The Pioneer History of
 Orleans County, NY
Town of Clarendon

By Arad Thomas

Online Edition by Holice & Deb

 

 CHAPTER XVIII.

TOWN OF CLARENDON.

Difficulty in Getting Titles from Pultney Estate -- Eldredge Farwell -- Farwell's Mills -- First School -- First Merchants -- J. and D. Sturges -- First Postmaster -- First Physician -- Presbyterian Church -- First Town meeting -- Biographies of Early Settlers.

Clarendon comprises a portion of the one hundred thousand acre tract, and was formed from Sweden February 23d, 1821.

Owing in part to the difficulty of getting a good title to the land, which up to about 1811, was owned for several years by the State of Connecticut and Pultney Estate jointly, settlers came in slowly at first.

The land was divided between the State of Connecticut and the Pultney state, in 1811; but the lots which fell to the Pultney estate, were not surveyed and put in the market for sale until about the year 1821. Settlers were allowed to take possession of land and make improvements with the expectation that when the lands came in market they would retain what they had so taken and then get a title. Some settlers located on these lands under these circumstances and cleared them up and built houses. When they finally came in market the settlers was charged $8 or $10 per acre,--a much higher price then he expected when he came in, and a higher price then the Holland Company charged for their lands of like quality; but he was compelled to pay it or leave and lose his labor.

Among the first settlers in Clarendon were Eldridge Farwell, John Cone, Bradstreet Spafford, Elisha Huntley, David Church, and Chauncey Robinson. Eldridge Farwell erected the first sawmill on Sandy Creek in 1811, and the first gristmill at the same place in 1813. A village grew up in the vicinity of these mills which, in honor of Mr. Farwell, was called and known as Farwell's Mills. Situated a little north-west of the center of the town, it has been the principal place of trade and business.

Judge Eldridge Farwell was the pioneer settler. The next settler was Alanson Dudley, in 1812.

The first store was kept at Farwell's Mills by Frisbie & Pierpont, in 1821.

The first school was taught by Mrs. Amanda Bills. The first school house built in Clarendon stood a little south of Farwell's Mills, or Clarendon, as the place is now being called, was built in 1813 of logs, and was fourteen by eighteen feet square.

Frisbie & Pierpont traded in the little red store building in which after they left, David Sturges sold good for many years.

In addition to his business as a merchant with Mr. Frisbie, William Pierpont kept a tavern. After two or three years, he moved away and Mr. Hiram Frisbie, his partner, succeeded to the store and tavern to which had been added an ashery, all three of which Mr. Frisbie carried on two or three years, and until he removed to Holley about the year 1828.

In 1815, Joseph Sturges built a distillery at Farwell's Mills, which he carried on with his brother, David, eight or ten years, when Mr. Frisbie having moved away, and Joseph Sturges having died in March, 1828, David Sturges began to sell dry goods and groceries here. He was a sharp business man and drove a large trade. He was the next merchant in town after Pierpont & Frisbie. He died in September, 1848.

Judge Eldridge Farwell was the first postmaster in town, and Dr. Bussy the first physician.

On the 4th of February, 1823, a Presbyterian Church was organized in Clarendon. For several years it maintained a feeble existence, until in 1831, it united with the Presbyterian Church in Holley, and became extinct as an organization in Clarendon.

The first town meeting held in and for the town of Clarendon was at the school house at Farwell's Mills, April 4th, 1821.

Eldridge Farwell was a candidate for Supervisor on the Clinton ticket, and William Lewis on the Tompkins ticket. The meeting was opened with prayer by Elder Stedman. The election of Supervisor was concluded to be first in order. No chairman had been formally appointed, but on suggestion of somebody the entire meeting went out of doors in front of the school house. Some one held his hat and half a dozen voters stood by to see that nobody voted twice, or cast more than on ballot, and ballots for Supervisor were thorn into the hat by all the voters present. Eldridge Farwell was elected the first Supervisor, and Joseph M. Hamilton, Town Clerk.

Jonas Davis made spinning wheels, and Alanson Dudley carried on tanning and shoemaking at Farwell's Mills, at an early day.

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

 

Transcribed by Holice B. Young

HTML by Deb

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