Boundaries. --- Geography. --- Ancient Home of the Oneidas. --- Home assigned to the Tuscaroras. --- The Great Trail. --- Traversing Armies. --- Vrooman's Adventure and Its Disastrous Results. --- The Nine Pioneer Families of Sullivan. --- Destruction of Their Homes. --- Relics of the Vrooman Expedition. --- Lewis Dennie. --- First Road Through. --- State Road and Seneca Turnpike. --- Various Land Tracts. --- Early Settlers. --- Sketches of Pioneer Experience. --- Discovery of Gypsum Beds. --- Canaseraga Village. --- Its Progress. --- Chittenango and Its Early Enterprises. --- Discovery of Water Lime. --- Building up of Manufactures. --- Polytechny. --- First Fourth of July Celebration in Chittenango. --- Prominent Men. --- Early Railroad Projects. --- Chittenango Springs. --- Bridgeport. --- Incidents. --- Northern Sullivan. --- Biographical Sketches of Hon. John B. Yates and Others. --- Churches.

    Sullivan was formed from Cazenovia, February 22, 1803. In 1809, Lenox was formed from Sullivan. The town was named after General John Sullivan, who made this section famous by his march into the Iroquois country. It is the northwest town of the county, and is bounded north by the Oneida Lake, east of Lenox, south of Fenner, Cazenovia and Onondaga County, and west by Onondaga County.

    The surface of this town is level over something more than its northern half; to the southward, hills rise successively, till they merge into the hights of Fenner, where the out look reveals all the great plain of woodland, broken with but few clearings, with the lake beyond. Directing the vision to various points, the villages, the farms, the streams, the roads --- in fact all the external features of the broad town are spread out to view. The soil of the level portions is strangely analogous to the prairie soil of the west. Even the climate of northern Sullivan, as well as the formation and general aspect of its surface, seems as unlike southern Madison County, as if hundreds instead of a score of two of miles lay between. Probably no town in the county has received, geographically, such decided changes as this. Could the departed shades of the ancient Oneida chiefs revisit their native homes, they would scarcely believe that here were their old time fisheries, their well stocked hunting grounds, their well trodden trails. The arts of the white man have changed everything. Two streams with their tributaries, traverse the town, and their courses were guides to the hunter and pioneer; in and through these were found the elements of change. The Chittenango, or "Chittening" as it used to be called --- the name given one of these streams by the Indians, signifying, "waters divide and run north," --- holds good its ancient course, save here and there, where some enterprising firm or individual has straightened its tortuous way. It is a powerful stream, rushing musically down over and among its rocks, entering the town at Lot No. 20. O. R.1 Not idle or listless, the Chittenango applies itself vigorously to the use of numerous mills and mechanical works, until, far along the level country, it becomes less impetuous, and leisurely winds to the westward, gathering volumn from numerous tributaries, after which it becomes still more placid, and passing on, marks the western border line of this part of the county. Dense pine forests overshadowed it, and decayed trunks of fallen trees, only, bridged its waters in the early days. Now the broad sunlight gleams upon its rippling surface; green fields stretch away from its margin; numerous bridges span it here and there. The Erie Canal in its acqueduct bed, rests above and across it at one point; the Central railroad trestle bridge spans it at another, the heavy trains crossing, scarcely agitating the calm its waters have there found.

    The Canaseraga, receiving the tributaries of numerous springs upon the northern slope of the watershed in Fenner, holds its early pathway over the falls at Perryville, as it did eighty years ago, but has changed from the then very good sized torrent, to a thin stream, during the summers of the last quarter century. Moving across the Canaseraga flats, it enters the "Great Swamp," and sluggishly courses its way onward. In the midst of the swamp, on Lot 123, it is joined by the united streams of the Canastota and Cowassalon, (called "Canastota," after the junction,) which adds volume and dignity to the black, sluggish, westward flowing Canaseraga, trailing through rank shrubbery, decaying forests, among the morasses of the almost impenetrable swamp. From the peculiar shape and form, as taken together, of all these tributaries to the main stream, and then the graceful curving of the latter on to its mouth to complete the figure, the Indians gave it the appropriate name of "Canaseraga," signifying "Big Elkhorn," which the whole closely resembles. Until about forty years ago the Canaseraga kept a westward course till it reached the Chittenango, where the two united formed a stately river, to be poured into the Oneida Lake.

    The "Great Marsh" south of Oneida Lake, four or five miles wide, extended the whole breadth of Sullivan, and mostly of Lenox. The Canaseraga wasted its waters over thousands of acres of this swamp; and over the "Vlaie," or "Fly" as it is called; at certain seasons of the year the water stood four feet deep.2 This Fly was the Canaseraga Lake of the old maps. Although this great morass lay higher than Oneida Lake, the intervening ridge of about a mile in width prevented drainage, and many thousand acres were rendered worthless. There were those, however, who invested money in this unreclaimed land, and in the course of years a plan for their recovery was developed.

    Col. Zebulon Douglass, with others, took the work in hand, and by appropriations from the State, an artificial channel for the Canaseraga was cut through to Oneida Lake. The declivity from the point where the Canaseraga was tapped, (Lot 118,) is sixteen feet to the mile, to Lakeport, where a handsome stream pours into the lake. The old channel of the Canaserag wound its course around on the northern parts of Lots 18, 19 and 21, and southerly on Lots 22 and 114 (O.R.). It was hoped that the new and deep channel would prove quite effectual in draining the marsh; and although the most sanguine expectations were not realized, yet a large amount of land has been reclaimed by the means, and the swamp exhibits a widely different appearance to that presented to the pioneers. The natural meadows or Vly,3 comprising some 3000 acres in the midst of this swamp, became more dry, and although too wet for tillage, yet by annual cutting of the wild grass upon portions of it, the husbandman found that cultivated grasses took lodgement in the rich soil. Not a tree or stump defaces the monotonous level of this broad expanse; its tall, rank weeds and coarse grasses, wave like a sea in the wind, from out of which is heard the myriad voices of a world of insect life; nothing, it seems to the writer, can exceed the loneliness of this region, should one be compelled to contemplate it long alone. The "Cazenovia and Oneida Lake Stone Road," crosses the Vly, and the time will doubtless soon arrive, when the domicil of the husbandman will cheer the desolate plain.

    When the project of building a road across the Vly, was broached, many inhabitants opposed it, because the town's taxes would necessarily be increased. There was a merchant at Bridgeport, who was the leader and speaker against "the impracticable scheme," as he called it, "in which the appropriation would be thrown away, --- sunk literally, in the worthless marsh." He denounced the project and its leaders on all possible occasions, and frequently declared in public that he "did not want to live longer than the time that should see the first wagon cross the Vly." Prominent men in Chittenango and vicinity --- Robert Riddle, John I. Walrath, Edward Sims, David Riddle, Jarius French, Thomas French and others, --- took hold of the work. In winter, when the Fly was passable, they explored it, and selected their route, and the following summer a party consisting of these men and their wives crossed it in a procession of wagons! It is not necessary to describe the many mishaps which the party encountered --- the upsetting of vehicles, the sloughs they were obliged to bridge, the careful picking of the way, while the ladies walked or rode as the necessities of the case here and there demanded; suffice it to say that jests and jollity seasoned the adventure through all its perils, and that they crossed the Fly, with horses and wagons all safe, reached the Lake Road, and in due time arrived in Bridgeport, where, after a sumptuous hotel dinner, the embassy called on the said merchant and advised him to prepare the ceremonials for his own funeral, as the time he had so often named as the desirable one at which to close his earthly existence, had arrived! This joke upon the merchant was fully appreciated by the people. The adventure had much to do in gaining the appropriation asked of the town, which was two thousand five hundred dollars, to be paid in installments of five hundred dollars yearly. To this was added private subscriptions, amounting to three thousand dollars more. So the road was laid through, which gave access to the reclaimed land of the swamp. In 1848, it was improved by planking, having become a part of the DeRuyter, Cazenovia and Oneida Lake Plank Road. Subsequently it was superseded by the present macadamized road.

    There can be little doubt but that the Fly was once the bed of a lake, as the soil to the depth of several feet is muck, underlaid with marl, and abounding in shells in perfect form. Vertical stumps three feet below the surface, and smaller ones near the surface, indicate that two forests have existed there in the ages past, as since the earliest inhabitants no timber has been there, and the same verdure abounds now as then. The reclaimed lands of the Great Swamp, are fast being converted into productive farms, while steady encroachments are being made upon the wide waste, opening more and more of it to the sun-light; yet there is still a large tract lying useless. Prof. Guerdon Evans, State Surveyor in 1853, stated the amount of swamp lands in Sullivan and Lenox, to be more than fifteen thousand acres.

    Farther into the remote centuries of the past than pen has traced, all this region was the home of the Iroquois; but we have record that an English traveler, Wentworth Greenhalgh, penetrated this country in 1677, when the Oneidas were a nation perhaps not two hundred years old, and Oneida Lake was called "Teshiroque," and this land was known only as so many leagues of travel between the Oneida and Onondaga Indian Villages. The century following, government agents came occasionally from New York and Albany to look after Indian interests, contract for peltry and brighten the chain of friendship, and who, in their journey traversed the Great Trail through Sullivan and sped in light Indian canoes over Lake Oneida. From the date of Greenhalgh's travels, however, through the next half century, frequent emissaries of the French government, the Jesuits, and sometimes the Jesuit fathers themselves, made the denizens of Sullivan's forests, streams, plains, morasses and the lake, familiar with their presence.

    During the disturbances between the French and English nations, wherein the Iroquois was the bone of contention, these tribes, exasperated by constant irritation, occasionally seized upon white agents and Indian spies and hurried them over the familiar trail from one village to the other, to be disposed of as their great Sachems in council should decree. On occasion of their grand yearly conventions at the central Council Fire, Onondaga, the trail through Sullivan bore its share of travel, and Lake Oneida was alive with fleets bearing to that convention or council the dusky mass of delegates from the Oneidas, Mohawks, and the several remnants of eastern tribes who adhered to the skirts of the Confederacy.

