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Full text of "Spafford, Onondaga County, New York"









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HISTORY 

Town of Spafford 




Onondaga Historical 
Association 



Spafford 
Onondaga County, New York 



BY 



Captain George Knapp Collins 



1902 



PUBLISHED BY 



Onondaga Historical Association 



DBHLER PRESS 
1917 






This work is dedicated in fiilial respect to the memory of 
Dr. John Collins, the father of the Author, who practiced 
his profession among the people whose names are recorded 
in this record, for nearly twenty-five years, and whose living 
descendants still hold his memory in grateful recollection, 
after a lapse of forty-nine years since he ceased his labors 
and went to rest among those who were his companions and 
patrons in life. 



\ 





CAPTAIN GEORGE K. COLLINS 



INTRODUCTION 



The town of SpafFord, one of the most picturesque in the 
County of Onondaga, is about ten miles in length from north 
to south, and about four miles in width from east to west. 
Its surface consists of high ridge land bounded on the west 
by Skaneateles Lake, and on the east by Otisco Lake and 
Valley, descending abruptly on either side to these lakes 
and valley, and gradually declining northerly from the 
summit at Ripley Hill, situate near the southern boundary 
of the town between this and the town of Scott, Cortland 
County. 

Ripley Hill is 1,122 feet above Skaneateles Lake, and 
1,982 feet above tide water; and from it can be seen in fair 
weather, not only lands in the towns of Skaneateles and 
Marcellus, which bound the town on the north, but the sur- 
rounding country for twenty to thirty miles distant. 

Cold Brook, which flows to the south through a beautiful 
valley bearing its name, and the Inlet to Otisco Lake, are 
the principal streams; but beyond the fact of their per- 
ennial character, and that they mark the course of two deep 
and beautiful valleys, they are not worthy of mention. 

The soil is a sandy gravelly loam, and in early times was 
covered by a dense growth of maple, beech and linden trees 
on the uplands, interspersed with hickory, chestnut, pine 
and hemlock trees in the deep valleys, and especially along 
the eastern border of Skaneateles Lake. 

Spafford boasts of no valuable mineral products within 
its borders, yet there is a weak spring of salt water, and 
indications of the presence of natural gas along the western 
shore of Otisco Lake. A spring of sulphur water exists 
near Borodino on the eastern shore of Skaneateles Lake, 
and an outcropping of the Hamilton group of limestone 
appears at different places in the southern portion of the 
town. None of these natural products, however, have been 
developed or turned into practical use. 



4 ONONDAGA HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION 

No earthworks or other marked indications of aboriginal 
occupation of the lands in this town have been discovered, 
yet tradition says that at one time there v/as an Indian 
Encampment or settlement near Borodino, and different 
Indian implements found in that vicinity, and burnt and 
blackened soil discovered near that village indicates Indian 
occupation at some remote period at that place. The dis- 
tance between the two lakes is not very great, and an early 
Indian trail from lake to lake ran through this locality, 
rendering more than probable the truth of this tradition, 
and that in aboriginal times these early peoples not only 
had knowledge of these two beautiful lakes, but made abun- 
dant use of the excellent fish with which they were so 
bountifully supplied. 



Town and County Organizations 



The first white settler within the present limits of the 
town of Spafford was Gilbert Palmer, who has been credited 
with taking up his abode in the southwest part of lot 76, 
Marcelliis, in the Spring: of 1794, but in the absence of this 
statement made by Clark, in his history of the County of 
Onondag-a published in 1849, which we assume was based 
upon substantial grounds, we would put his occupation at 
least one year earlier, as his deed from Thomas Ostrander, 
the original soldier who drew this lot for services performed 
by hini in the Revolution, is dated September 21st, 1792. 
To our mind it is more than probable that his occupation 
was earlier than the date given by Clark. 

With the settlement of Gilbert Palmer begins the true 
history of this town, yet we trust that a brief statement 
of the early transactions affecting the town and county 
organization will be interesting. 

The first division of the Province of New York into 
dependencies or shires was by a law passed by the " Chief 
Commander, Council and Representatives" November 1, 
1683, ratified by the " Board of Trade," October 17, 1684, 
by which the present State of New York was divided into 
twelve Counties : New York, Westchester, Ulster, Albany, 
Dutchess, Orange, Richmond, Kings, Queens, Suffolk, Dukes 
and Cornwall. The boundaries of the County of Albany 
are described as follows : " The County of Albany to con- 
teyne the town of Albany, the Manor of Renslaerwyck, 
Schonechteda, and all the villages, neighborhoods and 
Christian Plantacons on the east side of Hudson's River 
from Roeloffe Jansens Creek; and on the west side from 
Sawyers Creek to the utmost end of Sarraghtoga." 

Owing to a change made in the government of the Prov- 
ince of New York following the usurpation of Jacob Leister 
as Colonial Governor, commonly called the Revolution of 
1690, a law was passed by the "Governor, Council and 



6 ONONDAGA HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION 

Assembly," October 1, 1691, in effect re-enacting the former 
law of 1683, and at least so far as the County of Albany 
was concerned the boundaries of that shire remained the 
same. The boundaries of that county were not very 
definite in either act, but subsequent statutes treated them 
as covering a much larger area than a casual perusal of the 
wording of these enactments would seem to warrant. 

By an act passed March 12, 1772, by the " Governor, 
Council and General Assembly " the County of Albany was 
divided into three ocunties: Albany, Tryon and Charlotte. 
The County of Tryon in substance is described as including 
within its bounds all that part of the Province of New York 
lying west of a line drawn north and south just west of the 
Schoharie Patent. 

Bj^ a separate act passed March 24, 1772, at the same 
session by the " Colonial Governor, Council and General 
Assembly " the county of Tryon was divided into five towns 
or districts : Mohawk, Stone Arabia, Canajoxharie, German 
Flatts and Kingsland. The latter was bounded in substance 
as follows : On the north by the Mohawk River — on the 
east by a north and south line dravinn through Little Falls, 
— and on the south and west by the south and west colony 
lines. 

By an act of the Colonial Legislature passed March 8, 
1773, the names of three of the towns or districts named 
in the act of March 24, 1772, were changed as follows: 
Stone Arabia district was changed to Palatine district; 
German Flatts district was changed to Kingsland; and 
Kingsland was changed to German Flatts district ; the latter 
only affecting the territory included within the present 
boundaries of the County of Onondaga. These are all the 
enactments under the Colonial period making division of the 
Province of New York affecting lands in the present County 
of Onondaga. 

The first Constitution of the State of New York, adopted 
at Kingston, N. Y., April 20, 1777, during the progress of 
the War of the American Revolution, recognized the exist- 
ing counties of the State as follows: New York, Albany, 
Dutchess, Westchester, Ulster, Suffolk, Queens , Orange, 
Kings, Richmond, Tryon, Charlotte, Cumberland and Glou- 
cester, fourteen in all ; the two latter are now a part of the 
present State of Vermont. 



SPAFFORD, ONONDAGA COUNTY, NEW YORK 7 

By an act of the New York Legislature passed April 2, 
1784, the name of the County of Tryon, a name that had 
become odious by acts of the Tory Colonial Governor of 
that name, was changed to Montgomery; and by a sub- 
sequent act passed March 7, 1788, the boundaries of that 
county were described as follows: "And the County of 
Montgomery to contain all that part of the State bounded 
easterly by the Counties of Ulster, Albany, Washington 
(formerly Charlotte) and Clinton — southerly by the State 
of Pennsylvaina — and westerly and northerly by the west 
and north bounds of the State." 

By an act of the same date the State was re-divided into 
towns, and the town of Whitestown created, which con- 
tained within its limits the whole of the Military Tract and 
certain lands east thereof extending below Utica, and was 
named in honor of Judge White, the first white settler in 
the present village bearing his name, four miles west of 
the City of Utica. 

On February 16, 1791, an act was passed dividing the 
County of Montgomery into four counties: Tioga, Otsego, 
Montgomery and Herkimer; the western part of the State 
having been previously taken from Montgomery and created 
into a separate county called Ontario. The County of 
Herkimer in this division was briefly described as follows : 
On the east by the Counties of Clinton, Washington and 
Saratoga — on the south by Montgomery and Tioga — on the 
west by Ontario — and on the north by the north bounds 
of the State. 

The next year, April 10, 1792, Whitestown was divided 
and a new town created called Mexico, which included 
within its limits all of the Military Tract lying east of the 
west bounds of the townships of Homer, Tully, Marcellus, 
Camillus and Hannibal. 

On the 5th day of March, 1794, an act of the Legislature 
was passed creating the County of Onondaga from the 
County of Herkimer. It was made co-extensive with the 
Military Tract, and was divided into eleven civil towns: 
Homer, Pompey, Manlius, Lysander, Marcellus, Ulysses, 
Milton, Scipio, Aurelius, Ovid and Romulus. The town of 
Pompey was described as follows: "All that part of said 
County comprehending the townships of Pompey, Tully and 
Fabius, together with that part of the lands called the 



B ONONDAGA HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION 

Onondaga Reservation bounded northerly by the road called 
the Genesee Road, and westerly by the Onondaga Creek " ; 
and the town of Marcellus was described as : "All that part 
of said county comprehending the townships of Camillus 
and Marcellus, together with all the residue of the Onon- 
daga Reservation, and the residue of the several lands lying 
south west of the said Salt Lake." 

From time to time thereafter, by several acts of the 
Legislature, the County of Onondaga as then created was 
subdivided, and other counties taken therefrom until it 
was finally cut down to its present limits, but without 
change of the county organization so far as its present 
territory is concerned. 

On the 7th day of April, 1801, the County of Onondaga, 
as then diminished in size, was re-divided into eight civil 
towns: Solon, Homer, Fabius, Onondaga, Pompey, Manlius, 
Lysander, Camillus and Marcellus. The town of Fabius 
contained within its limits the townships of Fabius and 
Tully, and all that part of the township of Semphronius 
lying east of Skaneateles Lake; and the town of Marcellus 
was reduced in size to the limits of the township of that 
name. 

On the 4th day of April, 1803, the civil toA\Ti of Fabius, 
and all that part of the township of Tully within the County 
of Onondaga, and all that part of Semphronius east of 
Skaneateles Lake, was created a civil town called Tully. 

By an act of the Legislature passed April 8, 1811, a new 
town was created as follows : " That from and after the 
first Tuesday in April next all that part of the town of 
Tully lying west of a line beginning at the north west 
comer of Lot No. 25, and running south to the south line 
of said town, be and hereby is erected into a separate town 
by the name of Spafford." The name of this town was 
given in honor of Hon. Horatio Gates Spafford, the author 
of the first Gazetteer of the State of New York. At this 
point it seems proper to state that Mr. Spafford, in return 
for the compliment paid him, donated to the town its first 
blank book for the preservation of its records, and also 
a fair sized library for the use of its inhabitants; the record 
book is still preserved in the custody of the Town Clerk, 
but the library has long since been scattered and lost. 



SPAFFORD, ONONDAGA COUNTY, NEW YORK q 

The town of Otisco was created prior to the town of 
Spafford and in part was taken from Tully. 

Since 1811 several changes have been made in the 
northern boundary of the town of Spafford, by adding to 
and taking from the town territory originally from the 
township of Marcellus. These changes occurred from 1830 
to 1842 inclusive, and during that period the people of this 
and the adjoining towTis of Marcellus and Skaneateles, 
were greatly exercised and excited over the territorial 
question. 

In the year 1830 the town of Skaneateles was formed 
from the western part of the town of Marcellus, and in 
the same act, "All that part of the town of Marcellus lying 
south and east of a line beginning on the north line of 
Lot No. 71 at the north west corner of the town of Otisco 
and running down the center of the Outlet of Otisco Lake 
to the north line of Lot No. 62 ; thence west on the north 
line of Lots Nos. 61, 62 and 60; thence in a straight line 
west across Lot No. 59 to the center of Skaneateles Lake ; 
thence southerly along the center of said lake to the south 
line of Marcellus, shall be annexed to and form a part of 
the town of Spafford." 

This act engendered much bitter feeling among certain 
influential citizens residing within the limits of that part 
of the town of Marcellus, thus summarily set off to the 
to\\Ti of Spafford; and the various town meetings there- 
after were flooded with resolutions to be offered for pas- 
sage in the different sessions of the Legislature; and the 
latter body was importuned and petitioned from time to 
time by the discontents to be restored to the town of Mar- 
cellus or set off to the town of Skaneateles. 

The town books show a continuous and apparently 
acrimonious strife which resulted in the passage of the 
act of March 18th, 1840, setting off to the towns of Mar- 
cellus and Skaneateles all that part of the town of Spafford 
lying north of the south Hnes of Lots Nos. 69, 70 and 71, 
Marcellus. 

This act, if anj^thing, created more dissatisfaction than 
the prior one; so on March 30th, 1842, the Legislature 
passed an act compromising the matter by which Lots 70, 
71, 68 and 69, Marcellus, were re-annexed to the town of 
Spafford. This seemed to give full satisfaction, and the 



10 ONONDAGA HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION 

bounds of the tovm. have remained the same ever since, 
and from that time forward there has been no change in 
town or county organization affecting the town of Spafford. 

It will be noticed that the act of 1830, above referred 
to, fixes the western boundary of that portion of the town 
taken from Marcellus as the center of Skaneateles Lake, 
a fact which would have been the case by law in the absence 
of anything said on the subject; but the reader's attention 
is also called to the notable exception to this rule of law 
and custom make by the Revised Statutes of the State of 
New York as to the other portion of the town. 

By these statutes the western boundary of this portion 
of the County of Onondaga, and by operation of the law 
the western boundary of the Tully end of the town of 
Spafford, is along the westerly shore of Skaneateles Lake. 
The Revised Statutes on this subject reads as follows: 
" from a point in the south bounds of the township of 
Marcellus southward along the westerly shore of Skanea- 
teles Lake until it strikes the west boundary of the county 
of Cortland, and thence northerly and easterly along the 
latter county lines, &c." These are facts not only of in- 
terest to the general reader, but of great importance as 
affecting jurisdiction in civil and criminal proceedings. 



MILITARY TRACT. 

During the period of the American Revolution the mili- 
tary forces of the Colony of New York were divided into 
four classes: The Militia, Minute Men, The Levies, and 
The Line. 

The Militia, included all able bodied men residing within 
the Colony who were between the ages of sixteen and 
sixty, not specifically exempt by law. 

Minute Men, were taken from the Militia by allotment 
or volunteering, and were specially drilled, equipped and 
kept in readiness for any emergency. This organization, 
formed under a resolution of the Provincial Congress of 
this Colony August 22, 1775, was discontinued about a 
year afterwards by a like resolution adopted June 5, 1776. 

The Levies, were drafts from the Militia, called into 
service on special occasions, and could be required to per- 



SPAFFORD, ONONDAGA COUNTY, NEW YORK H 

form duty during the entire period of their enlistment 
outside the Colony. 

The Line, consisted of four regiments of Infantry, to 
which were sometimes attached a company of cavalry, a 
regiment of Artillery, and a corps of Sappers and Miners. 
These were turned over to the General Government as a 
part of the Continental Establishment, and were subject 
to the orders of General George Washington. 

Every member of these several forces was by law re- 
quired to keep himself fully armed and equipped, and as 
the people of this Colony had always been surrounded by 
wild beasts, and the still more treacherous and sometimes 
hostile bands of American Indians, most of the men com- 
posing these forces were accustomed to handling fire arms 
and were expert marksmen in the use of the same. What 
was most needed to fit these men for efl^icient soldiers was 
military training and such discipline as would render them 
obedient to orders of their superior officers; this took 
much time and instruction to accomplish. 

The Line was organized by enlistment from the Militia 
in 1775 and turned over to the Continental Establishment, 
and as the term of service of these men was at first so 
short, sometimes for only a few months and never to exceed 
a year, the efficiency of this branch of service was poor 
in comparison with the trained soldiers employed in the 
British Army, against whom they were to contend. 

The superiority of their marksmanship was not always 
an offset for the superior discipline of the enemy. This 
early became apparent, and on September 30th, 1776, a 
letter was received by the Provincial Congress of this 
Colony from John Hancock, President of the Continental 
Congress, enclosing resolutions of that body. In that letter 
he says : " You will perceive by the enclosed resolutions, 
that Congress has come to the determination to augment 
our Army and to engage troops to serve during the con- 
tinuance of the war. The many ill consequences arising 
from a short and limited enlistment of troops are too 
obvious to be mentioned. In general, give me leave to 
observe, that to make men acquainted with the duties of 
a soldier requires time, and to bring them under proper 
subordination and discipline not only requires time, but 
has always been a work of much difficulty." 



12 



ONONDAGA HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION 



"As the troops now in service belong to the several 
States they will be considered as a part of their quota in 
the American Army, You will please take such steps as 
you judge necessary to ascertain what number of troops, 
as well as what officers, will engage to serve during the 

The following are a part of the resolutions referred to. 



VIZ 



" Congress, Sept. 16, 1776," Resolved, That eighty eight 
battalions be enlisted as soon as possible to serve during 
the present war, and that each state furnish their respec- 
tive quotas in the following proportions, viz. : 



Nevv^ Hampshire 
Massachusetts Baj^ 
Rhode Island 
Connecticut 
New York 
New Jersey 
Pennsylvania 
Delaware 
MarjT^land 
Virginia 
North Carolina 
South Carolina 
Georgia 



3 Battalions 
15 Battalions 

2 Battalions 

8 Battalions 

4 Battalions 
4 Battalions 

12 Battalions 

1 Battalion 

8 Battalions 
15 Battalions 

9 Battalions 
6 Battalions 
1 Battalion 



" That twenty dollars be given as a bounty to each-non- 
commissioned officer and private soldier who shall enlist 
to serve during the present war, unless sooner discharged 
by Congress. 

" That Congress make provision for granting lands in 
the following proportions, to the officers and soldiers who 
shall engage in the service and continue therein to the 
close of the war, or until discharged by Congress, and 
representatives of such officers and soldiers as shall be 
slain by the enemy. Such lands to be provided by the 
United States, and whatever expense shall be necessary to 
provide such lands, the said expense shall be paid and borne 
by the States in the same proportion as other expenses of 
the war, viz : 

To a Colonel 500 acres. 

To a Lieut. Colonel 450 acres. 

To a Major 400 acres. 



SPAFFORD, ONONDAGA COUNTY, NEW YORK 13 

To a Captain 300 acres. 

To a Lieutenant 200 acres. 

To an Ensign 150 acres. 

To each Non Commissioned 

Officer and Soldier 100 acres." 
By a subsequent act of Congress passed August 12th, 
1780, there was given " To a Major General 1100 acres, and 
to a Brig. General 850 Acres." 

In pursuance of this generous offer of the General Gov- 
ernment many officers and men then in the Line from this 
Colony re-enlisted, and some of those entering this service 
afterwards enlisted for the war; so when peace was de- 
clared there were many who had been members of the 
Continental Army for periods ranging from four to seven 
years. The First and Second Infantry, under Colonels 
Goose Van Schaick and Philip Van Cortland, Col. John 
Lamb's Artillery regiment and the Corps of Sappers and 
Miners, had a more continuous service than other Con- 
tinental organizations from this Colony, and eventually had 
within their ranks a large proportion of these long term 
service men, and even some of those who had originally 
entered the service in other Continental organizations. By 
reason of this fact, and the expressed intention of these 
organizations to remain on frontier duty for the further 
period of three years, in pursuance of the resolutions of 
the Provincial Congress adopted March 20, 1871, the 
Legislature of the State of New York March 27, 1783, 
enacted, after reciting the resolutions of the Continental 
Congress above quoted from, as follows: 

" Whereas the Legislature of the State are willing not 
only to take upon themselves to discharge the said engage- 
ments of Congress so far as it relates to -the Line of this 
State, but likewise as a gratuity to the said Line and to 
evince the just sense this Legislature entertains of the 
patriotism and virtue of the troops of this State serving 
in the army of the United States : 

" Resolved, Therefore that besides the bounty of land 
as promised as aforesaid, this legislature will by law pro- 
vide that Major Generals and Brigadier Generals now 
serving in the Line of the Army of the United States and 
being citizens of this State, and officers and non-commis- 
sioned officers and privates of the two regiments of in- 



14 ONONDAGA HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION 

fantry commanded by Colonels Van Schaick and Van Cort- 
land, such officers of the regiment of Artillery commanded 
by Colonel Lamb and of the Corps of Sappers and Miners 
as were when they entered the service inhabitants of this 
State, such of the non-commissioned officers and privates 
of said last mentioned corps as are credited to this State 
as part of the troops thereof, all officers designated by 
Congress subsequent to the 16th of September, 1776, shall 
have severally granted to them the following quantities of 
land, to wit: 

To a Major General 5500 acres. 

To a Brig. General 4250 acres. 

To a Colonel 2500 acres. 

To a Lieut. Colonel 2250 acres. 

To a Major 2000 acres. 

To a Captain and Regimental 

Surgeon each 1500 acres. 

To every Subaltern and 

Surgeon's Mate 1000 acres. 

To every Non-Commissioned 

Officer and Soldier 500 acres." 

Owing to the delay incident to the extinguishment of 
the Indian title, by Treaty, to the lands desired for distri- 
bution under this act, and also the time required to survey 
and plot the same when acquired, the lands eventually under 
the act of 1783 were not ballotted for and patents issued 
until July, 1790. In the meantime the soldiers entitled to 
these bounty lands became disheartened, discouraged, and 
an easy prey to speculators, who obtained the warrants for 
most of these claims for a trifle compared with their true 
value. Only one soldier receiving bounty lands under the 
act of 1783 settled on the lands patented to him in the 
town of Spafford, viz: Henry Wentworth (Winford), Lot 
77, Marcellus; and he remained only a few years until he 
had sold his possessions in parcels to actual settlers. 

The Military Tract, as first laid out, consisted of twenty 
five townships of one hundred lots of a mile square each, 
and its boundaries were the same as that of the County of 
Onondaga when first organized under the act of 1794. The 
lines of lots were drawn east and west and north and south 
and contained within their limits 640 acres of land; 100 



SPAFFORD, ONONDAGA COUNTY, NEW YORK 15 

acres in lieu of that given by the United States, 500 acres 
by the State of New York, and 40 acres for roads. 

If the soldier released his claim against the United 
States he received a patent for the whole lot, otherwise 
one hundred acres in the south east corner of the lot was 
reserved, hence came the name : " State's Hundred." The 
charge of the Government for surveying a lot was forty 
eight shillings; if this was not paid by the patentee fifty 
acres was also reserved, known as " Survey Fifty," this 
could be taken from either corner of the lot excepting the 
south east. Two lots in each township were reserved for 
the propagation of the Gospel, and for Schools, and the 
amount received from_ the sale of them was devoted to these 
purposes. 

A statement of the services performed by the soldiers 
who drew lots in the to\\Ti of SpafFord is worthy of mention, 
but space precludes any recital other than the following, 
in reference to the recipients of bounty lands in this town : 



NAMES OF SOLDIERS DRAWING BOUNTY LANDS 
IN SPAFFORD. 

Township of Tully. 

Lot 1 Pr. Joseph Sevey, 2nd Co. 1st Regt. Inft. 

Col. Goose Van Schaick 600 acres. 

Lot 2 Pr. Joseph Ball, 2nd Regt. Inft., Col. 

Philip Van Cortland 500 acres. 

Lot 11 Fifer John Cheery, 2nd Regt. Inft., Col. 

Philip Van Cortland 600 acres. 

Lot 12 Sergt. Benjamin Lawrence, 2nd Regt. 

Inft., Col. Philip Van Cortland 600 acres 

Lot 12 Gospel and Schools 600 acres. 

Lot 21 Surgeon Caleb Sweet, 1st Regt. Inft., 

Col. Goose Van Schaick 500 acres. 

Lot 22 Pr. Richard Whalling, 1st Regt. Inft., 

Col. Goose Van Schaick 600 acres. 

Lot 23 Matross George Allen, 1st Regt. Art., 

Col. John Lamb 600 acres. 

Lot 24 Capt. Abraham Livingston, 1st Regt. 

Inft., Col. James Livingston 600 acres. 

Lot 31 Gospel and Schools 600 acres. 

/ 



16 ONONDAGA HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION 

Lot 32 Pr. John Pierson, Regt. Inf., Gen. 

Moses Hazen's Congress Own 500 acres. 

Lot 33 Capt. John C. Ten Broeck, 1st Regt. Inft., 

Col. Goose Van Schaick 600 acres. 

Lot 34 Pr. Shorter Smith, 2nd Regt. Inft., Col. 

Peter Van Cortland 600 acres. 

Lot 41 Pr. John Frederick, 1st Regt. Inf., Col. 

Goose Van Schaick 600 acres. 

Lot 42 Sergt. Elias Wilcox, 1st Regt. Art., Col. 

John Lamb 500 acres. 

Lot 42 Corp. Joseph Smith, 2nd Regt. Inft., Col. 

Philip Van Cortland 500 acres. 

Lot 44 Pr. Nathaniel Brock, Regt. Inft, Col. 

James Livingston 500 acres. 

Township of Sempronius. 

Lot 10 Major Nicholas Fish, 2nd Regt. Inft., 

Col. Philip Van Cortland 600 acres. 

Lot 11 Pr. Aaron DeWitt, 1st Regt. Inft., Col. 

Goose Van Schaick 450 acres. 

Lot 12 Pr. Daniel Ogden, 1st Regt. Inft., Col. 

Goose Van Schaick 600 acres. 

Lot 13 Corp, Solomon Barnes, 1st Regt. Agt., 

Col. John Lamb 600 acres. 

Lot 14 Pr. John Tucker, 4th Regt. Inft., Col. 

Fred Weissenfels 500 acres. 

Lot 21 Pr. John Wyatt, 1st Regt. Inft., Col. 

Goose Van Schaick 600 acres. 

Lot 23 Pr. Samuel Wheeler, 2nd Regt. Inft., Col. 

Philip Van Cortland 600 acres. 

Lot 23 Corp. Cornelius Ammerman, 2nd Regt. 

Inft., Col. Philip Van Cortland 500 acres. 

Township of Marcellus. 

Lot 68 Surgeon Ebenezer Haveland, 2nd Regt. 

Inft., Col. Philip Van Cortland 500 acres. 

Lot 69 Sergt. Daniel Ludlam, 2nd Regt. Inft., 

Col. Philip Van Cortland _ 500 acres. 

Lot 70 Sergt. and Matross Elijah Pierce, 1st 

Reft-t. Art., Col. John Lamb 600 acres. 

Lot 71 Pr. Burdice Campbell, 1st Regt. Inft, 

Col. Goose Van Schaick _ 500 acres. 



SPAFFORD, ONONDAGA COUNTY, NEW YORK 17 

Lot 74 Gunner Frederick Dayton, 1st Regt. Agt., 

Col. John Lamb 600 acres. 

Lot 75 Fifer John Factor, 2nd Regt. Inf., Col. 

Philip Van Cortland 600 acres. 

Lot 76 Second Lieutenant Thomas Ostrander, 

3rd Regt. Inft., Col. Peter Gansevoort 500 acres. 

Lot 77 Fifer Henry Winford, 1st Regt. Inf., Col. 

Goose Van Schaick 500 acres. 

Lot 88 Pr. Philip Fields, 2nd Regt. Inft., Col. 

Philip Van Cortland 500 acres. 

Lot 89 Pr. Frederick Wybert, 1st Regt. Inft., 

Col. Goose Van Schaick 500 acres. 

Lot 90 Sergt. Philip Steves, 2nd Regt. Inft., Col. 

Philip Van Cortland 600 acres. 

Lot 91 Capt. Peter L, Vosburgh, Regt. Inft., 

Col. James Livingston 600 acres. 

Lot 96 Fifer Henry Davis, 1st Regt. Art., Col. 

John Lamb 600 acres. 



FIRST SETTLERS. 



Under the law granting bounty land to soldiers a settle- 
ment had to be made on the land within a limited period 
subsequent to the date of the patent. As a majority of the 
claims had been assigned by the soldiers to speculators 
residing along the Hudson River, who had no intention of 
making a settlement themselves, when the patents were 
issued the lands were offered for sale in large quantities 
and sold to purchasers at prices much below their true 
value. The consequence was that m^any persons residing 
east of the Hudson River in Washington, Saratoga, Van 
Rensselaer, Colum.bia and Westchester Counties, came to 
this town for settlement within a few years after the date 
of the Patents in July, 1790. The first settlers, however, 
were not confined to the river counties in this State, many 
coming direct from Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachu- 
setts, New Hampshire and Vermont; they were all, how- 
ever, with very few exceptions, of New England origin. 

GILBERT PALMER AND HIS SON JOHN. 

The first settler within the present limits of this town 



18 ONONDAGA HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION 

was Gilbert Palmer, who came from Amawalk, Westchester 
County, New York. Mr. Joshua V. H. Clark, in his excel- 
lent history of the County of Onondaga, says he came in 
the Fall of 1794 and settled on Lot 76, Marcellus. He also 
says he served for this lot in the War of the Revolution, 
but as to this we know Mr. Clark is incorrect, as his deed, 
which is dated September 21, 1792, is from Lieutenant 
Thomas Ostrander, the soldier who drew this lot for serv- 
ices which he performed in the New York Line, during 
that war. Mr. Palmer did not purchase the State's Hun- 
dred Acres on that lot, as it was excepted from the deed. 
It is presumed from the fact that Mr. Palmer is not joined 
by a wife, in any of his seven or eight conveyances made 
from his original purchase, that he was a widower during 
his residence in this town. 

