The Pioneer History of
 Orleans County, NY
Town of Murray

By Arad Thomas

Online Edition by Holice & Deb




Towns Set Off -- First Tavern -- First Marriage -- First Birth -- First Death -- First Store -- First Grist-mill -- First School -- First Church -- Sandy Creek -- McCall & Perry's Mill -- Sickness at Sandy Creek -- Biographies of Early Settlers.

A large part of the western portion of Monroe county was at first incorporated by the legislature in March 1802, as Northampton. The town of Murray was formed from Northampton in June, 1812. It received its name in honor of John Murray, a merchant of the city of New York, who was a large proprietor.

Murray, at its formation, included what now comprises the town of Murray, Kendall, Clarendon, Union or Hamlin, Clarkson and Sweden.

Sweden, which included Clarendon, was formed from Murray in 1813, and Clarkson, which included Hamlin, in 1819.

Kendall was set off in 1837, leaving the town of Murray of its present dimensions.

The first inn was kept in 1809, by Epaphras Mattison.

Messrs. Wait, Wright, Sisson, Farnsworth, and Rockwood, were among the earliest settlers.

The first marriage was that of Solomon C. Wright and Tryphena Farnsworth.

The first birth was that of Betsey Mattison.

The first store was at Sandy Creek, by Isaac leach, in 1815.

The first gristmill was built by Perry and Luce in 1817.

The first school was kept by Fanny Ferguson, in 1814.

The first town meeting in the old town of Murray, before it was divided, was held in the barn of Johnson Bedell, about four miles south of Brockport.

The first church formed in this town was the Congregational by Rev. John E. Bliss, January 5th, 1819.

The first settlements in what is now included in the town of Murray were made on the Ridge at and near Sandy Creek.

Epaphras Mattison first settled here in 1809. In the year 1817, some fifteen or twenty families had located at Sandy Creek, and in that year Henry McCall and Robert Perry built mills on the creek, their dam raising the water so as to overflow eighteen or twenty acres then covered with heavy trees, which were left standing. The water killed the timber, and a terrible sickness followed among the inhabitants, about one-quarter of whom died in one season. The well persons were not numerous enough to take care of the sick and bury the dead, and settlers from other neighborhoods came there and helped the needy ones. The mill dam was taken down and the sickness disappeared.

Mr. Andrew H. Green, of Byron, Genesee County, relates that several families were settled at Sandy Creek, in 1811. In the fall of that year settlers in Byron heard that these people at Sandy Creek were nearly all sick and in great suffering, and they made up a company of six or eight and went over to help them, carrying a load of necessaries. Mr. Green says: "I never saw so helpless a company." Sandy Creek was regarded as an unhealthy location for some years after its first settlement, occasioned in great part by building mills there in the woods.

The first settlements in what is now Murray were made along the Ridge road. mills having been built in early times on Sandy Creek, near where that stream crossed the ridge, mechanics and business men located there, and at the time the Erie Canal was first navigable here was a lively village known as Sandy Creek, a name which it has ever since been distinguished.

The first post office in town was established here, called Murray.

Though the people suffered terribly from sickness about the time mill dams were first built in the creek here, and while neighboring lands were being opened to cultivation, yet Sandy Creek was the principal place of business in the town until Holley and Hulberton, on the canal, were settled and gradually drew away most of the trade and business to these new villages.

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


Transcribed by Holice B. Young

HTML by Deb

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