    The claims of the 200 refugee Tuscarora nation of South Carolina, were canvassed by the Oneida Chiefs during a wayside halt for rest on the spot where the unpretentious village of Canaseraga now is. These Chiefs, when before the august body of Sachems in solemn Congress at Onondaga, laid before it the case of those weak and impoverished brethren, with characteristic chivalry and magnanimity, extending with one hand brotherly welcome, and with the other pointing to their own fair domain said, "our door is open, let them enter; our fires burn brightly amid the Oneida hills (Stockbridge); there they may warm and rest themselves; nay more --- our lands on the Canaseraga are smooth and fair; there they may build their own fire, raise their own corn; our streams are full of fish, our woods with bear and deer; we say to them abide with us --- be our younger brothers;" to which the body of Sachems assented, repeating with one voice "be our younger brothers!" And so it transpired that in the year 1712, the Tuscarorans were formally adopted into the Confederacy. A part of them took up their abode at the home assigned them by the Oneidas on the Canaseraga Flats,4 where they built their stockaded village, which in the time of Sir William Johnson, between 1750 and '70, was a village of no little importance, where Sir William often stopped on his way to the annual Indian Congress, and where once, in the year 1769, he found the Indians greatly afflicted at the death of a remarkable Chief of the Onondagas; of this occurrence he says:--- "I was obliged to perform all the ceremonies on that occasion."

    Because of the peaceful nature of the Oneidas and Tuscaroras, we have not the horrible and bloody record to produce for Madison County that marks the history of some other sections and localities where the aborigines had their home; yet, as will be seen, our northern border, like central Oneida, had its sanguinary scenes, though chiefly from causes not local, from the date of the earliest records to the close of the revolution.

    This town being contiguous to Oneida Lake and bearing through its soil the Chittenango and Canaseraga --- the former stream navigable six miles by bateaux, and both, a century ago, navigable some distance farther by the India canoe and light craft of the white man --- has furnished more historical incidents connected with the revolutionary struggle than any other portion of the county. During all the wars with the Indians of New York and the war of the revolution, numerous fleets in movements of aggression or retreat, moved over Oneida Lake; and all along the Great Trail the solitudes of northern Madison County have often resounded to the tread of disciplined white soldiery in battle array. The years 1779 and 1780, were memorable ones in the history of Central New York, and upon the soil of Sullivan was traced some of the records of those eventful years. It was the period when our country was bleeding and groaning under the repeated outrages and barbarities of the British and Indians such as the massacres of Wyoming and Cherry Valley, when Gen. Sullivan was ordered into the country of the Six Nations to carry out the plan of retaliation which it had become necessary to adopt, in order to weaken the strength and spirit of the savage enemy. Gen James Clinton commanded the eastern division of this expedition, and while he prepared to decend the Susquehanna and join Gen. Sullivan in the Seneca country by the southern route, he detailed Col. Van Shaick, assisted by Col. Willet and Major Cochran for the one against Onondaga. On the 19th of April, 1779, Col. Van Shaick left Fort Stanwix (Rome,) with about 550 effective men; they moved from Fort Stanwix to the Onondaga village in the short space of three days notwithstanding the bad, rainy weather, and encountering the swollen streams and morasses south of Oneida Lake. Col. Van Shaick was successful; the Indians fled on his approach and their wigwam hamlets upon Onondaga Creek were speedily devastated. This part of the work of retaliation accomplished, he returned to Fort Stanwix without the loss of a single man. This expedition passed through the village of the Oneidas at Oneida Castle, and the village of Canaseraga. The Indians at these points, though as a rule friendly to the Americans, were yet at times wavering during the successes of the allied enemy. Col. Van Schiack's bold and energetic movements reassured them and gave them confidence in our armies; and both tribes - the Oneidas and Tuscaroras5 --- immediately sent deputations to Fort Stanwix to renew their promises of faithfulness and to brighten the chain of friendship. On the 20th of September of the same year, Gen. Sullivan, while laying waste the Seneca country, dispatched Col. Gansevoort with one hundred men to Fort Stanwix; they were chosen men, and were to proceed to the lower Mohawk Castle by the shortest route, destroy it, and capture if possible all the Indians there. The last clause of the order of Gen. Sullivan read thus:--- "As your route will be through the Oneida country, you are to take particular care that your men do not offer the inhabitants the least insult; and if by accident any damage should be done, you are to make reparation, for which I shall stand accountable. From your zeal, activity and prudence, I trust every precaution will be taken to execute these orders to the advantage and honor of the United States." Col. Gansevoort gives the following account of the manner in which he executed his mission, which is extracted from his report:--- "Agreeable to my orders, I proceeded by the shortest route to the lower Mohawk Castle, passing through the Tuscarora and Oneida Castles, where every mark of hospitality and friendship was shown the party. I had the pleasure to find that not the least damage nor insult was offered any of the inhabitants."

    This "shortest route" from the country of the Senecas and Onondagas to Fort Stanwix, was by way of the trail before mentioned, passing through south of Oneida Lake. It was already a thoroughfare when the first white inhabitants came to this town. Its course was direct from Oneida Castle to Chittenango, keeping south of the highland above the plaster bed of Mr. Patrick, between Canaseraga and Chittenango, coming down the hill obliquely near where the excavation for the Chittenango railroad of 1836 was made, and crossed the creek on the body of a large sycamore tree, which was lying across the stream as late as 1804, a little above the turnpike bridge; then passed upon the high land above and south of the ravine through which the present road passes, to Col. Sage's, once the "Moyer," and now known as the "Osgood farm." At this point, was seen many years ago, the remains of a stockade inclosure and here was also a large Indian Orchard. From the last named point it passed on and out of the county at the noted "deep spring," the "eastern door" of the Onondagas. The route of the trail was followed, on the construction of the old 'State Road," the latter subsequently becoming the "Seneca Turnpike."

    In the summer of 1780, the year following Gen. Sullivan's campaign, the Indians under Brant, fired up to the pitch of madness by the merited devastation of their country, determined upon a campaign which should at least offset the injury done themselves, if it did not result in exterminating the inhabitants of Tryon County. For this purpose a force of Tories and Indians was collected which invaded the Mohawk country, carrying devastation through that beautiful valley, and destroying, in July, the village of Canajoharie. The terrible scenes of Cherry Valley and Wyoming were to be re-enactd if possible. In the month of October, Sir John Johnson and Brant, collected in great secrecy, at LaChien, an island of the St. Lawrence, a motley band of about eight hundred men, mainly Canadians and Indians, which force, with bateaux well filled with stores and ammunition, passed up the St. Lawrence, through Lake Ontario quickly ascended the Oswego river, thence forward on the Oneida branch, entered and crossed Oneida Lake, and soon reached its southern shore. They then passed about six miles up Chittenango Creek and landed upon its eastern bank, in the town of Sullivan. There was a palisade inclosure here, which had been constructed at some former period by the French; this they immediately put in repair. This is, perhaps, a mile south of the junction of the Black Creek, (the former Canaseraga,) with the Chittenango, at a bend in the latter, a few rods east of its bank, on a sand hill, where the precise location of the palisades is marked at this day. The farm house and barn upon Lot No. 51 occupy the ground of the inclosure.

    The heaviest boats were moored at the junction, while the lighter ones were near the palisades. A sufficient guard was left to protect the boats and stores, and to hold them in readiness for removal at any moment. The body then marched to the Schoharie country to join the tories in that region.

    The forces now collected under Johnson, Butler and Brant, burned Schoharie the 17th of October, and on the 18th burned Caghnewaga. From there they march to Canada Creek at Klocksfield, where they halted for the night, after having a slight engagement with Gen. Van Rensselaer's forces. Early in the morning, Van Rensselaer discovered that the enemy had fled during the night, intending to reach their boats at the Chittenango by the shortest route. Gen Van Rensselaer pursued as far as Herkimer, and from here forwarded an express to Fort Stanwix, informing the commandant there where the enemy's boats were concealed, and ordering Capt. Walter Vrooman, with a strong detachment, to hasten forward to Chittenango Creek, and destroy them and the stores. The latter officer with a force of fifty men hastened with all possible speed to that point, took the guard left there prisoners, destroyed the stores and sunk all the boats but two, in which he intended to return with his party and prisoners. By some means Sir John Johnson had been notified of this movement, and sent a detachment of Butler's rangers with a party of Indians to intercept Vrooman, who was by them surprised and captured with all his men, while they were at dinner preparatory to their embarkation; they were made prisoners without the opportunity of firing a single gun! The Canadians and Indians were greatly exasperated on finding their boats sunk, their stores rifled and destroyed, and two pieces of cannon buried under the waters of the creek; they however succeeded in raising some of the boats to assist their escape. While the regular troops of the force were hastening their arrangements for departure, the savages gave vent to their ferocious revenge by torturing the prisoners. Three men were massacred; their blood moistened the earth where now stands the yeoman's home of peace. A large pine tree standing upon the brow of "Sand Hill" marked the spot of this barbarity, upon which the savages engraved the insignia of the tribe who committed the deed---the rude form of a turtle---and which, as a monument, stood for half a century afterwards. A fourth prisoner was taken across the river into the Onondaga where he was barbarously tortured for their fiendish amusement; he was bound at the knees and ankles, and compelled in that condition to run the gauntlet of two parallel rows of Indians, all armed with clubs, whips and other weapons, each eager to get a blow at their victim. He was promised, that should he succeed in getting through the line without serious injury, his life would be spared. Impelled by the powerful instinct of self-preservation, and endowed with great muscular force, the prisoner made nine extraordinary leaps along the line, while all withheld their upraised weapons in amazement. At the tenth leap he was struck down, beaten with clubs, then tied to a large pine tree and roasted alive! This tree, also having the mark of the "Turtle Tribe," carved on it, was standing until a few years since, and was known as the "Turtle Tree." The miraculous efforts of the prisoner created much wonder among the Indians; the impress of his feet in the earth at each leap, was marked and preserved; and every year, on the anniversary of this Indian summer day of blood and barbarity, that tribe made a sort of pilgrimage to the spot to examine the tree and renew the carving, and to impress anew the foot-marks in the sand. At such times dances were held about the tree, the frightful memories of the event were rehearsed in all their minuteness, the horrible scene re-enacted in tragic farce! The fleetest and most muscular Indians, in attempts to performs those leaps, unbound, could scarcely equal them. As late as 1815, these visits were annually made, being distinguished to the last with such wild pow-wows and fiendish exultations as seemed sufficient to summon to the scene the spirits of the foully murdered, whose blood and ashes mingled with the soil upon which they held carnival! Captain Vrooman, who was a fine specimen of the Mohawk Dutch, was made to carry a large pack on his shoulders, placed there by the Indian who claimed him as his prisoner. This pack was a striped "linsey woolsey" petticoat, stolen from some good "vrow" in "Stone Arabia," and was filled with plunder. Its weight was taxing his strength to the utmost, when he was recognized by Col. Johnson, who enquired why he carried it? Capt. Vrooman informed him, when Johnson cut its fastenings with his sword and let it fall to the ground. In a short time the Indian keeper observed it and in great anger replaced the burden, threatening death if he refused to bear it. They had proceeded but a short distance when Sir John again observed the Captain toiling under his load, when he again immediately severed it from him and placed a guard around him to prevent further insult or injury from his captor. In a few minutes the latter re-appeared with uplifted tomahawk, threatening vengeance; but meeting a guard of bristling bayonets he sullenly fell in the rear, being obliged to should his pack himself. Shortly afterwards, while crossing a stream upon a log, this Indian with his pack fell into the water and would have drowned but for the assistance of his comrades. He, however, held a grudge against Capt. Vrooman and watched all the way to Canada for a favorable opportunity to execute his threat. On arriving at Montreal, Vrooman was incarcerated I n prison where he remained two years. Of his command, who were also imprisoned, a portion survived their long years of captivity and returned, first, to their homes on the Mohawk; but they remember the rich and beautiful country south of Oneida Lake and to the inviting section they, with their families, soon directed their steps.

