Lydia, all married wealthy husbands of character and 
position in society. All are members of the Methodist Church 
and men and women of sterling worth. 

George Nutten settled on lot 11 North Survey in 1823. His 
wife was a sister of Mrs. Jeremiah Keeney. He bought the land 
on lot 3, which he cleared and occupied with other lands till 
1843, when he sold his land to Alfred Brown and moved to 
Hinsdale, Michigan. He was a quiet, industrious man and a 
prominent citizen while he lived in Italy. Rev. David Nutten, 
of the Methodist Church is his son. Another son, Jonathan, mar- 
ried Susan, a sister of John Underwood. She died at Hinsdale, 
Michigan. His third wife was Sarah, daughter of James Jenn- 
ings of Benton. Warren married a daughter of Thomas Storm, of 
Italy. They reside in Michigan. Gecrge Nutten, jr., married Pa- 


melia, daughter of Edward Low. They also live in Michigan. A 
daughter married Weston Tinney and lives also at Hinsdale, 

Edward Markham settled in Italy and bought the farm first 
owned by Joshua Stearns, and died there in 1854 at the age of 
seventy-five. His wife was Armenia, si&ter of Mrs. George 
Xutten. Of their children, Samuel lives in Michigan, and Ed- 
ward and Charles in Steuben County. Kcziah married David 
Henderson and died in Italy leaving children. Eliza 
married Elzor B. James, and died in Italy, leaving one son, 
Frankliu. Helen married Elisha D. Smith, and died in Italy. 
Lucy N. Markham married Francis S. Graham, and died in 
Italy, leaving four children. Nancy was the wife of Charles 
H. Green, and also died in Italy, leaving one son, Emory, who 
married Miss Tourtlott. They have one son and live in Gorham . 
George lives in Saxon, Henry Co., Illinois. Ann Markham 
was the first wife of Dr. Henry W. Smith. 

David Fisher settled on lot 50, South Survey in 1820. He 
was not a highly esteemed citizen and left in a few years for 
other parts. 

Felix Fisher settled on lot 55, South Survey in 1821 and died 
there. His land became part of the estate of William L. IIo- 

Jeremiah Fisher settled in 1823 on lot 44, South Survey. In 
1830 he moved en lot 48, South Survey, and died there. His 
wife was Eunice Storm, and their children were Deloss, 
James, John, and Clarissa. 

James Fisher Settled in 1820 on the east part of lot 48 where 
he died after 1850. His widow still resides on the same place 
Avith her son-in-law, Francis M. Kennedy, who owns it. She 
was Rachel Gillett, and their children were Samuel J., James, 
Rachel, Jeremiah, Hiram, Abigail, Hannah and Phebe. 

William Fisher settled in 1821 on a part of lot 48, South Sur- 
vey, and lived there many years, when he sold to Daniel Ser- 
vice, and bought a part of lot 42, South Survey, which he after- 
ward sold to Samuel J. Fisher, who continues its owner. 
William Fisher is still living. 


Deloss, a son of Jeremiah Fisher married Phebe, daughter of 
Israel Hobart, of Potter, and they emigrated to Jackson, Mich- 
igan. James, another son, married Lucy, daughter of Benja- 
min Lafler, of Italy, where they reside. John, another broth- 
er of this family, married his cousin, Eunice Storm, of Italy, 
and they reside in Italy. Clarissa, the sister of these brothers, 
married Elisha D. Barker. 

John Chase came into Italy in 1830. He was a shoemaker 
and stone mason, and lived in Italy and Jerusalem until his 
death in 1869, at the age of seventy-six. His wife was Ada- 
line Robinson, and the children were Leonard, Eliza, Allen B., 
Amanda and Sarah. Leonard went West and was not after- 
ward heard from. Eliza married Hezekiah Smith, and they 
moved to Illinois. Allen B. married Sarah M. Genung. They 
live at Italy Hill and have one child, William G. Amanda 
married John Robinson, and their children are Addie and Car- 
rie. They reside in Middlesex. Sarah married William Brown 
and their children are Mary and Frank. 

Dr. Elisha Doubleday settled in 1820 on a part of lot 2, 
South Survey. He was the first physician that lived in the 
town. He at once took a high rank in his profession and held 
it till his death in April 1863, at the age of sixty-seven. For 
many years while the roads were rough he kept and used three 
and sometimes five horses, exclusively under the saddle. His 
practice took him from Penn Yan on the east to Conhocton on 
the west, and from Hammondsport south to Rushville north. 
His vigorous constitution and great power of endurance ena- 
bled him to perform a great amount of labor. He was a lead- 
ing Democratic politician and held an almost unlimited person- 
al influence in Italy for many years. He was an associate Judge 
of the Yates County Courts, Commissioner of Deeds, Supervi- 
sor, and for thirty years Justice of the Peace, in which office he 
was a model magistrate, always discouraging litigation, espe- 
cially among his neighbors. Pie was the first postmaster at It- 
aly Hill and held the office for many years, and held it again at 
the time of his death. In 1836 he was a Presidential Elector. 



In 1860 he voted for Abraham Lincoln. His first wife was 
Sally Stewart, and their children were Sophia, Gavin E., Guy 
L , Semantha, Livonia, Jerome and Everett, twins. Mrs. Dou- 
bleday died in 1858, at the age of sixty-one. The Doctor mar- 
ried a second wife, Mrs. Williams, who survives him. 

Sophia died young, and Gavin married Elrnira, daughter of 
John Gload, of Pultney. They reside on a part of the home- 
stead and have no surviving children. 

Guy L. married Caroline, daughter of William L. Hobart, of 
Potter, and they have the old homestead and residence at Italy 
Hill. He is a practising physician and Justice of the Peace. 
Their children are Leander, Floyd, and Charles. 

Semantha married William Wixom. He is a practising phy- 
sician residing at Italy Hill. They have one son, Guy. 

Livonia married Egbert Gulick, formerly resident of Pultney, 
and now a maltster doing a large business in Starkey. They 
have two sons, Elisha D. and Dwight E. 

Jerome married Mary Neff. He died a soldier in the Union 
service during the war of the rebellion. 

Everett married Sarah A., daughter of John Gload. They re- 
side at Chicago. 

Hiram Doubleday, a brother of Elisha, came to Italy in 1830 
and lived many years on a part of lot 9, North Survey, which 
he finally sold to Dan Swift, and moved to Michigan. 

Dan Swift, whose wife was a sister of Dr. Doubleday, settled 
in Italy in 1830 and lived on lot 9, North Survey. In 1840 he 
sold out and left the town. 

Christopher Corey settled in 1820 on lot 18, South Survey, 
soon after moved on lot 11, and in 1823 purchased of Thomas 
Treat a part of lot 6, North Survey, which he still owns and 
where he lived till 1866. It is now occupied by his son Le- 
man, and the father lives in Penn Yan. His first wife was a 
daughter of Truman Washburn, and their children Avere Diana, 
Truman and Leman. He married a second wife, Mary Cotton. 
One child, Francis, of the second marriage, died in Italy. 

Diana married Andrew J. Robson. Truman married first, 


Eveline Gillett, and they had one daughter Calista, who married 
Elisha A. Durfee, and resides in Toledo, Ohio. Truman Corey 
married a second wife, Robetta D. Byram, and they live in 
Penn Yan and have one son, Freddie. 

Leman Corey married Hannah, daughter of Nathaniel Squieft 
Their children are Harriet, Olivia, Carrie, and Charles. 

Luther Washburn settled in 1819, on lot 18, South Survey. 
He afterwards removed to Herkimer County. 

Thomas Treat settled in 1817 o*h lot 6, North Survey, and 
moved to Italy Hollow in 1823, settling on lot 25, South Sur- 
vey, where he lived till 1834. He then sold and moved to 
Wayne County where he died. He and his wife Rachel were 
among the first members of the Baptist Church in Italy when 
first organized. Mrs. Treat died in 1857 at the age of eighty- 
six. Their daughter Eunice married Worcester Burk. Nancy 
married a Mr. Mace, who died leaving one son, Thomas T. She 
married a second husband, Alamander Powers, and they had a 
large family and moved to Wisconsin. Lora married Chester 
Smith. Lovina and Russel married in Wayne County. An- 
sel married Sally Reynolds. Alva left the town unmarried, and 
Jared, the oldest son, married early, became a widower, and re- 
mained single. 

Randall Hewitt settled on lot 5, South Survey, in 1818, where 
he remained some years. 

Solomon Hewitt settled in 1820 on lot 19, South Survey, and 
remained there a few years when he sold to Smith McLoud, 
who resided there many years, when the property passed into 
the hands of Inslee and Smith, sons of Smith McLoud, senior. 
It is now owned and occupied by Smith McLoud, jr. 

Smith McLoud came to Italy from Starkey. His wife was El- 
anor Reynolds, and their children were Inslee, Emily, Smith, 
Elanor, Ithiel, Henry, Lydia, Diana, Sophia, and Ida. Inslee 
married first, Eliza, daughter of Joshua B. Curtiss ; and his sec- 
ond wife was Ada Brundage. He had children by the first mar- 

Smith married Sarah Hopkins, and their children are Irving, 
Deliphine, and Grant. 


