DE RUYTER was formed from Cazenovia March 15, 1798, and was named at the suggestion of John Lincklaen from Admiral De Ruyter of the Dutch navy. German, Chenango county, which then embraced the present towns of Lincklaen, Otselic and Pitcher, were set of on the formation of Madison county, March 21, 1806, and Georgetown, April 7, 1815. At the latter date a portion of Cazenovia was annexed. It lies in the south-west corner of the county, and is bounded on the north by Cazenovia, on the south by Lincklaen, on the east by George-town, and on the west by Fabius, in Onondaga county, and Cuyler, in Cortland county. As at present bounded it lies wholly within the Gore.
Its surface is a hilly upland, broken by the valley of the Tioughnioga, the summits of the hills attaining an altitude of 400 to 500 feet above the valleys. It is abundantly watered by the Tioughnioga and its numerous tributaries, which flow in a general westerly direction.
De Ruyter Reservoir constructed in 1863, at a cost of $158,378.20, is a feeder to the Erie canal, its supply being 3,891 cubic feet per minute.
The north-west portion is underlaid by the rocks of the Hamilton group, while in the more elevated portions of the east and south those of the Genesee slate and Ithaca group come to the surface. Stone of good quality and several tons in amount was obtained from a quarry, not now worked, on the farm of Samuel R. Stillman, a mile east of De Ruyter, and was used for building the abutments of the railroad bridge. Another quarry is opened on the farm of Benjamin I. Burdick, a mile south-east of the village, but the stone is rough and inferior, being seamy, and splitting from the action of frost and water which soaks into its seams.
The soil upon the hills is a good quality of sandy and gravelly loam, and from its abundant springs and streams is admirably adapted to grass; in the valleys it is a rich alluvium, suited to the culture of grain, but, like all the southern towns, it is subject to untimely frosts.1 The farmers are almost exclusively engaged in dairying. There are five creameries and cheese factories in the town, which receive in the aggregate the milk from about 1,900 cows. These are the Case factory, situated a mile and a half north of the village, owned by Milton L. Case, who purchased it of De Grand Benjamin, by whom it was converted in 1869-70 from a grist-mill, for which purpose it was abandoned on the construction of the reservoir which destroyed the water-power, about 1862; the Reservoir factory, four miles north of the village, built in 1865 or '6 by a stock company, by whom it is still owned; the Sheds Corners factory, built about the close of the war by A. B. White, whose children still own it; the Quaker Basin factory, owned by the Stillman Bros., and converted in 1869, by _____ Mack, of Georgetown, from a Quaker meeting-house; and the Crumb Hill factory, built about 1875, by L. D. Nichols, who still owns it.
The extension of the Cazenovia & Canastota Railroad, (now the Utica, Ithaca & Elmira Railroad,) extends through the northern part of the town, and the Auburn branch of the Midland Railroad crosses the town south of the centre.
The population of the town in 1875 was 1,609; of whom 1,549 were native, Go foreign, all white, 807 males and 802 females. Its area was 19,153 acres; of which 14,027 acres were improved, 4,717 wood-land, and 409 otherwise unimproved. The cash value of farms was $753,660; of farm buildings, other than dwellings, $111,755; of stock, $111,970; of tools and implements, $32,597. The amount of gross sales from farms in 1874 was $83,921.
There are nine common and one union free school districts in the town. During the year ending Sept. 30, 1879, there were thirteen licensed teachers employed at one time during twenty-eight weeks or more. The number of children of school age residing in the districts at that date was 521. During that year there were seven male and sixteen female teachers employed; the number of children residing in the districts who attended school was 420; in other districts, 60; of whom five were under five or over twenty-one years of age; the average daily attendance during the year was 240.039; the number of volumes in district libraries was 850, the value of which was $462; the number of school houses was ten, nine frame and one stone, which, with the sites, embracing 3 acres and 66 rods, valued at $1,275, were valued at $8,805; the assessed value of taxable property in the districts was $538,170. The number of children between eight and fourteen years of age residing in the districts at that date was 113, of whom 89 attended district school fourteen weeks of that year.
Receipts and disbursements for school purposes:---
|Amount on hand Oct. 1, 1878||$ 43.53|
|Amount apportioned to districts||1,368.07|
|Proceeds of Gospel and school lands||5.70|
|Raised by tax||978.46|
|From teachers' board||100.00|
|From other sources||417.65|
|Paid for teachers' wages||$2,441.89|
|" school apparatus||126.80|
|" school-houses, sites, fences, outhouses, repairs, furniture, etc||62.59|
|" incidental expenses||194.94|
|Amount remaining on hand Sept. 30, 1879||85.21|
SETTLEMENTS.---The settlement of the town was commenced in 1793, by Elijah and Elias Benjamin and Eli Colegrove. The Benjamins were brothers and came from South East, Duchess county, their native place. They located in the north-west corner of the town, Elijah on 150 acres now owned and occupied by Benjamin Merchant. Elias removed soon after to the farm now owned by Philander Burton, a mile north of the village. Both had families which they brought in with a horse team. Elijah's family consisted of his wife, Elizabeth Paddock, and three sons, Elias P., David and Elijah E. Five other children were born here, Frederick, a daughter who died in infancy, Charles, Loretta and Aaron. In 1808 Elijah sold his improvements to Benjamin Merchant and removed to Cuyler, thence to Truxton, where he died in 1819, and his wife in 1822. Elias P. Benjamin married Martha, daughter of Joseph Rich, of De Ruyter, and settled on his father-in-law's farm and operated the mills erected by the latter. Both died in De Ruyter village, Elias P., Nov. 27, 1866, aged 83, and his wife, Nov, 22, 1866, aged 74. David Benjamin married Sarah, daughter of Joseph Rich. He also settled on the Rich farm, where he resided till his removal with his family, about 1820, to Ohio, where he and his wife died, the latter only a year or two ago. Elijah E. Benjamin married Catharine, daughter of Charles Vincent, of Truxton (now Cuyler) and settled on his father's homestead in the latter town, where he resided till 1858, when he resigned the farm to his son, Horace, and removed to De Ruyter village, where he now (1879) resides, in his 92d year. He married in 1816, and had thirteen children, eleven boys and two girls, of whom seven are living, but only one, Horace, in De Ruyter. His wife died April 19, 1869. Frederick Benjamin was born in De Ruyter in 1794,2 and was the first child born in the town. He married Ellen, daughter of Abel Fairchild, of Lincklaen, who died some four years after their marriage. He afterwards married Sarah Thomas, of Cazenovia, who is now living in Belvidere, Ill., to which place he removed about 1836, and died there. Charles Benjamin married Amanda Waters, of Fabius, and settled in De Ruyter, where he worked at his trade of shoemaker, and died in the village, where three of his children now reside--Hiram, Mrs. Martin Spear and Mrs. Joseph Connell. Loretta Benjamin married I. C. Burdick, of Dc Ruyter, and settled in Cuyler. He afterwards removed to DeRuyter village and died there.
Elias Benjamin, the pioneer, was a shoemaker and carried on his trade for several years on the Burton farm. He afterwards removed to Lincklaen, and subsequently to Truxton, where he died. He had only two children, twins, who died in infancy. His wife died in Lincklaen.
Eli Colegrove came from Rhode Island and settled in the north-west corner of the town, contiguous to Elijah Benjamin. His farm has since been cut up in several smaller ones. A portion of it is owned by Benjamin Merchant. He afterwards removed to a farm a little north of his original settlement and died there.
In 1795 the settlements were augmented by Joseph Messenger, Samuel Thompson and William and Thompson Burdick.
Joseph Messenger settled about a mile north of the village on the west fork of the road, and built there a double log house, in which, the following year, he opened the first tavern in town. He dispensed for several years a generous hospitality to the many pioneer settlers and prospecting parties who thronged this locality and the adjoining Military Tract.
Samuel Thompson settled in the north part of the town on the farm now occupied by Thomas Doan, and there he and his wife resided till their death, the former at the advanced age of ninety years. He was an angular man, possessing marked characteristics, an expert marksman and a noted hunter. From his resemblance to "Natty Bumpo," a character in Cooper's novel, The Pioneers, a sort of compromise between savage and civilized life, he acquired the sobriquet of "Leather Stocking." Among his children were Langdon, Hiram, who was killed on that farm by the fall of a tree, Jefferson, who was demented, Harriet, who married Epaphras Leet, Laura, a maiden lady, and Mrs. Pulford, a widow lady, the latter two of whom are living in De Ruyter village.
The Burdicks were brothers and came from Hopkinton, R. I. They settled just south of the reservoir, raised large families, many of whom settled in the town, and bore excellent reputations as honest and upright citizens. Russell Walker, grandfather of Henry S. Walker, the hardware merchant in De Ruyter, settled early in the same locality.
Daniel Page, Gideon Foster and Eleazer Gage came in a little later. Page and Gage were from Duchess county. Page settled in De Ruyter village, and built the first public house in the corporation. It was a log building and was soon after3 replaced by a frame one, which now forms the east part of the long building, now occupied as a saloon and meat market, located on the south-west corner, next to the store recently erected by M. R. Merchant.4 Mr. Page was a surveyor, and removed from the town at an early day. A hotel was kept in that building at intervals, till 1863.
The death of Gideon Foster, which occurred in the spring of 1796, from an aggravated form of hernia induced by over-exertion, was the first in the town. He was buried on the farm of Elijah Benjamin, where many of the early settlers lie.
