TOWN OF SULLIVAN

 

From “The History of Chenango and Madison Counties, New York”

by James H. Smith    (D. Mason & Co. - Syracuse, New York 1880)

 

SULLIVAN was formed from Cazenovia, February 22, 1803, and named from Gen. John Sullivan, of Revolutionary fame. The larger east half was set off to form the town of Lenox, March 3, 1809. It is the north-west corner town of the county, and is bounded on the north by Oneida lake, on the south by Cazenovia and Fenner, on the east by Lenox and on the west by Cicero and Manlius. The surface in the larger northern part is level and in the south part, hilly. The Cowassalon swamp extends across the north part of the town, and is bordered on the south by the Vlaie, or natural meadow, which is covered to the depth of several feet with muck, underlaid by marl, and though destitute of timber, supports a rank growth of grass, ferns and weeds, which have to some extent been supplanted by cultivated grasses. Two series of vertical stumps, one near the surface and a larger one three feet below it, indicate that two forests have existed upon this extensive morass, which, once inundated, has been partially drained by means of an artificial ditch cut through the ridge which intervenes between it and the lake. This ditch forms the channel of the Cowassalon and Canaseraga creeks, which unite in this town in the central part of the swamp, the latter stream having been diverted thereby from its natural channel. This improvement, which reclaimed several thousand acres of waste land and improved the cultivation of other extensive tracts, was projected under State patronage, and by an Act of the Legislature 8,400 acres were made to contribute towards defraying the cost by the imposition of a tax of two dollars per acre. The Cowassalon enters the town from Lenox north of the center of the east border; while the Canaseraga enters it in the south-east corner, and forms at Perryville a beautiful cascade of about 150 feet in height. Chittenango creek is the most important stream, both in volume and hydraulic importance. It enters the town near the center of the south border, flows through the south-west part, and forms in its lower course the northerly and larger half of the west border of the town. It furnishes in its course through the town numerous valuable mill sites.

 

Geologically considered, the town is an important one. The value of its mineral products is not surpassed by any town in the county. The low lands which form the north and greater extent of its surface are underlaid by the rocks of the Clinton, Niagara and Onondaga groups, the former characterized by its iron ores and the latter by its rich deposits of gypsum; while the high lands in the south part are underlaid by limestone rocks which yield abundantly both common and water lime. Marl and peat abound in the swampy regions. The early discovery of its mineral resources had an important bearing on the subsequent development of the industries of the town. Gypsum was first discovered about the beginning of the century, (soon after its discovery in Onondaga county, and about contemporaneously with its discovery in Cayuga county,) by Jacob Patrick, on the farm now owned by John Lillie about three-fourths of a mile east of Chittenango, and was first brought extensively to public notice and developed commercial importance during the war of 1812 and the embargo preceding it, when Nova Scotia plaster was excluded from the markets of the country.(*) Thousands of tons of gypsum were quarried in this locality, most extensively on the farm of Capt. Timothy Brown, at Canaseraga, Mr. Brown having been instrumental in forming the company who were engaged in plaster quarrying.

 

Water lime was first discovered on the old Ira Moyer farm, which was afterwards owned by Col. Hezekiah Sage, and at present by Charles Button and Franklin Walrath, located about a mile south-west of Chittenango. Its discovery was accidental and is said to have been the first discovered in the State, though the same claim is made for Onondaga county. Both date from the construction of the Erie canal, and were due to the necessities of the contractors upon that work, the masonry for which was contracted to be done with common lime, in consequence of the expensiveness of hydraulic cement. Mason Harris and Thomas Livingston, of the town, entered into a contract to furnish a quantity for the middle section, and found to their surprise that the product of the quarries opened for that purpose in this town would not slack when burned. It was examined by Canvass White and Judge Wright, two engineers who interested themselves in the matter, and was submitted for examination and experiment to Dr. Barton, a scientific gentlemen of Herkimer, who broke a quantity in the trip hammer shop of J. B. Yates of Chittenango, burned it, pulverized it in a mortar, and after mixing it with sand, rolled a ball and placed it in water, where it remained during the night. In the morning it was set solid enough to be rolled across the floor, and was pronounced equal to the best Roman cement.(**) The discovery was opportune and valuable and proved of vast importance in furthering the permanent structures on the Erie canal. Large quantities of quick and water limestone were subsequently quarried in the locality of its first discovery, and the remains of many kilns still remain on that farm. But the Manlius quarries being more accessible and better facilities being enjoyed by that town for the manufacture of lime, have resulted in a large diminution in its manufacture in Sullivan.