Emily McLoud married Edward Culver, of Milo. Elanor 
married Martin Finch, of Milo. Ithiel married Dorcas Shoe- 
maker, of Starkey. Their children are William and Francis. 
Henry married Huldah Shoemaker, of Starkey. The others 
are unmarried and reside in Milo. 

Daniel Baldwin settled on lot 44, North Survey, in 1813 and 
died there in 1849, at the age of fifty-seven. His son George 
W. Baldwin, lived on the same premises several years later, 
when he sold out and moved to Gorham. It is now the resi- 
dence of Charles Conley. The Baldwins, father and son, were es- 
timable citizens, and both held the office of assessor. The wife 
of Daniel Baldwin died in Italy in 1852 at the age of fifty-eight. 

Leonard White came into Italy in 1820, with his father, Ne- 
liemiah White, a very deaf man. Leonard married Elizabeth, 
daughter of Benjamin Bartlett, and purchased a large share of 
lot 12, South Survey, on which he made the first improvement. 
He finally sold his farm to William Sisson, who still owns and 
resides on it. This lot and lot 13 were taken by John Smith, 
in 1795, when he surveyed the tract. 

Alexander V. Dean settled on lot 13, South Survey, about 
1825, and made the first improvement thereon. He built a 
very notable barn. He sold a part of the lot to a Mr. Deerlove 
and a part to Deacon John Raymond. Deerlove, after several 
years sold to John and William Wilson, who still own and live 
on it. Deacon Raymond's portion is now owned by David O. 
Tiers. Mr. Dean is now a resident of Jerusalem, and is a son 
of Zebulon Dean. 

Michael Maxfield, a clothier, settled in Italy in 1819. He was 
from Little Falls, K Y., and purchased lots 40 and 4G, of Charles 
Graves and Samuel EL Torrey, senior. He erected the first full- 
ing mill, carding machine and cloth-dressing establishment in 
Italy. An energetic business man, he gained a good property, 
and sold to his brother Abraham Maxfield in 1829, his shops 
and machinery. The lands he sold to William Pelton in 1833, 
and then removed to Naples, where he afterward died He was 
an associate Judge of Yates County in 1825 His wife was 


Lucy, sister of Nathan Scott. She died in Naples in 1868. 
Their children were Emeline, Hiram, Catharine, Elizabeth and 
Frances. Hiram is a very prominent and leading citizen of Na- 
ples. Catharine is the wife of Emory B. Pottle, another dis- 
tinguished citizen of Naples. Elizabeth was the first wife of 
Samuel H. Torrey, jr. 

Abraham Maxfield settled in Italy in 1821. He came from 
Albany and was a merchant. He erected the first store in the 
town and conducted the business until his death. A man of 
extraordinary business ability, he became the leader of large in- 
dustrial operations. Careful, methodical, prompt and energetic, 
he amassed for that time a very large property. He erected a 
grist mill, a distillery and two potash manufactories and had 
two stores, a saw mill, and the carding and cloth-dressing 
works purchased of his brother, all of which were under his 
personal supervision and profitably conducted He had more 
men in his employ and rendered more aid to other men of 
small means than any other man that has lived in Italy. He 
was strictly honest and a notable example of a true busines man. 
Though a Whig in politics he was repeatedly elected supervi- 
sor of Italy. He died a bachelor, of consumption, in 1837 at 
the age of forty-four years. His fatal illness was superinduced 
by incessant labor and exposure. He commenced in Italy with 
three thousand dollars he had saved from his salary as a clerk, 
and left an estate of fifty thousand dollars. From his known 
method and remarks he had made it was supposed he had made 
a will devising his properety to the town to found a school, but 
no will was disclosed and the property went to his heirs at law, 
and was as soon dissipated as it was accumulated, except so 
much as became the share of his brother Michael, who already 
had a competence of his own. 

It was in the grist mill of Abraham Maxfield in 1829 that 
Jeremiah W. Nichols met his death. He entered the large 
over-shot wheel to cut out the ice by which it was impeded, and 
by some means the wheel started and crushed him. He was a 
man of superior personal worth, and forty-three years of age. 
His son Samuel married Mary Ann Gilbert, and is now an ac- 


ceptable preacher of the East Genesee Conference of the Meth- 
odist Church. Clarissa, a sister of Samuel, became the sec- 
ond wife of Thomas Peck, a local pioneer preacher of the Meth- 
odist faith, and moved West. Pamelia A. married James 
G. Arnold, son of Amos Arnold, and moved to St. Joseph Co., 
Mich., where both died. The widow of Jeremiah W. Nichols, 
married a second husband, becoming the second wife of Will- 
iam Griswold. They moved from Italy many years ago. Mr. 
Griswold had sons by a former marriage, William, Lyman EL, 
and Alonzo. William, jr., married Mary Ann, daughter of Tru- 
man Curtis, and died in Italy, leaving children. Lyman II. 
married Miss Burr, and also died in Italy, leaving children. 
Alonzo married and moved from the town. 

Ichabod B. Randall came to Italy with Michael Maxfield, for 
whom he worked as a clothier several years and removed to 
Venango County, Pennsylvania about 1830. 

Reuben Durkee, another clothier, worked for the Maxfields 
several years and for some time kept the tavern started by 
Samuel II. Torrey, sen. He left Italy in 183G. 

Asa Butler was a saddle and harness maker. He lived many 
years near the Maxfields and moved to Naples. 

Joseph Brownell, a clothier, was also a resident of the same 
neighborhood many years. 

Bradley Woodworth, a clothier, worked many years for the 
Maxfields. He was a son of Dr. Woodworth of Flint Creek. 

Amos Peabody was another clothier who worked for the 
Maxfields some time. 

John B. Young settled on lot 47, North Survey, in 1823, and 

lived there till 1837, when the place became the property of 

Chauncey W. Beeman. He was considerably deaf and a man of 

harmless eccentricities. Mr. Beeman also purchased a part of 

lot 43, adjoining, making a farm of about three hundred 

acres which he has cleared and improved mostly with his own 

hands. He is a prudent and estimable citizen. His children are 

Louisa, William, Chauncey, Sumner, Adaline, Charles, and 

George. Louisa married James Kirby. They live on the 



homestead with her father, and their children are Eugene and 
Edward. William Beeman married Elizabeth Fisher, and 
moved to Michigan. Chauncey lives West, unmarried. Sumner 
died in 18G0, aged twenty-five, Adaline married Terry Pelton 
and lives in Illinois. Charles married Margaret Williams. 
They live in Jerusalem and have one child, Catharine. George 
was a soldier in the 50th New York Regiment of Engineers, 
and died at White House Landing, Virginia. 

David Elliott settled on lot 22, South Survey, in 1821 and re- 
mained there till 1834, when the land passed into the hands of 
Isaac D. Ellsworth. In 1845 it was purchased by Henry 
Hutchinson who sold it in 1850 to Egbert Hard, the present 
owner. The Elliott brothers, David and Peter, were stalwart 
men who had cleared with their own brawny arms many acres 
of land in Scipio and adjoining towns in Cayuga County. 

Peter Elliott settled on lot 23 in 1821 and lived there till 
1833 when the land was bought by Nathaniel Squier. It is 
now owned and occupied by George W. Gelder. Nelson, a son 
of Peter Elliott, married and died in Italy. Six other sons and 
daughters moved West. 

Joseph Squier settled on lot 28, South Survey, in 1822, where 
he remained a few years. In 1830 the land was purchased by 
Lewis V. Albro, who lived on it till his death in 1844. It is 
still the property of his widow and children. The first wife of 
Mr. Albro was Miss Shaw. She died in 1840. His second 
wife was Lois, daughter or' William Guernsey, of Potter. 
Emily, a daughter by the first marriage, became the wife of 
Oscar Burnett, and died in Italy in 18G0. Mary Veliette, a 
daughter by the second marriage became the wife of Charles 
Grow and still resides in Italy. Mr. Albro and his wife, Lois, 
were both early school teachers in Italy. 

Heman Squier settled in 1810 on lot 10, North Survey, and 
remained there till 1832, when the place passed into the hands 
of his son Gideon, from whom it passed to others. Heman 
Squier was the father of Heman Squier, jr., for many years Jus- 
tice of the Peace at Kinney's Corners, in Jerusalem. 

Joseph Galup settled in 1810 on lot 59, North East Survey, 


and lived there until 1822, when the land went into the pos- 
session of James L. Monier, of Naples, to whose estate it still 
belongs. Mr. Galup died in Venango County, Pennsylvania, 
whither he had moved. His children were Weldou, Ann, Je- 
rusha, Ruby and Charles. 

Weldon Galup, son of Joseph, settled on lot GO, North East 
Survey, in 1822, remaining there till 1830, when Joseph S. 
Barker purchased it and resided there till 1846, when the land 
was purchased by James L. Monier, to whose estate it still be- 
longs. Mr. Barker emigrated to Michigan, where he still re- 
sides. He was a son of Elisha Barker. 