    In March, 1790, nine families whose heads were of the Vrooman party, came to the flats of Canaseraga and erected their homes. Their names are given as follows:--- Captain (afterwards General,) Jacob Seber, Garrett and George Van Slyke, John Polsley, John Freemeyer, James and Joseph Picard, Jacob, David, and Hon Yost Schuyler. Selecting farms adjoining each other, they opened clearings and planted and sowed crops. A most fruitful harvest rewarded their labors and they were becoming delighted with and attached to their new homes; but, unfortunately, they had located upon the rightful possessions of the Oneida Indians, who naturally looked upon them with a jealous eye. At this time the opening of the Genesee country to immigration drew numbers of white explorers and settlers thitherward, who followed the long trodden Indian trail through this portion of the Oneida Reservation, and too many of them, remembering Indian atrocities, forgot or disregarded the peaceful demeanor of the Oneida's and were guilty of many depredations, which irritated the natives far and near. Consequently, the little company at Canaseraga and their doings were watched with suspicion. Day by day the ill will of the Indians increased, when, the grievances of the Oneidas becoming unbearable, they laid a statement of their case before their long-time friend and counselor, the Rev. Samuel Kirkland Indian Missionary whose influence prevented violence. By his advice they submitted their case to the Governor of the State, who ordered the settlers to remove. This the latter neglected to do; and in 1791, the complaint being repeated, Col. Colbraith, the Sheriff of Montgomery County, (of which this county was then a part,) was sent with an armed party of sixty men to dislodge them. The steadfast, inflexible Dutch, who had endured the hardships of the revolution, were unmoved by entreaties and unawed by commands or threats, and refused to submit and remove. Col. Colbraith then ordered all the movable effects to be taken from their dwellings and placed at a safe distance from the scene, and then burned their houses and cabins to the ground. Says an eloquent writer6 speaking of this scene:--- "The dream of a permanent home vanished, the hardy pioneers, homeless and houseless, were yet indomitable. Sullenly they watched the smoke driving away from their tottering roofs; the Indians gathered around in quiet groups with hearts more full of sorrow for the white man, than joy for justice secured them by righteous laws. They proved that the savage breast enshrined virtues and principles not inferior to their white brothers. Their triumph was complete and tempered by acts worthy of record. They led the discomfited settlers to the grounds near which the pleasant village of Chittenango is rising into importance, and granted to them under proper arrangements abundant space for settlements. Cabins were soon erected - hunting and fishing supplied their early wants until earth could yield its abundant stores."

    We extract further from the same writer:--- "The present Judge Seber, (1851) was then ten years old, when his father's house was destroyed; this family with a few others removed afterwards to Clockville, in the town of Lenox. Judge Seber relates an incident connected with the early residence of his father's family in Madison County, confirming portions of this narrative.7 He states that while a barefooted boy, passing through the woods with his father, he stepped upon some sharp substance, attracting their attention, which upon examination proved to be a bayonet attached to a musket, covered by rubbish. Continuing their search, a stack of muskets which had fallen to the ground was discovered. These relics roused up the recollection of Vrooman's adventure, which the old man related to his son, seated on a log, with the fragments of that expedition then lying at their feet. Alluding to the sinking of the boats, he remarked, "they were sunk in the creek near this place, let us look for them." Then rambling along the shore of the creek, they found one boat near the bank, sunk, apparently filled with sand."

    There was a rumor long prevalent in this section, that in the hurry and confusion of escape Sir John Johnson lost his military chest containing a large amount of specie, said to have fallen into the Canaseraga Creek in an attempt to cross that stream. Be this as it may, we have the statement of Robert Carter, one of the old settlers, that at one time since he resided here, a party of Canadians came to this place ostensibly to raise the boats; they kept their operations while engaged, as secret as possible, and were silent as to the object of raising them, they being then worthless. When they abandoned their project, they communicated to Mr. Carter the fact that the object of their search was to obtain the money chest of Sir John Johnson, but they had failed to discover it. Seekers after the lost treasure have appeared at this place quite recently; a large curb could be seen a few years ago at the Canaseraga outlet which had been sunk upon the supposed lucky spot, which was used in one of these vain researches. John Adams, one of the earliest surveyors on the southern border of Oneida Lake, and the late Judge John Knowles, both of whom settled here in 1805, noticed the pickets erected at the landing place, and found near there portions of muskets, knives, hatchets and bullets; fragments of the boats have long rested among the driftwood on the shores; all of which we mention as interesting relics of the scenes of violence which preceded the planting of civilization in Sullivan.

    Many Oneidas as well as Tuscaroras lived at Canaseraga, and as it was on the Oneida Reservation travelers called this also "Oneida Village." When the first white settlers came to Sullivan, there were many Indian houses here, and ten or more on the hill west of the creek, where Hiram Brown now lives --- Lot No. 2. There is something, even to this day, about the hills in this vicinity which looks particularly romantic; as if the spirit of untamed nature still revelled in her own --- especially when autumnal dyes have flung their tints over tree, bush and fern, does it remind one that it was once a favorite abiding place of the Indian. All around the village were their cultivated patches of ground of two or three acres each, fenced and unfenced; their cattle roamed at will through the forest, and kindly enough, on his advent among them, did they grant the white man's herds the same privilege.

    The most prominent Indian families at this point, at the time of its settlement, were the Dennies and Doxtators, who owned vast tracts of land in various sections. Lewis Dennie, (or Denny, also elsewhere mentioned) the head man, a patriarch among them, was of French parentage, born upon the Illinois about 1740, and when eighteen years old came up in the French war with a French officer to fight the Five Nations, and was taken prisoner by the Mohawks, among whom he married. He adopted the Indian customs and became a power among them. By those who remember him, Dennie is said to have been a small man, not over 5 feet 8 inches in height, with very light blue eyes, but with a voice of great depth and power.

    The Dennys of St. Louis, Mo., are the same family to which Lewis Dennie belonged. The manner in which the name is spelled has become changed by one family or the other. Lewis Dennie had four sons and one daughter, John, Jonathan, Martinus, Lewis and Polly. John Dennie kept the first tavern of Canaseraga, and built the first frame house there in 1800. His daughter Sally became the wife of a very fair and handsome Dutchman, by the name of John Garlock; she was a good woman and very wealthy in her own right. One of John Dennie's sons was sent to New Hartford to School, but it is said there was too much native in him to confine his mind to books. John Dennie lost his life in 1807 or '08 by wrestling with a Dutchman named Hartman Picard; it took place at Canaseraga during "general training," an occasion in that day, when wrestlers congregated to try their strength, and both these men were famous for their prowess in that direction. Lewis Dennie's sons were large, finely built, good looking men, inheriting a good degree of the physical make-up of their mother, who was a large, noble looking woman. She was esteemed a very good woman by her white neighbors. Martinus Dennie is well remembered for his jest upon his race:--- "Me no Indian, only French and squaw!" --- which he used to repeat frequently. Polly Dennie, the only daughter of Lewis, was a fine looking girl, possessing amiable qualities of disposition. She married Angel De Ferriere, a Frenchman, who came to this country during the French Revolution, and went first to Cazenovia with Mr. Lincklaen. He was very wealthy, and Mr. Dennie was very proud of him, it was said, as a son-in-law.

    The first emigrants came by way of the Indian trail, but the same year, 1790, in June, James Wadsworth came through on his way to the Genesee country, and cut a track through wide enough for a wagon; and by laying causeways and bridging streams, made a passable wagon road. The State soon made appropriations for this route by which the road was widened and improved, and was then called the "State Road," over which emigrant travel steadily increased. In a few years the State Road passed into the hands of the "Seneca Turnpike Company," and still greater appropriations for its improvement were made. The road then passed over the high hill called "Canaseraga Hill," southwesterly from Chittenango; the company improved the route by changing it, avoiding many of the steep and rough passes on the old road. The new route took a more northerly course, diverging from Chittenango, the course it follows at the present day. After this company took it in hand, it became famous "Seneca Turnpike," over which a flood of travel poured for many years. It was indeed the chief of turnpikes, unrivaled, it was said by any in the Empire State.