Mr. Clark relates the following pathetic incident in re- 
ference to Mr. Palmer and his son John : 

" In the Fall of the year 1794, soon after his arrival, 
Mr. Palmer and his son, a youth of some sixteen years of 
age, went into the woods chopping for the purpose of 
making a clearing. Some time in the afternoon they felled 
a tree, and as it struck the ground it bounded, swung 
around and caught the young man under it. The father 
at once mounted the log, cut it off, rolled it over and liber- 
ated the son. Upon examination one of his lower limbs 
was found to be badly crushed and mangled. He there- 
upon carried the youth to his log hut close at hand, and 
with all possible diligence made haste to his nearest neigh- 
bors, some three or four miles distant, desiring them to 
go and minister to his son's necessities, while he should 
go to Whitestown for Dr. White. The neighbors sallied 
forth with such comfortable things as they thought might 
be acceptable in such a case ; but amidst the confusion, the 
dense forest and the darkness of the night which had just 
set in, they missed the way; and after wandering about 
for a long time gave over pursuit and returned home, leav- 
ing the poor sufferer alone to his fate. Early the next 
morning all hands again rallied, and in due time found 
the young man suffering the most extreme anguish from 
his mangled limb, and greatly benumbed with cold. They 
built a fire, made him comfortable with such palliatives 



SPAFFORD, ONONDAGA COUNTY, NEW YORK 19 

as could be procured in the wilderness, and waited in 
patience for the return of the parent. 

** In the meantime he had proceeded rapidly on his 
journey on foot and found Dr. White at Clinton, N. Y. 
Here he engaged an Oneida Indian to pilot them through 
the woods, by a nearer route than to follow the windings 
of the old road. Dr. White and Mr. Palmer were at sundry 
times fearful the Indian would lose the way, but upon 
every expression of doubt on their part the Indian would 
exclaim ' Me know,' and told them he would bring them 
out at a certain log, which lay across the Outlet at the foot 
of Otisco Lake. The Indian took the lead and within 
forty-eight hours after the accident had happened the 
Indian brought them exactly to the log, exclaiming tri- 
umphantly, 'Me know.' Here Mr. Palmer arrived upon 
familiar ground, and at once proceeded to the cabin where 
he had left his son, whom they found greatly prostrated, 
and writhing under the most intense suffering. No time 
was lost. The case was thought desperate, the limb was 
amputated at once half way from the knee to the thigh." 

The youth recovered and lived many years afterwards. 
He became a tailor, and Hon Sidney Smith said, " I re- 
member him very well, going about his duties with his 
wooden leg." In a deed dated August 21, 1797, given by 
Gilbert Palmer to John Palmer, the latter is described by 
the grantor as, " My son," and the latter is described as 
then a resident of Westchester County, indicating that after 
his terrible accident with the falling tree, related by Clark, 
he must have returned to his old home in Amawalk, to 
grow up, recover his strength, and possibly learn the trade 
of a tailor, afterwards pursued by him while a resident 
of this town, 

Gilbei-t Palmer's last sale of land on Lot 76 was January 
9, 1815, and the last sale of land on the same lot by John 
Palmer was September 28, 1814. About the latter date 
the two Palmers moved into the village of Borodino, where 
the son carried on a tailor shop. In the year 1819 father 
and son moved to Hannibal, Oswego County, New York, 
where the former is supposed to have died. In John 
Palmer's last deed dated July 2, 1819, he is joined by his 
wife Rachel, whom he probably married after 1814. 

Mr. Gilbert Palmer has always been credited with being 



20 ONONDAGA HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION 

a soldier of the American Revolution, and probably was 
such, as a Gilbert Palmer served for a short tour of duty 
in a Militia organization both in this State and in the 
State of Connecticut, the latter being- the home of a prolific 
and influential branch of the Palmer family. 



NAMES OF OTHER FIRST SETTLERS. 

The next settler in to^vn was undoubtedly Samuel Conk- 
lin, who came in 1796 and purchased a farm of one hundred 
nine acres of Gilbert Palmer, situate in the north west 
corner of Lot 76, Marcellus. Mr. Conldin is credited with 
having erected the first frame dwelling house in town, 
which was built in 1807, near the north west corner of 
Lot 76, Marcellus. 

Mr. Conklin was followed, a few months afterwards, by 
Henry Winford (or Wentwoii;h), the only soldier who 
settled on a lot in this town for which he served; he came 
in the Spring of 1797, and settled on lot 77, Marcellus. We 
have no knowledge of him after May, 1809, the date of his 
last deed, which was to John Campbell, who was probably 
then a resident on said lot 77, Marcellus. 

James Kirkum, from Fredericksburg, Dutchess County, 
New York, settled on lot 77, Marcellus, in the Fall of 1797 
or Spring of 1798, but of him we know nothing more after 
September 8, 1801, at which time he sold out to Justus 
Blakely, then an owner of land and probably a resident on 
said lot since June 11, 1799. These are all of whom we have 
any knowledge who became settlers in to"wn before 1800. 

It is very difficult to tell just when the different persons 
classed as first settlers took up their abode here, by reason 
of the prevalent custom among them of going into occupa- 
tion of the land under a contract, and a deed following 
later, with a date several years posterior to the time of 
their reputed claim of settlement. Nevertheless the dates 
given in the following statement are believed to be reason- 
ably accurate and trustworthy, notwithstanding some of the 
dates may differ from those that have been published on 
the subject. 

According to recorded deeds the northern end of the 
town led in the matter of settlement, both before and after 



SPAFFORD, ONONDAGA COUNTY, NEW YORK 21 

the year 1800. Principally from the same source of in- 
formation it appears Elias Harmon and Zadock Randall 
settled on lot 77 or 76, Marcellus, Medad Harvey, William 
Collins and Gershom Hall on lot 75, Marcellus, and Eben- 
ezer Taylor and Nicholas Otis on lot 90, Marcellus, in 
the year 1801 ; John C. Hillebert on lot 89, Marcellus, Jesse 
Peck on lot 90, Marcellus, David Smith on lot 77, Marcellus, 
Valentine and James Rathbone, Jeremiah Van Benschoten 
and Jason Gleason on lot 74, Marcellus, and Benjamin 
Chaffee on lot 69, Marcellus, in the year 1802 ; Edward Bur- 
gess and Lemuel Smith on lot 77, Marcellus, and Warren 
and John Kneeland on lot 74, Marcellus, in the year 1803. 
All these, with perhaps the addition of Daniel Tinkham on 
lot 89, Marcellus, who is reputed to have settled there in 
1802, although his deed is dated in 1804, were made before 
any one had broken silence in the Tully end of the town, 
unless it be with the single exception made in favor of 
Jonathan Berry, who is claimed to have settled on lot 12, 
Sempronius, in the year 1803. Although Mr. Berry's first 
residence was just over the southern line of Marcellus, in 
the Tully end of the town, yet all his business and social 
relations were with the people residing in the vicinity of 
Borodino. 

In the year 1804, Nathan Howard, from Stephentown, 
N. Y., settled on Lot 74, Marcellus, Samuel Tyler, Asa Chap- 
man, Alvah Smith and Joseph Enos on Lot 69, Marcellus, 
Avery and Asa Mason and Nathan Parce on Lot 68, Mar- 
cellus, Benjamin Sweet from Brutus, N. Y., on Lot 76, 
Marcellus, and Jabish and Luther Hall and Samuel Maclure 
on Lot 75, Marcellus. 

In the year 1805 Isaac Hall made his first appearance 
at Spafford Corners, and settled on the States 'Hundred 
Acres on Lot 21, Tully; he probably should be called the 
first settler in the southern or Tully end of the town. Mr. 
Berry, as suggested above, should be classed with the 
Northern or Marcellus settlers, with whom he soon after 
and in 1810, became in fact as well as by association a part. 
During this same year James Cravath also settled on Lot 
21, Tully, (near where Joseph Cole resides in 1900), and 
the name of Amos Miner, the well known inventor and 
wheelwright, who settled on Lot 68, Marcellus, was added 
to the northern settlers in to^vn. 



22 ONONDAGA HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION 

The year 1806 witnessed the following additions to the 
list of settlers, distributed as below : John Hunt and James 
Fitzgerald, Lot 70, Marcellus, Levi Appleby Lot 89, Mar- 
cellus, Gideon Colton from Whitestown, N. Y., Lot 10, 
Sempronius, Job Smith from Greenfield, N. Y., Lot 74, 
Marcellus, Peter Knapp, from Brutus, N. Y. on Lot 42, 
Tully, John Babcock, the first Supervisor of the town, on 
Lot 21, Tully, and Dr. Archibald Farr on Lot 11, Tully. 
(Tradition says Dr. Farr came in 1803, see subsequent 
statement of him.) 

From this time forward settlers came in quick succes- 
sion, and distributed themselves over the town in both its 
northern and southern extremities; among whom were the 
following: Asahel Roundy, Samuel Seeley, Charles Whaley, 
Joshua B. Bearse, Warren Baldwin, Alexander M. Beebe, 
Joseph Humphrey, Cyrel Johnson, James Cornell, James 
Hiscock, Oliver Hyde, Ebenezer Lewis, Benjamin Eggle- 
stone, Joseph Baldwin, Benjamin Stanton, Joseph Bulfinch, 
Moses and Joseph Prindle, Psalter Pullman, James Wood- 
worth, Elias Davis, Joseph and Job L. Lewis, Silas Cox, 
Aaron Bearse, Daniel and Edward Baxter, Messer Barker, 
Daniel Scranton, Asa Ferry, Thomas Whiting, James 
Wightman, Pardon Cornell, James McCausey, John Gould, 
Benjamin Homer, James Avery, Jonathan Ripley, Elisha 
Sabin, John Rainey, Shadrack, Daniel and Uriah Roundy, 
Joel Palmer, Amos Palmer, John and Elihu Babcock, Bena- 
jah Cleveland, Horace Pease, Ruluf Barber, Rathbone 
Barber, Rathbone Barber, Jr., Thompson Burdick, David 
Carver, James Williamson, William Bacon, Amos Bacon, 
Isaac Town, Luke Miner, William O'Farrell, William D. 
Cornell, Robert K. Kidney, Alpheus Winchester, Eleazer 
Hillebert, William Strong, Samuel H. Yates, Loami W. 
Johnson, Timothy Mills, Silas and Stephen Randall, Robert 
Almey, Alexander Streeter, Truman Hinman, Jesse Manley, 
Dr. Benjamin Trumbull, Stephen Crane, William Dedrick, 
Amasa Kneeland, Dr. Jeremiah B. Whiting, Col. Phineas 
and John Hutchens, Edwin S. Edwards, Augustin McKay, 
Calvin Patterson, Daniel Wallace, Sr. and Jr., Samuel 
Holmes, Peter Churchell, Abiathar Melvin, Amos Fisher, 
Christopher Green, Osmer Orton, John and Samuel Gale, 
Timothy Owen, Dr. John Collins and many others, which, 




CAPTAIN ASAHEL ROUNDY 



SPAFFORD, ONONDAGA COUNTY, NEW YORK 23 

for greater particularity, the reader is referred to the 
second part of this work. 

These men, as has been said before, were nearly all of 
New England origin, mostly from Rhode Island, Connecti- 
cut, Massachusetts, and Vermont, although a large pro- 
portion of them came to this town from the counties in this 
State east of the Hudson River, where they had made a 
temporary sojourn prior to coming here. Perhaps the 
County of Washington, north of Albany, contributed in 
numbers as generously as any to these early settlers. They 
were an energetic, God fearing, well informed and indus- 
trious people; among whom were many remarkable men, 
who have left an indelible impression upon the character of 
the people of this town; and some of their descendants 
have gone forth and made an honorable record for them- 
selves in the several communities in which they have 
resided. Of some of these we have given a more or less 
extended account in the second part of this work, and will 
not repeat here. We deeply regret, however, our inability 
to do justice to all owing to want of further information 
on the subject. Social life among the early settlers in this 
town was much the same as in all other communities 
settled by New England people, much that was good in it 
and very little that vv^as evil ; and yet there was a humorous 
side to it as well as a serious one. We trust the following 
anecdotes will not detract from the general high social 
character of these settlers, nor be unacceptable to the 
reader. 

CAPTAIN ASAHEL ROUNDY. 

Captain Asahel Roundy, whose family genealogy appears 
in the second part of this work, came to Spafford on horse- 
back from Rockingham, Vt., in 1807. His father, Uriah 
Roundy, died in 1813 at the latter place, and soon after his 
mother and brothers and sisters followed him from the old 
home in Vermont and took up residences about him in this 
town, from whence in after years they were scattered to 
different parts of the Great West. Mr. Roundy obtained 
his rank of Captain from the State of New York, he having 
commanded a Company from this town in the 96th Militia 
from this State in the War of 1812; that regiment having 
done a short tour of duty in the Fall of 1814 in the vicinity 



24 ONONDAGA HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION 

of Sackett's Harbor, New York. In this service Phineas 
Hutchens was his Lieutenant. At the time of receiving 
orders for this service Captain Roundy was at Onondaga 
Hill, attending- a meeting- of the Board of Supervisors of 
Onondaga Countj'', of which he was a member, and at once 
communicated the order to his subordinate, Lieutenant 
Hutchens, who Avarned out the Company, came on to Onon- 
daga Valley, and was there joined by Captain Roundy. 
The Company was absent from home under his command 
for about a month and was then discharged at Smith's Mills, 
New York, November 22nd, 1814. Captain Roundy in- 
herited his military instincts from a patriotic ancestry ; his 
father, his grandfather, and three of his uncles did military 
service in the American Revolution. 

The general character of the early settlers of this town 
is well illustrated by the following anecdotes told of Captain 
Roundy, in a recent publication from which we copy: 

" During the early history of the County of Onondaga 
a large share of the litigation was in Justice Courts in the 
different towns, and not in the higher Courts at the County 
seat, as at the present day. On such occasions the best 
talent in the county was employed, and every one suspended 
work to be present at the law suit. At such times Captain 
Roundy was frequeently called upon to try one side or the 
other of these cases, and Hon. Daniel Gott, who in olden 
times was considered one of the strongest trial lav/yers in 
the county, paid Captain Roundy the compliment of being 
one of the strongest advocates before a jury of any man 
he ever met. There were several remarkable men among 
the early pioneers of this town, but it is no disparagement 
of any of them to say that he was the most remarkable of 
them all. He was six feet tall, well proportioned, a perfect 
athlete, and an adept in all the sports participated in by the 
men of those times. His education was acquired only in 
the common school, but he had a remarkably retentive 
memory, and his mind was well stored with valuable infor- 
mation including much poetry and song, all of which he was 
able to command and use to advantage, both in public speech 
and in private conversation. He was a man physically and 
mentally well equipped. 

" The first settler at what is now known as Randall's 
Point or SpafFord Landing, on Skaneateles Lake, came to 



SPAFFORD, ONONDAGA COUNTY, NEW Yi).::: 29 

Spafford early, while the country was then a wilderness, 
and undertook to build a log house at that place. In doing 
so he broke his leg, by a log rolling upon him. Captain 
Roundy, finding him in this condition, and no help being at 
hand, took him upon his back and bore him through the 
woods up an almost vertical pathway for a mile and a half 
to his house, where he was cared for until his recovery. 

" Captain Roundy at an early date purchased lands in 
the eastern part of the town, and laid out and built the road 
known as the Bucktail. Any one who has ever passed over 
this road will be likely to remember that its ruggedness is 
equal to its picturesqueness, which is saying a good deal. 
In early times this road has been and is now a subject of 
jest. At that time the two principal political parties in 
this State were known as Bucktails and Clintonians. Of 
the former he was at that time a prominent member, so 
much so that the people dabbed the road the " Bucktail," 
in recognition of that fact, and it has borne the name until 
the present time. 

" At an early time one or two burials had been made in 
what is knov,qi as the Spafford Cemetery, east of the Cor- 
ners, which was then open pasture land. One day a 
funeral party came there with a corpse for burial, and the 
man who owned the land refused to let the interment take 
place, whereupon as usual in such cases, an appeal was 
made to Captain Roundy, who went to the owner and bought 
and paid for the original land, (one acre) which forms a 
part of this Cemetery, and the title to the same rests in his 
name, or that of his descendants to this day. 

" Before 1831 it was common to imprison people for debt. 
On one occasion a man living on the main road in the 
southern part of the town was in debt. He was abusive 
and resisted arrest. For a long time he kept himself con- 
cealed and locked indoors. He kept out of the way of the 
officers, as they were not permitted to break down doors 
to make such arrests. The officer went to Captain Roundy, 
and he undertook to assist him in making service. It 
was Winter tim.e. He got a two horse rig, put on all the 
bells he could find, and in the middle of the night drove 
down to within half a mile of the man's house, got out, and 
taking two bundles of straw under his arm, walked down 
to the north end of the house, which had no windows in it^ 



26 ONONDAGA HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION 

the only door of admittance being on the east side, near the 
northeast comer of the house. Arriving at the place he 
set fire to the straw, whereupon the man with the bells and 
horses drove at a furious rate, yelling " Fire," which 
brought the man to the door in his night dress, where he 
was met by Captain Roundy, who took him gently in his 
arms and turned him over to the officer. 

" At an early date Captain Roundy built a sawmill, on 
the upper falls of the stream near the Bucktail road, with 
a flume running over the precipice, and subsequently built 
a carding mill a little higher up stream. About this time 
a supposed distant relative of his came to town and claimed 
to have knowledge of carding, fulling and making cloth. 
He put him in charge of the mill. After he had been in 
possession for a time, Captain Roundy thought it time to 
go over and investigate, and count up the profits of his 
venture. To his mute astonishment he found the building 
entirely empty and his carding machinery carried away. 
This he subsequently found hid under a straw stack near 
the Village of Cardiff. 

" At one time a log house stood on the village green, now 
existing at the Corners, between the two churches. A 
woman living in this house, after a time, was discovered to 
have won the affections and regard of a neighboring 
woman's husband, with whom she agreed to elope. On the 
night fixed for this episode to take place, there was a gath- 
ering of men on horseback in a distant part of the town, 
and after the elopers had gotten a mile or so on their 
journey, they were overtaken by this cavalcade and escorted 
to Borodino. After a short stop they were persuaded to 
return ; the man after making over his property to his wife, 
was permitted to go away with his new found charmer 
undisturbed. 

" At an early date a dilapidated old house stood a short 
distance east of the Corners, It was rumored that an 
undesirable family had hired it, was going to move into 
town and likely to become a town charge. The people called 
upon the ov.ner and tried to dissuade him from letting the 
property to these people; but he persisted, and was more 
or less abusive, much to the annoyance of his neighbors. 
One fine morning, just before the new settlers were to 
arrive, people were surprised to find this house razed to 




URIAH ROUNDY, ESQ. 



SPAFFORD, ONONDAGA COUNTY, NEW YORK 27 

the ground. The o\^Tier was furious and charged one of 
his neighbors with perpetrating the mischief, went to 
Captain Roundy, who was then Justice of the Peace, and 
swore out a warrant for the man. At that time the party 
to a criminal or civil proceeding could not be sworn on the 
trial in his own behalf, and the defendant was often at 
the mercy of unscrupulous witnesses. At the time of the 
trial every one turned out and very much regretted the turn 
of affairs, which seemed to be against the defendant. The 
complainant produced a witness who swore that he was 
passing along the road in the night, saw the defendant 
tearing down the house, and he tried to get away from him, 
but he knew him and was certain of his identity. The 
defendant was so unfortunate as not to be able to prove 
even an alibi. When the case was rested, much to the sur- 
prise of every one present, Captain Roundy discharged the 
defendant, claiming that there was no cause of action 
against him. Of course it was a high handed proceeding, 
but every one submitted because it was Captain Roundy's 
decision, and they all believed that he must have some inter 
light not discernible to the rest of them. Sometime after- 
wards one of his daughters said to him: 'Father, how 
could you make such a decision, when you knew that wit- 
ness swore point blank to the guilt of the defendant, and 
there were no mitigating circumstances?' ' Well,' he said, 
' If you will never say anything about it, I will tell you! 
I knew that witness lied, for Colonel Hutchens and myself 
pulled down that building.' " 

URIAH ROUNDY, ESQ. 

Uriah Roundy, one of the sons of Capt. Asahel and 
Hannah (Weston) Roundy, was born in the town of Spaf- 
ford, July 24, 1819. Like his father before him he was 
prominent in his native town, and was frequently called 
upon to perform matters of public trust and confidence. 
Among the public offices held by him were : Supervisor of 
the Town of Spafford, three terms. Justice of the Sessions 
of the County of Onondaga two terms. Excise Commissioner 
one term, (from which he resigned), and Loan Commis- 
sioner of the County of Onondaga two years. He was also 
Justice of the Peace in Spafford between twenty-five and 
thirty years, and Postmaster at Spafford Corners for many 



8 ONONDAGA HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION 

years; he was an incumbent of both of the latter offices at 
the time of his decease which occurred May 29th, 1902. 
For many years prior to his decease nearly all the Wills, 
Mortgages, Deeds and other legal documents executed in 
his portion of the town were drav\Ti by him, and he was 
frequently called upon to perform other duties of an 
attorney at lav/. He married Mary Ann Tinkham and by 
her had two sons, Adelbert and Jay C. Roundy, the former 
only surviving him. 

PULLMAN FAMILY. 

Captain Asahel Roundy, during his active career, was the 
owner of considerable real estate in this town, and at one time 
ovvmed nearly all of Lot 32, Sempronius. This he conveyed 
in parcels to different settlers, who moved on the lands, 
cleared avv'ay the forests, built houses and reared families 
there. Among these early settlers, to whom he conveyed 
land on this lot, was Psalter Pullman. He cleared away 
the timber and settled on the farm afterwards knowTi as 
the Rathbone Barber, Jr., farm^, and now (1900) owTied by 
the estate of Edwin S. Van Benschoten, deceased. On this 
farm most, if not all, of Mr. Pullman's children were born. 
Among them was Lev/is Pullman, the father of George M. 
Pullman, the late multi-millionaire and sleeping and palace 
car magnate, of Pullman, Illinois, whose decease is a matter 
of recent occurrence. Psalter Pullman moved to the 
western part of this State about 1829. There are very few 
now living who have any remembrance of him or of any 
of his family, except his son, John Pullman, who m.arried 
Mabel Pettis, sister of Ebenezer Haven's wife. He con- 
tinued to reside here for about twenty years after the 
departure of his father. 

John Pullman at one time resided on the Skaneateles and 
Homer road, about one mile south of Spafford Corners, and 
kept a house of entertainment there called " The Nimble 
Sixpence." The house and barn were close to the road on 
either side, and passers by at night were much annoyed 
by John's cattle, who were wont to sleep in the highway 
for want of a better barnyard. " The Nimble Sixpence," 
according to the memory of " Old Inhabitants," had only 
one room in it, and that was occupied by Mr. Pullman's 
numerous family as a bed room, living room, dining room.. 




COLONEL PHINEAS HUTCHENS 



SPAFFOED, ONONDAGA COUNTY, NEW YORK 29 

pantry, etc., besides being used as a bar-room and loung:ing 
place for guests, after Mr. Pullman set himself up in busi- 
ness as a tavern keeper. It is probable that Mr. Pullman's 
patrons were mostly confined to neighbors' boys, who 
thought it great sport to give landlord Pullman an occasional 
house warming. Mr. Pullman vv^as an honest, upright and 
well meaning man, but possessed of certain vagaries and 
crank notions, which leads those v/ho knew him to believe 
that George M. Pullman, the great Palace Car magnate, 
absorbed all the brains and nervous energy of the entire 
Pullman family. 

After the removal of the major part of the Pullman 
family to the western part of the State, as above stated, an 
occasional correspondence was kept up between John Pull- 
man, who was left behind, and other members of the family. 
One day John Jullman came to the village Postmistress with 
an unsealed letter in his hand, and with unfeigned pride, 
asked her to examine it, saying : " Don't you think that 
pretty good writin' for a man like me?" She took the 
letter in her hand, examined it, and found among other 
things that Mr. Pullman had made an indiscriminate use 
of capital letters, without any reference to any known rules 
on the subject, sometimes even placing them in the middle 
of a word. She turned to Mr. Pullman and said : *' Mr. 
Pullman, your writing is very good indeed, but why don't 
you put your capital letters at the beginning of words and 
sentences, as other people do?" " Well," says he, " I think 
that makes my writin' look a leetle better to scatter them 
more evenly through the letter, than to bunch them up as 
some people do." 

COLONEL PHINEAS HUTCHENS. 

Colonel Phineas Hutchens was born in Herkimer County, 
New York, in 1785, and came to this town and settled on 
Lot 22, Tully, in 1811. He remained on the farm where 
he first settled, until his decease in 1870. He was a man 
of great physical strength, strong personality, a natural 
leader of men, a prominent member of the Baptist Church, 
and led a blameless life. His personal influence was 
always wielded for the good of the community in which he 
resided, yet, having a strong sense of humor in his make 
up, he fully enjoyed all the sports and military functions 



30 ONONDAGA HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION 

which were popular in those times and engaged the atten- 
tion of the people. In those matters, and in the conduct 
of the public affairs of the town, he was always a cordial 
and able assistant of his life long friend, Captain Asahel 
Roundy. Prior to 1830, when a portion of the township 
of Marcellus was added, all public business of the town 
centered about Spafford " Corners," where these two men 
resided, and their influence was most potent. 

Both were strong men, yet their influence and control 
over their fellows was much strengthened by their sympa- 
thetic and fun loving natures. 

ROSWELL HUTCHENS. 

Mr. Hutchens had a son, Roswell Hutchens, who in- 
herited his humor, purity and fun, but not his commanding 
physical strength and personality. " Roz," as he was 
familiarly called, died January 16, 1854, at the age of thirty- 
three years, unmarried, yet where is there a man or woman, 
who was a boy or girl residing within a radius of ten miles 
of Spafford " Corners," in his time ,who does not cherish 
a pleasant recollection of him and his fun loving disposition. 
His sleigh or wagon was never so small or overloaded as to 
prevent him giving a boy or girl a lift on the way to and 
from school, and generally his sleigh or wagon had as 
many boys and girls upon it as could safely hang on. In 
the Fall of the year " Roz " ran the Hutchens' Cider Mill, 
which at noon hour of school days was a favorite resort for 
boys to congregate, eat dinner and drink cider. No boy 
was ever refused a drink of cider and as much of the 
beverage as he could carry away in his dinner pail. Like 
his father before him he was a lover of fine horses and 
was seldom without a pair of his own, yet like most 
admirers of horsekind he was a successful and mveterate 
horse trader: — in fact he would trade anything he owned 
if he got his price. His desire for traffic frequently led 
him from home, and it was not unusual for these absences 
to be extended for weeks at a time; then followed the tri- 
umphal home coming, when all the people left their work 
and gathered along the highway to witness the entertain- 
ment which " Roz " was sure to have in store for them. 
On one of these occasions, it will be remembered, that the 
procession consisted of two or more spans of horses attached 



SPAFFORD, ONONDAGA COUNTY, NEW YORK 31 

to an ordinary farm wagon, bearing a hay-rack filled with 
all kinds of household goods and farming implements. 
Following this came a yoke of oxen, a dairy of cows, and 
a drove of sheep. The entire outfit comprised everything 
necessary to stock and run a farm except a wife, and no 
doubt there was some disappointment in not finding among 
his belongings this essntial commodity. 

At another time he brought home a camel-back pacer 
mare, as ugly looking a nag as man ever derw a line over, 
but as speedy as she was ugly, and that was saying a good 
deal. For a month or more after that every farmer boy, 
who thought he had a horse particularly fast, had a chance 
to test his claim on the road. It is not probable that 
" Roz's " sisters or girl friends were ever seen going to 
church or a quilting bee behind this animal, yet all were 
willing before a month went by to concede the right of way 
to him and his pacer mare. " Roz " was a great favorite 
with old and young, and on festive occasions among his 
acquaintance, v/as not only present but generally the center 
of interest, where innocent fun held sway. No one pre- 
sumed to make him the subject of a practical joke but once, 
and that nearly- broke his heart. 

" Roz " brought home a raw-boned animal, called a Pie- 
balled horse, of very light color and in bad condition; this 
was put to pasture in a back lot, to recuperate and gain 
flesh, as a basis for a future trade. With his long ears and 
measly condition he looked more like a mule than a horse, 
so much so, that a wag thinking to define his identification 
in the animal kingdom more perfectly, trimmed his tail 
doA^Ti to a " nubbin " at the end, and cut his mane down 
to a rovt^ of short bristles along the top of his neck; then, 
still more to improve the identification, he put a few stripes 
around his body with a brush and a pot of black paint ; the 
animal, thus disfigured, was then turned loose to meet the 
doting gaze of his master. When " Roz ' discovered this 
transformed quadruped he was furious, and for the first 
time in his life was unable to see the funny side of a joke. 
The wag soon discovered this unusual element in " Roz " 
nature, and wisely kept his identification so securely that 
" Roz " died without knowledge of the creator of this, his 
first and only specimen of the Zebra kind. 

Among the efforts made to discover the person who per- 



S2 ONONDAGA HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION 

petrated this practical joke, was one made by " Ranse " 
Coon, the village harness-maker. At " Roz " solicitation 
he ffot a small boy, who was supposed to know something 
of the matter, into his shop and inquired of him who dis- 
figured " Roz " horse. The boy being reluctant to answer, 
Coon pressed the question, by saying he might as well tell 
then as at any time, for if he did not answer he would be 
brought in Court and made to swear. The boy replied that 
his m^other told him " never to swear." Coon, perceiving 
the boy did not understand the nature of an oath, pressed 
his question still more. Finally the boy, in despair, 
exclaimed, " Well, if I have got to swear, I say B — G — 
I don't know anything about it." This settled the examina- 
tion, and " Roz," being told the result, was so well pleased 
that he gave up farther investigation. 

