HAMILTON was formed from Paris, March 5, 1795, and named in honor of Hon. Alexander Hamilton of New York. It originally embraced Nos. 2, 3, 4 and 5 of the Twenty Townships, and was reduced to its present limits Feb. 6, 1807, by the formation of Eaton, Lebanon and Madison, which correspond respectively with Nos. 2, 5 and 3 of the Twenty Town-ships. It is situated on the south border of the county, east of the center, and is bounded on the north by Madison, on the south by Sherburne, on the east by Brookfield and on the west by Lebanon. Its surface is a rolling upland, broken by the valleys of the Chenango and its eastern branch, the former of which skirts the west border, while the latter crosses the town diagonally from north-east to south-west, and unites with the main stream at Earlville, near the south-west corner. These with their numerous small tributaries water it abundantly.
It is wholly covered by the rocks of the group which takes its name from this town, the best exposure of which is furnished by the quarries in the hill-side, back of the University in Hamilton village. These quarries are not now in use. The layers are regular and uniform in thickness, but small. A quarry is open also on the farm of Charles C. Payne, where the rock is seamless. In neither case, however, is the stone desirable for ornate building purposes, being adapted only to coarse work. Nearly all the stone buildings in Hamilton village are constructed of the native rock, including the University buildings, which are quite unattractive, except from their sightly location, and the Eagle Hotel, a massive, uncomely building.
The soil in the valleys is a rich and highly productive sandy and gravelly loam, while that upon the hills is a clayey loam, admirably adapted to the purposes of the dairy. In the eastern part of the town, which presents the most rugged contour, hops are extensively raised.
The abandoned Chenango canal crosses the north-west and south-west corners of the town, but its business has been monopolized by the contiguous railroads. The Utica, Chenango and Susquehanna Valley Railroad extends through the town along the valley of the east branch of the Chenango, and draws patronage from a broad and fertile region. The Utica, Clinton and Binghamton Railroad crosses the north-west corner of the town, its course through the town being almost entirely confined to the village of Hamilton. It connects at Smith's valley with the New York, Ontario and Western Railroad, (Midland,) which extends through the east border of Lebanon. Both these roads are operated by the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad Company.
The population of the town in 1875 was 3,711; of whom 3,371 were native, 340 foreign, 3,684 white, 27 colored, 1,771 males and 1,940 females. Its area was 23,516 acres; of which 19,026 were improved, 3,869 woodland, and 621 otherwise unimproved. The cash value of farms was $1,849,615; of farm buildings other than dwellings, $228,789; of stock, $225,308; of tools and implements, $49,261. The amount of gross sales from farms in 1874 was $178,102.
There are fifteen common and one union free school districts in the town. During the year ending Sept. 30, 1879, there were twenty-three licensed teachers at one time during twenty-eight weeks or more. The number of children of school age residing in the districts at that date was 1,030. During that year there were nine male and twenty-three female teachers employed; the number of children residing in the districts who attended school was 782, and the number not residing in the districts, 102, of whom six were under five or over twenty-one years of age; the average daily attendance during the year was 548.615; the number of volumes in district libraries was 1,296, the value of which was $583; the number of school-houses was sixteen, all frame, which, with the sites, embracing three acres and twenty-three rods, valued at $3,385, were valued at $18,475; the assessed value of taxable property in the districts was $1,940,671. The number of children between eight and fourteen years of age residing in the districts at that date was 362, of whom 285 attended district school fourteen weeks of that year, and 29 attended private schools or were instructed at home during a like period.
Receipts and disbursements for school purposes:---
|Amount on hand Oct. 1, 1878||$ 285.18|
|" apportioned to districts||2,677.19|
|Proceeds of Gospel and school lands||43.55|
|Raised by tax||4,908.93|
|From teachers' board||112.00|
|" other sources||571.67|
|Paid for teachers' wages||$6,010.62|
|" school apparatus||12.80|
|" school-houses, sites, fences, out-houses, repairs, furniture, etc.||1,537.77|
|" other incidental expenses||657.46|
|Amount remaining on hand Sept. 30, 1879||363.42|
Hamilton presents some features of interest connected with its aboriginal occupants, implements of war and the chase having been disclosed by the plow and other agencies in various parts of the town, but most richly on the flats in the locality of Earlville, which gave evidence at an early day of having been numerously occupied. Not many years since Mr. O. B. Lord found on his farm near Poolville two curiously wrought stones, resembling in form the head of a human being, one, and the larger of which, displayed three round holes on the back of the skull. Their significance can only be conjectured, but there is little doubt that they belong to that system of mnemonic signs, by means of which the aborigines are known to have communicated intelligence to one another. The town was annually visited to as late a period as the close of the war of 1812 by parties of the Oneida and Stockbridge Indians, whose southern trail extended through the western border. They camped for in-definite periods in the valleys of the Chenango and its eastern branch, and engaged in hunting, fishing and the manufacture of baskets, the latter of which they sold to the settlers. A place two miles below Hamilton village was a much frequented locality; and it was here that Mary Antoine, daughter of the notorious Abram Antoine, committed the murder of a female member of her own tribe for alienating the affections of her husband, for which she was hung at Peterboro in the fall of 1814, and which led to the execution of her father at Morrisville, Sept. 12, 1823, for the murder of John Jacobs, a half-breed, who was her principal accuser.
Hamilton, as we have previously seen, was one of the six townships patented to Col. William S. Smith April 16, 1794. Townships 2, 3, 4 and 5, those which formed the original town of Hamilton, were soon after transferred to Sir William Pultney, from whom Dominick Lynch, a merchant in New York city, purchased the great part of the 4th township, the present town of Hamilton, which was surveyed by Nathaniel Lock.
SETTLEMENTS.---The first settlement was made on the East Branch of the Chenango, near Earlville, in the spring of 1792, by John Wells, Abner Nash, Patrick W. Shields and John Muir, who came in company from Paris, Oneida county, bringing with them their effects, which were drawn upon a sled by a yoke of oxen, and driving before them two cows and two hogs. Wells and Nash, who were originally from Amherst, Mass., had been in earlier the same year on snow-shoes and selected a location and built a log cabin. Shields and Muir were originally from Scot-land. Mr. Wells brought in his wife and infant son William, then little more than a year old. Mrs. Wells brought with her a pet dog, and in making the passage of the East Branch of the Chenango, then much swelled by recent rains, that animal, which was carried in the saddle bag attached to the horse on which she rode, was thoroughly drenched and almost suffocated. The other saddle bag contained provisions. She crossed the stream, which was too deep to ford, with her infant son in her arms. Their route from Paris was designated only by marked trees. The passage of the stream was made at Hubbardsville. Mr. Wells settled where Horatio Sholes now lives, on the east side of the river, about midway between Earlville and Poolville. He immediately commenced keeping tavern, to accommodate the many who were then penetrating the wilderness in search of homes; and on his land was kept the first store in the town, by Israel Church. Mr. Wells died on that farm Dec, 26, 183r, aged 68, and Betsey, his wife, March 21, 1844, aged 74. Their children, besides William, who died in the town Sept. 7, 1830, aged 39, were Henry, who was the first white child born in the town---in 1793---and also died in the town Feb. 26, 1837, aged 42; Jerry, who went west and died there; Daniel and Alonzo, who died in the town, the former April 14, 1864, aged 6r, and the latter April 19, 1862, aged 57; Horatio, who died a year or two ago in the west part of the State; Betsey, who married a Barnes, first settled in this town and afterwards went west; and Caroline, who married J. K. Ackley, both of whom are living near Hubbardsville.
Though his name is incidentally mentioned in connection with the history of the town and village of Hamilton, this book would fail to meet the expectations of the public without a more extended memoir of Elisha Payne. For nearly fifty years of active business life, lie held a place second to none in the advancement of the social and business interests of the village he named and helped to create: and for these reasons lie and his family occupy a large place in the memory and affections of the people. He left behind him abundant proof of his ability and wisdom, and a family trained to lives of usefulness and honor, a fortune accumulated slowly and honestly, and in many enterprises that tended to insure the prosperity of Hamilton. His memory will grow brighter as years roll round, and the asperities of life's conflicts are forgotten.
He was a lineal descendant of one of three brothers by the name of Payne, who settled at Plymouth as early as 1621, and who were forced to leave England for the same cause that drove the Pilgrims to find a home in the New World. He was born at North East, Dutchess county, New York, Dec. 3, 1762. His parents, Abram and Rebecca Payne, were natives of Connecticut. The former was born in 1711, and died in Hamilton, April 21, 1801, in his 80th year. The latter died in the same place Dec. 25, 1810, aged 86 years. They settled in Dutchess county about 1760. They had four sons and four daughters. Elisha was the youngest of the children and the only one that left issue.
In consequence of the misfortune that befel their parents in the loss of their property, Elisha and Samuel cared for and supported them until they died.
Elisha had but few advantages for an education, such only as were afforded by the common schools of his town, but his habits were of a studious character and he was fond of reading. Every good book that he was able to get he read carefully, and so stored his mind with valuable information that enabled him to competently discharge the duties of the various offices of trust and responsibility that were confided to him by his townsrnen and those in authority in after years.
On the 17th of September, 1787, he was married to Polly Brooks, a native of Essex, Connecticut. She was born January 12, 1766, and died May 4, 1796. By her he had four children, three sons and one slaughter, viz: Abram, John, Samuel and Mary.
August 17, 1797, he married Esther Douglass, daughter of Rev. Caleb Douglass, of Whitestown, one of the pioneers of that section, and a descendant of the Douglass family of Scotland. Esther was born July 15, 1778, and died at Hamilton, Sept. 12, 1853. By her he had fourteen children, twelve sons and two daughters, two of whom died in infancy. The names of those that grew to maturity are here given in the order of their birth:-Elijah, (dead) Elisha, living near Clinton, New York, Mansfield, (dead) Joseph, living in Seneca Falls, New York, Nelson, living near Auburn, New York, Charles C., living in Hamilton, New York, Thomas, living in Illinois, near Chicago, Maria, (dead) Henry B., residing in Cleveland, William, (dead) Esther, (dead) and Edwin, living in Dayton, Ohio. Of the seven who are yet living six are over seventy years of age.
In 1794 Samuel Payne settled in the dense forest near where now is the south line of the village of Hamilton. Elisha came in the next year and bought lot No. 1, on which more than half of the village of Hamilton is situated. The name of Payne Settlement was given this locality, and a few years thereafter Elisha changed it to Hamilton, in honor of one he greatly admired, Alex. Hamilton.
Elisha built a rude log cabin near the corner now occupied by the Smith Block, in which he lived a short time, but the influx of New England people who came as actual settlers, or with a view to settlement, demanded a larger and more commodious building in which they could find a temporary home. Accordingly Mr. Payne built a large frame house on the corner above referred to, which he kept as a tavern for several years, and until another building was put up for that purpose in 1812.
Mr. Payne was anxious that a village of importance should be built up here, and as an inducement to mechanics and others whose presence would help to bring about that result, he gave them land and helped them build their homes on the same. He gave the land for the Park that no, greatly beautifies the village, and the same was used many years by the Militia of the adjoining towns as a parade ground.
Mr. Payne also gave land for burial purposes, and which is now known as the "Old Burying Ground." The interment of Mr. Payne's first wife, (Polly) was the first made in these grounds.
Mr. Payne thoroughly identified himself with every enterprise that seemed to him would be of permanent benefit to Hamilton. He invested largely of his means in the construction of a turnpike from Cherry Valley through Hamilton to Skaneateles, the successful completion of which was mainly due to his influence. He was the friend of education, and was one of the few who were instrumental in establishing an Academy, which flourished here many years. According to a report of the second annual meeting of "The Baptist Education Society of the State of New York," held at Whitesborough, New York, June 2, 1810, we find that he was elected Trustee of the Society for the ensuing year; and that at a meeting of the Board of Trustees then and there elected, the following resolution was adopted: "That Elisha Payne, of Hamilton, Charles Babcock, of New Hartford and Squire Munro, of Camillus, be appointed a committee to ascertain the most eligible situation within the counties of Oneida, Madison, Onondaga and Cayuga for the location of a Seminary, and report to this Board at their next meeting.' It was owing to his influence and his great success in securing subscriptions to the Society that the Seminary was finally located at Hamilton.
In politics Mr. Payne was a Federalist, and afterwards a Whig, and always took a great interest in his party's success. He was emphatically the leader of his party in his county for years, and was chosen chairman of the meetings held by the party on all important occasions. He was one of the first Judges of the Court of Common Pleas, appointed by Morgan Lewis, Governor, March 31, 1806, and held that office about nine years.
In the early years of his residence here the people bestowed on him several offices of trust and honor, but in the closing years of his life he declined all offices of a public nature. Mr. Payne was devoted to the cause of Christianity. He was one of the founders of the Baptist church in Hamilton, and one of its earnest supporters, and assisted in building three churches in Hamilton, always giving liberally of his means when the cause of religion made a demand upon him.
In his domestic life Mr. Payne was a kind husband and loving father, teaching his children by his upright life the value and importance of virtue, and inspiring, them with the worthy ambition to be men and women in the loftiest sense of the word. His teachings were not forgotten, but are fully exemplified in the lives of his children.
Elisha Payne died February 4, 1843.
Abner Nash, who together with Shields and Muir, settled on farms contiguous to that of Well's, died in Earlville, August 22, 1837, aged 81. He survived his wife (Hannah) many years. She died Nov. 17, 1812, aged 49. His family afterwards moved west. His son Horace, who was born in Hamilton in 1794, was the second child born in the town. He died July 16, 1853, aged 59, and Phylinda, his wife, Oct. 16, 1835, aged 40. Shields was a British soldier during the Revolutionary war, and was wounded and taken prisoner at the battle of Bunker Hill. His wife (Nancy) died here Oct. 26, 1828, aged 68. Muir died here April 24, 1823, aged 70, and Mary, his wife, Dec. 6, 1829, aged 66. Harriet, wife of Lyman H. Dunham, of Hamilton, and John Muir, of Earlville, children of James Muir, (who died Jan. 30, 1867, aged 67, and Beulah, his wife, July 24, 1830, aged 29;) Mrs. Albert Plumb, of Hamilton, daughter of David Muir, (who died May 29, 1854, aged 71;) and Hinman Hinman, of Earlville, son of Hinman Hinman, who married a daughter of John Muir's, are grandchildren of the latter.
In 1793, Reuben Ransom settled on the Adon Smith farm. He died April 12, 1818, aged 55, and "Rebekah," his wife, May 12, 1821, aged 62.
Samuel Payne, who was born in Lebanon, Conn., in 1760, was a descendant of Elisha Payne, who, with his brother Thomas, emigrated from England and landed in Plymouth in 1621,and from whom the Paynes in this country are supposed to have descended. Elisha settled in Connecticut and Thomas in the South. In 1794,1 Samuel Payne removed in company with his father Abram to Hamilton, and settled on lot 19, a westerly lot in the second tier of lots in this town, (his farm including the site of the University). He located a half mile south of the village, and resided there till his death, August 19, 1843, aged 83. He married in Connecticut, Betsey Stower, daughter of a physician in that State. She was for fifty years the best educated lady in the Chenango Valley. She survived her husband several years, and died in the village of Hamilton Jan. 1, 1850, aged 86. They had no children. Mr. Payne was the founder of the First Baptist Church of Hamilton, and was its first deacon, an office he held until his death. The first meeting was held at his house, and he traveled over the whole of the old town of Hamilton to invite the Baptists to meet there. He, his brother Elisha, and Jonathan Olmstead, the latter of whom was a deacon from an early day until his death, were a noted trio in the Baptist Church, and were regarded the most talented laymen in the State. He represented Chenango county in the Assembly in 1806; a Presidential Elector in 1832; and was appointed an Associated Judge of the County Courts. Previous to his death, in 1827, he willed his farm to the Baptist Education Society, as a site for their Seminary (now their University) buildings. His father never took up land, but lived alternately with his sons Samuel and Elisha. He died April 21, 1801, aged 79, and Rebecca his wife, Dec. 25, 1810, aged 86.
For Elisha Payne's biography we would refer to the article written in connection with his portrait on another page of this work.
Charles Clark Payne, who married Mary E. Swan, of Stonington, Conn., (who died May 19, 1875, aged 62,) settled and has since resided on a part of the homestead farm, has been a member for fifty years and deacon for forty years of the First Baptist Church of Hamilton, is the only one of Elisha Payne's children living in this locality.
Theophilus and Benjamin Pierce, brothers, and natives of Cornwall, Conn., came from Canaan, Columbia County, in 1794, and purchased of Dominick Lynch, lots numbers 19 and 20, the two most westerly lots in the second tier of lots in the 4th township, each containing 250 acres, "more or less". The deed is dated Oct. 28, 1794, and is now in possession of Dea. Alvah Pierce, of Hamilton, son of Theophilus Pierce, and now living on the land his father took up. The consideration was "£500 current money of the State of New York."
In that year they built the body of a log house, which stood about twenty-two rods north-east of the present residence of Alvah Pierce. Both had families, which they brought here in the winter of 1795, at which time they were accompanied by Jonathan Olmstead, Daniel Smith, Joseph Foster, James Cady and Elisha Payne, all from the same locality. Cady was the only one not married. They came with sleighs drawn by horses and oxen, and all found accommodations temporarily in the log-cabin of Samuel Payne. They soon rolled up log shanties of their own and moved into them. The Pierces divided their lands after coming in, making the river the general boundary; Theophilus taking that part lying west of the river and Benjamin that lying east. Benjamin located his house near the residence of Prof. A. M. Beebe, on Broad street, in the southerly part of Hamilton village.
