Boundaries. --- Geography. --- 4th Township; Its Purchase. --- Indians. --- Curious Relics. --- Mary Antone. --- Pioneers and their Experience. --- First Courts. --- Anecdote. --- Payne's Settlement. --- East Hamilton. --- Hubbardsville. --- Hamilton Center. --- Poolville. --- Hamilton Village in 1800. --- The Settlement in 1800, 1809, 1812. --- Hamilton Academy. --- Female Seminary. --- Union School. --- Mercantile and Mechanical Industries of the Village. --- Hamilton Bank. --- Hamilton Lodge F. & A. M. --- Biographical Sketches of Samuel and Elisha Payne, Gen. King and others. --- Public men, Lawyers and Physicians. --- Madison University. --- Rev. Daniel Hascall; Dr. Kendrick. --- Earlville. --- Churches. --- Newspapers.

    Hamilton is bounded on the north by Madison, east by Brookfield, south by Chenango County and west by Lebanon. The surface is a rolling upland, broken by the valley of the Chenango River and its eastern branch. High ridges border the stream in the south part of the town. At Hamilton village and north, the valley is spreading and beautiful, and this village rests in a spacious vale nearly encircled by the eastern, southern and western hills. The valleys of the Chenango are fertile, the soil consisting of a gravelly, sandy loam. The eastern part of the town, rough and uneven in its contour, has most excellent grazing farms, while its soil is of a clayey loam resting on a clay subsoil.

    The old, well known Skaneateles Turnpike crossed this town, entering at Hamilton village, passing to East Hamilton, thence to Clarksville, in Brookfield. The road is to this day characterized for its mathematical directness, over high hills and through deep valleys, with no possible variation on account of steep passes. The older Utica and Oxford Turnpike entered the northeast corner, crossed the town, passing out at the southwest corner, at Earlville. This, like the other turnpike, pursued an undeviating course, over mountainous ridge, or hillock, as the case might be. We are to remember, however, that the surface of the country was hidden by a heavy forest, and the surveying engineer, with an undertaking before him as great as now would be the laying out of a railroad, spent no time or money in looking up feasible routes in the wilderness, but laid his lines, as he followed his undeviating compass. The Utica and Oxford Turnpike long ago dispensed with its numerous taverns, as they lost their revenue when the Chenango Canal was built, for Utica and Oxford and the intervening villages transferred their transportation from the heavy wagons to the canal boat. Now, the Utica, Chenango and Susquehanna Valley Railroad, having found the easy grades along the route of the old turnpike, is performing more than the work of both canal and turnpike. This railroad opens to communication with the world, a rich agricultural country, in which eastern and southern Hamilton has its share.

    The Chenango Canal, built in 1836 and '37, follows the Chenango River along the west border of the town, passing through Hamilton Village, Middleport, in the border of Lebanon, and leaves the county at Earlville.

    The Chenango River becomes a feeder for the canal. The most easterly branch of this stream has several fine mill sites along its course, the most available being at Poolville and at Earlville, (once called the Forks,) where it unites with the main stream.

    The Utica, Clinton and Binghamton Railroad, following the line of the Chenango Canal, again divides the work of transportation, so that to-day the number of boats plying upon the canal has become greatly lessened.

    The town of Hamilton was formed from Paris, March 5, 1795, and named in honor of the patriot, Alexander Hamilton. Its territory embraced four townships of the "Chenango Twenty Towns," which was reduced by Eaton, Lebanon and Madison being taken off in 1807.

    The first town meeting was held in the house of Elisha Payne, on the first Tuesday in April, 1795. Joshua Leland was voted Supervisor, and Elijah Blodgett, Town Clerk.

    Hamilton, or "4th Township," began to receive attention from emigrants as early as 1792. In April, (the 16th day,) 1794, William S. Smith received from the State a patent for 4th Township, which, according to the statement of the Surveyor General, contained 24,400 acres. A transfer was soon after made, and the English proprietor, Sir William Pultney, came in possession of the town, though William S. Smith received some of the fine land in the Chenango valley, which he sold to settlers.

    From the English company, Dominick Lynch purchased the title to most of the Township. It is said that he was so much gratified by the sale of the first five hundred acres of land, at twenty shillings per acre, that he paid five dollars more than usual, to have the deed of conveyance engrossed on parchment, which is yet held in the family.

    The town of Hamilton, which, at the present day, exhibits to the eye of the traveler such broad, rich and beautiful farms, handsome dwellings, and which bears such evidences of that substantial progress in business and learning which belongs to older countries, was, eighty ears ago, when the pioneer first set foot upon her soil, a fast sweeping wilderness, still tenanted by the Oneidas and Stockbridges, who fished in her streams, hunted her deer, encamped in her valleys, and made their journeys through her territory, to and from the Susquehanna. The New York State documents and papers, cite us to their occupation of this land three hundred years ago, and from time to time point to their journeyings down the Chenango to their own Susquehanna lands. The pioneer found their well-worn trail, and their camping grounds upon the flat near the Forks, (Earlville,) which were readily designated by Indian implements being scattered all about their deserted camp fires---not wholly deserted, for they annually came and spent a season in basket-making, to a period as late as 1815.

    Within the memory of our younger inhabitants, the Stockbridge tribes, with an old chief, Konkerpot, as their leader, used to visit Fisherman's Pond, on the farm of O. B. Lord, Esq., near Poolville, where, under a pair of large cherry trees, they made their baskets.

    Year by year, as the plowman upturns the soil, some relic is brought to the surface, such as hatchets, arrowheads, pipes, stone pestles, &c., implements similar to those found in other localities. It is not a long time since Squire Lord picked up, on his farm above named, two specimens of Indian antiquity, the like of which we have not seen elsewhere. Holes were chisled [sic] out to represent the eyes---or eye-sockets---and a place cut to represent the mouth. In the center of those eye-sockets, is curiously wrought in what might indicate the sight of the eye; a bright spot of flint in those of one, and of white sandstone in the other. Both these specimens are common cobble stones, the largest being the lightest colored, and which has, also, three round holes drilled, or chiseled, in the back of the head. If we were to decipher the meaning of those holes, we should say that the person whom this was designed to represent, was killed by being shot twice in the head from behind, one ball passing out at the top of the head. Indian hieroglyphics mean much more than we can decipher, and the light color of this head, the perpendicular forehead, the dimple chiseled in the chin, the light sand stone eye-sight, the bullet holes in the head, have a strange story of their own, which we should be glad to read.

    The trail which the Indians kept well worn, came from Oneida Creek and passed down the Chenango branch through the west part of Hamilton. Two miles below Hamilton village was a frequent camping ground.

    One winter, about 1810, a company of about seventy encamped here and built their wigwams; lived for some months, and made their baskets; roamed about the forest and among the settlers; hunted a little and exhibited their wild customs considerably, all winter. However, they appeared to be rather peaceably disposed, and the white inhabitants on the west side of the creek became quite accustomed to their wild whoops and strange habits.

    The tragedy in which Mary Antone acted a horrible part, occurred here a few years later. The party to which she and the Antone family belonged, had encamped upon land now known as the farm of J. D. Smith, Esq., and erected seven large wigwams. It was in autumn, and they were intending to spend the winter here. The young squaw toward whom Mary felt such a vindictive hatred, was fine looking, but was spoken of by some of the Indians, as "no good." She had been maneuvering to captivate the attention of Mary's Indian, a young Stockbridge, to whom, it is said, Mary had been some time married, according to the Indian form. The girl was making a basket for Mrs. Hannah Waters, of Hamilton village, and was in the act of putting in the handle, when Mary came upon her suddenly, and struck her with an Indian knife. Not satisfied with one blow, she repeated it, until she had inflicted seven wounds in her right side, which produced her death. Mary made some little effort to conceal herself in the woods, but was found with very little difficulty, behind a log, curled up like a wild animal. She, however, immediately resumed her proud bearing, for she possessed a good form and rather handsome features. She then appeared twenty years of age, or thereabouts. She manifested a remarkable indifference as to her fate, and when told that she would be hung for the murder, she replied that she did not care, and signified that had the girl lived, she would at some future time have taken her life. She added: "She got away my Indian, and deserved to die."

    Mary was put in irons and held in confinement for a few days at Mr. Howard's tavern in Hamilton. Howard kept the house which is now kept by Mr. Ingalls. In this house the jury of inquest held their consultation. 1

    Of the jurors who were impanneled on the inquest, both ante and post mortem, the following are a part of the names:---Gen. Nathaniel King, Daniel Smith, Elisha Payne, Azel Tinney, Jabin Armstrong and Samuel Payne. Of these men, only Jabin Armstrong is now living.

    There was great excitement attending the trial, which Abram Antone contended was no business of the white man's. He believed that the laws of New York had no jurisdiction over the Indians. The Oneida Chief was consulted, who gave her up to be tried by our courts. This proceeding Antone treated with contempt, declaring the chief's authority to be no greater than his own in such a case. Indeed, it is said by some that by right Antone was an Oneida Chief. The head Chief of that nation was considered an enemy to Antone.

    During her stay at Hamilton, many persons visited her, to whom at first she was quite communicative, although she could speak English but brokenly. Her father brooded about the premises with a sullen cloud upon his brow, till he obtained an interview with Mary. After this she answered no more questions of the bystanders. She was removed from here to the jail at Whitestown, and after her trial was hung at Peterboro. Throughout the whole proceeding, in her trial and at her execution, even in her latest moments, she appeared extremely cool and indifferent.

    John Jacobs, an Indian, the principal witness against her, and who was most active in her arrest, became ever after the object of her father's hatred, whose murder by Antone, a few years later, and the subsequent events connected with Antone's life, created an excitement which can never be forgotten so long as the generation of that day exists. 2

    Fourth Township was not, however, regarded as the rightful home of the Indian. The Clinton Treaty of 1788, had invested the State of New York with its ownership, and its doors were thrown open to the white settler.

    In the winter of 1792, John Wells and Abner Nash, from Paris, Oneida County, N. Y., formerly from Amherst, Massachusetts, came on snow shoes and selected a location in the southern part of the town, on the east branch of the Chenango River, a short distance east from where the village of Earlville now stands, and returned to Paris. In the spring of the same year John Wells and his wife, Abner Nash; Patrick Shields and John Muir, the two latter from Scotland, left Paris with their goods and chattels, all of which were drawn on an ox sled, and, guided by marked trees, penetrated the wilderness. Mrs. Wells was provided with a horse on which she carried her infant son William, about one year of age. Their route was on the west side of the cedar swamp, between Waterville and Hamilton. Coming to the east branch of the Chenango which was swollen by recent rains, a new difficulty presented itself. Nothing daunted, Mrs. Wells urged her noble horse into the stream, and he swam over with Mrs. Wells clinging to the saddle and her child in her arms. Their goods were ferried over in an old canoe, the oxen swimming the river and drawing the empty sled. Soon after, they reached their new homes in safety.

    During the summer of the same year, Mrs. Wells, learning that there was a white woman about twelve or fourteen miles distant, in the town of Norwich, went on horseback, following marked trees, and made her a visit, there being no other white woman within that distance.

    Those four pioneer settlers took up a body of land on both sides of the Chenango River and then divided it. Horatio Sholes now lives where they settled. The first and only animals driven into town and owned by these pioneers, consisted of one yoke of oxen, two cows and two hogs. Mrs. Wells brought a small dog in her saddle bag, which was nearly drowned, being wholly submerged in crossing the Chenango.

    John Wells commenced keeping a public house immediately after his arrival, for numerous emigrants and those "looking land" were finding their way to the "Twenty Townships."

    Patrick Shields was a native of Scotland, who came over with the British in the Revolutionary war. He was wounded in the battle of Bunker Hill, taken prisoner, and remained here afterward.

    The first living white child of the town was Harry, son of John Wells; the second was Horace, son of Abner Nash. On the premises of the first settler the first store of the town was kept by a Mr. Church. The first grist mill of the town known to the remembrance of the earliest living inhabitants, was conducted by Reuben Slater, Poolville.

    In the year 1793, Squire Reuben Ransom took up the farm which has been known for years as the "Adon Smith farm."

    In 1794, Samuel Payne and his wife became the pioneers of Hamilton village. They settled on the land now occupied by Madison University.

    In 1795, Elisha Payne, Theophilus, Benjamin and William Pierce, Jonathan Olmstead, Daniel and Nathan Foster, all from Lebanon, Connecticut, with their families, joined Mr. Payne in the charming location he had selected. Samuel Stower, from the same place, came in 1797. The same year Dr. Thomas Greenly, the pioneer physician, came in from Connecticut. Samuel Stower took up eighty acres, having purchased it of the first proprietors, and located his residence east of where the Seminary buildings on Broad street now are. Dr. Greenly located on the same street where is now the residence of Mr. Mott. Benjamin Pierce, Esq., built the house now owned and occupied by Professor Beebe. In this hospitable house the lawyers, justices and judges of the early day, used to stop, when here at County courts, sharing Mr. Pierce's generous board during each term.

    Deacon Jonathan Olmstead, located about a mile south of the village, a little below University Hill, where he built the farm house still standing.

    Before 1800, John Pomeroy, Herman Jordan, Timothy Rogers, Abijah Sprague, Otis Howe, Stephen Brainard, Edward Bonney, Ichabod Wheeler, Mr. Orton and Dr. Josiah Rogers, had settled in various localities in the town. Many of these settlers were men of property, whose means enabled them to invest considerably in lands, and to make substantial improvements.

    Upon the Chenango, in this genial soil, sprang into life the germ of the village of Hamilton, which, for years, in honor of the pioneers, bore the name of Payne's Settlement.

    Such men as constituted this settlement, men of means, of culture and of public spirit, were needed to engage in the momentous questions involved in the formation of government for the swiftly populating new country. Most heartily did they engage their talents, and from the earliest date they have been prominent in the public history of our county.

    The first record we have of this section being represented in the courts of our government bears the date of 1794. This county then lay in the boundaries of Herkimer, and this town in the town of Paris. The Court was a term of the Herkimer Common Pleas and General Sessions, held at the Meeting House in New Hartford, town of Whitestown, on the third Tuesday in January, 1794. Henry Staring, Judge; Jedediah Sanger and Amos Wetmore, Justices; William Colbraith, Sheriff; Jonas Platt, Clerk. Among the list of Grand Jurors present, we find the name of Duty Lapham, one of Madison County's pioneer settlers, whose name is honorably and well known from an early period by the inhabitants of Hamilton.