Eleazer Gage came in with his sons, Justus, Jeremiah, Ira and Ebenezer, all of whom were married when they came, and located about a mile north of the village. Justus settled where Charles Weeks now lives and died there Dec. 8, 1830, aged 67, and Mary, his wife, Feb. 15. 1849, aged 81. Captain Jeremiah settled where Newel Reeve now lives, two miles north of the village, and kept tavern there for several years. He removed to the village a few years previous to his death, which occurred there March 4, 1844, aged 71. Ebenezer settled where Horace Wells now lives, and died there. Ira5 taught the first school in the winter of 1799, in a log building which stood on the farm now occupied by Isaac Higley, and which had formerly been used as a dwelling. Elijah E. Benjamin attended that school and went a distance of two miles through the almost unbroken wilderness to do so. He is believed to he the only survivor of that early school. Ira removed at an early day to Ohio and died there. The Gages were once a very numerous and respectable family in this locality. Edwin L. Gage, a grandson of Justus, is the only one of that name left here. Ira Gage Barnes, of Syracuse, was an adopted son of Captain Jeremiah Gage, and after-wards became a prominent and successful business man in De Ruyter.
Matthew Wells and Jonathan Shed joined the settlements in 1800, and Darius Benjamin and Samuel Bowen soon after.
Matthew Wells was born in Hopkinton, R. I., Nov. 7, 1765, and married Dec. 18, 1788, Elizabeth Coon, who was also born in Hopkinton, April 22, 1768. They removed shortly before 1800 to Grafton, Rensselaer county, and thence to De Ruyter, settling three miles north of the village, near the saw-mill of Dennis Coon, which is located on a part of the farm. He died there March 28, 1852, aged 86, and his wife, June 9, 1842, aged 74.
Jonathan Shed came from Brimfield, Mass., and settled in the north-east part of the town, at the corners which bear his name. Darius Benjamin, brother of the pioneers Elijah and Elias, also came from North East, and settled within the village corporation, near the Sabbatarian cemetery. His farm has been cut up into village lots.
Levi Wood, a native of Munson, Mass., came from Brimfield in that State in 1803, and brought his family in the following year. He located on lot 135. Sylvester Crumb came from Rhode Island about this year and settled on what is still known as Crumb Hill, four miles east of the village, where he died a great many years ago.
Joseph Rich came from Woodstock, Conn., about 1807, and bought the Elias Benjamin farm, now the Burton farm, where he and his wife died. Their two daughters, Sarah and Martha, who were their only children, came with them and married sons of Elijah Benjamin. He built on the north and main branch of Tioughnioga River, which flows through his farm, about a mile north of the village, the first saw and grist-mill in the town, the former in 1807 and the latter in 1809. These mills were continued in operation till the reservoir in the north-west corner of the town was constructed to supply the Erie canal, when, the privilege being thus destroyed, they were abandoned. The grist-mill was converted into a cheese factory by DeGrand Benjamin, Mr. Rich's grandson, for which purpose it is still used. The saw-mill was torn down and the frame used in the construction of an addition to the grist-mill. The original grist-mill was replaced by the present structure in 1836.
Jonathan Bentley, a native of Richmond, R. I., came in 1808, from Easton, Washington county, where he married Judith Coon, a native of Westerly, R. I., and where he resided only during his young manhood. His two sons, Hampton S. and Zadock T., accompanied him in his settlement here. He located on fifty acres in the north part of the town, which are now owned in part by J. H. Crumb, and resided there till his death, Dec. 19, 1841.
About this year (1808) Benjamin Merchant came from Woodstock, Conn., and purchased Elijah Benjamin's farm, on which he resided till his death from the epidemic which prevailed a few years after. His son Bradley succeeded him on the farm and died there. Benjamin Merchant, the present occupant is a son of Bradley's. The widow of Augustus Gardner is the only one of his children living. M. R. Benjamin and Rollin, in De Ruyter, and Warren in Lisle, are grand-children of Benjamin's and sons of Bradley's.
About this time also a large number of friends came in from the Hudson River country, mostly from Saratoga, Westchester and Duchess counties, and settled in this locality and the adjoining towns of Cuyler and Truxton. Among these were Job Webb and Benjamin Stratton, from Hudson, Abram Sutton, father of Allen Sutton, of De Ruyter, a very prominent man, carrying on with his sons a great many years the tanning business, John Shepard, from Saratoga, James Hunt, father of William, now living in Pompey Hollow, Elihu, who went west, and others who were heads of families, also from Saratoga county, Nathaniel Wright, from Saratoga county, John Pierce, from New York, Reuben Burnard, from Columbia county, who settled on Crumb Hill; and later John Gifford, a preacher, from Troy, who settled two miles south of Crumb HIII, Ephraim Arnold, a tanner, from Duchess county, who settled in Quaker Basin, Beman Hoag, in the same locality, Capt. Francis Bunker, captain of a whaling vessel from Hudson, who, with his family of boys, settled about a mile north of the village, David Wood and John Hewitt, from Saratoga county, Richard North from Columbia county, who settled in the village and afterwards removed to the south hill, Joseph, Thomas and Benjamin Mitchell, the latter of whom was a clothier, brothers, from Duchess county, Dr. Ephraim Otis, from Saratoga county, an eminent physician, who settled a mile south of the village, Stephen Bogardus, from Ghent, Columbia county, Benjamin Wybert, from Saratoga county, Enos and Amos Peasley, brothers, Elijah Cornell, (father of Hon. Ezra Cornell, founder of Cornell University, and grandfather of Hon. Alonzo B. Cornell, Governor of New York,) Joseph and Benjamin Tripp and David Ring, from Columbia County, James Derbyshire, from Saratoga county, Joseph Underwood, from Duchess county, formerly from New England, and many others, all of whom settled in DeRuyter.
About 1806 or '07 Friends meetings were begun in a log house which stood near the north edge of the village; and in 1 816 the Friends built a meeting house, in Quaker Basin, two miles east of the village, which still stands, and in which meetings are still regularly held, though there are now only twelve to fifteen of a once numerous flock.
In 1827 a division occurred in the society of Friends, and about 1830 a church was built by the Orthodox6 Friends, which they used but a few years, many of the members moving to the west. Their house is now used as a cheese factory, having been removed from its original location a little east of the Hicksite house.
Elder Joseph Coley, a Baptist minister, and a prominent man, was an early settler about a mile north of the village, east of the Edwin Gage farm. He largely interested himself in the sale of lands to the Friends, in the interest of John Lincklaen. He afterwards removed to the locality of New Woodstock, where he died Sept. 25, 1856, aged 91, and Mary Willis, his wife, Sept. 30, 1845, aged 77.
Zenas Rider, who was born Dec. 1, 1785, came from North East, Duchess county, about 1808 or '9, and settled on a farm just north of the village, which is now owned by Joseph H. Crumb, of De Ruyter, and occupied by Oscar Smith, where he resided till his death, Aug. 17, 1858.
Many other early and prominent settlers might justly claim our attention had we the space to devote to them. Among these are David Main, a distinguished school teacher in this town at an early day, who settled at the head of the reservoir, and raised a large family, his son David having been a teacher, surveyor, justice, and Member of Assembly in 1849; James Nye, a carpenter, who came from Athens about the close of the war of 1812, who was a Member of Assembly, and whose son James W. Nye has become distinguished by his eloquence as a lawyer and legislator; Eleazer H. Sears, whose sons Stephen G., George S., and Francis, acquired a local prominence, though all have passed away; the Paddocks, Aaron, Belden, Isaac and Nathan, young men who came here with their mother from Duchess county, married and became influential citizens; Jonathan, Luke and Pardon Coon, brothers, who cleared up fine farms in the north part of the town, and raised large and respectable families; Pliny Sabins, who built the first farm house at Sheds Corners.
Officers of the town of De Ruyter for the year 1880-'81:---
Supervisor---Joseph H. Crumb.
Town Clerk---George F. Annas.
Justices---Daniel Q. Mitchell, James P. Russell, Austin A. White, George S. Mason.
Assessors---D. Foster Gardner, David Rigby, Silas S. Clark.
Commissioner of Highways---Joel B. Phillips.
Overseer of Poor---Martin T. Spear.
Constables---Edward B. Parsons, I. Howard Stone, Thomas Sumner, George Doane, H. Miner Weaver.
Collector---Edward B. Parsons.
Inspectors of Election---District No. 1---Isaac Higley, Jonathan H. Babcock, H. Dellivan Lewis.
Town Board---Supervisor, Town Clerk and Justices.
Sealer of Weights and Measures---H. Jerome Crandall.
Game Constable---Oscar Smith.
Excise Commissioners---Holly M. Maxson, Edwin N. Coon, Thomas E. Johnson.
DeRuyter is pleasantly situated in the valley of the Tioughnioga, on the west border of the town, south of the center, and at the intersection of the Utica, Ithaca and Elmira and the Auburn Branch of the Midland Railroads. It is distant by rail between 16 and 17 miles from Cazenovia, and 18 3/8 miles by highway. It contains four churches, (Methodist Episcopal, Baptist, Seventh-Day Baptist and Union, the latter built by the Presbyterian society in 1830, but not now in use,) a union school, two hotels, two printing offices,7 a private bank, eleven stores, five blacksmith shops, (Spear & Hart, Vincent & Outhout, R. F. Clark, Orra Hayes and Thomas Kellan,) a meat market, (Richard Howard,) two harness shops, (L. F. Spear and Barton G. Stillman,) a tailor shop, (Richard Draper,) four wagon shops, (Levi Blanchard, Hart Ames, Wright Tripp and Elias Rogers,) a shoe shop, (James John-son,) two millinery establishments, (Ella Vincent and Jane DeLamater,) a jeweler's shop, (Horace W. Burdick,) a dental office, (James H. Beebe,) a furniture establishment, (J. H. Crumb,) a grist-mill, saw-mill, foundry, a soap and candle factory and a population of 821.
The village was incorporated April 15, 1833; re-incorporated Dec. 7, 1847, and Feb. 18, 1878, under the law of April 20, 1870. The first corporation meeting was held at the house of Thomas C. Nye, Tuesday, May 21, 1833, and the following named officers were elected: James Nye, Le Baron Goodwin, Elmer D. Jencks, Jeremiah Gage and Ephraim Arnold, Trustees; Benjamin Mitchell, Thomas C. Nye and James Burt, Assessors; George Sears, Treasurer; Oliver Hart, Collector; at a meeting of the trustees Jeremiah Gage was chosen President; and LeBaron Goodwin, Secretary.8
Officers of DeRuyter Village in 1880:---
President Board Trustees, Byron S. Bryant.
