The History of Otsego, NY
Among the first who entered the forest wilds were Deacon Benjamin, Elijah, Francis, Richard, and Elisha Herrington, brothers, who came from Pownal, Vt., in 1790, and settled in the locality known as "Gardner Hill," on land of the Cooper patent. Deacon Benjamin Herrington had one son born in Vermont, and three daughters in this town. The son, Gardner Herrington, now at the advanced age of ninety years, resides in the town with his son David. He also has two daughters, wives of john and Artemus Holdredge, living in the town. The brothers of Deacon H. have long since passed away, and no descendants are left.
"The land of steady habits" sent many worthy representatives to the western county who assisted in subduing the forest, and in a great measure transmitted to the new settlers the ennobling character of the sturdy and intelligent New Englanders. Among the number were the Johnsons, pioneers of 1790, Elisha, Harris, Ira, and John. They came with their families and located on adjoining farms about one and a half miles north of Burlington Flats, on what is now known as "No. 10." Of the descendants of Elisha and John, none are living in the town. A daughter of Harris, Mrs. Daniel Dauchey, occupies the old homestead.
Dyer C., son of Ira Johnson, was this town in1798, where he resided until his death in 1857. Of the family of seven children, five are residents of Burlington. Lyman D. resides on the farm north of the Flats, where he is conducting an extensive creamery for the manufacture of butter and cheese. He married Mary A. Denison, and their family consists of the following children: Edelbert, Dyer, Cone, Jozinah, Ansel, Albert, Willard, and Lucy. Harriet married Peter Brainerd. They have one daughter, Julia. Marquis married A. Harrington. Ira married Charlotte rose, and lives on the old homestead.
Samuel Gardner and wife were pioneers from Pownal, Vt., and settled one mile north of West Burlington on a farm which he owned and occupied until his death. His family consisted of five children,--one daughter and four sons, viz., Mrs. White resides in New Berlin, Chenango county. Colonel David Gardner occupies the homestead where he was born, and has five children,--Carrie A., Otis C., and Samuel W., reside in the town; Mrs., A. M. Burgess in West Winfield, and Mrs. C. D. Tracy in Rochester, N.Y.
Hiram, a brother of Colonel Gardner, is a resident of Branch county, Mich. Edward is a resident of this town, and has two children living, viz., John L. and Porter, and one Hiram, in California. Another son, Elias C., was in the War of the Rebellion, and sacrificed his life upon the altar of country. He died in a hospital at Washington.
Paul Gardner, and son Clark, wre also pioneer, who settled on Gardner Hill. The former long since passed away, and Clark died about two years ago aged nearly eighty-eight years, leaving no descendants.
Lemuel Hubbell and son emigrated from Massachusetts and settled in this town soon after 1790, in the locality subsequently known as the Hubbell neighborhood.
Lemuel H. Jr., selected a location adjoining that of this father. He was twice married. Alonso, a son by the first marriage, resides in Ionia, Mich. Children by the second marriage are as follows: Laura, widow of Alfred Firman, and Lucy, wife o Rev. S. S. Cady, reside in this town; Harriet married Daniel Parker, and lives in Chenango county, and Maria is the wife of David Soule, a resident of Michigan.
Hiram Hubbell, son of Lemuel H., Sr., was born and married in Burlington. A son, L. Fitch Hubbell, lives above the Flats. He married Cordelia Brown, and has two children Charles and Kate, both of whom reside on the homestead with their father.
It was a source of great gratification o the citizens when, in about the year 1847, Avery Park erected the first grist-mill in Burlington Green. He, together with his wife and family, came from New London, Conn., in about 1808, and located on a farm a short distance north of the Green. Here he erected a tannery, and operated it until 1820, when he removed it to the village, and continued the business until 1862. He died in 1876, and a son, Mr. Daniel Park, is conducting the business of farming and milling.