    An anecdote of this first Court is thus related by Wm. Tracy, Esq., in his lectures before the Young Men's Association of Utica, N.Y.:

    "A gentleman who attended the Court as a spectator, informs me that the day was one of those cold January days frequent in our climate, and that in the afternoon, and when it was near night, in order to comfort themselves in their by no means very well appointed court room, and to keep the blood at a temperature at which it would continue to circulate, some of the gentlemen of the bar had induced the Sheriff to procure from a neighboring inn a jug of spirits. This, it must be remembered, was before the invention of temperance societies. Upon the jug's appearing in Court, it was passed around the bar table, and each of the learned counselors in his turn upraised the elegant vessel, and descanted into his mouth, by the simplest process imaginable, so much as he deemed a sufficient dose of the delicious fluid. While the operation was going on, the dignitaries of the bench, who were no doubt suffering quite as much with the cold as their brethren at the bar, had a little consultation, when the first Judge announced to the audience that the Court saw no reason why they should hold open Court any longer, and freeze to death, and desired the crier forthwith to adjourn the Court. Before, however, this functionary could commence with a single 'Hear ye,' Col. Colbraith jumped up, catching, as he rose, the jug from the lawyer who was complimenting its contents, and holding it up toward the bench, hastily ejaculated: 'Oh! no, no, no, Judge---don't adjourn yet; take a little gin, Judge; that will keep you warm; 'taint time to adjourn yet;' and suiting the action to the word, he handed his honor the jug. It appeared there was force in the Sheriff's advice, for the order to adjourn was revoked, and business went on."

    From this date, all Courts of this County were held at Whitestown till 1798, when, by an act passed the 15th day of March of that year, Herkimer County was divided, and Chenango County was formed from this and Tioga County. It fell to the lot of Hamilton and her sister towns, to be included in the County with the pleasant sounding Indian name, Chenango, and for eight years lay within its domain.

    After the formation of Chenango, courts were formed within its boundaries, and the first Court of Common Pleas was held in Hamilton, in the log school house near the house of Elisha Payne, in June, 1798; Isaac Foote, of the 8th Township, (now Smyrna,) presiding as first Judge; Joab Enos and Joshua Leland, Judges; Oliver Norton and Elisha Payne, assistant Justices; Uri Tracy, Sheriff; Sidney Breese, Clerk; John L. Mersereau, Surrogate. The courts were held alternately at Hamilton and Oxford until 1806.

    Judge Foote, who held this office for ten years, was the first member of the Legislature appointed to represent the interests of the people of this region when it was included in the County of Herkimer.

    The first jail limits were established by Court of Common Pleas, at Sherburne Four Corners, in July, 1799, but the jail at Whitestown served for this county until 1808, and for Madison County until 1812.

    After the formation of Madison County, in 1806, the Courts were held alternately at the school house near David Barnard's, in Sullivan, (now Lenox,) and at the school house in Hamilton village. The first officers were, Peter Smith, first Judge; Edward Green, Sylvanus Smalley, Elisha Payne and David Cook, Associate Judges; Asa B. Sizer, County Clerk; Jeremiah Whipple, Sheriff; Thomas H. Hubbard, Surrogate.

    It will here be seen that the town of Hamilton early acted a most important part in establishing Courts of justice for the protection of the rights and interests of the people. However, owing to the peaceful nature of the inhabitants, there appears to be no great amount of business previous to 1800, while at the Circuit Court of this District, held July 10, 1798, in the town of Oxford, Judge Platt presiding, there was no business transacted at this or the second term, for want of litigants.

    Since Hamilton embraced (until 1807,) the towns of Lebanon, Eaton and Madison, many of those who gathered up their effects, and took up their westward journey to become settlers of Hamilton, Chenango County, and who located within this well known town, became in reality the pioneer settlers of Eaton, Lebanon and Madison. However, town lines did not separate those who were joined by a common interest, and the roads through the wilderness, which were only designated by marking trees, in the beginning, and which were now assuming some faint appearances of a highway, were as often traversed in their visits to each other as in the olden days when all dwelt in one town.

    The privations and want suffered in so many new settlements, were never so severely experienced in this hamlet. The nearest grist mill was at Brookfield, but owing to the roughness of the country between, no roads having been opened in that direction, this mill did not supply them. From the first, the route to New Hartford had been kept open, and was quite passable for that day, and from the grist mill at that place the settlers of Hamilton received their supplies of meal and flour, or got their grists of corn and rye, ground. However, the wooden mortar and pestle were quite frequently resorted to in pounding corn for family use. The building of the first grist mill was a new era in the prosperity of this section, and the man who built it became thereby a benefactor to his race and a blessing to community. The first grist mill of this vicinity was built by Daniel Wheeler, about the year 1797, on the site of the present Armstrong mill, in the town of Lebanon, adjacent to the town of Hamilton. We mention it in this connection because of its proximity to, and close alliance with the progress of this town, and was, moreover, for several years the only mill upon which a large section of the country depended.

    A few years later, this mill, then owned by Daniel and Elisha Wheeler, was burned. A new stone had just been brought from Albany, and repairs to some extent had been made on the mill, with the object in view of starting it anew with two run of stone. The fire caught in the night from a kettle of coals kept in the mill for warmth; stoves having never been introduced into the country at that day. The mill was nearly in ruins ere any one was aroused from their slumbers. The loss, being a severe one to the community, created considerable excitement, and before mid-day a large crowd had gathered from many miles around. Some came with their sleighs loaded with provisions and grain, which they tendered freely to the use of the troubled miller, who they well knew had suffered heavily in the loss of his stores of grain. A decision was made upon the ground, by the leading men, that the mill must be immediately rebuilt, and before night the plan was arranged, and next day the work commenced. In a short time Wheeler's Mill was performing its usual routine of labor.

    Although log houses were the fashion, with their big stick chimneys, through whose broad opening the children could count hosts of stars at night, yet the saw mill of Ichabod Wheeler in Hamilton village, was bringing about a revolution in style, and as early as 1806, frame additions had been joined to many of these log buildings. These became the parlors of our grandmothers, and were ceiled with broad pine boards, specimens of which cannot be found at this day, only in the relics of some of these ancient houses. Many of the floors of these primitive tenements were made of split basswood logs, hewn so smooth and joined so nicely that not a splinter could be found, and which these ladies vied with each other in keeping of a chalky whiteness. The most aristocratic parlors were perfectly innocent of carpets or mahogany upholstery; but was familiar with water, soap, sand and rushes---with splint bottomed chairs and tall posted, canopied bedsteads; while the hum of the spinning wheel, the clang of the loom, the trumpet notes of the dinner warning conch shell, the cheery voices of large families, made music throughout the dwelling. These ladies were healthy, superior women, and in the language of one of them, Mrs. Lapham, who still survives,3 hale and really fine looking, though at the advanced age of ninety-two, they "took solid comfort."

    We suspect that the wisdom of the pioneer women of Hamilton, became a quiet but powerful influence in the furtherance of progress and prosperity in this flourishing town. From the knowledge we have of them, they may be counted among those noble women of whom Solomon says: "She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness," and "She openeth her mouth with wisdom, and in her tongue is the law of kindness.

    From an anecdote related of one of the pioneer women, which occurred at an early day, we cannot for a moment doubt the power, however unobtrusive it may have been, of such women in shaping the destinies of the rising generation, as well as greatly influencing that of their husbands.

    In that day, the luxuries of the family board among the wealthiest, were few, in comparison to the present, and it was no uncommon thing if the housewife's larder became nearly empty.

    An occasion of this nature had happened in the household of one of the first families of Hamilton. While at breakfast, Mrs. ____ had said to her husband: "My dear, I have nothing in the house to cook for dinner. We have no meat, no potatoes, no flour, no butter---indeed, there is nothing!" The lady's good humored husband made no remark, appearing to think nothing of the matter, concluded his breakfast by despatching the remaining viands upon the breakfast table, rose and went about his business, whistling, utterly forgetting that he needed another meal of victuals. Not so with Mrs. ____, who began to devise some plan, not so much to produce the noonday meal, which she knew her husband was able to supply, as to cure him of his habit of carelessness. She accordingly made a closer inspection throughout the house to procure something to cook, which resulted in her obtaining about half a teacup of Indian meal, which she brushed from the meal chest. This she boiled with water, which, when done, made a pudding about the size of a teacup. She then spread the dinner table with order, which was her usual habit, placed her pudding upon a plate, covered it with a bowl, and sat it in the center. Her better half arrived at noon, and both sat down to the meal. Glancing across the table, he remarked, "Well, my dear, where are the victuals?" "Here," she replied, archly, as she uncovered the pudding. Further comment was needless. He now remembered, probably for the first time, the statement she had made in the morning. Good naturedly, and inwardly pleased by his wife's wit, he dispatched himself forthwith for the substantials, from which in a short time his lady prepared a comfortable dinner. Mrs. ____ never afterwards had occasion to bring her ingenuity to a similar test. This same gentleman was repeatedly chosen to positions of honor, and was eminently popular and beloved by all. In our opinion, it is a foregone conclusion, that the tact and wisdom of such wives as this, go far toward the making of such noble men.

    Many enterprising farmers joined the settlement begun by Messrs. Wells, Nash, Shields and Muir on the rich lands about the valley of the Chenango, eastern branch, and soon had productive farms under cultivation. Among them were Abijah Snow, Elijah, Zenas and Thomas Nash, Lucius Crane, James Williams and others. Ebenezer Colson came to this section as late as 1815, and spent the rest of his life here. Justus Shattuck came about 1814, and settled nearly half way between Earlville and Poolville, and set up the clothier trade, which business he continued for many years.

    A settlement was commenced in 1796, in the east part of the town, called "Colchester," now East Hamilton. The inhabitants, being chiefly emigrants from Colchester, Ct., gave it the name of their native town. The Ackleys, Calvin, Rodney and Eli, three brothers, were conspicuous among the pioneers of Colchester. Some of their children are in possession of the excellent farms these men took up.

    Silas Clark, Stephen Brainard, Elisha Brainard, William Shephardson, Reuben Foote, Rufus Clark, Dr. Noah B. Foot were well known citizens of this section in the early days. Ezekiel Lord settled with William Lord about two miles south of East Hamilton. Dea. Stevens settled near Hamilton Center. David Dunbar and Calvin Hubbard became citizens of Hubbardsville.

    EAST HAMILTON, or "Colchester Settlement," was a place of some note in the days when turnpike traveling was popular. The Utica and Oxford Turnpike was crossed by the Skaneateles Turnpike in this village. The hotel of Silas Clark was then known far and wide, for Mr. Clark was a popular landlord. He was in this hotel at an early day, and continued until business pretty much ceased on those roads.

    At present, East Hamilton has about thirty dwelling houses, one store, one tavern, a neat Methodist Church, a post office and a few mechanics' shops.

    HUBBARDSVILLE, contiguous to East Hamilton, became, at quite an early day, a pleasant country settlement, with a tavern, store, grist mill, tannery, and a few mechanics' shops. Mr. Eleazer Hunt, whose name occurs as the pioneer miller of Georgetown, built the grist mill at Hubbardsville. It has been, all its years, a most needed and useful institution, and the name of Hunt's mill justly had a wide reputation. Sherebiah Hunt, Eleazer's son, succeeded to the property, and a great many years perpetuated the name. It is now owned by P. T. Brownell. The old tannery was converted into a distillery, which, finally, under the pressure of temperance efforts, closed.

    Nathan Brownell was at one time quite extensively engaged in the mercantile business here, having his store on the corner opposite the store now kept by Mr. Nash.

    About 1835, a select school was established at Hubbardsville, which was taught by a Mr. Niles of Lebanon. It was largely patronized. This school continued with varied success, yet maintaining an excellent reputation, when it was incorporated in the year 1850, as the Hubbardsville Academy. This was due the enterprise of the citizens, and the exertions of Prof. P. Woods, who was the first teacher after the charter was granted. The school was very successfully conducted for a time. It has since become extinct. In 1837, the school building was erected.

    At present, Hubbardsville has one store, Clark Nash, proprietor, a post office, grist mill, saw mill, and a fine school house, where religious meetings are held.

    Calvin Hubbard, from whom this place is named, is still living, at a very advanced age. He has been a successful farmer, as his broad and well tilled acres show. Those beautiful maples along the street, from Hubbardsville to the Center, were set out by him.

    David Dunbar, also an early settler of Hubbardsville, was another superior farmer. James H. Dunbar, son of David Dunbar, purchased a farm of H. P. Potter, and being an active, energetic man, he became one of the most scientific farmers of this section. He was awarded the first premium by the Madison County Agricultural Society, in 1851, as having the best cultivated farm in the county.

    A rich farming country surrounds Hubbardsville, East Hamilton, and extends to the southward along the Chenango. It betokens good soil and well directed labor and care of the husbandman. Undoubtedly, competition has stimulated effort. Fine farm houses are everywhere to be seen, and the town exhibits no more beautiful farms in all her borders. It is one of the great hop growing localities of the State. Hubbardsville is the home of the prominent hop contractor, Mr. Charles Green.

    The Ackley farmers of East Hamilton, have been conspicuous in agricultural societies, having frequently been awarded premiums for their stock.

    The large farm taken up by Ezekiel Lord, (two miles south of East Hamilton on the old turnpike,) is one of the best of that section, and is now under superior cultivation under the care of his grandson, O. B. Lord, Esq., who owns it. The Lord farmers have been foremost among agriculturists.

    Stephen Brainard was one of the early successful farmers and public spirited citizens, so useful in all communities, and especially valuable in the new country.


    The Nash family, who were among the earliest settlers of this section of Hamilton, were from Plainfield, Herkimer County. Their descendants are numerous in various parts of the town. Clark Nash, Esq., merchant at Hubbardsville, is of this family.


    HAMILTON CENTER.---As in several towns in this county, the center was selected by some of the inhabitants as the place for the village of the town, and in Hamilton Center the first Congregational Church of the town was built, about 1800.

