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Entered according to Act of Congress, in tiie year 1855, by 


In the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Northern District of New York. 


^printer S: ^tcrrotspcr, 
No. 26 Fkankfort Btkeet. 



Page . 

Aboriginal, French, and English History, - - - 9 

Liadesay's Patent— Cherry Valley — British Oppression, - 24 


Border Wars — British Influence — Battle of Oriskany — Siege of 
Fort Schuyler, - - - - - - - 36 

Flight of St. Leger — Brant gathering his Forces— The Massacre, 44 

Sullivan's Campaign — Interesting Incidents, - - - 51 


Pioneer Movements — Indian Reflections — Revenge — Destruc- 
tion of the Mohawk Valley — Incidents, - - - 72 


The Revolution — Its Effects Upon Emigration — Settlements — 
Incidents — The Three Points from which Emigrants pene- 
trated Central New York, - - - - - 87 



Organization of Cortland County, - - - - 94 

Military Tract, - - - - - - 103 

Geology, Mineralogy and Meteorology, - - - - 112 

Legend of Tioughnioga Valley, ----- 122 

Early Settlements and Organization of Towns, - - - 132 


General Remarks on Early History — Past and Present com- 
pared, ------.. 273 

Hunting Incidents, .-.--. 307 

Literary and Benevolent Institutions, - - - - 318 

Biographical Sketches, ---.-. 332 

Brief Notices, --..... 429 
Conclusion, ------- 454. 









That their future days may be happy and pleasurable as those of the past have 
been arduous, honorable, and useful ; and that the evening of their lives may 
draw on, gently as fades the light of day, is the sincere and devoted wish of 
their friend, THE AUTHOR. 


The following letter, addressed by Hon. Joseph Rey- 
nolds, Prof. Hyde and others to the author of this vol- 
ume, precludes the necessity of any additional prefatory 

remarks : 

Cortland, May 22d, 1858. 

H. C. Goodwin, Esq. — Dear Sir, — The undersigned 
are informed that 3^011 are now engaged in writing the 
history of " Central New York," a work which will, 
doubtless, be highly valued, and read with pleasure by 
those familiar with the efforts jou put forth to obtain 
facts relative to the early history of localities, and the 
graphic manner in which you record important events. 

A notice of the fact that you are still employed in 
writing upon subjects which interest tlie public gene- 
rally, induces us to hope that you will revise and pub- 
lish in book form the history of ^'Cortland County and 
the Border Wars of New York," in order that our citi- 


zens may be able to preserve the matter which you pre- 
sented to them in one of our county papers two years 
since, and which proved to be highly interesting and 

We are of opinion that the work would meet with a 
ready sale, and that you could not fail to secure a 
worthy compensation for your labor. It is with the 
hope that you may be induced to publish the history in 
a more desirable form that we address you, believing 
that by so doing you will perform a service ever to be 
remembered by the citizens of our county. 
We are, sir, yours respectfully, 

Joseph Reynolds, 
Horatio Ballard, 
Frederick Hyde, 
HiHAM Crandall, 
Edwin F. Gould. 


" First in the race, that won their country's fame." 

The historian is sometimes obliged to record events, 
over which, if truth could be as well accommodated, 
he would gladly cast the veil of forgetfulness, nor tor- 
ture public sympathy with the narration of scenes that 
pain even while they instruct. We pity even the ban- 
ditti of Judea whom Herod's soldiers subdued ; for 
lawless as they were, their women, children, and all 
their hopes sank into the same ruin. But the aborigi- 
nals of America come up in the annals of the past, 
demanding our strongest sympathy, because their crime 
was simply the accident of birth ; they were the pos- 
sessors of this continent ; its untold treasure of wealth 
invited the cupidity of strangers from the eastern climes, 
and in their presence the proud sons of the forest of 
•America have withered away. When we contemplate 
our country as it is, filled with wealth and the most 
wonderful improvements ; when we consider the almost 
exhaustless resources, agricultural and mineral, of our 
land ; and when we look upon our educated, active, and 
indomitable people, with the Bible for their code, ready 
to use every available and righteous means to strengthen 


and perpetuate the Republic, and increase its moral, 
social, intellectual, and political light and liberty, we 
feel that in the inscrutable providence of God, the red 
man's period in time has about elapsed, and soon all 
that will remain to tell that he ever existed will be the 
imperfect record left by us, his exterminators. 

To us, who, from this time, look back upon the events 
of the past, it does not look strange that the natives 
should have retired before the more powerful whites, 
and that they should have made some attempts to expel 
their invaders. Nor docs it appear strange, that, after 
having seen the graves of their dead desecrated, their 
homes made desolate, and their ancient forests laid 
waste— after the apprehension had at last reached their 
darkened minds that they were to be eventually exter- 
minated, the}^ should have turned on their persecutors, 
nerved with destruction, and armed with the desire for 
'' liberty or death." S^mipathy for our countrymen who 
suffered from the chafed, desperate people whose homes 
we have wrested from them, and whose country we 
have appropriated to our use, should never mislead us 
into the supposition that the Indian of America pos- 
sesses a more vindictive nature than ourselves. Could 
a people as much more highly cultivated than ourselves, 
as the early settlers were better informed than Indians, 
approach our shores, and by friendship at first, and- 
then by fraud, theft, the deceitful use of powerful exhil- 
erating drinks, and finally by force of arms, get pos- 
session of all our eastern cities and seaboard, would we 
quietly relinquish all of our homes, and tamely bend 
our necks to the conqueror's yoke ? If not, then learn 
to appreciate the parallel case of the Indians. 


In attempting to narrate any event of Indian warfare, 
we find the most insurmountable difficulties arising, 
unless we bring in the combined events that prompted 
the outrage or action. The truth is, the aborigines 
have no historians to record and publish to the world 
the virtues, the sufferings, or the heroism of their race, 
and from this fact has arisen the difficulty of presenting 
the red man as he really is. As the night retires leav- 
ing no trace behind, so the Indian has retired from his 
country. As the day drives the night away, and then 
paints a variegated dress for the landscape, so the 
white man has driven away his feebler neighbor, and 
left his own history. 

The early settlers along the Atlantic coast had many 
things to retard their progress. The woodland abounded 
with game, and the rivers and creeks with fish, but the 
strong desire of most of the early emigrants to become 
speedily rich, prompted them to search for gold and 
silver ; and when they failed in this, they commenced a 
course of fraud, — capturing a native, in some instances, 
and then demanding a ransom of corn, land, and skins. 

As might have been expected, the settlements follow- 
ing such a course were very soon reduced to abject 
want. The disaffection thus generated among the In- 
dians at one settlement, soon spread through nearly the 
whole, and at a very early date after the settlement of 
our country commenced l)y the whites, the Indians be- 
came their deadly foes. After many lives, together 
with much time and money, had been needlessly 
expended, the New World assumed an aspect wholly 
changed ; people of industry, enterprise, and morality 
flocked to our shores, anxious to obtain the neces- 


saries of life by hardy toil. The woodman's axe was 
heard, and soon the busy hum of mills and machinery 
mingled with the clatter of wagons, the ploughman's 
song, and the lowing of herds. 

The English claimed the earliest possession of this 
territory, but the French, no less willing to extend their 
possessions and increase their power, began a settle- 
ment in the north. This led to much unpleasant feel- 
ing, and at length to open collision between the settle- 
ments and nations. These difficulties were all appa- 
rently settled by the treaty of Utrecht, in April, 1713. 
The apparent peace would have continued a permanent 
adjustment undoubtedly, but for the ever restless 
Jesuits. These zealots imagined that the Indians 
would gladly embrace their religious dogmas, and that 
the introduction of missionaries among them would 
eventuate in fixing Jesuitism on a firmer and more hon- 
orable basis. Prompted by such motives, this privileged 
sect of the Roman See commenced their missionary 
efforts among the Indians with a zeal peculiar to pro- 
pagandists. The French, and especially the French 
colonists, lent aid to these missionaries and their abet- 
tors, who, in turn, explored the wilds, and greatly pro- 
moted the interests of the French in America, and by 
their glowing descriptions stimulated the desire of the 
French colonists to become masters of the trade, and if 
possible of the continent itself. 

The fur trade presented inducements to both parties ; 
and to reap a rich return from it, it became necessary 
to win and retain the friendship of the Indians. The 
French, prompted by their subtlety, won many Indians 
in the west to their cause, and then commenced a series 


of encroachments upon Nova Scotia in the east ; Crown 
Point in the north and west ; attempted to establish a 
line of fortifications, extending from the head of the St. 
Lawrence to the Mississippi, and were encroaching far 
upon Virginia, while the English colonists had the un- 
pleasant prospect before them of being surrounded by 
a belt of hostile French and Indians, closing rapidly 
upon them. With this prospect clearly in view, they 
commenced the most active measures to counteract the 
ruin that seemed about to hurry them swiftly along the 
way of the banished aborigines. Indian agents were 
appointed, whose duty it was to treat with them ; to 
make them valuable presents ; to redress their griev- 
ances, and to act at all times as the friend of the red 
man. These efforts of the English to establish amicable 
relations with the Indians, were crowned with happy 
results ; many individual Indians became firm friends 
of the English, and eventually a majority of the tribes 
were found warmly attached to the ever-conquering 
English side. 

Among the Indian agents. Sir William Johnson's 
name stands first among those with whom we need 
trace any definite connection with the incidental Indian 
history of which we shall treat in future chapters. 
This gentleman was for many years the Superintendent- 
General of the Indians, and by his friendship and wis- 
dom attached the Five Nations so closely to him, that 
he exercised an almost unlimited control over them. 
After the death of his amiable wife, he received to his 
home "Mary Brant," sister of ''Joseph Brant,*" the 

* Thayendanegea. 


celebrated captain and governor of the Six Nations, 
and lived with her in the full enjoyment of that affec- 
tion and fidelity consequent upon a union of minds con- 
genial, and love devoutly pure. This union, so far from 
being an insult to the Indians, was doubtless looked 
upon as a mark of real esteem. When an Indian be- 
comes a warm friend of a white man, it is no uncommon 
thing for him to bring his wife, as a present, thinking, 
unquestionably, that as she is most valuable to him, so 
she will be most acceptable to his friend. Whether this 
relationship had any tendency to tighten the cords of 
confidence between him and the red men or not, we 
leave the reader to judge, barely remarking, that the 
influence he exerted over them was so powerful, that it 
gave the controlling motion to all the subsequent events 
of Indian history in this region of -country. 

Sir William Johnson was born in Ireland, in the year 
It 14. In 1^34 he came to this country to superintend 
the estate of his uncle, Sir Peter Warren. His resi- 
dence was located on the banks of the Mohawk river. 
He soon ingratiated himself into the esteem and confi- 
dence of the Six Nations. He studied the Indian char- 
acter, became master of their language, and at particu- 
lar seasons assumed their dress, invited them to his 
house, and labored on all suitable occasions to extend 
to them that attention and courtesy so well calculated 
to impress them with peculiar reverence. He was stern 
and unyielding in his disposition, yet possessed the 
superior faculty of controlling his passions, and when 
occasion required was conciliatory and courteous to the 
unlettered aborigines of the forest. 

During the French war, which broke out in 1154, he 


rendered very great assistance to the provincial army. 
At Lake George, where he held the post of Commander- 
in-Chief, he gained a most brilliant victor}'' over the 
French and Indian forces of Baron Dieskau. In honor 
of this achievement, the House of Commons voted him 
a bequest of £5,000 sterling. The king most graciously 
favored him with the title of ''Baronet, and Superin- 
tendent of Indian Affairs." Brigadier Gen. Prideaux 
fell at the siege of Fort Niagara, when Sir William 
assumed the office of Commander-in-Chief of the com- 
bined English forces. He conducted the siege with 
gallantry, compelled the Fort to surrender, and took the 
garrison prisoners. Under his command were 1000 
Iroquois. With these well-trained warriors, he united 
with the forces of Gen. Amherst, at Oswego, in 1760, 
preparatory to his expedition into Canada, closing his 
distinguished military career at Montreal. 

In his retirement from the bloody field of '' glorious 
war," he lived like an eastern lord, supporting much of 
the dignity of a nobleman. 

He died in the sixtieth year of his age, and was in- 
terred under the "old stone church" at Johnstown. In 
1806, his remains were ''taken up and re-deposited." 
He had been rather seriousl}^ wounded at Lake George, 
and the ball, not having been extracted, was found in 
the mingled dust of the brave old man. 

We have deemed it necessary to take this brief 
review of the early history of our country, that we might 
be enabled to understand why the Indians of the con- 
federacy, and many other tribes, adopted the cause of 
the mother country during the Revolutionary struggle, 
and that we may be better prepared to present a gene- 


ral sketch of the border wars of New York, waged for 
the supremacy of soil, for power and plunder. 

The most prominent language spoken by the aborigi- 
nes was the Algonquin. 

They believed in one Supreme God — the Great and 
Good Spirit — the Maker of Heaven and Earth — the 
Father and Master of life — the Creator of every animate 
being. They adored him, worshiped him, and regarded 
him as the author of all good. Different tribes knew 
him by different names, such as Kiethan^ Wbo7iancl, 
Ccmtanwoit and Mingo Ishto. He lived far away to 
the warm south-west, amid perennial flowers, golden 
fruit, and sweet-scented zephyrs. They saw him in the 
glassy water, foaming surge, sparkling fire, in the daz- 
zling sun, silvery moon, and radiant stars. 

Among tliem were many gifted and eloquent orators. 
Tall and majestic in appearance, with graceful attitude 
and noble bearing, they united in extreme harmony 
and degree both action and sentiment. Full of electri- 
fying emotion, thrilling ideas, and pulsating, leaping 
words, every sentence was instinct with exuberant, all- 
motioned, panting life. They would fill the ear with 
music, the mind with fire. Their speeches were like 
streams of swift-running intellect, charmed and poetized 
by the sweetest flowers and fairest thoughts. 

At a very remote period in the annals of the past, the 
aborigines had penetrated into different parts of the 
territory, now embraced within the State ; and as early 
as 1535 had erected the seat of their empire at Ganen- 
Uiha, or Onondaga. 

In 1600, tlie Five Confederative Nations, — the Mo- 
hawks, Oncidas, Onondagas, Cayugas, and Senecas, — 


had become very numerous and warlike. They had 
gradually spread over the territory extending from the 
borders of Vermont and central western New York, 
from the great northern chain of lakes to the head 
waters of the Ohio, the Susquehanna, and the Delaware. 
The French called them the Iroquois, and the English 
the Five Nations, Their war-paths extended beyond the 
Connecticut, the Mississippi, and the Gulf of Mexico. 

The French made their first permanent settlement in 
Canada during the year 1608. Governor Ohamplain was 
the guiding spirit, and under his direction and efficient 
action, Quebec was founded. 

From 1609 to It 59, central and western New York 
formed a portion of French Canada, or New France. 
The St. Lawrence river and its shores had been ex- 
plored by Cartier and portions of his crew, as early as 
August, 1535 ; but no permanent settlement was made 
previous to 1608. 

The French looked upon the aborigines as a kind of 
groveling beings, having few wants, desires, or thoughts 
above the instinct of the brute creation, and labored to 
locate them in villages, the first of which was founded 
near the settlements of Montreal and Quebec. But the 
general habits, customs and sentiments of the whites 
were so dissimilar to those of the Indians, that the at- 
tempt proved a failure. The presence of the " pale 
face" tended rather to corrupt than improve the natives. 
The plan was therefore abandoned, and another mode 
adopted to" induce them to favor the French, while they 
should exhibit their hostility to the English. 

In 1608, the Iroquois, or Five Nations, were engaged 
in a bloody and exterminating war with the Adiron- 


dacks, a confederacy of the Algonqiiins. They had 
been driven from their possessions and hunting grounds 
around Montreal, and compelled to fly for safety to the 
southern coast of Lake Ontario, but in turn they fell 
upon their invaders with the ferocity of tigers, and 
forced them to abandon their lands, situated above the 
Three Rivers, and seek a rampart behind the straits of 

Governor Champlain, unhappily for the colonists, and 
unwisely for himself, entered into an alliance with the 
Adirondacks, furnishing them with men and munitions 
of war, which tended strongly to turn the current of 
success. Their pomp, parade, and haughty movements, 
their glittering armor and polished steel, waving plumes 
and richly decorated banners, the blaze of musketry and 
the roar of the deep-mouthed bellowing cannon that 
flashed lightning and spouted thunder,, bewildered their 
untutored minds, and sent horror and consternation 
among the combined forces of the Iroquois, and they 
were as a consequence defeated in several battles, and 
finally driven from Canada. Undismayed, however, by 
their reverses, they turned their arms against the Sata- 
naus or Shawnees, defeated them, and set about a 
renewal of the contest with their rival foes. 

A Dutch ship had entered the Hudson river, having 
on board the colonists who made a location where we 
now see the city of Albany. It was an easy task to 
obtain of them weapons similar to those which had been 
so successfully used in their defeat and dishonor. Be- 
ing now fully prepared for a more severe contest for 
power, they resumed the fight with their old enemies. 
Their efforts were attended with the fullest success, and 


the ■ Adirondacks were completely annihilated. Gov. 
Champlain, too late to retrieve his mistake, learned 
that he and his friends had united their fortunes with 
the conquered instead of the conquerors. This action 
on the part of the French originated that bitter enmity 
and undying hatred which for a long period existed 
between them and the Five Confederated Nations. 

From this time the confederacy rapidly rose to the 
first power east of the Mississippi. Their war parties 
ranged from Hudson's Bay on the north to the moun- 
tains of Tennessee on the south, from the Connecticut 
on the east to the Mississippi on the west ; and every 
nation within these vast boundaries trembled at the 
name of the Akonoshioni, or united people. 

During the reign of the Dutch governor, Peter Stuy- 
vesant, the province of New York, in 1644, was sur- 
rendered to the English, who exerted themselves to 
preserve the friendl}^ feelings which were created be- 
tween the Five Nations and the Dutch, through the 
agency of the latter, who were so opportune in lending 
that species of arms which enabled the former to con- 
quer the Adirondacks, and regain their former honor, 
their homes and hunting grounds. This timely aid on 
the part of the Dutch, enabled the hardy German to 
penetrate with safety into the Indian settlements, and 
traffic with the natives. The English were successful. 
They called conventions at Albany, were liberal, and 
even extravagant in distributing among the Indians 
munitions of war, merchandize, and various gaudy tin- 
selled trappings of fancy. The French, unwilling to 
see the English reap all the fame and glory derived 
from Indian friei^dship, redoubled their exertions to win 


their favor and weaken their alliance with the English. 
If the confederacy could be dismembered, they presumed 
it an easy matter to conquer the English, 

In 1665, Courcelles, Governor of Canada, dispatched 
a party of the French to attack the Five Nations ; but 
being unaccustomed to long and secret expeditions, 
they lost their way amid the wastes of snow which 
retarded their progress, benumbed their faculties, and 
reduced them to a state bordering on starvation, and 
finally, without knowing where they were, made a stand 
at Schenectady, then but recently founded. Reduced 
by cold, starvation, and the consequent results of a 
rapid march, they resembled an army of beggars over 
which the buzzard and vulture had hovered, and were 
ready to descend and devour. The appetite of a hyena 
would hardly have been satisfied with a meal from their 
wasted forms. Many Indians were then in the village, 
and could have easily destroyed them, and perhaps 
would, had not the friendly aid of a Dutchman interfered, 
by way of advice and artifice, to spare them, that they 
might be the more fully prepared to meet and contend 
with a stronger foe, which he contrived to make them 
believe was advancing. 

The French were not so anxious to instill morality 
and the more noble lessons of virtue into the minds of 
the savages, as they were to make allies for France. 
That they partially succeeded is evident from the fact 
that they induced the Caughnavvagas, in 1671, to leave 
the banks of the Mohawk and locate in Canada. French 
vanity, and their advantages of polite bearing, were 
better calculated to influence the native, than the stiff, 
overbearing pride and self-conceit of the English ; and 


although they could not for any great length of time 
retain the good graces of the Indians, yet it is recorded 
that one of the French Jesuits so far won their favor 
as to be adopted into one of the tribes, and was after- 
wards chosen a sachem. 

The Dinodadies, a tribe who were in alliance with 
France, were at war with the Five Nations in 1688, and 
by treachery and falsehood contrived to intercept their 
ambassadors while on their way to hold a conference in 
Canada, and with a cowardly meanness and savage 
barbarity peculiar to themselves, killed several of them, 
pretending to be influenced by the French Governor, 
thus violating their faith and making their enmity still 
stronger, and the breach wider. Resolved upon having 
vengeance, they soon landed 1,200 Iroquois warriors at 
Montreal, slew 1,000 French, " and carried away twen- 
ty-six prisoners. " These, after being subjected to their 
scoffs and jeers, were burned alive. The French, no 
less willing to submit, made stealthy incursions into 
their country, and during the dark hours of night ap- 
plied the incendiary torch to the Indians' home, thus 
reducing several of their villages to ashes. 

In 1690 Schenectady was secretly attacked by a band 
of French and Caughnawaga Indians. The hour chosen 
was the dead of night. The village was completely 
surrounded, and before the inhabitants were aware of 
it the torch had been applied, and every dwelling was 
being devoured by the devastating element. Then com- 
menced the sacrifice, — cruel, unrelenting. Murder and 
rapine went hand in hand. Infants had their brains 
dashed out, or with fathers, mothers, brothers and sis- 
ters, were cast into the burning dwellings, while the 


red-hot flames, like ten thousand fiery serpents, wreathed 
their consuming folds around them. Sixty persons thus 
perished to appease their unhallowed wrath, while thir- 
ty were taken captive. The few that escaped the awful 
massacre fled naked through the drifting snow in the 
direction of Albany. Many perished on the way, and 
twenty-five of the unhappy fugitives lost their limbs. 

To avenge the wrong, a party of young Albanians 
united with a tribe of the Five Nations, and pursued the 
invaders, overtook them, and killed and captured about 

Previous to this inhuman massacre, the colony of 
New York had not been regarded as being in any im- 
mediate danger of an attack from the French. The 
colonists felt more especially secure, from the fact that 
the negociations which were then pending in Europe 
were likely to bring about an amicable adjustment of 
the difficulties originating from the conflicting claims 
of the two rival powers in the New World. 

The red leaguers still remained firm to the English 
cause, and exhibited considerable tact and ingenuity in 
harrassing their enemies. 

In ItOl a general peace was concluded between 
the French and the Five Nations. 

In the year It 12 the Corees and Monecons, or Tusca- 
roras, were waging a cruel and bloody war against the 
Carolinas. They were defeated with great loss, and 
driven from their country. Thus vanquished in their 
endeavors to subjugate the inhabitants of those colonies, 
the Tuscaroras left the seat of their ancient renown 
and journeyed northward, and finally united their desti- 
nies with the confederacy of the Five Nations, receiving 


a tract of laud to dwell on; after which the allied pow- 
ers were known by the name of the Six Nations. 

From the commencement of the eighteenth century 
down to 1150, the Jesuit missionaries were very success- 
ful in influencing the Six Nations to favor their cause. 
They dazzled their uncultivated minds with the tinselled 
glare of Romish ceremonies, accommodated themselves 
to the tastes of savages, and held out to view the rich 
resources, the magnificent splendor of their king's 
golden throne, and thus ingratiated themselves so far 
into their good graces as to succeed in obtaining per- 
mission to build forts in their territory : and when the 
last French war broke out in 1754, four of the tribes were 
found raising the tomahawk against their former 
friends, the British coloaists; and yet, singular as it 
may appear, before the last decisive blow was struck 
which defeated the French and gave power and domin- 
ion to the English, the red men had abandoned the 
French and the " magnificence of le grand monarque^'' 
and were once more allied with the English. 



" There was heard the sound of a coming foe, 
There was sent through Tryon a bended bow, 
And a voice was heard on the free winds far, 
As the strong rose up at the sign of war." 

Gillies, the celebrated historian, presumes that men 
" in the infancy of society'' were "occupied with the 
business of the present hour, forgetful of the past, and 
regardless of the future." There may have been in- 
stances where the truth of this declaration has appeared 
evident. We however doubt its general application. 
Not so with our Pilgrim Fathers^ who two hundred 
years ago braved the dangers of the stormy ocean, 
when the May Flower came to this western continent 
laden with the destinies of this great nation. They left 
the land of persecution, where religious fanaticism and 
political tyranny were at their work of oppression, that 
they and their children might enjoy the rights and priv- 
ileges of freemen in the new world of promise. Not 
so with our patriot fathers, who, rather than endure the 
injustice of British tyrann}^ or British insolence, made 
bare their bosoms to the shafts of battle, and shrunk not 
from the bloody horrors of a seven years' war. Not so 

lindesat's patent. 25 

with the dauntless champions, who, from the day of pe- 
ril when they wrestled with the savage for his birth- 
right, to the day of glory when they proclaimed a new 
charter to man, were giving a new nation to the world. 
Not so with the annointed few who came to sow the 
good seed, to grapple with infidelity as they rallied 
around the banner of the cross and descried on the far- 
off shore of the heavenly Canaan that celestial diadem 
that was bought with the hues of Calvary. Not so 
with the early pioneers of our country, who abandoned 
the soft endearments of home, social ties, and struggled 
to form new settlements in the wilderness, where before 
the hand of civilization had not contributed its strength 
to rear the domestic domicil. They toiled, not alone for 
themselves, but for their children — for posterity. We 
glory in the achievements of such men. We take pride 
in witnessing their success. They are the great bene- 
factors of mankind — nature's true noblemen. And it 
will be our humble effort " to rescue from oblivion the 
names " of those who first warred with the mountain 
oak, or enriched our valleys by hardy toil; and it will 
be, too, our province and pleasure to record the deeds of 
those stern actors, over whose labors the rust of time 
has gathered, and over whose hallowed dust the green 
turf has grown, and wild flowers have sprung up in 
beautiful luxuriance. Nor shall we pass unmindful by 
those whose whitened locks and trembling limbs point 
like sentinels to the tomb. We should cherish their 
worth, emulate their virtues, — for they toiled that we 
might enjoy the rich fruits of their labor. 

Albany county, in 17tl, embraced all the northern 
and western part of the province of New York, extend- 


ing from the Hudson river to the Niagara. Tryon 
county was organized in lTt2. It was named in honor 
of Sir William Tryon, the provincial governor. It em- 
braced in its boundaries a very large territory of coun- 
try, containing all that part of the State lying west of 
a north and south line running nearly through the 
centre of the present county of Schoharie. The county 
seat was at Johnstown, the residence of Sir Wm. Johnson. 

By examining our State map, it will be seen that 
Tryon was made up in part of Franklin, Hamilton, Ful- 
ton, Montgomery, Delaware, Ulster, Sullivan, and 
Orange, and the whole of St. Lawrence, Lewis, Herki- 
mer, Otsego, Broome, Chenango, Madison, Cortland, On- 
ondaga, Oneida, Oswego, Cayuga, Wayne, Seneca, 
Tompkins, Schuyler, Chemung, Tioga, Steuben, Yates, 
Ontario, Monroe, Livingston, Alleghany, Cattaraugus, 
Genesee, Orleans, Niagara, Erie, and Chautauque coun- 
ties. It was changed to Montgomery in 1^84. 

The boundary between the British and Indian terri- 
tory, as agreed upon in the treaty of It 68, run from 
Fort Stanwix, near Oneida creek, southward to the 
Susquehanna and Delaware. 

Various portions of country embraced within the 
boundary lines of Tryon county have been hallowed and 
consecrated by the toils, the sacrifices and blood of 
tiiose who fought and fell in freedom's holy cause. The 
blood chills as we look back to those days of rapine and 
carnage, and the pulse throbs with wild emotion as we 
recur to the stealthy march and midnight massacre — 
scenes which have made our country classic to those 
who delight in the recital of tales which send the blood 
curdling to the heart. 

lindesay's patent. 21 

We see the long defile of painted savages as they 
wind along the Indian trail, — now issuing from the dark 
forest upon some defenceless settlement; now robbing 
some happy home of its brightest jewels, or applying 
the midnight torch to the pioneer's domicil, while sav- 
age yells rend the heavens and mingle in horrid discord 
with the groans of the dying who have fallen by the 
intruder's hand. 

The Revolutionary struggle has lent an additional 
charm to those battle fields where freedom and tyranny 
met and struggled for the mastery ; fields hallowed by 
time, and made consecrate by the uncoffined bones of 
many a brave warrior. No country presents such 
scenes of grandeur and glory. In no country has pas- 
sion stamped its vitality, energy, and sublimity more 
indelibly in popular traditions and in historic reminis- 

In the early part of the 18th century, about 3000 
German Palitinates, under the protection of Queen 
Anne, emigrated to this country. A large number of 
them made locations in Pennsylvania, while a few 
passed from Alban}^ by way of the Helderberg, in 1713, 
to the rich flats which border Scoharie creek. Here, 
wearied and wayworn, they paused for rest. Explora- 
tions were made, and finally a settlement agreed upon. 
In 1*122, the country bordering the Mohawk had become 
dotted with small settlements, and the footprints of 
civilization had reached the German Flats. 

In 1738 a patent was granted by the Lieutenant 
Governor of the province of New York to John Linde- 
say, Joseph Roseboom, Lendert Gansevoort, and Sabrant 
Van Schaick. This patent contained 8,000 acres of 


land, situated in the northern part of the [now] county 
of Otsego, and embraced a part of the town and village 
of Cherr}^ Valley. 

In 1739 Cherry Valley was founded by John Linde- 
say, a Scotch emigrant. In a few years improvements 
were so far made as to render the little band of pioneers 
comparatively comfortable, though they had endured 
the horrors of an almost living, lingering death by star- 

In 1740 the snow fell, during the middle winter 
month, to the depth of several feet, precluding all in- 
tercourse or communication between the settlers of 
Cherry Valley and those bordering the Mohawk. Mr. 
Lindesay and famil}^ were placed in a most critical and 
truly alarming condition. Unprepared for the close quar- 
ters to which the severity of the weather had reduced 
them, — without food, with scanty raiment, and none of 
the conveniences which were calculated to encourage 
or improve their unhappy condition, — they looked on all 
around as one wide waste of dreary, blank desolation. 
He looked upon his wife, the partner of his early love, 
and as he saw the pearly tear start from her once 
sparkling eye, and steal its way down her pallid cheek, 
where he was .wont to see the blush of vestal modesty 
start, he inwardly prayed that a good Providence might 
protect, and that the angel of mercy might rend aside 
the curtain that hid the present from the unknown 
future. And his children — who will protect and answer 
to their appeals for food ? The cold, bleak blast, 
as it comes on its storm-beaten pinions, sweeping 
over the great lakes and wide-spread prairies, moans 
and howls among the tops of the forest trees, and 


sends a colder chill to the sinking heart of the stricken 

'Tis night ! The sky is filled with snow, the wind 
sings its sad requiem. Without, all is cold and cheer- 
less. Within the frugal home of our ill-protected 
pioneer sits an aged Indian of the Iroquois tribe. He 
is listening to the sad tale of the starving family. 
Touched with pity, the tear of sympathy steals down 
his furrowed cheek. His majestic form rises from the 
oaken chair. He is resolved to alleviate their suffer- 
ings. He pauses but a moment to light his pipe, or 
calumet of peace, as an indication of friendship with 
the pale face, then stroking the flaxen hair of the little 
infant that sat upon its mother's knee, and waving a 
good-bye with his brawny hand, he left the confines of 
the pioneer's little empire with slow and measured 
pace. His course is in the direction of the magnificent 

And now, amid the darkness and solitude of a bleak 
winter's night, the native red man, dressed in the simple 
Indian garb, wearing heavy snow-shoes, is wending his 
lonelj^ way to his rustic home, embosomed amid an am- 
phitheatre of hills just back of that majestic river. 
Could we have fathomed the thoughts of that " aged 
hemlock," we should have learned that his mind was 
deeply impressed with the forlorn situation of his white 
friends, whose relief was the immediate object of his 
night march through the drifting snow. His sentiments 
and grateful emotions were akin to those which ac- 
tuated the simple aboriginals long before their minds 
were polluted with the inhumanity of the transatlantic 
lords, whose object was the subjugation and annihila- 


tion of the red men of the wilderness. In due time the 
old scarred warrior returned laden with provisions, 
which he freely presented to Mr. Lindesay and family. 
With what grateful emotions thej^ were received can 
be better imagined than told. 

Mr. Lindesay was deserving of the Indian's friend- 
ship, for it had been his endeavor to cultivate the good 
will of his tawny brethren. 

The old Indian made him frequent visits during that 
long and unpropitious winter, and continued to relieve 
the wants of himself and family — an act worthy of 
being written in letters of living light on the tablets of 

The enterprising and spirit-stirring Harpers settled 
at Harpersfield in It 68. They had received a patent 
for twenty-two thousand acres of land, located in the 
present county of Delaware. 

At about the same time settlements were made near 
Unadilla, and scattered families were found locating in 
various parts of the " plains," — at Springfield, Middle- 
field,* Laurens, and Otego.f The population of Cherry 
Valley fell a little short of 300, and the whole of Tryon 
county did not exceed 10,000 when the British lion 
began to thunder defiance on the continent of America. 

As yet the citizens of Tryon county had made no 
open resistance to the measures of the crown of Great 
Britain, political or ecclesiastical. They did, however, 
believe in the true and real freedom of all mankind — 
the right of speech, and the freedom of the press — 
those inherent rights which are God-given and inalieri- 

* Early called Freetown Martin. t Old England District. 


able. They justly complained of the course which had 
been taken by the British authorities to incite, with 
foreign gold and foreign rum, the ruthless savage 
against the infant, and defenceless matron. They had 
time and again heard the Indian war-whoop, and had 
vainly sought the protection of the dear ones at home, 
for in that horrid yell they heard the doom of their 
wives and children. 

Enjoying the name of freemen, they felt that they 
were becoming mere vassals to an arbitrary power. 
They knew that the hand that should aid and assist 
them was wielding an influence to crush and destroy 
them. They were sensible that the parent government 
had stretched a rod over them, and had threatened 
them with a despot's revenge ; and long before the 
Revolutionary curtain rose on the memorable plains of 
Lexington, the Tryon county freemen were found en- 
gaged in holding meetings, and denouncing the arbi- 
trary measures of the king and his governors, and freely 
took part with their brethren in other colonies in utter- 
ing their opposition to the Stamp act, and various other 
anti-republican measures which had emanated from the 
British Parliament. And they resolved to give their 
adhesion to those measures which finally resulted in 
the calling of a Congress, which convened in the city 
of New York in 1665. 

After the death of Sir William Johnson, which oc- 
curred in the midst of an Indian council, held at Johns- 
town, July 11th, n74, the difficulties increased, and 
rapine and massacre were of more frequent occurrence. 
He had possessed a powerful and commanding influence 
over the Indians, and displayed an administrative gen- 


ills superior to any who had before been at the service 
of the British government in America. 

Convened at this war council were a large number of 
the most active and rebellious spirits of the Six Nations, 
besides numerous high civil dignitaries of the provinces 
of New York and New Jersey. 

Sir William had held the office of Superintendent of 
Indian affairs for the northern provinces for upwards 
of twenty years ; and, at the time of his decease, his 
department included 130,000 Indians, more than one 
fifth of whom were "fighting men." The Six Nations 
numbered about 10,000, and could bring into action 
over 2,000 bold and skillful warriors. 

Col. Guy Johnson, son-in-law of Sir William, was his 
successor in office. But he was a man of an entirely 
different temperament, possessing but a small share of 
his talent and judgment, was illiberal, crafty, full of 
vain-glory, and delighted in playing the tyrant. 

The political elements which, for a long time, had 
been gathering in the eastern provinces, broke forth in 
a spirit of angry defiance, which was hailed by the 
Tryon county friends of freedom with a spirit bordering 
on enthusiasm. They exhibited a devoted love of 
country worthy of freemen. To animate their New 
England friends, and cheer them on in the good work 
of reform, they forthwith met and organized an associ- 
ation, the avowed object of which was to diffuse a spirit 
of opposition to the kingly sway and menacing power 
of British tyranny in the provinces of the New World. 
They were resolved to enjoy the freedom of their own 
views, and assist in propagating the principles of equal 
and exact justice to all men. And yet they knew not 


but that they would be hunted down with savage ven- 
geance, and that infamy would cling unrelentingly to 
their names. But what had this to do with freemen? 
They were opposed to taxation without their consei^t, 
and were resolved to cherish the sentiment while a 
single " arm could beat the larum to rebellion." 

Guy Johnson became the leader of the loyalists. 
Discussions sharp and spirited took place between 
them, until finally the Colonel discovered the deter- 
mined will of the revolutionists, and becoming satis- 
fied of his waning influence, abandoned his royal palace 
at Guy Park, and with a formidable band of torj^ and 
Indian adherents, such as Col. Claus, Brant, and the 
Butlers, made his head-quarters at Fort Stanwix, sub- 
sequently at Oswego, and finally at Montreal. Here 
Sir John Johnson followed Avith a bodj^ of three hundred 
loyalists, chiefly Scotch. 

England, excited to madness by the daring effort, 
covered our country not only with her own legions, but 
the insurrectionary negro, the Hessian, the savage, 
and the dastardly parricidal American tory, all ani- 
mated by a reckless spirit of revenge, blighting our 
fair fields and waging a cruel war against the helpless 
woman and innocent child. But our immense forests, 
interminable plains, extensive rivers, with the exalted 
spirit which prompted to emigration, had imparted to 
the naturalized American a principle of noble indepen- 
dence, invincible firmness, and a daring intrepidity, 
which exhibited to astonished Europe a picture of the 
moral sublime. 

The provincial supporters of the royal throne united 
with the home government in the determination, black- 


hearted and infamous, cruel and cowardly as it was, of 
setting ten thousand reckless, pampered, paid savages 
upon the scattered frontier settlements of the United 
Colonies, to glut their unhallowed desire for blood, to 
rob, plunder, and massacre the defenceless citizen, to 
strike terror into the peaceful and unguarded commu- 
nity of republican pioneers, to destroy their property, 
fire their dwellings, tomahawk and scalp the weak, the 
innocent and decrepit, to torture their prisoners in the 
most barbarous and unrelenting manner, to dig out their 
eyes, cut off their tongues, or roast them alive in the 
devouring element that was consuming their otherwise 
peaceful homes ; and as the red-hot flames lit up the 
heavens with a lurid glare, to yell and shout like incar- 
nate devils over their work of devastation and death. 

The Johnsons were in possession of great wealth, and 
had long lived in princely grandeur. Allied by mar- 
riage to families of foreign birth and royal blood, and 
holding important posts by British appointment, shrewd, 
sagacious and artful, they were found, when united with 
the Butlers, fit dispensers of massacre to the northern 

Little thought the British king as he sat upon his 
throne of regal grandeur, fattening on the blood and 
bones of murdered and oppressed humanity, that in 
prosecuting and urging forward the bloody frontier wars 
of New York and Pennsylvania he was digging his 
grave of moral infamy, or that the haughty foe, after 
waging for years a cruel and unrelenting warfare, /as 
to be driven from our shore in sullen gloom and disap- 
pointment, having lost the brightest jewels that glit- 
tered in his crown of royalty. He did not for a moment 


presume that the heroic actors against whom he warred 
were destined to gain an immortality of fame and glory, 
in consequence of the noble and exalted stand they had 
taken in defense of home, kindred, and country — that 
their names were to be honored through successive 
generations, — the penman's theme and the poet's inspira- 
tion, — or that when the historian should write his coun- 
try's annals, he would erect to them a monument, at 
whose base the falsehoods and prejudices of their ene- 
mies should wither, and around whose summit the light- 
nings of immortality would play. 



*' Heard ye not the battle horn ? 
Reaper, leave thy golden corn, 
Leave it for the birds of heaven. 
Swords must flash, and shields be riven ! 
Leave it for the winds to shed — 
Arm I ere Tryon's turf grows red I 

'* Mother I stay thou not thy boy I 
He must learn the battle's joy. 
Sister ! bring the sword and spear, 
Give thy brother word of cheer ! 
Maiden ! bid thy lover part, 
Tryon calls the strong in heart." 

Border warfare, in all ages and in all countries, has 
presented an unrestrained exhibition of human passion; 
and the frontier wars of New York exhibit to the mor- 
alist one of the darkest pages that has yet seen the 
light, embodying a mass of depravity and misery, which 
the mind of man contemplates with mingled emotions 
of amazement, horror and disgust ; and presenting a 
picture of weakness and wickedness, of turpitude and 
guilt, which has few parallels in any work of fiction. 
Humanity mourned over these devastations upon the 
beauty and brightness of her primeval empire, and lifted 
aloud her voice for their abatement. 


The British possessed a very decided advantage over 
the colonists. They had agents who were appointed 
and paid by the king, to traffic and cooperate with the 
Indians in every possible way. The Indians were 
taught to believe that the king was their natural ruler 
and protector ; that it was the object and intention of 
the colonists to defeat, if possible, the English, and 
then wage an exterminating war against the red men; 
that, unless they united with the king's people, and 
assisted in conquering the revolutionists, their hunting 
grounds would be taken from them, their villages burnt, 
their homes pillaged, and themselves tortured, massa- 
cred, or made menial slaves to wear the white man's 
chains and the tyrant's fetters. Presents in great pro- 
fusion were frequently made in the name of their royal 
father, to these unlettered aborigines ; and we are not 
surprised that a favorable impression should have been 
made, or that the savages were preengaged in favor of 
English tyranny, nor do we regard them as having been 
alone to blame. Far from it. The cupidity and base 
mendacity of the royal leaders were continually urging 
forward marauding parties, and instigating them to 
massacre and blood ! And bitter were the fruits of these 
unhallowed attempts in Tryon county. 

Though the stealthy incursions of the Indians had 
been severely felt by the inhabitants, previous to the 
campaign of Itit, they were afterwards attended with 
a more deadly vengeance. 

In July of that year. General Herkimer marched to 
Unadilla at the head of 380 men of the Tryon county 
militia, and was there met by Brant, having with him 
130 men. A conference was had between Gen. Herki- 


mer and Capt. Brant, which finally terminated without 
lending to the furtherance of the American or Repub- 
lican cause, leaving no doubt, in the minds of those 
present, of the determination of Brant and his followers 
to unite their destinies with the tories. 

On the nth of July, Gen. Herkimer issued his cele- 
brated proclamation. It breathed the true spirit of the 
patriot, and was worthy of having emanated from the 
head and heart of the gallant hero who penned it •; and 
it was very generally well received, notwithstanding 
the tory spirit which had been infused into the minds of 
a number of influential citizens, through the agency of 
the Johnsons, Col. Claus, and Walter Butler, son of Col. 
John Butler, of Wyoming notoriety. 

When Burgoyne, with his well-disciplined army of over 
7,500 regulars, besides Canadian and Indian auxiliaries, 
was rapidly advancing upon Crown Point, he detached 
Col. St. Leger with a body of light troops, Canadians, 
Indians, and tories, in all amounting to about 2,000, by 
the way of Oswego and the Mohawk river, with orders 
to take Fort Schuyler, and join him as he advanced to 
the Hudson, on his way to New York. 

, Eearly in August, Gen. St. Leger and his forces ap- 
proached Fort Schuyler in all the "pomp and parade" 
of victorious troops fresh from the tented field of blood. 
The fortification was a rude structure formed of logs, 
and located on a well-selected elevation near the source 
of the Mohawk river. It was garrisoned by about six 
hundred continentals under the order and control of 
Col. Gansevoort. It undoubtedly appeared to St. Leger 
as an undertaking of no very great eifort to reduce the 
fort and hang the rebels. The garlands of immortal 


fame were to cluster around his brow, and his name to 
be recorded upon the fairest page of English history ! 
Nodding plumes were to droop and wither at his ap- 
proach, and the revolutionists to seek mercy at the feet 
of the king's appointed dignitary I But how sadly was 
he disappointed. On the 3d he invested the place with 
about two-thirds of his army, and demanded a surrender 
of the fort. The reply of Gen. Gansevoort was, that he 
would defend it to the last extremity. 

Gen. Herkimer, with 800 troops, had marched to rein- 
force the garrison. During the forenoon of the sixth 
day he sent forward a messenger, who informed the 
defenders of the fort that he was within eight miles of 
them, and expected to be able during the day to force a 
passage and enter the garrison. 

Of this fact Gen. St. Leger had been by some means 
apprised, and forthwith detached a strong body of regu- 
lars and Indians, under the command of Brant and 
Butler, with orders to ambuscade, and if possible, inter- 
cept and cut off the forces of Gen. Herkimer. The plan 
was adopted, and told with awful and heart-rending 
effect upon the approaching army. The spot was admi- 
rably chosen, being along a ravine which swept through 
a deep-cut gorge thickly studded with the " dark forest 
trees" of Oriskany. 

There is a sublime and imposing appearance in a well- 
equipped and well-drilled ami}'-. You see generals and 
their aids clad in rich and tasteful uniform, with glitter- 
ing shields and nodding plumes, mounted on richly 
caparisoned steeds, giving their hurried orders as the 
battalions wheel into columns and prepare for the deadly 
conflict. To see the two opposing forces rapidly closing 


in upon each other, and suddenly swayed back like the 
surging' waves of the ocean, as their ranks are opened 
by shot or chain belched from the mouths of brazen 
cannons, is indeed an awful scene. The earth trembles 
as if convulsed by some mighty volcanic eruption, and 
the red-hot balls and bursting shells resemble so many 
fiery orbs gemming the earth. Not so, however, in the 
battle scene we are about to record. 

The tory and savage forces were crouched, tiger-like, 
along the banks of the ravine, entirely secluded from 
the sight of General Herkimer and his little gallant 
army of well-tried soldiers, yet ready to pounce upon 
them with the ferocity of hungry hyenas. The heroic 
forces of Herkimer, unapprised of danger, were moving 
along the winding gorge, but were suddenly startled 
by a heavy discharge of musketry, followed by the 
war-whoop of the painted savages and royal allies, 
who came rushing down the banks, screeching and 
yelling like ten thousand demons fresh from the portals 
of the infernal pit. This precipitate movement on the 
part of the enemy, so unexpected, so sudden, and so 
furious, threw the army of Herkimer into considerable 
disorder. Indeed, the greatest consternation spread 
throughout the ranks. The rear division of the column 
broke and fell back on the first attack, and fled. The 
forward division had no alternative left but to fight, 
and gallantly they defended themselves in the unequal 
contest. The royal troops and the militia became so 
closely pressed together as to be unable to use their 
fire-arms, and one of the most deadly hand to hand 
conflicts ensued that is recorded in either ancient or 


modern history. Confusion and carnage reigned su- 
preme, and hundreds fell, pierced to the heart with the 
deadly steel. The earth was red with the blood of the 
dead and dying, and the purple current was seen min- 
gling with the crystal element as it swept along in its 
hurrying course. Those who fled at the first onset, 
sought for safety behind trees, from which they poured 
the most raking and disastrous shots into the enemy's 
ranks. But the wily savages, not willing to be out- 
managed, especially in their own mode of fighting, 
watched for the smoke of each discharged gun, then 
suddenly sallied forth, tomahawked and scalped the 
unerring marksman before he had time to reload. This 
way of taking scalps was, however, soon checked. 
Two men were directed to take a position behind the 
forest rampart, and while the one should bring down 
his foe, the other to reserve his charge for the seeker of 
scalps. In this way sad havoc was made with the 
savage foe. 

In this severe struggle, General Herkimer's loss was 
computed to amount to four hundred men ; the gallant 
leader himself was found among the slain. Many of 
the most active political characters of that unfortunate 
portion of country were either made prisoners, wounded, 
or fell — gloriously fell — in the defense of that principle 
which has established republics, demolished thrones, 
wrecked kingdoms, and divided empires. Nor was the 
loss less severely felt by the allied party. The dusky 
chieftain mourned the fate of his brave warriors, who 
lay thick as autumn leaves around him. His grief was 
almost bordering on despair. He wept as the red man 
was unused to weep, for he plainly saw the wide-spread 


desolation that was at almost every point staring him 
in the face. And while the few remaining sons of the 
forest bewailed the loss of their friends, and exhibited 
the deepest sorrow and distress of mind, as they saw 
the result of their inhumanity in the mangled forms, in 
the blasted hopes, in the unutterable agony of the fallen 
braves, and, while their doleful yells rent the air, the old 
scarred chieftain stood still and motionless as the sleep- 
ing marble. His countenance, however, soon changed 
to that of a demon, for the spirit of vengeance was at 
work in his breast, and his dark eye flashed a falcon 
glance at the heroic warriors who passed hurriedly by 
with their dead and dying, who, but a little while be- 
fore, were flushed with manly pride and noble bearing. 
That glance was indicative of his deep and undying 
hatred towards the Americans, and was ominous of 
future devastation, of massacre, and blood. 

During this severe contest Col. Willett made a suc- 
cessful sally, killed a number of the enemy, destroyed 
their provisions, carried off their spoils and plunder, and 
returned to the fort without losing^ a man. 

In the meantime Arnold had been dispatched with a 
respectable force of Continentals for the purpose of 
preventing a junction of St. Leger with General Bur- 
goyne. St. Leger had become aware of the expected 
arrival of Arnold, and after again demanding, in the 
most haughty manner, the surrender of the fort, and 
meeting with the same patriotic and prompt refusal, 
began to make arrangements for its destruction. But 
just at this important crisis of affairs, Arnold appre- 
hended an American of wealth and influence, whom he 
strongly suspected of being a traitor. He agreed. 


however, to spare his life and fortune, on the condition 
that he would go forthwith to the Britisli camp before 
Fort Schuj^er, and circulate a report to the effect that 
an overwhelming force was rapidl}^ approaching-. The 
prisoner consented ; and, true to his word, entered the 
camp, and very greatly magnified the force that was 
marching against it. As was anticipated, this report 
spread consternation and alarm throughout the forces 
of St. Leger. The Indians had no notion of remaining 
there to be overpowered by Arnold. They had rather 
take scalps than to be marks for the keen-e^^ed revolu- 
tionists. St. Leger was fully satisfied as regarded his 
strength and ability to defend the position he had 
taken, as also, of the weakness of the fort, and reluc- 
tantly listened to his Indian allies, who were open in 
avowing their disappointment. They had presumed it 
an easy matter to triumph over the Americans, and 
were to share equally with the British in the division 
of the spoils of conquest. Thus defeated and deceived, 
they resolved to fly for safety, and seek tropliies in 
another quarter. And all the art and genius of Leger 
failed to detain them. Many left, and the remainder 
declared they would if the siege was persevered in. 
Thus he was compelled to abandon the siege, and, on 
the 22d of August, retired in great confusion ; the 
tents were left standing, the artillery abandoned, and 
the greater part of the baggage, ammunition, and pro- 
visions fell into the hands of the garrison, a detachment 
from which pursued the retreating enemy as he bent 
his course in the direction of Montreal. 



" Hark ! hark ! mevhinks I hear some melancholy moan, 
Stealing upon my listening ear, 
As tho' some departing spirit was about 
To soar, amid the horrors of a massacre I 
Yes I the savage fiend, with glittering knife, 
And tomahawk, reeking with infant blood, 
Stands in awful prospect before my vision. " 

The circumstances under which St, Leger made his 
hurried flight from Fort Schuyler, were by no means 
flattering to his vain-glorious disposition. He had the 
command of an army which boasted of being in the en- 
joyment of the full powers of health, discipline and 
valor, and into whose minds he had labored to infuse a 
spirit of opposition to republican liberty, as well as to 
prejudice them in favor of the crown of Great Britain. 
He had endeavored to prove that the government of the 
mother country, with all her fading splendors of an- 
archy, was in every respect superior to the one designed 
to be established in the colonies. He was peculiarly 
lavish with his promises to all who would assist in 
redeeming the cause of the king from the usurpers, and 
continue submissive to his arrogant behests, and tyran- 
nic acts of his minion serfs in Parliament. The children 
of the colonists were to receive their full measure of 


vengeance and wrath from the ministers of justice, who 
were to visit with devastation, famine, and the long 
train of unmitigated horrors of a scourging war, all 
who refused to acknowledge the " Divine Right of 
Kings." Yet after having exhausted his powers in rhe- 
torical flourishes, begging, promising and threatening 
those under his command, he suddenly abandons the 
siege, and retires from the "field" in the utmost confusion. 

The Indians continued their depredations, for mas- 
sacre and murder had l)ecome the cherished objects of 
their lives. 

In the summer of 1*178 Brant made his head quarters 
at Oquago,* and Unadilla, and gathered around him 
several hundred Indians and tories, ready for any emer- 
gency, — to pillage and devastate the country. 

A fort was erected at Cherry Yalley by order of Gen- 
eral Lafayette, and became a retreat when the incursions 
of the Indians gave alarm to the surrounding inhabi- 
tants. Brant resolved upon its destruction, was pre- 
pared for an attack, and was only prevented by being 
frightened by a band of boys who, in honor of their pa- 
triotic fathers, were marching out in the direction of 
Brant's hiding place, where they were to engage in a 
sham battle. Brant, presuming it to be an approaching 
army, discharged a few scattering shots, killing Lieut. 
Wormwood, and Capt. Peter Sitz, and decamped, leav- 
ing the bo3^s 

'• To beat the sheepskin, blow the fife, 
And march in Irainin' order." 

In July,Wyoming, a new and flourishing settlement on 
* Now Windsor. 


the eastern branch of the Susquehanna, was devastated 
and laid waste, many of the inhabitants were ruthless- 
ly murdered, others burned at the stake, or tortured in 
the most barbarous and unrelenting manner. 

In the following November, Brant, at the head of 700 
warriors, 500 of whom were his own men, accompanied 
by Capt. Walter Butler, son of Col. John Butler, the 
devastator of Wyoming, who had obtained 200 Butler 
Rangers of his father, marched upon Cherry Valley, 
where was perpetrated one of the most inhuman mas- 
sacres recorded in history, and which proves to an ab- 
solute certainty the tory commander to be a most im- 
placable enemy to freemen, a reckless tyrant, a bar- 
barian well suited to the capacity of his calling, a mid- 
night marauder, and wanton ravager of the inno- 

Col. Ichabod Alden was in command of the fort, and 
through his inexcusable neglect the surrounding inhab- 
itants did not take shelter in the fort, as he had pro- 
mised to keep scouts out, who, in case of danger, would 
sound the alarm. His scouts built a large fire, around 
which they were enjo^dng a comfortable nap. Brant and 
his allies fell upon them just before daylight had dawn- 
ed on the ill-fated settlement, capturing them, and mak- 
ing the surprise most complete. Back settlers were 
surprised in their dwellings, and murdered with every 
circumstance of fiendish barbarity. The village was 
invested in all parts at the same moment, and then 
ensued a scene at which humanity would shudder and 
angels might weep. Fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters 
and friends, were inhumanly tomahawked and scalped, 
to appease the Indian and tory spirit of revenge. Even 


lisping infancy was made to share the like fate, cruel 
and barbarous as it was. 

The commander of the rude fortification, refusing to 
yield to the usurper's call to surrender, fell by the tom- 
ahawk. Brant and his Mohawks nerved themselves 
for the scene of blood and woe that was to follow, but 
were less furious, less depraved, and still less cruel, 
torturing and fiendlike, than were the Senecas ; for they, 
as if inspired by the arch demo7i of Hades, sprung upon 
the innocent, the helpless and unoffending, and murder- 
ed them without exhibiting one touch of remorse, or 
emotion of sympathy. So, too, with the tory, or rene- 
gade allies^ — they were ripe for massa ere and blood. 

The troops in the fort made a gallant and noble 
defence ; but they were not sufficiently strong to make 
a successful sally from their entrenchments. 

When darkness had again curtained the earth, the 
invaders, with about forty prisoners, were hurrying from 
the scenes of devastation and death. 

The next day a detachment of militia arrived from 
the Mohawk, just in time to see the last of the prowling 
foe disappear from the settlement. To them the cruel- 
ties and disastrous effects were exhibited in all their 
hateful and sickening deformities. The inhabitants who 
escaped the tomahawk and scalping knife, fled from 
their homes, seeking the protection of others whose 
hearts and desires were with the advocates and sup- 
porters of republican freedom and entire indepen- 

A volume might be filled with incidents, cold-blooded 
and heart-chilling, detailing the horrid massacres 
where whole families were indiscriminately murdered. 


Eobei't Wells, his mother, wife, four children, his 
brother and sister, with three domestics, — twelve in all, 
— were cruelly slaughtered by the Indians, leaving only 
one of this large and interesting family to tell the fate of 
the others. The blood runs cold as we contemplate the 
inhumanity exhibited towards Miss Jane Wells, the 
sister, an amiable and worthy young lady, who, on seeing 
her brother cut down while bowed in prayer, fled from 
the house and secreted herself behind some wood. Pale 
and trembling with fear, she was discovered by a Seneca 
Indian, who, as he approached her, very coolly wiped the 
blood from the glittering steel on his leggins, and sheathed 
it by his side; then seized her by the arm and dragged her 
from her covert. Looking up imploringly in his face, and 
in Indian accents, she begged him to spare her life. 
Vain supplication ! Raising his tomahawk, yet red 
with the blood of her kindred, he buried it in her 

The wife of the Rev. Samuel Dunlap was cloven down 
before his eyes, and he barely escaped, through the in- 
terposition of a young chief of the Oquago branch of 
the Mohawks. 

In the absence of William Mitchell, his wife and four 
children were ruthlessly murdered by the cowardly 
assassins ; the house plundered and set on fire. The 
husband and father returned just in time to put out the 
fire, and discover the faint glimmerings of life remaining 
in one of his children. He had conveyed it to the door, 
and was in the act of stopping the flowing blood, when 
he saw to his horror another band approaching ; he hast- 
ily secluded himself from sight, and there beheld a 
blood-thirsty tory extinguish with a blow of his hatchet 


the last spark of life that remained in the breast of his 
child. What a scene to meet a parent's eye 1 

The day following was one of sorrow and sadness to 
him. Without the assistance of a single friendly arm, 
he conveyed the remains of his dear ones to the Fort, 
where they were entombed in the " cold earth." Who 
can refrain from weeping at his loss ! What eye can 
remain dry, or what heart untouched 1 

A Mrs. Campbell and her four children were taken 
prisoners and carried away into captivity. Long, long 
years of suffering, worse than death, passed away, be- 
fore the husband and father learned the fate of his 
wretched family. 

Many escaped to the mountains, and looking down 
into the valle}'' saw their houses wrapped in flames, and 
heard the yells of the savages as they triumphed in 
their work of death. 

Girls in their teens, mothers with infants at the breast, 
fled to the woods without clothing, and for twelve or 
fifteen hours endured the most excruciating agony. A 
cold November wind whistled through the tree-tops, 
and moaned over the mountain gorges. The earth was 
covered with snow, and a drizzling rain added to the 
sufierings of the fugitives. 

Retributive justice will, however, sooner or later, 
overtake the vile oppressor. Capt. AValter Butler, the 
acknowledged instigator of all this havoc, was captured 
at Johnstown in 1781. He had been defeated, and fled. 
Swimming his horse across the river, the moment he 
gained the shore he turned and defied those in pursuit ; 
a ball from one of the Yankee rifles brought him to the 
ground. An Indian of the Oneida tribe, who favored 


the American cause, sprang into the stream and swam 
across, when Butler immediately cried for quarter. 
But the old chieftain shouted in his ear, " Sherry Val- 
lej \ Bemember Sherry Valley!" and instantly clove 
his skull with a tomahawk. Hastily pulling- off his 
scalp, he held it up to the gaze of his followers Avhile 
his yet bleeding victim was gasping out his death 



" Go, seek the covert of the savage foe, 
Disperse them at thy weal or woe." 

During the year It 19, General Sulliv^fci made a suc- 
cessful expedition into the Indian territory, destroyed 
forty of their towns, and put the enemy to flight. 

Influenced by the numerous presents and promises 
made by the British agents and tory adherents, and 
with the desire to plunder, five of the confederated In- 
dian tribes invaded the north-western frontiers, spread- 
ing devastation and death wherever they went."^- Their 
object was to ravage, burn, and kill. To check the 
career of these lawless intruders, and to' mete out to 
them a due amount of retributive justice, Congress 
placed three thousand continental troops under the 
command of General Sullivan. 

When the savage allies received the first news rela- 
tive to the projected expedition against them, they im- 
mediately began to fortify their strongholds and prepare 
themselves for a determined resistance. They well 
knew that the horrid murders and midnight massacres, 
in addition to the rapine and plunder which they had 

* The Oneidas alone remained favorable to the American cause. 


committed, were laid up against them, and that if unable 
to withstand the force which was marching through the 
wilderness, they would be indiscriminately cut down 
and despoiled of their country. 

General Sullivan marched from Easton, Pennsylvania, 
and arrived with his army at Wyoming on the 24th day 
of June. The enemy having fled before him, and learn- 
ing that they were committing outrages of the grossest 
character, he determined to pursue, and if possible drive 
them from the country. 

On the 31st of July he left, with his forces, for the 
Indian settlei^ents farther up the Susquehanna and its 
tributaries. His stores and artillery were conveyed up 
the river in one hundred and fifty boats, and presented 
a grand and imposing appearance. The lurking sav- 
ages, who still hovered about the country for the sake 
of plunder, were not only surprised but greatly fright- 
ened, as they viewed them from the long range of 
mountains which bordered the majestic Susquehanna. 
The horses, as they moved along in single file, formed a 
continuous line of six miles in length. They numbered 
about two thousand. 

The forces arrived at Tioga Point on the 11th of 
August, and were joined by Gen. Clinton on the 22d, 
he having marched from the Mohawk with a detachment 
of one thousand troops, thus swelling the command of 
General Sullivan to four thousand. The Indians had 
taken a position near Newtown, where they had strongly 
entrenched themselves, determined to resist the advance 
of Gen, Sullivan. Their combined forces numbered eight 
hundred Indians and two hundred tories, and were 
commanded by Brant and Butler. On the 29th the 


Americans were drawn up before their breastworks, 
and commenced a most deadly attack. The Indians 
withstood the fierce shocks of a terrible cannonade for 
upwards of two hours, making the most determined 
efforts at resistance recorded in our country's history. 
They fought with desperation, while the shot and chain 
from the well-drilled forces of Sullivan were making 
terrible havoc in their ranks. But though they warred 
for country and home, and sought for victory as a last 
forlorn hope to their sinking cause, it was vain, for it 
was impossible to withstand the perfect shower of balls 
that were poured in among them, answered by the cries 
and groans of the wounded and dying. The tories 
faltered ; the Indians broke and made a precipitate re- 
treat. The victory was achieved. , 

The contest was one which has but few parallels. 
The enemy yielded, inch by inch, and when finally 
forced at the point of the ba'yonet to leave their 
entrenchments and flee, terror-stricken, to the mountain 
gorges or almost impassable lagoons^ the ground they 
had occupied was found literally drenched with the 
blood of the fallen victims. Eleven of the dead re- 
mained upon the field, and fourteen were found but 
partially covered with leaves. Two canoes were very 
much stained with blood, and their trail, even in the 
mind of Col. Stone, author of the life of Brant, exhibited 
" the most indubitable proof that a portion of their dead 
and wounded had been carried off." The Americans 
lost, according to the highest account which we have 
found on record, " only six men," and from forty to fifty 
were wounded. Among these were Major Titcomb, 
Captain Clayes, and Lieut. M'Colley. 


The Indians who had escaped the terrible fire of Sulli- 
van's artillery, saw with horror the destruction of their 
orchards, cornfields and cabins. It was to them a scene 
of utter desolation. They had, it is true, made some 
preparation to intercept and cut ofi' the progress of 
Sullivan, but had no idea that such a formidable force 
could successfully penetrate through an almost un- 
broken forest, convey their heavy baggage, and drive 
them from their strongholds. 

Like a tornado sweeping over the country, destroying 
everything in its onward march, passed the army of 
Generals Sullivan and Clinton, spreading the most utter 
desolation on every side. 

At Knawaholce, twenty cabins with their contents 
were consumed. The corn, which looked very promising, 
was also destroyed. 

At Catharine Town, — the home of Catharine Montour, 
the wife of the stern Canadesaga chief,- — the wigwams, 
orchards and cornfields were entirely destroyed, the 
inhabitants having, previous to the approach of the 
army, deserted their homes. 

Their cluster of houses on the east side of Seneca 
lake, and near the old Indian Peach Orchard, in the 
[now] town of Hector, shared a like fate. 

The army, like so many vultures, hovered for an hour 
about Apple Tree Town, leaving nothing but desolation 
to mark the destroyer's course. 

Arriving at Kandaia, an old town of twenty houses, 
which exhibited considerable taste, the warriors paused 
for a short time, making a few general flourishes in true 
knight-errant style. The houses, as represented by 
one who shared the honors and privations attending 


the campaign, were large and elegant, some beautifully 
painted ; their tombs likewise, especially of their chief 

Still the army strode forward, hoping to come up with 
the retreating foe. But they were not to be so easily 

At the capital of the Senecas, Kanadesaga, at least 
something like a flourish at resistance was expected ; 
but when the emboldened army drew up before their 
entrenchments, eager, anxious, thirsting for the blood 
of the poor unlettered red men, lo I they, too, had fled. 
But in their sudden flight they left behind them, asleep, 
a white boy of seven or eight years. 

Kanadesaga was located about one and a half miles 
north of the present flourishing village of Geneva, and 
contained about sixty houses. It was the last strong- 
hold of the Senecas, though destined to fall into the 
spoilers' hands. In after time, however, a few of the 
surviving remnants of that once powerful and far-famed 
tribe, returned, and once more i>eared their rude homes 
over the ashes of their former wigwams. When their 
lands were ceded to the State, it was explicitly agreed 
that this, the home of their ancient grandeur, should 
never be cultivated by the white man's hand. " Here," 
said the red man, " sleep our fathers, and they cannot 
rest well if they hear the plow of the white man above 
them." The rude traces of their olden fortress are still 
distinctly visible. 

Near the shores of the Canandaigua lake, another 
flourishing settlement was approached and fired, with 
many of the products of Indian toil. There were 
twenty-three houses, many of them framed, and very 
elegantly painted. 


From this place the army moved forward to Honcoye, 
a small town of about ten houses, situated near Cone- 
sus lake. The houses were fired and consumed. Here 
General Sullivan left a portion of the heavy stores and 
one field-piece, under the charge of a competent garri- 
son. He had no doubt but that the Indians would show 
some resistance at the Genesee Castle, and he desired 
to be unencumbered with every unnecessary article. 
The next day he left for the capital. The enemy had 
held a council of war, and were almost unanimously 
in favor of making at least one more bold stand in the 
defence of their homes and their hunting-grounds. 
Their women and children were therefore directed to 
secrete themselves some miles ahead, in the direction 
of Fort Niagara. The preliminaries having been thus 
arranged, the warriors prepared for the contest. They 
took a favorable position between Honeoye creek and 
the head of Conesus lake, near what is now called 
Henderson's Flats. They had carefully ambushed, 
and awaited the arrival of the American forces. As 
soon as Sullivan's advance guard reached their posi- 
tion, the Indians appeared and commenced the attack. 
It was in the main a rather bloodless eff"ort, and termi- 
nated in the enemy taking two Oneida Indians prison- 
ers, — one a guide to Sullivan's army. He had on several 
occasions been of important service to the American 
force, — a fact fully apparent to his captors, — and hence 
he was a prisoner of consequence. He had a brother in 
Butler's corps, who in the early progress of the war 
had endeavored to persuade him to unite his destiny 
with his British brethren. But to no purpose. Soon 
after the prisoners were conducted into the enemy's 


camp, the brothers met — not, however, as friends who 
had been long separated. The eldest of the two, deem- 
ing it a proper time to vent upon his weaker brother 
the envenomed shafts of his deep- and undying malice, 
approached, and thus addressed him: — 

" Brother ! You have merited death ! The hatchet 
or the war-club shall finish your career ! When I beg- 
ged of you to follow me in the fortunes of war, you w^ere 
deaf to my cries : you spurned my entreaties ! 

" Brother ! You have merited death, and shall have 
your deserts ! When the rebels raised their hatchets 
to fight their good master, 3"0u sharpened your knife, 
you brightened your rifle, and led on our foe to the fields 
of our fathers ! 

"Brother ! You have merited death, and shall die by 
our hands ! When those rebels had driven us from the 
fields of our fathers to seek out new homes, it was you 
who could dare to step forth as their pilot, and conduct 
them even to the doors of our wigwams, to butcher our 
children and put us to death ! No crime can be greater! 
But though you have merited death, and shall die on 
this spot, my hands shall not be stained with the blood 
of a brother ! Who will strike ?" 

There was a pause of one moment — a moment of aw^- 
ful suspense — and the next, the bright hatchet of Little 
Beard cleft liis skull, and his spirit passed to the brighter 
land of promise. 

AYhile at Iloneoye, General Sullivan detached Lieut. 
William Boyd, of the Rifle corps, with a select party 
of twenty-six men to reconnoitre Little Beard's Town, 
(now known as Leicester.) On arriving at the settle- 
ment, the party discovered that the Indians were absent, 


tlioug'h certain indications led tliem to presume that in 
all probability they would soon return, and they there- 
fore concluded to remain sleeping upon their arms. 

Just after Aurora had begun to ascend the eastern 
sky, two Indians were discovered lurking about the 
place, and unfortunately for the party, were instantly 
shot and hastily scalped. Considering the unsafe posi- 
tion in which this act of indiscretion had placed them, 
they determined to hasten their return back to the main 
army. But when within one and a half miles of Gen. 
Sullivan's force, their progress was intercepted by the 
sudden appearance of five hundred Indians, and nearly 
an equal number of tory Rangers ; the former under 
command of Capt. Brant, and the latter under Col. But- 
ler, of infamous memory. We have been told by one 
who served in the campaign, that these border pirates 
had not for a single day lost sight of Sullivan's army 
after their defeat at Newtown. Boyd and his party 
made a number of attempts to cut their way through 
the strong lines of the enemy, but were unsuccessful. 
All fell save Boyd and an Oneida Indian, who served as 
pilot, and who had distinguished himself in the battle 
of Oriskany.* Boyd and Hauyerry surrendered and 
were made prisoners. Under the direction of Butler they 
were conducted to Little Beard's castle. Boyd had an 
interview with Brant, who promised that his life should 
be spared. But he was unexpectedly called away. In 
his absence, Butler delivered them over to the tender 
mercies of a chosen number of barbarians that would 
disgi*ace any army and blacken the character of any 

<* They were buried at what is now called Groveland. 


commander. The Indian was literally hewn to pieces. 
But the fate of Lieut. Boyd, — the high-souled, gallant 
Boyd, — was of a more terrible and disgusting- character. 
The heart sickens as we record the inhumanity of his 
captors. We read of no parallel in the records of an- 
cient wars, when bigotry blotted its pathway with blood, 
or when tyrants, clad in iron mail, waged long and un- 
relenting wars, severed kingdoms and divided empires, 
in order that their names might be enrolled on the scroll 
of immortal fame. 

He was disrobed of his clothing, his hands pin- 
ioned behind him, and his person tied with a hempen 
cord to a small tree. Then commenced the work of 
torture, Little Beard leading the way. He was one of 
those reckless wretches whose barbarity did much to- 
wards injuring the English cause, as well as in tarnish- 
ing the Indian character. Their tomahawks were 
whirled over his head with great fury, accompanied 
with horrid yells, until the tree was completely hewed 
and shivered to pieces. Then, like so many infuriated 
demons, they approached him, brandishing their scalp- 
ing knives, frantic with rage, and thirsting for his blood. 
" His nails were pulled out, his nose cut off, one of his 
eyes plucked out, and his tongue cut off."^ An incision 
was made in his side, from which protruded an intes- 
tine. This was immediately attached to the branch of 
a small tree ; the hempen cord loosened from his pin- 
ioned arms ; and now goaded and scourged by means 
the most heartless, he was compelled to march round 
and round until his intestines disappeared from his body, 

^ Stone's Life of Brant. 


and lie fell like a lump of clay to the earth. Then louder, 
louder were the yells of the demoniac devils — wilder, 
wilder were their frantic gesticulations, for on his brow 
they saw the large drops of sweat — his lips quivered, 
his e^'^es rolled in agony, and all was over, — for Heaven 
in mercy had thrown the sleep of death over the gallant 
Boyd, who was thus horribly scourged in his passage to 
the tomb. 

Not yet satisfied, they added still another act of fiend- 
ish ferocity to the already unparalleled outrage. His 
head was severed from his body and attached to the 
end of a pole, with the expanded jaws of a dog just 
above it. And thus it was exhibited amidst the laughter 
and jeers of the more than half intoxicated tory and 
Indian faction. 

When Gen. Sullivan learned t^ie fate of Lieut. Boyd 
and Hanyerry, he made every possible efi'ort to ferret 
out the dastard foe, hoping to avenge the barbarous 

These unfortunate men, as reported by the journalist 
of Sullivan's campaign, were found in Little Beard's 
castle, bearing the marks of the most inhuman torture. 
Gen. Sullivan saw them respectably buried on the banks 
of Beard's Creek, in the midst of a number of Indian 
plum trees. In 1849 we visited the place, and looked 
upon the humble grave made consecrate by the remains 
of these brave and heroic men. 

The Genesee castle as well as their town, which in- 
cluded one hundred and twenty-eight houses, fell into 
the conquerer's hands, but the artful foe had disappeared. 
Great efforts were made to ferret out their hiding-place, 
but in vain ; they were beyond the devastator's power. 


Vast quantities of corn, beans and potatoes were col- 
lected and placed in the houses, to which fire was ap- 
plied, and they were consumed. One of their numerous 
orchards contained fifteen hundred trees. But they, too, 
were devastated of their beauty. 

The author of the Journal from which we have gath- 
ered our materials for this chapter, lived to tell us in 
his own glowing language how beautiful and Eden-like 
the Genesee valley, with its rich and waving products 
— the result of Indian toil — appeared previous to its 
being devastated by the victorious army. 

The work of desolation was now complete. Forty of 
the Indian towns were laid in ruins. Not a house was 
left ; and the poor Indians felt that the ravagers' hands 
were upon them, for they had not left even food enough 
to sustain an infant's life for twenty-four hours. 

When Gen. Sullivan arrived on his return march at 
the outlet of Seneca lake, he detached Col. Zebulon 
Butler, with the Rifle corps and five hundred men, to 
the east side of Cayuga lake, to lay waste the Indian 
settlements. The next day, and while encamped near 
Kandaia, Lieut. Col. Dearborn was detached with two 
hundred men for the purpose of destroying the settle- 
ment south of the lake, and but a little distant from the 
present prospective city of Ithaca. 

Col. Butler pushed forward with his forces, and faith- 
fully performed the task assigned him. At that time 
the natives had large fields of corn, which presented a 
most luxuriant growth, and of which the Cayugas were 
intending to garner up for their winter's use. Patches 
of beans and potatoes exhibited the like promising ap- 
pearance. Nor was the fruit of their fine apple orchards 


less inviting to the soldier's eye, or gratifying to the 
Colonel's taste. Yet these trees of two himdrecl years' 
growth were felled to the ground. The products of the 
field — of hardy toil — were gathered into the Indian's 
rude dwellings and with them consumed by fire. 

Three villages, to them of considerable importance, 
one of which was the capital of the Cayugas, were lo- 
cated near the shore of that magnificent sheet of water. 
Smaller settlements were scattered along the banks at 
various distances apart. But all, all were destroyed. 
Their cabins and castles were swept away, for the fatal 
element from the "white man's torch" was communicated 
to them, and soon all that remained to tell the wander- 
ing pioneer, as his eye caught sight of the flames as 
they gleamed heavenward, was a mass of smouldering 
ruins. Here the brave but unlettered red men had 
lived in unadorned peace ; and their council fire had 
burned for upwards of three centuries, serving as a 
beacon light to the returning warriors. 

The mission of Col. Dearborn was alike successfully 
performed. Their wigwams were consumed, their 
maize burned up, and the home of their ancient gran- 
deur made desolate. Truly they were a wandering and 
stricken people. If the Indians in their stealthy marches 
had been cruel, the white man had been equally so. 
The one had oppressed for the sake of gain, while the 
other sought revenge as a just retaliation for the con- 
duct of his unmanly oppressor. 

A little west of the residence of Dr. J. F. Burdick, 
and where he now has a flourishing- peach orchard, 
were some eighteen or twenty cabins. Here lived a 
tall, swarthy Indian chief, generally known among the 


warriors of the Six Nations, as Long Jim, with whom 
he was a great favorite. He was of the Mohawk and 
Oneida extraction, and possessed man}^ of the more 
prominent characteristics for which the two tribes have 
been so justly celebrated, lie was usually kind, benev- 
olent and just, but if insulted without proper cause, 
would assume the ferocity of a tiger, and act the part 
of a demoniac monster. He was an orator and a war- 
rior, and possessed the art of swaying the multitude 
at his will. He believed in witches, hobgoblins and 
wizards, and often pretended to be influenced by a tute- 
lary goddess, or guardian spirit. Shrewd and artful, 
dignified and generous, yet at times deceptive and 
malevolent, he studied to acquire influence and power, 
and in most of his marauding depredations, was success- 
ful in keeping the arcana of his heart as in a "sealed 
fountain," His unwritten history represents him as 
acting a conspicuous part in numerous tragical events 
which were perpetrated by detached parties from Bur- 
goyne's army. A venerable chief, who resides on the 
New York Indian Reservation, informed us that, accord- 
ing to the tradition of his tribe. Long Jim was the main 
cause, instigator, and perpetrator of the bloody massa- 
cre which we are about to record. 

A gentleman of character and fortune, and holding 
an honorable commission in the British army, had suc- 
ceeded in winning the affections of Miss Jane M'Crea, 
a young, intelligent and lovely girl, over wliose head 
had passed scarce seventeen summers. Her father 
resided near Fort Edward, and was a prominent actor 
in the royal cause. Circumstances having required the 
services and personal attention of Mr. Jones, the 


plighted lover of Miss M'Crea, he was stationed at some 
distance from the paternal roof of her father, and 
becoming exceedingly anxious for her safety, offered 
various rewards as inducements to the Indians who 
would convey her in safety to his camp. At length the 
bold and hazardous enterprise was undertaken. A band 
of Winnebagoes set out for the home of the expectant 
bride, bearing a letter from the intended husband, in 
which he had made a faithful record of his unabated love 
for the cherished object of his heart. On their approach 
the family were much alarmed, and were about flying in 
terror from the house, that safety, if possible, might be 
found, if not nearer, at least in the fort. But just at 
this moment, the young and gallant chief of the band 
bade his followers to retire a little ; then beckoning to 
the frightened family, he held up the affectionate epistle, 
which unfortunately caught the attention of the mother, 
who readily conjectured the object of their mission. A 
token of friendship and welcome was returned, and the 
Indians, much pleased with the success of their chief, 
laughed heartily as they approached the worth}^ matron, 
each of whom she shook by the hand. 