Elisha D. Barker, the youngest son of Elisha Barker, was 
born in Italy and resides there still. His wife, Clarissa, only 
daughter of Jeremiah Fisher, owns and occupies part of Fish- 
er's homestead. Of their children Amarette is the wife of John 
Kennedy. Ahvilda married John Hiler, Ida married Edward C. 
Barker, Gerolda married Mr. Covill, Clarissa and Frederick are 
are single. 

Orlando Barker came to Italy with his father Elisha, and set- 
tled on lot 50, South Survey, in 1830 ; lived there ten years and 
afterwards moved to Michigan, where he died in 1869. His 
farm passed into the hands of Azariah Phelps, in 1840, from 
whom it passed in 1860 to John McConnell, its present owner. 

Samuel Barker, senior, settled in 1817 on lot 63, South Sur- 
vey, lived there many years and died there. The land then 
passed to his son-in-law, Jeremiah Graham, who sold it a few 
years later to Charles, son of Samuel Barker, senior, whose 
widow still owns and lives on it. The children of Samuel Bar- 
ker, senior, were Samuel, Fidelia, Henry, Charles, George W., 
and Harriet. 

Samuel Barker, jr., came to Italy with his father and in 1830 
settled on a part of lot 63, South Survey. He commenced and 
continued keeping a public house there several years. His wife 
was Anna Barker, and their children were Electa, Samuel, and 

Charles Barker, son of Samuel, senior, was a native of Italy. 


His wife was Ann Clark. He died leaving children and she 
lives on the homestead left by him 

Henry Barker (Tall Henry) was born in Italy, son of Samuel 
senior. His wife was Freelove Peck. They had one child. She 
became a widow and married Orson A. Parsons and moved to 

George W., another brother, was born in Italy and lived 
there till 1854. He married first Wealthy Tyler, and they had 
two children. He married a second wife, Mahala, daughter of 
John Eggleston, of Italy, who with Mr. Barker and their fami- 
lies emigrated to Michigan, where Mr. Barker has since mar- 
ried a third wife. 

Enoch Barker settled in 1820 on lot 43, South Survey, and 
lived there till 1849 when he sold to James Fisher and Amos 
Fox and moved to Michigan where he died. His wife was 
Harriet Gillett and their children were Sally, Harvey, Sophia, 
Orren, Mary, Martin and Martha, twins, and Charles. Sally, 
who was born in Italy, married James Servis, son of David 
Servis, of Italy, and they moved in 1855 to Michigan. Sophia 
married Wilder M. Wood, and they reside in Italy. Orrin al- 
so married in Italy and resides there. 

Sherman Stanton settled on lot 2, North Survey in 1821, and 
lived there many years. He was an early member of the Bap- 
tist Church in Italy Hollow. His daughter became the second 
wife of Timothy Barnes. Sherman E. Stanton was his son. 
The father moved to Pennsylvania and there died. 

Timothy Barnes purchased in 1S18 the saw and grist mills of 
Asahel Stone, jr., and kept them till 1827, when he moved to 
Sheffield, Pennsylvania, where he died. His first wife, Almira, 
died in Italy. 

Reuben Wheaton settled on lot 18, South Survey, in 1821, 
buying the land of Christopher Corey. It finally passed to his 
son, Justus Wheaton, who afterward sold it to his brother, 
David R. Wheaton, its present owner, who had a son killed in 
battle while in the Union army during the war of the Rebellion. 
Simon P. Cookingham settled on lot 31, North Survey, east 


part, in 1830. He remained there some time and the land 
passed to Augustus L. Cookingbam, from him to Isaac Owen, 
and from him to Isaac Wilcox, its present occupant. 

John Pulver came into Italy about 1840 with his father. He 
bought lot 28, North Survey, and afterwards parts of lots 27 
and 32, making a homestead of about three hundred acres. He 
died in 1 869. His wife was Mary Fitzwater. Their children 
were Janette, Alvira, Nelson, and George. Janette married 
Isaac Wilcox, and has two children. She is his second wife. 
Alvira married Oscar Conley. They have two children, Mary, 
and Freddie. The others are single. His property was divided 
during his lifetime. He was a man of remarkable thrift. 

Peter Pulver, jr., brother of John, also came with his father and 
purchased lot 30, North Survey, formerly belonging to William 
C. Keech. He still resides on it. Peter Pulver, jr., married 
Jane Harris. Their children are William, James, Francis J., 
Elias, Alice, and Ida. They are all single. The farm belong- 
ing to Peter Pulver contains about three hundred acres, upon 
which he has built a fine mansion. 

George Pulver, another brother, purchased lot 10, North 
Survey, of Thomas Griffiths. It previously belonged to Martin 
Gage. Mr. Pulver still resides on it. The Pulver brothers are 
noted as quiet and industrious citizens, diligent and prosper- 
ous. George married first, Eliza Crosby, and second, Nancy 
Griswold. Two sons by the second marriage, survive, Willard 
and Morris. 

Avery Herrick settled in Italy in 1819, on lot 49, South Sur- 
vey ; lived there till 1830, and moved to Naples. He was 
drowned in Canandaigua Lake in 1831. 

Eldridge R. Herrick, son of Avery, came to Italy with his 
father. He married first, Lois Aiken, and they had three chil- 
dren, Marion. Lorenzo, and Lydia L. She died in 1831, and 
he married a second wife, Pamila S., daughter of Deacon 
William Green. The children of the second marriage are 
William A.., Harriet S., E. Lucretia, and Lyman E. Eldridge 
R. Herrick has been forty-six years a member of the Italy Hoi- 


low Baptist Church. His son Marion died young. Lorenzo 
married first, Alsina, daughter of Charles Mumford, and then- 
children were, Elmer, (dead) and Charles. His second wife was 
Laura, daughter of Danforth C. Grow. They live on the Nutten 
farm in Italy. Lydia S. marrie dGeorge Stever and lives in Jeru- 
salem. William A. married a daughter of William R. Webster, 
of Italy. The other children are unmarried residing with their 

Garret Van Riper settled on the South part of lot 49, 
South Survey, in 1830, where he lived till his death. His wid- 
ow still resides on the same premises at the age of eighty-eight. 
She was widow Stratton before she married Mr. Van Riper, 
and had two children, Samuel and Sarah by her first marriage. 
Her children by the second marriage were Jeremiah, Amy, 
William, and Abraham. 

Jeremiah married first, Nancy, daughter of John Graham, jr., 
and their children were Margaret, Mary Jane, James, and 
Nancy. His second wife was Laurilla, daughter of John Fox, 
and their children are John E. and Emma. Margaret married 
Charles Pelton, and has two children. Mary Jane married 
Warren A. Wager, and has one child. James married Frances 
Haynes. The others are unmarried. 

Amy Van Riper married James Totten. William married Lu- 
cinda Manning. They have several children and live at Liber- 
ty, Steuben County. Abraham Van Riper married Mary, 
daughter of Levi S. Wood. They have a surviving daughter, 


Seba and David Squier were brothers and among the earlier 
settlers of the town of Seneca. They were natives of Connect- 
icut, where David was born in 1772. Seba came first to the 
Genesee country, by way of the Susquehanna and Chemung 
Vallies when there was but a single settler on the route ; and 
he a short distance below Newtown (now Elmira). He settled 
a short distance from Kanadesaga, afterwards Geneva, and the 
.first road cut in bis vicinity was from Geneva^ southwest, four 




miles to his house. He attended the raising of the first mill 
erected by the Friends, coming through the woods a distance 
of twelve miles to be present on that occasion. He was one of 
the first town officers elected in Seneca, and died in that town 
a few years ago, over ninety years old. 

David Squier came two years later than Seba, and married 
Mercy Lay, at Geneva, in 1794. They settled about two miles 
west of Bellona, in Seneca, and afterwards he was the first set- 
tler in Benton in 1811, on lot 85, where Thomas M. Townsend 
now resides. Their children were Jesse L., Polly, Ezra, Nathan- 
iel, Judah, Abby, Sally, Albert, Alpha, Thursday, and Clarissa. 

Jesse L.j born in 1795, married Tamar Youngs. He spent 
much of his life in Penn Yan, where in early life he learned the 
trade of tanner and shoemaker with one Bordwell, who had a 
tannery and shop on Jacob's Brook, near where it is crossed by 
Clinton street. Their children were William Deloss, Minerva, 
Murray and CharlesY. Their mother died early and William D. 
became a clerk with Daniel S. Marsh, jr., a merchant of Penn 
Yan. Subsequently he was in business as a partner cf Stephen 
B. Ayres, and afterwards of Darius W. Adams. He married a 
daughter of Dr. James Hermans, of Potter, and died while still a 
young man. Murray went West and Charles Y. became a print 
er, and pursued his trade for many years at Syracuse, where he 
was Foreman in the office of the Syracuse Journal. He was 
also a soldier of the Federal army during the rebellion. Jesse L. 
Squier died upwards of seventy years old. 