Theophilus Pierce married in Cornwall, Conn., Sally Beach, by whom he had five children, three of whom---William, Lucinda and Alanson---were born before they came here. The other two were born in Hamilton. Sally, May 8, 1795, and Alvah. William married Asenath Cady, sister of James Cady, and settled on a part of his father's farm, where Emilus J. Enos now lives, and died there May 31, 1836, aged 54. After his death his wife went to live in Rose, Wayne county, with her only daughter Harriet, (who married Artemas Osgood,) and died there Sept. 5, 1867, aged 85. Lucinda married in 1807, Nehemiah Pierce, who came from Cornwall, Conn., in 1805 or '6, a single young man, and worked out in this locality by the month. They settled about three miles south-east of Hamilton village, where they raised their family of three children, and in advanced life went to live with their son Juline, between Hamilton and East Hamilton, where he died June 5, 1853, aged 72. Lucinda removed with her son to Hamilton, where she died Sept 4, 1865, aged 80. Juline died in Hamilton May 3, 1879. The other two children were John Smith Pierce, who is living near Hamilton Center, and Mary Jane, who married Albert Evarts of Eaton, and died in Oriskany. Alanson settled and died in 1Vestmoreland. Sally married Harvey Miles, of Lebanon, where they lived till his death, Nov. 14, 1840. She soon after removed to Hamilton, where she died July 15, 1864. They had no children. Alvah married Caroline, daughter of Francis Whitmore, of Lebanon, where he has since lived, with the exception of three years, where he was engaged in milling and mercantile business in Fabius. He was also engaged in mercantile business in Hamilton from 1839 to 1844, at first, for one year, in company with Artemas Os-good and William Cobb, and afterwards with Erastus Pearl and William Cobb. He is the only one of the family living. He was vice-president of the Hamilton Bank from its organization until he became the president, on the death of Adon Smith, who was president from the organization. Theophilus Pierce and his wife died where they settled, the former June 24, 1841, aged 81, and the latter, Dec. 1, 1838, aged 77.
Benjamin Pierce married Anna, sister of Jonathan Olmstead, by whom he had eight children, four of whom, Samuel, Benjamin, Dolly and Polly, were born before they came here. Mercy, Jonathan O., Anna S. and Sally, were the four born here. Both Benjamin and his wife died on the farm on which they settled, the former June 7, 1817, aged 56, and the latter, Oct. 9, 1814, aged 52. He was for several years a Justice of the Peace. Of his children, Samuel married a daughter of Johnson's, from the east, and settled in Hamilton village, where for several years he kept the Park House. He had no children. Benjamin married and settled in Oneida county. He afterwards removed to Watertown, where he died in 1877. Polly married Aaron Cady and settled in Hamilton, where she died Jan. 18, 1832, aged 46, and her husband Jan. 18, 1822, aged 40. Mercy married Solomon Johnson, who was for many years a merchant in Watertown. She is still living in Jefferson county. Jonathan O. married Martha, (laughter of Deacon Samuel Osgood, of Eaton, and settled on the homestead farm. He afterwards removed to the village, where he died Aug. 11, 1848, aged 51, and his wife May 24, 1845, aged 45.
William Pierce, son of Theophilus, in company with Josiah and Medad Rogers, built about 1810, the first grist and saw-mill in Hamilton village, on the site of Furman's mill. The saw-mill was built first and the grist-mill soon after. The present mill was built by the same parties in 1832. The stone used in its construction was obtained from the side hill about a half mile west of the mill. On the west side of the stream, about twenty rods above these mills, was a distillery owned by Haight & Chappell, and later by Lyman Osgood, the latter of whom did an extensive business at an early day. It was established soon after the mills and was in operation a number of years, but did not do much after the death of Osgood.
Jonathan Olmstead settled on a farm adjoining that of Samuel Payne's, where ---- Rowlands now lives, the second house on Broad street south of the University boarding house, where he resided till within some fifteen years of his death, when he removed to the village and died there. He married the widows of three doctors, the first before his settlement here, though he had no children of his own. His second wife was the widow of Dr. Bartholomew, of Waterville, who had three or four children by her first husband. Olmstead's third wife was a sister to the second, the widow of Dr. Hull, of Eaton, who had one son and three daughters.
Daniel Smith married Mercy, sister of Jonathan Olmstead, and settled a quarter of a mile below him, where Alonzo Holmes now lives. He continued to reside there till his death, June 3, 1826, aged 64. His wife also died there July 31, 1820, aged 55.
Joseph Foster was from Wethersfield, Conn. He settled about a mile east of Hamilton, on the farm now occupied by J. Spencer Foster, his grandson, on which he and his wife (Desire,) died, the former Oct. 17, 181s, aged 75, and the latter Nov. 20, 1821, aged 76. He had five children: Nathan, Deborah, Desire, Joseph and Theresa, the latter two of whom came in with him. Nathan, who was a native of Wethersfield, Conn., came in the previous year, (1794,) and settled on a farm adjoining his father's on the west, which is now owned and occupied by Harley J. Foster, a son of his brother Joseph. He took up fifty acres, on which he resided till his removal to Ohio in 1839, when he sold his farm to his brother Joseph.
William Pierce, brother to Theophilus and Benjamin Pierce, came in at an early day, but later than his brothers, and settled a little east of Hamilton village, where Charles W. Underhill now lives. He died there. He married Abigail Howard, who died in Hamilton village. They had nine children, two of whom are living, William, in Otselic, and Leonard, in Earlville.
David Dunbar, who was born in Charlton, Mass., of Scotch ancestry, in February, 1774, removed to Hamilton at the age of twenty-one years. He came on foot, with an ax and surveyors' instruments, and en route called on Dominick Lynch at Albany and bar-gained with him to re-survey the town into lots of 250 acres, which he did in the eastern part of the town. He first located on lot 36, and afterwards on lot 28, at Hubbardsville, where he built a grist and saw-mill, from which the locality was known as Dunbar's Mills, until Calvin Hubbard settled at the corners, a little west of these mills, when the settlement took his name. Mr. Dunbar operated these mills till about 1850, carrying on at the same time an extensive farm, which he brought to an excellent state of cultivation. About 1850, he sold the mill property and farm to his son James H. David Dunbar, after selling the mill property, retired to a small place in Hubbardsville, where he spent the rest of his days. He died in November, 1856, aged 82.
Dan Throop, who was born at Lebanon, Conn., Dec. 10, 1777, and his wife, Sarah Stanton Mason, July 6, 1782, their union dating from April 6, 1802, settled in this town at an early day.
As early as 1795 the first settlement was made at Earlville, by Col. Bigelow Waters and Charles Otis, the former locating in the southern and the latter the central part of the village. Otis' house occupied the site of Brown's Hotel.
Settlements were made as early as 1796, by Reuben Foote; as early as 1797, by Ezra Fuller, George Bigsby, James Williams and Samuel Stower; and as early as 1799, by William Hatch, Calvin Ackley and the Nashes. Foote settled in the locality of East Hamilton, early known as Colchester, from the fact that the first settlers in that vicinity were from Colchester, Mass., among whom were Calvin Ackley, Ezra Fuller, Geo. Bigsby and Stephen and Daniel Brainard, the latter cousins. Ackley had a numerous family, four of whom are living in this town, Cyrus, on the homestead, Hiram and Edwin adjacent to t, and Beulah, widow of Samuel Hauson. Eli and Rodney Ackley, brothers of Calvin, were also early and prominent settlers there. Ezra Fuller settled a mile below Calvin Ackley, where Joseph McCabe now lives, and Bigsby adjacent to him. James Williams, from Connecticut, located at Poolville and died there, Feb. 29, 1840, aged 84. Samuel Stower came from Lebanon, Conn., and settled on eighty acres on Broad street, a little below the park in Hamilton village. He died Sept. 23, 1820, aged 49. William Hatch settled in the south edge of Hamilton village, where Alvah Hopkins now lives, and kept tavern. He also kept tavern at a later day in Cazenovia, where he died. The Nashes---Elijah, Zenas and Thomas---were from Plainfield, Otsego county, and settled in the south part of the town, near Poolville. They are numerously represented by their descendants. A daughter of Zenas Nash, Mrs. Millen Stone, is living in Lebanon.
The Brainards, Calvin Ackley, Ezra Fuller and Geo. Bigsby came in company from Colchester, and erected on the Stephen Brainard farm, now occupied by William O. Clark, a log cabin which stood near the barn on the Clark farm, and was occupied by the first four until they built houses of their own. They brought fire in a kettle from the Payne settlement, and went to that settlement and to John Wells', generally the latter, to get their baking done. Stephen Brainard, who was then the only one married, brought in his wife with an ox sled the following winter.
Daniel A. Brainard settled where Sebra Allen now lives, in the same locality---Colchester settlement---and he and his wife, Irene Brainard, resided there till their death.
Other early settlers at Poolville were Ebenezer Colson, from Plainfield, Mass., who settled soon after 1800, on the farm now occupied by the widow of Porter Swift, where he died March 19, 1856, aged 92, and whose son Rollin, now living there, is the only one of his children left; Roswell, Lucas and ------ Craine, three brothers, and William Lord, from East Haddam, Conn., about 1810, about a mile east of the village. William Lord had four children, all of whom are living, O. B., in Hamilton, George, in Michigan, L. Maria, widow of James H. Dunbar, of Hubbardsville, in Brookfield, and Louisa, wife of Lyman O. Preston, in Avon.
Andrew Beach came from Canaan, Columbia county, a young, single man, soon after 1800, and settled on the farm next south of the Alvah Pierce farm, where F. H. Ingalls now lives. In 1806, he built a tannery, which is still occupied in part as a private creamery, to which use it was converted about 1875.
From the town records we gather the following additional names of early settlers not mentioned in connection with the town officers in 1795. They appear in the record as officers of the town in the year under which their names are given. Many of them doubtless settled a few years earlier than is there indicated, and some of them belong to others of the towns which originally composed the town of Hamilton. Their lives were generally uneventful in a historic point of view and do not seem to warrant the space necessary to trace their history, were that at our disposal; but their connection with the town was an important one, from the fact of their pioneer labors in it, and they are not less worthy of recognition than some noticed at greater length. We have been obliged in many cases to follow the orthography of the record, which often only vaguely indicates the probable correct one.
1796.---Samuel Felt, Asahel Fitch, Noah Tyler, Samuel Brigham, John Stanclift, Richard Williams, Thomas Hart, Lucius Scott, Elihu Cross, Elijah Thompson, Samuel Curtis, Jonathan Brigham, John McCartney, Wm. Brown.
1797.---Daniel Hubbard, Amos Muzzey, James White, Ephraim Clough, George Brown, Simeon Stewart, Zopher Moore, Roswell Tyler, Sylvanus Palmelee, Darren Hull, Isaac Douglass, Hezekiah Andrus, John B. Berry, Elijah Bond, Samuel Lillie, Daniel Smith, Lyman Cook, Rawson Hammond, Jason Fergo, Israel Inman, Amos Graves.
1798.---Jonathan Stevens, Jonathan Pratt, Oliver Gillet, Daniel Russell, John Marble, Jr., Abijah Markham, Jr., John Pattison, Reuben "Slaiton," Samuel Watson, Enoch Hitchcock, Freman Williams, John Brown, Seth Johnson, Josiah Rice, Samuel Woods, Augustus Corey, John .T. Burton, Prince Spooner, Uriah Cross, Benjamin I. Haight, Borden Willcox, John St. Clair, Samuel Brownell, John W. Bulkley, Isaac Skinner, Warren Hull, John White.
1799.---John Gray, Joseph Manchester, Nehemiah Thompson, Thomas Woodward, Zephaniah White, Ebenezer Ransom, Cyrus Finney, Robert Avery, Archibald Salsberry, William Ward, Elijah Brainard, Jeremiah "Weeden," Job Manchester, Sprague Perkins, Daniel Holbrook, James Jones, William Henry, Rufus Shepherd, Joseph French, Constant Avery, John Benedict, Joseph Head, Thomas Dibble, Abraham Heminway, "Abiizar " Richmond, John "Keneda."
1800.---Ebenezer Rauson, Rufus Eldred, Josiah Hubbard, Stephen Woodhull, Elisha Pratt, Cyrus Howard, Nathaniel Rider, Benjamin Wentworth, Asa Finney, Eli Hull, Robert Avery, Levi Bonney, John Sanford, Charles Smith, William Sanford, Freeman Billings, Samuel Ackley, William P. Cleveland, Stuart Campbell, Russell Barker, Augustus I. Corey, Reuben Brigham, Apollos Drake, Thomas Buel, Noadiah Hasting, Edward Hull, Windsor Cooman, Joseph Waters, Job Peckham, Abijah Harrington, Joseph B. Peck, David Williams, Samuel Roe, Joseph Fairbanks, "Jeirah " Finney, Judah "Stovel" Aaron Willcox, Chauncey Isham, Daniel Hatch, Samuel Watson.
1801.---Joseph Adams, James Hitchcock, Abijah Parker, Josiah Brown, Asa Pease, Jr., Dunham Chapley, Joseph Usher, Josiah Jewet, Thomas Galloway, Eleazar Snow, Gardner Wyman, Ezra "Chaise," "Micojah Chaise," Jacob Thompson, Enos Gifford, John Douglass, Jeirah Phinney, Jeremiah "Merk," Israel Church, Ebenezer Hill, Elisha killer, Rawson Hermon, Joel Gray, Levi Morton, William Henderson, Joseph Bennet, Jeheil Felt, Jehiel Wattles, Allen Campbell, Martin Roberts, Daniel Allen, Ziba Coomer, William Randal, John "Packhard," John Blancher, Jr., David Sexton, Bethiel Willoughby, Thomas West, Jr., Thomas Anderson, John Chambers, Richard Butler, Sylvester Fuller, Moses Maynard.
1802.---Obed Edson, Dan Ladd, Dan Ballard, George Peckham, Isaac Chauncey, Amos Burton, Timothy "Rodgers," Josiah Brown, Abraham Webster, Philan Wilcox, Israel Rice, John Burton, Robin-son Shepherd, Joseph Crandal, John "Fairlee," Jeremiah Babcock, Theo. Hardin, Elijah Utter, Thomas Morris, Josiah Wilcox, Samuel White, Daniel Nichols, Charles Peckham, Asahel Sexton, Green Bixby, Jonas Wood, Eleazar Isbell, William Hopkins, "Alford" Cornell, Martin Roberts, David "Stall," John "Waggoner," Luther "Harrick," Samuel Coomer, Leonard Pemberton, Samuel Coe, Silas Walker, Joseph Putney, Abijah Morgan, George Bixby, Jeremiah Mack, Thomas Anderson, Jonathan Dunham, Philip "Mathewson," Jonathan Crouch, "Loring" Pierce.
1803.---lthamer Smith, Lucas Peet, Joseph Partridge, Thomas Morton, Silas "Soddy,"2 "Gailed " Stephens, " Micazor Claus," Philip Woodman, William Raxford, Jr., Levi Bonney, 1st, Samuel Perry, Job Peckham, William "Hustins," William Torrey, Angel "Mathuson," "Patriet Pebbles," Samuel Howard, John Staples, Joseph Curtis, George McKeene, Thomas Leach, lchabod Wheeler, Levi Bonney, 2d, Elisha Herrick, Jonathan Stephens, John Webster, Richard "Homes," John Degroat, Samuel Brigham, John Graham, Aruna Moseley, Walter Parmore, Dane Ballard, "Alford" Cornwell.
TOWN OFFICERS.---The first town meeting was held in the house of Elisha Payne, the first Tuesday in April, 1795, and the following named officers were elected: Joshua Leland, Supervisor; Elijah Blodgett, Clerk; Samuel Clemons, Samuel Berry, Simeon Gillet, Jr., Luther Waterman and Elisha Payne, Assessors; James Collister, David Hartshorn, John Barber and Elijah Hayden, Constables and Collectors; Joshua Smith and William McCrellis, Poormasters; Josiah Brown, Samuel Payne and Ephraim Blodgett, Commissioners of Highways; Stephen F. Blackstone, William McClanathan, John H. Morris, Isaac "Amedown," Samuel Brownell, Augustus W. Bingham, Bigelow Waters, Abner Nash, Nathaniel Collins and Theophilus Pierce, Pathmasters; Nicanor Brown, Samuel "Sincler," (St. Clair,) Benjamin Pierce and David Felt, Fence Viewers; Henry W. Bond, Pound-Keeper. The first School Commissioners elected, in in 1796, were Samuel Payne, Elijah Blodgett, and Luther Waterman. Pursuant to the Act of June 19, 1812, for the establishment of common schools, John Kennedy, Daniel A. Brainard and Reuben Ransom were chosen Commissioners, and Roswell Craine, Abraham Payne, Erastus Daniels and Nathaniel Stacy, Inspectors of Schools in this town.
The early town records show that the dense forests were not the only obstacles in the way of a peaceable and successful cultivation of the soil, the harvesting of crops and the raising of stock. The wild beasts were both troublesome and dangerous, and the early town legislation is burdened with provisions for their destruction. In 1799, it was "Voted to give in addition to the present bounty on Wolves [what that was the records do not show] 10 Dollars for a full Grown Wolf, 5 for a whelp;" also "to give 1 Dollar as bounty for killing a full grown Bear." The bounty on wolves and bears was continued in 1800 and 1801, and in 1802, it was "Voted that 25 Dollars shall be given as a bounty to any person in this town who shall kill within the limits of the town a full grown wolf and 15 Dollars for every wolf under one year of age." This was repealed in 1803. As late as 1829, the troublesome crow was made the subject of vindictive legislation. In that year 12½ cents were voted for every crow killed in the town. This was renewed in 1831.
Like the good husbandmen which they subsequently proved themselves to be, the early settlers took early action to rid their farms of obnoxious weeds. May 7, 1809, it was "voted to Destroy the weed Called the Canada thistle and tory weed and if any man refuse to destroy them on his own Land any other Person Destroying them shall be intitled to pay from the owner of the Land."