The seal of the little message was broken — the con- 
tents read and hastily considered — when Miss M'Crea 
prepared herself to accompany them to the British 

Thus far the expedition had been attended with the 
most perfect success, and they set out on their return 
with high hopes and lofty aspirations, for a keg of Eug- 
lish rum was the price to be paid for her safe escort to 
the fortress of her lover I 

But when about half way back, they were met by a 


second party who had left for the achievement of the 
same purpose. Long Jim was the controlling spirit of 
his party, and was desirous of obtaining the prize. An 
altercation ensued, which finally rose to a warm dispute. 
Long Jim, unwilling to see the Winnebago chieftain 
proceed with the spotless object of the expedition, and 
presuming his party too weak to take her by force, 
suddenly seized her by the hair of the head, pulled 
her from the back of the noble steed, and with one 
demoniac stroke from the fatal tomahawk, cleft the 
scalp from the head of the fair young girl, and he bore 
it as a trophy to the astonished and heart -stricken 

This reckless and cold-blooded murder called forth a 
stern and feeling rebuke from Burgoyne ; and well it 
might, for it had a strong tendency to weaken the royal 

On the opposite side of the lake, where the Taughanic 
creek empties into the Tiohero, or Ca^aiga lake, the 
Indians had built a small town, and were growing corn, 
beans and potatoes on the rich flats. They had, also, 
apple trees of two and a half centuries' growth. This 
little town, called by the natives after the stream on 
which it was located, escaped the notice of Col. Butler, 
in consequence of his having passed up from East Cay- 
uga, by way of Aurora and Lavana, to the head of the 
Cayuga settlements. 

There was another settlement about six miles south- 
west of Taughanic, near the present villag'e of Water- 
burg, which, from its back location, was not discovered 
by either of the detached forces which General Sullivan 

had sent out to make havoc with the Ladians' property. 


The traces of a remarkable trench enclosure were 
distinctl}^ to be seen in 1840, when the author last vis- 
ited the spot made consecrate by the uncofSned bones 
of a " once peculiar people." Near by was the burial 
place of their dead. At an earlier period many of the 
mounds were dug open, from which were collected nume- 
rous antiquated articles of Indian warfare, and which 
very closely resembled those used in a former age by 
Europeans. A few miles distant, William Carman found 
on his farm a number of human bones, while he was 
extracting some stumps of trees of over two hundred 
years' growth. These olden relics were presumed by 
many to be of a larger race of people than the Indians. 
The presumption is possible, as there is much evidence 
in support of that opinion. We have seen several orna- 
ments, the texture and workmanship of which undoubt- 
edly belong to a different race, and probably date back 
to a remote period of our country'', on which neither tra- 
dition or history can throw any light. 

But to return. General Sullivan, after having sent 
sufficient forces to cut off the Indians and lay waste their 
settlements bordering the Cayuga lake, marched to 
"Catharine Town,'' and thence up the Chemung val- 
ley. Wearied with over-exertion, he paused with his 
gallant troops for the night on the rich flats about six 
miles north of Newtown, (now Elmira,) and while here 
encamped, they concluded to abandon or dispose of 
about four hundred of their horses, in consequence of 
their worn-out and galled condition ; and to prevent 
their falling into the hands of the enemy, though not a 
Red Roman appeared in sight, they were led out in In- 
dian file and shot down ; and hence originated the name 


of Horse Heads — a name familiar to the general reader 
of American history. 

Arriving at Newto.wn, they received a heart-cheering 
salute of thirteen guns from the Fort which had been 
thrown up by Captain Reid and his force of two hundred 
men, who had been left in charge of some stores which 
were forwarded from Tioga Point for the support of Sul- 
livan's army. While here, the news of Spain having 
declared war against Great Britain was reciiived with 
unbounded joy. The event was celebrated in a man- 
ner which was well calculated to animate the drooping 
spirits of those who had periled health, happiness, and 
fortune in the support of American liberty. Five large 
oxen, one for each brigade, were killed and roasted, 
which, with the added trimmings and double rations, 
were dispatched in a way at once interesting and agree- 
able. During the festive proceedings, cannons were 
fired at intervals, which added much to the joy of the 
already excited heroes. Here Colonels Butler and Dear- 
born united with the main army. 

. Leaving Newtown, they returned by way of Tioga 
Point to Wyoming, where they arrived on the 7th of 
October, and in a few days after bent their course for 
Easton, and from thence to Morristown, New Jersey, 
where they took up their winter quarters. 

There are very few expeditions on record, which 
proved so entirely successful in their general results, 
and which so fully met the hopes and expectations of 
the people and of Congress, as the one of which we have 
just given a hasty sketch. 

The burning of Moscow was a terrible blow to Napo- 
leon and his unrivaled army, and which forever clouded 


the hopes of the imperial hero. It involved the sump- 
tuous palaces, monuments, and miracles of art, in one 
common flame. The devastation of the Indian country 
was as severe a chastisement inflicted upon the red men, 
and from the effects of which they never wholly recov- 
ered. Deprived of their homes and provisions, they 
were of necessit}^ dependent upon the English for the 
necessaries of life. Provisions were extremel}^ scarce 
and high. The winter was unusually severe, and hun- 
dreds " took the scurvy and died." 

But though the Indians were greatly crippled, they 
were not subdued ; though defeated, they were not van- 
quished. They still made stealthy incursions into peace- 
able settlements, the history of whose attacks might be 
Slimmed up in the fearful, sad, bloody, but brief record — 
surprise — massacre — conflagration — retreat. 

As in the past so in the future, Brant was the rul- 
ing spirit. He could not brook the thought of being 
subdued. Disaster and defeat tended to make him the 
more daring and reckless. Yet Brant possessed many 
valuable traits of character — was often humane and 
benevolent. But we do not propose at this time to pen 
a sketch of his life — that is reserved for a future work, 
" The Indian Chiefs of America." As often as he was 
baffled in his endeavors to retrieve his loss upon tlie 
embattled field of glor}^, or failed in restoring to his 
nation the homes and hunting-g-rounds of their fathers, 
so often did the old chieftain gather his long-abused 
and often-betrayed followers around him, and with the 
envenomed rage of the famished tiger, wlien brought 
to bay by the hunters, make another and still another 
effort to regain the Indians' dominion — the Indians' 


ancient residence. If it was his custom to crouch and 
hide like the baited lion, it was but to leap with the 
greater vengeance— to dash with the greater force upon 
his antagonist — to make the victory more easy — the 
tragedy more terrible. 

Soon after the close of Gen. Sullivan's campaign, a 
party consisting of between forty and fifty Indians and 
tories were found ranging about the wild mountain 
gorges of Wyoming, from whose dark retreats they 
stealthily made incursions, committing many and seri- 
ous depredations. They were fit subjects for plunder, 
rapine, and murder. They were ripe for any outrage, 
however dark, bloody, and heart-rending it might be, 
and it is doubtful whether a more cruel and unrelenting 
band of heartless desperadoes cin^sed our land at any 
time during the long and painful period of our country's 
revolution. They delighted in having an opportunity 
to wreak vengeance upon an American. To torture by 
acts the most barbarous, seemed to be the highest ob- 
ject of their ambition. 

Capt. Bedlock, who was taken prisoner at the fiendish 
massacre, afterwards fell into the hands of these heart- 
less wretches. He was stripped of his clothing, had his 
body stuck full of pine splinters, his arms closely pin- 
ioned behind him, and his person attached by cords to 
a small tree. Around the wretched captive was then 
placed a mass of combustible matter, with a quantity 
of pine knots. Now commences the awful sacrifice. 
The fire is kindled around him, and when the terrific 
flames began to wreathe their death folds around his 
person, his two companions, Ransom and Durkee, were 
thrown into the middle of the crackling flames, where 


they all perished, martyrs to freedom's holy cause. An 
Indian, who figured conspicuously in the horrid scene, 
told us in 1849 that whenever any of the victims at- 
tempted to rise from the faggot and flame, they were 
instantly felled to the earth, and held down by means of 
poles and rails. 

One of these tories, whose mother had married a sec- 
ond husband, butchered with his own hands both her, 
his father-in-law, his sister, and their infant child- 

Another tory, of the same class, exterminated his 
whole family, — mother, brothers, and sisters, — and then 
mingled their blood in one common carnage with that 
of the aged father and husband. 

It was, too, this same class of desperadoes who, not 
satisfied with effecting these heart-chilling scenes of 
massacre and blood, fired the houses, shot and destroyed 
their cattle, or cut out their tongues, leaving them still 
alive to roam the fields in agony. 

To protect the settlement from the attacks of these 
piratical mountaineers, several companies were called 
out, with orders to hold themselves in readiness to 
avenge any wrong that might be inflicted upon the 
peaceable inhabitants of the valle3^ One of the com- 
panies had marched from Nortliampton county, and en- 
camped on the banks of one of the tributary streams of 
the Nescopeck creek, and while partaking of their fru- 
gal repast, were surprised by these barbarians, who 
inhumanly slew eleven of the company and severely 
wounded two others. Recovering from the terrible 
shock, from the tempest of balls, bludgeons, and toma- 
liawks, the Northampton boys returned them a compli- 


nientary salute from their Yankee rifles, causing- an 
equal number to give death a horrid grin. 

Wyoming will ever be memorable in history, for there 
occurred some of the most tragical scenes in our na- 
tional annals. The green turf has been made classic 
and consecrate, and will ever be hallowed in the imagi- 
nation of the heroic bard, for there are entombed the 
mouldering bones of many a brave warrior. 

The ladies of Wilkesbarre, influenced by the true 
spirit of chivalry, have erected a monument over their 
sleeping dust. The pyramidal shaft of granite stands 
a memento of the white man's sufferings and a witness 
to the red man's cruelty. 



" But go, rouse your warriors." 

The red men saw, as with prophetic eye, that their 
hunting-grounds were soon to pass into the control of 
the white invaders. They saw villages spring up, as if 
by magic, in various parts of their dominion, and traders 
were besieging them along every important trail, or 
offering rich inducements wherever the council fires 
blazed as beacon lights to returning warriors. Mill 
sites had been marked wherever the aristocratic adven- 
turer had heard a cataract's roar, or seen a leaping 
cascade. The merchant and commissioner were seduc- 
ing and bribing them of their most magnificent forests. 
And contrary to stipulation and expostulation, emi- 
grants, like the frogs of Egypt, were coming in from 
every quarter, and laying the corner stones for royal 
palaces and cottage homes. British lords and French 
Sebastians saw thousands of castle builders ready for 
the work of progress, and imagined that to their dream- 
ing vision appeared fields of rich fertility. Towns and 
counties were being carved out of their inheritance. 
The sharp crack of Yankee rifles was heard on the 


mountain tops, while New England axes were ringing 
in the valleys of Canisteo, Chemnng, Susquehanna, 
Wyoming, Chenango, Otsego, Onondaga and Genesee. 
Ramparts were reared, behind which the invaders might 
gather and concoct plans for the annihilation of the na- 
tives. They had heard the roar of cannon and the rattle 
of grape shot under the bluffs of Ticonderoga. The 
music from Montcalm bugles, and Bradstreet drums, was 
still ringing in their ears. They saw provincial rangers, 
bloody Britons, and French chevaliers, and knew that 
fire and grape had done their work of carnage and deso- 
lation at Niagara, Oswego, and Frontenac. They had 
seen the army of General Sullivan sweeping over their 
country from the Delaware to the Great Council, or 
Big Tree in Genesee Valley, laying waste their corn- 
fields, orchards and gardens. Forty of their towns were 
smouldering ruins. Or, if they turned their eyes to 
their rich locations bordering the Cayuga lake, nought 
but desolation greeted their vision, for Colonels Butler 
and Dearborn had despoiled them of their fondest 
hopes. Colonel Gansevoort had checked their ravages 
about Fort Schuyler, and Col. Van Schaick carried dis- 
aster among the Onondagas. 

These expeditions, though attended with the fullest 
success, did not subdue the war spirit of the restless 
savages. They felt that they had been greatly wronged 
and abused by the " pale faces," who had thus uncere- 
moniously deprived them of their birthright. They 
determined on revenge, for they were unwilling to brook 
the indignant insult. Their council fire had been put 
out, and their country laid waste. Desolation sat in 
gloomy silence, while the hooting owl flapped his wings 


over their deserted homes, marked only by the charred 
logs of their demolished cabins. All was dreary and 
desolate. But these wrongs were to be avenged. Hate, 
— bitter, unrelenting hate, — was most assiduously culti- 
vated in the bosom of the native lords of the forest. 
Though defeated and driven from their castles and 
strongholds, they were not subdued The spirit, though 
" crushed, would rise again" with renewed vigor, and 
the haughty and stealthy foe was determined to 
crush and gloat over those who would thus wantonly 
deprive them of their rights — rights marked out and 
defined by the very finger of the Creator— guaranteed 
to them by patent or deed, by the Great Jehovah. 

Nor did they long feel thus indignant, before an oppor- 
tunity was offered to wreak vengeance on their white 

They made a stealthy march into the Mohawk valley, 
with a fixed purpose to ravage, burn and kill. 

The inhabitants of that ill-fated region were regarded 
by the Indians and tories as enemies, and sad and 
heart-rending were the results of such a conclusion. 
Hordes of savages and loyalists incessantly emerged 
from the forests and mountain gorges, murdering and 
scalping all whom they met. Even innocent women 
and lisping infancy were cruelly butchered by the 
marauding assailants. 

The whole valley was rendered most desolate. If 
a single dwelling remained to be seen, it was like a 
flowery oasis looming up in the wide waste of ruin. 
What a sight to meet the eye of the hardy, industrious, 
yet gloomy and despondent pioneer ! There were the 
smouldering ruins, the charred bones, the mangled 


bodies of domestic animals, and the blood-stained marks 
of ruthless violence. 

There were many brave patriot pioneers who fell by 
the tomahawk or the Indian's arrow, and were left to 
moulder and wither in the desert air. But their names, 
their virtues and heroic acts, have been embalmed and 
consecrated in the hearts and affections of a grateful 
people. The orator has spoken their praise ; the poet 
has strung anew his lyre, and breathed forth most feel- 
ing and tender sympathies, 

" Ah ! where are the soldiers that fought there of yore ? 
The sod is upon them, they'll struggle no more ; 
The hatchet is fallen, the red man is low : 
But near him reposes the arm of his foe. 

" The bugle is silent, the war-whoop is dead ; 
There's a murmur of waters and woods in their stead, 
And the raven and owl chant a symphony drear, 
From the dark waving pines o'er the combatants' bier. 

"The light of the sun has just sunk in the wave, 
And a long time ago set the sun of the brave. 
The waters complain, as they roll o'er the stones, 
And the rank grass encircles a few scattered bones. 

*' The names of the fallen the traveler leaves 
Cut out with his knife in the bark of the trees ; 
But little avail his affectionate arts. 
For the names of the fallen are graved in our hearts. 

" The voice of the hunter is loud on the breeze ; 
There's a dashing of waters, a rustling of trees ; 
And the jangling of armor hath all passed away, — 
No gushing of life-blood is seen there to-day. 

*' The eye that was sparkling, no longer is bright ; 
The arm of the mighty — death conquered its might ; 


The bosoms that once for their country beat high, 
To those bosoms the sods of the valley are nigh. 

*' Sleep, soldiers of merit ! sleep, gallants of yore ! 
The hatchet is fallen, the struggle is o'er. 
While the fir-tree is green and the wind rolls a wave, 
The tear-drop shall brighten the turf of the brave." 

In many parts of the Mohawk valley, the inhabitants 
were reduced to a state of suffering which will hardly 
admit of comparison. Every thing in the line of prop- 
erty was destroyed. The tories, as in many other 
instances, were more cruel and barbarous than the 
savages. It was their object and desire to make the 
ravages most complete. They were not satisfied with 
burning, plundering, driving off and killing hundreds 
of cattle and horses, but were determined on drenching 
the green earth with the blood of the oppressed. Many 
were tortured in the most cruel and barbarous manner. 
Some were burned at the stake, while others were 
merely scalped and left to endure the pains and horrors 
of a living, lingering death. 

Col. Fisher, who lived near Caughnawaga, when it 
was burned by the Indians, made a most noble effort at 
self-defence in his own house. His two brothers had 
fallen by his side, and himself being closely pressed to 
the wall by a band of savages and painted tories, 
whooping and yelling like incarnate demons, — nerved 
with desperation, he resolved to make one more bold 
stroke for liberty. At a single discharge of his rifle, 
two of the enemy fell locked in the embrace of death. 
Two more were foiled to the floor b^^ well-directed blows 
from the breech of his gun, while a fifth was made crazy 
in consequence of having come in contact with a bunch 


of bones which was attached to the extreme end of his 
arm. In this way he escaped from his castle, was pur- 
sued by the infuriated foe, captured, scalped, and left 
writhing in his terrible agonies. The day after, he was 
discovered by a friend who had fled to the mountains, 
and was conveyed to his house, where he received every 
attention which circumstances would permit ; and al- 
though the wound was of the most frightful and dan- 
gerous character, he survived its dreadful pains, recov- 
ered, and lived many years after peace had been restored 
to his country, an honorable member of society, as well 
as an ornament to the republic, the freedom of which 
he so dearly loved. 

Lucretia Mott was one of the fifty prisoners taken 
after the burning of Schoharie. She fell into the hands 
of six tories, who were as heartless and inhuman, as 
reckless and perfidious, as the mind could well imagine. 
After being compelled to minister to their menial appe- 
tites, she had her right ear cropped, two of her fingers 
amputated, besides other barbarities of a similar char- 
acter. She was then compelled to disrobe herself of 
her clothing, which was buried in her presence, after 
which she was left in the wilderness, many miles from 
any settlement, with no companion save the hooting 
owl, howling wolf and screeching panther, to protect 
her as she sought out, as best she could, her way to the 
desolate valley. 

Mr. Sawyer was taken prisoner by a band of maraud- 
ing Indians, who, after having proceeded with him sev- 
eral miles, stopped for the night in the gloomy recess of 
a mountain gorge. After being, as they presumed, se- 
curely bound, they directed him to lie down and sleep 


with them. As he had been a terror to the Indians, he 
expected little else than cruel, unrelenting torture at 
their hands. The night was one of intense darkness. 
The moon had descended beyond the western hills and 
" gone to rest." The stars put on their weeds of mourn- 
ing, and refused to give their light, while thunders 
rolled and lightnings flashed athwart the darkened sky. 
The vivid flashes of lightning gave the prisoner an op- 
portunity to view his situation. To his surprise he 
found means to loosen his hands. This was effected by 
carefully reaching his pinioned hands to the nearest In- 
dian, and cautiously taking from his belt his scalping 
knife. His next object was to free his feet, which was 
soon done. He then with great care looked into the 
face of each of the seven savages by whom he was 
surrounded, and found them in a sound sleep. Just at 
this auspicious moment, the clouds dispersed, and the 
stars looked out from their hiding-places, which fully 
revealed the position of his oppressors. Carefull}^ taking 
from the belt of the leader of the band, his tomahawk, 
he soon dispatched six of them, and mortally wounded 
the seventh. Thus having effected his release, he bent 
his course for a distant settlement, which he hoped the 
Indians had not visited, and which he reached during 
the afternoon of the next day. 

The heart sickens as we contemplate some of the 
bloody tragedies and inhuman acts which were perpe- 
trated by these marauding parties. We have read many 
a tale of horror, where revenge had instigated the fiend 
to seek out his victim during the dark hour of night, 
and when no eye could witness the awful deed, save the 
all-seeing eye of Omnipotence, plunge the dagger to 


the heart of her whose affections he was unworthy of 
possessing, and send her disembodied spirit uncalled for 
into the presence of the great Eternal. But we can re- 
call no act so chilling to the heart, so dishonorable to 
humanity, as the one which we are about to sketch. 

A family, consisting of father, mother and eight chil- 
dren, residing in one of the settlements adjoining Scho- 
harie, and which had been laid in smoking ruins, was 
massacred with every attending circumstance of heart- 
less cruelty. Near by where the mother lay weltering 
in her heart's blood, was a cradle containing a little 
babe. An old Sachem of the Iroquoy tribe, on discov- 
ering it, approached the cradle with his hatchet raised, 
with intent to dispatch it with a blow. A cherub smile 
played over its innocent face, which seemed to touch 
his heart, for his strong arm was at once nerveless, the 
hatchet fell from his hand, and he bent his weather- 
beaten, scarred frame, for the purpose of taking the 
little innocent in his arms, and pressing its tender form 
to his breast. But before he had time to effect his pur- 
pose, a painted tory, who had a far less feeling heart 
than his savage ally, plunged his bayonet in its bosom, 
and raising it up to the wall, cried out in tones which 
none but the incarnate could utter — " This^ too^ is a 

Maria Marshall was taken captive near Oswego, by 
a party of savages who were returning from one of their 
predatory incursions into the Mohawk Valley, where 
they massacred several families, and burned a number 
of houses. 

Arriving within a few miles of Oswego, the party 
divided in hopes of securing more convenient quarters 


for the night with some of the scattered settlers who 
were occupying comfortable dwellings along the line of 
their ancient war-path. 

Five of the party were kindly entertained at the house 
of Mr. Marshall. The family consisted of Mr. and Mrs. 
Marshall, and three children, the j^oungest of whom was 
but nineteen days old. After being freely treated with 
the best provisions of the house, they retired to rest. 
Mr. and Mrs. Marshall, presuming upon the good will 
of the Indians in return for their generosity, felt secure, 
and after retiring to bed, were soon wrapped in sound 
sleep. But they had mistaken the character of their 
visitors. They were less humane, less faithful than 
their charitable fidelity had supposed. The hellish plot 
of massacre had been conceived, the first intimation of 
which, that reached the ears of Mr. and Mrs. Marshall, 
was the crackling of the burning timbers. The faith- 
less foe had secretly plundered and fired the house, and 
were now ready to take the lives of those whose bounty 
they had so liberally shared. 

The cowardly assassins had taken positions on the 
outside of the house, where they stood with uplifted 
hatchets, ready to strike down whoever might attempt 
to escape from within. Suddenly their attention was 
arrested by Mr. Marshall, who was hurrying through 
the huge columns of smoke and flame, holding in his 
arms his two eldest children. Present!}^ he sprang from 
the door, and was cloven down with the tomahawk, 
wielded by the strong arm of an athletic savage. In a 
moment the father and his precious burthens were wel- 
tering in their blood, and writhing in the agonies of 
death. Mrs. Marshall, with feeble step, and nearly suf- 


focated with smoke, reached the door just as the roof 
fell in with a terrible crash. Closely folded to her bo- 
som was her little babe. She was soon surrounded by 
her inhuman assailants who demanded of her the child, 
and on being refused, it was seized by one of the Indi- 
ans, who immediately dashed out its brains on the door- 
step. This most detestable and horrible requital of 
evil for good was executed with a shameless barbarity 
alike frightful and revolting to the finest feelings of 

Mrs. Marshall was made prisoner, and securely guard- 
ed by two of the Indians while the others secured the 

Thus having completed the work of desolation, the 
marauders took up their march for Canada. When they 
reached Oswego, their number was increased to twenty- 
seven, two of whom were female captives. On the fifth 
day, one of them, the mother of the other, an infirm old 
lady, gave out ; she could go no further. She begged 
for her life, but it was denied her, for at that moment a 
tomahawk went whirling through the air on its mission 
of death, and sunk deep into the brains and gore of the 
fallen captive. 

The destination of the Indians was a settlement con- 
tiguous to the Three Rivers, near where the Adiron- 
dacks, early in the seventeenth century, were defeated 
in a bloody and exterminating war waged against them 
by the Five Confederative Nations. 

Notwithstanding the poor health of Mrs. Marshall, 
occasioned by h^r recent confinement, she was forced 
to travel from ten to fifteen miles per day, which occa- 
sioned still greater debility of bodily powers, as well as 


tending to enervate the more noble powers of her ex- 
alted mind. 

The day previous to the expected time of reaching 
the Three Rivers, the party divided, leaving Mrs. Mar- 
shall still in the hands of her original captors. Early 
in the evening they encamped for the night on an ele- 
vated spot of ground, kindled a fire, stacked their arms, 
partook of a scanty repast, and sought rest in the em- 
brace of sleep. The savages had intimated to their 
captive the fact, that on their arrival at the end of their 
destination, she was to be delivered to one of the grand 
sachems, who would in turn give her in marriage to a 
young and distinguished brave of the Iroquoy nation. 
Shocked at the idea of becoming the wife of an Indian, 
she could hardly refrain from shedding tears, and other- 
wise bewailing her sad fate. Bereft of the protecting 
arm of a kind husband, mourning the loss of her dear 
children, all of whom had fallen by the hands of the 
inhuman monsters who were preparing to fetter her 
with the polluter's chain, far away from country and 
friends, and in the midst of a dense forest swarming 
with ravenous beasts and barbarous savages, and in 
the immediate power of five inhuman Indians who had 
wrecked her happiness and blighted her fairest hopes 
of life, she resolved upon death, or deliverance from a 
bondage more to be deprecated than the assassin's 

She cautiously rose from the cold, damp earth, on 
which she had vainly endeavored to repose her weary 
limbs, and noiselessly prepared for the work of mas- 
sacre. / 

The moon was careering high in the vaulted dome. 


The stars looked out in beauty from the radiant sky. 
The wind had died away. Not even a floating zephyr 
was heard among the tall trees. All was silent as the 

The weapons of the Indians were hastily removed out 
of their reach. She now examined the guns for the 
purpose of selecting two to assist her in carrying out 
the bold enterprise in which she had so determinedly 
engaged. They appeared in excellent order. There 
was one which particularly struck her fancy, as it had 
two barrels and was therefore better suited to her pur- 
pose than two of the ordinary kind. This, and a keen- 
edged hatchet, she deemed sufficient for her purpose. 
The gun was placed behind a tree near by the sleeping 
and unconscious foe. The hammers were drawn back, 
that each load might the more readily be discharged. 
The savages were arranged in a row — their usual habit 
of reposing. Nerved with desperation, she seized the 
tomahawk, and in less than a moment had buried it in 
the brains and gore of three of the depraved wretches. 
She then flew with great celerity to the tree, seized her 
gun and shot the fourth monster as he approached ; he 
gave one terrific yell, and all with him was over. The 
fifth and last of her captors, unable to find the secreted 
weapons, now rushed upon her with his scalping knife ; 
her gun having missed fire, was quickly reversed in 
her hands, and with a well-directed blow from the 
breech, she felled him to the earth, and with her hatchet 
gave him the finishing stroke, for he too was quivering 
in the last agonies of expiring nature. 

Having thus exterminated her enemies, she lost no 
time in retreating from the scene of horror, with the 


hope of securing some friendly aid that might enable 
her once more to return to her friends if still alive, and 
to her home made desolate by savage violence and in- 
human barbarity. For seven long days she wandered 
in the gloomy forest before meeting with any human 
being. As the sun was about retiring beyond the west- 
ern horizon, faint from want of food, having subsisted 
on roots and plants, she was about to lay herself down 
for another night's rest, when she was suddenly started 
by the wild Indian whoop, and looking around, saw, to 
her consternation, a number of savages approaching 
the little mound upon which she reclined. They were 
of the Oneida tribe, and were on terms of friendship 
with the colonists. '' Fear not, pale face," said a young 
brave, who saw the agitation and forlorn condition of 
Mrs. Marshall. He in a few words gave her to under- 
stand that his party was humane and benevolent, and 
would not in the least do her harm. She related to 
him how her husband and children had been sacrificed 
by a band of piratical invaders of the domestic hearth. 
He replied that he was going to pass within a few miles 
of her once peaceful abode, and that if she would place 
herself under his care, he would conduct her with safety 
to her home. 

Thanking him for his generosity, she felt most happy 
in being thus protected. In a few days after she was 
in the midst of former friends. But how changed I Her 
home presented a mere mass of charred ruins. The 
hand of friendship had entombed the dear ones of her 
bosom, for whom she had mourned and wept while held 
in cruel and unrelenting captivity. 

There are many recorded incidents establishing the 


the patriotic character of the early pioneers, one of 
which relates particularly to Col. Harper, of Harpers- 
field. When McDonald, a tory who had acquired con- 
siderable celebrity for his daring- deeds of cruelt3% was 
ravaging the Dutch settlements of Schoharie, with his 
three hundred tories and Indian allies. Col. Harper, 
alarmed at the sacrifice of life and property, approached 
Col. Yrooman, who was in command of the Fort, and 
very feelingly said, " What shall be done ?" To which 
the Dutch colonel replied, " 0, nothing at all ; we be so 
weak we cannot do an^^thing." But Col. Harper was 
not the man to sit down in quietness, and calmly fold 
his arms while the country around him was being rav- 
aged and made desolate. He called for his horse, and 
passed with an undaunted spirit and firm resolve 
through the scattered forces of the enemy, and bent his 
course for xilbany, where he hoped to secure assistance 
to free his country of the rude despoilers. Reaching 
Fox's Creek, he stopped for the night at a tory tavern. 
After partaking of a hasty meal, he called for a room 
and retired to rest. Soon after, the Colonel was aroused 
by a loud rap at the door. " What is wanted ?" said 
Harper, as he rose from his bed. " We wish to see Col. 
Harper," was the quick reply. The Colonel very coolly 
unlocked the door, and then seated himself on his bed, 
with pistols and sword by his side. Presently four 
men entered and closed the door. " Step one inch over 
that mark," said the Colonel, '' and you are dead men." 
They stopped and showed evident signs of uneasiness. 
Not finding him, as they presumed, ready to bend the 
obsequious knee, and tremble like Belshazzar of old, 
they left his room. Again he closed and bolted the 


door, and seating himself on the bed, quietly awaited 
the approach of day. 

Just as the sunbeams began to illuminate the orient 
sky, he ordered his horse, though the house was sur- 
rounded with savages, and was soon on his way for 
Albany. A swarthy old Indian pursued him to the very 
outskirts of the place. As often as the red skin pressed 
too closely upon Col. Harper, his speed was immediately 
checked by the appearance of an ill-looking pistol, which 
was aimed at his breast. 

Arriving at Albany, he held a conference with Col. 
Gansevoort, which resulted in accordance with his 
wishes. A squadron of horse was placed under his 
direction. They immediately set out for Schoharie, 
reaching there quite early in the morning. The citizens 
were not aware of Col. Harper's movements, and were 
greatly surprised, on hearing the yells and shrieks of 
the enemy, to behold him with his troops making terri- 
ble havoc in their ranks. A very patriotic and success- 
ful sally was made from the fort, and the consequences 
were so alarmingly disastrous to the enemy, that they 
made a hasty retreat from the country. 



"I'll note 'em in my book of memory." 

The Revolutionary curtain first rose upon the memo- 
rable soil of Lexington, and fell, in the closing* scene of 
that eventful struggle for freedom in which the infant 
colonies were engaged, on the blood-drenched plains of 
Yorktown. Great Britain, in her endeavors to maintain 
and extend her supremacy over the primitive soil of the 
New World, was waging a war of oppression against 
the freemen of America, who were kindling fires that 
were to light them as they hewed their way through 
the embattled forces of his royal highness King George 
III. The Revolutionary war was emphatically a strug- 
gle between liberty and oppression. On the east side 
of the broad waters that separated the two- continents, 
sat the crowned monarch, arrayed in royal splendor, 
devising plans for the subjugation or annihilation of 
the chivalrous spirits who were endeavoring to shake 
off the chains and manacles of the oppressor. The col- 


onists warred for their liberties, their rights, and free 
institutions ; and while the hostile banners of victorious 
generals were approaching the surf-beaten shore of "this 
land of the oppressed," and foreign armies were seen 
marching upon Columbia's soil, they were rallying to 
the field of slaughter with gleaming swords and glis- 
tening bayonets, ready to strike for liberty in freedom's 
holy cause. During this struggle, a period extending 
from 1*1*15 to 1783, the spirit of emigration was greatly 
impeded. But after the stormy cloud of war had passed 
awa^s and the tempest of revolution had ceased to give 
alarm or threaten with danger, and when the contending 
elements were no longer agitated, and the incendiar3!''s 
torch, which not unfrequently was applied by marauding 
parties to the cottagers' homes, had been extinguished, 
the sturdy and industrious pioneers again began to 
penetrate beyond the confines civilization. 

John Doolittle, originally from Connecticut, was the 
first explorer of the Oquago valley, having made a per- 
manent settlement near the present valley of Windsor, 
early in 1785. At this time the Indians were living 
near the spot where he erected his cabin. 

During the same year James M'Master, made a loca- 
tion on the rich flats which border the classic Susque- 
hanna, and the little hamlet which soon after sprung up 
as if by magic influence, has finally become the beautiful 
and enterprising village of Owego. 

Capt. Joseph Leonard was the pioneer of Broome 
valley, having located in the vicinity of Binghamton in 

In 1789, Peter Hinepaw, Jacob Yaple, and Isaac Du- 
mond located on the Ithaca Flats. They were employed 


nineteen days in transporting their goods from Owego, 
a distance of twenty-nine miles. 

Col. John Hendy was the pioneer at Elmira. He 
erected the first log cabin in 1788, having previously 
made a location at Tioga Point. His daughter, Rebecca, 
who subsequently became the wife of Mr. Gulp, was the 
first white child that ever sat on the banks of the Che- 
mung river. A few years since we shook the withered 
and fleshless hand of the old lady, then trembling on 
the verge of four score years. She was a woman of 
remarkable mind and memory. But she has passed the 
portals of death, and her sainted spirit is at rest. Col. 
Hendy was a veteran soldier of the Eevolution, and 
became acquainted with the soil upon which he located 
while serving under Gen. Sullivan in his successful 
campaign against the Indians. He possessed great 
moral courage as well as physical strength. In his 
conflicts with the Indians, he proved a more than equal 
opponent, not only in originating schemes of artifice, 
but in carrying his plans into successful operation. 
And here permit us to relate a single incident. 

An Indian who had oflered an unpardonable insult to 
Mrs. Hendy, had been turned from the Colonel's house, 
with orders never to cross his path under the most 
severe penalties. A few weeks after, however, the old 
offender, thirsting for revenge upon his more worthy 
rival in all the general characteristics that constitute . 
the man of moral and intellectual worth, had taken a 
secret position by the side of an Indian trail which ran 
nearly parallel with one of the little tributaries of the 
Chemung, and along which he expected Mr. Hendy 
would pass at a certain hour of the day. Reaching the 


secluded spot where his foe was crouched by the side 
of a huge old oak, he was suddenly surprised by the 
swarthy savage, who was making rapid strides towards 
him, brandishing his tomahawk and scalping knife, and 
uttering the most hideous yells. Col. Hendy was un- 
armed, having nothing with which to defend himself 
save a walking cane, which was immediately hurled 
with great force at the Indian, and which, quite unex- 
pectedly to his copper-colored highness, made a most 
lasting impression on a very prominent organ of his 
face, from which the blood spirted as he measured his 
length upon the ground. In an instant Col. Hendy was 
by the side of his, for the moment, powerless assailant, 
and having seized his weapons, bade him in the most au- 
thoritative tone to lie still. But the savage determined 
on one more effort to disarm and subdue his rival con- 
queror. Quick as thought he sprang to his feet and 
grappled the Colonel, but was again brought in contact 
with the ground, and securely bound, certainly to his 
great displeasure. AVith his hands pinioned behind him, 
he was marched off to an Indian settlement and deliv- 
ered to the Sachem of the tribe to which he belonged, 
and from which, after being appropriately dealt with, 
he was banished from the country. But to return. 

Hon. Hugh White made the first location at Whites- 
town, within four miles of Utica, in 1784. Mr. White 
was one of the joint proprietors of the Sadquada Patent. 
The surrounding country was then a perfect wilderness, 
he having been the first pioneer who had ventured to 
trespass in that quarter beyond the footprints of civil- 

Ephraim Webster, a native of New Hampshire, was 



the first white settler in Onondaga county. He located 
in Its 6, and soon after was married to an Indian lady. 

In 1793, Col. John L. Hardenburgh erected a log 
cabin on the present site of the city of Auburn, and up 
to 1800 the place was known by the name of Harden- 
burgh's Corners. 

In 1789, a ferry across Cayuga lake was established 
by James Bennet and John Harris. 

The Phelps and Gorham purchase of 2,600,000 acres 
of land for the sum of $100,000 was made in 1787. The 
next year, Mr. Phelps left his home in Massachusetts 
for the purpose of exploring this hitherto unexplored 
region.* On taking leave of his family and friends, 
they were found unable to suppress their sobs and tears, 
for they had but little expectation of meeting him 
again. The vast wilderness comprised in this Patent 
was infested with various Indian tribes, whose war tri- 
umphs had signalized them for deeds of cruelty and 
blood. At or near the present village of Canandaigua, 
he convened the Sachems of the Six Nations, and for a 
nominal sum extinguished their title to his land. The 
territory embraced in this purchase comprised the coun- 
ties of Ontario, Yates, Steuben, Genesee, Alleghany, Ni- 
agara, Chatauque, Monroe, Livingston, Erie, the western 
half of Wayne, and a portion of Orleans. 

In 1789 Canandaigua received its first white inhabi- 
tant, Mr. Phelps having erected a small log building, in 
which he opened a land office, — the first of the kind in 

" Mr. Phelps may be considered the Cecrojys of the 

«'■ General Sullivan and his army had passed through a portion of 
this tract in 1770, and gave glowing accounts of its fertility. 


Genesee country. Its inhabitants owe a mausoleum 
to his memory, in gratitude for his having pioneered for 
them the wilderness of this Canaan of the West." 

Kanadesaga (now Geneva) was first settled in 1787. 
In 1798 the State Eoad, leading from Utica by way of 
Cayuga Ferry and Canandaigua to the Genesee River 
at Avon, was completed. The first stage coach passed 
over this road in 1779, reaching Avon on the afternoon 
of the third day. After the completion of this road, 
Geneva improved more rapidly. Still another great im- 
pulse favoring western emigration, is attributable to the 
construction of the Ithaca and Owego, and Ithaca and 
Geneva turnpikes, the former of which was completed 
in 1808, and the latter in 1811. 

In 1799 and 1800, the Cayuga Bridge was built by 
the Manhattan company, at an expense of $150,000. 
Five years previous to the undertaking of this laudable 
enterprise, the surrounding country was a gloomy for- 
est, inhabited only by Indians. The present bridge 
was constructed at an outlay of about $15,000. 

In 1797. Albany was made the Capital of the State, 
and in 1809-10 the public buildings were erected ; the 
State House was first used by the legislature in 1811. 

In 1792 Capt. Williamson, the great land Mogul of 
his day, settled at Bath. In 1794 he accepted the 
agency of the Pultney estate, and soon after erected 
the Geneva Hotel. 

Rochester received its first white inhabitant in 1808. 
The Wadsworths located at Big Tree in 1790. This fa- 
mous council tree is still standing near Geneseo. 

The Holland Land Company purchased their immense 
tract of Land west of the Genesee in 1792. 


Thomas Gallop was the first permanent settler at 
Chenango Forks. He located in 1786. 

Lisle was settled in 1790. Soon after, Mr. Lampeer 
located seven miles up the Tioughnioga River. 

The previous year (1791) Amos Todd and Joseph 
Beebe planted the standard of civilization within the 
rugged confines of Cortland county. 

Thus having hastily glanced at the various early set- 
tlements, we are fully prepared to reassert the fact 
previously referred to, that after the bloody tide of rev- 
olution had rolled away, and the national elements of 
the opposing forces had subsided, giving peace to the 
hitherto oppressed colonies, emigration increased more 
rapidly, and settlements became more permanent. It 
will also be most readily perceived, that the pioneers 
penetrated central and western New York from three 
quarters. " Pennsylvanians, and particularly inhabi- 
tants of the region of Wyoming, pushed up the Susque- 
hanna to Tioga point, whence diverging, some made set- 
tlements along the Chemung and Canisteo, while others 
established themselves on the east branch of the Sus- 
quehanna and its tributaries. Adventurers from the 
easjt, crossing from New England or the Hudson River 
counties to Unadilla, dropped down the river in canoes 
and settled along the Susquehanna or Chemung, or trav- 
eled into the upper Genesee. Yet another band took 
the ancient road through the Mohawk valley to Oneida 
lake, then on to Canadesaga," and gradually dispersed 
over the Genesee country. No settlement was, however, 
made at Buffalo until 1800. 



'* The eye explores the feats of other days." 

It is a duty which we of the present generation owe 
to the memory of the pioneers of civilization in the 
region of country where we dwell, to gather up with 
care whatever records of the times there are left, and, 
studying them well, transmit them in the most enduring 
form to succeeding ages. 

In taking a retrospective view of the past history of 
our country, we observe the mighty changes which 
have taken place since the territory of the United States 
was an unbroken forest, inhabited only by the rude 
aboriginals, who have slowly but surely yielded to the 
progressive march of the Europeans, whose advent into 
this western world " was their misfortune." 

The native lords of the wilderness have disappeared. 
Their generations sleep in our cultivated fields ; our 
harvests wave upon their hills, and nod like ancient 
plumes in their luxuriant valleys ; we have robbed them 
of their homes and their hunting-grounds, and despoiled 
them of their ancient greatness — their former glory. 

Nor have we stopped here ; in numerous instances, 
the venerated names of antiquity have been chosen to 


take the place of the more expressive titles by which 
they knew hill and valley, lake and stream ; and which, 
in most respects, are certainly less euphonious, and 
wanting in agreeable taste. How illy do the appella- 
tions of Spring Mills, Harloe's Corners, Middletown, 
Port Royal, Geneva, Rochester, Detroit, and Sleepy 
Hollow, compare with the sweet, musical, and ever- 
classic names of Unadilla, Wyalusing, Susquehanna, 
Cayuga, Tuscarora, or Canisteo ? We are far from 
favoring the custom which has so eagerly sought out 
and applied to our cities and smaller towns the names 
of heroes, novelists, and poets. What knew Homer, 
Virgil, Scott, or Solon, about the trials, sufferings, and 
toilsome pursuits of the progressive spirits of go-ahead 
pioneers ? It may be questionable as to their ever 
having seen a stump, raft, or side-hill plow I They 
dreamed mostly of castles of ivory and columns of glass. 
Hector, Hannibal, and the Grecian conqueror, thought 
but of crowns, sceptres, helmets, and glittering plumes. 
The idea of borrowing names from the ancient republics, 
merely on account of their bearing a classical charac- 
ter, is a most perfect absurdity. If republican freemen 
cherish the habits and customs of former ages, why not 
reverence with peculiar devotion the ancient Indian 
custom of arraying themselves in fantastic costumes, 
and dancing a grand war-dance around a stump, in a 
manner at once ludicrous, and which would naturally 
lead the uninitiated spectator to doubt the sanity of the 
grandiloquent centre of attraction ? True, we would 
not desire to see the American people achieving laurels 
by the tomahawk, scalping knife, or deadly arrow. Wo 
certainly may with perfect safety banish from among us 


their ancient relics ; yet, regarding them as the origi- 
nal proprietors of this western continent, we think it 
highly proper to preserve the more elegant appellations 
of the Indians, and would certainly " approve the taste 
that would restore the aboriginal names of places," in 
all cases consistent with association, and which would 
favorably characterize the ancestry of the red men of 

Scarce seventy years have passed away since the 
territory embraced within the boundary of Cortland 
county was only traversed by the rude Indian hunters — 
warriors of proud and lofty bearing — chieftains who 
were quietly borne upon the bosom of the limpid waters 
of the Tioughnioga, and with far more pleasurable 
emotions than were the Goths or Vandals, in their mem- 
orable passage down the Hellespont. Nearly seventy 
years have passed away since the aboriginal lords of 
the wilderness — the Romans of the West — here pursued 
with stealthy step and faithful quiver, the panther, the 
wolf, and the bear, as they ranged o'er 

"■ Eocky dens and wooded glens.'' 

Then they cautiously trapped the moose, the otter, the 
fox, the catamount, and the lynx ; and the rapacious 
French and English traders received their pelts and 
furs in exchange for powder, lead, tomahawks, scalp- 
ing knives and blankets, with an occasional supply of 
very poor rum. Nearly seventy years have rolled away 
since the first echo of the axe of civilization was heard 
in Cortland valley, or the Yankee rifle laid open the 
skull of old Grizzler, as he sat crouched behind his rocky 
rampart in the gloomy mountain gorge, grinning a 


look of defiance at his unwelcome intruder. Nearly 
seventy years have passed away since the footprints of 
civilization first appeared in the Tioughnioga valley. 
Nearly seventy years have winged their rapid flight 
since, in this wild of forest trees, 

** Art built her dome la Nature's silent bowers, 
And peace and gladness crowned the pilgrim's hours." 

The long, deep silence which had for ages pervaded 
these luxuriant valleys and rugged hills was at length 
broken, for the " woodman's axe" was making war with 
the stern old monarchs o'er whom for centuries the 
thunders had rolled and the lightnings wheeled in awful 
grandeur. For ages back, the wild men had wandered 
o'er them in the pursuit of forest game, or as they de- 
filed along upon the war path. Battles waged for power 
and conquest within the borders of our county, are 
neither recorded upon the historic page, nor treasured 
up in our county archives. There are, however, some 
interesting traditionary relics preserved among the 
aged chieftains of the Leni-Iienape tribe, which, though 
not conclusive evidence of fact, yet they measurably 
establish the probability of there having been, during 
the Sixteenth century, wars of the most cruel and unre- 
lenting character waged in our valley. We have seen 
many curiously-wrought implements of Indian warfare, 
now in preservation, which have from time to time been 
turned up by the plough of the progressive agricultur- 
ist. We have seen spear heads, chisels, pestles, ar- 
row points, and pipes of great antiquity — leaden crosses 
of Maltese shape, referring to the missions of the Jes- 
uits — beads, necklaces, and rings, of very ancient origin 


— the section of a circle, perforated near the rim, with 
very small holes, — and last, though not least, of ingen- 
ious construction, is a bone charger, in perfect preserv- 
ation, and the same as was used by the Senecas at the 
tragical conflict in 168t,with Marquis De Nonville, in 
the Genesee valley. 

As we can neither give record to the bloody acts of 
crowned heads begirt with royal gems, -or describe in 
glowing colors enormous battlements from which 
emerged warriors clad in iron mail, with bristling bay- 
onets and brazen armor, as they met some formidable 
foe ready to contest the right of soil on which they 
walked, we shall have to content ourselves with record- 
ing events of an entirely dissimilar character. True, 
the swarthy savages were occasionally seen ascending 
the Tioughnioga, or trailing along the war-path, with a 
frightful-looking lot of scalps, fresh from the brows of 
the " pale faces," dangling at their belts. 

The history of Cortland county is therefore of a 
pacific character. It was the remark of a celebrated 
author, that '' that country is the happiest which fur- 
nishes the fewest materials for history." Assuming the 
truth of this position, we shall be led to believe that a 
cultivation of the arts of peace are certainly more con- 
ducive to happiness, than a recurrence to the arbitrary 
acts and influences of war. 

Tryon county, as we have already remarked, was or- 
ganized in 1772. 

In 1784, Tryon was changed to Montgomery, in order 
to gratify the many patriotic citizens who were thor- 
oughly opposed to longer retaining the name of a tory 


The territory at this time embraced within its boun- 
daries the five districts known by the names of Mohawk, 
Canajoharie, Palatine, German Flats, and Kingsland. 

Herkimer county was organised from territory taken 
from Montgomery, in 1T91. 

Onondaga county was organized in 1*194. It was taken 
from the western part of Herkimer, and embraced within 
its limits that portion of the Military Tract, which at 
present comprises the counties of Seneca, Cayuga, Cort- 
land, and Onondaga, with portions of Tompkins and 

Cayuga was organized from Onondaga in 1799. 

Seneca " " Cayuga in 1804. 

Cortland " " Onondaga in 1808. 

Oswego " " Oneida and Onondaga in 1816. 

Tompkins " " Cayuga and Seneca in 1817. 

Wayne " " Ontario and Seneca in 1823. 

The principal causes which led to the organization of 
Cortland county, will be found in the following inter- 
esting document, — the original petition for its erection, 
— and which we procured through the politeness of Hon. 
G. W. Bradford, from the archives of our State. 

The petition was originally written in an easy and 
graceful hand, and in almost ever}'- instance the signa- 
tures were the autographs of the signers. 

To the Honorable the Legislature of the State of New York in Senate 
and Assembly convened.: The Petition of the subscribers, inhabi- 
tants of the towns of Fabius, Tully, Solon, Homer, Virgil, and 
Cincinnatus, humbly sheweth : — 

That the county of Onondaga is ninety-six miles in 
length, and at an average breadth about twenty-five 


miles ; that from the extreme of the southern boundary 
of the said county to the court-house is sixty miles, — 
which operates greatly to the inconvenience of many of 
3'-our petitioners in giving their attendance at court. 
That the population of said county is now very great, 
and is daily increasing, which renders it impossible for 
our Court of Common Pleas and General Sessions of the 
Peace to transact with due expediency the legal busi- 
ness of said county; whereby the suitors of the said 
courts experience great delay of justice, which, in the 
opinion of your petitioners, is equivalent to a denial of 
justice. That your petitioners humbly conceive that a 
division of the said county will be of signal advantage to 
the inhabitants of the said towns of Solon, Fabius, Tully, 
Homer, Virgil, and Cincinnatus, and also to the inhab- 
itants of the northern part of the said county. 

Your Petitioners, therefore, humbly pray that the be- 
fore-mentioned towns be erected into a new county by 
the name of Courtlandt, and that there be three Courts 
of Common Pleas and General Sessions of the Peace 
held in the said county as follows, viz : on the second 
Tuesday of April, and the first Tuesday of September 
and December, in every year, after the due organization 
of the said county. 

And your Petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray. 

Appended to the petition were the names of seven 
hundred and forty-seven of the most prominent citizens 
of the [then] southern portion of Onondaga county, who 
were desirous of securing a division of the same. 

The petition was, on the 4th day of February follow- 
ing, introduced into the Senate by Hon. John Ballard, a 


member from the westero district, then a resident of the 
town of Homer, and was referred to a committee con- 
sisting of Mr. Ballard, Mr. Buel, and Mr. Yates. 

The next day, (Feb. 5th,) Mr. Ballard reported in fa- 
vor of the petitioners, and presented a bill to that effect, 
which was read the first and second time, and referred 
to a Committee of the Whole. 

It was again called up in Committee of the Whole on 
the 8th, and ordered to be engrossed. 

On the 10th it was read the third time, and passed ; 
and on the same day was sent to the Assembly and 
read the first time, and referred to the Committee of 
the Whole. 

Several of the northern towns of Onondaga remon- 
strated against the measure. The spirit of opposition 
was cherished and cultivated with the most assiduous 
care. Disunion was a monster of hideous form. He 
was a creator of discord, and aimed at dividing mem- 
bers of the social compact. He was apolitical tyrant, — 
an admirer of crowns, sceptres and chains. 

But remonstrances, in all their multifarious forms, 
could not save the county from being divided. Even 
the eloquence and profound logic of the gifted member, 
the Hon. Joshua Forman, failed to prevent its dismem- 
berment. The bill finally passed the Assembly, and be- 
came a law on the 8th day of April, 1808. 

We select such portions of the act as will be of in- 
terest to the general reader : — 


An Act to Divide the County of Onondaga, passed 
April 8, 1808. 

1. Be it enacted hy the xjeople of the State of New 
YorJc^ represe7ited in Senate and Assembly, That all that 
part of the county of Onondaga, to wit : Beginning at 
the south corner of the town of Cincinnatus, and thence 
running north along the east line of the towns of Cin- 
cinnatus, Solon and Fabius, to the north-east corner of 
lot No. 60, in said town of Fabius, thence running west 
along the north line of that tier of lots through the 
towns of Fabius and Tullj^ to the north-west corner of 
lot No. 51 in said town of TuUy ; thence south along 
the east line of the county of Cayuga, to the south-east 
corner of the towns of Virgil and Cincinnatus to the 
place of beginning, shall be one separate and distinct 
county, and shall be called and known by the name of 

2. And he it further enacted^ That the Courts in and 
for the said county, shall be held at the school-house 
on lot No. 45, in the town of Homer. 

3. And he it further enacted^ That all that part of 
the town of Fabius, situated in the county of Cortland, 
shall be called Truxton ; and all that part of the town 
of Tully, in said county of Cortland, shall be called 

Additional sections provide that Cortland shall have 
one member of Assembly, and that it shall form part of 
the Western Senatorial District, and part of the Thir- 
teenth Congressional District. 



" It was a gloomy wild where Indian warriors trod, 
Where savage minds in solitude looked up to Nature's God." 

Cortland county was named in honor of General 
Peter Van Cortlandt, a gentleman who was extensively 
engaged in the purchase and sale of land. It is bounded 
on the north by Onondaga county ; east by Madison 
and Chenango ; south by Broome and Tioga ; and 
west by Tompkins and Cayuga. 

Its area is a fraction over 500 square miles, and con- 
tains about 820,000 acres, forming a portion of the high 
" central section of the State." Its northern boundary 
lies on the dividing ridge which separates the waters 
flowing into Lake Ontario and the tributaries of the 
Susquehanna river. The surface of this county is much 
diversified, and may be appropriately divided into rich 
valleys and fertile hills. 

The territory comprised within the boundaries of 
Cortland county, is composed of four whole and two 
half townships of the Military Tract, or lands granted 
by the State of New York to the soldiers of the revo- 

The bloody enormities and cruel massacres perpe- 


trated along the frontier of New York, by the tories 
and Indian allies, during the stormy period of our coun- 
try's history, and more particularly, of the years 17 1 9 
and 1780, and the neglect of several other States to fur- 
nish their proportion of troops for the protection of the 
lives and property of the people, caused the legislature 
of 1781 to enact a law requiring the enlistment of " two 
regiments for the defence of the frontier of New York." 
All necessary expenses incurred were to be canceled 
by the United States, and the troops were to be em- 
ployed in the actual service of the country for the *' term 
of three years, unless sooner discharged." The faith of 
the State was held in pledge for the positive payment 
for such services. " The council of appointment^of the 
State of New York was to commission the field-officers, 
and the Governor of the State, the captains and sub- 

The non-commissioned officers and privates were each 
to receive in land, as soon as surveyed by the Surveyor 
General, 600 acres, 

Major General, 5,500 " 

Brigadier General, 4,500 " 

Colonel, 2,500 " 

Lieut, Colonel, 2,000 " 

Major, 2,000 " 

Captain, 1,500 *' 

Regimental Surgeon, 1,500 " 

Chaplain, 2,000 " 

Subaltern, 1,000 " 

Surgeon's Mate, 1.000 " 

The act above referred to contained a clause making 


an absolute settlement " on these lands" within three 
years from the close of the war necessary, otherwise 
they were forfeited, and reverted back to the State. 

The United States Congress also granted one hun- 
dred acres of land to each of these soldiers as an addi- 
tional compensation for their valuable services in their 
country's defence. OfiScers of the different grades re- 
ceived larger amounts, according to their commission or 

Major General, 1,000 acres 

Brigadier General, 900 " 

Colonel, 500 " 

Lieut. Colonel, 450 " 

Major, 400 '' 

Captain, 300 " 

Lieutenant, 200 " 

Ensign, 150 " 

The land granted, or set apart, for the payment of 
revolutionary claims in accordance with the act of 
Congress, was located in the State of Ohio, Arrange- 
ments were however made which enabled the soldier to 
draw his whole quota of 600 acres in one body in New 
York, on condition of his having first legally relin- 
quished his claim to the 100 acres in Ohio ; but if he 
neglected, or otherwise felt inclined, the sixth part, 
which his patent called for, reverted to the State of 
New York, and hence originated the term of " State's 
Hundred." If notice was given, $8 was taxed the pa- 
tentee as a fee for surveying, and in case of failure in 
paying that amount, fifty acres reverted to the State, 
and hence again arose the term of '* Survey Fifty." 
Commissioners were appointed in 1784 to grant bounty 



land, " and settle individual claims." They consisted of 
the Governor and Lieutenant Governor, Speaker of As- 
sembly, Secretary of State, Attorney General, Treasurer 
and Auditor. 

The Military Tract was especially 'set apart by the 
legislature of 1182, as bounty lands to be given to the 
soldiers of the revolution. The tract contained 1,680- 
000 acres, and embraced within its boundaries the coun- 
ties of Onondaga, Cortland, Cayuga, Tompkins and 
Seneca, with parts of Oswego and Wayne. 

The Indian title was extinguished by Treaty of Fort 
Stanwix, Sept. 12th, 1788. 

The tract was surveyed by act of Legislature of 1189 
into twenty-six townships of one square mile, and each 
to contain one hundred lots of 600 acres. General 
Simeon Dewitt, assisted by Moses Dewitt and Abram 
Hardenburgh, "laid out the whole tract," the former 
" plotting, and mapping" the boundaries, and calculating 
its area." 

We annex a table of the townships as originally 
named, though previously known only by the number. 


fo. 1. Lysander. Nc 

.10. Pompey. 

No. 19. 


" 2. Hannibal. 

' 11. Eomulus. 

" 20. 


" 3. Cato. 

12. Scipio. 

" 21. 


" 4. Brutus. ♦ 

13. Sempronius. 

" 22. 


" 5. Camillus. 

14. Tully. 

" 23. 


" 6. Cicero. 

15. Fabius. 

" 24. 


" 7. Manlius. ' 

16. Ovid. 

" 25. 


" 8. Aurelius. 

17. Milton. 

" 26. 


" 9. Marcellus. 

' 18. Locke. 

In 1*191, the commissioners decided by ballot who 


were the claimants to these bounty lands. '' Ninety- 
four persons drew lots in each township." One lot was 
especial^ set apart for the promotion of literature, and 
another for the support of the Gospel and common 
schools. There still remained four lots in each town- 
ship to be disposed of. These were appropriated to the 
benefit of certain officers, and to such as had drawn 
lots which were measurably covered with water. 

In 1792 township number twenty-seven was surveyed 
and known by the name of Galen. This grant was 
made, in accordance with law, to the Hospital depart- 

In 1796 it was found that there were yet many un- 
satisfied claims for bounty lands, and consequently 
another township was laid out, and numbered " twenty- 
eight," which satisfied all legal claimants. To this was 
appropriated the name of Sterling. 

The act relative to a positive settlement in three 
years was annulled, and the time extended from 1*192 
to 1799. 

The State, in disposing of its bounty lands, conveyed 
them by an instrument called a Patent, to which was 
attached a large waxen disc, with paper on each side, 
bearing the arms of the State on the face, and an im- 
pression on the back, called the " reverse." 

It is, perhaps, well known to the general reader, that 
a town frequently embraced a number of townships. 
Ulysses originally included the townships of Ulysses, 
Ithaca, Enfield and Dryden. Pompey contained the 
townships of Pompey, Fabius and Tully. Homer em- 
braced that of Homer and Cortland. Virgil embraced 
Virgil, Harford and Lapeer. Cincinnatus contained 


Cinciiinatns, Marathon, Freetown and Willet. Solon 
embraced Solon and Taylor. Preble contained Preble 
and Scott. 

A township embraced one hundred lots, though, for 
lack of a proper understanding, many have confounded 
the terms of town and township ; and we notice in- 
stances where authors have substituted the one for the 

Previous to 1792, the revolutionary claimants suf- 
fered materially on account of the many frauds com- 
mitted by a lawless band of land pirates, who, in order 
to rob the hero and patriot of his inheritance, hesitated 
not to commit the most open and glaring forgeries. 
Numerous fraudulent conveyances bore anterior dates, 
and consequently gave rise to many unpleasant con- 
tests, as well as bitter recriminations. In some in- 
stances, four and even five forged conveyances were 
held by as many different individuals for the same lot 
of land. 

In some cases the legal claimants were deprived of 
their rights. But these land-sharks were not always 
aware of the material with which they had to contend, 
and occasionally met with a rebuke and discomfiture 
from which they did not soon recover. Among those 
gallant spirits who braved the danger of revolution, 
and who were unappalled by the roar of British cannon, 
and the menace of hostile armies, were men who were 
not easily forced or ejected from their possessions. In 
the eastern part of Cortland lived one who was an asso- 
ciate with the chivalrous sons who marched to Quebec 
when winter's awful tempest opposed their progress, 
and who crossed the ice-choked Delaware, regardless 


of chilling winds and angry waves — again, defying the 
rage of battle beneath the burning sun at Monmouth — 
kindred spirits to those who fought at Lexington, Con- 
cord and Bunker Hill. He had made bare his bosom 
to the shafts of battle, and shrunk not from the horrors 
of a seven years' war. After locating on his lot, and at 
a time when hope painted to his eager vision long years 
of future happiness, he was called upon by one of these 
gentlemen Shylocks, who informed him that he held a 
conveyance of his lot, and that he was the only legal 
owner, and gave him a very polite invitation to evacu- 
ate his possessions. But the stern old patriot — the 
hero of man}'' battles, and who carried on his person 
the certificates of his valor — was not thus hastily to be 
ejected from his revolutionary inheritance. The fire 
that once glowed so brightly in the old man's eyes on 
the field of battle was rekindled, and he would sooner 
have fallen a martyr to justice and right than have 
obsequiously acquiesced in the mandate of his ungal- 
lant oppressor. The conveyance was at length laid 
open and examined, and was found to bear a date prior 
to that of his own. In short, it was a forgery. 

When the defrauder found that the stern, heroic war- 
rior would not yield to his demand, he threatened him 
with the terrors of law, and the cost of an ejectment 
suit. This, however, only caused a smile to play over 
the face of the worthy pioneer of civilization. He 
knew that he had fought and bled upon the gory plain ; 
that he had sacrificed the soft endearments of home, 
discarded honors, and rushed to the " tented field," to 
strike for liberty and universal freedom ; that his pos- 
sessions were legally bequeathed him, as a compara- 


tively small gift for the sacrifices he had made in the 
cause of human emancipation; and to be thus deprived 
of a home which he had purchased with sacrifices and 
blood, would not comport with the principle for which he 
had contended, and he spurned the intruder from his 

Instances of a like character were of frequent occur- 
rence. Some yielded without making scarcely an efibrt 
at resistance. 

But the soldiers suffered from other circumstances, 
and from causes over which they had no control. The 
long interim of time which intervened between the day 
of promise and the time of legal assignment of bounty 
lands, and the coldness with which their appeals were 
received by the State government, caused many to 
doubt the propriety of urging their claims, and in num- 
erous instances parted with their patents for a mere 
nominal sum, and in some cases for an amount varying 
from three to eight dollars. 

The act of '94 was intended to prevent future frauds, 
and unquestionably had the desired effect. "All deeds 
and conveyances executed before that time, or pretend- 
ing to be so, were to be deposited with the clerk of the 
county of Albany, for the time being, and all such as 
were not so deposited should be considered fraudulent." 
This put a stop to further forgeries ; yet the courts 
were pressed with suits in regard to contesting claim- 
ants. Very few lots were quietly settled upon, there 
being two or more pretended owners. Squatters had 
to be ejected, and often exorbitant sums paid for the 
mere shadow of an improvement. The disputes became 
so frequent, so unpleasant, and withal so injurious to 



the peace and comfort of the Military' Tract, that, in 
1797, they united in a general and urgent petition for 
the passage of an act whereby all difficulties might be 
settled, and the controversial war ended. The petition 
was heard and answered. • Commissioners were appoint- 
ed, " with full powers to hear, examine, award, and 
determine all disputes respecting the titles of any and 
all the military bounty lands." Wrongs of long stand- 
ing were redressed, and justice equitably distributed. 

The termination of these vexed questions of right 
gave rise to a more liberal and happy feeling among 
the pioneers, and resulted in a more speedy settlement 
of the territory, and consequently in a rapid increase of 

Cortland county is at present divided into fifteen 
towns, which were organized as follows : 



Marathon, . 



. 1798 

Willet, . 

. 1818 





Cincinnatus, . 

. 1804 


. 1845 






. 1808 

Taylor, . 

. 1849 

Scott, . 





. 1818 



Nor gold nor jeweled gems were there, 

Yet 'neath the turf were mines of richest store.' ' 

To THOSE who read the book of Nature with due 
attention, and who are conversant with the laws of 
cause and effect, the study of Geology, Mineralogy and 
Meteorology will prove not only interesting, but instruct- 
ive, and they will necessarih^ be led to inquire into those 
causes and influences which may have operated at a very 
remote period of time in giving an almost entire change 
to the general appearance of the earth's surface. In 
our mind there is no question as to the fact of the 
ancient ocean having, far back in the dim distance of 
the past, overspread our hills and valleys, ebbing and 
flowing in obedience to physical laws, and, as now, 
sending her storm-beaten surf against the huge rocks 
that line the mountain gorge. Then, as now, it was 
dotted with isles and sand-bars. Then, as now, there 
were calms, when the sun, the moon, the stars, looked 
down in beauty upon its glassy surface. Then, as now, 
the rainbow clasped the wide expanse, while its ever- 
varied hues were reflected far beneath the gentle wave- 


lets. Then, as now, the zephyrs played o'er its un- 
fathomed waters, sending its undulating swells to rip- 
ple along the beachen shore, "recording its history in 
the sands beneath." 

The Tioughnioga river has its source near the south- 
ern line of Onondaga, and flows southward, with its 
tributaries watering nearly the whole of Cortland 
county. The Otselic is its main branch. 

Geologically, Cortland does not present as great a 
variety of specimens as some of the other counties in 
the district.* 

Slate is the basis-rock of the county. The Hamilton 
group, extending from Onondaga, enters the northern 
part of the town of Truxton, and terminates some 
distance east of Tinker's Falls. 

In Preble, Truxton, and parts of Homer, are found 
quantities of Genesee slate. These generally project 
from the hills which form the barriers of the valley. 

The Portage and Ithaca groups extend over the towns 
of Cortland and Solon, the larger portion of Homer and 
Scott, " and the terrace between Truxton and Solon." 
They are found on either side of the Tioughnioga, but 
become more narrow as the}^ " increase in thickness 
going south.'' Some fine specimens are also found 
along the borders of the Otselic in Willet and Cincin- 

These groups form a number of valuable quarries, 
and from which have been taken large quantities of stone 

* This (the third) Geological district is composed of the counties 
of Montgomery, Fulton, Otsego, Herkimer, Oneida, Lewis, Oswego, 
Madison, Onondaga, Cayuga, Cortland, Chenango, Broome, Tioga, 
and the eastern half of Tompkins. 


for building and flagging purposes. A short distance 
above Port Watson are the quarries of Messrs. Miller & 
Derby. To the south are those of Messrs. Stephens, 
Rose and Betts. Between Homer and Cortland are 
Pierce and Rood's quarries. These are of great value, 
"and furnish nearly all the flag-stones used in Homer." 
The lower part of the quarries consists of flags from one 
to six inches in thickness ; not so smooth or straight as 
those of Sherburne, but waved like the slight move- 
ments which water produces upon a sandy bottom. 
The flags contain fucoids, large and small, some of 
which anastomose and are smooth. Above these layers 
there is a line of concretion, about a foot or more in 
diameter, with shale. On the top of these are slaty, 
broken up, and decomposed layers of shale and sand- 
stone, forming the refuse of the quarry. Some of 
the lower layers of sandstone contain vegetable 
impressions, and show small accumulations of coal, 
owing to the alteration which the material of the 
plants has undergone."* This quarry is a most val- 
uable acquisition to the mineral wealth of Homer. 

Those citizens of Homer who are observant of objects 
about them, will And man}^ interesting confirmations in 
the flag-stones upon which they walk, of the truth of 
the above observations. The beautiful ripple marks, 
everywhere seen, carry us back to the time when these 
same rocks formed the soft floors of shallow Silurian 

North and west of Homer, are other valuable quar- 
ries, in one of which a variety of vegetable impressions 

•"• Sec State Geological Report, 1842, to which we are indebted 
for many interesting facts. 


are discernible — none, liowever, which resemble those 
noticed by us in the quarry above referred to. 

The Chemung group covers the southwest part of 
Virgil. This is the highest elevation in the county. 
The same group is perceptible on the lines of Freetown, 
Cincinnatus, Willet and Marathon. 

There are three marl lakes or ponds a few miles 
south west of Cortland village. The larger one covers 
an area of fifteen acres, the second in size, six, and the 
third, four. When freed from the particles of vegetable 
matter, it presents a very light appearance, and is 
without doubt a fair species of carbonate of lime. 
Large quantities of lime are annually burnt and dis- 
posed of at the kilns. 

Marl is also found in smaller deposits in Tully, Pre- 
ble, and the northern part of Homer. It will at some 
future time prove to be of great importance to the 
county, especially as a manure. 

Bog ore, it is believed, does not exist in this county 
to any great extent, though small specimens have been 
found in some of the swamps. 

Albite, or white feld-spar, exists in small quantities 
in Scott, Fabius and Solon. 

We have two or three specimens of amphibole, or 
basaltic hornblende, gathered from the northern part of 
the county. The crystals are well-formed, but so firmly 
imbedded in the rock as to render it difficult to detach 
them v/ithout marring their beauty. 

Calcareous tufa is common in some of the eastern 
localities of the county. 

On the west branch of the Otselic river is a small 


calcareo-sulphuroiis spring, the water of which is 
strongly impregnated with the mixed ingredients of sul- 
phur and lime. 

In the county are several sulphur springs, some emit- 
ting very pure particles of sulphur. Little York, or 
Sulphur lake, a few miles north of Homer, is slightly 
tinctured with sulphur. 

Tornadoes are classed among the more prominent 
meteorological phenomena. Their course is invariably 
in an eastward direction, and, unlike that of a whirl- 
wind, moving " in a circuit round its axis," their whirl 
is always to the left. They frequently travel at the 
rate of a hundred miles per hour, leaving the marks 
of devastation behind. 

On the 13th day of August, 1804, a tornado swept 
over the northern part of this county, and in its mad- 
dened course tore up trees, demolished buildings, and 
blasted the pioneer's hopes of a plentiful crop. 

Just a half century after, Cortland county was again 
visited by a tornado. Its path was narrow, j^et 
alarmingly destructive. Its course was east south-east, 
and its ravages were traceable for a distance exceeding 
250 miles. A little previous to its appearance, cloud 
after cloud of awful blackness rolled up iii the west, 
and gradually spread over the sky, until finally the 
whole firmament became enveloped in almost tartarean 
darkness. Forked lightnings flashed athwart the sky, 
or, zig-zag, leaped from apparent spiral columns of red- 
hot wreathing flames. The rain poured down in tor- 
rents. It was not like one of those ever-drizzling rains 
so common among the tropics, but more like a perfect 


avalanche. The rain was succeeded by a violent hail- 
storm, which tended greatly to cool the overheated 
atmosphere, the mercury having ascended to a point 
unusual for this latitude. 

The tornado entered this county from Locke, and 
passed, in its desolating and destructive course, within 
two miles of Homer. Having gathered fresh strength 
in crossing the valley, it rose the eastern hills — those 
ancient battlements where the shadows of ages have 
fallen and which fearful convulsions have shaken — with 
a spirit unawed and unbroken, and then waged war with 
the hitherto unconquered monarchs of 400 years' stand- 
ing, tearing them up by the roots, or twisting them into 
splinters as Sampson did a green twig, and whirling 
their shattered fragments in almost every conceivable 
direction. Indeed, sad havoc was made with the forest 
trees. But the ancient dwellers offered no opposition, 
for the storm-god did not even presume upon a contest 
for the right of way. His course was onward, and woe 
to the giant oak that came within the whirling folds of 
the destroyer. 

A gentleman, crossing Cayuga lake in a small boat 
at the time of this occurrence, describes the scene as 
one of terrific grandeur. As it approached the water, 
it leveled every impeding obstacle. The roaring of the 
tornado, the sharp, vivid flashes of lightning, and the 
deafening thunder, were to him really alarming. The 
water, for the space of several rods, extending across 
the lake, suddenly became elevated a number of feet, 
very much in the form of a pier, and for an hour or more 
ebbed and flowed with the same regularity as is ob- 
served in the ocean's tide. On, on sped the storm-god, 


raving and howling as if forced forward on the very 
wings of despair. 

There were several remarkable incidents connected 
with this singularly strange and destructive visitor. 
In the town of Locke, Cayuga county, a brass kettle 
was caught up in its terrible folds, and lodged, some 
forty rods distant, in the top of a graceful poplar. A 
wagon-seat was carried across the Tioughnioga river, 
and dashed to atoms. A barn roof was divided, and 
one-third carried away without materially injuring the 
remaining two-thirds. In Chenango, a little boy, five 
or six years old, was caught up and carried upwards of 
thirty rods, and safely de])osited by the side of a hay- 
stack, having escaped with only a rude shaking. An 
aged matron, stepping to the door to shake the crumbs 
from her table-cloth, had it rather unceremoniously 
taken from her, and the last she saw of her favorite 
linen, it was at a great distance, cutting fantastic 
capers in "mid air," being under the immediate con- 
trol of the storm-spirit. 

On the 30th day of September, 1858, another tornado 
visited our county. Its course, from Lake Erie to the 
Atlantic, was wide and fearfully marked with its deso- 
lating effects. In various places its strength was 
divided, and it traveled in diff'erent lines for miles, and 
when again united, raved and roared with redoubled fury. 

The sky was shrouded with thick and sulphury clouds > 
increasing to almost pitchy blackness. Forked light- 
nings flashed athwart the sky, and deafening thunders 
rolled and reverberated amid the contending elements. 
The damage to property was immense. Orchards and 
forest trees were alike prostrated; fences were blown 


down, houses and barns unroofed, and in some instances 
entirely destroyed. We visited one sugar-orchard of 
two thousand trees, all of which, save forty-nine, were 
leveled to the ground. On another lot we saw sixty 
acres of forest trees lying in every conceivable direc- 
tion. But the damage was so great, and so generally 
felt, that we deem an extended notice unnecessary. In 
the evening the sky was almost constantly lit up with 
spiral streaks of lightning, accompanied with deafening 
thunder, inconceivably grand and awe-inspiring. 

The data we possess relative to our climate is limit- 
ed to the results of a few observations. We have been 
favored with the reading of a valuable and interesting 
Report on Vital Statistics, made to the Medical Asso- 
ciation of Southern Central New York, by Doctor C. 
Green, from w^hich we make the following brief outline 
of interesting facts: 

The climate of Cortland county is characterized, in 
common with that of southern central New York, by 
great variability. The region of the State, south and 
south-west of the Mohawk valley, including Onondaga 
and Cortland counties, shows, according to the report 
of Dr. Emmons, a lower reduction of temperature by 
four degrees to eleven degrees than the average of the 
State, and autumnal frosts occur earlier b}^ four to thir- 
teen days. The physical features of the county would 
indicate that our climate would at least be colder than 
the western portion of the State in the same latitude. 
The geological features of our county are interesting in 
relation to the succession of hill and dale, their relative 
elevation, and the elevation above tide water. These 
valleys are cut through the Portage and Chemung group 
of rocks. The hills bounding these valleys are generally 


of such shape that they can be cultivated to their sum- 
mits, and vary in height above the valleys from two 
hundred to six hundred feet. The valleys, geologically 
speaking, are those of denudation, being scooped out of 
the rocks above mentioned. The bottoms are filled to 
an unknown depth with drift made up of the detritus 
and boulders of the northern rocks, as well as of the 
rocks in which they are situated. These valleys are of 
moderate width, and have no inconsiderable elevation 
above the ocean. The valley in which Homer is situ- 
ated is at that place 1096 feet above tide water. This 
elevation will account in a measure for the difference 
in the climate between this and the western portion of 
the State, especially from Cayuga lake westward. 
While Homer has the elevation just noticed, Ithaca is 
situated only four hundred and seventeen feet above 
tide — a difference in altitude of six hundred and seventy- 
nine feet. The mean temperature of Homer is forty- 
four degrees seventeen minutes, while that of Ithaca, 
with a difference in latitude of only eleven minutes of a 
degree, is forty-seven degrees eighty-eight minutes, 
thereby giving a difference in mean temperature of 
three degrees seventy-one minutes. The annual range 
of the thermometer in Homer, for 1845, was one hundred 
and four degrees, "while that of Ithaca was ninety-two. 
The daily range of temperature is one of the most 
marked characteristics of our climate, and this is espe- 
cially true of the late summer and early autumnal 
months. The vicissitudes of weather are very sudden 
and extreme, but the change in the daily temperature 
which exerts the most striking influence on the health 
of community, in our summer and autumnal months, is, 
the rapid depression of the mercury on the approach of 


nig-ht-fall There is often, in August and September, a 
change, from two o'clock to ten o'clock P. M., of from 
twenty to thirty-five degrees. It will be readily seen 
that if the body is not prepared to resist the influence 
of these changes, disease must result. The following 
table, prepared from observations taken in Homer in 
1851, shows the monthly mean of the daily range of the 
thermometer : 

Jan. Feb. March. April. May. June. 

13.35 11.42 15.06 13.43 17.77 16.40 

July. August. Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec. 

17.12 20.33 20.23 15.09 8.53 10.3 

In order to maintain an equable condition of the sys- 
tem, it becomes necessary to change clothing as often 
as the weather changes, or at least wear next to the 
surface of the body those materials which do not con- 
duct heat rapidly. 

The following table will give some idea of the climate 
of our county. The table was compiled from the records 
made b}^ E. C. Reed, Esq., the Meteorological observer 
of the Smithsonian institute, of Homer : 

No.inches High- 





rain and 

est p'1 

; est p't 


point of 

point of 






' barom- 


■wind, i 
















N. W. 










N. W. 







29 046 









































































S. E. 



I, 3.34 







N. W. 










N. W. 




" Can you tell me a tale or some legend old, 
Of the forest wild or the streamlet cold, 
Where the Indian, hound, or the arrow iiew, 
Or the true hearts pledged their love anew?" 

There are many interesting and instructive legendary 
reminiscences treasured in the memory of the young 
braves and chieftains of the scattered remnants of the 
Delaware tribe. They are particularly fond of rehears- 
ing the unwritten incidents which form the only perfect 
memorial of the ancient history of their nation. The 
one which we are about to narrate was gathered from 
a source which entitles it to a place in our history, and 
the various corroborating facts derived from the tradi- 
tions of the early Indian occupants of the Wyoming 
valley, clothe it with a garb of undoubted realit3\ 

At a period far back in the annals of the heroic past, 
there were numerous Indian settlements clustered along 
the banks of the classic Wyoming, the majestic Susque- 
hanna, the serpentine Chenango, and the ever to be ad- 
mired Tioughnioga. Near the mouth of Cold Brook, a 
small tributary of the Tioughnioga, the Indians had 
established a small settlement. The wigwams were 
rudely constructed, yet sufficiently comfortable to answer 


the requirements of these red dwellers of the forest. 
They belonged to the Leni-Lenape or Delaware tribe, 
which originally came from the eastern shores of the 
North American continent. They were a warlike people, 
proud and ambitious, bold and resolute. Early in the 
sixteenth century, they separated by common consent 
from a branch of the parent tribe, which had previously 
settled in the Wyoming valley. Here they came seeking 
repose by the side of the beautiful stream that flowed 
through the picturesque Tioughnioga. They were supe- 
rior hunters, and lived chiefly by fishing or upon the 
success of the chase. As their numbers increased and 
their hopes brightened, the Mingoes, who were scattered 
along the shores of the great northern chain of lakes, 
became more or less jealous of the surrounding tribes, 
whom they endeavored to bring under their subjection, 
while they extended their jurisdiction over the hunting- 
grounds of their more feeble neighbors. 