Nathaniel Squier was born in 1800, in the town of Seneca. 
He married Phebe Wells in 1825, and in 1833 they took up 
their residence at Italy Hill. In the enterprise at Italy Hill Mr. 
Squier was a partner of Martin Gage. They bought a large 
tract of land formerly owned by Philip Cool and others, and 
also a lot from the Beddoe tract. Mr. Squier states that he 
took twenty-one hundred dollars of his own money and seven 
thousand of Mr. Gage to commence operations, and that there 
was not •' the scratch of a pen " between them as a record or 
memorandum of account. It was several years before they had 
any settlement, and large transactions in labor and lumber had 


taken place, and in the meantime Mr. Gage was stricken with 
paralysis. He recovered and they finally closed up their ac- 
counts in the most amicable manner. Mr. Squier had previous- 
ly made a statement for Samuel G. Gage, showing the state of 
their accounts. In Italy Nathaniel Squier soon became a lead- 
ing and influential citizen and a recognized power in the Dem- 
ocratic party in the county. He was repeatedly chosen super- 
visor of the town and in 1852 was elected sheriff of the county, 
which office he filled three years. Few men have been equally 
generous and large hearted in dealing with others who* needed 
aid and lenity ; and he is highly respected for his kindness and 
ready sympathy for those who ask for help. His laborious life 
has not impaired the vigor of his constitution, and at the age 
of three score years and ten, he is still an able-bodied and well- 
preserved man. Their children have been Henry, Harriet, Ezra, 
Hannah, and Martin G. Martin died young and Harriet at 
twenty- one, much deplored. Henry, who was Under Sheriff 
while his father was Sheriff, married* Cordelia French. They 
reside in Wheeler, Steuben County. Hannah married Leman 
Corey, and they have four children. Ezra married Ellen Ken- 
nedy. They live at Italy Hill and their children are Nathaniel 
and Jennie. 

James Shepherd settled on a part of lot 17, North Survey, in 
1835, and continues to reside there, having added to his origin- 
al purchase. He is a native of England and a citizen of enter- 
prise and personal worth. A son of his was killed by an inju- 
ry caused by a threshing machine in 18G0. His sons are 
worthy, industrious, and prosperous citizens. 

Levi Wolvin settled on the south half of lot 17, South Sur- 
vey, in 1830 and lived there many years. After the death of 
his wife he lived with his son Levi Wolvin, jr., who resided 
on lot 17, North Survey. The wife of Levi Wolvin, jr., was 
a daughter of David Elliott. On this land white wheat was 
grown that received a first premium at the World's Fair in 
London in 1852 

Joseph De Wick, also a native cf England, is a recent pur- 


chaser of a part of lot 16, North Survey, known as " Hall Broth- 
ers' Farm." 

Lucian Amiable settled in 1830 on the north part of lot 1, 
North Survey, and after many years sold* it and purchased a 
part of lot 3, Brother's Survey, and a steam saw mill belonging 
thereto. This he again sold and purchased lands from lots 21 
and 22, North Survey, where he still resides. He has been Jus- 
tice of the Peace in Italy many years. 

Benjamin Dumbolton settled in Italy Hollow in 1823. He 
was from Albany and married Jane, daughter of Benjamin 
Bartlett. He was a cooper, an ardent Whig in politics, a Free 
Thinker in religion, and a man of superior intelligence. The 
second Fourth of July Oration in Italy was delivered by Mr. 
Dumbolton in 1821 at the Baptist Church in Italy Hollow. 
The first was given in 1822 by Elder Amos Chase at Torrey's. 
Mr. Dumbolton died at Rushville in 1848. His widow and 
children are now residents of Illinois. 

Henry Kirk settled in 1822 on a part of lot 25, South Survey 
and after several years moved to Chautauque County. He was 
a shoemaker and his wife was a sister of Amos Arnold. 

Stephen Marsh settled on let 25, South Survey in 1817, 
and afterwards lived in several places in Italy. His wife 
was another sister of Amos Arnold. They moved away in 
1830. Thev were constituent members of the Free Will Bap- 
tist Society, organized in Italy in 182G. 

Ebenezer Arnold, a brother of Amos, settled on lot 22, South 
Survey, in 1820, and resided there till 1830. He and his wife 
were also constituent members of the Free Will Baptist Church. 

Adolphus Howard settled in 1820 on a part of lot 22, South 
Survey, and remained there till 1830. His wife was also a con- 
stituent of the Free Will Baptist Society. 

Alfred Pelton came soon after Howard and Arnold left and 
occupied the same land till 1846, when it became the property 
of Martin Gage. 

George W. Horton settled on lot 18, North Survey, in 1835. 
He is an industrious blacksmith, and a worthy, upright man. 



Andrew J., his son, served faithfully in the army of the Union 
during the war of the Rebellion, and died in 1860 from disa- 
bilities incurred in the war. Lewis, another son, died in the 

Cornelius Basset settled in 1835 on lot 1, Brother's Survey, 
and lived there many years. The land passed into the possess- 
ion of Mr. Schlegelmilk, Lorenzo Herrick and others, and is 
now owned by John Andrews and Joseph De Wick. 

Ira Bassett settled in 1835 on lot 33, North Survey, and lived 
there several years. About 1845 the land passed into the own- 
ership of Jesse Cook, and was occupied many years by William 
McKnight. Jesse Cook sold it to Thomas Catterson, who still 
occupies the west part while George G. Hayes has the east 

Theodorus Northrup settled in 1830 on a part of lot 20, North 
Survey, and resided there till his death. The same land is 
now owned by John E. Wager, of Middlesex. 

Jacob Thomas settled in 1835 on the east part of lot 20, 
North Survey, and lived there about ten years when he sold a 
part of it to Sewall Chapman, who lived on it till 1865. It is 
now owned by Thomas W. Teall and Mrs. Lafler. 

Thomas W. Teall, a native of England, settled in 1840 on 
lot 25, North Survey, and has added to his original purchase. 
He is an industrious citizen and has become somewhat noted as 
an attorney in Justice's courts. 

Martin N. Flowers settled on lot 12, Brother's Survey, in 
1838, and afterward purchased a j>art of lot 13 of the same Sur- 
vey. He cleared the farm and still lives on it. He has been a 
Justice of the Peace and held other offices in the town. His 
wife was a Miss Parsons and they have two sons. 

Henry Crank settled on lot 0, Brother's Survey, in 1836. 
He continued to live on a part of the lot till 1854. James 
Fisher bought a part of it in 1846. Mr. Crank, who was from 
New York city, moved to Mt. Morris, Livingston County, 
where he died in 1860. The fifty acres sold to Fisher, passed 
into the ownership of Lewis B. Graham, who sold it in 1863 to 

Towx or italy. 435 

i Martin Stanton, by whom it was sold to Philip Porter, who 
still owns it. The fifty acres owned by Crank was willed by 
him to his widow who sold it to Mr. Williamson, by whom it 
was sold to its present owner, Mr. Fisher. 

William Bassett settled in 1882 on a part of lot 4, Brother's 
Survey, and lived there till he died. The same land with ad- 
joining land on lot 5, is now occupied by his son Isaac Bassett 
and one one owned by another son, William P. Bassett, now 
of Rushville. 

Abraham I. Van Nordstrand settled in 1832 on lot 5, Broth- 
er's Survey, and also took a part of lot 10. He cleared the 
land and lived on it many years, but devoting his gains to im- 
provements rather than paying for the land, the accumulation 
of interest finally compelled him to sell at great loss. He re- 
moved from the town about 1855, and his lands became the 
property of Henry Squier, who sold them to William P. Bassett. 

Russel Burnett settled in 1832 on a part of lot 4, Brother's 
Survey. He cleared the land and lived on it till his death. 
His widow still owns and resides on it, her son cultivating it. 

James G. Williamson first settled on lot 3, Brother's Survey. 
It passed into other hands and a steam saw mill was erected on 
the place, which had a succession of owners until the timber 
was mostly sawed and taken off. Mrs. Williamson still resides 
in Italy. Their children were Julia Ann, Catharine, Cornelia, 
Henry, and Frank. All but Cornelia are married. Frank lives 
in Illinois and Henry in Italy. 

Jabez Gillett settled on lot 46, South Survey, in 1832 and 
continued to reside there till his death in 1862 at the age of 
sixty-nine. He came into Italy from Prattsburgh and was the 
eldest son of Jabez Gillett, senior, a Revolutionary soldier and 
a native of Connecticut^ who settled first in Ontario County, 
and afterwards on the highest land in Prattsburgh, guided in 
his choice by the timber which was similar to that of Connect- 
icutt, where he was reared. The wife of Jabez Gillett, jr., was 
Mary, daughter of Capt. Beebe, also a Revolutionary soldier. 
She still lives in Italv on the old homestead. Their children 



were Maria, Jeremiah T., Elizabeth, and Harmon M. Maria 
who was the first wife of Lewis B. Graham, was the mo- 
ther of three children. Jeremiah married Sophia Fish. They 
reside in Italy and their children are Eugene, Evelyn, Isabella, 
Osbert and Sophia. 

Elizabeth Gillett married William H. Fox. They reside in 
Italy, and their children are Rosalie, Osbert and Isabella. 