    Prominent among the early members were the names of Patrick Shields and wife, Abijah Snow, Abijah Poole, Eli Ackley, Elisha Swift, Daniel Nash, Thomas Foster and his wife, Mrs. ____ Hubbard, Dea. Jonathan Stevens, Stephen Brainard, Ezekiel Lord, and many others of the early settlers. About 1840 the church was removed from the Center to Poolville.

    The Universalist Church was established by Rev. Nathaniel Stacy, the widely known and gifted evangelist of that denomination.

    In the center burial ground, nearly all the early settlers were buried, and so loved and sacred has the spot been held by the families, that many of their members, dying while sojourning in distant places, have been returned to mingle their dust with their kindred.

    The proposed village at the Center, however, did not thrive, for as soon as business men saw better prospects in other localities they hastened to avail themselves of such facilities. There is now some twelve or fifteen dwelling houses at the Center, and the Universalist Church.


    Southwest of East Hamilton, and a half mile south of Poolville, on the old turnpike, there used to be a tavern which held forth for many years, for the benefit of the turnpike. Its proprietor, Moses Campbell, owned an ashery, near by, which, as many as fifty years ago, was the center of a great excitement, it being the resort and hiding-place of counterfeiters. They were detected in their nefarious proceeding; the officers of the law came in upon them, broke up their gang, and some of the number found a home in State Prison.


    POOLVILLE.---About 1825, this village received its name from the Messrs. Poole, who built up its manufacturing works. Mr. James Williams was one of the early proprietors of the soil.

    Isaac Poole was first engaged in the Shattuck clothier mill, south of Poolville. In 1825, the Pooles built a woolen factory, in the firm name of Isaac & Randall Poole. It was a small establishment, where, chiefly, satinets were made. This was one of the first woolen factories of this county.

    In 1826, Caleb Loud and Elias Hunt came from Boston, and set up a boot and shoe manufactory, the business being carried on under the firm name of Amos & Isaac Poole. The boot and shoe factory employed from thirty to forty women, and the wholesale business was quite extensive. Mr. Loud also built a tannery, the one now owned by Mr. Henry Berry.

    In 1827, Mr. Randall Poole was killed by accident, which caused a change in the firm name. Mr. Poole's death created a great deal of excitement. We have the following statements concerning the lamentable affair: Mr. Poole had entered the factory early, to open the gate preparatory to starting the wheel, for the water was frozen about it. While engaged in this work, and alone, he received a fatal blow upon his head, in what manner it is not known; the appearances only left his friends to conjecture that it was probably from the slipping of some implement he was using as a lever, or from something falling. He was found, not long after, lying upon the ice, dying. This occurred Dec. 12, 1827.

    After this, Amos Poole belonged to the factory firm, and later, Mr. Loren Snow4 joined his name to the Pooles.

    In 1830, Mr. Enos Wood moved into Poolville, and set up a machine shop, and there made factory machinery, in which he was engaged for several years.

    About 1835, Mr. Nathan Eaton removed to Poolville and purchased the Poole factory. Mr. Eaton improved the works, opened a store, and run a large ashery in connection. He prosecuted a large business for a number of years.

    During the period between 1830 and '40, Poolville, with her various manufactories, her shops, stores and tavern, was wearing an air of thrift and enterprise unheard of before. The Congregational Church was removed here, and a Methodist Society had been organized, (they subsequently built themselves a house of worship,) many tasteful cottages had been built, and altogether, it was a very pretty and lively village.

    There came a time, however, when woolen manufactories declined throughout the country. This mill at Poolville, like others, run down, and the business was finally given up and the mill sold. It was in time converted into a grist mill which is now owned by Mr. James Jackson. The boot and shoe firm removed, and that business ceased. Mr. Enos Wood removed to Pierceville where he continued his machine works for the Pierce Factory Co. In Poolville, Mr. Allen Wood, now senior member of the firm of Wood, Tabor & Morse, of the Engine Works at Eaton, first started as machinist with his uncle, Enos Wood.

    There is now in Poolville, one store, one tavern, some mechanic shops, a saw mill, grist mill, tannery, and about thirty dwelling houses, and the M. E. Church.


    In South Hamilton, one William Comstock, suffering with delirium tremens, killed his father and mother with a spider, cut out their hearts and roasted them on a stove. He plead guilty and was sent to State Prison during life. He is now living, an old grey headed man, having been a prisoner fourteen years, and is the oldest prisoner in that institution.


    Lots No. 1 and 2, and Nos. 19 and 20, which make the village corporation, were purchased---No. 1 by Timothy Rogers, Daniel Brown and Thomas Hart; No. 2 by Elisha Payne; No. 19 by Samuel Payne; No. 20 by Theophilus Pierce.

    Elisha Payne made the first frame building in the town, a barn, the timbers of which, including the braces and rafters, were hewed. The barn is still in existence, owned by Mr. Patrick.* Squire Payne (as Elisha Payne was better known) kept tavern in his first dwelling immediately after his arrival and settlement here. In 1802, he built his new tavern, which stood on the corner of Broad and Lebanon streets. This was a fine building for that day, and has remained a landmark until the present year. It has, this summer, been removed to make place for the new block being built.5 It was found on moving the building that its joists and rafters, as well as its frame were all of hewed timber, quite strong, and in a pretty good state of preservation.

    There was a small frame tavern, built before this of 1802, which stood where the Park House now is, as early as 1800. It was a small house with two rooms facing the south and with a shed running back on the east.

    As early as 1800, Payne's Settlement had, besides the two taverns above mentioned, a frame school house on Broad street, a square roofed building standing on what was then the public green, at the head of the present Park, which was afterwards moved near the site of the Union School building; a frame dwelling house on Broad street, the residence of Dr. Greenly, and the frame house of Benjamin Pierce. Joseph Colwell was keeping store on the corner of Broad and Lebanon streets where Mr. Woodruff now is. This was the first store of the village. Mr. Colwell continued at the same stand until 1816, when in company with Capt. Steere, he built the brick store, on the site of the present store of Foote & Gaskill. The frame of Mr. Colwell's first store is still in existence, and is the frame of Rev. Mr. Ludden's barn. There was also at that period a saw mill belonging to Ichabod Wheeler, located on the Chenango, not far from the present grist mill, and a small grist mill at the same place, in which Mr. Wheeler had an interest. This mill was subsequently taken down to make place for the present grist mill built by Mr. William Pierce.

    The Baptist denomination organized a society as early as 1___ and held meetings in the school house.

    So rapid were the improvements, in and about the settlement, that by 1806 large portions of land were cleared and most bountiful crops were growing, small orchards were set out, and each farmer (all the inhabitants were farmers then,) was getting into comfortable circumstances. The manufacture of salts, the only money paying business of that day was quite extensively carried on.

    During 1808 and 1809, the noted French refugee, Louis Anathe Muller, made his residence in this village. The house he occupied is yet standing next the M. E. Church. Muller was very quiet, reserved and non-committal in his manner while living here, and many believed him to be Louis Phillippe. When he had completed his Georgetown mansion, he removed there.

    In 1809, Payne's Settlement, as the village was still called, had comparatively but few inhabitants. These men were, however, of sufficient stamina to predict prosperity to the growing village.

    The village had so increased that they succeeded in obtaining a charter, incorporating the village of Hamilton, bearing date April 12, 1812.

    At this period, Rogers & Pierce owned the grist mill and saw mill, situated near the place where the Utica, Clinton and Binghamton Railroad depot has been recently located. The Park House, which was built and kept by Artemus Howard for many years, had succeeded the little frame tavern. Although it was a house of no small pretentions for that day, and was justly famous for its excellent management, yet its appearance was exceedingly modest, when compared with its present style. Repairs, additions and modern arrangements, have quite transformed the little tavern of 1812 into the present Park House.

    A store was kept by Clark & Dorrance, and had been for some years on the location opposite Squire Payne's tavern; it stood nearly on the same ground where Mr. Fairchild now lives. Charles T. Dearing, (who was Revenue Collector during the war of 1812,) afterwards succeeded to the location of Clark & Dorrance, where he traded till 1816, when he and Henry M. Graves, individually, built on the opposite side of the street, one-half of those brick buildings which were added to by the other half after 1820, and now form the brick block on the southwesterly side of Broad street.

    A small, red building, standing where the present book store now is, which was built years before by Dr. Greenly, and rented for a store to Graves & Dascom, was now (in 1812,) kept by Graves & Fargo.

    The Baptist meeting house, built in 1810, was situated near the center of the village, on what was then the village green, near the north end of the Park; its precise location was afterwards used for Broad street. 6

    Therefore, as is shown above, the village, in 1812, had two taverns,---Squire Payne's and the little tavern which grew into the Park House; three stores, viz: the one kept by Graves & Fargo, in the small building above mentioned, the Colwell store on the Woodruff corner, and that of C. T. Dearing, who had succeeded Clark & Dorrance; the school house, which had been moved to its location near the Union school house, where town meetings were held; the Baptist meeting house, and about twenty-five dwellings.

    In 1816, a new impulse was manifest, which resulted in the upspringing of various enterprises.

    As before stated, Dearing & Graves built the half of those brick buildings on the southwesterly side of Broad street, that year; also Joseph Colwell and Capt. Steere built the brick store, which was afterwards taken down and rebuilt by Capt. Steere, and which is now the hardware store of Foote & Gaskill. The old brick Academy was also built in 1816. Between that date and 1820, the Baptist Education Society perfected those measures which gave Hamilton village Madison University.

    Although the village was the home of some of the most eminent lawyers and talented political men of that day, and the rendezvous of great military companies and the ground of their parades, also the mercantile center for a great territory round about, yet the desire to promote the cause of education became the paramount idea which actuated the important movements of those days. The leading minds of the village were deeply imbued with its sentiments, and freely used their means in the object. As a first step, the Academy was originated. Its first trustees, who were also its founders, were: Elisha Payne, Thomas H. Hubbard, Thomas Greenly, Peter B. Havens, Esek Steere, Joseph B. Peck, John Foote, Samuel W. Osgood, William Pierce, 2d, George Lawton, Nathaniel Stacy, Thomas Wylie and John G. Stower. 7

    The Academy building, a brick structure, was erected in 1816, on the site of the present residence of D. J. Mitchell, Esq., corner of Broad and Pleasant streets. The lower story was used for the district school, which was in fact, the primary department of the Academy. In the second story the Academy was held. Its first principal was Gen. Nathaniel King.

    In 1820, when the Baptist Education Society located their school in Hamilton, it was opened in the third story of the Academy building, which they occupied till 1823; then they erected their first edifice, the Stone Academy. After the removal of the Theological School into their own edifice, the trustees of the Brick Academy had the third story taken off. The Hamilton Academy was incorporated by the Regents of the University of the State of New York, Febuary [sic] 23, 1824.

    Professor Zenas Morse succeeded Gen. King as Principal. He was assisted by lady teachers, the first of whom was Miss Emily Hayes.

    In 1827, the Theological Institution built their first edifice on the hill, (the western,) and their stone building in the village was rented by the trustees of the Hamilton Academy, to be used for the male department, and the brick building was used for the female department. This institution, then under the supervision of Prof. Morse, ranked second in the State, i. e., next to the Albany Academy.

    The old Academy was justly regarded by the citizens with pride; it is spoken of in terms of affectionate remembrance, and regret that it was allowed to run down. Its decline was owing to a variety of causes; the University Grammar School incorporated in 1853, withdrew numbers of young men, and the Board suffered a heavy loss in the burning of the brick building in 1855. They were afterwards induced to supplant the Academy by the Female Seminary.

    According to the Regent's report, Hamilton had at one time 130 students, 67 pursuing a classical course; number of volumes in its Library, 831; value of Library and apparatus, $1,500. The Academy went down about 1857.

    The Hamilton Female Seminary was first opened by Mr. Clinton Buell, who bought the residence of Dr. Havens on Broad street, remodeled it and commenced his school in 1856. It was incorporated by the Regents of the University of the State of New York, Jan. 17, 1856. Mr. Buell conducted the school about three years, when he was succeeded by Misses Wallace and Fields. Misses Waters and Hastings, Preceptress and Assistant, conducted it for a time, under whose skillful and efficient management, the Seminary was highly successful as a school, though it was not, and had never been from the beginning, a financial success. Subsequently, the school was discontinued for a time, until it was revived under the charge of Rev Charles A. Raymond, who had formerly been Principal of a Seminary of like character in Virginia. This was in 1861, or about that time. After two years labor Mr. Raymond left the school, and it was again discontinued.

    The Regents' report of 1859, gave to Hamilton Female Seminary, the number of students, 158; those pursuing a classical course, 117; value of Library and apparatus, $778; number of volumes in Library, 427.

    After both academy and seminary had ceased to exist, the stone building was taken down, and its site is now occupied by a dwelling.

    In 1866, the Female Seminary was resuscitated by the present proprietor, Prof. Goodenough, who, co-operating with the wishes of some of the citizens, and with the assistance of a small subscription from some of them, purchased the old seminary, and opened a school again in the fall of that year. Since that time the school has been successfully conducted, by M. M. Goodenough, A. M., Principal, Mrs. M. M. Goodenough, Preceptress. All the facilities for a first-class boarding school has been combined with a day school. It has turned out several classes of graduates.

    The old district schools of Hamilton have been merged into the Union School. In 1853, School Districts No. 1, 14 and 17 were consolidated. The district elects three trustees each year for a term of three years, and the trustees, when organized, form a Board of Education, and have the charge of the school, the district being withdrawn from the jurisdiction of the School Commissioner of the County, or, at least, so far as the examination and licensing of teachers is concerned, that duty being given to the Board of Education.

    The present corps of teachers (1872,) are, Mr. E. P. Sisson, Principal; Miss Jennie Hemingway, first, and Miss Lucinda Blakeman, second, Assistants; Miss S. Leonard and Miss Lucy Rice, Intermediate Department; Miss Phebe Sisson, Primary Department.

    ThIS school was formed when the Union School movement was yet an untried scheme in this country. Its founders were the first Board, of which Charles C. Payne was first President, who continued in this office for nine years, resigning when it had become successfully established. It required a vast deal of energy, tact and perseverance to overcome the prejudice against the movement.