Trustees, Rufus T. Kemp, Henry K. Nash, Martin T. Spear.
Clerk, Wallace E. Burdick.
Treasurer, Robert P. York.
Collector, Orrington M. Blanchard.
Street Commissioner, Byron DeLamater.
Police Justice, Daniel Q. Mitchell.
Police Constable, I. Howard Stone.
The following have been the Presidents and Clerks of DeRuyter village from its incorporation to the present time:---
|1833.||Jeremiah Gage.||LeBaron Goodwin.|
|1834.||Elmer D. Jencks.||George Sears.|
|1835.||Ephraim Arnold.||Z. T. Bentley.|
|1836.||Stephen G. Sears.||do.|
|1837.||Samuel Gage.||Martin Spear.|
|1838.||Abijah N. Annas.||Charles H. Maxson.|
|1839.||R. D. Dellay. (Dillaye)||G. Sears.|
|1841.||Zadock T. Bentley.||do.|
|1843.||Charles Benjamin.||Artemas V. Bentley.|
|1845.||Silas G. Walker.||do.|
|1846.||Ira Gage Barnes.||do.|
|1847.||Barton G. Stillman.||William B. Wooley.|
|1848.||Elmer D. Jencks.||Charles H. Maxson.|
|1849.||J. S. Bentley.||Charles H. Maxson.|
|1850.||Willard D. Willcox||do.|
|1852.10||------ -------||----- -----|
|1853.||Allen Sutton.||J. B. Wells.|
|1854.||C. H. Maxson.||Jason B. Wells.|
|1855.||Allen Sutton.||Arza Coon.|
|1856.||Allen Shepherd.||A. V. Bentley.|
|1857.||William J. Ayer.||Jacob Merritt.|
|1859.||J. W. Merchant.||Robert P. York.|
|1860.||------ ------- 11||do.|
|1861.||Barton G. Stillman.||Robert P. York.|
|1864.||J. R. Rider.||George W. Blodgett.|
|1865.||B. G. Stillman.||do.|
|1866.||do.||Jason B. Wells.|
|1867.||H. C. Miner.||L. B. Kern.|
|1868.||do.||W. E. Burdick.|
|1869.||B. G. Stillman.||do.|
|1871.||B. G. Stillman.||do.|
|1872.||H. C. Miner.||do.|
|1873.||B. G. Stillman.||Jason B. Wells.|
|1874.||do.||W. Judson Annas.|
|1876.||James P. Russell.||do.|
|1877-8.||Byron S. Bryant.||do.12|
|1879.||do.||W. E. Burdick.|
MERCHANTS.---The first merchant was Samuel Bowen, who came here soon after 1800, and opened a small store in a building which stood a little north of the Taber House, which he kept but a few years. ____ Gray was trading here in 1805, and built the first frame store on the site of the residence of Ransom Clark, opposite the bank. Nathan B. Wilbur, a native of Brookfield, opened a store about 1818 and traded several years. James Benjamin, from the eastern part of this State, was one of the early merchants. Eli Spear kept a store on the south-west corner in 1809. He afterwards combined the business of a merchant with that of a tavern keeper in the same building.
Col. Elmer D. Jencks, who was born in Lenox, Mass., in 1791, removed thence with his parents to Smyrna, and in 1809 to DeRuyter, where he engaged in distilling, a mile north of the village. In 1814 he removed to the village and engaged in mercantile business, which he continued till about 1860, continuing his residence in the town till his death a few years since.
Sylvester Aylesworth, from New England, was one of the earliest merchants. He removed to Utica about 1824. ____ Mabbitt, from the eastern part of this State, traded a few years from about 1828. Israel Smith, who had been a clerk in the store of Elmer a Jencks, traded from about 1831 to 1844 or '5, with the exception of a short interval spent at Oran, Onondaga county. Stephen G. and George Sears, brothers, came from the eastern part of the State and traded from about 1830 to 1837, when they failed.
John Elmore, from Connecticut, was among the first merchants. He also kept tavern in the same building, which stood on the site of the Taber House, and continued the latter business after he had given up trading. He removed to Oberlin, Ohio, and died there aged 93. Martin Spear, from the east part of this State, was contemporary with Elmore. He afterwards for some years kept the same tavern Elmore did. He subsequently removed to Cazenovia, where he also kept tavern and traded, and died there July 29, 1877, aged 75.
Crandall & Alvord built, in 1835, the brick store which was burned in 1878. They commenced trading about 1834, and continued together about four years, when Alvord returned to Cazenovia, whence he came. Crandall continued some four or five years, having associated with himself his nephew, Silas G. Walker, the latter of whom continued till 1857, and failed.
John L. Elmore, son of John Elmore, commenced trading about 1837 or '8, and after a year or two associated with himself Abijah N. Annas and William J. Ayer, who in 1839 erected the finest business block of brick and stone DeRuyter has ever known. It was destroyed by fire in 1858. They traded in company some ten or twelve years, when John L. Elmore withdrew and removed to Elmira. Annas & Ayer continued four or five years, when Annas retired, leaving Ayer, who remained in business till the block was burned.
H. A. & F. C. Dillaye, from Plymouth, commenced trading about 1838 and continued till 1844, when Henry went to Syracuse. His brother continued a few years and sold to Benjamin Birdsall and Bradley Merchant, who dissolved in 1849. Birdsall went to Flint City, Mich. Merchant then formed a partnership with his son, J. Warren, with whom he continued till about 1860, when he withdrew. His son continued till the close of the war, when he sold to his brother, M. R. Merchant, who is still doing business.
John Rice Rider commenced the harness business Nov. 1, 1833, at which time he bought out Joshua Curtis. He carried on that business some twenty years, and about 1853 took the stock of goods of his brother, Nathan G., who had traded some two years in Hamilton, and removed thence from Hamilton to DeRuyter. In 1865 he became associated with his son-in-law, George D. Blye, with whom he has since done business under the name of J. R. Rider & Blye.
Noah T. Coleman, general merchant, commenced business in 1835, in company with Israel Smith. At the expiration of a year they dissolved and divided their stock, both continuing separately. Smith, who came from Cortland county, had previously done business a few years and continued several years after the dissolution. He sold to Norman Otis (who traded some three years,) and removed to Syracuse. About 1840, Noah T. Coleman became associated with his brother, Horatio, continuing three or four years. Since then he has done business alone. He came here from Manlius about 1820. He built the store he now occupies in 1840.
The other merchants now doing business here are Joseph H. Crumb, furniture dealer, who came here about 1847, engaged in the manufacture of furniture, and has since been variously and extensively engaged in business with the exception of a few years spent in California; Henry S. Walker, a native of DeRuyter, hardware dealer, who commenced business about the close of the late war; Haight & Burdick, dealers in drugs and groceries, the successors to a business established in the fall of 1868; William G. Weed, grocer, baker and confectioner, who commenced business in 1870; Burdick & Stillman, dealers in drugs and groceries; Erastus H. Lee, general merchant, who commenced business in April, 1874; Henry Howes, dealer in books and stationery, who commenced business in 1876; Robert P. York, dealer in dry goods and ready-made clothing, a native of DeRuyter, who commenced business Nov. 6, 1876; and Rouse & Howes, boot and shoe dealers, and successors to a business established Nov. 4, 1877.
POSTMASTERS.---The first postmaster was Dr. Hubbard Smith, who was appointed about 1810. He was succeeded in 1818 by Col. Elmer D. Jencks, who held the office till about 1833. The interval between 1833 and 1861 was filled by Noah T. Coleman, Geo. Sears, Stephen G. Sears, William P. Guest, Benjamin Birdsall and Stephen G. Sears, the latter of whom held it in all sixteen years. He was succeeded in 1861, by A. V. Bentley, who has held it continuously since.
PHYSICIANS.---The first physician was Hubbard Smith, who came from Rensselaer county at an early day, (he joined the Madison County Medical Society, Oct. 25, 1808,) and practiced till about 1836, when he removed to the locality of Jamesville, Onondaga county, where he died. Ephraim Otis, a Quaker, came from the locality of Poughkeepsie, and was contemporary with Dr. Smith. He practiced here till his death, more than twenty years ago. Nathan Collins came from Brookfield in this county to New Woodstock in 1826 and studied with his brother Dr. Stephen P. Collins of that place. He was a graduate from a medical institution and commenced practice in De Ruyter in the early part of 1829, continuing till about 1835, when he removed to Elgin, Ill., where he died a few years after.
Ira Spencer was born in Petersburgh, (New Berlin) Rensselaer county, May 1 8, 1805. He was licensed by the Censors of Madison county in December, 1829, and commenced practice Feb. 1, 1830, at De Ruyter, where he has since remained. His eminence in the profession has given him an extensive consultation practice not only in this county, but in the adjoining counties of Chenango, Cortland and Onondaga.
James Whitford came from Otsego county soon after Dr. Collins left, in October, 1835, and Oct. 7, 1835, formed a medical co-partnership with Dr. Ira Spencer, which continued some two years.
Russell Ballou came from Pitcher about 1835, shortly before Dr. Whitford, and practiced till his death. Alonzo G. Blye came here with him and practiced with him at first, but removed a short time after to the west part of the State.
Silas S. Clark was born in Brookfield, N. Y., June 17, 1824, and educated at De Ruyter Institute. He studied medicine with Dr. Ira Spencer, of De Ruyter, and was graduated from the Medical Department of the University of New York City in March, 1848, in which year he commenced practice in De Ruyter, where he has since continued.
