The History of Otsego, NY 
Edmeston Pioneers

By Holice and Debbie

 One of the first settlers after Mr. Carr was Aden Deming. He was born in 1768, and lived with the Quakers in Pittsfield until twenty years of age, when he purchased his time for twenty dollars. In 1791 he married Martha Phelps, and after having purchased a farm in this town and made some improvements, sold it for $125, and in 1792 settled with his family in the locality now known as "Gravesí Flats." He soon moved across Wharton creek. He was an industrious hardy pioneer, and at the time of his death, in June 1847, he was the owner of 1300 acres of land in Edmeston, and 400 in Pittsfield. His wife died in 1848. Of their family two reside in the county,--Lyman on the old homestead, and Betsey, wife of Edwin Phelps, in Edmeston Centre. Nelson lives in New Berlin, Chenango County.

The pioneers of Unadilla were the De Forests,--Abel and Gideon.

James Kennedy was an active pioneer of Edmeston Centre, and he, together with William Kennedy, built the first grist-mill in the town, at the Centre in 1801, which occupied the site of the present mill, erected by William Stickney.

They also built the first saw-mill in the town, at about the same time.

The first school was taught here, but no record or even tradition exists from which we can glean the teacherís name. Like most of the schools of those early days, it was undoubtedly held in a building where slabs answered the place of boards for drink and meat.

The "Gazetteer of ?" states that the first inn was kept at this place by Rufus ?. Possibly this was the first regular inn, but Percifer Carr, mentioned on a previous page as the first settler in this town, many years kept a public-house, which was well known in the surrounding country.

The first regular store was opened in 1824 by Lyman White, which proved a great convenience to the settlers. This building has been added to from time to time, and is now used as a hotel, kept by Delos Davis. In the following year another store was opened across the creek by Silas ?

Among other early tradesmen are mentioned the names of Erastus Waldo and Benjamin Post.

In 1818, William Stickney and Samuel Simmons, two blacksmiths, built a fore and trip-hammer for the manufacture of axes, scythes, and wrought-iron plow-shares.

The first cast-iron plow here was in 1822.  A Carding- and fulling-mill, a long-needed industry and convenience was erected here in 1818 by a man named Stearns. In 1820 he disposed of it to Joseph Bootman, who operated it until his death, which occurred in 1844. The site has since been occupied by his son Truman as a planing-mill, etc.

The first tannery was built by John Bilyes, on the site of the present tannery.

The first physician was Dr. Gains Smith, who came with his family from Vermont in about the year 1800, and settled on the road leading from Edmeston Centre to West Burlington. He had a large practice and was highly esteemed on the community. He died in1819, at the advanced age of seventy-five years.

A daughter named Rachel married David Brown, in Vermont, and moved to this town after his fatherí death. Another daughter, Diantha, married Benjamin St. John, in Saratoga County. A son, Hon, David B. St. John, became a resident of this town in 1820, and has done much to advance the interests of Edmeston, as well as the adjoining town of Pittsfield, and represented that town in the board of supervisors during ten successive terms, from 1835 to 1845.

His record in the board of supervisors, together with his general integrity and character, won him the esteem of the people, and he was subsequently chosen member of assembly in the years 1849-59-60, and was in the constitutional convention in 1846.

Another pioneer physician and prominent citizen was Dr. Henry Spencer, me from Greene county to Otsego in 1814, and located in West Exeter. He remained there two years, and removing to this town, settled on the turnpike, between the Centre and West Burlington, where he bean the practice of his profession, in which he labored until his death in 1870. He was an esteemed and influential citizen of the county, and served in various official capacities. He was supervisors in 1835-37, member of assembly in 1828, and sheriff in 1838.

William M. Spencer, M.D., a son of the first resident physician at the Centre, where he now resides, and is in the active practice of his profession. He has served several years as supervisor. Lewis Spencer, brother of Dr. Spencer, resides at the Centre, and Mrs. Mary Hall, a sister, in West Exeter. Daniel Chapin and wife emigrated from Richmond, Berkshire Co., Mass., in about the year 1800, and settled one and a half miles west of the Centre on lands of the Cooper patent. He died in 1837, aged sixty-three. His eldest son, Walter, remained on a portion of the old homestead until 1870, when he removed to Unadilla Forks, where he now resides.

John, the second son, occupies the homestead. His mother is living with him at the age of ninety-eight years. Alfonso is a resident of Sherburne, Chenango County.

Uriah Chapin was an early settler in Burlington. David Chapin settled near Edmeston Centre, where he conducted a tannery. A son, Laurentine, lives on the homestead.

Nathan Langworthy, wife, and family emigrated from Rhode Island about the year 1805 and settled in Brookfield, Madison County, about half a mile below West Edmeston village, where he died. Two of his children subsequently moved across the river into this county. William F. Langworthy, a son, settled on a farm in sight of his fatherís place. He married Desire A. Bess in 1832. Numerous representatives of this honored family are residents of the town. Hollum Langworthy, who now occupies his fatherís homestead, is an enterprising citizen and a successful apiarian

The Hoxie family was of English origin. The first of the family who came to this country located in Massachusetts. Stephen Hoxie, the great grand-father of the present family residing in Edmeston, emigrated from Connecticut, and was among the first settlers in the Unadilla valley, at Leonardsville, upon premises now owned by his direct descendants. He was an honored pioneer, and lived to the advanced age of one hundred and one years. Nathan B. Hoxie, his grandson, and son of Solomon Hoxie, Sr., was born in 1801. In 1826 he married Eliza Langworthy, and in 1833 moved in this town, locating upon the Edmeston patent, which at that time was a dense uninviting wilderness. The farm upon which he settled is now owned by his younger son, Samuel L. Hoxie. Nathan B. Hoxie had but two children, who grew to years of manhood,--Solomon, now residing in Whitestown, Oneida county, and Samuel L., who resides upon a frm adjoining the old homestead. The former married Lucy P. Stickney of Edmeston, and has three children,--C. DeForest, Jennie L., and Franklin. Mr. Hoxie has been an active citizen of the town, and was supervisor four years during the War of the Rebellion. Samuel L. married Rosetta K. Pope, and their family consists of two children,--Arthur S., and E. Ellsworth. Agnes, a daughter, died at the age of three years. Mr. Hoxie is one of the substantial citizens of the town, and is ranked among the progressive agriculturists and stock-breeders of the country. He occupies over 400 acres of land lying along the Unadilla River, and is largely engaged in dairying, although he gives much attention to breeding of improved stock. His horses are of the Hambletonian and Golddust breeds. He is a leading member of the Unadilla Stock-Breeders association, and was instrumental in it organization.

An early settler in Edmeston was Abel Matteson, who came from Pownel, Vermont. Two grandsons and a granddaughter reside in the county.

The Taylors were pioneers in the vicinity of "Taylor Hill," among whom are mentioned Benjamin B., William, Timothy, Thomas, etc. they were instrumental in organizing the first Baptist church of Edmeston. B. F. Taylor, the celebrated poet and writer, is a relative.

Charles Burlingham and Julia Bates are also pioneers, having settled in about the year 1800 on Taylor Hill.

Transcribed by Holice B. Young

HTML by Debbie

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