    The school, on the average, numbers from four to six hundred pupils. It is endowed with the library and apparatus of the old academy. The standard of instruction is high, and the graduating classes show a thoroughness of training which would do credit to any academy in the land.

    Madison University, (which is sketched at length hereafter,) and the other schools of Hamilton village, have justly been her pride from the earliest days; and yet, while it would seem that the energies of the people were being wholly spent in building up those schools, there has been quietly at work a wise regulating force, which has kept the bone and sinew healthy, and given the village stamina. This regulating power is found in the various industries, of which it is well to speak further, and to which the pen returns.

    From 1815, onward, there was a steady increase in mercantile and mechanical pursuits. Many of the old firms were so prosperous as to continue up to a late day, some of them being still in existence.

    From 1834 to 1837, during the building of the canal, great activity in trade prevailed. More than a score of stores and shops suddenly found existence, which were not, however, permanent institutions. Some of the old and permanent firms increased largely, and some very fine buildings were erected by them, which are still an ornament to the village. Mr. Hiram Savage, in company with Mr. Manning, Mr. Boone and Mr. Wheeler, commenced the Exchange buildings. Mr. Savage had been one of the old firms of the village, having opened the tin and hardware business at an early day, in a shanty on the location of the present drug store of Bonney & Welton. He subsequently bought out and repaired the premises on Lebanon street, which he occupied so long as he remained in business here.

    The Exchange, of which Mr. Savage was one of the builders, was put up in sections of brick, Mr. Manning building that section next the canal, Mr. Savage the one now occupied by the marble shop, Mr. Boone the one now occupied by the harness shop of Mr. Buell, and all of them, together with Mr. Wheeler, the section on the west end.

    The Commercial Block was built during that period, which was also the enterprise of different individuals. The Eagle Hotel, so conspicuous from the country side of Eaton street, was erected as one of the needs of the times.8 A third tavern was built by Mr. Wadsworth on Lebanon street near the canal, which Rufus Bacon, afterwards, for many years owned. This building, no longer needed as a hotel, has been converted into a tenant house and is now occupied by five families. Mr. C. C. Payne opened a brick yard, and from the brick made there he built his own house, on Payne street. All those fine brick dwellings to be seen on that street, besides many others in the village, were erected about this period.

    Mr. ____ Mott first established the mercantile business on a substantial basis. His sons, Smith and Addison Mott, succeeded him; and on their retiring from business, it passed into the hands of a son of Smith, Mr. C. M. Mott, who perpetuates the good reputation of their house.

    The oldest house in the cabinet ware trade is that now belonging to Hall & Leach on Lebanon street. It was formerly the property of Erastus Wheeler who purchased it of the original proprietor, Mr. James Higgins, who came in 1810, and opened the first cabinet shop of the village on Madison street. He continued here in business until about 1825, when he sold to Erastus Wheeler, who had previously learned his trade in this shop. About 1834, Mr. Wheeler removed the shop to Lebanon street, where it is yet standing, being added to by newer buildings. It is one of the old landmarks. The works increased rapidly and during the term when Wheeler & Parker constituted the firm, an engine was put in. C. B. Gardiner purchased Mr. Wheeler's interest in 1850, and it continued in the firm name of Parker & Gardiner until 1866, when Gardiner & Hall owned the property. The firm name is now Hall & Leach. No trade in town has been more successful, for so many years, than this. Generally some dozen workmen are employed.

    Mr. E. Stillman had also one of the early cabinet shops of this village. He worked for Erastus Wheeler in his shop on Madison street in 1828, and first went into business in 1833, in a shop which stood where, in 1840, he built his cabinet warehouse on Lebanon street. His steady prosperity tells us of the soundness of the tradesmen of the past. Mr. Stillman continued in his trade till the time of his death, which is of recent occurrence.

    As early as 1831, Warren M. Rice came to this place, and in company with a Mr. Stoddard opened a shop and commenced boot making. They soon extended their business, keeping as many as fifteen workmen. Mr. Rice is still in the business, and since the war does not employ workmen.

    Mr. Thaxter Poole and Mr. Tucker have a shoe store, the former commencing in 1844, the latter joining him in 1846. They are one of the old firms of the village and have a good reputation. The harness making shop of Eli Buell was opened by him in 1842, when he commenced on a capital of $15. He prospered remarkably. Since 1844 he has been in the Exchange buildings. Foote & Gaskell, in the hardware business are an old firm. E. W. Foote commenced in company with John Foote, Esq., and Capt. Steere, as early as 1840. After three years the firm consisted of only the Footes, and in three years more E. W. Foote became sole proprietor, and then established the first store, entirely devoted to the hardware trade, in the Chenango Valley. Gaskill became one of the firm at a late date.

    In addition to the above named mercantile concerns, Hamilton village has at the present day four dry goods stores besides that of C. M. Mott, viz: Stiles, Wedge & Co., W. A. Boyd, A. G. Slocum and O. L. Woodruff & Co.

    The drug store of J. Foote, now belonging to Bonney & Welton, is one of the long known stores of the village. Two other drug stores have been added to the trade, viz: H. P. Hartshorn, established in 1845; and Benedict & Banning, commenced in 1866.9

    The village has also at the present date, the Paterson's boot and shoe store; Foster & Benedict, in the harness making business, also H. H. Nash in the same department; the hardware store of Royce & Grosvenor; four grocery stores; two book stores; two jewelers; a good bakery; the marble shop of H. P. Case & Co.; Johnson's foundry, where castings and hop stoves are made; three meat markets; one saloon; three artists; two milliners, viz: Mrs. Swift, and that of F. G. Rice, both on Eaton street; two clothing stores, viz: Piotrow & Lewis, and I. M. Burnap.

    The great business of the canal is waning, robbed of its traffic by the railroad. Of the three large storehouses which were once a source of great revenue, but one is in operation, and this doing but little business. Mr. A. Peck attends to the forwarding, at the large storehouse on Eaton street, which formerly had so large a traffic as to require the enterprise of a large firm, of which Mr. Peck was the senior member.

    The Hamilton flouring mill long ago established, as the early history of this town tells us, is owned by Mr. James Furman, who purchased the property of Messrs. Oswood & Rogers, about 1849. This mill is a prosperous concern, and a useful institution to community.

    The tannery, also an old established concern built by a Mr. Orton, when the country was new, is yet largely useful under the care of the present proprietor, C. J. Johnson. The lumber yard of Mr. A. Z. Kingsley & Co., is another large business concern, in the vicinity of the mill and tanner; and the Utica, Clinton and Binghamton Railroad depot, located in this, the southwest part of the corporation, make this part of the village a point of unusual activity.

    The old Town Hall, on Madison street, was originally built for the Free Church, when that body when out from the Congregationalists on account of the slavery agitation. They used this building so long as they remained a separate organization. Subsequently, the corporation obtained it for a Town Hall. Tripp's Hall, built by Melvin Tripp about 1870, is an elegant structure, suitable for all public meetings. It has recently been enlarged and refitted for use. It is on Lebanon street.


    Hamilton Bank was organized Feb. 19, 1853, and was incorporated under the State laws, March 1, 1853. Its capital stock was $110,000, a majority of which was owned by people residing in this immediate vicinity, or had resided here.

    The first Board of Directors was composed of Adon Smith, Alvah Pierce, D. B. West, Lewis Wickwire, John J. Foote, Smith Mott, Wm. Felt, Alonzo Peek, William Cobb, Artemus Osgood, Henry Tower, Delos DeWolf. Adon Smith was first President, and D. B. West, Cashier, who have continued in this office to the present day. The duties of the Board of Directors, were for a few years, very arduous, as several banking experiments had been unsuccessful here, and they determined to make this experiment sure. Their plan was fully carried out by the officers, and Hamilton Bank became one of the soundest and most prosperous institutions of the State. In 1865, this, in common with other banks of the State, received a change in name, and thereafter became

    The National Bank of Hamilton, with the same capital as above. At the election of January, 1872, the same officers were continued, and the Board of Directors the same, with the exception of Wm. Fairchild in place of Lewis Wickwire, deceased; Linus H. Miller in place of Wm. Felt, deceased; Wells C. Russell in place of William Cobb, deceased; Samuel Gardner in place of Artemus Osgood, removed; David W. Ingalls in place of Harry Tower, deceased; Heman Howes in place of Delos DeWolf, removed. The place of Heman Howes is made vacant by his recent death.


    Hamilton Lodge, No. 120, formerly No. 121, F. & A. M. This Lodge was installed on the 28th day of May, 1805, by Hon. and P. W. Jedediah Sanger of New Hartford, Oneida County, N. Y. First officers installed were Seeley Neal, W. M.; Asa B. Sizer, S. W., and Rufus Eldred, J. W.

    There were twenty-seven members present, including the subordinate officers. On the same day the Lodge was duly organized. Thomas Hubbard, Dr. Thomas Greenly and John Shapley, were the first that were made Masons in Hamilton Lodge.

    At that day, Hamilton included Madison, and at the organization of the Lodge, it was located in that part of the town now Madison. During the first year there were thirty-seven members made. In 1806, the "Sherburne Lodge" was formed from this. In the same year the Lodge was removed to Hamilton Village. In April, 1807, Alpheus Hitchcock was expelled on the charge of poisoning his wife. In December, 1817, the Lodge was, by a vote, removed to Eaton, where it remained as long as the Lodge continued to work.

    Up to this period, 1827, this was a large and flourishing Lodge, and among its early and prominent members, we recognize the familiar and honorable names of Asa B. Sizer, Esq., Levi Love, Hon. Thomas H. Hubbard, William Curtis, Samuel Sinclair, Dr. Thomas Greenly, Joseph Enos, Rufus Eldred, Hon. Erastus Cleaveland, Dr. Daniel Barker, Andrew P. Lord, William Berry, jr., Calvin Morse, Curtis Porter, Thos. Wylie, Ellis Morse, Ephraim Gray, Windsor Coman, Joseph Morse, Andrew C. Hull, David Darrow, Hon. Bennett Bicknell, Lyman G. Hatch, and Rev. Nathaniel Stacy. Of the 123 members of the old Lodge, but twelve are now (May, 1872,) living, viz: Lyman G. Hatch, Wisconsin; Andrew C. Hull, Angelica, N.Y.; Orville Eldred, Wisconsin; Heber Temple, Pratt's Hollow, N. Y.; Benjamin Choate, Eaton, N.Y.; Alpha Morse, Angelica, N.Y.; Calvin Morse, N.Y.; James and Henry Cooledge, Madison, N.Y.; Isaac and Ambrose Phelps, Solsville, N.Y.; and Thomas H. Greenly, jr., Hamilton, N.Y.

    In 1829, this Lodge, with others, after due deliberation, decided, in consequence of the excitement caused by the abduction of William Morgan, to suspend their meetings for the present at least.

    From that period to 1846, the Lodge was closed; meanwhile, the charter was surrendered, and the hall and property, together with valuable records, was consumed by fire.

    In 1846, the Lodge was resuscitated, and commenced its work with a dispensation from Grand Lodge, with the name of

    Hamilton Lodge, No. 120. Its first meeting was held the 16th day of December, 1846, at Odd Fellows' Hall. Officers named in the dispensation were Charles G. Otis, Esq., W. M.; Hon. B. F. Skinner, S. W.; Gaius Stebbins, J. W. The following were petitioning members: Thomas H. Greenly, Jeremiah Wilbur, Henry G. Beardsley, Thomas C. Nye, Daniel Younglove, Perez H. Bonney, Thomas Wylie, Curtis Porter, Daniel Barker, Isaac Phelps and Philander P. Barker.

    This Lodge has been exceedingly prosperous, and many eminent men are numbered among its ranks.


Was born in the year 1760, in Lebanon, Conn. He was a lineal descendant from one of two brothers named Paine, who came to America from England, and landed at Plymouth in 1621. One of the brothers settled in Conn., the other in Virginia. From these brothers all the American citizens of that name descended.**

    John Paine, a brother of Samuel and Elisha Payne, conceived the idea of changing the orthography of his name, writing it Payne. Samuel and Elisha, subsequently, and before they came to Central New York, adopted the same form.

    Samuel Payne married Miss Betsey Stower, and removed from Lebanon, Conn., to Hamilton, Madison County, (then Paris, Herkimer County,) in the year 1794. Mr. Payne took up the farm which is now University Hill. Both Mr. and Mrs. Payne possessed that energy and perseverance which well adapted them to the life of the pioneer. They encountered many novel, and often unpleasant experiences in their life in the woods, which were inhabited with deer, bears and Indians. It was no unusual thing to capture a bear, or shoot a deer upon their own farm, or near their dwelling.

    They were devoted christians, and hence it is recorded of Mr. Payne, that in the beginning when he had felled a large tree on his farm near where the University building now stands, he bowed his knee in the solitude of the wilderness and prayed for food and raiment, and a people wherewith to serve God, and consecrated himself and all he had to God's service. In 1796, two years after, was organized in the settlement a Baptist Church, which has existed to this day.

    Because of their prosperity, which they regarded as from the bounteous hand of Providence, they deemed it incumbent upon them to return to God of the fruit of their increase. Consequently, in 1827, they gave their farm of 123 acres, then valued at $4,000,---a small sum compared to the present value of such a farm---to the Baptist Education Society to locate thereon their Theological Institution. The whole was made over to the society by a warrantee deed, reserving to themselves the use of nearly one-half of the farm during their lives. They had no children, and therefore placed their affection on this Institution of learning, which they made their pet,---their protege.

    Samuel Payne, in the early days of the settlement, was quite prominent in public matters, and was appointed one of the Judges of the County Court, by which title he was designated all his after life. But he bad no ambition for the political arena, his tastes being of a religious character. He delighted in doing good and in spending his means for the advancement of the right. He was beloved by everybody, for his social, genial disposition. His cheerfulness was contagious. He loved children, and a group of half a dozen boys, (he used to hire boys for the sake of having them with him,) engaged in labor with him, grew so merry as to forget that labor was anything but a pastime. His companion shared the same cheerful and devoted spirit. Never was a couple more happily united than they in all good works. In a literary direction Mrs. Payne's mind was marked. Her proverbial kindness to the students in sickness, or in need, gave her the title of "The Students' Mother."