On the face of the tombstone placed at the grave of 
Roswell Hutchens, in Spafford Cemetery, is firmly set a 
small daguerrotype of himself, in a plug hat; this, when 
last seen by the writer, after a lapse of nearly fifty years 
since it was first put there, was as perfect as when first 
taken. 

AMOS MINER. 

Amos Miner was born in Norfolk, Litchfield County, 
Conn., November 10th, 1776. He came to Marcellus, (now 
Skaneateles), about the year 1800, and settled on a cross- 
road leading east from the lake road, and about two miles 
south of the village of Skaneateles. Here he built himself 
a shop and commenced the manufacture of his famous 
accelerating wheel-heads, to be attached to spinning wheels 
then in use by farmers' wives for making woolen yarn. In 
the Fall of the year 1805 he sold his possessions in Skan- 
eateles and located on Lot 68, Marcellus, (now Spafford), 
but soon after established himself in Factory Gulf, where, 
as a member of the firm of Miner, Deming and Sessions, he 
built a factory for the manufacture of his celebrated accel- 
erating wheel-heads and other wooden articles. Among 
the articles invented and manufactured by him about this 
time were Miner's Patent Pail, Miner's Half Bushel 
Measure, Miner's Wooden Bowls, Miner's Grooved Window 
Sash, and Miner's Wooden Pumps. He also manufactured 
many other articles from wood, then in common use. 




THOMAS MAXSON FOSTER 



SPAFFORD, ONONDAGA COUNTY, NEW YORK 33 

After a few years Miner sold his interest in the busi- 
ness at Factory Gulf, and located himself at the head of 
another Gulf on Lot 76, Marcellus, leading: into Otisco 
Lake, where he built another factory, and a grist mill, 
commonly called " The Pudding Mill," from the fact that 
Miner here ground large quantities of Indian meal, com- 
monly used by the esirly settlers as an article of food, under 
the name of pudding and milk. Miner's superior inventive 
genius was more often brought into requisition in the 
manufacture of tools and machines used in the process of 
manufacture of his inventions, than in the conception and 
completion of the finished product itself. 

The genius of Miner Vv^as particularly illustrated by the 
manner in which he accumulated and applied the power to 
run his machinery at the mill, situate at the head of the 
Pudding Mill Gulf. The mill was so located on the edge 
of a precipitous rock, that the water coming to his mill 
passed over a series of three overshot wheels, one above 
another, giving him the accumulated power of three wheels 
instead of one. 

Miner, like most men of his class, was a better inventor 
than financier, so when his invention was completed and on 
the road to success, he generally tired of it, sold out, and 
others were premitted to reap the fruits of his genius 
Instead of himself. The Pudding Mill venture was no 
exception to the rule, so another was soon in possession of 
the mill, and miner was engaged in starting another factory 
or mill at Mottville, on the outlet of Skaneateles Lake. 
From there he soon moved further down stream, to a place 
midway between Elbridge and Jordan, and was finally lost 
sight of in the Far Distant West. When he left the State 
it is said he carried with him the sum of $10,000, the 
accumulation of a lifetime, while others accumulated great 
wealth, as a product of his brain power and inventive 
genius. 

BARN MOVING. 

In the early fifties Asahel Madison Roundy was a mer- 
chant at Spafford " Corners,' and owned and occupied the 
Joseph R. Berry store (now occupied by John Van Ben- 
schoten), and Thomas Maxson Foster was and had been 
for many years his clerk. This store was a favorite place 



34 ONONDAGA HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION 

for men and boys to gather evenings, tell stories and dis- 
cuss matters of general interest. Before Mr. Roundy's 
death, which occurred in 1857, an incident occurred which 
Mr. Foster, familiarly called " Mac," related to the writer, 
and we here transcribe in his own language : 

" A short time before Asahel M. Roundy died he pur- 
chased a part of the Samuel French farm, west of the road 
and just south of the " Corners." Being dissatisfied with 
the location of the barn on the premises, he undertook to 
move it nearer the road and the house on the place. He 
made a bee and invited his nieghbors to assist in the moving, 
which was in the old waj^ with rollers under each corner 
of the building, revolved by hand spikes inserted in holes 
made for the purpose. After two half days' effort the 
building still stood within a rod of the place where it was 
at the beginning, and Ase came in to the store where I was 
at work, discouraged, and said to me : ' I don't believe I 
can ever get that barn moved in the world.' I replied: 
' If you will leave that job to me I will get it moved, and 
won't go near it either, but if you do you must not inter- 
fere.' ' Well,' says he, * you go ahead, and I will stand 
aside and you can do as you please.' 

" Roundy, at that time, was a prominent member of the 
Baptist Church and a pronounced advocate of temperance. 
After the matter was turned over to me I waited until one 
evening, when a number of men had gathered in the store 
to tell stories and discuss the news of the day, and I said 
to them quietly, that on such a day I intended to move 
' Ase's ' barn, and I wanted them to turn out and help me 
and invite their friends. That there would be plenty of 
lemonade for all, and I would see there was plenty of stick 
in it to suit their taste ; and if they came I would see they 
had a good time. 

" When the day arrived the clans began to gather ; there 
was not only enough to move the building, but a goodly 
number to spare. There was Silas Randall and two or 
three of his boys, Avery Burdick, Russel Rounds, Jencks 
Harrington, Uriah Morris, and many others vrhose names 
I cannot recall ; most of whom have long since gone to their 
final reward. They were honest and faithful men, good and 
generous neighbors, and every one of them fond of good 
cheer and of the sports of that age. 



SPAFFORD, ONONDAGA COUNTY, NEW YORK 35 

" As I began to mix my first pail of lemonade, Silas Ran- 
dall sang out : " Well, boys, if we are going to move that 
building let us be about it," and all hands following his 
lead and moved off for the barn. By the time the last man 
had moved out of the store I had my lemons, sugar and water 
in the pail, and I went down cellar and drew a generous 
measure of alcohol, and added that to the other ingredients 
in the pail ; I then started for the barn. When I got there 
I saw that Silas Randall was in charge and every man in 
his place, so I carefully put my lemonade where all could 
see it and returned to the store. On my return I took down 
another large milk pail and commenced my second decoction 
of lemons, sugar, water and alcohol. As I pursued my work 
I looked out of the store window and saw that the barn 
was not only moving, but seemed to be walking to its place 
of destination. When I had prepared my second pail of 
lemonade I again started for the moving. On the way I 

met M M- , who accosted me, saying: " Mac! there 

seems to be plenty of help without me, so I guess I will go 
home and hoe my potatoes. I did not get any of the other 
lemonade, and if you are willing, I would like a bit of this.' 
I put down the pail, and he took the tin dipper and took up 
a generous draught of the beverage. As he put it to his 

lips, I said : ' M , be careful, there is a stick in that and 

I don't know the size of it.' He either did not hear the 
remark, or did not heed the caution, and quaffed off the 
contents of the dipper without a halt, and started for home. 

M M and his wife were at that time well known 

church members and professed strict teetotalers, hence my 
caution; which I would not have deemed necessary for 
others. When I arrived at the building it was nearly in 
place, so I put down the pail, stood around and looked on. 
Before the building, with his back to the front, stood the 
tall form of Silas Randall, with his bare brawny arms 
gesticulating like a bandmaster. ' Here, take hold of this 
plank, Avery, and put it dow^i here. Take hold of that 
handspike, Nathan. Russel Rounds, come round here and 
help William,' sang out his clear voice, and then: 'Ail 
together. He! Hoe! Hee! He! Hoe! Hee and the 
building moved like a creature of life. It did not take long 
to put the barn in place, and then came the jacking up of 
the building and the leveling of the sills. There was no 



30 ONONDAGA HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION 

use for me, so I started back for the store. As I walked 

along- 1 looked do\\Ti the road and saw Mrs. M , with her 

sunbonnet in her hand, coming towards me as fast as she 
could walk. When she overtook me she said : ' Mac, what 

has M been doing up here to-day?' I said: * Nothing; 

there was sufficient without him, so he went home. Why?' 
She replied : * I never saw him act so before. He came 
home, took his hoe and went into the patato patch, and there 
he stood leaning on it. The moment he tried to do any- 
thing, he pitched forward and could hardly keep his feet; 
I did not know Y\^hat was the matter.' I said : ' He is not 
to blame, if any one is it is me ; but no one is to blame. I 
told him there was a stick in the lemonade, but I guess he 
did not understand it. You go home, put him to bed, and 
he will sleep it off by morning. Don't say anything to any- 
one about it. He is all right.' She turned around and went 

home. As M lived afterwards to a good old age I guess 

the lemonade did him no haiTti. 

" Aftei- the moving was completed the young folks gath- 
ered on the village green and played ball, and the old folks 
looked on and applauded the winners. At tea time all went 
home, feeling that they had a good time. No one seemed 
to be worse for having drank of the lemonade with a stick 
in it." 

DANIEL WALLACE, JR. 

This brief sketch of first settlers would be incomplete 
without some reference to the large, influential and respect- 
able Wallace family, who were inhabitants of the northern 
portion of the town. Daniel Wallace, Sr., the head of the 
family, came from Pittstown, Rensselaer County, New 
York, and settled on Lot 88, Marcellus, about 1808. He had 
a large family, some of whom were born before coming here 
and some afterwards. They were all persons of marked 
character, but possibly none of his sons were better known 
than his son Daniel Wallace, Jr., who at one time was one 
of the largest real estate holders in town. " Uncle 
Daniel," as the latter was familiarly called, died at a 
great age and was buried in Borodino Cemetery. He 
always claimed his family was of Scotch origin, but the 
old stock spelled the name Wallis in a very un-Scottish way. 
Uncle Daniel took great interest in town affairs, and his 



SPAFFORD, ONONDAGA COUNTY, NEW YORK 37 

neighbors early discovered the neecssity of consulting his 
wishes in such matters. Political questions were of vital 
importance to him, and all measures submitted to public 
vote usually received his cordial support or unyielding 
opposition. He was a lifelong Democrat, and like most 
members of that party, was generally opposed to new inno- 
vations, or so called reform movements. He firmly believed 
in the right of every man to think and act for himself in 
relation to religious and political questions, and therefore 
rebelled against all restaints in such matters. When the 
temperance movement was first advocated it met his deter- 
mined opposition; and v^^hen local option as to the sale of 
intoxicating liquors become a question of town politics he 
was furious, and threw his strength with the License Party. 
There are some still living v/ho well remember the bitter 
fight which Uncle Daniel and his followers put up in the 
Special Election, held April 27, 1847, when the question of 
License or No License was first determined by vote of the 
town. The Liquor, or License men, turned out early and 
strong, and during the fore part of the day it looked as if 
the question was going their way, and Uncle Daniel was 
happy, but in the afternoon the other side had their inn- 
ings, and the question was finally determined in favor of 
the No License men, by a vote of 181 to 171. This was too 
much for Uncle Daniel and for years afterwards he did not 
forget the leaders of the men who were opposed to him in 
this movement. 

Uncle Daniel was a thrifty and prosperous farmer and 
at one time raised many turkeys for the Syracuse market. 
In the Fall of the year it was not uncommon, at evening 
time, to see turkeys roosting on the fences and trees for 
a quarter of a mile on either side of his house; and at 
Thanksgiving Syracuse was made happy by the luscious 
character of his birds, and Uncle Daniel was enriched by 
Syracuse silver received in return. The frequent reoccur- 
rence of these annual visits to Syracuse obtained for him 
the sobriquet of " Turkey Wallace," a name which he bore 
to the time of his decease. 

Uncle Daniel had a large, intelligent and respectable 
family of children whom, for reasons best known to him- 
self, he named after distinguished notables and royal per- 
sonages which attracted his attention, as follows : " Simon 



38 ONONDAGA HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION 

Bolivar, Napoleon Bonaparte, Santa Anna, Maria An- 
toinette, Demetrius Ypsilanti, and Andrew Jackson." 
Andrew Jackson was a name particularly to his liking, for 
the first of that name having died young, he named a second 
after that distinguished character in American history. 

SCHOOLS. 

Like other communities settled by New England people, 
the first settlers in town had hardly put their things to 
rights in their log cabins before they organized schools and 
churches. The first school teacher at Spafford " Corners " 
was Hannah Weston, who came from her home in Skan- 
eateles Village and returned to it vv^eekly. on horseback ; the 
road through the wilderness between the two places not 
permitting of any other mode of travel. This school, the 
beginning of District School No. 2, was taught in a log 
cabin, standing near the present residence of Nathan Ran- 
dall, two doors south of Roundy's store in 1900. Miss 
Weston was born in Fitz William, N. H., September 22, 
1786, and came to Skaneateles with her parents before 1800, 
among the first settlers in that village. It was while teach- 
ing that school she made the acquaintance of Captain Asahel 
Roundj% v.ith whom she was afterwards united in marriage, 
January 19, 1809. 

The school thus organized was continued for a short time 
at the place where it was first instituted, but soon after, 
as a compromise between the patrons residing on the tv/o 
main thoroughfares running north and south through this 
portion of the to^vn, a building specially designed for school 
purposes was erected on " The Hill," a quarter of a mile or 
more east of the " Corners," on a cross road leading from 
one to the other of these two leading highways. 

The first two or three generations of village boj^s and 
girls who attended school on " The Hill,' have many reminis- 
cences to relate in reference to these times, pleasant and 
otherwise. We imagine, however, that none of them were 
ever exactly satisfied with that location for a school house. 
In the Summer it was dreary, nearly half a mile from any 
residence, and in Winter it was the bleakest and windiest 
place on earth. The cold northwest wind, coming over 
Skaneateles Lake, had a free and unobstructed sweep of 
twenty miles or more, and struck the school building fair 



SPAFFORD, ONONDAGA COUNTY, NEW YORK 39 

and square in its full strength and vigor. In looking back 
to those days we only wonder why the building was not 
blown av/ay. It took many cords of three foot wood to 
feed that old box stove, in use at that time, to keep the 
boys and girls in comfort on the back seats and their ink 
stands from freezing. Every scholar had to carry a dinner 
pail in those days, the noon hour being too short to permit 
going to the nearest house for the mid-day meal. In Winter 
the east and west road between the school house and village 
was always drifted full, so it was imperative for teams and 
pedestrians to pass through the open fields, in going from 
one to the other of these places. Then there were many 
other objections to this location for a school house that a 
pupil could allege, besides those already noted, and not least 
of these was the fact, that it was altogether too near a fine 
old grove of beech woods, which was just opposite of the 
school house grounds. Teaching school in those times was 
very much like driving oxen; it was attended with much 
talking and a dextrouse use of a beech gad. We doubt if 
there is any boy living or dead, who attended school on 
" The Hill," who has not a score of vows registered in High 
Heavens to " lick " some teacher who taught in that old 
Tiouse, " as soon as he got big enough to do the job." There 
was something in the very air of that old school house to 
make a schoolmaster " whale ' a boy ; and so far as heard 
from there were no exceptions to the rule in teachers. 

About 1824 or 1825 the first school building accidentally 
(?) burned and the boys and girls were happy. But the 
time was not then ripe for a change, so a new building was 
promptly erected on the old site to replace the old one. 
During the interim school was continued in Webster's barn, 
then standing a few rods east of the village cemetery. The 
second building was used for school purposes until about 
1860, when a new generation of fathers having come in 
povfer, a new building was erected just south of the Corners, 
where school has been taught ever since. 

Among the pleasing incidents which occurred at school 
on the hill was the raising of a flag and pole. At a Summer 
term the small boys had under discussion the subject of 
pole and flag, when the school mistress good naturedly 
observed, that if they would erect the pole she would furnish 
the flag. This put the youngsters to work, and very soon, 



40 ONONDAGA HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION 

with the aid of their friends, the pole was in place, obligat- 
ing the teacher to perform on her part. In her dilemma 
she engaged the services of the village wagon maker, who 
professed knowledge on the subject of flags, to furnish the 
article required. At the time appointed the flag was pro- 
duced; it consisted of a strip of white cotton cloth striped 
with paint in all colors of the rainbow, and on the field, 
where stars usually are placed, instead appeared this motto : 
" What man has done, man can do again. No. 2 will try 
it." 

The flag was a grievous failure, for v/hen hoisted to 
the top of the pole, like any piece of oil cloth, v;hich in fact 
it was, it would not float in any zephyrs known to Spafford 
Hills. Yet, the motto was there and made an indelible 
impression, which we trust will endure as long as a scholar 
of that old school shall survive to repeat the sentiment. 

In April and May, 1813, the original tov*Ti of Spafford 
was divided into five school districts, very much as now, 
with the exception of the Spafford Hollow district, which 
was then included in, and afterwards taken from, the Cold 
Brook district. The Nunnery district was then designated 
as No. 1, Spafford Corners as No, 2, East Side Hill as No. 
3, Cold Brook as No. 4, and the Noi*th district, sometimes 
called the Woodworth District, as No. 5. 

From time to time subsequent to this first school order, 
slight changes were made in district lines to accommodate 
patrons of these schools ; and from time to time, to meet the 
wants of school children, new districts were created out of 
old ones, or discontinued, as the exigencies of the times 
seemed to require. Among the changes made which seem 
worthy to be noted are the following: 

In 1817 School District No. 2 was divided by a line drawn 
east and west though the center of Lot 31, Tully. and the 
southern portion created into a new district, known as No. 
6. The next year (1818) Ripley Hill was taken from 
School District No. 4, and, after a separate existence as 
School District No. 7 for a short time, was finally dissolved 
in 1821, and its territory added to School District No. 6. 
In this district school was first taught in a log house which 
stood west of the highway on Lot 41, Tully, just south ot 
Prindle's Woods. In 1831 a new frame building was 
erected east of the same highway and at its junction with 



SPAFFORD, ONONDAGA COUNTY, NEW YORK 4| 

a cross road south of Barker's house, leading to Ripley 
Hill. In the latter building school was continued until 
the Spring of 1850, when this district was dissolved and 
its territory re-annexed to School District No. 2. At this 
time the school building was sold, moved to Spafford 
Corners and re-modeled into a dwelling house, lately occu- 
pied by Alexander Green. This house is now the first 
house south of Roundy's store, on the west of the highway. 

In January, 1824, after a protracted controversy among 
the patrons of School District No. 3, over the location ol 
a new school building, that district by order of the School 
Com.missioners was divided into two districts numbered 
3 and 1, but in 1835 the latter was dissolved and its terri- 
tory re-annexed to School District No. 3. 

In 1831, after the annexation of a portion of the town- 
ship of Marcellus to the original town of Spafford in the 
prior year, the schools then existing in the new territory 
were recognized and re-numbered, so as to make their 
numbers consecutive in order with those then existing in 
this town. There have been some changes in these school 
districts since that time, owing principally to changes in 
town lines by acts of the Legislature of the State of New 
York, so there are now in the Marcellus end of the town, 
three full districts instead of seven, as at the beginning 
of 1831. 

In addition to the schools above enumerated there have 
always been joint districts, supported by this and adjoining 
to^\^ls, notably the Scott and Ripley Hill District, and the 
school in Spafford Hollow, supported by the towns of 
Spafford, Otisco and Tully. 

It seems unnecessary to add that these schools have been 
for years free schools, supported by public tax, are under 
the general supervision of State authorities, and, like all 
schools of the State, are justly commended for their 
excellence and efficiency. 

CHURCHES AND LIBRARIES. 

One of the oldest churches in the County of Onondaga is 
that of the Baptist Church at Thorn Hill, which was organ- 
ized largely through the instrumentality of Elder Elias 
Hamion, its first pastor, who came to this town and settled 
on Lot 77 or 76, Marcellus, on or before February 25, 1801. 



42 ONONDAGA HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION 

The first records of this church are dated April 19, 1806, 
but the general belief is that the organization of the church 
preceded that date. The incorporation of the society under 
the name of " First Baptist Religious Society of Marcellus," 
took place May 7, 1815, when the church building was 
begun, and at which time Alexander Enos, Elijah Cody, 
John Wiltsey, Medad Harvey, Joshua Chandler and John 
Hunt, were made trustees. It is probable that the church 
building was completed in 1816; prior to which time church 
services were held in school houses and private residences. 
The names of Nathan Thompson, Amasa Sessions, John Ten 
Ej'-cke and Charles Nichols were additional names mentioned 
in said letters of incorporation, which were recorded in 
Onondaga County Clerk's Office in Miscellaneous Records, 
Book " D," page 2, etc., April 4, 1816. 

The following account of said society is taken, corrected, 
and adapted from Israel Parsons, M. D.'s, Centennial 
Address delivered at the Village of Marcellus, New York, 
July 4, 1876. 

" The materials concerning the Baptist Church at Thorn 
Hill were taken from a manuscript history of that church 
prepared by Elder Hatch in 1867, during his pastorate of 
that church. At the date of the first records of the church 
on April 19, 1806, Elder Elias Harmon was pastor, and 
the following were among the most active male members; 
Amasa Sessions, Amasa Kneeland, John Kneeland, Warren 
Kneeland, Jesse Manley, Chauncey Deming, Nathan Thomp- 
son, and Joshua Chandler. 

The following is a list of the early pastors of this churcn : 

Elias Harmon 1805 (or earlier) to Feb., 1816 

Salmon Morton Aug., 1816 to Aug., 1818 

Jesse B. Worden Nov., 1816 to Mar., 1835 

W. Benjamin Capron Mar., 1835 to Mar., 1840 

Thomas Brown Apr., 1840 to Feb., 1848 

A. R. Palmer Feb., 1848 to Dec, 1849 

Sylvester Gardner Spring, 1850 to May, 1851 

William Wilkins May, 1851 to Mar. 1852 

Jno. Baldwin June, 1853 to Sept., 1854 

Alexander Milne Mar., 1855 to Mar., 1857 

Hiram Powers _ Mar., 1857 to Mar., 1858 

Thomas Bowen Apr., 1858 to June, 1858 

the date of his decease. 



SPAFFORD, ONONDAGA COUNTY, NEW YORK 43 

J. N. Seeley _ Dec, 1858 to Nov., 1860 

William Roney May, 1861 to May, 1864 

E. B. Hatch Apr., 1865 

(The latter was pastor when this record was made.) 

" From the org-anization of the church to September, 1867, 
(when the record was made) a period of sixty-two years, 
there had been united to it by baptism five hundred ana 
twenty-tvv'O, and by letter three hundred and eight. 

Elder Worden's pastorate was the longest, eighteen years, 
and Elder Hatch says was the period of the Church's 
greatest prosperity. He preached two thousand sermons, 
attended two hundred funerals, and solemnized one hundred 
and twenty marriages. Over four hundred were taken into 
the church during that time. 

Dr. Jonathan Kneeland is quoted as saying : " The Baptist 
Church at Thorn Hill was built fifty-nine years ago, and 
previous meetings were held in school houses. Elder Jesse 
B. Worden preached to the people from the high pulpit of 
this church, standing on one leg, (not Worden but the 
pulpit), for about 18 years, when he went to Montrose, 
Pennsylvania, where he died. He was Captain of Volun- 
teers in the War of 1812. His church salary was $250.00 
per year, one-fifth in cash, and the balance in produce, prin- 
cipally corn and wheat, the former at three shillings and 
the latter at six shillings per bushel." 

Dr. Kneeland is further quoted as saying : '' Elder Morton 
will be long remembered for his strong Calvinistic sermons." 
" Elder Harmon moved to Chautauqua County, N. Y,, and 
many of his sons became men of mark." Hon. Sidney 
Smith says " Elder Morton died and was buried at Thorn 
Hill." He " died January 22, 1822, in his 55th year and 
the 23rd of his ministry," according to the inscription on 
his tombstone at Thorn Hill. 

A public library was instituted and incorporated at Thorn 
Hill, February 12th, 1811, at a gathering of twenty or more 
people at the residence of John Hunt. The name of the 
society v/as entitled as " The Harmonical Library," and the 
following were chosen as its first trustees : Elias Harmon, 
Thomas King, Amasa Sessions, Jeduthan Lamb, Jesse Copp, 
Lewis Smith and Amasa Kneeland. 

The good results flowing from the establishment of this 
church and library at Thorn Hill at such an early date are 



44 ONONDAGA HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION 

noteworthy and can be seen and felt in that rural community 
even to this day. Dr. Parsons, in speaking of the Thorn 
Hill community says : " More of her sons and daughters 
have entered the literary field than is usual in that amount 
of population. Besides others that I have mentioned as 
having become statesmen in the Great West, the following 
have been mem.bers of the New York Legislature one or 
more times : Daniel Baxter, S. S. Kneeland, Sidney Smith, 
Charles R. Vary and Lewis Smith (three times) ; the last 
also once held the office of Sheriff of the County of Onon- 
daga." It is to be regretted that Dr. Parsons did not 
mention the names of others who grew up in this Thorn 
Hill community subject to the influence of this Church and 
Public Library, and who have gone forth to make an honor- 
able record for themselves in the learned professions and 
in the business pursuits of the world. Among others be- 
sides those already named, who should be mentioned in this 
connection are the names of William Smith, who became 
a lawyer, college graduate, and successful business man, 
but who died early of asiatic cholera; Stephen and Job L. 
Smith, two college graduates and distinguished physicians; 
Stella Kneeland, missionary to India ; Amasa Spencer Knee- 
land, Baptist minister; Hon. A. Judson Kneeland, lawyer; 
Dr. Jonathan Kneeland, a distinguished physician of Onon-- 
daga County from whose comments on Thorn Hill people 
we have already quoted; Horace Kneeland, sculptor; John 
Sessions, a lawyer of Brooklyn, New York ; Alonzo Sessions, 
Lieutenant Governor of the State of Michigan, Member of 
the State Legislature, and also of the State Constitutional 
Convention of the latter State, and a Bank President and 
successful business man ; two or more of Elder Harmon's 
boys whose names are not known, also attained eminence in 
professional and business life ; and undoubtedly many others 
whose names are unknown to the writer. It is much to be 
regi-etted that the moral influence of this church, the incen- 
tive to study and to higher literarj'- attainments emanating 
from this public libraiy established at such an early date 
cannot be better told and described at this writing. 

On the 25th day of August, 1829, a religious society was 
incorporated in the Village of Borodino under the name 
of the " P'irst Religious Society of the Village of Borodino,* 
of which Merrit Leonard, John Baxter, Dyer Coe, Charles 



SPAFFORD, ONONDAGA COUNTY, NEW YORK 41 

Vary, Benjamin Trumbull and Ira Coe were the first 
trustees. George Dickson, Jr., John H. Fargo and Ransom 
Howard were additional names mentioned in said letters of 
incorporation. This society, according to statements made 
by Simon B. Wallace, built a church building in which 
services were held for a number of years, and owing to 
want of membership was finally abandoned as a place of 
worship ; the building has since been occupied and used as 
a towTi hall and a place for public gatherings in the Village 
of Borodino. 

October 18, 1853, the Methodist people in Borodino and 
that vicinity who prior to that date had been meeting in 
the school house and other places met and were duly incor- 
porated under the name of the " Borodino Methodist Epis- 
copal Church," with Isaac Harris, William Hayford, Isaac 
Morrell, Charles Ferry and William Cowan as its first board 
of trustees. Mr. S. B. Wallace says, this society at the time 
of its incorporation purchased a church building in the 
Village of Skaneateles, took it down, and rebuilt it in this 
village where it stands to-day and is still used as a church 
building by this society. This society and the M. E. Society 
at Spafford " Corners " have for many years been presided 
over by a minister assigned to them by the M. E. Conference 
of this district as one charge ; the minister residing formerly 
at Spafford Corners, but latterly in the Village of Borodino. 
Like most country religious societies neither of these two 
Methodist societies have the power and influence that they 
once had. 

The members of the Methodist Episcopal Church in 
Spafford Hollow were incorporated on the 5th day of March, 
1834, under the name of " The Spafford Hollow Methodist 
Episcopal Society," and Wliliam O'Farrell, Esq., David B. 
Boutell, Elias Jacobs, Jonas Terbush and Isaac Smith were 
chosen the first Board of Trustees. The same year a church 
edifice was built on the following described real estate, 
which was conveyed to said Board of Trustees by Isaac 
Smith and wife Lucy, on the 9th of January, 1835, as 
follows: Being part of Lot 23, Tully, and bounded on the 
east by the highway running northerly and southerly 
through said lot and Hollow — on the south by a cross road 
running easterly and westerly across said Hollow, and unit- 
ing with said first highway — and on the west and north by 



46 ONONDAGA HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION 

parallel lines to said two highways so as to contain said 
church edifice and one-half acre of land. The Spafford 
Hollow Cemetery is located only a short distance from this 
church. Among the early active members of this church 
society were the O'Farrells, Boutells, Jacobs and Smith 
families, and the family of Benejah Cleveland. Since these 
families have died out or moved away the active spirit of 
the church has been much impaired. 

About fifty years ago the Methodist Episcopal Society of 
Cold Brook built a church building, opposite the Cold Brook 
Cemeterj'-, but no articles of incorporation have ever been 
filed or recorded in the Clerk's Office of Onondaga County, 
and no deed of conveyance has ever been recorded granting 
the church lands to any Board of Trustees, although these 
lands have been excepted on one or two occasions from 
deeds granting surrounding lands. Among the active 
church members of this society in former years were the 
families of Justus N. Knapp, the Churchills, Tafts, Maxons, 
and Crosleys. The present state of this society is not 
known. 