    The State purchased the Oneida Reservation, piece by piece; hence different tracts were surveyed by different persons and at various dates, so that great irregularity is seen on maps in regard to the numbers of lots. The seeker for facts among the map records, would become puzzled in the location of lots, were it not that the particular reservation or purchase is stated in initials with every lot mentioned, thus:--- Lot No. 24 of G & S. T., (Gospel and School Tract,) which can be distinguished on reference to a map from Lot No. 24, 2 M. S., (Two Mile Strip.) The Oneida Reservation, (designated on records as O. R.,) originally embraced the whole of this town, and was name in conveyances many years after its cession to the State, as the "northwest part of the Oneida Reservation." From the year 1797, to the date of its purchase by the State, the south boundary of the town was the south line of the Reservation. The "Two Mile Strip" was purchased of the Oneidas from this Reservation. It contains twenty-four lots, in four tiers, two tiers lying in the west part of Lenox, and two tiers in the east part of Sullivan; its south border is a part of the south line of both towns. To the west of the Two Mile Strip was a tract of six lots, commonly designated as "West of 2 Mile Strip." At a very early date, part of this tract was conveyed to the following persons:--- Lot No. 1 to John Van Epps Wemple; Lot No. 3 to Conrath Klock; Lot No. 4 to John Klock; lot No. 5 to Charles Kern; Lot No. 6 to Arnold Ballou." North side of Two Mile Strip was a tract of eight lots. In a conveyance registered in the Chenango County Clerk's office, date of May 18th, 1803, John Wollaber is named as the purchaser of Lot No. 1; also at the same date, John Klock of Lot No. 4. Each of the lots were 250 acres. Other purchasers of this tract were John Schuyler, Lot No. 7; Joseph Alcott, Jr., Lot No. 8. The "Bell Tract," lying each side of the Central railroad, extending from the Canaseraga to the Chittenango Creek, containing fourteen lots, was purchased by an Englishman named Bell. Citizens of Sullivan, desiring to purchase this land, sent Dr. Beebe to England for that purpose, who bought the whole tract, and it became the farms of different individuals. North of the Bell tract lay the "40 Rod Strip," purchased by the State by Dr. Jonas Fay. Old maps point out several other tracts, one of them known as the "Varrick Location," purchased of the State by Richard Varrick,8 of New York city, all of which are designated on Evan's map of 1853, by the letters A B C &c.

    But a few years after the pioneers proper had come in, the central part of Sullivan, which the State road had opened, was settled by the families of John G. Moyer, John Walrath, Capt. Timothy Brown, Solomon, David and Joseph Beebe, Peter Ehle, Timothy Freeman, David Burton, Wm. Miles, John Lower, John Keller, Peter Dygart, Ovid Weldon, Nicholas Picard, Philip Dayharsh, John Matthews, Zebulon Douglass, Martin Vrooman, of the family of Capt. Vrooman.

    The first birth in town was Peggy Schuyler; the first death, a child of David Freemayer. John G. Moyer built the first saw mill and grist mill about a half mile south of Chittenango village, near the old distillery. Jacob Schuyler kept the first tavern after John Dennie.

    Incidents connected with the above named families and of their pioneer life have come to our knowledge, which well illustrate the state of the country and some of the experiences of the inhabitants at that day:---

    Zebulon Douglass came from Columbia County in March 1796. On his way he stopped at Utica at the house of Clark & Fellows, who were keeping store in a little hut. The Seneca Turnpike had not been worked all the way as yet, though the line had been laid to Oneida Castle. West of the Castle the State Road was exceedingly poor and in that month so bad as to be nearly impassable. Douglass had been advised to take up land, soon to be in market, which lay a mile and a half east of Dennie's; but being discouraged on account of bad roads he retraced his steps to Westmoreland, stopping there at a friend's for the summer. A few months later he decided to again look at the lands of Sullivan. Going over the footpath of the Oneidas he found the country much dryer than in March, and decided to locate. Obtaining board at John Dennie's, he erected a house on land east of Canaseraga, and leaving it for a friend to finish, returned east for his family, returning with them in 1797. On reaching their abode they found a floorless and chimneyless tenement, Mr. Douglass' friend having neglected to finish the dwelling as agreed on; however, Mr. Douglass soon made it habitable, and in the clearing he made around it got in some early spring crops. His daughter, Appalona, was born here in 1799, and was the first white child born in this district. In the fall of '99 he opened tavern keeping here. He added to his farm also from time to time until it embraced 365 acres of valuable land. He kept the first post office at "Oak Hill." He was also chosen Captain of Militia and passed through several grades to Colonel of the regiment, by which title of distinction he was afterwards known. The Colonel was an energetic, ambitious man and devoted himself largely to the improvements of the country.

    John Owen French, from Williamsburg, near Northampton, Mass.9 settled between Canaseraga and Chittenango in 1805.

    Jacob Patrick settled in the immediate vicinity before 1800. He discovered the first plaster bed --- between Canaseraga and Chittenango --- in digging a well, which led to the finding of others. This one, it is said, was worked as early as 1810; to bring it into more extensive notice the discovery was advertised, the advertisement being endorsed by the names of Benjamin Drake, Robert Stewart, Gilbert Caswell and John Lewis, vouching for the truth of the statements made. This advertisement is found in the "Cazenovia Pilot," date of August 22d, 1810.

    Among the early settled families of Chittenango was that of John H. Walrath, who came in the year 1808, from Rome, Oneida Co., his native place being Mindon, Montgomery Co. Himself and son Henry I., had contracted to construct a section on the Seneca Turnpike in this district, which was the direct inducement bringing him here. In the autumn of this year he brought his family and was domiciled for the winter in a small house located where the parsonage of the Reformed Church now stands, on the hill road leading to Canaseraga; there is a conspicuous landmark to designate this spot.10 Mr. Walrath only occupied this house during the winter; in the spring he moved to a farm of 100 acres that he had purchased across the creek, which is still known as the "Walrath farm," and is owned by his grandson, Abram Walrath. It was mostly forest, but he immediately opened clearings and began improvements. He had a large family when he came, with whose combined energies the farm developed and flourished, and abundantly rewarded their labors. Mr. Walrath died in 1814, when only 48 years of age. His widow with characteristic energy went on with her life work, reared her family to industry and usefulness, and with the help of her boys, paid for the farm and established a home of competence. Five sons and two daughters grew to man and womanhood, most of whom and many of their descendants became citizens of Sullivan. The names of these sons and daughters were:--- Henry I., John I., Abram, Daniel, Frederic, Mary and Elizabeth. John H., the father, was born October 12th, 1766; Magdalena, the mother, October 9th, 1764. They were married February 11th, 1787.11 The mother survived till April 9, 1853, dying at the ripe age of 88 years. When Mr. Walrath came, there were but three or four houses where the village of Chittenango stands. The land through the north part was mostly a quagmire; the streets here have been filled up in some places three feet, in others as much as six. The "Park" and the land about it, when the "Bethel" was built, was a mud pond; and the school house, situated in the midst of it, is well remembered by the oldest inhabitants (who were school children then,) as standing upon stilts, having a long plant leading from the dry ground up to the elevated door and as having a most uninviting play ground.

    Canaseraga was the first village of the town, and yet it had but few white families before 1805. Capt. Timothy Brown before mentioned, settled there that year. He was from Williamsburg, Mass. Hiram Brown, who lives on Lot No. 2 is the only one of his family left here. Isaac Holiburt had been a merchant in Canaseraga but had failed. Besides the tavern of John Dennie there was one kept by a Mr. Drake, in 1805. On account of the turnpike, taverns abounded. The first frame house, as before related, was built by Dennie; the next was built on the front of a log house by Solomon Beebe. This log house had been occupied by Cornelius Doxtator, an Indian, in which he had also kept a tavern. David Burton came in 1806, and built the next frame house. The next store after Holiburt was kept in this house by Samuel Chapman; it is still standing (1869,) owned and occupied by Mrs. Sarah F. Frederick. John Klock built a house, also for a tavern, which is yet standing and now owned by Thomas French, Esq., son of John Owen French. This village in 1810, was the central point for all the country west of the circle of Quality Hill; town meetings, general trainings, and other public meetings were held here. Settlements pushed on into the wilderness in various directions; at a point on the present line of the Erie Canal, a number of Massachusetts people formed a settlement and called it "New Boston."

    In 1810 the census gave Sullivan 318 heads of families, with a population of 1794 inhabitants. This census report adds:--- "The Chittenango Hill, known to travelers as the "Canaseraga Hill," over which the Seneca Turnpike passes, is near a mile on that road, from the base to its summit, and is of considerable magnitude. The creeks, Canaseraga and Chittenango, furnish good mill seats in abundance; there are three grain mills, six saw mills, and some carding machines now erected, besides several other buildings. There are three school houses and a meeting house now building." Canaseraga had 35 to 40 houses and two stores, while New Boston was stated to be a "handsome, compact settlement, two miles north of the turnpike."

    In 1823, Canaseraga was incorporated as "Sullivan Village;" but Chittenango had begun a substantial growth and Sullivan Village remained stationary. The N. Y. S. Gazetteer of 1840 states that "there is no attention paid to the act of incorporation now." It contains about one hundred and fifty inhabitants, twenty-five dwelling houses, one free church, one tavern, one store, one grist mill. This place again took on its name of Canaseraga.


    This village had many natural advantages in its favor; a beautiful location, rich soil and an unequaled water power; besides it was the point where the Cazenovia road intersected the Seneca turnpike. The village commenced about 1812, when Judge Sanger and Judge Youngs, of Whitestown built the saw mill and grist mill, the latter being on the spot where stands the mill of Ransford Button.

    In 1815, Robert and David Riddle built the tannery, which materially added to the prosperity of the place. In 1814 or '15, Elisha Carey built a large and fine hotel, which afterwards became the Polytechny building. Not far from 1815, came Dr. Samuel Kennedy, James Kennedy, Dr. Samuel Fuller, Thomas Livingston, John B. Yates and was especially conspicuous, being a man of great wealth and largeness of heart; he became in a decided sense the patron of the village of Chittenango. He built a plaster mill about 1818, from which he sent out large quantities of plaster; subsequently he manufactured water lime on a large scale.

    The Erie Canal became emphatically the means of prosperity to Sullivan, as it opened to the great markets the wonderful resources of this region. The discovery of water lime, the first in the State, was brought about accidentally in the efforts of contractors on the Canal to furnish lime in sufficiently large quantities for the masonry work required in its construction. It was the purpose of contractors to make use of common quick lime on account of the great expense of hydraulic cement. Mason Harris and Thomas Livingstone, of Sullivan, entered into a contract to furnish a quantity for the middle section, and opened quarries on the land of T. Clark, Esq. It was found the lime thus obtained lacked the usual characteristics of caustic lime. Canvass White and Judge Wright, two engineers taking an interest in the matter, examined it. Dr. Barton, a scientific gentleman of Herkimer, was called to experiment and if possible ascertain what it was. He broke a quantity in the trip-hammer shop of J. B. Yates, of Chittenango, burned some, pulverized it in a mortar, and after mixing it was sand rolled a ball and placed it in a bucket of water for the night. In the morning it had "set" and was solid enough to be rolled across the floor. It was pronounced to be equal to the best Roman cement. Mr. White obtained a patent for making this cement, but his rights were evaded for many years; builders in their ignorance permitted prejudice to warp their judgments; and though used on the canal structures, it made its way to public favor very slowly. Great exertions were made to invalidate Mr. White's patent, which was eventually (in 1825) compromised by legislative action of the State, paying to him $10,000 for his right and throwing it open to people.