Harmon M. Gillett married Laura Ingraham. Their surviv- 
ing children are Francis and Frederick. They reside on the 
old homestead. 

Charles G. Maxfield settled on lot 41, South Survey, in 1834. 
His wife was Minerva Reynolds, and the land came to her from 
her mother who purchased it from the Geneva (Pultney estate) 
Land Oflice. Mr. Maxfield is a son of Elias Maxfield, who was 
a brother of Abraham and Michael Maxfield. They still reside 
on the same land and are the parents of several daughters. 

Moses W. Bardeen settled on lot 30, South Survey, about 
1840. His wife was Hannah, daughter of James Fisher. Mr. 
Bardeen purchased his land of the Pultney estate, and lived 
there until his death in 1867. His wife resides on the land 
with her son. One son, it is supposed, was killed in one of the 
battles of the Wilderness, under Gen. Grant. 

Anson Clark settled on lot 51, South Survey, in 1835, and 
lived there many years. His eon Joel M. Clai'k, married 
Lucelia Fosket, and they live in the house built by Lewis B. 
Graham in 1845. Their surviving children are Ann Eliza, Ira, 
Harvey, Lewis, Ethard, Arthur and Judson. Ann Eliza mar- 
ried William C. Beeman. Mr. Clark is a Justice of the Peace. 
John Mower, the first settler in Italy, was a native of Part- 
ridgefield, was born in 1771, and his wife, Anna Watkins, 
was born the same year in the same town. Of their children, 
Polly married Earned Torrey, in 1814. Their children were 
Hiram, Nancy, Henry, Huldah, Mary, Larned and John. Sally 
married Oliver Williams in 1816. Their children were Anna, 
John, Ephraim, Judith, Ira, and Huldah. 

Polly Williams, the second wife of John Mower, was a na- 


tive of Ccnnecticutt, born in 1782. Mary Ann, a daughter by 
the second marriage, was the wife of Reuben W. Slayton. 
They were married in 1827. Huldah, another daughter, born 
in 1809, married William D. Lee in 1829. John Warner 
Mower married Elizabeth Folsom in 1837. They have a sur- 
viving daughter, Alice. 

The third wife of John Mower was Judith Larned, widow of 
Samuel H. Torrey. 

Luther B. Blood settled at Italy Hill in 1832 and has been a 
merchant there thirty-four years, and a portion of the time 
post master. In 1837 he married Esther Genung. They have 
two sons, Mortimer L., and Herbert C. Mortimer L. married 
Ella Sturdivant, and they have a daughter, Lulah May. Her- 
bert C. married Helen Van Scoy. Luther B. Blood was a na- 
tive of Massachusetts, and served while young as a clerk in 
Rushville and Penn Yan, and two years with Richard H. 
Williams, in Potter. He is now a farmer, and has been a local 
preacher of the Methodist faith. 

William C. Keech settled in 1823 on lot 3G, North Survey, 
where Peter Pulver resides. He was a native of Ulster county, 
where he married Rachel Lemunyan of New Paltz. Their 
Ulster county neighbor, Aaron Craft, had come a few years 
before to the Italy wilderness and made the first settlement on 
lot 36. His death occurred from running a rye straw under 
his thumb nail ; and Mr. Keech bought the land and went en 
from the slight beginning made by Craft to clear up the place. 
He remained there thirty-four years , when he moved to Shear- 
man's Hollow, and in I860 to Kent County, Michigan, where 
he still resides, at the age of seventy-seven. His wife died in 
1858, at the age of sixty-one. Their fourteen children were: 
David who died young, Benjamin R. who died at twenty-two, 
Alexander, Nathaniel, Joseph, Julia Ann who died at fifteen, 
Eliza, Stephen, William, Hiram, Susan Ann, Andrew J., Sarah 
E. and Lydia. Alexander married Almena Richards of Jeru- 
salem. They live at Rockford, Michigan, and have two children, 
Frank and Emma. 


Nathaniel Keech, born in 1820, married Sarah E.. daughter of 
John Fitzwater. They lived several years on the Green Tract, 
in 1854 moved to Shearman's Hollow, and now reside at Branch- 
port. He relates that in his boyhood he helped to chop out 
every road east of Italy Hill, in that town. Their children 
were Abigail Jane, Elizabeth, George W.,' and Alice V. They 
had a son James Emmett, who died at sixteen. Abigail Jane 
married John'W., son of Elisha Otis Almy. Elizabeth mar- 
ried Asahel Botsford, son of Lorenzo Botsford, a carpenter. 
They reside at Branchport and have one son Berlin N". 

Joseph married Hannah, daughter of David Turner. They 
reside at Cannon, Kent Co., Michigan, and their children are 
David II. and William. 

Eliza married Edward Miner, son of Deacon Butler Miner, 
'of Prattsburgh. They reside in Walker, Kent Co., Michigan. 

Stephen married Mary Brown, and resides in Jerusalem. 
They have five children. 

William married Margaret, daughter of William Sanders. 
They live in Kent Co., Michigan, and have two children. 

Hiram married Eliza Francis, of Jerusalem. They reside in 
Ocean Co., Michigan and have five children. He was a sol- 
dier of Company F, 11th N. Y. Heavy Artillery, Capt - George 
Brennan, was wounded in Virginia and finally recovered after 
years of disability. 

Susan Ann married Alanson Merritt, who died in June 1870, 
a resident of Milo, leaving one son. 

Andrew J. and Sarah E. are unmarried, residing with their 

Lydia J. married Henry Ward, of Steuben Co. They re- 
side in Kent Co., Michigan, and have three children. 


The town of Italy was erected by act of the Legislature Feb- 
ruary 15, 1815, through the efforts of David Southerland, then a 
Member of Assembly from Ontario County. Why or how it 
came to be named Italy, no person now living; seems to know. 
The town of Naples, from which Italy was set off, had a popu- 



lation in 1800 of only 259, which had increased in 1810 to 037. 

By the census of 1814, Naples had a population of 1128. 


Hollow had just begun to fill up with settlers in 181.5, when the 

town of Italy was formed, and the census of 1820 found- 728 

! people in that town and 1638 in Naples. Italy grew to * 

i pop- 

ulation of 995 in 1825, and 1092 in 1830 ; 1245 in 1835, 1634 in 

1840, and reached the maximium of 1698 in 1845- It was 1627 

in 1850, 1506 in 1855, 1605 in 1800 and 1452 in 1865. 


supervisors of Italy have been : 

1815 Asahel Stone, jr., 

1843 Lewis B. Graham, 

1816 Asahel Stone, jr., 

1844 Stephen Mumford, 

1817 Jabez Metcalf, 

1845 Stephen Mumford, 

1818 Jabez Metcalf, 

1846 David Burk, 

1819 Jabez Metcalf, 

1847 Henry Hutchinson, 

1820 Jabez Metcalf, 

1848 Henry Hutchinson, 


1821 Eandall Graves, 

1849 David Burk, 

1822 Eandall Graves, 

1850 Nathaniel Squier, 

1823 Randall Graves, 

1851 Nathaniel Squier, 


1824 Jabez Metcalf, 

1852 Daniel Smith, 

1825 Elisha Doubleday, 

1853 Lewis B. Graham, 

1826 Henry Eoff, 

1854 Lewis B. Graham, 


1827 Jabez Metcalf, 

1855 Lewis B. Graham, 

1828 Elisha Doubleday, 

1856 Daniel Smith, 

1829 Abraham Maxfield, ' 

1857 William Scott, 

1830 Abraham Maxfield, 

1858 William Scott, 

1831 Elisha Barker, 

1859 Alden D. Fox, 

1832 Elisha Barker, 

1860 Alden D. Fox, 

1833 David Burk, 

1861 Alden D. Fox, 

1834 David Burk, 

1862 Alden D. Fox, 

1835 Elisha Barker, 

1863 William S. Green, 

j 1836 David Burk, 

1864 Alden D. Fox, 

1837 David Burk, 

1865 Alden D. Fox, 

1838 Nathaniel Squier, 

1866 Alden D. Fox, 

1839 Nathaniel Squier, 

1867 Alden D. Fox, 

1840 Elisha Barker, 

1868 Bradford S. W T ixom, 

1841 Spencer Clark, 

1869 Bradford S. Wixom, 

1842 Elisha Doubleday, 

1870 Bradford S. Wixom, 

Among the town clerks of Italy previous to 1834 were 


Metcalf, Timothy Barnes, Valentine Graham, Michael Maxfield. 


Orison Graham was Town Clerk in 1834, Dan Swift in 1835, 
Orison Graham five years thereafter, and Lewis B. Graham in 
1841 and 1842. Stephen Mumford in 1843, then William S. 
Green two years, James Fox two years, Thomas Robson two 
years, Alden D. Fox three years, Thomas S. Robson in 1857, 
then James Fox five years, and Joel M. Clark five years ; 
Thomas J. Cornish in 1868 and John H. Durham in 1869. 