The impulses of the Lenapes were warm and ardent 
— their enthusiasm extravagant, usually leading to laud- 
able ends. They frequently suifered from the incursions 
of predatory parties of Mingoes, who sought by stealth 
to lessen their means of enjo^^ment, or, if possible, 
arouse in them a spirit of revenge, that they might find 
in it a pretext for making war against them, and thereby 
exterminate or make them yield to their dictatorial no- 
tions of right. The aggressions of the Mingoes were 
carried on to the last point of forbearance, adding insult 
to insult, until finall}^ the cry for revenge was only to 
be appeased by blood. The old chief was disabled by 
various infirmities from directing or taking part in the 
inevitable struggle for which the Lenapes were prepar- 


ing. He had fought in many a severe battle, and had 
particularly distinguished himself in the fierce and 
bloody wars waged against the AUigewi on the Missis- 
sippi, as well as in the devastating incursions against 
the Mengwes. The scars upon his person were so many 
certificates of his valor ; and when he saw the storm 
rising and heard the elements muttering, his soul went 
up to the abode of the Great Spirit, invoking the as- 
sistance of the strong arm of Right in behalf of the 
oppressed. He called to his presence Ke-no-tah, a 
young and aspiring brave, and thus addressed him : 

'* I am an old warrior, but can no more go out to bat- 
tle. When the moon went down, crimsoned with the 
blood of my people who fell on the shores of the Great 
Waters, I was borne, from the victorious battle-ground 
covered with my blood. My father and brothers were 
among the slain, and I wept that my pierced limbs 
would no longer sustain this now Avithered and decay- 
ing body, for my heart thirsted for blood. I was then 
young and strong, and could strike for the hearth-stone 
of my cabin. A few moons more, and this branchless 
tree will have fallen to the ground. The night is dark 
and the wind rages — a storm is gathering about the 
Great Lakes. Our enemies will soon be upon us, and 
Ke-no-tah must nerve his right arm to crush the de- 

The dark eyes of the 3^oung brave flashed a falcon 
glance upon the venerable chieftain, as his tall and 
manly form assumed a still more noble and dignified 
appearance. "Give me," said he, ''command of the 
braves, and we will go out to battle — we will consume 


our enemies — we will drink their blood and devastate 
their homes." 

A council of warriors was convened, before whom the 
powerful eloquence of Ke-no-tah was poured out like 
a wild gushing torrent, and he was at once chosen chief 
to lead the young and impetuous braves to battle. He 
had on several occasions evinced the true, native war 
spirit, having never faltered, not even when surrounded 
with darkness and danger, and, if the safety of his 
people required it, his blood should be poured out upon 
the red altar which the Mingoes had erected. 

The sun had appeared in the orient sky, and his 
chariot wheels were fast approaching the zenith of the 
heavens. The dark green foliage clothed the ancient 
forest trees, the sweetest incense rose from the dewy 
flowers and was borne upon the balmy zephyrs, hill and 
dale were made vocal with the native songsters of the 
woods, the water of the beautiful river lay calm and 
smooth, and pure as a transparent sheet of glass, the 
antlered deer bounded over the hills, while at various 
intervals tlie scream of the wild bird was heard in the 
distance. All was peace and quietness in the little set- 
tlement. Suddenly, however, " the scene was changed." 
Three painted savages from the northern lakes ap- 
peared at the wigwam of the aged Sachem Conduca, 
demanding a surrender of their cabins, their arms of 
defence, and their hunting-grounds. Altahalah, the 
youngest daughter of Conduca, unnoticed by the in- 
vaders of her quiet home, silently withdrew from their 
presence, and hastily throwing her blanket over her 
shoulders, she bounded with the speed of a youg nfawn 
to the home of Ke-no-tah, to whom she had been prom- 
ised in marriage. 


"Brother ! brother ! they have come ! — Fly ! fly to 
the home of Conduca !" It was enough ; the young 
brave, snatching his tomahawk and war-club, hastened 
to the relief of the worthy and much-loved chieftain. 
When he entered the cabin he found the Mingoes mak- 
ing loud threats against the peaceful settlement, and 
intimating that unless a general surrender was made 
blood would be spilt. This brought Ke-no-tah to 
his feet. The muscles of his face became suddenly 
swollen with passion, and his eyes flashed defiance as 
he thus addressed himself to the foremost speaker : 

" Talk not to me of blood ; it is my delight. It is the 
element upon which I live. I was not born like other 
warriors. I was never dandled upon the lap of a moth- 
er. A dark cloud came over the high hills, and from 
that cloud a thunderbolt was hurled against a large 
pine tree, shivering it to the stump, and from that stump 
I sprung up completely equipped for war. Blood is my 
delight I Vengeance is mine I" Such was the effect of 
his eloquence and manner that the Mingoes absolutely 
quailed before him. Thus finding all attempts at bring- 
ing the Lenapes to their desired terms, they left mutter- 
ing curses upon the heads of Conduca and Ke-no-tah. 

The day declined. The sable shades of night had 
curtained the earth, and the hollow murmurs of the 
storm-beaten tempest were heard advancing ; anon the 
muttering thunder told the name of God, and the light- 
ning's flaming wing pointed to his dwelling-place. But 
hark ! what wild scream was borne upon the midnight 
air ? It was the Indian war-whoop, and it fell like a 
death knell upon the ear of Altahalah. The Mingoes 
had suddenly fallen upon the little settlement, and 


though but partially prepared to make a resolute re- 
sistance, were not to be defeated without one gallant 
effort forcountry and home, — aye, for their lives. The 
far-seeing eye of Ke-no-tah had watched their approach, 
and he had already gathered the young braves, as well 
as many of th e old scarred warriors, around,him. At the 
first shrill whoop of the invaders, Ke-no-tah and his 
brave warriors rushed like fierce blood-hounds from 
their retreat, and fell like a thundering avalanche upon 
the Mingoes,— whose spring was like the hungry pan- 
ther as he leaps upon his prey, and whose deafening 
war-whoop was death ! The contest was short but 'ter- 
rible. The two forces fought with the fierceness of ti- 
gers, and when the battle-cry had ceased, and all was 
still save the low wailing of the wounded and dying, 
it was found that the Mingoes had fled, leaving the 
greater number of their well-trained warriors locked in 
the icy hue of death. The Lenapes had suffered se- 
verely, as but few remained to tell the tale of the 
horrid butchery. The banner of Ke-no-tah had tri- 

The full-orbed moon rent her mantle of darkness and 
looked down upon the work of carnage, where many a 
brave and ardent defender of his rights had fallen. At 
this moment Altahalah was discovered, clasping in her 
arms the lifeless form of Conduca, and silently wiping 
the congealed blood from his wounds. Her face was 
deadly pale, and a cold tremor ran over her whole 

Relaxing her hold on Conduca, and looking down 
upon his livid features, she exclaimed, " Oh ! my father, 
my father, has the Great Spirit called thee hence to his 


fairer hunting-ground in the brighter land of promise? 
or, hast thou fallen by the hand of the usurper, whose 
pointed arrow cleft thy warm heart ?" 

" Calm thyself," said Ke-no-tah ; "the great Spirit has 
smiled upon the soul of the brave Conduca, and the 
strong arm of thy friend will protect thee." 

A shriek burst from Altahalah, for at that moment a 
powerful, athletic savage, who had secretly stolen to her 
side, had seized her and was fast disappearing in the 
deep, dark wilds. Pursuit was immediately made, but 
the almost impenetrable thicket into which he had 
darted with the seeming celerity of a winged spirit, 
very greatly impeded their progress, and it was only 
occasionally that they were revealed to their pursuers 
by the sudden flashes of lightning that glared through 
the trees. The pursuit was continued until nearly 
morning, when all signs and traces of their flight were 
entirely lost. Returning to the place of massacre, what 
a heart-rending scene met their sight ! Many of the 
dead and dying were still lying where they fell, pierced 
by the fatal arrow, or the hunting-knife, or still more 
murderous tomahawk. 

"The gaunt wolf, 
Scenting the place of slaughter, Wth his long 
And most offensive howl did ask for blood," 

for they had come howling like so man^^ demons to feast 
and surfeit upon the remains of the slain. It was with 
difficulty that they were driven back to the hills, or 
destroyed, that the wounded might be protected and 
the dead removed for sepulchre. 

The last mournful rites having been paid to the dead, 


and such protection prepared for the few remaining 
disabled and infirm warriors, with their wives and chil- 
dren, as the limited means allowed, Ke-no-tah gathered 
his bold and intrepid warriors who had escaped in the 
saugninar}^ conflict, and, putting himself at their head, 
again sallied forth into the unbroken wilderness to seek 
and recover the fair captive. Daj^s, weeks and months 
were spent, but without avail. Once, however, Ke-no- 
tah supposed that Altahalah was almost within his out- 
stretched arms. Descending a deep ravine, just as 
night had curtained the earth, a sudden flash of light- 
ning gleamed across the dark mountain pass, and ex- 
hibited to view the reclining fugitives. Slowly, but 
silently, they pursued their way until they had 
approached within a few yards of the hated foes. Pres- 
ently another flash of lightning glared fully upon 
them. There they were, sleeping upon the green ver- 
dure of the hill-side; but Altahalah was not there. Was 
she dead, or had she flown as the young dove wings 
its way from the talons of the eagle ? These were 
questions which their unlettered minds could not solve. 
But they resolved that the score of usurpers should die 
at their hands, and they were true to their determina- 
tion, — for when the next flash of lightning sent its livid 
glare caver their dark features, they were cold, ghastly, 

Ke-no-tah called Altahalah, but he heard no responsive 
answer; and the horrid thought that she might be dead, 
or dying by starvation in the wild wilderness, came 
rushing upon his bewildered and maddened brain, and 
in his frenzied moments he smote his forehead in agony. 

The Tioughnioga valley was deserted, for the red 


men had abandoned their homes made desolate by the 
ruthless barbarity of the unfriendl}^ Mingoes, and had 
joined the Monceys whose council-fires burned at Mini- 
sink on the Makerisk-kiskon, or Delaware river. 

- The evening shades were gathering their misty folds 
over the earth. The orient moonbeams sent a golden 
hue through the tall tree-tops, and the dark shadows of 
the gnarled oaks looked like huge monsters, as they 
loomed over the calm, still water. A dusky maiden 
reclined by the side of her native river, which lay as a 
polished mirror upon the wild bosom of nature. Her 
sweet voice, like an seolian harp, chanted the favorite air 
of her noble brave. She heard the tramp of the fleet- 
bounding deer, the hoot of the old gray owl, and the 
sharp, terrific scream of the panther. She saw their 
eyes glaring like fiery meteors in the thick underbrush 
near where she had selected for the night her moss- 
covered couch. Her hair hung in long dark braids over 
her uncovered shoulders; her eyes were black as the 
raven's plumage ; her complexion of the purest olive, 
and her whole form of the most perfect beauty and sym- 

Now she gazes upon a little cloud that is peering o'er 
yonder misty peak. A gentle breeze ripples the glassy 
waters ; the cloud increases with terrific blackness ; 
the wind sweeps by with tempestuous force ; the moon 
is veiled from sight ; one-half of the blue expanse is 
palled in the tapestry of gloom, and the other half ex- 
hibits clouds of ever}^ shape, now piled like Alps on 
Alps in snow-white purity, now bathed in purple, pink 
and gold ; afar, the rumbling thunder is heard, and 
sharp flashes of lightning leap like tongues of fire 


athwart the darkened sky : the rain pours down in tor- 
rents. But 'tis passed ; delightful coolness fills the air, 
and all nature is refreshed. She gazed down the river, 
and her quick ear caught the sound of oars, for at that 
moment a canoe was gliding through the gentle wave- 
lets. Her eagle eye discerned at a glance the richly 
ornamented crest and white plume of her favorite chief. 
Nearer and nearer it approached the shore — a stroke 
more — the young and devoted sachem leaped upon the 
shore, and Altahalah was in the arms of Ke-no-tah, her 



" Their fortress was the good greenwood, 
Their tent the cypress tree ; 
They knew the forest 'round them, 
As seamen know the sea." 

It is a characteristic principle of the correct histo- 
rian, to describe with the most perfect minuteness, the 
origin, or first feeble beginnings of a new settlement. 
These are usually read with more than ordinary interest, 
and especially if the pioneers suffered many and great 
inconveniences. In most instances, those progressive 
spirits possessed many of the self-sacrificing traits of 
character, kindred to those which contributed most es- 
sentially in providing the blessings of freedom which 
we now enjoy. They labored not alone for themselves, 
but for their children, friends, and country. It was no 
easy task to abandon the hearth-stone of their boyish 
days, the endearments of social ties, cultivated associ- 
ations and the many luxuries common to settlements 
that have long prospered under the progressive spirit 
of civilization. It required something more than mere 
passive beings to convert these valleys into fruitful 
fields, or cause these rugged hills to yield forth the rich 
products of a virgin soil. 


The early pioneers possessed something more than 
mere negative characters. They were bold, enterpris- 
ing men, well suited to the task of preparing a lodgment 
in the wilderness. Nay, they were stern realities. The 
law of progress was most legibly stamped upon their 
characters. They exerted all their energies to the fur- 
therance of the general improvements of the age in 
which they lived — whose forward movements were 
steady and firm as 

*' The eternal step of progress beats 
To the great anthem, calm and slow, 
Which God repeats " 

We love to study and contemplate the attributes of 
character which so peculiarly distinguished these brave 
and devoted pioneers, for great achievements succeeded 
their bold efforts for the extension of civilization. We 
delight in recurring to their history, for their good deeds 
and noble enterprises should forever live fresh and green 
in our memories, and stimulate us to deeds of patriot- 
ism, philanthropy, and a devotional fellow feeling worthy 
the descendants of those who warred with the mountain 
oak, when thej^ struck their tents in the wilderness and 
grappled with stern adversity for the mastery. Their 
triumphs were of the noblest character, achieved by 
men whose native dignity and determined will made 
them what they really were — Nature's true noblemen. 
They were kind and courteous, possessing none of that 
apish pride so common among those of more refined 
regions. Their law of courtesy consisted of justice and 
equal rights. They loved truth, took pleasure in assist- 
ing each other, laboring to increase the happiness of 


those around them. They lived not merely for the sake 
of living, but that good might result from their labors 
in the field of enterprise. To slumber on in undisturbed 
repose, or waste their time forgetful of the object of 
their creation, or the duties of active men — to live, 
breathe and move as though the world's prosperity and 
adversity to them were alike — to stand as marble stat- 
ues in the great waste of time, or voluptuous monu- 
ments of ease and indifference, they regarded with the 
most utter abhorrence. Such men have been the forlorn 
hope of marching armies and tottering empires. Such 
were the ever-conquering spirits whom Napoleon held 
in reserve to strike the blow that should send conster- 
nation and death through the ranks of his iron-clad 
opponents. Such were the resistless and stern actors 
who, in the bloody conflict which gave an immortality 
to Wellington for his heroism upon the field of Water- 
loo, hewed their way to victory or death. Such were 
the champions of heroic valor, who left the sunny 
plains of Italy, camped along the banks of the noble 
Tiber, and finally put forth an impulse that gave a 
historic immortality to the seven-hilled city, over which 
was reared the standard of ancient Rome. Such were 
the daring men of our country's Revolution, who, amid 
death and desolation, strove to erect the temple of 
Liberty and Independence. Such were the men who 
converted our hills and valleys into green pastures and 
fruitful fields. 

The hardy adventurers who first struck their tents 
along the banks of the Tioughnioga, or reared their 
rustic cabins on our hill-sides, were subject to incidents 
common to all pioneers, and which, to them, were full of 


point and interest. Many of them suftered severely 
during their long and weary journey to their forest 
home. Looking back through the dim distance of the 
past, we behold a little company of bold spirits slowly 
winding along the banks of the majestic Hudson. 
Day after day they toil onward : night after night 
they sleep in a Connecticut covered wagon, or retire to 
rest beneath the branches of some huge umbrageous 
tree, or near by some sparkling fount or limpid rill. 
They have left home and friends behind, and, like the 
pilgrims who braved the dangers of the stormy ocean, 
have resolved to seek a home in the new land of promise. 
Some of ihe number, having never seen an Indian, and 
being unacquainted with their pacific character, were 
constantly tortured with the idea of being massacred, 
or perhaps carried away into hopeless captivity. They 
had read the murderous tales drawn from the bloody 
scenes of the border wars of New York and Pennsyl- 
vania, and had listened to the startling incidents con- 
nected with the heroic struggles of King Philip — scenes 
of devastation and blood, the bare recital of which 
sends the blood curdling to the heart. As they approach- 
ed the Mohawk valley, they were met by half a dozen 
Oneidas, who, in a most decorous and courteous manner, 
inquired with regard to their health and destination. 
Their manner, at once so agreeable, struck the ladies 
with astonishment. The warm shake of the red man's 
hand became in after time associated with some of the 
•most interesting incidents connected with their adven- 
turous wanderings. 

'Tis night. They have paused for repose in a dense 
wilderness, and their camp fire is already blazing by the 


side of a majestic old oak. The last quart of Indian 
meal is hastily converted into journey cake, the time- 
worn tea-pot is replenished with a few leaves of old hy- 
son, and the only remaining venison shank assists in 
the preparation of a plain, but wholesome dish of soup. 
The end board of a wagon serves for a table, being ele- 
vated on a little hillock, around which the company 
gather to partake of the simple repast. The hoot of the 
old gray owl is heard in the distance, while the howl 
of the wolf and the scream of the panther mingle their 
discordant notes in the mountain gorge. Vapory clouds 
had o'erspread the face of heaven and shut out from 
view night's diadem. Far to the northward was heard 
the rumbling thunder, and anon the forked lightnings 
dashed athwart the aerial sky. But look ! the electric 
fluid has descended and shattered a sycamore of three 
centuries' growth into a thousand fragments ; suddenly 
the little band grouped about the table are startled by 
the well-known bark of the old house-dog. At a few 
rods distant are seen two globes, of fire-like brilliancy. 
The unerring gun is seized, and quick is heard the sharp 
report of the Yankee rifle, succeeded by death-like 
screeches, as some unknown form bounded away in the 
thicket. But hark ! the death-struggles of the huge 
monster are heard. A torch is snatched from the camp 
fire. The Yankee rifle is reloaded with a double charge, 
and three of the adventurers go in pursuit of the wound- 
ed animal. They had not proceeded over ten or fifteen 
rods, before they came upon an enormous panther wel- 
tering in his blood. The shot had taken fatal effect. 
Another report of the rifle was heard, and all was still. 
A quarter of an hour after, the animal lay stretched out 


before the camp fire, and was found by measurement to 
exceed nine feet in length. 

An hour after, the clouds had disappeared, and the 

"That point with radiant fingers 
Thro' each dark greenwood bough,'' 

looked out in beauty from the vaulted sky, 

*' Girt with Omnipotence, with radiance crowned 
Of majesty Divine.'' 

Before the sun had flung forth his flaming beams along 
the orient sky, the little band of brave pioneers were 
toiling onward, having disrobed the panther, and left 
his skinless form to the protecting care of the hungry 
hyena and rapacious vulture. They passed with entire 
safety through Indian settlements, receiving the frank 
expressions of friendship whenever met by any of the 
roving natives, who, although unwilling to give up 
their hunting-grounds without a satisfactory equivalent, 
would not condescend to offer insult, or treat with con- 
tempt or indiflference their more powerful rivals. They 
subsisted for several days almost entirely on the wild 
game of the woods. An old lady, relating to us the 
hardships through which they passed, remarked, that 
" had it not been for the deer that roamed at large, they 
should have suffered still more severely, and perhaps 
even unto death, as roots and venison were their only 
food for many a long and gloomy day," And the tea»s 
came in the eyes of this sairited mother of Israel, as she 
told her tale of privation, suffering and sorrow. 

There were several families that came in during the 



winter season, and were consequently subjected to un- 
usual hardships. The great depth of snow that fre- 
quently fell impeded their progress. The Indian trails 
were often entirely hidden from sight. Then again, 
another great difficulty interposed almost insurmount- 
able barriers. Many miles had to be traversed, without 
roads, and in a dense unbroken wilderness. Much of 
the country through which the pioneers passed presented 
a very level surface, which, when covered with forest 
trees, was wet and swampy, and from which arose the 
foul miasma which not unfrequently generated disease, — 
if not fevers of a malignant cast, at least those horrid 
ague chills, which often undermine the strongest consti- 
tution, and lead the unhappy victim to prostrate the 
system still lower with the thousand nostrums and 
humbug panaceas of the day. There were numerous 
instances where their progress was obstructed by vari 
"ous obstacles, and to an extent to preclude their making 
over five or six miles per day; and we have been informed 
of an instance, where the company, for several successive 
days, did not exceed three. To us, in these days of 
progress and steam, it seems like making slow headway 
if we do not exceed twenty-five miles per hour. 

But the idea of being in a dense forest, with little 
suffering children pleading for food, without having the 
power to satisfy those wants, is most horrible. And yet 
such occurrences were experienced by some of the first 
settlers of this county. What mighty changes have 
been wrought by the finger of time ! What stupendous 
obstacles have been overcome. The heavy forest trees, 
over which for centuries the lurid lightning wheeled in 
awful grandeur, and through which the untamed whirl- 


wind swept — those mighty forest oaks which defied the 
the blast and the storm, have been removed. The rock- 
ribbed ridges have been converted into productive pas- 
tures, and the pestiferous marshes of the Mohawk now 
form one of the finest and most valuable agricultural 
districts in that region of country. The Indian trails 
have disappeared, and in their pla-ces have been substi- 
tuted excellent roads. The terrific howl of the wolf 
has given place to the sharp, shrill scream of the locomo- 
tive whistle. An enterprising population is located in 
the valleys and scattered over the hills. Wealth has 
sprung up in almost every department of business, and 
Mammon stands, with brazen front, contending for power 
and place. 

A New Englander, on his way to this land of promise, 
who had passed in safety through the northern wilder- 
ness, undismayed at the growl of the bear, the howl of 
the wolf, or the frightful scream of the great northern 
panther, had arrived within a few miles of Manlius, when 
suddenly his dream was changed to positive reality. 
A man of surly, dark features, tall, erect and command- 
ing figure, presented himself before the astonished New 
Englander, and very politely demanded his money. To 
this unexpected appeal the Yankee demurred. He did 
not discover the means by which he was to receive any 
benefit from such a kind of procedure, and frankly told 
the supposed wild man of the woods that he had no 
money for him, and threatened him with a severe caning 
if he did not depart and leave him to proceed on his 
journey. But the French trader (for such he undoubt- 
edly was) was not so easily to be put off. Summoning 
all his commanding powers, he, in a tone the most au- 


thoritative, again demanded the granite rocks. But 
the reply was equally autlioritative, that he could have 
none. Then said the highwayman, '"' give me the hand 
of your beautiful daughter — ctmor vincit omnia.'''"^ But 
the stern old man thundered in his ear in tones the most 
indignant, " avaunt ! scoundrel, avaunt !" Still the 
higwayman persisted in his unjust demands, brandish- 
ing a large hunting-knife over the head of the unarmed 
pioneer. Suddenly, however, the scene chauged, for 
the invincible New Englander siezed a bludgeon of 
wood, and in an attitude at once threatening and alarm- 
ing, made for the wretch who hoped to wrest from the 
worthy man, not only his treasure of gold, but the idol 
of his heart ; but his shadow was fast disappearing in 
the thicket before him, from which he did not again 
venture for the purpose of molesting the stern old man 
of the granite hills of New England. 

The timber was generally of heavy growth, a fact going 
far to sustain the generally conceived opinion, that the 
Indians had not for at least two centuries made any 
very successful attempt at cultivating any portion of 
the Homer flats. True, we have the opinion of an aged 
Oneida sachem, and also some traditionary evidence, 
which go far towards establishing the fact of there hav- 
ing been, anterior to the sixteenth century, a race of red 
men located along the western shore of the Tioughnioga 
river, and that by intestine broils and internal commo- 
tions they were entirely destroyed. There have been 
instances in which arrow points have been found imbed- 
ded in the hearts of trees of great age, — at least the 

* Love constraineth all things. 


concentric circles would indicate that they were of more 
than four hundred years' growth. 

During the spring of 1855, while engaged in excavat- 
ing a mound of earth, v/e were surprised on finding that 
it contained specimens of charcoal, in a perfectly sound 
state. There were also fragments of mouldering bones, 
and singularly wrought impressions on the surface of 
dark, slatish-colored stones. How, when, or by whom 
these deposits were made, are questions which we leave 
for geologists to solve. 

The heavy growth of forest trees was a great draw- 
back to the more rapid improvement of this section of 
country. At the time the first permanent settler located in 
the county of Cortland, the Phelps and Ghoram tract was 
being rapidly settled. The Indian title to the Genesee 
country had been extinguished prior to that of the Mili- 
tary Tract. And the inducements to settle on the for- 
mer were much greater than those held out in behalf of 
the latter. Individuals, natives of Massachusetts and 
Connecticut, were personally interested in the Phelps 
and Ghoram purchase, and consequently possessed con- 
siderable influence over the greater proportion of those 
who migrated from the New England States ; and in 
1790 about fifty townships had been sold. A monster, 
hideous to the sight of the Six Nations, sat in his den 
of unhewn logs at Canandaigua, cutting up the rich 
hunting-grounds of the Senecas into gores and town- 
ships, and disposing of them at a mere nominal price, 
which of course had a strong tendency to facilitate 
the more rapid settlement of the Genesee country. 
Many of the original claimants to military lands were 
dead : others had disposed of their right, which, perhaps 


in turn, had been transferred to a third, fourth, or fifth 
purchaser, which in the end gave rise to many litigated 
contests before the titles were permanently settled. 

Aside from the manj^ privations and hardships endured 
by the early adventurers in reaching their various points 
of destination, they were subjected to many and great 
inconveniences after they had arrived at their new 
homes, — having no floors to their dwellings, save such 
as were constructed from split logs ; using blocks for 
chairs, poles tied at the ends with bark for bedsteads, 
and bark for bedcords ; chips for plates, paper for win- 
dows, sap troughs for cradles, and so on to the end of 
the chapter. 

The first crop of grain grown by the primitive settlers 
was a half acre of corn, one third of which was eaten 
while green. The small amount of meal brought with 
them at the time of moving had already been consumed, 
and of necessity they had to resort to various expedi- 
ents to sustain life and drive away hunger, and as a 
substitute for the more favorite and substantial food, 
they dug ground nuts, and many nutritious roots, and 
after boiling them for a length of time, ate them with a 
relish quite unknown to that class of " upper tens" of 
the present day who are living in castles of ivory, or 
mammoth structures which have been reared by the 
productive labor of others. In the settlement of wes- 
tern, or central southern New York, we have heard of 
but a single instance in which this mode of living was 
surpassed, and that was by Oliver Crocker, who in an 
early day came into Broome county with a pack on his 
back, and, while engaged in "clearing his land, lived for 
some time on roots and beech leaves." He was at this 


time only eighteen years of age — had been for two years 
in the employment of Elder Joshua Whitney, when he 
found himself able to purchase four hundred acres of 
land. He became a very enterprising and wealthy man, 
yet held a most perfect abhorrence of that species of 
popularity which is purchased at the shrine of gold. 
His property did not lift him above the common level 
of humanity. 

As soon as the corn had become partially ripe, a 
quantity was gathered, and after. drying, was, by means 
of a stump hollowed out for a mortar, and a pestle hung 
to a well-sweep, pounded into coarse meal, which by 
boiling was coverted into samp or hominy — a most 
excellent and healthy dish. 

The family of Mr. Morse, the pioneer of Cuyler, lived 
the greater part of one summer, on greens, and yet did 
not repine, but looked forward for better days. 

There were resolute, determined actors, with strong 
arms, at war with the ancient forest trees. The wilder- 
ness was doomed to disappear. Migrators were launch- 
ing their frail crafts upon the Hudson, forcing their 
canoes along the Mohawk, Unadilla, and Susquehanna, 
eagerly pushing forward, with a longing wish for a 
glimpse of the Onondaga, Chenango, and Tioughnioga. 
The panther, the wolf, the bear, the deer, and the thou- 
sand homogeneous tribes of "fur and bristles, were re- 
treating to the swamps and miniature mountain passes 
with a present prospect of safety from the leaden mis- 
siles of New England rifles. The proud old Romans, 
the native dwellers of the woods, began to exhibit 
strong symptoms of jealousy towards the " pale faces," 
who were thus encroaching on their rights ; and even 


"barbarism drew its fantastic blanket over its shoul- 
ders, and, clutching its curiously-wrought tomahawk,' 
was seen " withdrawing to other solitudes, jingling its 
brazen ornaments and whooping as it went." Improve- 
ments rapidly increased, and settlements multiplied. 
The soil being rich and productive, other crops came in, 
were harvested, and converted into wholesome food. At 
this time there were no roads, save such as were made 
by following the Indian trails, removing the larger logs, 
cutting away saplings and under-brush barely sufficient 
to admit of the passage of a team. Eight to ten days 
were required to effect a commercial intercourse with 
Chenango Forks, forty miles south ; six to eight with 
Ludlowville, twenty-five miles west ; and about an equal 
number with Manlius square, thirty miles north, at 
which place they procured salt and grinding. At 
the former and latter, they purchased tobacco, and lin- 
sey-woolsey, while for axes they went to Cazenovia. 
Tea was an unbearable extravagance. True, a few of 
the more thoughtful had laid in a small quantity, before 
leaving the " land of steady habits," and this was re- 
sorted to only on extra occasions. An elderly lady told 
us of a long expedition made by her husband to Ithaca, 
and how her heart was gladdened on his return, on 
learning that he had purchased a whole half pound of 
JBohea. It was indeed a luxury. 

But now that the delicious article was obtained, its 
stimulating and soul-cheering effects must be enjoyed. 
The whole neighborhood received an invitation to come 
in and spend the afternoon in a social chat, and testify 
to its merits. The afternoon came, and with it the com- 
pany. The daughter, a flaxen-haired girl of sixteen 


summers, not forgetful of the generous sympathies that 
prevailed among the primitive settlers, had, in the mean- 
time, contrived to despatch a special messenger, bearing 
an affectionate billet-doux, to her dear devoted friend 
John, — a very worthy young man of another settlement, 
— requesting his presence^ inasmuch as they were in- 
tending to have a kind of glorification over the choice 
beverage. She was entirely free from deceit, dishon- 
esty, haughty pride and fashionable idleness, and 
frankly told her friend that her mother was in want of 
a tea-pot, and hoped, inasmuch as his mother had one of 
revolutionary memory, and which had been used by his 
grandfather in the camp, that he would do her the 
favor to bring the article with him. John came, and, 
true to the desired courtesy, brought along the old war 
relic, and placing it on the slab table, very coolly re- 
marked that he was somewhat given to dreaming, and 
that in one of his favorite reveries he had dreamed that 
a party of friends were to be convened at the double log 
house ; and presuming that the olden trophy of a passing 
age might be serviceable, had, at the risk of being 
laughed at, obeyed the direction given him in his noc- 
turnal visitation. 

The explanation of John was received with a hearty 
laugh, and a grateful expression of remembrance on the 
part of the mother. Not one of the company ventured 
to whisper a suspicious thought. They could not be so 
unkind. The visit was really enjoyed, and the Boliea 
proved a most valuable auxiliary in giving life and 
spirit to the frequent interchange of sentiments. 

We were told by Mr. Lilly, that at a later day, him- 
self and brother went on foot to Genoa and Scipio, to 


reap wheat. They labored five and a half days each, 
and earned eleven bushels ; threshed and carried it to 
mill, one mile east of Moravia. 

^ AVe have been told of numerous instances of a like 
persevering industry and kindly attention to the wants 
of the dear devoted ones at home — of the father or eld- 
est son setting out with a sack of grain on his shoulder, 
for a journey of twenty-five, and even forty miles, to a 
mill, in order to secure the wherewith to supply the 
place of the fast disappearing loaf. It was, however, a 
prevailing custom, when necessity did not demand more 
immediate attention, for one who was blessed with a 
team to take the grists for a whole neighborhood — an 
act evincing a generosity of sympathy peculiar to new 

A grist-mill at a distance of twenty-five miles was of 
valuable consideration, when compared with a mortar 
and pestle. 

Linsey-woolsey was a great achievement when al- 
lowed to take the place of buckskin pants and jacket 
coats. Glass windows were regarded as a very great 
improvement over those fashioned from paper. A ser- 
vice of earthen ware, when allowed to supplant the place 
of chips and wooden trenchers, was a luxury most ar- 
dently desired ; and when a cherry table graced the 
kitchen, it was looked upon as a mark of increasing 
prosperity. A wagon with wooden springs attached 
to the seat, was procured at a most exorbitant price, 
and was regarded as a luxury to be enjoyed only by the 
few. A horse was almost deified. They had but few 
barns, and these were rude huts, their grain being 
stacked out door, winnowed by the breeze of heaven, 


placed into sacks -and swung across the beams of the 
kitchen. Stairs were not yet thought of, and a garret 
floor was shrouded in their undreamed of philosopliy. 
If they were not the days of gentility and refinement, 
they were at least th^ days of lustihood, generosity, and 
good fellowship. Respectability did not then consist 
in wealth alone, and a mean and beastly selfishness 
would have been despised, even though clothed in "silk 
and faring sumptuously." Indeed, greatness of charac- 
ter did not consist in fine houses and broad acres. 
Forced smiles and hypocritical pretensions, were re- 
served for older, and perchance, more refined regions. 
Land sharks, money shavers, and political gamblers, 
were not of their order. They possessed not only mus- 
cles, sinews and bones, but a fleshy form, containing a 
human soul. They were not automatons — they could 
appreciate a good act, and return a favor without ac- 
companying it with a grudge. 

Previous to 1791, the territory now comprised within 
the county of Cortland was known to the whites only 
by charts and maps, and though forming a constituent 
portion of the State of New York, was regarded, on ac- 
count of its location, of but minor importance. 

Homer. — In 1789, Amos Todd and Joseph Beebe mi- 
grated from New Haven, Conn., and located at Wind- 
sor, Broome co., N. Y. In 1791 they removed from Wind- 
sor, and were the first of the noble pioneers who planted 
the standard of civilization in the Tioughnioga Valley. 

These enterprising spirits were accompanied by only 
one lady, — the sister of Mr. Todd, and wife of Mr. Beebe. 

We shall not stop here to recount the various degrees 


of unremitting toil, privation and effort through which 
they passed in their journey to their new and uninviting 

Mr. Beebe erected his house north of Homer village? 
near the upper bridge, on ground now occupied by 
the residence of Joseph Burt. In our mind there is no 
doubt existing with reference to the locality of Mr. 
Beebe's house. His son Spencer, who, in 1852, died in 
a prayer meeting at Harrison Yalle}^ Pa., has left some 
early reminiscences and data, together with a map, 
which accurately describes the Tioughnioga, and marks 
the location of the first four dwellings erected west of 
the river. These are now in the hands of the writer. 
The edifice would illy compare with those now occupy- 
ing the adjacent grounds. It was in the main composed 
of poles, twelve by fifteen feet. Before this temporary 
abode had been completed, their team strayed away in 
the woods. Leaving Mrs. Beebe alone, they set out in 
its pursuit. She had no protection except the four walls 
of poles, without floor or roof, and simply a blanket 
stuck up with forks to cover the space intended for a 
door. The husband and brother were absent three daj^s 
and nights, and during the long and lonely hours, Mrs. 
Beebe maintained a tranquil mind and received no an- 
noyance, save such as was caused by the howling 
wolf and screaming panther, of whose rapacity for 
blood she had often heard, and whose terrible yells made 
night hideous and tenfold more alarming to the tender 
feelings of a sensitive female. She received but one 
call, and that was from a wolf, who, being rather timid, 
only displaced the blanket sufficient to introduce his 
phiz and take a look at her ladyship. 


During the following winter, Messrs. Beebe and Todd 
returned to Windsor for their effects, and were snow- 
bound for six weeks. Mrs. Beebe remained at home, 
the sole occupant of her palace of poles. She must 
have been blessed with more than ordinary courage 
and fortitude. Probably but few women in these days 
of modern refinement, similarly situated, would exhibit 
an equal amount of patience and force of character. 
Let us not be understood as wishing to speak dispara- 
gingly of the females of the present day : far from it. 
Circumstances give an entire change to human charac- 
ter. The elements of which it is composed, are vari- 
ously operated upon. Other circumstances might have 
made Lord Byron a Washington, or Washington a By- 
ron. Education, properly considered, is everything. 

It was a cold day in the middle of winter. Their 
goods were closely stowed away in their little craft, and 
as they " pulled away from tlie shore," and bent their 
course homeward, a farewell shout echoed from shore to 

Arriving at Binghamton, they were joined by John 
Miller, Esq., father of deacon Daniel Miller, whose com- 
pany was very acceptable to these half land, half water 
craftsmen.* The men took turns in directing the course 
of the boat, while the others followed on foot along the 
shore of the river, removing obstructions, and driving 
the cattle. When the stream was too shallow, the boat 
was drawn across the rifts with their oxen, and then 

* Mr. Miller was a native of New Jersey. He lies entombed a 
short distance south-cast of the County House, where four genera- 
tions of the Millers " sleep." 


again set afloat upon the watery element. Then the 
facilities for moving goods were in wide contrast with 
those of the present day. Then they were not even fa- 
vored with a common highway over which to transport 
their property, but were gratified in having the power 
to lend a strong arm in propelling a common Indian ca- 
noe. Now, in addition to the various other facilities, 
we have the powerful aid of the Iron horse, whose limbs 
are steel and whose lungs are fire, and by whose gen- 
erous assistance the rich treasures of the East and the 
valuable products of the West are unladen in the very 
lap of the fertile valley through which he passes, belch- 
ing fire and smoke. 

The brave and hardy pioneers are approaching their 
new home. There stands the humble cabin, containing 
the soul and centre of Mr. Beebe's felicity. In the door 
appears the young and cherished wife of fond affection, 
ready to greet her more than " noble lord" — her gen- 
erous hearted husband. She is a high-souled, noble- 
hearted woman, worth more than gaudy gems or golden 
crowns. For six long weeks she has been a lonely in- 
habitant of the valley, and during the stormy days and 
darksome nights, she was truly "monarch of all" she 
'* surveyed." And now she rushes from her forest pal- 
ace, with heart all kind, and eyes all bright, with form 
and mien glowing in the sunlight of pure affection, ra- 
diant with hope and beauty, as though just baptized in 
the sparkling fountain of ever blooming youth. 

The sable shades of night have curtained the earth. 
The moon rolls high in the vaulted dome — the stars look 
out in beauty from the radiant sky ; and joy reigns in 
the cottager's home,— for peace and gladness dwell in 


the breasts of all as they gather around the social 
board to partake of the frugal repast prepared by the 
hand of her who had left the home of cherished friends 
to become the copartner of him who had reared the seat 
of his chosen empire amidst the stillness of the prime- 
val forest. 

Mr. Miller made some explorations of the country 
bordering East and West River, and then returned to 
his home near the noble Susquehanna. In the spring 
('92) Mr. Miller, John House, James Matthews, James 
Moore, Silas and Daniel Miller, came in from Bingham- 
ton. Camping at the forks of East and West Kiver, 
they built a fire against a large oak tree, a portion of 
which is still remaining. Here the women remained, 
while their husbands went forward and erected cabins 
for their temporary residence. 

Squire Miller, located on lot 56, erected a house near 
the willow trees ; — almost every person has been made 
acquainted with their history — how the original sprout 
was purloined from its parent tree by Dea. Miller, when 
returning on horseback from a visit to his friends in 
New Jersey, giving great offence to its owner, and how 
it served its new possessor in the capacity of a riding 
whip — was afterwards stuck in the ground, where it 
took root, sent out numerous branches, some of which 
have grown to fine trees, — ornaments to the ground on 
which they stand. Mr. Matthews built on the upper 
end of the same lot. Mr. House about eight rods north- 
west of the residence of Ebenezer Cole. Mr. Moore 
near the bridge south of the Cotton Factory. 

Darius Kinne}^ came from Brimfield, Massachusetts, in 
1193, and located on East River. About this time, Mr. 


Beebe abandoned his place of poles, and settled on the 
premises of his brother-in-law, Mr. Todd, on lot 42, west 
of the village. 

Roderick Owen came from Lebanon, N. Y., and locat- 
ed about one hundred rods south-east of the residence 
of Dr. Jones. 

The Ballards were from Holland, Mass. John first 
located on the east side of the Tioughnioga ; three years 
after, settled on the farm at present owned by Paris 
Barber. It was owned at this time byCapt. David Rus- 
sel, who had but recently located, and erected a double 
log house near the north-west corner of Mr. Barber's 

Another company came in by way of Cazenovia 
through Truxton, in 1194, pioneered by Jonathan Hub- 
bard, and Col. Moses Hopkins. The former of these 
settled on ground now covered by Cortland village, and 
the latter one mile west, on lot 64. 

During the year 1195, several companies came in by 
way of Manlius and Truxton. Thomas L. and Jacob 
Bishop came in from Brimfield, and located on lands 
now owned and occupied by Noali Hitchcock. In an 
early day it was known by the name of the Vanderlyn 
farm. Lot 25. 

Thomas Wilcox came from Whitestown, N. Y., and 
located on Lot 64, where Joshua Ballard now lives. 

Zebulon Keene located on the farm now owned by 
Mr. Sheffield. John Stone, originally from Brimfield, 
settled on the Albert Barker farm, lot 25. Joshua At- 
water, father of Ezra and Joseph, located on lot 13. 

Libeus Andrews came from Hartford, Conn., purchased 
and settled on land south of Mr. Kingsbury, lot 56. 


John Keep, Solomon and John Hubbard came in from 
Massachusetts, and selected various locations. Mr. 
Keep made a permanent settlement on lot 56, and built 
the original pari of the County House. Solomon settled 
on lot 25, and John on lot 26, where his son Lyman 
now resides. His house, when originally erected, was 
regarded as being by far the most expensive dwelling 
in the county, and was denominated a " mammoth." 
The influence and enterprising efforts of these gentle- 
men, in after years, proved of valuable importance. 

On rolls the tide of progress. The spirit of enter- 
prise is awakened, and the brave pioneers come pouring 
in with warm hearts and strong hands, resolved to make 
war with the forest oak, or grapple with stern adversity 
in the dark hour of peril. 

Thomas G. Ebenezer and Charles Alvord came in from 
Farmington, Conn., and settled in the north-west part 
of the town, on lot 13. The former drew lot 56. When 
he reached Manlius, he was met by a couple of land- 
sharks, who, on learning the lot upon which the old hero 
was intending to settle, very coolly informed him that 
they had been to Homer, and that they were well ac- 
quainted with the position of his land, and could assure 
him that it was an exceedingly poor, wet lot, the greater 
part of it being covered with water. In short, he was, 
by means the most deceptive, induced to part with six 
hundred acres of most valuable land for the trifling sum 
of a few dollars! Jacob B. Alvord resides on lot 13 — 
his farm is on lot 12. 

In not Joshua Ballard came in from Holland, Mas- 
sachusetts, and selected a location on lot 45. We shall 
refer to him in a subsequent chapter. 


John Albright, the pioneer of East Homer, located on 
the lot he drew for Revolutionary services. 

Asa White and Caleb Keep migrated from Monson, 
Mass. The former located on lot 45 ; erected his liouse 
on ground now covered by the residence of Jedediah 
Barber. He purchased and completed the first grist-mill 
in the county, in 1798. The latter bought and settled on 
the farm now owned and occupied by Noah Hitchcock, 
a grandson of Mr. Keep. 

During the year 1798, a very considerable accession 
was made by persons settling in various parts of the 
town, and more especially along the borders of East 
and West rivers. 

Stephen Knapp came in with his brother-in-law from 
Goshen, Orange co., N. Y., to explore the country. His 
father having been killed during the Revolutionary 
struggle by the Indians on the Delaware river, near the 
mouth of the Lackawaxen, left him to carve out his own 
fortune ; and he sought this w^ild region of country for 
that laudable purpose. His mother, having some little 
means, which was placed in his care, a purchase was 
made through Judge Thompson, of lots 55 and 84. 
Returning to Goshen, he early made preparations for 
moving to Homer ; but circumstances over which he had 
no control, delayed his departure until 1198. He came 
by the way of Poughkeepsie, Shonkunk, Kingston, head 
waters of Schoharie ; followed down the river to Pratts- 
ville ; thence to Harpersfield ; crossed Wattles Ferry ; 
thence to Oxford ; thence to Solon, afterwards called 
Hatheway's Corners. Here he followed the Salt Road 
about two miles to Squire Bingham's ; thence over the 
hills to Judge John Keep's ; thence to Mr. Matthews' 


on lot 56 ; and thence to Hon, John Ballard's. Here 
Mr. Knapp and his friends remained for some time, dur- 
ing which period his brother Daniel purchased the farm 
of Capt. Russell. 

Soon after this sale, Mr. Ballard located in the village. 
Mr. Russell died with the small pox. 

Mr. Knapp is still living, a venerable relic of a for- 
mer age. Neither marhle nor fulsome epitaph will be 
necessary to perpetuate his memory. 

The Hobarts were from Monson, Mass. Daniel, father 
of Alpheus, located on lot 43 ; Samuel on 15 and 16. 
Gideon settled with his father, and remained on the 
same farm until his death, April 30th, 185T. The farm 
is now owned and occupied by Manly Hobart. 

Titus Stebbins, from the same town, settled on lot 43. 

Samuel Hotchkiss, from New Haven, Conn., located 
on lot 44. 

Dr. Lewis S. Owen came from Albany, and after a 
general survey of the country, located on lot 66. Here 
he remained three j^ears, when he moved to Homer vil- 
lage and erected a house on the ground now occupied 
by his son, Dr. Robert Owen, lot 45. 

Deacon Noah Hitchcock came in from Brimfield, and 
located on lot 25. He was a kind, generous-hearted 
man, and in brief, a prominent and useful citizen. 

The venerable Zenas Lilly came from Brimfield, and 
located on lot 33, wliere he lived about twelve j^ears, 
when he sold to Messrs. Tubbs and Keep, and settled 
on Factory Hill. Some years after, he disposed of his 
property and settled in Lenox, but subsequently returned 
to Homer and located on lots 34-5. His history is 
closely identified with the history of Cortland county. 


Timothy Treat, Enos Stimson, William Lucas, and 
Asahel Miner were from different parts, and selected 
various locations. Mr. Treat was from Berkshire, Mass.; 
he settled about eighty rods north of the former resi- 
dence of John Barker, now owned by Mr. Bowen. Fam- 
ily consisted of parents and eight children. The third, 
a daughter, married Stephen Knapp. Mr. Stimson was 
from Monson ; he settled on the ground now occupied 
by the elegant residence of Jacob Schermerhorn. He 
reared a small house and hung out a landlord's sign. 
The next spring the people were greatly alarmed on 
account of the small ^^ox, which had made its appearance 
in the valley. Several took it, and died. His wife and 
children went to Aaron Knapp's, in Cortland ville, and 
were vaccinated, which, as we arc told, caused clear 
cases of small pox, but soon recovered, and were able 
to return home. 

An incident occurred during the absence of Mrs. Stim- 
son, showing most distinctly the influence of ardent spir- 
its upon the Indian character. Twelve Onondaga In- 
dians called one evening at Mr. Stimson's, drank freely, 
got highly exhilarated, called for more liquor in their 
own familiar way — " Tegoye czeethgath" and " Ne- 
gauqh,"* — were repeatedly refused, and told that more 
w^ould do them injury. But no, they had got a taste, 
were ardently inspired, would not listen to reason. 
They became uncivil, deranged, and threatened Mr. 
Stimson with violence. Retreating as they approached 
him in a menacing attitude, he sought safety up stairs, 
cautiously pulling the stair-ladder after him. The sav- 

* Have you rum and wine, or firewater ? 


ages were noisy and qnarelsome, as might be expected, 
having made themselves perfectly free with the aqua 
rnorhi et inortis* of the bar, even draining the bottles to 
the ver}^ dregs. But the midnight revel, the baccha- 
nalian orgies not yet ended, for their brains had been 
fired until the poor degraded beings reeled with delir- 
ium. They were bound to the car of Bacchus, which 
for centuries back has creaked and groaned beneath its 
burden of blasted hopes, crushed affections, and de- 
praved humanity ; aye, with the blood of hundreds and 
thousands of wasted wrecks and ghastly skeletons. Not 
content with emptying the rum, gin, and whiskey de- 
canters, an old sachem seized a bottle containing 79^'cr<x, 
swallowed a portion of its contents, and hastily passed 
it to a young brave who drank its very dregs. This 
had a powerful and most alarming effect, for they came 
very near dying. 

Just at this, and to them inauspicious moment, and 
while some were guarding the garret port-hole through 
which the landlord had made a hurried retreat, and 
others were bending over the victims of supposed poi- 
son, an aged Indian, at least half '' sea over," stepped 
hurriedly from the door, and mistaking a well-curb for 
a fence, leaped over and brought suddenly up in the 
bottom of Mr. Stimson's well. This was rather a severe 
shock to his spiritual feelings, and though famed as a 
conjuror, he was too drunk to conjure up a plan by 
which to escape from his unpleasant quarters. His po- 
sition was truly an uninteresting one. The element 
which surrounded him was of an entirely different char- 

^ Poison water of death. 


acter from the one that was influencing within. And 
now, while whooping-, yelling, cursing and swearing 
was going on in thp house, the old Roman was alike 
interestingly employed in the well. At length, assist- 
ance came to his relief, and hj the aid of a blanket, 
which was let down to the periled one, he was drawn 
Tip from the watery depths below. 

The next morning, Maj. Stimson, under certain prom- 
ises, was permitted to come down and take possession 
of his house. The Indians were not so spiritually in- 
fluenced. The onedium operating between them and the 
bottle had become inoperative. Spooks, hobgoblins, 
witches, wizards, and the whole infernal train of delir- 
ium devils had disappeared from among them. A few 
made attempts at cheerfulness, while others exhibited 
only symptoms of suUenness. The old chieftain felt 
mortified at his conduct, while the professed juggler 
had not courage enough left to enable him to attempt 
any more of his tricks at legerdemain. 

William Lucas and Asahel Miner were from Wood- 
bury, Conn. The former located on lot 35 ; the farm is 
now owned by Samuel Babcock. He erected a portion 
of Mr. Babcock's present residence. He was an ex- 
ceedingly active, useful and prominent citizen — what a 
living witness has defined as one of the very best of 
men. His four surviving children reside in Ohio. The 
latter settled on the Lucas Welch farm. He was the 
first sheriff of Cortland county, having been appointed 
April 8, 1808. Martin Miner, his son, resides in the vil- 

Col. Benajah Tubbs came in from Washington county, 
and located on the ground now occupied by the Geo. 


Phillips store. He early engaged in the mercantile trade, 
and continued the business for many years. 

John and Richard Bishop were from Brimfield. The 
former settled south of the Yanderlyn farm, while the 
latter located immediately opposite Mr. Hammel Thomp- 
son. He afterwards built a one-storj^ house, where Mr. 
Thompson now lives. Asaph H. Carpenter, some time 
after, added another story. Under the care of Mr. 
Thompson it has been made a ver}'' pleasant resi- 

After 1800, the town began to settle more rapidl3^ 
Those who had previously located had passed the Rubi- 
con, and with a determined will, quite superior to that 
which prompted Caesar to cross the threshold of his own 
province for the express purpose of reducing Italy to 
his power, had labored nobly in the cause of human im- 
provement, and were already in the partial enjoyment 
of its blessings. We regret that our limits will not 
allow of our recording the name and place of settlement 
of every pioneer. From 1800, we can only locate a few 
in the various sections of the town. 

Ephraim P. Sumner came in from Connecticut in 1800, 
and located on lot 47, where his son E. P. Sumner now 
lives. He purchased two hundred acres ; died 1843 ; 
Mrs. Sumner, 1840 ; reared ten children — eight now 

jSoah Carpenter came in from Pomfret, Windham co., 
Conn., and located on lot 16. His son, Asaph H. Car- 
penter, who now resides on the original premises, had 
the honor of being first arrayed in bib and tucker while 
his parents were journeying to this land of promise. 
He was, however, more fortunate than the Saviour, for 


He, being " cradled in a manger," had " not whereon to 
lay his head." 

Peter Vanderlyn, father of Jacob, came from Ulster 
county, N. Y., and purchased one hundred acres. He 
drove in fifty head of sheep, the first in the town ; also 
several head of cattle, and the first lumber wagon. He 
built the first fanning mill that was used in the 
county; the wings were made of cloth, and it proved 
a valuable acquisition in the department of saving 

Thomas, Nathan, and Samuel Stone were from Brim- 
field. They located on lot 46. 

Waterman and Levi Phillips were from Connecticut. 
The former located on lot 69, near where Trout creek 
empties into the Tioughnioga. He purchased one hun- 
dred and seven acres. He now resides in the village ; 
is eighty-one years old. His sons are Jefferson, Abel 
K., and George. The latter located on lot 16. He came 
in with an ox team and one horse ; purchased fifty acres, 
and subsequently ninetyrseven more. His surviving 
sons are Levi, on lot 28 ; Charles, at Nanticoke ; Oren, 
on the homestead ; and Erastus, in the village. Mr. 
Phillips died in 1845, aged seventy-eight years ; and his 
widow in 1850, at the age of seventy-nine years. 

Several additional settlements were opened during 
1801. Seth Keep, originally from Massachusetts, mi- 
grated to Homer from Vermont, and located on the 
north-east corner of lot 33. 

Gad Hitchcock came from Monson, ^lass., and settled 
on the farm now owned by Albert Barker. „ His son, 
Horace Hitchcock, is an active and worthy citizen, re- 
siding in the village. 


John Coats located within a few rods of the Congre- 
gational church, in 1802. 

During the same year, Dea. Thomas ChoUar came in 
from Windham, Conn.; remained some three j^ears, dur- 
ing which time he made various explorations of the 
country, in order that he might judge correctly with 
reference to the soil, as well as the general advantages 
which were likely to be realized by those who thus 
early plunged into the wilderness, enduring privation, 
and struggling against forest and flood, disease and 
death. In the latter part of 1804 he selected a location 
on lot It, and settled on it in 1809. 

Asa Kendall, father of Abner N. Kendall, was a native 
of Massachusetts, but removed to Homer from Pompey, 
and located on the farm now owned by Dea. Conger. 
He purchased fifty acres. 

In 1803, Jacob Sanders, Moses Butterfield, Levi Bowen, 
and Elijah Pierce, father of Justin M. Pierce, came in 
and located. Sanders removed from Swansey, Mass., 
and settled on lot 56. He reared an intelligent family 
of ten children, all of whom are now living, and in 
good circumstances. Butterfield was from Canterbury, 
Conn. ; he located on lot 4T, where Charles Kiiigsbur^^ 
now resides. The farm at present embraces one hun- 
dred and twenty-five acres. Mr. Butterfield died in 1820. 
Bowen settled on lot 1, where E. P. Stickney now re- 
sides ; he was from Woodstock, Conn. He purchased 
ninet3''-six acres ; died in 1832, leaving eight children — 
five now living. Pierce came from Brimfield. 

Elie Sherman came from Brimfield in 1803, and settled 
on lot 47. He is now enjoying good health, and is in 
the full possession of his faculties — age, seventy-seven, 


Abel Kinney, from Brimfiekl, settled in 1804 on lot 6. 

Capt. Daniel Crandall, from Massachusetts, located in 
1805 on lot 38. He died in 185t. 

Capt. Zeplianiah Hicks, originally of Rhode Island, 
migrated from Connecticut in 1805, and located on the 
south-east corner of State's Hundred, lot 17. His house 
stood on the ground now occupied by the dwelling of 
Norman Southworth. Capt. Hicks was an active, ener- 
getic, high-minded man; generous, humane, obliging, and 
courteous. His hale, prompt, manly greeting gained for 
him the good will of his neighbors, and gave him much 
influence in the occasional pioneer gatherings. The influ- 
ence of Dea. Chollar was much the same. It is related of 
these men, that when a question of right was to be de- 
cided the appeal was usually made to them ; the deacon 
having given an affirmative decision, the almost uni- 
versal response would be, " That 's right, Deacon Chol- 
lar ; ain't it so, Capt. Ilicks ?" 

The Captain removed in 1835 to Ingham, Michigan, 
where he still resides, a venerable relic of the " olden 

Jacob Hicks, his son, who at the time of his migra- 
tion to Homer was but two years old, is settled on lot 
27. His advent on to the Hill dates farther back than 
that of any remaining settler. His eldest daughter, 
Nanc}^ is the wife of Silas Elbridge Mann, a prominent 
citizen and hardware merchant of Jordan. 

In 1806, Col. David Coye, from Royalton, Vermont, 
and Lemuel Bates, from Cincinnati, came in and located. 
The former settled on lot 45, where he now resides. He 
purchased the first acre sold for a village lot. He fol- 
lowed his trade, that of joiner. In 1815, he purchased one 
hundred acres on lot 44. The rear of his dwelling was 


erected in 1808; the front in 1826. His shop, one story 
and a-half, twenty by thirty-five, stood on the ground 
occupied by Newton's store. He has filled several 
prominent offices ; among others, that of sheriff. He 
has reared a family of eleven children — seven now liv- 
ing-. Two reside in Missouri ; one in Buffalo ; one in 
San Francisco ; one married Caleb Sherman, and another 
Francis De Long, of Lockport ; Mary, the youngest, is 
still at home. The latter settled on lot 26. His sons 
are Joseph and Ransford, The former lives in Little 
York ; the latter on the forks of the road above Homer 

William Shearer came from Washington county in 
1801, and located on lot 36. His son Reuben lives on 
the original premises. Mrs. Shearer was an early 
schoolmate of Hon. Samuel Nelson, and remembers him 
as a youth of warm and generous impulses. 

Stephen and Joel R. Briggs, Ariel Tickner and Eras- 
tus Hayes were originally from Otsego county. They 
located in 1807 on lot 50. The former died in 1844. 
His widow survives him at the age of seventy-six. She 
resides with her son, Jabez Briggs. Mr. Tickner died 
some years previous. Joel R. Briggs lives on lot 38, 
in Homer, and Mr. Hayes resides in Spafford. 

Deacon Ira Brown came in from Brimfield, in 1808, 
and located on lot 24. He now resides in Cortlandville. 
He has reared a respectable family, and accumulated a 
good property. 

Joseph Bean, father of Jeremiah, of Cincinnatus, 
and Samuel, of Homer, located in 1809. He purchased 
one hundred acres. During the same year, Noah R. 
Smith and Matthias Cook came in and located. The 
former came in from Middletown, and settled on lot 45. 


He has been a prompt, active, and influential citizen ; 
has filled several important offices b}'^ appointment and 
election ; was appointed sheriff in 1819. The latter 
came from Albany, and entered into the hatting busi- 
ness, which he continued successfully for many years. 
He was at one time a copartner in trade with Col. 
Benajah Tubbs. He was appointed county clerk in 
1821, elected a member of the legislature in 1824, and 
was chosen Justice of the Peace at the first election of 
such office by the people. ,j 

Deacon Jesse Ives and Andrew Burr came in during 
the year 1810. Mr. Ives was from Litchfield, Conn. He 
located on lot 16, and purchased originally ninety acres 
of land. He was emphatically a man of progress — an 
industrious and enterprising farmer, and his genial and 
excellent qualities made him universally respected and 
beloved. He died Nov. 2t, 185T, aged 81 years. 

Mr. Burr was from Sharon, Conn. He originally lo- 
cated on the ground now occupied and owned by Wil- 
liam Kingsbury. He early engaged in the manufacture 
of leather, but subsequently sold his tannery to Willam 
Kingsbury, who located in 1816, and went into the sad- 
dlery and harness business, which he carried on for 
thirty years. He has erected several dwellings, and 
otherwise labored to improve and advance the interests 
of the village. The rear portion of his dwelling is 
composed of the original or first cliurch which was 
erected in Homer. The front part was erected in 1812 
for a house of public entertainment, and was called the 
** Mansion House.'' 

Richard Graham and Henry Corl came in and located 
in 1811. The former was from Herkimer county, and 
settled on lot 28. The latter was originally from Sche- 


nectady, but came in from Locke, Cayuga co., and set- 
tled on lot 8, where he remained one year, and then 
removed to the Abel Owen farm, now owned by Dr. 
Jones. Here he remained two years, and then settled 
on the Hill, which now bears his name. He purchased 
120 acres. He is now 18 years old — has raised a fam- 
ily of nine children, all now living. 

During the war of 1812-15, the progress of settlement 
was greatly interrupted. The settlements were, how- 
ever, frequently visited by a kind of floating population, 
having no fixed purposes, but would come and go like 
the waves of the ocean. 

George W. Samson, from Plympton, Mass., located in 
1812 on lot 28 ; remained four years, and then settled on 
lot 19, being the first settler on the lot. He erected the 
Mt. Etam Stand in 1824, and went into it the next year ; 
commenced keeping a house of entertainment in 182t— 
in Home'r village in 1839. He possesses considerable 
native talent, great vivacity, blended with wit and gen- 
erous s^mipathy. 

James Hull came from Norfolk, Conn., about 1815, 
and settled on the farm now owned by Willis Alvord. 
He now resides in the village. His industrious habits, 
and moral and social sentiments, entitle him to a just and 
honorable mention in tlie pioneer annals of Homer. 

Erastus Goodell, father of C. B. and Erastus, Jr., came 
in from Sturbridge, Mass., in 1816, and located on State's 
Hundred, lot t. He originally purchased 50 acres ; has 
now, with an additional purchase, owned by his son Eras- 
tus, 130 acres. His land was entirely tjovered with a 
heavy growth of timber, when he came upon it. He first 
erected a small house in the hollow east of his barn, 
but soon after put up a log house on the ground now 


covered by his present residence. The latter was 
erected in 1834. His son, C. B. Goodell, owns the Jo- 
seph Bates farm. 

William Andrews came from Fabius, Onondaga co., 
in 1817. From 1820 to 1843 he served in the capacity 
of constable and under sheriff, and in 1831 was elected 
sheriff, on a union ticket between the liberal portion of 
the Jackson and Clintonian men. The opposing candi- 
date was Martin Keep. Mr. Andrews is a prominent 
and influential citizen. 

Daniel Josling, from Windham, Conn., located in 1818 
on lot IT. Kenneth A. Scudder, from Monmouth, N. J., 
settled in 1813 in Herkimer county, and subsequently 
removed to Homer and located on lot 18. He reared a 
family of eight children, all of whom are living. He 
died in 1843, aged tt. His widow survives him at the 
age of 76. 

Having thus presented a general outline view of the 
earl}^ settlement of Homer, dating from 1791 to 1818, 
we shall proceed to exhibit some important dates and 
facts connected with its history, interspersed with inter- 
esting incidents bearing upon the political, moral, so- 
cial and religious character of the noble spirits of other 

The town of Homer was organized March 5 th, 1794, 
and, as we have previously stated, originally embraced 
the townships of Homer and Cortland. The town offi- 
cers were not, however, limited to the town limits, but 
Virgil and Solon were permitted to share in their selec- 
tion, and as sucli we give tlieir names as though they 
had really belonged to Homer. The territory has a 
broken and diversified surface — presenting to the ob- 
server the rugged hill and fertile valley. The soil is 


generall}^ g'ood, — consisting of clay, sandy and gravelly 
loam, while flats of rich alluvion border East and West 

The political temperature of the early pioneers at the 
time of the erection of the town, stood at about zero, 
as will appear evident from the perusal of the following 
document, which is copied from the town records. 

' [■ ss : 

State of New York 
Onondaga County. 

Whereas the town of Homer, in said county, on the 
5th day of April did neglect to appoint the necessary 
town oflScers for the year one thousand seven hundred 
and ninety-five : 

And whereas, by a law passed on the 7th day of 
March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-eight, 
directing three justices of the peace of said county, 
to nominate, and under their hand and seals appoint 
such officers as under said act is necessary, therefore, 
we, Asa Danforth, Hezekiah Scott and Daniel Keeler, 
three of the justices of the peace, appointed in and 
for said county, nominate and by these presents do ap- 

For SKjyervisor, — John Miller. 

Toion Cleric, — Peter Ingersoll. 

Assessors, — Thomas L. Bishop, Moses Hopkins, Joseph 
Beebe, Daniel Miner, Roderick Beebe. 

Commissi onei's of Highioays, — Samuel Benedict, Da- 
vid Russel, Moses Hopkins. 

'■' At this time Justices were appointed at Albany, by the Council 
of appointment. 


Overseers of the Poor^ — Joseph Beebe, Christopher 

ConstahU and Collector, — Jolm House, 

Signed, Asa Danforth, 

Hezekiah Scott. 
Daniel Keeler. 

The meeting at which these appointments were made 
was held at Squire Miller's on the 9th of April, 1195. 

The first annual town meeting for the election of offi- 
cers, was held at Mr. Miller's house on the 8th of April, 
1196. The following were the successful- candidates. 

Supervisor, — John Miller. 

Toi07i ClerJc, — Peter Ingersoll. 

Assessors, — Ezra Rockwell, Billy Trowbridge, Daniel 
Miner, Francis Strong, David Russel, Jacob Bishop. 

Collectors, — Roderick Beebe, Barzilla Russel. 

Overseers of the Poor, — Zera Beebe, Ozias Strong. 

Coon. Highways, — Zera Beebe, Thomas L. Bishop, 
Oliver Tuthill. 

Constables^ — Barzilla Russel, Roderick Beebe. 

Overseers of Highioays, — William Tuthill, Ebenezer 
Jones, Zera Beebe, Samuel C. Benedict, Joseph Beebe, 
Solomon Hubbard, John Morse. 

Fence Vieivers, — Elnathan Baker, George Strow- 
bridge, Johnson Bingham, David Jackson, John House, 
Moses Hopkins. 

If the officers of those da3^s were not selec*ted with 
the regularity that attends our elections at the present 
time, they were at least chosen with less of bitterness 
engendered by political knaves and unprincipled dema- 
gogues. The contests for political preferences contin- 


ued to be mild and conciliatory for many years. In 1800, 
however, the political elements throughout the State 
were greatly agitated, and in that severe struggle for 
power, the pioneers exhibited some symptoms of excite- 
ment, and shared, to a degree, in the general fever that 
pervaded the country. 

In 1196, it was agreed by vote, " that every man make 
his own pound. That hogs run at large without yokes 
or rings. 

That fences be made four feet and one half high, and 
not to exceed four inches between logs or poles." 

In 1197, it was agreed by a unanimous vote, "that 
every man in the town may provide his own pound for 
every creature that does him damage, and yet be enti- 
tled to damage the same as at the town pound. That 
hogs be free commoners. 

That three feet of sound fence shall not be more than 
five inches between earth, logs or grass." 

In 1198, it was voted, "that one inch more of space 
be allowed between earth and wood." 

A citizen of the town was not allowed to bring in or 
receive cattle from another town to keep for any period 
of time, under penalty of one dollar. 

If some of these requirements were enacted and 
strictly adhered to, at this time we do not question their 
beneficial results. At least there would be less wrang- 
ling and bitter neighborhood recriminations in conse- 
quence of poor fences and disorderly cattle. 

In 1191 the town of Homer was divided into high- 
way districts. Amos Todd and Johnson Bingham were 
Commissioners of highways. 

1798. A wolf scalp commanded a premium of from 


five to ten dollars, according to size ; bear, five dollars ; 
panther, ten dollars ; and foxes, fifty cents. 

In 1797 Homer contained ninety -t\s'0 inhabitants. 
Valuation of property reduced to dollars, $,6,670. 

On Wednesday, the 27th of May, 1794, the first meet- 
ing of the Board of Supervisors of Onondaga county, 
was held at the house of Hon. Asa Danforth, in the town 
of Manlius. Homer had not at that time been organ- 
ized, and consequently was not represented. The Board, 
however, made an estimate at random of the valuation 
of ^'property and proportion of tax for the towns of Pom- 
pey, Ulysses, Lysander and Homer. The latter was 
estimated at £500, and the proportion of tax at £6, 5s. 

The pioneers of Homer were a people who revered 
the Bible, and valued its ordinances. They brought 
with them corresponding habits. When six families 
had arrived in town, (1793,) they all convened npon the 
Sabbath day and commenced public religious worship. 
From that day to the present time, (1859,) this divine 
reverence has been continued on the Sabbath, and wc 
are assured from the most positive authority that 
there has occurred but one omission. This is a fact of 
marked significa,nce, bearing upon the character of the 
people and the prosperity of the settlement. It was a 
common saying, as emigrant families came from New 
England on to the Military Tract, if you wish to settle 
among " religionists," go to Homer. The first sermon 
in the town was pronounced by a missionary, who in a 
later period was Kev. Dr. Hilliard, of New Jersey. This 
discourse was delivered in the open air under a large 
tree upon the Hill, about one hundred rods north-east 
from the present dwelling of Eleazar Kingsbury. The 


people were collected for the purpose of raising a build- 
ing, and before the work had proceeded far, it was cur- 
rently reported among the company that a missionary 
was lending a willing hand in the work of progress, 
and soon a voice was heard calling out " a sermon, a 
sermon." Upon which a very polite invitation was ex- 
tended to the Rev. Doctor of Divinit^^to favor them with 
a discourse, and in answer to which he preached a most 
thrilling and heart-feeling discourse. The next sermon 
was preached by Elder Peter P. Roots, of the Baptist 
denomination, in Mr. Baker's barn, from tlie text, " Faith, 
Hope and Charity," 

The present generation in Plomer will do well to pause 
and look in upon these six families, on this memorable 
day of their first worship, and intelligently meditate 
upon the results of this movement, and gratefully em- 
balm their names as the benefactors of the township. 
The standard then erected has not yet been taken down. 
The banner then unfurled still waves, bearing on its 
ample folds, Grace and Glory. The incense of prayer 
from this little band was an offering accepted of God. 
The communication then and thus opened between Him 
and the people has not since been closed. Our God 
will keep his covenant forever. 

The varying views of these pioneers, touching relig- 
ious doctrine and practice, delayed for several years the 
formation of a Church. But their frequent consultations 
and protracted discussions were in good feeling, and 
they could all happily meet for worship on common 
ground. But a church organization was a necessity 
that would not stand in waiting without jeopardy to 
the spiritual welfare of the community. At length relief 


came through the sagacity of a woman. The wife of 
Lieutenant Hobart, and the mother of Deacon Jacob 
Hobart, of undying memory in the annals of Homer, 
with deep feeling intelligently weighed her responsi- 
bility in this matter. But as the custom then was, and 
still is, that females must be silent partners in business 
matters, she earnestly pressed upon her husband that 
delay should terminate, and procured from him a pledge 
that a meeting for consultation should be called, and 
that he should move that those who were so far agreed 
that they could walk together in church order, should 
at once unite in the organization of a Church. It is not 
known whom she prevailed upon to second the move- 
ment. This done, she waited before God for the result. 

This movement was sustained, and on the 12th day 
of October, 1801, the Congregational church of Homer 
was organized by the Rev. Hugh Wallace, of Solon, 
and the members resolved to maintain a Monthly Church 
Conference. Thus early, on the banks of the Tioughni- 
oga, and in the centre of Homer, was kindled a beacon 
light, to reveal to the teeming population in a wide cir- 
cuit, danger and duty in reference to their religious, 
intellectual and social interests. 

In February, 1803, Rev. Nathan B. Darrow became 
the pastor of this church, and this connection closed in 
October, 1808. In October, 1809, Rev. Elnathan Walker 
became the pastor. He was removed by death in June, 
1820. His remains were entombed in the public ceme- 
tery, and the hallowed spot was subsequently marked 
by an appropriate marble monument, bearing the follow- 
ing inscription : 


@^ Ij i s iWo n XX m t\xi 





His daughter, Tryphena, married the Rev. C. H. Reed, 
of Richmond, Virginia, one of the most able and elo- 
quent men of the age. Mr. Reed is not only a sound 
and really able speaker, but he is most emphatically an 
independent and accomplished orator. His address at 
the Atlantic Cable Jubilee in Homer was full of bold, 
pointed Southern sentiments ; and yet, proclaimed as 
they were before a Northern audience holding in the 
main opposite views, were listened to with marked at- 
tention, and elicited, at the conclusion, spontaneous ap- 

But to return from the digression. In June, 1821, 
Rev. John Keep was called to perform pastoral labors 
for this church, and, like a pious herald of the cross, 
continued ministering to the spiritual wants of the peo- 
ple until 1833, when he removed to the city of Cleveland, 

The harmony and enterprise of the Congregational 
Church and Society happily resulted in the dedication 
of a spacious and commodious house for public religious 
worship by the Middle Association of Ministers. Ser- 
mon by Rev. Mr. Darrow, June, 1807. During 1824, 
this " Meeting House" received the addition of an orna- 
mental front, a convenient vestibule, and extensive 
interior improvements. Its completion was commemo- 
rated by public religious exercises on the 23d day of 


December. Sermon by the pastor, Eev. John Keep, from 
the text, " Eejoice with trembling." This was one of 
his most happy and brilliant efforts. Strong, argumen- 
tative, yet tonchingly eloquent. When the reasons 
given for rejoicing had nearl}^ reached their culmina- 
tion, the large, well-trained choir, accompanied by a 
full-toned organ, interrupted the speaker by the anthem 
chorus — 

" Oh, be joyful in God, all ye lands." 

The early pioneers brought with them the religious 
sentiments of the New England people, and early en- 
gaged in public religious w^orship. Their meetings 
were without " denominational distinction," being at- 
tended by the religionists without regard to order or 
sect. Those holding to the Congregational sentiments 
were most numerous, and put forth the first active 
efforts for the formation of a church, and although they 
succeeded in forming the first " Religious Society in the 
town of Homer, in 1799," they were nine days later in 
the organization of the Congregational Church, than the 
Baptists were in the organization of their church, which 
was formed October 3d, 1801. For a number of years 
the Baptists were not favored with regular or stated 
preaching. There were, however, occasional sermons 
pronounced by Rev. Joseph Cornell, James Bacon, Peter 
P. Roots, and Rufus Freeman. Rev. Alfred Bennett, 
became the first permanent pastor. 

The Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in 
1833. Nelson Rounds was the first preacher. The Cal- 
vary Church in 1831. 

The Universalist Church was formed in 1839, 


The Advent Church was organized December, 1848. 
John Smith and Joseph L. Clapp, deacons. 

The officiating clergymen are Albert Bigelow, of the 
Congregational ; C. A. Clark, of the Baptist ; and Hiram 
Gee, of the Methodist. 

In 1810 the population of Homer was 2,975 

The early tradition of Homer, in many instances, is 
very obscure. In all cases we have adopted such evi- 
dence and facts as we have believed to bo the most 
authentic, to the exclusion of every item of doubtful 
character. The first house was erected on the bank of 
the Tioughnioga, in 1791, by Joseph Bebee. The first 
improvements were made the same j^ear by Amos Todd, 
west of Homer village. The first frame house was built 
for Dr. Lewis S. Owen. In 1799, the first frame barn 
was built for Col. Moses Hopkins, on lot 64, and is still 
standing. The first school-house Avas built in 1798, 
about twelve rods beyond wliere tlie railroad crosses 
the road leading to little York, and the second one on 
the north-east corner of the Green. The first grist- 
mill was erected by Asa White, John Hubbard, and 
John Keep, in 1798. Hooker Ballard was the first tailor ; 






. 6,128 













176 settl:^ent and oeganizatiox. 

Matthias Cook, the first hatter ; Aaron Knapp, the first 
carpenter ; Joshua Ballard, the first school-teacher ; 
John Osborn, the first permanent silversmith. Eleazar 
Bishop, the first blacksmith ; Rev. Nathan B. Darrow, 
the first stated preacher ; Townsend Ross, the first 
attorney and post-master ; Luther Rice, the first physi- 
cian ; Maj. Stimson, the first inn-keeper ; John Coates, 
the first merchant ; Prof. W. P. Beck, the first Daguer- 
reian artist. He built the first Daguerreian carriage in 
the State ; and is an accomplished artist. 

The first death was that of Mrs. Thomas Gould Al- 
vord. She died in 1795. The first male child born in 
town was Homer Moore. ' The first female child was 
Betsey House. The first marriage was that of Zadock 
Strong and widow Russel. The parties intended to have 
been married by Squire Stoyell, of Moravia Flats, but be- 
ing disappointed, they went to Ludlowville on horseback, 
and were united in the sacred bands by Squire Ludlow. 

In 1*198, forty dollars and seventy-eight cents were 
appropriated for the use of common schools in the town 
of Homer. 

The first "burying ground" was on a little knoll, 
about thirty rods west of the factory. 

The are but four of the old veteran pioneers now liv- 
ing, who came into Homer previous to 1800, viz.: widow 
Moses Hopkins, age seventy-nine ; Stephen Knapp, age 
eighty-one ; Zenas Lilly, age ninety ; Alpheus Hobart, 
eighty-four. The two first are in the enjoyment of their 
usual good health, and in the full possession of their 
intellectual faculties. Mr. Lill^' and Mr. Hobart are 
slowly but surely wearing away with tlie infirmities of 
age ; and yet they arc calmly and serenely awaiting 


the hour to depart. Ma^^ they go down to the silent 
tomb alike honored and respected. 

The venerable pioneers are fast passing away, and soon 
it may be said of them, " they have been, but are not." 

SoLOX. — This town originally comprised the military 
township No. 20, and was organized March 9, 1798. 

It was subsequently reduced by attaching 'the four 
northern tiers of lots to Truxton, and in 1849, by the 
erection of the town of Taylor. 

The surface of the town is considerably broken and 
diversified. The hills are generally arable, and the 
valleys rich and productive. Some of the long ridges, 
or druidical elevations, covered with the deep, thick foli- 
age of the olden forest trees, present a wild, picturesque 
and pleasing aspect. In brief, the town is well adapted 
to grazing. The staple products are butter and cheese. 

The first permanent settlement was made in Solon 
in 1794, by Roderick Beebe and Johnson Bingham. The 
former located on lot 75, on that portion which is usu- 
ally called Mount Roderick. He was originally from 
Massachusetts. The latter was a native of Connecticut, 
but came in from Vermont, and located on lot 62. He 
purchased 550 acres, reared eight children, seven of 
whom are living. He was Justice of the Peace for about 
twenty j^ears, and associate Judge for a long time. 
Died 1842, aged 79 ; his widow survives him at the age 
of 95, in the enjoyment of good health. 

William Galpin, from New Jersey, located in 1797, 
on lot 47. His stay was brief, owing to the fact of his 
having purchased and accepted a forged title. He sub- 
sequently settled in Pompey. 


It may be well to remark here, that the early settle- 
ments were mainly made in the northern and eastern 
portions of the town ; these are noticed in the history 
of Trnxton and Taylor. 

