The Pioneer History of
 Orleans County, NY

By Arad Thomas

Online Edition by Holice & Deb




Rev. George Kuck was born in the city of London, England, December 23, 1891, and educated at King's college, London. He came to New York City in 1806, and removed to Toronto, Canada West, in 1807. In the war between England and the Untied States in 1812, he served as Lieutenant in the Canada militia.

After the war, and until 1815, he was clerk in the employ of the Canadian Government, at Toronto, until October, when he removed to Carlton, and purchased the farm on which he resided ever afterwards, now known as Kuckville.

He erected a frame gristmill on the site of the log mill built by M. Dunham on Johnson's Creek. In 1816 he opened a store near his residence, at that time the only store north of the Ridge in this part of the country, where he kept a large store of goods and carried on a great trade.

He soon after built a warehouse at the mouth of Johnson's Creek. At one time he had a store, gristmill, sawmill, ashery, warehouses and farm, all under his personal supervision and in successful operation. His investments were judicious and safe, his affairs all managed with economy and skill, which resulted in making him a wealthy man.

He married Miss Electra Fuller, March 25th, 1819. In March, 1821, he joined the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which he was ever after a prominent member. He helped to form the first religious class in his church in the town of Carlton, and was its leader. In 1825 he organized and taught the first Sunday School in the county north of the Ridge. In April, 1829, he was licensed to exhort, in 1833, he was licensed to preach, and in 1837 he was ordained Deacon by Bishop Hedding, and in 1848 he was ordained elder by Bishop Morris, at Albion.

He was appointed Postmaster at West Carlton, since Kuckville, an office he held in all, about 30 years.

He was a man of good education and fine natural ability and his life was filled with usefulness. He was among the first and foremost in all matters of reform and advancement, active in the cause of temperance, morality and religion, always a leading man in the counsels of the church. He died March 16, 1868, aged 76 years.


Daniel Gates was born in Rutland County, Vermont, March 11th, 1786. He married Ann Anderson, March 12th, 1808

About November, 1811, he removed to Orleans County, and bought an article of part of lot twenty-nine, township fifteen, range two, on the south side of the Ridge. A former owner had cleared a small spot and built a log house there. On this farm Mr. Gates resided for several years. He afterwards bought a farm in Carlton, where he resided at the time of his death, January 31st. 1858.

Mrs. Ann Gates died January 1st, 1866. They were parents of John and Nehemiah F. Gates. Of Carlton, Lewis W. Gates, residing in Michigan, and Matthew A. Gates, of Yates.

Mr. Gates moved his family in with a yoke of oxen and wagon. No bridge had been built across Genesee River, and he forded the stream at Rochester, a man riding a horse hitched before the oxen, to guide them through the river.

Few settlers along the Ridge Road came in advance of Mr. Gates, or braved the hardships and difficulties of pioneer life with better courage. They had very few of the conveniences and comforts of civilized life, and sometimes were in want of food. Once about the last year of the war a scarcity prevailed among the four families then comprising all the inhabitants in the vicinity of Mr. Gates. But one pan full of flour remained among them all, and that they kept to feed the children, the older folks expecting to substitute boiled green wheat in place of bread. Mr. Gates cut a few bundles of his wheat then in the milk, and dried it in the sun. they rubbed the soft grain out of the straw and boiled it. This was eaten with milk and relished very much by the family, and it supplied them until wheat ripened and dried fit to grind.

For several years no settler located between Mr. Gates' place on the Ridge, and Shelby. Along the line of the canal was then a solid forest. Mr. Gates' cattle were suffered to range the woods to browse in summer. They usually returned tot he clearing at night. Once his oxen, one of which wore a bell, with his cow failed to come in at night. Mr. Gates armed himself with a bayonet on the end of a staff to repel a bear or wolf if he chanced to be attacked, and went out to hum for them, his old English musket being too heavy to carry. After several days hunting he found his cattle where Knowlesville now stands--attracted there by some wild grasses growing along the brook.


Elijah Hunt was born in Pennsylvania. He was a soldier in the Revolutionary War. While in the service, being in a scouting party in Pennsylvania, he, with his party, was taken prisoner by the Indians. He with the other prisoners was made to run the gauntlet from one point to another, fixed for the purpose. The Indians--men, women and children--posted themselves on each side of the track to be run over by their prisoners, and assaulted them as they passed with clubs, hatchets, knives, stones, &c. If the prisoners were fortunate enough they might get through and live, and they might be severely wounded, or even killed by the way. Mr. Hunt got through without serious damage. After reaching their village on the Genesee river, the Indians concluded to sacrifice Mr. Hunt after their terrible fashion. He was stripped and painted black preparatory to his suffering; but before they began to torture him, an old squaw, whose son had been killed in the fight when Hunt was taken, came forward and claimed her right by Indian custom to adopt him as her son, in place of the one that was killed. He was released to her and adopted as she proposed, and remained with the Indians near the Genesee River, in Livingston County, about three years, when the war having ended, he was permitted to return to his friends in Pennsylvania.

