of Ontario Co., NY
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198 - 215
OF THE TOWN OF CANANDAIGUA
earliest recollections of the town called Canandaigua were in connection with
the Indian occupation of the region. Near
the borders of the present town was the once famous Seneca village, variously
known as Onnaghee, Onaghee and Onahie, which are only
modifications of the name Onagheh, the latter meaning "head,"
and from which we naturally and correctly infer that this locality was once
a head or chief village of the Seneca Indians.
The Indian village of Canandaigua or Ganadarque, was an off shoot of this
village, and was destroyed by General SULLIVAN in 1779.
to Hon. Lewis H. MORGAN, LL. D., who is the acknowledged standard authority on
Seneca names, the name in the several Iroquois dialects is as follows: Seneca,
Ga-nun-da-gwa; Cayuga, Ga-na da gwa; Onondaga, Ca-na-da-qua; Tuscarora, Ca-ta-na-ra-qua;
Oneida, Ga-na da-lo-qua; Mohawk, Ga-na-ta-la qua; the signification being
"A Place Selected for a Settlement," or, in other words, "the
chosen spot or city," a fact itself of much significance in view of later
events, for the Indian location or "spot chosen for a new settlement"
was also selected by the Phelps and Gorham proprietary as their "chosen
spot or city," after they had been compelled to leave the vicinity of old
Kanadesaga; and a little later the same "chosen spot" was designated
as the shire town of the county, and was therefore destined to become a somewhat
important point in Western New York in the affairs of civilized white settlement
as it had been formerly prominent in connection with the Indian occupation of
the region. However, as the subject
of Indian supremacy and dominion is fully discussed in the early chapters of
this volume, it need not be further pursued here, but rather may we give
attention to the development and improvement of the town during its occupation
by the whites.
As is fully narrated in one of the earlier chapters of this work, in the year 1788 the region of country now including this whole county was sold by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to Oliver PHELPS and Nathaniel GORHAM, they representing an association of eastern capitalists. As soon as they had secured the Indian title they at once caused the entire tract to be surveyed into townships, and each numbered by range and town. For the purpose of better carrying out their designs, the proprietors made a location for a village at the ancient Indian site called Kanadesaga, also Geneva, but on running the eastern line of the Massachusetts lands it was discovered that the village was east of the so-called pre-emption line and therefore not within the purchase proper. We may here state incidentally that Geneva was on the west side of the line, but owing either to error or fraud the line was so run as to bring that village eastward of it and on lands claimed by other proprietors.
Whether error or fraud located Geneva east of the pre-emption line matters little at this time, but the circumstance was indeed fortunate for the after history of Canandaigua. The proprietary were compelled to change their seat of operations from Geneva, consequently in 1789 Mr. PHELPS caused township number 10, in the third range, to be resurveyed and allotted for more than usual townships and agricultural purposes. Moreover, the town was especially reserved to the proprietors for their own use, also as a county town, for it seems that the worthy proprietor even at that early day had in contemplation the erection of a new county out of the territory of old Montgomery.
Oliver PHELPS made generous provision for the future of the prospective village, and indeed carried out the New England custom of donating lands for county buildings, park and schools, and likewise laid out the main thoroughfare of the village of ample width, having a consideration for the personal comfort of the people as well as for private gain.
Col. William WALKER acted as agent for the proprietors, and to him has been given the honor of erecting the first house in the town—a log structure built during the year 1788, and standing on the east side of the main street, south of the square; the contract for the erection of this building will be found in the chapter of the town of Phelps. Two other dwellings were built during the same year, one for James D. FISH, and the other for Joseph SMITH, but none of these was permanently occupied by its owner until the following spring. SMITH soon turned his swelling into an inn, thus becoming the pioneer landlord of the vicinity.