 

The mineral springs of Sullivan are of no inconsiderable importance and have been previously noticed. The most important of these are the Chittenango White Sulphur Springs, located four miles south of Chittenango Station on the New York Central Railroad, and two miles south of Chittenango village, from both of which it is accessible by an excellent macadamized road. The first efforts to bring these valuable springs to public notice were made in 1825 or '6, by Peter Colyer, who purchased the land on which they are situated, from a man named Diefendorf, by whom it was first taken up, and opened a wagon road to them; and by Milton Leach, who kept a grocery and opened a shower bath. Mr. Colyer soon after erected a building for the accommodation of visitors. The property has since been variously improved by its different owners, and has for many years been a favorite resort for those seeking recreation or benefit from the curative properties of its waters, which are highly esteemed for the cure of certain diseases. The spacious hotel and family cottages are located in a beautiful grove, through which flows Chittenango creek, and are at present under the supervision of Josiah Tasker, who has established a reputation as a first-class caterer.

 

(*) Spofford's Gazetteer of 1824, says a plaster bed was opened in June, 1810.

(**) H. Child's Gazetteer and Directory of Madison County, 1868/69.

 

The soil in the north part of the town is a clayey loam, alternating with muck and marl, and in the south it is a gravelly loam, well adapting it to mixed farming. This town like Lenox and Stockbridge produces good crops of wheat, and this cereal is largely raised. Hops are successfully raised, but far less extensively than in many of the other towns of the county. It also takes a high rank in the value of its dairy products, though dairying is not a specialty.

 

The New York Central Railroad extends through the central part of the town from east to west, and the Erie canal in the same general direction to the south of it, but in a more circuitous course. The Utica, Ithaca and Elmira Railroad (Cazenovia and Canastota,) crosses the south-east corner of the town and has a station within its borders at Perryville.

 

The population of the town in 1875, was 4,745;(*) of who 4,165 were native, 580 foreign, 4,703 white, 42 colored, 2,386 males and 2,359 females. Its area was 46,287 acres; of which 30,656 acres were improved, 7,522 woodland, and 8,109 otherwise unimproved, more than doubling in this latter respect any other town in the county. The cash value of farms was $2,783,472; of farm buildings other than dwellings, $344,319; of stock, $337,831; of tools and implements, $101,585; the amount of gross sales from farms in 1874 was $274,798.

 

There are nineteen common and one union school districts in the town. During the year ending Sept. 30, 1879, there were twenty-eight 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 1,592. During that year there were fifteen male and twenty-nine female teachers employed; the number of children residing in the districts who attended school was 1,168, residing in other districts, 94; the average daily attendance during the year was 632.514; the number of volumes in district libraries was 1,546, the value of which was $814; the number of school-houses was twenty, all frame, which, with the sites embracing 3 acres and 130 rods, valued at $2,150, were valued at $24,150; the assessed value of taxable property in the districts was $2,171,210.