E. S. Mumford came from New Woodstock in 1862, and formed a co-partnership with Dr. Ira Spencer. This partnership continued five years. After two or three years he removed to Havana, Schuyler county, returning after three or four years to De Ruyter. In the spring of 1870 he removed to Syracuse. Arabert B. Smith, about 1827, located at De Ruyter, but after practicing a year he removed to Truxton. In 1872, he removed to De Ruyter from Seneca Falls, but never practiced after that owing to broken health.
The other physicians now practicing here are Edwin N. Coon, a native of Brookfield, and a graduate of the Homeopathic Department of the University of Michigan, then located at Detroit, in 1872, in September of which year he commenced practice here; and Adelbert W. Truman, a native of Wirt, Allegany county, and a graduate of the Eclectic Medical College of Philadelphia in the winter of 1869-'70, who commenced practice in De Ruyter in July, 1876.
Numerous other physicians have practiced here for short periods.
LAWYERS.---The first regular attorney was Abraham Payne, son of Elisha Payne, of Hamilton, whence he removed about 1824. After practicing here some ten years he removed to Seneca Falls, where he was extensively engaged in milling business. He died in Ohio. His office stood on the site of E. B. Parsons & Co's Bank. Martin P. Sweet came from Onondaga county in 1832 and practiced till 1836, when he removed to the locality of Auburn. Lorenzo Sherburne, from Hoosick, Rensselaer county, came with him as a student, and on completing his studies, re-turned to Hoosick; but after a few months, about 1834, came back to De Ruyter and practiced till the winter of 1839-'40, when he removed with James W. Nye, who was a student in his office, to Hamilton. When Sherwood returned here in 1834, his brother Luman, then recently admitted, came with him and practiced in company with him till 1839, when he went to Auburn.
Zadock T. Bentley, son of Jonathan Bentley, an early settler in this town, was born in Easton, Washington county, Aug. 8, 1807, and educated in the common schools of De Ruyter and Hamilton Academy. In 1829, he commenced the study of law with Hon. Alonzo G. Hammond, at Berlin, N. Y. He was admitted in Madison county in 1833, and formed that year a law partnership with Martin P. Sweet, which continued till the latter's removal in 1836. He practiced here till 1844, when, having the previous year been elected county clerk, he removed to Morrisville, continuing there after the expiration of his official term of three years till 1861 or '63, when he removed to Oneida, where he died July 4, 1870.
George W. Stone came from Homer about 1836, having then just been admitted, and formed a law partnership with Zadock T. Bentley, which continued till the fall of 1839, when Stone's health failed and he went to Georgia. He returned about a year after to Homer, where he died soon after of consumption.
Artemas V. Bentley was born in De Ruyter, July 15, 1816, and educated in the common schools of that town and De Ruyter Institute. He read law with his brother Gen. Z. T. Bentley and was admitted to the bar of Madison county in 1841, in which year he commenced practice in De Ruyter, continuing till 1861, when he was appointed postmaster, which office he has since held. David J. Mitchell and Henry C. Goodwin, both natives of DeRuyter and educated at the De Ruyter Institute, entered the law office of A. V. Bentley as students in the winter of 1842-'43. Goodwin was admitted in 1845 and Mitchell in 1846. Both went to Hamilton on being admitted and formed a law partnership which continued till the death of Goodwin Nov. 12, 1860.
Andrew Scott Sloan, a native of Morrisville, son of Judge Andrew S. Sloan of that village, who read law there and had then been recently admitted, came here in 1844 and practiced till 1854, when he went to Beaver Dam, Wis. With him came a younger brother, Ithamar C. Sloan, also a native of Morrisville, who
Harris Coats Miner was born in Pharsalia, Chenango Co., N.Y., August 31st, 1817. His parents, Ephraim and Esther (Peabody) Miner, were natives of New London, Conn. The former was born Jan. 29th, 1782 and the latter, Oct. 10th. 1788 They came to Pharsalia with their parents who were among the very earliest sellers in that town. They were married Oct. 9th, 1806. They both died in Pitcher, the father Jan. 23d. 1858, and the mother, July 17th, 1857. They had a family of four boys and three girls that grew to maturity, as follows: Roxana, born Dec. 8th, 1811, married Jashub B. Weaver, of Pharsalia, Clarissa M., born June 22d, 1814, married Calvin Finch and now residing in Iowa, Harris C., as above, George B., born Oct. 17th, 1819, died at Springwater, Livingston Co., N. Y., June 21st, 1843, William R., born Aug. 25th, 1823, married Lucinda Wheeler, of Broome Co.. N. Y., died April 9th. 1856, Harriet L., born May 14th, 1827, married Thomas Youngs of Binghamton, N. Y. died Aug. 28th, 1853, Russell L., a lawyer by profession, born June 24th, 1829, married Sallie Jane Hull, of De Ruyter, N. Y., died June 2d, 1863.
August 29th, 1844, Harris C. married Cynthia, daughter of Shubael and Edith (Russell) Bunker, natives, the former of Duchess Co., N. Y., born Jan. 14th, 1796, and died at East Troy, Wis., Sept. 17th, 1858. The latter was born at White Creek, Washington Co., N. Y., May 12th, 1798, and is now living with her daughter, Mrs. Miner, at De Ruyter. They were married Nov. 30th, 1816. They came to Madison Co., with their parents, and lived many years in De Ruyter, and raised all their family there, which consisted of seven children, namely: William R., born Oct. 24th, 1818, died in infancy, Eliza M., born Aug. 18th, 1820, married William Alexander, of De Ruyter, died Oct 24th, 1857, in Wisconsin, Charles, born Dec. 19th, 1822, married Mary Himebeck, of Wisconsin, Cynthia, born Jan. 26th, 1825, Jane Adeline, born Aug. 18th, 1828, married George M. Cozens, of Wisconsin, died April 18th, 1855, John Russell, born Oct. 2d, 1830, married in Wisconsin, died Nov. 11th, 1877, and Hiram S., born April 19th, 1834, married Mary Finney, of Wisconsin, and now residing in Chicago, Ill.
Thankful Miner, the grandmother of our subject, died at Pitcher, March 24th, 1860, at the great age of ninety-eight years and four mouths, and was in possession of her faculties to a wonderful degree up to the day of her death.
Cynthia Russell, the grand-mother of Mrs. Miner, died April 23d, 1869, aged ninety-two years and three months. Harris C. lived at home working on the farm and attending the district school winters until he was twenty-one years old. He then came to De Ruyter, for the purpose of attending school and preparing himself for teaching, but being offered the position of head clerk in the store of Israel Smith, who was doing a large business in De Ruyter at that time, he accepted and held the same nine years. Jan. 1st, 1844, he was appointed Deputy Clerk of Madison Co., and went to Morrisville and entered upon the duties of the office and remained there three years. He then went to Syracuse and engaged, one year, in mercantile pursuits, having for his clerks, Milton S. Price, now one of the merchant princes of that city, and Charles Andrews, now Judge of the Court of Appeals of the State of New York.
Mr. Miner, during his residence in Morrisville, as Deputy Clerk, studied and prepared himself for the profession that he has practiced with such honor and profit to himself. In 1848 he was admitted to practice in the Courts of Madison Co., and at Cooperstown, he was examined and admitted to practice in all the Courts of the State of New York. In August, 1867, he was admitted to practice in time United States Courts. He has been Clerk and Supervisor of his town, and President of De Ruyter Village, several times.
Mr. Miner is a man of marked character. He possesses great industry, and is active and untiring in his professional business. In the conduct of a case he is never discouraged by an adverse ruling, nor disheartened by the announcement, res adjudicata, the Court has decided it, till he has carried it to the Court of Appeals and obtained a decision at the dernier resort. It is this wonderful energy which has enabled him to overcome the disadvantages of early education, when the avenues to school opportunities were not as common as now. These qualities united with a powerful physique and enduring nerve force, have enabled him to sustain much hard work, have brought him an extensive practice and deservedly placed him abreast with the most successful members of his profession. In his personal characteristics, Mr. Miner is frank and generous. His attachments so friends are strong and decided, and his opposition to adversaries is vigorous and outspoken. He makes a square fight and stands up to it. Yet no man is more ready to overlook an injury or forgive an enemy and he often comes to be on friendly terms with those against whom he has waged the fiercest warfare.
In politics he is a Democrat and holds to the equality of all men before the law, whether rich or poor, high or low. Yet he is not a politician in the ordinary sense. He leaves its petty intrigues to others. With him, business stands first, politics, recreation, pleasure, at the foot of the calendar. If the social qualities have not kept pace with his mental force, it is because conditions unfavorable to their development have contributed to it. He is a good neighbor, obliging in his intercourse with others and is easily touched by the sickness or misfortunes of his fellow men. His hand is always open to relieve distress and an appeal was never made in vain to the kindlier emotions of his heart. He is generous and liberal in aid of public enterprise, and his name is always seen on subscriptions for local improvements and private charities. He has many excellent qualities which commend him as a man and citizen to his neighbors and the community in which he lives. His extended practice into other counties, at the Circuits, as a nisi prius lawyer and an advocate of rare power before a jury, attest the estimation in which he is held. He will leave the impress of his methods and life on the local and general affairs with which he has been connected, long after lie has passed from the active duties of life.
In 1869, Mr. Miner met with a great affliction in the death of his only daughter, at the age of seventeen, who was just blooming into womanhood, and a young lady of rare promise and uncommon loveliness. Indeed, she was the light of his household and greatly beloved by all for her excellent traits of character. Her loss left the imprint of an irreparable sorrow in the family circle, and none felt it more keenly than he, for she was the idol of parental affections. pursued his studies in his office, and was admitted about 1845 or '46. In 1854 he removed to Janesville, Wis.
pursued his studies in his office, and was admitted about 1845 or '46. In 1854 he removed to Janesville, Wis.