    In 1824, Mr. Yates built the woolen factory, a stone structure, which was merged into the "Broadhead Factory;" this, (afterwards greatly improved,) was burned in 1865, causing a loss of $60,000. In 1866, James Broadhead had rebuilt the factory (again of stone,) on a highly improved plan, and put in cotton machinery. He sold the property in 1867 to "Hintermister Brothers."

    While manufactures, mechanics, and mercantile pursuits flourished under the influence of the growing wealth, there were men and means at hand to elevate the standard of education and religion. With this high purpose in view Mr. Yates, in 1824, or '25, purchased the inn of Elisha Carey and established therein the Polytechny, an instate of learning, under the presidency of Dr. Andrew J. Yates. This school was famed far and near for its generous plan and excellent management.

    Before the last named date, the school house in Chittenango had been conveniently arranged for holding religious services, and all societies used it; hence its name, "The Bethel." Perhaps the oldest religious society was the Presbyterian, of whom in 1816, there were about twenty members. These obtained preaching irregularly from a minister by the name of Johnson. The Reformed Dutch Church, however, was originated soon after, and immediately became prominent. The Presbyterians joined them and built a church about 1828; the latter however, increased, and in 1833, they formed a separate body and built their own house of worship.

    The first Fourth of July celebration in this village took place in 1828, which, as we now read it from the worn pages of the "Madison Observer and Recorder" of that day, is invested with a charm which only time can give. We copy:

    "The fifty-second anniversary of our national independence was this day for the first time celebrated in the village of Chittenango. A large number of the neighboring inhabitants, together with the villagers, assembled upon the occasion, to pay due respect to the day which gave us birth as a nation, and to express our gratitude for the happiness and prosperity which we enjoy under our republican institutions.

    The day was ushered in as is usual on such occasions. At 10 o'clock in the morning the line of procession was formed in front of the Polytechny, under the direction of Col. Sage, Marshal, and Adj't Dunham, Assistant Marshal. The procession then moved through the village to the green in front of the church, where a spacious arbor had been prepared by the committee of arrangements for the exercises of the day. After an appropriate and impressive prayer by Rev. Mr. Sherman, and martial music by the Cazenovia band, the Declaration of Independence was read by Daniel B. Cady, Esq., and an oration, written in elegant and classic style, happily portraying the situation of our country, was delivered by Andrew J. Yates, Esq., of the Polytechny; after which, a set piece of sacred music was sung by a number of the students of the Polytechny, and a benediction pronounced by Rev. Dr. Yates. The procession then returned to the village, and at 2 P.M. about two hundred sat down to a dinner prepared by Col. George Ehle, in a style befitting the occasion. His table was filled with the choicest productions of the country; and his dinner was served up in a manner satisfactory to his guests. After the removal of the cloth, a set of patriotic toasts were drank, accompanied with music and firing of guns. At 5 o'clock P.M. the company dispersed, and thus closed the first celebration of our National Independence in the village of Chittenango, impressing upon the minds of all the virtue of the republican institutions and the inestimable value of liberty."

    At this period, prominent among Sullivan's citizens were Judge John B. Yates, Rev. Andrew J. Yates, Dr. Samuel Fuller, William K. Fuller, A. T. Dunham, Judge Sylvester Beecher, Dr. Samuel Kennedy, James Kennedy, Thomas Livingston, George Ehle, Henry H. Cobb, Robert Riddle, Daniel B. Cady, Jarius, Thomas and Samuel French, Peter Collier, Abram Walrath, John Adams, Zebulon Douglass, Henry Anguish, Judge Knowles. The influence of these men was felt in various directions. Some of them were legal and political gentlemen, who exerted their influence in correcting many abuses which had crept into the administration of the law in the country. Sunday mails were protested against and finally abolished; and imprisonment for debt so long continued after the law was abolished, was inquired into, and the wrong stayed. No men labored more earnestly to correct the last named evil than some of the prominent men of Sullivan.

    In 1832, the first newspaper of the town, the "Chittenango Herald," was established by Isaac Lyon, who continued it many years.

    During the intervening years, from 1827 to 1836, the first projects were up for railroads in this county. At the time of the agitation for the Chenango Canal, the question of a railroad from the north line of the County to the Chenango was discussed. Its route was to follow the Chenango valley, so as to obviate the necessity of a canal, and its western or northern terminus was to be at Chittenango. This proposed road was considerably adverstised12; and the exports of Sullivan from the gypsum beds, and the hydraulic and limestone quarries, besides the convenient point from which to transfer salt from Syracuse and Salina, were made items of no inconsiderable importance in favor of the road. The canal, however, was pushed through, and the project dissolved. But still a road was felt to be needed through from the Erie canal to the southern towns, and prominent men of Chittenango, Cazenovia and DeRuyter, entered upon the preliminaries of such a work with earnestness. The names of John B. Yates, Perry G. Childs, Robert Riddle, J. D. Ledyard, John Knowles, George K. Fuller, Benjamin Enos, and others, appear foremost in the enterprise. Railroad meetings were held along the proposed route, which it was desired should extend from Chittenango to DeRuyter, and further as soon as practicable. A company was formed subscription books opened, and $70,000 was subscribed. Judge Yates agreed to build the first mile from his own private means. The preliminary surveys were made and the work of grading commenced at Chittenango in 1836, when Judge Yates was taken ill and died. The work ceased, and the road was ultimately abandoned. Had Judge Yates lived, quite probably this road would have been a success, and the present C. & C. railroad might not have been. In 1839, the Syracuse & Utica railroad was opened, and thus a new source of prosperity was given the town. The increased activity in trade was marked.

    In 1825 the population of Sullivan was 3,130; in 1830, 4,048; in 1840, 4,390. Chittenango village contained in the latter year, 1,000 inhabitants, one hundred and eighty dwellings, three churches, a large woolen factory, two large water lime factories, one flouring mill, three taverns, ten stores. The Gazetteer thus gives its location, etc.:--- "It is situated one mile south of the Erie Canal, with which it is connected by a side cut.13 The Syracuse & Utica railroad has a depot near the village. The Chittenango Sulphur Springs, one mile south of the village, is a place of great attraction. The Polytechnic Institute is situated in this village."

    Chittenango village was incorporated March 15, 1842. The first village officers were:--- Robert Riddle, Alfred Bellamy, Daniel Walrath, George R. Fuller, James Crouse, Trustees; Abner P. Downer, Edward Sims, Hiram Curtis, Assessors; Daniel F. Kellogg, Joseph P. Plank, Alonzo Bishop, Fire Wardens; Oren A. Thompson, Collector; Geo. Grant, Treasurer, Henry H. Cobb, Clerk.

    The iron foundry and machine shop was built about 1833, Daniel Walrath, proprietor. The paper mill was built by Paddock, about thirteen years ago.

    The Chittenango Bank was originated by Abner P. Downer and Jeremiah Gates, (both now deceased,) in the year 1852. It received its charter April 1st, 1853. Original capital, $105,000. Its first officers were: - Geo. Crouse, President; Geo. Grant, Vice-President; David H. Rasbach, Cashier. In 1864, it was changed to the "First National Bank, of Chittenango," with a capital of $150,000. Present officers, Robert Stewart, President; Peter Walrath, Vice-President; B. Jenkins, Cashier. This is one of the most reliable banks of Madison County. Its capital has been largely increased.


    The Chittenango Herald was established in 1832, by Isaac Lyon, and was published successively as the Chittenango Republican, the Phoenix, and the Democratic Gazette, until 1856, when it was discontinued. The Chittenango, Madison County, Times, was established in 1870, by Mr. A. White.


    This institution was founded by John B. Yates, in 1824. The building was purchased by him of Elisha Carey, it having been built in 1814 for an inn. Rev. Andrew Yates, brother of John B., was the first President, and continued in that position till 1832. It was a very popular school, having students from all parts of the Union. Judge Yates sustained the school with its corps of six professors, giving to students the most liberal advantages, at a great pecuniary sacrifice to himself. In 1832, it was closed for want of adequate substantial support to maintain its generous plan. On the death of Mr. Yates, in 1836, when his estate came in process of settlement, the building was bought by Henry Yates, who deeded it to trustees for school purposes, the name being changed from "Polytechny," its original name, to "Yates Polytechnic Institute." Between the years 1832 and '37, it was used again as a hotel, Samuel M. Rowell, proprietor. In 1837, it was reopened as a school under the supervision of Rev. George W. Thompson, and continued for five years with varied success. In 1843, it passed into the hands of William Velasko, who continued as principal until 1861, the students numbering most of the time from 150 to 200, with from 40 to 80 boarders. During Mr. Velasko's term with the Institute, he had 3,200 different scholars, who were from all parts of the States. Since 1861, four different principals have carried on the school, with a degree of success not always satisfactory pecuniarily. The last Principal, J. W. Hall, endeavored with unremitting care and effort to restore it to the high standing of its better days, and in a good degree succeeded, though pecuniarily unprofitable. In 1871, it closed as an Institute, and opened under the arrangement of a graded school, having four departments. It has a fine library and philosophical apparatus, and has been furnished with all that pertains to an institution conducted on the College plan. About $12,000 has been expended during 1871, for repairs, improvements, and arrangements made for the several departments. The accompanying engraving represents the Polytechnic Institute as it was in 1844, while under the supervision of William Velasko.