    Judge Samuel Payne died in Hamilton, Aug. 19, 1843, aged 83 years.

    Mrs. Betsey Payne, died in Hamilton, January 1, 1850, aged 86 years.


Was born in Lebanon, Conn., in the year 1762. He married Miss Polly Brooks, Jan. 12, 1787, and in 1795, with his wife and four children, removed to Hamilton. His wife died in 1796. He afterwards married (Aug. 17, 1797,) Miss Esther Douglass, of Whitestown, N. Y.

    Elisha Payne was one of the few prominent men in the early history of this country, his name appearing in the first courts, when this was a part of Chenango County. He was elected one of the Associate Judges in the first courts of Madison County in 1806, serving in this capacity with ability. He held the office of Justice of the Peace for many years, and was chosen to other municipal offices. He engaged his physical energies in clearing up the wilderness on the village plot, and, consequently, served his terms on the bench, and returned to the clearing of his fields. There is an anecdote related which is characteristic. Judge Platt came to Payne's settlement to consult with Judge Payne on some official matters, and seeing several men at work, some of them barefooted, clearing up logs after a "burning," their clothes sooty, and their countenances begrimmed beyond recognition, he thus addressed the eldest man of the party: "Can you tell me where I can find Judge Payne?" He was answered modestly, "I am called by that name, Sir;" for it was no other than Judge Payne and his sons clearing land. "Is it possible!" said Judge Platt in amazement, and yet with great courtesy, for the Judge was a true gentleman. Mr. Payne led the way to his house, and after bathing and change of apparel, the two sat down to official business, when Judge Platt expressed himself as delighted with the transformation wrought by so easy a process.

    With the same ease and ingenuity, Elisha Payne operated all his concerns, from the clearing up of his large farm, and attending to official matters, to the engineering of his plans in making a village in this pretty valley. He came to the wilderness to found a village, and succeeded in bringing together the elements which were to accomplish this result. He was not alone, however, in this laudable work, as the history of the village will show; but it was mostly from his farm, and by his efforts, that village lots were first laid out. He gave the land for the park, for the cemetery in the village, and from time to time gave other portions from his farm to encourage mechanics to settle here and build.

    There was, from a very early period, a strong competition between this village and central and east Hamilton, concerning the location of the village of the town. For a time, town meetings were held at the Center; so great was the strength there. But Hamilton village, enjoying better natural advantages, aided by her strong men, so increased, as to bring the balance of power to her side; and at length the central and east part developed into a farming country unsurpassed for its richness, and the village of Hamilton made marked progress.

    Judge Elisha Payne, being a man of great public spirit, enlisted heartily in this competition; and in every enterprise, from the beginning of the settlement to his death, his name is prominent. He died full of honors, at the ripe age of eighty years, in 1843. The Payne monument, bearing underneath his name, this inscription, "The Founder of Hamilton Village," stands conspicuous in the village cemetery.


    "Nathaniel King was born at Amenia, Dutchess County, N. Y., Dec. 26th, 1767. His father, Samuel King, was a plain well-to-do farmer, an ardent, christian patriot of the revolution who sent an older son into the military service. But by the depredation in value of the old continental money, and especially in consequence of becoming surety for some friends, he lost most of his estate, and dying, left to his widow and youngest son only a small portion. The mother was a woman of intelligence, ardently pious, and possessed of much literary taste and laudable ambition. This mother lived to see her son well educated, and admitted to the practice of the law. He graduated at Yale College in 1792.

    We have here passed over a long interval, because we are not writing Mr. King's life, but merely presenting him in his connection with the history of Hamilton. He came to that hamlet, then called 'Payne's Settlement,' in February, 1797. He found many friends, indeed, many with whom he had been acquainted in the eastern part of the State, such as Samuel and Elisha Payne and their venerable parents, Dr. Luther Waterman, Dr. Thomas Greenly, Benjamin, Theophilus and William Pierce, Dr. Rogers, Jonathan Olmstead, Daniel Smith and others in the vicinity north and west of the village. His manners were pleasing, and he readily made acquaintances among the people. He attended to what law business the place afforded, but was emphatically a peace-maker, never fomenting quarrels between neighbors, but advising the arbitration of difficulties rather than 'going to law.' He was soon made an Assistant Assessor, and also was appointed Justice of the Peace, (then an important office,) by the council at Albany. Mr. King had previously made the acquaintance of some of the leading men at Albany, while finishing his law-clerkship there.

    Early in the winter of 1798, the people of Hamilton and other towns, became very desirous of a new county. They were then in the large county of Herkimer. So, on the assembling of the Legislature, they sent Mr. King to Albany to negotiate the erection of a new county. It was done, and the county named Chenango. The people of the new county held their election in April, and made Mr. King their first member of Assembly. The voters were nearly all Federalists, of the good old sta_,---they loved the new United States Constitution and the Union. Governor John Jay called a special session of the Legislature to meet August 1, 1798. The belligerents, England and France, had so disturbed our commerce, that he thought it necessary to take measures for its protection. In the spring of 1799, Mr. King was re-elected to the Assembly. The next spring, he ran for Senator, but lost his election. There were several candidates, and he came out next to the winner. In the spring of 1801, he was the third time returned to, the Assembly. He declined further nomination, for he felt the necessity of attending more closely to business at home.

    Possessing much military taste, and having been commissioned Colonel of Militia, he conducted his 'trainings' with efficiency and skill. These novel exhibitions of pleasing military evolutions served to enliven the stillness of this wild settlement. Just at the end of 180_, he married Miss Ottillia Mayer, the young step-daughter of Deacon Olmstead. He had previously purchased of Elisha Payne about five acres of land fronting on Lebanon street, from the Payne corner westward, and erected there a large and commodious office, in which he first kept house. This building is still standing on Mill or Millward street, having been removed from its original location on Lebanon street and somewhat enlarged and improved. In his early practice, Mr. King was favored with some talented law students, such as Moses Sawyer, Abram Payne, Jonathan Pettit and John G. Stower.

    About this time, Thomas H. Hubbard came to Hamilton from Connecticut, a young lawyer and college graduate. His fine residence on the east side of Broad street was afterwards owned by John G. Stower, and later by James B. Eldredge. The intimate association with this family of refined and elegant manners will long be remembered by the children of Mr. King. The village was growing rapidly, for these times; frame buildings and some brick ones were everywhere replacing the early log houses. A large school house was the place of public worship. It was also used for Courts and other assemblings. Mr. King applied himself to law business, and was appointed a Master in Chancery. In the meantime he was also attentive to his military duties, and at length was promoted to the rank of Major General. In 1807, he received an important office---he was made a District Attorney. His District embraced five counties, Herkimer, Onondaga, Cayuga, Cortland and Madison. He was obliged to be much from home attending Courts throughout this extensive Circuit; this office was quite lucrative. Hosts of counterfeit and other felons were efficiently brought to justice. He bought at this time a fine tract of woodland in Lebanon, afterwards sold to the late Curtis Hoppin, Esq. Designing to build a dwelling, he purchased of Dr. Greenly and Mr. Joseph Colwell about two acres of land on the west side of Broad street, south of the Payne corner. Here he built a commodious dwelling after his own taste. He was able to command for this purpose the best pine lumber from his own timber lot in North Norwich, Chenango County. The house was finished in 1812. Benjamin F. Bonney now owns this house repaired and remodeled. In 1812, Gen. King resigned the office of District Attorney, also he joined the Republican party.

    In 1814, incensed at the meanness of the British in burning a part of Washington City, Gen. King asked his personal and political friend, Gov. Daniel D. Tompkins, to send him into the service. Of course, the frontier of New York was much menaced on the north, and Gov. Tompkins had been on the alert, first sending a large body of men drafted from the militia of this State; then, as matters grew more threatening, ordering the militia, en masse, to Sackett's Harbor. By the Governor's order, Gen. King repaired to that place early in October, 1814, and organized into a Division, and took command of all the militia at that post and in the neighborhood. A little incident here illustrates his humane disposition. At a place a few miles this side of Sackett's Harbor, he met a young officer who confessed he was deserting. Gen. King persuaded him to go back and do his duty. He went, and was pardoned. The officer whom Gen. King superseded was Brigadier General Collins, who had been in command for some time. He sent a sergeant and file of men to arrest this deserter, while at a hotel. Gen. King being present, pleasantly dismissed the men, saying that he was now commander. The young officer did not abuse this lenity, but performed his duty with fidelity. A great rain set in, and the post was a low, unhealthy marsh. Much sickness prevailed among the troops, and Gen. King readily discharged all the sick who could be removed by their friends. For this merciful conduct he afterwards received most grateful acknowledgments. Gen. Jacob Brown, of the regular army, arrived with a body of United States troops, and took the supreme command, Gen. King under him, retaining his command of all the militia. The place was now so strong that the expected attack of the British was not made. They would have met a repulse like that of New Orleans, had they made the attempt. Peace dawned upon us early in 1815, and Gen. King carne home, but remained in the service some months, superintending courts martial, which he ordered in three places to try the militia delinquents and deserters; these courts, however, were very lenient, and the General approved their course.

    In April, 1816, Gen. King was suddenly bereaved of his beloved wife. She left five children. He afterwards married Miss Mary Bates, of Paris, Oneida County, who died at the end of thirteen months, leaving an infant son. Mr. King resigned the office of Major General, and was for some years a County Judge. In the winter of 1818, he was much engaged in helping Revolutionary soldiers to get pensions under the recent laws. He was also much occupied in mathematical disquisitions and studies, corresponding with Prof. Strong, of Hamilton College, Clinton, Oneida County, and other eminent scholars. The lamented Prof. A. M. Fisher, of Yale College, was one of them. Mr. King's solutions of difficult problems were published in several magazines---also neat and ingenious questions, He also exercised his mechanical ingenuity, and among other inventions may be named his Tellurian, for illustrating all the motions of the earth, and especially the precession of the equinoxes. In November, 1818, he married his third wife, Mrs. Elizabeth Tefft, of Hamilton, who lived with him thirty years, and ably and tenderly assisted him to bring up his and her children, and survived him only a few months.

    In the winter of 1819, the first preachers of the Methodist Episcopal Church came to Hamilton village. Some will recollect the honored names of Abner Chase, Dan. Barnes and George Gary. S. Wesley Higgins was an interesting young novitiate, who preached some in the village, but more on Bonney Hill. There was a powerful revival of religion amongst the Baptists, Methodists and others, extending through many towns. This winter the first Methodist Society was collected in Hamilton. James Higgins was the first class leader, the next was Stephen Stocking. These had been Methodists previously, as also were Jonathan Greig and his wife and daughter Susan, the parents and sister of Mrs. King. Of new members in the village, there were Mr. King, Mrs. Eunice M. Weaver, Reuben Ransom and others. Mr. King was a zealous member, and lent pecuniary aid according to his ability, and labored in the good cause of religion, especially in his own family,---giving his children much instruction in the Holy Scripture. His tender exhortations and prayers in the family and elsewhere are not forgotten.

    In 1818, Mr. King was one of the Board of twenty-four Trustees to found the Hamilton Academy. He helped buy the land, a lot next south of his own homestead, and afterwards contributed lumber and money. The brick building was rapidly put up, and the two large lower rooms finished, so that district school was held there in the winter of 1819, taught by Reuben Ransom. The Baptist Educational Society had put on a third story for their school. Early in the spring of 1820, the second story was mostly finished, and Mr. King commenced teaching the Academy on the first of May. He took delight in teaching, having been successful in it before and after he went to college. His learning was extensive and varied, and he had a rare facility of communicating knowledge. He excelled in teaching the Latin and Greek languages, all branches of Mathematics, Rhetoric, English Grammar, Composition and Elocution. Having no assistant, the scholars were few and mostly young men, but these found the cultivation of their taste and the improvement gained, invaluable to them in after life. He relinquished this business toward the end of the year 1821, and Zenas Morse began in the spring of 1822. He long and ably taught the Hamilton Academy. For years after, Mr. King was frequently resorted to by scholars, (and sometimes by teachers,) with hard nuts for him to crack, in the Classics or Mathematics, or in English Grammar. He took up the hammer with alacrity and was soon able to liberate from their obstinate envelopes the precious imprisoned kernels. Mr. King was an amateur farmer, but paid most attention to the cultivation of fruit trees, as the apple, cherry, plum and pear. He had grafted with his own hand his fine young apple orchard of 165 trees, procuring scions from Long Island and New Jersey. He was fond of raising winter wheat. His last crop of this was in 1825, on the acre on Broad street, which he afterwards divided and sold one-half to Amos Crocker in 1826, and the other to the Trustees of the Congregational Church in 1828.

    In his later years, Mr. King retired in a considerable degree from the practice of his profession, only engaging in it occasionally, and then upon what he thought to be the equitable side. His knowledge of law was profound, and he never engaged in the prosecution of a case without the most thorough preparation. In this particular he was remarkable through his life, and lawyers now speak of his elegant pleas as recorded on the books. In some of these cases his efforts were crowned with complete success. He was strict in his adherence to temperance and entered with considerable spirit into the other reforms of the day.

    Aside from his superior education, Mr. King possessed a mind of the highest order, and a singular versatility of talent. From boyhood he was passionately devoted to literature, and read all the best authors. And in his advanced years he was emphatically a student, keeping bright the studies pursued in his youth, reading with tearful enthusiasm, Homer, Virgil and Milton, as his pastime. He was in the habit of frequently composing, especially in poetry, and some choice poems, not yet made public, have been preserved. At times, he was called upon to write poems or addresses for public gatherings, as for the Fourth of July; and on the occasion of the death of Adams and Jefferson, in 1826, he prepared and delivered an eloquent oration in the Baptist meeting house. A passage in it represented these patriots as arranging the time of their departure:---'I will set out from Quincy, you from Monticello; we will meet in the regions of the air.'