Joseph SMITH was a prominent character at an early day at Canandaigua. He had been a captive among the Indians, and when set free he chose to remain among them. He was an open-hearted, generous man, and possesses many good qualities. As an Indian interpreter his services were often in requisition. He was in business in this region as early as October and November, 1788, as the following bills receipted by him, and yet in existence, will show: November 22, bill against William WALKER, for “Mogassens,” rum, salt, etc., £21:1s. Bill against William WALKER, for sundries furnished by Smith & Vrooman, to different persons, £8 04s. 7d. As no place is mentioned in the above bills, it is uncertain whether they were furnished at Canandaigua or Geneva, but from the following receipt for goods stored by WALKER on his departure from the place for the winter, it would seem that Canandaigua must at the time have been his residence, although on account of the familiarity and friendship of the Indians, the goods would doubtless remain undisturbed even if he was not permanently here during the winter:
Kanandaigue, Nov’r 19, 1788.
Bill of articles belonging to the Hon’ble Mess’rs Phelps & Comp’y, William WALKER, Esq’r, Agent.
1 Chest containing
1 Broad ax, 9 Narrow Do., 1 Bush Hook, 1 Fros and one hoe, 1 Drawing knife, 1 twist augur, 1 p’r Carpenters Chitzels, 1 Hand Saw, 1 nail hammer, 1 Iron Wedges, 1 Small Broken Chain, 1 Bake Pan, 1 Spider, 1 Skillet, 1 Earthen Plate, 1 Pewter Do., 1 Tin Qt mug, 1 case knife & 2 forks, ½ H. old Pewter, about 2 qts Salt, 1 Small Brass Kettle, Ring of Iron, 1 Crane Hook, 31 Candles, 1 Iron Hinge, one Sitting Pole Iron, 1 Door Hook and some small pieces of Iron.
1 Batteau, 3 Oars, 1 Paddle, 3 Setting Poles and Boat House, 5 Empty Barrels, and one Large Iron pot and one Grindstone.
Re’d the above Chest containing said Articles together with Said Batteau, Oars, &c and Empty Barels, into my care, all of which are to be safely kept and to be dielivered to William WALKER, Esq’r or to his order, when called for. Extraordinaries Excepted.
James PERRY For Joseph SMITH
Joseph SMITH Endorsed, Joseph SMITH’s Rec’t for Articles left at Canandaigua.
The memorandum book kept by Colonel Wm.
WALKER contains the names of a number of people who were early on the ground in
the new country and employed by him in October, 1788. The following are
extracted therefrom: Colonel Hugh MAXWELL, surveyor, and Samuel WHEDON, BROWN
and two others, assistants. Frederick SAXTON, surveyor; Wm. MARKHAM, Capt.
CLEVELAND, Phinehas BLODGET and Ransom SMITH, assistants. Mr. CURTIS, surveyor,
Joseph SALISBURY, Robert WHITE, Adner HICKOX, John
FANNING, assistants. William EWING,
surveyor, Henry READING, Andrew EVERS, Benoni TAYLOR. Four men on the road on the falls on the outlet of Canadaque,
Cornelius DECKER, John JONES, E. PHELPS, John CULVER. Also the following: David BAILEY, chain bearer, James
PARMETER, Enos BOUGHTON, Sewell and Othniel GILBERT, James DUGAN, Rees STEVENS.
permanent settlement in the town was made in 1789, when FISH and SMITH occupied
their respective houses, and about the same time there also came to the locality
General Israel CHAPIN, Nathaniel GORHAM, jr., Frederick SAXTON, Benjamin
GARDNER, Daniel GATES, Daniel BRAINERD, Martin DUDLEY.
These pioneers were soon followed by others, and in the same year William
WALKER opened his land office in the village.
First events followed one another in rapid succession, and from preserved
records we learn that pioneer Samuel GARDNER opened the first store, while Major
WILLIS taught the first school, beginning in 1792.
The first birth was that of Oliver Phelps RICE, and the first death was
that of Caleb WALKER, both events taking place in 1790.
is well known that the settlement of this town began in 1788 and 1789, it is
quite difficult to determine just when pioneership ceased, and equally difficult
to ascertain the names of persons and families who are entitled to mention in
that connection. However, we may
state that early settlements in the town began in the village and rapidly
extended therefrom in almost every direction until the lands were well occupied
and put under cultivation. There
was no separation of the village from the township until 1815, and for the
purposes of the record the entire territory may be treated as a body so far as pioneership
greatest difficulty which confronted the pioneers who sought homes in this
region was that attending the journey from the east, and although the opening of
a public highway engaged the early attention and efforts of those interested in
the lands, and the State as well, it was not until the year 1790 that the old
"State Road" from Utica to Canandaigua was opened; and even in the
completion of this thoroughfare many of the emigrants took part, stopping on
their journey for this purpose, and thus hastening the work to a successful end.