    This place is situated upon land first taken up by a Mr. Diefendorf, who sold to Peter Collier. Mr. Collier located here and obtained a deed of the land directly from the State. In 1824 or '25, he cleared the land around the springs and opened a wagon road to the place, it being previously accessible only by way of a foot path over the pinnacle of the ridge. West of the creek was a poor wagon road, which was improved at the same time, as it connected with the new one penetrating to the springs. Milton Leach lived there in a small house in 1826, and kept a grocery, and also opened a shower bath house for the benefit of visitors. Mr. Collier erected a good building about 1831 or '32, part of which is incorporated with the present springs buildings. He kept boarders and a few invalids, and improved the shower house. Judge Horatio G. Warner purchased the property of Mr. Collier, and after a time sold it to Holmes & Richardson; then Richardson sold his interest to his partner, and the latter brought the Springs into extensive notice not far from 1840. New and improved buildings were then erected; the springs made attractive; drives, promenades, arbors, bathing rooms, in short every thing inn vogue for pleasure and comfort, was instituted to make the place an attractive resort.

    The Springs are situated two miles south of Chittenango village, and are of easy access by way of an excellent macadamized road direct from the depot. Since the first building up of accommodations about 1840, they have been from time to time improved till the present admirable appointments were attained. It is a popular watering place with every convenience for promoting the comfort and amusement of the invalid or devotee of pleasure; hot baths of the mineral waters with efficient medical supervision; charming drives, boating, fishing, bowling, billiards, croquet, music, &c.

    The water has been critically analyzed by the best chemists in the State and pronounced equaled by only one other spring in the country --- the "White Sulphur Springs," of Virginia --- in medical qualities. The following is a statement of an analysis of one pint of water from each of these Springs:---

Carbonate of lime,1, 330, 88
Sulphate of lime,8, 22
Sulphate of magnesia,3, 1112, 75
Sulphate of soda,
1, 66
Chloride of calcium,trace0, 14
Organic matter,tracetrace.

    Their curative properties are greatly recommended by medical men.

    A new mineral Spring, the water of a bluish color, has more recently been discovered near the hotel; the water has a remarkably tonic effect.

    At different dates the patronage of the Springs has been very large; in 1870, under the management of C. W. Reicks, the number of guests during the year was upwards of 10,000.


    Messrs. Isaac and John Delamater made a settlement at the Chittenango Rifts, or Rapids, as the place was then called, in 1802. Judge John Knowles, John Adams, Esq., and others, settled in that neighborhood about the same time. There is a sudden fall in the Chittenango Creek here of about ten feet, which yields an immense water power, which is very little employed. It is a famous place for taking suckers and other fish, early in the spring, and from this circumstance has been denominated the sucker bank. It was once a great place for taking salmon. It was not uncommon to take them from the nets weighing from twelve to twenty-five pounds. Before dams were erected, they were taken as high up as Chittenango Falls, twenty miles above the outlet. Schooners of two hundred tons have been built and launched for the lake trade at Bridgeport, previous to the building of the canal.14

    From a sketch in the Madison County Directory the following extract is made:---

    "The first settler in the vicinity of Bridgeport, was Capt. Rosel Barnes, now living in Illinois. He built the first framed house having previously kept tavern in a log one. Mr. Rector, father of Capt. John Rector, of Bridgeport, was among the first settlers, his son having resided here for sixty years. Barrels were manufactured there at an early day, taken down Chittenango Creek, through Oneida Lake and Three River point, thence to Salina, where they were exchanged for salt. * * *

    Mrs. Cuppenoll, an aged lady living at Bridgeport, and daughter of Mr. Carter, relates that when she was first married, her husband used to change works with a friend at a distance, leaving her alone sometimes for a week. On one occasion, before he left home she prepared for their supper a dish of thickened milk. It being late, she deferred washing the kettle, but filling it with water, set it outside of her cabin door and retired. This door was only a 'rag rug' hung up temporarily. During the night she heard what she supposed to be the fighting and scrambling of dogs over her kettle, and only wondering where they all came from, she gave herself no further trouble and went to sleep. Early in the morning she was awakened by the hallooing of her nearest neighbor, who having heard the howling of a pack of wolves near her dwelling in the night, and knowing the frail character of her door, fully expected to find that she had been devoured by the ravenous beasts. Her kettle was licked clean but no damage was done. Afterwards, until her husband's return she slept in the loft.

    In addition to the pioneers already named, we may mention the following, who came at a late date, and whose descendants are scattered throughout this region:--- Briggs, White, Eastford, Owen, Crownhart, Dunham, Hosley and others.

    At Owen's Point, are several Indian mounds, supposed to contain the remains of Oneida Chiefs. Near one stands a large beech tree, hollow and open at one side, from which it is said the skeleton of an Indian was once taken."

    Although the numerous wild beasts kept the settlers in venison, yet bears in the depredations destroyed more than their carcasses profited the hunter. Flocks were often decimated by wolves. Fifty-three years ago at Brigg's Bay, from a good sized flock of sheep, seventeen were killed in one night by wolves. They were troublesome all over town. Mr. French states that in 1809 Elisha Swift, of Canaseraga, had five calves killed by wolves in one night. He became instrumental in getting a law passed whereby a bounty of forty dollars per head for every wolf killed, was granted. Deer have been known to feed with the cows in the wood, and when the latter was driven up at the close of day, lie down for the night, and as cows returned in the morning, join them again for the day. Hunting became a lucrative business.

    The customs of that day were quite different from those at present. The people went much in batteaux on the lake and streams. There were Indians everywhere. Fleets of as many as thirty canoes were often seen crossing the lake, laden with Indians.

    Rev. Austin Briggs, originally from Connecticut, in 1812, was the pioneer minister of this region. He first settled in Manlius on his "soldier's right" but soon found he had a spurious title. On discovering this he took his family and effects and came to Sullivan, on the shore of the Oneida lake, and there lived in a log house. He afterwards built a house about two miles east of Bridgeport. Rev. Briggs belonged to the M. E. Conference; was for a time local and the ordained minister. In his clerical labors he traveled through out the northern part of this and Onondaga Counties, where he was well known. He traversed the new country on horseback, and often on foot, on account of bad roads, and sometimes in canoes on the lake and rivers. Austin P. Briggs, Esq., of Bridgeport, is a son of Rev. Austin Briggs.


    Some considerable progress had been made in settling the central and southern portions of Sullivan, while the northern part, bordering on Oneida Lake, was yet a wilderness. Chittenango and vicinity was settled several years before the woodman's ax was heard along the lake shore. Sometime during the year 1811, a man by the name of Fogger came and built a cabin on what is now familiarly known as "Randall's Point," about a half mile northwest of Lakeport. At that time there was no regularly laid out road along the lake shore. Fogger stayed about three or four yeas, and then disappeared from the scene, leaving no other memento to those who should come after him, than his name as associated with the Point, now known as we have just said, as Randall's. Tradition, however, if nothing more, will keep alive the name of Fogger, and that point of land to the northwest of Lakeport, extending out into the lake, in conjunction with a similar point on the east, forming what is familiarly called "the Bay," by the inhabitants, will be associated with his name, regardless of what may have been his life's career elsewhere.

    About this time, the settlement of the country round about the place known as Lakeport, may be said to have actually commenced. Reuben Spencer, who had been a sea-faring man in his younger days, and who was of good Connecticut stock, arrived on the scene accompanied by his wife, and set himself down to make a permanent settlement. He purchased a large tract of land, beautifully situated on the lake, through which ran a creek of considerable volume and rapidity at the time, and on which, subsequently, was erected the first saw mill in the vicinity of Lakeport. Mr. Spencer, who lived to be an old man, and to see all of his numerous family of children married and settle in life, with children of their own, departed this life some ten years ago. Those who knew him best have always spoken of him as an excellent man. His wife was greatly respected, and was in all respects a "strong woman." She had considerable knowledge of medicines and nursing; hence was a useful woman withal, in those early times. She died a few years before her husband. Mr. Spencer was a great story teller, and during the last few years of his life, lived almost entirely in the past, paying but little attention to passing events around him. He could tell a story to the last, and tell it well, and no one delighted m ore than he when the apple harvest was over and his cellar well supplied with the rich juice and the delicious fruit, to treat with good stories and good cheer, all who called upon him. Mrs. Spencer was an eminently pious woman, attaching great importance to a public profession of religion. She was a member of the M. E. church at the time of her death.

    The same year that Mr. Spencer came, there arrived also two others from Connecticut, Mr. Zina Bushnell, and Mr. William Williams, the former, from Saybrook, the latter from Brandon. Several others from other parts came about the same time and settled farther east on the lake shore, on what is now known as the "Tract." Deacon Reuben Bushnell and Mr. Cadwell may be mentioned as among the most prominent in settling and in shaping the early history of their section of Northern Sullivan. They, with others, came, fully imbued with New England ideas, and when they became sufficiently numerous to form a religious society, they adopted the religious doctrines of Jonathan Edwards, and lived them in the full faith and simplicity of their day.

    Mr. Zina Bushnell purchased a farm on the east side of the bay, and being strong and enterprising soon made considerable improvements. About this time the State Road was surveyed and laid out by authority of the Land Office Department at Albany. Richard Chapman, now living, and one of the early settlers, and also one of the most intelligent and reliable of men, dates the survey of this road at 1810 or '11. It was a section of the main road from Albany through the State, and when laid out there was little else than a dense wilderness on its route. For years the road along the lake shore was but a mere trail or footpath. Mr. Wm. Williams, who is still living, (1871,) and remembers with vivid distinctness the hardships incident to his pioneer life, is authority that bears and wolves were often met with in the woods and seen crossing this road by the inhabitants, when on their way and back from Bridgeport, then a rude settlement consisting of not much else than a grist mill and tavern.

    As early as 1818, Zina Bushnell erected a brick house, the first brick building in northern Sullivan. The brick were made by himself on his own far. About the same time the creek, known as "Douglass Ditch," was dug as a necessary outlet of the immense quantities of water, that accumulated on the great swamp, or "Fly," to the lake. This ditch drained some eight or ten thousand acres of low, swampy land lying south of Lakeport; 8,400 acres were made to contribute towards defraying the cost, by being taxed $2 per acre by act of the Legislature. The whole of this original swamp was a vast area extending east to Rome. Mr. Bushnell, in order to accommodate a portion of the men employed on this ditch, and also meet the wants of such travelers as found their way through that section, turned his house into a tavern, and kept it as such some five years. Mr. Bushnell had his brick house, but this was the era of log houses, sawed lumber being difficult to procure. A saw mill was erected at Bridgeport, however, several years before, where small quantities could be obtained for finishing purposes; but it was not till 1835, that the first saw mill was built in the vicinity of Lakeport, on a little stream called "Spencer's Creek," near the lake shore. This enterprise was accomplished by the joint efforts of Zina Bushnell, Reuben Spencer, Merrit Kelsey and Jacob H. Spencer. The location, however, was bad, and the water power insufficient; it proved to be a poor investment pecuniarily, but it was operated some five years and supplied considerable much needed lumber to the steadily multiplying settlers. In 1839, Richard Chapman and Julius Bushnell erected a saw mill on Douglass' Ditch. For some time it was run successfully, but at last, getting into litigation with the State, the proprietors became greatly embarrassed, and like the saw mill last mentioned, this went down, its owners being heavy losers. In 1816, William Williams, and brother, built a tannery at or near the mouth of Douglass' Ditch. It was operated some seven or either years and then abandoned.