 

(*) The following is the comparative population of the several towns in Madison County, as shown by the censuses of 1870 and 1880:

 

                                1870           1880

  Brookfield              3,565          3,742

  Cazenovia              4,265          4,403

  DeRuyter               2,009          1,584

  Eaton                     3,690          3,809

  Fenner                   1,381          1,273

  Georgetown           1,423          1,492

  Hamilton                3,687          3,918

  Lebanon                1,559          1,586

  Lenox                     9,816         10,256

  Madison                 2,402          2,581

  Nelson                   1,730          1,649

  Smithfield               1,227          1,251

  Stockbridge           1,847          2,029

  Sullivan                   4,921         4,805

  Totals                   43,522        44,378

 

Receipts and disbursements for school purposes:

Amount on hand Oct. 1, 1878 $ 318.83 

  Amount apportioned to districts 3,540.93 

  Raised by tax 5,161.04 

  From other sources 679.97 

     Total receipts $9,700.77 

Paid for teachers' wages $7,759.11 

  "          libraries 152.87 

  "          school apparatus 32.58 

  "          school-houses, fences, sites, outhouses, repairs, furniture, etc 1,094.95 

  "          incidental expenses 852.52 

  Amount remaining on hand Sept. 30, 1879 408.74 

     Total disbursements $9,700.77 

 

SETTLEMENTS

 

In the settlement of the town of Sullivan we are able to trace an intimate connection between its pioneers and the stirring scenes of the Revolution, some of which, though of minor importance, were enacted on its soil, and were the precursors of that immigration which brought to it its first little band of pioneers soon after the close of that eventful struggle. In the fall of 1780 Sir John Johnson, meditating retaliation for General Sullivan's successful invasion of the Iroquois' country the previous year by a blow upon the border settlements of the Mohawk Valley, gathered at La Chine, an island in the St. Lawrence, a motley force of some eight hundred tories, Canadians and Indians, the latter under the leadership of the trusty Brant, with which, on the 15th of October, he made a descent upon and laid waste the Schoharie Valley, up which he marched, burning houses, destroying property, and murdering or taking prisoners all whom he met. General Robert Van Rensselaer, of Clavarack, hastily gathered the militia and inarched to repel the invaders, who fled before his advance to their boats, which, with their provisions and other stores, were left under a strong guard in a stockade fort previously constructed by the French on the east bank of Chittenango Creek, about a mile above the mouth of Black Creek. Van Rensselaer pursued the retreating foe to Herkimer, and from there dispatched a messenger to Fort Stanwix, directing Captain Walter Vrooman to proceed with a strong detachment to Chittenango Creek and destroy the boats and stores left there. Captain Vrooman accomplished this mission, but his command, numbering fifty men, were surprised on the 23d of October, while at dinner, by a detachment of Colonel John Butler's rangers, who were sent to intercept them by Sir John Johnson, who had been apprised of this intention. Of Vrooman's party all except two were killed or captured, and the Indians, exasperated with the loss of their boats and stores, revenged themselves by torturing to death some of their captives, while the sunken boats were being raised preparatory to resuming the retreat.

 

Captain Vrooman and those of his party who survived this brutal butchery were taken prisoners to Montreal and held in captivity for two years. But their long imprisonment and the years spent after their release in their homes on the Mohawk did not obliterate the recollection of the fertile lands in northern Sullivan. In 1790 ten of these captives, with their families, squatted on the Canaseraga flats, on adjoining farms; but as these were a part of the reservation of the Oneidas, who, from the ungenerous treatment received at the hands of some of their European neighbors, had become distrustful of the large numbers who were seeking western homes, they were ejected the following year on complaint of the Oneidas, by order Governor George Clinton, who entrusted this mission to Colonel William Colbraith, then high sheriff of Herkimer county. Their dwellings, from which their effects had been removed to a safe distance, were burned to the ground. Guerdon Evans, a local author of some note, thus eloquently describes the generous conduct of these noble red men, who were not unmoved by the sad countenances of their unwelcome neighbors as they contemplated this act of punitive justice. He says:--

 

"The dream of a permanent home vanished; the hardy pioneers, homeless and houseless, were yet indomitable. Sullenly they watched the smoke driving away from their tottering roofs; the Indians gathered around in quiet groups with hearts more full of sorrow for the white man than joy for justice secured them by righteous laws. They proved that the savage breast enshrined virtues and principles not inferior to their white brothers. Their triumph was complete and tempered by acts worthy of record. They led the discomfited settlers to the grounds near which the pleasant village of Chittenango is rising into importance, and granted to them under proper arrangements abundant space for settlements. Cabins were soon erected, hunting and fishing supplied their wants until the earth could yield its abundant stores."