Uriah Balcom came into Burlington from Mansfield, Conn., in 1793 and settled on a farm near the Green, upon which he resided until his death in 1848, aged seventy-six. Two sons are living in the town,--Eli, south of the Green, and Lyman on the old homestead.
An early settler was peter Jenks, who came with his wife and family from Massachusetts in1806, and settled three miles southeast of the Green, on the David patent, where he remained a tiller of the soil until his death. Five children are residents of the county, three of whom live in the town, viz., Hawkins, Oney, and Peter.
Zaceheus Flint, from Connecticut, settled in the town in 1791, one mile south of the Green, on lands of the Cooper patent. A daughter, the wife of Hawkins Jenks, resides on the homestead.
Amasa, Willard and Cady Church, with their families, came from Connecticut in1790. The two latter purchased lands on which the present village is located. Amasa chose a location adjoining his brothers on the south, where he resided until his death, which occurred in 1839, at the age of eighty-five. A son, Origen church, subsequently occupied the old homestead. Three of his children are living in the town, viz., Nancy, wife of Alfred S. Bolton, Mary, wife of Asa W. Sprague, and William, who is a Baptist clergyman.
William Gorham, an honored pioneer, came from Danbury, Connecticut, in1817, and settled in what was then known as Otego, on Otego creek, four miles west of Oneonta village, where he died in 1863.
Mr. George S. Gorham, a son, moved to Burlington Green in 1830, where he now resides, and is a practicing attorney-at-law. He has three children residing in the county,--Charles, and George in the village of Burlington, and a daughter, Mrs. Bayard, in the town of Otsego.
Charles T. Gorham, a son of William Gorham, was clerk in the store of E. R. Ford, at Oneonta, and in 1832 emigrated to Marshall, Michigan, and engaged in mercantile and subsequently in banking business. H served five years as United States minister to The Hague, and upon his return was appointed Deputy Secretary of the Interior. Rev. Barlow W. Gorham resides in Iowa.
The pioneers in this locality endured hardships, and braved dangers and discouragements, such as even the pioneers of to-day who locate at the base of the Rocky mountains, or pitch their tents on the plains of New Mexico, know but little of. A freshet would overflow the river - s banks and the crops be swept away; or, perchance, an early frost would destroy the results of the summer - s toil. These were occurrences not at all uncommon, and it required stout hearts to meet them, and an invincible determination to overcome and conquer them. Perez Briggs, with his wife and family, was one of the first to settle in this town, having come in 1789. He located about one and a half-mile above Burlington Green, on the Butternuts road, and after having cleared three acres of land, which he planted, and a thriving harvest was awaiting the sickle of the reaper, there came a frost on September and the entire crop was ruined. He then wanted to return to Connecticut, but, "No," said his wife. "We have brought some flax with us, and that I will spin into cloth, and with the proceeds from its sale we can get along until next spring." She went resolutely at work, and manufactured forty yards of checkered white and blue, which Mr. Briggs sold in the Mohawk valley, with which he purchased a load of wheat. He subsequently opened a tavern, and for many years the town-meetings were held at his house. One daughter, Mrs. Sally Camp, aged ninety, resides in West Burlington.
An honored pioneer was Alexander Parker, who came to West Burlington in 1790, then twenty-two years of age, and purchased a piece of land a short distance south of the village, where he made a clearing, built a log house, and returned to Vermont, where he married, and in the following year came with his bride to their wilderness home. It was a marked change from the comforts and conveniences of an eastern home, but their hearts were strong, and with willing hands they began the battle of life. Mr.Parker engaged in farming, which he continued so long as he was able to work. He died at the age of eight years. David, a son, occupies the old homestead; Elisha, another son, resides in New Lisbon, and two daughters in this town.
"I have lived in Burlington seventy years," says Mr. Pitman Cook. He came in with the Chapins, in 1800, and afterwards married a daughter of Alexander Parker, mentioned above.