Harris C. Miner was born in Pharsalia, Aug. 31, 1817. In 1844 he was appointed Deputy County Clerk of Madison county under Z. T. Bentley, and while performing the duties of that office took up the study of law. Although he never studied a day in a law office he acquired a sufficient knowledge of law to secure his admission Dec. 26, 1849. He formed a co-partnership with A. Scott Sloan, which continued till the latter's removal to Wisconsin. He was afterwards associated with his brother R. L. Miner from 1859 till the latter's death, June 3, 1863, and with L. B. Kern, from July 1, 1864 to Jan. 1, 1870. He is still engaged in practice here.
The other attorneys now practicing here are Daniel Q. Mitchell, brother of David J. Mitchell, who was born in De Ruyter, Sept. 16, 1823, educated in the De Ruyter Institute, and admitted to the bar in 1860, since which year he has practiced here; Lambert B. Kern, born in Eaton, Nov. 28, 1835, graduated from Madison University in 1855, read law with Judge Sidney T. Holmes of Morrisville, was admitted in 1857, commenced practice that year in Morrisville, and removed thence in 1864 to De Ruyter, having been District Attorney and Member of Assembly; and Wallace E. Burdick, born in Charlotte, Vt., Aug. 7, 1847, admitted to the bar Nov. 18, 1868, in which year he commenced practice at De Ruyter.
MANUFACTURES.---The village mills of De Ruyter are owned by H. E. Hill. The building was erected about forty years ago by Stephen Hubbard, and has passed successively through the hands of Hiram Webster, Horace Hill, father of the present proprietor, Lewis Sears, William and Julius Hill, brothers of the present proprietor, who bought the property of them about the close of the late war. It contains two runs of stones for wheat and one for corn. It is located on the Tioughnioga, which furnishes the motive power, and has a fall of fourteen feet.
About a mile above, this stream has a fall of six or eight feet and furnishes the motive power for an old dilapidated grist-mill owned by Frank Antes and run only occasionally. Connected with it is a saw-mill, which is the principal business.
The saw-mill at De Ruyter, situated on the Tioughnioga, which has a fall of about eight feet, was built by Joseph H. Crumb on the site of one built at a very early day which, says George Hull, was an old mill in 1805. Mr. Crumb sold it to the present proprietor, George Angel, some three years ago. The foundry was also established by Mr. Crumb about 1860, and was sold with the saw-mill by him to Mr. Angel, who is the present proprietor.
The soap and candle factory, owned by Barton G. Stillman, was established by Alexander Campbell some thirty years ago, and conducted by him one year, when he became associated with his son George A. Campbell, who, after a year, was associated with his brother-in-law, Edward Spicer, who bought the elder Campbell's interest. In the fall of 1851, Barton G. Stillman bought George A. Campbell's interest. About 1853 D. Deloss Wells bought Spicer's interest and in 1855 sold it to Mr. Stillman, who has since conducted the business alone. The business is small, amounting to about 10,000 to 12,000 pounds of candles and 30 barrels of soap per annum. Mr. Stillman also carries on the harness business, which he commenced in the fall of 1837, continuing till 1851, and resuming the business in the spring of 1877.
The tanning business was one of De Ruyter's principal manufacturing enterprises. It was established at an early day by Ephraim Arnold. Abraham Sutton and his son Lindley subsequently acquired a half interest. Lewis Sears and James Sutton purchased Arnold's interest, and the business was conducted under the name of Sutton, Sears & Co. Abraham and James Sutton sold to the remaining partners, who admitted Simeon Rider, and the firm became Sutton, Sears & Rider. Allen Sutton next purchased Rider's interest. Lindley Sutton died about 1843 and soon after, Lewis Sears and Allen Sutton took the business. Sutton subsequently purchased Sears' interest, continued the business till the fall of 1875, when it was discontinued. Simeon Rider, on selling his interest, purchased the building formerly occupied as a carding-mill, just north of the creek, and converted it into a tannery, which he conducted till his death, when Carlos Bennett and J. Harvey DeLamater bought the establishment. Bennett retired and DeLamater took in a partner, with whom he also engaged in the hoe business. He subsequently purchased his partner's interest in the tannery which he continued till about 1874.
E. M. Pope came from Cincinnatus in 1878 and started a chair factory, which employed six or eight hands. The establishment was removed to Crane's Mills in the spring of 1879.
HOTELS.---The Taber House was built in 1849 by A. N. Annas, and kept by him about two years. He rented it to Guest & Harris, who kept it two years, to Gilson & Warfield, who kept it some three years, to Henry Marsh, who kept it a like period, and sold it in 1859 to J. W. Clarke, who sold it in 1864 to Gilbert Taber, who kept it till Sept. 15, 1879, when he rented it to I. M. Judd, the present proprietor.
The Central Hotel was built soon after the railroad by Charles Jones and his son C. L. H. Jones, for a saloon and railroad restaurant. It was converted into a hotel in January, 1878, by Martin Blanchard, the present proprietor.
BANKS.---John Rice Rider commenced a banking business at De Ruyter in 1864. This was the first and only bank in the village until the present one was established.
E. B. Parsons & Co.'s bank was established in January, 1870, by E. B. Parsons and E. B. Crandall, un-der the present name. Mr. Parsons purchased Mr. Crandall's interest in the winter of 1875-'6, and immediately after, in 1876, his father, Cyrus Parsons, became associated with him. The capital is $15,000, the same as when started. The deposits in November, 1879, amounted to $35,000; they have reached $50,000. They do not draw interest, but did until the last two years.
FIRE DEPARTMENT.---Soon after the incorporation of the village, measures were taken to protect the property of the citizens from ravages by fire. Aug. 8, 1833, the trustees were empowered to purchase a fire engine, necessary equipage and a house to store them in, $207 being paid for the engine. Article 6 of the village by-laws, adopted Aug. 9, 1833, provides "that every building occupied as a tavern in this village be instantly furnished with three, and every store with two leather or wooden fire buckets with the name of the owner thereon, to be furnished by the occupant thereof, and that every other house, office, shop or building where fire is actually kept within said village, be furnished with one fire bucket of the like description to be furnished by the respective occupants thereof, and that if any such house, office, shop or building be occupied by more than [one] occupant, that each of such occupants shall furnish such house, office, shop or building with one fire bucket of the like description, which shall be kept in the most convenient place and shall be used only in exercising the engine or in cases of fire, and that every person or persons required to furnish such buildings with such buckets as afore-said shall forfeit and pay a fine of fifty cents for each week's neglect in furnishing such buildings with each bucket required, from and after the first of October next." Dec, 22, 1834, the trustees were instructed to purchase "40 feet of fire engine hose and provide a ladder for the use of the fire company." May 7, 1839, $100 was voted for improvements in sidewalks and building an engine house.
July 1, 1841, an ordinance was passed for the organization of a fire company to be composed of not to exceed twenty-four persons, to be appointed by the trustees, whose "privileges and duties" "shall be of permanent duration, subject only to be abrogated for sufficient cause by said trustees." To entitle any person to a commission as fireman he was required to sign this pledge: "In consideration of a commission No.---from the President of the village of De Ruyter, as a fireman in said village, I do hereby agree with and give this my pledge to the Trustees of said village and their successors in office, that I will at all times well and truly perform all the duties of such fireman and will be subject to all rules and ordinances of said Trustees and their successors for the discipline, regulation and control of said Fire Company." The officers of the company were to consist of a captain, foreman, mate, one chief engineer, and two assistants to be appointed by and hold their office during the pleasure of the board of trustees. Each officer and member was required to provide himself with a suitable leather or oil-cloth cap, and a common linen or "tow-cloth" coat or frock, which they should at all times wear when performing the duties of such fireman; and in case of neglect or refusal to attend any fire or to discharge faithfully his duties as a fireman he should pay a fine of $2.
Aug. 4, 1841, Charles Farrington, Henry A. Dillaye, D. F. Talbot, Geo. W. DeLamater, Luke Burdick, Henry A. Gardner, William Sowter, John R. Rider, William I. Ayer, George W. Speer, Noah C. Worth, William H. Bly and John Starr were appointed firemen in Engine Co. No. 1. Lauren H. Babcock and Lindley M. Sutton were appointed members Aug. 12, 1841; and George W. Sutton and Benjamin Arnold, Aug. 25, 1841. The latter date the following officers were chosen Lindley M. Sutton, Captain; William I. Ayer, Foreman; D. F. Talbot, Mate; William H. Bly, Chief Engineer; H. A. Dillaye and Luke Burdick, Assistant Engineers. This, apparently, was De Ruyter's first fire company. May 27, 1843, permission was given the company to elect its own officers.
Jan. 19, 1855, Tioughnioga Fire Co. No. 2 was organized with fifty members, and in that year an engine costing $650, 10 feet of suction hose costing $45, and 100 feet of "leading hose" costing $85, was purchased of L. Button & Co., of Waterford.
March 26, 1855, an arrangement was entered into by the town and village of De Ruyter for the erection of a town hall and engine house in one building and the purchase of a site therefor, the town agreeing to pay $780 and the village $300. The old engine house was sold April 20, 1855, at auction to James Halliday, for $22.25. This new building, together with a portion of the equipment of the Fire Department which was stored in its basement was destroyed by fire Dec. 26, 1878. A new building was erected on the same site jointly by the town and village in the summer of 1879.
The Department comprises one company, and the equipment consists of one hand engine, one hose cart and 600 feet of hose.
The following were the officers elected Jan. 20, 1879:---
B. S. Bryant, Foreman of Engine.
M. T. Spear, 1st Assistant Foreman of Engine.
I. H. Stone, 2nd Assistant Foreman of Engine.
W. E. Burdick, Foreman of Hose.
H. R. Nash, 1st Assistant Foreman of Hose.
O. M. Blanchard, 2nd Assistant Foreman of Hose.
O. J. Hayes, Secretary of Company.
James Thorp, Treasurer of Company.
Levi Blanchard, Janitor of Company.