    Ridgeville. --- This is an old settled locality. At this place was organized one of the early churches of the town --- Presbyterian. At one time this Presbyterian society was strong in numbers and wealth. About 1828 they built a good church edifice.

    Bolivar, a landing place on the Erie Canal, is located one mile west of Chittenango landing. It is an old settled place. The first Sunday School in the town of Sullivan was held by Abram Walrath, in the house of Mr. Lincoln, in Bolivar, about 1820. Mr. Lincoln's son William now (1870) resides in the same house.

    Fyler Settlement is a pleasant little place, located about two and half miles north from Chittenango Depot. At this place there is a steam saw mill and a stave and heading factory, owned by Mr. Fyler, from whom the settlement takes its name. A Methodist Church was lately built there.


    The murder of Robert Barber, of Coleraine, Mass., by Lewis Wilbur, a native of Saratoga, N. Y., on August 30, 1837, transpired in this town near the canal, at a point about half way between Lee's Bridge at New Boston, and Chittenango Landing. The murder was committed for Barbar's money. Wilbur was arrested, convicted and hung in Morrisville, Oct. 3d, 1839. The intense and wide spread excitement at the time, cannot be forgotten by the people of that day.


    In concluding these sketches of Sullivan, we give, by way of recapitulation of its first thirty years, an extract from a communication to the author, dated April 15, 1872, written by the still firm hand and in the yet graphic diction of the venerable Hon. Wm. K. Fuller, now of Schenectady, who, when he penned it, was within a few months of eighty years old:---

    "More than three-fourths of the territory of Sullivan up to the year 1816, was a wilderness of frequented by bears, deer and other wild animals indigenous to the forest of this State. Its principal settlements by white people were along and near the line of the Seneca Turnpike Road, which was opened to public use in the year 1800. Before the opening of that road many immigrants from the east had found their way to the 'Military Tract,' which was brought into market not long after the conclusion of the revolutionary war; but the improvement of the adjoining Indian reservation of which the northern portion of Madison County formed a part, did not commence till some years after many settlements had been made by white people within the limits of that tract and west of it. Such settlements could only be concurrent with the extinguishment of the Indian title, which in Madison County was held by the Oneida Indians and ceded by them to the State in limited parcels whenever impelled by their necessities, or by outside influences of less credit to humanity. The last cession was made about 1830, and the remnant of the tribe (with a few exceptions,) removed, at the expense of the State, to a tract of land near the Winnebago Lake in Wisconsin."

    Mr. Fuller adds the following just tribute:--- "The rapid increase of the population and wealth of the town of Sullivan subsequent to 1816, was in a great measure owing to the enterprising spirit of Hon. John B. Yates."

    John Owen French, who died in 1808, in the 40th year of his age; had four sons --- Horatio, Jarius, Samuel and Thomas --- all of whom were born in the town of Williamsburgh, near Northampton, Mass., and came to Sullivan with their father. They spent their long and useful lives here, living within a mile of each other near Canaseraga. They became men of standing and influence; they were self-made men, hence were strong in character and fit to lead in many worthy enterprises; they helped to establish order and good society in the town of their adoption, and in turn were honored by the confidence of the people; numerous official trusts were committed to their care. Jarius French was made Justice of the Peace by the Council of Appointments, and afterwards by the votes of the people of Sullivan. He served in this office with great ability and to the satisfaction of his townmen for near fifty years.

    Samuel French was Census Marshal for Madison County in 1830, and Sheriff for the County from 1844 to 1847. In these and other positions of trust he acquitted himself with credit.

    Horatio French, besides holding many places of trust in his town, was for many years Under Sheriff, an office which was held also by his brother Thomas for many years. The latter held this position on the decease of this brother Samuel, whose term as Sheriff of the County he filled out; he was also Under Sheriff under Gen. Messenger, and on the latter's decease filled out his term.

    Dr. Samuel Kennedy the pioneer physician of Chittenango, was from Coleraine, Mass. He became a graduate of Fairfield, Herkimer County, Medical School. He commenced practice in Herkimer, where he married Mary Ann Livingston in 1815. He soon removed to the town of Sullivan, settling first at Canaseraga, and afterwards at Chittenango, where he devoted the remainder of his life to the practice of his profession.

    Dr. Kennedy was emphatically the physician of the people; his ready sympathy for suffering made him eminently the poor man's friend. Always obedient to the calls of duty, he served the public in his professional capacity, whether he was paid or not, consequently his large practice did not bring an adequate recompense. Quiet, unassuming, and unselfish, he pursued his own course, obeying the convictions of his conscience without fear of the opinions of others. He had also great energy, perseverance and strength of character, with great liberality of views, and quietly though firmly acted upon his principles. He was one of the early Abolitionists, and voted for James Birney in 1844. He died in 1849, aged 59 years.

    Charles L. Kennedy, County Judge and Surrogate of Madison County, is a son of Dr. Samuel Kennedy.


    He was the youngest child of Christopher and Jane Yates, and was born in Schenectady, N. Y., in 1784. His father, an officer in the revolution, died during his infancy. In the year 1802, at the early age of 18, he graduated at Union College, and soon after entered upon the study of the law with his brother, the Hon. Henry Yates. In 1805, he was admitted to the bar, and during the seven years following addressed himself with unremitting diligence to the labors of the profession he had chosen. In the war of 1812, he was commissioned a Captain by Gov. Tompkins and raised a volunteer company of horse artillery. With this company he joined the army of Gen. Hampton, and served under that General during the unfortunate winter campaign of 1813, in the northern woods of this State.

    At the expiration of the war he was elected Member of the 14th United States Congress from the 13th (Schenectady and Scoharie) District, term of 1815 and '16, in which he took a prominent and active part. After the close of his Congressional term he removed to Utica, where he resumed the functions of his legal profession. Soon, however, he changed his home to Chittenango. The Governor, on retiring from office in 1817, to assume the duties of Vice-President of the United States, appointed him sole manager of the "Literature Lotteries" of the State, confidence in which had been lost by the misconduct of the managers who immediately preceded him. In consequence of the acceptance of this trust, it became necessary for him to remove to the city of New York, which he did, and did not resume his residence in Chittenango till 1825; but during his residence in the city he frequently visited Chittenango, to examine and direct the conduct of those in charge of his large estate, which consisted of about 2,000 acres of land, flouring mills, saw mills, oil mill, lime and plaster mill, woolen factory, stores, dry dock and yards for building and repairing boats, Polytechnic school, and various residences and other buildings. At times, as many as 150 men were in his employ. The result of his management of the lotteries was, that he brought them to a successful termination before the expiration of the time limited by Legislature.

    He also became interested in the commercial importance of the Welland Canal, at a time when its stock holders were nearly sinking for want of funds, and invested to the amount of $137,000.

    In Madison County and particularly in his adopted town, his services were incalculable value. He cast his influence in favor of the Erie Canal, as well as other enterprises, already enumerated.

    In 1828, he received the appointment of Judge of the County Court, which position he held for a short period and resigned. He was, however subsequently appointed first Judge of the County, which office, together with being a Member of the Assembly, he held at the time of this decease. Although he seemed especially fitted for public stations he studiously avoided political preferment and place; and it was only by the partiality of his fellow citizens that he was raised to those stations of public trust which he so nobly adorned.

    Hon. John B. Yates died at his residence in Chittenango on the 10th day of July, 1836, age 52 years. His death was felt as a great public calamity, and every incident connected with his sickness, which was brief, was published at every issue of the press of the county; and when his death was announced, it was received with heartfelt expressions of sorrow and regret, and a large proportion of the newspapers of the country were draped in mourning, for a great and good man had fallen.

    The following extract from one of the newspapers of the day, but adds one of the many high eulogies upon his life:

    "In his death, community at large have sustained a loss. His influence was felt throughout the length and breadth of at least our State, if not of the country, during the last session of the Legislature. The place of his residence must necessarily feel the severity of the stroke of Divine Providence in this bereavement. The whole community is agitated under its influence --- its shock is universal --- their loss cannot be repaired. Not only his influence, but his public spirit was felt in his efforts to elevate their moral and intellectual condition, and in devising and executing schemes of public improvement, for their temporal and eternal prosperity. He descends to the grave, it is confidently believed, not only without an enemy, but enjoying the esteem of all his acquaintances, and the unqualified love of all who had the happiness of becoming his friends.

    In his decease, the wife has been bereaved of a tender and affectionate husband --- the relatives a generous and benevolent brother and friend --- the widow and fatherless of a benefactor --- the poor of one whose charities were profuse --- and the cause of Christ an able defender and generous supporter."

    As he devoted his mind and his means with such assiduity, he effected for the village of Chittenango a greater prosperity than any other person; hence he was regarded as the founder of the village. In fact the history of Chittenango is everywhere marked by his munificent deeds.

    His desire for the advancement of education induced him to found, at his own expense, the Polytechnic College in Chittenango, which was ably conducted for nearly ten years.

    His financial operations, in connection with his partners, raised Union College from a state of comparative insolvency to that of opulence and distinction. To carry out his views in regard to the proper conduct of institutions for a thorough practical and literary education, as well as an elevated moral training, he made careful arrangements in his will for the bestowal of a large amount of his property to this end.

    Had his views been carried out by our State Legislature, as has since been done for Cornell University, an institution like that would have been established, and in successful operation thirty years ago. Chittenango might have had the advantage of its location, and one generation more at least have been blest with its fruits; whereas, that sum designed by him for this noble use, has realized little of its intended worthy purposes, although his trustees used their utmost endeavors to bring the Legislature to concur with his plans.