This road, however, was but little better than an Indian path,
sufficiently opened to allow a sled to pass and the most impassable streams
bridged, and it was not till 1797 when, on the 28th of March, the Legislature
passed an "act for opening and improving certain great roads in this
State," which provided for raising money by lotteries for such purpose.
Under the provisions of this act and through the energetic exertions of
Charles WILLIAMSON, who made and secured large additions in contributions of
money, and with the additional assistance of the inhabitants who subscribed
4,000 days' work, the state commissioner was enabled to complete the GREAT
GENESEE ROAD of near 100 miles, opening it 64 feet wide and paving with logs and
gravel the moist places through which it was carried.
Hence the road from Utica to the Genesee, from being in the month of
June, 1797, a little better than an Indian path, was so far improved by the
latter part of September that a stage route was established on it.
construction of the "turnpike" in 1803-4 opened a valuable
thoroughfare to travel leading from the eastern country into the then
comparatively wild Genesee region, and from the time of its completion,
settlement and development increased with great rapidity.
An additional reason for this sudden influx of pioneers lies in the fact
that in 1789, before the opening of the road, a new county had been created out
of the territory of old Montgomery, and Canandaigua had then been designated as
its seat of justice.
settlers of this region were fortunate in having a good mill in their vicinity,
which aided them materially in obtaining lumber for their buildings.
During the winter of 1789-90 Judge Augustus PORTER, a pioneer of the
region, agreed with General John FELLOWS, one of the proprietors of East
Bloomfield, to join together in the erection of a saw-mill on Mud Creek, five
miles west of Canandaigua, which was in due time accomplished.
among the many important, and we may say fortunate, early events which
contributed to the building up and development of this town, that which led them
all was the erection of Ontario county and the designation of Canandaigua as the
county seat. The erecting act was
passed on the 27th of January, 1789, and by it provision was made for the
creation of towns under the name of districts, of which there were to be not
less than two. At that time the
county included all the western
part of the State, but the total number of inhabitants within its boundaries did
not exceed 1,000. Therefore, in the
organization of the territory into provisional districts a large area of land
was included within each, and, as a matter of fact, the entire county contained
only six of these districts, one of which was Canandaigua.
close upon the creation and organization of the county came the erection of the
county buildings, for which the generous proprietors donated a suitable plot of
land, situated on a commanding elevation, and in the most desirable portion of
the village tract. That Canandaigua
was to be a county seat was of itself sufficient in importance to swell the
local population and enhance materially the value of lands not only in the
village but in the town beyond the settled hamlet.
Professional men, merchants, speculators and the ever attendant
contingent of persons who are ready almost for anything, soon came to the town,
and the result was that Canandaigua soon took a position at the head of the
districts and afterward towns of the county.
Of the lawyers who made this their place of residence and business we
have no positive record, but the first medical men of the town were Moses
ATWATER and his brother, Jeremiah ATWATER, Samuel DUNGAN and William A.
WILLIAMS, all of whom were here before 1800, while Dr. Moses ATWATER is credited
with having settled in the town in 1791.
district of Canandaigua was organized January 27, 1789, but there is no record
of proceedings by which we can accurately determine either the extent of the
district or its first officers. However,
the district did not long retain that distinctive character, for in 1791 it took
the name of "town," and included within its boundaries townships 9 and
10 of the third stage, containing presumably 72 square miles of land, but in
1824, surrendered to Gorham that part of township No. 9 which lay east of
Canandaigua Lake. Therefore, as at
present constituted, the town is 12 miles in length, six miles wide on the north
boundary and less than three miles on the south line.
town meeting (of which there is any record) was held on the first Tuesday in
April, 1791, and was "opened and superintended" by Israel CHAPIN,
esquire. The records appear in the
bold and perfectly plain handwriting of pioneer James D. FISH, and from the
title line on the initial page it appears that the town was known to the early
settlers as Canandarguay, for it must naturally be presumed that as Mr.