The following statement of the votes cast at a general election in Hamilton in 1799, is of interest, as showing the voting population of the town at that early day:---
|For Moses Kent,||for Senator||295|
|" Joseph White,||"||291|
|" Nathaniel King,||"||10|
|" Peter B. Garnsey,||"||9|
|" Joshua Leland,||"||1|
|" Nathaniel King,||for Assemblyman||302|
|" Peter B. Garnsey,||"||257|
|" Joshua Leland,||"||32|
|" Jonathan Forman,||"||8|
|" James Glover,||"||4|
|" Moses Kent,||"||8|
|" Joseph White,||"||8|
The following list of the officers of the town of Hamilton, for the year 1880-'81, was kindly furnished by D. W. Preston:---
Town Clerk---D. W. Preston.
Justices---A. C. Brooks, W. T. Squires, E. M. Wilber, B. J. Stimson.
Assessors---E. D. Cushman, Levi S. Howe, I. W. Rhoades.
Commissioners of Highways---C. W. Brainard and Charles E. Wickwire.
Overseers of the Poor---E. Douglass, L. Robinson.
Constables---L. C. Sawdey, N. Brown, J. J. Crandall and Charles H. Smith.
Collector---L. C. Sawdey.
Inspectors of Election---District No. 1: Edward E. Welton, J. Crisman Waldron. District No. 2: H. V. N. Demmick, D. W. Usher.
Sealer of Weights and Measures---E. L. Starkweather.
Game Constable---W. M. Kelloway.
Excise Commissioners---L. B. Green, H. B. Cushman and Lyman Wells.
The following is a list of the Supervisors and Clerks since the organization of the town:---
|1795.||Joshua Leland.||Elijah Blodgett.|
|1796.||Joshua Leland.||Samuel Berry.|
|1802-'6.||Erastus Cleveland.||Theophilus Pierce.|
|1807-'9.||Reuben Ransom.||Jonathan Dunham.|
|1811.||do.||Jonathan Dunham, Jr.|
|1817.||Jon'n Olmstead.3||John Kennedy.|
|1818.||Thomas Dibble.||Roswell Craine.|
|1832-'4.||William Lord.||Arah Leonard.|
|1839-'40.||Charles G. Otis.||do.|
|1841.||Thomas Dibble.||Charles Welton.|
|1842-'3.||John Muzzy.||George Lord.|
|1844.4||---- ----||---- ----|
|1845.||John Muzzy.||Willard Wickwire.|
|1846-'7.||Thos. J. Hubbard.||Asaph P. Richardson.|
|1848.||Wm. G. Brainard.||do.|
|1849.||Calvin Loomis.||Chauncey Stevens.|
|1850-'3.||Charles Green.||Asaph P. Richardson.|
|1854.||John J. Foote.||Nathan Brownell, Jr.|
|1855.||Omri Willey.||Asaph P. Richardson.|
|1856.||John J. Foote.||Sireno B. Colson.|
|1857-'8.||Abner W. Nash.||do.|
|1859.||James H. Dunbar.||Asaph P. Richardson.|
|1860-'1.||Linus H. Miller.||do.|
|1862-'5.||Nathan Brownell, Jr.||do.|
|1866-'7.||do.5||George E. Nash.|
|1868-'9.||Zenas L. Fay.||Cyrus L. Colton.|
|1870.||do.||John M. Banning.|
|1871.||Clark R. Nash.||do.|
|1876.||Melvin Tripp.||E. Watts Cushman.|
|1877-'9.||do.||Frank O. Berry.|
Hamilton is a charming village of some 1,300 inhabitants, delightfully situated in the valley of the Chenango, which here spreads out into a beautiful, fertile and spacious plain but it is preeminently distinguished by its excellent educational institutions, which have given it an extended and favorable notoriety, and are justly the pride of its citizens. It has been very appropriately called the "village of schools."
Geographically it comprises lots No. 1, 2, 19 and 20 of the fourth of the Twenty Townships which lie in the north-west corner of the town.
It contains five churches,6 is the seat of Madison University, Colgate Academy, (connected with and under the control of the University,) and Hamilton Female Seminary, has a Union school, (organized in 1853,) several select schools, including the Episcopal parochial school, two newspapers, a literary paper, and an advertising monthly,7 a national bank, two hotels, a variety of stores, a sash, door and blind manufactory, two grist-mills, a tannery, a foundry, a furniture manufactory, a creamery, (Thomas Stradling,) four harness shops, (H. D. Bonney, Eli Buell, Hiram Nash, Arnold Thompson,) two tailor shops, (John Habberman, V. Piotrow,) four shoe shops, (Wm. McGraw & Son, Wm. Williams, T. Poole, Henry Webber,) four blacksmith shops, (Carp & Hand, J. Myers, A. M. Tibbitts, Tibbitts & Clark,) three wagon shops, (F. S. Bonney, W. H. Abbott, Henry Coan,) two barber shops, (James Derrick, N. Wade,) three tin shops, (M. K. Shaw, E. W. Foote, James Bright,) a marble shop, (H. B. Case & Co.,) three meat markets, (A. B. Rice & Co., George Rice, Wm. Roth,) two bakeries, (A. W. Bartle, John Baker, Sr.,) two lumber yards, (Charles Stringer, J. E. Wedge,) two coal yards, (A. J. Smith, J. E. Wedge,) and a manufactory of snow plows, road scrapers and weather-strips.
The village was incorporated April 12, 1816, but the records from that time to 1853, are only partially preserved. The book in which they were entered has been shorn of many of its leaves of record, and on many of the few that remain they are partially, some of them wholly, obliterated by its use as a scrap-book thus making it nearly valueless as a book of record. The first completely preserved record bears date of May 2, 1819, at which time Thomas Cox was president, William Pierce, 2d, Esek Steere and Thomas H. Hubbard were trustees, and J. Foote, clerk, which office he held from 1816 as late as 1824.
The following have been the village presidents and clerks since 1853:---
|1853.||Lewis Wickwire.||William Fairchild.|
|1854.||Benjamin W. Babcock.||Charles Parker.|
|1855.||Albertus Starr.||S. Kimball Putnam.|
|1856.||John J. Foote.||George B. Eaton.|
|1857.||Eben Curry.||Wilber M. Brown.|
|1858.||Erastus D. Wheeler.||do.|
|1860.||do.||R. F. Randolph.|
|1861.||George F. Burr.||do.|
|1862.||---- -----.9||R. F. Randolph.|
|1863.||D. B. West.||Erastus Wellington.10|
|1864.||Paul R. Miner.||Orrin M. Stiles.|
|1865,'7.||Eben Curry.||William Fairchild.|
|1866.||William N. Case.||do.|
|1868.||Edward E. Welton.||Joel Barber.11|
|1869.||Lyman B. Foster.||John M. Banning.|
|1870.||William F. Bonney.||do.|
|1871.||E. W. Foote.||A. Eugene Lewis.|
|1873.||Americus V. Bardeen.||Edward P. Kenyon.|
|1874.||F. D. Beebe.||David C. Mott.|
|1877.||Eugene P. Sisson.||E. Watts Cushman.|
|1878.||David C. Mott.||do.|
|1879.||H. W. Keith.||C. W. Stapleton.|
The following list of the officers of the village of Hamilton for the year 1880, was kindly furnished by C. W. Stapleton:---
President---H. H. Keith.
Clerk---C. W. Stapleton.
Trustees---C. T. Alvord, B. F. Case, R. M. Davis, E. F. Grosvenor, B. F. Newton, A. N. Smith, D. W. Skinner, C. M. Waite.
Street Commissioner---N. Taylor.
Fire Wardens---Eli Buell, Geo. Kelloway.
Board of Health---F. D. Beebe, M. D., C. E. Mann, C. M. Wickwire.
Engineers of Fire Department---J. C. Waldron, A. J. Eldred.
MERCHANTS.---The first merchants in Hamilton were doubtless Charles Clark and Joseph Colwell, who came in young men, about, or shortly previous to, 1800, and boarded with Elisha Payne. Clark's store was located on the site of the residence of Mr. Rhodes, the house next south of the Adon Smith residence; and Colwell's, on the corner of Broad and Lebanon streets, where O. L. Woodruff is now located. Clark was associated from about 1805 with James Dorrance. Charles T. Deering afterwards traded in the same place till 1816, when he built across the street in conjunction with Henry M. Graves, one-half the brick block south of and adjoining the Smith Block. The same year, (1816,) Joseph Colwell and Esek Steere built a brick store on the site of Foote & Gaskill's store. It was afterwards rebuilt by Steere, and forms the store now occupied by the latter firm. The frame of Rev. Father Ludden's barn is the frame of Colwell's first store. Soon after 1800, Henry M. Graves and Samuel Dascom were trading in a small red building, which was owned by Dr. Greenly, and stood on the site of J. B. Grant's book store. Dascom married Dr. Greenly's daughter Nancy, and afterwards went south. A few years later Graves and Fargo were trading in the same store, though Dascomb continued in trade here till after 1821.
Lewis B. Goodsell and -------- Sparrow were merchants of a little later period, and Rufus Bacon and Ferdinand Walker, of a still later period, but all prior to 1821, the former two having discontinued previous to that date. Bacon continued a few years after 1821, and sold to his brother Ezra who associated with himself Julius Candee, but traded only a few years. Walker continued in trade till his failure, about 1852.
In 1821, Joseph Mott came here from Bridgewater and commenced trading. The following year he established the first drug store in the village and put his son, Smith Mott, into it. He carried on the business until the death of his father, Oct. 13, 1824, soon after which it passed into the hands of John Foote, who traded some sixteen years, when he was succeeded by his son John J. Foote, who, in 1854, associated with himself Benjamin F. Bonney, under the name of John J. Foote & Co. In 1866, this firm was succeeded by John C. Foote (son of John J.,) and James K. Welton, who continued the business under the name of John C. Foote & Co., till 1869, and sold to Benjamin F. Bonney, who immediately after admitted to partnership James K. Welton, with whom he has since conducted the business under the name of Bonney & Welton. Mr. Bonney is a native of Hamilton, where his parents settled in 1808. His father, Benjamin Bonney, a native of Chesterfield, Mass., removed thence, soon after his marriage to Lucinda. Wilder, and settled about a mile north of Hamilton Center, on the farm now owned and occupied by the widow of Elihu Thompson, where he resided till his death, Oct. 12, 1837. His wife survived him, and in 1851 went to live with her daughter in Philadelphia, where she died in 1853. Mr. Welton is also a native of Hamilton.
Joseph Mott was also engaged in general merchandising, both here and in Utica. The store was closed soon after his death. In 1830, his son Smith formed a co-partnership with his brother, Joseph Addison Mott, (who came in that year from Bridgewater, his native place,) under the name of S. & J. A. Mott, and carried on mercantile business till the fall of 1833, when they dissolved. J. A. Mott then formed a partnership with Amos Crocker, whose interest he purchased at the expiration of a year, and traded till 1847.
Smith Mott, on dissolving with his brother, formed a co-partnership with Judge Philo Gridley, whose interest he purchased at the expiration of some three years, when he associated with himself Otis B. Howe. Mr. Howe's business connection with Mr. Mott was terminated after a few years, and the latter was after-wards associated for a few years with his son, T. S. Mott.
Sanford Boon was an early jeweler in Hamilton, and in 1836, he erected the building now occupied by the bank for the accommodation of his jewelry business.
In 1839, Esek Steere, John Foote and John J. Foote, established the hardware business now carried on by Foote & Gaskell, and continued business under the name of E. Steere & Co. till 1846.
The other merchants now engaged in business here are: Mrs. L. A. Rice, dealer in millinery and fancy goods, commenced business here in 1846; Orr F. Randolph, variety store, who opened his present stock in November, 1879. O. L. Woodruff, commenced a general merchandise business in 1849 in company with John Owen and Erastus F. Wellington; Robert Patterson, dealer in boots and shoes, who commenced business in October, 1860; Valentine Piotrow, dealer in custom and ready made clothing who moved in 1860 to Hamilton and established his present business; Melvin Tripp, grocer, who commenced business here in 1865; W. K. Lippitt, who commenced business in May, 1865; J. M. Banning & Co., druggists, established business in December, 1866; John Harmon, hardware; A. E. Lewis, dealer in ready made clothing; Joseph L. Kelly, dealer in books, stationery and fancy goods, commenced business in November, 1871; James Thompson, variety store and undertaking establishment, commenced business in 1873; A. E. B. Campbell, furniture dealer and manufacturer, commenced business in October, 1873;12 Root Bros., (Francis J., and Elmer C.,) druggists, commenced business in January, 1873; Burnap & Fairchild, (I. M. Burnap and LeRoy Fairchild,) dealers in gents' furnishing goods, hats, caps, and ready-made clothing; A. W. Bartle, grocer and baker, commenced business in 1874; L. M. Royce, dealer in groceries and crockery, commenced business in 1875; Eneas E. Enos, general merchant, commenced business in 1876; Mrs. M. J. Holmgren, dealer in millinery and fancy goods commenced business in 1876; A. C. Rice, grocer, commenced business in 1876; McMorrow & Co., (Peter McMorrow and John Bradin,) dry goods dealers, commenced business in January, 1878; F. N. Tompkins, jeweler, and James L. Bright, hardware dealer, commenced trading here April 2, 1878; and J. P. Butler, grocer, commenced business in February, 1879.
POSTMASTERS.---The present postmaster in Hamilton is Benjamin F. Bonney, who was appointed in April, 1869, and has held the office continuously since. He was preceded by E. R. Bardeen, who was appointed in 1866, and George. F. Burn, appointed in 1861, and H. G. Beardsley, in 1853.
PHYSICIANS.---The first physician to locate in Hamilton was Dr. Thomas Greenly, who came from Connecticut in 1796, and the following January brought in his wife and child. He lived in the house now occupied by Dr. G. L. Gifford, next north of the Baptist church, and continued to practice here until his death.
Peter B. Havens, who was a native of Westmoreland, Oneida county, and a graduate of Hamilton College, was the next physician to 'locate here. He studied medicine with Dr. Hastings, of Clinton, and attended lectures and was graduated at New York city. His first practice was in Hamilton and was continued there till his death, Nov. 5, 1860. He acquired a wide reputation and extensive practice by his superior surgical skill. He married in Hamilton, Martha C. Clark, of Buffalo, who died in 1858, and by whom he had four children, all of whom grew to maturity and three of whom are living, viz: Hannah, wife of Samuel W. Peck, in Davis county, Indiana, George F., in New York city, and Peter B., a physician in Hamilton.
Dr. Havens built about 1837 or '8, and occupied as a residence, the building now occupied by the Female Seminary, which he sold in 1853, to C. C. Buell, the founder of that institution. The doctor then bought the house now occupied by his son Dr. Peter B. Havens, where he resided till his death. The latter house was built by Dr. John Babcock, a bachelor, who lived in it with his mother and sister. He and his brother Dr. Benjamin Waite Babcock, a student of Dr. Havens, came here from Oneida county about or soon after the death of Dr. Greenly, about 1830, and practiced first in company, afterwards separately, though Benjamin practiced but little, he having a contract on the Chenango canal.
Henry G. Beardsley, also from Oneida county, came in about the same period as the Babcocks, and practiced several years in company with Dr. Havens, and afterwards alone till he was commissioned First Assistant Surgeon of the 114th Regiment on its organization. He resigned his commission March 28, 1863, and located at Brooklyn, where he died of consumption in December, 1865.
Samuel W. Peck came here previous to 1837 and pursued his medical studies with Drs. Havens & Beardsley. He was a graduate from a medical college, and after his graduation formed a co-partnership with Dr. Havens, whose daughter Hannah he subsequently married. He continued that connection four or five years and removed to Peterboro, whence, after a year or two, he went to Washington, Indiana.
J. S. Douglass came here soon after the Babcocks and practiced some fifteen years, removing to the west. He and the Babcocks changed their practice while here to homeopathy. J. Trevor came here about 1844 or '5 and after practicing about a year returned to New York, whence he came. Dr. Green came in and after practicing two or three years removed to Utica. Soon after, as early as 1857, Mortimer W. Craw came in from Watertown and practiced till during the war, when he entered the 157th Regiment as Assistant Surgeon. He returned after the close of the war, but soon after removed to Watertown. W. B. Brown came about the same time as Craw, about 1854, from Brookfield, where he studied and practiced with his father-in-law, Dr. John Bailey. He removed in April, 1865, to Rochester. Dr. Beebe took Trevors' place and practiced three or four years. Soon after he left, as early as 1857, William Oaks came here from DeRuyter and practiced till his death, Sept. 4, 1863. Frank Root, formerly from Vermont, came here about 1875 from Colchester, (East Hamilton,) where he had practiced several years, and died after less than a year's practice. A few others have practiced here for brief periods, but not long enough to become properly identified with the village.
The present physicians are: Sherman Kimberly, who was born in Winchester, Conn., June 18, 1805; Peter B. Havens who was born in Hamilton, April 7, 1824; Frank D. Beebe, who was born in Brookfield, in this county, June 16, 1830, and educated in the district schools of his native town and Hamilton Academy. He commenced the study of medicine in 1849, with Dr. Julius Nye, at East Hamilton, and was graduated at the University of the city of New York in 1854, in which he commenced practice with his preceptor at East Hamilton. In the spring of 1855 he went to Lebanon, where in 1862, he entered the army as First Assistant Surgeon of the 157th Regiment. He resigned on account of ill health in the fall of 1863, and the following year located at Hamilton, where he has since practiced. He has been for twelve consecutive years President of the Board of Education of Hamilton Village, an office he still holds; Gilbert L. Gifford who was born in Brookfield, N. Y., Dec. 25, 1845; Amelia Thompson who was born in Madison, N. Y., March 22, 1816, received an academic education in Madison and Oneida counties and graduated at the Woman's College of Pennsylvania in March, 1864; Hull S. Gardiner who was born in Smyrna, N. Y., Oct. 28, 1840; Charles L. Furman who was born in Hamilton, March 4, 1853; and James E. Slaught who was born in Hector, N. Y., May 16, 1851.