    But in his domestic relations, and in the sublime truths and substantial comforts of the christian religion, Mr. King found his richest enjoyment, and used to say, with the utmost sincerity, using the language of Holy Writ: 'I have no greater joy than to see my children walking in the truth.' The final scene of his existence was peaceful, in view of the future. He expressed an unfaltering trust in the Redeemer. His illness was of short duration, and his death occurred at Hamilton, July 25, 1848." 10



Was born April 30, 1786, in Colchester, Conn. He came to Sherburne in 1795, with his father, Hon. Isaac Foote,11 widely known as the first Judge of Chenango County Courts, when Madison County was included in its territory.

    When Mr. Foote first came to Chenango County, all about him was an unbroken forest. The nearest grist mill was eighteen or twenty miles distant, and it was as far to a saw mill. The floor of his log house was made of split basswood timber, the roof covered with bark, in which was an opening for the escape of smoke; oiled paper, instead of glass, served for windows for a year or more. A yoke of oxen and two cows subsisted on browse, mostly, the first winter, when the snow was from three to four feet deep, with a crust of sufficient strength for the cattle and deer to walk upon, so that snow shoes were dispensed with during the months of January and February. This primitive dwelling, and these unusual circumstances, became firmly fixed as the earliest recollections of the subject of this sketch.

    About 1796, the inhabitants had increased to such extent, that, though a yet comparatively wilderness country, a physician located himself there, and, on one occasion, having need of medicines, dispatched the boy "Johnny" Foote to Utica to procure drugs. This was a considerable journey for a boy nine or ten years of age to perform, marked trees and an Indian path being the chief indication of the course to pursue, and only six houses on the whole route of forty miles. Utica, as it was then, formed a picture in the lad's memory, to remain there forever after. He went to the drug store, kept by Wolcote & Guiteau, in a small building set on posts driven in the quagmire, similar to posts on which corn houses are placed. There was a house where Bagg's tavern afterwards stood, and there was a small house one-half a mile easterly from this, occupied by Col. Walker, a land agent. This comprised the village of Utica, (or rather old Fort Schuyler,) in 1796. The road, if road it might be called, between Utica and New Hartford, was nothing better than a quagmire, most of the way.

    Amid such unpropitious surroundings, the boyhood of John Foote was spent, but they served to develop sterling qualities which characterized his after life. He entered the law office of Hon. Thos. H. Hubbard, as a student, and about 1813 commenced the practice of law in Hamilton. In 1812, he married Miss Mary Johnson. He is now the oldest lawyer of Hamilton village. He has held the office of Justice of the Peace, and Master in Chancery.12

    John Foote, Esq., is characterized for his upright principles, his integrity, and a scrupulous regard for justice. He made himself conspicuous in his early efforts in behalf of temperance, in which cause he first took a decided stand in 1824, and was identified with the first temperance society of Hamilton. He was subsequently identified with several of the organized bodies to suppress the traffic in liquors.

    During the anti-slavery agitation, the Female Anti-Slavery Association of Hamilton was organized at his house, he giving the unpopular cause his aid and encouragement. (Note l.)

    John Foote has always distinguished himself by his strict adherence to his principles of right, and for his practical living up to the theories he so earnestly advocated. He still lives in Hamilton village, enjoying remarkable health, at the ripe age of eighty-six.


    Dr. Thomas Greenly, the pioneer physician of Hamilton, came from Connecticut in 1796, then twenty-five years of age. In the wilderness, he made a home, to which he brought his wife and child in January, 1797. Among the pioneers he established an honorable reputation as a man, and in his practice gained a wide influence, and secured enviable success. It has been said of him: "He was a man of marked character, honest, plain and outspoken, free from hypocrisy or deceit, of strong mind and eminent in his profession."

    He was elected to the Legislature twice, the years 1818 and 1819, and was four years in the Senate of this State, being elected from the Fifth Senatorial District in 1822. When in the Senate, he was one of the "immortal seventeen" who abstained from voting, that a certain measure in reference to a change in the Constitution, concerning Presidential Electors, might not be passed at that critical period, pending the election in which Andrew Jackson and John Q. Adams were running for the Presidency.

    During the Doctor's term in the Senate, his large medical practice in Hamilton slipped away into other hands, and it is said, that on his return, he declared he would get it back if he worked for nothing. He had no serious difficulty in winning it back, when once his indomitable will and genius were employed in that direction.

    Dr. Greenly was for some years Brigade Inspector of the Thirty-Fifth Brigade of New York Militia. In all positions he was characterized by integrity, and honored every station he was called to fill. He is remembered by Hamiltonians for his characteristic independence, and his original "speeches," the coin of wit.

    Hon. Thomas H. Hubbard came to Hamilton from Albany, where he finished his law education, in 1804 or 1805, and commenced the practice of law.

    His superior talents, cultivated by a fine scholastic education, and his thorough training as a lawyer, soon won him an extensive practice in this and Chenango County. On the organization of Madison County, in 1806, he was appointed its first Surrogate, which office he held, and discharged its duties with ability, about ten years. He was appointed District Attorney in 1817, but was elected to represent the then Congressional District of Madison and Herkimer in the U. S. Senate, for the term of 1817-19. He was also elected, to serve a second time for 1821-23. After the formation of the second Constitution, he was appointed Clerk of the Supreme Court, (when he removed to Utica,) the duties of which office he discharged with great ability for many years, and finally retired from public life, having, by his prudence and industry, accumulated ample means to live, and spend his declining years in affluence and ease. He was a man greatly beloved for his many virtues and the purity of his life, and Hamilton is justly proud to claim him as one of its early law-givers. He died in Utica, the city and home of his adoption, in 1853, with the bright hope of the christian, so well exemplified in his life.

    Hon. John G. Stower studied law with Judge Hubbard, and after having completed his studies, was, by Mr. Hubbard, received in co-partnership, with whom he continued until the removal of the latter to Utica. John G. Stower was appointed Judge of the Court of Common Pleas in 1821, serving till 1827. In 1827, he was elected to Congress from the Twenty-Second Congressional District, serving one term. Judge Stower was a man of great abilities, marred by one failing, intemperance. His remarkable talents won him great influence, so that he was exceedingly popular, and warmly beloved in a wide circle of friends.

    Judge Philo Gridley, one of the Justices of the Supreme Court, was, at one period, practicing law in Hamilton village, in co-partnership with Judge Stower.

    John Adams Smith, son of William S. Smith, was one of the practicing lawyers of the old Courts of this county, and was, at one period, in law partnership with Judge Hubbard.

    Later Lawyers of Hamilton.---Hon. Charles Mason was born in Plattsburgh in this State. He is a man of strong mind and industrious habits, also a self made man, of common academical education. He commenced reading law in Plattsburgh about 1828. Some two years after he went to Watertown and entered the law office of Mr. Ruger. He was admitted to the bar about 1832, when he formed a co-partnership with Mr. Ruger and remained with him in practice until the fall of 1838. About this time Judge Gridley, residing in this place, was appointed to the bench of the Supreme Court, when Mr. Mason came here, and in company with Amos Crocker, took and continued Judge Gridley's business. He continued with Mr. Crocker till 1842. In 1844 and '45, he was in company with George W. Hungerford who came from Watertown. In 1845 he was appointed District Attorney for Madison County, which office he filled till June, 1847, when he was elected Justice of the Supreme Court, and entered upon the discharge of those duties the first of July following. He held this office by re-election till 1768 [sic], when he resigned to accept the appointment of Judge of the Court of Appeals. He is now practicing in the higher courts.

    Hon. Joseph Mason, commenced reading law in the office of his brother Charles Mason, in 1845, and was admitted to practice in the general term held in Morrisville in 1849. He immediately opened a law office here; was elected Justice of the Peace, and in 1863 was elected County Judge and Surrogate of Madison County.

    Judge Mason's decisions while upon the bench were seldom appealed from, for the good reason, that such cases received a studious examination and the decisions were rendered strictly in accordance with the law and the testimony. He has a lucrative business in Hamilton.

    Sherwood & Nye were lawyers in practice here for a number of years, both from DeRuyter. Sherwood went to Texas soon after its annexation. James W. Nye continued for a time his office, alone. He was regarded as one of the ablest lawyers of our time for his speaking talent at the bar. He was elected Brigadier-General, was Judge and Surrogate of Madison County in 1844, serving to 1851, and was appointed Master and Examiner in Chancery. He removed to New York and was subsequently appointed Governor of Nevada, and ably discharged the duty of that position through his term. His course was characterized by his successful efforts in establishing law, order and religion in the territory. He has since been elected to the U. S. Senate, where his talents have made him conspicuous.

    H. C. Goodwin & D. J. Mitchell, constituted one of the most active law firms in this vil1age. H. C. Goodwin died while in the achievement of success. D. J. Mitchell is now practicing law in Syracuse. He is regarded as one of the ablest lawyers of Central New York.

    A. N. Sheldon & James B. Eldredge, formed a law partnership in 1845. Mr. Eldredge had been Member of Legislature in 1816-17 from this county, and again in 1827, and was re-elected in 1829. He was made Judge of the Court of Common Pleas in 1840. The firm of Sheldon & Eldredge continued together till 1848. Judge Eldredge has since died. Mr. Sheldon is still in the business.

    J. Sterling Smith, a lawyer of ability, was at one time and for some years in practice here. He received the appointment of Assistant U. S. District Attorney, and went to Washington about 1866.

    D. G. Wellington came in 1861, having been admitted to the bar at the Albany General Term, in May, 1851, and entered the law office of J. S. Smith, and remained there till Nov., 1862, when he enlisted in the army to help subdue the Great Rebellion. He was promoted to first Lieut. of Co. A., 176th Regiment, in 1863. After this he was taken prisoner by the rebels and was held till 1864, when he was released and mustered out of service. On his return to Hamilton he again entered the office of J. S. Smith. When Mr. Smith resigned his office of Justice of the Peace to accept his promotion, Mr. Wellington was appointed to fill his unexpired term, and served till 1868, and was then elected to Legislature. He has since continued his office in Hamilton.

    Some of the Physicians of Hamilton.---Dr. Peter B. Havens was one of the old physicians and surgeons of this village. He was widely known and employed for his great skill and success in cases requiring surgical treatment. He was succeeded by his son, P. B. Havens, who is still practicing medicine and surgery in this village. Dr. Henry G. Beardsley was a practicing physician and surgeon for more than thirty years, being established here before 1830. He was commissioned First Asst. Surgeon in the 114th Reg. N. Y. V. and served with creditable success. Dr. Sherman Kimberly commenced practice in this place in 1836 as a Botanic Physician. He gradually changed his practice to the Eclectic School. He is now the oldest medical practitioner in this village, and has had a most extensive practice, both in medicine and surgery. The other present resident physicians are Dr. Frank D. Beebe, who commenced practice here in 1864, he having previously been First Asst. Surgeon in the 157th Reg. N. Y. V., serving in the army of the Potomac, participating in the battles of Chancellorville, Gettysburg and others till the war closed; Dr. G. L. Gifford of the Homúpathic School, who came in 1865. He practices surgery as well as medicine and has good success. Also Miss Dr. Amelia Tompkins, the first woman physician of Hamilton, who came in 1865. She is a regular graduate from the "Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania." She has had good success in her profession and has all the practice she can attend.

    Dr. A. D. Head, physician and surgeon, has recently commenced practice here and is making progressive steps toward being successfully established.


    This Institution was the offspring of the Baptist Education Society of New York State, which was formed in 1817, in behalf of ministerial education. This society was originated by five or six individuals in Hamilton, who met at the house of Samuel Payne in the spring of that year, when they ventured to issue a call, inviting the friends of the cause to meet in Hamilton on the 24th day of the ensuing September. This call was sent to the Western Baptist Magazine and was published on the cover of that periodical. The 24th of September arrived and but thirteen responded to the call, who were: Rev. Daniel Hascall, Rev. Nathaniel Kendrick, Rev. P. P. Roots, Rev. John Bostwick, Rev. Joel W. Clark, Rev. Robert Powell, Rev. Amos Kingsley, Dea. Jonathan Olmstead, Dea. Samuel Payne, Dea. Samuel Osgood, Thomas Cox, Elisha Payne, Esq., and Dr. Charles W. Hull. They were convened at the residence of Dea. Olmstead, located about one mile from the village of Hamilton, directly south, a little below University Hill.

    As an earnest of their faith, these thirteen commenced by paying $1 each into the treasury. This was the seed sown, the germ of the widely known Madison University, which was planted in the hearts of a few noble christian men who struggled with poverty. Notwithstanding, they immediately set about the work with unparalleled energy. An address, which was an appeal for ministerial education, was published, and 500 copies circulated. Nearly forty agents were appointed in the central and eastern portions of the State, who were expected to work gratuitously to obtain subscriptions to the work.

    The first report of the Baptist Education Society has the list of the first seventy contributors, which is a "memorial of good men," whose offerings were made out of principle and pure warm hearts, toward the work. The aggregate subscriptions of that list were $2,118.88.

    The committee appointed to locate the school were chosen from widely-separated localities, that the pending question might be fairly adjusted. This was at length settled at a meeting held in Peterboro, Nov. 3, 1819. Hamilton was to have the location of the proposed school, provided, "that the people in the village and vicinity pay over to the institution the sum of six thousand dollars in the following manner, viz: three thousand five hundred dollars to be laid out in buildings to be completed within four years, and two thousand five hundred dollars to be paid in board at one dollar and fifty cents a week, in five equal annual payments." A place for the school was also to be furnished by the 1st of May, 1820. These conditions were accepted, and securities furnished for the fulfillment of the contract.

    The first pupil was Jonathan Wade, who was examined on the 14th of February, 1818, and immediately placed under the charge of Rev. Daniel Hascall. During the interval between that and the time when the school was permanently opened in May, 1820, thirteen had shared the benefactions of the society, who had been under instruction mostly at Whitesboro and Hamilton. May 1, 1820, with ten students, the school was formally opened in the village of Hamilton, occupying the third story of the brick building of the village academy. Rev. Daniel Hascall, pastor of the Baptist Church, consented to occupy the post as Principal, being the only teacher the first year, for which he received the moderate sum of $22.50 a month.

    In 1828 the first edifice, the stone building on the plain, (in the village,) was erected. It was 36 x 64 feet, and three stories high, with rooms for students, and apartments for recitation and rhetorical purposes. This cost over five thousand dollars. The help in furnishing these apartments came, in a great measure, from female sewing societies. [This building, after being vacated by the institution, was used for the male department of the Hamilton Academy, under the principalship of Prof. Zenas Morse and his successors.]