FISH was so good a penman he must also have been at least a fair
"speller," and that his rendition of the name must have been that
recognized by the inhabitants at that time.
first town meeting just referred to, the following town officers were elected:
supervisor, Israel CHAPIN; town clerk, James D. FISH; assessors, John CALL, Enos
BOUGHTON, Seth REED, Nathan CUMSTOCK, James AUSTIN, Arnold POTTER and Nathaniel
NORTON; collectors, Phineas BATES and John CODDING; overseers of the poor,
Israel CHAPIN and Nathaniel GORHAM; commissioner of highways, Othniel TAYLOR,
Joseph SMITH, Benjamin WELLS; constables, Nathaniel SANBURN, Jared BOUGHTON and
Phineas PIERCE; overseers of highways, James LATTA, Joshua WHITNEY, John SWIFT,
Daniel GATES, Jabez FRENCH, Gameliel WILDER, Abner BARLOW, Isaac HATHAWAY,
Hezekiah BOUGHTON, Eber NORTON, William GOODING and John D. ROBINSON.
foregoing list of first town officers will bring to the notice of the reader the
names of perhaps a majority of the pioneers at that time, as the number of
eligible freeholders was so small that nearly every one having an interest or
ambition in that direction was freely supplied with office.
In this connection it may be interesting to refer to the succession of
supervisors of Canandaigua from the organization of the town to the present time
CHAPIN, 1791-95; Abner BARLOW, 1796-99; Augustus PORTER, 1800-1; Nathaniel
GORHAM, 1802-3; (no record of 1804 and 1805); Timothy BURT, 1806-7; Hugh
JAMESON, 1808; Ebenezer F. NORTON, 1809; Hugh JAMESON; 1810-11; Nathaniel
GORHAM, 1812; Reuben HART, 1813; Phineas P. BATES, 1814; Eliphalet TAYLOR,
1815-16; John A. STEVENS, 1817; Nathaniel GORHAM, 1818; Lott REW, 1819; Harvey
SANDERS, 1820; Phineas P. BATES, 1821; Francis GRANGER, 1822-25; Oliver PHELPS,
1826-31; Phineas P. BATES, 1832; Oliver PHELPS, 1833; Phineas P. BATES, 1834-36;
Russell B. JOHNSON, 1837; Charles SHEPARD, 1838-42; William W. GORHAM, 1843-47;
Jabez H. METCALF, 1848; Gideon GRANGER, 1849-51; Henry W. TAYLOR, 1852; Zebina
LUCAS, 1853-54; Ebenezer HALE, 1855; Evander SLY, 1856; Charles SHEPARD, 1857;
Charles COY, 1858-61; Jacob J. MATTESON, 1862; George COOK, 1863; John CALLISTER,
1864; J. Harvey MASON, 1865-67; Gustavus R. FOX, 1868; Frank O. CHAMBERLAIN,
1869-70; Charles E. SHEPARD, 1871-73; Frank O. CHAMBERLAIN, 1874; James S.
HICKOX, 1875; John B. ROBERTSON, 1876-78; William L. PARKHURST, 1879-81; Thomas
H. COST, 1882; Rollin L. BEECHER, 1883-84; Marion P. WORTHY, 1885; Matthew L.
PARKHURST, 1886; Joel M. HOWEY, 1887; George B.SACKETT, 1888; Frederick W.
BRYAN, 1889; Charles C. SACKETT, 1890-92; Frank O. SISSON, 1893.
attention of the first town officers was early drawn to the matter of surveying
and opening highways; in fact this duty was about the first of importance which
required the efforts of the proprietors. From
the lake running northward a distance of about two miles a splendid thoroughfare
of travel was surveyed, but it was some time afterward that the road was fully
completed. This is now known as
Main street, and was originally laid out six rods in width, but Mr. PHELPS had
in view such grand possibilities for his chosen town that he increased the width
to eight rods. Cross street was
laid out and ever afterward maintained as a six rod road.
however, from this digression to the subject of early settlement in the town of
Canandaigua, we may say generally that great difficulty is encountered in
learning the names of pioneers, while the exact or even approximate date of
their settlement in the town cannot be learned.