 

The settlement of the town though commenced at an early day was not rapid and general, as it could not be permanent until the extinguishments of the Indian title. The Indians yielded their landed possessions in the town by small parcels and at various times, the last claim being relinquished not until about 1830; consequently much of the town remained an almost unbroken wilderness till a comparatively late date, as the primal object of the pioneer was generally to secure a permanent home, an object which could not always be subordinated to other attractions and advantages. The southern and central parts of the town were settled many years earlier than the more northern parts.

 

The ten squatters to whom allusion has been made were James and Joseph Pickard, Jacob, David and Hon Yost Schuyler, Jacob Seeber, Garrett and George VanSlycke, John Palsley and John Freemyer, most of whom became permanent settlers. The Pickards settled in the east part of the town. Jacob Schuyler settled about a mile above Chittenango, on the widow Isaac Garlock farm, and continued to reside there till his death. He kept the first tavern

in the town kept by a white man, though a tavern had been previously kept by an Indian named John Denny, at Canaseraga, where he also built the first frame house in 1800. His youngest son, Barney, died here four or five years ago. His other sons were John J., David, Philip and James, all of whom are dead. Jacob Schuyler, a carpenter and joiner of Canaseraga, is a son of John J. Schuyler. Peggy Schuyler, who was born in 1791, was the first white child born in town. Jacob Seeber, then a captain and afterwards a general of militia, subsequently removed to and died at Clockville. He was a man of prominence and influence. John Seeber, a lawyer at Clockville, was a son of his. Garrett VanSlycke lived near Poole's Brook, near the line of Manlius. John and Peter Christman, George Chawgo and the Herrings, Dutchmen from the Mohawk country, were other pioneers in that locality, which was known as Kinderhook, from the fact that the children of the neighborhood were accustomed to assemble on the green at the corners to play. The Christmans and Herrings sold out and moved away to the locality of Sandy Creek. The descendants of the Chawgos still live there.

 

These first pioneers were soon after joined by many others, among whom were John G. Moyer, Captain Timothy Brown, Colonel Zebulon Douglass, John Matthews, Philip Daharsh, Peter Dygart, Timothy Freeman, Martin Vrooman, Captain Rosel Barnes. (???)Rector, Robert Carrer, (???) Owens, Joseph and Benjamin Hosley, Jacob Patrick, Judge John Knowles, John Adams, Robert Riddell, John Smith, John Walrath, the Beebes, John Lower, Peter Ehle, David Burton, William Miles, John Keller, Ovid Weldon, Nicholas Pickard, John Owen French, Rev. Austin Briggs and Reuben Haight.

 

John G. Moyer built a grist-mill and saw-mill on the site of the paper-mill a mile and a half above Chittenango. These were the first mills in the town. The grist-mill was converted into a plaster-mill as early as 1814, and later was fitted up in part for clothing works by John Knowles, Jr. A year or two later, about 1826, it was burned, and was rebuilt by Knowles for clothing works.

 

Captain Timothy Brown was left when a child, by his parents, from Williamsburg, Mass., while on their way to the western country, with a family who had settled in Sullivan. In 1819 he purchased the farm of Albert Queenall at Canaseraga, which is now owned by Timothy S., John, Barton and Albert Brown, grandsons of Captain Timothy Brown. Queenall was a Hollander from the Mohawk country, and on selling to Brown went to Ohio. Captain Brown was an energetic and influential man. He was a stockholder in the Seneca turnpike, an enterprise with which he was for many years connected, a contractor on the Erie canal, and an active and enterprising farmer. He invested all his surplus funds in lands and became an extensive landholder. He continued his residence here till his death. His children were Solomon, William, John, Hiram, and two daughters, the oldest of whom married a Drake, and the other, Anson Pearson. All settled on their father's lands in that vicinity, but all are dead.

