The Town of Chili
Chili was formed from Riga, February 22d, 1822. The first settlement was made by Joseph Morgan, in 1792. The first child born there was Joseph Wood, in 1799. It is an interior town lying southwest of the center of the county. Its surface is level or gently rolling, with a slight inclination to the east. The Genesee River forms the eastern boundary of the town, and Black creek, a sluggish stream, flows east through the central portion of the town. The soil is a clay loam, mixed with sand. South of Black creek are several peculiar gravelly knolls, the principal of which is Dumpling hill, near the river. The early history of Chili is entirely contemporaneous with that of its mother town Riga, which was known original as East Pulteney, and a little later as East Riga, while Riga proper was known as West Pulteney and West Riga. In the town as at present constituted are five small villages or hamlets, known respectively as Chili, North Chili, Chili Station, Clifton and South Chili. The first settlers of the town were Yankees, that is New Englanders of pronounced type, and they brought with them the customs and manners peculiar to all inhabitants of New England. The pioneer of this locality was Joseph Morgan, who located near the south line, adjoining the lands of Peter Sheffer, the pioneer of Wheatland and the successor of the notorious Ebenezer Allan. Among the early settlers were Andrew Wortman, Colonel Josiah Fish and his son Lebbeus from Vermont, who settled on the river at the mouth of Black Creek. The first industry was a distillery built by Stephen Peabody in 1796. In 1797 Jacob Widner and his sons, Samuel, Jacob, Abraham, William and Peter and also Joseph Cary, made a beginning here; and later but prior to 1800, came Lemuel and Joseph Wood, Samuel Scott, Joshua Howell, Benjamin Bowman, John Kimball, Daniel Franklin, Mr. Dillingham, George Stottle and others. About this time came John McVean from Ontario county, with his six sons, Duncan, Samuel, John, Daniel, Peter and Alexander, also William Woodin and his family from Seneca county. Later settlers were Joseph Sibley, Joseph Davis, William Holland, John Wetmore, Joseph Thompson, Isaac Burritt, Berkley Gillett, Isaac Lacey, William Pixley and others. James Chapman established the first store, in 1807, and James Cary built the first mill. Later storekeepers in the town were Mr. Filkins, Mr. Hawes and Theodore Winans. The first tavern was kept by Elias Streeter about 1811, on the Chili and Spencerport road. Paul Orton was the second landlord and one, Pennock, kept the checkered tavern, and old historic building. Cary's mill was located on Mill creek, north of Clifton and near by, in 1807, Comfort Smith built a gristmill. In 1806 there was a schoolhouse erected north of Black creek, one mile west of the Center. The town has not increased in population very materially since 1825, when it numbered 1,827, as it is estimated that the present population is about 2,000. Chili is an agricultural town, being deficient in manufacturing and other industries, which is doubtless due to the absence of suitable waterpower. The Green Nursery Company operated a large nursery farm in the town, which constitutes the chief industry of the town. The chief educational institution is the Chili seminary, located in North Chili. There are eleven school districts in the town, each of which is provided with a comfortable school-home.
Taken from "History of Rochester and Monroe County New York"