In 1799, John Welch came from Wyoming, and locat- 
ed a little to the south of Roderick Beebe. He re- 
mained a few years, and removed to Cleveland, Ohio. 

Col. Elijah Wheeler, came in from New Haven, Conn., 
in 1801, and located on lot 100. He originally pur- 
chased 100 acres. 

The venerable Capt. Stephen N. Peck, from. Stanford, 
Dutchess CO., N. Y., located in Solon, lot 62, in March, 
1804. He purchased 92 acres, and subsequently, con- 
siderably increased the area of his land. He survives 
at the age of 80 years, more than usually exempt from 
the infirmities of age. 

Garret Pritchard came from Litchfield county, Conn., 
in 1807, and located on lot 74. He came in with a pack 
on his back, having but $16,50 in money. He went to 
wol-k with a determination to carve out a fortune, and 
he has most fully succeeded. His father, haviug come 
in the previous year under greatl}^ embarrassed circum- 
stances, found it very difficult to pixy back arrearages, 
and yet succeed in a new country. His son, however, 
had the nerve and muscle to accomplish both. He 
earned and paid $500 for his father ; after which he 
located where he now lives, on lot 75. He owns up- 
wards of 500 acres of land, and is pleasantlj^ and fa- 
vorably situated. 

During the same yeav, Richard Maybury, from Lu- 
zerne, Pa., came in and located on State's Hundred, lot 
53. Purchased 100 acres. He was an industrious and 


worthy man, and has left several intelligent and valua- 
ble representatives. His children are Lewis, John, Jo- 
siah J., Elizabeth, Nancy, and Deacon Samuel. 

Henry L. Randall, from Sharon, Conn., located jn 1808, 
on lot 74:. He moved in with a two horse team, bring- 
ing with him a few of the necessary articles for immedi- 
ate use in his new home. He is now 81 years of age, 
enjoying in a remarkable degree his physical and intel- 
lectual faculties. He has remained for a full half cen- 
tury where he first settled ; has reared a family of five 
children — Henry, David, William, Linus and Orrin — 
the three former accompanied him from his Xew Eng- 
land home. 

Jonathan Rundall, from Sharon, Conn., located on lot 
74. Ebenezer Blake, from Stoddard, New Hampshire, 
settled on lot 84. He was a soldier in the American 
revolution, and was in the battle of Bunker Hill ; drew 
his land in Ohio, 

In 1810, the taxable property of Solon, as returned, 
was $99,612, and there were 110 Senatorial electors. 

In 1800 the population of Solon was 370 

1810 " " 1,263 

1814 " " 717 

1820 '' " 1,262 

1825 '* " 1,781 

1830 " *' 2,033 

1835 " " 2,103 

1840 '' " 2,311 

1845 " " 2,426 

1850 '* *' 1,150 

1855 " " 1,057 


Virgil.^ — The town of Virgil, named in honor of the 
distinguished Roman Poet, Virgil, and to whom many 
classical allusions are made, was organized April 8th, 
1804. It was No. 24 of the Military townships, surveyed 
in n90. The town presents a broken and diversified as- 
pect, and to the general observer, exhibits a great vari- 
ety of picturesque scenery. Much attention is being 
paid to the dairy business—the soil being better adapt- 
ed to grass than to the growing of grain. 

The citizens generally are prosperous and happy. 
The town, politically, morally and socially, holds an im- 
portant and commanding influence in the county, and 
compares well with that description given in the ancient 
Chinese aphorism : — 

" Where spades grow bright, and idle swords grow dull, 
Where jails are empty, and where barns are full. 
Where church paths are by frequent feet outworn. 
Law court-yards weedy, silent and forlorn, 
Where doctors foot it, and where farmers ride. 
Where age abounds, and youth is multiplied. 
Where these signs are, they truly indicate 
A happy people, and well governed State.'' 

After the tide of revolution had rolled awa3^ and the 
people were becoming comparatively happy, conflicting 
claims and unpleasant controversies were renewed, 
having a strong tendency to create bitter recriminations 
between inhabitants of adjoining" States, and especially 
those of New Hampshire, Connecticut, Massachusetts 
and New York. 

The controversy pending the conflicting claims of the 
two latter States, grew out of an antiquated and pre- 
tended or supposed right on the part of Massachusetts 


to a certain portion of land l^'ing within the boundaries 
of New York. 

In 1786, the question at issue was finally settled by 
an amicable adjustment of the differences of opinion, 
through the united exertions of Commissioners duly ap- 
pointed, and clothed with the Confederative power to 
arrange the matter in controversy, and thus silence the 
clamor w^hich had for a long time tended to create un- 
pleasant remarks, as well as to weaken the bonds of 
fraternal fellowship. The Commissioners granted to 
Massachusetts 6,144,000 acres of land, known as the 
Genesee country. This tract comprised all the land of 
the State west of a line beginning at the mouth of the 
Great Sodus Bay on Lake Ontario, and running due 
south, through the middle of Seneca lake, to the north 
line of the State of Pennsylvania, excepting one mile in 
width, the whole length of Niagara river, which was 
ceded to New York. Another tract, afterwards known 
as the Massachusetts Ten Townships, embracing 230,400 
acres of land, lying between the Owego and Che- 
nango rivers, was also ceded, without the least equiva- 
lent, to Massachusetts, reserving to New York barely 
the right of sovereignty. The former, as we have pre- 
viously stated, was sold by Massachusetts to Oliver 
Phelps and Nathaniel Gorham, for the sum of $1,000,000. 
The latter was purchased by John Brown & Co., for a 
fraction over $3,300. 

It will be observed that we have heretofore spoken 
of Virgil as township No. 24 of military lands, granted 
to the soldiers of the Pevolution. It should, however, 
be noted in this place, that the whole of the town of 
Virgil did not originally belong to the military grant. 


A strip of about 1^ miles in width from east to west, 
across its southern side, was taken from the Ten Town- 
ship grant to Massachusetts. 

Joseph Chaplin, the first permanent settler, (whose 
name has occurred in previous chapters,) located on lot 
No. 50, in It 92, but did not move on his family until two 
years later. His rude log house was erected during 
the time he was engaged in exploring and surveying 
the route for the Oxford and Cayuga lake road, prepar- 
atory to his engaging in the enterprise of constructing 
the work with which he had been entrusted * 

John M, Frank settled with his family on lot 43, 
which had been granted him for services in the Ameri- 
can Revolution, in November, 1795. 

In 1796, John Gee, from Wyoming, Pa., moved on to 
lot 21, having the previous year erected his dwelling, 
and made some other preparations for the more conven- 
ient reception of his family. He was a soldier of the 
Revolution, and was well worthy of the heroic title. His 
house was composed of logs 12 by 16. His family con- 
sisted of himself, wife, father, mother, and six children. 
Some of Mr. Gee's descendants still occupy the original 

Johe E. Roe moved in from Ulster county during the 
winter of 1797-8. The ground was covered with a 
heavy body of snow, just then dissolving beneath the 
warm nxys of the sun. The journey from the old hearth- 
stone was made in a sleigh, which contained a few of 
the more costly effects for the new house. Among these 
were a few fancy, or flag-bottomed chairs, which, unfor- 

* This road was sixty miles in length. 


tnnately, were greatly lessened in value as well as for 
service, on account of the bottoms holding out a strong 
temptation to the horses, which were tied to the sleigh, 
without food, wliile the family were resting for the 
night at Mr. Chaplin's, then within a few miles of their 
destined place of abode. The temptation was too 
strong, and consequently the chairs were freed of their 
flags, though a rather poor substitute for hay. 

A bridge had not yet been erected, consequeiitly the 
few that crossed the river were in the habit of using a 
small canoe belonging to Mr. Chaplin. The high water, 
which had suddenly risen from the effects of the dis- 
solving snow, to their great surprise had carried away 
their little water craft. The horses could swim the 
stream, but as for Mrs. Roe, her case was one of doubt- 
ful result. But the pioneers were full of expedients. 
They were men of enterprise ; and when they formed a 
plan, or resolved upon a measure, they usually had the 
will and the power to carry those plans into practical 
operation. The residence of Mr. Chaplin was on the 
opposite side of the river, and they must either secure 
shelter as best they could, where they were, for it was 
near sunset, or manage some way to get over the swol- 
len stream. As a final resort, a hog-trough belonging 
to Mr. Chaplin was floated over, and Mrs. Roe, with the 
courage of an experienced tar — a true son of the ocean, 
— seated herself in the frail craft, and passed over with 
entire safety. Mr. Roe and his team next made an 
effort at crossing, and though it was hard swimming, 
the horses succeeded in reaching the opposite shore 
without injury. A three year old heifer, the only cow 
they possessed, and which had followed the sleigh from 


Ulster, was still behind. But she had no notion of being 
left, and after making a few flourishes with her head, 
leaped into the water, and tlfter a powerful effort, stood 
on terra firma, on the other side of the river. 

The next morning they set out for their intended 
home ; the weather was unpleasant, and the snow still 
quite deep ; and besides this, there was no track to fol- 
low, and in truth, we might as well saj^, no road. It 
was a long and tedious day, for the sun was just disap- 
pearing behind the ancient hills as they drew near their 
uninviting house, the body of which had been put up by 
Mr. Roe the previous spring. He had hewed and put 
down a plank floor, and prepared bark for the roof, 
which, according to an arrangement, was to have been 
put on by an individual who resided in Homer. But, 
contrary to his expectation, Mr. Roe found his house in 
the precise state of completion in which he had left it. 
He had triumphed over every other obstacle, and was 
not now to be disheartened, though greatly disappoint- 
ed. The snow was full two feet deep in the house ; 
this, however, was soon shoveled out, or at least a por- 
tion of it. A fire w^as built against the logs, and thus 
commenced their first unpropitious attempts at house- 
keeping in their long looked for, and at length inauspi- 
cious achievement, in their forest home. 

The next year, (1198,) there were a number of addi- 
tional families who came in and settled in different parts 
of the town. Among these were James Bright, James 
Knapp, Bailey, John and James Glcnny, and Wait Ball. 

In 1799, Enos Bouton, Dana Miles, John Lucas, Henry 
Wells, Jared Thorn, and Primus Gault came in and se- 
lected locations. 


During the year 1800, James Wright, John Calvert, 
James Sherwood, Peter Jones, Seth Larabee, John Ellis, 
Oren Jones, Moses Rice, Abial Brown, Jason Crawford 
and Moses Stevens were added to the new settlements. 

In 1801, Daniel Edwards, Nathaniel Boutin, Prince 
Freeman and James Clark came in and settled in vari- 
ous parts of the town. 

In 1802 the settlement was increased by Jonathan 
Edwards, Samuel Carson, Alexander Hunter, George 
Wright, Abner and Ezra Bruce, William Lincoln, and 
Peter Gray ; and in 1803, Moses Olmstead, Peter Pow- 
ers, John I. Gee, Andrew Van Buskirk and Dorastus 

In 18i)4, Silas Lincoln, Alexander M'Nist, Obadiah 
Gilbert, Lemuel Barnes, Peter Tanner and Jeremiah 
Shevalier came in, selecting locations in different parts 
of the town. 

In 1805, Isaac Barton, Jotham Glazier, Simeon Luce, 
Zophar Moore, Oliver Ball and Isaac Elwell became 
resident settlers ; and the next year John Hill, John 
Green, Zachariah Squires land others came in and lo- 

From this time the settlements increased more rapidly. 
The soil, though not of the very best quality, was not 
of the most inferior kind. Perseverance and a strictly 
economical mode of living produced w^onderful results. 
It required active and laborious exertions to subdue the 
wild forest and convert the wilderness into fruitful and 
productive fields. Had the virgin soil yielded various 
valuable productions like many portions of the sunny 
South, without any effort on the part of the proprietors 
of the soil, and where indoljcnce is most proverbial 


among' the people, the inhabitants of the new settle- 
ments would undoubtedly have exhibited less energy, 
less enterprise, and would, as a natural result, have 
been indolent and imbecile. The case was, however, 
quite the contrary. The pioneers of that early period, 
and those who warred with the old forest monarchs who 
had reigned from three to five and even six hundred 
years on the Virgil hills and valleys, were composed of 
materials that could brook misfortune, discouragement, 
and the numerous trials and hardsliips, the natural re- 
sults of the first attempts of planting new settlements 
in a wild and almost unbroken wilderness, swarming 
with voracious animals, eager, anxious to lap their 
tongues in the warm blood of some unfortunate victim. 
The word "discouragement'' did not belong to their 
vocabulary. What know we of the present day of the 
toils, privations, and sufferings, through which our 
fathers and mothers passed, when they thus early struck 
their tents in the forest, deprived of the many luxuries 
and conveniences wdiich we so freely and fully enjoy 1 
They did not repine, though they of necessity were com- 
pelled to erect their houses of logs, cover them with 
bark, split logs for their rtide floors, using paper win- 
dows, wooden trenchers, pine slab tables, crack their 
grain in a mortar, or journey forty or fifty miles to a 
grist-mill ; and then, perhaps, if not fortunate enough 
to have a span of horses, which few did, trail along with 
a yoke of oxen, attached to a dray, loaded with a small 
quantity of corn or wheat, Avinding by w^ay of an Indian 
footpath around the sedgy marsh, fording streams, as- 
cending the hill-side, and again descending into the 
valley, camping out night after night ; or, peradventure, 


if still less fortunate, impelled by the wants of the dear 
ones at home, with three pecks of corn thrown over his 
shoulder, and a cold lunch in his pocket, he starts off 
on a wandering tour to a mill at Chenango Point, Lud- 
lowville, or Manlius Square. 

When Mr. Agar came into the town and located near 
the little streamlet that runs gurgling through the 
rocky ledge, leaping the cascade, and dancing in the 
sunlight as it enters the Tioughnioga, he had but a cow, 
an axe and an auger to help himself with. Mrs. Agar 
was, if possible, quite as poorly provided with articles 
for housekeeping. Instead of marble tables, foreign 
sofas, rosewood chairs, Brussels carpets, etc., Mrs. Agar's 
furniture consisted of a hewed slab elevated on four legs 
for a table, square blocks for chairs, and a corn husk 
rug in lieu of an elegant carpet. Chips served the pur- 
pose of plates, and a bake kettle for an oven, dish ket- 
tle, water and milk-pail, as well as for soup-dish, a fry- 
ing-pan and a coffee-pot. And yet we are told that they 
enjoyed life and finally became wealthy. While reflect- 
ing on the inventive power of this self-sacrificing wo- 
man, we cannot help comparing her genius with that 
of Joseph Chamberlain, who emigrated from Herkimer 
county in 1806, and located in Steuben. He was the 
owner of a dog, a cow, and an axe. He did not possess 
a single article generally used about the kitchen, or 
upon the most common table. But he had both tact and 
genius ; and these were speedily brought into requisi- 
tion. His cow must be milked, but into what kind of a 
vessel was a problem which he alone seemed prepared 
to solve. Near his cabin might have been seen the trunk 
of a common-sized tree. Into this he had cut a small 


notch, or basio. Morning and night he would drive his. 
cow astride of this log and milk her into this rudely 
constructed vessel. Standing at a little distance, the 
observer might see him crumb his roasted bread into the 
milk, which he ate with a wooden spoon. 

There are many touching incidents connected with 
the early history of Virgil, which might be both inter- 
esting and instructive, as they exhibit most fully the 
noble independence and moral greatness of the early 
pioneers, and evince most evidently the necessity for 
decisive action in all great enterprises, whether moral, 
social, or political. We regret that our limits will not 
allow of extended comments. 

The first town m.eeting after Virgil was organized 
(1804), was held at the house of James Knapp, on the 
2d of April, 1805, when the following officers were duly 
elected : 

Supervisor, — Moses Rice. 

Tovyn Clerk, — Gideon Messenger. 

Assessors, — Abner Bruce, John Gee, Joseph Chap- 

Commissione7's of Highxoays — John Glenny, George 
Wigant, John I. Gee. 

Poor Masters, — Jonathan Edwards, Peter Powers, 

Constable and Collector, — Shubel S. Marsh. 

Fence Vieioers, — Moses Olmstead, Abial Brown. 

The fixst Justice of the Peace was James Glenny. He 
was appointed in 1802 by the Commissioners of appoint- 
ment at Albany. 

The first post-office was established in 1808, and 
Zophar Moore appointed post-master. 

The first school-house was erected in 1799, near the 


present residence of J. C. Hutchings. Charles Joyce 
was the first teacher. 

The first merchant was Daniel Shelden. When the 
news of the arrival of his goods spread through the set- 
tlement, it was received with great interest, and consid- 
ered as an important event in the annals of Virgil. 

The first saw-mill was built by Daniel Edwards, in 

The first grist-mill was erected in 1805, by Peter 
Vanderlyn and Nathaniel Knapp. The erection of this 
mill was regarded as a work of valuable importance. 
The inhabitants had previously been compelled to pro- 
cure the grinding of their grain at Chenango Point, 
(now Binghamton,) or Ludlowville, near the east shore 
of the Cayuga lake. We have heard of numerous in- 
stances of individuals carrying the grain upon their 
backs to the latter place, a distance of twenty-four 

The first carding machine was put in operation by a 
Mr. Baker, in the latter part of the year 1814. 

The first public burying ground was deeded to the 
town in 1806, by George Wigant. The first tombstone 
was erected in 1823, to the memory of an esteemed and 
worthy citizen, James Koe. 

The first cider was made by Enos Bouton in 1819. It 
commanded four dollars per barrel. The apples were 
bruised by a pestle hung to a "spring sweep ;" and the 
juice was extracted by means of a very simple lever 

The inhabitants seem to have taken considerable in- 
terest in elevating the standard of education. There 
were gentlemen with warm hearts and active minds 


laboring to advance the interests of the school-room. 
A grammar school was first taught in 1819, by Henry 
J. Hall. 

In 183t the *' Literary Institute" was organized. It 
continued until. 1845, having been successfully taught 
byN. Bouton and William^E. Gee. Various other schools 
flourished from time to time. 

The " Virgil Library" was established in 1807, and 
another, with a capital of two hundred dollars, was or- 
ganized under the name of the " Virgil Union Library," 
in 1814. 

The first Sabbath school was organized in 1822. 

The first religious meeting was held in 1802. 

The Congregational organization was completed Feb. 
28,1805. There were then eight members. Rev.. Seth 
Williston presided. 

The Baptist Church was organized in 180t. 

The Free or Open Communion Baptist in the south- 
cast part of the town, was constituted in 1820 ; and that 
of the Free Baptist Church in the west part, was or- 
ganized in 1822. 

The Methodist organization took place in 1826 or 
1827. Their church was built in 1831. 

The Universalists organized into an Association in 

The Christian Church was formed, in 1828. 

The first physician was Elijah Hartson. 

The first child born in town was a son of Mr. Chaplin. 

The first death was that of a stranger, Charles Huff- 
man, who died in April, 1798, in the woods, while at- 
tempting to travel from Ebenezer Brown's, in Lansing, 
(then Milton,) to Mr. Chaplin's. 


The first death of a resident settler was that of Mrs. 
Derosel Gee, in March, 1802. She was the wife of one of 
the heroic soldiers of the French Revolution of lt54-63. 
He was a man of iron frame and active mind, and could 
repeat tales of the tented field, of blood and carnage, 
that would never fail to send the blood curdling to the 

The first marriage occurred in 1800. The parties 
were Ruluff Whitney, of Dryden, and Susan Glenny, of 
Virgil. The event was regarded with more than usual 
interest, and formed an era, or starting point, from 
which future events were to be dated. And it is 
worthy of remark, that when we were collecting our 
historical materials, we frequently met with individuals, 
who, when interrogated with reference to certain points, 
would immediately refer to the marriage of Miss Glenny 
in 1800, and then figure backward or forward, as the 
case might be, and thus arrive at what they concluded 
to be positive periods of time, or certain points of fact. 

In the autumn of 1853 a Town Agricultural Society 
was organized, and held its first annual Fair in 1854. 
The result was commensurate with its importance. In 
1857 it was reorganized, according to the act of 1855, 
passed to facilitate and encourage the formation of 
Agricultural Societies. During that year a beautiful 
piece of ground was obtained on a lease, and a fence, 
enclosing upwards of four acres in a square form, was 
erected ; as also, a building for the exhibition of dairy 
products, home manufactures, and needlo-work. The 
building has since been enlarged ^d improved. A 
spirit of enterprise has been awakened in the town, and 
its example has been followed by some surrounding 


towns and localities, in the formation of similar 

In 1846 Virgil was divided into three towns ; the 
north half constituted one, and retained the original 
name. The south half was formed into two ; the w^est 
received the name of Harford, and the east that of 
Lapeer. Since that time a part of Virgil has been set 
to Cortlandville, and another part, consisting of lot No. 
20, has been attached to Freetown.* 

In 1810, six years after its organization, the popula- 
tion numbered 913. There were seventy-seven Senato- 
rial electors, and the whole amount of taxable property 
was $84,351. 

In 1198 the population of Vigil was 30 

1810 " " 906 


CiNciNNATUs was ouc of the original townships (No. 
25,) of the Military Tract ; located by act of Legisla- 
ture of New York, in 1786, to which reference was 
made in a previous chapter. It originally contained 
100 lots, or 04,0(jlli acres of land. It was organized April 

* See Festive Gathering of Early Settlers, by Hon. Nathan Boiiton, 
the able and popular pioneer annalist of Virgil — page 31. 











8th, ] 804, and retained its original limits until April 
21st, 1818, when it was reduced by the erection of Free- 
town, Willet and Marathon. Freetown was taken from 
the north-west quarter, Willet from the south-east, and 
Marathon from the western portion of the township. 

The settlement of Cincinnatus commenced in 1195. 
The inducements were not of that flattering character 
which were calculated to attract the earlier attention 
of intelligent and enterprising pioneers. The lands 
were not regarded as being of the most productive 
character. In this respect,- however, great changes 
have resulted from the labors of industrious agricultur- 
ists. And although the general quality of the soil does 
not equal the rich flats washed by the glassy waters of 
the Tioughnioga, or surpass the more elevated lands of 
Homer, Preble, or Scott ; yet it is quite certain that great 
improvements have been made, and that farmers are 
reaping the rich rewards that spring from the indus- 
trious pursuits of life. Much of the surface of this 
town is hilly, though by no means mountainous. The 
soil is of various qualities, generally better adapted to 
grass than grain, a fact which appears to be well un- 
derstood by the dairymen, for we have the most positive 
authority for asserting that some of the very best speci- 
mens of butter, which find their wa}^ into Washington 
Market, New- York, are made in Cincinnatus. 

Previous to 1798, when a grist-mill was erected at 
Homer, the citizens of Cincinnatus were in the habit of 
going to Chenango Forks, Ludlowprille, or Manlius 
Square, with drays loaded with wheat and corn, drawn 
by oxen, to get their grinding done. If the reader 
desires to understand how these drays were con- 


structed, it will only be necessary for us to state that 
they were made from the crotches of trees, having a 
few boards or cross pieces attached to them by means 
of pins. They were usually from six to eight feet in 
length, and, as we are informed, from eight to ten 
bushels made a very respectable load. In more modern 
times, the drag«, and even stone-boats, were similarly 

The settlement of Cincinnatus commenced in lt95, 
under the auspices of John Kingman, Thadeus Rock- 
well, Zurial Raymond, Dr. John McWhorter, Ezra Rock- 
well, and Samuel Vining. Mr. Kingman was a native 
of Massachusetts, born in Wethersfield, October 5, 17tO. 
With an ordinary education, he left home at the age of 
sixteen, and learned the shoemaker's trade with Mr. 
McGee, an Irishman, who carried on the business in 
Sheffield. At the age of twenty-five he came to Cincin- 
natus, and located where he now lives, on lot 19. He 
had never worked at farming, and consequently pur- 
chased originally only fifteen acres. He possessed a 
strong physical frame, and was an active and energetic 
man. He busied himself in clearing his land in the day- 
time, and in making shoes and boots during the early 
portion of the night ; in this way he paid for much 
of his hired help. He subsequently made different pur- 
chases, until he had secured 150 acres — which is now 
owned by his sons Charles, George, and John. In a 
military capacity, he rose from 2nd Corporal in a compa- 
ny of infantry to Colonel. He was supervisor of Cincin- 
natus for eleven successive years ; and held numerous 
other town offices. He has reared a very intelligent 
family of children : Leroy W. resides in Owego, Tioga 


county ; Lyman, in Groton, Tompkins county ; and 
Oliver, Charles, and George I., at Cincinnatus. All 
have been merchants ; and it is worthy of remark, that 
neither of them ever failed in business, and are there- 
fore enjoying the well-earned fruits of their own indus- 
tr3^ Oliver, John and George have been members of the 
Legislature ; the former was an associate Judge from 
1828 to 1846. Leroy, at the time of writing, is the popu- 
lar county clerk of Tioga county. The Rockwells were 
from Lenox, Massachusetts. Ezra first located in Solon, 
now Taylor, in 1793, but in '95 removed to Cincinnatus 
and settled on lot 19 — purchased 100 acres. Thadeus 
settled on lot 9. Mr. Raymond was from Williamstown, 
Massachusetts. He located on lot 29, on a revolution- 
ary claim, which he had the fortune to secure through 
his wife, Widow Young. Dr. McWhorter came in from 
Oxford, Chenango county. He married the step-daugh- 
ter of Mr. Raymond, a very interesting and accom- 
plished lady. This was the first wedding that occurred 
in Cincinnatus. Thomas Rockwell told us that at the 
time referred to, there was no person there authorized 
to marry, and consequently a clergyman was employed 
to come from Oxford and officiate. This done, another 
difficulty arose, but was easily overcome. The clergy- 
man had no authorit^^ to marry out of the county of Che- 
nango ; and hence the company, pioneered by Thos. 
Rockwell, marched out and as they supposed crossed 
over the border line into Chenango, but, in reality, had 
not reached the then limits of Onondaga. They had, 
however, approached a romantic spot, such as the mar- 
vellous would presume to be the retreat of sylphs and 
nymphs ; and there, beneath the pavilioned sky, in the 


midst of the unbroken forest, on a beautiful moss-cov- 
ered heath, the happy couple were duly and appropri- 
ately married. Dr. McWhorter was a man of more than 
ordinary ability ; was an active and prominent politi- 
cian, and was at different periods elevated to responsible 
positions. From 1804 to November 8, 1808, he was 
a member of the New York Assembly. He also held, by 
appointment, the office of surrogate. He reared a large 
family of children ; three are now living. One is the 
wife of Burton Wakeman, son of Judge Wakeman, of 
Pitcher, — a gentleman of respectability and fortune. 
Another daughter resides on the Genesee Flats, and 
a son, Zurial McWhorter, near Buffalo. 

Phineas Sergeant, from Oxford, in 1196 came to Cin- 
cinnatus, and was employed as a kind of general job 

Charles De Belle was from Berksliire, Massachusetts. 
He located in It 97, on lot 9. He died in 1854. Mrs. 
De Belle is still living, and is remarkably active and 
healthy. She is eighty-three years old, yet frequently 
walks upwards of a mile — not of necessity, but from 
preference — to visit her brother, Thomas Rockwell, of 
Taylor. Mr. De Belle left five children, all in good cir- 
cumstances. Their names are Truman, Polly, Sophro- 
nia, Francis, and John. 

Jesse Locke, from Oxford, settled about 1800, on lot 
19. Of his family or fortune in life, we have no partic- 

The Wj^oming Indians occasionally visited the valley, 
(Otselic,) during the few first years after the settlement 
commenced. The Onondagas and Oneidas, also, made 
periodical visits. In 1796, forty of the Oneidas camped 


on the ground occupied by the Brick store ; and during 
the fall and winter they killed forty-two bears. The 
oil they preserved in some of the larger intestines, and 
used it in cooking their meats. Soon after Col. King- 
man began to improve his land they erected their cab- 
ins farther down the river. He informed us that they 
were very peaceable, and well disposed towards their 
white neighbors. 

The inhabitants exhibited considerable public spirit 
in their efforts to establish and render beneficial the 
common schools, which claimed their early attention. 
Public religious worship did not commence at as early 
a period as in many of the sister towns. This, however, 
w^as not owing to any lack of moral culture or religious 
belief on the part of the people, but should be ascribed 
to circumstances beyond their control. 

The Union Congregational Society of Cincinnatus and 
Solon was organized November 18th, 1822. The trus-. 
tees were John L. Boyd, Barak Niles, John Covert. J 
Clerk, Barak Niles. Presiding officers, Oliver Kingman, 
Barak Niles. 

The first sermon ever preached within the original 
limits of Cincinnatus, was pronounced by Dr. Williston, 
of the Congregational order. It was delivered in a log 
barn, from the text, " Hear ye." 

James Tanner was the first merchant. The first mil- 
ler, Benjamin Wilson. The first store was erected by 
Col, John Kingman, on ground now covered by the 
Brick store. The first school-house was built by Mr. 
Kingman, and stood a short distance south of his house. 
The first frame house was erected for Dr. John M'Whor- 
ter, about 1802. The first school was taught by Miss 
Hepsy Beebe. 



In 1810 the population of Cincinn 






















Much of the matter rightfully belonging to Cincinna- 
tus, will be found in our sketches of Freetown, AVillet, 
and Marathon. 

Preble was organized April 8, 1808, from the original 
south half of the old military to wu ship of Tully. In 
1815 it was reduced to its present limits by the erection 
of the town of Scott. 

The standard of civilization was first erected in the 
town of Preble, in 1796, by James Cravat and John 
Gill. The former was a native of Connecticut, but mi- 
grated from Pompey Hill, and located on lot 68. The 
latter located on lot *I6. Samuel and Robert Cravath 
came from Norfolk, Conn, in 1197, and settled on lot 68. 
Harry Hill and Elijah Mason came in during the year 
1198. The former was from Montgomery co., N. Y., 
and located on lot 87, which he drew for Revolutionary 
services. The latter, settled on lot 78. Seth Trow- 
bridge, from Montgomery county, located in the early 
part of 1799 on lot 59 ; and during the next 3^ear, Sam- 
uel Trowbridge, Miimah Hyatt, and Samuel Orvis settled 
on the same lot. Trowbridge served in the Revolution 


and drew the lot. Widow Trowbridge, of Homer, mother 
of Mrs. Oliver Glover, was a daughter of Mr. Hyatt. 
Mr. Orvis was from Norfolk, Conn. He subsequently 
removed to Prattsburg, Steuben county, where he died in 
1851, at the advanced age of ninety-eight years. His 
surviving children are Reuben S., now living in Hast- 
ings, Oswego count3^ Phebe, (Lee,) Clarissa and Eliza 
reside at Prattsburg. 

In 1801, Augustus Thorp located on lot 78. In 1802 
Jabez B. Phelps, John Osgood, Silas Topping, and Sam- 
uel C. Buckelow came in and sel-ected various locations. 
Judge Phelps was originally from Hebron, Conn., but 
came to Preble from Cazenovia. He located on lot 
88. For the first few years he practised medicine, and 
was honored with the title of Doctor, but he subse- 
quently turned his attontion to politics, and was at dif- 
ferent periods elevated to important positions, and 
creditably filled the office of Associate Judge, Surrogate, 
and member of Assembly. He died December 20th, 
1850, aged seventy -four years. His widow is seventy- 
eight years of age, and is in the enjoyment of excellent 
health. Mr. Phelps reared ten children, seven of whom 
are now living — three in Ohio. Sophronia is the wife 
of Charles Clark of Groton ; Laura Jane is Mrs. Dr. 
Burdick ; Augusta is Mrs. Harry Hobart, of Truxton ; 
Lydia married Dr. Alfred Hall, of Navarino, Onondaga 
county ; Amanda is tlie wife of Hon. Ezekiel Chew, of 
Richland, Ohio ; Abram J., of Newark, in the same 
State ; Lydia, wife of Dr. Hall, of Onondaga ; and 
Calvin B., of Chrysoline, Ohio. 

Osgood settled on lot t7, Buckelow on 67, and Top- 
ping on 96. In 1802, Lytle Ferguson, from Montgomery 


county, located on lot 65. He purchased one hundred 
and nineteen acres; reared seven children — six of whom 
survive him. His sons are Michael, William, Thomas, 
Elias, and Lytle. 

In 1803, Amos Skeel and Jason Comstock came in 
from Schenectady county, and selected locations. The 
former settled on lot 59. He was an industrious and 
valuable citizen. He died in 1842, at the age of seventy- 
five years. His widow survived him eleven years, and 
died at the advanced age of eighty-eight. He was the 
father of Hon. Ira Skeel, as also of William W. The 
former lives in Preble ; the latter has but recently re- 
move4 to Homer. His son William is at present a prom- 
inent citizen and public officer of Jefferson county, Mis- 
souri. Mr, Comstock located on lot 58. His daughter 
Saloma is the wife of D. G. Duncan. In 1804, John 
Callyer, Dr. Robert D. Taggart, and Edward Cummings, 
selected locations. Callyer, father of Casper Callyer, 
came from Greene county, and settled on lot 58. Tag- 
gart came from Colerain, and located on lot 59. He was 
an exceedingly active and prominent man. Cummings, 
came in from Peterboro, N. H,, and settled on lot 59. 
He purchased one hundred acres, and reared a respect> 
able family of thirteen children — eleven of which are 
now living — seven of whom are sons residing in Preble. 

In 1806 several additional settlements were made. 
Garret Van Hoesen and his sons — Garret, Francis and 
Albert — came in from Greene county and located on 
lot 68. He purchased of James Cravat, the original 
settler of the lot, three hundred and fifty acres at twelve 
dollars and fifty cents per acre. Garret and Francis are 
still living on the lot ; the former at the advanced age 


of ninety, and the latter at eighty-two years. William 
Vaudenburgh, from the same county, located on lot 17- 
.He was the father of Lambert and Richard : the latter 
lives on lot 85 in Scott. John 0. HoUenbeck and Rich- 
ard Egbertson, also from Greene county, located about 
the same time on lot 58. Mr. HoUenbeck left two sons, 
— Abram and John, — and one daughter. John occupies 
the homestead. The daughter, Mary, is now widow Bee- 
man, of Tully. A daughter of Mr. Egbertson is the wife 
of David Beeman. Tunis Van Camp, from Schoharie 
county, located on lot 69. The farm is now owned by 
Frederick Poor. His son John lives in Tully. 

In 180T, Rier Van Patten, from Schenectady, located 
on lot 56. His children are Mrs. Martin Vanderwarker, 
Mrs. Mary Ann Hobart, Asenath, now widow Egbert- 
son, John K. and James S. The latter lives in St. 
Charles, Illinois. 

The town of Preble presents a broken and diversified 
aspect. The western portion exhibits several abrupt 
and high elevations, the highest point of which is Mount 
Topping. There are numerous legendary reminiscences 
treasured up in the minds of some of the old sachems 
of the Iroquois tribe, which give a somewhat prominent 
feature to this rugged miniature mountain. Here the 
bear, the wolf, and the panther were driven from their 
strongholds, or made to pay a forfeiture of their lives 
for their unbecoming temerity. An old scarred warrior, 
of the seventeenth century, having pitched his hunting 
camp at the eastern base of this high point of land, was" 
suddenl}^ aroused from a sound sleep, about the middle 
of a cold December night, by the scream of an enormous 
panther, which had been attacked by a dr^ve of hungry 


wolves. Springing from his pallet of dried skins, and 
seizing his French rifle, which had been given him by a 
young Adirondack chieftain, and which had often before 
done him good service, and creeping stealthily to the 
door, which he opened with the utmost care, to his sur- 
prise he beheld the fiery orbs of three ferocious animals. 
Levelling Long Tom, a leaden missile made a death 
lodgment in the brain of the panther. The wolves re- 
treated a few rods, and as hastily returned, for they had 
already got a scent of the fresh blood that freely flowed 
from the dead animal, now secured within the unadorned 
walls of the hunter's tent. The purple current was 
soon lapped up, and then the midnight air resounded 
with the discordant howls of the more than half enraged 

But hark ! the terrific howl is answered from Mount 
Topping, and reechoed in mournful expression as it dies 
away on the other side of the Tioughnioga. And now, 
while the hungry pack are hurrying down the mountain 
glade, the unterrified red man sits smoking his pipe, 
with all the coolness of a Roman knight. A few mo- 
ments elapse, and they have snufi'ed the scent of blood, 
and are yelling around the pent-up confines of the stern 
old man. The muzzle of Long Tom presently appears 
emerging from the port hole, belching fire and lead; and 
though he spoke in an authoritative tone, and silenced 
forever the voice of ©ne, he did not frighten away the 
voracious clan. But Long Tom continued to emerge at 
various intervals from the unnoticed embrasures, until 
seven wolves were weltering in their blood. A few 
escaped with broken limbs to the mountain gorge. 

The first school which had any important bearing on 


the moral habits and intellectual training of the chil- 
dren, was taught by Miss Ruth Thorp, in 1801. Under 
the old organization, when Preble was a part of Tully, 
Moses Nash furnished the settlers with goods from his 
little store, established at Tully Village in 1803. Two 
years after, he was succeeded by John Meeker, who 
greatly extended the limits of commercial intercourse 
with the hardy pioneers of the country. A public house 
was opened in 1802. In 1803, when Tully was orga - 
ized, several of the early settlers of that portion of the 
town of Tully, afterwards comprised in the town of 
Preble, were elected to responsible town offices. Among 
these were the Cravaths. Mr. Nash, after disposing of 
his mercantile interest, located in Indiana, and at a 
later period came within one vote of an election to the 
gubernatorial chair of that State. 

Previous to the establishment of a post-office at Preble 
Corners, about 1812, the then central point of Tully, the 
settlers received their letters, papers, &c., from Pompey 
Hill. The first dwelling-house was erected by James 
Cravath, in 1798. 

In 1804, public religious worship was commenced by 
the organization of the Congregational church in Tully, 
and consisted of eleven members. It was organized 
through the active and zealous efforts of the Reverends 
Theodore Hinsdale and Joel Hale, who were missiona- 
ries from Connecticut. This association, at a subsequent 
period, assumed the name of the First Presbyterian 
Church of Preble. In its infancy it was connected with 
the Middle Association ; but, on the dissolution of that 
organization, it was assigned to the Presbytery of On- 
ondaga, and at a still later period, to that of Cortland. 


Rev. Matthew Harrison, its first pastor, entered upon 
his labors in 1812. Reverends Enoch Bouton, L. Weld, 
A. P. Clark, G. K. Clark, W. Jones, B. F. Foltse, E. H. Pay- 
son, and W. W. Collins, severally ministered to the spirit- 
ual wants of the people up to 1825, when there were 
seventy-seven members. Three years after, the number 
had increased to one hundred and nineteen. Twelve 
years later, there were two hundred and ten members. 
The next year (1841) eighty of its members withdrew 
and finally organized themselves under the appellation 
of the " First Free Church" in Preble, and might prop- 
erly be termed Unionists. 

The Baptist Association, organized at an early period 
with but fourteen members, owes its origin to Elder 
Abbott, the first spiritual teacher of that order, who 
labored ardently in his eiforts to impart public religious 
instruction. The church is now under the charge of 
Elder Capron. 

The Methodist organization dates back to 182t, and 
was formed by Calvin Winslow. Elder Sayers was the 
first stated preacher. He was followed by the ever to 
be remembered Elder Puffer, who was appropriately 
termed " Old Chapter and Verse." It was a custom of 
his to omit naming any chapter or verse upon which 
his public discourses were based. We recollect of his 
telling us, in our earlier days, that, if the Bible, through 
some unexpected revolution, should be destroyed, he 
could re-write every chapter, verse, and even word, 
in their appropriate order and place. 

The dairy business is being regarded with much 
more attention than in former years ; and consequently, 
the high lands are greatly improved, not only in value, 


but in their general appearance. The rich Preble Flats 
are hardly surpassed, for fertility and beauty, by any in 
the county. 

From the highest elevation of Mount Topping, portions 
of Onondaga, Cayuga, and Tompkins may be seen, 
with their varying scenery, blending the beauties of 
rich productive fields with the more rugged features of 
nature. Standing on that lofty point, the observer may 
have a fine view of Homer, Preble, and Tully Flats — 
lands that will compare favorably with any in the State* 
And there, too, he may view with admiration and won- 
der the work of Deity, as exhibited in the numerous 
ridges and long sloping valleys, the rounded knolls and 
picturesque dales, all richly diversified, and producing 
in abundance the various crops common to the country. 
Indeed, there are many magnificent views to be taken 
from this rugged point, as it looms up in all its ancient 
grandeur. We were most agreeably surprised with our 
visit to this olden spot of Indian warfare, where the red 
man contested the right of inheritance with the wild 
beasts of the mountain glen, or forest glade. Had we, 
in our childhood, given a willing ear to the marvellous, 
when one of our far-famed orators endeavored to instil 
into our mind the fanciful stories of fairy lore, we 
should, we opine, not hesitate to imagine that the re- 
treat of sylphs and nymphs was somewhere about this 
romantic mount. 

Amos Skeel was the first supervisor and justice of the 
peace ; Garret Van Hoesen, the first town clerk ; Sam- 
uel Taggart, the first constable. 

The first marriage was that of Amos Bull to Sally 
Mason, in 1199. The first birth, Nancy Gill, October 


25, 1196. The first death was that of John Patterson, 
1198. The first permanent merchant was Noah Parsons, 
at Preble Centre, 181T. The first grist-mill was erected 
in 1806, by Samuel C. Woolston, a native of Montgom- 
ery county. In 182t the building was taken down, and 
the main part of the present mill erected on the original 
site. In 1853, the mill property and farm, comprising 
two hundred acres of valuable land, were purchased by 
W. E. Tallman, formerly an enterprising citizen of Tully. 
The mill was thoroughly renovated and improved by 
the replacing of new bolts and an additional run of 
stone. He has extended a line of shafting to his barn, a 
distance of three hundred and sixty feet, where the 
power is used for threshing, separating grain, elevating 
straw, shelling corn, and sawing wood, requiring less 
than half the usual number of hands to do the same 
amount of work. What a vast amount of hard labor is 
thus saved I What an improvement is thus suggested 
to other mill proprietors ! Mr. Tallman has also re- 
cently purchased a water-power about thirty-eight rods 
below the mill ; and he is new engaged in running 
a shaft back to his mill (six hundred and twenty-seven 
feet), where it will be connected with an extra run of 
stone, thus enabling him to use a portion of the water a 
second time, — another important suggestion to mill- 
owners ; and it is with this view that we have thus 
freely spoken with reference to this valuable mill prop- 
erty, as well as to the enterprising efiforts of Mr. 


In 1810 the population of Preble was 1,179 

1814 " " 1,311 

1820 " " 1,25*1 

1825 " " l,32t 

1830 *' " 1,435 

1835 '' " 1,408 

1840 *' " 1,247 

1845 " " 1,325 

1850 " *' 1,312 

1855 " " 1,219 

In 1810 there were in Preble ninety-four Senatorial 
electors ; the taxable property $54,710. 

Truxton. — The town of Truxton was organized from 
the south half of the military town of Fabius, April 8, 
1808. It also embraces four tiers of lots taken from the 
north part of Solon. 

As we look back over the dim vestiges of the past, 
and behold the hardy pioneer of civilization- penetrating 
the boundary line which now marks the northern limits 
of Cortland county, we feel that his was a hazardous 
effort, and that a great amount of energy must have 
been embraced in his enterprising and wild, romantic 
character. Doubts and fears had little or no influence 
upon his mind, for he was one of those energetic char- 
acters of quick and discerning mind, — and bold, resolute 
actors who, when having resolved upon a purpose, 
allow no mere probable contingency to deter them 
from the accomplishment of the enterprise. The foot- 
prints of civilization had not then penetrated into this 
then dense wilderness. True, the French traders had 
visited the Indians in their rude cabins, and even estab- 


lished trading-posts ; but these had disappeared with 
time and change, and the confines of the now county of 
Cortland were invaded only by the red man in his hunt- 
ing garb, or as he went forth upon some stealthy march. 
The panther, the wolf, the bear, and the deer, roamed 
free as the mountain bird, without dreaming of the hor- 
rid crusade that was about to be waged against them. 
Yet through the deep, thick forest of hemlock, maple, 
elm, and basswood, wandered the bold, resolute pioneer, 
Samuel C. Benedict, who, in the fall of 1793, located on 
lot 12. He erected a log-citadel, and christened it — 
" Home." 

In 1T94 Nathaniel Potter, Jonah Stiles, Christopher 
Whitney, David Morse and Benjamin Brown came in 
and selected various locations. Potter was from Sara- 
toga county, New York. He purchased lots 7t, 86, and 
96. He erected a small house on lot 96, near the State 
bridge. In July, 1798, he was suddenly killed by the 
fall of a tree. Stiles came from Ruport, Vermont, and 
located on lot 4. He purchased one hundred acres, now 
owned and occupied by Samuel Freeman. He died in 
1840. His daughter Julia married John Wicks ; Sophia, 
Alexander Forbes, of Litchfield, Ohio ; Jonah lives at 
Seville, in the same State ; Samuel, at Franklin, in Dela- 
ware county, New York ; and Otis, near Almiron W. 
Crain's Wool Exchange, at Stilesville. Whitney mi- 
grated from the east, and located on lot 3. One of his 
daughters is widow Moses Hopkins. Morse came 
from New Jersey, and settled on lot 87. He served his 
country in the revolution, and drew the lot where he 
settled, now in part covered by the village of Cuyler, 
where his two surviving sons, David and Joseph, now 


reside. Brown was from Connecticut. He located on 
lot 5t. His surviving children are Abner, Alvin, and 

John Shedd located early in lt9t on lot 63. During 
the same year Nathaniel E. James and Charles Stewart, 
came in. The former located on lot 63 ; and the latter, 
from Colerain, Massachusetts, drew and settled on 
State's Hundred, lot 93. 

In It 98 a number of additional settlers came in and 
located. Robert McNight and John Jeffrey were from 
Monmouth, New Jersey, and settled on lot 2 ; Charles 
McNight, a son, lives on the homestead. Billy Trow- 
bridge, from Westchester county, New York, settled on 
lot 5. He filled several respectable county offices ; was 
twice elected to the State Assembly, and for one term 
held the office of sheriff. His sons John, Levi, and Hub- 
bard, reside at Detroit, and Smith, in Syracuse. Ste- 
phen Hedges, from Troy, located on lot 93. Increase M. 
Hooker was a native of Bennington, Vermont. He was 
with Ethan Allen during a portion of the Revolution, 
and witnessed the terrible conflict at Bennington, Au- 
gust 16, lltt. He married in Litchfield, Conn., and 
some years after moved to Greene county, N. Y. In 
179t, removed to Solon, on lot 88 ; and the next year 
came to Truxton, and settled on lot 94. Soon after, he 
purchased a grist-mill of Joseph Sweetland. It was 
covered with elm bark, and contained one run of stone. 
It was rebuilt in 1816 by his sons. In 1842 he removed 
to New Jersey. In 1848 he visited his son in Illinois, 
and on his return died at Onondaga Hollow. He reared 
five children : two now living, John H., and Harley ; 
the former lives in Newbrunswick, N. J., and the latter 


in Rockton, III. John H. Hooker recently told us that 
he visited Onondaga county when there was but one 
house at Manlius, one at Pompey, and one at Onondaga 

John Miller, from Amenia, Dutchess county, located in 
1801 on lot 93. 

Hugh and William Stewart, from Colerain, Mass., 
settled in 1803 on lot 4. 

Lewis Wicks came from Saratoga county, in 1804, 
and located on lot 13. 

The Pierces were from Colerain. Zebulon migrated 
in 1805, and located on lot 34. He reared a family of 
eleven children — four now living. 

Judah settled in 1806 on lot 12. He left eight chil- 
dren — three reside at the West. Ethan lives on the 
homestead. Mr. Pierce accumulated a large property ; 
was an influential citizen. He died at the age of 

Dea. James Bell was from Ruport, Vt. He migrated 
to Truxton in the winter of 1812, and located on lot 95. 
In 1821 he removed to Medina county, Ohio. He was a 
most excellent citizen, and reared an interesting family. 
His sons, James and Jacob, are active and prominent 
politicians ; the former has occupied a seat in the Ohio 

In 1814 Asa Babcock, originally from Rhode Island, 
came in from Madison county, N. Y., and went into the 
mercantile trade, which he continued for a period of 
forty-three years. With the sands of life running low, 
he calmly awaits his summons to depart. 

Asa Campbell was a native of Hampden county, 
Mass. He came in and settled (1816) on the farm now 


owned by Jennings Bennett. The widow and daughter 
reside in the village. 

Stephen Ambler came in from New Berlin in 1818> 
and located on lot 83. He purchased one hundred and 
twelve acres ; reared nine children — four now living ; 
two sons in Cuba. 

The settlement was visited quite early by itinerant 
missionaries, and public religious worship was insti- 
tuted in 1801, through the laudable exertions of Rev. 
Hugh Wallis. 

The first post-office was established in 1199, and Ste- 
phen Hedges appointed post-master ; he was also the 
first merchant. John Miller, the first physician. The 
first miller was Joseph Sweetland. The first child born 
was Stephen Potter, in 1194. The first death was that 
of the father, Nathaniel Potter, already referred to. 

In the earlier town organization, this town belonged 
to Pompey, which was organized in 1194, and included 
the townships of Pompey, Fabius, and Tully ; and also, 
" part of the Onondaga Reservation, lying south of the 
great Genesee Road, and east of Onondaga Creek." 
Fabius was erected from Pompey in 1198, and at that 
time included two military townships, — Fabius and 
Tully, — and comprised the present towns of Fabius, 
Tully, Truxton, Preble and Scott, with portions of Spaf- 
ford and Otisco. 

The pioneers of the town of Truxton labored early 
and late to procure a support for themselves and fami- 
lies. The luxuries they enjoyed were the real necessa- 
ries of subsistence. They dealt only with the stern re- 
alities of life. The follies and fooleries of our times 
were unknown to the primitive settlers. They studied 
nature as she really was, rather than in what they 


would have her to be. When success had so far 
crowned their laborious efforts as to enable them to 
spare a portion of their products, they did not deem it a 
hard task to place the scanty surplus on an ox sled, 
and, taking an Indian trail, or such road as had been 
cut through the wilderness by wandering emigrants, 
thus trudge on from day to day, until they reached 
Utica, Whitestown or Herkimer, where they exchanged 
them for the substantials of the farm and the kitchen. 
The exchange did not then, as in these days of refine- 
ment, consist of satins, silks and lawns for their 
daughters, but in a few yards of linsey-woolsey ; an 
axe, bush-hook, grub-hoe, and last, though perhaps not 
least thought of, a half-pound of old Bohea, which was 
always received by the happy matron with a smile as 
sweet as the lively lay she sang. 

The surface of the town of Truxton presents a broken 
and diversified aspect. The Truxton Flats are, however, 
very beautiful, rich, and abundant in agricultural ele- 
ments ; yet they are unquestionably better adapted to 
the growing of the coarser grains, though wheat is pro- 
duced to a limited extent. 

In 1810 the population of Truxton was 1,031 



























tt . 



In 1810 there were one hundred and twenty-nine Sen- 
atorial electors ; and the taxable property was assessed 
at $4t,6t3. The village contained twenty houses. The 
town is well watered, and especially by branches of the 
Tionghnioga, which have their origin in the town. 

The streams of Truxton afford many excellent mill- 
seats, which in most instances are used to good advan- 
tage, placing her in the front rank of manufacturing 
towns in the county. There are five grist-mills, several 
saw-mills, a large sash and blind factory, a firkin and 
tub factory, and a Wool Exchange. The latter we pro- 
pose to briefly notice. In 1809 Jonah Stiles and Alvin 
Pease erected a grist-mill, the second one in the town. 
In 1810 they erected a carding machine. These sub. 
sequentl}^ passed into the hands of Otis and Jonas 
Stiles ; the latter, however, soon sold out to Samuel 
Stiles ; and finally, the latter interest was purchased by 
Otis, who, in 1814, added to his business another branch, 
— that of cloth dressing. A few years previous, Jacob 
Otis commenced cloth dressing, but he discontinued it 
in 1820. In 1826, Mr. Stiles rebuilt, and engaged more 
largely in the manufacture of cloth. In 1831, he added 
the improved machinery. In 1838, Almiron W. Grain be- 
came an active partner, and in 1848 sole proprietor. 
In 1854 Perry P. Grain became a partner. In 1826 
the business of exchanging cloth for wool was com- 
menced, and has been gradually increasing until the 
present time. The sum total of exchange during the 
year 1858, amounted to 25,000 pounds of wool. We re- 

NoTE.— Since the main portion of our history was placed in the 
hands of the publisher, the recently organized town of Cuyler has 
been formed from the east half of Truxton. 


gard the wool exchange business as one of great prac- 
tical importance to the wool-growers of Cortland county, 
for while they get their cloth at a reduced price, they 
receive an advance profit on their wool, making the ex- 
change a profitable investment. 

Scott. — The town of .Scott was erected from the west 
part of Preble, April 14, 1815. 

The first permanent settlement was made in this town 
in 1199. There had, however, been a rude hunter within 
its boundaries as early as 1795. He erected a bark 
shanty, and lived by hunting, — a kind of employment for 
which he seemed peculiarly fitted, and to which he was 
greatly attached. He spent about one year and a half 
in the deep solitude of that unbroken wilderness, when 
he was joined by a half-breed Indian, originally from 
Three River Point, Canada ; and in a few months after, 
they gathered up their peltry and furs, and made their 
way to a French trading post, then established near 
Whitestown, where they made a profitable disposition 
of their effects, and then sought, if possible, a still more 
gloomy retreat in the wilds of the far West. He was 
an eccentric and original genius, constitutionally fitted 
for the rude life he lived. His birth-place is not known, 
though it is evident from certain excentricities of 
character that he was of French extraction. An In- 
dian of the Leni tribe, from whom we gather these 
facts, and who occasionally visits the Oneidas, relates 
many characteristic anecdotes touching this singularly 
strange, yet interesting original. Years after, he was 
seen standing upon the bank of the great Father of 
Waters, — the majestic Mississippi. There was heard a 


shriek, a plunge, — the waves closed over the lone hunter, 
and all that was mortal had disappeared forever. And 
when the horror-stricken Indian, who had watched his 
movements, called for the white man of the woods, the 
evil genius that had wrecked his hopes in early life and 
made him a wanderer, answered : — 

" Where the dark tide runs strongest, 
The cliff rises steep ; 
Where the wild waters eddy, 
I have rocked him to sleep. 

" His sleep is so strong, 

That the rush of the stream, 
When the wild winds are abroad, 
Cannot waken his dream.' ' 

During the year lt99, several settlements were made. 
Peleg Babcock, accompanied by his brothers Solomon 
and Asa Howard, came in from Leyden, Massachusetts, 
and selected locations. Peleg settled on the south part 
of lot 82. Solomon located on the north-west part of 
the same lot, while Howard stuck his post a little to 
the east of Solomon. About the same time George 
Dennison, from Vermont, pitched his tent on the west 
part of the lot, making the fourth settler on No. 82. 
Cornish Messenger and Daniel Jakeway came in from 
De Ruyter in 1800, and settled on lot 92. In 1801 
Maxon Babcock came in from Leyden, and located on 
the north-east corner of lot 82. Ghershon Richardson, 
and his two sons-in-law by the name of Clark, came 
from Pompey, Onondaga co., and located on lot 71. In 
1802, Henry Burdick, a native of Rhode Island, mi- 
grated from Colerain, Massachusetts, and located on 
lot 72. He purchased originally, in company with John 
Babcock, 109 acres. He was an active and prominent 


pioneer in his locality, and now, at the venerable age of 
78 years, lives retired from the toil and bustle of life. 
His youngest son, A. B. Burdick, of New York, is the 
enterprising publisher of this work. 

Jared Babcock came in during the year 1804, and 
spent some three or four years. In 1809 he was enlisted 
in the mercantile trade in Spafford, being the first mer- 
chant in that place. He subsequently moved to Ho- 
mer, where he still resides. 

John Gillet, from Norfolk, Connecticut, located during 
the same year (1805), but did not purchase until 1807 
or '8, when he selected 100 acres on lot 84. The farm 
has been increased at different periods, and at the pres- 
ent time embraces nearly 300 acres. He has already 
passed through a long, busy and prosperous life — a life 
of activity, of public employment, and of private enter- 
prise. He filled the office of Justice of the Peace for 
a period of twenty years ; that of supervisor and other 
town offices, at various times ; was associate judge of 
the county court for fifteen successive years, and also 
member of the legislature, and presidential elector. 

Jacob Smith, from Delphi, located in 1806, on lot 84. 
His original purchase was 50 acres : -he, however, made 
subsequent additions until he had secured 105 acres, 
which he has but recently disposed of with a view of 
locating at Little York. 

In 1806 Daniel Doubleday migrated from Lebanon, 
Connecticut, and located in the town of Homer. In 
1809 he removed to Scott, and settled on lot 85. He 
has reared a respectable family, accumulated a good 
property, and now, at the advanced age of seventy-two, 
rejoices in having spent a long life in an honored 
and productive employment. Mr. Doubleday is in the 


enjoyment of remarkable health, and in the full posses- 
sion of his mental and physical faculties. 

During 1805, Elisha Sabins and John Babcock cut and 
cleared a road from Scott Corners (then called Bab- 
cock's Corners,) to Spafford Corners. They transported 
their goods to their new home on sleds, and found it a 
rather difficult task. The next year, Isaac Hall, of the 
latter place, passed over the road with a wagon, and 
after purchasing a load of lumber at Babcock's settle- 
ment, placed it on his wagon and conveyed it to his 
home in Spafford. 

In the summer of '99, Solomon Babcock tells us that he 
was in the habit of making frequent visits to his brother's 
cornfield, accompanied by a small dog, for the purpose 
of frightening away the bears, they being very trouble- 
some and destructive to the corn crop. It was a com- 
mon occurrence to find a half dozen in at a time, and to 
him it was rather amusing to see how they would 
hurry away at the mere sight or bark of the little 

Early in the month of March, he went into the woods 
for the purpose of obtaining a birch broom-stick. The 
snow was some three feet deep, and the crust suffi- 
ciently strong to bear up a man. A strong, active, 
fierce and well-trained dog, belonging to his brother 
Peleg, bore him company, and before the trunk of the 
little sapling was secured he had actually killed seven 

The first ordained preacher was Elder Town. The 
first persons baptized were Mr. and Mrs. Solomon Bab- 
cock — the former in Homer, and the latter in Scott. The 
first merchant was Nathan Babcock. The first inn- 


keeper was James Babcock. The first post-master, John 
Gillett. The first marriage, Solomon Babcock to Amy- 
Morgan. This occurred in the Fall of 1802. There 
being no authorized person at hand to marry, the parties 
came to Homer on horseback, and after attending church, 
went to Squire Bishop's on East Hill, where they were 
appropriately married. The first child born in town 
was Harriet Babcock. The first death was an infant 
daughter of Peleg Babcock. 

Public religious worship commenced about the year 
1806 or "T. 

The Close Communion Baptists, the Seventh Day Bap- 
tists, the Presbyterians, and the Methodists, have each 
a convenient house for religious worship. 

The first post-master of East Scott was Alvin Kellogg. 
It was with this gentleman that Ex-President Fillmore 
learned his trade, — that of clothier. 

The town of Scott, though containing much broken 
land, is favored with many most excellent farms. It is 
not, however, a grain growing town. The land being 
generally better adapted to grazing, the agriculturists 
are found adopting the more reasonable and productive 
pursuit of increasing their means in the dairy business. 
In 1820 the population of Scott was 'TIS 
1825 " " " 1,006 

1830 " " " 1,452 

1835 " " " 1,504 

1840 " " " 1,332 

1845 " " " 1,368 

1850 " " " 1,290 

1855 " " " 1,293 


Freetown was organized April 21st, 1818. It com- 
prises the north-western quarter of the old military 
township of Cincinnatus, and lot No. 20 from the eastern 
part of Virgil. The soil is a clay loam, better adapted 
to grazing than grain growing ; but more recently has 
produced good crops of corn, oats, barley, flax, and po- 
tatoes ; wheat not being grown here to any consider- 
able extent. Freetown is situated on a ridge between 
the Tioughnioga and Otselic rivers, and was settled prin- 
cipally by emigrants from the north and eastern por- 
tions of the State. The inhabitants are an honest, in- 
dustrious, hardy race of men. The early settlement of 
this town was attended with deprivations, hardships 
and discouragements that required the energies and 
fortitude of a class which none but pioneers in a new 
country are capable of exercising and enduring. 

The early pioneers, in preference to going to Ludlow- 
ville or Chenango Forks, to mill, usually went to Onon- 
daga Hollow, or Manlius Square, a distance of forty 
miles, fording creeks and rivers, exposing themselves 
to cold and storms by night and day, being obliged to 
camp out two or three nights during their journey to 
and from the mill, through an almost entire wilderness, 
filled with wolves, panthers, and other ravenous beasts 
of prey. As there were then no roads, they traveled 
by marked trees, .whiling away the dull hours of time 
by whistling or singing some merry tune, or in telling 
some legendary tale which may have been preserved 
for centuries by Indian tradition. At night, tired and 
hungry, the jaded horses were tied to a tree, and, by the 
roots of some enormous oak or hemlock, the pioneers 
would find a resting-place, with the bags for pillows 


and an Indian blanket for a covering ; and there, in the 
deep forest, surrounded with gaunt, howling wolves, 
and poisonous reptiles, with the " deep blue sky above," 
all radiant with night's diadems, or perchance o'erspread 
with tartarean blackness, while the harsh, hoarse thun- 
ders rolled and reverberated through the wide expanse ; 
now startled by a vivid flash of forked lightning as it 
leaps athwart the darkened sky, or shatters a proud old 
relic of the ancient wilderness into a thousand pieces, 
would await the return of day to resume their journey. 
And thus they endured these attendant privations until 
1798, when a mill was erected at Homer, — or a year 
later, when Mr. Hubbard, of Cortlandville, built the old 
Ked Mill, now owned by Mr. Mudge. 

Robert Smith, a Revolutionary soldier, was the first 
settler. He drew lot No. 2, and moved on to it with his 
family in 1800, having only previously prepared a mere 
cabin of logs for their reception. He was originally 
from one of the New England States. He made a small 
improvement on his lot, and after struggling through 
many severe hardships, and enduring the privations 
incident to most new settlements, sold to Samuel G. 
Hatheway. Some of Mr. Smith's descendants are now 
living in Marathon. 

Soon after Mr. Smith located on his lot, Caleb Sheop- 
ard and David H. Monrose moved from the eastern part 
of the State, and settled with their families on lot 22. 
Mr. Sheopard, several years since, removed to Michigan. 
Mr. Monrose remained on his farm until his death, which 
occurred in 1837. His son Daniel occupies the old 

William Smith, a native of Vermont, migrated from 


Great Bend, Pa., to Freetown in 1802, and located on 
lot 25. He made various small purchases of land until 
his farm numbered some one hundred and sixty-five 
acres. In 1835 he disposed of his property and settled 
in the tov^n of Cortlandville, where he now resides. 
His step-mother, Eunice Smith, lives with him, at the 
advanced age of 95. Mr. Smith has held most of the 
town offices, besides several military positions. Of his 
nine children eight are living. 

In 1804 Gideon Chapin located on lot 42, and erected 
soon after the first saw-mill in the town. There is at 
present one of a larger size covering the same ground. 

In 1805 Gen. Samuel G. Hatheway, originally from 
Freetown, Mass., removed from Chenango county and 
located on lot 2, having purchased the Robert Smith 
farm, which consisted of about three hundred acres. 
The General was a man of energy and enterprise, as 
was evidenced in the rapid improvement of his farm. 
He can now relate many interesting anecdotes touching 
his early life. Soon after he came into Freetown, he 
desired to make some addition to his stock of cattle, 
and hearing that Caleb Sheopard, near the Salt Road, 
about five miles distant, had a calf to sell, made ar- 
rangements to procure it. He started from home near 
evening, having previously completed his day's work, 
for Mr. Sheopard's, with a rope halter in his hand with 
which he intended to lead his calf, if successful in a 
purchase ; and thus equipped, without coat or stock- 
ings, he plodded his course through the woods, by way 
of marked trees, there being no road. He succeeded in 
obtaining the calf, and started for home ; but night 
coming on, and it being much darker than he antici- 


pated, and carelessly hurrying along with his treasure 
by his side, he soon found himself unable to distinguish 
the glazed trees, but still persevered, hoping to come 
out right. It was not long, however, before he found 
he was out of the right course, and concluding that for 
the present he was lost, very calmly set about camping 
out for the night. He fastened the calf to a tree, and, 
reposing by its side, was delighted through the long 
and darksome night by the hooting of owls, howling of 
wolves, screaming of panthers, and other music of a like 
interesting character. At length morning dawned, and, 
as Aurora flung her gorgeous rays over the dense forest, 
revealed to his eager gaze his position on the Pine 
Ridge, one or two miles out of his way. His calf was 
hastily detached from the tree, and he again set out for 
home, which he reached at an early hour, having a 
sharp appetite for his breakfast, and much to the grati- 
fication of his anxiously awaiting mother. 

Eleazer Fuller came from Northampton, Mass., in 1806, 
and settled on lot 12. He purchased one hundred acres. 
He reared a family of four children ; a daughter, with 
whom he lives, is the wife of William Mantanye. His 
son, Austin Fuller, is Auditor of Indiana, residing at 
Springfield. Mr. Fuller is seventy-five years old, and 
is, at the time of writing, greatly afflicted with a can- 
cerous ulcer, which must eventually terminate his life. 

In 1808, Rockwell Wildman and Isaac Robertson 
came in and selected locations. The former migrated 
from the north, and settled on lot 15. He died in 1855. 
His children occupy the original premises. The latter 
came from Connecticut, but was not permitted to enjoy 
for more than a few brief seasons the fruits of his labor ; 


he died in 1811 ; his wife in 1815. He left eleven chil- 
dren — three are now living. 

In 1809, John Aker, father of Abram, came from Al- 
bany county and selected a location. 

Henry Gardner, from Plainfield, N. Y., came in dur- 
ing the same year and settled on lot 32. He purchased 
one hundred acres ; died in Illinois in 1858 ; age eighty 
years ; left seven children — all now living. Mrs. Gard- 
ner died in 1852. 

At about this time, or perhaps a little subsequent, 
Charles and Curtiss Richardson, William Tuthill, Jacob 
Hicks, Isaac Doty, John Backus and Aruna Eaton came 
in and selected various locations. Curtiss Richardson 
lives with his son William, in Canandaigua. 

John Conger migrated from Granville, Washington 
county, in 1812, and located on lot 12. He purchased 
one hundred and five acres. Fifty acres have been 
added to the farm, which is now owned by Hugh M'Kevitt. 

Mr. Conger was an enterprising, public-spirited man, 
and creditably discharged the duties of several town 
oflSces. He died in 1836, aged 55. Mrs. Conger, at the 
advanced age of seventy-five, is remarkably healthy and 
active. Mr. Conger was the father of five sons and four 
daughters — Joseph, Samuel, Harmon S., Bemon S., and 
Damon. Malina married David Gardner, of Harvors, 
Illinois ; Mary is now widow Crosby ; Esther is the 
wife of Ransford Palmer, of Cortland ; and Rhoda is 
Mrs. J. M. Barclay, of La Cross, Minesota. 

In 1813, Austin Waters removed from Saybrook, 
Conn., and located on the same lot. He purchased one 
hundred and five acres, which was entirely covered 
with a heavy growth of timber. Having but limited 


means, and indeed notliing but his ambitious desire to 
achieve something in the way of human progress, he 
perserved in his toilsome efforts, and kept from yield- 
ing to the numerous discouragements with which he 
was surrounded. He resolved to succeed, and he tri- 
umphed over all difficulties ; and he lives, at the vener- 
able age of eighty years, to see Freetown one of the 
most productive dairy towns in the county. 

Walton Swetland, a native of Conn., migrated from 
Granville in 1814, and settled on the Trip farm, on lot 
22. He made several purchases, until he had secured 
a farm of one hundred and thirty acres. He attended 
to the clearing and cultivating his land until 1838, when 
he disposed of it with a view of entering into another 
branch of business. In 1846 he engaged in the mercan- 
tile trade, and up to the present time has continued the 
business with general success. He has filled various 
town offices, among which are those of School Inspec- 
tor, Superintendent, and Justice of the Peace. The 
latter office he has held for twenty-eight years, and still 
continues to officiate in that position. He was appointed 
an Associate Judge in 1844, and held the office for a 
number of years. From a corporal in a company of 
infantry, he rose to the rank of major. 

Judge Swetland resides at Freetown Corners ; is 
about sixty-five years old ; and is still an active, useful 
and prominent citizen. 

Geo. I. Wavle,from Montgomery county, N. Y., located 
in 1814 on lot 4, where his son James now resides. He 
purchased four hundred and fifty acres. He was an 
industrious and honorable citizen. He died in 1825, 
leaving a respectable family of children. 


During the early period of settlement, Freetown was 
regarded as being rather cold and sterile, and frequently 
the prospects of the settler were blasted by early frosts, 
whioh cut down the crops before they came to maturity ; 
but more recently, frosts have not been as frequent, and 
for several years past, as good crops of corn have been 
raised as in most other towns of the county. But the 
attention of agriculturists is being more generally 
turned to dairying, in which they succeed much better 
than in their laborious efforts to grow grain, the soil 
being better adapted to this department of productive 
employment than to any other branch of industry. 

The first clergyman who statedly preached in Free- 
town, was Elder Sheopard ; he was of the Baptist order, 
and resided in the town of Lisle, Broome county. Elder 
Benjamin W. Capron was the first preacher who made a 
permanent residence in this town. Don A. Robertson 
was the first school teacher ; his father came into town 
soon after General Hatheway, and reared a large family 
of sons. Peter McYean was the first merchant. He 
located at what is now called Freetown Corners, con- 
tinued in the business a short time, and was succeeded 
by John M. and Sylvester M. Roe from the town of 

In 1820 the population of Freetown was 663 

1825 " " sn 

1830 " " 1,051 

1835 '' " 962 

1840 " '' 950 

1845 " *-'- 925 

1850 " " 1,035 

1855 " " 955 


Perhaps no town in the county was settled under 
more discouraging circumstances than Freetown. It 
was decidedly " a hard town," the citizens were gene- 
rally poor, and were necessarily subjected to more hard- 
ships and privations than under other circumstances 
would have been endured. Settlers came in slowly, 
and at no time made very rapid progress ; even as late 
as 1828, when Reuben Northrop came in from Washing- 
ton county and located on lot 20, what now constitutes 
his valuable farm was an entire wilderness. But the 
industrious and persevering habits of the citizens have 
wrought a most favorable change ; and Freetown has 
become prosperous and influential. The inhabitants are 
intelligent, affable, and courteous. 

Marathon. — The territory embraced within the bound- 
aries of Marathon,* was set off from the south-west 
quarter of Cincinnatus, April 21, 1818, and organized 
into a town under the name of Harrison, in honor of 
Gen. Harrison, of the late war, but was subsequently 
changed to Marathon, on account of there being another 
town of the same name in the State. The first actual 
settlers of this town were Dr. Japheth Hunt and wife, 
both aged people, two sons, James and William, and 
three daughters, Betsey, Nancy, and Hannah. The ad- 
vanced age of the parents disqualified them as pioneers 
of a new country, and unfitted them to encounter the 
hardships and privations incident to such an enterprise. 
Their children, however, were of mature age, of robust 
constitutions, and possessed energy of character, which 

* Communicated by Dr. S. M. Hunt. 


enabled them to accomplish the laborious duties which 
now devolved upon them. They entered the valley 
of the Tioughnioga from the south, in' canoes, in the 
year It 94, and located on a piece of land on the east 
side of the river, about a mile south of the present vil- 
lage of Marathon, since known as the Comstock farm 
and now owned by Edward Moore. Their log house 
was erected a few miles north of Mr. Moore's barn, on a 
knoll, or rolling piece of ground, immediately west, and 
near the present highway. Upon this rising ground 
were discovered a great number of excavations or de- 
pressions, of a circular form, in close proximity, render- 
ing the surface of the ground uneven. Each of these 
depressions, upon examination, was found to contain 
human bones, which had, apparently, been deposited 
there for several preceding centuries. Upon removing 
the road a few j^ears since, from the top to the base of 
this hill, some of these depressions were opened by the 
plough, and were found to contain not only human 
bones, but several curiously carved vessels or pots, of a 
substance resembling clay, probably wrought by the 
Indians to contain succotash, or boiled corn and beans, — 
deposited in the gravs, as is their custom, to supply 
their departed friends in their journey to the world of 

About the time that Dr. Hunt's family settled here, a 
road was surveyed and partially cut through the wilder- 
ness from the south, near the river, until passing their 
land, when diverging from the stream, it crossed the 
south line of lot number 72, about three fourths of a 
mile east of the village of Marathon, and continuing in 
a northerly direction, intersected the State road at the 


farm recently owned by Mr. Charles Richardson, of 
Freetown, and extending north to its terminus at the 
salt works, whi^h gave it the name of the Salt Road. 

Another road, about this period, was surveyed and 
partially opened as a State road, by the way of Oxford 
westerly through the centre of the town subsequently 
organized as Cincinnatus, and consequently on the north 
line of the present town of Marathon, and crossing the 
river at Chaplin's ford, now known as State Bridge, 
and thence westerly through the county by Virgil 

Dr. Hunt was an emigrant from one of the New Eng- 
land States, and had served his country in the Revolu- 
tionary war, in the capacity of surgeon. He died 
March tth, 1808, at the advanced age of 97, and was 
the first person buried in the east burying ground of 
Marathon. His son William married Anna, daughter of 
Matthew Oole, an early settler on a farm south, adjoin- 
ing the county line, being the present residence of Ool. 
Lucian E. Crain. His son James was never married, 
and died at Genoa, Cayuga county. His daughter, 
Nancy, married Abram Smith, and died about forty-five 
years since, leaving three children, who are yet living 
in the town of Virgil. Betsey Hunt married Oliver 
Mack, of Genoa, and Hannah, the youngest daughter, 
married Nathan Thorp, of the same place. Wm. Hunt, 
some time after the death of his father, sold the farm 
and located again two miles north of Marathon village, 
where Stephen Johnson now resides, but finally emi- 
grated with his sisters from Genoa to the " Far West," 
to some part of Indiana. In the latter part of tlie win- 
ter of 1196, John, the eldest son of Dr. Hunt, who had 


married Lydia, the daughter of Major Samuel Mallory, 
of Hillsdale, Columbia county, N. Y., was induced to 
move from that place into the new country in the vicin- 
ity of his father's residence. A man with horses and 
sleigh was employed to bring his effects, and family, 
which then comprised himself and wife, one daughter 
three years of age, and a son of six months. After sev- 
eral days' travel over the rough roads, they arrived at 
Oxford, a new settlement on the Chenango river, where 
their teamster left them and turned back in consequence 
of poor sleighing produced by a thaw. Mr. Hunt hav- 
ing one horse of his own, harnessed him to a hastily 
constructed sled, and placing a bed and a few necessary 
articles of furniture and provisions, with his wife and 
children thereon, started westwardly by the wa^'- of the 
State road for the place of his destination. The first 
day they proceeded about seventeen miles into the wil- 
derness on this rough road, passing over several of the 
smaller logs which had not yet been removed from the 
path, when night overtook them in a dense forest, which 
soon became vocal with the sounds of wild animals. 
Fortunately, they soon came to a log cabin, recently 
erected, covered with bark, and having a floor of slats 
split from logs, with a place for an entrance, but desti- 
tute of a door to exclude the air. By means of his gun 
and tinder, he kindled a fire ; and, placing his horse close 
to the opening, with his provender in the sled, which 
served for a manger, and having hung up a blanket at 
the entrance, and placed their bed on the floor, being 
very weary, he retired to. rest, and slept comfortably 
through the night. But his wife, unaccustomed to such 
privations, was less inclined to sleep. The howling of 


the wolves also annoyed her, and she wondered how her 
husband could sleep so composedly in such a dismal 
place. The next morning they resumed their journey, 
and before noon came to the Otselic river, and were 
cheered with the sight of a house on the opposite side 
of the stream. This proved to be the residence of Wm. 
Tuthill, who kindly assisted them in crossing the river, 
and hospitably entertained them till the next day. This 
was at a farm subsequently owned by Ebenezer Critten- 
den. From this place they traveled west, till they came 
to the intersection of the Salt road, when turning south 
along the latter path at a distance of four miles, they 
found the new home of his parents and family. His 
goods were subsequently brought in canoes from Ox- 
ford, down the Chenango river to the Forks, and then 
up this branch, then generally called the Onondaga, to 
their new location. 

John Hunt purchased one hundred acres out of the 
south-west corner of lot No. ^2, and moved his family 
there, being on the east side of the river, upon which 
land a large portion of Marathon village is located. Here 
his second son, Samuel M. Hunt, was born, October 30th, 
1798, being the first child born in this town. When a 
young man, he chose the profession of medicine, and 
pursued that study with Dr. P. B. Brooks, now of Bing- 
hamton. He has practised medicine for thirty years, 
principally in Broome county ; but for three years past, 
he has been located in Marathon village, on the same 
premises formerly the residence of his parents. As 
early as the beginning of the present century, John 
Hunt was appointed bj^ the Governor and Council a 
justice of the peace ; which office he held by successive 


appoiutments to the period of his death, which occurred 
August 8, 1815, at the age of fifty years. His widow is 
still living, in the eighty-fifth year of her age. Their 
eldest daughter married Mr. Charles Richardson, of 
Freetown, and is now residing in the village of Mara- 
thon. Two other daughters are yet living. Four oth- 
ers of their children lived to be married and settled in 
this section of country, but are now deceased. Abram 
Brink with his family moved into the present bounds of 
this village in the spring of 1800, and located a few 
rods south of Mr. Hunt's, on the north part of lot No. 
82, then State land. He came from the present town of 
Union, below Binghamton, on the Susquehanna river, 
bringing his family and furniture in a canoe. He was 
a son of Captain William Brink, a patriot of the Revo- 
lution, who had suffered much by the depredations of 
tories in the war at Wyoming, and subsequently lost a 
great amount of property by the great ice-flood in that 
valley. Abram Brink was a robust and industrious cit. 
izen, and a valuable pioneer in clearing up the rugged 
wilderness, and preparing it for the residence of poster- 
ity. He kept the first tavern ever licensed in this town, 
from the commencement of the present century up to 
the time of his decease in 1824. Intoxicating liquors, 
as a beverage, were at that time considered as neces- 
sary as fqod in a tavern for the refreshment of guests. 
And although their deleterious effects were visible, not 
only in occasional carousals, but in the physical, moral 
and mental prostration of all who indulged in the pota- 
tion, yet the traffic was for a long period sustained by 
public sentiment and by the laws of the State. Mr. 
Brink was succeeded in the tavern by his only surviv- 


ing son, Chester, for a few years, when, influenced by 
a strong aversion to dealing in intoxicating liquors, he 
relinquished the business and employed himself in culti- 
vating and improving the same farm, and some other 
adjoining lands, which he had acquired by purchase. 
A few years previous to the arrival of Mr. Brink here, a 
family by the name of Alford had settled about three- 
fourths of a mile south, on the State's lot, and some 
years after sold out to Daniel Huntly, a son of Deacon 
William Huntly, who resided for several years on the 
next farm south, now owned by Patrick Mallory, jr. A 
man by the name of Lee also lived a few years on the 
premises of Mr. Alford, having married his daughter. 
At the close of the last century, a traveler from the 
north, in passing' down this valley, after leaving the 
ford-way at Chaplin's, would find the following residents 
on the east side of the river : — First, the family of Mr. 
Hunt ; 2d, Mr. Brink ; 3d, Mr. Alford and Mr. Lee ; 
next Dr. Hunt ; and lastly, Mr. Cole, in this county. 
South and near the county line on the east side of the 
river, was the residence of Gen. Samuel Coe, and 
directly opposite, on the west bank, was the house of 
Jonathan Cowdrey. 

