Lewis County, was taken from Oneida in 1805, and named in honor of Governor Morgan Lewis. Centrally distant NW. from New York 275, and from Albany 130 miles. Greatest length N. and S. 54; greatest breadth E. and W. 35 miles. The whole of this county was included in the patent from the state to Alexander Macomb, and was sold by him to William Constable, and by the latter in parcels: the portion ~vest of the Black river, to capitalists in New York city, among whom Nicholas Low, Richard Harrison, and Josiah Ogden Hoffman, were principal purchasers; and the portion on the east of the Black river, to a French company in Paris. From these sources the present possessors derived their title. The first settlements commenced here in 1795, by pioneers from Massachusetts and Connecticut, who, with characteristic enterprise and perseverance, entered the wilderness with a determination to surmount the most formidable obstacles. There were at this time small settlements at Utica and Fort Stanwix, (now Rome,) whence the settlers made their way into this county, by a line of marked trees, to the High Falls, on Black river; and thence floated with the stream to the town of Lowville, where they established themselves. Their families followed in the succeeding winter, shod with snow shoes; mothers making their way with infants in their arms, whilst their husbands and fathers trod paths through the snow for their cattle and teams. It was not unusual, some time after, for farmers to go forty miles to mill, and to carry the grist upon their shoulders.
The Black river divides the county into two not very unequal portions. Upon this river are broad alluvial flats, of easy cultivation and highly productive. Of the Black river we may observe here, that below the High Falls at Leyden, which are 63 feet in altitude, it has a tranquil course of nearly 40 miles through the country; in all which it is navigable for steamboats. ~I~he Black river canal, the construction of which was authorized in May, 1836, commences at Rome in Oneidacounty. The county is at present thinly inhabited, but it merits attention from the great forests of useful timber which encumber the soil, the beds of iron ore which lie beneath it, and the vast water-power which the streams supply. The staple products are wheat, rye, Indian corn, peas, beans, oats, and barley, and the whole country is adapted to grass. It is divided into 12 towns.
(Historical Collections of the State of New York, Past and Present, John Barber, Clark Abien & Co., 1851)