In a later department of this volume the reader will find sketches of
many of the pioneer families in the towns, properly arranged and classified, and
furnishing a reasonably complete biographical record of those named; wherefore
in the present connection it cannot be considered necessary to furnish more than
a brief allusion to the heads of pioneer families, with a mention of the general
locality of their settlement.
Over in the
past part of the town, near the foot of the lake, at an early day dwelt pioneers
Samuel ROGERS, Artemas LINCOLN and Charles GRIMES, the latter the owner of a
fulling and cloth mill, an almost indispensable necessity in a new locality.
John VAN ORMAN afterward operated the mill and also acquired some fame as
a landlord. Liberty DAY was an
early settler on the turnpike, and made brick in a small way, but his industry
was greatly appreciated by the people of the locality.
Elihu TUPPER was a pioneer in the same region, and also became proprietor
of an inn, and as well was the owner of a three-horse team, hence a man of some
note in the vicinity. He also
carried a stock of goods and was a tradesman of the town. Lyman and Arnold HAYS also were pioneers in the vicinity of
which we write, and while both were farmers the former conducted a fulling mill.
Judah COLT, the first sheriff of the county, at one time lived in this
neighborhood, on what was called the SHEPARD farm.
part of the town north of the locality of which we have just written were a
number of families of whom several can be recalled by name.
Zachariah TIFFANY was one of these pioneers and the head of a large
family who followed in the parental footsteps.
In this vicinity also dwelt the CASSARTS and SHULERS, the FAUROTS and
SANDERS, the latter settling here as early as 1795, and being a physician was
regarded as a man of importance in the town.
In this neighborhood there also dwelt pioneers DE BOW and LATTING.
West of the
general locality just mentioned at a very early day were made settlements by
Caleb GAGE, Thomas PIKE, Joseph CANFIELD, Stephen BISHOP, John GAGE, Levi
BROCKELBANK, Chandler BURGER, James REEVES (a wheelwright), Eliphalet TAYLOR (a
prominent man in town affairs), Oliver GLOVER, Charles CASSART, William CURTIS,
and possibly others whose names are not now recalled, but all of whom by their
efforts helped to develop the resources of the town, and laid the foundation for
prosperity to be enjoyed by a later generation of occupants.
northern part of the town, in the locality which has for many years been known
as Paddleford, there settled at an early day a number of families of much
prominence, and among whom can be remembered the names of PRICE, HUDSON, WALKER,
TILTON and MARBLE. The pioneer of
this region is said to have been the first named settler, PRICE.
Paddleford as a village did not attain any prominence prior to the
building of the railroad. Lying to the west of Paddleford is situate District Number
20, so called, which is a part of the territory included by the settlement above
mentioned. Some of the old family
names are still preserved in the locality but the pioneers themselves are all
gone. This section of the town was
formerly known as the "Bacon Tract."
locality of the town lying southeast of the village of Canandaigua was settled
very soon after the survey of the region was completed.
here appeared to have been especially desirable, and settlers and speculators
were active to possess them. Lemuel
CASTLE was one of the first to make an improvement in this vicinity, coming here
in 1789. CASTLE is said to have
built the first frame barn for Mr. PHELPS in 1792.