Soon after this period John S. Squires located on a 
farm south of Mr. Alford, but shortly after purchased a 
farm in the present town of Lapeer, and removed his 
family there into the forest at quite a distance from 
neighbors ; it being the same farm where his son, Dan 
C. Squires, now resides. About the year 1800, Ebene- 
zer Carlej^ moved into this town from Unadilla, and 
located on the west side of the river where his son Alan- 
son now resides. He was commissioned Captain of 


Militia company No. 1, organized in this section of the 
country. He had a large family of children. Ezekiel 
C. became a Captain of the militia, and also held the 
office of justice of the peace. Of this large family none 
are now living except two brothers, Alanson and Orin. 
Alanson Carley, Esq., has held the office of justice of 
the peace of this town for several years, has been a 
member of the Legislature, and has served as sheriff of 
this county for three years. Orin Carley is now resid- 
ing in Broome county. It would be a difficult task, 
at this remote period, to ascertain the precise date of 
the arrival of each family of the first settlers here, as 
far back as the close of the last century, or the regular 
order as to the priority of time, in every case, when 
they entered this valley. In February of the year 1805, 
Patrick Mallory, (who some years after became a Cap- 
tain of militia) a brother of Esq. Hunt's wife, arrived 
here with his wife and one child, and settled on a farm 
one mile north of Marathon village, now the residence 
of G. Pennoyer. He resided a few weeks with his sis- 
ter's family, while erecting a log house for the recep- 
tion of his own. This was early in the spring, when 
each family was actively employed in manufacturing ma- 
ple sugar. To secure a supply of such an important arti- 
cle for domestic use, it became necessary for him to tap 
his trees prior to finishing his house. The farm was 
situated mostly on the west side of the river, and his 
maple trees were on the flat, directly across the stream. 
Being busily engaged one day, assisted by his wife, in 
gathering and boiling sap, they were detained till ap- 
proaching darkness reminded them that it was time to 
start for home. They then entered their canoe, and had 


just reached the eastern shore and found the narrow 
path that led down the stream to Mr. Hunt's, when, to 
then* surprise and consternation, their ears were saluted 
with the most clamorous, violent and discordant sounds, 
directly across the river, they had ever heard. The 
woods were apparently full of monsters in pursuit of 
them, as their intended victims, and engaged in fiendish 
strife respecting the several shares of the spoils. How 
to escape from these monstrous cannibals was the sub- 
ject of anxious thought and hasty deliberation. Mrs. 
Mallory advised a rapid retreat ; but her husband, 
being a very stout man, and wishing to retain his 
reputation for bravery, had a great aversion to "an 
attack in the rear." He therefore firmly grasped his 
axe, which he carried in his . hand as an instrument 
of defence, and cautiously followed his wife, who alter- 
nately ran forward a few rods with speed, and then fell 
back again, urging him to make a more rapid progress. 
Notwithstanding the Captain's resolute intention, it is 
probable that the march was not very slow ; and 
they soon reached the house of their friends without suf- 
fering an attack, and gave the alarm of the approach- 
ing enemy. But thej^ were soon relieved of their fears, 
though somewhat mortified to learn that these savage 
monsters were nothing more than a class of nocturnal 
birds called owls, incapable of injuring either man or 


In 1820 the population of Marathon was 80 1 



Thus it will be seen from the above table of census 
reports, that the town of Marathon has been steadily 
increasing in population, unlike the fluctuating or peri- 
odical changes referred to in some other towns of 
this county. The soil is generally productive, and when 
considered in connection with other facilities, natural 
and internal, we do not wonder at its progress. 

We cheerfully give place to the following exceed- 
ingly interesting letter from Hon. Thurlow Weed. Mr. 
Weed resided in the western part of Cincinnatus — now 
Marathon : 

" Albany, May 16th, 1858. 
"H. C. Goodwin, Esq.: 

" My Dear Sir, — Your letter of 30th of April has re- 
mained quite too long unanswered, partly on account 
of severe illness in my family, but mainly because your 
kind and not unusual request embarasses me. Several 
applications similar in character, from book-makers, I 
have simply declined, because, first, there is nothing in 
my life entitled to historic attention ; and second, if 
any of its events were worthy such attention, it is 
neither proper or becoming in me to furnish the materi- 
als. So strong are my convictions of propriety in this 


regard, that many years ago, after declining to furnish 
information relating to myself, asked for by the late 
Jabez D. Hammond, I declined also to read in manu 
script what he had prepared. The consequence of that 
refusal is, that I go down to posterity — if Hammond's 
Political History outlives the present generation — as a 
^drummer in the war of 1812.' Now I am entitled to 
no such distinction ; for I never learned and never 
could learn a note or stave of music. I remember to 
have gone, when a boy, once or twice to an evening 
singing-school, but after unavailing attempts at qua- 
vers and semi-quavers, the teacher snatched the gamut 
from my hand and turned me out of the class. I will, 
however, in this instance, depart so far from my usual 
practice as will allow me to furnish you the dates you 
desire — though in doing so, I feel as I suppose one 
should feel in robbing a henroost. I will now give you 
some ' reminiscences' connected with my early residence 
in Cortland county. 

"In the winter of 1808, my father, — an honest, hard- 
working man, — whose industry, subject to the various 
draw-backs of sickness and ill-luck, which the poor only 
can understand, enabled him to furnish but a scanty 
support for his family, in the hope of ' bettering his condi- 
tion,' removed to Cincinnatus, in Cortland county, where 
Nathan Weed, his youngest brother, resided. We were 
settled in a log house, upon a small clearing, about a 
mile from the Onondaga river — or for the purpose of 
fixing our locality — I had better say about that distance 
from ' Brink's tavern.' Cincinnatus then, whatever may 
be it present condition, was in its almost wilderness state. 
I have not been there in half a century, and am told that 


there are no forests, or land-marks, or monuments, by 
which I conlcl recall or identify the localities of which my 
mind retains familiar and distinct impressions. Inhab- 
itants were then * few and far between.' Our nearest 
neighbor was Mr. Gridley, a farmer, rather 'well-to-do 
in the world,' who would work hard through ' planting/ 
or ' hoeing,' or ' harvesting,' and then seek indemnity in 
a week or ten days' ' spree' on new, raw whiskey. The 
most fore-handed family in the neighborhood was that 
of Captain Carley, (one member of which, Alanson,then 
a boy of my own age, was, some years since, a respected 
member of the Legislature,) among whose luxuries, as I 
remember, was a young apple orchard, and the only 
* bearing' orchard within a circuit of several miles. 

*'My first employment was in attendance upon an 
ashery. The process of extracting lye from ashes, and 
of boiling the lye into black salts, was common-place 
enough ; but when the melting down into potash 
came, all was bustle and excitement. This labor was 
succeeded, when the spring had advanced far enough, 
by the duties of the ' sap-bush.' This is a season to 
which the farmers' sons and daughters look forward with 
agreeable anticipations. In that employment, toil is 
more than literally sweetened. The occupation and its 
associations are healthful and beneficial. When your 
troughs are dug out (of bass-wood, for there were no 
buckets in those days) your trees tapped, your sap 
gathered, your wood cut, and your fires fed, — there 
is leisure either for reading or ' sparking.' And what 
youthful denizens of the sap-bush will ever forget, while 
' sugaring-off,' their share in the transparent and de- 
licious streaks of candy congealed and cooled in snow I 


*' Many a farmer's son has found his best opportuni- 
ties for mental improvement in his intervals of leisure 
while 'tending sap-bush.' Such, at any rate, was my 
own experience. At night you had only to feed the 
kettles and keep up your fires — the sap having been 
gathered and the wood cut * before dark.' During the 
day we would also lay in a good stock of ' fat pine, 
by the light of which, blazing brightly in front of the 
sugar-house, in the posture the serpent was condemned 
to assume as a penalty for tempting our great first 
grandmother, I have passed many and many a delight- 
ful night in reading. I remember in this way to have 
read a history of the French Revolution, and to have 
obtained from it a better and more enduring knowledge 
of its events and horrors, and of the actors in that great 
national tragedy, than I have received from all subse- 
quent readings. I remember also how happy I was in 
being able to borrow the book of a Mr. Keyes, after a 
two mile tramp through the snow, shoeless, my feet 
swaddled in remnants of a rag-carpet. 

"Though but a boy, I was large, healthy, strong, not 
lazy, and therefore ambitious 'to keep up my row' in 
planting, hilling, and hoeing potatoes and corn. The 
principal employment of the farmers of Cincinnatus, 
fifty years ago, was in clearing their land. Cattle, dur- 
ing the winter, for the want of 'fodder,' were turned 
out to ' browse' in the 'slashings.' As the work of clear- 
ing the land was too heavy for men single-handed, chop- 
ping and logging 'bees' were modes resorted to for 
aggregating labor. These seasons of hard work were 
rendered exciting and festive by the indispensable gal- 
lon bottle of whiskey. There were ' bees' also for log 


house raisings. After the loggings, and as the spring 
opened, came the burning of the log and brush-heaps, 
and the gathering of the ashes. 

'' But little wheat was grown there then, and that 
little was harvested with the sickle, the ground being 
too rough and stumpy for cradling. 

"Our first acquisition in the way of 'live stock' was 
a rooster and four hens ; and I remember with what a 
gush of gladness I was awakened at break of day the 
next morning by the loud, defiant voice of Chanticleer ; 
and when, several days afterwards, I found a real hen's 
nest in a brush-heap, with eggs in it, I cackled almost 
as boisterously as the feathered mother whom I had sur- 
prised in the feat of parturition. 

"The settlers employed in clearing and ' bettering' 
their land, raised just enough to live on * from hand to 
mouth.' Their principal, and indeed only reliance for 
the purchase of necessaries from ' the store,' was upon 
their ' black salts.' For these the merchants always 
paid ' the highest price in cash or goods.' 

" I remember the stir which a 'new store,' established 
in Lisle, (some seven or eight miles down the river,) 
by the Rathbones from Oxford, created in our neighbor- 
hood. It was ' all the talk' for several weeks, and until 
a party of house-wives, by clubbing with their products, 
fitted out an expedition. Vehicles and horses were 
scarce, but it was finally arranged ; A, furnishing a 
wagon, B, a horse, C, a mare, and D, a boy to drive. 
Six matrons, with a commodity of black salts, tow cloth, 
flax, and maple sugar, went their way rejoicing, and 
returned triumphantly at sun-set with fragrant Bohea 
for themselves, plug tobacco for their husbands, flashy 


calico for the children, gay ribbons for the girls, jack- 
knives for the boys, crockery for the cupboard, and 
snuff for ' Grannie.' This expedition was a theme for 
much gossip. The wonders of the ' new store' were de- 
scribed to staring eyes and open mouths. The merchant 
and his clerk were criticised in their deportment, man- 
ners, and dress. The former wore shiny boots with 
tassels, — the latter, a ruffle shirt, — and both smelt of 
pomatum I I do not believe that the word ' dandy' had 
then been invented, or it would have certainly come in 
play on that occasion. Thirty years afterwards I 
laughed over all this with my old friend, Gen. Ransom 
Rathbun, the veritable proprietor of that ' new store.' 

''The grinding for our neighborhood was done at 
' Hunt's mill,' which on one occasion was disabled by 
some defect in the flume or dam, and then we were 
compelled to go with our grists either to Homer or to 
* Chenango Forks.' 

" I recollect, on more than one occasion, to have seen 
boys riding with a bushel of corn, (bare-back, with a 
tow halter,) to the distillery, and returning with the 
gallon bottle of whiskey, balanced by a stone in the 
other end of the bag. 

" In the autumn following our removal to Cincinnatus, 
I had ' worked out' and earned leather (sole and upper) 
enough for a pair of shoes, which were to be made by a 
son of Crispin, (deacon Badger, if I remember rightly,) 
who lived on the river a mile and a half away. The 
Deacon, I doubt not, has gone to his rest, and I forgive 
him the fibs he told, and the dozen journeys I made 
barefooted over the frozen and ' hubby' road in Decem- 
ber before the shoes were done. 


" I attended one regimental review, or ' general train- 
ing/ as it was called. It was an eminently primitive 
one. Among the officers were two chapeaux, to which 
Capt. Carley, one of the two, added a sword and sash ; 
four feathers standing erect upon felt hats ; fifteen or 
twenty muskets ; half-a-dozen rifles ; two hoarse drums, 
and as many ' spirit-stirring fifes.' Of rank and file there 
were about two hundred and fifty. In the way of re- 
freshments there was gingerbread, blackberry pies, and 
whiskey. But there were neither ' sweat-leather,' ' little 
jokers,' or other institutions of that character, upon the 
ground. Having, before leaving Catskill, seen with my 
own eyes a live Governor (Morgan Lewis) review a 
whole brigade, I regarded that training as a decided 

"There were no events at all startling, during my 
residence at Cincinnatus ; — no murders, no suicides, 
no drownings, no robberies, no elopements, no 'babes 
lost in the woods,' occurred to astonish the natives. 
A recruiting sergeant came along (it was in embargo 
times), and three or four idle fellows (Herrings and 
Wilders by name, I think,) "listed' and marched off. 

"There were neither churches nor 'stated preaching' 
in town. A Methodist minister came occasionally and 
held meetings in private houses, or at the school-house. 
In the winter there was a school on the river ; and the 
master, who ' boarded round,' must have ' had a good 
time of it' on Johnny-cake for breakfast, lean salt pork 
for dinner, and samp and milk for supper. 

"There were but few amusements in those days, and 
but little of leisure or disposition to indulge in them. 
Those that I remember as most pleasant and exciting, 


were 'huskings' and * coon-hunts.' There was fun, too, 
in smoking ' woodchucks ' out of their holes. 

" During my residence there, Mr. Wattles moved into 
the neighborhood. He came, I think, from what was 
then called * The Triangle,' somewhere in Chenango co., 
and was a sub Land-agent. They were, for that region, 
rather ' stylish' people, and became obnoxious to a good 
deal of remark. One thing that excited especial indig- 
nation was, that persons going to the house were asked 
to clean their shoes at the door, a scraper having been 
placed there for that purpose. A maiden lady (Miss 
Theodosia Wattles) rendered herself especially ob- 
noxious to the spinster neighbors, by 'dressing up' 
week-day afternoons. They all agreed in saying she 
was a 'proud, stuck-up thing.' In those days, 'go-to- 
meeting clothes' were reserved for Sundays. 

"'Leeks' were the bane of my life, in Cincinnatus. 
They tainted everything, but especially the milk and 
butter. Such was my aversion to • leeky milk,' that to 
this day I cannot endure milk in any form. 

" In the fall and winter, corn-shelling furnished even- 
ing occupation. The ears were shelled either with a 
cob, or the handle of a frying-pan. There have been 
improvements, since, in that as in other departments of 
agriculture ! 

" Such are, in a crude form, some of my recollections 
of life in Cincinnatus, half a century ago. That town, 
then very large, has since been sub-divided into three 
or four towns. Upon the farm of my old friends, the 
Carleys, the large and flourishing village of Marathon 
has grown up. And then, too, a substantial bridge has 
taken the place of the ' dug out' in which we used to 


cross the river. Of the sprinkling of inhabitants who 
had then just commenced subduing the forests, and in- 
sinuating scanty deposits of seed between the stumps 
and roots, but few, of course, survive. The settlers 
were industrious, honest, law-abiding, and, with few 
exceptions, temperate citizens. The friendly neighbor- 
hood relations, so necessary in a new country, existed 
there. All tried not only to take care of themselves, but 
to help their neighbors. Farming implements and 
household articles were pretty much enjoyed in common. 
Everybody 'lent' what they possessed, and 'borrowed^ 
whatever the}^ wanted. 

" You must judge whether these hastily written recol- 
lections of Cincinnatus would at all interest the few old 
inhabitants remaining there ; and having so judged, 
you are at liberty to put them into your book, or into 
the fire. 

" Very truly yours, 

" Thurlow Weed." 

WiLLET. — The town of Willet was organized from 
the south-east quarter of Cincinnatus, April 21, 1818. 
The general surface of the town is broken and hilly, yet 
by no means mountainous. The soil is generally better 
adapted to grazing than the culture of grain. Its agri- 
culture, however, is respectable. The town is watered 
by the Otselic, or main branch of the Tioughnioga river. 
It was named in honor of Col. Marinus Willett, who ac- 
quired an honorable fame while second in command at 
Fort Stanwix, in 17t7, and who made a most gallant 
sally upon the forces of Sir John Johnson, capturing 
their stores, baggage, and ammunition. He drew lot 


No. 88 of the old allotments of the town of Cincinnatus. 
It was located in the south-east quarter of the township, 
and when the original tract was carved into four towns, 
the hero was honored by the conferring of his name 
upon that portion which contained the land granted him 
as a partial reward for his valuable and heroic services. 
We cannot but respect those stern actors, who, in the 
early settlement of Willet, evinced a determination, 
worthy of being recorded in the enduring annals of our 
country. They warred not for fame and glory, but for 
the improvement of the moral and social condition of 
those around them. They struck their cabins in the 
unbroken forest, and endured privation and toil, with 
the hope of securing for themselves and families a home 
upon which they might erect their little citadels, dedi- 
cated to happiness and social enjoyment. They did not 
expect the huge " hemlock to snap off like icicles," or 
the ancient hills to become at once pleasure-gardens or 
fruitful fields. They did not anticipate that ease and 
affluence were to be achieved without effort, toil, and 
privation. No ! no ! they were men of an entirely dif- 
ferent character ; and when they determined upon a 
plan, or resolved to perform a duty, their wills became 
fixed facts. 

Ebenezer Crittenden settled in Willet in 1797. He 
had married at Binghamton, and in order to get to 
Willet, himself, wife and one child shipped on board 
his little craft, and by the help of the paddle and setting- 
pole, at length arrived at his intended home, without 
shelter — the trees and elements excepted. Then with 
his axe he cut some crotches, and with some poles 
formed his tent, covering it with bed-clothes. This was 

settle:ment and organization. 245 

his dwelling until he could build a log house, which he 
did in the following manner : — he cut such logs as he 
could handle, and enough for sides and gable ends, as 
he had no boards ; he then laid them up, then raised 
two pairs of rafters, one at each end ; then let in girts or 
ribs from one pair to the other, in order to hold the 
shingles, which he made by splitting them out with his 
axe and putting them on with pegs. As there was no 
grist-mill, he built him a little one by digging a hole in 
a big stump and erecting a spring pole, in order to 
assist his wife in making short-cakes ; while his gun 
was his meat-barrel, and the Otselic his drink. 

Benjamin Wilson was originally from Westchester, N. 
Y., and from Oxford ; an emigrant and pioneer to Willet, 
in 1806 or ' t. John Fisher, from England, Jonathan Gaz- 
lay, from Dutchess co., Thomas Leach, from Madison co., 
all date their immigration the same year as Benjamin 

Jabez Johnson, from Vermont, and Phineas Sargent, 
origin unknown, both located in 1807. 

Ebenezer Andrews, from Massachusetts, in 1808. 

Joseph Merritt, from Westchester, N. Y., Solomon 
Smith, origin unknown, Daniel Roberts, from Madison 
CO., John Covert, from Windham, Greene co., William 
Greene, from Kent co., R. I., Ira Burlingame, from Oxford, 
Chenango co., N. Y., Altitius Burlingame, from Kent co., 
R. I., and Edward Nickerson, from Cape Cod, Mass., all 
located in the year 1809. Arnold Thomas, from North 
Kingston, Washington co., R. I., in 1810. 

Solomon Dodge, from Vermont, after resting at Oxford 

. for a space, entered the town as a resident in 1811. In 

the year 1816, Samuel Dyer, from North Kingstown, R.I. 


John and his brother Peter Eaton, from Cherry Valley, 
N. Y., Samuel and Abraham Canfield, from Orange co,, 
N. Y., entered and located as pioneers, to battle with the 
dense forest and privations of the wilderness. 

In the language of one whose memory is true to the 
events of an eventful age, " Death erected his monument 
of claims to all of mortality, in the newly begun settle- 
ment, in the year 1812, by taking the wife of Solomon 

The first birth, in the town of Willet, was a child of 
Ebenezer Crittenden. The first marriage was that of 
Solomon Smith. This occurred in 1813. 

In 1807 or '8, Benjamin Wilson built a grfst-mill, and 
also a saw-mill. 

John Fisher built a saw-mill in 1808, and about the 
same time Jabez Johnson built another. Wilson built 
his mills on the waters of the Otselic, in the north part 
of the town, as may well be proved by most of the learned 
judges, lawyers, and wearied jurors of the county : and 
of such importance has the building of those mills been 
in the legal movements of the human mind, that could 
they all be written as were the Acts of the Apostles, 
they might well be entitled the books of experiment in 
uncertainty. Fisher's mill was also built on the waters 
of the Otselic, in the south-west part of the town. And 
Johnson's mill, on the outlet of the Bloody-pond, so 
called, in the north-west part of the town. 

Benjamin Wilson erected a clothing-mill near his 
grist-mill, in 180t, and Isaac Smith attended as the 
workman. He erected a blacksmith's shop in 1810 or 
'11. In 1808 he kept a public house. 

The first school-house was erected in 1814. Thus, 


from the workings of mind around the nucleus of labor, 
progression pushed forward, expanded, absorbed, as- 
similated, and increased the embryonic town of Willet, 
until, in 1818, legislatively speaking, it was fully born, 
baptised, and named, although a feeble infant town, as 
being regarded in the legal freehold power. 

John S. Dyer, son of Samuel Dyer, built a store in 1834, 
a second in 1837, and a third one in 1848 ; also a public 
house, or inn, which has since been enlarged. Samuel 
Dyer was appointed the first post-master, in 1823. The 
Methodists formed a class, and appointed a class-leader, 
in 1815 or '16. The Baptists organized in 1821 ; the 
Congregationalists in 1852. 

The first Town Meeting was held at the house of Ben- 
jamin Wilson, 1819. Altitius Burlingame officiated as 
Moderator ; William Throop, as Justice of the Peace. 
And the following persons were elected as official ser- 
vants of the town for the term of one year : 

Su2:>ervisor^ — William Throop. 

Toion Clerk^ — Samuel Dyer. 

Assessors^ — W. Throop, John Eaton, Benjamin Green. 

Collector^ — Joseph Nickerson. 

Overseers of the Poor^ — Altitius Burlingame, and 
Henry Sawdy. 

Gommissio7iers of Highways^ — Benjamin T. Green, 
John Briggs, John Eaton. 

Commissioners of Schools,— John Briggs, Benjamin T. 
Green, Abner Wilbur. 

Constables, — Joseph Nickerson, John Campbell. 

Commissioners of Lands, — Benjamin T. Green, Altitius 
Burlingame, Peter Eaton. 

Inspectors of Common Schools, — W. Throop, Orlando 


Salisbury, John Corbett, Anson T. Burt, Bicknell Free- 
man, Samuel Dyer. 

Sealer of Weights and Measures^ — Altitius Burlin- 

In 1818, Arnold Thomas and his much-esteemed wife 
were drowned in the Otselic river, at or near the termi- 
nation of the Ox-bow. Mrs. Thomas was a sister of 
Altitius Burlingame. They were endeavoring to cross 
the river, on an illy-constructed raft, with a design to 
attend a prayer-meeting. Miss Hannah Corpse, Nelly 
Miller, and Mr. Burlingame, were in company with the 
unfortunate couple. Mr. Burlingame, being an excellent 
swimmer, succeeded in saving himself and the two 
young ladies. The bodies were recovered from the 
watery element, and now repose in one grave, sacred 
to their memory, in Mr. Burlingame's orchard. 

We have previously referred to the spirit of enterprise 
as exhibited by the agriculturists of Willet. A laud- 
able attention to the improvement of stock, to agricul- 
ture and domestic manufacture, marks the efforts of the 
more active producers of wealth. 

The increase of population, with a single exception, 
has been slow, yet certain. 

In 1820 the population of Willet was ,431 
1825 " " 508 

1830 " " 804 

1835 " " T23 

1840 " " 812 

1845 " " 921 

1850 " " 923 

1855 " " 925 

* Communicated by Altitius Burlingame. 


CoRTLANDViLLE was Organized from the southern part 
of the town of Homer, April 11th, 1829. 

The surface of the territory is, in some parts, hilly, in 
others quite level, or but gently undulating. Flats of 
rich alluvion border the Tiouglmioga river iu its course 
through the valley. The more elevated lands are inter- 
spersed with gravelly and argillaceous loam. 

Much of the early history »of Cortlandville rightfully 
belongs to the original military town of Homer, and is, 
therefore, comprehended in that portion of our history. 

The timber of Cortlandville was unusually heavy, and 
embraced the various kinds w^hich are yet to be seen 
dotting the surface of hill and valley. Beech, maple, 
elni and hemlock were, however, the most abundant. 
The beautiful and tasteful grounds of the' Messrs. Ran- 
dall and Reynolds, were covered with a most luxuriant 
forest of lofty elms. Indeed, nothing in the forest line 
could be more enchantingly alluring. Stretching far to 
the south-west, these olden elms, that had for centuries 
towered in lofty grandeur, defying the whirlwind and 
the storm, are described by the western warriors as 
greatly rivalling in forest grandeur anything they ever 
saw in the wide-spread territory once claimed and ac- 
kowledged as originally belonging to the Six Nations. 

The early pioneers located in the dense forests, erected 
their rude and unadorned cabins, hoping for the sure 
rewards of industr^^ perseverance and economy. But 
they were often subjected to great inconvenience and 
suffering, for the want of the necessary articles of hus- 
bandry, and also, those of subsistence. We have been 
told of instances of whole families living for successive 
weeks upon turnips and salt ; of others who boiled 


roots gathered in the forest, and ate them with a relish 
which is unknown to the epicurean lords of the present 
day. To them a mess of parsley presented by a neigh- 
boring hand was regarded as an act of marked and 
generous attention to their wants. 

Grain and potatoes were not to be had in the country. 
David Merrick sent his team through the woods to 
Geneva by a neighbor, to whom he gave five dollars, 
just enough to purchase two bushels of wheat. It was 
procured and ground ; but on the return, one of the 
bags was torn open by coming in contact with a tree, 
and the flour of one bushel was lost; the remainder was 
emptied on its arrival by Mrs. Merrick into a four quart 
pan. Union and a sympathy of feeling prevailed among 
the settlers, which tended greatly- to encourage and 
btace them for the coming conflicts arising from misfor- 
tune and the common ills peculiar to pioneer life. The 
settlers were mostly from the New England States, and 
brought with them their high regard for religion, moral- 
ity, and common honesty of purpose. In these da3^s of 
cupidity and heartless knavery, too much respect is 
paid to land pirates and vampyre shylocks. Not so in 
the early times of the pioneers. A mean act, coming 
from whatever source, was treated with contempt ; the 
general desire of the people being to extend favors, and, 
if possible, to lighten the afflicting providences of all 
to whom they could possibly extend a helping hand. 
True, there was an occasional exception ; and these 
were always marked by the upright and deserving. 
• The pioneer settler of Cortlandville was John Miller, 
a native of New Jersey: He moved in from Bingham- 
ton in lt92, and located on lot 56. Mv. Miller v*^as a 


man of character and influence, and held several impor- 
tant town ofSces. 

In 1794, Jonathan Hubbard and Col. Moses Hopkins 
came in and located. • 

The former selected a location amid the stately elms 
that stood on the ground now covered by Cortland Vil- 
lage, while the latter erected his palace of poles one 
mile west, on lot 64, which is at present occupied by 
his venerable widow, and her son Hiram Hopkins and 
family. They came in by way of Cazenovia and Trux- 

Thomas Wilcox, from Whitestown, located early in 
1195 on lot 64. Reuben Doud, on lot 15. He was origi- 
nally from New Haven, Conn. James Scott, John Morse, 
and Levi Lee located on the same lot. Dr. Lewis S. 
Owen, from Albany, on lot 66. He built the first frame 
house in Cortland county. It is at present occupied by 
widow William Mallery. It is situated a few rods west 
of the residence of llussel Hubbard. 

During the years 1796-7, several accessions were 
made — located in various parts of the town. Aaron 
Knapp settled on the Roger farm, lot 55. Enoch Hotch- 
kiss, on 76. The venerable Samuel Crittenden and 
Eber Stone, from Connecticut, located on lot 66. They 
purchased one hundred and sixty acres. The boundary 
line between them run in a direct line with Main street, 
Cortland Village. Mr. Crittenden was located on the 
east side, and erected a house on ground a little east of 
the post-office. He came in with an ox team, and was 
twenty-five days on the road. He has lived to see the 
surrounding country endowed with religious and literary 
institutions, and blessed with all the evidences of sub- 


stantial wealth, intelligence and enterprise. He is now 
an honored citizen of Groton, Tompkins connty. 

In 1798, Samuel Ingles and his son Samuel, Jr., came 
from Columbia county, N. Y., and located on lot t5. 
During the year 180(1, Wilmot Sperry came from Wood- 
bridge, Conn., and located on lot 13. William Mallery, 
from Columbia county, settled in 1802. He was a man 
of substantial worth, and filled various offices in the gift 
of his friends. He died in 1837. John A. Freer, father of 
Anthony and Stephen D. Freer, came from Dutchess co., 
N. Y., and located on lot 74. James T. Hotchkiss, from 
WoodbridgOj settled in 1803 on lot 54. He was an ac- 
tive participant in the war of 1812-15. He was one of 
Gen. Dearborn's Life Guards, and fell at the battle of 
Queenstown in 1813. Of his eight children, seven are 
now living — six in Cortlandvilie. His daughter Fanny 
married Daniel Hamlin, of Summer Hill. 

Nathan Blodget, from Massachusetts, located in 1805 ; 
purchased on lots 65 and 66 ; died in 1845 ; left five 
children — Loren, Lewis, Franklin, Lydia and Elizabeth. 
In 1808, John Ingles located on lot 74. Lemuel and 
Jacob Cady were from Massachusetts, and located on lot 
73. John Wicks on 72. Edmund Mallery on 74, The 
latter came from Dutchess county. William and Ros- 
well Randall were natives of Connecticut, but came to 
Cortland from Madison county about 1812. 

Samuel M'Graw, from whom M'Grawville derived its 
name, migrated from New Haven, Conn., to Cortlandvilie 
in 1803, and located on lot 87. He purchased 100 acres. 
In 1809 he removed to M'Grawville, and purchased 
about two hundred acres. There were at this time but 
three families settled within the vicinity of the present 


village. He reared a large and interesting family, — 
eight sons and four daughters, — eight of whom are now 
living. He died in February, 1836. His widow, at the 
age of eighty-four j^ears, survives him, and is still liv- 
ing on the homestead, enjoying remarkably good health. 
His son Harry, father of Hon. P. H. M'Graw, was for 
many years a merchant in the village. He died in 

Capt. Rufus Boies came in from Blandfort, Mass., in 
1812, and located on lot 54, where Linus Stillman now 
lives. His original purchase was but fifty acres ; he, 
however, increased the farm to one hundred and fifteen 
acres. He is now, at the advanced age of eighty-one, 
living in the village with his son Israel Boies. In his 
subsequent life, he has shown himself a man of the ut- 
most integrity of character, kind-hearted and intelli- 
gent ; and his worth as a man has been fully appreci- 

Others settled at early periods on various lots : the 
dates of location being doubtful, we therefore do not 
name them. Sylvanus Hopkins and Capt. Strong set- 
tled on lot 82. Nathan and James Knapp on 84. Elea- 
nor Richmond, with her step-son, on the west part of the 
same lot. Gilbert Budd and Jeremiah Chase, on 74. 
John Calvert, from Washington county, on lot 82. John 
McFarlan, John M'Nish, and Archibald Turner are be- 
lieved to have moved from the same county. John Still- 
man, Elisha Crosby and Lemuel Ingles settled on lot 65. 

David Merrick came from Massachusetts in 1800, and 
located on lot 44. In the year 179t, he came to Whites- 
town to purchase a tavern stand and one hundred acres 
of land, then valued at three hundred dollars. His 


means being" limited, he jSnally concluded not to piir- 
cbase, and returned home. The next year he visited 
Whitestown again, for the express purpose of closing a 
bargain, but the property was then valued at ten thou- 
sand dollars, and consequently he did not secure it, 
and came on to Homer ; a few years after, having been 
ejected from his premises three times, and being threat- 
ened with a fourth, he concluded to leave, and moved to 
Little York. In 1810, he located in Cortlandville, on 
lot 65. 

Danforth Merrick, son of David, informed us that he 
drew saw logs to Homer during the winter of 1800. 
There was then no road — at least only such as had been 
made by merely underbrushing through. The mud and 
snow was two feet deep, and as they had to ring the 
top end, around which they fastened the log chain, 
" noosing the logs" as they called it, he could draw but 
two per day. 

In the dwelling where he now resides, he kept tavern 
for twenty years. 

At this period, (1800,) a road had been cut through 
to Virgil Corners to intersect the State road. Another 
had been cut through to^X-ocke— now Groton ; a third 
to M'Grawville ; a fourth to Truxton, and, as above 
noted, a fifth to Homer. 

The first barrel of cider drank in town was brought 
in by Mr. Lyon, who some years after was murdered 
in Palmer, Mass. 

The first public house was kept by Samuel Ingles, in 
1810, on ground now covered by the Barnard Block. 

The first school-house stood on ground now covered 
by the Eagle hotel. 


The first gTist-mill was erected by Jonathan Hubbard, 
in 17t9. 

The first merchant was Lemuel Ingles ; he sold g-oods 
in a small house near the present residence of H. P. 

We have in another portion of our history referred to 
the early religious efforts of the pioneers of Cortland- 
ville. The first church organization occurred in 1801. 
This may be said to have been a union effort, for the 
meetings were held in Homer, Cortland, Port Watson, 
and on the East river, near the County House. The 
Baptist Church was erected in 1811, and dedicated in 
June, 1812. It was located within the present limits of 
Cortlandville, about one " half mile north of the old Court 
House." In the autumn of 1825, efforts were made by 
the association to secure a more advantageous change 
in the location of church organizations, which happily 
resulted in the formation of a church in Homer and 
M'Grawville, "leaving the Mother Church in the centre.'"* 
Soon after, three new churches were erected, one in each 
of the villages referred to. 

During the same year, a Presbyterian Church was 
organized in Cortlandville, which rapidly increased in 
numbers and in influence. 

The first Methodist meeting occurred in 1804, at the 
house of Jonathan Hubbard, the former residence of 
Samuel Crittenden. A discourse was pronounced by 
Rev. Samuel Hill, of the Philadelphia Circuit, and sub- 
sequently a class v\^as formed. It was undoubtedly 
small as to numbers, for at the tim.e of which we now 

* See Discourse by Rev. Alfred Bennet, 1844. 


write, there were but four houses within the present 
limits of Cortland Village. The Universalists, or Free 
Thinkers, and Catholic organizations are of more 
recent date. The former have a large and elegant 

In 1830 the population of Cortlandville was 3,673 
1835 " " 3,715 

1840 " " 3,799 

1845 " '* 4,111 

1850 " '/ 4,173 

1855 " " 4,423 

Lapeer was organized from the east part of Virgil, 
May 2, 1845. 

The first settler in this town was Primus Grant, a 
colored man; he purchased on lot 594, and settled on 
it in 1799. He was a native of Guinea, and the farm 
has always been called Guinea. He lived a number of 
years on his lot, and when he died was buried on one of 
the high bluffs that overlook the stream known as the 
Big Brook. 

Peter Gray, a native of Fishkill, Dutchess county, was 
the first white settler ; he came from Ulster (now Sulli- 
van CO.) in July, 1802, and located on lot 70. His widow 
still survives, and is believed to be the oldest person 
now living in the town, — age 84 years. His son, Ogden 
Gray, resides on the original premises. He left a re- 
spectable family of children, the youngest of whom is 
the wife of Dan C. Squires. 

Seth Jennings, from Connecticut, settled, in 1803, on 
lot 597, where he lived until his death. Hariy Jennings, 
his son, who now resides in Harford, owns the farm. 


Mr. Jenning-s left several cliildren, some of whom are 
still living in the town, 

Timothy Robertson, from the same State, came in 
about the same time, and lived for a brief period with 
Mr. Jennings. He was a soldier in the Revolutionary 
war ; was with Montgomery at the storming of Quebec, 
in nt5. He fought valiantly while the brave and 
heroic sons, martyrs to American liberty, were falling 
around him. His son, Eliphalet, the only remaining 
descendant, is now living in Lapeer. 

Thomas Kingsbury and Robert H. Wheeler settled 
in the south-east part of the town, in 1804. The former 
was a Revolutionary soldier, and drew a pension. One 
of his daughters married Marvin Balch, who resides on 
the homestead. The latter has no living representative 
in the town. They w^ere natives of Connecticut. 

Simeon Luce, father of Martin Luce, of Virgil, located 
on lot 57, in 1805 ; and is believed to have kept the 
first tavern in the town. He was an ingenious mechanic, 
and an industrious and valuable citizen. He died at an 
extreme old age, leaving a numerous posterity. 

Zachariah Squires and Robert Smith settled, in 1806, 
on lot to. The former was the father of Col. William 
Squires, now residing in the town of Marathon. The 
latter was an officer in the Revolutionary war, and held 
a commission from the Commander-in-Chief, General 
George Washington. He drew a pension a number of 
years. His children still reside in Lapeer. 

John S. Squires and James Richards located in 1807. 

The former was a native of Connecticut, but removed 

from Lisle, Broome go., and settled on lot 68. The farm 

is now occupied by his son, Dan C. Squires. He left 



a numerous family, of which James S. Squires, of Cort- 
land, is the young-est. Mr. Richards settled on lot 79, 
on the farm now owned by Erastus Johnson. 

There were sixteen soldiers of the Revolutionary war 
who settled in Lapeer, and all but one died there. 

A number of the soldiers of the last war with Great 
Britain, resided in Lapeer, and drew land-warrants, or 
pensions, or both. In 1813,, a volunteer company was 
organized, of which Simeon West was captain, John S. 
Squires lieutenant, and William Powers ensign. The 
service of this company was tendered the Government, 
and those composing it were to be , regarded as minute- 
men, to be mustered into active, service on a day's notice ; 
but happily their service was not needed. 

Among the earliesf clergymen who preached in La- 
peer, were the Rev. Mr. Harrison, and Dr. AVilliston, of 
the Presbyterian ; Mr. Sheopard, of the Baptist, and Mr. 
Densmore, of the Methodist. All of them were mission- 
aries, or traveling preachers. The latter organized a 
class. Other religious associations were subsequently 
formed, — that of the Baptist, in 1820 ; the Presbyterian, 
in 18^6 or 'T ; and the Christians during the latter year. 

The first child born in Lapeer was John Gray, son of 
Peter Gray, in 1803. He died in Minesota, al>: *-, two 
years since. The first death was that of Robert C. 
Squires, 9th of May, 1809, aged about two years. He was 
a son of John S. Squires. The first marriage is believed 
to have been that of James Parker to Miss Lucy Wood. 

Bimeon Luce erected the first grist-mill, in 1827. The 
first saw-mill was erected by Samuel and John Gee, in 
1825. Messrs. Nickels and Turpening were the first 
merchants, and commenced trading about 1834 or '5. 


The first post-master was Royal Johnson. He was ap- 
pointed in 1849, and still continues to hold the office. 

A few rods to the south of the residence of Mr. H. 
Geniing-, was, at a former period, an Indian camping- 
ground. Tliis was on a bluif overlooking and close to 
the Big Brook. From the banks of this stream flowed 
beautiful rivulets of cool transparent water. Here, too, 
were immense forests of elms, bass wood, maple, and 
other timber, the favorite resort of the black bear, once 
so plenty in Cortland county. Deers, too, roamed the 
hills and valleys. The wolf and pantliter made night 
hideous with their discordant notes of revelry. From 
the camping-ground the Indians daily radiated in quest 
of game and fish, and at night returned to their cabins 
loaded with peltry — the products of the chase. 
In 1850 the population of Lapeer was 822. 
1855 " " " 150. 

Harford was organized from the west part of Virgil, 
May 2, 1345. The first settlement in this town was 
made in 1803. Dorastus De Wolf, Thomas Nichols, John 
Green, and Cornelius Worden, were the pioneers who 
first selected locations and became permanent settlers 
of tht ^^n of Harford. De Wolf settled in the south 
part ot the town, then a perfect wilderness. Wolves 
were very plentiful, and, as a consequence, he had to 
protect his sheep at night for about twelve or thirteen 
years. Bears, also, were in abundance. Deer were 
frequently seen in droves. Occasionally an elk was 
seen in the valleys. Foxes and martins, wild-cats and 
opossums, were numerous, but a beaver was seldom 


Eev. Seth Williston was the first preacher who 
directed public religious worship. The first meeting 
occurred in 1804. 

The first physician was Dr. Fox. 

The first school was taught in 1801, by Miss Betsey 

The first post-office was established in 1825, and at 
that time called AVorthington, but was subsequently 
changed to Harford. 

The first merchant was Theodore E. Hart. He com- 
menced business in 1824. 

In 1845 the population of Harford was 921 
1850 " " 949 

1855 '* " 926 

Taylor was erected from Solon, December 5, 1849. 

The surface, soil, timber, and agricultural advantages 
are so similar to the adjoining towns, that we do not 
regard it as necessary to present any separate detail. 
It is watered in the south-east corner by the Otselic 
creek, but is in the main deficient of water power. The 
timber is generally maple, beach, elm, butternut, bass- 
wood and hemlock. The arable land is at least in the 
usual proportion of other towns ; the town is however 
better adapted for grazing and the dairy branch of pro- 
ductive industry, than for the producing of grain crops. 

The first permanent pioneers of the town of Taylor 
were Ezra Rockwell, and his sons Thomas, and Ezra, Jr. 
They were from Lenox, Mass. The father had served 
in the Revolution, and drew lot 18, on which they 
located in 1193. 

In 1195 Thomas Rockwell went to Cincinnatus and 


purchased one hundred acres on lots 9 and 19. He set- 
tled on the former, where he remained for thirty-two 
years, and then removed to Taylor and located on lot 
100. He purchased six acres on which the village of 
Taylor, familiarly known as Bangall, now stands. He 
also purchased one hundred and seven acres on lot 99. 
His house originally stood on the ground now covered 
by the public house kept by E. W. Fish. He has 
cleared four farms, erected several dwellings, and, with 
Leonard Holmes, built the tavern, about 1818. Mr. 
Holmes kept the house a number of years. He now 
resides on lot 86. • Mr. Rockwell is now eighty-one 
years old, straight and active as a man of thirty. 

The Beebes were originally from Connecticut. Rod- 
eric located on Mt. Roderic, lot 15, in the spring of 1194. 
He is described as being an active, hardy and indus- 
trious man, capable of enduring great privation and 
fatigue. The venerable Orellana Beebe migrated from 
New Haven in 1196, and settled on lot 1 in Solon, now 
Truxton. He remained there two years, and then re- 
moved to Taylor, and located on lot 100. He survives 
at the advanced age of eighty-eight years, remarkably 
active and healthy. Mrs. Beebe is eighty-four, blind, 
and very infirm. Ira Rockwell married his youngest 

Increase M. Hooker, a native of Vermont, located on 
lot 88, in 1191. He removed the next year to Truxton. 

Lewis Hawley, from Huntington, Conn., located on 
the Howe farm in Pitcher, in 1805. He remained but a 
brief period, and then came to Taylor and settled on the 
farm now owned by Ebenezer C. Wicks. One or two 
years after he settled on the Orrin Randall farm, where 


he remained two years, when he was attacked with the 
Ohio fever, and started for the then Great West. Bnt 
the snow having suddenly disappeared, he was unable 
to proceed farther than Bath. The next fiill he removed 
to Lisle, and the spring- following returned to Taylor, 
and settled on lot 78. He subsequently purchased one 
hundred acres on lot 77, where he died January 15, 
1858. He was an industrious, active, and valuable citi- 
zen. He reared a family of seven children — all living. 
Lewis T., resides in Syracuse ; Jiwnes T. on lot 87. 
Sarah Ann is the wife of John Biger ; Francis, on the 
homestead ; Hirara L., at Liverpool,. Onondaga county ; 
Cyrus M. is an active, practising attorney in Chicago ; 
John H., in Kansas. 

John L. Boyd and John Phelps migrated from Sar- 
atoga county. The former located on lot 98, in 1811, 
and purchased one hundred and nineteen acres. He 
subsequently made an additional purchase of two hun- 
dred and fifty-one acres. The latter settled on lot 86, 
and purchased eighty-six acres. He now has two hun- 
dred and twelve. When Mr. Phelps located on his land, 
the country around him was entirely covered with tim- 
ber ; or to use his own language, "it was a dense will 
derness." By economy and persevering industry, he 
has accumulated a respectable competence. 

In 1814, David Wire, originally of Connecticut, lo- 
cated on lot 100. He has reared a family of eleven 
children — five living. His father, Thomas Wire, was a 
native of England ; was kidnapped in London when 
but seven years old, and sold in Boston, where he re- 
mained until the commencement of the French and 
English war. He was then impressed in the English 


service for a period of six years. He subsequQjitly set- 
tled in Connecticut. When the American Revolution 
broke out, he entered the army by enlistment, and served 
throughout the war. 

The early pioneers were not unfrequently subjected 
to hardships and privation. Provisions, — the real sub- 
stantials of life, — were scarce, and the prospect of pro- 
curing them from a distance was often precarious and 
uncertain. Orellana Beebe told us that during one of 
those periods of scarcity, he and his son, Koakland, went 
to Genoa, Caywga county, to purchase wheat, which he 
obtained, and had ground at Squire Bradley's mill. 
The next spring he was equally as much in want, and 
being very anxious to get in a small crop of corn, said 
to his son, then only ten years old, " Koakland, can you 
take the horse to-morrow and go to Genoa and get some 
grain or flour ?" The boy's answer was, " I can try." 
The necessary preparations were made, and at early 
dawn he was on his way. He took with him three bags, 
each one containing eight pounds of maple sugar, with 
which to pay for his wheat, at the rate of one dollar, or 
eight pounds to the bushel. Almost the entire distance 
(forty miles) was traversed by marked trees. He 
reached his destination just at evening, and immediately 
inquired of Mr. Bradley if he could accommodate him 
with the grain. A negative answer brought tears into 
the lad's eyes, for he felt most keenly the disappoint- 
ment. Mr. Bradley, however, quieted his feelings by 
generously offering to take care of him and his horse 
until morning free of charge, when he would open a 
barrel and let him have the value of the sugar in flour — 
one hundred and twenty pounds. Morning dawned, and 


the boy -was duly prepared to start on bis return for 
home. He reached Judge Bingham's, at the Salt road, 
just at the close of day, and, though contrary to his will, 
was prevailed upon to remain until morning, the Judge 
telling him that it would not be possible for him to 
continue his way by glazed trees. At about ten o'clock 
in the forenoon of the next day he reached home in 
Safety, much gratified with his trip. That boy had the 
nerve and the muscle of a man. 

William Blackman was the first blacksmith ; Hiram 
Eockwell, the first merchant ; Ezra Rockwell, the first 
post-master. The ofiice was established in 1834. Mr. 
Rockwell continued in the ofiice for fifteen successive 
years, and is at present the recipient of its perquisites, 
having recently been reappointed. Barak Niles, the first 
school teacher. The first saw-mill was erected in 1812, 
by Thomas Rockwell. A portion of the old mill forms 
a part of the one now owned by Hiel Tanner. The first 
grist-mill, by Messrs. Wells & Lord. The first mission- 
ary was Dr. WilHston. The first settled minister, Ruben 
Hurd. The first birth was that of Polly H. Beebe, now 
-widow Rockwell, of Wisconsin. 

In 1850 the population of Taylor was 1,232 
1855 *' " 1,201 

There are but few who fully appreciate the beauty 
and loveliness of the Tioughnioga Valley. The strife 
for rivalry and gain hangs like a fated incubus upon 
the minds of the people, preventing them from viewing 
with admiration, hill, dale, and vallc}^, which appear 
spread out like a splendid panorama. Indeed, we have 
often wondered how little the citizens were impressed 


with the natural hcanties and advantages with which 
they are surrounded. Descending from an elevated 
point into the valley, we have beheld a luxuriance 
of unrivaled richness. Plere was the green herbage — 
yonder the golden tinge. An occasional old monarch — 
a proud relic of three centuries, towered aloft in his 
glorious majesty, while to the westward of the glassy 
waters* of the Tioughnioga river,* our eyes rested upon 
the fertile uplands, dotted with the neat white cottage 
residences of thriving agriculturists. The quiet rural 
village of Homer,f nestled in the lap of the luxuriant 
valley; the numerous glittei'lng spires rearing their 
points towards the azure zenith, and the ever-varied 
beauties of the surrounding landscape, complete a view 
rivaled only in the more rugged and picturesque scenes 
of nature. 

Homer is beautifully located on the west side of the 
Tioughnioga river, and is regarded as being one of the 
handsomest villages in the State, 

In 1800 there were six houses within the limits of 
the corporation. 

Whole number of its inhabitants, June 1st, 1855 — 
1625. Increase since 1848—225. 

The various branches of business indicate a healthful 

The present aggregate of business transacted in the 
village, we have not endeavored to arrive at. It is 
perhaps sufficient to say that the merchants, grocers 

* The Tioughnioga river, as called by the Indians 0-nan-no-gi-is- 
ka, signified Shagbark Hickory. 

f Homer, as called Te-wis-ta-no-ont-sa-ne-ha, signified the place 
of the silversmith. 


and mechanics arc doing a larger business than at any 
previons time. 

The first merchant in Homer was John Coats. His 
store stood on ground near Harrop's sign-post. 

The first permanent merchant was Jedediah Barber. 
He came into Homer in 1811, but did not engage in the 
mercantile trade until 1818. The original part of the 
Great \Yestern store, twenty-two by thirty feet, was 
erected at about that period. lie entered into business 
with exceedingly limited means, but by industry, perse- 
verance and economy, he was eminently successful, and 
finally became the heaviest dealer in tlie Tioughnioga 
valley, carved his way to fortune, and established a 
financial reputation unrivaled in the county. He has 
done more to improve and beautify the village of Homer 
than any other man. The monuments of his memory 
are scattered all around the village in the numerous 
buildings of various classes he has caused to be erected, 
or contributed to rear, and they will long remain more 
honorable and enduring memorials than any marble 
column which might be erected over his final resting- 
place. His name is identified with the history of the 
Tioughnioga valley, and will only cease to be remem- 
bered when the spirit of enterprise no longer exists. 

William Sherman, the second pioneer merchant, came 
into Homer durino: the summer of 1815. He located near 
the cooper shop. Soon after, he erected a machine shop 
for the manufacture of nails, — the first of the kind in the 
State of Xew York, — the machinerj'- being so arranged 
as to feed, cut, head and stamp without assistance. On 
the head of each nail was stamped the letter S. Four- 
penny nails were tlicn worth twenty-five cents per 


pound. Iron was exceedingly high. The manufactur- 
ing of oil was another branch of productive employ- 
ment in which Mr. Sherman engaged. In 182t he erected 
the " Eomer Exchange" store, in which for a period of 
nearly thirty years he conducted a heavy mercantile 
trade. John Sherman, and also his son William, now 
deceased, were at different periods his active partners 
in business. 

The original part of the store occupied by Geo. W. 
Phillips, was erected in 1819 by Benajah Tubbs. It has 
been successively owned by Thadeus Archer, Horace 
White, Marsena Ballard, Amos Graves, and at present 
by Giles Chittenden, Esq. The brick part is thirty-six 
by forty-six. Mr. White added improvements to an 
amount of $1,200 ; Mr. Chittenden, by an increase of 
land, other buildings, and improvements to the store, to 
an amount exceeding $1,300. The brick part cost 
about $4,000. 

The store occupied by C. 0. Newton, was erected at a 
later period. 

The first furnace was built in 1826 ; it was of a very 
limited structure, the blowing done by a horse attached 
to a plunge bellows. It stood on the opposite side 
of the street, and a little to the north of the foundry of 
Messrs. J. W. & A. Stone, sons of Deacon Nathan Stone, 
of pioneer memory. It ceased to be operated in 1838. 
During this year Jacob Saunders erected a foundry on 
the west side of the street ; it was destroyed by fire 
during the fall of 1844. Damage, $2,000. Insurance, 
$1,000. It was immediately rebuilt, so that in six 
weeks from the day of its destruction, a blast was 


The first eng-iiic was of six-horse power. The one at 
present in use rates somewhat higher. 

The foundry was purchased by the Messrs. Stone, 
March 1, 1853. 

The buildings cover one acre of ground. The furnace 
is forty by forty feet. The machine shop is twenty-six 
by thirty-six. 

Their business is one of increasing importance. They 
melt upwards of one hundred tons of iron per year. 

The grist-mill of Messrs. Cogswell & A¥ilcox, was put 
up in 1834. This is located on the ground occupied 
by the first mill erected in the county in 1798, by John 
Hubbard, Asa 'White, and John Keep. 

The Homer Cotton Mills of J. 0. Pearce & Co. were 
erected in 1834, and put in operation in 1835. The 
main building is fifty by one hundred feet. The ma- 
chinery is propelled by steam and water. The engine 
is of thirty horse power, and was manufactured in 
Eaton, Madison county, N. Y., by A. N. Wood & Co. 
Number of spindles, 2,400 ; looms, 50. 

In 1836 the amount manufactured in dollars, $1,000. 
In 1855, $30,000. 

The planing mill and carpenter shop of Mr. George 
W. Almy was erected in 1853. The building is thirty 
by sixty feet, and two stories high. The machinery is 
propelled by a steam engine of fifteen and a half horse 
power. During the past year (1855) Mr. Almy has 
planed two hundred thousand feet of lumber. The 
planing and matching is done with a correctness and 
smoothness which makes it a most valuable auxiliary in 
the department of saving labor. 

In 1855, the population of Homer was 1,625. 


Cortland. — The valley of Tioughnioga is unrivaled in 
Leauty — in wild, picturesque scenery. The quiet vales 
of central New York present few, if any, more attractive 
scenes than are to be found in our own broad valley. 
These exhibit all the grand requisites for the most 
varied and sublime spectacles. The forest-fringed hills 
with their impenetrable depths, present the varied 
shades of green and yellow, with an occasional tinge of 
orange and vermillion ; while the young and tender 
leaves glisten in the morning frost, or sparkle amid 
the fresh dewdrops kissed by the soft rays of the 
orient sun. 

" Here, in this lovely valley, the quiet village of Cort- 
land is situated, about three miles from its twin sister, 
Homer ; and through it a beautiful stream passes with 
murmuring music on its journey to the Susquehanna, 
which adds a new charm to the romantic and seques- 
tered spot. This beautiful village exhibits much enter- 
prise, united with social comfort ; for the undisturbed 
retirement of the location invites hither, during the 
summer, many of that class of citizens who prefer seclu- 
sion to the bustle of cit}^ life." 

Cortland Village was incorporated November 5, 1853, 
under the act passed in 1841, providing for the procure- 
ment of village incorporations by an order from the Court 
of Sessions and a vote of the citizens. 

Cortland contains many attractive and costly private 
residences, among which are those of W. R. Randall, 
Roswell Randall, Joseph Reynolds, W. 0. Barnard and 
G. N. Woodward. The first mentioned was built by 
William Randall, now deceased, father of the present 
occupant of the estate. The premises upon which the 


1)1111111112: staiulv^. comprisos about six acros oflaiul. Tlio 
portion fronting" Main stroot is boaniit\illy laid out in 
llowor plots, ilottod hero and there with evergreens and 
stately shade trees. There are winding' graveled walks, 
on either side of wliieh are beds of tlowers, seleeted 
and enltivated with great care. In tlie roar of the ele- 
gant mansion is an extensive greenhonse filled with a 
superb collection of cactns-roscs, and tlowers of almost 
every variety and hue, besides orange and lemon trees. 
In spring* time the various buds and blossoms that ap- 
pear are most grateful to the eye, and impart a most 
healthful and cheering intluenee. roeiieally. '• myriads" 
of happy songsters liU the air with their melodious 
strains, making the delightful g-ronnds appear like a 
Paradise of delight. There are very few more attrac- 
tive residences in the State. 

The village contains four churches, one academy, a 
number of first class hotels, stores, groceries, manufac- 
turing establishments, and warehouses. 

The " Kandall Bank" commenced doing business De- 
cember 3, ISoo. 

Capital, $50,000; deposits March S, ISoG, 8S0,718; 
amount of business transacted during the year 1855, 
§4,S10,()S5 ^25. William K. Kandall, Tresident; Jonathan 
Hubbard, Cashier. 

Tlie large and extensive hardware, agricultural and 
seed store of Mr. S. D. Freer, is situated on Port Wat- 
son street. The building is appropriately divided into 
necessary apartments, among which are the foundry, 
machine, blacksmith, wood, and tin shops. It is thirty- 
six by one hundred and forty feet. The original portion 
was erected in 1S3G— rebuilt in 1S4S. 


The grist-mill — tlic second one in the county — was 
erected in 1*199, by Jonathan Hubbard ; is at present 
owned by Ebenezer !Mudge. Orir^inally it contained 
only two runs of stone ; but during the improvements 
which were made a few years since, two more were ad- 
ded, making it one of the largest and best mills in the 
county. The greater portion of the wheat that is 
ground at this mill is purchased in the -northern and 
southern portions of the State, as also from the southern 
part of Canada. During the past year there were 
ground at this mill about twenty-eight thousand bushels 
of wheat. 

There were shipped from the Cortland Railroad sta- 
tion, from April 1, 18.55, to March 24, 18.5G,to the differ- 
ent stations on the Syracuse, Binghamton and N. 
Y. Railroad, five millions eight hundred and eighty- 
three thousand one hundred pounds of freight. 

We have elsewhere remarked with reference to the 
productive results of the dairy business — a prominent 
branch of agriculture, which has already superseded 
the others in practical importance. The amount of but- 
ter purchased and shipped by gentlemen in Cortland, 
reaches an aggregate amount which is certainly exces- 
sively large. The amount paid out in 1855 by James 
Van Yalon, J. D. Schermerhorn, James S. Squires, and 
J. A. Graham, exceeded $249,000. 

Cortland is a pleasant and prosperous village, with a 
population (as per census of 1855) of 1,576 persons. 
There are few villages in central New York, more 
favorably located, or in which may be found a more 
active and energetic class of enlightened citizens. In 


1813 Port Watson niiuibered twenty-five inhabitants, 
and Cortland, twelve. 

Marathon is remarkable for its health and beauty, is 
pleasantly situated on the Tioughnioga river, and is 
surrounded by a densely peopled, rich, and highl}^ culti- 
vated country. It has a ready and cheap communi- 
cation, not only with middle and western New York ; 
but with Pennsylvania, Ohio, the Canadas, and indeed 
with the ever prosperous and growing West, by rail- 
road, canal, and the great chain of northern lakes. The 
mass of its inhabitants are characterized for morality 
and intelligence, sobriety, industry, and enterprise. 

The positive proof of her prosperity may be seen in 
the result of the numerous transforming influences 
which for the last few years have attended her healthful 
growth and permanent strength — in the newly erected 
public and private residences, as well as the commodi- 
ous and truly valuable mercantile and mechanical 
establishments. That Marathon is exceedingly " fa- 
vorably located, both in regard to the value of the 
country by which it is surrounded, an4 the area likely 
to be tributary to its business interests," is no longer a 
question admitting of a doubt. 

Of the village of M'Grawville, we have remarked in 
another place. Cincinnatus, Truxton, East Homer, 
Preble Centre, and Scott Corners, are pleasant and 
prosperous villages. 



Times cliansje — one age succeeds another, 

And pining want and grim despair 
Are left behind, and fairer, brighter 

Scenes the pioneers do view. 

The history of Cortland county from the day when 
Amos Todd first planted the standard of civilization in 
this then " western wilderness," is but a record of such 
incidents as the faithful annalist is usually called to 
record of the rural or gradually improving agricultural 
districts of a naturally rich and fertile country. The 
early pioneers were mostly from the New England States, 
and were imbued with the Puritan habits of their fathers. 
In 1800, this inland, obscure, and almost inaccessible 
region had become dotted with log cabins and small 
clearings. The burning of huge log-heaps served as land- 
marks to guide the weary wanderer or returning hunter, 
as he neared the rustic home of the pilgrim pioneers. 
Clouds of smoke ascended from hill and valley as the 
old forest monarchs bowed before the invincible axmen. 
The wilderness vanished before the hand of civilization. 
It was scathed with fire, and rutlilessly torn with iron 


harrows. AYliile the lowlands were being brought into 
suitable culture for corn, wheat, and potatoes, the cru- 
saders ascended the hillsides and even made war with 
the hemlock highlands. This was the heroic age — an 
age of iron fortitude and persevering industr3^ The 
pioneers went forth armed with the conquering axe, im- 
pressed with a determined will, and inspired with a 
devotional feeling for home and country. Years of toil 
and privation succeeded, and occasionally penury and 
want communed together. Instances of this character, 
however, were not often allowed to be repeated, without 
an effort at prevention ; for the liberal hand of the more 
fortunate brother did not withhold the alleviating chari- 
ties, especially if the means were in his power. Unlike 
their modern rivals in wealth — the golden barons of the 
present day, who are hoarding up means to procure 
Grecian, Gothic, and Italian finery — they were most 
happy in relieving the wants of their industrious neigh- 
bor. Unlike the present day, the means of subsistence 
were scant, and not easily obtained from a distance, 
and consequently want was not a stranger, even in the 
Tioughnioga valley. As settlements increased, and 
improvements spread, hope and joy began to realize the 
anticipated benefits which they saw in their day dreams 
and nightly visions. The products of a generous soil 
were garnered in their various depositories, and peace 
and gladness reigned in the pioneer's home. 

What a change has been wrought in fifty years ? 
Then the majority of tlie inhabitants were found located 
in our valleys. How changed the scene ! Now the 
majority are found upon the more elevated lands. The 
huge log-heaps, sending forth thoir red-hot flames, like 


fiery serpents coiling around some proud old monarch, 
eating out its very vitals, the charred stumps, and rough 
brush fences, are no more seen as in days past. The 
change is hardly to be realized. Then a thousand un- 
sightly scenes met the laborer's eye — the timber was 
felled in every conceivable form, or as best suited the 
purpose for the more ready application of the crusader's 
torch. Here and there were seen half-haggled outlines, 
and blackened trunks of stately trees, while the sun, 
half hid from sight, only occasionallj^ glimmered through 
the thick hemlock boughs, as the rosy-cheeked maiden 
wandered in pursuit of the favorite cow, listening to 
catch the well-known sound of the tinkling bell, so fre- 
quently heard by the brave old pioneer. Now beautiful 
and well-cultivated farms, bedecked with the tranquil 
abode of the husbandman, mark the rapidly-improving 
aspect of the once hated and shunned highlands. Val- 
uable horses and fine fleshy cattle graze upon the pro- 
ductive meadows. A thousand lights are seen at night 
from the windows of tasteful and elegant mansions. 
Carriage wheels rapidly roll upon the roads where once 
were seen only the Indian trails. The cheering light 
of science has ascended the hillside, and education 
erected her standard on the liigher summit. A hundred 
school-houses, within whose walls literature and learn- 
ing love to linger, as in some royal academic edifice, 
send forth an intellectual influence of far more service 
than the entrenched embattlements of a thousand war- 

An intelligent and enterprising population of twenty- 
four thousand souls are now living within the bounda- 
ries of Cortland county. Mills and machinery are add' 


ing" wealth and elegance, while the agriculturists are 
turning up the golden sands of an almost unrivaled soil, 
and the dairymen are shipping to eastern markets heavy 
consignments of butter and cheese. The heavy goods 
of our merchants are not now, as once, "dragged in 
logy wagons" from Albany and Utica, , but the huge 
monster, clothed in iron mail and steel clad armor, \belch- 
ing fire and smoke, rushes with wild discordant shriek 
over the iron rails which are laid down through our 
valley, forcing, as with superhuman speed, heavj^ trains 
laden with every variety of merchandize for the retail 
trade — the sugars from the islands of the ocean, the 
teas of China, the silks of Calcutta, and the thousands 
of valuable products from oriental looms and spindles. 
The Republican^ Gazette and Banner enter weekly almost 
every dwelling, even in the rural districts. 

There has been a uniform indifference, and an almost 
entire absence of correct information, through the west- 
ern divisions of our State in regard to a correct knowl- 
edge of this county, as well as with respect to the 
intelligence and rapidly increasing wealth of the inhab- 
itants ; and we are very sure that no other portion has 
been so generally misunderstood and decidedly misrep- 
resented. Indeed, Cortland county has been singularly 
unfortunate in this particular. And yet, through the 
active and enterprising exertions of her citizens, she is 
quietly and rapidly growing to be second to none in the 
State in all the elements of wealth and prosperity. Her 
agricultural resources and lumber trade are of consider- 
able importance. The dairy business has increased to 
an almost unparalleled extent. Beside the home con- 
sumption, we have, for several j^ears, sent to eastern 


markets large quantities of butter and cheese — of the 
former, upwards of $400,000 worth. There were shipped 
from the three stations — Homer, Cortland and Mara- 
thon — during- the past j^ear, 1,500,000 pounds of butter. 
There is still another item of increasing magnitude. 
We refer to the sale of cattle. There cannot be less 
than $220,000 worth of cattle driven out of the county 
annually. Our grain fields, though not in all re- 
spects equal to Tompkins, Yates, Ontario and Monroe, 
yet are generally very productive, while the grass 
lands are matters of astonishment to every one. We 
frequently cut from two to three tons of ha}^ per acre. 
We refer now more particularly to the back and hill 
lands, which in times past have been regarded, by cer- 
tain descriptive geographers of our State, as being only 
suited to the growth of " wild Yankees and tall hem- 

But "we were not aware until recently that the 
waters of the Tioughnioga had ever been the highway of 
so much commerce as to render it a part of the journalist's 
duty to publish a " marine repol't." We knew that great 
quantities of whiskey, grain, potatoes and other pro- 
ducts of this wild region, were *' sent down the river" 
to Harrisburgh and Baltimore ; but we did not suppose 
the commerce was of so much importance as the follow- 
ing would indicate. We copy literally :* 


Port Watson. 

Tlighivater — Monday, Qth inst. 
Bark Exporter, G. Rice, master, for Harrisburgh, laden with cheese 
and gypsum. 

'•' See " Cortland Democrat^' of August 2, 1855. 


Bark Crazij Jane, L. Rice, gypsum, for Harrisburgh. 

" Dutch 7^/-flrfer,Shapley, gypsum, " 

" Xavi(ja(or, Parsons, gypsum, Columbia. 

" Brother Joiiathan, Taylor, gypsum, Columbia. 

" Gold Iliir.tcr, Sherwood, " " 

" Indian Chief, Billings, " •• 

" Besohition, May, gypsum, Marietta. 

" Perseverance, Wakefield, gypsum, Marietta. 

"■ riuvnix, " " 

" Enterprise, *' '♦ 

'' Lazy Tom, " " 

*' Sour Kroiit. " " 

*• Yankee Rogue, *' *' 

We doubt not tbe memory of oiir venerable friend, 
Major Shapley, whose recollection is not altogether 
dimmed b}^ age, of " hair-breadth 'scapes" from sh'ip- 
wreck, of the dangers of " taking in" too much freight — 
of passages over dams, and other adventures incident 
to the life of the Susquehanna raftsmen — will be 
greatly refreshed by the foregoing list. But the glory 
of the Tioughnioga has departed — the " ship j-ard" of 
Port Watson has gone to decay — the earth whereon 
those jolly barks were built, is now made to yield to the 
labors of the gardener and husbandman — the contest 
between nature and art has resulted adversel}^ to the 
former, and the raftsman's song has given place to the 
shrill scream of the steam whistle, and the products of 
our county are whirled to other markets, at a speed 
somewhat greater than two or three miles per hour. 
Many an "old craft" has smoked his last pipe and 
uttered his last oath ; and those who are left behind 
cling closer to the chimney corner as the frosts of age 
gather around them, while they recount to incredulous 


3^oiith the deeds which wrought the hut into tlie uuiu- 
sion — the forest into the hamlet — and extended to their 
descendants the benefits of schools, religion, and the 
comforts and refinements which prosperity and wealth 

The few remaining relics of the " olden time" are 
now trembling on the verge of an hundred years, and 
treading, as it were, the confines of another world. As 
they look back upon the mighty changes which time 
and industry have wrought, they seem overwhelmed 
and bewildered. But, after resting a moment to collect 
their scattered thoughts, they enter into a warm and 
interesting disquisition on the moral and industrial hab- 
its of the present generation, as compared with the 
more active and laborious life of their fathers. They 
feel conscious that a very great change has taken place 
in the moral and social habits of the people, and that 
although the age in which we live is marked by the 
hand of progress, and an enlightened civilization, they 
do not perceive the same union of sentiment pervading 
the various associations, or cementing the more endear- 
ing ties of fraternal friendship. When' they first landed 
from their canoes upon the banks of the Tioughnioga, 
they regarded themselves as being beyond the bounda- 
ries of civilization, and as having cast their destiny 
in the far distant West. Thej^ can hardly comprehend 
the means by which new territories are settled and ad- 
mitted into the union of confederated States, with an 
energetic population of two years' growth, christened 
with the name of " State." 

The inhabitants of this county are, in many respects, 
quite dissimilar to those of some of the sister counties 


of tlie State, being' principally made up of Connecticut 
and Massachusetts people, or their descendants, though 
there is an occasional sprinkling of the Dutch ; yet the 
peculiar characteristics of the universal Yankee are 
predominant. The agriculturists are proverbial for 
their frugality and propensity to hoard money, yet 
with extremely few exceptions, are affable, courteous, 
and dignified in their deportment. 

Our merchants, too, as a class, are a very wortliy por- 
tion of community — intelligent, high-minded and honor- 
able, and such as would be creditable to any country. 
Many of them are in the enjoyment of considerable 
wealth, honorably acquired. 

And last though not least, the clergy deserve a pass- 
ing notice : — distinguished alike for liberality of senti- 
ment, generosity of purpose, and commanding powers 
of mind. The religious sentiments, greatly liberalized 
by the descendants of the pilgrims, and cultivated by 
the early pioneers of Cortland, are properly appreciated 
by the enlightened clergymen who conduct public re- 
ligious worship in our various temples of Christianity. 

Of the legal fraternity we have remarked in another 

The first military organization, embracing portions of 
the territory of this count3^, dates back to 1^96. In 
March, 1194, after the erection of Onondaga county from 
Herkimer, various appointments were made for the new 
count}' ; and especially for the battalions, of Majors 
John L. Hardenburgh, Moses De Witt and Asa Dan- 
forth. The latter battalion, in 1796, was made a regi- 
ment, and comprised the townships of Hannibal, Lysan- 
dcr, Cicero, Manlius, Pompey, Fabius, Solon, Cincinna- 


tus, Tull}^ Yirgil, Camillus, Sempronius, Locke, Dryden, 
aud the " Onondaga Reservation." Asa Danforth was 
made Lieutenant Colonel Commandant. 

The act of April 8, 1808, authorizing the erection of 
Cortland county, provided for the holding of three 
courts of Common Pleas and General Sessions of the 
Peace, which were to be held on the second Tuesday of 
April, and the first Tuesdays of September and Decem- 
ber, in every year after the due organization of tlie 
county. These Courts were to have the same jurisdic- 
tion, powers, and authorities as the Courts of Common 
Pleas and General Sessions of the Peace in the other 
counties of the State have in their respective counties. 
Suits previously commenced, however, were not to be 
affected so as to work a wrong or prejudice to any of 
the parties ; nor were any criminal or other proceed- 
ings on the part of the State to be in the least affected ; 
but on the contrary, all such civil and criminal proceed- 
ings were to be prosecuted to trial, judgment, and exe- 
cution. The act also provided that the Courts "should 
be held at the school-house on lot No. 45, in the town 
of Homer." John Keep received the appointment of 
first Judge, xVpril 3d, 1810. 

Cortland county was made to form a part of the 
Western Senatorial District, and part of the Thirteenth 
Congressional District, and was entitled to one member 
of Assembly, and so continued to be up to 1823, when 
Daniel Sherwood and John Gillett were elected. By a 
change of Representation, in 1846, Cortland was re- 
duced to one member, and in 1847 Timothy Green was 
elected to a seat in the Assembly. Ephraim Fish, the 


first member, was elected in 1810, and took his seat at the 
opening of the 33d Session. 

The first court-house was erected on a commanding- 
eminence west of Cortland Village. Various sites were 
examined by the locating commissioners, there being 
numerous interests operating upon the minds of the 
people in the different localities. Homer, Cortland, 
Port Watson and M'Grawville, were equally interested 
in securing the location of the public buildings, and the 
good citizens were, apparently, equally certain of suc- 
cess. The commissioners, however, after examining 
the different locations, and listening to the fervent 
and eloquent appeals of interested individuals, finally 
stuck the stake at the south-west corner of where the 
venerable old relic of a passing age now stands, " soli- 
tary and alone," a monument of other days and of the 
yet remembered differences of an excited people. The 
decision, as was naturally expected, did not meet with 
the general approbation of the community. A ludicrous 
representation of the commanding structure, and of 
some of the opposing interests, was prepared by a 
wag, which was rendered, from existing circumstances, 
somewhat amusing. The " was to be" elegant and 
dignified edifice appeared quite accurately drawn on 
old-fashioned foolscap, rearing aloft its bold outlines of 
pine and hemlock, and looking down with defiant scorn 
on the outraged citizens of Homer and Port Watson. 
Two lines of heavy cordage were attached to it ; one 
leading to Homer, the other to Port Watson ; and to 
each of these ropes were clinched the firm hands, as 
with a tiger's grasp, of several of the prominent and 


most influential leaders of the aggrieved parties. There 
they stood, pulling as if for life, resolved upon at least 
bringing the stupendous fabric to their notions of right, 
inasmucli as they had failed in securing the good will 
and approbating judgment of the self-willed commis- 
sioners. If they could not bring them to correct judg- 
ment, they could, at least, pull the magnificent structure 
down. But look again. On the other side of the legal 
inle, stands William Mallory, grasping a still heavier 
piece of cordage, determined on contesting the skill 
and strength of the opposing forces. There he stands, 
a proud representative of the immortal Wallace, of 
enormous form and determined will. His heels are im- 
bedded in the earth, as he braces himself to the work 
of preservation. 

But the scene was suddenly changed on turning the 
paper over, though the ludicrous picture was measura- 
bly the same. There it stood, an unyielding mass of 
timber, — of tenons and mortises. There stood the vener- 
able Mallory, holding on to his undissevered rope, 
while a smile, peculiar to him alone, played over his 
flushed countenance. But where were his hitherto un- 
yielding opponents ? Their cords had parted, and forced 
them into the unpleasant attitude of turning double 
semi-circles down the declivated pathway. 

The venerable pile that in former days 

"O'eiiooked the town and drew the sight," 

long since failed to attract attention or gratify the 
pride of an enlightened and prosperous people. And iu 
order to properly secure the ends of justice, the old 
structure was condemned and pronounced '' unsafe," 


and measures were taken, which in due time resulted in 
the erection of the present court-house, which was 
completed in 1836. 

The clerk's office was erected in 1819. The first 
county clerk was John Ballard, who was appointed 
April 8, 1808. 

The county house, with one hundred and eighty-eight 
acres of land, was purchased in 1836, for $5,000. The 
house was originally erected by John Keep, at a very 
early day. It has been enlarged and variously im- 
proved at different periods. 

At the time of our visit to the county -house, there 
were in all fifty-one paupers. The average number for 
several years past, as shown by the keeper's book, is a 
fraction over fifty-eight. 

The ages of those bending under the weight of years, 
were variously classed as follows ; two, fifty-five — one, 
sixty-six — two, sixty-nine — two, seventy -nine — three, 
eighty-five — four, eighty-nine — and one, ninety-two years. 

Randall Bank, organized December 3, 1853. Capital 
$50,000. William R. Randall, Banker. Jonathan Hub- 
bard, Cashier. 

The Cortland Count}^ Medical Society was organized 
in 1808. The officers and members were as follows : 

Lewis S. Owen, Homer, President. 

John Miller, Truxton, V. President. 

Jesse Searl, Homer, Secretary. 

Robert D. Taggart, Preble, Treasurer. 

Luther Rice, Homer. 

Allen Barney, Homer. 

Ezra Pannell, Truxton. 

Elijah G. Wheeler. 


Dr. John Miller, of Truxton, is the only living member 
of its original organization. The Association, with oc- 
casional amendments of by-laws, has been continued 
to the present day. 

The Cortland County Agricultural Society was organ- 
ized October 1, 1838. William Berry, President ; Jesse 
Ives and C. Comstock, Vice Presidents ; C. P. Jacobs, 
Eecording Secretary ; H. S. Randall, Corresponding 
Secretary ; Rufus Boies, Treasurer ; Paris Barber, C. 
McKnight, Israel Boies, Morris Miller, and C. H. Harris, 
Executive Committee. 

The Union Agricultural Society of Truxton, Willet, 
Marathon, and Lapeer, was organized in the winter of 

The post-offices organized at various periods, are as 
follows : 

Blodget Mills, Willet, 

Cincinnatus, Cortland Village, 

Cuyler, East Freetown, 

East Homer, East Scott, 

East Virgil, Freetown Corners, 

Galatia Valley, Harford, 

Homer, Kinney's Settlement, 

Lapeer, Little York, 

M'Grawville, Marathon, 

Messengerville, Preble, 

Scott, Solon, 

South Cortland, Taylor, 

Texas Valley, Truxton, 

Union Valley, Virgil. 



County Judges. 