A Baptist Church Society at Spafford Corners was incor- 
porated under the name of " Spafford Baptist Society," 
March 21st, 1817, in which John Babcock, John Hutchens, 
Asahel Roundy, Amos Palmer, and John Knapp were named 
as trustees, but the society never had any church building, 
or left any records, except these articles of incorporation. 
What is supposed to be the same society was afterwards 
re-incorporated on the 7th day of May, 1838, with Phineas 
Hutchens, Cornelius Williamson and Samuel French as 
trustees, and Asahel Roundy and John C. Harrington also 
named in said Articles of Incorporation. This society 
under its re-incorporation built a church building in the 
year 1839, which was dedicated January 8, 1840. Among 
the stated ministers who presided over this church were 
Elders Benjamin Andrews and Alanson Boughton. After 
a season of prosperity and usefulness this society went into 
decline and finally failed for want of membership. The 
church building was sold in 1860 to Uriah Roundy, Esq., 
who converted it into a store for the sale of general mer- 
chandise, and it is now in use for that purpose on the old 
church site at the " Corners." 

This church edifice was, during the early forties, the 



SPAFFORD, ONONDAGA COUNTY, NEW YORK 4? 

scene of a remarkable disputation between the two resident 
ministers of the Methodist and Baptist denominations, on 
the subject of baptism by immersion as an essential saving 
ordinance. People came from far and near to attend these 
meetings, which continued for several days, and at the end, 
as usual in such controversial debates, both sides retired 
feeling that each had won a great victory over the other 
side. One thing is certain, baptism by immersion may 
have been efficacious in saving the members of this church 
from eternal damnation, for all or nearly all have gone to 
their final reward, yet it did not save the church buildings 
from subsequent desecration as a place of religious worship. 
On the 22nd day of August, 1829, a religious society was 
incorporated at Spafford " Corners " under the name of 
the " First Presbyterian Society in Spafford," and Erastus 
Barber, Ellis Taft, and Silas Cox were made trustees. 
Uriah Roundy, in speaking of this church society, says : " I 
have no knowledge of this society, and yet I knew all the 
men named in the Articles of Incorporation. Erastus 
Barber resided at the head of the Buck Tail road where Sey- 
mour Norton subsequently resided; he was once a Member 
of Assembly in the New York Legislature in this State. 
This society never had any meeting house, and must have 
* died a borning.' " 

MORMON EXODUS. 

At an early period in the history of this town there were 
a number of persons residing here who were known as Free 
Will Baptist, and were presided over by Elder John Gould, 
who resided in a log house standing east of the Homer road, 
on Lot 31, Tully, near the present residence of Mrs. Norton, 
widow of Erastus Norton. This society was duly incor- 
porated December 13, 1825, with James Avery, Shadrack 
Roundy, Thomas Smith, John Lawrence, Rogers Ide and 
Alexander R. Jackson as its first board of trustees. At the 
meeting held for the purpose of incorporation, Daniel 
Owen, a soldier of the Revolution, presided as Chairman, 
and James Smith acted as Secretary. In the year 1828, 
this society built a church building on the hill east of Spaf- 
ford Corners, adjoining district school house No. 2, on 
premises conveyed to it by Asahel Roundy and Hannah, his 
wife, February 12, 1828. The Board of Trustees at that 



48 ONONDAGA HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION 

time were Roswell Prindle, Shadrack Roundy, James Avery 
and Zerah Pulsifer. At this time this was the only church 
building in this portion of the town, the society had a large 
and respectable membership, and the church gave promise 
of a long and useful career, but about 1832 or 1833 it was 
struck bj^ a proselyting wave from the newly discovered 
Mormon religion, and a large share of its membership, 
under the lead of its pastor. Elder Gould, were carried from 
the fold of the church into the embraces of the nev/ faith. 
Among those who are said to have severed their connection 
with the church at this time, sold their possessions in town, 
were rebaptized into the new faith, and who departed from 
this State with the Mormons' movement, were the follow- 
ing: Elder John Gould, Zerah Pulsifer, and his brother 
Daniel Pulsifer, Shadrack Roundy and Uriah Roundy, his 
brother, Elias Humphrey, Mayhew Hillman, James Oliver, 
Mr. Ensign, and Mr. Cheeney and their several families; 
also Mrs. Maxson, Miss Maria Ripley and Miss Maria 
Brown. Som.e of these people separated themselves from 
the Mormon movement, on or before the Nauvoo incident, 
which resulted in the death of Joseph Smith, the Prophet, 
and settled in the Great West; among whom were Elder 
Gould, Uriah Roundy and Maria Ripley; but the greater 
number of them finally settled in Salt Lake City, where 
their descendants remain to this day. It was not possible 
for this church to recover from this exodus of membership 
into a movement like this, so the church went quickly into 
decline. After the church building had stood open for a 
long time to the weather and been a place where cattle in 
the fields had found shelter, it was finally sold in the early 
forties to Captain Asahel Roundy, who moved it near the 
Homer road, south of the " Corners," and converted it into 
the dwelling house lately occupied by Seymour Norton. 

When this building was first erected, the frame being a 
large and heavy one, nearly every person in town turned 
out and assisted in the " raising." After the plates and 
rafters were in place, as was common in those times, one of 
the men assisting climbed up, and standing on the upper 
plate in his stocking feet, broke a bottle of whiskey upon it, 
dubbing the building " God's Barn." This at the time 
raised a great laugh, but many in after years recalled the 
prophetic character of the incident. 



SPAFFORD, ONONDAGA COUNTY, NEW YORK 49 

Maria Brown, named above among the Mormon prose- 
lytes, was a daughter of Judge Brown, of Scott, N. Y., and 
a sister of Porter Brown, a present resident of that place. 
After leaving Spafford she married Elder Ward, a Mormon 
leader, and finally settled in Salt Lake City, Utah, where 
she remained for several years, but ultimately renounced 
MoiTnonism and returned to the States, where she wrote and 
published, in 1857, the work entitled " Female Life Among 
the Mormons." 

The following are condensed extracts from that work 
relating to Spaif ord people, and incidents which occurred in 
this town. " My early life was passed in that beautiful and 
picturesque region which borders Skaneateles Lake, in the 
State of New York. Circumstances over which I had no 
control determined me to abandon my home and pivately 
visit relatives of my mother, who were living near Albany. 
For that purpose I left the house of A J (Alex- 
ander R. Jackson, a member of the Free Will Baptist 
Church?) residing in Spafford ,Onondaga County, New 
York, and took the stage for Utica in the same State. Hold- 
ing a conversation with a middle age gentleman in the stage, 
(Elder Ward her future husband), I said: Many people of 
my acquaintance in Scott and Spafford have embraced 
Mormonism. There was a family in Cold Brook by the 
name of Cheeney, suggested the man. " Yes," I answered, 
" Mr, Cheeney's family were considered very fine people, 
were members of the Free Will Baptist Church, and the 
Pulsifers too ; Pulsifer, the " Swamp Angel," (Uriah Roundy 
says the "Swamp Angel" was a Mr. Ensign instead of Pul- 
sifer) , and I burst into a laugh. There were two families 
by the name of Pulsifer, both believers in Mromon. A 
child died in one of these families, and the Mormons gave 
out that on a certain night an Angel would come and carry 
the body to Heaven. The time appointed arrived, the rela- 
tives of the child were assembled, when a figure in white 
and with small bells attached to its garments, appeared. 
A party of unbelievers lying in ambush immediately gave 
chase. The figure ran for the neighboring swamp, but was 
pursued, taken and stripped of its angelic robes, and proved 
to be Pulsifer, the uncle of the deceased child." 

" False," said my companion. 

" I assure you it was the truth, I continued, and poor 



50 ONONDAGA HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION 

old Mr. Humphrey was deceived by them too. The old 
man was determined to be right if possible. He was first 
a member of the Free Will Baptist; then he joined the 
Seventh Day Baptist, left them, and was baptized to the 
faith and order of Momion; subsequently, he deserted the 
Mormons and united with the Baptist again, and then finally 
returned to the Mormons, by whom he was dipped seven 
times in succession, on account of his apostacy. He re- 
mained faithful to them after that, but always observed 
the Seventh Day. 

"Were you ever acquainted with Elder Gould?" he 
inquired. 

" I have seen him, he used to preach in Spafford." 

" He did and with great acceptability, yet he joined the 
Mormons. 

" And poor Mrs. Maxson was induced to leave her husband 
and children and go with them ; and Maria Ripley, a young 
woman, left her aged and infirm parents and went off, too. 

" My companion informed me that his name was Ward, 
and that he was a man of property and a widower with two 
children, that he was well acqufiinted with many people in 
Scott, my native place, and had frequently heard the name 
of my father mentioned as a citizen of exalted reputation." 

About the time of the Mormon exodus a Mrs. Gale, the 
wife of a respected citizen of Spafford, was a subject of 
" second sight," frequently saw visions, and claimed to hold 
daily intercourse with the spirits of her departed friends; 
on one of these occasions she saw and conversed with the 
departed spirit of a Mrs. Mapes, who exacted a promise on 
her part to intercede in behalf of her two young lady daugh- 
ters, whom she exclaimed, were in danger of ruin by the 
improper influence over them of Elder John Gould, Pastor 
of the Free Will Baptist Church. This delicate duty Mrs. 
Gale discharged by entering the church, during divine 
service, and in the persence of the worshippers denounced 
the conduct of their pastor in reference to the Mapes girls. 

Mrs. Gale, afterwards describing her experience on this 
occasion, said : " For several days after being charged by 
the spirit mother with this delicate task, I was greatly 
oppressed and wished to escape the duty, but when I entered 
the church door my burden rolled away, and as I opened my 
mouth, language came freely, and a calmness came over my 



SPAPFORD, ONONDAGA COUNTY, NEW YORK 51 

feeling, such as I had been a stranger to since I first saw 
and was charged by the spirit of Mrs. Mapes. 

Uriah Roundy, Esq., in speaking of Elder John Gould 
when pastor of this church, said he was once tried by a 
church tribunal in this old church building, for alleged 
improper conduct on his part in kissing Mrs. Alexander R. 
Jackson, one of the parishioners of the church, and humor- 
ously explains that after a long and protracted trial, he 
was finally acquitted, because the church tribunal was 
unable to determine from the evidence whether the alleged 
kiss was a " carnal or spiritual one." 

SHADRACK ROUNDY. 

The following abbreviated sketch of Shadrack Roundy, 
and his two sons Lorenzo and Jared, was taken from a more 
extended account written by Elizabeth D. Roundy, wife of 
Jared, 

" Shadrack Roundy resided in the town of Spafford, New 
York, where he heard of the Revelations of God to Joseph 
Smith, and embraced the Gospel as taught by Our Lord and 
Saviour Jesus Christ. Soon after he moved to Pennsyl- 
vania, and from thence to Kirtland, Ohio, where he assisted 
in building a temple to the Most High. 

" After receiving blessings and ordinations, he went from 
there to Caldwell County, Missouri, where he received a 
Commission as Captain of a Company of fifty. He was 
afterwards made Captain of Police, and also chosen aide 
de camp to Lieutenant General Joseph Smith, in the Nauvoo 
Legion. About this time he became a member of General 
Smith's life and body guard. After the Nauvoo persecu- 
tions he was chosen one of the pioneers to search for a new 
home, and subsequently was appointed Major and Presi- 
dent of the Second Division of Mormon Colonists that 
crossed the Plains. Arriving at Salt Lake City he was made 
Bishop of a Ward, elected a member of the first Legislature, 
and subsequently of the High Council. He was a man of 
influence among the people and stood high in the Council 
of Leaders of Latter Day Saints. He died in Salt Lake 
Citj^" 

LORENZO WESLEY ROUNDY. 

" Lorenzo Wesley Roundy, second son of Shadrack, was 



52 ONONDAGA HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION 

bom in Spafford, June 18, 1819, and shared all the hardships 
and vicissitudes of his parents, before arriving at Salt Lake 
City. At the latter place he was a member of the Nauvoo 
Legion, and took part in all the Indian Wars of the Mormon 
Colony. He was made Superintendent of the Co-operative 
Mercantile Institution at Kanarra, Iron County, Utah, was 
two or three times elected to the Legislature, was ordained 
Bishop in 1860, and finally made President of the Southern 
Colony of Mormons. He was drowned, crossing the Colo- 
rado River with a party of Mormon emigrants. May 24, 
1876." 

JARED CURTIS ROUNDY. 

" Jared Curtis Roundy, third son of Shadrack, was born 
in Spafford and moved with his parents to Salt Lake City. 
Like his brother Lorenzo, he also took part in all the Indian 
Wars, was at one time Sheriff of Summit County, was 
ordained Bishop of Wanship, and at one time was Justice 
of the Peace. He was a man of influence among the 
Mormons, and was generally respected by every one. He 
died in Arizona, May 21, 1895." 

HON. WASHINGTON ROUNDY. 

Hon. Washington Roundy, son of Uriah Roundy, was 
bom in the town of Spafford, September 26th, 1824, and 
left that place with his father during the Mormon exodus. 
After the Nauvoo incident his father separated from the 
main branch of the Mormon Church, renounced the doctrine 
of polygamy, and settled with his family at or near Man- 
teno, Iowa, where his son Washington grew to Manhood 
and became a man of wealth and prominence. By occupa- 
tion Washington Roundy became a farmer, and owned and 
managed a farm of over a thousand acres of land. He was 
a man of marked character and wielded a strong political 
influence in his adopted State; among other political offices 
held by him was Member of the Legislature of the State of 
Iowa. 

SPAFFORD UNION MEETING HOUSE. 

On the 14th day of April, 1838, a number of religious 
people of different denominational beliefs, met at the school 
house on the hill east of Spafford " Comers," for the pur- 



SPAFFORD, ONONDAGA COUNTY, NEW YORK 53 

pose of organizing a society, preliminary to building a 
church building at that place. At that meeting a consti- 
tution was adopted, which will explain the wants of the 
people and the purposes of the meeting better than any 
statement we can give on the subject. 

" CONSTITUTION OF THE SPAFFORD UNION MEETING HOUSE 

Society." 

" Whereas, we the subscribers, inhabitants of the town 
of Spafford, feeling desirous of having some suitable place 
for public worship, have resolved, at a public meeting held 
for that purpose on the 14th day of April, A. D., 1838, to 
form ourselves into a society called the ' Spafford Union 
Society,' of which society every person subscribing a sum 
shall be a member thereof, and own rights and privileges 
therein according to the amount so subscribed by such 
persons. The object of the society is to build and keep in 
repair a meeting house. Said meeting house shall be called 
the " Spafford Union Meeting House " and shall be situated 
at Spafford Comers, on a site where the blacksmith and 
wagon shop of G. Lewis now stands. Said shops are to 
be renoved and the site purchased by said Union Society. 
Said meeting house shall be finished off in a good work- 
manlike manner, on a plan to be adopted by a Committee 
to be appointed by the subscribers for that purpose. 

" There shall be Trustees appointed by the subscribers 
according to law, whose duty it shall be to see that said 
meeting house is kept in repair, and to transact all business 
appertaining to said Society. Said Trustees shall_ appor- 
tion the time of preaching among the several denommations 
in manner as follows, viz. : ^ , i 

" Every Gospel Denomination, a majority of whose male 
members who meet at Spafford Corners for public worship, 
and who may join in this Society, shall have the privilege 
of having stated preaching in said house. All other denom- 
inations shall be considered as transient preachers. Every 
Gospel Denomination shall have the privilege of preaching 
in said house ; but no transient preacher shall interfere with 
the stated preaching of any denomination, without the 
consent of such denomination. ivyr^^+;„^ 

" It is understood that whenever any Quarterly Meetmg 
Association or funeral is proposed to be held in said house, 



54 ONONDAGA HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION 

every denomination whose time the above mentioned meet- 
ing's shall encroach upon, shall give up that part of the time 
for use of such meeting. All rights owned by members of 
this Society shall be transferable. It is hereby understood 
that no denomination shall occupy more than an equal part 
of the time, provided the other societies, who are members 
of this Union, v/ish to occupy an equal part of the time. 

" This Constitution shall not be altered or amended with- 
out the consent of at least three-fourth of the subscribers." 

At a meeting held the 30th of April, 1838, for the pur- 
pose said Society was duly incorporated under the name of 
the " Spafford Union Society " and Joseph Bulfinch, John 
R. Lewis, Martin E. Knapp, Samuel Gale, Joseph Cole, 
Jacob W. Darling and John Collins were chosen its first 
Board of Trustees. At a subsequent meeting of the Board 
of Trustees, by ballot it determined that John R. Lewis 
and Samuel Gale should hold office for one year, Joseph 
Bulfinch and Jacob W. Darling for two years, and Joseph 
Cole, Martin E. Knapp and John Collins for three years. 

In the book of minutes of this Society, under date of 
April 30, 1838, when said Society was incorporated, is the 
following : 

'' Now for the purpose of carrying the foregoing plan, 
(meaning the constitution above quoted) into operation, 
We, the subscribers do hereby agree and bind ourselves 
to pay the sum set opposite our respective names, to the 
Trustees of said Union Society; one-half of the sum sub- 
scribed to be paid by the first day of January next, and the 
remainder to be paid one year from the first day of January 
next. 

Spafford, April 30, 1838. 

John Collins $ 100.00 

Thos. B. Anderson 50.00 

Joseph Cole 50.00 

Sylvanus N. Grout 50.00 

Gershom Lewis 50.00 

Joseph Bulfinch 75.00 

Alexander Hill 6.00 

John R. Lewis 100.00 

Easten Cole 100.00 

Silas Randall 25.00 

Russel M. Burdick 20.00 



Levi Hurlbnt $ 


25.00 


Russel Tinkham 


10.00 


John Baxter 


10.00 


Titus Haight 


5.00 


John Grout 


50.00 


Willard Doty 


15.00 


Edwin S. Edwards... 


10.00 


Timothy Owen 


5.00 


Moses Pressy 


5.00 


Samuel Gale 


20.00 


James Mellen 


5.00 



SPAFFORD, ONONDAGA COUNTY, NEW YORK 



55 



Odin Brown 


10.00 


Alonzo Sanford 


10.00 


Levi Applebee _ 


20.00 


Horace Pease _ 


10.00 


Isaac Day 


10.00 


John Fisher 


5.00 


John Harrington 


5.00 


James H. Norton 


10.00 


Hiram Mason 


5.00 


Orrin Town 


5.00 


Jonathan Ripley 


5.00 


Randall Palmer 


2.00 


John L. Ripley 


5.00 


Jonas TerBush 


3.00 


William Billings 


5.00 


Stephen Randall 


10.00 


Edward Scribens 


5.00 


John Ford 


5.00 


Lydius D. Whaley 


15.00 


Oliver S. Smith 


1.00 


Zebulon Davis 


2.00 


Nathan Palmer 


10.00 


Jonathan Johnson 


20.00 


Hiram W. Hays 


15.00 


Total 





Bezaleel W. Taft 

Peres Miner 

Nelson Isdell 

Martin E. Knapp 

Nelson Berry 

Whipple C. Har- 
rington 

Erastus Hays 

A. M. Roundy 

Benjamin Stanton ... 

Homan Barber 

Emily Barber 

Annis Barber 

Titus French 

Stephen Crane 

David T. Lyon 

Rufus Breed 

Phillip Fisher 

Elias Davis 

Leonard Melvin 

Franklin Smith 

Richard Gale 

Kortright Knapp ... 

Zara Berry 

John R. Connine 



2.00 

5.00 

1.50 

10.00 

18.00 

5.00 

10.00 

3.00 

25.00 

5.00 

2.00 

3.00 

3.00 

15.00 

20.00 

5.00 

15.00 

10.00 

2.00 

2.00 

5.00 

5.00 

10.00 

10.00 



$1,170.00 

In accordance with the suggestion made in the fore- 
going Constitution, Joseph Bulfinch, John R. Lewis, Mar- 
tin E. Knapp, Joseph Cole, Jacob W. Darling and John 
Collins, Trustees of Spafford Union Meeting House, re- 
ceived a deed from Gersham Lewis and Mehitable, his wife, 
oi one-quarter of an acre of land, known as the wagon 
and blacksmith shop of G. Lewis, bounded on the 
east and south, by the north and south highways, and 
on the north and west by lands of Joseph Cole. Said 
deed of conveyance was dated July 7, 1838, consideration 
$75.00, and acknowledged the same day before Daniel R. 
Robinson, Commissioner of Deeds, but not recorded. In 
the years 1838 and 1839 said Board of Trustees erected 
the present meeting house, on said lot, and had the same 
ready for occupation in the Spring of 1840. 



56 ONONDAGA HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION 

April 30, 1839, Russel M. Burdick and Lewis C. Davis 
were elected trustees of said Society, in the place of John R. 
Lewis and Samuel Gale, whose term of office had then 
expired. 

Under the date of April 30, 1840, the following entry, in 
the handwriting of Dr. John Collins, appears in the book 
of minutes of said Society: 

" At an annual meeting of the members of the Union 
Meeting House Society, held at the school house in District 
No. 2, pursuant to a legal notice, and adjourned to the 
Union Meeting House this 30th day of April, A. D., 1840, 
Joseph Cole was appointed Chairman and John Collins 
Secretary of said meeting. Then elected by ballot, Silas 
Randall and Benjamin Stanton to fill the vacancies of 
Joseph Bulfinch and Jacob W. Darling. The resignation of 
Lewis C. Davis was accepted and Solomon S. Rowe was 
elected to fill the vacancy. Thomas B. Anderson was 
unanimously elected salesman to sell slips in the Union 
Meeting House, pro tern. The following is a list of the 
purchasers, and number and price of slips purchased : 

Hiram Hayes No. 1, price $ 32.00 

Solomon S. Rowe " 2, " 32.00 

Gershom Lewis " 6, " 60.00 

Joseph Bulfinch " 32, " 110.00 

Easten Cole " 12, " 74.50 

Joseph Bulfinich " 16, " 60.00 

Moses Pressey " 44, " 31.75 

John R. Lewis " 11, " 70.00 

John R. Lewis " 8, " 70.00 

John R. Lewis " 30, " 95.00 

John Collins " 7, " 72.50 

John Collins " 33, " 95.00 

Russel M. Burdick " 18, " 51.00 

Zenos Tinkham " 3, " 50.00 

Silas Randall " 22, " 40.00 

Erastus Hays " 4 " 50.00 

Silas Randall " 20 " 45.00 

John Grout " 29, " 95.00 

Levi Hurlbut •' 34, " 95.00 

Samuel Gale " 17, " 50.00 

S. N. Grout " 35, " 90.00 

S. N. Grout " 15, " 60.00 



SPAFFORD, ONONDAGA COUNTY, NEW YORK 57 

Edwin S. Edwards " 13, " 70.00 

David T. Lyon " 5, " 60.00 

Lemuel Bessey " 36, " 90.00 

J. Johnson and A. Burdick " 19, " 46.75 

H. Anthony and J. H. Norton " 21, " 40.00 

Stephen Randall and R. Palmer " 43, " 31.00 

Homen Barber ; " 23, " 30.00 

A. Hill and Wm. L Skelley " 10, " 70.00 

Lewis C. Davis " 37, " 85.00 

Aaron Bro\m (half slips) " 39, " 70.00 

Jeremith Cotterell (one-half slip) " 38, " 85.00 

Hiram Mason (one-third slip) " 41, " 60.00 

W. Doty and M. E. Knapp " 14, " 70.00 

Henry S. Grinnell (one-third slip) " 28, " 85.00 

Stephen Crane (one-third slip) " 28, " 85.00 

John R. Lewis " 9, " 70.00 

Coomer Anthony (one-half slip) " 38, " 

Assignments. 

" John R. Lewis to Gersham Lewis, slip No. 9. 

John R. Lewis to Anson Churchell, one-half slip No. 12. 

Gershom Lewis to Abigail Stringham, slip No. 9. 

" Joseph Cole, Chairman. John Collins, Secretary." 

From a pencil memoranda made on the margin of the 
book of minutes of said Union Meeting House Society in 
the handwriting of John Collins, it appears there were 
twenty slips in the body of the meeting house and tewnty- 
four slips under the galleries on the sides of the house, 
making fortj^-four slips in all. 

In the book of minutes of this church society, in addition 
to the foregoing report, appears from year to year a brief 
statement of the results of the election of trustees. This 
brief record continues down to the year 1889, and there- 
after there is no record whatever. 

This church building has now stood for upwards of sixty 
years, and by reason of its substantial character bids fair 
to stand for sixty years more. It is now the only church 
building at the " Corners," or in that portion of the town 
in use for religious purposes. All denominations which 
formerly held religious services here have died out except 
the Methodist, and they are in the last period of dissolu- 
tion ; and still the people cherish with respect the old church 



S8 ONONDAGA HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION 

building-, and protect it from desecration and the insidious 
attack of the elements. All funeral services are held in 
this building, and occasionally divine services are .con- 
ducted here by a minister from the Borodino charge of the 
M. E. Church at that place. On these occasions the people 
attend irrespective of denominational belief. The word 
" Union " appears on the weather vane perched on top of 
the belfry of the church building, and well typifies the 
religious character of the people who have always wor- 
shipped in this old Meeting House. 

OTHER CORPORATIONS. 

A Society commonly known as the Farmers' Alliance, 
was organized in the Village of Borodino on the first day 
of January, 1871, and incorporated under the name of 
" Spafford Agricultural Society," with Dr. Van Dyke Tripp 
as President, Edwin A. Clark as Vice President, Simon B. 
Wallace as Recording Secretary, Aretus M. Legg as Corres- 
ponding Secretary, Otis Cross as Treasurer, and Jeremiah 
Olmsted, Orson B. Morton, Francis Ide, Albert E. Fulton, 
Moses P. Moule, and Samuel H. Stanton as Trustees. The 
following additional names are also mentioned in said 
articles of incorporation: Horace Prindle, H. L. Darling, 
Benjamin Monk, Ansel Grinnell, C. B. Morton, William N. 
Stone and Moses Crane. Mr. Uriah Roundy says there was 
some sort of insurance connected with this organization, 
but beyond this fact, and the general purpose indicated by 
its name, we have been unable to obtain any further infor- 
mation of this Society. 

" The Skaneateles Lake Park Company" was duly incor- 
porated December 4, 1888, with a capital stock of $30,000, 
and time limit of fifty years, to build a hotel building on 
Skaneateles Lake. In the Articles of Incorporation John 
E. Waller, John McNamara, Martin Fennell, William F. 
Gregory and Lewis B. Fitch, were named as first trustees. 
This corporation purchased " Ten Mile Point,' planted it 
with shade trees, built a steamboat dock, and put up a 
dancing pavilion ; but up to the present time have not erected 
a hotel building. Since this incorporation, the Skaneateles 
Railroad and Steamboat Company, of which this company 
is supposed to be an adjunct, has changed hands and is now 
owned or controlled by William K. Niver of Syracuse, New 



SPAFFORD, ONONDAGA COUNTY, NEW YORK f 9 

York ; the property of this corporation is supposed to have 
gone into the same control. Whether the hotel building 
proposed will ever be built or not is an uncertainty, depend- 
ing largely on the future of Skaneateles Lake as a place of 
summer resort. 

The " Borodino Creamery Company," with a capital of 
^3,000.00, was formed and incorporated February 16, 
1898, with Orrin I. Hayford, Marcus Patterson, Hiram A. 
Colton, Francis Ide, Frank Harvey and Edgar L. Bockes, 
as its first Board of Trustees. This creamery is located at 
Borodino Village, and is still in active operation and doing 
a prosperous business. 

Since the foregoing was written the capital stock for a 
new Creamery has been fully subscribed, the building of 
which is to be erected at Spafford Corners. 

MILLS, DISTILLERIES AND FURNACES. 

The first necessity of the early settler was a grist mill 
to grind his wheat and corn, a saw-mill to saw his lumber, 
and a carding and fulling mill to card his wool and prepare 
his cloth for domestic use. When he first penetrated the 
wilderness which enshrrouded these Spafford Hills, the 
brooks and streams, which to-day seem too insignificant 
to be of any practical use, were full and powerful and cap- 
able of turning the machinery necessary for the use of the 
v/heehvright, the sawyer and the clothier. Nearly as soon 
as the woodman's axe had made a clearing in the dense 
forests, then covering the land, and the early settler had 
erected his rude log cabin for the reception of his family, 
these useful conservators to his comfort and happiness 
sprang up along the principal brooks and streams; but as 
time progressed and the requirements of the people changed, 
these mills, once so useful, became no longer a necessity and 
went rapidly into decay. To-day the existence of most of 
them is unknown to the present occupants of the land. 

About the year 1805, Amos Miner built a factory on the 
west side of the Skaneateles and Homer Road, in what has 
since been known as " Factory Gulf,' for the manufacture 
of wheel-heads, used by farmers' wives in spinning woolen 
yarn. The water for this mill was conducted from a pond, 
well up stream, in a raceway along the northern bank of 
the gulf, to an overshot wheel at the factory building, 



60 ONONDAGA HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION 

standing just west of the hig-hway. Here Miner, in addi- 
tion to wheel-heads, made wooden pails, wooden bowls, half 
bushel and peck measures, and various other wooden articles 
useful for farmers and their wives. Four or five years after 
the factory was in successful operation. Miner sold out his 
interest in the wheelhead business, which was moved else- 
where, and the factoiy building was ultimately converted 
into a carding mill and clothing works. 