Jabez Metcalf, Asahel Stone, jr., Henderson Cole, Henry 
Roff, jr., and James Fox were Justices of the Peace in Italy by 
appointment previous to the election by the people. James 
Fox was elected Justice of the Peace in 1830, 1831, 1835, and 
1839, Orison Graham in 1830, Elisha Doubleday in 1831, and 
held the office till he died in 1863, Jabez Metcalf in 1830, Val- 
entine Graham in 1834, Edward Low in 1834, 1838, 1842, 
Holden T. Wing in 1838 and 1842 ; Henry A. Metcalf in 1843, 
Lewis B. Graham in 1844 and 1848, Mar-tin X. Flowers in 
1846, George W. Barker in 1848, William Scott in 1849, 1853, 
1860, 1864, 1869, Phillip Paddock in 1851, Edward H. Beals 
in 1852, Israel Chissom in 1852, Gilbert Graham in 1855, 
Erastus G. Clark in 1855, 1859, and 1863, in which year he 
died, Charles G. Maxfield in 1857, Lucian Annable in 1858, 
1862, 1866, Guy L. Doubleday in 1864 and 1868, John W. 
Mower in 1864, Joel M. Clark in 1868, William C. Williams 
in 1868. 

The tax collected in Italy in 1819 was $413.90, in 1822 it 
was $370.35. In 1824 IchabodB. Randall was collector and the 
tax was $504.25. Charles Mumford was collector for six years 
thereafter and again in 1832 and the largest tax collected by 
him was his last $508.25. Russel A. Mann was collector in 
1831, William C. Keech in 1833, William S. Green in 1834. 
Samuel Barker, jr., collected a tax of $741.53 in 1836, the 
largest up to that time. Reuben Wells was collector in 1837 
and 1840, both taxes being less than $600. Nathaniel Squier 
collected $783 in 1841, and Lewis B. Graham $637.50 in 1842, 
From this time the tax of Italy was enlarged till 1857 when 
Lewis B. Graham collected $1,000. In the mean time Thorn- 



as J. Fox had been collector two years, and Ansel Mumford, 
Whitman H. Reynold*, William H. Fox, Charles G. Maxfield, 
and Thomas B. Manning, each one. William S. Green col- 
lected $1170.40 in 1852, Stephen Mumford $992.50 in 1853, 
and Leman Corey $1,500 in 1855, Jeremiah Van Riper $2,200 
in 1856, Charles S. Pledger next collected #1,900, in 1857, $3,000 
in 1858, and $2,000 in 1859, David A. Lare $2,000 in I860, 
Charles Bell $4,250 in 1863, Rufus J. Bush $5,000 in 1864, 
Charles Bell $9,000 in 1865, David Kennedy $3,000 in 1867, 
John T. Johnson $3,890.35 in 1868. 

The following list of original settlers in Italy embraces a 
few who have not been previously named in this chapter : 

South Survey. — Lot 1, Gideon Cole in 1819 ; lot 1, Hender- 
son Cole 1810, Clark Stanton 1819 ; lot 5, Randall Hewitt 1818 ; 
lot 6, Thomas Treat 1817 ; lot 7, Ebenezer Jennings in 1819, 
now occupied by. Chester Stoddard ; lot 8, Henderson Cole 
1819 ; lot 9, Erastus and William Griswold 1815, Daniel Bur- 
roughs 1819; lot 11, James Slaughter 1811, Luther Washburn 

1819 ; lot 12, John Smith 1795, Leonard White 1835 ; lot 18, 
Luther Washburn 1817, Reuben Wheaton 1821 ; lot 19, Solo- 
mon Hewitt 1820 ; lot 23, Peter Elliott 1821, Lemuel Peterson 
1822 ; lot 25, Orison Graham 1815, Henry Kirk 1819; lot 26, 
Cephas Hayes 1822, Peter Elliott 1820; lot 27, David Elliott 

1820 ; lot 33, Drayton Hayes ; lot 54, Levi H. Bement ; lot 59, 
John T. Dunn, John Andridge ; lot 60, David Taylor 1825. 

North Survey. — Lot 2, Luther Brown 1819, John Arm- 
strong 1795 ; lot 4, Jeremiah Bebee 1810, Ephraim Tyler 1819, 
lot 6 ; Weston Tinney, Jacob Virgil 1811 ; lot 9 ; Jason Watkins 
1819, Jared Watkins 1819 ; lot 10, Samuel Stancliff 1819, Sam- 
uel Stewart 1819; lot 11, Amos Stancliff 1819, Joshua Stearns 
1818; lot 12, Frederick Amsterburg 1819; lot 18, Consider 
Chesebro 1819, John Gowdy 1822; lot 19, John Gowdy 1822; 
lot 22, Jesse Chesebro 1819, Joel Cooper 1820 ; lot 25, Joel 
Cooper 1815 ; lot 29, Theodore Anthony, Jacob Thomas ; lot 33, 
Cornelius Bassett, Ira Bassett; lot 40, Gabriel Frier 1820, 
James Cooley 1819 ; lot 44, Ezra Cummings 1819, Daniel Bald- 
win 1819 : lot 48, Solomon Downing 1819. 56 


Chip.aian's Survey. — Lot 7, R. C. Rathbun ; lot 8, Abraham 
Slover, lot 10, Stephen Johnson 1822 ; lot 11, Stephen Johnson 
1822 ; lot 11, Stephen Johnson 1816. The widow of Stephen 
Johnson still lives at a very advanced age on the same land. 

Brother's Survey. — Lot 3, A. B. Mower, lot 4 ; Russel Bur- 
nett, A.I. Van Nordstrand; lot 5, William Bassett, A. I. Van 
Nordstrand ; lot 6, Joseph Segar; lot 7, Stephen Johnson ; lot 
8, Ansel Treat ; lot 9, Henry Crank ; lot 14, James Kimball ; 
lot 16, Joshua Ross, Philander Powers ; lot 17, Joshua Ross ; 
lot 18, Alanson Carey ; lot 23, A. B. Mower ; lot 30, William 
Dunton 1790. 

By the census of 1840 Italy had two revolutionary pension- 
ers, William Smith, aged seventy-five, and Thomas Treat, aged 
seventy-eight ; one person between ninety and one hundred 
years old. 

In 1824 Italy had but five school houses ; in 1821, but $93.95 
of public school money and 289 children between five and 
fifteen ; taxable property $36,700; 183 farms, eight mechanics 
and six free blacks ; 150 voters ; 1858 acres of improved land, 
which was increased to 15,552 acres in 1865; 894 cattle, 127 
horses, 1508 sheep; 5654 yards of cloth made in families ; one 
grist mill, five saw mills, one fulling mill, two carding machines, 
one distillery and two asheries. 

By the census of 1855 Italy had 289 families in 159 framed 
dwellings, 101 of logs and two of stone ; 276 native voters and 
eleven naturalized. In 1854 there were harvested on 992 
acres 6,766 bushels of wheat, and 3,020 bushels of rye on 467 
acres ; 5,903 bushels of apples were gathered, and 662 cows 
produced 65,540 lbs. of butter, and 23,470 lbs. of cheese. 

In 1865 Italy had 302 families, 262 owners of land, 364 vo- 
ters, four stone dwellings, valued at $4,900, and 248 framed 
dwellings, valued at $84,270, also 54 log dwellings, valued at 
$4,030. The cash value of farms was $694,982, of stock $144,- 
746, of tools and implements $24,287; in 1846, acres plowed, 
3,605, in pasture 5,584, and 5,336 in 1865 ; acres of meadow 
3,552, spring wheat harvested in 1864, 3,152 bushels from 584 


acres, winter wheat 2,336 bushels from 301 acres, rye 428 
bushels, barley 2,795 from 304 acres, buckwheat 3,738 bushels 
from 349 acres, Indian corn 10,552 bushels from 344 acres, ap- 
ples 8,883 bushels from 13,855 trees, maple sugar 3,305 lbs., 
cows 630, butter 80,785 lbs., cheese 4,944 lbs., pork 110,420 
lbs , sheep 11,630, lambs raised (1864) 3,177 and (1865) 3,834, 
wool 43,447 lbs. (1864) and 21,490 lbs. (1865), fulled cloth, 40 
yards, flannel 190, linen 38. Italy had six blacksmiths in 1865, 
one wagon shop with a capital of $100, two workers in leather, 
269male citizens between eighteen and forty-five. Ninety-two 
men went to the war to fight rebellion from Italy ; twenty-one 
died in the service and but one was buried in the town. 

William E. Chittenden had a store at Italy Hill about 1828. 
Luther B. Blood went there as a clerk in the store of Abraham 
Maxfield at that place and became a partner after the first year, 
and on the death of Maxfield, the sole proprietor. Isaac N. 
Gage had a store there for some time, and Blood and Gage be- 
came partners in 1837 and continued together two or three 
years. George Johnson is the present merchant at Italy Hill. 

The postmasters at Italy Hill have been Elisha Doubled ay, 
who was succeeded by Luther B. Blood in 1836; he was fol- 
lowed in 1856 by Dr. Israel Chissom, who was again succeeded 
in 1861 by Dr. Elisha Doubleday, after his decease in 1863 
Luther B. Blood was again appointed and held the office till 
1868 when he resigned and was succeeded by Absalom C. Lare, 
the present postmaster. 