THE DE RUYTER INSTITUTE was projected under the auspices of the Seventh-Day Baptists and was largely due to the exertions of Elder Alexander Campbell. The building was erected in 1836. It is a large stone structure, four stories high, is built of the native rocks, and does not present a very comely exterior. Its cost, including furniture, apparatus and farm of thirty acres which was purchased with the site, was some $22,000. It was opened as a select school in the summer of 1837, with Solomon Carpenter, of Rensselaer county, as Principal, and Miss Sarah A. Robinson, from the Troy Female Seminary, as Preceptress. In the fall of 1837, it was opened as an academy, under the Principalship of Eber M. Rollo, A. M., Miss Robinson continuing as Preceptress, with about 130 scholars. It was incorporated by the Regents Dec. 3, 1847. For a time the school was liberally patronized by the denomination under whose auspices it was established; but as other schools drawing their patronage from the same source were established in various parts of the country, its foreign patronage was so greatly diminished as to seriously embarrass its finances. Nevertheless it was continued under varying fortunes till 1870, when it was abandoned. It remained during the whole period under management of the denomination by whom it was established. The building was sold in 1874, or 23/28 of it, to the "redemption stockholders" and was bid off by George Greenman as their agent. It is now the property of the Union school of De Ruyter. In 1871 it reported to the Regents 126 scholars during the school year, of whom 13, eleven males and two females, pursued classical or higher English studies. The value of academic lot and building was reported at $9,000; of library, $470; of apparatus $463; of other academic property $9,582; total, $19,515; debts due by the academy $1,627.
Union Free School of De Rafter and Cuyler No. 1.---Jan. 1, 1874, certain electors of school district No. 11 of DeRuyter petitioned the trustees of that district to call a meeting for the purpose of determining whether a Union free school should be established therein in conformity to the provisions of chapter 555 of the laws of 1864; and Jan. 10, 1874, a like petition was made by certain electors in district No. 1 of De Ruyter and Cuyler. Feb. 26, 1874, a joint call was made by the trustees of the two districts for a meeting to be held for that purpose at the chapel of the De Ruyter Institute, March 7, 1874. The meeting was twice adjourned for want of the requisite number in attendance; and was convened March 24, 1874, L. B. Kern acting as chairman and J. B. Wells secretary. Of the 80 voters in district No. 1, 44 were present, and of the 78 in district No. 11, 35 were present. It was then decided by a vote of 71 to 7 to consolidate the two districts by the establishment of a union free school within the limits, and that the Board of Education of the Union Free School District thus formed should consist of five members, one of whom should be elected for one year, two for two years and two for three years from the second Tuesday of October, 1874. Jason B. Wells was elected for one year; Gilbert Taber and Barton G. Stillman for two years; and Horace Benjamin and Joseph H. Crumb for three years. At a meeting of the Board held March 28, 1874, at the Taber House, Barton G. Stillman was chosen President and J. B. Wells, Secretary. April 29, 1874, E. B Parsons was chosen Treasurer.
March 28, 1874, the Board of Education purchased of George Greenman, of Mystic Bridge, Conn., as agent of the "redemption stockholders," by whom it was bought on foreclosure of mortgage, 23-28 of the De Ruyter Institute building for $2,535. March 30, 1874, the remaining five shares, or 5-28 of the said property, were purchased of Jonathan A. and Dennis T. Coon, heirs of Jonathan Coon, deceased, for $500. Subscriptions amounting to $2,831 had been previously made by eighty-eight individuals, for the purpose of buying that property in the interest of the Union School.
Miss E. Reynolds, of Clockville, N. Y., a graduate of the Normal and Training School of Oswego, and Miss Sarah E. White, of Shed's Corners, were engaged as teachers of the Union School, which commenced May 11, 1874, the former as Principal.
Jan. 5, 1876, the Board resolved to establish an academical department in the Union School, and to apply to the Regents to be accepted under their visitation. The application was renewed Aug. 5, 1876, the former one having been lost.
June 26, 1874, the school-house in the old district No. 1 was sold at auction to Allen Sutton for $500; and July 31, 1876, the school property in the north district was sold to John Wilder for $350.
Oct. 16, 1877, the name of "De Ruyter Union Graded School with Academic Department" was adopted.
E. C. Wheeler, of Cincinnatus, was appointed Principal June 27, 1877, the latter of whom still retains that position. His assistants are Lizzie Ayer. educated at Cazenovia Seminary, and H. D. Messenger, educated at this school.
In the report to the Regents for the year ending July 3, 1879, the school lot is valued at $500; the buildings at $5,000; the library (containing 254 volumes, which originally cost $554.75) at $205.50; the philosophical apparatus, at $301.02; the furniture, not fixtures, at $130; total value of academic property (including cash on hand, 91.84) $6,228.36.
CHURCHES.---The Baptist Church of De Ruyter. The first religious meeting by members of this denomination was held Nov. 5, 1798, by Elder Joel Butler, at the house of Joseph Messenger, when two persons related their Christian experience and. desired baptism. The next day, Sunday, two more related their experience. Elder Butler preached and baptized the four. In the evening of the same day a conference was held at the house of E. Benjamin, and it was agreed to continue the meetings. Nov. 25th, three more joined by relation of experience, and D. Page was chosen clerk. Dec. 9, 1798, they met and organized by the adoption of articles of faith and practice; and Dec. 26, 1798, were recognized by a council of which P. P. Roots was moderator, and D. Newton, clerk. At this time the church numbered twenty-three, eleven of whom were received by experience and twelve by baptism.
In October, 1800, Nathan Baker, a licentiate from the Pompey church, was invited to preach to them, and was ordained in January, 1801. June 9, 1804, Caleb Smith was chosen deacon, an office he filled with great acceptance till his death, June 12, 1856. In 1813 a branch was formed in Otselic, and monthly meetings held.
Dec. 10, 1816, a proposition was adopted to purchase a lot lying east of the village, and just across the stream; and in the two succeeding years a comfortable house was completed, 30 by 40 feet; one and one-half stories high, without paint or steeple. In 1839 a movement was begun to secure a new meeting-house in a more central and eligible place in the village, and it was proposed to solicit aid from other churches. The new house was completed and dedicated in June, 1842. It is the one now in use.
There have been intervals when the church was without a pastor, which have been filled more or less fully by irregular supplies for brief periods. During the past two years (1878-9) the church has had no pastor. The following have been the successive pastors as nearly as can be ascertained:---
Nathan Baker from Oct., 1800, three years.
Richard H. Benedict, from May, 1816, to May, 1818.
Joseph Maltby, from Feb., 1818, to Jan., 1820.
Lewis T. Seaman, from June, 1821, to May 5, 1823.
Joseph Cooley, from Jan., 1826, to -----, 1828.
J. C. Holt, from -----, 1830, to June, 1831.
William Denison, from Nov., 1831, to April, 1832.
Luman W. Webster, from May, 1832, to Sept., 1835.
William A. Wells, from May, 1838, to Feb., 1840.
A. Howel, from -----, 1840, six months.
J. B. Pixley, from Nov., 1840, to May, 1843.
W. H. Douglas, from May, 1843, to Sept., 1843.
Benjamin Crandall, from Oct., 1843, to Jan., 1844.
J. Nickerson, from -----, 1844, four months.
---- Smith, from Jan., 1845, to Nov., 1845.
Thomas Fisher, a year or more.
E. W. Bliss, from April, 1848, to April, 1851.
D. Leach, from Jan. 1, 1852, one year.
Thomas Fisher, from -----, 1853, to -----, 1854.
N. Camp, from April, 1855, to Sept., 1857.
L. L. Gage, from Oct., 1857, to Dec., 1860.
L. P. Day, from Jan., 1861, to July, 1861.
J. Stark, from Nov., 1861, to March, 1863.
L. P. Day, from Dec., 1863, to April, 1864.
A. Virgil, one year.
L. L. Gage, from May 1, 1865, to March, 1866.
N. Mumford, from -----, 1866, to July 1, 1869.
S. P. Way, from April, 1870, to Jan., 1872.
I. D. Clark, from March, 1872, to fall, 1872.
J. Storrs, from -----, 1873, to -----, 1874.
W. C. Phillips, from -----, 1876, to July 1, 1877.
June 11, 1879, the church reported a membership of 56; the estimated value of church property was $1,600. In the Sabbath-school, of which R. P. York was Superintendent, there were 13 officers and teachers and 84 scholars.
The Seventh-Day Baptist Church of De Ruyter.---In 1795, William and Thompson Burdick, brothers, from Rhode Island, commenced the "Sabbath keeping" settlement some three miles north of De Ruyter village. These were soon followed by three brothers, Jonathan, Luke and Pardon Coon, and Matthew Wells in 1800, Jonathan Bentley in 1808, and Sylvester Crumb locating east of the village in 1809. These, with growing families, and many others settling in the vicinity and in Truxton (now Cuyler) and German, (now Lincklaen,) constituted a large and prosperous Sabbath-keeping community by 1815, worshiping in barns, private dwellings and school houses, as best served their convenience, Elder David Davis, from among the settlers, and ministering brethren from abroad, as providence afforded, breaking to them the Bread of life. A meeting of the brethren and sisters of the Seventh-day Baptist Society, of De Ruyter, Madison county, N. Y., together with Elder William Satterlee and Deacon Jabez Burdick, of Berlin, N. Y., and Elder Matthew Stillman and Deacon Alpheus Burdick, of Hopkinton, R. I., was held Sept. 15, 1815, for the purpose of organization. The council reported a covenant, which was signed by the following twelve brethren and thirteen sisters:---
|James Coon,||Hannah Coon,|
|Jared Stillman,||Abigail Stillman,|
|William Saunders,||Betsey Stillman,|
|Thomas Stillman,||Sally Stillman,|
|Joshua Saunders,||Avis Coon,|
|Joseph Stillman,||Catharine Wells,|
|George Burdick,||Nancy Coon,|
|Thompson Burdick,||Elizabeth Wells,|
|Weeden Burdick,||Elizabeth Maxson,|
|Ransel Richmond,||Catharine Coon,|
|Solomon Coon,||Sylvia Burdick,|
|Kenyon Burdick,||Olive Saunders,|
For nearly ten years this church held its public meetings alternately between De Ruyter and Lincklaen. In 1827 its membership had reached 177, and during this year the Seventh-Day Baptist Church, of Cuyler, was constituted of members dismissed from this church. Two years later, Feb. 9, 1826, its numerical strength was 157. During the autumn of 1831 the Seventh-Day Baptist Church, of Lincklaen, N. Y., was organized of members dismissed from the Church of De Ruyter. Jan. 19th, 1832, a revised list of membership shows its number to have been 72.