 

Col. Zebulon Douglass came from Columbia county in 1796, and settled on the Seneca turnpike two and one-half miles east of Chittenango, where his grandson, Douglass Lewis, now lives. He brought in his family the following year and resided there till his death. He was widely and favorably known, and rose in the militia to the rank of colonel. By subsequent additions to his original purchase he acquired a large and valuable farm. The widow Lewis, mother of Douglass Lewis, is a daughter of his and is living in the town with one of her daughters.

 

John Matthews was from Massachusetts, and settled about a half mile south of Bolivar to which his farm extended. About 1810 he purchased the grist and saw-mills long known as Matthews' Mills, and located on Chittenango Creek a little north of the center of the town. He operated these till about 1822 or '23, when they passed into the hands of his brother Samuel, of Salina. The mills were burned several years ago. Mr. Matthews died and was buried in the locality of his settlement. He was twice married. His children by his first wife were John, David, Henry, James, Samuel, Margaret; who married a Ball, and by his second wife, Joseph. They married and settled in this locality. Samuel afterwards lived in Syracuse and acquired some prominence in public life.

 

Philip Daharsh settled at Bolivar and died there. He had a son named Philip, who also settled in that locality. He raised a numerous family, but none of them are left here. Peter Dygart married a daughter of Jacob Schuyler and settled in the same locality as he. He raised a family there, but none of them are left. Timothy Freeman and Martin Vrooman, the latter a kinsman of Captain Walter Vrooman, before referred to, settled on the old Seneca turnpike, the former about two miles south-west of Chittenango, and the latter between two and three miles east of that village. Bradford Freeman, who raised a large family, and Charles Freeman, who lived on the homestead were sons of Timothy Freeman. Vrooman removed from the town at quite an early day.

 

Captain Rosel Barnes was the first settler in the vicinity of Bridgeport. He built there the first frame house, having previously kept tavern in a log one. He afterwards removed to Illinois. Leverett Barnes was a son of his, and lived on the homestead. He also went west many years ago. Other early settlers in this locality were Captain Rector, a militia officer, who resided at Bridgeport till his death. Robert Carter and his sons, Robert and John, the latter of whom was a well-to-do farmer; and Joseph and Benjamin Hosley, brothers, the former of whom went west many years ago. Benjamin Hosley raised a large family in that locality.

 

Gideon Owens settled on the lake shore, a little east of Bridgeport, on the point which perpetuates his name. Jacob Patrick settled previous to 1800 on the Seneca turnpike, about three-fourths of a mile east of Chittenango, on what is still known as the old Patrick farm, and is now occupied by John Lillie. On this farm was discovered the first gypsum found in the county. Patrick had a large family of children, who went west. Judge John Knowles, who had followed the sea in his early life, came from Troy in 1805 and settled on the plains about two miles south of Bridgeport. He was a prominent man and held various town offices, among them that of Justice. He was an Associate Judge of Madison county, a member from this county of the Constitutional Convention of 1821, and a Member of Assembly in 1828. He had a large family, of whom a son--Isaac--and a daughter--Lucy, who married a Scriba, are living, the latter in Waterloo, Seneca county, and the former till recently north of that place. John Adams came from Troy previous to Judge Knowles and settled a mile and a half to two miles south of Bridgeport. He afterwards located at Matthews' Mills and died there. He was one of the earliest surveyors in that locality and a very respectable farmer.