David and William Goff came from Rhode Island prior to 1794, and settled on a farm now owned by Morris and Perez Bolton, between the Flats and Green. They lived, died, and were buried on this farm. No descendants reside in the county. David was a prominent man, and officiated as supervisor in 1794-97 and 1800. No descendants of either in this town.
Among the prominent pioneers of the county were Jonathan, William, Joseph, James, and Thomas angel, who came from Connecticut in about the year 1787, all of whom, excepting Joseph and James, settled in the locality known as angel - s Hill, in the town of Exeter. Joseph and James settled in the town of Burlington, about three miles northeast of the Green, on adjoining farms. The old homestead is still occupied by Jonathan, Jr. David, a son of Jonathan angel, located in Edmeston in 1829, where he remained until a1875, when he removed to West Burlington, and resides with his son-in-law. D. A. Bates, Esq. William G. Angel, a son of William, was a prominent citizen, and was a member of the Nineteenth, twenty-first, and Twenty -second congresses. He is now a resident of Allegheny county of N. Y.
Peleg wood, from Rhode Island, early chose a home in the wilderness, locating in Edmeston in about 1806. He volunteered in the War of 1812, and for his services received a pension, and also a warrant for 160 acres of land. In 1814he became a resident of Burlington, where the remainder of his life was passed. He married, Mary, daughter of Abel Matteson, and their family consisted of seven children,--four sons and three daughters, only two of whom survive, and are residents of the town, viz., Adna Wood, and a sister, Mellissa. Mr. Wood is a prominent citizen, and was a member of the board of supervisors in1870.
Prominently identified with the interests of Burlington and Otsego county generally, was Jedediah Peck, of honored memory. He came into this town in a very early day, and by his character and integrity at once advanced to a commanding position along the leading men of the county. He was the first supervisor of the town, and officiated in that capacity eight years. He was a member of assembly in 1799-1804, and a member of the council of appointment in1805.
William Munroe was an early settler and prominent citizen, representing the town in the board of supervisors seven years, from 1807 to 1813, inclusive.
An honored representative of "ye olden time" was Dan Mather, who was born in Lyme, Conn., in October, 1774, and came to Burlington in1811, and located in the southern part of the town, in the Butternut creek valley, on a farm which he occupied until his death in 1856. He was an active pioneer, and did much to advance the interests of the town; was a tanner; and also engaged in the boot and shoe business. Mr. M. was married twice. His first wife - s name was Frost, by whom he had three children,--Jane Eliza, John Frost, and Catherine. The former was the mother of Hon. E. M. Harris, of Cooperstown. John F. was a physician of large practice, residing at Garrettsville. He died in 1874. Catherine died in 1838. Mr. Mather married for his second wife Susanna Onderdonk, a cousin of Bishop Onderdonk, of New York. They had three children, viz., Andrew A., born Oct. 12, 1812; Ezra, born March 20, 1814, died in 1871, and Dan Mather. The latter has officiated as supervisor of Burlington, and still resides on the town. Andrew A. Mather, who occupies the old homestead, and lives in the house where he was born, is a prominent man, and has officiated in many positions within the gift of his fellow-citizens. He was supervisor in 1846, member of assembly in 1854, and sheriff in 1860.
Among the earliest settlers of this town was the Chapins. In 1789 they left Bennington, Vt., and moved into Burlington, then a howling wilderness. Captain Gad Chapin was born in Chicopee, Mass., in 1726. When a young man served in the French and Indian War, and received commission as captain from King George III. His son Samuel was born at Chicopee in1760. He served in the Revolution under Captain Robinson in Colonel Warner - s regiment Vermont mounted troops. He married in 1781, Susannah, a daughter of General Stephen Walbridge, who, with his sons Gustavus and Adolphus, bought the land where is now situated the village of Burlington Flats. The general built the first tavern and store, and the sons built the first grist-mill in the village. Samuel Chapin and the Walbridges, however, did not remain long. Trey sold out and moved away in about 1808; Samuel died in Oquawka, Ill., in 1842, where some of his descendants now live.