For ten years, from 1825 to 1835, this church was without a pastor. The first five years it was supplied by visiting brethren in the ministry mostly. For the last five years it was supplied by the itinerant plan, Elders Alexander Campbell, Joel Green and Ephraim Curtis officiating. About 1835 this church built the meeting house it continues to occupy, at a cost of about $3,000. It was a substantial edifice, with a three-quarter gallery and steeple, and although it has not undergone the thorough reconstruction that modern taste demands, yet it is in a good state of preservation. During the almost sixty-five years of this church's history it has had thirteen pastors, several of whom have repeated their terms of service. It has also called and licensed to preach the Gospel, nine, nearly all of whom, by this church or elsewhere, have been ordained to the work of the Christian ministry. Of these twenty-one all are living save four, and nearly all in active service. Elder John Green, ordained in 1819, and first pastor of the church, was among the best ministers of his time. He died about twenty years ago. Giles M. Langworthy, early a student of De Ruyter Institute, and subsequently a teacher, a young man of great promise, was installed pastor of one of our best churches, where he fell a victim of consumption in the morning of his usefulness. Rev. George E. Tomlinson, pastor from 1861 to 1864, was a fine scholar, an eloquent preacher. He fell suddenly in his pastorate in Pawtucket, R. I., having just reached the meridian of life. Rev. Lucius Crandall, licensed by this church in 1833 and subsequently ordained, was an earnest and efficient preacher. He fell on the battlefield in Newport, R. L, at a ripe age, Aug. 2, 1876. Solomon Carpenter graduated at Brown University in September, 1837, and soon after married Miss Lucy M. Clarke, of Brookfield, N. Y., and accepted the principalship of De Ruyter Institute. The church licensed him to preach in 1838. In 1846, Dec. 31, he was set apart to the missionary work, together with his associates, and on the 5th of January, 1847, he sailed from New York in the ship Houfna, bound for China, his future field of labor. The mission was located at Shanghai, where he buried his estimable wife, and continued to labor until failing health compelled him to return to America in 1877.
The present membership of the church is 220, having more than doubled during Mr. Clarke's pastorate, which commenced Jan. 1, 1870. The Sabbath school numbers about 125, and the average attendance for the month of January, 1880, was 95.
The Methodist Episcopal Church of De Ruyter.---The Methodists in this locality have held meetings from an early day. It 1817 it was a preaching station on the Cortland circuit, which was formed in 1816. When the Union church was built in 1830, they were contributors to it and held meetings regularly in it. It is on the charge with Cuyler, with which it has been connected since it became a charge, with the exception of some four years, when it was on the charge with Shed's Corners, and two years subsequently, when it was a separate charge, and supported a resident pastor, with the aid of $100 received from the missionary fund. With the exception of those two years, and when it was on the charge with Shed's Corners, the pastor has resided at Cuyler, where the parsonage is. The present church edifice was built in 1860, and dedicated in December of that year. Rev. A. C. Bowdish was then the pastor. He served them two years, and was succeeded by J. D. Adams and Richard Clarke. The present pastor is F. T. Harris, who is now on his third year. The church numbers about sixty members, and is in a healthy condition.
SOCIETIES.---De Ruyter Lodge, No. 692, F. and A. M., was organized under a dispensation from the Grand Lodge of the State of New York, Dec. 28, 1868, with the following named charter members: I. H. Babcock, George W. Blodgett, M. R. Merchant, Frank Taylor, Charles Mudge, William J. Mills, Bishop Bennett, A. M. Kibbie, Carlos Bennett, George W. Haight, L. B. Kern, J. E. McClellan. The first officers were I. H. Babcock, W. M.; George W. Blodgett, S. W.; William J. Mills, J. W.; Carlos Bennett, Treasurer; Charles Mudge, Secretary; A. M. Kibbie, S. D.; Bishop Bennett, J. D.; Frank Taylor, S. M. C.; M. R. Merchant, J. M. C.; George W. Haight, Tiler. The lodge meets on Saturday evening of each week from Oct. 1st till June 1st, and each alternate Saturday evenings from June 1st till Oct. 1st. The present number of members is fifty-two. The past masters are J. H. Babcock, Homer A. Babcock, Perry D. Lewis, George F. Annas, Ira Spencer, Jr.
There was a Masonic lodge here in the first quarter of the present century, but it went down in the excitement incident to the alleged abduction of Morgan by the Masonic fraternity.
De Ruyter Lodge No. 222, A. O. U. W., was instituted March 18, 1879, with seventeen members. The present number of members is 33. The lodge meets the first and third Tuesday of every month. The following are the first and present officers: A. N. Truman, P. N. W.; George F. Annas, M. W.; Isaac Higley, Foreman; O. J. Hayes, Overseer; J. W. Stillman, Financier; W. E. Burdick, Recorder; G. A. Burdick, Guide; G. W. Haight, Receiver; E. N. Coon, I. W.; Thomas Wright, O. W.; Byron S. Bryant, R. P. York, Reuben Babbitt, Trustees; B. S. Bryant, H. F. Jones, E. M. Pope, Finance Committee.
Shed's Corners is situated on the Tioughnioga, in the north-east part of the town, and on the line of the Utica, Ithaca and Elmira Railroad. It is a mere hamlet, containing a Methodist and Universalist church, the latter of which is not used, a district school, a small grocery, in which the post-office is kept, both by A. E. Dewey, who was appointed postmaster in the summer of 1879, a hotel, kept by Allen Randall, two blacksmith shops, one kept by Stephen Daniels, the other by A. Henry, and a cheese factory. It derives its name from one of its principal settlers, Jonathan Shed. Many of the early settlers in De Ruyter located at Shed's Corners, but none of them are left, the last one, Caleb Wood, died there some three or four years ago.
A. V. BENTLEY.
A. V. Bentley, who is at present the oldest living lawyer in De Ruyter, was born in that town July 15, 1816, and received the rudiments of an English education at the common schools which were efficient educators of the young at that date. With limited opportunities, as were those of most young men of the time, he early developed a passion for books and by teaching in winters acquired the means of further prosecuting his studies. In the higher schools and academies he pursued the languages and natural sciences of which he became especially fond. In this direction, he was aided and encouraged by Dr. Hubbard Smith, an early physician of De Ruyter. Through a course of seven seasons he was engaged at intervals in teaching school in Madison and some of the adjoining counties. In 1839 Mr. Bentley entered the office of his brother Z. T. Bentley, Esq., at De Ruyter, afterwards known as Gen. Bentley, and commenced the study of the law with an allowance of four years for classical studies in abridgment of the regular legal course which was seven years. He was admitted to the bar in 1842, at the July term of the old Supreme Court, the Hon. Samuel Nelson, Chief Justice, presiding, with Esek Cowen and Greene C. Bronson associate justices. Mr. Bentley opened an office at De Ruyter, and at once entered into a vigorous but friendly competition with his brother, Gen. Bentley, who kept a separate office, and with many other well known lawyers of Cortland and Chenango counties. Within the next four years Mr. Bentley was elected a Justice of the Peace, (which at that time was a far more important office than at present,) by reason of his acknowledged ability and familiarity with legal principles, and with the exception of an interval of some two years, continued to be re-elected term after term covering a period of about thirty years. During this time he was elected and served as an Associate Justice of the County sessions. In the meantime his health had become impaired through an early physical infirmity, so that the field of more arduous practice became somewhat restricted; but his office business greatly increased, and to that he gave a large share of his attention. As a real estate lawyer and conveyancer his experience and rapid business methods were proverbial, and as a safe counsellor his advice was sought in the most important transactions. His ability, honesty and integrity of character drew many clients, whilst his natural disrelish of strifes and litigations caused him to advise in the interests of peace where peace could be honorably obtained. His opinions as a legal counsellor and friend have been largely called into requisition, and none the less frequently by reason of his habit of often imparting advice without fee or reward save the satisfaction of doing good.
Mr. Bentley is a ready and fluent speaker, is well read in the law and possesses and continues to cultivate literary tastes and pursuits unusual among business men. His apt and off-band ability as a writer has often been called into service by others who have many times received the credit due to his quiet methods. In 1861, under the administration of Mr. Lincoln he was appointed postmaster at De Ruyter, which position he has held ever since, enjoying the respect and confidence of the people and their descendants among whom he was born and has always lived. In the early days of the anti-slavery cause he took a deep and active interest in the overthrow of the slave power which ruled the nation. Throughout the rebellion his sympathies and efforts were enlisted on the side of the Union, and his voice was frequent and eloquent in its support. Mr. Bentley is a pronounced republican; yet never obtrudes his opinions offensively on others. In religion, he leans strongly to the free liberal sentiments of modern thinkers. He discards authority and rests all questions of theology on their intrinsic merits and reasonableness. His urbanity, dignity and courtesy towards all, have secured him the kind regards and esteem of his neighbors and fellow men. If he has not accumulated as large a property as some, he has the satisfaction of feeling that he has taken no man's farm for his fee, nor robbed the widow or orphan of their inheritance. In the sunset of life, he deems it better to leave the world with the world's blessing, rather than with the maledictions of those whose substance he has confiscated to enrich himself. The likeness of Mr. Bentley does not appear in this volume among the pictures of some of the prominent men of De Ruyter; but the missing statue of Brutus was more remarked than the statues present of the other illustrious Romans.