LAWYERS.---Hamilton was early distinguished for the ability of its representatives at the Bar. The earliest and among the ablest of these were Nathaniel King and Thomas H. Hubbard.
Nathaniel King was born at Amenia, Dutchess Co., Dec. 26 1767, and was graduated at Yale in 1792. He studied law and in February, 1797, located at Hamilton, where he engaged in the practice of his profession. On the erection of Chenango county in 1798 he was elected one of the first Assemblymen from that county. He also represented that county in the assembly in 1800 and again in 1802. Possessing a fondness for military matters he was early appointed a Colonel of militia, and afterwards rose to the rank of Major-General, in which capacity he served on the frontier at Sacket's Harbor, during the war of 1812. In 1809 he was appointed District Attorney of the Ninth District, embracing Cayuga, Chenango, Madison, Onondaga and Cortland counties. He was one of the Board of twenty-four trustees that founded Hamilton Academy in 1818, and the first teacher of that institution, a vocation for which he had both fondness and adaptation. He died in Hamilton July 25, 1848.
Thomas Hill Hubbard, was born in New Haven, Ct., Dec. 5, 1781,13 and was a son of Rev. Bela Hubbard, D. D., (for many years and until his death, rector of Trinity Church in that city,) and Grace D. Hill. He was graduated from Yale in 1799, and immediately after commenced the study of law with John Woodworth, of Troy, who was a kinsman of Hubbard's. As soon as he was admitted, about 1804 or '5, he located and commenced practice at Hamilton, where he remained till 1824, when he removed to Utica, where he resided till his death, May 21, 1857. He was the first Surrogate of Madison County, and held that office from March 26, 1806, to Feb. 26, 1816; when he was appointed District Attorney of the Sixth District, then embracing seven counties as large as Madison, and when each county was created a separate district by the law of April, 1818, he became the first District Attorney of Madison County. He was a Presidential Elector in 1812, and again in 1844 and 1852. He was elected a Representative in Congress in 1817 and again in 1821. In Utica he formed a law partnership with Greene C. Bronson. He became the first Clerk in Equity; and on the death of Arthur Breese was appointed Clerk of the Supreme Court, which office he resigned in 1837.
June 12, 1812, Mr. Hubbard was married to Phebe, daughter of Micah and Content Hubbard, natives of Connecticut, who died Nov. 1, 1871. They had eleven children.
John G. Stower was a law student of Mr. Hubbard's, and after his admission formed a co-partnership with his preceptor which continued till the latter's removal to Utica. He was Surrogate of Madison County from Feb. 19, 1821, to April 13, 1827; a Representative in Congress from 1827 to 1829; and on the 20th of April of the latter year was appointed United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida. He was a State Senator in 1833, '4, '5, an office he resigned Sept. 29, 1835. He died Dec. 20, 1850, aged 59. Philo Gridley was for a short time associated with him in legal practice, and while here held the office of District Attorney of Madison County. He afterwards resided in Utica, and was appointed Circuit Judge of the Fifth Circuit, July 17, 1838, and elected Supreme Court Judge, June 7, 1847.
John Foote, son of Hon. Isaac Foote, of Smyrna,14 was born in Colchester, Conn., April 30, 1786, and studied law in the office of Thomas H. Hubbard in Hamilton, where he entered upon the practice of his profession about 1813. He is still a resident of the village, though in very feeble health. In 1812 he married Mary B. Johnson, who died March 9, 1833, aged 45. His son John J. Foote was a State Senator in 1858-'9, and a Presidential Elector in 1860.
Charles Mason was born in Plattsburgh, N. Y., July 18, 1810, received an academic education, and studied law, completing his studies with Hon William Ruger, of Watertown, whose law partner he afterwards became. On the appointment of Philo Gridley as Circuit Judge in 1838, Mr. Mason removed to Hamilton and took his place. In 1845 he was appointed District Attorney of this county, and relinquished that office to accept that of Justice of the Supreme Court for the Sixth Judicial District, to which he was elected in June, 1847. At the close of a term of six years he was reelected for eight years, and again in 1861 for a like period. In January, 1868, he was appointed by Gov. Fenton to fill a vacancy in the Court of Appeals occasioned by the death of Judge Wright. In 1870 he was appointed clerk of the United States Circuit Court, and removed to Utica to attend to the duties of that office, in the performance of which he died May 31, 1879.
John Adams Smith, son of William S. Smith, was an early practitioner, and was for a time in company with Thomas H. Hubbard.
Lorenzo Sherwood, originally from Hoosick, N. Y., came here in the winter of 1839-'40 from DeRuyter, where he had practiced a few years, in company with James W. Nye, who had read law with him there. They formed a co-partnership and practiced sonic ten years, when Sherwood, who was consumptive, left the profession and went to Texas. Nye continued practice till his election as Surrogate in 1844, and County Judge in 1847. Soon after the expiration of his Judgeship in 1851 he removed to Syracuse, and subsequently to New York City.
In 1845 Albert N. Sheldon and James B. Eldredge formed a law partnership which was dissolved in 1848. The former is still practicing here. He was elected District Attorney in 1859, holding the office one term. Mr. Eldredge was a Member of Assembly from this county in 1816-'17, in 1827, and 1829. He was elected County Judge in 1833, holding the office one term. He died Sept. 15, 1864, aged 79. Henry C. Goodwin and David J. Mitchell, were an enterprising law firm of a little later period, but both destined to die before their genius had fully developed. Mr. Goodwin was born in DeRuyter, June 25, 1824, received an academic education and was admitted to the bar in 1846. He was the first District Attorney under the constitution of 1846. He was elected in June, 1847, and held the office one term. He was elected to the 33d Congress in November, 1854, on the resignation of Gerrit Smith, also to the 35th. He died in Hamilton in the midst of a promising life November 12, 1860. Mr. Mitchell was afterwards practicing in Syracuse, and was justly regarded as one of the ablest lawyers in Central New York. He died Sept. 22, 1874, aged 47.
The other attorneys now practicing here are:---
Joseph H. Mason who was born in Plattsburgh, March 31, 1828, and moved to Hamilton at the age of fourteen to live with his brother Charles, with whom he read law after having received an academic education. He was admitted in 1849, and commenced practice that year in Hamilton, where he has since continued. He was elected Justice in 1849, at the age of twenty-one, and held that office two or three terms. He was elected County Judge in 1863; and a Representative in Congress in 1878.
David G. Wellington who was born in Cazenovia Jan. 8, 1838, and was graduated at Cazenovia Seminary after a five years' course. He afterwards spent a year in Union College. He was elected Justice in 1866, and held that office till his election to the Assembly in 1867. He was again elected to the Assembly in 1874; and was a member of the Electoral college which elected President Hayes. In 1876, he formed a law partnership with Joseph Mason, which he still continues.
Samuel D. White who was born in Nelson, Feb. 16, 1835.
Charles W. Underhill who was born in Bedford, N. Y., Dec. 27 , 1841, and who was graduated at Madison University in 1862.
Hosmer H. Keith who was born in Brookfield, N. Y., July 12, 1847.
Barna J. Stimson who was born in Erieville, April 24, 1837.
William M. Hartshorn who was born in Lebanon, N. Y., Sept. 7, 1832.
Charles M. Wickwire who was born in Hamilton, May 23, 1856, and E. Watts Cushman who was born in Hamilton March 1, 1853.
MANUFACTURES.---The Hamilton Mills occupy the site of a grist-mill built about 1810, by William Pierce and Josiah and Medad Rogers, who also erected the present building in 1832, and carried on the business till 1849, when the property passed into the hands of the present proprietor, James Furman. The mill contains three runs of stones, propelled by water from the Middle branch of the Chenango, which has a fall of 8½ feet. It is supplied with other machinery sufficient for custom and flouring purposes.
The steam grist-mill owned by Adon N. Smith was formerly occupied as a store house. In 1870 it was enlarged and refitted and in 1878 converted to its present use, at a cost of about $3,500, by the present proprietor, who had the previous year done a storage business in the building. It contains two runs of stones, propelled by a twenty-five horse-power engine. It is located on the east bank of the canal, on Eaton street.
The sash, door and blind factory at Hamilton was established in the fall of 1872, by John Harmon and Charles Stringer, who continued the business three years, when Washington E. Brown purchased Harmon's interest. A year later Brown sold to Charles Stringer, the present proprietor. From eight to ten persons are employed, and a capital of $10,000 to $12,000 used to carry on the operations of the business. The machinery is propelled by a twenty-five horse-power engine.
The tannery of which Charles J. Johnson is proprietor was built some seventy years ago by Thomas Orton, and passed at an early day into the hands of Esek Steere. It came into Mr. Johnson's possession some ten years ago.
The foundry and machine shop, of which Franklin Wilcox and Amos Beebe are the proprietors, was established more than fifty years ago and has undergone many changes in proprietorship. It came into possession of the present proprietors in August, 1875. It gives employment to two men. The machinery is propelled by steam. The business was conducted for a great many years by Henry Powers.
The furniture manufactory now conducted by A. B. Campbell was established by James Higgins, who opened the first cabinet shop in the village, on Madison street, in 1810. Some years later he sold the establishment to Erastus Wheeler, who, in 1827, removed it to its present location on Lebanon street, and took in as partner Wilson Parker, about 1840. In 1850, Charles B. Gardiner bought Wheeler's interest and the business was continued by Parker & Gardiner till 1864, when Parker sold to Madison Hall. In 1871, Gardiner sold his interest to Madison Leach, who in 1873, sold to Archibald B. Campbell, who, in 1874, also purchased Madison Hall's interest. The average number of persons employed is twelve, though at present there are only six. Mr. Campbell manufactures furniture of all kinds, but makes a specialty of coffins and caskets.
Jerome M. Gray is engaged in the manufacture of snow plows for sidewalks and road scrapers, and is the patentee and manufacturer of self-adjusting felt weather strips, a business he commenced in 1870.
HOTELS.---The Park Hotel was built soon after 1800 by Artemas Howard, and was kept by him for many years. It occupies the site of a small frame building, which ministered at an early day to the wants of the traveling public. In 1822, Mr. Howard exchanged this property for the tavern stand of John D. Blish, in Lebanon, five miles west of Hamilton. Blish kept the hotel till 184o, having during that time considerably enlarged the original building, which still stands, but has been enlarged by additions on the north and east sides, and by an additional story. It is the central portion of the present building, and includes the dining-room and corner parlor, and the rooms next above them. It was for many years the only hotel in the village. Mr. Blish was succeeded in the proprietorship by William and Samuel Russell, who kept it but a few years, Bonney & Lewis, Thomas Nye, Eli Barber, John Ingalls and Mr. Alvord, the present proprietor.
The Eagle Hotel was built in 1834, by a stock company, prominent among whom was Curtis Porter, who did most of the work. The wing part on the north-west end was built by Charles Williams several years previously and occupied by him as a dwelling.
It is a massive stone building, with four stories above the basement. It is owned by Michael Casey, and was leased to the present proprietor, G. F. Pratt, April 7, 1879.
HAMILTON FIRE DEPARTMENT.---At a meeting of the village trustees held at the house of Dr. Babcock, May 19, 1832, the following named persons were constituted a fire company: Ferdinand Walker, Marcus Clark, Thomas Barton, John O. Crocker, J. Addison Mott, James Putnam, J. Franklin Munger, Philo A. Orton, Fay N. Harvy, Erastus D. Wheeler, Hiram Upham, Joshua Willard, Ransom Hayward, David Bellows, Horace Pierce, Samuel Morse and Hiram Savage.
This, so far as the records show, was the first legally organized fire company in the village.
Fountain Fire Co. No. 1, was organized July 31, 1873, with thirty-seven members. Fountain Hose Co. was organized at the same time with fourteen members.
The first officers under this organization were: H. T. Wilcox, Chief Engineer; Eli Barber, First Assistant Engineer.
November 13, 1876, the village trustees permitted Fountain Fire Co. to incorporate under the provisions of Chapter 397 of the law passed May 2, 1873.
From the report of the Chief Engineer, Feb. 25, 1879, it appears that the equipment of the department consisted as follows: One Button hand engine, one hose jumper, 200 feet leather hose, 200 feet "ante-speptic" (antisceptic?) hose, 50 feet rubber hose, 50 feet linen hose, (500 feet hose all in good order,) two fire-hooks with poles, four fire axes, one fire hook, chain and rope, one alarm bell, five ladders, three lanterns. There were 29 engine men and 22 hosemen, and 70 uniforms. L. R. Fairchild was Chief Engineer, A. M. Russell, First Assistant, T. H. Beal, Second Assistant.
SCHOOLS.---About the middle of the second decade of the present century a general interest and activity was manifested by the citizens of Hamilton on the subject of a higher education, and improved facilities for imparting it. Better accommodations for the existing public school were demanded, the project of an academy was mooted, and the need of a higher culture in the ministry felt. In 1816, a three-story brick building was erected on the north corner of Broad and Pleasant streets, on the site of the residence of Edward Mott, which eventually accommodated for a time all three of these interests. The lower story was occupied by the public school. In May, 1820, Hamilton Academy was opened in the second story, with eleven students, male and female, and Nathaniel King as Principal; and in the same year the Baptist Education Society opened a theological seminary-the germ of Madison University-in the third story.
In the winter of 1821, the paucity of students and the high price of fuel, (which was then from three to six shillings per cord,) led to the removal of the academy to the front room of Mr. King's residence, where, for want of adequate conveniences, it rapidly lost interest. In the spring of 1822, Zenas Morse was employed as Principal. His first assistant was Sally Foote, and second, Miss Emily Hayes, of Clinton.
February 23, 1824, the Academy was incorporated by the Regents. The first trustees, and indeed the founders of the institution, were: Elisha Payne, Thomas H. Hubbard, Thomas Greenly, Peter B. Havens, Esek Steere, Joseph B. Peck, John Foote, Samuel W. Osgood, William Pierce, George Lawton, Nathaniel Stacey, Thomas Wylie and John G. Stower, only one of whom, John Foote, is living.
Under Mr. Morse's principalship, which, with the exception of about eighteen months, was continued till 1847, the Academy gradually increased in interest and numbers until 1836, when it was declared by the Regents to be the second in the State.
In 1823, the Theological Seminary erected and occupied the building afterwards known as the stone academy, leaving the third story of the brick building in possession of the Academy, which also, in 1836, acquired by purchase, the lower story of that building, the third story of which was afterwards removed. In 1827, the Theological Seminary erected the westerly building now occupied by Madison University, and rented the stone building erected in 1830 to the trustees of the Academy, who occupied it as the male department of that institution and purchased it about 1830. In 1855 the brick building was destroyed by fire, and was not rebuilt, the Academy after that being limited to the stone building, which stood on the site of the 5th, 6th and 7th buildings on the north side of Hamilton street, south-east of the Baptist church.
The Academy suffered a serious decline from its loss of patronage incident to the establishment of the University grammar school in 1853, and the loss sustained by the destruction of the brick building in 1855; and in 1859, the stone building was sold to Archibald Campbell, who continued the academy two years, till 1861, when it was discontinued, though the charter is still held. The stone building was taken down in 1865.
The third Principal of the academy was M. Weed, who was appointed in 1845 and resigned in 1849; the fourth, C. C. Buell, appointed in 1853, resigned in 1855; and fifth, A. B. Campbell, appointed in 1855 and remained till its discontinuance in 1861. The female teachers who acted as Principals of their department were, E. M. Treadwell, appointed in 1835, resigned in 1840; E. A. Newcomb, appointed in 1849, resigned in 1854; S. M. Lathrop, appointed in 1854, resigned in 1855; S. R. DeClerq, appointed in 1855, resigned in 1856; and Mrs. A. E. Campbell, appointed 1860.
This University overlooks a village of rare beauty and healthfulness. It is near the geographical center of the State, and near the center of a new network of railways which give easy communication with every part of the State. In all its forms it is sixty years old; was opened as a school in 1820, organized as a Seminary, College and Academy in 1834, chartered as a University in 1846. As a University it at once appropriated the patronage, organism, faculty, classes, alumni and what of prosperity and other resources there then were, in the "Hamilton Literary and Theological Institution," and thus were united the vigor of a young life, with the strength and prestige of the old.
Its early patronage was widespread, drawn not from New York only, but from Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan.
The sect that founded it was at the time, crude in educational advantages, but energetic and diffusive. It looked to this school as its great hope, and on it concentrated its best offerings and fervent prayers. This school was strictly indigenous, springing up from the smallest of beginnings, brought from no foreign land, borrowing its type from no existing type. It grew under the pressure of an outward need and the workings of an inward zeal and became the expression of a denominational sentiment. Free in its blessings to all, it yet acknowledged its chief allegiance to those representative Baptists who founded it.
The times that gave birth to this enterprise were eventful. The French power in the North had been broken by the combined arms of England and the Colonies, and now the second war with England had closed with the Treaty of Ghent, Dec. 24, 1814, and English domination in the colonies had ceased.
The country was stimulated by a new sense of freedom, and the American idea of independence and undisputed sovereignty in the western world, was for the first time having full scope. Emigration, with a fuller tide, was flowing west of the Hudson, and carrying New England arts, manners, education, religion and thrift over this State, and through it, into western states.
One of these tides moved down the beautiful valley of the Chenango, and towns, villages, schools and churches sprung up in the valley and on the hill. The Baptists had no college in the State of New York, nor had they any schools for common education or for the education of the ministry. But no convention was called; no general concert of action; no resolutions passed determining when, where or how. Almost unconsciously a seed was dropped-a prayer was offered,
and the little seed germinated and grew almost unobserved, but vigorously.