 

John Smith, from Massachusetts, settled about 1800, at Chittenango, and kept tavern on the turnpike, just south of the creek, on the land now owned and occupied by George Walrath. The tavern stood a little in rear of Walrath's residence, and was kept for several years by Smith, who continued to reside there till his death. He it was who first took up the 200 acres in Chittenango village, including the water-power now utilized by the grist-mill and cotton factory. About 1812, he made an arrangement with Judge Jedediah Sanger and Judge Youngs, of Oneida county, whereby he agreed to give them one-half that land on condition of their paying for the whole. As Smith was a bankrupt the deed was made in the name of his brother Jonathan, who lived at New Woodstock. His family left here many years ago. Judges Sanger and Youngs built the village mills soon after this agreement was entered into.

 

Reuben Haight came from Connecticut about 1800 and settled about a mile north of Chittenango. He removed to Monroe, Michigan, with his family about 1835. His son John and two daughters--Amy, who married John Campbell, now living in Syracuse, and Olivia, who married John Denny, and is living in Oneida--remained here.

 

Robert Riddell came from Shelburne, Mass., in 1805, and settled on the Chittenango about a mile below Bolivar, on the farm now occupied in part, including the homestead, by Calvin Prosser, and died there in August, 1808. His children were Polly, who married Frederick Pratt, Sally, who married Uriah Aldrich, Jemima, who married Heman Wilson, Patty, who married James Matthews, Susannah, who died in childhood, Robert, David and Thompson, of whom David, who was born in 1794, is the only one living. The family remained on the homestead till 1811, when they dispersed. Robert and David are the only ones who remained here. They were for many years engaged in company in the business of tanning, currying and shoe making. Robert died here in 1861.

 

At this time, (1805,) says David Riddell, Chittenango consisted of two taverns, one kept by John Smith and the other, the present Yates House, by Ball & Cary, and two or three houses. Canaseraga was then the village of the town, and had two stores, one kept by Reuben & Hawley, (the latter the father of Gen. J. Dean Hawley, a prominent jeweler in Syracuse,) and the other by William Malcolm, who were probably the first merchants at that place.

 

John Owen French came from Williamsburgh, Mass., in 1805 and settled between Canaseraga and Chittenango, where he died in 1808, aged 39. His sons Horatio, Jarius, Samuel and Thomas, natives of Williamsburgh, came with their father and afterwards took up contiguous farms in the same locality. They became highly respected citizens and filled various positions of honor and trust. Samuel was elected sheriff in 1843. He was born July 15, 1798, and died here June 16, 1868. Horatio died Nov. 19, 1862, aged 72; and Thomas, Feb. 5, 1879, aged 75. David Burton settled in Canaseraga the following year, 1806.

 

John H. Walrath, a native of Minden, Montgomery county, came here from Rome, in 1808, having contracted to construct a section of the Seneca turnpike in this locality. He remained during the winter in Chittenango locating on the hill road to Canaseraga, and the following spring removed to a farm on the west bank of Chittenango creek, where the foundry and machine shop is located, and resided there till his death Sept. 16, 1816, aged 47. He had been a man of standing and influence in Minden, and his family have been among the worthiest of Sullivan's citizens. His children were Henry I., John I., who was a member of Assembly from this town in 1845, was born Sept. 1, 1789, and died July 31, 1865, Abraham, who died Oct. 9, 1831, aged 39, Daniel, who died Aug. 4, 1856, aged 61, Frederick, Mary, who married Christian Fink, and Elizabeth, who married Jacob Colyer. The daughters only survive, and both are living in Chittenango.

 

David and Joseph Beebe settled at Canaseraga. They were from the Eastern States, and were a family of prominence and influence. They and their children mostly settled and died in that locality; but none of them are left here. John Lower settled one and one-fourth miles west of Chittenango, on the Salt Springs road, on the farm now occupied by Andrew Anguish. He died there at an early day. His son Richard was the pioneer blacksmith of Chittenango, and carried on blacksmithing in a shop which stood on the site of the residence of Archibald Ricard. He was succeeded in the business by his son Jacob. George and Conrad, other sons of John Lower, were farmers and afterwards located in Manlius.