Charlotte, a daughter, came with her father and brothers, but returned to Massachusetts, and died there.
Gad, the second son of Captain Gad, came in at the same time with the others and settled just east of the village, and the house he built is still standing. He married for his first wife Miss Nichols, and one of their children, Eunice, a daughter, married Allen Miller, and lives in Syracuse with her son Riley V. Miller. Gad married for his second wife Anna Hubbell. They had a son and daughter; Elijah H., lived at the Flats, and married Sophia Dewell. Their children, Isaac C. and James H., live below the Flats. A daughter, Mrs. Helen Breese, lives at Garrettsville. Abigail, the daughter of Gad, married Sanford Shepherd, and lives near Oneonta.
Dan Chapin, the third son of Captain Gad, lives two miles east of the Flats, on the old road to the Green, and following farming. He married Deborah Wright.
Volney, the eldest son, when seventeen years old, went to Moravia, Cayuga county, and learned the furnace trade; then went to Rochester, where he married Chloe Sloan, and in 1838, with his wife and son, Charles A., he moved to Ann Arbor, Mich., and there built the first furnace west of Detroit, and during many years conducted an extensive business. In died in 1869. His son, Charles A.Chapin, now a resident of Ann Arbor, Mich., rendered the writer valuable assistance in the compilation of the history of this town and various other localities in the country,
Israel Chapin, the fourth son of Captain Gad, was born in Bennington, Vt., in 1770. He moved in at the same time with his father and brothers, and settled near his father on a farm. He married Lucinda Hulbert, who was born in Bennington, Vt., in 1779. He died in 1813, and his wife in 1845. Their family were as follows: Lucinda married Elijah Hubbell. Their son Elijah lives at Fly Creek village; another son, Israel, lives at Clayville, Oneida county. Aaron Hubbell, another son, lives at Ionia, Mich. Ambrose Hulbert, a son of Israel, is now at Burlington Flats. He has a son, Volney, living in Massillon, Ohio. Chester G., another son of Israel, lived and died in Earlville, Chenango county. Reuben R., another son of Israel, lives in Clayville, Oneida County. Amos Hollister, another son of Israel, went west. Cynthia T. Chapin, a daughter of Israel, married Sheldon Fisk; he died in 1870. Their son, Rev. W. C. Fisk, born in 1841, died in 1870.
Among the settlers of a later day is mentioned the name of Abraham Marcy, who, with his wife and two children, emigrated from West Woodstock, Windham Co., Conn., in 1826, and located on a farm a short distance west of the Flats. His family now consists of three daughters and one son, viz., Sarah A. married S. W. Thomas, and resides in Ripley, O.; Maria married William M. Johnson, and occupies the old homestead with her father; Esther, wife of John Bishop, lives one mile south of the Flats; Newton A. Marcy married Harriet Waldby, of Springfield, and resides in Burlington Flats, where during ten years he conducted a mercantile business. He is now engaged in farming. Edward Pratt was also a pioneer and prominent citizen of the town. He was supervisor as early as 1805, and officiated in that capacity a number of years. Henry, a son of Jeremiah Pratt, resides on the homestead.
Among other early settlers were Timothy Dimock, Bernice Foot, Benj. Card, Eber Herrington, Willis Potter. The following resided in the town in 1794, then embracing Pittsfield and Edmeston, as shown in the old town records, viz., And. Sill, John Miller, Samuel Boutell, Shadrach Abbe, Caleb Gardner, John Gardner, Otis Lincoln, Zachariah Coe, J. Whitford, Olin N. Calkins, Walter Welch, James Kanady, E. moss, E. Campbell, Elnathan Noble, Robert Garratt, John Norton.
There are three small but thriving village in this town, viz., Burlington Flats, Burlington Green, and West Burlington.
Transcribed by Holice B. Young
Original website created by Debbie Axtman
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