Following CASTLE came other pioneers, among whom were John SUTHERLAND,
Seth HOLCOMB (a settler of 1792, and also a hotel keeper), Ebenezer WILLIAMS,
wheelwright and wagon-maker; Captain George HICKOX, a soldier of the War of
1812, but a pioneer of 1793. Joseph
VAN ORMAN, Daniel CASE, Giles MITCHELL and Hugh JAMESON were likewise early
settlers in the same region, and are remembered as men of prominence and worth
in the community.
around Centerfield was also desirable as an early (and even present) place of
abode, and was settled early. Colonel
Thaddeus REMINGTON and Abner BARLOW located here in 1790, while later on came
other pioneers, among them David HAWLEY, Noah HEACOCK, Jesse MILLER, Isaac
MORSE, better known as "Papa" MORSE, and popular at all country sports
because of his ability as a fiddler. Enos and Henry HAWLEY, Stephen WARD, Charles and Oliver
JOHNSON, Harvey STEELE and Oliver ROSE were also early residents of this
distance south of Centerfield early settlements were made by Rev. Zadoc HUNN,
who was a preacher of some note among the pioneers, and who settled here in 1795
and died in 1801. Seba CASE came
here in 1794, and was followed by Elijah TILLOTSON and George GOODING, both of
whom were also pioneers. East of
the pioneers just named was a locality also occupied at an early day, there
appearing the prominent names of SPENCER, TAYLOR, MOORE, ROOT, CASTLE, BUNNELL,
BUTLER, and MACK, nearly all of whom are to be recorded as settling in the town
prior to 1800, and the names of whom are generally represented in the locality
at the present day.
west side of the lake the early settlers had no thought of erecting summer
cottages such as now dot its shore, as their attention was directed to other
enterprises, such as getting suitable buildings for family and stock, and
earning a livelihood from the lands. Pioneers
Israel REED and and Miles HECOX, Seth LEWIS, Levi ROWLEY, Epaphratus NOTT,
Christian SEAMAN, and the EATONS had but little time during the early years of
this century to devote themselves to pleasure seeking on the lake, but with
them, as with all pioneers of an undeveloped country, they were content to live
frugally and in the enjoyment of such pleasures as a life of constant toil might
extreme southeast part of the town is situated what was originally known as the
Academy tract, containing 3,000 acres of land which was deeded and donated by
Oliver PHELPS for the benefit of the Canandaigua Academy, from which its name
was derived. The
tract was surveyed into lots, each one 150 acres, and these were in turn divided
so that each occupant should have 75 acres.
According to the original purpose, these lands were to be rented, but
they were gradually disposed of by sale and are now occupied almost entirely by
generous donation was made by the proprietor in 1804, but it was not until 1810
that settlement on the tract in fact began, and then the lots were taken quite
slowly, as the lands were supposed to be unproductive.
The pioneer settler on this tract was named SANTLIFF, but within the
succeeding three years the lands were occupied by at least 14 families, as
follows: James CURRIER, John PENOYER, Jonathan CROKER, William WARREN, Solomon
RIGGS, William HOLMES, Elias BASCOM, Robert McGILL, the Widow HOLMES, the
pioneer SANTLIFF and other heads of families named OLDS, GORDON, BULLARD and
settlers not only developed and improved the lands for their personal benefit,
but as well had a care for the spiritual and educational welfare of their
families and descendants.
They built a primitive school-house, which was soon burned, and at once
replaced with another, the latter being constructed under the watchful care of
Deacon James CURRIER. The
building also served as a church until 1832, when a more suitable edifice for
public worship was erected in the neighborhood.
In 1837 a substantial school-house was likewise built.
Both of these public institutions have ever since been maintained, and
the inhabitants of the Academy tract are numbered with the substantial people of
the town. Their
originally supposed poor lands have developed great productiveness, yielding
fairly well to general agricultural efforts, while hops are also grown with good
too, yield well under careful attention, though the lake region is more
especially favorable to this crop than the western part of the tract.
early history of the tract the majority of the people were members of the
Methodist church, or society, and that denomination has prevailed even to the
present day, although the membership of the Christian church has acquired large
accessions in the locality.
The church edifice of this society was built in 1832, but later on was
replaced with a union meeting-house, the use of which was made free to all
worshipers of whatsoever faith.
Academy tract is a central trading point and post-office, named "Academy
Post-office," and around the locality has been built up a little hamlet,
with the usual shops, store and other adjuncts of a rural settlement.
The first hotel here was established by Benjamin HIGHT, and was afterward
kept by Joseph COY. Deacon
James CURRIER was the first millwright, and he followed that pursuit nearly half
western part of the town of Canandaigua is a productive locality whose people
are devoted chiefly to agricultural pursuits, and which is known as the
Centerfield District; and near the center of the district is situated the little
hamlet and post-office called Centerfield.