    With what absorbing interest do we learn of the various dealings of Providence, evident in all the great movements connected with the institution. Hascall and Kendrick were men who had faith in Providence. They were men, also, who were especially endowed for the herculean work. The heart and purse of another good man and his wife were also in the work---Deacon Samuel Payne and Mrs. Betsey Payne, who made the gift of their farm of 123 acres, valued then at $4,000, to the school, in 1826. This is University Hill, on which the buildings are erected. No lovelier place, and none with so commanding a view of the beautiful valley, could have been selected. At the same time with the erection of the "Western Edifice," a commodious boarding hall was built in the immediate vicinity, which has been removed, and its place is occupied with a noble building called the "Hall of Alumni and Friends," which now places the Western Edifice in the middle. In 1833,the "Eastern Edifice" was built; in 1838, the present Boarding Hall. Up to 1839, the expenses of students were regulated with reference to their benefit, on terms which at the present day seem incredible. The price of board, which had been ninety cents per week, was raised that year to one dollar. The tuition in the academic department was raised from four to six dollars per quarter, and in the collegiate, from four to eight dollars. In the Theological department, tuition was rendered gratuitous, the salaries for Professors in this branch being raised by subscription.

    In 1846, this institution was incorporated as the "Madison University," date of the charter being March 26, 1846. From its first opening, it has borne different names, to wit: "School," "Seminary," "Hamilton Literary and Theological Institution," and finally "Madison University,"--all of which have been applied to it on the occasion of certain changes which have taken place in its improvements.

    In 1847, there commenced a series of efforts to remove Madison University from Hamilton to Rochester, N. Y., which had the effect to seriously, but temporarily, depress the affairs of both Society and University. The case was, as a last resort, carried into the Courts, the counsel for the removalists being Samuel Stevens and Hamilton Harris of Albany, and for the Bap. Ed. Society, Timothy Jenkins, Charles P. Kirkland and James W. Nye. The final hearing of the case was before Judge Philo Gridley, April 23, 1850, when the decree established forever Madison University and the Theological Seminary in the village of Hamilton. When those efforts ceased, two years of recuperation saw the same institution stand forth on a strengthened pecuniary basis, its amount of property more than doubled, its number of students more than tripled.

    Rev. Daniel Hascall, A. M., was Principal and Professor of Sacred Rhetoric from May, 1820 to 1836. Rev. Nathaniel Kendrick, D. D., first President, which he continued to be to the time of his death, in 1848. Stephen W. Taylor, LL. D., was President from 1851 to 1856. He died January 7, 1856. Rev. George W. Eaton, D. D., LL. D., was elected President in 1856, and served till 1871. He died in Hamilton, August 3, 1872, aged 68 years. Rev. Ebenezer Dodge, D. D., LL. D., was elected President of the University in 1868.

    The Library of the University contains over 8,000 volumes of choice books in all languages, and treating upon all subjects. The chemical and philosophical apparatus are excellent; the cabinet of geology and mineralogy and collection in ornithology and conchology, are very rare and valuable. There is on the premises, besides the east and west college,---the former 100 x 56 feet, and four stories high, the latter 100 x 60 feet, four stories,---and Alumni Hall, 107 x 73 feet, a Gymnasium, Boarding Hall, and President's and Professors' houses, all charmingly situated.

    It seems no more than just that the friends of Madison University, who have contributed to sustain it through all changes, should be named in this connection. Besides Hascall and Kendrick, many others have come forward and nobly stood by the Institution. In Hamilton, Elisha and Samuel Payne, Jonathan Olmstead, Seneca B. Burchard and his father Jabez Burchard, William Cobb, Alvah Pierce, C. C. Payne, and many others whose names we have not; also, those indefatigable laborers in the institution, Dr. P. B. Spear, Dr. G. W. Eaton, Professor S. W. Taylor, &c. Among the devoted women may be named Mrs. Betsey Payne, wife of Samuel Payne; Mrs. Sophia Hascall, wife of Rev. Daniel Hascall; Mrs. Deacon Colgate of New York and Mrs. Huldah Thompson of Troy. Other noble individuals, whose munificent benefactions have lifted the University out of its difficulties, placed it on a safe pecuniary basis, and amply endowed it, viz: Friend Humphrey, William Colgate, Garret N. Bleecker, Alexander M. Beebee, besides many others whose lesser benefactions have rendered material aid. From this list of heroic and self-sacrificing individuals, many have passed on to their eternal reward.


    Daniel Hascall was born in Bennington, Vt., Feb. 24, 1782. He was a graduate from Middlebury College, Vt., in 1806. He was subsequently a teacher, studying theology at the same time under private tutors, in Pittsfield, Mass. In 1808, he was ordained as pastor at Elizabethtown, Essex County, N. Y. In 1813, he was called to the pastorate of the Baptist Church at Hamilton, Madison County.

    Rev. Daniel Hascall was the originator of the idea of founding an institution for the education of the Baptist ministry in Central New York, and to him is undoubtedly due, more than to any other one man, the origin of the Hamilton Literary and Theological Institute, hence, by common consent, he is regarded as the founder. In the building up of the great work, Hascall and Kendrick were coworkers, and were equal sharers in perfecting the grand plan. These men were unlike, and yet always agreed. One fitted to comprehend the requirements and needs of the work, in which the other might be wanting. Each were great in their own way, and the two made a perfect whole, which so great an enterprise required; yea, were necessary to give body, life and soul to the Institution. Rev. Mr. Hascall so placed his heart upon the work, that he was ready to become a servant to all, if he could thereby push forward an enterprise he firmly believed to be of God and not of man. He was a man of remarkable faith. Impossibilities, or such as seemed so to be, were achieved through a perfect trust in Divine Providence. An instance in point is related as follows: When the Western Edifice was being erected, the funds failed and there was no known source to draw from. The workmen, impatient for their wages, refused to proceed. Professor Hascall, having the charge of the work, was under sore trial, and as usual in difficulties, counseled with his valued and peerless wife. They spent most of the night in earnest supplication and prayer. The Board also appointed a day of fasting and prayer, with the same object in view. Mark the result. In a few days, Dr. Stephen Gano, of Providence, R. I., was induced to visit Hamilton under the most singular circumstances. A member of his congregation, the late Nicholas Brown, Esq., came to him one day with an urgent desire that he visit Hamilton to inquire into the affairs of the Institution, "for," said he, "I cannot sleep; they are in trouble there; I dream about them nightly." Nothing would satisfy Mr. Brown till his pastor made the journey, he staying some ten days in Hamilton and thoroughly acquainting himself with the school, its plans and its needs. The result was, Mr. Brown forwarded his pledge of $1,000 toward the new building.

    Rev. Daniel Hascall was a man of sound judgment. Every lineament of his countenance indicated a clear practical head. His comprehensive view took in the bearings of every minute matter at a glance. He was found to be, instinctively, where help was needed, with an ever ready, helping hand. In the mechanical work of the institution his handiwork is particularly noticeable. Its very walls are imbued with his spirit. The first edifice, built in 1823, and the Western Edifice, built in 1826, were constructed under his direct supervision. His mental capacities were such that he could, with ease, perform various and widely different duties at once. It is said of him: "Now in the recitation room solving a linguistical difficulty, and now in the quarry prying up materials for the building he was superintending; sitting on the sill of the raised window of his lecture room, giving instructions to his class in one breath, and in the next, orders to his workmen outside. He was pre-eminently the man of action, forgetting self, and laboring incessantly for the great object of his heart's desire. For a time he resided a mile out in the country, and yet, winter and summer, he walked in, with lantern in hand, if too dark to see his way, at half past four o'clock in the morning, regularly, to attend chapel service at five."

    Rev. Daniel Hascall was elected Principal and Professor of Rhetoric, in Hamilton Literary and Theological Institution, in 1820. He served with great usefulness for sixteen years, when he resigned. He resigned his pastorate with the Baptist Church in Hamilton, in 1828. After resigning his Professorship, he removed to Castleton, Vt., where he resided some years. In 1847, he was invited to the pastoral care of the Baptist Church in Lebanon, N. Y., and returned to Hamilton. His return occurred at the opening of the "removal controversy." It was a most providential circumstance, for he was the only person after Dr. Kendrick, in and about Hamilton, who could properly stand forth as the legal representative of this location. Dr. Kendrick was languishing on a bed of pain, and died before it was settled, and Professor Hascall, "boldly and firmly, though with singular mildness and amiability of spirit, took his stand in the Courts." Through that tedious controversy, he was plied on all sides by those interested in the removal of the institution to Rochester, by the most pressing appeals to abandon his position. Every inducement was held out by those he personally respected and loved.

    In Dr. Eaton's Historical Discourse, we have a picture of the unassuming man, as he received the pleas and arguments held forth, and his sublime resistance. "He remained silent, seated at a table, with his eyes cast down, under these appeals. It was believed that a decided impression had been made, and that he had yielded. A pause ensued. He raised his right arm and brought down his clenched fist with startling energy upon the table, and slowly, with unfaltering voice and solemn emphasis, uttered these words: 'IT SHALL NOT BE MOVED.' The utterance was the voice of God against the removal enterprise. It sealed its fate." Dr. Eaton further relates: "Efforts were indeed continued. The case was carried into the Courts, (Daniel Hascall the leading plaintiff,) and argued pro and con by the ablest counsel in the State. The legal objections were sustained, and Madison University fixed irrevocably in its present location."

    After litigation had ceased, quiet restored, and the hope of his heart, the old Institution, again rising in renewed prosperity, his grasp on life relaxed and his freed spirit passed to its rest.

    Socially, Rev. Daniel Hascall was deeply beloved. His heart was ever overflowing with kindness; his mild, clear eyes expressed it, his benign countenance told how deeply his spirit was imbued with Christ-like love. Especially in the home circle, where his amiable disposition was daily seen, he was truly and warmly appreciated, and in the hearts of his loved ones his memory remains precious. He died June 28, 1852, aged 70 years.


    Nathaniel Kendrick was born in Hanover, Grafton County, N. H., April 22, 1777. His early years were spent in learning to labor, which established habits favorable to vigorous health of body and mind. He received such education as the district school afforded, and amid the scenes of nature in his daily toil, he stored his mind with lore not found in schools, and laid the granite foundations of a great character in physical development, mental and moral strength, and acquired remarkable habits of industry, perseverance and fortitude.

    After a remarkably decided conversion in his twentieth year, he began to ponder the momentous question of his life work, and in his twenty-fourth year resolved on entering the ministry. He commenced his ministerial education immediately, studying with private tutors, as was the custom at that period. Under several eminent divines, he passed from one grade of studies to another, the course being similar to that of schools. He commenced his ministerial labors in 1804, was ordained in 1805, and for a number of years pursued his pastoral labors in Massachusetts and Vermont. In 1817, he removed to Eaton, and from that time, for a series of years, was connected in his pastoral labors with the Eaton and Morrisville churches. He subsequently removed to Hamilton, where be spent the remainder of his years.

    In 1817, he became, with Rev. Daniel Hascall and other kindred spirits, one of the founders of the Baptist Education Society of the State of New York, which planted Madison University in Hamilton.

    Dr. Kendrick's life, from 1817 to his death, was so closely connected with the institution at Hamilton, that the reader of the history of one, reads of the other. He devoted himself to it with all his might, mind and strength. His eloquent tongue and pen, were, during all these years, in constant use for the institution. "He was the living bond between the churches and the 'School of the Prophets.'" To Kendrick is due, (it is accorded,) more than any other, the massive structure of the school, in its peculiar form, as originally shaped and constructed. His mind was powerful, his energy mighty, but always subservient to a cool, clear judgment. He stamped his personality, which was so permeated with the Divine personality, upon all individuals with whom he associated, and it marked all enterprises in which he engaged. He was formed, physically and morally, on a large and generous scale. In person, he was tall---six feet four inches---and commanding; his face and form alike fitted to inspire respect and veneration. His forehead was so high as to be a deformity, had not his frame been in due proportion. His intellectual powers were of the noblest order. His mild, deep blue eye spoke at once of the benevolence of his heart, and the depth and acuteness of his intellect.

    Dr. Kendrick was methodically accurate and punctual in business, attending to minute details with as much care as if no weightier matters filled his mind. In his business transactions, he was upright, pure-hearted, straightforward, unselfish. It was said of him, "there was no guile on his lips---no sort of trickery in his management." His trust in God was wonderful. How often, answers to prayer---some direct interposition, some aid from an unexpected quarter---caused him to give vent to his thanksgiving in those favorite passages of Holy Writ: "Surely the Lord's arm is not shortened that He cannot save, nor His ear heavy that it cannot hear." He can "cause streams to break out in the desert." "The Lord hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad." At the approach of the great crisis, the "removal question," although languishing with sickness, Dr. Kendrick's anxiety and labors were intense. At a most critical period in the affairs of the institution, in writing to a friend, he expresses his fears, and thus submits it to the care of Providence: "God will overrule and make all things subservient to his glory."

    His regard for the students in the institution was like the affection of a father for his children. Says his biographer:---"It often fell to his lot to give the parting address to students that had completed their course.   *  *  *   Many of those were touching in the fatherly regard which they evinced for the candidate for the sacred office, bidding adieu to the 'school of the prophets,' (as he always called the beloved institution,) only to assume the responsibilities of teachers in the church of Jesus. Many a reader will revive the tall form in the chapel of the Seminary, appealing in pathetic strains to a band of youthful servants, and saying to them, as a father would to his children, dear as the apple of his eye, 'go forth, with the benedictions of heaven upon you.'"

    A heart of great generosity filled his breast, which exhibited only kindness toward those who differed from his views. He was eminently a peacemaker, instead of a partizan; hence his great calmness and power in times of agitation. In his domestic life he was truly appreciated, for the tenderness of his domestic affections was in proportion to the strength of his intellect. In his family he was free, affectionate, and playful; he loved home and was passionately fond of children. The inmates of his home were many, but all knew the generosity of his heart and his liberal hospitality. He was blessed with three children by his first marriage. The eldest son, Silas N. Kendrick, became an eminent manufacturer, and proprietor of the "Detroit Locomotive Iron Works." He was a wise and good man, a true christian gentleman. He died in 1846.