Among the persons who subsequently carried on business 
here as clothiers were Edmund C. Weston and William 
Patten, two of the son-in-laws of James Rathbun, who 
cleared and improved the land v/here the factory stood. 
There are many persons still living, who in their boyhood 
days carried wool to this mill to be carded into rolls, for 
their mothers to spin into woolen yarn; and probably still 
more who have worn garments made from fulled cloth, pre- 
pared or manufactured in these works. After a period of 
usefulness this mill, like all others of its kind, went'into 
decline, finally suspended operation, and the building years 
ago was converted into a cider mill. 

In this connection it seems proper to observe, that the 
v/omen folks in olden times spun yarn from the wool shorn 
from their own sheep, wove it into cloth, and in many 
instances cut and made it into garments for the use of the 
major portion of the hosueohld. In these matters they 
were very proficient and often displayed much delicacy and 
skill. The bedding in use in those times was a matter 
which received the especial consideration of the female 
portion of the household. The linen sheets, woolen blankets 
and coverlids made by these old dames of a hundred years 
ago, have challenged the admiration of all women folks 
that have succeeded them, and will continue to do so for 
years yet to come. Such rich blues, and such vivid and 
lasting colors. Probably very few of those who look upon 
and admire these remaining specimens of feminine art of 
olden times, have any personal knowledge of the manner 
of obtaining these beautiful colors, or of the old time dye 
tub, once so familiar an object, standing in a corner of the 
living room. In those times a spinning wheel, a reel, a 
pair of swifts, a loom, and a dye tub were deemed a very 
necessary part of the outfit of any household; and as the 
women manufactured cloth and made the garments of the 



SPAFFORD, ONONDAGA COUNTY, NEW YORK 61 

household, Miner's Patent Wheelhead and the carding 
machine were two very useful inventions in lightening her 
labors. 

In about the year 1814, Oliver Hyde, a soldier of the 
Revolution, built a sawmill in Factory Gulf, on Lot 69, 
Marcellus, above Miner's Pond, which supplied water for 
his wheelhead factory. 

When Amos Miner sold out his interests in Factory Gulf, 
he moved to Lot 76, Marcellus, where he erecter a grist mill 
at the head of the Gulf, leading from near the center of 
said lot easterly to Otisco Lake, as has been before fully 
described in a paragraph relating to Miner under the head 
of " Early Settlers." This mill has been continued in one 
form or another until the present day.Near this mill was 
erected, at a very early date, a sav-mill which was in opera- 
tion at a comparatively recent date. 

About the year 1813, William Marsh erected a carding 
mill and clothing works, west of the highway and north of 
the stream at the head of the Pudding Mill Gulf, on Lot 76, 
Marcellus, near Miner's Grist Mill. Among the names of 
those who have been interested in this mill and works 
besides Mr. Marsh, are Eleazer Hillebert, Charles Richards, 
Jr., Richard S. Eggleston, William D. Potter, Roger Tolls, 
Jonathan S. Niles, Ichabod Sheldon and Ebenezer Failing. 
These works went to pieces many years ago and very few 
persons, if any now living, have any personal knowledge 
in reference to them. 

On the east side of the same highway, and north of the 
Pudding Mill Gulf, was erected before 1819, by Alexander 
Webster, a distillery. Dr. Jonathan Kneeland, in speaking 
of this distillery said, " it did not last very long, as its owner 
soon boiled himself to death in his own mash tub." The 
widow, Barbara Webster, conveyed away the lands on which 
the distillery stood in 1825. 

At a very early date the little huddle about Miner's mill 
gave promise of something more than it is at the present 
date. Eleazer Hillebert had a blacksmith shop there, David 
T. Lyon had a shoe shop, and there undoubtedly were other 
industries at that place. Borodino Village ultimately 
absorbed all that at one time seemed to give it promise of a 
better future. 

Amasa Kneeland, at a very early date, carried on business 



62 ONONDAGA HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION 

as a tanner and currier, on the northwest comer of this 
same Lot 76, Marcelhis, near the Borodino and Thorn Hill 
road. David T. Lyon, also, in after years, carried on this 
same business at Spafford Corners; whether he carried on 
this business while residing at the Pudding Mill huddle is 
not known. 

Seventy-five or a hundred years ago public sentiment, in 
reference to the use of intoxicating liquors, was different 
from what it is at the present, and distilleries were deemed 
more of a necessity at that time, when the custom was to 
drink whiskey instead of beer. There were no restrictions 
in those tim_es on the manufacture of whiskey ; consequently 
it was very cheap, three cents a glass, and pure, as there 
was no object in its adulteration; and distilleries for its 
manufacture were everywhere. Before the year 1819, 
Jonathan Berry erected a distillery, in what was then known 
as the Stone Gulf, below the Little Falls, and a short dis- 
tance east of School House No. 1, in the Nunnery neighbor- 
hood. This was apparently run by a man named Ephraim 
Colby. Mr. Berry subsequently conveyed away the lands 
where the distillery stood to John K. Stone, in the year 1832, 
and nothing more is known of these works. In one of the 
deeds of the surrounding lands appears the following 
reservation, being a description of the distillery lands. 
" Reserving distillery land as follows : Beginning at the 
head of Little Falls and running thence westerly along the 
brink to the south bank of said Gulf to the Narrows — 
thence across the narrows to the brink of the north bank — 
thence easterly along said brink of north bank to the round 
rock — thence to the head of the Falls — and thence to the 
place of beginning. Also a log house standing on the brink 
of the Gulf (lately occupied by Ephraim Colby) ; also a 
road to pass and repass from said distillery in a north- 
easterly direction without interruption." 

April 19, 1806, Dr. Archibald Farr purchased fifty acres 
of land on Lot 12, Tully, at the foot of the Bucktail Gulf, 
on the west side of Spafford Hollow, of Judge William 
Cooper, the father of James Fenimore Cooper, the great 
American novelist, and author of the Leather Stocking 
Tales, for the expressed consideration of one hundred silver 
dollars. At the foot of the lower Falls Dr. Farr, on this 
purchase, erected the same year a grist mill ; being the first 



SPAFFORD, ONONDAGA COUNTY, NEW YORK 63 

of its kind in the orig-inal town of Spafford. This mill 
went out of existence soon after its erection, probaby 
destroyed by a Spring freshet. Uriah Roundy, born in 
Spafford July 24, 1819, in speaking of this mill says : " The 
Archibald Farr mill was built and out of existence before 
I can remember. A man by the name of Earl Barrows built 
a second mill at the lower end of the Buclctail Gulf about 
1848, or 1850. This was a feed mill only, and was destroyed 
by a Spring freshet." 

In a deed dated May 11, 1844, by Mathew Morse (Moss) 
of Spafford, to Ebenezer Morse of Homer, mention is made 
of a furnace once existing on the Dr. Farr land, at the foot 
of the lower Falls, at the mouth of the Bucktail Gulf. Uriah 
Roundy says this furnace was out of existence before he 
had any memory on the subject; and no one seems to be 
able to tell v/ho ran it, if not Dr. Farr, on whose land it 
was built. 

On the top of the upper Falls, in the Bucktail Gulf, Capt. 
Asahel Roundy built a sawmill about 1840 ; a few feet south 
of this mill, Dr. Zachariah Derbyshire, at an earlier date 
erected and carried on a furnace; and a hundred rods or 
more further up stream, near the upper end of the Bucktail 
Gulf and road, Capt. Asahel Roundy, before 1828, erected 
a carding mill and clothing works. The latter is the same 
mill from which the machinery was stolen and carried away, 
as related in a prior paragraph of this work, under the title, 
"Early Settlers." Uriah Roundy, in a letter dated January 
9, 1899, in speaking of this carding mill, furnace and saw- 
mill says : " The carding mill at the top of the Bucktail 
must have been built about 1820. I helped tear it down 
and move the building to Spafford Corners before I was 
married, and that was fifty-six years ago. I remember 
when it was doing business, I have carried wool and cloth 
there to be finished. Somewhere between 1828 and 1830 a 
man by the name of Worthington ran it. " The Furnace 
above the upper Falls of the Bucktail was built soon after 
the carding mill ; I have nothing to shov/ when it was built. 
I think Dr. Derbyshire built it. I remember that John 
Beeler, a one-legged soldier, had a cannon cast there to 
celebrate the Fourth of July ; I was probably eight or nine 
years old at the time. It was loaded on the morning of 
the Fourth of July, and William Bell, a boy living with 



64 ONONDAGA HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION 

Sumner Allen, touched it off; it burst and broke his arm, 
and killed a cow for James Knapp. This must have been 
in 1828 or 1830. I have no recollection of having been to 
the furnace when in operation. About the furnace at the 
foot of the Bucktail Gulf, I know nothing, except I have 
been told there was one there. There was a grist mill built 
there since I can remember ; a man by the name of Barrows 
built it, but it did not run long ; it was only a feed mill. 

" The sawmill at the upper Falls on the Bucktail was 
built by my father, Asahel Roundy, about 1840. My 
brother Charles and myself did most of the blasting of 
rocks, necessary to fix a place for the mill and flume. This 
was in 1840 just before Charles left home. Father o^vned 
the land where the sawmill, furnace and carding mill stood, 
ever since I can remember." 

This saw mill, like all the other early mills in town, had 
an upright saw, standing in a wooden frame, which was 
raised up or down when sawing a log or board, the power 
came from an undershot wheel, which in this instance was 
suspended at the mouth of the flume, several feet down and 
over the edge of the Falls, which were seventy-five or more 
feet in height. The process of sawing was not a very rapid 
one and there was much waste of power; it required a 
freshet to make the mill an available one. This mill went 
out of use when the writer was a small boy; he can re- 
member it when in operation, a man by the name of Darius 
Plummer acted as sawyer at that time. 

In 1810 Josiah Walker built a sawmill in Cold Brook, on 
the cross road running east from the main road, north of 
the school house. It was in the mill pond to this mill that 
Franklin Weston, Orange Norton and Lucius Pease, three 
small boys aged respectively 14, 13 and 9 years, were 
drowned June 24th, 1816. Franklin Weston was the 
youngest brother of Mrs. Asahel Roundy; and after the 
accident, was brought home to the residence of Mrs. Roundy, 
on horseback by her husband ; Orange Norton was an older 
brother of Seymour Norton, who recently died at Spafford 
Corners at great age ; and Lucius Pease was the oldest son 
of Horace Pease, one of the early settlers in Cold Brook. 
This accident at the time caused a profound sensation, 
which has been more enduring than the mill itself, which 



SPAFFORD, ONONDAGA COUNTY, NEW YORK 66 

would have been long ago forgotten but for this terrible 
calamity. 

The next sawmill erected on the Cold Brook stream was 
built in 1826 by Peter Picket, about a mile south of Walker's 
Mill, on a cross road leading east from the main road, just 
south of the Cold Brook M. E. Church and Cemtery. This 
mill, very soon after its erection, was transferred to Beza- 
lel Taft, and ever since has been known as Taft's Mill. The 
upright saw, formerly in use years ago, has been replaced 
by a circular one, and the mill is now, or was at a very 
recent date, in use, whenever it could find anything to do. 

Soon after the sale of the Taft mill, as above stated, 
Peter Picket built another sawmill higher up stream, 
between the Walker and Taft locations, on a cross road 
leading east from the school house. This mill was after- 
wards owned and known as the Orren Cary's Mill; this, 
like the Walker mill, went out of existence years ago. 

About 1830 Dr. David Mellen built a grist mill, a few 
rods south and down stream from Taft's saw mill; this 
was burned in 1852 and a feed mill was erected in its place 
by John P. Taft in 1863. The latter mill is still in opera- 
tion and owned by the builder. 

At an early date David Carver built a saw mill in SpafTord 
Hollow on lot 34, Tully; this was afterwards operated by 
Lorenzo Boutell; on the same stream, leading into Otisco 
Lake, near the northern line of said lot 34, as early as 1822, 
was a carding mill and clothing works, supposed to have 
been built by Samuel Draper ; and still further down stream 
at the first cross roads leading easterly across the Hollow, 
v/as a saw mill, at one time operated by Frank Smith, son 
of Ira Smith. These mills and works have long passed out 
of existence, and even the memory of them is confined to 
a very few of the older inhabitants of the town. At Brom- 
ley, in the town of Tully, a little huddle formerly known as 
Shawville, near the Spafford line, there was a grist mill 
and saw mill at a very early date; these were in operation 
in recent years, as well as a sawmill on Lot 13, Tully, in 
the town of Otisco, just over the SpaflTord line, on a cross 
road leading easterly from the Bucktail road. Of late years 
there has been very little use for these mills, once so flour- 
ishing and so necessary to the early settler. 



66 ONONDAGA HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION 

TAVERNS, STORES, SHOPS, POTASHIRES, 
TANNERIES. 

The first merchant at Spafford Corners was Jared Bab- 
cock, who came first to Scott, Cortland County, N. Y., in 
1804, probably from Leyden, Mass., where most of the 
Babcocks in that place came from, and from there to Spaf- 
ford, where he opend a general store, in 1809. The building 
occupied by him is supposed to have been located on a half 
acre of ground owned by John Babcock, also from Scott, 
situate on the west side of the Skaneateles and Homer road, 
between the present blacksmith shop of John Pendergast 
and the residence lately occupied by Parmenus Norton. Mr. 
Babcock conducted this store for a short time, sold out to 
Anthony Mason, and moved to Homer, N. Y. 

Mr. Mason conveyed his interest in this store property, 
December 12, 1822, to Isaac Knapp, who in connection with 
his brother, James D. Knapp, carried on a general mer- 
chandise business at the same place until about 1827 or 

1828, when they failed and were sold out by Sheriff. The 
store property was conveyed by that oflficer January 16, 

1829, at which time Joseph R. Berry was in occupation as 
a general merchant at that place. From that time forward 
Mr. Berry carried on business there, until his new store 
was in readiness for occupation, which was erected by him 
on the northeast corner of the cross roads at the "Corners" 
in 1831. The old building then went into decline and was 
not occupied for mercantile purposes afterwards. At the 
raising of the frame of the new store building it was christ- 
ened, according to the custom of the times, " The Proud 
Farmers' Ruin." The new building has been occupied sub- 
sequent to Mr. Joseph R. Berry by the following merchants : 
Nelson Berry, Zach. Berry, Thomas B. Anderson, Levi Hurl- 
but, Asahel M. Roundy, James Churchell, T. Maxson Foster, 
and John G. Van Benschoten, the present occupant. 

Lauren Hotchkiss, a brother-in-law of Captam Asahel 
Roundy, opened a store for the sale of general merchandise 
on the southwest corner of the same cross roads at the 
Corners, in 1810. The land on which this store stood was 
subsequently occupied after 1840 by the Baptist Church; 
but before it went into occupation of that society, and sub- 
sequently to Mr. Hotchkiss, these lands were owned by Dr. 



SPAFFORD, ONONDAGA COUNTY, NEW YORK 67 

Ashbel Searl (subsequently of Otisco), Thomas Stevens, 
John Evans and Nelson Beriy; but whether any of them 
had a store there is not known. 

About 1867, after the Baptist Society became extinct, 
Uriah Roundy purchased the church site and converted the 
church building into a store for the sale of general mer- 
chandise, for which purpose it has been in use ever since. 
The mrchants who have occupied this reconstructed church 
building for store purposes since 1867 are: Uriah Roundy, 
Benjamin McDaniels, George King, Caleb E. King and 
Andrew Lieber and son, the present occupants. 

Early in the forties, Jonathan F. Woodworth opened a 
store at the " Center," in a building on the west side of the 
road subsequently occupied by Samuel Purchase as a dwell- 
ing house. Soon afterwards he erected a new store build- 
ing on the east side of the road and just south of the hotel 
at Spafford Corners, where he carried on a general mer- 
cantile business for many years. Subsequent to Mr. Wood- 
worth's occupation this latter building was owned and used 
by Charles B. Lyon as a shoe shop. 

According to tradition, Dr. Archibald Farr in 1803 set- 
tled on the southwest corner of Lot 11, Tully, and the 
following year Isaac Hall located at Spafford Corners ; and 
each of these gentlemn threw open their log cabins as public 
inns for the entertainment of guests. In the absence of 
direct knowledge on the subject, we infer from circum- 
stances, that this means no more than being the first settlers 
in the southern portion of the town, they were obliged to 
and did open their houses for the entertainment of the 
numerous prospecting parties, seeking unoccupied lands for 
purchase and settlement, and for which they very probably 
received a compensation. Very little is known of these two 
public houses, but it is probable they ceased to be such 
as soon as the temporary demand for them passed away. 
In the case of Dr. Farr we are unable to verify the date of 
his reputed settlement, as his deed was never recorded, but 
as to Mr. Hall, v>^e find his deed is dated in 1805; he may, 
however, have gone into occupation a year earlier under 
contract. 

Mr. Hall's log house stood in the garden connected with 
the present hotel, just east of the horse bams. Mr. Hall 
sold out his possessions at the " Corners ' in 1811, and was 



68 ONONDAGA HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION 

followed in occupation by John Williamson from Minden, 
Montgomery County, N. Y., in 1814. The latter gentleman 
sold to Captain Asahel Roundy in 1821, who erected that 
year the presnt hotel building, then known as '* Roundy's 
Tavern." This has been the only public house at the 
Corners since its erection. Mr. Roundy kept the place until 
1843; then sold it to Col. William W. Legg, who has been 
succeeded by Thomas Babcock, Amon J. Ripley, Dr. G. 
Eugene Barker, John C. Van Benschoten, Andrew Lieber 
and Thomas McAuliffe, present occupant. 

About 1828, Elias Woodworth opened a house of enter- 
tainment on the southwest comer of Lot 13, Sempronius, 
east of the main highway near the Center; this was suc- 
ceeded by a new tavern, supposed to have been built by 
Thomas Babcock, just south of Woodworth's, and on Lot 
14, Sempronius, known as " The Center House." This 
house was subsequently owned by Isaiah Buffington, Hop- 
kins Perkins, Daniel Vail, Jr., Edward M. Allen, Amos 
Austin, Willis S. Nelson, John C. Tinkham and William 
Cowan. The building was destroyed by fire in the fifties 
and has never been replaced. 

It would be unprofitable to attempt to recall the names 
of all who have worked at blacksmithing and wagon making, 
in the original tov/n of Spaff ord, since its settlement ; suffice 
it to say, that in olden times there were those who worked 
at one or both these trades at the Center, the Corners, Cold 
Brook, East Side Hill, and in Spafford Hollow. Early in 
the thirties Edward Baxter, Thomas Mitchell and Gershom 
Lewis opened a wagon and blacksmith shop on the site of 
the present Union Church at the " Corners " ; their interest 
in this site was afterwards purchased by the Trustees of 
that Church, July 7, 1838, and Gersham Lewis immediately 
thereafter erected a new shop for the prosecution of the same 
business, just south of the Baptist Church, where the late 
Alexander Green subsequently resided; here he remained 
until his decease about 1850. In wagon making Mr. Lewis 
never had a successor at the " Corners " ; but in repairing of 
wagons and farm implements and in smithing he had many; 
among whom are the following : Asa Wellington, Franklin 
Roundy, Alexander Green, Perry Norton and John Pcnder- 
gast. At an early date Anson Churchell did a very profit- 



SPAFFORD, ONONDAGA COUNTY, NEW YORK 69 

able business for many years as blacksmith in the northern 
end of the village ; he died in 1849. 

Just south of Mr. Churchell's blacksmith shop Mr. Loami 
W. Johnson had a cooper shop; he came from Cambridge, 
in this State, and first settled north of Borodino. From 
there he came to this village at an early date and carried 
on a profitable business as cooper until his decease, which 
occurred in 1861 ; he had no successor in business. 

There never was but one resident tailor at the Corners, 
William Quick, who was born in London, England. He 
first came to Canada, and from there to this village, where 
he married a Miss French. He remained here a few years 
and then moved to Borodino. Before his coming a tailor 
residing in some other place came to the tavern on stated 
days, cut the clothes of the people, and they were then made 
up in the family or by a practiced seamstress who went 
from houses to house for that purpose. The business of a 
tailor and seamstress in those days was a respectable and 
profitable one. 

Another lucrative business in olden times was that of 
currier and tanner and shoemaker. There are those still 
living who can remember when a shoemaker, carrying his 
kit of tools with him, v/ent from house to house, shoeing 
the family from skins taken from the domestic herds, and 
prepared by a neighboring tanner and currier. Among the 
itinerant shoemakers who came to the "Corners" was David 
Havens, father of Clark and Ebenezer Havens. He came 
from Rhode Island, was a Seventh Day Baptist, and was 
buried in their cemetery at Scott, New York. Among the 
early tanners and curriers were Sumner Allen, father of 
William Bulfinch Allen, now a resident at the Corners, and 
David T. Lyon ; each carrying on business west of the main 
road, in the northern part of the village at Spaff ord Corners. 
Mr. Lyon was also a shoemaker, and with his coming here 
the itinerant business came to an end; he and his sons 
Charles B. and Cyrus Lyon were expert craftsmen, and for 
many years made the foot wear of the southern residents 
of the town. 

Another industry of considerable importance in early 
times, now in disuse by reason of changed conditions, was 
that of Potashery. At a very early date a building for the 
manufacture of potash from wood ashes stood where the 



70 ONONDAGA HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION 

present residence of Mrs. Benjamin McDaniels now stands, 
on the south side of the east and west road, just west of the 
" Corners." Here " Uncle " Eli Fisher, under the manage- 
ment of Levi Hurlbut and Asahel M. Roundy, year after 
year gathered wood ashes from all the neighboring farmers, 
and in the Fall of the year boiled the lye from them into 
potash, for the eastern market; and here many a good house- 
v/ife came with her pot grease to have " Uncle " Eli assist 
her in making her annual barrel of soft soap for domestic 
use. Uncle Eli was a familiar character of those early 
years, and his coming and going, as the years went round, 
was watched by the villagers with pleasurable satisfaction. 
His glowing open arch fire always gave out a generous heat 
and light, and many a man will recall with pleasure the 
memory of, when a boy, he spent the cold Fall evenings 
in that light and heat with Uncle Eli, as the latter pursued 
his evening toil. 

Jeremiah Van Rensselae Coon and his father David Coon, 
at an early date carried on the business of harness making, 
the former at the Corners, and the latter at the cross roads 
east of SpafFord Cemetery; David Coon died in 1857, and 
his son moved away soon afterwards ; they had no successors 
in business. 

The following business references to the Village of Boro- 
dino are taken in part from Bruce's History of the County 
of Onondaga. The first merchant there was Daniel G. 
Burroughs, who kept a store in a log cabin on the site of 
the present dwelling house and store of Alphonso Deerman, 
east of the Skaneateles and Homer road, as well as the one 
leading to Thorn Hill. It is said he was an expert swimmer, 
and at one time swam from Borodino Landing to Mandana, 
a distance of thee miles. 

Borodino at one time had three stores for the sale of 
general merchandise, thee taverns, three tailor shops, three 
blacksmith shops, and other things in proportion ; but, like 
Spaflord Comers, was materially affected by the building 
of the Binghamton and Syracuse Railroad, and the conse- 
quent diversion of travel to that road. 

Mr. Burroughs was succeeded in business by Stephen and 
Hoi'ace Chi Ids, said to have been natives of Connecticut, but 
before or after coming to Borodino resided in Owasco, N. Y. 
Other merchants in Borodino were Daniel Baxter, Messer 



SPAFFORD, ONONDAGA COUNTY, NEW YORK 7I 

Barker, Washin^on Wallace, William Legg, David Becker 
(his son-in-laAv) , Thomas E. Anderson, Charles M. Rich, 
Churchell & Eddie, Grinnell & Howe, William Quick & Son, 
Captain Zach Berry, Caleb E. King, and Alphonso Deerman. 

The first tavern was built by Ira Rider in 1823, on the 
present site of the Churchell House ; the second was erected 
by Col. Lewis C. Davis, where John Uncless now resides; 
and the third was kept in the house lately occupied by Mark 
Harvey as a residence, on the northwest corner of the cross 
road in this village. The two latter taverns were discon- 
tinued many years ago, and the former is still in use and 
occupied as a hotel by Mr. Churchell. 

The first blacksmith shop was kept by Eleazer Hillebert, 
on the site where the Legg Block recently stood. Other 
blacksmiths in the village were William Legg, Mr. Stowell, 
Isaac Wallace, Orrin F. Eddy, A. Griffin and John Weston. 

The first wagon maker was William Legg; who had as 
workmen John Babcock, Solomon Sprague, Seymour 
Warner, and Simeon Morchell. 

Among the early shoemakers were Milton Streeter, 
Renona A. Cady, and Harman Cady. Thomas Howard at 
one time had a tannery here; Daniel Baxter a Potashery; 
and William Hayford a tinshop and foundry. 

In May, 1856, a fire destroyed the tinshop and foundry, 
a tailor shop, and other things, entailing a loss of about 
$8,000.00; and on September 12, 1871, the business places 
of William W. Legg & Son, William Quick, Charles M. Rich, 
H. Linus Darling, and Charles Benton were burned; 
destroying nearly the whole business center of the village. 
The site of the major portion of the burned district was 
subsequently built upon by Col. William W. Legg, for a 
business block adapted for the use of stores, shops and 
offices ; this was also destroyed by fire in 1901, and has not 
since been restored. Since the destruction of the Legg 
Block three stores have catered to the wants of the Borodino 
people, two on the site of the original Burroughs store, and 
one in the building known as the Town Hall. 

In early years the country merchants purchased their 
goods direct from the wholesale dealer and importer in 
New York City, and for that purpose made at least one 
trip annually to that metropolis, and the particularly smart 
ones made two, one in the Spring and one in the Fall of 



72 ONONDAGA HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION 

the year. These sojourns from home generally lasted from 
two to three weeks at a time. By reason of their much 
travel and their extensive business experiences, the society 
of these gentlemen was much sought after in the communi- 
ties where they resided; and their patrons never wearied 
of the relation of their travels and their business experi- 
ences in the great City of New York. Their comments on 
facts coming within their personal observation seemed to 
have force and certainty, which comes from special knowl- 
edge and privileged information, and were received by their 
auditors accordingly. If they were good fellows, and their 
business instincts generally led them to be, their stores 
naturall.y became club-houses, where men and boys con- 
gregated, not only to look over the latest importations from 
New York, but to hear the latest news from the outside 
world. Newspapers were not as common then as now, and 
consequently the country merchant was a power politically 
and socially in the community. Men naturally congregate 
together during the relaxation of business, and in early 
years, what better place was there for a country man or 
boy to spend a long winter evening, than around the big- 
box stove in the rear part of a country store? Here the 
elders smoked their pipes, told stories, and all listened to 
the merchant as he related his adventures, and expounded 
matters political and otherwise to his patrons congregated 
about him. A popular merchant has always been a great 
power in the community, and it is a pleasure to note that 
in this town the store, as a club-house, has always taken 
precedence in popularity over that of the tavern. 

HIGHWAYS. 

Joshua V. H. Clark, in his History of Onondaga, in 
speaking of the original town of Spafford as organized in 
1811, says: "The first settler in that part of the town taken 
from Tully v.'as Jonathan Berry. He first settled a shoi-t 
distance south of the village of Borodino, in March, 1803. 
In April, the same year, Archibald Farr located himself on 
the southwest corner of Lot. 11. 

" To facilitate the progress of Mr. Farr's imigration, 
Berry sent his teams and men to clear out a road, that Farr 
might proceed to his place of destination. This was the 
first road attempted to be made within the limits of the 



SPAFFORD, ONONDAGA COUNTY, NEW YORK 73 

town, and is the same that now leads from Spafford Corners 
to Borodino." The next year " the road was cleared from 
Farr's, on Lot 11, to the Corners; and the next year, 1805, 
Elisha Sabins and John Babcock cleared and cut a road 
from Scott (then known as Babcock's Corners) to Spafford 
Corners." 

The same time they moved their goods on sleds over 
this newly made road from Scott to their new abode in this 
town at Spafford Comers. Mr. Goodwin, in his history of 
Cortland County, say that the next year, 1806, Isaac Hall, 
who had ecently settled at Spafford Corners, drove a wagon 
over this road from his home to Babcock's Corners, loadea 
it with hemlock boards, and then drove it back to his 
residence in Spafford. 

Goodwin, in this same history, says that Peleg Babcock, 
accompanied by his brother Solomon Babcock, coming from 
Leyden, Mass., settled on Lot 82, Tully, now Village of Scott, 
in the year 1799 ; and was soon afterwards follov/ed to that 
place by John Babcock, Jared Babcock and others. How 
these latter gentlemen were rlated to Peleg, if at all, is not 
known. Soon after taking up his residence in Scott, Peleg 
Babcock puchased Lot 21, Tully, on which Spafford Corners 
is situate, and immediately afterwards commenced the 
sale of it in parcels to purchasers. Among his early con- 
veyances is one to John Babcock, dated October 8, 1806, 
one to James Cravath, dated September 7, 1805, and another 
to Elisha Sabin, dated September 8, 1811 ; probably preceded 
by contract of anterior date. Mr. Babcock never owned 
the State's Hundred Acres on this lot, which was puchased 
by Isaac Hall, August 1, 1805; perhaps by contract of an 
earlier date; it is claimed he was in occupation as early as 
1804. 

In view of these traditionary statements, it is interesting 
to note the survey bill of this first highway in town, which 
has been transcribed in the first book of records ot the town 
of Spafford, from an earlier record in the town books of 
Tully. This is the first road record in this book of records : 

" Survey of a road, beginning at the north vv^est corner 
of Lot 12, in Sempronius; and running from thence S. 47° 
E. 185 chains — thence S. 35° E. 60 chains — thence S. 14° 
E. 183 chains — thence S. 7° E. 245 chains — thence S. 30 
chains — thence S. 7° E. 40 chains — thence S. 15° E. 10 



74 ONONDAGA HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION 

chains to the north line of lot No. 82, Tully, Nicholas 
Howd, Surveyor. ? 