The pioneers of this vicinity have already been mentioned and we need
only refer to this hamlet as a trading center and record some of its principal
interests and institutions.
Oliver ROSE opened a store here about 1810, and was otherwise identified
with the place in the capacities of school teacher and afterward distiller.
Justus ROSE, his brother, became connected with the business and the
partners soon ranked as extensive dealers and operators.
They were succeeded by the later firm of Sackett, Fosket & Carter.
During their operations Centerfield was made a post-station with John
FOSKET as postmaster.
must be said that Centerfield as a village or hamlet is of much less importance
than its people could boast half a century ago.
It has been the home of no less than four church societies, yet none of
them could maintain a permanent organization.
As early as 1796 Rev. Hamilton JEFFERSON formed a Methodist Episcopal
class at Centerfield, and among its early members were Roswell and Hebzia ROOT,
Ambrose and Lydia PHELPS, and Sarah MOORE.
Some years later "Coke's Chapel" was built, its first preacher
being James GILMORE.
connection also we may note the fact that a class was organized in 1808 at Sand
Hill, which numbered among its members John JOHNSON, Elizabeth CASSART,
Zachariah TIFFANY and wife, Betsey KNAPP and Catherine DE BOW.
However, upon the organization of the M. E. church and society at
Canandaigua village, these outside classes gradually diminished.
On the 12th
of November, 1832, the Congregationalists of this locality organized a society,
with 35 members, under the ministrations of Rev. Silas BROWN, Robert HILL and
Edward BRONSON, and in 1833 the church was recognized and received by the
Ontario Presbytery. A
church edifice was soon afterward built, the first pulpit supplies being S. S.
HOWE, Jonathan LESLIE, Benjamin SMITH, Joseph WARE and Silas C. BROWN.
However, this society, like the others of the locality, soon began to
lose its membership and hence its influence for good, and is not now in active
year 1830, under the pastoral care of Reverend POTTER, the Baptist worshippers
of, the vicinity of Centerfield organized a society and built a church home.
However, misfortunes soon came to the society and reduced its membership
and influence to such an extent that the property was compelled to be sold.
It was purchased by the society of Trinity parish of the Episcopal
church, which was organized at Centerfield, September 23, 1832.
Among the prominent early communicants of Trinity church in this vicinity
were George H. WHEELER, Linus GUNN, James BLAIR and wife, Asa HAWLEY and wife,
Orlando MORSE, Ashbel TUTTLE and wife, Dr. Thomas WILLIAMS, Samuel SHROPE and
Thaddeus REMINGTON. The
first rector of the parish was Reward KAMEY, followed by William HECOX and Rev.
church and society, like its predecessors in the neighborhood, had not the
numerical and financial strength to permanently maintain its organization, hence
its services were less regularly kept up, and the result was the gradual decline
of interest and practical final dissolution.
business interests of Centerfield are briefly mentioned, and in fact consist of
one small store, which together with one or two small shops, the village
post-office, and a few dwelling houses comprise all that remains of a hamlet
which once enjoyed some prominence in the town.
The local postmaster is W. L. HYDE.
outlying hamlets of the town, the pretty little village called Cheshire is the
largest and most important, and that notwithstanding its location in the
southern part of the town, remote from any railroad or other thoroughfare of
travel that might contribute to its population or industries.
However, Cheshire is situated in the center of a highly productive
agricultural region, and one which is well populated with thrifty and prosperous
inhabitants, hence the hamlet is a natural and profitable center of trade.
of Cheshire was no named by the inhabitants of the locality, many of whom were
former residents of a Connecticut town of the same name.
However, the locality was earlier known as "Rowley's
school-house," from the fact that a school was there built on lands of
pioneer John ROWLEY, who came and settled here in 1795.
Other pioneers of the vicinity were Peter ATWELL and E. NOTT, both of
whom acquired title from the Phelps proprietary.