EDWIN L. GAGE.
Thomas Gage, father of Ebenezer Gage, came from England in 1700, settled at Cape Cod and married there. He had six sons: Elihu, Anthony, Moses, Ebenezer, George and Mark.
Ebenezer married Miss Grissel Elwell, and had seven children: Chloe, Justus who married Polly Benjamin, Deborah, Eli, Jeremiah, Ira and Samuel.
Arza Gage was born in South East, Duchess Co., June 5, 1790, and came to Madison county with his father, Justus Gage, in 1800. He was married in 18 1816 to Polly Herrick who was born in Springfield, Otsego county, September, 1797. He died Jan. 16, 1866. She is now living with her daughter at Geneva. They had three children: Mary M., born July 1817, married Dr. James Whitford, now of Onondaga Valley; Edwin L., Caroline L., born Nov., 1827, married to John D. Patterson, then of San Francisco, now living in Geneva, N. Y.
The subject of this sketch, Edwin L. Gage, and the son of Arza and Polly Gage, was born in DeRuyter, Madison county, N. Y., May 8, 1822. His boyhood was spent at home, a student in the Seminary at De Ruyter.
In 1861 he was married to Miss Jane Arnold, also a native of De Ruyter, and educated at the same school. She was the daughter of Ephraim and Judith Mitchell Arnold, who immigrated from Hartford, Conn., about 1815. They had eight children, five of whom are now living.
Mr. Gage early gave his attention to farming and stock raising, in which he has been very successful. After his marriage he took the entire management of the farm, his father retiring from active business and settling in De Ruyter village. He has two hundred acres of as fine land as can be found in the town. His buildings show careful attention and the grounds surrounding them are laid out with much taste. It may be classed among the most attractive homes in the State. Mr. and Mrs. Gage have but one child, a daughter, Miss Carrie Gage, born in 1862.
Mr. Gage now devotes himself principally to the breeding of fine wool Merino sheep, for which he has a reputation well known throughout the country.
JOSEPH H. CRUMB.
Joseph H. Crumb, a leading business man in DeRuyter, was born at Brookfield, Madison county, N.Y., July 26, 1828. His parents were natives of New England, and he inherits the qualities which have marked in so large a measure the character of the people of those States, and their descendants, for industry and enterprise. In 1848, while he was yet a young man, he came to De Ruyter, and soon thereafter bought out the real estate, shops and business stand of Messrs. A. S. and H. A. Gardner, who had carried on extensive works in carriage making, cabinet-ware and other branches of industry. Here, at the age of twenty-one, he established an active business, including a machine shop, iron foundry, manufactory of furniture, upholstery and undertaking, a portion of which he yet continues. He has been eminently successful, and accumulated a handsome fortune by his energy and perseverance. His business habits are rapid but methodical. He is probably one of the best if not the best business man in De Ruyter. His sagacity, good judgment and quick apprehension of right opportunities, have enabled him to see and avail himself of the state of the times and the markets, to strike successfully into those enterprises which have yielded a remunerative reward. He has been extensively engaged as contractor and builder, and at the present time is probably the most extensive real estate owner in the town. He possesses in a remarkable degree a capacity to direct and control more branches of business in manufacturing, farming and trade and general traffic than any other man in the community. Besides looking after his own affairs he has found time to work for the public, and has been honored by his townsmen with the office of Supervisor, to which position he has been elected for five years in succession, and now holds that office, the duties of which he has discharged with honesty and fidelity to his constituents. His place could hardly be filled by one having a deeper interest at stake, or a larger experience in the local affairs of the town. Mr. Crumb is public spirited and his influence and efforts have contributed much towards the improvements which have from time to time been projected for the benefit of the place. As a man and a citizen his record is good and his life gives evidence of what industry, integrity and energy can accomplish in individual success and social attainments.
LAMBERT B. KERN.
Lambert B. Kern was born at Eaton, Madison county, N. Y., Nov. 28, 1833. His education was derived from the common schools and the Fredonia and Hamilton academies. After completing his studies he entered the law office of Hon. Sidney T. Holmes, at Morrisville, N. Y., and was admitted to the bar in 1858. He now follows his profession at De Ruyter, N. Y., where he has resided since 1864. Mr. Kern has served one term as District Attorney of Madison county, and was elected to the Assembly of 1878.
REV. J. CLARKE.
Rev. J. Clarke was born in Brookfield, Madison Co., N. Y., Nov. 23, 1822. He was the son of Elnathan and Maria S. Clarke. His father was the son of Joshua and Nancy Lewis Clarke, of Brookfield, N. Y. His mother was the only daughter of Deacon Silas and Oudara Spencer, of Sangerfield, N. Y. He was the oldest of eleven children, four sons and seven daughters.
His boyhood was spent in Lincklaen, Chenango county and Brookfield, Madison county. At the age of 11 he experienced religion, but neglecting a public profession, soon went into darkness, and lived in religious obscurity for five years. The winter after he was 17 he was quickened by the Holy Spirit and confessed Jesus openly. April, 1839, he was baptized, and shortly after united with the Seventh-Day Baptist Church of Adams, Jefferson county, N. Y., where his family were then residing. March, 1840, he moved with his parents to Watson, Lewis county, N. Y., and united with the church in that place. There he was licensed to preach; and in that and adjoining towns, he continued to herald the gospel message with encouraging efficiency, leading many to Jesus, till June, 1842, when he visited his native place.
September 11, 1842, he was married to Miss Esther Landphere, daughter of Asa and Susannah Landphere, of Plainfield, Otsego county, N. Y. June, 1843, he made arrangements to enter school in DeRuyter Institute, where he remained two years. He united with the Seventh-Day Baptist Church, in Otselic, Chenango county, N. Y., where he was ordained to the work of the gospel ministry, Jan. 14, 1844. During his two years in school he preached in Otselic, Truxton, (now Cuyler,) and elsewhere as opportunity offered, compatible with school duties.
June, 1844, he settled as pastor in Lincklaen, Chenango county, N. Y., where and in Otselic he continued in pastoral work till the spring of 1847, except that he taught a term of select school during the winter of 1845 and 1846. Here, Jan., 1847, he lost his first born and only child. The spring following he settled in Preston, Chenango county, N. Y., as pastor, preaching also in Oxford and McDonough. The spring of 1849 he returned to De Ruyter to resume the study of Greek, but a severe sickness thwarted his plan, so that from early autumn he worked as missionary in Herkimer and Chenango counties.
February, 1850, he accepted the unanimous call of the 2d Seventh-Day Baptist church of Brookfield, Madison county, N. Y., and entered upon the pastorate the i1st of March following. He had been preceded upon this field by one of the best and most able pastors, Rev. E. S. Bailey, for more than 30 years. He was young and felt illy prepared to assume the responsibility of the position. Helped of God he held it eight years, and left it from a sense of duty, when his charge desired his continuance. The church more than doubled its membership, notwithstanding depletion by deaths and removals during his pastorate. In March, 1858, having accepted a call from a sense of duty some months before, he entered upon the pastorate of the 1st Seventh-Day Baptist church of Hopkinton, R. L, with a membership of between 300 and 400, and one of the oldest churches in America. This very responsible charge he held 6 years, during which, more than 100 were added to the church. During this time he attended more than 130 funerals. Again in the winter of 1863 and '64, Mr. Clarke, contrary to the wishes of his church, but from a sense of duty, accepted a call to the pastorate of the Seventh-Day Baptist church of Albion, Dane county, Wis., of between 200 and 300 members---a large church---and having in its midst, one of the best academies west of the Lakes; a very important field. Here he remained for six years, having the confidence and kindest regards of his people. On this field he was also under God very successful in his ministry, building the church and in leading the perishing to Jesus. While upon this field he baptized about 200, and received to the fellowship of the church 175 members.
During the autumn of 1869 he received a call to the pastorate of the Seventh-Day Baptist church, of De Ruyter, N. Y. His church had grown to 385 members. He had built him a fine home and was pleasantly situated. The church at De Ruyter was small, numbering but a little over 100 members, and its condition very critical; yet he, reaching the conviction that it was his duty to do so, decided to accept the call, and entered upon the duties of his new charge Jan. 1, 1870. During the term of this pastorate, 10 years, the church under his ministry has more than doubled its membership, notwithstanding depletion by death and removals. Besides the care of his own church, he has supplied the Seventh-Day Baptist church, of Lincklaen, 4 miles south, with preaching once in two weeks, at 1:30 P. M., for eight years, and the Seventh-Day Baptist church of Otselic, ten miles away, at a later hour, once in two weeks, for two years. He has also supplied the Baptist church of New Woodstock on 1st day for about two years, the Baptist church of South Otselic one year, the Baptist church of Plymouth one year, the Baptist church of Beaver Meadow three years, and the Congregational church of Lincklaen three years, all of which are from six to twenty miles away.
He has held revival meetings with more or less success on nearly all of these fields, and besides these and the fields of his pastorates, he has labored successfully as an evangelist in Watson, Alfred, West Edmeston, Verona, Cuyler, Berlin and Cincinnatus, N. Y., Northampton, Mass., Berlin and Edgerton, Wis., and other points both east and west.
His services as a clergyman have always been in demand on the 1st day, so that he has preached almost as constantly on Sunday as on the Sabbath. Mr. Clarke has been an earnest worker, devoting his whole time to the work of the ministry.
During the 36 years since he was ordained to the gospel ministry he has preached more than 600 funeral sermons, and an average of about four sermons a week, or 1,488 sermons; and now, at 57, Mr. Clarke is hale and strong, as though but in his prime, having a mature experience. Having been a close student of human nature and books he has acquired a fund of knowledge and christian graces which prepares him, by the grace of God, for many more years of greater usefulness.