John K'cep, appointed 





William Mallory, " 





Joseph Reynolds, " 





Henry Stephens, " 





Daniel Ilawkes, elected 




Lewis Kingsley, " 





R. Holland Duell, " 





County Clerks 

John Ballard, appointed April 




Reuben Washburn, '*" 





John Ballard, 





Mead Merrill, " 





William Mallery, " 





Joshua Ballard, " 





Matthias Cook, 





Sam'l Hotchkiss, jr., elc( 




Orin Stimson, '' 



Gideon C. Babcock, '' 



Sam'l Hotchkiss, jr., " 



Rufus A. Reed, 



Rufiis A. Reed, 



Rufus A. Reed, 



Allis W. Ogden, 



District Attorney, 


Augustus A. Donnelly, 



Edward C. Reed, 



William H. Shankland, 



Horatio Ballard, 



Augustus S. Ballard, 





R. Holland Ducll, 



Edward C. Reed, appointed 



Abram P. Smith, elected 



County Treasurers. 

Justin M. Pierce, 




Edwin F. Gould, 




Isaac M. Seaman, 




Horace L. Green, 




School Commissioners. 

Noah C. Dady, appo 

inted June 




Dan C. Squires, 






Noah C. Dady, elected 



Daniel E. Whitmon 





Asahel Minor, 





Wm. Mallery, appointed 



, 1808. 


Joshua Ballard, 




, 1810. 


Billy Trowbridge, 






William Stewart, 






Noah R. Smith, 






Moses Hopkins, 






Moses Hopkins, elected 



David Coye, 




Adin Webb, 




William Andrews, 




Gilmore Kinney, 




E. W. Edgcomb, 




Alanson Carley, 




Christian Etz, 




George Ross, 






J. C. Pomero}', 




Frederick Ives, 




John S. Samson, 




Silas Baldwin, 





John McWhorter, 






Mead Merrill, 





Luther F. Stevens 






Adin Webb, 





Jabez B. Phelps, 





Charles W. Lynde 






Townsend Ross, 





Anthony Freer, 





Adin Webb, 





Anthony Freer, 





Members of 


Ephraim Fish, 




Billy Trowbridge, 




<< << 




<< <( 




William Mallery, 




S. G. Hatheway, 




Joseph Reynolds, 




John Miller, 




S. G. Hatheway, 




Joseph Reynolds, 




John Miller, 




John Osborn, 




* Since the adoption of the Constitution of 1846, this 
been merged in that of the County Judge. 

ice has 


Daniel Sherwood, el 




<( (( 




John Gillett, 




Matthias Cook, 




William Barto, jr., 




Josiah Hart, 




J. Chatterton, 




John Lynde, 




Augustus A.Donnelly/' 



Nathan Dayton, 




Cephas Conistock, 




Nathan Dayton, 




John L. Boyd, 




Gideon Curtis, 




Alanson Carley, 



Henry Stephens, 




Chauncey Keep, 



Fredus Howard, 

i I 



Charles Richardson, 



Andrew Dickson, 




J. L. Woods, 



David Mathews, 




Enos S. Halbert, 



Oliver Kingman, 




S. Bogardus, 



Barak Niles, 




Aaron Brown, 



Chauncey Keep, 




Cephas Comstock, 



Josiah Hine, 




John Thomas, 



John Osgood, 





David Mathews, e 




G. S. Green, 




George Issacs, 



Jabez B. Phelps, 




William Barnes, 



Nathan Heaton, 




Lovel G. Mickels, 



Oren Stimson, 




Jesse Ives, 



H. M'Graw, 




George N. Niles, 



J. Kingman, jr., 




Piatt F. Grow, 



John Pierce 2nd, 




Geo. J. J. Barber, 



Amos Graves, 




John Miller, 



Timothy Green, 




James Gomstock, 




Ira Skeel, 




Lewis Kingsley, 




Alvan Kellog, 




Geo. W. Bradford, 




Ashbel Patterson, 




John H. Knapp, 




Geo. J. Kingman, 




Joseph At water, 




Nathan Bouton, 




Arthur Holmes, 




The interest manifested by numerous prominent po- 
litical actors, w^ith reference to our full and complete 



table of coniity officers, from its organization in 1808 to 
the present time, with the names of the various parties 
to which they were attached, has induced us to add a 
comprehensive list of State, Congressional, and Sena- 
torial members which have been chosen from this 

Secretary of Statr. 

Henry S. Randall, Cortland, elected 1851. Dem. 
Representatives in Congress. 

Elected. Session. 

John Miller, Truxton, 

Edward C. Reed, Homer, 

Sam'l G. Hatheway, Solon, 

Joseph Reynolds, Virgil, 

Lewis Riggs, Homer, 

Harmon S. Conger, Cortland, 1846 

Harmon S. Conger, *' 

R. Holland Duell, 

William Mallery, Cortland, 
Samuel G. Hatheway, Solon, 
Chas. W. Lynde, Homer, 
Wm. Bartlit, Cortland, 
Geo. W. Bradford, Homer, 
Geo. W. Bradford, " 

























3RK Senate. 





















In 1855 there were in the county 3,388 farmers and 
agriculturists, 95 merchants, 56 clergymen, 20 lawyers, 
49 doctors, 32 inns, 184 school-houses, 6,426 names of 
pupils on teachers' lists — average attendance, 4,157. 


No. of cburches, 51 — valued at $99,900. Real estate on 
which they are located, valued $18,100. Salaries of 
clergymen, $lt,164. Argricultural products, 1,212,074 
bushels. Value of orchard products, $24,613. Value 
of market gardens, $508. Gallons wine, 81. Dairy 
products, 3,081,936 lbs. Tons of hay, 56,769. Clover 
seed, 866 bushels. Other grass seeds, 1,585 bushels. 
Hops, 10,327 lbs. Flax seed, 1,978 bushels. Wool, 
120,793 lbs. Maple sugar, 521,052 lbs. Maple molasses, 
2,769 gallons. Beeswax and honey, 24,360 lbs. Cloth, 
21,800 yds. Common school libraries, 184. Number of 
volumes in Dist. School libraries, 19,669. Aggregate 
population, 24,957. There were 245 persons who could 
neither read nor write ; there were 95 who could read, 
but not write. Number of colored persons, 30. Owners 
of land, 4,212. The oldest person residing in the county 
(1855) was Margaret Berry, of Taylor, age 106 years. 

In 1840 there were seventy-nine persons entitled to 
pensions for Revolutionary or military services. Of 
these, twelve resided in Truxton, fifteen in Cortland, 
eleven in Homer, eight in Preble, two in Scott, fifteen 
in Virgil, two in Solon, six in Cincinnatus, two in Mara- 
thon, three in Freetown, and four in Willet. In 1855 
there were none reported. 

Assessed Valuation of Real Estate for 1855, 

$5,352,153 00 
Assessed valuation of personal prop- 
erty, 530,691 00 
Aggregate taxation, 1855, 29,909 49 
Military tax, do. 543 00 


Incorporated Companies Liable to Taxation. 

Syracuse, Bingbamton and New York Railroad, and 
Randall Bank. 

Assessed valuation of Sj'racuse, Bingbamton and New- 
York Railroad, in tbe towns tbrough whicb it passes, is 
as follows : 













Assessed valuation of Randall Bank, 


It is a matter of no little astonisbment to tbe enter- 
prising and progressive tourist, as be visits our county, 
— witb 194,136 acres of improved land, ber beautiful 
farms, green pastures, watered by lovely streams, and 
ber quiet picturesque villages located in ber rich val- 
leys, like gems in a golden casket, — tbat so little atten- 
tion sbould be given to tbe growing of fruit. In 1855, 
tbe Marshals reported tbe number of busbels of apples 
grown in Tompkins county at 417,757 ; in Cayuga, 
522,751 ; in Cbenango, 553,554 ; in Onondaga, 624,545 ; 
and in Cortland, 351,975. The reader will readily per- 
ceive tbat Cortland county falls ftir behind either of the 
sister counties above quoted. Our soil and climate is 
not as well adapted to the growth of the peach and 
quince ; but we believe tbat all tbe prominent fruits 
may be equally well grown here. 

The wealth of our county does not lie in jewelled 


skulls and golden shrines, but in a commerce which 
enriches our agricultural producers. 

The neglect in the culture of the apple is attributable 
to several causes, but mainly to the want of good, 
healthy nurseries. Until within a few years, no perma- 
nent nursery had been provided from which to secure 
the various trees for transplanting into orchards. A 
second, and most excellent reason is, that the people 
have been sadly imposed upon by men of little or no 
experience in the science of grafting. The permanent 
nursery of Messrs. D. C. Hobart and E. H. Knapp, in 
the town of Homer, comprising about thirty thousand 
grafted trees, of the most choice varieties, must event- 
ually add greatly to the wealth of the county, as well 
as to the convenience and comfort of those who pur- 
chase and propagate the more desirable qualities of 

The first and only death-penalty inflicted in Cortland 
county, occurred September 2d, 1853, upon the person of 
Patrick O'Donohue, for the murder of Mrs. Jane Ann 
Kinney, of Truxton, September 3d, 1852. The particu- 
lars attending tlie bloody tragedy are briefly as follows: 
His daughter Elizabeth, a girl of ten years, had been 
forbidden to visit the house of Mrs. Kinney. Bat con- 
trary to the expressed wish of the father, the little girl 
had disobeyed ; and to escape the vengeance of his 
fiend-like temper, her two elder sisters secreted her in 
a ledge of ragged rocks, and then informed their father 
that she had been stolen away. O'Donohue hastened 
from his work in the woods, accompanied by his wife 
and two or three other children, all in a high state of 
excitement. He was falsely made to believe that tlie 


abductor was no other than the husband of Mrs. Kinney, 
whom he presumed to be his enemy. 

Little did the daughters think of the sad and mourn- 
ful tragedy that was soon to follow their improper de- 
ception. Little did they presume that their indiscretion 
was so soon to lead the father to imbue his hands in 
the heart's blood of an unwarned and unprotected mother 
and child ; that murder — black-hearted and fiond-like 
murder — was to be the result of their inconsiderate 
conduct, and in a few short hours to send the life cur- 
rent curdling to the heart of a whole community. What 
a reflection to be forced upon the mind of the erring- 
girls — sad, mournful, and truly tragical ! — a lesson to 
the young written in the warm blood of the innocent. 

A search for the little girl was instituted, between the 
father and son, the former carrying a loaded gun. The 
search was not a prolonged one, as it was given up 
about the middle of the forenoon. At about this time 
Mrs. Kinney, and her daughter, Amanda Jane, were on 
their way to the residence of a neighboring family, and 
of necessity had to pass the house of O'Donohue. Just 
as they drew near the gate leading to the barn, they 
were met by the murderer, who angrily asked Mrs. 
Kinney if she had seen Elizabeth. Receiving a nega- 
tive answer, he flew into a terrible passion, leveled his 
gun and fired at Mrs. Kinney; the contents of the deadly 
weapon, however, merely glazed her side, causing her 
to reel or stagger. His uncontrolled temper now raged 
with greater fury in his unrelenting and fiendish breast. 
Hastily reversing the position of his gun, he struck her 
several blov/s with the butt end, the second of which 
dislocated her neck, causing immediate death. Not yet 


satisfied, but like a demon hot from the infernal pit, he 
flew at the daughter, who in the mean time had fallen 
from fright, and plunged a bayonet into her body, from 
which spirted the vital current of life. And although 
the fatal instrument was seized by the wounded and 
dying girl, it was quickly wrested from her grasp, and 
with a desperation scarcely equaled in the bloody 
records of crime, was again and again plunged into her 
body. And while the younger victim of O'Donohue's 
cruelty was yet weltering in her warm heart's blood, 
Charles McKnight, who had left his house at or about 
10 o'clock A. M., for the purpose of superintending some 
work, was attracted by certain suspicious actions of 
the murderer's son to the place where the horrid deed 
was committed. A most revolting and heart-sickening 
scene at once met his sight. There lay the wife, the 
mother, — bleeding, ghastly, dead ! A few feet distant 
lay the mangled form of the daughter, struggling in the 
terrible agonies of expiring nature. He heard her death 
groans, and saw her raise her hand, wet with her own 
blood, to wipe the death damps from her marble brow. 

When Mr. McKnight first approached the spot where 
the fatal tragedy was enacted, his life was threatened 
by O'Donohue ; yet he managed to get a fair view of 
the murdered victims. The heartless wretch still thirsted 
for more blood, and called to his wife to bring him some 
caps that he might assassinate another of his presup- 
posed enemies, and add still another blot to his soul 
already crimsoned with the darkest hues of crime. 

Before leaving him, Mr. McKnight advised him to go 
to the village and give himself up to the proper author- 
ities, presuming him to be crazy ; and as men laboring 


under the horrible malady of a diseased mind were 
not always responsible for their acts, perhaps he might 
not be hung. The advice, it would seem, was finally 
accepted, for O'Donohue, with his wife and son, did 
pass over the hills to the village, where he was finally 
arrested. But before leaving, under a fresh impulse of 
Satan, and as if to make his work of assassination more 
doubly certain, he returned to the bleeding, ghastly, 
and death -struggling victim, and again plunged the 
crimsoned steel into her breast. 

Grim scowls pass'd o'er his dusky face 
Like shadows in the midaight sky ; 
Each fiend-like passion mark'd its trace 
By muttered oath or deep-drawn sigh ; 
With rolling eye, 
And stifled breath, 
He thought of blood, revenge, and death. 

He was indicted at the October term of the County 
Court, 1852, and tried at the following July Court of 
03^er and Terminer, — Hon. Schuyler Crippin, one of the 
justices of the Supreme Court, presiding, with asso- 
ciates John S. Dyer and Noah H. Osborne. R. H. Duell, 
District Attorney, and Gen. Nye, appeared on behalf of 
the people. Horatio Ballard and Daniel Gott, counsel. 

The charge of the Judge was able, forcible and point- 
ed. The Jury, after an absence of forty minutes, re- 
turned into Court with a verdict of " Guilty of Murder." 

The records of the Court contain entry of his sen- 
tence, [Aug. 3d, 1853.] 

The sentence was duly executed, and the spirit of 
O'Donohue was ushered uncalled for into the presence 
of his Maker, wreaking with the blood of the innocent. 


After the last and final struggle between the Ameri- 
can Republic and the Kingdom of Great Britain, the 
pioneers of the Tioughnioga valley, and indeed of the 
yet infant county of Cortland, began to look forward to 
the successful achievement of such measures as the 
wisdom of our State legislature might devise for the 
better development of science and the progress of 

It was most evident that the Tioughnioga river, as a 
commercial highway, could never be available to any 
great extent, and that other channels of communication 
must be provided in order to encourage enterprise and 
reward adventure. State roads bad been laid out and 
were measurably improved ; and the county had been 
cut up into gores or townships, while each of these was 
made to resemble an imperfect checker board, being 
variously marked out by " bridle paths," or to say the 
least, very undesirable roads. Yet poor as they were, 
the brave pioneers regarded them as acquisitions of 
great importance. Post horses and post coaches once, 
and finally twice a week, gladdened the sight of the" 
toil-worn laborer. The Erie Canal, commenced in 181T 
and completed in 1825, established a more direct line 
of communication with the eastern cities. Previous to 
this, the heavy goods of our merchants were brought 
up to Albany by way of the North river ; were then 
conveyed by land to Schenectady ; then through the 
canal at Little Falls ; then through Wood creek, Oneida 
lake, Onondaga river' and the Tioughnioga, or were 
transported by land-carriage from Albany or Utica. 

Cattle were usually driven to the Philadelphia market; 
potash was sent to New York or Montreal ; wheat was 


shipped on rafts and arks down the Tioughnioga and 
Susquehanna to Baltimore. 

In 1826 there was a charter granted by the New 
York legislature for the construction of a railroad from 
Syracuse to Binghamton. This was the first charter 
ever granted by the legislature of this State. Inter- 
nally shut out from the natural adv^antages or the more 
remote benefits of artificial communication with which 
other sections of country were blessed, the citizens 
located on the rich flats of Cortland, Homer and Preble, 
were made thrice joyful in their exultations of success. 
The toils, the sacrifices, and the cost of building a rail- 
road had not, however, been fully considered or counted, 
and hence the active projectors were doomed, like the 
inexperienced alchemist, to see their golden dreams 
fade away. 

As the country increased in population and produc- 
tive resources, renewed efforts were made to revive or 
obtain a new charter. But up to 1848-9 nothing of im- 
portance took place. 

In the mean time the growing West had become popu- 
lous, while her commercial products were of an almost 
unlimited magnitude. Trade east and west had mate- 
rially increased, as the various avenues of communica- 
tion fully evinced. The store-houses contiguous to the 
great northern lakes were filled to their utmost capacity 
with the valuable products of the fertile fields of a rich 
and vigorous soil. The Erie canal, then the most pow- 
erful artery of trade in the Union, and though practi- 
cally of very great importance, was found to be insuf- 
ficient for the demands. The New York and Erie Rail- 
road was projected and was rapidly hurrying to com- 


pletion, while connecting links were put under contract, 
or completed, with, in many instances, '*' only a remote 
possibility of appropriating" a very small portion of 
that constantly increasing trade. The coal fields of the 
Lackawanna valley were laid open, and the black dia- 
monds, which were really of more importance than the 
bloated mines of the Pacific coast, were exhumed, and 
a railroad was projected and completed, which united 
them with the Erie road at Great Bend, fifteen miles 
from Binghamton. The city of Oswego sat like a golden 
gem upon the shore of the lake, bearing the proud ap- 
pellation of " Ontario's maritime port." Syracuse, the 
central city, was admirably spread out like a great 
heart in the centre of the State, with her salt springs to 
" preserve and enrich the empire." And the village of 
Binghamton, with her ten thousand enterprising inhab- 
itants, sat queenlike upon the classic shores of the 
beautiful Susquehanna and Chenango, " receiving trib- 
ute and homage from both." These important locations 
were regarded with very great favor, and especially, 
when glancing at the map of the United States, it ap- 
peared positively evident that they were located within 
the most eligible and certainly the best commercial 
route from the seaboard to the great lakes of the west. 
The result thus far most amply verifies the conclusion. 
A few of the original charter petitioners went to work 
with renewed energies. The legislature was again pe- 
titioned, and a second charter granted. Meetings were 
called in various sections, and the people were ably and 
eloquently addressed with reference to the propriety of 
immediate action in behalf of the laudable enterprise. 
Books were opened for subscription, and early in 1850 


the footings seemed to warrant the necessary survey 
to be made. Thus encouraged, the enterprising actors, 
most of whom resided in the growing villages of Homer 
and Cortland, redoubled their exertions, and with their 
shoulders at the wheel, determined to push on the car of 
progress. W. B. Gilbert, Esq., an accomplished, and 
indeed one of the most competent and energetic engi- 
neers in the State, was employed to make the necessary 

It is not our province to refer to all the opposing 
influences that were brought to bear against the speed}^ 
organization of the Company, or the immediate construc- 
tion of the road — of the difficulties and delays attending 
the former — the almost unexampled stringent monetary 
pressure threatening to arrest the latter. These are 
already matters of history. They have been set forth 
in the more than thrilling eloquence of a Baldwin, or 
the persuasive and touching language of a Lawrence. 
The shock, though it swept over our country like the 
destroying host of Attila over the plains of Italy, ar- 
resting the progressive labors " of most other compa- 
nies that were struggling into being," happily had be- 
come too much weakened to produce a^suspension, and 
the work went steadily on " from its commencement in 
1852 to its completion in 1854." Great credit is awarded 
to the various efficient actors in Cortland county, for to 
them belongs the honor of having revived or called up 
from the tomb of the Capulets the old exploded sympa- 
thies which finally terminated in securing for the project 
enough of popular sentiment to place the completion of 
the road beyond a reasonable doubt. Nor were the 
active efforts of prominent citizens of Binghamton, Syr- 


acuse and Oswego unimportant or unappreciated. Their 
highly valued influence was productive of the most 
favorable results, and when their purse strings were 
unloosed, or their bank deposits called forth, the 
cheering word of " liberality" was echoed and re- 
echoed from one end of the Tioughnioga valley to the 

The road having been completed, a formal opening to 
the public took place on the 18th and- 19th of October, 
1854. Returning from an eastern tour, with our family, 
we joined the excursion party at Binghamton. The 
train consisted of twenty-seven passenger cars, which 
were crowded to such an extent that it was impossible 
for only a portion to be seated. It was reported by the 
editor of the Railroad Journal as a " perfect jam, the 
people numbering twenty thousand." Our estimate fell 
somewhat short of this round number. The display at 
the various stations presented a somewhat truthful con- 
ception of the joy of the citizens. From every church 
that had a bell went forth a joyous welcome ; cannons 
were fired ; and bonfires and illuminations signalized 
the auspicious event. 

The road passes through one of the most delightful 
and productive valleys in the State. The scenery on 
either side is picturesque and beautiful. 

The stockholders number about two thousand. 

The total cost of the road up to November 5th, 1855, 
is reported by Mr. Gilbert to be $2,2t4,394 33. Its 
length is eighty miles. 

Aggregate miles run by all engines during the year, 
212,777. Number of passengers carried in the cars, 
234,560. Amount of earnings for the same number of 


months is reported at $159,489 91. Expense of oper- 
ating the road, $136,981 62. 

It will be readily seen that the earnings fall consid- 
erably short of the original estimates. This seeming 
failure is satisfactorily accounted for by the Superin- 
tendent. In our mind there is no depreciation of real 
value. We never supposed that the estimates would 
be reached under the existing circumstances. 

The Lake trade has been realized only to a limited 

" When this work was projected, the invariable and 
strong argument used for its construction, in reference 
to profitable results, was a continuous line to Lake On- 
tario, by which alone it could derive the benefits of that 

" The Directors having been unable to attain this, 
through the existing road from Syracuse to the lake, 
another Company was organized under the General Act, 
for the purpose of constructing a broad guage road on 
the east side of Onondaga lake and the Oswego river. 
But the necessity of an arrangement with the holders 
of Mortgage Bonds of the Company, whereby they could 
agree to withold action under the existing mortgages 
during the construction of the new road, suspended 

" Up to 1855 no agreement had been effected, which 
the Directors regretted, as the delay increased the 
financial embarrassment under which the Company 

In 1856 the stockholders were unable to complete 
the road to Oswego, as contemplated, or even to the 
Erie Canal, for the delivery of coal and other freight, or 


to meet their bonded and other debts, and consequently 
the bondholders were obliged to foreclose and sell the 
road in October of the same year. The Company was 
subsequently reorganized, the road finished, and ex- 
tended to the Erie Canal, and the track and machinery 
put in perfect repair. There was also an arrangement 
made at Binghamton with the New York and Erie Rail- 
road Compan}^, to accommodate the cars of the Dela- 
ware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad Company, for 
the transportation of their coal and other freight, mak- 
ing the Syracuse, Binghamton and New York Railroad 
the proper channel for the transportation of their coal 
to the Erie Canal at Syracuse, and to Lake Ontario at 
Oswego, the Oanadas and the great west. 

Since the road has been thus reorganized, it has al- 
ready proven profitable as an investment to the holders 
thereof, having, as we understand, paid the interest on 
its cost, and will be, as it is designed, extended to 
Lake Ontario, at Oswego, forming a continuous line of 
broad guage road to New York and Philadelphia, and 
in the event prove one of the best routes for travel and 
freight, and will realize all that was predicted or ex- 
pected by its early friends as a richly remunerating 

The Syracuse, Binghamton, and New York Railroad 
may, with propriety, be regarded as an invaluable link 
in the chain of communication between Lake Ontario 
and the Atlantic cities. 

The lake trade is immense, and must continue to be 
for all future time. The inexhaustible resources of the 
great west, with her fertile fields, her agricultural and 
mineral productions, and the vast amount of eastern 


merchandise that is necessary to meet her unprecedented 
increase of population — the greater portion of which 
must pass east or west through the State of New York. 

" The value of foreign imports from Canada at the 
port of Oswego was in 1845 $41,313, and in 1855 it was 
over $6,000,000. The whole value of import and export 
trade with Canada in 1845 was $2,350,409, and in 1855, 
over $12,000,000. 

"Under the operation of the Reciprocity treaty, the 
trade both ways with Canada has more than doubled in 
1855 over the preceding year, 1854. In 1845 the whole 
foreign and domestic trade of Oswego, imports and 
exports, did not exceed $8,000,000, and in 1855 it 
amounted to over $40,000,000. The tonnage of vessels 
enrolled and licensed at this port shows a corresponding 

The free-trade principle of Canada gives to the port 
of Oswego a powerful increase of business. 

" For six months ending September 30th last, the 
duties chargeable on imports arriving at Oswego, and 
going east in bond, were $186,009 87, in addition, the 
value of these bonded imports being $930,107 49."f 

The flour of Oswego, the salt, gypsum, water and 
quick lime, and marble of Onondaga — the vast agricul- 
tural products of a wide and fertile surrounding country, 
with the iron and coal of the Lackawanna and Wyoming 
valleys, will give to the Syracuse, Binghamton and New 
York Railroad an amount of local tonnage which will 
surpass that of any other road of the same length in 
the Union. 

* J. M. Schermerhorn's Eeport, 1855. 
t W. B. Gilbert's Keport, 1855. 


The coal trade is to be one of great importance. If 
in the single city of Syracuse 2,000 cords of wood are 
used per day for the manufacture of salt, and otherwise, 
at five dollars per cord, what are we to presume will be 
the sum total of the coal that will be conveyed over the 
road when properly connected with Oswego ? 

The road is regarded as being one of the best built 
and equipped in the State. 

The agents have uniformly been enterprising and ac- 
tive business men ; the conductors attentive, obliging, 
and gentlemanly. 

The retirement of the able and courteous president, 
Hon. Henry Stephens, was widely regretted, yet his 
post has been admirably filled in the person of Jacob 
M. Schermerhorn, Esq., to whose unremitting and labo- 
rious exertions the Company are mainly indebted for 
the final completion, and the present prosperity of the 
road. No man ever labored harder. No man ever suc- 
ceeded under more, if under equally, discouraging cir- 
cumstances. He should have his reward. 



Hound-like Ihey scent the track". 

In previous chapters we have incidentally referred to 
the various species of animals that inhabited the wil- 
derness, and against whom the pioneers waged a 
crusade, even with musket ball and rapier knife. The 
repose of the settlers was frequently disturbed by the 
terrific howl of the wolf, the piercing scream of the 
great northern panther, and the unfriendly growl of the 
old shaggy black bear of the hemlock forest. The 
flocks and herds were often preyed upon to an alarming 
extent, and the bold pioneers were not unfrequently 
placed in imminent peril. They had left the happy 
hearth-stones of their native land, and had pitched their 
tents in the valleys and on the hill-sides of this then 
western boundary of civilization ; and, unpleasant as it 
was, were of necessity compelled to wage an exter- 
minating war against these more than savage beasts of 
prey. The heart chills at the recital of the often nar- 
row escapes from the jaws of the gaunt, hungry 
wolf, the more prowling, rapacious panther, or the 
unsociable hug of the unterrified, snarling old bear. 


The tender-hearted might shrink back at the howl of a 
single wolf, even in the day time ; but it took a whole 
clan, headed by a huge grizzly chorister, whose dis- 
cordant howls, snaps, and snarls made night — dark, 
tartarean night — tenfold more hideous, to make the 
veteran forest hunter quail, or feel for the particular 
location of his heart. The women, too, — the bold repub- 
lican women, — were occasionally called upon to exercise 
all the energies of a bold and noble spirit. We are 
told of one who was pursued for a distance through 
a winding and unfrequented glen, by a panther, whose 
long, greedy proportions told too truly of his powerful 
strength. If she hastened her step, the animal did the 
same. If she stopped short, he instinctively squatted as 
if preparing to leap upon his unarmed victim. She saw 
her peril, and resolved to make one bold effort at deliv- 
erance. Seizing a bludgeon of wood, she flew at him 
in a menacing attitude, uttering several successive 
screams as she dealt him a severe blow on that point 
of the proboscis which brought forth a hasty snuff and 
a sneeze, and turning upon his well-practised and flip- 
pant heels, he made a number of enormous leaps, and 
then seated himself in the branches of a partially de- 
cayed hemlock. Eemembering that she was near the 
cabin of a successful and fearless hunter, she screamed 
with all her might for the bow-legged marksman. The 
animal not particularly relishing his treatment from the 
hand of the fair patroness, began to exhibit the most 
unmistakable evidence of a preparation to leap upon 
the bold defender of her forest rights. A moment more, 
and he hoped to gorge his ferocious rapacity with her 
warm heart's blood. But the sharp crack of a rifle was 


heard some twenty rods distant, just as he drew himself 
back to leap, and the next moment the long proportions 
of the mountain veteran were stretched dead at her feet. 
In the trunk of the decaying ancient telic, a couple of 
nursling ^^ painters''' were found. But in the very in- 
stant of leaving with them, the father, an old crippled 
martyr, who had snuffed upon the breeze the fresh scent 
of blood, was rapidly approaching. Another leaden 
•missile, hurled from the old blue^ barrel, brought him to 
the ground. But he was not yet prepared to yield, for 
the victory was not yet achieved. The hunter suc- 
ceeded in only partially reloading his gun before the 
maddened animal had sprung to his feet, and was ready 
for a contest or measurement of strength. The youth- 
ful matron stood by the side of her deliverer, resolving 
to share in the glory of victory, or die with him in a 
noble effort at resistance. On he came, ten times more 
ferocious, but was defiantly met with such a succession 
of blows as to induce him to retreat and take a posi- 
tion in a small tree, where he might look contempt upon 
his assailants. The old blue barrel was again leveled 
with unerring aim, and in an instant the panther's 
brains were lying at the base of the tree. 

At an early day, and at a period when Marathon was 
yet a wilderness, and when but a few families were 
located within her rugged confines, the bears, wolves 
and panthers made terrible havoc with the stock and 
poultry of the but partially protected and often unarmed 
pioneers. During the latter part of November, 1799, an 
old hunter, and native of Long Island, was passing 
through the country lying between the Tioughnioga 
river and what is now known as Freetown Centre. 


Ascending the rugged elevation, lie struck an Indian 
trail leading in a direct line for the " pine woods." He 
had, however, proceeded but a short distance before he 
heard a sharp, piercing scream, as if coming from a 
female in distress. In a moment it was repeated again 
and again. Hurrying forward he soon heard it much 
plainer, and at intervals could distinctly hear moaning, 
as if coming from some object in nature that was suf- 
fering from the infliction of some horrible treatment. ' 
His anxiety was soon relieved, for just as he reached 
the summit of a little elevation, perhaps three-fourths of 
a mile west of the "panther forest," he saw to his 
astonishment an enormous panther spring upon a deer 
that was floundering upon the ground, and almost cov- 
ered with blood. The old and unarmed hunter paused 
for a moment, that he might observe the movements of 
the half-enraged animal, and the better concentrate his 
scattered thoughts ; and was pained to hear the moans of 
the wounded and dying deer, as the panther screamed 
and then suddenly sprang upon his pre}'', burying his 
claws in the sides of the deer, and his tusks in the neck, 
tearing the flesh from the body. He knew it would be 
very unsafe for him to attack the panther, as he was 
but partially gorged with blood, and he therefore chose 
the better part of valor and hurried on his way ; but he 
was suddenly startled by a noise behind him which ap- 
peared like the sudden springs of a panther. Remember- 
ing that he had a few pounds of fresh venison which he 
was carrying to a sick friend, and knowing the danger 
of an encounter with such an animal, he picked up a 
heavy bludgeon of wood and quickened his steps until 
he came to the "mammoth log ;'' then hastily cutting 


his venison into three parts, he threw one piece just 
into the mouth of the log, and the balance at a short 
distance from each side of it. He had hardly taken 
a position to await his approach, before he saw the 
bloody panther within a few feet of him. It was now 
night, but luckily the moon rolled forth from behind a 
dark cloud as he saw the animal nearing the huge 
opening which he endeavored to enter, for he had 
scented the fresh meat. The old man suddenly sprang 
to his feet and dealt the animal a heavy blow on the 
back, which rendered him partially power!ess. The 
panther drew back, uttering a horrible groan, which 
was followed by several screams ; these were, however, 
soon silenced by a few more well-directed blows. 

His hide was hurriedly stripped from his body, and 
the dauntless pioneer retraced his steps, arriving home 
near midnight. 

The next day a grand hunt was proposed and entered 
into, which resulted in the death of three panthers, five 
wolves, and six bears. Three of the wolves, however, 
were not taken until the morning of the second day, when 
they were holed near Chenango Forks, and hastily 

Three persons started out in March of 1799 in pursuit 
of bears, which had committed unwarrantable depreda- 
tions in the town of Scott. One of them soon gave out 
and returned, but the other two continued the pursuit, 
the trail leading in the direction of Skaneateles lake ; 
but the. snow being very deep, they, too, finally gave 
up, and concluded to return home by a circuitous route, 
in the hope of meeting with an old bear which had 
wintered within a mile or so of their home. As they 


approached the place of concealment he was discovered. 
Both hunters immediately discharged their guns, but 
only wounded the bear. He hastily left for other quar- 
ters, followed b}'' his pursuers, who after camping out 
near Skaneateles lake for the night, drove him into a 
clearing some eight miles from home, in Sempronius, 
where they took off his ,hide, out of which they made 
each of them a cap, as they had lost theirs the day be- 
fore, and were therefore hatless. 

There are numerous instances showing the firmness 
and forethought of many a matron lady. A single ex- 
ample will suffice t) exhibit them in their proper light : 
David Scofield, of Virgil, informed us that when he was 
but a lad, and while playing upon a brush fence, he 
accidentally fell off into the brush. He was immedi- 
ately seized by a bear about two-thirds grown, who 
hastened away with him. It being near the house 
of his father, his aged grandmother observed them, and 
hastily snatching up a hot loaf of bread hurried to his 
relief; and just as he was entering his den she threw 
him the bread, at which he dropped the child and 
secured the warm loaf, of which he made a hearty meal. 

Wolves frequently followed the hunter's trail in 
droves, making the night hideous with frightful, fiend- 
ish howling. There is, perhaps, no other animal which 
exhibits so much of the real demon, as the half-starved, 
lean, lank wolf, as he pursues his intended prey, eager 
and anxious to surfeit on the warm, gurgling blood, 
of which he is particularly fond. We repeat, upon the 
authority of one who frequently engaged in the chase, — 
not merely for the sake of stilling their " eternal snap- 
ping and snarling," but because he liked the sport, — 


a case in point, which, though it did not tend to immor- 
talize his name, gave him great credit for the courage 
which prompted the encounter. He had been out on 
the border line of Cortland and Chenango ; and while 
returning upon his almost indistinct trail through the 
snow, he was followed by a hungry gang of wolves. 
He was met by a huge panther, who appeared deter- 
mined to contest the right of soil on which they had 
thus unexpectedly met. With the wolves snapping at 
his heels in the rear, while the unterrified panther had 
blockaded his advance progress, he paused but a mo- 
ment's time for reflection. The moon, peering out from 
behind a dark cloud, enabled him to draw a close sight 
upon the barrel of his unerring rifle, when suddenly 
a leaden missile went whizzing through the panther's 
brain. A moment more, and the whole pack of wolves 
had seized upon the dead animal and were lapping up 
the blood and brains that were scattered around him. 
Taking advantage of this propitious moment, he hastily 
took refuge some thirty feet high in the branches of a 
bushy hemlock. Here he resolved to remain until 
morning, or conquer in the unequal contest. Hastily 
loading his gun, he again brought it to such a level as 
would enable him to see with exactness the forward 
sight, when the rifle cracked again, and the bloody 
ghosts of two of the ferocious wolves had departed ; 
and thus he continued until he had impartially extended 
the same treatment to three more of the gang. The 
others becoming alarmed at the frequent reports of the 
death-dealing weapon, made a hasty retreat for the 
unexplored lagoon. 

During the early part of the present century, the 


antlered deer bounded through the forest, not doubting 
their right to the supremacy of the territorj^ through 
which they thus proudly ranged. They were almost as 
numerous as the dairjniien's cattle are at the present 
day. Authority of the most positive character might 
be referred to in support of the truthfulness of our 
assertion. Twentj^, and even thirty, noble bucks have 
been counted in a drove, as they swept through the 
woods pursued by the hunter's well-trained dogs. One 
old hunter, a Frenchman, whose home was among the 
Wyoming hills, came to this county to spend the winter 
with a brother, and during his stay killed upwards of 
two hundred deer. We have been told by the grey- 
haired veterans of those stern days of toil and trial, of 
numerous instances of a hunter sallying out at day- 
break, and before the hour of nine in the forenoon re- 
turning for lunch, having slain five, seven, and even as 
high as ten deer. 

Notv/ithstanding the horrid crusade that has been 
waged for upwards of half a century against the grace- 
ful, sprightl}^ bounding deer, his progeny has not been 
fully exterminated, for even to this day, (1855,) an occa- 
sional buck, bearing aloft* his noble antlers, may be 
seen bounding through the southern limits of this 
county. During the past autumn and early part of the 
winter, several were killed on and about Michigan Hill, 
in the town of Harford. 

We remember how in our boyhood's days our young 
and ardent mind was inspired by the marvelous tales 
told by the hunters of our native county ; and we 
have always had a strong desire to bring down a noble 
buck. But of the numerous droves that we have seen 


shaking their horns in the wild gorges of the North 
American forest, or as they tossed them aloft while 
they swept over the flowery glades of the sunny South, 
it has failed to be our luck to bring a rifle to bear 
directly upon them. The various interesting incidents 
told us b}^ the stern veteran pioneers, would more than 
fill a volume of the size it is our province to write. 
And however interested they may have been in repeat- 
ing them, we have seldom heard one told with more 
felicitous feeling than one which is related by Charles 
Hotchkiss, of Virgil. 

A gentleman by the name of Turpening came up 
from Newburg, and felt very desirous to take a hunt. 
Mr. Hotchkiss told him that it would be very unsafe for 
him to proceed alone, for if he should happen to kill a 
deer it would bleat, and that would arouse every deer 
in hearing distance, and that they would assuredly kill 
him. His brothers, however, persuaded him to go. 
Having equipped himself in hunting order, he sallied 
forth for glorious war. Approaching the deer-lick south 
of Virgil Corners, he espied a young fawn just upon its 
outskirts. Keeping one eye on the gun and the other 
on the deer, he waited for the appearance of more, but 
not being gratified with their approach, he blazed away. 
As the gun cracked the fawn leaped several feet from 
the ground, gave a bleat, as is usual, and fell dead. 
Presuming the story of Mr. Hotchkiss to be true, and 
expecting a whole clan of mad, frightened deer to be 
upon him with their bloody antlers poised to gore him 
to the heart, he hurriedly made tracks for home, strip- 
ping off hat, coat, vest and boots, and hurling them to 
the ground ; puffing and blowing for the want of breath. 


and with impeded powers of locomotion, he entered 
the pioneer's home declaring that every deer in the 
lick was at his heels, frothing and foaming ; and that 
they had gored him almost to death. 

John H. Hooker, son of Increase M. Hooker, an early 
pioneer of Truxton, now residing in New Brunswick, 
N. J., recently related to us some interesting incidents 
with reference to trapping the various animals of the 
wilderness. One plan was to dig a pit about six feet 
wide by twelve deep. Around this a pen, or kind of 
curb, would be raised from two to three feet high. Over 
the pit a pan would be placed, balanced properly, so 
that when an animal should spring upon it for the pur- 
pose of obtaining the bait, which was appropriately 
hung above it, the pan would turn and precipitate the 
monster into the pit. In this wa}^ Mr. Hooker and two 
other gentlemen caught in one night the very respect- 
able number of five wolves. They were lassoed in 
the morning and led round and exhibited to the neigh- 
bors, after which they were dispatched. 

In 1803, Mr. Hooker was watching at a deer-lick, and 
in consequence of the almost impenetrable darkness, 
was compelled to remain all night in the woods, a dis- 
tance of five miles from his father's log cabin. During 
the night he heard the approach of an animal, and pres- 
ently discovered, a few feet from him, two balls re- 
sembling liquid fire. The animal undoubtedly antici- 
pated a warm meal. Mr. Hooker, not a little excited, 
raised his unerring rifle, looked quickly over the barrel, 
and fired. The monster gave a piercing scream and 
bounded away in the darkness. He was found at a 
little distance with his under jaw broken, and dead. 


Mr. Hooker was much surprised on finding that he had 
killed a panther nine and a half feet in length. It was 
not an uncommon circumstance for him to be followed 
by panthers and wolves when in pursuit of his father's 
cattle. On one occasion he made a rather hasty flight 
from the sugar bush. A panther had made him a visit 
and desired to contest the right of soil ; Mr. Hooker, 
however, preferred to defer the matter, and, as he in- 
formed us, if ever he made tracks he made them then, 
and he presumed them to be few and far between, for 
he could distinctly hear every jump of the huge mon- 
ster behind him, and he was only relieved when within 
a few rods of the house by the watchful and ever trusty 
old dog. 


" I'll note 'em in my bock of memory." 

There are but few, if any, counties in the State at 
present in the enjoyment of greater educational facili- 
ties than Cortland county. The Cortland and Cortland- 
ville Academies — the former located at Homer and the 
latter at Cortland Village — are enjoying a good degree 
of prosperity. The New York Central College, located 
at M'Grawville, has had a somewhat chequered exist- 
ence, and the Cincinnatus Academy, located in Cincinna- 
tus, is in a flourishing condition. 

The light of the sun was scarcely let in through the 
dense forests of Homer, upon its extended and fertile 
plains, ere the light of science sent its genial rays 
among her people. 

The first settlers, being chiefly from Connecticut, 
brought with their books and their love of books, their 
school-master and their high regard for literary institu- 

Among the earlier school-teachers of Homer was Maj. 
Adin Webb. The active business men and the efficient 
housewives now living in Homer look upon that venerable 


priest of Minerva — still bearing high alike his whitened 
locks and his golden honors — with mingled feelings of 
gratitude and reverence. 

From the common school, which he so long and so 
successfully taught on the spacious common in the cen- 
tre of the village, grew the Cortland Academy, which 
has been, for forty years, nestled among the churches 
which adorn the same Common, and whose graceful 
spires so significantly point to the same great Source of 
Light and Love, as does the less pretending spire of the 
academic edifice. 

Cortland Academy was incorporated by the Regents 
of the University of the State of New York on the 2d 
day of February, 1819. The first trustees were Dr. 
Lewis S. Owen, Hon. John Miller, John Osborn, David 
Coye, Chauncey Keep, Hon. Townsend Ross, Rufus 
Boies, N. R. Smith, Elnathan Walker, Andrew Dickson, 
Matthias Cook, Reuben Washburn, Jesse Searl, Martin 
Keep, Benasjah Tubbs, David Jones, and George Rice. 

Of the original trustees, David Coye, Rufus Boies and 
Noah R. Smith have continued to serve as trustees — the 
places of the others having been made vacant by death 
or by resignation. 

The present members of the Board of Trustees are 
Jedediah Barber, President ; Hon. E. C. Reed, Secretary ; 
Noah R. Smith, Treasurer ; David Coye, Rufus Boies, 
Hon. Geo. W.Bradford, Hammond Short, John Sherman, 
Prof. S. B. Woolworth, Hon. Geo. J. J. Barber, Wm. An- 
drews, Ira Bowen, Caleb Cook, Geo. Cook, C. H. Whea- 
don, Rev. C. A. Clark, Noah Hitchcock, Thomas D. 
Chollar, J. M. Schermerhorn, Giles Chittenden, Esq., 
Wm. T. Hicok, Manly Hobart, and Rev. Albert Bigelow. 


The late Rev. Alfred Bennett, Joshua Ballard, Charles 
W. L^mde, C. Chamberlain, A. Donnelly, Tilly Lynde, 
and Horace White, also served as Trustees. 

The first Principal, under the charter, was Oren Catlin. 
He was, also, the sole teacher. To him succeeded suc- 
cessively Mr. Eanny, Noble D. Strong, Charles Avery, 

A. M., Franklin Sherrill, Oliver S. Taylor, M. D., Samuel 

B. Woolworth, A.M., (now LL. D.), and S. W. Clark, 

Since 1821 there has been a Female Department con- 
nected with the Academy, under the supervision, suc- 
cessively, of Flavilla Ballard, Caroline R. Hale, Melona 
D. Moulton, Elizabeth Steele, Harriette A. Dellay, Cath- 
arine A. Coleman, Mary Bascom, Mary S. Patterson, 
Helen H. Palmer, Esther L. Brown, Anna J. Hawley, 
and Harriet S. Gunn. 

Since 1830 the Musical Department has been con- 
tinued under the supervision and instruction of Frances 
RoUo, Harriet Foot, Julia A. Gillingham, Abigail F. 
Moulton, Maria L. Reston, Mary Fessenden, Sarah E. 
Reed, J. M. Palmer, and Isabella Livingston Brunsch- 

Of the Assistant Teachers there have served in the 
Department of Ancient Languages, Abel F. Kinney, 
A. M., Charles E. Washburn, A. M., (now, also, M. D.,) 
Henry A. Nelson, A. M., Ezra S. Gallup, A. M., J. M. 
Woolworth, A. M., and Heman H. Sanford, A. M. 

In the Department of Mathematics, A. F. Ranney, 
A. M., Geo. R. Huntington, L. S. Pomeroy, A. M., Alvin 
Lathorp, A. M., W. H. Lacey, E. M. Rollo, A. M., A. J. 
Kneeland, Louis A. Miller, Charles S. Lawrence, and 
Joseph R. Dixon, A. M. 


In the Department of Modern Languages, Augustus 
Maasberg, and Oscar M. Faulhaber, 

In the English Department, there have been eighteen 
different teachers. 

At the present term, (1859), the various departments 
are filled by the following : 


Stephen W. Clark, A. M,, Principal ; Miss Harriet S. 
Gunn, Preceptress ; Heman H. Sandford, A. M., Lan- 
guages ; Frederick B. Downes, A. M., Mathematics ; 
Miss Harriet Taylor, Modern Languages ; James S. 
Foster, Natural Sciences ; Miss Lucy B. Gunn, Eng- 
lish Department ; Mrs. Mary Lund and Miss Harriet 
D. Gaylord, Instrumental and Vocal Music ; Almon H. 
Benedict, Penmanship. 

Of the sixty-six teachers who have been connected 
with the Academy, two only have died while at service. 
The first was Abel F. Kinney, " a man who will not 
cease to be loved and venerated so long as any live who 
felt the power of his soul, and observed the strong fel- 
lowship which existed between his principles and his 
life. It was his rare privilege to say, on his death-bed, 
that he 7iever received the slightest insult from any pupil 
— a fact which those whom he taught may remember 
with gratitude, and which his biographer may record as 
eloquent praise on his character as an instructor. Mr. 
Kinney commenced teaching before he was twenty years 
of age, and died before he was thirty-five. Most of his 
life as a teacher was spent in Cortland Academy, and 
few persons have done more to make it what it is. 
Within our village burial ground his pupils have placed 


a marble monnment to his memory. But still richer 
memorials of him are to be fonnd in the personal 
recollections of those who knew him, and in the 
Wednesday evening meetings for prayer which he es- 

The other was Louis A. Miller, a mathematician of 
rare promise, and a teacher of remarkable tact and 
energy. Beautiful and appropriate monuments, the 
offerings of grateful pupils, mark the resting-places of 
their dust in the village cemetery of Homer. 

Since the organization of the Academy more than 
eight thousand different students have been instructed 
in it. Of these many are numbered amon^ the most 
distinguished men in the State, in the Church, and in 
the various professions of science and art. " Many are 
now occupying places of usefulness and honor in their 
own country ; others have gone to show the benighted 
millions of heathen lands the way of life, and others 
have gone to the land of rest and seraphic bliss, which 
knows no change, and where dwell the good, the pure, 
and the great.^' 

Among the various Academies of the State, the Cort- 
land Academy has been uniformly distinguished for its 
giving decided prominence to its Classical Department. 
During the last three years the average number of 
pupils in the department of Ancient Languages has been 
eighty, while the average number in attendance in all 
the departments has been 240. 

The number of students annually reported to the Re- 
gents of the University, " as having pursued, for four 
months or upwards, classical studies or the higher bran- 
ches of English education," has increased in each sue- 


cessivo year to the present time — the report of 1858 
showing 642 students thus reported : 

The growth of the Academy has been gradual and 
healthful. The assets of the corporation are, 

Value of land and building, . 


'* " library, 


" *' apparatus, . 


" " other property, 

. 6,3t5 

Total, . . . $13,n3 

Its annual income for 1858 from tuition bills, litera- 
ture fund, and interest, was . . . $4,449 58 
Annual expenditure, .... 4,208 *I8 

The Cortland Academy is pleasantly situated on the 
public square. It embraces various apartments for 
study and recitations, a well-selected library, philosophi- 
cal apparatus, and every facility needed to impart a 
good, thorough, and practical education. Indeed, it is 
with much pleasure that we refer to Prof. S. W. Clark, 
the gentlemanly and accomplished Principal, and his 
able and competent assistants, under whose faithful dis- 
charge of duties the Academy is made an ornament to 
the place, as well as one of the best educational Aca- 
demic Institutions in our State. 

The Cortlandville Academy was incorporated by the 
Regents of the University in the year 1842, and com- 
menced in August of that year. 

The original officers were Joseph Reynolds, President ; 
Henry S. Randall, Secretary ; Joel B. Hibbard, Treasurer. 
The Trustees were J. Reynolds, Wm. Elder, H. S. Ran- 


dall, Wm. Bartlit, James S. Leach, John J. Adams, Jno. 
Thomas, W. R. Randall, Asahel P. Lyman, Frederick 
Hyde, J. B. Hibbard, Horatio Ballard, Henry Stephens, 
Abram Mudge, James C. Pomeroy, Clark Pendleton, An- 
son Fairchild, Parker Crosby, L. S. Pomeroy, and Otis 

Among the first instructors were Joseph R. Dixon, 
A. M., Principal; Henry E. Ranney, Assistant ; Miss C. 
Ann Hamlin, Preceptress ; Miss Fanny M. Nelson, As- 
sistant ; Miss Sarah M. Parker, Assistant during third 
term ; Miss Mary E. Mills, Teacher of Music. 

The number of pupils reported August 1, 1848, was 

The Trustees made a very flattering report, and an- 
ticipated increasing prosperity. They congratulated 
themselves upon their good fortune in being able to re- 
tain their very able and popular Principal, Joseph R. 
Dixon. Mr. D. continued Principal for four successive 

The present members of the Board of Trustees are 
Frederick Hyde, President ; J. A. Schermerhorn, Secre- 
tary ; Morgan L. Webb, Treasurer ; Joseph Reynolds, 
Henry S. Randall, John J. Adams, Horatio Ballard, 
Henry Stephens, James 0. Pomeroy, D. R. Hubbard, 
Henry Brewer, Ebenezer Mudge, Horace Dibble, Hamil- 
ton Putnam, Henry Bowen, W. O. Barnard, Madison 
Woodruff, Martin Sanders, Rufus A. Reed, James S. 
Squires, W. P. Randall, Thomas Keator, R. H. Duell, 
and George Bridge. 



Henry Carver, A. M., Principal ; Miss Maria S. Welch, 
Preceptress ; Ridgway Rowley, Languages ; Miss Mary 
M. Bartlit, Primary Department ; Frederick Hyde, M. B., 
Lecturer ; Mrs. F. R. Mudge, Instrumental and Vocal 
Music ; Mrs. A. R. Bowen, Drawing and Painting. 

The Academy is large and conveniently arranged, and 
is located in a healthy and pleasant part of Cortland 
Village, and the students in attendance number about 

The Institution is furnished with a new Philosophical 
and Chemical Apparatus, an extensive Library, and all 
the necessary means to impart a healthful and practical 
education. The prospects were, perhaps, at no time 
more flattering than at the present. 

Prof. Carver, the accomplished Principal and instructor 
in Natural and Moral Science and the Higher Mathe- 
matics, is deservedly worthy of his well-earned reputa- 
tion. His zealous and active efforts to promote and 
advance the interests of the Academy are justly and 
fully appreciated. 

The well-arranged lectures of Prof. Hyde on Anatomy 
and Physiology, are like the sands which descend with 
La Plata's rushing torrent, rich with golden ore. They 
are, indeed, of marked importance to the Institution. 

And it is but just to add that the Assistant Corps of 
Instructors are admirably fitted for their various posi- 
tions ; hence the xVcademy will flourish, and continue to 
rank among the best educational institutions in the 

New YorJc Central College. — In 1846 the attention of 


gentlemen of enlarged views and liberal sentiments, 
residing in this and other States, was turned to the ne- 
cessity of establishing a Collegiate Institution which 
should be entirely free from sectarianism, while the ten- 
dency of its teachings should be favorable toward a 
true hearty Christianity. They felt that the opportunity 
to gain a liberal education should be extended to all as 
impartially as are the light and air, and that the minds 
of students should rather be made free and independent, 
than moulded according to creeds or the dicta of fashion. 
They reflected long and earnestly upon the subject, and 
finally resolved to found an Institution of Learning, in 
which character, not circumstances, color, or sex, should 
be the basis of respect ; in which the course of study 
should be full and useful to those who looked forward 
to a life in one of the learned professions, as well as to 
those who expected to devote their lives to honorable 
toil ; in which labor should be regarded as eminently 
honorable, and facilities for engaging in it should be 
furnished as fully as practicable ; in which the minds of 
students should be untrammeled by the restriction of 
the freedom of speech, and undarkened by the shadow 
of some great name ; in which the most noble life of 
usefulness, and practical, impartial Christianity, and 
every incitement to such a life should be placed before 
the student. Calling upon those who sympathised with 
them in their effort for assistance, they raised an amount 
of money sufficient to found an Institution, and on the 
12th day of April, 1848, a charter was granted by the 
Legislature to New York Central College, located at 
M'Grawville, and on the 5th of September following it 
was opened to students. The buildings were large and 


commodious, and to which was connected a farm of 
167 acres, upon which students could labor for a fixed 
compensation, or, if preferred, might rent pieces of land 
to cultivate for themselves. 

The number of students at first was small, and has 
not at any time been large. Everything that an able 
faculty could do to advanc-e the interests of the Institu- 
tion has been done, and j^et the College has net pros- 
pered. Its friends arc discouraged, and the Board of 
Directors disheartened. Present appearances indicate 
that the College will either pass into the hands of its col- 
ored friends, or be purchased by the citizens of M'Graw- 
ville, and be renovated and reorganised into a seminary 
or academic institution, or finally cease to exist as a 

Prof. Leonard O. Calkins, the hitherto active and 
efficient Principal, has resigned his position, arfcl entered 
an eminent law school in Albany, with a design to fit 
himself for the bar. Ho is a finished scholar, an accom- 
plished orator, and a true gentloman - a deep thinker, 
of active temperament, and is in all respects admirably 
qualified to fill the position to which he now aspires-, 
and we doabt not he will prove an ornament t-© the legal 

CiNciNNATus Academy owes its origin to the spir- 
ited efforts of a few of the citizens of Cincinnatiis, 
through whose exertions a meeting was held in Decem- 
ber, 1855, when a committee was appointed to solicit 
subscription for the purpose of erecting a suitable build- 
ing for an academic school. A sufficient sum having 
been obtained, and plans and stipulations adopted, a 
building was erected by George L. Cole, It is delight- 


fully situated iu a retired part of the village of Cincin- 
natus, in the Otselic valley, and commands a beautiful 
view of the surrounding- country. It is by far the most 
tasty educational edifice in the county. The rooms are 
spacious and airy, and are arranged with a due regard 
to comfort and convenience. In short, the building is 
in all respects an ornament to the town, and especially 
to the villag-e in which it is located. And while it is 
honorable to the taste and enterprise of its founders, it 
reflects great credit on tlie architect. 

On the 19th day of December, 1856, the Academy 
was first occupied as a school-room. Prof. Hatch, Prin- 
cipal, was a gTadnate of Madison University. Miss 
Mary T. Gleason, Preceptress, and Miss Mary Winters, 
Assistant. The school opened with the most flattering 
auspices, but for a variety of reasons, at the close of 
the first term Mr. Hatch resig-ned his position, and was 
succeeded by A. P. Kelsey, A. B. 

In April, 1857, the Academy w^as incorporated by the 
Eegents of the University of the State of New York. 

Miss Gleason continued in her position as Preceptress 
until the Hth of March, 1858, when in consequence of 
the illness of her friends she resigned, and was suc- 
ceeded by Miss A. A. Field, a g-raduate of Oneida Con- 
ference Seminary. 

The institution is indebted to the liberality of the 
citizens of the village for a select library, consisting of 
160 volumes, valued at $180 ; as also for a philosophical 
and chemical apparatus. The entire property owned by 
the corporation is $3,654 08. The entire income for the 
past academic year, ending September Tth, 1858, was 
$1,232 26. The number of diflerent pupils in attend- 


ance during the year was 151 ; tuition bills made out 
for the same time, 24 1. 

The present members of the Board of Trustees are — 
Jeremiah Bean, President ; Benjamin F. Tillinghast, 
Secretary; John Kingman, Jr., Treasurer ; Peleg Holmes, 
Matthew G. Lee, Waite Wells, Israel Gee, K. R. Moore, 
Oliver Kingman, John Potter, Adna Warner, Dayton 
Kingman, Jacob A. Ressegieu ; A. P, Kelsey, Register. 


Ambrose P. Kelsey, A. B., Principal ; Miss A. A. Field, 
Preceptress ; Miss Cornelia J. Button, Assistant ; Frank 
Place, Mathematics ; Miss Cornelia Kingman, Music ; 
Almon H. Benedict, Penmanship. 

The first apportionment of the Regents was $1 15 35 ; 
that of the present year is $184 34. There has been 
also apportioned the sum of $60 for the purchase of 

In November last this institution was selected by the 
Regents of the University to instruct a class in common 
school teaching, and the class is now in process of 

At the time of our visit to the Academy, there were 
eighty students in attendance, and the various exer- 
cises were conducted with marked success. At the date 
of writing the number in attendance is much larger. 
The career of the institution thus far has been of unex- 
ampled prosperity. Not an instance of discipline has 
yet occurred. And from the character of the Board of 
Trustees, we cannot doubt but that it will continue to 
increase in popularity. They will use every laudable 
effort to promote its prosperity, and furnish every facility 

330 LiTEEAET A>T> BEs-i:voLi:5T rs'siiiL iio:?fs. 

which the ability and talents of competent teachers can 

Prof. Kelsev graduated with high honors in 1856. 
He is a self-made man. having been deprived by death 
of his father when bat five years old ; he early learned 
to depend npon his own energies for success in life, and 
bracing himself for a career of emulation, he has grad- 
ually carved his way to his present honored position. 
With the faithful and accomplished principal at its head, 
the Cincinnatus Academy will soon rank among the 
best educational institutions in the State. Indeed, we 
believe that with the experienced and highly competent 
teachers, and the valuable philosophical and chemical 
apparatus, the academy offers every facility needed to 
impart a good, thorough, and practical education. 

The Academy is entirely free from that baneful spe- 
cies of aristocracy so common in older institutions, and 
hence should be vigilantly guarded, that the pernicious 
influence so seriously felt in other localities may not be 
permitted to enter its honored halls. 

Odd Fellows. 
This Order was founded in Cortlandville, February 
16th, 18-tT, by the institution of a Lodge ; and again at 
Homer, March 30th, 1847, and now numbers six lodges, 
as will be seen by the following statistics : 



P. frt. 



K. G's. 





102 26 

Frank Goodjear. 





136 50 

0. Porter. 





65 00 

H. iL Tan Bn*iA. 





171 00 

John H. Preston- 





75 92 

Leander B. Palmer. 





SI 88 

Henry Lace. 


AsTROESSA Encampment, No. 19. 

The ERcampment is a higher branch of the Order, 
having a separate organization, but receiving its char- 
acter from the Grand Encampment, and is otherwise 
responsible to the Grand Lodge of the United States. 
Its charter was granted Jannary, 1^4:8, and was insti- 
tuted February i2th, 1848. 

D. Hawkes, R. 0. Reynolds, Seth Haight, J, S. Leach, 
J. D. Clark, E. M. Leal, L. Reynolds, charter members. 

J. S. Leach, D. Hawkes, E. M. Leal, L, Reynolds, R. 0, 
tleynolds, A. G. Bennett, G. K* Stiles, J. Freeman, 1. M, 
Seaman, J. B. Fairchild, Z. C. Allis, S. R. Hunter, K 
P. Goodrich, J. Price, TV. 0. Barnard, W. S. CopelaJid, 
P. G. P's. 

This branch of the Order is in a very flourishing con- 
dition. " The door of the Patriarch's tent is never closed 
to the needy or distressed." 

Cherishing the principles of love, purity and fidelity, 
temperance, benevolence and mutual aid, a galaxy of 
unrivaled briliants, the members of the various lodges 
have extended to the needy and distressed the more 
substantial means of comfort and social union. 

In September, 1854, a Masonic Lodge was instituted 
in Homer by dispensation from the Grand Lodge of the 
State of New York, and the Hon. Ashbel Patterson was 
appointed W. M., Cornelius R Gould, S. W., and Lymaa 
Reynolds, J. W. 

This lodge, under the most favorable auspices, i-s 
ificreasing in numbers and in means of usefulness, and 
we have no reason to doubt that a long course of pros- 
perity is open before it. 



" Lives of great men all remind uiS, 
We can make our lives sublime ; 
And, departing, leave behind us, 
Footprints on the sands of time." 

It is one of the pleasurable duties of the annalist to 
record the names and services of the most active and 
energetic characters who have taken part in forming 
new settlements^ originating and reducing to system- 
atized order sUch plans and measures as appeared best 
calculated to secure union and harmony among the va- 
rious discordant elements of which society is composed, 
to extend civilization and dignify virtuous character. 
A due appreciation of the blessings of civil and relig- 
ious liberty that surround us, urges us to laudable 
efforts to perpetuate those privileges, and contemplate 
the circumstances that tended most largely to make us 
thus happy and prosperous. The noble spirits of other 
days who devoted their best energies to the achieve- 
ment of the means of happiness with which we are sur- 
rounded, are deserving of our warmest gratitude. We 
honor them for what they were while living, and now 
that they are dead, regret that we can only pay them 
just homage by recording their worthy efforts in the 


furtherance of the progressive improvements of the 
times in which they labored, and in emulating their 
cherished virtues. And to those who still survive the 
stern strife of the enterprising and brave pioneer, we 
extend our warmest and heartfelt congratulations. It 
is not our province to record their names or virtues in 
marble or in brass, in poetry or in eloquence ; but we 
will hope to make a plain yet faithful record of a few 
of the more prominent characteristics which marked 
their course through life. True history is but a simple 
and unvarnished record of men's actions. The few 
usually originate measures of public policy which are 
adopted by the many, and when the projectors of those 
measures devotedly cherish a sympathy of feeling for 
those whom they are calculated mostly to aifect, do their 
acts reflect credit upon themselves, and inspire us with 
a regard for their worthy efforts. The few names we 
have selected are such as best presented us with posi- 
tive data regarding their lives. True, it has been diffi- 
cult for us to discriminate between the many who ap- 
peared equally worthy of a brief notice from us^ and of 
whom we should have been pleased to have recorded 
their generous efforts in the popular enterprises of the 
day, did not circumstances and the limits of oitr work 
preclude the possibility of extending to any great length 
our biographical sketches. We shall, therefore, be par- 
doned for selecting a few names only from among those 
who have labored equally, ardently and devotedly for 
the advancement of our happiness and prosperity. 

Tom Antone, was born at Oquaga, (now Windsor,) 
in July, mo. This place has been made famous in 
history on account of its having been the ancient 


dwelling-place of a respectable tribe of Indians-^the 
proud old Romans of the wilderness. Being located 
upon the Susquehanna river, and but a little distant 
from "the north-east angle of the Great Bend," it natu- 
rally became a half-way resting-place for the Six Na- 
tions, as they passed and repassed upon the war-path, 
or as they more frequently propelled their canoes be*- 
tween the Mohawk and Wyoming Valleys. 

The father of young Antone was a chief of great and 
commanding influence ; and he reared his son in ac- 
cordance with the strictest precepts of right. He was 
undoubtedly of French extraction, as many of his natu-- 
ral eccentricities were peculiarly French. He bore 
upon his person the certifieates of his valor, for he had 
distinguished himself in many a hard-fought battle. 
His flesh had been cleft with arrows, and his bones had 
been shattered with leaden missiles. In 1794, though 
his hair had become whitened by the frosts of time, 
and his form bent with age, he bade adieu to the valley 
ef Ohnaquaga, and united with his brethren in arms in 
Ohio, who were preparing to make a bold defence 
against the invading force of General Wayne. 

At about this time, Tom came into the Tioughnioga 
valley, and erected his rude wigwam a little to the 
east, yet within sight of the present village of Cort- 
land. His disposition was antagonistic to that of his 
father, who, when around the camp fire, took pride in 
telling his shrewd and often comic yarns, or practical 
jokes. On the contrary, Tom was strictly taciturn— a 
stern, cold Roman hunter. His path liad been crossed 
by a northern trapper, whose polished steel pierced the 
heart of his young and cherished princess* and slie fell 

a bloody sacrifice to his heartless inhumanity. Re- 
venge, hatred deep and undying, settled upon his hith^ 
erto generous mind, and he resolved to avenge the 
wrong by pouring out the blood of his fiendish foe. 
Numerous instances are related of his cruelties inflicted 
upon wild beasts, in imitation of the horrible tortures 
which were to be visited upon the person of the mur* 
derous trapper. 

And yet, Antone possessed many fine traits of char- 
acter, among which stood preeminent an idolatrous 
affection for her whom he called " wife." His love, like 
the generous sympathies of the heart, was warm and 
ardent* Indeed, we might describe it as being purely 
reverential. He hoped entirely to exclude himself from 
the association of ** the pale face,'' unless he could 
destroy the foe who had wrecked his happiness. As 
the refining hand of civilization appeared in front of 
his cabin, he drew his blanket more closely about his 
person, and was seen retreating back into the wilder- 
ness. The New Englanders, with their rifles, strode 
manfully through the Tioughnioga valley, or ascended 
the hillside in pursuit of game, without receiving the 
slightest insult from their savage brethren. Antone 
would have regarded their conduct with the greatest 
displeasure, had they conducted otherwise than in ac- 
cordance with his expressed wishes. He loved fame — 
he loved glory ; but he would purchase neither on any 
other terms but such as justice dictated, or honor re- 
quired. His hate, really, was directed or cherished 
against only one person, and that was the murderer of 
her who had strewed his youthful path with the fairest 
of flowers. 


Leaving Tioughnioga valley, he struck forward in 
the wilderness in a direct line for the highest elevation 
bordering the majestic Mohawk. Here by mere acci- 
dent he caught sight of his mortal enemy. The war- 
whoop was instantly echoed from hill to hill, and An- 
tone leaped from the threshold of his cabin and darted 
forward in hot pursuit of the fast disappearing and 
hated destroyer of his happiness. The pursuit was 
continued to the shores of Ontario, beyond the thunder- 
ing Niagara, around the southern coast of Lake Erie, 
to the banks of the Great Father of waters, where he 
left the coward's heart upon the sandy beach, a foul and 
fetid thing. 

He fought under the brave Tah-wan-nyes* at the ter- 
rible massacre of Wyoming. He was at the Genesee 
Castle on the approach of General Sullivan, and fled 
just in time to escape the vengeance of the troops. 
Standing at a little distance, his eyes beheld its utter 
annihilation. But his proud and noble spirit did not 
break. His mind went back to the achievements and 
wide desolation which marked the course of his breth- 
ren when they swept along the majestic Mohawk, bear- 
ing the torch of conflagration ; and his dark eye saw 
the ghastly spirit of massacre, charred and blackened, 
while the voice of lamentation was heard throughout 
the settlement of Cherry Valley. He clenched his toma- 
hawk with a firm grasp, and with his long knife sheathed 
at his side, went forth to battle for glory and conquest 
in the fairer fields of the " sunny South." 

And still Antoue lives ; and he who visits the West- 

* Gov. Black Snake, 


ern Reservation may look upon his stooping" form, and 
behold his unblenching eyes as they glare upon the 
objects around liim. 

lie was never cowardly — never unmerciful, unless 
driven to the adoption of measures which, under other 
circumstances than such as those tending to utter exter- 
mination, he would have despised and detested. 

Joshua Ballard was born in the town of Holland, 
Massachusetts, July 21, 1114. His early literary ad- 
vantages were respectable, and by a close application 
to study he became an excellent scholar. The various 
refining influences under which he was reared were 
well calculated to fix their impress upon his naturally 
generous and impulsive heart. At the age of twenty- 
one, (lt97,) he left his native town and selected a loca- 
tion in the town of Homer. The next year he returned 
and moved in his young and interesting wife, who hav- 
ing enjoyed similar advantages in obtaining an English 
education, and in cultivating the moral and social vir- 
tues, was rendered an agreeable and cherished com- 
panion. They came in by way of Cazenovia. Their 
entry into the town of Homer, then a mere " dot in the 
wilderness," on horseback, and by a scarcely discernible 
" bridle-path," was hailed by the firm-anchored forester 
with sensations of heart-felt joy. He originally pur- 
chased about one hundred acres of land, but subse- 
quently made several valuable additions. He was affa- 
ble and courteous in his deportment. In intellect he 
afforded a rare combination of excellence. His judg- 
ment was sound and active. He read much — thought 
much, and as a natural consequence, usually arrived at 
correct conclusions. He became an active participant 


in the political strifes of the day, and few, if any, in 
our county, have acquired a greater or a more correct 
reputation as a practical thinking man. And few, per- 
haps, if any, for upwards of half a century have been 
more intimately connected with public affairs, — political 
or progressive, — than Mr. Ballard ; and the numerous 
offices of trust and emolument to which he was at 
various periods elevated, furnish the most positive evi- 
dence of the confidence reposed in him as a just and 
worthy citizen. 

He taught the first school in the old town of Ilomer, 
was one of the *• projectors and directors of the Fifth 
Great Western Turnpike Company, whose road was 
built at an early day through this county. The Cort- 
land Academy owes much of its present as well as past 
high reputation to the early exertions of Mr. Ballard, 
who was one of its founders and most permanent sup- 
porters. He was also a firm pillar in the Congrega- 
tional church of Homer, of which he became a member 
in 1813. He was appointed Sheriff, April 30, 1810. 
He was an active member of the Legislature of 1816. 
He was appointed County Clerk, July 7, 1819, soon 
after which he located in Cortlandville. He also held 
most of the important town offices in Homer and Cort- 
land. Atone period of his life he took quite an interest 
in military' affairs. He raised the first company of 
cavalry in the countj^, and was appointed its captain : 
and afterwards held the office of Brigadier Major and 

The greater portion of his life, however, was spent in 
agricultural and mercantile pursuits. The impulses of 
Lis heart were warm and ardent. His philanthropy gave 


ample evidence of a fellow feeling and sympathetic 
nature. Place and station never swayed nor influenced 
him from the path of duty. Kind and generous, his 
social and beneficent sympathies were always favor- 
able to the unfortunate or oppressed. Frank and open, 
having no concealments, he was never charged with 
being time-serving. He never trimmed his sail to 
catch the popular breeze, but rather sought honest 
defeat than corrupt success. 

He died January 10, 1855, having reached fourscore 
years. His illness was short but severe, yet his dying 
moments were like those of a child sinking into a calm 
and pleasant sleep, and his approach to the tomb was 
like that of one 

** Who wraps the drapery of his couch 
Around him, and lies down to pleasant dreams." 

The hand that once aided in subduing the hoary 
growth of forest trees, and in planting and rearing the 
early germs of civilization, is cold and nerveless. The 
tongue that often spoke fervently and eloquently, is 
mute and dumb in the cold chamber of the grave. The 
reflection, pleasing and grateful, is forced upon the 
mind, and we justly exclaim — 

"He was the noblest Roman of them all ; 
His life was gentle ; and the elements 
So mixed in him, that Nature might stand up 
And say to all the world, this was a man." 

John Albright, the pioneer of East Homer, was the 
son of a plain republican, who was originally from the 
land of the liberty-loving Tell. Of his ancestors we 
know but little — of his birth-place, nothing. Nor have 


we any definite information regarding his early advan- 
tages ; but, from his limited knowledge of letters, we 
are left to conclude that thefy were not of the most flat- 
tering character. His father died a little previous to 
the Revolution. He had, however, some time before 
been apprenticed to the tailoring business, to a gentle- 
man whose only son was drafted at the commencement 
of hostilities into the American service. The young 
man not appreciating this favor, and his father not rel- 
ishing the idea of his son being made a mark for Brit- 
ish fusileers, consented, after due reflection, that young 
Albright, who had offered to volunteer, might go in his 
son's place. The matter being thus settled, John 
Albright, then only in his sixteenth year, with a heart 
full of patriotism which neither difficulty nor danger 
could chill, entered into the service of his country, and 
went forth to win laurels upon the ensanguined field of 
military glory. We have not the records at hand from 
which to glean the name of the commanding officer of 
the detachment to which he was at first connected. 
Numerous commissions were tendered him, but de- 
clined. In the office of Quarter Master he officiated for 
some time. He remained in active service until the 
fall of Montgomery, when he was taken prisoner by the 
British and carried to New York. He remained there 
eleven months, sufi'ering all the hardships to which 
prisoners in the hands of the enemy were exposed ; but 
his uniform good behavior and honorable deportment 
won for him many friends. At the time he fell into the 
hands of the enemy he had an excellent dog, to which 
he was much attached. After repeated efforts the dog 
was separated from his master, and taken possession of 


by a British officer. He was occasionally^ permitted to 
visit his sister Elizabeth, who was living in the family 
of an English surgeon. Just before he was exchanged 
he was on his way thither, and was very much startled 
by something springing suddenly upon his back ; turn- 
ing quickly around he was greatly surprised at behold- 
ing his own dog, the officer then being at head-quarters. 
At the time the animal was taken in custody the officer 
requested Mr. Albright to tell his name, which, for cer- 
tain reasons, he refused. But finally, being assured 
that n© harm should occur to him in consequence, he 
told him that his name was Liberty — a name that was 
dear to the oppressed, though hateful to tyrants. 

After being exchanged he again entered into the 
service of his country, and continued an efficient actor 
until after the taking of Fort Stanwix. Soon after this 
event, he and a few other soldiers, being engaged at a 
short distance from the main army in picking berries, 
were surprised and taken prisoners by a company of 
tories and Indians, and were conducted to Canada. We 
regret that we are able to give but a few of the inter- 
esting incidents connected with his second captivity. 
During his toilsome march to Canada he was compelled 
to carry a heavy pack ; his shoes having become worth- 
less, were left on the way ; and his feet, already blis- 
tered and torn, became so very sore that he could be 
tracked by his own blood. There were in the company 
an old Indian and an aged squaw, whom he had previ- 
ously known, — the former he had befriended ; the latter 
called him " son," while he courteously called her 
"mother." They were consequently his friends. The 
young Indians appeared to take pride in vexing and tor- 


luring the prisoners. One of them sought every oppor- 
tunity to follow close behind Mr. Albright, and tread upon 
his lacerated, bleeding heels. He feared to make any re- 
sistance, lest it should offend the chief and other influ- 
ential Indians. But the repeated cruelties inflicted upon 
him at length exhausted his patience and forbearance ; 
he turned suddenly upon his persecutor, and with one 
powerful and well-directed blow of his fist laid him at 
full length upon the ground. As was natural, he ex- 
pected to meet the indignant frowns of the Indians, 
but to his surprise they clapped their hands and 
laughed most heartily ; then, approaching him, they 
slapped him on the shoulder and exclaimed, " brave 
man ! brave man I" 

At another time the march had been so rapid and 
protracted, and his pack so heavy, that he thought he 
must sink and die under it. He at length threw it 
down, declaring that he would carry it no farther. 
Again he expected to meet the angry displeasure of his 
enemies, and perhaps be tomahawked on the spot ; 
but, after they had uttered some angry words and ex- 
hibited many fearful gesticulations, an Indian was 
ordered to take up his burden, and he was permitted to 
proceed unmolested. When they encamped for the 
night he was tied to a tree, and during the absence of 
his protector, an Indian, whose hate seemed unrelenting, 
threw his tomahawk at him, which fortunately missed 
him and spent its force in a tree not more than three 
inches from his head. He was finally obliged to run 
the gauntlet. Then his face was painted jet black, 
indicating that his death had been determined on. But 
the squaw whom he called " mother" obtained access 


to him, and removed the filthy composition from his face ; 
and, through her influence, he escaped with only a few 
lacerating blows upon his back. Reaching the point of 
destination, he was thrown into the prison, the damp- 
ness of which soon brought on a fever. He was 
attended by a British physician, who gave him such 
large doses of calomel that the most fearful result 
was anticipated. His tongue became excessively 
swollen, and protruded from his mouth ; but by the kind 
interposition and skill of a French physician he was 
saved. After suflfering every species of cruelty and 
hardship for nearly a year, he was again exchanged 
and returned to active service, in which he continued 
until the announcement of peace. 

He was certainly a brave and heroic man, displaying 
the true characteristics of the reflecting and devoted 
soldier ; not the least of which were exhibited while 
accompanying General Sullivan during most of his skir- 
mishes with the Indians and tories. 

He married a young lady by the name of Catharine 
Smith. They spent several years in the city, but at length 
concluded to exchange the pleasures of city life for 
those of a more rural character ; and with his cherished 
wife, four daughters, and aged mother-in-law, he left 
with the determination to locate on the land which had 
been assigned by his country for services in her cause. 
He stopped and remained a year and a half at Charles- 
town, a little west of Schenectady. During this time, 
accompanied by his wife, on horseback, he came on and 
explored his *' military" lot ; after determining to oc- 
cupy it, they returned to Charlestown and remained 
until the spring of 1*197. On the 12th of March, they 


reached Mr. Benedict's house in Truxton, where they 
remained until Mr. Albright could erect a small house 
on his lot. It was of the most primitive character, 
being composed of logs covered with bark. 

His nearest neighbors were Mr. Benedict, on the east, 
near where Judah Pierce now lives ; and John Miller, 
on the west, where the willow trees have since grown. 
Toil and privation discouraged him not ; he had already 
passed through the trying scenes of life. Necessity com- 
pelled him to go to mill a distance of forty miles ; there 
being no road, he had to pick his way by marked trees. 
He was unaccustomed to agricultural pursuits, having 
no knowledge of farming, or the best mode to adopt in 
order to clear the heavy growth of forest trees prepara- 
tory to fitting the soil for the more common crops. Help 
was difficult to obtain, — his children all being girls, 
who from the nature of things could be of but little 
service to him, — and consequently he had to rely on his 
own strong arms and resolute will to sustain and ac- 
complish what in the future crowned his persevering 
efforts. As his daughters grew up, they learned to do 
most kinds of out-door work ; and we are told, upon ex- 
cellent authority, that his mother-in-law, then sixty-five 
years of age, and who had previously known nothing of 
country life, soon learned to chop, and would fell from 
six to eigiit old foresters in a day. Wolves and bears 
were plenty. But he paid little attention to hunting, 
save when rambling through the woods in pursuit of 
his cattle ; then his gun was his constant companion 
and trusty friend. At one time he discovered five bears 
in a tree gathering nuts, two of which he managed to 
bring down, and which served as a very good substi- 
tute for beef. 