Recorded this 3rd day of July, 1804, 

Amos Skeel, Clerk. 

James Cravath, 
Solomon Babcock, 
Commissioners of Highways." 

This is a survey of the main highvv^ay, running north and 
south through the original town of Spafford, (now known 
as the Skaneateles and Homer road), commencing at Jona- 
than Berry's house, on the north line of the then town of 
Spafford, and the south line of Marcellus, and extending to 
the Village of Scott, in the County of Cortland. That would 
indicate that, at least, the portion of this highway from Dr. 
Archibald Farr's location, on the southwest corner of Lot 
11, to the Village of Scott, was surveyed before the tradi- 
tionary opening of the road. The lands purchased by James 
Cravath of Peleg Babcock, on Lot 21, Tully, were the same 
now owned and occupied by Joseph Cole in 1900 ; and this 
survey bill also indicates that he must have occupied his 
purchase early in 1804 or he must have formerly resided in 
Scott, before settling in Spafford. 

The town books show the record of another survey bill, 
of a cross road leading from the Skaneateles and Homer 
road, easterly on Lot 11 to Lot 12, in the direction of Farr's 
Mill at the foot of the Bucktail; this road ran along the 
northern line of the Breed Farm of to-day, and was aban- 
doned years ago and taken up. This bill is also dated in 
1804, showing the early date of Dr. Farr's efforts to locate 
a grist mill, and perhaps a foundry in Spafford Hollow. 

Other survey bills of roads are recorded, commencing 
January 7th, 1807, and rapidly thereafter until the original 
town was well supplied with these means of intercommuni- 
cation, before it was organized as a separate corporate body 
in 1811; in fact in early days there were more roads than 
there are to-day; many of those first laid out have either 
been regularly condemned and taken up, or abandoned to 
the use of the adjacent owners of the land. Among those 
abandoned or gone into disuse, was one extending along the 
county line between Onondaga and Cortland, commencing 
in the Skaneateles and Homer road, and extending easterly 
to the main road, running northerly and southerly in Cold 



SPAFFORD; ONONDAGA COUNTY, NEW YORK 7* 

Brook; another cross road, extending from the Skaneateles 
and Homer road to the Cold Brook road, ran along the 
southern line of the Barker farm of 1900, and was aban- 
doned years ago, and fenced in by the owners of the land. 
The cross road along the north line of the Breed farm, above 
spoken of, was also abandoned over fifty years ago. There 
are others which have suffered a similar fate, but a recital 
of them would be wearisome and unprofitable. 

There are other roads which have been laid out or re- 
surveyed, since the organization of the town in 1811, and 
particularly since the addition of the Marcellus acquisition. 
The early records of the original town of Marcellus were 
burned before 1830, so a re-survey of that portion of the 
town was ordered by vote, early in the thirties. The last 
survey bill appearing of record in the town books, is one 
of the road leading from Edwin Morris' house, (1900) on 
Lot 31, to the head of Skaneateles Lake, by way of Spafford 
Landing and the cottage of the writer on that beautiful 
sheet of water. 

In this connection it seems appropriate to remark, that 
the main road running northerly and southerly through 
this town, from the village of Homer on the south to the 
village of Skaneateles on the north, is one of the most 
attractive and picturesque in Central New York, so cele- 
brated for beautiful drives, and in early times, before the 
cross-country railroads had diverted the natural course of 
travel, was much used by travelers, passing from the north- 
ern to the southern portions of the State. A regular line of 
stages passed daily both ways over this route, to accom- 
modate the demands of travel, and taverns at stated places 
along the road did a prosperous business. In the Fall of 
the year, large droves of cattle and sheep were frequently 
seen going along this highway, and the farmers along the 
route found a ready sale for their surplus fodder to the 
drovers accompanying these domestic herds, destined for 
the New York Market. The Stage Driver and Tavern 
Keeper were important personages in those early times, and 
held a position in the community entirely different from 
their successors of the pesent day. 

The highway from the village of Homer to Skaneateles, 
a distance of twenty-five miles, is nearly in a direct course, 
and so gentle in its rise and descent that a traveller can trot 



76 ONONDAGA HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION 

a smart team, attached to a lig-ht conveyance, nearly the 
whole distance between the two places. Leaving the Village 
of Homer, the route to Scott, eight miles, is up a wide and 
fertile valley, and from thence to the county line, two and 
a half mj'les, is up a gentle ascent along a small water couse. 
As the traveller approaches the countj'' line, there is sud- 
denly opened to his view an expanse of fifteen or twenty 
miles of landscape, covering part of the county of Cayuga, 
nearly all of the to^vn of Spafford, parts of the towns of 
Skaneateles and J^^arcellus, and the whole of Skaneateles 
Lake, with its surrounding hills and wooded points mirrored 
in its placid waters. The highway at this point, is over a 
thousand feet above the waters of the Lake, less than a mile 
away on the left, and thence, in its northerly and parallel 
course to that body of water, gradually descends to the sur- 
face level of the Lake at Skaneateles A^'illage, fifteen miles 
away, the traveller never losing sight of that beautiful sheet 
of water, from the time it first came in view in the hills of 
Scott. This old stage route m.ay have lost some of its points 
of interest, by the removal of the old time stage coaches, 
and the discontinuance of travel by piva,te equipages, once 
so frequently seen on this favorite route of travel, yet there 
is a satisfaction in knov/ing that the graceful Spafford Hills, 
the fair waters of Skaneateles Lake, and God's pure air and 
the sunlight of Heaven spread over all, are still there, and 
cannot be diverted by the commercialism of man. 

Another road in town, knov/n as the " Bucktail," leading 
from Spafford Corners to Otisco Hollow, will always attract 
the attention of the traveller, by reason of its wild and 
rugged character; without question it has no counterpart 
in Central New York, and possibly not in the whole State 
of New York. It was laid out about 1818 by Captain Asahel 
Roundy, and surveyed in May, 1819, by Lauren Hotchkiss, 
Surveyor. The naming of this road was mentioned under 
the head of First Settlers, in connection with the name of 
Captain Roundy. 

PROFESSIONAL MEN. 
PHYSICIANS. 

The first resident physician, in the southern end of the 
town of Spafford, was Dr. Archibald Farr, who, according 



SPAFFORD, ONONDAGA COUNTY, NEW YORK 77 

to tradition, settled on the southwest corner of Lot 11, Tully, 
in the Spring of 1803. Very little is known of him, beyond 
the fact that he was the first settler in the southern portion 
of the town, that he opened his log cabin for the entertain- 
ment of guests, and that he built a grist-mill in 1806, and 
perhaps a foundry, at the foot of the Buck Tail Gulf, in 
Spafford Hollow. He must have moved away before 1811, 
for according to deed records in the County Clerk's Office, 
the Leggs were in possession, that year, of the land where 
he is reputed to have resided. 

Dr. Farr was followed by Dr. Ashbel Searls, who first 
settled east of the main road, on Lot 42, Tully, on land 
purchased of Elijah Knapp. He erected there a log house, 
but did not remain long before he re-deeded the land to 
Mr. Knapp, and moved to Spafford Corners, where he pur- 
chased a house and lot on the southwest corner of the cross 
roads, of Lauren Hotchkiss. From there he moved to Otisco 
about 1815, and finally to Onondaga Valley, where he died 
in 1875 at a great age. He became a member of the Onon- 
daga County Medical Society in 1816, while a resident of 
Otisco. 

The next physician in the southern part of the town, of 
whom we have any recrod, was Dr. Zachariah Derbyshire, 
who resided on the west side of the highway, half way 
between the residence of Lyman C. Bennett and that of Mrs. 
Isaac Fisher, on Lot 22, Tully. His first wife, Pruella 
Derbyshire, died August 12, 1823, and was buried in Spaf- 
ford Cemetery; he then married Hannah Williamson, 
daughter of Cornelius Williamson, for a second wife. We 
have no record of his coming or going, but it is probable his 
stay in town filled the interregrum, between the going of 
Dr. Searls as above stated, and the coming of Dr. Collins, 
who came about 1830. He at one time had a foundry, just 
above the upper falls in the Buck Tail Gulf. 

Dr. John Collins came to Spafford Corners from Brook- 
field, Madison County, New York, where he was born, about 
1830, and remained here in active practice of his profession 
until his decease, August 15, 1853. 

Among the early students who read medicine In his office 
was Daniel G. Frisbie, who after being admitted to prac- 
tice, entered into partnership with him. Dr. Frisbie was 
admitted to the Onondaga County Medical Society in June, 



78 ONONDAGA HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION 

1845. Dr. Frisbie, while associated in business with Dr. 
Collins, married Mary Bulfinich, daughter of Joseph Bul- 
finch, and a short time afterwards went West, where he 
became a successful practitioner and business man. 

A short time before the decease of Dr. Collins he sold his 
last residence (the late T. Maxson Foster residence) and 
business interests to a Dr .Davidson, who continued practice 
here for a few years and then moved away. 

Since the departure of Dr. Davidson, the southern portion 
of the town has been sevred by resident physicians, in the 
persons of Dr. H. D. Hunt and Dr. G. Eugene Barker. Dr. 
Hunt was admitted to the Onondaga County Medical Society 
in June, 1875. He moved to Cortland County. 

Dr. Barker, son of William Barker, was born in this town, 
and after a successful practice in other places finally 
returned here, where he has had a prosperous career in his 
chosen profession, for a number of years last past. He is 
a Homeopath, and was admitted to the Onondaga County 
Medical Society of that persuasion in 1891, while he was a 
resident of the village of Tully. He now has a residence 
and office at Spafford Corners. 

In the northern, or Marcellus end of the town, the first 
resident physician was Jeremiah Bumbus Whiting, who is 
reputed to have located at or near the present village of 
Borodino in 1802, and continued practice there until 1819, 
when he moved to Sempronius, N. Y. He afterwards went 
to Michigan, where he died. Dr. Jonathan Kneeland, who 
commenced the study of medicine in his office, said of him ; 
he was a good classical and medical scholar, well skilled in 
the use of indigenous remedies, but too much addicted to the 
use of spirituous liquors to make a successful practitioner 
in the field of medicine. 

Dr. Whiting was succeeded at Borodino by Dr. Benjamin 
Trumbull, who came in 1816. He was admitted to the 
Onondaga County Medical Society in 1822, and was Presi- 
dent of that body in 1832-3. He continued practice in this 
village until his decease, which occurred May 28, 1835, at 
the age of 46 years. He was invariably represented by 
physicians, who knew him, as a gentleman, scholar and a 
skillful physician. He was a nephew of " Brother Jona- 
than " Trumbull of Connecticut, the intimate friend and 
associate of Washington, and one of the most noted War 



SPAFFORD, ONONDAGA COUNTY, NEW YORK 79 

Governors of the Revolution. It is claimed that this village 
is indebted to him for its name, Borodino, and that during 
his residence here he did much to foster the churches, public 
schools, and the Chistian morality of the community. He 
died of heart disease. 

Dr. Jonathan Kneeland, born near Borodino in 1812, early 
had a predilection for medicine, and when a small boy, 
entered the office of Dr. Whiting as a student; but this 
engagement was soon terminated. He then entered a 
medical school in Ohio, but his entry into the practice of 
his chosen profession was interrupted by severe illness, 
which delayed the fruition of his desires until he was over 
thirty years of age. He first opened an ofRce in Tully, but 
soon afterwards settled at or near Thorn Hill, where he had 
a successful career as physician and surgeon, among his old 
towns people near Borodino, for several years. He then 
moved to Onondaga Valley, where he remained until his 
decease. He joined the Onondaga County Medical Society 
in 1842, and in 1892 was honored by that body by a public 
banquet, on account of his long and honorable career of 
fifty years, as member of that society. He was President 
of that body in 1852. 

Dr. Trumbull was succeeded at Borodino by Dr. Isaac 
Morrell, who continued a successful practice there until 
1866, when he moved to Fulton, N. Y. After a short 
absence he returned to Boodino, but soon after went to 
Elmira, N. Y., where he died. He was admitted to the 
Onondaga Medical Society in January, 1841. 

Since the departure of Dr. Morrell this end of the town 
has been served by Dr. Van Dyke Tripp and Dr. William 
G. Bliss. Dr. Tripp was admitted to the Onondaga County 
Medical Society in 1869, and represented his town in the 
Board of Supervisors of the County of Onondaga in 1881-3. 
He is now deceased. Dr. Bliss was a native of Georgia, in 
the State of Vermont, and after a successful business career 
at Borodino for a number of years, moved to Tully, N. Y., 
where he is now engaged in the pactice of medicine. 

Several of Spafford's sons have gone forth from this, 
their native place, to other localities, and risen to eminence 
in the profession of medicine, among whom are Jonathan 
Kneeland (spoken of above), Stephen Smith, who went to 
Brooklyn, N. Y., and there became a leading physician and 



80 ONONDAGA HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION 

surgeon; who was at one time Commissioner of Charities 
there, was Commissioner of Lunacy in 1882, was selected 
as a Delegate to the International Sanitary Congress at 
Paris in 1894, and is especially remembered for his valuable 
gift of a medical library to the medical department of the 
Syracuse University. 

J. Lewis Smith, who was a graduate of Yale College, 
became a prominent physician, and medical instructor in 
the schools of the Citj^ of New York. He is also well known 
to the profession as a medical writer and the author of 
several medical works, particularly for a Treatise on the 
Diseases of Children. 

Dr. Edward Cox, son of Silas Cox, studied medicine with 
Dr. Trumbull at Borodino, and then went to Michigan, 
where he established a lucrative practice at Battle Creek. 

Dr. Polaski Prindle, son of Moses Prindle, born near 
Spafford Corners, studied with Dr. Morrell at Borodino, 
and located first at Cashtown, and afterwards in Michigan, 
where he died. 

Dr. James R. Weston, son of Edmund C. Weston, studied 
medicine with Dr. Collins at Spafford Corners, and finally 
moved to Montana, where he became a successful physician, 
a Bank President, a Judge of the Probate Court, and a 
successful business man. 

Dr. S. Elis Crane is a successful physician in Syracuse, 
N. Y. 

Dr. John E. Lyon, son of David Lyon, died soon after 
coming into a lucrative practice; he was buried at Spafford 
Cemetery. 

LAWYERS. 

There has never been a resident practicing lawyer in this 
town; although there has always been some one skilled in 
the practice of Justice Courts, and able to serve the people 
in that tribunal ; amon;r>- these were Captain Asahel Roundy, 
Jonathan Johnson, James H. Isdell, Uriah Roundy, H. Linus 
Darling, and Simon B. Wallace. The latter is the only 
one now living; he resides in the Village of Borodino, and 
is ready to serve the people when his services are required. 

While there are no resident lawyers, there are several 
persons boni here who have settled in other localities, and 
risen to eminence in their chosen profession ; among whom 



SPAFFORD, ONONDAGA COUNTY, NEW YORK 81 

are Hon. Martin A. Knapp, Judg-e Elliott Anthony, Captain 
George K. Collins, Hon. A. Judson Kneeland, late practicing 
attorney in the Village of Homer, N. Y., William Smith, a 
graduate of Yale College, an attorney and counselor at law, 
but who died early in California; Lee Olmsted and Harley 
J. Crane, each of whom is actively engaged in the practice 
of law in the City of Syracuse ; Judge Charles Vandenburg, 
a graduate of Yale College, an attorney at law, and a 
Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of Minnesota; 
and Mr, Haraion, son of Elder Harmon, an eminent lawyer, 
late of Washington, D. C. 

MINISTERS. 

Among the ministers who have gone from this town and 
risen to prominence elsewhere, are Amasa Spencer Knee- 
land, Stella Kneeland, Josiah N. Knapp (died a young man), 
and David M. D. O'Farrell. 

TEACHERS. 

The following, born in Spafford, have graced the 
profession in other communities : Prof. Charles 0. Roundy, 
first principal of the Syracuse High School, Prof. Silas M. 
Betts, born in Borodino in 1828, was at one time principal 
of the High School in Niles, Michigan, for several years 
principal of grammar schools in the City of Sryacuse, and 
a teacher in the Normal School in the State of New Jersey ; 
Prof. Alfred G. Harrington, at one time a successful teacher 
in the high grade of schools in this State, now retired to 
his farm in the town of Spalford; Prof. Joseph Addison 
Prindle, at one time a successful teacher in one of the 
Normal Schools of this State, now retired and residing in 
the Village of Skaneateles, N. Y. ; and Prof. James Foster, 
an old time teacher, moved to South Dakota, but now 
deceased. 

ARTIST AND SCULPTOR. 

Sanford Thayer, son of Sanford and Sally (Miner) 
Thayer, Portrait and Landscape Painter, was born July 19, 
1820, and resided in boyhood in Cold Brook. 

Of the works of Horace Kneeland as a sculptor, very little 
is known by the writer. 



32 ONONDAGA HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION 

SURVEYORS. 

This brief sketch of the professional men who were bom 
or resided in Spafford, would be incomplete without some 
reference to the old time surveyor, who with compass and 
chain divided farms, settled disputes, and fixed boundaries 
between contending factions. One of the most skillful, 
accurate, and tactful of the old surveyors in this town was 
Joseph Bulfinch. He was born in Boston, and when a young 
man, as principal taught school in a young ladies' seminary 
in the State of Vermont, and at an early date, Avhen the 
country was new and the land boundaries undefined, settled 
in this town, just west of Spafford Corners. He v/as a man 
who took pride in his calling, spared no pains for accuracy, 
and for that reason his decisions were respected as in the 
nature of a judicial conclusion. In Summer or Winter he 
served his patrons as occasion required. He died at the 
advanced age of 88 years in 1873, and was buried in 
Spafford Cemetery. 

After his decease he was succeeded for a time by his son, 
Joseph H. Bulfinch; he moved years ago to South Dakota, 
where he died; and later came Cyrenus Woodworth, whose 
decease is a matter of recent occurrence. 

POSTMASTERS. 

It would be unprofitable at this time, to make the neces- 
sary search to obtain the names of all persons who have 
held the impotant office of Post Master, at the different 
postal stations in this town, but the following are given as 
the major portion of those holding this important office 
under the General Government, at Spafford Corners. Cap- 
tain Asahel Roundy was the first to receive this appointment 
in 1814, and he has been succeeded by the following: Isaac 
Knapp, Joseph R. Berry, Thomas B. Anderson, Dr. John 
Collins, William W. Legg, Uriah Roundy, Benjamin Mc- 
Daniels, and Mr. Lieber, the present incumbent. 

SKANEATELES LAKE AND COTTAGES. 

Ekaneateles Lake is about seventeen miles long, averaging 
about one mile in width, and contains an area of not far 
from seventeen square miles of water, two-thirds of which are 
within the bounds of the town of Spafford. The water in 



SPAFFORD, ONONDAGA COUNTY, NEW YORK 83 

depth is from twenty-five feet, at the foot and head, to two 
hundred sixty-five feet throughout the major portion of its 
course. There are no marshes or swamps along its shores, 
which are for the most part rocky and precipitous. 

The Village of Skaneateles, of two or three thousand 
inhabitants, comes down to the water's edge at the foot of 
the lake, and extends for a short distance up the gentle slope 
of the hills encircling its northern extremity. Passing 
from the Village of Skaneateles and going southward up 
the lake five or six miles, the hills on either side come down 
to the water's edge, in a gentle decline, graced with culti- 
vated fields, and picturesque farm buildings environed with 
fruit and other shade trees. At Five Mile Point the lake 
makes a change in course to a more easterly direction and, 
passing this Point, there is suddenly presented to the eye 
of the traveller an extended view of pure limpid water sur- 
rounded by bold, wild, and rugged highland scenery, such 
as is seldom seen elsewhere or excelled in beauty and 
picturesqueness. On the west side of the lake, at the 
beginning of this highland district, is the hamlet of Man- 
dana, and, on the east side, the pretty little village of Boro- 
dino. Proceeding southv.^ard Point after Point successively 
come into view, extending outward from either shore, with 
their green verdue and graceful sweeping elm trees mirrored 
in the placid waters of the lake. The view from eveiy 
steamer landing is most entrancing, and impresses the mind 
of the beholder. From Five Mile Point upward the shores 
of the lake become more and more precipitous, and the sur- 
rounding lands increase in elevation, until reaching the 
head of the lake at Glen Haven there is an amphitheater of 
precipitous hills, rising to a height a twelve or thirteen 
hundred feet above the surface of the water. The follow- 
ing is an abbreviated and adapted extract, taken from a 
recent publication concerning this lake, by the well known 
artist, John Barrow of Skaneateles, who for half a century 
has studied and delightfully painted the woods, hills and 
waters of Skaneateles Lake. 

" The water of Skaneateles Lake is of the clearest and 
purest. I believe it has a color and beauty hot reached by 
any other lake in our land. All the other lakes of our 
region have a clear and beautifully tinted water, each a 
little different from any other. Ours has a delicate emerald 



84 ONONDAGA HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION 

tint, less pronounced than that of the great lakes, a tint of 
its ov.Ti, I think it the fairest of all. 

" We know how g-racefully the shores rise from the lake 
as far as Mandana, and then rise more precipitously, until 
they pass around the head of the lake in a grand amphi- 
theater of hills, still partially clothed with forests. 

" Trees are standing and increasing around the Village 
of Skaneateles and its adjacent shores, filling up gaps that 
once were there. Nature still plants trees along the shore, 
and already we see a great change in that respect in the 
last twenty-five or thirty years. In some places the second 
growth has reached the height of the old trees, and in other 
places the saplings are covering the ground. There is still 
a grand wood on the west shore, half way up the lake, that 
keeps green the memory of the primeval forests. 

" The Points that were barren a few years ago, are now 
owned by men who o■v^^l summer cottages there, and have 
taken care to add to such trees as have been spared to them. 
Ten Mile Point has a new and beautiful grove, freshly 
planted a few years ago, and also a fine old group, marking 
the end of the Point as it was since the lake was known. 
Three Mile Point, owned by Mr. Hooker, has since his 
occupancy become a charming spot. Fall Brook Point has 
changed some since I knew it, but not to its detriment, with 
its fine cottage, pleasant lawn of flowers, and summer houses 
planted there. I notice with satisfaction the same improve- 
ment at Nine Mile Point, Sycamore Point, Randall's Point 
and others. 

" There is a ravine and brook at every Point, for the 
brook makes the Point, and some are very interesting and 
beautiful. The gorge at Appletree Point is one of the finest 
on the lake. It has a stream of water more copious than 
the Inlet at the head of the lake. There are two fine falls 
in its course, one seventy-five or eighty feet in height, the 
waters falling over a cavern in the slaty rock beneath, from 
a ledge of Tully limestone above. Another one lower do^vn 
the gorge, of forty feet in height, is most picturesque in 
time of freshet. There are other ravines at Ten Mile Point, 
Hall's Point, Jenny's Point, Collins' Point, Hooker's Point, 
and Gregory's Point. All these and many other smaller 
brooks, with their varied rocky architecture and plant life, 
are of interest to the lover of Nature. 



SPAFFORD, ONONDAGA COUNTY, NEW YORK 85 

" Of the scenery of the lake much can be told. The 
region in which this beautiful sheet of water lies is very 
rich in varied landscape; its hills, valleys and woods are 
very beautiful; and the views from the hills bounding- the 
lakes are very charming. It would take too long to enum_- 
erate the different places where good views can be obtained, 
but some of the best are from the head of the lake. There 
are some excellent ones from the hills back of Three Mile 
Point, and from, there dov/n to Mandana. From the hills 
south of Spafford Corners to the village of Skaneateles are 
many charming views. Anywhere along the shores of the 
lake it is very beautiful, but I think the finest views of all 
are from Captain George K. Collins' cottage on Randall's 
Point. This cottage commands splendid views up and down 
the lake, the former being supplemented with the finest 
view of the valley beyond Glen Haven. On the eastern 
shore of the lake the summer sunsets can be seen in all their 
variety and glory. 

"There is a view from Ripley Hill, in the town of Spafford, 
near the head of the lake, that ought to be famous. From 
there the beholder has spread out before his vision a stretch 
of county extending from the spurs of the Adirondack 
Mountains on the east, to the hills of Seneca County on the 
west, and from the mountains of Pennsylvania on the south, 
to the waters of Lake Ontario on the north. One may well 
be impressed with the beauty that is spread before him 
here of our counter and the setting of our lake We only 
need great artists a,nd poets to make the people understand 
and appreciate how generous Nature has been, in giving us 
this beautiful lake and surrounding hills." 

STEAMBOATS. 

The first steamboat on Skaneateles Lake was the " High- 
land Chief," brought here from the Hudson River by Cap- 
tain William Fowler, its owner. It came by canal, and 
from thence was trucked to the lake by oxen. It was forty 
feet in length, a side wheeler, and had a very uncomfort- 
able habit of careening on slight provocation. According 
to John Barrow it was introduced here about 1824 ; but we 
have no record of it on the lake prior to 1831. As a steam- 
boat it was not a success, and it was eventually remodelled 
into a sail boat for carrying freight and wood. 



86 ONONDAGA HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION 

The next boat was built here, was about one hundred feet 
in length, a side wheeler, and was named " Independence," 
because launched on Independence Day, July 4, 1831. It 
was built in part by public subscription, had a cabin partly 
below decks, and, like its predecessor, was a losing venture. 
After a brief struggle for business and meeting with indif- 
ferent success. Captain Wells, its pincipal owner, converted 
it into a sail boat for carrying v/ood to the village of Skan- 
eateles. It is said that D. B. Hillis, afterwards District 
Attorney of the County of Onondaga, and then a student 
in the law office of F. G. Jewett, delivered the Fourth of 
July oration at Skaneateles, the day this boat was first put 
in the water. 

These two disastrous failures in the steamboat business 
seemed to deter any further ventures in that line for many 
years ; but the opening of the Water Cure Establishment at 
Glen Haven, at the head of the lake, and a hotel and bowl- 
ing alley at Fair Haven on the opposite side, each connected 
by daily stages with the village of Homer, gave fresh encour- 
agement to men who v/ere anxious to open lake transporta- 
tion ; so in 1848, about the time of the opening of the Water 
Cure, the side wheel steamer " Skaneateles " was placed on 
the lake. This boat was owned or managed by Thomas 
Hecox, a son of Warren Hecox, one of the promoters of the 
Water Cure Establishment at Glen Haven. 

On July 4, 1848, a rival steamer named " Homer," made 
its maiden trip up the lake in company with the Skan- 
eateles, each soliciting and carrying passengers on that 
occasion. The " Skaneateles " appeared to be a steady and 
safe boat, but the " Homer " was top heavy and had an 
uncomfortable way of careening from side to side, alter- 
nately lifting one after the other of its side paddle wheels 
out of the water; in windy weather this was particularly 
noticeable, and people for that reason were afraid to ride 
on the boat. 

Whatever increased trade the Water Cure Establishment 
may have contributed to lake transportation, it certainly 
was not sufficient to sustain two boats; so one evening, 
after returning to Skaneateles from an unsatisfactory 
voyage to Glen Haven, Captain Hecox, with a full head of 
steam, ran the Skaneateles on to the western shore of the 



SPAFFORD, ONONDAGA COUNTY, NEW YORK 87 

lake, where he subsequently removed her machinery and 
boiler, and then converted her hull to other uses. 

The Homer was never popular, and after making a valiant 
fig-ht for three or four years, gave up the struggle and sub- 
mitted to the inevitable transformation into a sailing craft 
for hauling wood. 

The Ben. H. Porter, built soon after the close of the Civil 
War, was a propeller modelled after an ocean steamer, and 
altogether too slow and clumsy to meet the requirements 
of lake travel. This, after a few years, went the way of 
the others, and about twenty-five or thirty years ago was 
supplanted by the small but very serviceable steam propeller 
" Glen Haven," still in use. The latter boat is now- owned 
by the Skaneateles Railroad Company, which in 1901 put 
upon the lake the " City of Syracuse," modelled after its 
sister boat but much larger in size. 

No steamboat has ever paid running expenses here until 
after the erection of summer cottages on the lake, since 
which time traffic has steadily increased, so that now, during 
the summer months, one or both of these boats are con- 
stantly required to meet the demands of travel. 

A number of years ago a small steam yacht was placed 
on the lake by private parties, and named "Ossahinta," but 
by reason of commutation tickets and cut rates on rail- 
roads connecting with the regular boat, this opposition line 
v/as put out of business ; what the effect of trolley lines of 
railroad running into Skaneateles may be on lake transpor- 
tation, is yet to be seen. 

Sailing yachts for pleasure have for years been a special 
feature of the lake, and during recent times numerous 
steam and gasoline launches have been introduced to its 
waters. 

GLEN HAVEN SANITARIUM. 

In the winter of 1847-8, a Water Cure Establishment 
was opened by Dr. Jackson at Glen Haven, on the west 
side, near the head of the lake. The first building used 
was a large white house, with a chimney at each end, built 
in 1846. by Deacon Hall of Skaneateles. The soft water 
for the Water Cure was taken in pipes, from a large spring 
issuing from the steep and almost inaccessible mountain 
side, in rear and several hundred feet above the house. At 



88 ONONDAGA HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION 

the beginning of its career the rules and regulations of the 
Water Cure were stringent and exacting, and many who 
were ill, or thought they were, flocked to the new Sanitar- 
ium. Among other regulations the patients were required 
to wear skull-caps, kept constantly moist by dipping in 
water, to partake of a rigid coarse diet, drink copiously of 
the cool soft water of the establishment, take baths once or 
twice a day, exercise frequently in the open mountain air, 
and all women patients were to wear bloomers. 

