The History of Otsego, NY
By Holice and Debbie
|The first settler in
the vicinity of Garrattsville was John Garratt, who purchased land here
prior to the Revolution, and from him this village derived its name. He
and his wife were taken prisoner during the Revolution, and were absent
from their wilderness home seven years. It is related of them that they
saw the Indians approaching their cabin, and quickly divining he object
of their visit, Mrs. Garratt seized her clock and silverware and fled
out the rear door, concealing the silver under an inverted pig-trough,
while the clock was thrown hastily under the garden fence. After an
absence of seven years they returned to their home, to find their
clearings covered with underbrush and a rank growth of weeds about their
doors; but there under the pig trough was found the silver, and down by
the garden fence the old clock.
Others of the pioneers wre driven away during the Revolution, their buildings burned, and their crops destroyed. A haystack belonging to the Thurston’s was set on fire by the Indians and burned over on the outside, and upon the return of the settlers at the close of the war the inside of the stack was found to be in a good state of preservation.
William, brother of John Garratt, was the pioneer merchant. His store was located at Garrattsville.
Among the earliest settlers wee Hughey Marks, William Pierce, O. Park, S. W. Park, and John Johnson.
Elnathan Noble was one of the pioneers who located in the southwest part of the town, where the village of Noblesville is located, from whom it derived its name. George I. Peck, Esq., a descendant of Elnathan Noble, resides at Noblesville.
John S. Stetson, familiarly known as Deacon Stetson, was an early settler in the locality known as Stetsonville. Joseph Baldwin was also a pioneer in this locality.
Many citizens of New England left the comforts and conveniences of their eastern homes and south an abode in these forests in what was known in about 1800, and prior thereto, as way out west in Otsego County. They came bringing with them the energy, industry, and character of the sons of New England, and have left their imprint upon their posterity. Prominent among this number was Captain Joseph peck, who early settled at Noblesville, where he remained until his death. He was, during a long period, a successful merchant there, and eminently respected and esteemed. He was prominently identified with the interests of his town and county, and represented the Second assembly district in the legislature. He was also supervisor of this town thirteen consecutive years. Three children are living. A daughter is the wife of Mr. Bennett, son of Hon. Harmon Bennett, and resides in New Jersey. Martha and George I. Peck reside in the town. George I. Is a merchant at Noblesville, where he has been in business many years as the successor of his father and David M. Hard.
Linus N. Chapin, a surveyor, settled in the vicinity of Noblesville in 1812, and still resides here. A family named Smith was also early settlers in this vicinity.
Joseph Neff, father of Joseph Neff, who now resides at Garrattsville, was an early emigrant from Connecticut to this county, and settled in the adjoining town of Burlington, where he lived and died. He was a celebrated violinist, and many of the older citizens of Otsego remember "Fiddler Neff," as he was commonly called, in connection with the dances, "paring bees,’ etc., of ‘ye olden time." His violin, now over one hundred years of age, is in the possession of Jonathan Neff, and was the first violin played at Fort Washington, now Cincinnati. Four sons and two daughters are living, the eldest eighty-five and the youngest sixty-five years. Xera, widow of Timothy Morse, son of Judge Timothy Morse, resides in the town of Pittsfield, and has during his last half-century; Joseph Neff, as mentioned above, resides at Garrattsville; Sophia, widow of Joseph Cone, and Orris, Samuel and Abel are residents of Wisconsin; and Jonathan W. Neff resides in this town, South Garrattsville.
An honored pioneer and prominent citizen was Elias Cummings, who located on lands north of New Lisbon Centre. Three sons reside in the county; Harris in Pittsfield, and Leman and Moses D. in this town. The latter has retired from active business, and is a resident of Garrattsville.
The Gregory’s are an honored family, and are also mentioned among the pioneers of New Lisbon. Numerous representatives of this family are residents of the town. William Gregory resides northeast of New Lisbon Centre.