As early as 1813 the Methodists had a class in Italy Hollow, 
ot which Robert Graham was the leader. The preaching was 
at private houses and school houses for several years by the 
itinerants who traveled the large circuits of those days. The 
same preachers mentioned in the preceding chapter had ap- 
pointments once in two or four weeks in Italy, and their meet- 
ings then were characterized by the same fire and fervency that 
was common to the Methodism of the early days. The early 
members of the class in Italy Hollow were Robert Graham and 


Mary Ann, his wife, Caleb Crouch and Eunice, his wife, Henry 
RofF, senior, Philena Edson, Bazaleel Edson, Amos Arnold aud 
Lucy, his wife, Mrs. David Burk, Adolphus Eaton and wife, 
Mrs. Abigail Packard, Mrs. Fanny Graham, Orison Graham, 
Worcester Burk, Benjamin Bartlett, and James ScoGeld. These 
were all members before 1823; afterwards Jeremiah W. 
Nichols and Clarissa, his wife. After the death of Robert 
Graham in 1835 Adolphus Eaton was class leader several years, 
and John Andridge and wife, Mrs. John F. Hob art, Potter 
Card aud wife, Israel Hobart and wife, Stephen Mumford and 
Mary A., his wife, and Fidelia and Amy Graham were mem- 
bers of the class. After Adolphus Eaton, Stephen Mumford 
was class leader till 1848. Among the members of this period 
were Mrs. Lois Albro, Joel Guernsey, Enoch Barker and Maiy, 
his wife, Isaac Barker and Martha, his wife, Lewis B. Graham 
and Maria, his wife, and Mrs. Jeduthan Wing. Lewis B. Gra- 
ham was class leader from 1850 to 1856, and after him Daniel 
Howard, whose wife Hannah, together with Gilbert Graham 
and Mary Ann, his wife, Charles Clark and Vesta, his wife, 
Aaron Mathews and Mary Ann, his wife, were members of this 
period. After Daniel Howard moved away, Gilbert Graham 
was class leader till 18G7. The Church edifice was erected in 
185G. The old bell in the first Methodist Church in Penn Yan 
is in its steeple. 

The Baptist Church in Italy Hollow was organized in 1816, 
by Elder Jehiel Wisner. The constituent members were Will- 
iam Green and Polly, his wife, Judith Reed, mother of Tru- 
man and Josiah Reed, Mrs. Henry RofF, Henry Roff, jr., and 
his wife, John Crouch and Elizabeth, his wife, Olive P., wife 
of John Graham, senior, Rachel, wife of John Graham, jr., and 
others. The original records are unfortunately lost. The first 
minister settled over the Church was Amos Chase, who remain- 
ed with them from 1817 to 1823. He gave the first Fourth of 
July Oration in Italy in 1822 at the house of Samuel H. Tor- 
rey, senior. He was succeeded by Elder Stephen Wilkins, 
who occupied the new church. Before this meetings had been 



held in school houses. During the year of Elder Wilkins ser- 
vice many new converts were added to the church, among 
whom were Deacon Eldridge R. Ilerrick, Hugh Burns and Jo- 
nas Harris. He was succeeded by Elder Lamb, and under his 
ministrations William S. Green and others were added to the 
church. Elder Isaac D. Hosford became their minister in 
1826, and remained three years. He and his wife were both 
distinguished school teachers and both taught schools in Italy. 
Elder Libbeus Wisner, son of Elder Jehiel Wisner, was pastor 
of the church from 1829 till 1832, and was succeeded by Dr. 
Caleb Lamb who remained till 1835. Elder William Moore 
followed and remained till 1837. Elder William Dye was the 
pastor till 1841, and was followed by Andrew Wilkins who re- 
mained till 1845. His successor was Norman B. James, who 
was pastor of the church till 1849. Elder Charles C. Parke 
followed and remained till 1856. After him Elder Albert De 
Groat remained till 1861. William Brooks followed and left 
in 1863. Vincent L. Garrett served three years and left in 
1867. James G. Moore followed and served two years. Among 
official members have been James Fox, William Green, George 
Nutten, Jeremiah Keeney, William S. Green, Alden D. Fox, 
Nathaniel Olney, John Crouch, Thomas Treat, Eldridge R. 
Herrick. They had important revivals in 1816, 1823, 1829, 
and again in 1842, under the preaching of Elder Thomas 
Sheardown ; another in 1854 under the preaching of Elders 
Parke and Forbes; another in 1857 under Elder De Groat ; 
another in 1866-7 under Elder A. C. Mallory and V. L. Gar- 
rett. The church numbered sixty members in 1869. 

A Free Will Baptist Church was organized in Italy 
in 1826, by Elder Samuel Wire. Ebenezer Arnold and wife, 
Stephen Marsh and wife, Adolphus Howard and wife, James 
Fisher and wife, William Fisher and wife, William Douglass 
and wife, and Artemas Crouch and wife were among the orig- 
inal members. This organization lasted six or seven years. 
Its meetings were held in private dwellings and school houses. 

The Methodist class at Italy Hill was organized in west Je- 


rusalem in 1828 and the first class leader was John Coleman. 
Among the earlier preachers were Manly Tooker, Palmer 
Roberts, Thomas Wright, James L. Lent, and Elder Heustis. 
In 1842 the location of the class was moved to Italy Hill. The 
church edifice was erected in 1845, by William Foster ; the 
cost of the building $2,200. The first trustees were Joel An- 
sley, James Haire, Stephen Mumford, Albert R. Cowing, 
Elisha Doubleday, Benjamin Stoddard, Rowland Champlin, jr., 
Bazaleel Edson and Nathan Benedict. The principal contrib- 
utors to the construction of the Church were Albert R. Cowing, 
Elisha Doubleday, Luther B. Blood, Joel Ansley, William P. 
Hibbard, William Runner, Benjamin Stoddard, Nathan G. 
Benedict, Bazaleel Edson. Chauncey W. Beemau, Meli Todd, 
Rowland Champlin, jr. Among the preachers in charge have 
been George Wilkinson, G. Banning, Carlos Gould, J. N. 
Brown, Chandler Wheeler, Martin Wheeler, E. H. Cranmer. 
J. Chapman, Samuel Parker, Charles Davis. A. H. Shurtleii', 
William Pindar, U. S. Hall, E. Tinker, T. Jolly, W. Bradley, 
A. G. Laman, J. W. Putnam, N. N. Beers. Among the pre- 
siding Elders who first visited this church were William 
Burch, Mr. Hemingway, and Asa Abell. Albert R. Cowing 
was for some years class leader in this society, and has been 
followed by R. Thayer, William Genung, Joel Ansley, and Lu- 
ther B. Blood. The present trustees are William P: Hibbard, 
George Pulver, and L. B. Blood. The class numbered ninety 
members in 1835 and has now about forty. 

At a meeting held May 15, 1841, in the district school house 
at Italy Hill, Rev. William Dye was chosen chairman, Jesse 
McAllaster, clerk, and John Raymond and John Watkins, 
Deacons. There were also present William Green, Clark 
Stanton, Levi Wolvin, William Knapp, Ezra Squier, Jacob 
Marks, and others. A branch of the Italy Hollow Baptist 
Church was then established. In the autumn of 1841 Elder J. 
H. Stebbins held a meeting of eighteen days and fourteen per- 
sons were baptized and united with the church. In February 
1842, nine trustees were chosen to select a site for the erection 


ot a church. These trustees were Hiram T. Stanton, Levi 
Wolvin, Ezra Squier, Joseph Sturdivant, Asa B. Miner, Abel 
Genung, Christopher Corey, Thomas B. Smith and Luther B. 
Blood. The church was built in 1844, and dedicated in the 
fall. Among the constituent members were Christopher Co- 
rey and his wife Mary and daughter Diana, Butler Miner and 
wife, Joseph Sturdivant, Clark Stanton, James Wilcox, 
and John Raymond. Among those who joined afterwards, 
Abraham Watkins, son-in-law of Wilcox, James and John 
Watkins, his brother. The pastors have been Sherman Decker, 
H. Hustecl, Norman B. James, A B. Chase, Peter Colegrove,H. 
R. Dakin, Abel Patch, A. C. Agor, W. P. Omans, V. L. Gar- 
ret, T. R. Clark. Preaching is at present supplied by Elder 
George W. Abrams, pastor at Italy Hollow. The present 
trustees are Christopher Corey, Absalom C. Lare and Isaac Wil- 
cox. The number of members from the first have been 180 ; 
present number 21. Abraham W^atkins is the present clerk. 
William Raymond, son of Deacon John Raymond, became a 
Baptist preacher. 


The large Elm Tree of Italy Hollow, on lot 15, North East 
Survey, by the bank of Flint Creek and the side of the high- 
way, was famous among the Indians as one of the wonders of 
the forest, and it is said was honored by them as a Council 
Tree. Since their occupation it has continued its growth, and 
its dimensions largely exceed those of the historical Big Tree 
at Geneseo which perished a few years ago. It is now one 
hundred and twenty-five feet high, twenty-nine feet in circum- 
ference, two feet from the ground ; and its top spreads one 
hundred and four feet in one direction and eighty-six feet in a 
transverse direction, covering a superficial area of thirty-three 
square rods. An experienced woodman estimates that the tree 
would make forty cords of wood. Its roots have frequently 
been torn up by the plow in an adjoining field at a distance of 
thirty rods from the tree itself, and on the opposite side of 
the creek. It is claimed that this tree has no equal in size in 
the State of New York. 