In 1817 thirteen men met. They each gave one dollar, and these thirteen dollars were the beginning of the endowment. Soon Dr. Baldwin, of Boston, and thirty others gave 238 volumes, and this was the beginning of the library. A room was given in the chamber, and this was the beginning of, the college buildings. Two students came in poverty, Wade and Kincaid, and these were the beginning of generations of students. True, such beginnings did not seem auspicious, but faith gave them superhuman energy. This energy had push, and this again vitalized by the idea that Baptists must have an institution that furnished a complete education, gave unexpected development and growth.
The alumni, most of whom have been graduated from some one of the courses-Academical, Scientific, Collegiate or Theological, numbers about 2,600. The first two students, Rev. Jonathan Wade, D. D., Rev. Eugenia Kincaid, D. a, and eighty others went out as foreign missionaries; twenty-one are counted as Presidents of Colleges; eighty-eight Professors and Principals; sixty- three Authors, Legislators and Congressmen. The alumni are found in all the professions, but the largest number are ministers of the gospel. One hundred and thirty have been honored with the Doctoral from different colleges and Universities, and these alumni are found in every quarter of the globe as true representative men.
The three schools have graduated about as follows:---
|From the Theological Seminary||700|
|From the College or University||830|
|From the Academy or Grammar school||1,200|
The annual average of students in attendance is about as follows:---
|In the Theological Seminary||35|
|In Colgate Academy||100|
|In the College or University||102|
Ladies are not counted in.
One man only lives who can represent all the decades of student life---Kincaid the first student of the first class organized. The first class that took the full college course of four years, and was graduated in 1836, numbered 26, eleven of whom are still alive, and eight of these now living have been honored with the Doctorate. This class entered 50 years ago.
If you enquire after the faculty that has taught this vast body of students, you will find that many are gone.
Rev. Nathaniel Kendrick, D. D., Professor Daniel Hascall, Professor Seth L. Whitman, Rev. Joel L. Bacon, D. D., Rev. George W. Eaton, D. D., LL. D., Stephen W. Taylor, LL. D., Rev. John L. Maginnis, D. D., Rev. John H. Raymond, LL. D., Rev. Edmund Turney, D. D., Prof. John F. Richardson, Ph. D., Rev. David Weston, D. D., have deceased.
The following have resigned but still live: Rev. Barnas Sears, D. D., Rev. Thomas J. Conant, D. D., Rev. Asahel C. Kendrick, D. D., William Mather, M. D., Rev. George R. Bliss, D. D., Rev. Albert N. Arnold, D. D., Rev. Prof. Ezra D. Gallup, Prof. Wm. I. Knapp, Prof. Edward Judson, Prof. A. S. Bickmore, Ph. D.
The following are the present faculty:---
Rev. E. Dodge, D. D., LL. D., Prof. Met. and Christian Theology.
Rev. P. B. Spear, D. D., Prof. Hebrew and Latin.
Rev. A. M. Beebee, D. D., Prof. Log. and Homil.
Rev. H. Harvey, D. D, Prof. N. T. Exeg. and Past. Theology.
L. M. Osborn, LL. D., Prof. Nat. Science.
H. L. Andrews, Ph. D., Prof. Gr. Lang. and Lit.
J. J. Lewis, A. M., Prof. Hist. and Lit. and Orat.
J. M. Taylor, A. M., Prof. Math.
O. Howes, A. M., Prof. Lat. and Mod. Lit.
Rev. W. H. Maynard, D. D., Prof. Moral Philos.
Rev. W. R. Brooks, D. D., Lect. Nat. Hist.
Rev. S. Burnham, A. M., Prof. Heb. and O. T. Exegesis.
Rev. F. W. Towle, A. M., Gr. Lang. and Princ. C. Acad.
E. P. Sisson, A. B., Math.
J. W. Ford, A. M., Lat. Lang.
Geo. H. Coffin, Eng. and Nat. Science.
There have been four presidents. Dr. Nathaniel Kendrick, the first, died Sept. 11, 1848, by a fall and lesion of the spine, being 72 years old. He was elected in 1836, but was virtually president during the 28 years of his connection with the institution. He was tall, six feet four, well proportioned, of large brain, lofty forehead, and benevolent expression. He was easily "Primus inter pares," and of natural right presided everywhere. His influence was as far reaching as his name. He had a clear voice, an earnest look, and was truly eloquent. He is well described by B. F. Taylor, the Jubilee poet:---
"I see Kendrick's grand form towering up like a king's,
I hear accents at first like the waving of wings.
Now he warms with his theme into true welding weather,
And the word and the blow are delivered together.
The thought and the thinker are all in a glow,
The glasses he whirls from his dome of a brow;
His words that were halting, grow freer and bolder,
And he strikes for the truth straight out from the shoulder.
It is Gabriel's trumpet and Gideon's sword,
'Tis the pillar of fire and the breath of the Lord;
It is crash after crash with the tables of stone,
'Tis the thrill of the thunder, the dread of the Throne.
Then softer and sweeter his cadences grow,
It was Sinai before, it is Calvary now."
Standing by Dr. Kendrick is Rev. Professor Daniel Hascall, who came to Hamilton in 1812, and settled as pastor of the Baptist church. To him is accredited the original idea of a Seminary in Hamilton.
Dr. Kendrick, in 1816, became pastor of the church at Eaton. These two men supplemented each other and harmonized in every good work. In 1820, when "the school" was opened, Hascall became Professor of Languages and Kendrick of Theology. Hascall continued 18 years and resigned, and Kendrick remained till his death.
Around these men rallied other stalwart men, pioneers in the forest, in the churches, and in great enterprises---Hon. Jonathan Olmsted, Judge Samuel Payne, Deacon William Colgate, Hon. Seneca B. Burchard, Judge James Edmunds, and others---men ready at all times for great sacrifices and great achievements.
In 1851 Prof. Stephen W. Taylor, LL. D., was elected second president. He was graduated at Hamilton College, had made teaching his life work, had been from 1834 to 1836 professor or principal of the Academy at this institution, had in the mean-time founded the University at Lewisburg, Pa., and after the settlement of the removal question returned to Hamilton. He was of the English type, square, strong built, methodical, firm of purpose, a good organizer and strong executive officer. He was connected with the University in different posts of instruction for eighteen years, and left his mark on its history. He died of disease of the spine, January 7, 1856, at the age of sixty-five.
In 1856, Rev. George W. Eaton, D. D., LL. D., was elected the third president. In mind and body he was cast in a large mould. His features symmetrical, movements graceful, sympathies large, pleasantry easy, anecdote ready, of good nature, in satire, powerful, his language felicitous. He was a natural orator. In memory, imagination and description he was masterly. A scene once before him, he could reproduce with all the freshness and vividness of the reality. His religious emotions and convictions were strong, and constituted the underlying current of his life. He was connected with the University in different capacities, as Professor of Mathematics, of History, of Philosophy, of Theology, and as President, for forty years, and died Aug. 3d, 1872, at sixty-eight years of age.
The fourth president was Rev. Ebenezer Dodge, D. D., LL. D., elected in 1868, still holding the office. He has been connected with the University twenty-seven years as Professor of the Evidences of Christianity, of Metaphysics, of Biblical Interpretation, of Theology, and as President. He was graduated from Brown and Newton, and has earned a reputation as scholar, teacher and author, that places him among the best thinkers of the age.
The present faculty are well known among the educators of our country. Some who have left us and are still living deserve mention. Dr. Barnas Sears, the Secretary of the Peabody Fund, and former President of Brown, Dr. Thomas J. Conant, a well known exegete and translator, Dr. A. C. Kendrick, a Greek scholar and author, have helped to make this University, and have been made by it. Then the writer's room-mate, and class-mate and colleague in the faculty, Dr. John H. Raymond, and Professor J. F. Richardson, the one President of Vassar, and the other Professor of Latin in Rochester, now both departed, have been free to acknowledge their indebtedness chiefly to this University for their success in life's work, and to accept the credit in turn given for their hand in this enterprise. What the University has done for them it can do for all the loyal.
The finances of themselves would make a history. For these are the rock-bottom on which human endeavor builds. It should be noticed that since 1846 two corporations have had a hand in the enterprise. "The Baptist Education Society" for 27 years had the sole responsibility and management. For the last 33 years "The Madison University" has had the same in all except the nomination of Theological Professors, and the support of needy young men for the ministry. All the salaries and running expenses of all three schools fall upon "The Madison University." The annual income needed for this corporation is now about $40,000, the salaries alone being $30,000.
It were vain to attempt a history of the night and day struggles of men who have had to dig a channel and create a depth of current sufficient to float this great enterprize. It were as easy to tell of the hidden forces of nature which underlie all her operations. Only results are known or seen.
When the University was chartered, it had no property. It had none in 1850 on the adjustment of the removal controversy. It had only about $52,000 in 1864, when the war for the Union closed. Without a hired agency, the most quiet and energetic measures were prosecuted to till the Treasury. The old policy of borrowing and paying was set aside, and the University put upon the most rigid cash system. For 16 years without debt or outside assistance, except from liberal donors, the University has each year essentially balanced its accounts, drawing nothing from endowment funds. No pledges were counted or even reported till they were turned into cash or its equivalent. The progress has not been rapid, but of steady growth. In round numbers, in 1864, $62,000; in 1865, $121,000; in 1868, $177,000; in 1870, $255,000; in 1874, $304,000; in 1876, $405,000; in 1880, $430,000; for endowment without debt.
Then the unproductive property, buildings, grounds, library, museum, apparatus, President's house, which have come of gifts within the last sixteen years, amount to $120,000 more, making the whole sum raised since the war $550,000. These figures are independent of the Education Society's accounts of scholarships, beneficiaries and agencies.
Deacon Alva Pierce, of Hamilton, has been the Treasurer of "The Baptist Education Society," for the last forty-three years. Dr. P. B. Spear has been Treasurer, pro tempore, of Madison University for the last sixteen years. Both are still in office.
This University has acted directly and indirectly with great force and steadiness, on the schools and systems of instruction in our country to stimulate and elevate the standard of education. It tics acted on the denomination that founded it, to lift it to a higher plane of moral power. It has given origin to three-other Universities of similar type, one in this State, and two in other States, all highly flourishing. It has co-operated with like institutions to mould the National mind, and to give America an enviable name among the nations of the earth.
Hamilton Female Seminary was established in 1856, by Clinton C. Buell, and incorporated by the Regents on the 17th of January of that year. He was succeeded in its management some three years after by the Misses Wallace and Fields, who conducted it efficiently for a short period, when it was abandoned. It was revived about the time the academy was discontinued, in 1861, by Rev. Charles A. Raymond, who conducted it two years, when it was again discontinued. It was again revived in the fall of 1866, by M. M. Goodenough, A. M., who, as Principal, and Mrs. M. M. Goodenough, as Preceptress, have since efficiently and successfully conducted it. It is a boarding and day school, amply provided with facilities for the accommodation of its students, and is finely situated on Broad street, near the southern terminus of the park.
CHURCHES.---The first settlers in this town brought with them a religious culture and a love of religious institutions imbibed in their New England homes; and nearly contemporary-with the first labor directed to the subjugation of the wilderness, religious services were instituted, and held regularly by the Baptists from June, 1796. November 16, 1796, the First Baptist Church of Hamilton was organized with seven members, among whom were Samuel Payne and Theophilus Pierce, the latter of whom was elected Church clerk in May, 1798.
During the first five or six years the church appears to have been served without any special engagement by Elders Root, Butler, Salmon Morton and others, who either resided in the neighborhood or were occasionally present in missionary visits. The district occupied by the members of the church included, besides the present town of Hamilton, those of Lebanon, Madison and Sherburne, and the church meetings were frequently held in school-houses or private dwellings in these towns. The usual place of meeting was the school-house near Benjamin Pierce's.
In 1810 the first church occupied by them was erected and was also the first erected in that year by any denomination. It stood in the center of the village, on the north end of the park, and cost between $3,000 and $4,000. It was burned on the morning of December 31, 1808. November 12, 1809, a second house, which stood near the Eagle Hotel, was dedicated, Elders Hascall, Benedict and Powell participating in the ceremonies. This church was occupied until the present one was erected in 1843.
The following have been the succession of pastors of this church:---
Rev. Ashbel Hosmer, from April 18, 1802, to April 1810;16 Rev. Daniel Hascall from May --, 1813, to May --, 1829; Rev. Daniel Eldridge, from May --, 1829, to Sept. --, 1830; Barnas Sears, pro tem., from --- ---, to Nov. --, 1832; Rev. A. Perkins, from July --, 1835, to Jan. --, 1839; Rev. Leonard Fletcher, from May --, 1840, to Oct. --, 1841; Rev. B. N. Leach, from Jan. --, 1842, to Oct. --, 1844; Rev. C. P. Sheldon, from May --, 1845, to June --, 1847; Rev. L. M. Peck, supply, from June --, 1847, to Sept. --, 1847;16 Rev. Isaac Bevan, from May --, 1848, to May --, 1850; Rev. A. Perkins, from May --, 1852, to March --, 1854; Rev. C. P. Sheldon, from March --, 1854, to June --, 1856; Rev. H. Harvey, from Nov. --, 1856, one year; Rev. W. R. Brooks, from Jan. --, 1858, to Oct. 1, 1873; Rev. David Weston, D. D., from Nov, --, 1873, to Feb. 25, 1875;16 Rev. J. M. Stifler, D. D., from Aug. 8, 1875, present pastor.
In 1816, twenty-four members from this church were constituted a separate church in Eaton; and in the same year others were dismissed to form a church in Lebanon. In 1819, the Second Baptist Church in Hamilton was organized, the nucleus of which was a conference composed of members from this church. A large number have been ordained by this church to the work of the ministry, prominent among whom are the Rev. Messrs. Abbott, William Dean, Freman, J. L. Richmond, Dr. Eaton and Dr. A. C. Kendrick.
June 11, 1879, the church reported to the Association 675 members; current expenses of the year, including pastor's salary, $3,500; expended for improvement on church property, $1,200; estimated value of church property, $15,000; amount of mortgage indebtedness, $1,127; floating indebtedness, $500; 117 members of the church and congregation attending Academies and High Schools, 35 students for the ministry, 92 in Colleges, 38 in Theological Seminaries, and 34 engaged in teaching; 42 officers and teachers and 310 Sunday-school scholars. D. W. Skinner and N. L. Andrews are the Sunday School Superintendents.
The Congregational Church of Hamilton Village was organized in 1828, with eight members, at the house of John Foote, and worshipped, until their church was built the same year, in the brick academy. In 1851, the church edifice was burned, but immediately rebuilt, and in 1871 was remodeled and repaired at a cost of some $4,000. The first pastor was Rev. Pindar Field.
Sept. 1, 1878, the church reported to the General Association as follows: pastor, Rev. George A. Rawson, who began labor in 1877; 182 members, 60 male and 122 female; 90 Sunday school scholars; and 40 families in the congregation.
St. Thomas Church, (Episcopal) of Hamilton Village, was incorporated Sept. 21, 1835, at the "Ladies' Academy," their place of worship, by Rev. L. A. Barrows, who, in conjunction with William R. H. Treadway and F. Walker, were nominated to certify the proceedings of the meeting. Alanson Munger and G. B. Stevens were elected Church Wardens, and George Williams, John D. Blish, Peter B. Havens, Ferdinand Walker, Lewis Wickwire, William R. H. Treadway, John Atwood and Nelson Fairchild, vestrymen. Rev. L. A. Barrows was then missionary at Hamilton, Sherburne and Norwich. The church was organized about a year previous to its incorporation under the missionary labors of Mr. Barrows.
Oct 20, 1835, the vestry resolved to raise a sum not less than $200, and the wardens were authorized to rent and fit up a room suitable for the church and society to worship in and to employ Rev. Liberty A. Barrows as clergyman.
The records from 1835 to 1846 are wanting. In the latter year their church edifice was erected. The corner stone was laid Sept. 4, 1846, by Rt. Rev. William H. DeLancey, D. D., Bishop of the Diocese of Western New York. The building, which is of the English gothic style of the 13th century, was erected by Mr. Mayhew, of Waterville, after a plan generously presented by Richard Upjohn. It was built through the persevering efforts of a few zealous individuals, who struggled through many difficulties and discouragements, and was consecrated by the Bishop of the Diocese, June 8, 1847.
July 18, 1847, the vestry resolved to invite Rev. Edward DeZeng to become the rector for one year from July 15th, at the annual salary of $400, $275 to be paid by the Church, and the balance to be drawn from the missionary fund. The call was accepted, and he closed his labors August 1, 1848. August 20, 1848, a previous call to Rev. Mr. Wardwell having been declined, a call was extended to Rev. D. C. Millett, at a like salary, with an additional $50 per year in the form of a donation, "if the church was in a prosperous state." The call was accepted; labor commenced Sept. 1, 1848, and continued till Jan. 1, 1850. He was succeeded by Rev. S. H. Norton, but at what time the records do not show. During his rectorship, in 1853, the church was enlarged, $200 having been contributed toward that object by Trinity Church, New York, from which a previous favor had been received.
June 4, 1855, a call was given to Rev. Thomas Applegate, of Sherburne, to become the rector of this parish, at a salary of $500 per annum, including the missionary stipend, in addition to the use of the rectory. He apparently continued his labors till December, 1857, his resignation tendered July 24, 1857, not having been accepted. July 19, 1859, Rev. Gemont Graves, of Rutland, Vermont, was called to the rectorship at a like salary. He closed his labors April 12, 1863. April 7, 1863, a call was given to Rev. Albert P. Smith, D. D., of Cazenovia, but declined, as was also one extended to Rev. Alfred Louderback, of Holland Patent, Oneida county, both at a salary of $500 and use of rectory. The call to the latter was renewed May 1, 1863, at a salary of $800 and use of rectory. It was accepted, service as rector to commence July 1, 1863. This relation was terminated July 1, 1865.