The Pattengills were pioneers, and the family has been closely identified with the history and progress of the town. Several of the family have joined the ministry, and became talented clergymen. Numerous representatives of this honored family still reside in town, among whom is Hon. D. F. Pattengill, the present member of assembly from the second assembly district. He is a Democrat, and was elected in a Republican district.
The Robinson family were pioneers in the eastern part of the town, on premises now owned and occupied by their descendants. Honorable and upright, they enjoyed the respect of their fellow-citizens. Mathew Robinson, a worthy descendant, resides in the east part of the town.
The Rockwells were prominent pioneers, and did much to advance the interest of the town. Abner and George B. Rockwell, descendants, are leading citizens of the town.
The locality known as "Gross Hill" was early settled by a family named Gross. Ellis Gross, now at an advanced age, resides in the vicinity.
A family of Nearings were early settlers, of whom Asa Nearing, who resides south of Garrattsville, is a descendant.
Prominent among the New England people who came to this locality wre the Perrys. They ranked among the worthy citizens of the town. The widow of Noah Perry, now at an advanced age, resides with her son, James H. Perry.
North of Garrattsville one Johnson was an early settler on lands now owned by L. I. Rockwell. On this farm is located the Garratt monument. The William Garratt farm is now owned by R. B. Hume.
A prominent settler in the north part of the town was James Harris, who came from Rensselaer Co., N. Y., in about 1816, and, located on lands now owned by Mr. Laidlaw. The farm upon which he settled was in the possession of the Harris family about seventy-five years. A son, Ora Harris, came into town with his father, and lived, and died there. A son, Henry T., is a practicing physician in Laurens. Hon. Edwin M. Harris is a practicing attorney in Cooperstown, and is an ex-judge of this county. The youngest son, Albert, resides in this town on a farm adjoining the old homestead.
Jonathan W. Neff, a native of the town of Burlington, has resided on the farm he now occupies nearly forty years. This was one of the first settled farms in the town, and was originally owned by Mr. Chaumont. Jonathan R., a son of Jonathan W. Neff, resides on the farm with his father; is at present justice of the peace. James S. Perkins, who was born in Windham Co., Conn., in1807, has resided in this town more than sixty years, having located here in 1814. His father was also a pioneer.
Among the first physicians in the town were Dr. Anson Tuttle, Russell Bard, and Dr. Nash.
Dr. George W. P. Wheeler, who was born in 1801, and settled in this town in 1828, has been in active practice here more than half a century, and although now at the advanced age of seventy-seven years, still pursues the practice of his profession, and retains in a remarkable degree the vigor and activity of youth.
The first school was taught by James McCollum.
Charles Eldred opened the first tavern in the south part of the town.
The first grist-mill was erected near Stetsonville by Louis De Villier.
Among other early settlers than those mentioned above, wre the Gilberts, Browns, Johnsons, Morses, Gardner, Warren, Barton, Church, etc.
New Lisbon in 1810.—this town is described as follows by Spafford in his "Gazetteer" of 1810: :New Lisbon, a post-township of Otsego County, ten miles southwest of Cooperstown, and seventy-six miles west of Albany; bounded north by Edmeston, east by Hartwick, south by Laurens and butternuts, west by Pittsfield. The surface is broken by hills and valleys; but the hills are either arable or good grazing lands, and the gullies are rich and fertile. It is well watered by springs and brooks, and has Butternut Creek flowing south the whole length of the town, on which are good mill-seats, as there are also on the main branch of Otsego Creek in the east part of the town. There are in all four or five gain-mills, seven saw-mills, a fulling-mill, and carding-machine. There is one Baptist meeting-house, and seven school-houses. The inhabitants are principally farmers, and their household manufactures supply the most of their common clothing. In 1810 the whole population was 1982, with 176 senatorial electors, 200 taxable inhabitants, and $131,052 of taxable property agreeable to the assessment."
Transcribed by Holice B. Young
HTML by Debbie
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