As a neighbor and friend he was universally es- 
teemed. His benevolence was proverbial. Previous to 
his locating- in East Homer, he was a member of the 
Reformed Dutch Church. In 1808 his house was 
opened for religious meetings. Subsequent!}" himself 
and wife united with the Methodist order, and for sev- 
eral years meetings were held beneath the roof that 
sheltered the pioneer family from the storm-beaten blast. 
Favoring circumstances led others to locate near him, 
among the first of whom were James White, Samuel 
Greggs, David Lindley, and Samuel Grandall. 

Mr. Albright lived on the most intimate terms with 
his neighbors, and to many he extended the hand of a 
father's friendship. If at any time they were in pecuni- 
ary difiScult}^ they hesitated not in appealing to him 
with an almost positive certainty of obtaining relief. 
He pursued an elevated course of action, entering into 
none of the speculations so common to new settlements ; 
and although he did not amass any great wealth, yet 
he secured a reasonable competence, from which he 
could draw. 

Asa White was born in Monson, Mass., in the year 
17*14. His educational advantages were such as the 
common schools of his native State afforded. He early 
exhibited those traits of character which peculiarly dis- 
tinguish the business man. Inheriting the energy and 
active habits of his father, he soon learned to rely upon 
his own efforts for self-advancement in the world, and 
thus by persevering industry, econora}^, and a just ap- 
preciation of an emulous reputation, he became the ar- 
tificer of his own fortune and the moulder of his own 
character. In 1798, at the age of twenty-four, he emi- 


grated to Homer and located on lot 45. He erected a 
house on the site now covered by the residence of Jed- 
ediah Barber. The farm is the same as now occupied 
by him, except that Barber has added to it on the north 
two small pieces of land which were known in an early 
day as Maj. Stimson's orchard, and Judge Ross' pasture. 
There has been sold from it the plot of ground lying 
between Main street and the creek, bounded on the 
north by the Stimson tavern property, and on the south 
by what was known as Dr. Owen's orchard. 

He was married in 1800 to Miss ClaricyKeep, daugh- 
ter of Caleb Keep, who purchased and settled in 1798 
on the farm now' occupied by Noah Hitchcock. 

At the date of Mr. White's advent into Homer, a grist- 
mill frame had been raised and was partially enclosed. 
The proprietors were Solomon Hubbard and John Keep. 
The interest of the latter was purchased by Mr. White, 
and the enterprise speedily pushed to a final comple- 
tion. The bur-stones, or rather rock-stones, were pro- 
cured from the bank- east of the residence of Lyman 
Hubbard, and were drawn by thirteen yoke of cattle to 
their place of productive labor. The bolts were pur- 
chased by Mr. White, of Utica. The mill, though fin- 
ished as originally designed, produced only a very ordi- 
nary specimen of flour. But as there was no other mill in 
the county, the people, sensitive of their wants, were not 
disposed to find fault. The interest of Mr. Hubbard was 
subsequently purchased by Mr. White, and the mill was 
thoroughly renovated and improved. When it was fully 
completed, the people believed that they had reached a 
great attainment. In it they held their public meetings, 
their Sabbath worship, and social gatherings. Here the 


young folks held their balls. We have in our possession 
a record dating back to that period. Mr. White was a 
manager of one of these entertainments. The managers 
were placed in a rather unpleasant predicament. Nei- 
ther rum nor molasses was to be had in town. And as 
a failure to procure such a desideratum would be an 
unpardonable lack of gallantry in gentlemen, a special 
messenger was sent post-haste thirty-three miles to 
Manlius Square for a gallon of rum and a half gallon of 
molasses, from which they made blackstrap for the 
company. The Maine Law had not then passed. The 
grist-mill, now owned by Messrs. Cogswell and Wilcox, 
covers the site of the original or first mill erected in the 
county. The various kinds of grain ground at this mill 
exceeds thirty-one thousand bushels per year. It is a 
fitting landmark or memorial to be situated on the 
original site of the first mill erected in the Tioughnioga 
valley, whereby the people may be the better enabled 
to point out the spot where the olden relic stood. If 
the primitive settlers " rejoiced over the final comple- 
tion of White's mill," with its single run of stone, how 
much more should their descendants rejoice at having a 
first-class mill, with its four runs of stones in constant 
operation, producing the very best quality of flour ? 

Mr. White was the owner of three-fourths of the first 
cotton factory erected west of Utica. It stood on the 
ground opposite the present building. It was built in 
1813-14, and destroyed by fire on the 25th of Decem- 
ber, 1815. 

Mr. White possessed many valuable traits of charac- 
ter, and v.^as especially serviceable in giving the em- 
bryo village an auspicious commencement. He pes- 


sessed a clear, vig-oroiis intellect, strong phj^sical en- 
ergy, and eminent business talents. His manners were 
modest, his habits social, and his temper genial and for- 
giving. He died December 22d, 1843, aged 69 years. 

*' As weary, worn-out winds expire, 
Or night-dews fall gently to the ground, 
So calm his exit." 

Mrs. White deceased February 23d, 1849, aged t5 


' * A light has gone from out the sky, 
A star has left its sphere." 

They lie entombed in the new cemetery at Cortland 
Village, where an appropriate monument, reared by the 
hand of fond affection, marks the place of their sepul- 

Horace and Hamilton White, two of the most wealthy 
and enterprising citizens of the Central City, are his 
sons. They have passed through a career of active life, 
public employment and private enterprise, having but 
few parallels ; and they are everywhere regarded with 
marked consideration and respect. Their educational 
privileges ended before they had reached the age of 
sixteen years, and yet they are gentlemen of education, 
— self-made men, — eminent in all the varied business 
relations of life. Their generous sympathies for the 
poor and friendless, their liberal bestowments in behalf 
of literary, benevolent, and religious associations, and 
their kind proffers of pecuniary aid to the really worthy, 
who were just entering upon the active duties of life, 
stamp them as men of eminently appreciative character, 
and it would be well for the young and enterprising to 


study their history, and like them learn to depend upon 
their own reliant powers for success in life. Horace 
went from home at the age of twelve years, and en- 
gaged for a limited period in the capacity of a clerk, 
with Horace Hill, of Auburn. In 1816 he was engaged 
in a store in which his father had an interest, in the 
cit}'" of Albany. He was subsequently employed by 
Jedediah Barber, of Homer, in whose store he remained 
about ten years. Here he acquired a business reputa- 
tion unusual for young men at his age. His health 
finally failed, in consequence of which he retired to a 
small farm, a portion of which is now occupied by Mr. 
Schermerhorn. Here he was employed for several years 
in cultivating the soil and in regaining his health. In 
1838 he removed to Syracuse, where, in connection with 
others, he assisted in establishing the Bank of Syracuse, 
of which he was cashier until his health made it neces- 
sary for him to resign the active duties. He is now 
vice-president of the institution. 

The first great feat in the career of Hamilton White 
occurred at the age of sixteen, in successfully teaching 
a District school, in what was then known as the new 
district, in the west part of the now town of Cortland- 
ville, at the enormous price of nine dollars per month, 
with the pleasure of boarding round. In the spring he 
emerged from the log school-house without mar or 
blemish, and withal greatly encouraged with his achieve- 
ment. His success encouraged him, and hence he con- 
tinued in that employment, teaching two more winters 
and one summer. At the age of twenty he went from 
home and engaged as a clerk in the store of William 
Randall & Co., in Cortland Village, with whom he re- 


mained two years — the first year receiving six dollars 
per month. He subsequently spent four or five years 
in the employment of Messrs. Webb and Edgcomb. In 
the spring of 1836 he went to Lockport, where he re- 
mained until August, 1839, when he removed to Syra- 
cuse to assume the duties of cashier of the Onondaga 
County Bank. His success in the District school, behind 
the counter and in the counting-room, prepared him for 
a career of extraordinary usefulness and enterprise. 
Mr. White is now engaged in business as a private 
banker on his own account. 

Nathaniel Bouton, one of the early settlers of Virgil, 
was born in Pound Ridge, Westchester county, New 
York, October 4th, 1778. The family were suffering 
from the war of the Revolution ; and at its close, found 
themselves in deep poverty. The schools for children 
and youth of that time were inferior, and furnished but 
scanty means of instruction ; and many grew up and en- 
tered the scenes of active life and assumed its respon- 
sibilities, with a very limited education. The subject 
of this narrative experienced the inconveniences inci- 
dent to the times ; yet, by the assiduous improvement 
of his opportunities, he acquired what was then called 
a "good common school education." In the spring of 
1799, in the twenty-first year of his age, he set out on 
foot for the western country, intending to remain during 
the season, engaging in some employment that should 
offer, and view the country. He came to Solon, and 
remained a short time with Mr. Samuel Benedict. He 
afterwards came to Homer, and labored with a Mr. Lee, 
and aided him in clearing a part of the ground now 
occupied by Cortland Village. His next stay was with 


Mr. Ebenezer Brown, in Milton (now Lansing), where 
he was engaged in chopping by the job. At the close 
of the season he passed through Virgil, where a 
brother of his had settled the same year, and returned 
to the place of his nativity. On the 22nd of March, 
1801, he was married to Miss Eachel Stevens, of New 
Canaan, Fairfield county, Connecticut. Soon after, he 
came to Virgil and purchased a farm of one hundred 
acres joining that of his brother Enos, to whom allusion 
has been made. He commenced immediately to fell the 
trees on a spot next the " Bridle road," so called, which 
passed through it. Near the close of summer he put 
up the body of a log cabin, and returned to Connecticut. 
Preparations were then made, and he and his wife, ac- 
companied by his younger brother — who came to take 
back the team — commenced their journey through al- 
most impassable roads, to their new home in the wilder- 
ness, at which they arrived late in October. Mr. Bouton 
and his family participated in the various hardships, priva- 
tions, exposures and struggles incident to the settlement 
of this region and common to the early pioneers, which 
have been sufficiently set forth in the biographies 
already given. They began to enjoy the comforts of 
life and to entertain hopes of future prosperity, when, 
on the 25th of February, 1805, Mrs. Bouton was sud- 
denly taken away by death, leaving to her surviving 
companion the cares, maintenance and instruction of 
four children. The dispensation was afflictive ; but he 
was sustained under it, and was enabled to keep his 
interesting charge together, and provide for their care 
and support. He was subsequently married to Miss 
Lydia Stevens, sister of his deceased wife. Mr. Bouton 


was much engaged in agricnltnre, and especially in the 
department of fruit, being- the first in town to put out a 
nursery of grafted fruit trees, which was as early as 1808 
or '9. He was also ardently engaged in the subject of in- 
ternal improvements, which led him to suggest plans that 
by many were deemed visionary. In 182*1 the idea 
occurred to him that a railroad might be constructed 
from the city of New York to Lake Erie. Whenever he 
proposed this plan, he was met with objections that 
would have disheartened one less decided, or less 
assured of its feasibility. He made a journey through 
most of the length of the route, and was confirmed in 
his opinion. He procured a piece to be written setting 
forth the plan, sketching the proposed route, with argu- 
ments to establish its practicability, and the advantage 
it would be to the people of the State, and especially to 
the city of New York and the southern tier of counties. 
This communication was published in the Cortland Oh- 
server^ in February, 1828. It was copied by a few 
other papers ; and soon the project gained so much 
public attention that conventions were called to con- 
sider it. After many long and arduous struggles, its 
friends succeeded in completing the New York and 
Erie Rail Road, which has opened the way for the con- 
struction of numerous railroads that now checker the 
State and furnish facilities to nearly all parts, for the 
accommodation of passengers and the ready transmis- 
sion of freight. Mr. Bouton was a firm friend of educa- 
tion and did what he could for its promotion, and se- 
cured to his family all the opportunities within his 
means of suppl3\ He encouraged the establishment of 
meetings for religious worship, in 1802 — when they were 


first instituted, — and was ever after a constant attendant 
and a firm and generous supporter of all the institutions 
of religion. He did not, however, see his way clear to 
make a public profession of religion till 1831 ; when, 
in a season of religious interest, he and his companion 
came forward and united with the Congregational church, 
of which they remained consistent members until their 
death. He was ready for every reform as it presented 
itself, and was especially an early and earnest advo- 
cate of the Temperance and Anti-slavery causes. His 
unwearied advocacy of these reforms sometimes pro- 
voked hostility, and caused it to be said by some that 
he had many enemies, — which might be comparatively 
true, as few who have been faithful and constant in 
support of these reforms have escaped censure. Early 
in December, 1846, he took a violent cold, which brought 
on a fever which terminated his life. When he saw that 
he should not probably recover, he set himself to adjust 
his temporal affairs, which he did to the satisfaction of his 
family, and waited with great composure the summons 
that should call him away. His peaceful death occurred 
on the fourth of January, 1847, in the sixty-ninth year 
of his age. 

Mr. Bouton reared an intelligent family of children, 
.among whom we take pleasure in referring to Deacon 
Nathan Bouton, an enterprising and highly valued citi- 
zen of Virgil. 

John Miller descended from the English stock of 
Millers, some of whom figured largely in the political 
annals of England two centuries since ; and others, at 
a later period, were the ardent supporters of the Ameri- 
can Revolution. With the latter class Mr. Miller was 


more immediately connected. He was born in Amenia, 
Dutchess county, N. Y., Nov. 10, 1174. 

Of his early j^ears we know but little. His attend- 
ance at the district school did not exceed one yeav ; he 
however continued to pursue his studies, reljnng upon 
his own exertions for success in the worthy effort. His 
classical advantages were also limited, he having been 
enabled to spend but a like period in a private classical 
school in Kent, Conn., under the charge of Barzilla Slos- 
son, a most excellent classical scholar, and a thorough 

He commenced his medical studies in Dutchess 
county, in 1793, and completed them in Washington 
county, in 1195. He attended one course of lectures in 
the University of Pennsylvania, where he listened to 
the valuable instructions of the celebrated Dr. Benja- 
min Rush. 

Dr. Miller was originally blest with a remarkable 
mind and memory ; and many of the most valuable im- 
pressions which he acquired while listening to this pro- 
found and unrivaled lecturer, have remained with him 
through his long and useful life. 

Immediately after his return from the university he 
became a partner of his friend and preceptor, Jonathan 
Moshcr, in Easton, Washington county, with whom he 
remained till 1801. It was his original intention to 
settle in Geneva, where he had made an arrangement to 
become a partner in the practice of medicine with a dis- 
tinguished practitioner who had preceded him there, 
and who had already secured a very lucrative practice. 
Circumstances, however, over which he had no control, 
precluded the final consummation of the arrangement. 


The connection was therefore dissolved, and Dr. Miller 
made an immediate and permanent location in Truxton.* 
He soon acquired a very extensive ride, extending into 
Homer, Solon, De Ruyter, Pompey, Tulley, and Onon- 
daga Hollow, attending in the families of Joshua For- 
man, Thadeus Wood, Asa Danforth, and Jasper Hop- 

Previous to his engaging' in the study of medicine 
his health had been exceedingly good, and so continued 
for two years after, when an accident occurred which 
deprived him of that important blessing. He became 
ghastly pale and emaciated ; his friends regarded him 
as a more complete subject for the anatomical knife, 
than for the performance of even the slightest labor. 
And yet, enfeebled, disorganized as he was, he had 
determined to accept a commission of Second Sur- 
geon in the American Navy, and risk his hopes of life, 
fame and fortune in the Tripoli an war. And he may 
well thank his friend and protector, Dr. Eush, for with- 
holding his consent from the precarious enterprise, oth- 
erwise his bones might have been bleaching upon the 
shores of the Mediterranean, or whitening on the plains 
of Tripoli. The advice of Dr. Rush was given in can- 
dor and kindness, and had a most favorable impression 
on the mind of Mr. Miller. He was invited to the Doc- 
tor's home, where he was received by Mrs. Rush with 
appreciative attention. Here he had access to a very 
large medical library, in which he spent the greater 
portion of his time. He, however, occasionally accom- 
panied Dr. Rush into the country on his professional 
visits — a distance, sometimes, exceeding fifty miles. 

» Then Fabius. 


His hitherto clouded mind gradually gave way to glee 
and gladness ; and, to use his own expressive language, 
in six weeks he was a new man. 

Ardently attached to his profession, prompt and at- 
tentive to his patients, he soon acquired the most ex- 
tensive practice ever secured by any practitioner in the 

When the Cortland County Medical Association was 
organized in 1808, Dr. Miller was chosen Vice-president, 
and subsequently succeeded Dr. Lewis S. Owen to the 
office of President. He is the only living member of 
the original organization. In February of that year he 
was elected an honorary member of the State Medical 

He was married in 1805 to Miss Phebe Adriance, of 
Troy, a lady of rare accomplishments, and of great moral 

In 1805 he was appointed post-master, and retained 
the office for twenty consecutive years. 

He was appointed Justice of the Peace in 1812. and 
continued in the administration of its duties until 1821. 

He served with eminent ability in the New York 
Assembly during the years 181T-20 and '45. 

In 1824 he was chosen a Representative in the United 
States Congress. 

In 1846 he was elected a delegate to the State Con- 
stitutional Convention, and during the entire session 
exerted a commanding influence over that deliberative 

Dr. Miller moulded his own character, and has been 
the architect of his own fortune. He has ever possessed 
a strong and vigorous mind, a clear and retentive mem- 


ory; an unnsual degree of energy and vivacity, blended 
with wit and generous sympathy. 

lie loved his friends, his profession, and his country; 
and ardently labored for the improvement of each. He 
was free and frank in manner ; generous and friendly 
in disposition, engaging in address, of active tempera- 
ment, and indeed possessed all the social qualities of 
the gentleman, and the stirring energies of the man of 

Dr. Miller located on lot 93 ; he did not, however, 
purchase until 1806, when he selected 450 acres at six 
dollars per acre. He still retains 150 acres of the orig- 
inal purchase. He also owns two hundred acres of a 
later purchase, on lot 64. He continued in the practice 
of his profession up to 1830 when he turned his atten- 
tion to agriculture. 

His great energy, determined will, and prompt action 
in every emergency of life, stamps him as a man of no 
ordinary character. His great power of endurance en- 
abled him to undergo incredible fatigue in his laborious 
practice. When the roads were almost impassable, and 
the nights fearfull}^ dark, he has been known to travel 
by torchlight through the wilderness, a distance of sev- 
eral miles, even though he had no hope of reward for 
his professional visit. At a later period, when his ride 
extended over a large portion of Cortland and Onondaga 
counties, he rode in one day upwards of fifty-five miles, 
making thirty-three calls upon the sick. 

But the energetic perseverance of Dr. Miller was not 
alone confined to his professional duties ; it was exhib- 
ited in the more extended sphere of business, and in the 
social relations of life. 


The venerable patriarch, now at the advanced age of 
eighty-four years, is enjoying in a remarkable degree 
his phj^sical and mental powers ; is still a man of unu- 
sual vigor. 

Of the Doctor's surviving children, one daughter, the 
wife of Alfred Purdy, resides in Truxton ; another is the 
wife of Rev. Henry Riley, residing at Montrose, Pa. ; 
and Morris, his son, is located at Momentz, Illinois. 

Deacon Thomas Chollar was born at Pomfret, Wind- 
ham CO., Conn., October 24, 1778. In his youth he re- 
ceived such advantges as his native town afforded. 
The Puritan habits of the people were well calculated 
to prove serviceable to a young man possessing the 
many benevolent and social traits of character that 
were assiduously cultivated by Mr. Chollar. It was his 
pride and pleasure to emulate the virtues of the great 
and good. 

Mr. Chollar came to Cortland county in February, 
1802, having but partially considered the privations of 
pioneer life — of the toils of the industrious settler while 
contending with the rugged wilderness of nature ; the 
almost insurmountable difiSculties to be overcome ; the 
ills, the suffering and perils that often occur to those 
who venture beyond the boundary of civilization there 
to rear a domicil and a home. After viewing various 
portions of the unclaimed wilderness he selected a lot 
which is at present known as the Northrop farm, in the 
south-east part of the town. He was not, however, fully 
pleased with the location, and soon after disposed of it. 
At different intervals of time he extended his examina- 
tions, but did not make a positive and permanent selec- 
tion until the latter part of 1804, when he made choice 


of seventy acres, being a part of lot No. 1^. Soon after, 
he returned to his native home in Connecticut, where 
he remained for nearly five years. He was married 
March 5th, 1805, to Miss Sally B. Dresser, a young lady 
who in after life adorned and dignified the name of wife 
and mother. 

He returned with his family to Homer in 1809, and 
lived one year near the County House, after which he 
moved on to his place and commenced its improvement. 
Abram Franklin drew the lot, for services rendered in 
the Revolutionary struggle. He sold it to Henry Frank- 
lin by whom it was subsequently transferred to a Mr. 
Cushman. The purchase price paid by Mr. Chollar was 
$3 25 per acre. His disposition was not of that unset- 
tled kind which continually seeks for change, as is suf- 
ficiently evidenced in the fact of his having spent nearly 
a half century on the very spot where he first perma- 
nently located, living an honored life, and exhibiting 
the various virtues which fully adorn and dignify the 
Christian character. His conversion occurred while in 
Connecticut. He united with the Baptist Church, in 
May, 1810 ; was chosen deacon in 1812, and discharged 
its duties with eminent ability and usefulness until 
1841, when a decline of health precluded the further 
performance of the required services. 

In the truthful, eloquent and admirable funeral dis- 
course of Deacon Chollar, pronounced by Elder Harvey, 
occurred the following tributary remark: 

" He was a man of strict integrity in the business 
relations of life. The apostolic injunction, ' owe no man 
anything,' perhaps has seldom been more strictly ob- 
served. No man ever had occasion to complain of mis- 


Tja; mte^ «A Id 

ab «f 


broke it at his Saviour's feet, and the incense of his 
heart went up with it. 

When bowed with age and sickness, still he " gloried 
in his infirmity," that the power of " Christ might rest 
upon him," and although he felt with the Apostle " that 
to depart and be with Christ is far better," yet he hum- 
bly resolved with patient Job, " All the days of my ap- 
pointed time will I wait until my change come." In 
his house the weary herald of the cross has often found 
refreshment, and his heart has ever been opened to the 
destitute ; so that while we mourn his loss, which is 
severely felt by his relatives and friends and the church 
of Christ, we joy upon the reflection that our loss is 
infinitely his gain. "Blessed are the dead that die in 
the Lord — they rest from their labors." 

The fond wish of this aged disciple has been realized — 
the pilgrim has safely passed through the waves of Jor- 
dan, and has reached the promised land of life and 
peace eternal. 

And while we contemplate the bright example he has 
left behind him — his faithful profession of the Christian 
verity — his conscientious discharge of relative duties — 
his ardent desire for the salvation of souls, and the glory 
of God : in a word, his life of unspotted holiness, and 
his death of sainted serenity, and then turn to his glo- 
rious resting-place in the presence of his Saviour and 
bis God — we pause, and seem to say : 

He now holds converse with the Patriarchs 
Of old — with Prophets, who foretold of all 
That since has shaken empires, and made way 
For the dominion of the Prince of Peace. 
His voice unites with David's in the song 


Of " Praise the Lord " — with David's harp, his harp 
In concert joins the chorus of the skies. 
He sits with the Apostles, and recounts 
The eternal wonders of redeeming love. 

Deacon Chollar was one of those who are justly 
termed "the Light of the World." And that same light 
which he had so steadily emitted during his Christian 
life for the illumination of others, shone not less brightly 
at the hour of death. 

He reared a numerous family of children, among 
whom is Dea. Thomas D. Chollar, of Homer. 

Mrs. Chollar, the aged sainted mother of Israel, still 
lives, her " lamp trimmed and burning,'^ like a beacon 
light to the world of happiness, aged 80 3'ears. 

Deacon Asa Bennett was born in Mansfield, Ct., July 
10, 1178. His education was strictly moral. He was 
early taught to fear God and to attend to the external 
forms of religion, and the parental instruction and 
prayer bestowed upon his youthful mind exerted a sal- 
utary influence upon his subsequent life. 

At about the age of sixteen he embraced the Christian 
religion, and in 1800 evinced his catholicity of spirit by 
uniting with the Baptist church, in Hampton, Ct. He 
removed to Homer in 1803, and united in 1806 with the 
church of the same faith, of which he became an active 
and influential member. Early in 1807 he was chosen 
Deacon, though not ordained until. 1815. His Christian 
character was well calculated to command respect and 
veneration, and most eminently fitted him for the high 
duties of Deacon, which relation he sustained to the 
church until the insatiate archer. Death, sped his shaft, 
and the venerable pillar was called to his eternal home. 


His house was a home for the preachers, and a place 
for the people of God to meet. He gathered in and 
" built up souls," who will no doubt mingle their joys 
with his in Heaven. 

He was affable and courteous, and in all the benevo- 
lent associations of the day he exhibited a zealous and 
enterprising spirit. His chief study seemed to be the 
eternal welfare of his brethren. And while his hand 
was engaged in dispensing blessings, his prayers were 
ascending to the Throne of Grace for the redemption of 
his fellow beings. 

He was a subject of long and severe affliction. But 
up to the hour of dissolution he evinced all the powers 
of patience and resignation to the will of his Divine 

Eld. Alfred Bennett was born Sept. 26, 1780, in 
Mansfield, Windham co., Ct. He received an early re- 
ligious education, and for which he always felt deeply 
indebted to his pious parents. The buds of a bright in- 
telligence were early put forth, hopefully indicating a 
rich development of mind ; the spring of youthful piety 
had begun to flow along the opening channels of the 
tender heart with much assurance of high excellence of 
Christian character and deep devotion to his Maker. A 
mild and ardent temperament, warm social virtues, 
buoyant spirit, and winning address, tempered and re- 
fined through the chastening influence of his early edu- 
cation, made him a great favorite, and entwined hira 
closely about the hearts of his devoted parents and 
friends, and prepared him for the higher duties of moral 
excellence just as he was entering the stage of rational 


In 1800 he united with the Baptist church in Hampton, 
some fifteen miles distant from his home. Here he mar- 
ried, in 1802, Miss Rhoda Grow. 

In 1803 he located in the town of Homer. His dwell- 
ing was a rude structure composed of logs ; the external 
and internal appearances were not of the most inviting 
character. Yet to the early pioneers these unhewed 
tenements were of valuable importance, and contained 
within their limited enclosures as much moral virtue 
and social benevolence as ever flourished within the 
gorgeous citadels of crowned monarchs. The valley 
was yet a comparative wilderness, the hills a dense forest, 
visited only by the fearless hunter and wandering sav- 
age. Here Mr. Bennett, with a strong arm and a reso- 
lute will, engaged in felling the forest. In April, 1805, 
he became deeply exercised upon the subject of the 
Christian ministry, and finally gave himself up to God 
and the church, and commenced his labors as an itinerant 
preacher. He was ordained Feb., 180t. His subse- 
quent labors were arduous, but he appeared to be hap- 
pily adapted for the promotion of the cause in which he 
embarked ; he labored with remarkable ability and 
eminent success. As a preacher his talents were respect- 
able, but in the gift of exhortation few persons excelled 
him ; his appeals were made to the hearts of his hearers 
with remarkable effect. 

He died May 10, 1851. 

The demise of this good man was a loss never to be 
repaired ; and although it fell with peculiar weight upon 
his family and near friends, yet the Baptist church of 
Homer, over which he long presided, and the poor, 
shared very largely in the bereavement, for in him they 
always found a constant and untiring friend. 


The closing period of his life was calm as a peaceful 
river. His inspiring hope of immortality found expres- 
sion in the triumphant language of " Glory ! Glory I " 

Malachi Church, was born in Brattleborough, Ver- 
mont, May 15th, 1769. He enjoyed very limited advan- 
tages for literary pursuits ; yet, by diligent application, 
he acquired a knowledge of the elementary branches 
which qualified him for the practical duties or business 
transactions of public life. A portion of his time, when 
a young man, was occupied in cultivating the soil, and 
in acquiring a knowledge of the blacksmith's trade. 
At the age of twenty-two years he married Lucy 
Blakeslee, and reared a large family of children — four 
sons and six daughters. In the winter of 1804-5, he 
emigrated to the present town of Bainbridge, Chenango 
county, N. Y., and in September of 1805 he removed to 
that part of the Tiouglmioga valley now included in the 
town of Marathon, a distance of about forty miles. 
This journey was accomplished in three days with hard 
toil. Here he found but a few scattering residents, 
and no reasonable encouragement was presented to the 
patronage of a mechanic. Hence it became necessary, 
as the means of supporting his family, to engage in ag- 
ricultural pursuits, in clearing and cultivating the soil. 
The lands lying in the valley being more feasible of 
tillage, were first cleared and improved ; but gradu- 
ally, as other settlers arrived, the contiguous hill lands 
were taken up ; but the process of cutting and burning 
up the heavy timber and fitting the land for growing 
crops was a work of severe toil and of slow progress. 

Mills for sawing lumber for building, and for grinding 
grain, were greatly needed, but for the want of adequate 


means none were erected till the year 1810. These 
structures called into requisition the aid of mechanics. 
The first framed edifices were erected on the land where 
Marathon village is now located. Mr. Church, some ten 
or twelve years after his arrival here, built a frame 
house and shop on the west side of the river, a few rods 
from the present railroad depot ; where, assisted by his 
sons, he successfully carried on the blacksmithing busi- 
ness for several years. About the year 1815 Mr. 
Church was solicited to become a candidate for the 
office of Jystice of the Peace ; and although a large 
majority of the inhabitants were opposed to his political 
opinions, yet entertaining a high regard for impartial- 
ity, integrity, and capacity, his name was presented as 
the unanimous choice of the people. It will be recol- 
lected that all judicial officers at that time were ap- 
pointed by the governor ; and when a petition was pre- 
sented for the appointment of an individual by constit- 
uents known to be favorable to the State administra- 
tion, there could be no hesitancy'- in complying with the 
wishes of the petitioners. Mr. Church was accordingly 
duly appointed, and held the office for quite a number 
of years, discharging the duties thereof with ability 
equal to the confidence which the public had reposed in 
him. In the year 1823 Mr. Church made a public pro- 
fession of religion and became a member of the Baptist 
church, and for his zeal in the cause, his talents and 
christian character, he was soon after appointed a dea- 
con of the church, — an office which he filled with honor 
to the cause by an exemplary life to the time of his 
decease, which occurred November 20th, 1846, at the 
age of seventy-seven years. His widow survived him 


a few years. At his death, he left four sons and three 
daughters. His sons were all distinguished for military 
talent, and each of whom received a Colonel's commis- 
sion ; three of them also served as Justices of the Peace. 
His daughters were, by marriage, connected with re- 
spectable families. 

Major Adin Webb was a native of Scotland, Wind- 
ham county, Conn. His father, Christopher Webb, was 
an industrious and enterprising agriculturist. At an 
early period of the American Revolution he embarked 
in the arduous struggle, and devoted his best energies 
to the acquisition of liberty and an equality of rights. 
He held the ofi&ce of Sergeant, and discharged with 
marked ability its responsible duties. He was with his 
brethren in arms during the cold and stormy winter so 
memorable in history, when they were encamped on the 
hills back of Morristown, suffering the most severe pri- 
vations ; half fed, half clothed, and much less than half 
paid. His bravery and heroic devotion to his country 
was exhibited on various occasions, and especially in 
the bloody conflict at Bennington, and in the capture 
of Burgoyne, near Stillwater. He died a professor 
of religion, March 1, 183*7. 

Adin Webb, the subject of this notice, was born 
March 31, ItSO. While still a mere child, his father 
concluded to change his place of residence, and located 
at Canterbury, where he remained until June 4, 1804. 

His early literary advantages were' respectable, hav- 
ing received a good academic education. He was reared 
to the business of agriculture, though he frequently 
engaged in teaching school. He taught, eight winters 
in Connecticut — the first at the age of sixteen. 


Modest and iiDpretending in his manners — strictly 
correct in gentlemanly deportment — diligent in the pur- 
suit of his various duties, he secured the esteem of his 
pupils, and cnjo3^ed a large share of the best affections 
of his near friends. 

He was married October 15, 1800, to Miss Deborah 
Carter, in whose person were united in the extremest 
sense the various accomplishments of an intellectual 
lady. She too, was devoted to the profession of teaching. 
He removed with his parents in 1804 to Cazenovia, N. 
Y. He came in with an ox team, by way of Hartford, 
Albany, Utica, Whitestown, Westmoreland, and Lenox, 
Approaching near Manlius, he turned to the left and 
bore to the head of Cazenovia lake, where his father 
purchased one hundred and fifty acres of land. 

He spent one year and a half with his father, and 
then, through the urgent solicitations of a friend, was 
induced to come to Homer and take a school for a term 
of four months, as also a singing-school. Gratified with 
his success, and pleased with the attractive beauties of 
the county, he concluded to locate. And it is certainly 
complimentary of him to remark, that with one excep' 
tion he taught seventeen successive years. 

In 1808 he erected a dwelling-house on ground now 
occupied by Mr. Barber's new block. A few years 
after he disposed of it and purchased a lot of Captain 
Hezekiah Roberts, and erected a dwelling on ground at 
present covered by the Baptist church. Subsequently 
he sold this to Chauncey Keep, and spent two years in 
the vicinity of Mr. Kingsbury's. He next purchased a 
situation of Mr. Asa Kendall, where he lived until 1823, 
when he removed to Cortland. 


In 1826 he purchased a lot on which now stands the 
jewehy store of Mr. Stiles. 

At this time he entered into copartnership with Mr. 
Eleazar W. Edgcomb, in the mercantile business. The 
copartnership continued about ten years, when the lat- 
ter disposed of his interest to Mr. Calvin Bishop. These 
gentlemen were sons-in-law of Mr. Webb. He con- 
tinued for about fifteen j^ears in the prosecution of the 
mercantile trade. 

In 1809 he was elected Town Clerk of the old town of 
Homer, and continued in the discharge of its duties for 
twenty years. 

He was appointed Surrogate in 1816, and held the 
ofiSce till 1823. 

In 182*1 he was elected Justice of the Peace ; and in 
1828 elevated to the responsible ofSce of Sheriff. 

In 1840 he was elected Surrogate, and served the 
people for four years. 

In 1845 he was elected Town Clerk of Cortlandville, 
and continued to discharge its duties till 1856. 

His inclinations partook but little of a military cast ; 
yet in 1809 he was elected a Lieutenant. The next 
spring he was chosen Captain, in place of Benjamin An- 
drews. He served four j^ears, and was then elected 
2nd Major. 

He joined the Congregational church in Homer in 
1813, and led the choir for fifteen successive years. 

In 1823 he united by letter with a church of the same 
order in Cortland. 

In private life he has ever exhibited the true charac- 
teristics of a gentleman. In his public career he has 
adorned and dignified his position, alike creditable to 


himself and his country. A true pattern of integrity 
aifd worth, he is revered, not as a laurel-crowned hero, 
but as a noble specimen of the Great Architect. If 

" 'Tis infamy to die and not be missed," 

Major Webb will go down to the tomb an honored relic 
of an iron age, leaving behind him an unblemished rep- 
utation, which, like the cruse of oil, will gladden many 
a cherished heart. 

The habits of Major Webb have been most remarka- 
bly correct. The numerous exhilirating beverages, 
alike destructive to the physical and the mental facul- 
ties, have had little or no influence over him. He has 
usually risen early, and always been active and ener- 
getic ; and to those influences he attributes much of his 
usually excellent health. 

We doubt whether there is another individual in 
the county who has more warm personal friends, or 
whose sympathies and virtues have taken a more last- 
ing hold upon the affections of the people. 

And now, at the advanced age of seventy-eight, he 
exhibits the activity and sprightliness of the man of 

Mrs. Webb died February 21, 1850. 

Samuel Gilbert Hatheway was born in Freetown, 
Bristol county, Mass., July 18, 1*180. He is descended 
from those Gilberts of whom Sir Humphrey was one, 
and from the Puritans, Bradford and Alden. He was 
the youngest son of Shadrach and Hannah (Chase) 
Hatheway. His only brother was lost at sea with the 
vessel he commanded. His sister married and died in 
New England. The father deceased while the son was 


yet in infancy, and soon after he was placed under the 
care of his paternal grandfather, with whom he re- 
mained for a period of nine years. His early education 
was derived principally from the primary schools of his 
native State. He possessed great energy of character, 
a clear, active mind, and was resolved to succeed in 
life, and hence he achieved a triumph over every dif- 
ficulty. His early habits of industry were in after time 
exhibited in the unbending perseverance of the young 
New England farmer. His self-reliant powers were re- 
garded with almost idolatrous respect. His energy was 
his capital, and he invested it with pleasure in approved 
pursuits. The limited amount of learning which he ac- 
quired in the common schools was subsequently greatly 
enlarged by private study and extensive reading. 
Thrown upon his own resources, he first presumed that 
the mariner's life would be congenial with his feelings, 
but, after making a voyage to the West Indies, he 
readily concluded that it would neither promote his in- 
terest nor be propitious to his feelings. 

In 1803 Mr. Hatheway migrated to Chenango county, 
designing to make a permanent residence ; he was not, 
however, well pleased with the country, and after spend- 
ing two years in the settlement, removed to Cincinnatus, 
(now Freetown), and located on lot No. 2. Soon after, 
his mother, a woman of great mental and physical 
energy, joined him, and remained with him until her 
death, which occurred Aug. 14, 1826. He purchased 
300 acres of Robert Smith, a Revolutionary soldier. 
Mr. Smith drew the lot and had located on it some ten 
years previous. At this time Mr. Hatheway was eight 
miles distant from his nearest neighbor on the south, 


four to the north, and about a like number to the east 
and west. 

In 1819 he removed to Solon, and settled on the 
eastern part of lot tl. Here he remained until 1842, 
when his buildings were devastated by fire, and he 
changed his residence to his present location on lot 73. 

In 1810 he was appointed by the Council of Appoint- 
ment, Justice of the Peace, which oflSce he has held 
forty-eight successive years. He has also been honored 
with every ofiBce from Supervisor down to Commissioner 
of Highways. 

In 1814, and again in 1818, he was elected to the 
New York Assembly. These were periods of marked 
importance in the political annals of our State, and Mr. 
Hatheway fully sustained the confidence reposed in him 
by his party and friends. 

In 1822 he was elected to the State Senate, and in 
1882 chosen a Representative from the 22d District to 
the United States Congress. 

His early tastes led him into political life, and he 
soon acquired great influence in the Democratic party. 
A deep thinker and of active temperament, he was well 
calculated to plan and execute whatever business of a 
political and social nature he might undertake. Few 
citizens, if any, in the county, have acquired an equal 
influence in the control of party movements, or who 
could with so much exactness predict its majorities. It 
is believed that he has in no instance swayed from his 
political predilections, • and has never compromised a 
right for the achievement of a temporary success. 

In 1852 he was elected a Presidential elector. In 
1804 he voted for Thomas Jefferson at his second elec- 


tion to the Presidency, and has voted for every Demo- 
cratic candidate since. 

He was a delegate to the National Democratic Con- 
vention at Cincinnati, in June, 1856, when James Bu- 
chanan was chosen as the national standard-bearer of 
the party he represented. 

In 1808 he received a captain's commission in a bat- 
tallion of infantry, under the command of Major John 
Kingman. He was appointed Major in 1814, and Lieut. 
Colonel by Gov. Tompkins in 1816 ; Colonel in 1819 ; 
Brigadier General in 1820, by Gov. Clinton ; Major 
General in 1823, by Gov. Yates. The last appointment 
he still holds. 

On the 13th of May, 1846, an Act was passed by the 
Legislature of New York, for the encouragement of the 
formation of uniform companies, and to provide for the 
enrollment of the militia. In accordance with this Act, 
Gov. Wright, on the 21st of October of that year, 
directed Major General Hatheway to divide the Sixth 
Military Division into two brigade districts, accord- 
ing to representative population as ascertained by the 
State census of 1845, and as required by section 3d of 
that law. 

The duty was promptly attended to. He divided the 
division into two brigade districts, as follows : the first 
he composed of the counties of Oneida and Oswego, 
and the towns of Sterling, Victory, Ira, Cato, and Con- 
quest, in the county of Cayuga, and the towns of Ly- 
sander, Van Buren, Claj^ and Cicero, in the county of 
Onondaga ; and the second, of the counties of Cortland, 
Tompkins, and the remaining towns of the counties of 
Cayuga and Onondaga. 


The Report was fully approved by the Commander-in- 
Chief, and was regarded as an improvement on the 
original suggestion of the Adjutant-General, R. E. 

Under the direction of Gov. Young, General Hathe- 
way divided the Sixth Division into four Brigade Dis- 
tricts, according to representative population. 

Previous to the passage of the Act referred to, the 
State was composed of thirty-two divisions — two brig- 
ades in each. The new law reduced them to eight. 

The Sixth Division was composed of the counties of 
Oneida, Oswego, Onondaga, Cayuga, Cortland, and 

General Hatheway, being the oldest Major General 
in the Sixth Division, was retained ; thus extending to 
him a compliment, not only for his venerated worth as 
a man, but for his zealous efforts as an officer. 

During the entire period of a half centur}^. General 
Hatheway has witnessed the gradual increase of the 
country from a wilderness to a populous and prosperous 
district ; and he has during the same period been inti- 
mately concerned with its business and its interests. 

In the various civil and military capacities, he has 
been equally useful. His persevering energy rendered 
him valuable as a public officer, and prosperous in his 
private affairs. He has accumulated a very large prop- 
erty. His land consists of upwards of 3000 acres. 
The Home Farm between eleven and twelve hundred. 
His elegant residence was erected in 1844-5. 

General Hatheway was married October, 1808, to 
Miss Sally Emerson, of Solon. She died April 28, 1832. 
Mrs. Hatheway was a lady of education and refinement, 


and possessed many eminent qualities. The inhabi- 
tants of the town where she passed her married life 
still speak of her many virtues, her genial kindness, 
and her untiring energy. 

In November, 1848, Mr. Hathcway was again united 
in marriage to an educated and refined lady, in the 
person of Miss Catherine Saxton, of Groton. 

General Hatheway is the father of eleven children — 
of the six sons, two only survive. Colonel S. G. Hathe- 
w^ay, Jr., is a prominent attorney and politician, resid- 
ing at Elmira, Colonel C. L. Hatheway, his fourth son, 
is the active man of business at home. The accom- 
plished and so much lamented Major John S. Hatheway, 
of the United States Army, was the second son. George 
R., the third son, was just admitted to the bar, when 
his career of promise ended. Charles R., the fifth son, 
was still a student. The sixth son died in childhood. 
Of his five daughters, three are living. 

And now General Hatheway, at the venerated age of 
seventy-eight years, exhibits a remarkable degree of 
health, energy and vivacity ; 

" His age like a lusty winter, frosty, but kizidly." 

Thurlow Weed w^as born in Cairo, Green co., N. Y., 
Nov. 15, 1791, and at the age of eleven years removed 
with his parents to Cincinnatus. In his youth he failed 
to enjoy the advantages of a good education. The 
limited means of his father required the most laborious 
.exertions to support his family w^ith even a moderate 
degree of respectability. His educational privileges 
were therefore as ample as the circumstances of his 
parents would permit. He attended school "one quar- 


ter" in Catskill, "part of a winter term" in Oincin- 
natus, and " three months " in Onondaga Hollow, pay- 
ing for board and schooling, in the latter place, by 
working in the garden, chopping wood, and doing 
chores, morning and evening, for Jasper Hopper. He 
possessed a healthy, vigorons physical constitution, and 
an inflexible, abiding determination to excel. Though 
he was for the brief period of his minority doomed to 
constant physical toil ; and though he might for a time 
be tossed about by the fickle breezes of external cir- 
cumstances, he would at least make efforts to take that 
elevated rank to which it was his right and his duty to 
aspire. He felt the pressure of poverty ; he knew the 
extent of his father's purse ; he possessed talents, 
genius, and self-confidence, and he resolved to accom- 
plish his purpose. He was never reckless, never an 
idler, and always conscious of his ability or self-reliant 
powers to advance. If he relinquished one enterprise, 
it was but to achieve another. 

In the summer of 1806 he was employed in the capac- 
ity of cook and cabin boy on board the sloop Ranger, 
Captain Gager, of Catskill, and on board the sloop 
Jefferson, Captain Bogardus, in 1807. In the winter of 
1808 his father removed to Cincinnatus, and our young 
aspirant found himself quartered in an ashery, where 
he learned the mystery of converting lye into black 
salts. During the winter of 180t he first worked in the 
printing office of Macky Croswell, at Catskill, and was 
honored with the title of '^ Printer'' s DevilP In 1811 
he was employed in the " Lynx " office, at Onondaga 
Hollow. The next year he was engaged as a half-way 
journeyman in the ofiice of Thomas Walker, of Utica, 


and worked on the '' Columbian Gazette ;" and in 1813, 
for Colonel William L. Stone, on the " Herkimer Ameri- 
can." From this time until 1815, he was eraplo^^ed for 
short periods, at full pay, in offices at Auburn, Spring 
Mills, Sangersfield, Cazenovia, and Cooperstown ; and 
for longer terms in Utica and Herkimer, when he went 
to Albany, and New York, working as a journeyman 
until 1819. He then went to Norwich, Chenango co., 
and established a weekly newspaper entitled " The 
Agriculturist." In 1821 he removed to Manlius, Onon- 
daga CO., and established the " Onondaga County Repub- 
ican." In 1822 he removed to Rochester, and was em- 
ployed in the office of Everard Peck, for whom he worked 
two years, when he purchased his paper, the " Roches- 
ter Telegraph." Mr. Weed took strong ground in favor 
of De Witt Clinton, who was elected Governor in the 
November election of 1824, and again in 1826. After 
the abduction of William Morgan, in 1827, he discon- 
tinued the " Telegraph," and commenced the publica- 
tion of the " Anti-Masonic Enquirer," which soon became 
the leading anti-masonic paper of the State. The " Tele- 
graph," under the supervision of Mr. Weed, had exerted 
a commanding and wide-spread influence. The control- 
ling power of the " Enquirer" was far greater. Over 
the party of which it was the great head, its influence 
was almost unlimited. In 1830 he removed to Albany, 
and established the " Evening Journal," which for up- 
wards of a quarter of a century he has conducted with 
signal ability and success. 

During the last clash at arms between Great Britain 
and the United States, Mr. Weed exhibited an inclina- 
tion for a more intimate association with the valorous 


spirits who warred for fame, glory and independence. 
In the winter of 1813 he volunteered, and served six 
weeks as a private in Capt. Ashbel Seward's company, 
then stationed at Adams, Jefferson county. Nothing of 
particular importance occurred, and he was discharged 
when the apprehensions of an attack from the British, a 
body of which were supposed to be preparing to cross 
on the ice, had subsided. He was a private three months 
in Lieut. Ellis' company of Artillery from Utica, and 
stationed at Brownville, in the same county. The regi- 
ment was commanded by Col. Metcalf, of Cooperstown. 
Mr. Weed also served at Sackett's Harbor as Quarter 
Master Sergeant in Col. Myer's regiment, of Herkimer, 
from August till October. 

In 1824, and again in 1829, he was elected to the As- 
sembly from the County of Monroe. He made an active 
and influential member. 

He was married to Miss Catharine Ostrander, of 
Cooperstown, in April, 1818. 

In 1843 Mr. Weed took a tour to Europe, visiting 
England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, France and Belgium. 
In 1852 he took a second tour, and extended his visit to 
Switzerland, Germany, Saxony, Austria, Sardinia and 
Italy. During his travels he furnished for the columns 
of the Evening Journal a series of exceedingly interest- 
ing and valuable letters, which were extensively copied 
throughout the State, and indeed throughout the Union. 
They exhibited a complete daguerreotype of the habits, 
customs and national characteristics of the people of 
those countries. 

Mr. Weed possesses a strong, clear and well-balanced 
mind. His career thus far has been an eventful one. 


From the cook and cabin boy on board the sloops Ranger 
and Jefferson, he worked his way to a position the most 
worthy, dignified and appreciable. From the black salt 
manufacturer of Cincinnatus, or the young salt boiler 
of Salina, we see him gradually progressing in the scale 
of the ascending series, until he has reached the highest 
round in the ladder of political sagacity and editorial 
preferment. The chore-boy of Jasper Hopper becomes 
repeatedly a member of the Legislature, State printer, 
and unrivaled political editor of the Empire State. 
The youthful volunteer in the second struggle for free- 
dom escapes the maelstrom of voluptuous dissipation, 
and becomes a self-made great man ; great in intellect, 
and great in the achievement of an enviable reputation. 
Had he vacillated and 3'ielded to the numerous discour- 
agements with which he was surrounded, he would never 
have taken his station in bright conspicuity in the an- 
nals of the world. His resolution and firmness of char- 
acter saved him. He not only astonished his friends 
with the extent and variety of his attainments, but he 
astonished even himself. He did not look for superior 
mental manifestations without effort or active exertion, 
any more than he did for manifestations of physical 
power without constant exercise of the physical sj'stem. 
The skill of the mariner is unknown to the world, and 
even to himself, until he finds occasion to spread his can 
vas to the fury of the tempest — until his vessel plunges 
amidst the foaming, boisterous billows — until he comes 
in fearful contact with the angry elements of the mighty 
deep. The same is true of all the numerous conflicts of 
the human mind ; and resolution and decision are the 
only sure guaranty of success and ultimate triumph. 


The illustrious intellects from Homer down — the giant 
minds who rise above their fellow-men, and stretch out 
their hands to each other across the interval of ages, 
transmitting to succeeding generations the torch of sci- 
ence, poetry and art, have achieved their greatness of 
character through the active propelling agency of these 
progressive elements. They have distributed the ener- 
gies of the soul through every fibre, shred and muscle 
of the human brain ; have given god-like energy to the 
human character ; filled the fair temples of fame, leveled 
forests, and converted the nations of the earth from 
savagism and barbarity to a higher state of moral and 
intellectual greatness. Resolution and decision are 
traits of character which we admire, and which we love 
to contemplate. We pay them homage in Xerxes and 
Alexander — in Hannibal, Scipio and Napoleon — in Nero 
and Caligula. Indeed, we can scarcely contemplate 
them even in a demon without doing it involuntary 
reverence. It is inconsistent with the nature of mind 
that it should rise to greatness and distinction without 
unceasing effort. Hannibal's name is immortal, because 
the towering Alps, whose lofty peaks penetrated the 
clouds of heaven, could not successfully resist the en- 
ergies of his mind. He fearlessly marched with his 
invincible host over those rugged and dangerous steeps, 
where mortal foot had never trod before. Thurlow 
Weed, through a like unceasing effort, has braved the 
ills of poverty, voluptuous excitement, a tliousand 
threatening disasters, and slowly carved his way to 
wealth and greatness. 

John L, Boyd was born in Charlton, Saratoga count}', 
N. Y., October 16th, 1783. His educational advantages 


were limited to the common schools, where he acquired 
the rudiments of his education, and such scholarship as 
the transient opportunities of the country afforded. He 
had, however, early laid a good foundation for a prac- 
tical education, which in due time was honorably com- 

At the age of thirteen he left the parental roof and 
the common pursuits of the youth of that time, and was 
for the succeeding four 3^ears in the employ of William 
S. Packer, an established hatter in Galway. Having 
closed his apprenticeship, he entered into the hatting 
business on his own account, but discontinued the en- 
terprise at the end of one year and a half. Soon after, 
he was employed by James Hamilton, and continued in 
his service in the capacity of bar-keeper for about two 
years, when he removed with his father to Irondequoit, 
Monroe county. Here he had hoped to secure perma- 
nent employment, but failiug in the effort, he engaged 
with a Mr. Seymour, and spent two months in surveying 
the large tract of land lying between Rochester and 
Lake Ontario. He was subsequently employed in the 
store of Messrs. Tryon and Adams, where he remained 
two years, and- then returned to Saratoga county, and 
was for a like period engaged in agricultural pursuits. 
We next find Mr. Boyd in Albany, employed in the for- 
warding house of Hugh and Hamilton Boyd. At this 
period (1808,) the embargo made a serious change in 
commercial affairs, and darkened for a time our politcal 
horizon. The restraining influence extended beyond the 
shipping interest, and, indeed, paralized almost every 
branch of industry. The forwarding business was in 
the main closed, or very greatly limited, and in conse- 


queuce Mr. Boyd again returned to his agricultural 
labors — an avocation in which he has since continued. 

Mr. Boyd was married in 1809 to Miss Electa Bacon, 
of Williamstown, Mass., an early class-mate of Mrs. 
Col. Canfield in the Litchfield Academy. He removed 
to Solon in 1811 ; purchased 119 acres on lot 98. He 
subsequently added 251 acres to his farm, and at pres- 
ent retains 225. 

In 1812 he was elected Lieutenant in a company of 
Infantry, commanded by Capt. Hedges, of Truxton. He 
afterwards rose to the rank of Colonel. 

Previous to 1821 he received two commissions of ap- 
pointment to the office of Justice of the Peace, but de- 
clined the honors. After the revision of the State Con- 
stitution, he was repeatedly elected to the same office, 
as also various other responsible positions in the gift 
of the people. 

In 1827 Col. Boyd was elected to the New York Leg- 
islature, and made an active and efficient member. His 
first vote was cast for Thomas Jefferson at his second 
election in 1804. 

In 1823 he united with the Union Congregational 
Society of Cincinnatus and Solon, and has since filled 
numerous prominent positions in the church, serving for 
many years in the capacity of deacon. He was a zeal- 
ous pioneer in the early temperance reformation, and, 
indeed, an active participant in most of the social re- 
forms of the day ; and has successfully discharged the 
duties of Sabbath school superintendent for upwards of 
twent3^-eight years. 

He has reared an intelligent family of nine children. 
Louise M. is the wife of James Thompson, Esq., Cashier 


of the Camden, White Creek Valley Bank. John W. 
is an honored member of the Wisconsin State Senate — 
now serving a second term. 

Colonel Boyd is emphatically a self-made man. Stout- 
hearted and sanguine, he felt that if blessed with health 
and the ordinary advantages common to the pioneer 
period in which he was reared, he could succeed in life 
and ultimately carve out for himself a respectable com- 
petency. His early reverses and embarrassments, in- 
stead of impairing his youthful energy, served but to 
stimulate him to greater activity. And when he had 
accumulated by honest industry and untiring energy a 
small fund, with his young and interesting wifo he 
sought this wild region of country, and became an occu- 
pant of a log cabin. Here they spent many years of 
primitive happiness — though, strictly speaking, they 
were years of unremitting toil and privation. Sur- 
rounded by the deep, dark forests ; undismayed by the 
howl of the wolf, or the panther's scream, he grasped 

" The axe, that wondrous instrument 
That, like the talisman, transforms 
Deserts to fields and cities," 

and with a strong arm and a resolute will he went 
forth to war with the stern old monarchs of the forest. 
His Utopian dream has been realized ; his enterprise 
fully rewarded ; and now, at the age of seventy-five, 
we find him surrounded with broad and productive 
fields, in the full enjoyment of all the conveniences and 
comforts of life, an honored pioneer of an iron age ; still 
living upon the ground where his primitive cabin was 
reared, and still cultivating the soil over which, previ- 


ous to his early adventure the footprints of civilization 
had scarce traversed the trail of the red man ; 

" Where nothing dwelt but beasts of prey, 
Or men as wild and fierce as they.'' 

Joseph Eeynolds was bom in Easton, "Washington 
CO., N. Y., September 14, 1785. Some years after, his 
father removed to Galway, Saratoga co., from which 
place Mr. Reynolds migrated to Virgil, in 1809. He was 
eight days on the road. With his wallet of bread and 
cheese on his shoulder, he left his home for the promised 
land of the Tioughnioga valley. He drove in two cows; 
and, as j^et having no land, or provision made for their 
keeping, he gave the milk of one for the keeping of 
both. Having made the necessary arrangements for 
his young family, he engaged himself in clearing land 
for his neighbors, at the rate of seventy-five cents per 

In the spring of 1810 Mr. Reynolds purchased a small 
farm, mostly on credit ; and, with a determination to 
prosper through the means of honest labor, commenced 
felling the forest trees, that the virgin soil might yield 
to the hand of productive toil. Success followed his 
industrious and economical pursuits. 

In 1814 he was elected to the oJBfice of constable. 
Soon after, a company of riflemen was organized, and he 
was made Captain. The company proposed entering into 
the service of the country in opposition to the encroach- 
ments of Great Britain. Having been reported to the 
proper quarter as being fully equipped and ready to 
march, they were in turn directed to remain as "minute 
men," lest a sally might be made on Salt Point by way 


of Oswego. Peace was however declared before the 
fierce wa,r-spirits were crowned with laurels. The organ- 
ization was discontinued. In 181T he was appointed 
Major ; in 1818, Colonel ; and in 1823 he was chosen 
Brigadier General. This post he held with much credit 
for seven years. 

In 1815 he was appointed Justice of the Peace in the 
town of Virgil, by the Old Council of Appointment, and 
held the office for about twenty-three years. After the 
Council of Appointment was abolished, he was elected 
by the Democratic party, to which he has ever been 

In 1818 he was elected to the Assembly without op- 
position : such an election has not happened in the 
county since. He was present when the division of 
parties took place ; a portion of the Democrats or Re- 
publicans went over to the Clintonian part3^ The 
parties stood divided — fifty-one Clintonians, headed by 
Obadiah Germain ; forty-four Bucktails, headed by Wm. 
Thompson ; and twenty-eight Federalists, headed by 
Wm. A. Duer. After two days balloting the Clintoni- 
ans and Federals fused, and elected Mr. Germain, 

In 1821 he was appointed Judge of Cortland count}'', 
which office he filled for nearly eighteen j^ears — five of 
which he occupied the honorable position of first 

In 1825 he was elected Supervisor, and continued to 
discharge its duties until 1835. 

In 1832 he was elected a Presidential Elector, and 
cast his vote for the Democratic candidate. 

In 1834 he was elected to the 24th Congress of the 


United States, from the counties of Tioga, Tompkins 
and Cortland. 

In 1839 he came to Cortland Village, and erected the 
splendid residence which he now occupies. 

Judge Reynolds is emphatically a self-made man — a 
man of character and influence. There are but few who 
have made greater exertions in early life — who have 
labored harder, or who, through self-exertion, have 
carved their way to fortune, honor, and just respect- 

William Randall was born in the year 1182. His 
brother, General Roswell Randall, was born in It 86. 
Their father, Robert Randall, was a native of Stonington, 
Connecticut. William was reared to farming pursuits. 
Roswell obtained a superior education, and studied law 
with Stephen 0. Ranegan, of Oxford. He was admitted 
to the bar, but never practised. The brothers engaged 
in merchandise together in Madison county, but re- 
moved to Cortland Village about the yeixv 1812, where 
they continued the business. Their store was on the site 
now occupied by that of James S. Squires. They were 
highly successful in trade, which continued for a num- 
ber of 3^ears. They at length dissolved their partner- 
ship, and William erected a store, which is now the 
Randall Bank. Roswell built the Eagle Store, now un 
occupied. When they finally discontinued the mercan- 
tile trade, the former engaged in banking and farming, 
and the latter in cultivating his farm. William Randall 
was emphatically a man of mark in his day. He pos- 
sessed a clear, strong, and vigorous intellect, a firm and 
resolute mind, a warm and generous heart, and was, in 
short, a valued citizen. He died December 23, 1850. 


Koswell Randall was an early Post-master of Cort- 
land Village, and has honorably filled various other 
positions. His military rank of Brigadier-General was 
attained through the several gradations, commencing 
with fourth Corporal. He was much admired as a mili- 
taiy officer. And now, at the age of seventy-two, with 
his physical and mental constitution unimpaired, has but 
partially retired from the active duties of life. 

William and Roswell Randall were energetic business 
men. The monuments of their memory m?i-y be seen in 
the elegant residences, erected at their expense, which 
adorn and beautify the village. 

George W. Bradford was born in Cooperstown, Otsego 
county, N. Y., May 9, It 96. He is of English descent, 
and of the sixth generation from Governor William 
Bradford, one of the Pilgrim Fathers who, in 1620, on 
board of the May Flower, braved the waves of the 
stormy ocean, preferring to seek an asylum in the rude 
wilds of America rather than endure the persecution of 
religious fanatics and political tyrants in the land of 
his birth, and who for twenty years was the great head 
or ruling spirit of the PI}' mouth Colony. The ancestors 
of Dr. Bradford were of families of distinction in the 
early annals of Massachusetts. 

His father was an agriculturist and manufacturer, 
and gave his son the advantages of a common school 
education. He early impressed upon his mind the 
actual necessity of self-reliance ; and this has ever been 
an element in his character. 

In 1812, at the age of sixteen years, he was sent to the 
academy of Woodstock, Ct, and placed under the charge 
of the principal, the venerable Rinaldo Burleigh, father 


of Wm. H. and C. C. Burleigh, whose literary achieve- 
ments have made them ornaments to the age in which 
they live. 

In 1814 he entered a classical school at Clinton, N. 
Y., and became a classmate of the Hon. Gerrit Smith. 
He pursued his classical studies until failing health 
required a relaxation from his studies. He abandoned 
for a time the study of Caesar, Virgil, Livy, Sallust and 
Cicero, and made a general tour through the States and 
the Canadas, occupying about one year of time. Hav- 
ing regained his health, in 1816 he commenced the study 
of medicine with Dr. Thomas Fuller, of Cooperstown, 
and completed his professional studies in 1820. In the 
same year he was licensed to practice medicine by the 
Medical Association of Otsego county, and soon after 
located in Homer, where he united with the Cortland 
Medical Association, and commenced the practice of his 
profession. He soon acquired a varied and extensive 
practice, and devoted all his energies exclusively to it. 

In 1846 he was elected a permanent member of the 
State Medical Society, and received the degree of M. D. 
in the same year. In 184Y he was made a member of 
the American Medical Association. In 1856 he was 
elected an honorary member of the Wisconsin State 
Historical Society, and of the American Association for 
the Advancement of Science in 1856. 

In 1858 the Faculty of Genesee College conferred on 
him the honorary degree of A. M. 

Dr. Bradford held a commission in the Medical Staff 
of the Militia of this State, under Major General Hathe- 
way, from 1821 to 1832, occupying the different grades 
from Surgeon's Mate of the Regiment to Hospital Sur- 


geon of the Division. In the fall of 1851 he was elected 
to the Assembly of this State, and in 1853 he was 
elevated to a seat in the State Senate, and in 1855 he 
was reelected by a very large and increased majority. 
He served the three terms with great credit to himself 
and his constituents. He was Chairman of one of the 
important Committees of the House, and of two Stand- 
ing and one Select Committee of the Senate. 

" The interests of education, and the benevolent insti- 
tutions of the State, found in Senator Bradford a warm 

He made an active and industrious member, having 
been absent only on one occasion — an evening session — 
during the whole five years of his legislative labors ; 
and his absence at that time was caused by a detention 
of the cars. He framed and introduced several very 
important bills, among which we may mention the one 
for the appointment of Commissioners of Common 
Schools. Few Senators were more generally respected 
or possessed more influence among the members. 

In the Congregational church (of which he became a 
member in 1832), in the Temperance Reform, and as a 
member of the County Bible Society, he w^as especially 
active. For the last thirty-four years he has served 
in the capacity of Secretary of the Medical Associa- 

The Cortland Academy owes its prosperity in no 
small degree to the efforts of Dr. Bradford, whose ambi- 
tion has been to make it what it really is, a " model 
institution." For the last thirty years he has discharged 

*' Senator Kelley's letter. 


the duties of Trustee. In the sick room he has ever ex- 
hibited a kind and generous sympathy ; to the poor and 
friendless he has been liberal and just. 

His reading is varied and extensive. In the science 
of Botany, Geology, Mineralogy, and Zoology, he be- 
came a proficient. 

He was married in 1818 to Miss Mary Ann Walker, of 
Middlefield. Of their three children — daughters — only 
one is now living, — the wife of William W. Northrop, of 
New York. Mrs. Northrop is a lady of extensive read- 
ing and of liberal education. She reads fluently in 
seven different languages. 

Dr. Bradford is at present engaged in the practice of 
his profession, in which capacity he has been abun- 
dantly successful. 

Samuel Nelson was born in Hebron, Washington co., 
New York, Nov. 10, 1792. His parents were John 
Kogers Nelson and Jane M'Carter ; both of Irish 
descent. Their ancestors emigrated from the north of 
Ireland to Salem, New York, about the year It 60. 
They came over in company with their clergyman, the 
Rev. Dr. Clark, a protestant of the strictest Presbyte- 
rian faith. 

John Rogers Nelson married Miss Jane M'Carter at 
the close of the Revolution, and settled in Hebron. 
They were among the early pioneers in the settlement 
of that town, — its organization having occurred in 
March, 1188. Their eldest son, John Jay Nelson, only 
brother of the subject of this sketch, resides on the 
original premises. 

Samuel Nelson was at an early age sent to the dis- 
trict school, where he made the usual progress in the 


primary branches. He fitted for college at a classical 
school in Salem, taught by the Rev. Mr. Gross ; and at 
the Granville Academy, having for its principal the 
distinguished Salem Town. He entered Middleberry 
College, the Rev. Dr. Davis, principal, in the spring of 
1811, and graduated in August, 1813, at the age of 
twenty-one. Adopting the legal profession, he studied 
law in Salem, under two eminent lawyers, — Messrs. 
Savage and Woods, — with whom he remained upwards 
of two years ; — the senior partner being the late dis- 
tinguished Chief Justice of New York. 

In 1816, Judge Woods, the junior partner, removed 
to Madison county, where he settled in his profession. 
He was accompanied by Mr. Nelson, who, at the Janu- 
ary term of the Supreme Court, ISH, was admitted to 
the bar. Soon after, he came to this county and located 
in Cortland Village, where he entered into the practice 
of law. 

Cortland, though a small village, had become the 
coiAity seat. The leading members of the bar were 
Oliver Wisewell, Henry Stephens, Samuel S. Baldwin, 
Townsend Ross, Edward C. Reed, and Augustus Don- 
nelly. They commenced their profession unaided by 
fortune or legal reputation. They, however, belonged 
to a class of progressionists which seldom fail of ulti- 
mate success. Their intercourse was of the most 
friendly character. The principle of exclusiveness was 
not in those days cultivated, for selfishness was de- 
tested and discarded. In the southern portion of the 
county Messrs. Nelson and Stephens held the exclu- 
sive sway in the practice under what was then termed 
the Ten Pound Act, which was limited to the jurisdic- 


tioii of Justices Courts. And here was laid the founda- 
tion of their professional ability and legal fame. Mr. 
Stephens had already acquired some notoriety as an 
able and successful lawyer. He defended the first suit 
brought by Mr. Nelson in the Common Pleas. It was 
on a stock note. The declaration contained a special 
count, and the common counts for goods sold and de- 
livered. Stephens demurred to the special count, and 
put in the general issue to the common counts. Hon. 
John Keep occupied the bench. The demurrer was first 
argued, and a decision rendered against Mr. Nelson, 
followed by an execution for costs, — which very much 
astonished and chagrined him. At least, he felt that it 
was a most unfavorable beginning. However, in his 
despair he sought relief in his library, and soon dis- 
covered that it was erroneous practice to enter up 
judgment and issue execution for costs op the demurrer 
until the trial of the issue of fact, and the whole case 
is disposed of Hence Mr. Nelson obtained an order 
to stay proceedings on the execution, and at the next 
term of court moved to set aside the execution for 
irregularity, which, with costs, was granted. He also 
tried the issue of fact, and recovered his suit ; collected 
the note and costs, without having to pay any. This 
Judge Nelson remembers as having been regarded at 
the time as quite an achievement ; and he has not since 
forgotten the practice. 

The above incident fully illustrates how law may be 
learned even before courts not initiated into its myste- 

The triumph of Mr. Nelson was of marked signifi- 
pance. It measurably established his reputation ; gave 


him a higher position among his legal compeers, and 
opened for him a future bright and promising. If he 
was not actually "born a lawyer" — if he did not be- 
come a Hercules at a single stride, he at least rose 
rapidly in his profession, gathered fresh laurels, luxu- 
riant in their growth, and which have neither been 
dimmed by the frosts of time, nor soiled by the touch 
of an enemy. His open-hearted frankness, liberal views 
and impassioned eloquence ; his well-balanced mind 
and generous impulses, — eminently fitted him for the 
position he so creditably occupied, and combined to 
make him an ornament to the profession and a blessing 
to his country. Indeed, few young men of that day 
ranked higher, or received a more liberal share of busi- 
ness. The talents, ability, and stern integrity which 
he displayed on all occasions, made him a favorite with 
the people, from whom he afterwards received nume- 
rous political and social honors. 

In the winter of 1820-1, be was appointed by the 
Legislature a presidential elector, and he voted at the 
Electoral College at Albany, for James Monroe, when 
chosen for the second term. 

During the latter year he received the appointment 
of Post-master at Cortland Village. The peculiar cir- 
cumstances attending the appointment are worthy of at 
least a passing notice. At that time Major Roswcll 
Randall was the incumbent. Young Nelson was, through 
the kindness of the Major, boarding in his family, — and 
the appointment, being entirely unexpected by either, 
greatly perplexed Mr. Nelson, inasmuch as it left the 
implication that he had been undermining his friend 
while enjoying his hospitality. He, however, knew 


nothing about the appointment until he received the 
commission through the post-oflSce. Hon. Elisha Litch- 
field, of Onondaga county, was then a member of Con- 
gress, and had, without consulting Mr. Nelson, procured 
the appointment. 

He was a delegate in the Convention of 1821 for the 
revision of the State Constitution, and took an active 
part in the deliberations of that intelligent body. He 
advocated the abolition of the property qualification, 
which was upheld and defended by Chancellor Kent 
and Chief Justice Spencer. Unlike them, he could not 
see why men, because they might not possess a dollar's 
worth of real estate, were the less competent to exer- 
cise or enjoy the inalienable rights of citizens. 

In April, 1823, he was appointed by Governor Yates 
one of the Circuit Judges under the new Constitution, 
which had the previous year been ratified by a majority 
of 33,330 votes. The court was composed of the coun- 
ties of Otsego, Delaware, Chenango, Broome, Cortland, 
Tompkins, Tioga, and Steuben. 

Having sustained himself throughout his eight years' 
service upon the bench, with ability and honor, he was 
on the first day of February, 1831, appointed by Govern- 
or Throop the successor of Hon. William L. Marcy on 
the bench of the Supreme Court of the State of New 
York, — Judge Marcy having been elected to the United 
States Senate. 

On the 31st day of August, 183*1, he was appointed 
by Governor Marcy and the Senate, Chief Justice of 
the State of New York, — Judge Savage having resigned 
that honorable position. Judge Nelson remained in 
that office until 1845, when he was appointed by Presi- 


dent Tyler and the Senate, the successor of Judge 
Thompson, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of 
the United States. Judge Thompson had adorned and 
dignified the office for a period exceeding thirty-eight 
years — "one of the longest and most honorable judicial 
careers on record."* And yet, Judge Nelson has thus 
far filled the seat made vacant by the death of Judge 
Thompson, in a degree so clearly eminent as to place 
him in the front rank of legal ability and judicial fame. 

During his absence from Otsego county, in 1846, he 
was appointed a delegate to the State Convention, 
which convened at Albany on the first day of June of 
that year, for the purpose of revising the Constitution ; 
but the duties of his office as Associate Justice of the 
Supreme Court of the United States, and impaired 
health, precluded his attending the Convention only for 
a brief portion of the time it was in session. 

Judge Nelson received the degree of LL. D. from 
Columbia College, New York city ; from Middlebmy 
College, Vermont, his alma mater, as well as from 
Geneva College. 

Mr. Nelson has been twice married. In the fall of 
1819, he married Miss Pamela Woods, eldest daughter 
of Judge Woods, of Madison co. The union proved a 
very happy and agreeable one. The tie that bound 
them was not, however, permitted to remain unbroken. 
Death, the dread foe, envious of mortal bliss, ''marked 
her for his own." She died in the summer of 1822. 
Her disease was consumption ; and she bore her pro- 
tracted sufiering with resignation, and looked forward 

* Van Santvord's Life of Judge Thompson. 


to an exchange of worlds with Christian peace and 

In April, 1825, Mr. Nelson was again united in mar- 
riage to a lady of superior mind, genial temper and 
social worth, in the person of Miss Catharine A. Rus- 
sell, only daughter of Judge Russell, of Cooperstown, 
where they now reside. 

In the character of Judge Nelson we find much to 
admire; a combination of valuable characteristics which 
are seldom found united in one person. Originally en- 
dowed with genius and moral sensibility; with a grasp 
of intellect which seized as by intuition those stores of 
knowledge which others could acquire only by painful 
application, and with a full, rich flow of social feeling 
which early rendered him the fascinating centre of an 
extended circle of friendship, he braced himself for a 
career of emulation, and at once became an example 
and an ornament to the legal profession. 

In all the positions in which he has been called to act, 
he has distinguished himself with marked ability. 

His career upon the bench has been characterized by 
honesty, firmness, discretion, and liberal equity. His 
disposition of questions, even of the most embarrassing 
character, and involving the greatest responsibility, 
meets the general approbation of the bar and the bench. 
His opinions are clear, comprehensive and manly, and 
are pronounced with the scrupulous fidelity, the discre- 
tion and candor of a conscientious jurist. His great 
learning, eloquence and genius have secured him a pre- 
eminence in the profession and practice of law ; and by 
his persevering attention to the duties of his office he 
has amassed a princely fortune. 


Ira Harris was born in Charleston, Montgomery co., 
N. Y., May 31st, 1802. His parents removed to Cort- 
land county, in 1808, and located upont lie Preble flats. 
He remained with his father until he was seventeen 
years of age, alternately working upon the farm and 
attending the district school. He advanced rapidly in 
his studies, and devoured in the intervals of farm labor 
every work of interest that he could conveniently pro- 
cure. In 1815 he entered the Academy in Homer, 
where he pursued his preparatory collegiate studies. 
In September, 1822, he entered the Junior class in Union 
College, and graduated with the first honors, in 1824. 

Having determined to pursue the legal profession, he 
made the necessary arrangements, and at once entered 
the office of Augustus Donnelly, in Cortland Village, 
with whom he remained one year. His affable deport- 
ment, social habits, well-disciplined mind, and unremit- 
ting attention to his studies, secured him many friends, 
and most especially the good will of Donnelly. He left 
Cortland with a view of obtaining better advantages 
for the prosecution of his studies. His destination was 
Albany. Thither he went, an entire stranger, carrying 
with him a voluntary letter of introduction from his 
friend Donnelly to the late Chief Justice Spencer, whose 
office he entered ; and during the two succeeding years, 
completed his professional studies. Thus, in three years 
after graduating, he was admitted to the bar, and com- 
menced the practice of his chosen profession in the city. 

He had been a diligent and laborious student, and 
had fully qualified himself for his new position in life. 
He was ambitious and persevering, and soon laid the 
foundation for his future eminence. 


' ' On Fame's high hill he saw 
The laurel spread its everlasting green, 
And wished to climb." 

The splendor of his genius, and the maii}^ noble and 
dignified traits of character for which he soon became 
distinguished, served in an eminent degree to enlarge 
his sphere of acquaintance, and urge him forward in 
his onward and upward career to fame and fortune. 
His careful preparation of authorities, his honesty of 
purpose, his chasteness of language, and his oratorical 
powers, were well calculated to make him successful. 
Business accumulated on his hands, and his reputation 
increased with each succeeding year, until at length he 
occupied a proud and even an enviable position among 
the most distinguished veterans of the Albany bar. 
He was 

" The forest-born Demosthenes 
Whose thunders shook the Philip of the seas." 

He continued to practice in the city for twenty years, 
gathering fresh laurels and achieving new victories, 
until called by the voice of his friends to occupy a 
higher and a more responsible position. 

On the first of July, 1847, he took his seat upon the 
bench of the Supreme Court, having, in the organization 
of the Judiciary of the Constitution of 1846, been elected 
and drawn for the term of four years. His arguments 
were clear, strong and logical, and tended greatly to 
enhance his reputation. In 1851 he was reelected for 
the term of eight years. 

At tlie general elections in the years 1844 and 1845 
he was elected to the Assembly. He at once became a 


leading member of the house, and took an active part 
in its debates. His arguments were lucid and logical, 
and frequently exhibited the marks of the gifted orator, 
not surpassed ** by the brilliant efforts of Ames, or the 
impassioned appeals of Hamilton." 

In the spring of 1846 he was elected to the Constitu- 
tional Convention, which convened in Albany on the first 
da}'- of June for the purpose of revising our State Con- 
stitution. He was the only member from the city, and 
took an active part in its deliberations. His mind ap- 
pears to have been admirably adapted to the details of 
the business which of necessity came before the con- 

In the autumn of the same year he was elected to 
the State Senate, but resigned his seat in 1847, when 
elevated to the Supreme Bench. 

Judge Harris has ever taken a deep interest in all 
matters connected with education. He has been a trus- 
tee in most of the literary institutions in the city, — in 
Union College, as also in the University at Rochester, 
in the founding of -which he was actively engaged. 
His philanthropy is far-reaching. All the impulses of 
his heart are drawn out in sympathy for the oppressed 
and the friendless. He possesses a large share of legal 
experience, and hence the general correctness of his 
conclusions. Upon legal points, involving questions 
of right and wrong, his opinions have seldom been at 
fault ; and his suggestions have invariably been just 
and valuable. Indeed, he has discharged the duties of 
Justice of the Supreme Court with signal satisfaction 
both to the bar and to the public. His decisions com- 
mand great respect, and are regarded as the end of the 


In intellect, Judge Harris affords a rare combination 
of excellence. Traversing, as by enchantment, the path 
of public confidence and renown, he has gained those 
honored halls, where his graceful manner, impressive 
diction, and logical acumen have given him a position 
among the most attractive and eloquent men of the age. 
Nor is his history yet fully written ; the future annal- 
ist will erect to his memory a more enduring memorial. 

William H. Shankland, late Judge of the Court of 
Appeals, was born in Montgomery county, N. Y., in the 
year 1804, and is of Scottish descent. His parents 
removed to Pompey, Onondaga county, in 1808. He 
received his English education in the primary or com- 
mon schools of Onondaga, and his classical in the Acad- 
emy at Pompey Hill. The late Joshua Spencer, of Utica, 
was his teacher for three successive years. He was ad- 
mitted to the bar of the Supreme Court, in May, 1821, and 
during the same year commenced the practice of law 
in Cortland Village. Mr. Shankland was married, in 
February, 1828, to«AIiss Lucia Emeline Clark, of Onon- 
daga county, N. Y. Soon after, Mr. Shankland was 
elected a Justice of the Peace, in which capacity he 
served four years. In 1836 he was appointed District 
Attorney, and discharged the duties of the oflSce for 
eight successive years with marked ability and success, 
when he resigned, and was succeeded by Horatio Bal- 
lard. In 184T he was elected one of the Justices of the 
Supreme Court under the new Constitution ; and in 
1849 he was reelected to the same office for the term of 
eight years. His faithfulness in the discharge of his 
duties was proverbial ; and the urbanity of his manners 
added to his constant patience and good humor, all 


regulated by a well-trained mind, a qnick perception 
and sonnd judgment, enabled him to di^ify the bench. 
His clear, logical and nicely discriminating powers of 
mind are prominently exhibited in all of his important 
decisions. He is now residing in the city of Syracuse, 
where he is devoting himself to his profession with all 
the ardor, enthasiam and vigor of youth. 