,HEN the district of Jerusalem was organized in 1789 it 
|& embraced all that is now included in Jerusalem, Ben- 
ton, Milo, and Torrpy, if its boundaries were distinctly defined. 
So much of Bluff Point as lies south of the seventh townships 
in the first and second ranges was included in Steuben County 
when that County was set off" from Ontario in 1796. The 
name Jerusalem was bestowed in deference to the Friend and 
her Society, she having named the land settled by her disciples 
the New Jerusalem. As early as the autumn of 1791 a bush 
house was erected and a little clearing commenced on the 
Friend's place in the valley on lot 23, Guernsey's Survey, where 
her residence was established in 1794. Her own household 
were therefore nearly if not quite the first settlers in the town 
of Jerusalem as now bounded. In 1803 a town was erected, 
consisting of township number seven of the second range, and 
so much of township number seven first range as lies west of 
Keuka Lake and lot 37. This town retained the name of Je- 
rusalem and the residue of the original town was named Ver- 
non. To Jerusalem was added in 1814, by act of the legisla- 
ture, that part of Bluff Point which had previously been 
included in Steuben County. This is an elevated ridge em- 
braced between the arms of the Lake and extending nearly five 
miles southward of townships number seven, a part of which 
belongs in township number six of the first range and a much 
larger part in township six of the second range. Such is the 
town of Jerusalem, including about 36,000 acres or 13,000 acres 
more than one full township. 


From the Italy line eastward there is a descent. of about 
| nine hundred feet to the level of the Lake and the valley of 
j the west branch inlet. On the north side of the town this in- 
| clined plane is broken by Shearman's Hollow, from which a 
ridge rises to the eastward separating it from the valley of the 
inlet creek. From this creek to the east there is a steep ac- 
clivity through most of the town, extending about two miles to 
the summit, which is considerably lower than the elevation on 
the west side of the town. From this ridge there is a rapid 
slope eastward to Penn Yan and the east branch of the Lake. 
The continuity of this ridge southward is broken by a deep de- 
pression, extending across from the head of the west branch to 
the east branch of the Lake. It is a reasonable inference that 
at some geological period the waters of the Lake covered this 
depression, uniting the two branches of the Lake and forming 
an island of Bluff Point. 

x\lmost the entire town of Jerusalem in its natural state was 
a densely wooded region. Much of it was very heavily timber- 
ed with pine of the finest quality, especially in the west part of 
the town. Valuable as the land has become under eighty 
years of gradual improvement, the town would probably be 
worth more money if it could be now restored to its precise 
state as it stood when Daniel Guernsey traversed it with his 
compass and chain in 1790 to survey township number seven 
of the second range into lots. So thickly was the valley of the 
inlet creek covered with hard maple of the largest and most 
thrifty character that it was proposed by Gideon Wolcott to 
call the brook Sugar Creek. No name, however, has been per- 
manently affixed to this stream, which rises in southwest Ben- 
ton, crosses a corner of Potter, and forms the west boundary of 
the east tier of lots in township number seven of the second 
range. It is the only mill stream in Jerusalem, except one or 
two of its tributaries which have had saw mills erected on 

The vicinity of Branchpoint, the inlet valley and Shearman's 
Hollow afford abundant evidence that the Indians had through 



that region a favorite abode. Their burial places have fre- 
quently been found and their bones disturbed in the improve- 
ment of the land. The earlier settlers threaded their trails 
along that historic valley, extending north from the west branch 
of the Lake and across the hills in various directions. They 
had an important burial place near the "Old Fort" in Shear- 
man's Hollow. But the so-called " Old Fort " itself was prob- 
ably not an Indian work. It was situated near the district 
school house on lot 48, and was an earthwork enclosing about 
two acres of ground, and an excellent spring. It belonged no 
doubt to that class of works which competent investigators have 
ascribed to a race anterior to the Indian tribes swept away by 
European civilization. 

Red Jacket, the distinguished native Orator, who figured as 
a chief of the Senecas during the later and more disastrous 
years of the Indian occupation, was born on the shores of the 
west branch of Keuka Lake and probably within the boundaries 
of Jerusalem. For this statement we have the authority Of Red 
Jacket himself. On a journey with other chiefs to Washington 
not far from the period of Gen. Jackson's first inauguration to 
the Presidency, Red Jacket addressed a public meeting called 
to give him a reception at Geneva. In that speech he stated 
that his birthplace was near the west arm of the Keuka, so- 
called from its resemblance to a bended elbow. He further 
stated that he lived here with his parents till he was about 
twelve years old, when they removed to the Old Castle near 
Kanadesaga, and several years later to Conewagus. A sketch 
of that speech Avas reported by Roderick N. Morrison, for the 
Penn Yan Democrat, and Alfred Reed, then an apprentice in 
that office, was the printer who put it in type. These corrob- 
orating facts are given because it is alleged by Col. William L. 
Stone, in his Life of Red Jacket, that his birthplace was Cano- 
ga, on the west bank of Cayuga Lake ; a statement rendered 
improbable, not only by the facts already stated, but by the 
further fact that Canoga was on the territory of the Cayugas. 
In Col. Stone's Avork, the Avord Keuka has probably been trans- 



formed by some error into Canoga. Red Jacket, (Sagayewatha 
in the Seneca dialect,) was an illustrious character, whose place 
of nativity we may well be proud to claim. He was not a 
great warrior, and was denounced by Brant as a coward. But 
he saw what Brant could not or would not see, that war Avas 
the extermination of his people. He was gifted with rare elo- 
quence and was an able reasoner. Men of the highest capacity 
and accomplishments, who shared the acquaintance of this 
noted chief regarded him as a marvel of his race and a truly 
great man. 

The sale of township number seven second range, by Phelps 
and Gorham to Thomas Hathaway and Benedict Robinson was 
negotiated in 1789, though the conveyance was not executed 
till September 1790. Daniel Guernsey surveyed the township 
into lots in the summer of 1790. Forty-seven years thereafter, 
when he was seventy-seven years old, his deposition was taken 
at Monroe, Indiana, with regard to this survey, to be used as 
evidence in a suit, involving the title to lot 9, wherein Rachel 
Malin and David B. Prosser, were plaintiffs and Joseph Ketch- 
um was defendant. Mr, Guernsey stated in his deposition that 
he and Noah Richards made a contract in March 1790 with 
Benedict Robinson for the survey in question, and that the 
work was begun June 30th. He proceeds to say " Abram 
Burdick, and Nathan Burdick, his son, assisted me as chain- 
men, and Benedict Robinson and Thomas Hathaway accompa- 
nied us four days in traversing and establishing the exterior 
lines cf the township. Benedict Robinson erected a cabin near 
the Lake and employed Nicholas Briggs, Seth Jones, Peter 
Robinson, Jabez Brown, and a negro bDy named Zip, to assist 
in surveying and clearing a lot for improvement. Here we all 
resided and were supplied with victuals, and directions both as 
to surveying and clearing, by Benedict Robinson, who resided 
with us, except when he was called abroad on business, till 
about the twentieth of September, when we all left the place on 
account of sickness. During this time Thomas Hathaway vis- 
ited us but seldom." 


The township was found to overrun its six-mile boundaries, 
by seventy -two rods north and south, and sixty rods east and 
west. This overplus was equally apportioned to the several 
lots which were otherwise one half mile from north to south 
and one mile from east to west, containing three hundred and 
twenty acres each. The first tier of lots was numbered from 
north to south, beginning with number one at the north east 
corner of the township. The second tier commenced on the 
south at number thirteen and was numbered northward to 
twenty-four. It will thus be seen that the township contained 
seventy-two lots by this survey. By agreement of Hathaway 
and Robinson the inlet creek was made the west boundary of 
the first tier of lots, owing to the difficult ground over which 
the line had to be traced. This made the first tier much larger 
than the remaining lots, and the second tier correspondingly 
small. The east line of township number seven, second range, 
is the line that separates Potter and Benton and is the east 
line of the Rose estate. 

Finding themselves unable to meet their engagements in 
paying for the land, Hathaway and Robinson re-conveyed to 
Oliver Phelps seven thousand acres on the south side of the 
township, a strip about two miles wide, as the water of the 
Lake was not included. This tract was sold by Mr. Phelps to 
James Wadsworth, the pioneer of Geneseo, and by him it 
was sold in London to John Johnson, for £4,300 sterling, a 
price greatly above its value at that time. By Johnson it was 
conveyed to his, Capt. John Beddoe, who settled 
upon it. After taking off two thousand acres from the east end 
of this tract the residue of five thousand acres was subsequent- 
ly re-surveyed into lots of one hundred and sixty acres each, or 
half a mile