    By his second marriage there were three children, two sons born in Eaton and one daughter born in Hamilton. Dr. Kendrick's second wife died in 1824. He again married,---Mrs. Mary Hascall of Essex County---in 1828. She survived him some years.

    Dr. Nathaniel Kendrick was lecturer on Theology in the Hamilton Theological Institute in 1820. Was elected Professor of Systematic and Pastoral Theology and Moral Philosophy in 1821. In 1823, received the degree of D. D. from Brown University. In 1836, was chosen first President of Hamilton Institute and continued its President until his death.

    In 1844, he was injured from a fall which resulted in a long and painful illness, lasting until life wore out. During this long illness, painful in the extreme, he continued to labor in correspondence for the institution, in counsels and exhortations to the students, and in planning for the prosperity of the cause. His naturally powerful constitution was long in wearing out, and his great mind continued its native vigor and composure to the last. After all that human care and skill could devise, he passed to his rest September 11, 1848, aged seventy-one years.


    This village is most beautifully situated in the valley of the Chenango River, two branches of which wind on either side of the village and form a junction a short distance to the south. Four towns and two counties join here, Hamilton. Lebanon, Sherburne and Smyrna; (the two latter of Chenango County,) corner in Earlville; Main street dividing the two towns of each county, being the county line, and the Chenango River dividing Lebanon from Hamilton, and Smyrna from Sherburne. The centering point of these four towns is the center of the highway near the grist mill. Hamilton has in this village about thirty-five houses, one dry goods store, one variety store, one grocery store, one drug store, one hardware store, one millinery store, one jeweler, one blacksmithery, one hotel, one merchant tailor's shop, one harness shop, the M. E. Church, the Union School with two departments, and the grist mill on the line adjoining Lebanon. Sherburne has in this village about thirty-three houses, the storage buildings of the Chenango Canal, one blacksmithery, two wagon shops, and other shops, one hotel, one warehouse, forwarding and commission business in connection. In 1869, the population was 405 inhabitants;13 231 in the towns of Hamilton and Lebanon, and 174 in the towns of Sherburne and Smyrna. There is a beautiful incorporated cemetery north of the M. E. Church. The Utica, Chenango & Susquehanna Valley Railroad runs on the east, five-eighths of a mile from the center of the village; on the west, just by the limits of the village, runs the Midland Railroad; both have convenient depots, and are accessible by hacks which run at all train hours. The Syracuse & Chenango Valley Railroad has its terminus at this point. These three important thoroughfares, converging here, make this valley in every sense of the word a desirable location for business men. The charming situation, the facilities for business, hold out special inducements for the building up of a large village, and there is room upon the spread out plain for a city.

    The early settlers found this to be a desirable place to pitch their tents and select their farms, and before 1800, log houses were scattered all along each side of the Chenango. On the Hamilton side a road was laid out to Hamilton village and farms were quite speedily taken up. Major Bigelow Waters and Charles Otis were the first settlers of the land where the present village stands. Maj. Waters' large farm was located south of the Corners in the town of Sherburne. His descendants are numerous, and are well and honorably known in this and the town of Sherburne. The Major was a prominent, public spirited citizen. Charles Otis' farm comprised the central part of the village site. His dwelling was on the northeast corner. That part of his farm, now the central point in the village, was cleared by Frederic Sexton, an old resident, now deceased. Mr. Otis died here after several years' residence, and was succeeded by his son, Charles G. Otis. The latter was for a long time Justice of the Peace, and was chosen to various public stations. He was a useful citizen and highly respected. The Forks was the name given this locality, but there was no village here for many years; the settlements, however, on each side of the river were becoming quite numerous. The first religious meetings were held in the houses round about, by itinerant Methodist ministers. A class was formed as early as 1802, which was the nucleus of the first Methodist church in Madison County. The Felts, who had settled on the west side of the river, were prominent in this religious movement.

    North of Earlville, about three-fourths of a mile, there was some business concentration from 1808 to quite a late date. About 1811, Mr. Jared Pardee, from Herkimer Co., came in and built a small tannery, It stood on the site of the present tannery. There was a hotel near the tannery of which Squire James B. Eldredge was proprietor and landlord. The old hotel is still standing converted into a farm house, now the home of Mr. Warner Nash. Squire Eldredge also kept the first post-office here. There was also a large distillery here, kept by Erastus Daniels.

    After the lapse of a few years, Mr. Jared Pardee enlarged his tannery, went in partnership with Mr. Crain, and thereafter for many years, this was known as the tannery of Pardee & Crain. At a later date the whole concern was built over on an extensive scale. It subsequently passed through several hands, and is now owned by Torry & Wilson, who transact a profitable business. They employ several w[ork]men and have a capacity for turning off 30,000 tanned __skins per annum.

    Jar[ed Pa]rdee was one of the valued citizens of his day. He married and brought his wife here in 1814, and in their household, the toiling itinerant minister found rest, and the comforts of a home.

    Mr. Joseph Crandall was one of the earliest settlers of Earlville. He was one of the worthy men of the times. Himself and wife were also among the company who labored to promote religion and good morals.

    Erastus Daniels came in the spring of 1808, from New London, Conn., and settled also in the vicinity of the tannery. He was a man of public spirit, very active and had a large business. On his death, which occurred in 1819, at the age of 41 years, the distillery passed into other hands; but his wife left with six young children, all daughters, managed to keep the farm her husband had purchased, and to this day it is in possession of the family. It was somewhat encumbered, but with great prudence and good management, she succeeded in liquidating all claims, reared her family and secured a competence. Mrs. Daniels now resides in Earlville. She still enjoys her usual health although she was ninety-two years old last February.

    There was nothing more than a hamlet called "The Forks," with a post office, tavern, grist mill and sawmill, where Earlville is, till about 1833, when the Chenango Canal was being built. The post office was first kept by Dr. Stacy, in a little building which stood on Hamilton street. The Dr. was a warm friend of Jonas Earl, Canal Commissioner, and succeeded in getting the place named in honor of him. About that period Orange H. Wait built the hotel, now the Felt House. In 1833, the old hotel on the south-west corner, was built over by Gardner Waters. Orange Wait engaged in the mercantile business, which he continued successfully for ten or twelve years. He built the dwelling next north of the "Brick Block." It was then the finest house of the village. Other stores besides that of Mr. Wait sprung up in the village, but none of them continued in business long. The Brick Block was built by William Felt, about twelve years ago (1860). The four stores of the village are all in the this block.


    The First Baptist Church of Hamilton, was organized Nov. 17, 1796, with seven members. The church was supplied by Elder Root, Elder Joel Butler and Elder Salmon Moreton, for the first few years. The meeting house was erected in the village in 1810, and stood at the north end of the Park. It was burned December 31, 1819. A new house of worship was immediately erected, which was dedicated, November 12, 1820. The present church was built in 1843. The first settled pastor of this society was Elder Ashbel Hosmer. The Second Baptist Church, located at Thompson's Mills was formed from this in 1819.

    The Congregational Church of Hamilton Village, was organized in February, 1828, at the house of John Foote, with eight members. Rev. Pindar Field was first pastor. Meetings were first held in the brick Academy, but the house of worship was erected the same year. In 1851, the house was destroyed by fire. It was immediately rebuilt. It [sic] 1871, it was remodeled and repaired at a cost of about $4,000.

    St. Thomas Church, (Episcopal,) of Hamilton, was organized, September 21, 1835. Rev. L. A. Barrows was first clergyman. In 1846, the church edifice was erected. It was of the early English Gothic style. It was consecrated June 8, 1847.

    The Methodist Church of Earlville, was organized in 1802, at the house of Joseph Crandall. First meeting house was built in 1814. A new house was built in 1838. In 1871, the house was built anew on the old frame at a cost of about $5,000. Rev. Charles Giles was first pastor.

    The First Congregational Church of Hamilton, was organized in 1798, by Rev. Mr. Badger of Blandford, Massachusetts. It was located at Hamilton Center, where the meeting house was erected in 1800. Jonathan Stevens, Richard Butler, John Pomeroy, Phineas Alvord, Annie Morgan, Mary Schoil, Lucy Stevens and Rebecca West, constituted the first members. First pastor, Rev. Mr. Moulton. In 1840, the meeting house was removed to Poolville.

    The Universalist Church of Hamilton, was formed by Rev. Nathaniel Stacy, at the house of David Dunbar in Hubbardsville, in 1808. It was then called the "Universal Friendly Society." Rev. Mr. Stacy labored for this society sixteen years, preaching in school houses, barns and private dwellings. In 1833 and '34, the Universalist meeting house was built at the Center. In 1866, the articles of faith were revised, and a charter obtained.

    There is a Methodist Episcopal Church in Hamilton village, which was formed as a society in 1819. We are unable to present the facts in its history, from want of the necessary material.14 We have also failed in obtaining a historical sketch of the M. E. Church at Poolville, and at East Hamilton.


    The Hamilton Recorder was started in 1817, by John G. Stower and P. B. Havens. In 1819, it passed into the hands of Stower & Williams, and afterwards into those of John P. VanSice. In 1829, it was removed to Morrisville and united with The Observer.

    The Madison Farmer was published at Hamilton in 1828, by Nathaniel King.

    The Civilian was started July 27, 1830, by Laurens Dewey. In February, 1831, it passed into the hands of Lewison Fairchild, and in November, 1831, it was discontinued.

    The Hamilton Courier was commenced by G. R. Waldron in February, 1834, and in the following year it appeared as

    The Hamilton Courier and Madison County Advertiser. It was continued until 1838.

    The Hamilton Palladium was started in 1838, by John Atwood, and continued six years---a part of the time by J. & D. Atwood.

    The Hamilton Eagle was published in 1836, by G. R. Waldron.

    The Literary Visitor was published at Hamilton about three months, in 1842, by Dennis Redman.

    The Democratic Reflector was started at Hamilton by G. R. Waldron, in 1842, and was published by Waldron & Baker from 1843 to 1854, and two years by Waldron alone, when it was united with the Madison County Journal, and appeared as

    The Democratic Republican. It was published by Waldron & James until 1861; by J. Hunt Smith, sixteen months, when it passed into the hands of E. D. Van Slyck, by whom it is now published.

    The Madison County Journal was commenced September, 1849, by E. F. & C. B. Gould. W. W. Chubbuck, F. B. Fisher and T. L. James were afterward interested in its publication; and in 1856 it was united with the Democratic Reflector.

    The Mill Boy was published during the campaign of 1844, at the Palladium office, and

    The Polker at the Reflector office.

    The Land Mark was published as a campaign paper in 1850.

    The New York State Radii was removed from Fort Plain, Montgomery County, in 1854, by L. S. Backus, and continued about eighteen months, when it was returned to Fort Plain.

    The Democratic Union was commenced at Hamilton, in 1856, by Levi S. Backus; and in 1857, it passed into the hands of W. H. Baker, when he removed it to Oneida in 1863, where he continues to publish it.

    The Independent Volunteer was started at Morrisville and Hamilton, July 28, 1864, by G. R. Waldron and J. M. Chase; in 1865, it was published by G. R. Waldron & Son; September 25, 1866, it was changed to

    Waldron's Democratic Volunteer, and was first published at Hamilton by Waldron & Son, and is now issued by Waldron & Slauson.

1 - William White, of Hamilton, Deputy Sheriff, captured Mary Antone.
2 - See Appendix.
3 - The above statement was made August 1868. Mrs. Lapham has since died. From the Dispatch is the following obituary: — Mrs. Amanda Lapham died at the residence of her son-in-law, Mr. L. Joslyn, in Eaton, April 22, 1869, at the advanced age of 92. Mrs. Lapham was one of the first settlers of the town of Lebanon, her husband, Daniel Wheeler, being one of the most enterprising of the pioneers, and by whose untimely death in 1806, the wife lost a truly kind companion, and community a worthy citizen. Widowed and the mother of five young children, yet like the true women, as all our pioneer mothers were, she courageously bore her trials and managed her affairs with enterprising assiduity. Mrs. Wheeler was one of the seven who composed the First Baptist Church of Hamilton when it was first organized, and when Elder Olmstead was pastor, and from that day to the close of her long, eventful life, she was an earnest, consistent Christian. In later life she became the wife of Dea. Lapham, who was long and honorably known to the people of Hamilton and vicinity. Mrs. Lapham was the mother of the wife of Rev. Jonathan Wade, missionary to Birmah. Remarkable vigor, symmetry, and activity of body, as well as strength and clearness of mind, characterized Mrs. Lapham in her old age, and which did not fail her until her last illness, which was not of long duration.
4 - Loren Snow was one of the first men of the village, a thorough-going, active business man, a main pillar in church and society. He was an architect and builder by trade, and prosecuted that business to a large extent. In many of the villages of this county are fine and substantial buildings constructed by Dr. Loren Snow. He subsequently removed to Freeport, Illinois., where he died, and where members of his family still reside.
5 - The new block built by our enterprising townsman, Adon Smith, Esq., is of brick, modern and complete in its fair proportions.
6 - Haight & Chappell built a distillery about 1810, and kept it for a time, finally [sic] passed into the hands of Deacon Osgood.
7 - Of the above named trustees, John Foote is the only survivor, at the date, July, 1872.
8 - We have not the names of the builders of other blocks.
9 - Now Palmiter & Simmons.
10 - Contributed by a friend.
11 - Judge Foote died in Smyrna, Feb. 27, 1826, in the 97th year of his age.
12 - Hon. John J. Foote, son of John Foote, was elected State Senator from this District for 1858–9. When Abraham Lincoln was elected President in 1860, John J. Foote was one of the Presidential Electors.
13 - It has since increased to 500.
14 - See page 451.
* - Transcriber's note: In the copy transcribed from, the name "Patrick" is crossed out by hand and the letter "P' inserted after "Mr."
** - Transcribers note: While I have not researched the Payne family, this claim smacks of "family myth" and should be taken with a grain of salt. ---RSH
Transcribed by Richard S. Holmes
April, 2005
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Madison County History - 1872
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