He was always treated kindly after his adoption by the Indians, especially by his new mother. Many years after his settlement in Carlton, the Indians found him out and visited him with many demonstrations of their friendship.

In the depth of winter, after the cold summer of 1816, fearing he night be in want with his family, on account of the loss of crops that year, two Indians, one of whom claimed to be his brother, being a son of the squaw who adopted Mr. Hunt, came to Carlton to visit him and afford relief if he needed it.

He came to Carlton in the summer of 1804 and took up a farm about a mile west of the mouth of Johnson's Creek, on the Lake shore. After a year or two he went back to Pennsylvania with his family and remained until October, 1806, when he returned and settled permanently on his farm, where he ever afterwards resided, and died in 1830, aged seventy-nine years.

The long residence of Mr. Hunt among the Indians qualified him to become a pioneer in this new settlement, and fitted him to endure the privations and difficulties he had to encounter.

The daughter of Mr. Hunt, Amy Hunt, married William Carter, in 1804, which was the first marriage in that town, and probably the first marriage in Orleans County.


Ray March was born in Connecticut. About the year 1800 he went to Canada West and was employed in teaching school. In 1803 he married Martha Shaw, who was born in Nova Scotia. In that year, he left Canada at Queenstown, in a small boat, and coasted along the south shore of Lake Ontario, to Oak Orchard Creek, in Carlton, and took an article for land lying near the lake in Carlton.

In 1805, on account of sickness in the neighborhood of his home in Carlton, he removed to Cambria, in Niagara County, and located on the ridge, about five miles from Lewiston. He was driven away from here by the British and Indians when Lewiston was burned by them in the war with England, losing almost every thing he had in the world, except the lives of himself and his family. They fled to Ontario county, but returned the next year to near Ridgeway Corners and stopped there. He had now a large family of children; to maintain them he had to sell his interest in his farm in Cambria; and in the cold seasons of 1816-17 they suffered for necessary food; and few families suffered more from the prevailing sickness of the country, aggravated as it was by their poverty and want of means to afford relief.

Mr. Marsh died about 1852. His widow, now (1870) eight-six years old, is living. She had seven grand-sons soldiers in the Union Army in the war of the great rebellion. During the war she spend a large portion of her time knitting stockings for the soldiers. Such women are worthy the name of "Revolutionary Mothers," and are an honor to the American name.


Job Shipman was born in Saybrook, Connecticut, June 2d, 1772. After he arrived at manhood he resided for a time in Greene county, N. Y., and at length came to Wayne County, where he joined the family of Mr. Elijah Brown, and removed by way of Lake Ontario, to the town of Carlton, in the summer of 1804.

While coming up the lake Mr. Elijah Brown died, and his body was brought to Carlton and buried there. His sons were James, John Gardner, Paul, Elijah, Jr., and Robert M.

Mr. Shipman took an article on part of lot twelve, section two, range 2, of which his son Israel afterwards took a deed from the land company, and on which he resides.

Me married Widow Ann Tomblin, in May, 1815, Israel Shipman was his only child.

Job Shipman died January 12th, 1833. His wife died February 8th, 1858.

The first town meetings in Carlton fro two or three years were held at his dwelling, because it was one of the best log house in town; had a shingled roof, board floors, and stood near the middle of town; but it was so small that few of the voters assembled could get in the house at once. They compromised the matter by allowing the Inspectors to sit in the house while the voters handed in their ballots to them through the window from without.

As it was in cold weather, even the liberal potations of whiskey in which they indulged would not warm the crowd sufficiently, so they made a large log heap near the house which being set on fire answered the purpose.


Lyman Fuller was born in Pennsylvania, August 16th, 1808. In February, 1811, his father, Reuben Fuller, moved with his family to near the lake shore in West Carlton.

In the fall of 1811, Capt. John fuller, a brother of Reuben, settled in Carlton. Mr. Reuben Fuller died July 4th, 1837. Mr. Lyman fuller succeeded to the possession of his father's homestead, on which he resided, and where he died March 22nd, 1866. He was much respected man among all who knew him.

The Pioneer History of Orleans County, NY, By Arad Thomas


Transcribed by Holice B. Young

HTML by Deb

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