    In Walnut Grove Cemetery, south of Chittenango village, can be seen the monument erected to his memory. Carved upon the stone is the noble face of one whose numerous good deeds are inscribed in the enduring marble.

    In the Reformed Church there is also placed a neat memorial tablet, which has the following inscription:---

To           The
Memory of the
Hon. John B. Yates,
Who Died
July 10th, 1836.

    He was eminently possessed of the characteristics of a great and good man, ever distinguished for his philanthropy and benevolence.

    As a friend he was generous and changeless. By this society his name is deservedly cherished with grateful and affectionate remembrance.

    In the erection of this house of worship, he was deeply interested, and toward the completion of the object was the most liberal benefactor.

    The memory of the just is blessed: Prov. 10:7. The liberal deviseth liberal things and by liberal things he shall stand: Isa 32:81

    HON. WM. K. FULLER - He was born in Schenectady, N. Y., on the 24th day of November, 1792. His father, Jeremiah Fuller, on his father's side was a lineal descendant of Samuel Fuller, one of the Puritans who landed from the ship Mayflower, at Plymouth Rock in 1620; and on the side of his mother, of the Holland families that found Schenectady. The mother of Wm. K. Fuller, Mary Kendall, was born in Yorkshire, England, and came to this country with her father and brother about the year 1787. Mr. Fuller was educated in the schools of his native place; he graduated at Union College, studied law in the office of Henry and John B. Yates and was admitted to practice in the Supreme Court in the year 1814. Shortly after his admission, he entered into partnership with John B. Yates. In the summer of 1814 they moved to Utica, Oneida Co., opened an office and practiced law there until the spring of 1816, when they removed to Chittenango, then a village of about 100 inhabitants. During his residence in Utica he was appointed Master in Chancery, Attorney for the Oneida, Stockbridge and Brothertown Indians, and Quarter-master of a regiment of Militia. While a resident of Chittenango, he was appointed to and executed the duties of the following offices and trusts, namely:--- Justice of the Peace twice, Town Clerk, Postmaster, Aidde-Camp to the General of Brigade with the rank of Captain, Brigade Judge Advocate with the rank of Major, Division Inspector with the rank of Colonel, Attorney for Madison County, Adjutant General of the State of New York, Commissioner under the acts to drain the great Canaseraga marsh, Supervisor twice, Commissioner of Highways Judge of the Madison County Court of Common Pleas, School Trustee, Member of Assembly twice in succession, (1829 and '30,) and twice in succession a Member in Congress from the Twenty-Third District, composed the Counties of Madison and Onondaga. He gave up the practice of law in 1823. Early in that year he was appointed Adjutant General by Gov. Yates, serving through his administration and six months under Gov. Clinton, his successor in office being unable to assume its duties. Gov. Clinton issued "a General Order" complimentary of his services as Adjutant General and caused it to be published in the State paper. His last term in Congress ended March 2d, 1837. Since that date he has paid very little attention to matters of public concern. Up to 1852 his time was given to his own affairs and to the settlement of the large estate of his deceased friend and former partner, Hon. J. B. Yates, of whose will he was one of the executors. Soon after the settlement of that estate, he became interested in property in Canada, and thenceforth his time has been divided between that country and his native State.

    Judging from the present state of politics, one might imagine from the foregoing, not knowing his character, that he had not only been an office-holder, but an office-seeker. Such a conjecture, however, would be far from the truth; not one of the whole number was conferred through the least effort, solicitation or expenditure of money on his part.

    Judge Fuller was on of the directors of, and a stockholder in the Madison County turnpike road,15 which passed through Peterboro and connected the Seneca road at Chittenango, with the Cherry Valley road at Madison. He was also one of the directors, and the secretary and treasurer of the "side cut," from Chittenango to the Erie canal, which was completed under his superintendence, simultaneously with the middle section of the Erie, at a much less cost than the capital subscribed.

    Judge Fuller has for many years been a resident of Schenectady, his native place. Although he has reached the advanced age of eighty years, and is somewhat infirm physically, yet his heart is still young, his spirits buoyant, his well cultivated mind remarkably clear and strong.

    We append here a brief notice of the three brothers of Judge William K. Fuller, --- Samuel, George K., and Edward, --- all of whom were natives of Schenectady, graduates of Union College, and eminent men:--- Samuel completed his medical studies in the city of New York, and established himself as a physician and surgeon in Chittenango about the year 1818. Edward, who also completed his medical studies in New York, became a partner of Samuel in 1824. In the course of their joint practice, each acquired an excellent reputation for skill and integrity. Edward ceased to practice his profession about the year 1834. Samuel continued to practice until 1866, when with his family he moved to New York city, where he died the year following, in the 73d year of his age. George K. came to reside in Chittenango about the year 1820. He had not resided there long before Mr. John B. Yates constituted him his general agent, and superintendent of his farming, mercantile and manufacturing concerns at Chittenango. He acted in that capacity until the decease of Mr. Yates in 1836. As an acknowledgment of his faithful services, Mr. Yates left him by his will a legacy of $5,000, and appointed him one of its executors. He was engaged in the trust thus confided to him till the final settlement of the estate, which from unavoidable circumstances did not occur till 1852. Possessed of sound judgment, clear perceptions, great moral courage and generous temper, he was well adapted to the positions allotted to him in life. He was a liberal patron and trustee of the Polytechnic school at Chittenango, and though much averse to holding public office, he was once or twice induced to serve as supervisor of the town. He died in Chittenango in the year 1858, in the 59th year of his age.


    The Presbyterian Church of Chittenango Village was organized as early as 1816, with about 20 members. On the formation of the Reformed Dutch Church, the Presbyterians joined with it. About 1830 the society was again revived prospering greatly under the ministrations of Rev. Mr. Smith. About 1833, they resolved to build a church, although the pecuniary responsibility rested on a few. Dr. Samuel Kennedy, Mr. Hall and Mr. Thomas Livingston, were the building committee. Heavy debts rested on those who became responsible, and when the society declined, about 1840, the building was sold to the Baptist society. The Presbyterians again joined themselves to the Reformed Dutch Church.

    The Reformed Dutch Church of Chittenango, was organized in 1827. There had been previously religious meetings held in the Bethel, and the Polytechny, but the needs of the village required better accommodations for religious services. John B. Yates, who was a member of the Reformed Dutch church, obtained assistance among the churches of that denomination, which with subscriptions among the citizens, enabled them to erect in 1828, a fine substantial building at a cost of between eleven and twelve thousand dollars. The first pastor was Rev. Andrew Yates. The following pastors have served since:--- Rev. Wm. H. Campbell, Stephen Alexander, James Van Vost, James Abell, the latter pastor seventeen years. Also Rev. Mr. Talmadge and Rev. J. H. Enders.

    The M. E. Church of Chittenango. --- This society was organized September 9th, 1833. Its originators were J. I. Walrath, Daniel Walrath, J. B. Knowles, William Metcalf and A. Comstock. Its first pastor was Benjamin G. Paddock. The old church was built in 1836, and was burned in 1862. In 1862 and '63 it was rebuilt.

    Baptist Church of Chittenango. --- This society was organized previous to 1840, and purchased their meeting house of the Presbyterians. The first pastor was Elder Houston. In the course of time the society declined and sold their house to the Roman Catholics in 1862 or '63. Since the latter date, however, the society has revived and has become a strong and influential body. A fine new church edifice has been erected.

    The Canaseraga Church. --- This edifice was built about 1828, by the Universalists and Methodists. It was then called the "Free Church." The property was deeded in the beginning to the Universalists, but the Methodists continue to occupy it and keep it in repair. There was a time when the Episcopalians chiefly occupied it.

    Churches at Bridgeport. --- The Baptist Church was originally built by the Baptist and Methodists, and was used alternately by each. Difficulties, however, grew out of the joint ownership, and in 1869, the M. E. Society built a new house. Its erection was due to the perseverance of the Rev. Mr. Lyon, pastor in charge. Mr. Russel Adams, of New York, formerly a resident of Bridgeport, donated largely for the building of this church.

    Episcopal Church of Chittenango. --- In the year 1850, arrangements were made with Rev. A. P. Smith, Cazenovia, to hold regular religious services here, who continued his services from year to year. The parish was organized about 1856, at which time Mr. Sandford Cobb and Mr. Joseph Sanger were constituted first wardens. The church edifice was built in 1866, at a cost of about $5,000, and was the same year consecrated by Bishop Cox. Through the instrumentality of Mrs. Kellogg, wife of Hon. Charles Kellogg, and the young ladies of the village, the funds were raised with which the church was built. Rev. Mr. Smith has been the officiating clergyman from the beginning to the present time with the exception of one year when the Rev. Geo. Southwell was pastor.

1 - Oneida Reservation.
2 - Mr. Austin P. Briggs, of Bridgeport, states that when a boy, 45 years ago, he found fine skating upon the Fly, the water being four feet deep under the ice.
3 - "Vly," or "Fly" is the Dutch construction of the word, "Valley." [See Valentine's History of New York, p. 72.]
4 - Many of them, however, located at Stockbridge.
5 - At this time a large part of the Tuscaroras resided at their village in Stockbridge, known then as "Tuscarora."
6 - Guerdon Evans, author of map of Madison County, 1853.
7 - Much of the account of Vrooman's adventure is drawn from Evan's sketch.
8 - Richard Varrick was mayor of New York in 1789. --- Probably the same.
9 - See close of this chapter.
10 - In front of the parsonage grows a pine and oak twin tree, apparently from the same root so interlaced are the roots of the two. Their bodies are joined at the base as one, but the oak, growing straight, asserts its individuality and has compelled the pine to bend to its own unyielding nature. In accommodating its fibres to the other, the pine winds diagonally partially around it and then shoots upward like its twin mate, their branches interlocking, while the crown of the pine stands well above the other. The two, so intermingled, present a peculiar and interesting appearance.
11 - See appendix Note q.
12 - Madison Observer and Recorder, March 29, 1828.
13 - The Episcopal church now stands where was once the canal basin.
14 - Clark's Onondaga makes the above statements.
15 - Since this road was abandoned as a toll road, for want of adequate receipts to meet the expense of keeping it in repair, and surrendered to the towns through which it passed, Hon. Gerrit Smith has very greatly improved it at his own expense in the vicinity of Peterboro.
Transcribed by Jo Dee Frasco
February, 2004
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Madison County History - 1872
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