June 20, 1865, a call was given Rev. W. H. D. L. Grannis, then recently ordained by the General Theological Seminary of New York, at a salary of $500 and rectory. He entered upon his labors the fourth Sunday in July, 1865, and continued them till November 6, 1866, his salary having been increased May 5th of that year to $650. Nov. 16, 1866, Rev. Dr. Thomas P. Tyler, of Brattleboro, Vt., was called to the rectorship at a salary of $700. This pastorate continued till July 1, 1870, when ill health compelled Mr. Tyler's resignation. It was renewed the latter part of that year on his restoration to health, and again terminated in September, 1871. An interval of three months, during Mr. Tyler's absence in 1870, was filled by Rev. Henry R. Pyne, to whom a call was given Sept. 5, 1871, at a salary of $i,000, including the missionary stipend. His rectorship commenced Aug. 27, 1871, and terminated May 27, 1873. Mr. Pyne was succeeded by Rev. E. P. Smith, whose rectorship continued till his death after a brief and painful illness, Feb. 9, 1876. Rev. G. W. Porter, D. D., of St. Peter's church, Bainbridge, entered upon his labors as rector the first Sunday in July, 1876, and closed them April 13, 1879. May 26, 1879, Rev. James Byron Murray, D. D., was called to the rectorship and entered upon his duties July 1, 1879. He is the present rector.
Previous to the erection of their house of worship the services were held in the brick academy. The present number of communicants is about 75.
Nelson Fairchild, now living in Hamilton village, was one of the first vestrymen and has held that office from the organization of the church to the present time. He has also had the care of the church during the same period, a service which he has rendered gratuitously. Of those who composed the first vestry only two others are living, John Atwood, in Albany, and Ferdinand Walker, in New York.
St. Mary's Church, (Catholic,) of Hamilton village, was organized in October, 1869, as The Church of the Immaculate Conception, by Rev. Father Anthony P. Ludden, who had officiated in this and adjoining missions from June previous. The mission at Hamilton was founded about 1854, by Father McCabe, who officiated at appointed times for about two years, whilst located at Oxford. He was succeeded by Father Charles Brady, then located at Norwich, who officiated about five years from 1856, Father James McDermott, P. B. McNulty, and Daniel O'Connell, all of whom were located at Norwich, who filled the interval to 1869. In 1869, on the accession of Father Ludden, this was made a separate mission, and that year the Society built their first church. The corner stone was laid on the 6th of October, and the church was dedicated Sept. 14, 1870. It was a frame building, and was demolished by the tornado of Sunday, June 6, 1874. Immediate preparations were made to rebuild and a temporary chapel was finished that year, and occupied until the Christmas holidays of 1879, when the present church edifice, whose corner stone was laid Sept. 26, 1879, was brought to such state of completion as to admit of its occupancy. The chapel has been converted into a parochial school.
The present edifice is a fine structure, located on the corner of Wylie and Utica streets, and is built entirely of cut stone, in the form of a cross, the main part being 100 by 50 feet. The interior is beautifully finished in walnut and ash and is otherwise elaborately decorated. It was dedicated as St. Mary's church, June 13, 1880, by Bishop McNierny, of Albany, assisted by a large number of Catholic clergy from the central and eastern parts of the State. The congregation, which in 1870 was 230, has increased under the energetic labors of Father Ludden to 800.
St. Joseph's cemetery, the property of this Society, was purchased in 1873, and includes five acres of land. It is located about a half mile north of the church on the Utica road.
Previous to the building of their church, the Catholics worshiped in the old town hall on Madison street, which was originally built by parties who withdrew from the Congregational church during the antislavery agitation and formed what was denominated the "Free Church." The building was commonly known as the "Hemlock Church," from the fact that it was built of hemlock. It was purchased by the village trustees in 1854, after it was abandoned as a church, a rear addition built in the winter of 1854-'5, and converted into a village hall. May 26, 1857, its use was voted to the Board of Trustees of the consolidated school districts Nos. 1, 14 and 17, for the purpose of holding a school therein. It has since been converted into a handsome residence and is occupied by Wells Russell.
SOCIETIES.---Hamilton Lodge No. 121, F. & A. M., was instituted May 28, 1805, by Hon. and R. W., Jedediah Sanger, of New Hartford. The first officers were Seely Neal, W. M.; Asa B. Siser, S. W.; and Rufus Eldred, J. W. There were twenty-seven members. On that day Thomas Hubbard, Dr. Thomas Greenly and John Shapley, of Hamilton, petitioned to become members. They were first made masons in this lodge, which was then located in the present town of Madison. It was removed to Hamilton village Jan. 2, 1807, by a unanimous vote of the lodge.
April 16, 1807, the lodge appointed a committee to investigate rumors implicating Alpheus Hitchcock, of Madison, a prominent member of this lodge, in the crime of poisoning his wife. He was adjudged guilty and expelled, and members of the lodge were first to enter complaint and cause his arrest. He was tried, found guilty, and expiated his crime on the gallows.
In 1829 the lodge surrendered its charter in consequence of anti-masonic excitement incident to the alleged abduction by masons of William Morgan, having, in December, 1817, been removed to Eaton, where it remained till the surrender of the charter.
The lodge was resuscitated under the same name as No. 120, under a dispensation, Dec. 16, 1846, and located in Hamilton. The officers named in the dispensation were Charles G. Otis, M.; Hon. Benjamin F. Skinner, S. W.; Gaius Stebbins, J. W., and the petitioning members, Thos. H. Greenly, Jeremiah Wilber, Henry G. Beardsley, Thomas C. Nye, Daniel Younglove, Perez H. Bonney, Thomas Wylie, Curtis Porter, Daniel Barker, Isaac Phelps and Philander P. Barker. It was installed under the new charter July 7, 1847.
The membership in June, 1879, was 148; the whole number since the re-organization, 460.
Cyrus Chapter No. 50, R. A. M., was organized May 23, 1850, and the first meeting, held in Odd Fellows Hall in Hamilton, was attended by Daniel Barker, H. P., Jeremiah Wilber, E. K.; Daniel Younglove, E. T.; Thomas H. Greenly, Treasurer; Calvin Morse, Secretary; Isaac Phelps, C. H.; Enos Wood, R. A. C.; Thomas C. Nye, P. S.; John Landon, Calvin Morse and Thomas Greenly, Ms. of V.; William Nuzam, Tiler. The membership in December, 1879, was 85. This chapter was originally organized at a much earlier period, as early as 1815, and went down with the lodge. The whole number who have joined it since the re-organization is 170.
Hamilton Lodge No. 208, A. O. U. W., was organized Feb. 3, 1879, with thirty-five members. The number of members in December, 1879, was 41. First and present officers, J. C. Barber, P. W. M.; J. W. Hurn, W. M.; J. M. Banning, Recorder; A. N. Smith, F.; A. J. Smith, Receiver; C. J. Johnson, G. F.; J. Bright, O.; C. E. Wickwire, G.; C. Baum, I. W.; E. H. Green, O. W.; H. S. Gardiner, Medical Examiner; O. S. Campbell, V. Piotrow, T. L. Foulkes, Trustees; J. Bright, E. H. Green, C. J. Johnson, Business Committee; J. M. Banning, A. N. Smith, C. Baum, Medical Examining Committee.
In the year 1853 there were three Common School Districts in the village of Hamilton. In each district was an old, miserable building, called a district school-house. It was considered by a few thoughtful persons residing in the village that the condition of the common schools of the village was a reproach upon the good name of a place wherein was located a college and other celebrated schools. Accordingly, in the latter part of the year 1853, measures were taken to consolidate the three districts into one, and establish a Union Free School therein, pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 433, of the Laws of 1853. The requisite number of persons from each of the three districts united in a call for such consolidation and for a meeting of the inhabitants of these districts entitled to vote, to determine whether a Union Free School should be established. The meeting was held in the basement of the Baptist church, and there was a large attendance. There was much excitement and division of opinion as to the project of establishing a Union Free School. A fierce controversy ensued, many speeches were made, and much maneuvering and a resort to parliamentary rules to avoid a vote, but finally at about midnight a vote was taken upon the main question, resulting in the negative. A motion to reconsider was immediately made, and then ensued a fiercer conflict than had ever been seen before between the citizens of the quiet, classic village of schools. At about 2 o'clock A. m., another vote was taken, resulting in the affirmative. The meeting then proceeded to elect a Board of Education pursuant to said Act, and elected Charles Payne, Charles Gardiner, Abram Sanford, Samuel S. Abbott, Mulford Rogers, James L. Fay, Horace B. Burchard, Alonzo Thurston and Albert N. Sheldon. These persons met and elected Charles Payne, President.
It was then denied that the preliminary proceedings for the meeting, as well as the proceedings of the meeting were valid. At a subsequent meeting of the inhabitants a tax was voted to purchase a site for the Union Free School-House. The Board of Education levied the tax, and placed the same in the hands of the collector, but so many of the tax-payers refused to pay the tax that the collector was discouraged and refused to enforce the tax against delinquents. In this strait the Board of Education induced Eli Buell, Jr., who was somewhat friendly to the project, but had declined to pay his tax, to agree with the Board of Education, upon a statement of facts and submit the case to the general term of the Supreme Court for decision. In the early summer of 1854, the Supreme Court, having the whole case before them, decided in favor of the Board of Education. The tax was then collected, a site for the school-house selected and the building erected. It was as late as 1855 before the school was possessed of all the facilities for effective operation. The first principal of the school was Henry I. Sherrill, under whose management the school became very popular, its course of instruction very thorough, and its great reputation known throughout Central New York. The school building is situated in a central and conspicuous part of the village, on Broad street, and is embowered by the surrounding shade trees, which make its grounds a park as well as a place for the exercise and recreation of its pupils.
Since the resignation of Mr. Sherrill the first teacher, the school has had the following principals: Mr. Perkins, Moss Smith, H. S. Gardner, (all of whom served only three years,) E. P. Sisson, (four years,) M. H. Sherman, (one year,) C. J. Marjory, (two years,) and W. R. Rowlands, who has nearly completed his fourth year as principal. During the principalship of Prof. Sisson, now of Colgate Academy, Hamilton, N. V., the school was very prosperous, the whole number of pupils in attendance being about three hundred, and the number of teachers employed at that time six. After Prof. Sisson's resignation the school lessened till 1876. Since 1876, it has grown much in strength and numbers, and during the past year has registered nearly five hundred pupils and employed nine teachers as follows: W. R. Rowlands, A. M., Principal, Miss H. Hartshorn, Miss L. Blakeman, Miss M. C. Hammond, Miss Sarah Baker, Miss Celia Sisson, Miss Mary Starr; Prof. C. F. Nash, Music; Geo. H. Williams, A. B., Latin. Two years ago, in order to accommodate the large attendance, the school building was much enlarged, and since that time the school has been completely reorganized, greatly increasing its facilities, and placing it second to no Union School in the State.
Earlville is eligibly and beautifully situated between the eastern and middle branches of the Chenango, which skirt its eastern and western borders and unite a short distance to the south of it. It is a station on the Utica, Chenango and Susquehanna Valley and the New York, Ontario and Western railroads, and is the Southern terminus of the Syracuse and Chenango Valley Railroad. It lies partly in four towns, Hamilton, Sherburne, Lebanon and Smyrna, but almost entirely in the two former towns, principally in the first, the east and west road running through the village being the county line.
It contains three churches, (Baptist, Episcopal and Methodist Episcopal,) a graded district school, one newspaper office, (The Enterprise,18) two hotels, seven stores, a tannery, a grist and saw-mill, two wagon shops, (T. M. Cash and John Holmes,) two black-smith shops, (Horace Welch and Rudolph Briggs,) a leather finishing establishment, (E. Z. Adams,) two shoe shops, (L. Bromley and John Chase,) two meat markets, (C. V. Wilcox and W. H. Williamson,) four harness shops, (A. G. Davis, Leonard Pierce, Henry Farnsworth and H. D. Stoddard,) two jewelers, (A. W. Rice and William Rowe,) and a population of about 400.
The village was early designated the Forks from its position between the two branches of the Chenango, and it as well as the post-office retained that name till the construction of the canal was begun in 1834, when its prospective importance seemed to warrant a more dignified one, and that of Earlville was adopted from Canal Commissioner Jonas Earl. It did not develop into a business center until the canal was projected.
MERCHANTS.---The first merchants in Earlville were probably Marvin Tanner and Henry Waters, who were engaged in business previous to 1840, Tanner in a small wooden building which stood on the site of Davis' hardware store, and Waters in the building now occupied by Gorham, Cushman & Co., on the south-east corner. Orange Waite was also engaged in mercantile business previous to 1840, in the building now occupied by LeRoy Nash, next east of Brown's hotel. He continued several years.
Sidney B. Webb, from Connecticut, and Thomas Kershaw, a native of Hamilton, succeeded Waite in the same store previous to 1840, and traded till about 1847, when they dissolved. Kershaw continued to trade alone sonic six years and sold to Higgins & Hendrick, who traded some three or four years, when Hendrick withdrew and Higgins sold to Horace A. Campbell, who continued but a short time. Webb & Kershaw built in 1843 a new store in the center of the Felt block. That store, together with four others, two of which were connected with it, of wood, and two of brick on the north-west corner, were burned Oct. 12, 1858. The four brick stores were built in 1859, by William Felt. Campbell was succeeded by Henry R. Long, who traded in the new store till it was burned in 1858, and for about a year after that, when he returned to Seneca county whence he came.
Spencer and Ely Willis, farmers in Lebanon, were in trade here previous to 1840, and failed about 1841 or '2. Charles G. Otis, and Job Collins were trading and had discontinued previous to 1840.
Otis B. Howe and Benjamin F. Skinner, the former from Hamilton, commenced trading here in 1843 and continued about two years, when Skinner bought Howe's interest, and associated with himself his brother-in-law, John Blish, the two continuing till the spring of 1847.
Spencer Willis, after the failure of himself and brother, formed a partnership with Amos Bigsby and Charles Billings and occupied the old Tanner store with the Willis' stock of goods. They traded but a few months, however. William Willis and a younger brother traded a few months in 1858, and left after the fire of that year. Wolcott Leavenworth came from the locality of Albany about the spring of 1847 or '8, and traded till the spring of 1858, when he went west. Nicanor Brownell and E. Volney Chapin, natives of Hamilton, opened a store about 1862 or '3. After about two years Brownell sold to Chapin, who continued about a year and sold to O. W. Leaven-worth & Bro., from Cortland county, formerly from Ohio, the two continuing about a year. O. W. after a year or two formed a partnership with William O. Bancroft, under the name of Bancroft & Leonard. They traded some two years, as late as 1868, and failed. Leonard immediately after resumed business alone and continued till the spring of 1879. Various others have done business for short periods.
The present merchants are: George King, dealer in hats, caps, &c., who commenced business June 1, 1869; I. W. Rowe, jeweler, who commenced business in October, 1872; N. L. Douglass, druggist, who commenced business in February, 1873; LeRoy Nash, dealer in groceries and crockery, who commenced business Nov. 15, 1877; T. J. Davies & Co., dealers in hardware, stoves, &c., who commenced business in January, 1877; Gorham, Cushman & Co., general merchants, who commenced business Feb. 1, 1878; Chaphe & Morgan, dealers in hardware. and groceries, who commenced trading Feb. 1, 1879; W. H. Williamson, dealer in groceries and ready-made clothing, who commenced business July 1, 1879; and Ambrose W. Rice, jeweler, who commenced business in the fall of 1879.
POSTMASTERS.---How early the post-office was established we are not advised, but it was as early as 1824, probably not much earlier. Dr. Consider H. Stacy was the first postmaster. An office had been kept, however, a half mile north of Earlville, near the tannery, by James B. Eldridge, who also kept a tavern in that locality. The present postmaster is C. L. Cotton, who was appointed in 1861, and has held the office continuously since.
PHYSICIANS.---Joseph Stowell was an early physician in this village. He bought a farm in the west part of the village, extending across the river, on the west side of which his house was located. Consider H. Stacy was practicing at a less earlier day, but had left previous to 1840, on the 20th of September of which year he died. He lived south of the M. E. church. James Sheffield was living here in 1840, but was then an old man and had discontinued practice. He died March 23, 1849, aged 82. Laban Tucker and D. Ransom were practicing here in 1840. Tucker left soon after for Michigan. Ransom remained here till about 1861 or '62, when he went to Buffalo. A. S. Nichols came here in 1843, and practiced about a year. Dr. Bey practiced here about 1859. Dr. Babcock, from Otselic, practiced here about a year in company with Dr. Ransom. J. A. Ressegieu was practicing here in 1866. Dr. Myers came here from the northern part of the State about- nine years ago, and practiced till his death about two years after. Hull S. Gardiner came from Jersey City and practiced from 1872 to 1875. He removed to Hamilton, where he is now practicing. Andrew S. Douglass, a native of Peterboro, N. Y., and a graduate of the Eclectic Medical College of Cincinnati, Ohio, entered upon the practice of his profession in Peterboro immediately after graduating, and removed thence in 1875 to Earlville, where he practiced till his death, June 16, 1877.
The present physicians in Earlville are Orrin B. Wilcox, Homer H. White and Simeon Manzer.
LAWYERS.---The first lawyer at Earlville was probably Joseph Whitmore, who came here from Rome in 1843, and practiced five or six years. He removed to Bay City, Mich. Alfred Nichols, a native of Hamilton, came in about 1851 and practiced till the spring of 1859, when he went to Sherburne. There have been no others, except the one now practicing here. Ernest C. Dart, who opened an office in 1879.
HOTELS.---Brown's Hotel, at Earlville, was built about the time the canal was opened, in 1836, by Orange H. Waite. Nicanor Brown purchased the property in January, 1868, and kept it till the summer of 1878, when he was succeeded by his sons Lyman and Frank Brown, who are the present proprietors.