Jndge Shankland has ever been regarded as an able 
lawyer in both branches of the profession, — as a coun- 
sellor and as an advocate. He is remarkably indnstri- 
0113 and persevering: possesses a high order of business 
talents, a thorough education, a clear, vigorous intellect, 
and he is in brief fitted to adorn and dignify any posi- 
tion to which he may aspire. He is a man of highly 
courteous and pleasing manners — of fine personal ap- 
pearance : and no Judge ever presided on the bench 
with a greater union of amenity and dignity. 

But what adds the greatest lustre to his fame may 
be recorded in a single line. JS'e i* a adf-rruj/le rrvo^n. 
His talents, integrity and personal merit have given 
him a position among his V^rethren of the bench and the 
bar, 2^}0V(i which ambition itself cannot wish to rise. 

HiBAM Gbat was bom in Salem, Washington county, 
N. Y., April 20, 1802. He early exhibited great activ- 
ity of mind and energy of character. His preparatory 
collegiate studies were pursued at the Washington 
Academy ,'in Salem. In 1818 he entered the Sophomore 
class in Union College, and graduated with the usual 
honors, m July, 1821. In tJje early part of his senior 
year he entered the law office of the late Chief Justice 
Savage, and studied during the vacations. 

On tlie 12th of February, 1821, Judge Savage re- 

BiOGRArmcAL. ' 403 

ccivcd the appointment of Comptroller, and at about tlic 
time he entered upon his duties Mr. Gra^^came to Cort- 
land, and entered the office of Messrs. Nelson and Pay- 
ton. On the 2 1st of April, 1S23, Mr. Xelson was ap- 
pointed Circuit Judge of the Sixth District. Soon after 
the appointment of Nelson, Dayton and Woods formed a 
copartnership, and Mr. Gray continued his studies in 
their office until the October Term, 18:23, when he was 
admitted to practice. In the following- December he 
went to Dryden and opened an office, where he remained 
until April, 1824, when he returned .to Cortland county, 
and became a partner of Judge Ross, in Homer. He 
subsequently went to Elmira and commenced the prac- 
tice of his profession. lie made an active and energetic 
lawyer, and rose rapidly in professional eminence. He 
possessed a heart full of tender sensibilities and gene- 
rous impulses ; Avas never repulsive, ajid hence was 
easily approached. His political affinities were always 
Democratic, and to that party he early became attached, 
and was soon regarded as an active and prominent poli- 
tician. In 1S3(.> he was elected to the United States 
Congress. He made a ready and able debater — a prom- 
inent and efficient member of that distinguished bod3\ 
On the 13th day of January, 184(>, Mr. Gray was ap- 
pointed by Governor Wright. Circuit Judge of the Sixth 
Judicial District, and served under the Constitution of 
1846 until the election in June, 1847, when he was 
elected one of the Justices of the Supreme Court — and 
he drew for four years. He was reelected November 
4, 1851. His term will expire June 1, 1800 ; after wliich 
he will retire with an honorable and a well-earned fame, 
to private occupation. 


In person, Judge Gray is prepossessing ; in stature, 
noble and commanding, with a frame robust, vigorous 
and athletic. Social in his manners, chaste and happy 
in his colloquial and conversational powers, with a 
strong, vigorous and well-balanced mind, he exhibits 
a combination of characteristics seldom found united in 
one man. 

His range of reading has been varied and extensive. 
As a lawyer, he has ever exhibited a devoted attach- 
ment to his profession. His intellect has adorned it ; 
and his scrupulous integrity given it honor and respect. 
As a Judge, he has proven himself eminently qualified 
to wear the ermine ; — is distinguished for the correct- 
ness of his opinions, and the firmness with which his 
decisions are made. In brief, he is regarded by his 
brethren in the profession, and the public, as an eloquent 
advocate and a profound Jurist. 

Lewis Kingsley was born at the upper village in 
Cincinnatus, December 15, 1823. In 182t his father 
removed to the lower village, where he remained until 
his death, in January, 185T, having been a resident of 
the county about thirty-six years — twenty-five of which 
he was actively engaged in the mercantile business. 
The first rudiments of the education of his son Lewis, 
the subject of this sketch, were acquired at the com- 
mon school. He afterwards attended select schools, 
taught by A. H. Benedict and R. K. Bourne, and subse- 
quently he attended one term in the Sherburne Acade- 
my, where his schooling ended. He had, however, laid 
the foundation of a good classical education, which he 
afterw^ards continued to improve. In June, 1843, he 
commenced the study of law with Barak Niles, in 


Cincinnatus, with whom he remained until October, 

Hoping to obtain better advantages for study, he left 
Cincinnatus and entered the law office of Benjamin F. 
Rexford, of Norwich, Chenango county, N. Y., with 
whom he remained until July, 1846, when he was ad- 
mitted to the bar by the old Supreme Court, then being 
held in Utica. In the autumn of that year Mr. Kingsley 
entered into partnership with Judge Niles, in Cincinna- 
tus, with whom he remained until the spring of 1848, when 
the Judge went to Pennsylvania to reside. Mr. Kingsley 
continued the practice alone for upwards of a j^ear, 
when he became a partner of Samuel C. Graves, and re- 
mained with him until 1851, when his official position 
made it necessary for him to change his residence for 
that of Cortland Village. 

In the spring of 1848 he was elected Supervisor of 
Cincinnatus. In 1849 he declined a re-nomination ; but 
contrary to his wishes he was elected to the office of 
Town Clerk. At the November election of the same 
year, he was elected to the New York Assembly ; and 
in 1851 he was chosen County Judge and Surrogate. 
In January, 1856, he removed to Norwich, Chenango co., 
and formed a partnership with Benjamin F. Rexford, 
with whom he still remains. 

Judge Kingsley possesses a sound judgment, dis- 
criminating mind, frank and manly urbanity, a warm 
heart, and a generous and self-sacrificing spirit. His 
habits of life have ever been active and enterprising. 
As a citizen, he has been held in high respect. As a 
politician, his opinions have always been the result of 
his own judgment and reflections ; and when once 


formed, he has been open and free in their expression, — 
never swerving for expediency or party considerations. 

As a lawyer, he has ever exhibited a high opinion of 
the dignity of the profession, possessing the true esprit 
dn corps: — invariably accurate in his preparation of 
causes, and energetic and persevering in their prosecu- 

As Judge and Surrogate, he discharged the duties 
with fidelity, ability, and to general acceptance. 

And in all the varied relations of life. Judge Kings- 
ley has adorned and dignified his position. 

Eev. E. G. Holland, a gentleman of enlarged, liberal 
views, and of great intelligence, was born in the town 
of Solon, Cortland co., N. Y., April 14, 1817. His edu- 
cational advantages, up to fourteen years of age, were 
such as the public schools of his native town afforded. 
His father, however, was a man of enlarged reading and 
of excellent education. He had also given much atten- 
tion to the subject of teaching ; and was therefore pre- 
pared to impart to his son the advantages of home tui- 
tion. He was early instructed in the various branches 
of good husbandry. His inclinations, however, induced 
him to turn his attention from that of the republican 
farmer to the more agreeable literary pursuit ; hence 
he adopted the sentiment of the immortal bard, and 
resolved to 

'* Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian Spring." 

Modest and unpretending in his manners, with the 
purest rectitude of principle, prompt and energetic, with 
warm social habits and gentlemanly demeanor, he was 
alike respected and cherished in the circle in which 




he moved. He early exhibited a strong attachment to 
his books, and the scintillations emitted from his well- 
developed brain attracted to his side the intelligent and 
refined, by whom he was regarded with peculiar interest ; 
for they saw in him the embodiment of a young immortal 
genius just bursting into the full fruition of glorious 

His progress in study surprised even his most inti- 
mate friends. Xo question was so abstruse but he 
mastered i\. Xo lesson too difficult for Iiim to accom- 
plish. His aspirations led from the dull, prosaic paths 
of Yifo, and he sought for pleasure amid the flowery 
dales and classic fields through which the pure bright 
streams of knowledge flowed. 

At the age of fourteen he entered the academy in Ho- 
mer, where he studied the classics, Xatural Philosophy, 
Chemistry, and Mathematics. The Grammar of the 
English language had been his favorite study, from the 
age often years ; and when he commenced the classics, 
five difterent systems of the English grammar were 
familiar to him. At the age of twenty he was fully 
prepared for college ; but was dissuaded from taking the 
college routine, partly from the conviction that it oft^n 
sacrifices individuality, and partly from the opportunity 
offered to pursue his studies in private. Therefore the 
college course, which oflers so many real honors to 
others, presents none to him. It has been a fundamen- 
tal idea of his life, that man's education is never com- 
pleted ; that Nature, Experience, Consciousness, and 
the Great Masters, are the Four Faculties in the Uni- 
versity which is world-wide, and wiser than all Profes- 
siQual Chairs. In this he has sought to study : entered 
years since, but has not as yet graduated. 


The profession of the Rev. Mr. Holland is Literature 
and the Christian Ministry. Holding the religious sen- 
timent to be universal in humanity, and believing that 
in Christianity it has found its highest and noblest ex- 
pression, it has not been the sectarian form of faith to 
which he has been attached. It is Christianity radiating 
from its Divine Centre, the Christ, — as agreeing with the 
laws of the human spirit, its wants, weaknesses, and 
aspirations, — as harmonizing with all the truths of the 
external universe. It is in this form that he has repre- 
sented the faith of Christianity. Sects he has regarded 
as being valuable, as fragments of Truth, — the catho- 
licity so much desired being an attainment of the Future, 
not of the Present. We do not therefore regard him as 
being represented by any particular sect. He confides 
in the Church of the Future, in which all sectarian paths 
shall finally end. 

Mr. Holland has contributed several exceedingly val- 
uable volumes to American literature, — one, the leading 
subjects of which are the Life and Teachings of Confu- 
cius, the Chinese moral philosopher ; the Moral Genius 
and Literature of William Ellery Channing ; a Review of 
William Kinkade on Natural Theology, with essays on 
the Nature and Characteristics of Genius ; the Elements 
and Laws of Beauty ; the Infinite Harmony which per- 
vades Nature and reveals in the Ages of History; the 
Immortal Life, as evinced by Analogies of Nature and 
the Facts of Consciousness ; and Human Rights as 
based in Human Nature. The essay on Channing was 
in 1856 translated into the German language, and was 
published by Bernard Shultze, a publisher at Leipsic. 
It was favorably received by the German press ; and, in 


connection with Channing^'s M^orks, and separately, was 
sent over the States of Germany. 

In 1855 Mr. Holland visited Europe ; he sailed from 
New York, June 10th, in the Germania, destined for 
Hamburg, one of the wealthy free towns of Germany, 
pleasantly situated on both sides of the Elbe. While 
here he visited the tomb of the German poet, Klopstock, 
at Ottensen ; his house and studio in Hamburg — remi- 
niscences of the harbinger of the modern German poetic 
literature. His stay here was brief ; lie did not, how- 
ever, leave without seeing German civilization in its 
most attractive phases. He spent two months in Berlin 
studying German literature, and German manners and 
life as reflected in that metropolis ; studying the works 
of art there so numerously accumulated ; making the 
acquaintance of Alexander Von Humboldt ; Prof. Rauch, 
the famed sculptor ; Dr. Karl Ritter, and other German 
celebrities, by whom he was most generously treated. 

In September he visited Dresden, its picture galleries, 
its varied objects of interest, as also its neighboring 

From Dresden he went to Leipsic, the chief book mart 
of the nation ; Weimar, famed as the residence of 
Goethe, Schiller, Wieland and Herder. He was greatly 
interested with the reminiscences of the old " German 
Athens ;" went to Frankfort-on-the-Main ; Heidelberg, 
one of the old University towns of Baden, renowned for 
its sufferings in past wars, for its grand old ruins whose 
interest is never exhausted, for its University, and it 
may be added, for the exceeding beauty of the region 
about it. Here he remained one year, and during his 
studies in German literature he gave two courses of 


lectures on American literature to the citizens of Hei- 
delberg — the first consisting of five, and the second of 
seven lectures, in which the romance writers, the poets, 
historians, orators and eminent thinkers of the country 
were represented. The most eminent men of the city 
were conspicuous in securing these valuable lectures. 
In Bonn he gave a course of nine lectures on American 
literature, landscape and institutions. The press, with- 
out distinction, referred to his lectures in the most fa- 
vorable terms. The BadisJie Landeszeitung , of April 
3d, 1856, said : " We have been much pleased with the 
lectures of Mr. Holland, from America, which he gave 
here on American literature. These lectures prove how 
much the Americans have advanced in the poetic art, 
and in philosophy, and that the saying of an important 
author is true, viz.: that the American literature, though 
a youth in years, is a giant in form and vigor." The 
Conner Zeitung^ of September, 1856, said, "The writings 
of Mr. Holland are highly important and instructive. 
In style it is not too much to say that they may be 
compared favorably to those of Von Humboldt. His 
present course of lectures furnishes a rare opportu- 
nity to those who can appreciate a discourse in Eng- 

He also visited Cologne, Belgium and France, remain- 
ing some months in Paris ; the Isle of Wight ; England, 
in her chief towns ; spent one year and a half in Lon- 
don, a part of the time being engaged in study at the 
British Museum, and in giving lectures on American 
themes. Passing to Scotland, he visited Glasgow, A}^'- 
shirc, the Highlands, and the scenery of the Clyde ; as 
also Edinboro' and its attractive scenes ; and finally 


completed his journey with making a tour through Erin- 

His lectures in London were highly lauded by the 
English press. The London Chrojiide, the Morning 
Advertiser^ The Illustrated Ncics^ The Star, and the 
Journal of Arts and Sciences^ were prominent among 
the papers which thus favorably noticed him. 

While in Great Britain he made the acquaintance of 
Thomas Carlyle, by whom he was kindly received ; of 
poet Mackay, Geo. Combe, as also various personages 
of the English nobility. 

In July, 1858, Mr. Holland returned to New York in 
the steamer Indian Empire, after a three j^ears' resi- 
dence in Europe. 

He remembers with reverential pride his native State, 
native county, and especially his native town. He pos- 
sesses a richly-endowed mind, is a bold, vigorous and 
original writer, and always takes pleasure in dealing 
with practical themes. Indeed, he is regarded as one 
of the most remarkable men of the age, — "one of the 
few that were not born to die." 

Mr. Holland is at present settled at Irvington, New 
Jerse}^, though his address is 151 Tenth street. New 

Stephen W. Clark, A. M., the present Principal of 
Cortland Academy, third son of Joseph and Mary Clark, 
and younger brother of Myron H. Clark, ex-governor of 
New York, was born in Naples, N. Y., April 24th, 1810. 
After having spent his earlier j^ears in agricultural pur- 
suits in his native town, and in the capacity of a mer- 
cantile clerk in Canandaigua, lie completed his prepara- 
tory studies in Franklin Academy, Prattsburgh, N. Y., 


and entered Amherst College in 1833. Here, under the 
care and instruction of the celebrated Dr. Hitchcock, he 
became specially devoted to the study of the Natural 

Having graduated with the usual honors in 1837, he 
immediately entered upon the duties of his chosen pro- 
fession, which he has pursued without intermission to 
the present time, as Principal successively of Groton 
Academy, Monroe Collegiate Institute, East Bloomfield 
Academy, and Cortland Academy — a period of twenty- 
two years. He has been from his youth a member of 
the Congregational Church. 

In addition to Prof. Clark's labors as instructor, he 
has written several popular and exceedingly valuable 
school books, among which are "x\nalysis of the English 
Language," ''Etymological Chart" and "A Practical 
Grammar, in which words, phrases and sentences are 
classified according to their offices, and their various 
relations to one another ; illustrated by a complete sys- 
tem of Diagrams," 

These works, published by one of the most enterpris- 
ing and successful houses in New York, have already 
reached a wide circulation, and have become deservedly 
popular throughout the Union. 

His "English Grammar" has already reached a cir- 
culation of 30,000 per annum. In accordance with the 
recommendations of Superintendents of Public Instruc- 
tion of various States, it has been adopted as the text 
book on Grammar, and it is rapidly finding its way into 
every State in the American Republic. " This original 
production will doubtless become an indispensable aux- 
iliary to restore the English Language to its appropri- 


ate rank in our system of education. Indeed, we are 
tempted to assert that it foretells the dawn of a brighter 
age to our mother tongue."* 

Successful as Professor Chirk has been as an author, 
still he regards his chosen profession as a Teacher as 
his greatest business in life. To this he devotes his un- 
divided attention and untiring energies ; and the suc- 
cess which attends his efforts gives evidence of his 
efficiency as a faithful Principal, and of his talents as 
an instructor. Cortland Academy stands second to no 
other sub-collegiate institution in the State of New 

Professor Clark possesses a sound judgment, discrim- 
inating mind, frank and manly urbanity of deportment, 
high moral and social virtues, and a large-hearted gen- 
erosity which endears him to the students, creating 
emotions which are always favorable to a healthful prog- 
ress in study. His mode of government is calm and 
conciliatory, and may with propriety be embodied in a 
single word, that of kindness, which in influencing, con- 
trolling or directing the young aspiring mind is of more 
valuable importance than all the tyrant exactions of 
pseudo pedagogues, and may prove of a more lasting 
benefit to the country than all the golden sands of the 
Pacific coast. Happily would it be for our country were 
the various academic and collegiate institutes favored 
with as justly popular and courteous a principal as Pro- 
fessor Clark. 

De Witt Clinton Glover, the eldest son of Daniel and 
Rhoda Gage Glover, was born in De Ruyter, Madison 
county, N. Y., in the year ISlT^f 

* Southern Literary Gazette. f Communicated by a lady. 


His early advantages were such as the common 
schools of his native place afforded ; but while he loved 
the pursuits of literature, as tending to ennoble and 
purify the mind, he was not, strictly speaking, a student. 
Other aims possessed his soul ; hopes, visions, and as- 
pirations, such as haunt the pillow of Genius alone, 
were his daily visitants. A quiet, sensitive and shrink- 
ing boy, he shunned the boisterous sports and the noisy 
haunts of his comrades, and walked alone, and adored 
as one who has 

"Longings, yearnings, strivings 
For the good he comprehends not." 

A love of the beautiful in all its forms was a 
marked element of his nature, and sometimes the bright 
visions that thronged his brain, took form and sem- 
blance upon paper. Well do I remember, when a child, 
he took me to his studio, and (himself but little else 
than a child) showed to me, in his boyish confidence, 
some of the sketches he had made. He had a room in 
his father's house where he sat hour by hour (when the 
green fields and sunshine tempted other boys abroad) 
at work upon some cherished task. Reared amid the 
seclusion and comparative isolation of a country village, 
(for it will be remembered that the march of improve- 
ments did not then keep pace with steam,) he was denied 
those outward helps which are now offered to the stu- 
dent in ever}'' career in our republic ; and by the force 
of his own genius alone he leaped over obstacles and 
accomplished results which many have vainly striven to 
attain, though surrounded by abundant aid and powerful 
He not only showed himself an artist in his 


delineations upon paper, but even in boyhood, alone and 
unassisted, he commenced engraving upon wood and 
steel. Engraving for a pastime finally became a pas- 
sion, and by the advice of some judges who pronounced 
upon his work, he adopted it as a profession. He exe- 
cuted orders for a time at home, but feeling himself in 
too contracted a sphere, he went to New York and en- 
tered the studio of J. W. Casilear, the eminent designer 
and engraver, where he made rapid progress. 

That he excelled in the department of art he chose 
for himself, the works he left behind him, as well as the 
unqualified praise of his employers, abundantly testify. 

In the midst of this career of hope and promise his 
health failed him, and he was forced to return to his 
native valley, in the hope that rest might restore his 
shattered frame to its early vigor ; but alas ! neither 
yearning love, fervent prayers, nor gentle ministrations 
could stay the footsteps of the Destroying Angel, and on 
the 3d of January, 1836, he sank beneath his fatal and 
insidious malady, trusting, as he said, "that he had 
made his peace with God." Let us hope that the noble 
talents which were here but expanding into flower, hav- 
ing been transplanted to the celestial gardens, may 
have ripened, and borne rich fruit to the glory of the 
Great Husbandman. 

Francis B. Carpenter was born in Homer, Cortland 
county, Kew York, August 6th, 1830. His father, Asaph 
H. Carpenter, made his advent into Homer in 1800. 
His general characteristics are strictly Puritan, and 
they exhibit in a striking manner the self-reliant energy 
of the pilgrim spirit. 

The educational advantaores of Francis were limited 


to the common school, and one term at the academy. 
He early manifested a desire to become an artist, and 
hence exhibited an aversion to farm labor, — not that 
he regarded it as a disreputable employment, but be- 
cause he wished to become master of the limner's art. 
His father objected to his pursuing it as a profession, 
presuming that the success of his son in life would be 
better promoted by felling trees and in cultivating the 
soil. But the genius which shone in young Carpenter's 
face pictured a brighter future than this. He regarded 
agriculture as Tallyrand did the princess of Courlande, 
and would have made the same remark, 'You have 
but one fault, you are perfectly unendurable." He pre- 
ferred to delineate character with the pencil and brush, 
or chalk ideal landscapes upon the fences and farm build- 
ings. William Tell, in the act of shooting the apple 
from his son's head, and the capture of Major Andre, 
were among the first subjects which our young artist 
delineated in the vivid colors of chalk, brick dust, white 
lead and lampblack. The father little thought that in 
opposing the natural desire of his son he was for a 
time smothering that genius which has since made him 
famous, and crowned his aspirations with a victory of 
more value than the achievements of the laureled war- 
rior. And the triumph is the more gratifying because 
achieved while unaided by fortune or family distinction. 
Indeed, it is doubtful whether there is another artist in 
America who, through his self-reliant energy, has so 
successfully conquered parental opposition, overleaped 
the barriers of poverty and prejudice, and in so brief a 
period carved his way to Fame's temple. 

His mother, "ever sympathizing and appreciative,'^ 


sat for his first bold effort at portrait painting. And it 
is worthy of remark, that the likeness, though wanting 
the artistic finish of the experienced limner, was yet so 
striking, that the father was reluctantly compelled to 
acknowledge its truthfulness ; he was never afterward 
heard to utter his oft-repeated expression concerning 
*' the boy's nonsense," and was himself the next sitter 
for a picture. 

Soon after the completion of the portrait of his father, 
he entered the studio of Sandford Thayer, of Syracuse, 
with whom he remained about five months, making 
rapid progress, and acquiring a still more exalted opin- 
ion of the profession. 

During Mr. Carpenter's stay in Syracuse, Mr. Elliott, 
the distinguished artist, made a professional visit there. 
He perceived the genius of the beardless boy, and 
kindly imparted to him all the knowledge within his 
power ; especially with reference to his mode of col- 

In 1846, Mr. Carpenter, having returned to Homer, 
before he reached his sixteenth birthday opened a 
studio in the village. Relying upon his own exertions, 
independent of parental aid, he bravely launched his 
little bark upon the great sea of life. The citizens were 
suspicious of his ability, and hence gave him but slight 
employment ; and it was long before he could see a clear 
sky in the ideal world he had fancifully created. The 
current of prejudice, however, soon turned in his favor. 
The first ten dollars which he received from any one 
source, was presented to him by Hon. Henry S. Ean- 
dall, as a partial remuneration for preparing some 
drawings, with which he designed to "illustrate liis 


valuable work on sheep liusbaDcIry." Mr. Randall sub- 
sequently sat for his portrait. 

From this time forward, he I'ose rapidly in his profes- 
sion, and previous to his locating in the city of New 
York, in the autumn of 1850, he painted, among other 
portraits, those of the nine surviving original trustees 
of the Cortland Academy. They were remarkably cor- 
rect, and were consequently regarded with much favor. 
He subsequently executed and sent to the American 
Art Union several ideal pictures, all of which were 
purchased at appreciative prices. The first of these 
was one of twelve which were selected from four hun- 
dred pictures, and purchased by the managers of the 

Mr. Carpenter's success in the city has been com- 
mensurate with his talents and genius. He has been at 
various times commissioned to paint the portraits of 
some of our most distinguished men ; among tliese we 
may mention those of Ex-Presidents Tyler, Fillmore, 
and Franklin Pierce ; William L. Marcy, Lewis Cass, 
"William H. Seward, Sam. Houston, Salmon P. Chase, 
and Caleb Cushing. The press of the country have 
given these pictures a wide notoriety. His crowning 
effort, however, is the recent admirable portrait of 
Henry Ward Beecher. 

" The portraits by this artist are remarkable chiefly for 
their subtle mentality; for their faithful rendering of the 
inward life and disposition. His studio is hung around 
with statesmen and men of power, whose characters 
can be read as if the men themselves, in their most 
expressive moods, stood before you ; and among them 
i\\\ tliis face of Beecher shines like an opal among 


dull and hueless stones ; like a passion-flower among 
bloomless shrubs."* 

Mr. Carpenter enjoys in an eminent degree the confi- 
dence and esteem of his early friends, and of all who 
know him. He is a man of delicate sensibility, of a 
lively and poetic fancy, and of unsullied purity of char- 
acter. He possesses a noble, impulsive, and generous 
heart, which is ever alive to the good of those with 
whom he is associated. Lloyd Glover, of whom men- 
tion is made in this work, was one of his earliest and 
most sympathizing friends. Their acquaintance began 
about the time young Carpenter commenced painting, 
and very soon ripened into the warmest friendship. Mr. 
Glover's generous sympathy and proffers of pecuniary 
aid, though his own means were limited, were especially 
grateful at this period, to the young artist. He found 
also in Elliot Reed, another engraver, a kindred spirit ; 
and the intimacy between the trio was remarkable. 
They were felicitously termed the "Three Graces" — 
Poetry, Painting, and Sculpture. 

Mr. Carpenter was married, in August, 1851, to Miss 
Augusta H. Prentiss, only daughter of Mrs. Frances 
RoUo Prentiss, formerly of Oortlandville. 

Lloyd Glover. — Among those who have gone out 
from Homer, and who do honor to their native place, no 
one is more cheerfully mentioned than the subject of 
this notice. He was born in the village of Re Ruyter, 
in July, 182G. His father, Mr. Daniel Glover, appreciat- 
ing the educational advantages of Homer, removed there 
the year following, and has since been numbered 
among its worthy and respected citizens. He pursued 
* iV. Y. Evening Post. 


for several years the occupation of an amateur agricult- 
uralist ; his sons devoting their time to study. Lloyd, 
the youngest, was christened De Lloyd Gage Glover, but 
after he became an engraver, the similarity of the ini- 
tials with that of an elder brother, who was also an en- 
graver, induced him to obtain — while yet a minor — his 
father's consent to change his name to its present form. 
His academic course extended through several years, and 
he left the venerated halls of that valued institution, an 
able scholar, with the highest written encomiums of 
Prof. Woolworth, who, in public as well as private 
circles, has ever delighted to mention his pupil with honor 
As a youth, he was ingenuous and generous — the friend 
and defender of the weak — quick to resent and punish 
an affront, yet magnanimous and upright. He was full of 
hilarity and boyish exuberance of feeling, and evinced 
much shrewdness in planning roguery for his mate's ; 
which, however, was harmlessly humorous. Like his 
father, he possessed remarkable physical strength and 
courage ; and his excessive vitality prompted him to 
give frequent demonstrations of the same ; but the nat- 
ural 'goodness of his disposition restrained him from 
anything like quarrelsomeness. His strength was fre- 
quently displayed in the novel method of friendly hat- 
ties, at the odds of the best two against himself ; and 
he often challenged the school en masse, to ''throw" 
him by united effort ; and in such contests his back was 
never known to touch the sod. His pranks with his 
most intimate friend and companion, Elliot, son of 
Judge Reed, who was ever ready to join him in any 
undertaking, however hazardous, will not be soon for- 
gotten. On horseback they would roam fields, leap 


fences, scale aclivities, explore ravines, and swim 
streams ; and it is on record, that on one of these expe- 
ditions both horses and riders came near being drowned. 
" The boy was father to the man." He exhibited at an 
early age much natural taste for engraving, and at 
eighteen went to Boston for the purpose of prosecuting 
his studies in that art. He made rapid progress ; and 
has attained consummate skill in his vocation, second 
perhaps to no one in the profession. Successful in his 
business, which required but little capital, he embarked 
to some extent in commercial enterprise ; and has se- 
cured the important position of commercial agent for 
the American Guano Company for the New England 
States. He has since served as a Director in the Board 
of Trustees of the same Association. 

He was for several years engaged in the business of 
Bank Note engraving, as the head of the New England 
branch of the eminent house of Danforth, Wright 

Aside from his skill as an artist, and his staid probity 
as a business man, he is esteemed for all those qualities 
which distinguish the true gentleman, — hospitable,* 
courteous, liberal and generous to a fault, the life of 
the social circle, and fond of all manly sports and pas- 
times, particularly of yachting. At his residence at Lynn 
Beach, by the " ocean and its sounding shore," — the 
beauties of which he has so well described, — his poeti- 
cal taste greatly developed, and there his best pieces 
were composed. He loves the Poets, and revels with 
them, especially when genial friends are his guests. 

He remembers Homer and its associations with the 
most affectionate regard. In one of his poems he pays, 


in the following stanzas, a beautiful tribute to the wind- 
ing stream which is the pride of the valley. 

" Tioughnioga ! on thy buoyant breast, 

In boyhood's time, how often have I lain ; 
Calm, as a mother with her babe at rest, 

Thou bore me by thy banks sweet-scented train. 
Tioughnioga ! Mistress of the plain ! 

Thy cherished name is melody to me ! 
E'en though thy waters evermore complain, 
Like spirit tones, of times no more to be, 
Oft let me greet thee still with manhood's kindling 'ee.'' 

Mr. Glover married Yaeilette Emogene, daughter of 
Benjamin Hitchcock, Esq., of Strong, Maine. He won, 
in her, a lady highly esteemed for the graces of her 
mind and person, and for her true womanly character.* 

The various poems which he has delivered before 
literary associations, stamp him as a man of superior 
powers of mind. His "Jubilee Poem," a youthful effort, 
pronounced at the Academy, July 8, 1846, is intimately 
associated with the history of the Tioughnioga Valley. 
For elevation of style, nervous energy, strong imgina- 
«tion without the too common fault of excessive and far- 
fetched metaphor, together with an easy, natural and 
unlabored pathos, it may challenge comparison with any 
effort of a similar character. It will be read with pleas- 
ure by Mr. Glover's numerous friends, and, indeed, by 
all who can properly appreciate true poetic excellence. 

The circumstances which led to its production are 
worthy of a brief narration. Prof. Otis, of Indiana, had 
been appointed Poet of the "Jubilee." He was pre- 
vented, however, from fulfilling the engagement, and Prof. 

^ Mrs. Glover died January 6th, 1859. 


Wool worth was made aware of the fact only a day or two 
previous to the arrival of the auspicious occasion. Our 
young friend, then an apprentice in Boston, had returned 
to Homer to participate in the festivities, and learned 
the evening- previous to the opening exercises that Mr, 
Otis would not be present, and he secretly resolved to 
supply his place. During the night he produced the 
poem. Determining to let its fate be decided by its 
merits, he sent it anonymously to Principal Woolwortb, 
who was struck with its beauties and its appropriate- 
ness to the occasion, and requested the bearer to name 
its author, which was properly declined. Mr. Wool- 
worth returned a befitting expression of his sentiments, 
informing him that the poem was accepted, and would 
be read at the Jubilee, and desired an interview with the 
author. The young poet acknowledged himself the au- 
thor of the production, warmly thanking his honored 
teacher for former encouragement, attributing whatever 
merit he possessed to his influence and approbation. 
Mr. Woolworth, by this heartfelt tribute, was quite over- 
come, and evinced deep emotion. In his speech at the 
Pavilion he made honorable mention of the poet, and the 
circumstances which called forth the poem. Mr. Glov- 
er's modest appreciation of his effort induced him to 
withhold his assent to its publication in the Jubilee 
pamphlet ; but, having at length overcome his objec- 
tions, we now have the pleasure, for the first time, of 
presenting it to the public. 

We have dwelt at some length upon the peculiarities 
of Mr. Glover, believing that our beautiful region will 
yet be hallowed by his muse, and cherished by kindred 
minds for his sake. 



Read at the Jubilee at Cortland Academy, July 6th, 1846. 

Friends of our common country ! here 3'e stand 

Once more among the scenes your childhood knew, 
In the fair bosom of a happy land, 

Beneath your native skies of gold and blue ! 
Like joyful pilgrims when the shrine is won, 

When bosoms swell and tears impulsive start, 
Ye come with love warm as this summer sun, 

To this loved spot, this Mecca of the heart ! 

Ye may have roved your long and weary way 

O'er the broad prairies of the distant west, 
Where varied scenes cheer not the long, long day 

Of death-like silence and oppressive rest. 
Where evil spirits hold their hideous courts. 

And range with furies on the midnight air, 
Breathing fierce lightnings at their hellish sports,* 

And leave their smouldering tracks of blackness there. 

Ye may have roved afar 'neath other skies, — 

Where the dark ocean beats a frowning shore ; 
Where Nature's noblest works in grandeur rise ; 

In Art's fair temples or in courts of lore : 
But here, upon your own prolific soil, 

How fair the landscapes to your sight unfold, 
Teeming with increase for the sons of toil 

In many a bounteous field of green and gold. 

* An Indian superstition regarding the prairie fires. 


Like loving halos ling' ring round the spot, 

Here dwell the memories of the cherished past, 
Of scenes and joys which ne'er can he forgot, 

Too dear to die, too beautiful to last. 
No dread simoon upon the breeze's breath 

Is blasting through Tioughnioga's vale, — 
No fell disease, the herald stern of death, 

Doth seek its prey in this delicious dale. 

Again ye view each well-remembered place, 

Dear in the morning of your youthful years, 
Again behold each loved familiar face, 

And well-known voices greet your gladdened ears. 
Yet all is changed unto our stranger view, — 

Time hath not spared, Dame Nature wends her way, 
And many a form hath passed away, like dew 

Before the glory of the king of day. 

Where is the good man Chamberlain ? and where 

Our friend from thy cool shades, O willow tree ! 
"Where are the bands that knew our mother's care, 

This faithful mother of the good and free. 
In death's embrace lamented Lacy sleeps, 

And Kinney lives but in each bleeding breast, 
Affection mourns, and pity, drooping, weeps 

Where Curtis* lies beside the " Dove at rest." 

In their last mansion sleep the brothers Lynde,f 
Lulled by the murmurs of Lake Erie's wave ; 

* Over the remains of this lamented young man and his sister is reared a monu- 
ment on which is inscribed, at the base, 

"a law student who lived by the law of love." 
And opposite, 

"a doate at rest." 
Sweetly indicative of the character of the girl to whom reference is here made. 

t The brothers Lynde, with all that talents, education and wealth could bestow, 
perished at the burning of the steamer Erie, on Lake Erie. 



CR Ae hrmhist o€ jmmg Benny's 
De Witt,* tfie diDd «tf Genne, Idaiid a. gnre. 

Feaoetothedeqpos! loTed, regretted tlirang ! 
Gnoi be tlMar MODOKj to oar latest jean ! 


Tike piZrrii::; a: our eopiiNB tean. 

O. from ~OT &des, 

Xe'er : :_; _ -r ic a^ ihese : 

Willi tis thev Irre " 

... .-_. .1, 

- ^^edlingB €^. 




With antlers high, and n-^strll widely spread. 

And quireriag nerve, that form of beauty stood. 
And snuffed the breeze from o'er the stranger's head. 

Then plunged, like lightning, through the pathless wood ! 
And where above is reared the gilded vane 

O'er the fair verdure of the velvet green 
And the wide spreading populated plain. 

The wigwam of the Indiiin brave was seen. 

Yet. when upon this new-lK)m. sacred spot 

The men of wisdom and and of goodness trod. 
Their own great cares and hardships they foi^ot. 

And built a house wherein to worship God 1 
Thanks, thanks, brave Sires 1 your children sing your praise 

Amid the shades of your own fragrant bowers. 
And long they'll chant the soul-inspiring lays. 

And strew your pathway with life's sweetest flowers I 

Here. too. the women who hath cheered them on 

Through dread and darkness, and through sorrow's night, 
With pictured scenes of bliss, and laurels won, 

And dawning glories of a future light : 
Still then for us. amid unnumbered woes, 

'^hen hope seemed oft the shadow of despair, 
They bravely wrought, until in beauty rose 

(To truth and learning reared i this temple fair ! 

noble, noble Woman ! thine the power 

To sculpture on the immortal, towering mind : 
Man rules with wisdom the tumultuous hour ; 

Thine is his wisdom and thy love combined. 
Pnanks. thanks, ye noble Mothers 1 grateful tears 

Still thank and bless ye o'er and o'er again : 
Full be the measure of your blissful years, 

Unknown by sorrow, free from every pain ! 

There is a charm which binds the wandering one 
As by ten thousand bands of meikle might. 


Tho' he doth wander 'neath the tropic sun, 

Or in the dismal gloom of polar night ; 
Tho' he doth bask amid ambrosial groves 

Where fields like magic and enchantment bloom, 
Or drink his full of oriental loves, 

Or lave his breast in India's rich perfume. 

Or when the Syren lures with winsome smiles, 

And artful glances and bewitching grace, 
And with her honeyed tongue each sense beguiles, 

To prove each beauty of her borrowed face ; 
Or when Ambition twines the laurel wreath, 

And Wealth and Fortune deck his form with gold, 
Or when a captive, bound with chains beneath 

The gloomy walls of dungeons stern and old, — 

'Tis the charm of his childhood, the light of his home 

That binds him and keeps him where'er he may roam, 

This the voice of its spirit, so calm and so still, 

That teaches him honor and shields him from ill : 

Then we'll love our dear home, tho' Time's flowing wave 

Is evermore bearing us on to the grave ; 

Its loves and its joys like green islands shall be, 

Mid the surging of life's tempestuous sea, 

And when from on high the dread summons shall come, 

Our watchword from earth shall be " Heaven and Home !' 



Among the first lawyers who located in the county, 
were Townsend Ross, Luther F. Stephens, Oliver Wise- 
well, and Samuel S. Baldwin. Ross and Stephens set- 
tled in Homer, and Wisewell and Baldwin in Cortland. 
Ross was an uneducated man ; but what he lacked in 
this point was amply made up in tact and genius. He 
had a clear head, was shrewd, witty and sarcastic, and 
in short, he was an able and successful lawyer. Ste- 
phens was cool and calculating. He died at Seneca 
Falls. Wisewell was educated for a clergyman, and 
followed for a time that honored profession. He had 
his faults to a liberal degree, and yet he possessed 
many good and liberal traits of character. Baldwin 
was prompt and energetic ; but his habits of inebria- 
tion rendered him. less valuable to society and to him- 
self than he otherwise would have been. The profligate 
habits of his wife, though a beautiful and otherwise an 
accomplished woman, tended to the perversion of the 
more noble faculties of the mind. 

Henry Stephens, from Wareham, Mass., located in 
Cortland Village, in 1814, and immediately engaged in 
the practice of his profession. He possessed energy 
and integrity of purpose, a fearless self-reliance, a well- 
regulated ambition, and a just and definite end in view. 
He was appointed Judge in May, 1838, and honorably 
filled the position until June, 184t, when he was sue- 


ceeded by Daniel Hawkes. Judge Stephens has filled 
various other public positions ; and has devoted his 
best energies to the furtherance of the numerous public 
improvements of the county. He filled with eminent 
ability the first presidency of the Syracuse, Bingham- 
ton and New York Railroad. 

Edward C. Reed came in from Fitzwilliam, N. H., in 
April, 1816. He entered into partnership with Ross, in 
Homer, where he still remains. He made an excellent 
office lawyer, and a valuable citizen. Mr. Reed has 
creditably filled various influential positions, among 
which are those of District Attorney, County Judge, 
and Member of Congress. 

Samuel Nelson came in from Madison county, and 
settled in Cortland Village in 181*1. He had been an 
industrious and energetic student, and hence he early 
acquired a successful and lucrative practice. His im- 
passioned eloquence and finely rounded periods were 
regarded as a fair offset to the tact, genius, and scath- 
ing sarcasm of Stephens. 

Not long after Nelson's arrival came Augustus Don- 
nelly and Rufus H. Beach, who became joint partners 
in the profession. Donnelly was a large, portly man, 
of commanding presence and elegant manners. He 
died in Homer. 

Next came Nathan Dayton, Jonathan L. Woods, 
Daniel J. Betts, John Thomas, and Hiram Gray. Day- 
ton was born in Granville, Washington co., N. Y., in 
August, 1794. He had been well-educated and well- 
trained. He studied with Messrs. Sheperd and Barber, 
in his native village, until October, 1819, when he was 
admitted to the bar, and soon after settled in Truxton, 


but subsequently located in Cortland, where, after a 
year's residence and an ordinary practice, he became a 
partner of Samuel Nelson, and immediately found the 
area of his practice greatly enlarged. He was after- 
wards a Justice of the Peace, District Attorney, and 
Member of Assembly. In 1831 he removed to Lock- 
port. Here he rose rapidly in the profession, and has 
at different periods held the office of first Judge of 
Niagara county. Circuit Judge of the Eighth Circuit 
District, and County Clerk ; the latter office he still 
holds. Judge Dayton has ever been an active and en- 
terprising man, universally respected in and out of the 
profession. Woods became his law partner in Cortland, 
where he gained an honorable reputation as a legal 
adviser. His personal appearance, genial temper and 
courteous demeanor weighed strongly in his favor, and 
certainly made him many warm friends. In 1831 he 
was elected to the Assembly, a position which he hon- 
ored. He too went to Lockport, where he became de- 
servedly popular. He also rose to the office of Judge. — 
Betts was well-educated, and possessed many attractive 
qualities, and was, in short, a general favorite. His 
brilliant career w^as, however, soon cut short. He died 
in the midst of his usefulness. — Thomas migrated from 
Connecticut. He soon established a just and apprecia- 
tive reputation. He now resides in Syracuse. — Gray 
came from Washington county, and completed his stud- 
ies with Nelson, Dayton and Woods. He is now one of 
the Judges of the Supreme Court of this State. 

William H. Shankland, originally from Montgomery 
CO., located in Cortland in 1827, where he soon acquired 
an excellent practice. He made an able legal adviser 
and an eloquent advocate. 


Horatio Ballard commenced reading law in the office 
of Henry Stephens, in 1822, and completed his studies 
with Judge Jewett, at Skaneateles. He was admitted 
as an Attorney to the Supreme Court, in August, 1828 ; 
as Counsellor, in May, 1831 ; and soon afterwards ad- 
rSitted as Solicitor and Counsellor in Chancery. He 
became a partner of Stephens, and on the elevation of 
the latter to the bench, he succeeded him to the leader- 
ship at the bar. He is a gentleman of great purity of 
character, and is undoubtedly one of the most indus- 
trious, energetic, and thorough-read lawyers in the 

Samuel N. Perkins, also, studied with Stephens, but 
at what particular period the author is not informed. 
He made a fair, average lawyer. He lies entombed in 
the Cortland Cemetery. 

Next came Joseph D. P. Freer, Daniel Hawkes, and 
James S. Leach. Freer studied with Dayton and Woods. 
He was well read in the profession. He, too, died early, 
— Hawkes studied with Stephens and Ballard. He had 
been well-educated, and was a thorough student. He 
succeeded Stephens to the bench. Disease fixed its 
fatal grasp upon him, and he found an early grave. — 
Leach was born in Sangerfield, Oneida co., August, 
1812. He was educated on a farm until sixteen years 
old. Spent two years at Union Academy, and a like 
number at a mathematical school at Clinton. He stud- 
ied with Shankland, in Cortland, and was admitted to 
the bar in 1835. He entered into the practice of his 
profession in Cortland, where he remained until 1850, 
when he removed to Syracuse. He has tact, energy 
and genius, yet he takes the world easy, and neither 


mourns over his past or present achievements, but is 
looking steadily forward to what he terms the glorious 
future. He is now a prominent practising lawyer in 
the central city, and is highly respected in and out of 
the profession. 

Henry S. Randall was born in Madison co., in 1811. 
Received his academic education in Cortland Academy, 
under Prof. Avery and Dr. Taylor. Graduated at 
Union College in 1830. Studied with Stephens and Betts, 
and was admitted as an Attorney in 1884; as Coun- 
sellor and Solicitor in 1844. Mr. Randall has not, 
however, practiced his profession. He served for seve- 
ral years as Corresponding Secretary of the State Agri- 
cultural Society, and first moved in the Executive Board 
to hold a State Fair. At one period he devoted con- 
siderable attention to farming, and at another, filled 
with credit and ability the editorial chair. 

In 1839 he was appointed by the Secretary of State 
a visitor of Common Schools, and although he received 
no compensation for the arduous labor, he entered at 
once upon the duties of the office, and visited and re- 
ported to the Secretary the condition of all the schools 
in the county. He is the author of several valuable 
agricultural works ; of one of these 37,000 copies had 
been sold several years since. 

In 1843-4 he held the office of Superintendent of 
Common Schools, and his admirable reports were of 
great value. 

In 1851 he was elected Secretary of State, and en- 
tered upon the duties of the office Jan. 1, 1852. He 
filled the office with acknowledged ability and success. 
He was subsequently employed for several years in 


gathering the materials and writing the life of Thomas 
Jefferson, which has been but recently issued, in three 
elegant octavo volumes. It is unquestionably^ the most 
perfect biograph}' ever written of this truly great man ; 
is an honor to our national literature, and will, as it 
deservedly should, remain a standard work for all future 

Isaac A. Gates is a native of the town of Scott. He 
was admitted to the Supreme Court, in 1841, and is now 
a prominent practicing lawyer in Homer. 

Lewis Kingsley is a native of Cincinnatus. He stud- 
ied with Barak Niles and Benjamin F. Rexford, and 
was admitted to practice, in 1846. He now resides iu 

Hiram Crandall came from Plymouth, Chenango co. 
He was educated at Homer ; studied law with William 
H. Shankland, and was admitted to the Supreme Court, 
and Court of Chancery, in January, 1846. He entered 
into practice with Shankland, with whom he remained 
until the latter was elevated to the Supreme Bench, 
when he became a partner of Eobert 0. Reynolds, and 
continued with him until his decease, in Sept., 1855. 
Mr. Crandall possesses good legal abilities, is prudent 
and cautious — two excellent qualities in an honorable 
attorue3^ In a military capacity he has risen from 
third Sergeant to Lieut. Colonel. He is now the popular 
and courteous Post-master in Cortland Village. 

Samuel C. Graves commenced reading law in the 
office of Judge Reed, in 1844 ; was admitted to prac- 
tice, in 1848, and soon after formed a law partnership 
with Lewis Kingsley, with whom he remained until 
1851, when the firm was dissolved, preparatory to Mr. 


Kingsley's removal to Cortland to assume the duties of 
County Judge. Mr. Graves is fitted to adorn either 
branch of the profession. 

R. Holland Duell was born in the town of Warren, 
Herkimer co., N. Y., Dec. 20, 1823. His education was 
derived from the common school, with the exception of 
one or two years' attendance at the Syracuse Academy. 
He entered the law office of Charles B. Sedgwick, of 
Syracuse, in March, 1842, and remained with him until 
his admission to the bar in July, 1845. Commenced 
practice at Fabius, Onondaga co., during the same 
month, and remained there until July, 1847, when he 
came to Cortland Village, and formed a law partner- 
ship with Judge Stephens. In Nov., 1850, he was 
elected District Attorney of Cortland county, and in 
Nov., 1853, was reelected to the same office. In Nov., 
1855, was elected County Judge and Surrogate, and in 
1858 was chosen a member of the 36th Congress, from 
the 21st district, to succeed Henry Bennett. 

Judge Duell is possessed of finely developed talents, 
remarkable shrewdness, tact, and address, and in short, 
exhibits all the elements of an accomplished legislator. 

James A. Schermerhorn is a native of Schenectady. 
He was educated in Cortland Academy and Geneva 
College. He read law w^th Daniel Hawkes, in Cortland 
Tillage, and was admitted an Attorney at Law and So- 
licitor in Chancery, at the quarterly term of the Supreme 
Court, 1847. Mr. Schermerhorn is a well-read lawyer ; 
he however excels chiefly in the first branch of the pro- 
fession, — as a legal adviser, — not caring to shine in the 
capacity of an advocate. 

Edwin F. Gould was reared in Cherry Valley. He 


received an academic education ; studied law with 
Shankland & Leach ; was admitted to the bar at the 
General Term of the Supreme Court, held at Ithaca, 
July 4, 1848, and commenced practice in Cortland Vil- 
lage. Mr. Gould is an accomplished writer and an elo- 
quent speaker. As editor of the Central Kew Yorker ^ 
published at De Ruyter ; Madison County Journal, at 
Hamilton ; Cortland County 'Whig, at Homer, and the 
Cortland American, at Cortland Village, he exhibited 
a clear, vigorous intellect. 

George A. White is a native of Cortland, where he 
was reared and educated. He studied law with J. D. 
P. Freer, and was admitted to practice, in January, 
1848. He commenced practice in Homer, but sub- 
sequently returned to Cortland, where he has since 
remained. Mr. White has secured a very lucrative 
practice, and it is not saying too much, an enviable 
reputation as a lawyer. With care and application to 
his profession he may rank with the first class lawyers 
in the State. 

Horace L. Green is a native of VirgiL He was edu- 
cated at Cortland — studied law with Stephens & Du- 
ell — was admitted to the bar in 1852, and commenced 
practice in Marathon — was elected Justice of the Peace 
in 1854 — removed to Cortland in 1856, where he has 
since continued to practice. In 1857 he was elected 
County Treasurer — an office which be has thus far filled 
to the general satisfaction of all parties. He is a gen- 
tleman of good habits, fair legal acquirements, and is 
deserving of great credit for his early political achieve- 

A. P. Smith is also a native of Virgil. He was born 


in the 3^ear 1831 ; received his academic education in 
Cortland ; graduated at the State Normal School, in 
1853 ; commenced the study of law Tvith H. L. Green, 
at Marathon, and completed his studies with Horatio 
Ballard ; was admitted to practice, at the January term 
of Supreme Court, 1856, and at the November election 
of the same year, was elected District Attorney of Cort- 
land county. Mr. Smith was an industrious and energetic 
student. His career in the past has been eminently 
successful— the future is bright and promising. 

Charles Foster is a native of Lansingburgh, Rensa- 
laer co., N. Y. He fitted for college at the Pompey 
Academy, and graduated at Yale College in 1844. He 
read law in the office of Victory Birdseye, at Pompey, 
one year ; six months in the law school at New Haven ; 
one year in the ofiice of B. D. and G. Noxon, Syracuse, 
and fiuall}^ completed his studies in the ofiBce of Wood 
& Birdseye, at Albany. He was admitted to practice as 
Attorney, Solicitor and Counsellor at Catskill, in the fall 
of 1847. He commenced practicing in Pompey, in the 
office of Daniel Gott. In Jan., 1853, he located in Cort- 
land Village, where he continues in practice. Mr. Fos- 
ter possesses fine talents, tact and energy, with a fair 
prospect of professional success and eminence. 

M. M. Waters is a native of Truxton. He was edu- 
cated in the common school, with a brief attendance at 
the De Ruyter Academy. He studied his profession 
with Reynolds & Crandall ; was admitted to practice, 
in Januar}^, 1856. His business habits, unyielding 
energy and close application to study, are sure precur- 
sors of eminence in the future. — Alvah D. Waters was 
educated at Cazenovia ; read law in his brother's office, 
and was admitted to the bar, in November, 1858. 


r ijii S. Barber, from Br<X)iue couiitT, was educated 
&: jT.iaca : read law in tLe office of M. M. Waters ; was 
admitted to practice, in January, 1858, at Binghamton, 
and soon after opened an office in Cortland Village. 
Toe bealtb of Mr. Barber incapacitates bim for close ap- 
plication to his profession- 
William Henry Warren studied with Ballard, and 
was admitted to practice, in November, 1858. He is 
indnstrious, possessed of a good mind, and has a 
laudable ambition to succeed in the practice- 

OliTer Porter read law and was admitted to prac- 
tice, in Delaware county. He opened an office in 
Homer, in 1855, and is now doing a successful and 
prosperous business. 

Alans on Coats was the first permanent lawyer in 
Truxton ; Palmer & Williams succeeded. Coats, though 
not decidedly brilliant, is nevertheless a good legal 
adviser. He went early to Syracuse, but subsequently 
returned to Truxton, where he still resides. Damon 
Coats, a practicing attorney in Syracuse, is his son. — 
Palmer k Williams were not very successful — went 
west, vrhere the latter soon after died. 

Amos L. Kinney received his academic education at 
Homer ; collegiate, at Hamilton ; graduated in 1843. 
He studied with Alanson Coats, and was admitt/.d to 
practice, in 1848. He is pleasantly situated at Truxton 

Barak Xiles located in Cincinnatus, previous to 1820. 
He- po— CftSed a good legal mind, and was a fair, aver- 
ag^e advocate. He was for several years an Associat*^ 
Juu;je, and was much respected- He removed in 1848 
t/j PeDnsylvania. 


Roswell K. Bourne is a native of Otselic, Chenango 
county. He was educated at Cazenovia ; studied with 
Judg-o Niles : was admitted at the General Term of 
Supreme Court held at Utica, July, 1S44. He com- 
menced practice at Pitcher, but subsequently located at 
Cincinnatus, where he still continues in the practice of 
law. Mr. Bourne is a man of indomitable energy and 
force of character, and is every way fitted to dig-nify 
and adorn the profession. 

Ira L. Little was born in Wallkill, Orang-e co., X* 
Y., July 26, 1S30. He graduated at Harvard Uni- 
versity ; studied with Benjamin S. Bentley, of Montrose, 
Pennsylvania, and was admitted to practice in that 
State, in 1852. In 1S54 he located in Bing-hamtou, 
and was admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court of 
this State, at the general term of 1855, and soon after 
removed to Marathon, where he has since practiced 
with a good degree of success. Mr. Little is possessed 
of a superior education, fine literary attainments : is a 
well-read lawyer, and a worthy citizen. As a maga- 
zine writer he has won an appreciable reputation. 
Many of his poetical contributions have boon regarded 
as gems of superior beauty. 

George B. Jones is a native of Columbia county. X. 
Y. He was educated at Cazenovia and Homer ; stud- 
ied his profession with Horatio Ballard, of Cortland, and 
with Southerland & McLellan, in Hudson, and was ad- 
mitted to the bar. May 9, 1S4S. In April 1S49. he opened 
an office in M'Grawville, but has recently located in 
Cortland Village. He possesses great energy of char- 
acter, and hence applies himself with untiring perse- 
verance to the duties of his vocation. 

440 Z.2.-.7- .-■.■::■.-:-. 

^ - ^ " - '" - jin jij Preble, May 11, 

1 r : studied with Jodge 

} r Crandaii ; was admitted to prac- 

.-; ^..., ^ -- * May, 1856, aod commenced 

: Frehhr In October he removed to 

ng city on 

., ...,._..;.. only a lim- 

:: Hence he tamed his attention in the 
m^ib to > mg in- 

land; anc ... . ._ he ac- 

cumulated a " respectable little fortune." After visiting 
St. Paul, MineapoUs, a ral other places of im- 

portaBce, he re^nbarke native land, on the 14th 

of May, 1857, and arrived at Preble on the 17th of the 
same numtii, where be ia now doing a good business in 
Idb profession. 

Luther W. Griswold, Darius Alien, Orscm A. and 
Gavett Z, House, ahw studied with Reynolds & Cran- 
dalL Griswold is the able and popular Judge of Min- 
neshick co., Iowa. Allen is engaged in a flourishing 
practice in Penn Yan, Yates co., X. Y. Orson A. House 
is now doing a prosperous business in New York, as a 
menb^ of the firm erf" Bergen A; House. Gavett Z. 
House, formf^ editor of the I/n/de/i X^^.a, is now prac- 
ti&ng his profession in Buffalo. 

Samo^ G. Hatiiewaj, Jr^ studied with hixyvm k 
Woods. He possessed a calm, discriminating, well- 
balanced, intellect^ and rose rapidly in both branches of 
the prolessioB. He became an early partner of Judge 
Gray, in Elmira, where he still remains, and is unques- 
tionably one of the ablest lawyers in the State. Chief 
Justice Joseph S. Boswortli, of the city of New York, 


the able and distiDguished lawyer — the profound jurist 
and enlig-htened citizen — the man who has risen meteor- 
like, resplendent in g-enius, reflecting honor upon his na- 
tive coiuiti/ of Cortland; the late Robert 0. Reynolds, the 
brilliant orator and gifted advocate ; Gardner Knapp, 
the polished student and acute observer — studied 
with Stephens t?c Ballard. H. S. Fuller. Charles G. 
King, Hon. H. S. Conger, Jerome Rowe, William Marsh, 
Augustus L. Ballard, and Ira D. Warren, studied with 
Horatio Ballard. Mr. Ballard retired a few years since 
from the profession he honored, and is now settled at 
Lakeland, Minesota. Mr. Warren is now in a lucra- 
tive practice in the city of New York, and is one of the 
firm of Cutler, Pennington & Warren. He is a gentle- 
man of rare abilities, well read in his profession, which 
he pursues with great zeal, industry and success, and 
will undoubtedly become very eminent as an advocate 
Robert Stewart, now Governor of Missouri, Hon. H. L. 
Punham of Indiana, Hon. A. P. Lanning of Buftalo, and 
W. H. Mallory, studied with AVm. H. Shankland. Hon. 
Levi F. Bo wen, a native of Homer, studied with Joseph 
P. Morse, a distinguished lawyer of Lockport. Mr. 
Bowen has been elevated to various honored positions, 
having creditably filled the offices of Judge and Surro- 
gate of Niagara county, and Justice of the Supreme 
Court of the Eighth Judicial District. Morse studied 
in Cortland with Pay ton & Woods. He was a man of 
ability. Judge Ira Harris studied with Augustus Don- 

Perhaps no individual has done more for the welfare 
of the children and youth of this country, than Profes- 
sor Chas. W. Saunders, the well-known author of iUo 


popular series of school-books that bear his name. He 
resided in the town of Cortlandville for almost thirty- 
years, and spent much time in teaching. He is the 
author of twenty-five different works, all of which have 
been stereotyped from the manuscript. His text books 
have given him a just and an enviable reputation. 

Among those who were born and educated in Cort- 
land county, and who have not already been mentioned, 
and who by their talents and industry have risen to 
high positions, we ma^^ briefly notice John M, Keep, son 
of General Martin Keep, late of Homer, who is now a dis- 
tinguished Judge of the Supreme Court of Wisconsin. 
William Keep, son of Hon. Chauncey Keep, is a promi- 
nent banker at Buffalo, residing at Lockport. Austin 
Fuller, of Freetown, is the popular State Auditor of In- 
diana. A. L. Pritchard, son of Garret Pritchard, of 
Solon, formerly a practicing lawyer in New Berlin, 
Chenango co., N. Y., is at present extensively engaged 
in the banking business in Wisconsin, residing at Wa- 
tertown. He is a zealous and prominent citizen, highly 
respected for his active efforts in improving the place, 
having done more than any other person towards beau- 
tifying the town. Rev. William C. Boyce, son of Colo- 
nel Obadiah Boyce, is the efficient Principal of the 
Aurora Academy. Augustus A. Boyce (another son) 
is Clerk of the District Court of the Northern District of 
New York, residing in Utica, Charles H. Hunt, son of 
Dr. S. M. Hunt, of Marathon, is District Attorney of the 
United States for the Southern District of New York. 
John W. Hunt (another son) graduated as a physician, 
and moved to Wisconsin in 1849, and has for the greater 
])ortion of the time been Assistant Secretary of State, 


residing at Madison. Dr. Ray Hunt (also a son of Dr. 
Hunt) is residing at Madison, and is the Chief Clerk in 
the same office. 

Charles H. Salisbury, son of Nathan Salisbury, of 
Scott, studied medicine, and graduated at the Albany 
Medical College. He was for several years employed 
as an assistant to Dr. Emmons, of Albany, in a chemical 
analysis of the soil and vegetable productions in differ- 
ent parts of the State, and the results are published in 
the agricultural parts of the Natural History of the 
State. He was regarded as one of the best analytical 
chemists of the State. He now resides in Ohio. His 
brother, Charles Salisbury, has acquired an enviable 
reputation as a portrait painter. He lived several years 
in the cit^^ of Albany, pursuing his profession with em- 
inent success. 

DeLay Glover, son of Daniel Glover, of Homer, has 
acquired a well-earned fame as a historical engraver. 
He resides in Syracuse. 

Hon. Arthur Holmes and Alls W. Ogdcn : the former 
a resident of Cortlandville, is at present an active mem- 
ber of the New York Assembly ; the latter was born and 
reared in Homer, and is the successor of the Hon. Rufus 
A. Reed, to the office of County Clerk. 

There were seven delegates — emigrants from Cort- 
land county — honored with seats in the Constitutional 
Convention of Wisconsin. One of them was Michael 
Frank, formerly of Virgil. 

Of the physicians and surgeons who have at various 
times commenced the practice of their profession in the 
county, we can only notice a few, many of them having 
remained scarce long enough to acquire a residence. 


John McWhorter, the pioneer physician, was a native 
of Washington county, in this State, and located in 
Cincinnatus in 1T95, He was an excellent physician, 
but did not confine himself entirely to the practice. He 
entered into the political arena, and was honored with 
numerous ofificial positions. 

Lewis S. Owen was a native of New Lebanon, Colum- 
bia CO., N. Y. He studied medicine with Drs. Stringer 
and McClellan of Albany ; removed to Homer in 1799, 
and engaged in the practice of his profession. He was 
eminently qualified for the position he occupied. John 
Miller, from Amenia, Dutchess county, settled in Trux- 
ton, in 180L His medical studies were pursued in 
Dutchess and Washington counties, under the direction 
of eminent practitioners. He attended lectures in the 
University of Pennsylvania, then. under the direction of 
Drs. Rush and Shipper. Robert D. Taggart was a na- 
tive of Colerain, and studied his profession with Dr. 
Ross, in his native town. He located in Preble in 1804. 
He remained engaged in the practice of medicine for 
about twenty-seven years, when he removed to Port 
Byron. He possessed a clear judgment ; was regarded 
as a man of great moral worth, and eminent in his pro- 
fession. Elijah J. AVheeler was a native of New Jersey, 
where he acquired his medical knowledge. He pos- 
sessed a strong, vigorous intellect ; was well educated, 
and eminently qualified to honor the medical profession. 
He located in Solon in 1805. His early habits of ine- 
briation retarded his usefulness, and greatly afflicted 
his young and intelligent family of children, and with- 
ered and blasted the once brilliant prospects of his wife. 
Jesse Searl was from Southampton, Mass, His medical 
studies were pursued in the office of Dr. Woodbridge, 


of the same town. He settled in Homer in 1804, and 
went into practice, but subsequently turned his atten- 
tion to politics, and engaged in conducting the CorU 
land JRepoutory. His medical knowledge was good, 
his literary acquirements superior ; and, in brief, he 
was an excellent citizen and an influential man. Miles 
Goodyear was born in Hampden, New Haven co., Conn. ; 
graduated at Yale College ; studied medicine with Pro- 
fessor Eli Ives, of New Haven ; came to Cortland 
in the latter part of 1816, and was soon engaged 
in an extensive practice. His education was supe- 
rior ; his medicinal knowledge extensive ; his habits 
social ; his temper genial and forgiving ; and hence he 
acquired warm friends in and out of the profession. Dr. 
Goodyear has been engaged in continuous practice for 
a period exceeding forty-two years — years of usefulness 
and of eminence— rendering service alike to the poor 
and the rich, — a noble and dignified trait in the charac- 
ter of the worthy practitioner. He is still devotedly 
attached to the profession, and ardently labors to alle- 
viate the sufferings of the sick. 

Lewis Riggs is a native of Norfolk, Conn. His medi- 
cal instructor was Dr. Samuel B. Woodward, of Litch- 
field. He received his license from the State Medical 
Society, in 1812. He emigrated to Homer in 1818. As 
a practitioner, he has been prudent, skilful and success- 
ful. In addition to his local offices, he has been elected 
to and served in the United States Congress. He 
erected the Superior Mills in 1838. His history is 
closely identified with the history of the county ; and 
he has in all respects maintained an upright and valu- 
able reputation. 


Robert C. Owen was born in Homer in 1802, educated 
at Cortland Academy, studied his profession with his 
father. Dr. Lewis S. Owen, and Piatt Williams, of 
Albany, and graduated at the Harvard University, Bos- 
ton, in 1820. He was for thirt^^-eight years a prominent 
practitioner in Homer, but for the last eight years has 
been, in the main, retired from the active duties of the 

George W. Bradford is a native of Otsego county. 
He received an academic education ; studied medicine 
with Dr. Thomas Fuller, of Cooperstown ; was licensed 
in 1820 by the Otsego County Medical Association, and 
soon after commenced practice in Homer, where he still 
remains in the active duties of his profession. 

Horace Bronson was born in Catskill, Greene co., N, 
Y. His classical studies were pursued under the charge 
of Rev. C. Bushnell, and his medical in the office of Dr. 
Lewis Riggs. He attended medical lectures at the 
College of Physicians and Surgeons of the Western 
District, where he received the degree of M. D. He 
subsequently spent one season with Prof. Noj^es, of 
Hamilton College, and another with Dr. Seth Hastings, 
of Clinton, Oneida co. He came to Virgil in 1821, 
where he has, with the exception of a brief period, 
remained in practice. Dr. Bronson has been eminently 
successful in the profession, discharging all its onerous 
duties, and devoting his best energies to the advance- 
ment of medical science, and to the perpetuity of a just 
appreciation of the high duties of the worthy physician. 
Hence he has gained the kind respect and affectionate 
regard of a long list of devoted friends. 

Azariah Blanchard came in soon after Dr. Bronson 


and settled in Trnxton, Trhere he remained many years, 
and " enjoyed to an eminent degree the confidence of a 
large part of the popuUition of that town, and who, 
deservedly, was considered one of our most intelligent 
physicians." * Dr. Blanchard is now a respectable and 
influential citizen of Wisconsin. 

Phineas H. Burdick received an academic education. 
Commenced the study of medicine in 1823, with Dr. 
Hubbard Smith, of De Ruyter, and completed them in 
the office of Dr. Jehial Sterns, of Pompey ; attended 
lectures at Castleton, Vermont, in 1826, and was licensed 
by the Medical Society of Onondaga county in 182*7. 
He commenced practice in Scott, May, 182*1, and 
removed to Preble, January, 1823. He received the 
honorary degree of M. D. from the State Medical 
Society in 1851, and became a permanent member of 
the association in 1853. He has ever been regarded as 
an excellent physician, and maintained a prominent 
position among his medical brethren. He has an exten- 
sive practice, in which he appears eminently successful. 
. Samuel M. Hunt was born in Marathon, Oct. 30, 1^98, 
being the first child born in that town. His first recol- 
lection of attending school was in a long barn, and sub- 
sequently at a log school-house, with windows of oiled 
paper as a substitute for glass. His classical studies 
were pursued at the Cortland Academy, commencing in 
1819 ; studied medicine with Dr. P. B. Brooks, of Bing- 
hamton, was licensed by the Medical Society of Che- 
nango county in 1823, of which Dr. Henry Mitchel was 
then President. lie commenced the practice of medi- 
cine at Sharp's Corners, on the Otselic River, now Tri^ 
* Hon. George W. Bradford's Semi-Centennial Address. 


angle, Broome count}'- ; has practiced mostly in Lisle, 
Union and Maine of that county. He served in the 
capacity *of Justice of the Peace in Maine for about ten 
years, and for five years as Justice of Sessions for 
Broome county. Dr. Hunt has acquired considerable 
eminence in the profession ; has been active in favor- 
ing the various benevolent reforms, as, also, in forward- 
ing the educational interests of the county. His chil- 
dren have enjoyed the benefits derived from our 
academic institutes, some of whom have emigrated to 
other parts, and are now elevated to high public posi- 

George W. Maxon studied his profession with Drs. 
Palmer and Haven of Oneida county, and E. S. Bailey 
of Madison, and completed his studies with Samuel R. 
Clark, with whom he practiced one year. He removed 
to Scott in ^lay, 1832, where he remains in a lucrative 

Frederick Hyde was born in Lisle, Broome county ; 
received a common school education ; studied medicine 
in the office of Dr. Hiram Moe, Lansing, Tompkins co., 
and Dr. Horace Bronson, of Virgil. He attended three 
years in Fairfield Medical College, and graduated in 
1836. The Faculty embraced an amount of learning 
and talent perhaps unequalled in the State, and we 
therefore record with pleasure the names of Drs. Wes- 
tel Willoughby, James McNaugliton, James Hadley, 
Theodoric Romeyn Beck, and John De Lamater. He 
commenced practice in Cortland, February, 1836. In 
1854 he received a professorship in Geneva Medical 
College, whicli lie still holds. Dr. Hyde possesses a 
clear, strong, vigorous mind, and is a ready, cool and 


skilful surgical operator. Hence it is with pleasure 
that we speak of him as having acquired considerable 
eminence in the several branches of medical and surgi- 
cal science. 

John H. Knapp was born in the town of New Fair- 
field, Conn. His academical education was received in 
the Sherburne Academy ; studied his profession with 
Drs. Devillo White and Elijah S. Lyman ; was licensed 
by the Chenango Medical Society on the 22d day of 
April, 1843, and located in Marathon. In 1845 he 
removed to Etna, Tompkins county, where he practiced 
until 1849, when he removed to Harford, where he now 
resides, and is engaged in the active duties of his pro- 
fession. Dr. Knapp has held various local offices, and 
was in 1854 elected to a seat in the New York Assem- 
bly. He has by his own exertions carved his way to his 
present honored position, enjoying the respect and con- 
fidence of a very large circle of friends. If he has 
enjoyed much of the sunshine of this fleeting life, he 
has also passed through the fiery ordeal of affliction, 
having but recently buried his fourth and last child. 

Homer 0. Jewett was born in Madison county, in 1819 ; 
studied his profession with Dr. Shipman ; graduated at 
the Medical University in New York, in 1843 ; com- 
menced practice at Summerhill ; came to Cortland in 
1849, where he has since remained in the practice of his 
profession. He is eminently qualified for his position, 
and is regarded as an able and successful practitioner, 
enjo3nng a large medical practice. 

Caleb Green was born at La Fa3^ette, Onondago co., 
N. Y., in 1819 ; his medical pupilage was spent under 
the tutorship of Prof. Frank H. Hamilton, of Rochester, 


N. Y. He graduated at Geneva Medical College, in 
January, 1844 ; commenced the practice of medicine 
in Homer, in March of the same year. He was elected 
Professor of Materia Medica and General Pathology in 
Geneva Medical College in 1855, and resigned his pro- 
fessorship in 1858. He is now engaged in a lucrative 
practice in Homer. Possessed of an active, well-bal- 
anced mind, a thorough knowledge of disease in all its 
various types and phases, of medicines, their virtue, 
power, and use, he is ever prepared to act wisely, cau- 
tiously, and successfully, having a fixed purpose in 
view — the restoration of the sick. His surgical skill 
has rendered him justly eminent. 

Eleazer H. Barnes is a native of Broome county, N. 
Y.; studied medicine with Dr. E. Barnes, late of Gen- 
eva ; attended lectures at Geneva Medical College in 
1837-8, and in the spring of the latter year commenced 
practicing as a partner with Dr. E. Lyman, at Great 
Bend, Pa. In 1839 he removed to Marathon, where he 
has since been an active practitioner. 

Theo. C. Pomeroy was reared in Otisco, N. Y.; edu- 
cated at Hamilton College ; studied with Drs. Goodyear 
and Hyde, and graduated at Geneva Medical College 
in 1844, and is now practicing his profession in Cortland 
with a good degree of success. 

William W. Bradford is a native of Pitcher, N. Y.; 
acquired his education at the common school and the 
Fayette ville Academy ; attended lectures at Laporte, 
Indiana, with Dr. A. B. Shipman, formerly of this county, 
holding the Professorship of Surgery in the Indiana 
Medical College, from whom he derived much valuable 
knowledge ; also, attended two course of lectures at 


Castleton, Vermont, and graduated 18th of June, 1851 ; 
practiced successfully six years in Lysander ; came to 
Marathon in the fall of 1851, where he is now jDcrma- 
nently located in the practice of medicine and surgery. 

A. D. Reed was reared in Delaware county, educated 
at Roxbury ; studied with Sherman Street ; attended 
lectures, and was licensed at Castleton, Vermont, in 
1848, and is now engaged in successful practice in 

Scepter Smith is a native of Marathon ; was educated 
at the Cortland Academy ; studied medicine with Dr. 
Taylor in Alleghany, and was licensed in 1848 by the 
Alleghany Medical Society. In 1851 he partially retired 
from the practice of medicine and turned his attention 
to the profession of dentistry, in which he has become 
eminently skilful. He removed to Scott Centre in 1851, 
where he is now doing an excellent business. 
"^ J. C. Nelson was educated in Owego ; attended three 
courses of lectures in Geneva Medical College, and 
graduated in 1848. He spent three years under the 
tutorship of that most eminent physician. Dr. Thomas 
Spencer ; settled in Truxton in March, 1848. Dr. Nel- 
son is an active, energetic man, engaged in an exten- 
sive and eminently successful practice. 

Charles M. Kingman is a native of Cincinnatus. He 
received an academic education ; studied with Dr. F. 
F. Maybury, formerly of Solon, now a prominent and 
skilful physician in Morrisville, Madison co., N. Y. Dr. 
Kingman graduated at Geneva Medical College in 1846, 
and commenced practice in M'Grawville, where he is 
much respected as a physician. 

Charles S. Richardson is a native of Cayuga county ; 


studied with Dr. George W. Bradford, and graduated at 
the Medical Department of tlie Albany University in 
1856 ; commenced practice in Homer in 1857. Dr. Rich- 
ardson is a young man of excellent habits, is persevering, 
and, in brief, is well qualified to excel in the profession. 

William R. Brown settled in Homer in 1845, having 
removed from Oneida county. He graduated at Fair- 
field College, and subsequently engaged in the homoeo- 
pathic art of curing disease. He is a gentleman of 
good abilities, and is engaged in a good business prac- 

Jay Ball attended lectures in Geneva Medical Col- 
lege, and graduated in the Medical University of New 
York City in 1848. He was at this time under twenty- 
one years of age. In 1853 he commenced in Homer 
the homoeopathic practice of medicine, where he still 

H. C. Gazlaj^ graduated at the Eclectic College in 
Syracuse, and commenced practice in Truxton in 1841. 
He subsequently removed to Fabius, where he practiced 
until 1847, when he returned to Truxton. In 1851 he 
came to Homer, and engaged in the practice of his pro- 
fession. He is now a partner in practice with Dr. Ezra 
Loomis. He possesses an active intellect, is energetic 
and skilful, and has the necessary elements of success. 

Henry A. Bollcs is a native of Litchfield, Conn. He 
studied his profession Avith Drs. Loomis and Hobart ; 
was licensed at the Eclectic Medical College in Syracuse, 
and commenced practice in McLean, Tompkins county, 
in 1852. He subsequently removed to Cortland, and is 
at present engaged in a lucrative practice. 
V There are a number of other prominent physicians 


residing in the county : among these we may mention 
Dr. Lyman Eldrege, of Cincinnatus ; Henry C. Hen- 
drick, of M'Grawville; Squire Jones, of Homer; Frank- 
lin Goodyear, of Cortland; William Fitch, of Virgil; and 
Dr. Hubbard, of Scott. 


Our history now draws to a close, and is given to 
the reader in as perfect a form as the circumstances of 
the times will permit. 

We have in no instance given publicity to statements 
of suspicious or doubtful character ; and we have in all 
cases aimed to be impartial. Of the moral, social, 
political, educational, and religious associations, we 
have spoken frankly and feelingly. Of the local inter- 
ests and natural advantages we have remarked as 
became our position, and in so doing we have hoped to 
do ample justice to the resources of the count}^ Tra- 
ditions extending back for three centuries have been 
favorably regarded only when they were supported by 
the most warrantable chain of circumstances. 

In the prosecution of our enterprise we have been 
materially favored by the voluntary assistance of gen- 
tlemen of acknowledged worth and ability ; by the 
reading of written memoranda and valuable data, and 
by a free access to their extensive and well-selected 
libraries. To Hon. Henry S. Randall, for the liberal 
gift of voluminous publications, and other promoting 
circumstances ; Dr. E. B. O'Callaghan, author of the 
" Documentary History- of New York," Hon. Elias W. 
Leavenworth, for valuable publications, Hon. "William 


H. Seward, of the United States Senate, Hon . Charles 
P. Avery, late of Owego, now of Michigan, and Hon. 
Gideon J. Tucker, Secretary of State, for an exceedingly 
valuable work, we return our acknowledgments. 

To enumerate the names of the numerous gentlemen 
who have given us verbal statements and interesting 
incidents, would be hardly possible. We are, however, 
none the less thankful for their favors and solicitous 
expressions, tending to enhance the value, correctness 
and truthfulness of our labors. To the Hon. George 
W. Bradford, for various State documents, Rufus A. 
Reed, Esq., for access to the county archives, Hon. 
Joseph Reynolds, Dr. H. S. Hunt, Hon. Walter Sweet- 
land, Rev. John Keep, and Hon. Harvey Baldwin, are 
we especially indebted. 

It is also our pleasurable duty to tender our recipro- 
cal acknowledgments to Dr. Franklin B. Hough, author 
of the " History of St. Lawrence and Franklin Coun- 
ties," Hon. Joshua V. H. Clark, author of an admirably 
well written histor}^ of Onondaga county. Deacon Na- 
than Boughton, the practical annalist of the town of 
Virgil, Hon. Dan C. Squires, of Lapeer, for valuable 
notes on that town, Messrs. Edwin F. and Cornelius B. 
Gould, late editors and proprietors of the Cortland 
County Whig, Mr. Joseph R. Dixon, of the Cortland 
County Republican, Myron S. Barnes and Anson Spencer, 
the former of the Mt. Morris Independent Watchinan^ and 
the latter of the American Citizen^ Ithaca ; Messrs. A. 
G. Chester and C. P. Cole, — the former of the Syracuse 
Journal, and the latter, of the Cortland Gazette. To 
Hon. Henry Stephens, late President, and Superintend- 
ent, William B. Gilbert, Esq., of the Syracuse, Bingham- 


ton, and New York Railroad, are we sensibly indebted, 
for the favorable facilities and kind courtesies which 
they have freely extended to us. 

In brief, we return our grateful acknowledgments 
to all friends, and for the present, bid them an affection- 
ate Adieu. 

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