 

Peter Ehle was a Revolutionary soldier from Montgomery county and located in the south-west part of the town, where his great-grandson, George Ehle, now lives. He died on that farm and was succeeded on it by his son Henry, who was born April 13, 1787, and afterwards removed to the village of Chittenango and died there March 29, 1870. Oliver Ehle, son of Henry, succeeded to and died on the farm June 20, 1862, aged 37, and was succeeded by his son George, the present occupant. John P., the oldest of Peter Ehle's sons, settled and died on a farm adjoining his father's. Peter P., another son, settled first in the same locality, in the edge of Cazenovia, but afterwards removed to Fenner, where he died Sept. 16, 1847, aged 68, and Hannah, his wife, Jan. 28, 1852, at the same age. George, another son, kept tavern for many years in what is now the Dixon House in Chittenango. Rev. Austin Briggs, a Methodist preacher from Connecticut, settled about the opening of the war of 1812 on a soldier's right in Manlius; but his title proving defective he soon after removed to the lake shore in this town. He was the pioneer preacher in this town. Families named White, Eastwood, Crownhart and Dunham were among the early settlers. The Eastwoods settled between Bridgeport and Lakeport. Dunham was a Justice and clothier.

 

We quote from H. Child's Gazetteer and Directory of Madison County the following interesting passage in the early history of the north part of the town:

 

"Barrels were manufactured [at Bridgeport] at an early day, taken down Chittenango creek, through Oneida Lake and Three River Point, thence to Salina, where they were exchanged for salt. Utica was the nearest market place, and thither the settlers were compelled to go for their supplies, making the journey without roads, guided only by marked trees. On account of the swampy condition of the land in this vicinity, it was not settled as early as the higher lands further south. One of the early settlers, who soon removed to a more congenial clime, thought they were 'robbing the wild beasts of their rights,' as he did not 'believe the Almighty ever designed it should be inhabited by human beings.' Fine fertile farms and convenient dwellings now occupy this region, then so unpromising. Mr. Robert Carter was one of the early settlers in this vicinity. At one time he started on foot for Manlius, carrying in a sack a fine salmon which he designed as a present to Esquire Kinney On his way he saw in the path before him two cubs, and thinking to frighten them by vociferously shouting, he rushed forward, when to his surprise he found he had aroused the old bear, and to escape her wrath, he dropped his salmon and climbed the nearest tree, one so small that the bear could not climb, and so smooth that he was compelled to hang on by main strength. The cubs had taken to other trees, and the old bear took her station at the foot of the tree which Mr. Carter had climbed, and there guarded most vigilantly her prisoner. For five long hours he maintained his position, until at length the cubs, leaving their retreat, came down, and they with their mother jogged slowly away, leaving Mr. Carter to resume his journey."

 

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

 

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

 

TOWN OFFICERS

 

The early town records have not been preserved; hence we are unable to give the customary list of town officers. The following are the town officers in 1880:

 

Supervisor   Francis H. Gates

Clerk   Lyman Gay

Justices   Francis W. Stillman, Jr., J. Gould Jennings, E. C. Green, Peter I. Koons

Assessors   Richard Brown, E. A. Judd, James Ryan

Commissioner of Highways   William R. Spencer

Overseers of the Poor   John Lillie, Albert Campbell

Collector   Franklin Hosley

Constables   George F. Marshall, George C. Russell, Harrison H. Hamilton, Dewitt Wager, John C. Hoff

Game Constable   Edwin Jacobs

Commissioners of Excise   James O. Shetler, Alonzo Bishop, Irvin Klock

Inspectors of Election

    District No. 1   Emery B. Maxon, Richard R. Walrath, Edward F. Colyer

    District No. 2   Miles Beach, Herbert E. Brazee, Samuel H. Clark

    District No. 3   Lurell G. Servis, William R. Olcott, Webster Billington

    District No. 4   Seymour Chapman, Edward Sternberg, John Willie Phillips

    District No. 5   Samuel J. Harns, Menzo Ausman, Edward L. Dewey

 

Back to the Smith Index

Back to Madison County