The Earlville House was built in 1833 by Gardner Waters. May 1, 1868, it was purchased by William H. Jones of George C. Southworth. Mr. Jones kept it till his tragic death, July 5, 1876, since which time it has been kept by his widow.
MANUFACTURES.---The tannery at Earlville, of which N. W. Torrey is proprietor, was built in the summer of 1851, by ------ Merrills, who sold it before its completion to W. K. Nash, who operated it nine years, when it passed into the hands of J. C. Torrey who carried on the business seven years and sold it to his brother N. W. Torry and G. P. Wilson, the latter of whom sold his interest to Mr. Torrey, the present proprietor. It is located on the east bank of the Chenango canal, a half mile north of Earlville; contains 52 vats, with a capacity of about 40,000 skins per annum. It gives employment to seven persons. It occupies the site of a small tannery built by Jared Pardee, from Herkimer county, about the opening of the war of 1812, or shortly previous.
The Earlville Mills, (grist and saw) Deforest A. Willcox, proprietor, were built in the summer of 1839, by William Felt, who operated them twenty-seven years, and at his death, June 18, 1866, willed them to William Babcock, whose father, Thomas Babcock, had been the miller during that whole period. The grist-mill contains three runs of stones and the saw-mill a circular log-saw and a slab-saw. They give employment to four men, and are propelled by water from the west branch of the Chenango, with a fall of nine feet.
CHURCHES.---The First Baptist Church in Sherburne, located at Earlville, was organized June 24, 1802, at the house of John Benton, with fifteen members, viz: Elder John Mudge, John Flint, John Benton, Nathaniel Collins, Benjamin Beadle, Joel Peck, Jonathan Skinner, Solomon Jones, Jacob Whiter, Jonathan Pettit, John Demott, Rhoda Beadle, Agnes Pettit, Sarah Benton and ------ Sawdy. A few meetings had been previously held, the first April 17, 1802, at the school-house near Sherburne. This was followed by a meeting at the house of John Muir, May 5th, another at the house of H. Finn, May 19, and still another at the house of Jonathan Pettit, near the north line of Sherburne, June 9th of the same year.
The first church edifice was built on the hill cast of Earlville, in 1818, at a cost of $1,800; the second and present one at Earlville, in 1835, at a cost of nearly $3,000. In 1871, $2,600 were expended in repairs, etc.
The following have been the pastors and supplies of this church for the periods named: John Mudge, 4 years; James Pettit, 3 years; Clark Carr, 1 year; Reuben Tenny, 4 years; Isaac Allerton, 2 years; R. H. Benedict, 3 years; Nathaniel Kendrick, 3 years; Amos Kingsley, 1 year; John I. Fulton, 3 years; Daniel Eldridge, 2 years; Daniel Hascall, 3 years; L. Ransted, 1 year; Horace Jones, 2 years; Jason Corwin, 3 years; William Evarts, 1 year; Wm. L. Dennis, 3 years; David Taylor, 1 year; L. S. Livermore, 3 years; Peter F. Jones, 1 year; S. C. Ainsworth, 4 years; O. and N. Mallory, 1½ years; John Peddle, 1½ years; L. Caster, H. S. Jones, R. R. Prentice, Professor Gallup, R. D. Pierce, 2 years; D. D. Brown, 2 years; H. Harvey, 2 years; G. B. Vosburgh, 2 years; G. H. Burnside, 3 years; W. W. Staples, 1 year; B. R. Dow, 1 year; and occasional sermons from others.
This church supplied thirty members to form the churches at South Hamilton and Sherburne. The present number of members is 89. The Sunday School consists of 9 officers, 10 teachers and 125 scholars.
Methodist Episcopal Church of Earlville.---The first class was formed in 1802, at the house of Joseph Crandall, a little north of Earlville, on the road leading to Poolville. It consisted of seven or eight members. Rev. Charles Giles was the first pastor, as has been supposed though this has been disputed.19 The first society was formed at the house of Elam Felt, Jan. 9, 1815. The trustees elected at that time were Elam Felt, Noah Hall, and Asa Felt. They at once set to work to raise money to build a church, and in 1816, the first Methodist Episcopal church in the town of Hamilton was erected at Earlville, at a cost of $1,100. Many of the subscriptions given in its aid were rye, oats, corn or wheat. "There was no stove in the church for some years and the people kept warm with gospel fire;" finally a stove was procured, and as there was no chimney the pipe was put through a window in the front part of the church. In 1838 a new house was built; and in 1871, it was repaired at a cost of about $5,000, making it one of the finest country churches to be found in the State.
Earlville in its early history was included in the Hamilton circuit. In 1836, the Oneida Annual Conference, then holding its session in Binghamton, made it a station, with Rev. Barlow W. Gorham as preacher in charge. The next stationed preacher was J. P. Backus, in 1837. Following him were, C. W. Harris, C. Hawley, N. B. Backus, W. H. Pearne, John F. Wright, J. J. Knox, P. G. White. L. L. Knox, S. H. Stanley, F. D. Wiggins, S. G. Lathrop, D. A. Wheadon, H. F. Rowe, Charles Starr, Walter Jerome, Marvin S. Wells, T. P. Halstead, E. D. Thurston, D. V. Ismond, S. Tackabury, A. C. Smith, H. R. Warner, J. O. Gifford, H. P. Williams, E. C. Brown, and J. L. Short, the present pastor, who is now serving his second year.
The present number of members is 80; the attendance at Sabbath School, 50; the value of church $5,000, and parsonage, $1,000.
The Episcopal church at Earlville was organized in 1877, in which year their house of worship was built. It is a mission station supported by the Van Wagenen Fund.20
Poolville is situated on the east branch of the Chenango, a little south-west of the center of the town, and is a station on the Utica, Chenango and Susquehanna Valley Railroad. It contains a Methodist Episcopal church, a district school, two hotels, a tannery, a grist-mill, saw-mill, a newspaper office, (The Weekly Pioneer,)21 two blacksmith shops, (M. C. &. J. L. Hill and Rollin Colson,) a wagon and paint shop, (Smith Hanson,) a harness shop, (M. Plumb,) a shoe shop, (J. K. Nichols,) one store, kept by George E. Nash, who commenced business in 1860, in company with H. H. Kinney, whose interest he purchased at the expiration of two years. Mr. Nash is also the postmaster, having received the appointment and held the office since June 15, 1867.
Poolville derives its name from the Pools who located near here and improved the water privilege furnished by the Chenango and a small tributary which unites with it at this place.
Abijah Pool, then well advanced in years, came from Plainfield, Massachusetts, about 1810, with his sons Abijah and Isaac, and settled about midway between Earlville and Poolville, where the latter engaged in wool-carding and cloth-dressing. About 1812 or '14, Gideon Randall Pool, a cousin of Isaac Pool's, came from the same locality, and became associated with him in that business, which, about 1825, they transferred to Poolville, where about a dozen families of that name had located by 1830, in which year a post-office was established by this name.
The partnership between Isaac and Gideon R. Pool continued till the death of the latter, Dec. 14, 1827. After his death the business was carried on by Amos and Isaac Pool, cousins, under the name of A. & I. Pool; and about that time they established an extensive shoe manufactory, continuing both branches of business a few years. Caleb Lowd then succeeded to the business, which he continued under the name of Thaxter Pool, till 1835, when the business was discontinued. The carding business was revived by Nathan Eaton, who also started a store and an ashery and did an extensive business. He failed about 1850, when it was discontinued. The woolen-mill was originally a grist-mill, and soon after Eaton's failure was again converted to its former use by Elihu Thompson and William G. Brainard. It is still used for the latter purpose by James Jackson, who purchased it of Elihu Thompson about 1859. It contains three runs of stones, which are propelled by water from the east branch of the Chenango, with a fall of ten feet. Adjacent to it, and drawing water from the same dam, is a saw-mill containing one muley saw, which came into the possession of the present proprietor, Damon Richmond, some twenty-three or four years ago.
During Lowd's management, in 1831, a tannery was built by Loomis, Lowd & Co., eastern men, and operated by them till the general failure of the manufacturing enterprises in Poolville, in 1835. Richard Berry succeeded to the business, and carried it on successfully till his death, Jan. 30, 1852. The property was then leased to H. & G. Berry, and in 1855, sold to Henry Berry, one of that firm, who still carries on the business. The invested capital is about $30,000. The establishment gives employment to an average number of six persons, contains 22 vats, and tans about 20,000 calf skins per annum. It is situated on a small brook which empties into the Chenango at this point, and supplies the motive power.
Enos Wood established a machine shop in 1830; but on the general decline in 1835 removed to Piercevile, and there resumed that business.
HOTELS.---The hotel which was burned in Poolville in the spring of 1879 was built in 1832, by Samuel Pool, and kept by him a year or two, till his removal to Ohio. Another hotel is now (December, 1879,) being erected on the same site by F. H. Kinney.
The Railroad Hotel, which also serves as a depot, was built in 1868, by Andrew Forbes, whose son Brainard kept it a part of a year, and he subsequently a short time. William Dietz bought it at auction in February, 1870, and kept it till July of that year, when Gordian B. Cleveland bought it and has since kept it.
The Methodist Episcopal Church of Poolville.---The First Methodist class in Poolville was organized fifty or more years ago, and met in the school-house in this place. Some thirty years ago the membership had dwindled to three, viz: Benilia, wife of Rollin Colson, Joseph Colson and Mrs. Betsey Swift, who united with the church at Earlville. The present class was formed some twenty-five years ago, and their church built a few years later. It is on the same charge with East Hamilton, where the pastor, William F. Purington, resides. He became the pastor in April, 1879. The church was repaired during the pastorate of Joseph O. Gifford, about 1869.
Hubbardsville is situated on the Chenango, in the north-east part of the town, and is a station on the Utica, Chenango and Susquehanna Valley Railroad. It contains a district school, two stores, a grist-mill, saw-mill, and cider-mill, one hotel, a wagon shop, (George Tauton,) two blacksmith shops, (Barber Wood and Harry Bixby,) a cooper shop, (M. M. Stevens,) a shoe shop, (William Brown,) a meat market, (Edgar Russell,) and a population of 123.
It derives its name from Calvin Hubbard, who came here from Sangerfield about 1813, and was one of the first prominent settlers here. He lived in the house now owned by Nathan Brownell (who married a grand-daughter of Hubbard's,) and occupied by Joseph Durant. It is used during the hop season as a boarding house for hop pickers. Mr. Hubbard kept a tannery and distillery here a good many years, and accumulated a handsome property by that industry. He died here but a few years since at an advanced age. He had but one child who lived to maturity, Emily, who married Elias K. Hart, and is now living with his son-in-law, Nathan Brownell, in Hubbardsville.
MERCHANTS.---The first merchant at Hubbardsville was Ephraim Chamberlain, who traded here many years some sixty years ago. He went to Otsego county and died there a few years ago. His store stood where D. D. Livermore's store now stands. Sherebiah S. Hunt and Elias K. Hart built, in 1835, the store now occupied by Clark R. Nash, and traded under the name of Hunt & Hart from 1835 to 1837. Charles Green, a native of this locality, traded from 1838 to 1841, and sold to Gideon Manchester, who leased the store to his brother-in-law, Nathan Peck, who traded till 1848, when he removed to Poolville. The store was vacant till the spring of 1849, when Clark R. Nash and William T. Manchester took possession. The latter sold after about 1½½ years to Dr. Julius Nye, whose interest Nash bought after about 2½ years. April 1, 1864, Francis G. Shepardson became Nash's partner, and the business was continued under the name of C. R. Nash & Co. till January, 1867, when Shepardson retired. Mr. Nash has since carried on the business, with the exception of four years, April, 1871, to April, 1875, when he was succeeded by his son, C. D. Nash, and D. D. Livermore, whom he bought out at the latter date.
Nathan Brownell succeeded Chamberlain in the other store and carried on an extensive business several years. Theron Nye succeeded Brownell in 1853, the store having been unoccupied several years. After trading two years he sold to Clark R. Nash. Nicanor Brownell, son of Nathan, next traded there from about 1860 to 1862. He was succeeded by John O. Wallace, from Brookfield, who traded from about 1864, till his store was burned in the fall of 1865. A year or two after he built the store now occupied by D. D. Livermore, which Nicanor Brownell occupied some two years, and again failed. D. D. Livermore commenced trading there in the spring of 1878, and still continues.
PHYSICIANS.---The first physician in this vicinity, located at Colchester Settlement (East Hamilton,) which then gave greater promise of becoming an important business center. Dr. Noah B. Foot, who came from Connecticut about 1800, settled and practiced there till his death, about 1845. He was succeeded in practice there by his son, David Y. Foot, who had practiced several years in company with his father, and continued some five or six years after the latter's death. Franklin Root, from Vermont, succeeded the younger Foot and practiced till within a year or two of his death, at Hamilton, to which village he removed. George Palmer, the present physician at Colchester, has practiced there several years.
The first physician at Hubbardsville was Silas Graham, a botanic physician, who had formerly carried on blacksmithing. He commenced practice about 1830 and continued some fifteen years. Julius Nye commenced practice here about 1845 and continued from six to ten years. Dr. Coggshall came here from Waterville soon after Nye left, but practiced only a short time. The present physician, Adelbert Eugene Crowell, who is a native of Sherburne, located here in April, 1879.
POSTMASTERS.---The post-office at Hubbardsville was established in 1849, by removal from East Hamilton, which name it retained. About 1856 the name was changed to Hubbard's Corners, and subsequently to Hubbardsville. William T. Manchester was the first postmaster. He held the office till 1851, when C. R. Nash was appointed and has held it continuously since, except some three years, during eight months of which time, in 1856, the office was returned to East Hamilton, and the rest of that time Lorenzo Fuller held it tinder the administration of Buchanan.
MANUFACTURES.---The Dunbar Mills at Hubbardsville, (grist, saw and cider,) were built in 1850, by Charles Blanchard and James II. Dunbar, on the site of a mill which was among the earliest in this section of country. After various changes in proprietorship they came into the possession of the present proprietor, A. G. Ingalls, in August, 1871. The grist-mill contains three runs of stunts, and the saw-mill a muley and circular saw and a planer, propelled by water from the east branch of the Chenango, with a fall of eight feet.
The Hubhardsville Hotel was built for a dwelling house some five years ago, by the present proprietor, Hiram P. Armstrong, and converted to its present use in the spring of 1876.
East Hamilton, originally and still known as Colchester Settlement, is situated about a mile south of Hubbardsville, on the opposite (east) side of the river, and contains a Methodist church, a store, which as well as the post-office, is kept by George Munson, a blacksmith shop and ten or twelve houses. This place was an early and active business center, giving abundant promise of future greatness, and withal an aspirant for public honors. From 1804 to 1814 the subject of a county seat was the burden of town legislation ; and in March of the latter year we find recorded the following action in regard to this matter:---
"Resolved, That if, in the wisdom of the honorable, the Legislature, a half shire should be deemed requisite, it is the opinion of this meeting that the most equitable and convenient place for the public buildings of said half shire is at the village of Colchester Settlement in this town, where the Hamilton and Skaneateles turnpike intersects the Utica and Oxford road."
South Hamilton is situated in the south-east part of the town, and contains a small grocery in which the post-office is kept by Horace Craine, a grist and saw-mill, owned by Ellery Fuller, a blacksmith shop and shoe shop.
Hamilton Center, in consonance with the custom then prevalent in the New England towns, was selected by The First Congregational Church of Hamilton as the most eligible site for their meeting-house, which was erected here in 1800; and here they worshiped many years. This church was incorporated as The Second Congregational Society of Hamilton, Sept. 24, 1798, at which time "the inhabitants of that part of the town of Hamilton * * * known and distinguished by the appellation of Colchester Society," met and elected Jonathan Stephens, Richard Butler, Lucius Scott, Reuben Foot, Isaac Skinner and Jared T. Hooker, trustees. When this church was organized, if indeed it had an organized existence prior to this, we are not advised. It has long since ceased to exist. The building was removed to Poolville about 1842 (in which year and several successive and preceding years it was used for town meetings,) and was cut up into two dwellings by Damon Richmond, who now owns them.
The First Universalist Society in Hamilton, which was organized at .the house of David Dunbar in Hubbardsville by Rev. Nathaniel Stacy, in t8o8, also erected their house of worship here in 1833-'34, having previously worshiped in school-houses, private houses and barns. Mr. Stacy continued his ministrations with them for sixteen years. Rev. John Freeman was subsequently the pastor, and remained here until his death.
The meeting-house of the Second Baptist church of Hamilton, is located a mile south-east of Poolville. This church was organized with 30 members Feb. 1, 1819, in which year they joined the Madison Association and reported 40 members. They were recognized by a council, April 15, 1817. Robert Powell, a licentiate, was called to the pastorate and ordained July 22, 1819. He sustained that relation till 1821. From this time until 1825 they were without a pastor; but meetings were held and preaching obtained occasionally. In May, 1825, Elder Caleb Read, from the 2d church in Brookfield, united with the church and was immediately invited to become their pastor. He served them about a year. They were again without a pastor till August, 1831, when Simon Miner, a licentiate, was called to preach, and was with them a short time. In 1834, Rev. J. H. Walden accepted a call, but remained only a short time. After his removal Demas Robinson served them about a year as a supply.
Up to this time the meetings had been held in school-houses. In 1835, a church was built, and dedicated August 26th of that year, Rev. Jason Corwin, of the Sherburne church, preaching the dedicatory sermon.
During this period up to 1841, they were without a pastor, being mostly supplied by students from the college at Hamilton. In 1841, Rev. S. P. Way commenced his labors with them and continued them till April, 1845. Elder Wilder next served them a short time. In December, 1847, Rev. A. Lawton became the pastor, but remained only a short time. In November, 1851, Elder Way again became the pastor, and continued his labors five years. From 1856 to 1868 they had no pastor.