The skull-caps, bloomers, and coarse diet of the old regime 
eventually passed away, and this old time Water Cure under 
the liberal management of Dr. Thomas and John Mourin, 
who have been in charge for the last twenty-five or thirty 
years, has at last become well known throughout the 
United States as a popular Sanitarium and Summer Resort, 
for the latter purpose its reputation has long been 
established. 

The first house was destroyed by fire about 1850, and a 
new and more commodious building erected in it s place. 
The new building was soon outgrown, and numerous cot- 
tages from time to time were added to supplement the main 
establishment. After the lake became popular, by reason 
of private parties erecting summer cottages at different 
places along its shores, a large and commodious hotel build- 
ing was added to the other structures of the Water Cure 
property, to meet the demands of summer trade. 

No spirituous liquors have ever been sold on the Sani- 
tarium grounds, a fact which no doubt has contributed to 
its popularity as a place of resort for women and children. 
This institution, during its long career, has at times been 
subject to adversity, and probably justly open to criticism 
for unsatisfactory management, yet on the whole there is 
much to be said in its favor. Its future seems established, 
and its many pleasant surroundings ought to make it bright 
and prosperous. 

COTTAGES. 

In the Spring of 1881 the writer erected on Randall's 
Point, now known as Spafford Landing, the first summer 
cottage on Skaneateles Lake; this at the time produced a 
mild sensation among the people residing in the vicinity, 
and scores of people visited the place to look upon the new 



SPAFFORD, ONONDAGA COUNTY, NEW YORK 89 

innovation. No one before had even suggested Skaneateles 
Lake as a place for private summer homes, and certainly 
no one had ever ventured an outlay of money in that direc- 
tion. The general comment of those Vv^ho visited this un- 
pretentious first effort, in the direction of a summer cottage, 
was that it was a foolhardy thing to do, and summer 
cottages on the lake would never amount to anything. This 
first building is now in use, as it was designed at the begin- 
ning, as a dining room and kitchen ; the family of the writer 
were then sleeping in tents. 

The v/riter had one guest that first summer, however, 
who came, stayed over night, said he never enjoyed himself 
better in his life, in the morning bought a piece of land on 
the lake shore, and soon after commenced the erection of 
a cottage of his own; that was E. M. Ford of Syracuse. 
That property and cottage is now owned by his daughter, 
Mrs. Weed, of Brooklyn, N. Y. 

Soon after Mr. Ford's purchase, in 1881, he sold a part 
to Mr. James H. Blair of Syracuse, who erected the third 
cottage on the lake; this property is now ovmed and 
occupied by Mr. Cronell, of Skaneateles. 

In a year or two after his first venture, the writer supple- 
mented his belonging on the lake by erecting his main 
cottage, on the bluff or elevation just north of his first 
building. 

From this time forward, the following cottages were 
erected in quick succession upon the lake : Mr. Allen built 
" Rockland " Cottage, on the high rocks just south of Mr. 
Blair ; a Mr. Ford built on Barber's Point the cottage now 
owned and much improved by Col. James Manning of 
Syracuse; Dr. Pease erected the cottage now kno\TO as 
Jenny's, on Havens' Point, and Mr. Hall and Mr. Bench, 
both of Skaneateles, built cottages farther down the lake. 
All that have been now mentioned were in the town of 
Spafford. 

On the opposite side of the lake, in the County of Cayuga, 
about this time were erected four cottages on Pray's Point 
(Glen Cove), by three Gregory Brothers of Skaneateles, and 
by Prof. R. Bruce White (a brother-in-law) of Syracuse. 
Mr. Carpenter and Mrs. Casper erected two elegant summer 
and winter homes on Appletree or Sa^\Tnill Point. The last 
two were soon supplemented by ten or twelve other tasty 



90 ONONDAGA HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION 

summer cottages on the gentle declivity of the shore south 
of Carpenter ; these are known as the New Hope Colony. 

From this time forward the popularity of the lake as a 
summer resort was established, and year after year elegant 
summer cottages were added, until there are now about a 
hundred in all, distributed along the shores and points of 
the highland portion of the lake. Among the most note- 
worthy of these, in addition to those already mentioned, 
are the following: Two owned by Mr! Pennock and Mr. 
Cooper in Pine Grove, one by Mr. E. C. Stearns on Wheat 
Point, four owned by Mr. Salem Hyde, Mr. Maslin, Mr. 
James Eager, and Dr. Marlow on the shore between Wheat 
and Ten Mile Point, three owned by Dr. Wright, Mr. Stone 
and Mr. Willett on the shore between Ten Mile and Hall's 
Point, one owned by A. C. Chase on Barber's Point, one 
owned by Rev. Samuel Calthrop on Stag Horn Point, one 
owned by Dr. A. C. Mercer on the shore further south. In 
addition to these there are five or six others belonging to a 
Homer Colony perched on the high rocks south of Rockland 
Cottage. All of these are in the town of Spafford. 

On the western side of the lake the following have been 
added to those already mentioned : One by Mr. Allen, near 
the grounds of the Glen Haven Water Cure, and one by 
each of the following named persons on the shore and points 
on the west side of the lake: Mr. Olmstead, Dr. Guilford, 
Dr. Darby, Mrs. Fields, Mr. Paul, Mrs. Bennett, Mr. Van 
Esseltyne, Hooker Brothers, Mr. Stevens, Mr. Posthill, Mr. 
Weeks Mr. Holden, and several others whose names are not 
known to the writer. 

Skaneateles Lake has been recently appropriated as a 
water supply for the City of Syracuse ; what the effect may 
be upon this beautiful sheet of water as a place of resort 
and for summer homes is yet to be determined. The 
matter of cottage building has been one of great importance 
to the town of Spafford and has added very much to its 
material wealth and prosperity. Its revenue from that 
source has been a constant and increasing one, from the 
time the first building was erected within its limits, and 
barring the effect of this appropriation of the lake as a 
water supply, its future revenue from that source looks 
better than ever before. The facilities for reaching and 
enjoying Skaneateles Lake were never in the past what they 



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SPAFFORD, ONONDAGA COUNTY, NEW YORK 91 

are to-day, and certainly, in salubrity and attractiveness, 
this beautiful sheet of water has no equal in Central New 
York. 

MISCELLANEOUS. 

Within the last fifty or sixty years there have been great 
material changes in the welfare of the world, and especially 
in the United States. The most noticeable of these have 
occurred in our great cities and along our routes of com- 
merce; and yet even an isolated country section, like the 
town of Spaff ord, has been affected by this current of passing 
events, which has marked the progress of nations. The 
discovery and application of steam and electricity as motive 
pov\^ers, and the invention of the telegraph and telephone, 
have had the effect, to a greater or less extent, of annihilat- 
ing time and space; while the invention of a multitude of 
modern labor saving devices has revolutionized the ordinary 
methods of man, and the manner of obtaining his daily 
bread; even his tastes and habits have changed. It would 
seem as if the country farmer would be the last to be affected 
by these modern innovations, and yet a careful study of the 
situation shows, that even he has succumbed to the force 
of modern ideas. These changes are unregretable, because 
they are the logical sequence of current events, so it is not 
our purpose to speak of them farther than to note the fact, 
without expressions of regret; but of other changes we 
desire to speak: 

MAPLE SUGAR MAKING. 

Fifty years ago the ordinary sweet used in a farmer's 
family, for domestic purposes, was made from the sap of a 
maple tree, and a farm without a " sugar-bush " was in- 
complete. Maple groves were preserved and protected, with 
all the care and attention of an apple or fruit orchard. 
Early in Spring the sap buckets were taken from their 
storing place, repaired, hoops tightened, and the buckets 
carefully washed, soaked and put in readiness to catch the 
first sap run of the season. The boiling was generally done 
in long copper pans, set in brick arches covered by rough 
wooden sheds, to protect them from the inclement weather 
of Spring. The sugar season, always a short one, some- 
times required a day and night service of the attendant. 



91 ONONDAGA HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION 

Sugar making- \vas alwaj's a happy service for young people, 
who generally attended the " sugar off," and delighted to 
make the hot sugar into wax, by dropping it on a panful of 
clean snow or a cake of ice. In olden times it was not an 
unusual thing, to behold in an early Spring evening, the 
fire light from half a dozen sugar bushes from the village 
of Spafford Corners. The early farmers, in this town, not 
only made sugar for them.selves, but had a surplus to sell 
to people in their localities. Muscovado, or a crude sugar 
made from Southern sugar cane, never was a very desir- 
able sweet, and the clarified and granulated article is a 
matter of com.paratively recent origin. The making of 
maple sugar, in this locality, is grov/ing less and less every 
year, and Y>ill soon be a lost art; there are even now very 
few maple groves worth the tapping. A cake of maple 
sugar v/ill soon be a curiosity, and maple syrup on pan- 
cakes a luxury that the wealthy only can indulge in. 

MAPLE GROVES. 

Another noticeable and very regretable matter, which 
has occurred within the last fifty years, and which naturally 
affects the physical aspect of this to\Mi, is the destruction 
of nearly all the fine groves of trees, which once existed in 
close proximity to the villages and residences of the people. 
From appearances, the people who have possessed the land 
had an antipathy against both trees and shrubs, and have 
wielded the axe with an unsparing hand. With the trees 
have gone the Spring fiowers and native birds, and all that 
feasted the eye and stirred the soul of man to higher aims 
and brighter thoughts. There is some satisfaction, however, 
in knowing there are some places in town so steep and 
rugged as to stay the course of the woodm.an's axe, and 
where there is still a retreat for trees, birds and flowers. 
There are a few shade trees along the waysides, particularly 
in the two villages, but even these are a memory of fifty 
years ago. Very few, if any, fruit trees have been planted 
in a half century. We are very glad, however, to note that 
along the lake shore, where the summer residents have a 
foothold, there is a reaction from this general tendency to 
destruction and decay; here Nature, aided by sympathetic 
hands, is fast restoring the land to its primitive charms. 
We trust that the coming generation will catch some in- 



SPAFFORD, ONONDAGA COUNTY, NEW YORK QZ 

spiratioii from the Lakers, that will result in restoring the 
lands in this picturesque town from the vandalism of the 
last fifty years. 

HUNTING, PIGEONS, BIRDS, ETC. 

In the forepart of the nineteenth century every man and 
boy was a marksman, and possessed a rifle or a firing iron 
of some description. Fox hunting, hunting for black and 
gray squirrels, partridges, pigeons, rabbits, and other small 
animals and birds, afforded abundant sport for those who 
were so minded. Others found pleasure and profit in trap- 
ping fur bearing animals and in hunting for bee trees. 
All these pastim.es are now practically a memory of the past ; 
and perhaps it is well it is so, for certainly it has always 
been a question whether the companionship of these birds 
and small anm.als has not always been of more value to the 
people, than the temporary pleasure of the few who prac- 
ticed the art of killing them. 

There are a few who will remember when flocks of wild 
pigeons darkened the air with their Spring and Fall migra- 
tions; now, not a bird is left to tell the story; a few bobo- 
links still frequent our meadows in Summer time, and 
enliven our labors with their sweet warbling song ; but, like 
the pigeons, their days will soon be numbered and their song 
cease in the land. 

With the rapid flow of current events have also passed the 
old time quilting bees, paring bees, husking bees, and the 
old fashioned singing school; possibly there has something 
succeeded to take their place, but in innocent fun and 
generous sociability, we doubt if there will ever be a sub- 
stitute for these old time gatherings. 

JUDGE ELLIOTT ANTHONY. 

(From The Syracuse Herald of February 26, 1898.) 
" Elliott Anthony, one of the most illustrious sons of Onon- 
daga County, died on Thursday night, February 20, 1898, 
at Evanston, Illinois. For twelve years he was Judge of 
the Superior Court of Illinois, and one of the leading author- 
ities on law in the Middle West. He was born in Spafford 
on June 10th, 1827, of Quaker ancestors. His father, Isaac 
Anthony, married Pamelia Phelps of Vermont, and to them 
were born sons and daughters. The sons were educated in 



94 ONONDAGA HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION 

the academy at Homer. In the autumn of 1847, Elliott 
entered Hamilton College at Clinton, as sophomore. He 
was graduated in 1850 with high honors. 

" In the following year, he and his classmate, Joseph I. 
Hubbard, had charge of the Clinton Academy, in which 
Grover Cleveland was then a pupil. Anthony's first experi- 
ence at the school showed his character and determination. 
The school had the reputation of being hard to control, 
and had, previous to Mr, Anthony's advent, sent away in 
quick succession five or six teachers. When he entered the 
school-room on the first morning and called for order, there 
was a violent slamming of books and slates on the desks. 
He repeated the order, and a like demonstration followed. 
Without a word he walked through the center aisle to the 
back of the room, took two of the largest boys by their 
collars and dragged them to the front, where he knocked 
their heads together, and sent the lads to separate corners 
of the room. He again issued his command for order and 
it was obeyed. From that da^'' on he had no further trouble 
with his school. A gray-haired man came into his Court 
room, where he was a Judge on the Chicago bench, and 
thanked the jurist for that trouncing, saying that he had 
learned more in that one day than he had in all his previous 
schooling. 

" Young Anthony pursued a course in law under Prof. 
Theodore W. Dwight, and was admitted to the bar at 
Oswego at 24 years. A year later, and after pleading his 
first case into a Court of Record in Sterling, 111., he returned 
to the East, married Mary, the sister of Professor Dwight, 
and a grand-daughter of President Dwight of Yale College, 
on July 14th, 1852. Returning West he went to Chicago, 
celebrating his first year of married life by compiling "A 
digest of the Illinois Reports," which was received with 
great favor by the legal profession. In 1858 he was elected 
City Attorney of Chicago, during which administration he 
became the means of establishing many new points in law, 
such as, that special assessments cannot be enjoined by a 
Court of Chancery, and that the City of Chicago cannot be 
garnisheed to collect salaries or wages of those employed 
by it. 

" Five years after his election he was chosen general 
solicitor of the greatest railway corporation then in the 



SPAFFORD, ONONDAGA COUNTY, NEW YORK 95 

Northwest, the Galena and Chicago Union Raih'oad Com- 
pany. He was with it when the great fight over its con- 
solidation with the Chicago and North Western was on, 
and led the minority stockholders, in one of the most stub- 
bornly contested cases in railway law, and enlisted some of 
the most eminent capitalists of the country, among them 
Sam.uel J. Tilden. All the contentions of Mr. Anthony's 
brief were sustained, and the parties patched up their diffi- 
culties. Out of this brief grew '* The Law Pertaining to 
the Consolidation of Railroads," which still remains a 
standard work on that important subject. 

" He was one of the leaders of the two great constitutional 
conventions held in Illinois in 1862 and 1870. In the second 
he was chairman of the Executive committee, and also served 
upon the committee on judiciary and railroads. 

" Mr. Anthony was one of the founders of the Republican 
party in Illinois, and was a delegate to the first Republican 
Convention in Cook County. In 1880, when the conflict 
over the third term idea came up, he was elected chairman 
of the Cook County Convention, and delegate to the State 
Convention, where he became contesting delegate to the 
National Convention, where, in a stormy debate, he 
answered Green B. Baum, General Logan and Emory Storrs, 
and was finally admitted to the Convention which nomi- 
nated General Garfield for President. 

In the follov\ring Autumn he was elected to the bench of 
the Superior Court, where he sat for twelve years. While 
on the bench Mr. Anthony devoted much time to the com- 
pliation of legal treatises, which included a work entitled 
" Law of Self Defense," " The Trial by Jury in Criminal 
Cases," and " New Trials in Criminal Cases," His sketches 
of the Courts of England, published in "The Legal Adviser" 
attracted much attention about this time, as also did his 
treatise on " The Law of Arrest in Civil Cases." 

" In 1889 Mr. Anthony was honored by the degree of 
LL.L., conferred upon him by his Alma Mater, Hamilton 
College. 

" Among other works that have come from his pen are : 
"The Constitutional History of Illinois," "The Story of 
the Empire State," " Sanitation and Navigation," a series 
of articles published in the Western Magazine of History 
on "Old Virginia." 



96 ONONDAGA HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION 

Mr. Anthony's first wife died in 1862, and eight years 
later he married her younger sister. For forty-five years 
he lived in Chicago, but for the last four years he made his 
home with his son, Charles E. Anthony, at Evanston. He 
is survived by two other sons. State Senator George D. 
Anthony, and Dr. Henry G. Anthony, making three in all." 

PROFESSOR SILAS M. BETTS. 

The following is an abridged extract, taken from Prof. 
Edward Smith's History of Syracuse Schools: 

" Silas M. Betts was born in Borodino in 1828. When 
a child he moved with his parents to Memphis, in this 
county, where he attended the public school. He also 
attended school at Warners, Onondaga Academy, and Homer 
Academy when Samuel Woolworth was principal. His first 
teaching was at Belle Isle in the winter of 1844-5. After 
this he attended the Normal School at Albany and graduated 
in 1849. 

Soon after, he became principal of School Number Nine 
in this city. In 1851 he was principal of Number Eleven, 
where he remained until his transfer to School Number 
Seven, in 1855. He taught in the latter school until his 
appointment as principal of a High School at Niles, Michi- 
gan, in 1859; and was instrumental in making the schools 
free in that State. While teaching in Michigan he held 
teachers' institutes in that State during vacation time. His 
health being impaired by overwork, he resigned the prin- 
cipalship of the Niles High School about 1860. After a 
rest for about a year, he accepted the Vice Principalship of 
the Normal School in the State of New Jersey. He con- 
tinued in this work for about three years, and then resigned 
to accept the Presidency of the American Guernsey Cattle 
Club at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Writing Mr. Smith 
from that Club, he said : " I have lived to see the schools 
made free in the State of New York, Michigan and New 
Jersey, and I trust they have all been made better by my 
labors. My most pleasant memories are connected with 
the schools of Syracuse." 

DR. JOHN COLLINS. 

Dr. John Collins came to SpafFord Corners from Brook- 
field, Madison County, New York, where he was bom, about 



SPAFFORD, ONONDAGA COUNTY, NEW YORK 97 

1830. His father and mother were of New England origin 
and came from Stonington, Connecticut, on or before 1796. 
He was educated in Hamilton Academy (now Colgate Uni- 
versity) , and in the Medical College in Castleton, Vermont, 
where he graduated in 1829. He came to Spafford Corners 
the next year, joined the Onondaga Medical Society, June 
14, 1831, and remained here in active practice of his pro- 
fession until about the time of his decease, August 15, 1853; 
he was buried in Spafford Cemetery. He first opened an 
office in Roundy's Tavern, where he boarded, but soon pur- 
chased a lot adjoining the hotel property on the south, 
where he erected an office. In 1831 he married Miss Mary 
Ann Roundy, daughter of Captain Asahel Roundy, and 
soon after remodeled his office into a dwelling house, where 
three of his first children, including the author of this 
sketch, were born. He then purchased a farm of fifty 
acres on the opposite side of the highway, which, prior to 
that, had successively been owned by Peleg Babcock, John 
Babcock, Silas Cox and Joseph Cole. He continued to 
reside on this farm until a short time before his decease, 
when he moved into a new house built by him just south, 
and adjoining the Union Meeting House lot; this he sold 
to a Dr. Davidson, preliminary to moving to Syracuse, but 
died prior to the transfer of his family to the latter place. 

In Bruce's History of Onondaga County appears the 
following : " Dr. John Collins came to Spafford about 1830, 
and practiced medicine until his decease, August 15, 1853. 
He was a descendant of Henry Collins, starchmaker, who 
came to America from Stepney Parish, London, England, 
in 1635, and settled in Lynn, Mass. Dr. Collins was of the 
seventh generation, in an unbroken line of Johns from 
Henry his emigrant ancestor. He was graduated from 
Castleton, Vermont Mediacl College in 1829, settled first in 
Madison County, but soon rem.oved to this town, where he 
acquired a wide professional business. He was one of the 
leading physicians in the County during his career, and a 
prominent member of the County Medical Society. He was 
a fine botanist, knew the medical properties of almost all 
varieties of plants, held several important town offices, and 
was one of the first to espouse the cause of temperance. 

" Owing to the intermarriage of his ancestors with well 
known families of Washington County, Rhode Island, a full 



98 ONONDAGA HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION 

account of his lineage would involve the recital ot nearly 
every tradition, and nearly every early transaction of the 
State of Rhode Island, which is not v/ithin the province of 
this article ; but of him it can be truthfully said, every drop 
of blood in his veins was English, pure and simple, in the 
strictest sense of the word. His boyhood was spent on the 
farm of his father in Brookfield, and v/as subject to all 
the hardships and deprivations of pioneer life; yet, with 
indomitable pluck and perseverance, he was able to acquire 
an excellent education for his time, and far above the 
average of the community in which he lived. Like many 
other young men he taught school several winters, to obtain 
the means to meet the expenses for a higher education. 
Soon after settling in Spafford he acquired an extensive 
practice in his chosen profession of medicine, and ever led 
an active life; commanding respect from all, and by merit 
alone was able to retain possession of his chosen field of 
labor, against the encroachm^ent of all new comers. He was 
never an aspirant for office, yet for several years acted as 
School Commissioner and Postmaster, because the first was 
congenial to his tastes, and the latter involved no part of 
his personal attention, its duties being performed by his 
wife. He v/as one of the founders of the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church at Spafford, and generally supported any good 
and worthy cause, which he believed would advance the 
moral interests and material welfare of his townspeople. 

" On the 4th day of April, 1831, he was united in mar- 
riage with Mary Ann Roundy, daughter of Captain Asahel 
Roundy, and sister of Prof. Charles O. Roundy, first prin- 
cipal of the Syracuse High School, and by her had eight 
children ; two only of whom are still surviving. One of his 
sons, Captain George Knapp Collins, is a prominent attorney 
and counselor at law, in practice in the City of Syracuse, 
and during the War of the Rebellion served as Captain in 
the 149th New York Volunteers Infantry, with distinction. 
Dr. Collins was generally respected by his brethren of the 
medical profession, for his social and professional attain- 
ments. After a lapse of near half a century since his 
decease, his memory is treasured in nearly every household 
embraced with the scope of his labors, with affectionate 
regard." 



SPAFFORD, ONONDAGA COUNTY, NEW YORK 99 

CAPTAIN GEORGE KNAPP COLLINS. 

Captain George K. Collins, author of this work, and son 
of Dr. John Collins and Mary Ann Roundy, his wife, was 
born at Spafford Corners, April 15, 1837. As President of 
the Collins Family Re-Union, which holds its annual meet- 
ings in Madison County, New York, Captain Collins in 1901 
prepared and published a short genealogy of his branch of 
that family, by which it appears that his ancestors were 
originally Rhode Island Quakers, descended from Henry 
Collins, vv^ho came to this country in 1635, from Stepney 
Parish, London, England, and settled in Lynn, Mass. On 
both sides his family are of New England origin and 
patriotic stock; all four of his great grand-fathers havmg 
served in the patriot cause in the War of the Revolution, 
and his grandfather, on his mother's side, having com- 
manded a Company as Captain, during a tour of duty in the 
War of 1812 ; it was only following natural impulses of the 
blood that flowed in his veins, that he gave his services to 
the cause of his country, in the great War of the Rebellion. 

The following extract is taken from a recent publication 
concerning the subject of this sketch: "Captain Collins 
was mustered into the service of the United States, Septem- 
ber 18, 1862, as First Lieutenant in Company I, 149th Regt., 
N. Y. Vol. Inft., in the War of 1861, served for a period of 
near two years, and was brevetted Captain at the close of 
the war for meritorious services. He participated in all 
the battles, skirmishes and marches of the regiment, both 
in the Army of the Potomac and the Army of the Cumber- 
land, up to the time of his discharge, excepting the battle of 
Ringgold, from which he was prevented by injuries received 
in battle a few days previous. Among the engagements 
and campaigns in which he saw service were Chancellors- 
ville, Gettysburg, Wauhatchie, and Lookout Mountain. He 
was twice v/ounded, first at Chancellorsville and again at 
Lookout Mountain; the latter was the occasion of his dis- 
charge, which occurred April 24, 1864. He was admitted 
to the bar of the State of New York soon after his discharge 
from the Army of the United States, and soon after to the 
District Court of the United States and Department of the 
Interior. He is now engaged in active practice of his pro- 
fession at Syracuse, N. Y. He is Past Commander of Root 



100 ONONDAGA HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION 

Post, G. A. R.; Past President of Central N. Y. Micro- 
scopical Club; Member of the National Microscopical 
Society; for fifteen or sixteen years he was Grand Treas- 
urer of the Royal Arcanum for the State of New York; 
he is a Companion of the Loyal Legion, New York Com- 
mandery; he is the author of the history of his regiment, 
entitled " Memoirs of the 149th Regt. N. Y. Vol. Inft., 3d 
Brig., 2 Div., 12th and 20th A. C.;" is a member of the 
Central New York Genealogical Society, and a member of 
the Sons of the American Revolution. 

" Captain Collins' father, who was a physician and sur- 
geon, died while residing in Spafford, a small country 
village, when the subject of this sketch was sixteen years 
of age, and a country boy living on a farm. A few months 
afterward Captain Collins, accompanied by his mother and 
two infant brothers, moved to the City of Syarcuse, and 
commenced the struggle of life under very discouraging 
circumstances, working alternately at whatever he could 
find to do, and going to school until the Spring of 1858, 
when he was graduated from the Syracuse High School, 
then considered an excellent educational institutinn. He 
then entered the law office of the well known firm of D. 
and D. F. Gott, at Syracuse, as a student, but his labors 
were soon interrupted by the event of the Civil War, and 
his admission to the bar was delayed until about 1866. 
Whatever success the Captain may have achieved at the 
bar, or otherwise, he owes to himself and the indomitable 
pluck and perseverance inherited from an excellent father 
and mother. He has never professed religion in the 
general accepted interpretation of that term, still he has 
generally attended the M. E. Church, of which his parents 
were members, and among other church offices was at one 
time Superintendent of the Sabbath School connected with 
that society. In habits of mind in relation to religious 
subjects. Captain Collins has a strong penchant to many of 
the characteristic tenets believed in and adhered to by his 
Quaker ancestors, for whom he cherishes a devout attach- 
ment." 

Captain Collins married early in life Catherine Sager, 
daughter of Jacob Sager and Rebecca Groot his wife, a 
member of a typical New York Knickerbocker family, by 
whom he had seven children, five of whom survive: Kath- 



SPAFFORD, ONONDAGA COUNTY, NEW YORK IQI 

arine Marj^ Grace Virginia; Helen; Flora Belle, wife of 
William W. Wiard, and Clara Bessie, wife of William S. 
Teall, all of Syracuse, New York. 

PROFESSOR EZRA BABCOCK KNAPP. 

Ezra Babcock Knapp, son of Peter, Jr., Avas born in the 
town of Scott, Cortland County, N. Y., February 26, 1830, 
where he resided until three years of age. He then moved 
with his parents to Spafford, where he was brought up a 
farmer boy, on a farm near Spafford Corners, and received 
a common school education. He then attended the Cortland 
Academy at Homer and prepared himself for a teacher, 
an occupation which he followed from 1848 for twenty- 
three terms, and then entered the service of the well known 
school book publishing house of A. S. Barnes and Burr, and 
later with Taintor Bros, and Company. His field was 
mainly the New England and Middle States. Mr. Knapp 
has been closely identified with the Public Library in Skan- 
eateles, his place of residence since 1870, and donated to 
that institution a geological collection. In 1884 he was 
elected School Commissioner, and was re-elected in 1887, 
but declined the nomination for a third term, three years 
later. The honorary degree of Master of Arts was con- 
ferred upon him by Colgate University in 1887. He was 
elected President of the Village of Skaneateles in 1892, but, 
after having served in that capacity about six months, 
resigned on account of ill health. He married in 1857 Miss 
Loretta E. Wilson of Skaneateles, where they now reside. 
Mr. Knapp has been an ardent Republican since the organ- 
ization of that party, and takes a lively interest in State 
and National questions, and in all local matters which affect 
the community in which he resides. He has a well stored 
mind on scientific subjects, and particularly in matters 
relating to local geology. He has spent much time and 
research in the prosecution of the latter study, and in refer- 
ence to it his knowledge and opinions are deemed of g]."eat 
value. 

HON. MARTIN AUGUSTUS KNAPP. 

Hon. Martin Augustus Knapp, son of Justus N. and 
Polly P. (McKay) Knapp, was born in Cold Brook in this 
town, and educated in Homer and Cazenovia Academies, 



102 ONONDAGA HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION 

and the Wesleyan University at Middletown, Connecticut. 
After his graduation and the completion of his college 
course, he entered the law oflEice of Oliver Porter, Esq., at 
Homer, N. Y., as a student, and afterwards accepted a 
clerkship in the law office of Hall and Chamberlin in Syra- 
cuse, N. Y., where he remained until he was admitted to 
the Bar of the State of Nev/ York in the year 18 — . Soon 
after Mr. Knapp was admitted to the Bar the latter firm 
was dissolved, and by the retirement of the senior member, 
and a new one organized, of which he was the junior and 
Mr. Chamberlin the senior member; the latter firm con- 
tinued for several years, doing a prosperous business, when 
Mr. Knapp withdrew, and for seven or eight years continued 
in business alone. The new firm of Knapp, Nottingham 
and Andrews was then formed and has continued without 
interrupation and with signal prosperity to the present day. 

During Mr. Knapp's business career in Syracuse, he 
has been City Attorney for one or two terms, has been 
School Commissioner of the Ward in v/hich he resided, has 
once been a candidate for Mayor on the Republican ticket, 
but defeated, and is now Interstate Commissioner, by 
appointment under the General Government, an office which 
he has held for upwards of eight or ten years. 

Mr, Knapp possesses all the elements of busienss success, 
being a fine scholar, a good lawyer, a fluent speaker, affable 
in manner, and possessed of great industry and unexcep- 
tionable habits. He was united in marriage, many years 
ago, with Marion H. Hotchkiss, of Middletov/n, Conn., 
whose acquaintance he made when attending the University 
at that place, but by her has had no issue. 

DR. JONATHAN KNEELAND. 

On the occsion of Dr. Jonathan Kneeland (son of Warren) 
attaining his 50th year in the Onondaga Medical Society, 
at a banquet held in the City of Syracuse, Dr. H. D. Didama 
of Syracuse, N. Y., in speaking of the guest of honor, said : 
" Dr. Jonathan Kneeland was born February 20, 1812, in 
a log cabin in Marcellus Township, between Skaneateles 
and Otisco Lakes. His father, Warren Kneeland, was an 
accomplished Yankee Schoolmaster, who taught in district 
schools for 30 years in Saratoga and Onondaga Counties — 
training, in 1798-9, the twigs which grew into sturdy trees 



SPAFFORD, ONONDAGA COUNTY, NEW YORK 103 

on Pompey Hill. When but eleven years of age he (Jona- 
than) was apprenticed to learn the art of healing to Jere- 
miah Bumbus Whiting of Sempronius. Bumbus was a 
college graduate, and agreed to reward Kneeland for faithful 
services in ten years, with a horse and saddle-bags. This 
delightful experience and prospect was rudely ended, by 
the relapse of the learned Whiting to his old but relinquished 
habit of quaffing the flowing bowl. Jonathan returned to 
his father's log house, left home without leave when but 
fifteen years old, attended district, select, and academic 
schools, and taught for two winters at the encouraging 
remuneration of $10 and $18 per month. After this he 
went to Lane Seminary, where he taught for a while, and 
then entered the Collegiate Department a year in advance, 
under the old Presidency of Dr. Lyman Beecher. Prepar- 
ing about this time to go as a medical missionary to Persia, 
China, or Burmah, he attended medical lectures at the Ohio 
Medical College. This was in 1832, the year when the great 
epidemic of Asiatic Cholera devastated the country. Jona- 
than was sent to Cincinnati to study the disease, and came 
back to care for his fellow students at Lane Seminary, 
working day and night without undressing, and witnessing 
the death of ten of his associates. Then he was attacked 
himself by the dire disease, and under the eminent treatment 
of the learned Doctors Eberle and Drake, he became an 
altered man, his shrinking nature manifesting itself to 
such an extent, that his weight came down from 140 to 71 
pounds. The doctor was brought home to Marcellus, a 
distance of nine hundred miles, to die. For nine long years 
he was an invalid. His intellect during all this time, and 
ever after, remained clear and unclouded. He regamed 
health, and with four relapses, has exercised delightfully 
ever since his faculty of fluent speech. In 1841 he gave up 
his life plans to the practice of medicine in his native land. 
He open an office in \^esper, then removed to Thorn Hill, 
where he remained twelve years. 

" Dr. Kneeland has received the honorary degree of 
M. D. from the Regents of the University of New York,, 
and also from the Ohio Medical College. These were con- 
ferred for well known merit, and were unsought by the 
deserving doctor. Dr. Kneeland faithfully attended at the 
various county, State and National Medical Societies to 



104 ONONDAGA HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION 

which he belonged. He was a delegate to the State Medical 
Society for four years, and an active member for twenty 
years, serving many times as censor. He has been for 
thirty-five years a member of the American Medical Asso- 
ciation. Bright, Vv'itty, humorous, learned and instructive, 
he has often awakened a dull and prosy meeting into one 
of vigorous activity. He has written many papers on 
various diseases and medical subjects. He held the office 
of Coroner eighteen years, Superintendent of Onondaga 
Indians twenty-five years, and for ten years was their 
physician. He has many friends. He has observed strictly 
the golden rule, and is generally loved for his affectionate 
disposition. 

" Dr. Kneeland married Mariam Dwelle, February 7, 
1845, and to whom were born three children: Frank Joel, 
born December 10, 1845, married Etta Edwards at White- 
hall, Wisconsin, December 5, 1883, died October 15, 1898; 
Martin Dwelle, born September 24, 1848, married Sarah 
A. Lord, and resides at Roxbury, Mass.; and Stella, born 
February 20, 1854, graduated at Holyoke Seminary, 
teacher in Syracuse High School five years, married Fred- 
erick Colburn Eddy, Cashier of the Bank of Syracuse, and 
resides at Syracuse, N. Y." 

Dr. Kneeland died and was buried at South Onondaga, 
N. Y., where he had been physician and surgeon for many 
years. 

COLONEL WILLIAM W. LEGG. 

The following is an abstract from a published obituary 
notice, appearing in the public press at the time of his 
decease : 

" Col. William W. Legg died at the residence of his son- 
in-law, William H. Bass, near Borodino, on Sunday last, 
in the 79th yeai* of his age. He was born in Spafford, 
February 18, 1814, and continued to reside in his native 
tovv'n until his decease. He married Minerva A. Prindle, 
daughter of Hon. Joseph Prindle, formerly of this town, 
with whom he lived in happy marital relations for over 
fifty years, her death preceding his own by about four years. 
In politics he was originally a Whig, and subsequently 
accepted the nomination of Sheriff on the Know-Nothing 
Ticket, but on tlie bi-caking out of the Civil War joined the 




PROF. CHARLES O. ROUNDY 



SPAFFORD, ONONDAGA COUNTY, NEW YORK IO5 

Republican Party, with which he afterwards continued, 
vigorously sustaining its principles and giving to it his full 
support, in suppressing the rebellion and preserving the 
Union. When a young man he joined the State Militia, 
and continued his connection with it until he had risen from 
rank to rank, to that of Brigadier General in that organ- 
ization. At the time of the breaking out of the Civil War, 
he was offered the Colonelcy of a regiment in the volunteer 
service, but on account of age and sickness in his family, 
was obliged to decline the flattering offer. Colonel Legg 
was not an aspirant for political honors, yet occasionally 
was induced to serve his town, by the acceptance of minor 
offices within its gift; among these was Supervisor. He 
also received the appointment of Postmaster from the 
General Government, both at Spafford Corners and Boro- 
dino. Col. Legg v>^as a public spirited and useful citizen, 
and he had many friends; his death was generally 
regretted." 

PROFESSOR CHARLES 0. ROUNDY. 

Mr. Edward Smith, formerlj^ Superintendent of Syracuse 
Schools, in speaking of Prof. Roundy, said : 

" Prof. Charles 0. Roundy, son of Captain Asahel Roundy, 
was born in Spafford, Onondaga County, New York, May 
23, 1823. He received his education in the public schools 
of his native town and in Homer Academy. The degree of 
A. M. was conferred upon him^ by Hamilton College in 1853. 
Almost his entire active life has been spent in teaching, 
beginning in his native town at eighteen years, soon after 
leaving Homer Academy. He afterwards taught as Prin- 
cipal in the Skaneateles and Baldwinsville Academies, 
coming from the latter place to Syracuse in 1852, and taking 
the Principalship of old No. 5, where he remained in charge 
until the establishment of the Syracuse High School in 1855. 
He wa^ then installed as Principal of the latter school, and 
remained as such until failing health compelled him to 
resign, in the Spring of 1871. After a year or two of 
travelling, combined with some light work, he again began 
teaching as Principal of the Union Free School at Moravia, 
N. Y., and remained there ten years. Leaving there he 
spent a year or more in Dakota, and then returned to his 
farm in the town of Skaneateles, N. Y. Mr. Roundy was 



108 ONONDAGA HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION 

always noted for his zeal and enthusiasm as a teacher, and 
when engag'ed as such spared no labor, however exacting, 
that he might have something nev\^ to present to his classes 
the coming day, illustrative of the principles to be eluci- 
dated, or to awaken interest in his pupils. Until late at 
night, with his books about him, he would continue to study 
and investigate until he had mastered his subject, and then 
would appear before his classes the next day, to inspire 
them v/ith something of his own spirit. His pupils in this 
city, graduates of the High School, for sixteen years, will 
never forget the love for study, and the ambition awakened 
in them for learning by his eneregtic spirit." 

One of his former pupils, and now a successful teacher 
herself, in a recent publication, said of him: 

" Professor Roundy's personality was wonderful. The 
pupil must have been obtuse indeed who could successfully 
resist his forceful logic. Other principals may have been 
more polished, but none were better loved than he. The 
snov;s of many winters have fallen upon his grave, over 
which has been erected a monument by his former pupils, 
attesting a love that endures beyond the grave. Pupils who 
through his teaching have attained eminence in the sciences, 
on the rostrum, at the bar and in every walk of life. 

" Professor Roundy was a student to the day of his death, 
digging and delving as a day laborer in the rich mines of 
abstruse sciences, and making himself a master of all he 
sought. He died at his home in Skaneateles, September 30, 
1892, and a fev/ days afterwards was buried in Indian 
Mound Cemetery at Moravia, followed to the grave by many 
of his former pupils, sincere mourners of a dear teacher 
and friend." 

HON. SIDNEY SMITH. 

The following are extracts taken from obituary notices 
appearing in the public press, at the time of the decease of 
Mr. Smith, September 10th, 1900. 

" In the death of Sidney Smith, which occurred at his 
residence on West Lake Street, in the village of Skaneateles, 
Monday morning, September 10, 1900, this village lost one 
of its oldest and most respected residents. He was born in 
the town of Spafford, in the vicinity of Borodino, January 
29, 1815, on the farm of which he was the owner at the 



SPAFFORD, ONONDAGA COUNTY, NEW YORK 107 

time of his decease ; he moved from this farm in 1870 and 
come to this village, where he resided ever afterwards. His 
ancestors were of New England patriotic stock, his grand- 
father Job Smith, being an officer in the Connecticut Line 
in the War of the Revolution, and his father Lewis Smith 
being a Lieutenant in the War of 1812. His father was also 
a Member of Assembly in the New York Legislature, and 
at one time Sheriff of the County of Onondaga. Mr. Lewis 
Smith came to the town of Spafford, (then Marcellus) , with 
his father. Job Simth, about 1795, married Chloe Benson 
of Owasco, and brought up a remarkable family of children 
near Borodino, in the old New England way, among whom 
was the subject of this sketch, Mary Smith of Skaneateles, 
Dr. J. Levfis Smith of New York City, William Smith, Esq., 
an attorney at law, late of Sacramento, California, and Dr. 
Stephen Smith, also of New York City. 

" Mr. Sidney Smith first married Adelia E. Blodgett, who 
died in 1843. He then married Miss Jennie A. Calkins, 
by whom were born his only children : Adelia, wife of Prof. 
H. F. Miner, Principal of the Skaneateles Academy, and 
Anna W. Smith, both residents of Skaneateles. Mr. Smith's 
last wife died in Skaneateles in 1887. 

" Mr. Smith, while on the farm (in 1856), was elected a 
Member of Assembly in the New York Legislature, and 
after coming to this village was elected Justice of the Peace, 
an office which he held for about ten years. He was fre- 
quently called upon to act as executor and administrator, a 
function which he performed to the satisfaction of every 
one. He was made administrator, with the will annexed, 
of the estate of the late Charles Pardee of this village, and, 
after seventeen years of litigation, finally settled his 
accounts to the satisfaction of every one concerned. 

" During the later years of his life he lived quietly, 
managing his Spafford farm, in which he took great 
interest, and attended to his insurance business in this 
village. He had a clear recollection of the early events of 
his native town and vcinity, (and the writer of this work 
is pleased to acknowledge his indebtedness to him for much 
valuable information in the preparation of this work.) 

" Mr. Smith was a Republican in politics, and attended 
the Baptist Church in Skaneateles village. The writer of 
one of his obituary notices says of him : " His life was one 



108 ©NONDAGA HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION 

of faithful service to daily duties, a life of unusual good 
health and genial disposition, a life of many friendships 
and no enemies; all men at all times found him reliable." 

SANFORD THAYER. 

Sanford Thayer, Artist, son of Sanford and Sally Miner 
Thayer, was born in Cato, New York, July 19, 1820, and in 
earlj' boyhood moved with his parents to Cold Brook. His 
father, who vv^as a wheelwright by occpuation, died at the 
latter place, August 26, 1836, leaving him surviving a large 
family of small children in indigent circumstances. Soon 
after his father's decease young Thayer who was then about 
seventeen years of age and the oldest of Sally Miner's chil- 
dren, left homo and sought employment in John Legg's 
wagon shop, in the village of Skaneateles; here he met 
CharlesEIliott, v/ho was then engaged in painting pictures 
on the back of the old fashioned high back sleighs and 
cutters, then in use, and which were then being manu- 
factured by Mr. Legg. The life of Thayer up to this period 
had been spent in the woods and fields; he was an ardent 
fisherman, and had become a lover of nature in all its forms 
and features; it was therefore natural, when these two 
artistic loving natures met, that an abiding friendship grew 
up between them. In these early years, when Thayer was 
in his prime and beauty, Elliott painted his celebrated 
portrait of him, which was exhibited in this and foreign 
countries, and first called attention to the latter, and estab- 
lished his reputation as one of the great artists of the world. 
Young Thayer, under the tutelage of Elliott, made rapid 
progress in the use of pencil and brush, and his reputation 
as an artist was also soon established in Central New York ; 
from the time of the meeting of these two men the course 
of Thayer in the realm of art Avas ever onward and upward. 
At an early date he established himself in Syracuse as a 
portrait painter, and retained a studio there until the time 
of his decease. As a painter of poi-traits he had in early 
years many flattering commissions, and after the decease 
of Elliott, it can be truthfully said of him that in this field 
of art he stood for many years without a rival in Central 
New York. His inherent love of nature led him frequently 
to visit the Adirondack Wilderness, and his numerous 
sketches of that wild and rugged country have always been 




SANFORD THAYER, ARTIST 




JEFFERSON J. BROWN 



SPAFFORD, ONONDAGA COUNTY, NEW YORK 109 

sought after, and demanded a good price. He was a true 
lover of Nature, and always interpreted her in his pictures 
in her happiest mood. The woods, the lakes, the fields, the 
fruits and the flowers, seemed to inspire him with their 
beauty and charms, and in his portrayal of them he appeared 
at his best. 

He married Nancy H. Smith in 1850, and by her had two 
children: Mary Brownell, born in 1852 and died in 1853, 
and Albert F. Thayer, born in 1858. The latter lived to 
manhood, married a Miss Carrie Cook, but died without 
issue. Mr. and Mrs. Sanford Thayer died in Syracuse, the 
former in the Fall of 1881. 

TOWN OFFICERS. 

On the first Tuesday of April, 1812, one year after the 
formation of the town, there was held a town meeting at 
the house of Elisha Sabins, at which were elected the follow- 
ing officers, constituting the first public officials of this 
town: 

John Babcock, Supervisor; Sylvester Wheaton, Town 
Clerk; Benjamin Stanton, Asahel Roundy and Elijah Knapp, 
Assessors; Asahel Roundy, Jonathan Berry and Adolphus 
French, Commissioners of the Poor ; Levi Foster, Constable 
and Collector; Sylvanus Learned and James Williamson, 
Commissioners of Public Land; Elisha Sabins, Pound 
Master; Nehemiah Billings, Ebenezer Grout, Samuel 
Holmes, Daniel Scranton, James Whitman, Joel Palmer, 
Cornelius Williamson, Asahel Roundy, and Amos Reed, 
Pathmasters. 

From the foregoing the reader v/ill discover the names of 
some of the first residents of the town, and their status 
among their fellows. It would be a very unprofitable 
matter to give the names of all who have held office since 
this first meeting, and besides any list would be more or 
less imperfect, for the reason that some of the first officers 
were appointed, and not elected, and no town record made 
of them ; also some of the leaves in the first book of records 
have been lost and destroyed, leaving the record incomplete. 
The following is believed to be a perfect list of the Super- 
visors elected in town, from the beginning to the present 
time: 

John Babcock, 1812; Asahel Roundy, 1813-19; Peleg 



110 ONONDAGA HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION 

Shearman, 1820-22; Erastus Barber, 1823-4; Peleg Shear, 
man, 1826 ; Asahel Roundy, 1826 ; Phineas Hutchens, 1827 ; 
Asahel Roundy, 1828-9; Daniel Baxter, 1830-2; John R. 
Lewis, 1833-36; Charles R. Vary, 1837-8; John R. Lewis, 
1839-41; Joseph Bulfinch, 1844; William OTarrell, 1845; 
Joseph Bulfinch, 1846; William W. Legg, 1847; Russel M. 
Burdick, 1848; William W. Legg, 1849; Oscar E. Moseley, 
1850; Thomas B. Anderson, 1851; James H. Isdell, 1852; 
John L. Mason, 1853-55 ; Reuben T. Breed, 1856 ; Samuel S. 
Kneeland, 1857-59 ; David Becker, 1860 ; Edwin S. Edwards, 
1861-3; Orrin Eddy, 1864-6; Uriah Roundy, 1867-69; 
Samuel H. Stanton, 1870-1; Justus N. Knapp, 1872; John 
McDowell, 1873-74; Henry Weston, 1875-7; Benjamin Mc- 
Daniels, 1878-80; Van Dyke Tripp, 1881-3; Perry F. Wood- 
woi-th, 1884-6; Harry J. Haight, 1887; William H. Bass, 
1888 ; Willard Norton, 1889 ; William H. Bass, 1890 ; Marcus 
Patterson, 1891-3; Willard Norton, 1894-5; John Unckless, 
1896-7; Caleb E. King, 1898-9-1900; Marcus Patterson, 
1900-1903. 

COMPANY AND GENERAL TRAINING. 

From a very early period the American people have been 
accustomed to the use of firearms. Nearly every household 
in the to^'ATti of Spafford, in early times, had a gun of some 
sort for the purpose of defense ; and in fact a man, entering 
the primeval forests which at first covered these hills, would 
have been foolhardy without a trusty rifle at his side. 

Our emigrant ancestors had hardly landed on American 
soil, before they discovered they had not only to deal with 
the wild beasts of the forests, but the American Indian was 
disposed to contest every advance made by them in the 
occupation of the land ; so, almost at the beginning of their 
settlements about Massachusetts Bay, they were called to- 
gether for military drill and Company organization. This 
fiirst organization is now kno\^Ti as the " Ancient and Honor- 
able Artillery Copmany of Boston." When new colonies 
were established other military organizations were formed, 
so that, eventually, every community throughout the inhabit- 
able portion of these United States had its separate military 
company or organization, which was fully armed, equipped, 
drilled, and ready for any emergency that might arise, 

This universal military organization, known as the 




EDWIN S. EDWARDS 



SPAPFORD, ONONDAGA COUNTY, NEW YORK HI 

Militia, was continued in the town of Spafford down to a 
period subsequent to the War of the United States with our 
Sister Republic of Mexico. Every man in town capable of 
bearing arms, not exempt by law, was enrolled in some 
Company or military organization and obliged, under 
penalty of Court Martial to keep him_self armed and 
equipped, and to attend Company and battalion drill when 
ordered. 

There was generally at least one battalion drill, known as 
" General Training," in each year ; these were holiday occa- 
sions, looked forvi'-ard to by old and young as periods of 
general festivity and enjoyment. 

A man holding a commission as an officer, in one of these 
early military organizations, v/as generally looked up to 
and respected in the community where he resided, for the 
distinction conferred upon him, and was generally addressed 
by his military title. 

Soon after the Jlexican War compulsory service in the 
State Militia was discontinued, and that organization ever 
since has been maintained by volunteering. 

SOLDIERS. 

Am.ong the Soldiers of the American Revolution who 
settled in the town of Spafiord were the following: 

Paymaster Job Smith Oliver Hyde 

Captain Samuel Holmes Elias Jackson 

Stephen Albro Peter Knapp 

Allen Breed Joseph Lev/is 

Thompson Burdick Jesse Manly 

James Churchell David Owen 

John Churchell Gilbert Palmer 

Elias Davis Samuel Prindle 

Robert Fulton Job Smith 

John Green Isaac Town 

James Hiscock Benjamin Wallace 

Samuel Holmes Henry Wentworth 

Among those v.'^ho served in the War of 1812 were: 

Captain Asahel Roundy Jabez Melvin 

Lieut. Phineas Hutchens Isaac Mills 

Lieut. Lewis Smith Moses Norton 

Stephen Applebe Samuel Parker 

Samuel Barber Silas Randall 



112 



ONONDAGA HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION 



John Beelar 
Thompson Burdick, Jr. 
Kelley Case 
William Dedrick 



Samuel G. Seeley 
Russell Tinkham 
Cornelius Williamson 
Samuel Gale 



The town of Spafford contributed the following soldiers 
to the Union Army, during the War of the Rebellion of 
1861: 



Lieut. George J. Foster 
William B. Allen 
George C. Anderson 
William H. Brown 
John M. Churchill 
Porter Davis 
William Derbin 
Ensign D. Filkins 
William E. Fisher 
Horatio Harrington 
George L, Hines 
William Henry Lyon 
Phineas B. Marshall 
William H. Moon 
George Anthony 
John Anderson 
Ira W. Burdick 
Daniel Bradley 
George W. Case 
Sidney Case 
Asa Clark 
Van Buren Davis 
Lewis Davis 
Edgar Alonzo Eddy 
Charles H. Enos 



William Nesbitt 
Parmenus Norton 
Perry Norton 
Willard Norton 
Jacob Pollock 
Francis H. Patterson 
Charles Weston Roundy 
John Unckless 
John A. Uncless 
George A. Patten 
Edwin S. Van Benschoten 
Napoleon B. Wallace 
James B. Wilber 
Perry F. Woodworth 
Martin Goff 
James Nesbit 
James McCausey 
George Phippins 
George W. Ripley 
Calvin P. Stanton 
James Stringham 
Henry Sage 
Santa Anna Wallace 
John Worth 
Samuel Williams 



ILLUSTRATIONS 



Captain George K. Collins _„Frontispiece 

Captain Asahel Roundy... _ 23 

Uriah Roundy, Esq.... _ 27 

Colonel Phineas Hutchens __ 29 

Thomas Maxson Foster _ _ 33 

Borodino School Housa __ 38 

Borodino Town Hall _ __ __ _. „.. 44 

Borodino M. E. Church. _ 45 

Union Meeting House, Spafford Comers 53 

Berry's Store, Spafford Comers. _ .„_ _ 66 

Roundy's Tavern, Si)afford Comers _._ „ 68 

Borodino Store and Tavern „ „ 71 

Spafford Hills From Skaneateles Lake „ 75 

Skaneateles Lake From Spafford Hills _ „ _ 76 

Head of Skaneateles Lake From Window of Sweet 
Briar Cottage. „_ 83 

Skaneateles Lake From Sweet Briar Cottage 85 

City of Syracuse, Approaching Spafford Landing. _ 87 

Cottage William S. Teall, Skaneateles Lake. 90 

Prof. Charles 0. Roundy „_ „ 105 

Sanford Thayer, Artist _.._ _ _ - 108 

Jefferson J. Brown _ „ __ _ 109 

Edwin S. Edwards „ _ 110 



ILLUSTRATIONS 



Captain George K. Collins _ ...Frontispiece 

Captain Asahel Roundy _ _ _ - 23 

Uriah Roundy, Esq...- _ — — - 27 

Colonel Phineas Hutchens _ 29 

Thomas Maxson Foster. _ 33 

Borodino School House. __ _ 38 

Borodino Town Hall _ _ 44 

Borodino M. E. Church _..._ 45 

Union Meeting House, Spafford Comers „ __ 53 

Berry's Store, Spafford Comers _ _ „ 66 

Roundy's Tavern, Spafford Comers _ _ _ 68 

Borodino Store and Tavern — _ 71 

Spafford Hills From Skaneateles Lake 75 

Skaneateles Lake From Spafford Hills _ _ 76 

Head of Skaneateles Lake From Window of Sweet 

Briar Cottage. ._ 83 

Skaneateles Lake From Sweet Briar Cottage.„ 85 

City of Syracuse, Approaching Spafford Landing _..._ 87 

Cottage William S. Teall, Skaneateles Lake.__ _ __ _ 90 

Prof. Charles 0. Roundy - 105 

Sanford Thayer, Artist. ___ _ - — - ~ 108 

Jefferson J. Brown. _ _„ - — 109 

Edwin S. Edwards — 110 



INDEX 



Introduction and General Description of Spafford 3 

Town and County Organization 5 

Military Tract.„ _ „ 10 

Names of Soldiers Drawing Bounty Lands in Spafford... 15 

First Settlers— _ - - 17 

Gilbert Palmer and Son John _ _ _ — 17 

Names of Other Settlers — _ _„ __ 20 

Biography — 

Captain Asahel Roundy. — _ — 23 

Uriah Roundy, Esq - - 27 

Pullman Family „ _ ~ _ — - 28 

Colonel Phineas Hutchens — - 29 

Roswell Hutchens _ _ - 30 

Amos Miner._ — ~ - - - 32 

Daniel Wallace, Jr — - 36 

Shadrack Roundy 51 

Lorenzo Wesley Roundy _ 51 

Jared Curtis Roundy _ - 52 

Hall Washington Roundy..- _ 52 

Judge Elliott Anthony _ - 93 

Prof. Silas M. Betts 96 

Dr. John Collins 96 

Captain George K. Collins 99 

Prof. Ezara Knapp — 101 

Hon. Martin Augustus Knapp _ 101 

Dr. Jonathan Kneeland.- 102 

Colonel William W. Legg __ 104 



Prof. Charles O. RouTidy„ _. - 105 

Hon. Sidney Smith 106 

Sanford Thayer _ - 108 

Bam Moving- - _ ~ 33 

Schools - _ -_ 38 

uhurches and Libraries __ __ 41 

MoiTnon Exodus ™ _ 47 

Union Meeting House.. _ 53 

Other Corporations _ 58 

ivxills, Distilleries and Furnaces. _.._ 59 

Taverns Stores, Shops, Potasheries and Tanneries 66 

Hig-hways _. „ „ „._ „ _ 72 

Professional Men — 

Physicians _ _ 76 

Lawyers „ _ „ _ 80 

Ministers „ _„.._ _ 81 

Teachers „ _ _ _ 81 

Artists and Sculptors _ _ 81 

Surveyors „ „ _ 82 

Postmasters _ _ „ 82 

Skaneateles Lake and Cottages....! _ 82 

Steamboats _ _.. 85 

Glen Haven Sanatarium _ 87 

Cottages _ _ „„ _ 88 

Miscellaneous „ _.. 91 

Maple Sugar Making 91 

Maple Groves „ _ _ _.. 92 

Town Officers _ _ „ _ 109 

Company and General Training- __ „..._ _ _„ IIQ 

Soldiers of All Wars _ _ „ _ _ Ill 

Hunting, Pigeons Birds, etc __ _ _. 93 



INDEX 



Introduction and General Description of Spafford- -... 3 

Town and County Organization _ 5 

Military Tract _. - 10 

Names of Soldiers Drawing Bounty Lands in Spafford... 15 

First Settlers- _ -- - 17 

Gilbert Palmer and Son John _ __ 17 

Names of Other Settlers _ - - - 20 

Biography — 

Captain Asahel Roundy.._ 23 

Uriah Roundy, Esq ~ - 27 

Pullman Family _ _ — - 28 

Colonel Phineas Hutchens - -. — 29 



30 
32 



Roswell Hutchens „ __ - ~ 

Amos Miner._ — 

Daniel Wallace, Jr _..- ^^ 

Shadrack Roundy ^1 

Lorenzo Wesley Roundy -_ - 51 

Jared Curtis Roundy - ^2 

Hall Washington Roundy — _ - 52 

Judge Elliott Anthony «.- - 93 

Prof. Silas M. Betts _ 96 

Dr. John Collins 96 

Captain George K. Collins 99 

Prof. Ezara Knapp 101 

Hon. Martin Augustus Knapp 101 

Dr. Jonathan Kneeland _ 102 

Colonel William W. Legg 104 



Prof. Charles O. Roundy 105 

Hon. Sidney Smith 106 

Sanford Thayer_ 108 

Bam Moving- - — ._ _ 33 

Schools — ~ 38 

uhurches and Libraries : ._ — 41 

Mormon Exodus„ _ 47 

Union Meeting- House.„ _ 53 

Other Corporations _ 58 

ivxills, Distilleries and Furnaces „ 59 

Taverns Stores, Shops, Potasheries and Tanneries 66 

Highways _ „ 72 

Professional Men — 

Physicians _ _ „ _ 76 

Lawyers _ __ „ „ 80 

Ministers _ 81 

Teachers _ _ _ „ _ 81 

Artists and Sculptors 81 

Surveyors „ _ 82 

Postmasters _ 82 

Skaneateles Lake and Cottages __ 82 

Steamboats _ ^ „ 85 

Glen Haven Sanatariunx _ _ _ 87 

Cottages _ _„ „. 88 

Miscellaneous _ _ _ _„ _.. 91 

Maple Sugar Making..- „ „_ 91 

Maple Groves _ „.... 92 

Town Officers „ 109 

Company and General Training.- _ _ 110 

Soldiers of All Wars __ Ill 

Hunting, Pigeons Birds, etc _ _. 93 



120 90 



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