In September, 1868, Rev. Bela Palmer commenced pastoral labor. In the winter of 1869 the interior of the church was rearranged and refurnished. It was re-dedicated in March of that year, Rev. J. J. Lewis, of Madison University, preaching the sermon. Mr. Palmer's pastorate continued till his death, Feb. 28, 1872. J. H. McGahen was his successor and was ordained March 27, 1872. He closed his labors Jan. 1, 1874, in which year B. F. Williams assumed the pastoral care. Rev. E. D. Clough, of Hamilton Theological Seminary, supplied the pulpit from 1876 to May 19, 1878. Prof. O. D. Taylor, a licentiate, was called as pastor and commenced his labors May 26, 1878. He still continues there.
In June, 1879, it reported a membership of 74; the estimated value of church property was $1,000; the number of Sunday School scholars was 60, officers and teachers, 12. A. J. Nichols, of Poolville, was Superintendent of Sabbath School.
WAR OF THE REBELLION.---The first recorded action taken by this town with reference to filling its quotas under the various calls for troops bears date of Saturday, Aug. 13, 1864, when, at a special town meeting held at Poolville, the following action was taken:---
"Resolved, That the sum of $20,000 be raised for the purpose of raising volunteers to fill the quota of this town under the recent call for 500,000 men, to be used, if necessary, at the discretion of the War Committee.
"Resolved, That the said sum of $20,000 be raised upon four negotiable promissory notes of $5,000 each, to be signed by at least twenty-five or more responsible men of the town of Hamilton, drawn in such a manner as to make each note-maker liable to contribute his aliquoit proportion to the other note-makers thereof, which notes are to be made payable to the order of the town War Committee, and to be made payable on the first day of February next.
"Resolved, That the highest sum appropriated by the town War Committee to volunteers for the purpose of obtaining men to fill the quota of the town, shall be applied and paid to all substitutes for three years, and a pro rata sum for one and two years, obtained and credited upon said quota of said town, provided that the amount thus appropriated, added to the county bounty, shall not exceed the sum paid for the substitutes."
At a special meeting held at the house of Damon Richmond, in Poolville, Saturday, Sept. 17, 1864, it was resolved that $9,000 be levied and collected on the taxable property of the town in the months of December, 1865, and January, 1866, and applied to the payment of bounties to soldiers credited on the quota of the town under the call of July 19, 1864, for 500,000 men; and that bonds in sums of $100, $200 and $500, to the amount of $8,300, be issued, payable Feb. 1, 1866, with interest at 7 per cent. and negotiated by the Supervisor and applied to the payment of bounties to soldiers and money borrowed or debt incurred in behalf of the town in the matter of filling the aforesaid quota. It was also resolved,
"that the highest bounty paid by the War Committee to volunteers enlisting for one year in said town, shall be paid to all substitutes enlisting for the same time and credited upon the quota."
At a special meeting held at the same place Monday, Jan. 2, 1865, it was
"Resolved, That Nathan Brownell, Jr., Supervisor of the town of Hamilton, be authorized to procure the men to fill the quota of the town under the late call for 300,000 men, and that he shall obtain one, two or three years' men as he can the most advantageously, and that he be authorized to pay such sum as bounty as in his discretion he shall deem necessary, and when the quota shall have been filled, the Town Auditors shall be convened at his notice and he shall make a detailed report of all his proceedings and expenses, with the vouchers, to the Board, which shall be audited by them, and that he receive the sum of $25 for each recruit mustered into the service as compensation for his services and expenses.
"Resolved, That the sum of $30,000 be raised by the town for the purpose of filling up the quota of the town, to be raised by the issue of the town Bonds or Orders, bearing seven per cent. interest, payable, one-half on the first day of February, 1866, and one-half on the first day of February, 1867, * * *
"Resolved, That those buying substitutes in time to credit upon the quota of the town shall be paid the highest sum paid by the agent to volunteers for the same length of time."
At a special meeting held at the same place Thursday, Feb. 9, 1865, it was
"Resolved, That the sum of $7,403.65 be levied and raised upon the taxable property of the town of Hamilton, for the purpose of paying the bounty and expenses upon an excess of ten volunteers credited to the town of Hamilton. That said amount shall be paid in Town Orders that have already been negotiated to fill the call of Dec. 19, 1864, for 300,000 men."
Hamilton furnished in aid of the suppression of the Rebellion, 277 soldiers and 4 seamen; of whom 60 were natives of the town, 172 were enlisted in the town, and 26 were substitutes. One ranked as Colonel, two as Lieutenant-Colonel, one as Major, one as Surgeon, one as Chaplain, one as Quartermaster, eight as Captain, ten as First Lieutenant, four as Second-Lieutenant, one as Lieutenant, (grade not indicated,) and 15 as Sergeant. Of the number, 2 enlisted for five years, 203 for three years, 23 for two years, 28 for one year, and 25 for nine months. They were distributed among the various branches of the service as follows, 1 each in the 1st, (Rifles) 2d (Rifles,) 2d (Mtd Rifles,) 7th, (U. S.,) 11th, (U. S.,) 14th, 21st, 64th, 89th and 91st, 2 each in the 20th, 44th, 100th, and 117th, 7 in the 16th, 12 in the 61st, 21 in the 26th, 23 in the 114th, 24 in the 176th, 27 in the 189th and 32 in the 157th infantry regiments; 1 each in the 21st and 26th, 2 each in the 8th, 11th and 15th, 3 in the 10th, 6 in the 22d, 7 in the Independent, and 22 in the 24th cavalry regiments; 1 each in the 8th (battery,) 9th and 10th, 2 each in the 1st (battery,) 1st (light,) 2d (heavy,) 3d (light,) 13th and 15th heavy,) 3 each in 3d and 7th (battery,) 5 in the 1st and 8 in the 2d artillery regiments; and 5 in the regular service (branch not indicated.)
Statement22 of bounties received:---
|1||received||a County||bounty of||$ 25.|
Aside from the stirring activity incident to the filling of her own quotas, Hamilton was the rendezvous of the 157th Regiment, which was organized there in the fall of 1862, and was one of the two regiments raised that year, under orders of July 7th, in the 23d Senatorial District, comprising Madison, Chenango and Cortland counties.
PROF. PHILETUS B. SPEAR, D. D.
Prof. Philetus B. Spear, D. D., Madison University, Hamilton, N. V., is above medium size, compactly built, elastic, possessing great power of endurance, well-poised, well preserved, sanguine in temperament, hopeful, conscientious, cool in counsel, tenacious of purpose, earnest in execution, regarding success of all things most successful, but trusting in God for final results.
He was born at Palmyra, N. Y., May 23, 1811, brought up in boyhood as a farmer, and prepared for college at "Ostrander's Mathematical School," at "Seth Davis' Classical School," and at the "Palmyra High School." He came to Hamilton, Dec. 1, 1831, and entered the class that, after " the re-organization into an Academy, College and Theological Seminary," was the first to pursue the entire college course. He was graduated in 1836 from college, and in 1838, from the Theological Seminary. The class numbered when graduated from college, twenty-six. Nine are living at the present date, eight of whom have been honored with the Doctorate. He married Esther Jackson Aug. 29, 1838, and had by her eight children.
He became classical teacher in 1835 while in his senior year; then, after graduation, tutor of mathematics and natural philosophy, soon Professor of Hebrew, and in 1850, of Hebrew and Latin, having taught in all over forty years in the Academy, College and Theological Seminary, a part of the time also as Principal of the Madison University Grammar School.
As a teacher he was punctual, methodical and thorough, inspiring his pupils with high motives and with enthusiasm, rarely losing an exercise, and often taking extra college work. After the Madison University charter of 1846, he gave no little attention to the finances, often being a sort of Committee of Ways and Means to the treasurer.
There were two emergencies outside of his chair which taxed severely his energies:---
1. In the midst of the highest prosperity the "Removal Question" was suddenly sprung upon the University. This was followed by a controversy running through three full years, with all the consequences of divided counsels and legal prosecutions. The controversy was generally friendly but animated, sometimes fierce and bitter. The tendency was to a loosening and a falling apart of that compact inner structure which so many years had been successfully building. His aim was to hold everything in position and working order whether removal took place or not.
He was moderate, but held his views with great firmness: that a new institution was better for the Western field; that it was doubtful whether removal could be accomplished; that therefore Madison University should be left undisturbed. This threw him on the side of the defense of the present location. He made a historical and legal brief, drawn from annual reports, records and other documents, and this became the basis of injunctions served against removal. The positions therein taken were sustained by the courts, and a perpetual "injunction" issued.
On two occasions he stood alone---once when the "Compromise Scheme" was urged "to take away the Madison University charter and leave another school." He insisted that it meant death to this enterprise, and that the charter must stay or all go. Then again, after all legal questions had been settled, and not a quorum of Hamilton men were left on the Board, he had, in the final adjustment of the Board to this location, to assume the entire responsibility, or see in one hour all that had been contended for lost, by losing the use of the Madison University charter, and of the Madison University Board. These were saved by passing through the narrowest strait possible, without losing the corporate powers. For each case of resignation and election there was just a quorum to act, and no more---9 out of 27.
Thus the controversy closed, and around the two Professors who had stuck by Drs. Eaton and Spear the old enthusiasm and old patronage rallied, and three years, equalling the years of the removal controversy, more than brought back the old prosperity.
This success brought large accretions of work and responsibility. Beside the chair of Hebrew and Latin, he for ten years was secretary of both Boards, and of the executive and provisional committees, and Madison University librarian. These offices he dropped when the necessity ceased.
2. The second emergency was the necessity for an "Endowment." The income was small, the salaries small, and to push out with larger plans, required larger means. Hired agencies for this specific work had nearly proved a failure. Forced by the logic of circumstances, he undertook this outside work. In 1850 he had already engineered the subscription for $60,000. Near the close of the war he organized and initiated the "Colgate Plan" for $60,000 more. At the close of the war, in 1864, he renewed his efforts as a voluntary and gratuitous service, as a side issue for re-creation. The first year there came in $82,000; then for Jubilee year (1869-'70,) $220,000; then for the National Centennial 1876, $102,000. These with other sums straggling in, the whole amount since the close of the war, for all purposes, is about half a million. This is said to recognize the aid received from those whole-souled men and women without whom no success could have followed. The Colgate Brothers, and a thousand others, Trevor, Mrs. Dr. Somers, and many new corners, D. Munro, Mrs. King and Cornell, with scores of others doing equally well.
As a student and professor he has kept pace with University life for nearly half a century, having personally known every member of the faculty, and being familiar with nearly every phase of University history. He has used his pen with effect, especially during the removal controversy. He drew up " The Fraternal Address to the Baptist Denomination," June 9, 1849; also the "Address to the Albany Convention" of Oct. 4, 1849, and then an answer to Dr. Williams' compromise scheme of Oct. 22, 1849---all of which (lid much to settle mooted questions, and establish the old devotion, enthusiasm and patronage.
The subject of this brief memoir from whom the village of Hubbardsville was named, was born in Sunderland, twelve miles from Northampton, Mass., Feb. 16, 1784. He was a son of Jonathan and Hannah (Barnard) Hubbard. But little is known of his boyhood clays, except at the age of fourteen he accompanied his parents to what was then Litchfield, Herkimer Co., N. Y. and that he learned the shoemaker's trade at Warren, in the same county. At the last named place he married Susannah Allen daughter of Amasa and Susannah (Fish) Allen. Her father was born at Petersham, Mass., Oct. 9, 1753, and was a son of Edward and Mary Allen who were settlers there in 1750. The late Dr. Samuel Allen of Copenhagen, Lewis Co., N. Y., for many years agent there of the late Abram Varick, of Utica, and in the war of 1812, of the firm of Allen & Canfield of that place, merchants and contractors for the fleet at Sacket's Harbor, was her brother. She died Dec. 16, 1863, aged 76 years, 8 months and 6 days. By her Mr. Hubbard had two children: Emily, born Nov. 4, 1808, and Corydon, born June 5, 1814. The latter died at the age of four years. Emily married Elias K. Hart, of Oneida county, March 25, 1828, she died Sept. 10, 1853. Her husband is yet living.
In 1808 Mr. Hubbard removed with his family to Sherburne, Chenango county, where he remained about five years. In June, 1813, he settled where the village of Hubbardsville is now located and engaged in distilling and subsequently in tanning and farming,
occupations that he followed up to the close of his business career in 1853.
Mr. Hubbard was most thoroughly an active and successful business man. He was sympathetic and kindly with his debtors, and many a respected citizen will gratefully recall his generous financial assistance in early business life.
Physically, Mr. Hubbard was delicately framed, and was active to a remarkable degree, even up to the close of his life. At times he was gloomy and despondent, and at others he was happy and vivacious, quick at repartee, and was noted for his sharp pithy sayings. He was a man of strong convictions, frank and fearless in their expression, and energetic in carrying them out. He was a kind and indulgent husband and father, a genial friend, a generous neighbor and a useful and public spirited citizen.
He was liberal and kind to the poor; and it can be said of him that "he made the wilderness blossom as the rose," and kept pace with the foremost men of his time in agricultural improvements valuable to himself and to his neighbors as well.
In political sentiment Mr. Hubbard, was a whig, then an abolitionist of the Gerrit Smith stamp. His money and a hearty God-speed was ever ready to assist the slave from bondage, until the formation of the Republican party, with which he united, and was ardent and energetic in his support of its principles and measures. He lived to see the close of the great rebellion, and no man was more gratified than he, when Abraham Lincoln read his famous emancipation proclamation announcing to forty millions of people that slavery was forever abolished in the United States.
He was liberal in his religious views, and charitable towards all, ever trying to find some excuse for the erring.
Up to his death which occurred at his residence in Hubbardsville, May 17, 1876, at the age of 92 years and 3 months, he was the oldest man in the town.
The funeral services were conducted by the Rev. Mr. Marshall of Madison, there being present a large attendance of the substantial residents of the community, among whom he had lived sixty-three years.
Among the representative business men of Madison county, none occupy a more conspicuous and honorable position than he whose name heads this brief sketch. He was born in the town of Madison, June 6, 1828. His parents, Nathan and Polly (Brown) Brownell, were natives of Rhode Island. The father was born March 13, 1789, and the mother June 25, 1800. They were married in the town of Madison in 1816.
The father of Nathan, Sr., settled at Paris, Oneida county, at a very early day, and died there March 21, 1816. His wife, (Lucy Richmond,) died June 14, 1814. She was born July 26, 1751.
Nathan, Sr., was the tenth in a family of eleven children. Three of his brothers followed the sea and were lost by shipwreck. He followed farming until about the year 1830, when he engaged in mercantile pursuits at Madison Center. In 1832 he came to Hubbardsville and was thus engaged until 1844 when he changed his location to Clarksville, town of Brookfield, where he carried on business till his death, which occurred May 22, 1866. Polly, his wife, died April 1, 1837. They had eight sons and two daughters, named as follows: Lucy R., born Aug. 28, 1819, (died in infancy,) Lucy R., born Aug. 17, 1820; (died Dec. 5, 1866,) Nicanor, born Feb. 14, 1823, George, born March 29, 1825, (died in infancy,) George, born May 8, 1826, Nathan, Peris R., born April 3, 1831, (died March 23, 1833,) Peris R., born Aug. 31, 1833, Putnam C., born June 8, 1835, and Hervey, born April 1, 1837, (died July 9, 1839).
The advantages enjoyed by these children for their education were such only as were afforded by the common schools of their town.
Nathan, at the age of 16, went to Sherburne and was employed as a clerk by Pratt & Rexford, merchants, about five years. Soon after severing his connection with that firm, he went west and remained about two years. In 1853 he returned and located permanently at Hubbardsville, where he now resides, and engaged in merchandising and milling till 1861.
Mr. Brownell presents a splendid example of the success that unaided effort united with persistent purpose and honorable ambition may achieve.
He has been handsomely recognized by his party and the public in the bestowments of public stations. In 1861 he was elected supervisor of his town, and was elected six times in succession to that office. During the war of the Rebellion his signal executive abilities were fully tested, in furnishing the town's quota of troops called for by the Government, and in raising the money needed to secure substitutes.
In the fall of 1867 he was elected County Clerk and removed to Morrisville and entered upon the duties of that office Jan. 1, 1868. He held that office three years, and during that time, he was a member of the several commissions appointed to appraise the land taken by the Midland Railroad Company, in the counties of Chenango and Cortland, where disputes arose as to their value. In 1872 he was elected Justice of the Peace, which office he still holds.
In all the relations of public and private life Mr. Brownell has been faithful to his trusts, and his influence and value as a citizen is freely and fully acknowledged by all who know him. He possesses in a marked degree those qualities that characterize the good neighbor, kind husband and indulgent parent.
In politics Mr. Brownell is a staunch Republican having united with that party in 1856, since which time no man has been more earnest and zealous in his efforts to further the interest of the party.
The 7th of April, 1852, Mr. Brownell married Rozella S., daughter of Elias K. and Emily (Hubbard) Hart, natives, the former of Oneida county, where he was born Dec. 16, 1803, and is still living, and the latter of Sherburne, Chenango county, where she was born Nov. 4, 1808, and died Sept. 10, 1853. They had five children, viz: Allen H., born April 22, 1829, (drowned in a vat in the tannery at Hubbardsville, Nov. 9, 1831,) Rozella S., born Aug. 15, 1830, Hubbard, born Aug. 7, 1832, Susan Lavina, born Feb. 25, 1836, and Norval Demas, born Sept. 26, 1848.
Mrs. Brownell's grandfather, Calvin Hubbard; was one of the first settlers in the town, at Hubbardsville, which place was named for him.
Mr. and Mrs. Brownell have two children, Frank H., born March 10, 1856, and Emily Louise, born May 24, 1866. They have one daughter by adoption, Alice Buckingham, born Oct. 9, 1854. She is a grand-daughter of Dr. Buckingham, of Sherburne, Chenango county.