Milton GILLETT, Levi BEEBE, Jonathan MACK, William BACON and Stephen WARD
were also early settlers, in the Cheshire neighborhood, or in School District
Jonathan BEEBE opened a store at the village, but not until two or three years
later was there made any direct effort to build up a settlement in the locality.
About 1815 a number of families settled here, and about the same time,
possibly a year later, John ROWLEY built a saw-mill on the creek.
He also run a distillery, which so annoyed some of the staid townsfolk of
the locality that they left the settlement.
Some of the early merchants whose names can now be recalled, were William
KING, Israel PARSHALL, Delano & Green, Lorenzo TILLOTSON, Harman COOLEY,
Ralph HUNTER and Isaac WEBSTER.
Joseph ISRAEL opened a hotel here in 1818, and about that time the
village promised to develop considerable size and importance, but later years
turned the tide of settlement in other channels and Cheshire never attained any
greater importance than that of post village, having daily stage and mail from
the county seat. A
score or more years ago an effort was made to increase the industries and
business interests of the village, and a carriage shop, steam mill and spoke
factory were then in operation.
But as the place was comparatively remote from any railroad, no
advantages in shipping or marketing were presented, hence a natural decline in
business interests. The
mercantile interests of to-day are represented by two large and well stocked
country stores, the proprietors of which, respectively, are Cyrus H. WILBUR, and
Johnson LUCAS. No
industries are now permanently maintained in the village.
The present postmaster at Cheshire is Ralph HUTCHINS.
Baptist Church society in the town of Canandaigua was organized at Cheshire in
the year 1800, but after a life of vicissitudes covering a period of many years,
this society, as was that formed at Centerfield, was merged in the stronger and
more influential orgnization at the county seat.
Among the early members of the mother church were pioneers John ROWLEY,
Hugh JAMESON, Lemuel CASTLE, Eli BUTLER, Fairbanks MOORE, Solomon GOULD,
Jeremiah MILLER, David HURD, John FREEMAN and wife, Charity CASTLE, Rebecca
ROWLEY, Chloe BUTLER, and Janette JAMESON.
The first meeting-house was built in 1832, the early services being held
in convenient places in the neighborhood.
Elder Eli HASKELL was pastor of the society for almost 30 years, and Rev.
A. S. LONG followed with a term of seven years.
Later on, as above indicated, the society began to decline, and
eventually merged in the society at the county village.
village is now located a union church, which is used mainly by the members of
the Free Will Baptist Society, while other denominations have access thereto
upon stated occasions.
The Baptist society was organized in 1840, and numbered in its membership
some of the substantial inhabitants of the locality, among them Justus ROSE,
Amasa SALISBURY, Lester HEILSE, Orin B. MORSE, Elias HUNTLEY, Wm. B. PROUTY, and
Moses WARD. The
church edifice was built in 1840.
This society, like others of the locality, has experienced a varied
existence, but the organization was of longer continuance.
The most recent officiating minister was Rev. John L. LANGWORTHY.
of the town of Canandaigua is recorded in the growth and development of its
abundant resources, in the lives of its pioneers and their families and
descendants from the time of the first settlement to the present day.
In every school and church, in every industry of whatever nature, in
every town meeting, is the history of the town also established, but the reader
will of course know that a complete record of all events from the time of the
survey of townships nine and ten is wholly impossible, but it is believed that
enough has been herein recorded to inform the average mind of all that is
needful for present and future purposes in the town.
As has been
stated in this chapter, the town of Canandaigua was organized in January, 1789,
and at that time its territory included two townships of land, hence about 72
square miles of land. However,
in 1824 all that part of the town lying directly east of the lake was annexed to
Gorham, and consequently reduced the area and population of Canandaigua.
The early settlement of the town was surprisingly rapid, and
notwithstanding the hardships of the pioneer period, and the material check to
immigration just preceding and during the War of 1812-15, there was a constant
flow of settlers into the region, and the most desirable lands were taken and
improved within the first 15 years of the town's history.
In 1830, six years after the southeast part of the town was set off to
Gorham, the census enumeration showed Canandaigua to have a population of 5,162,
and from that until the present time the changes in number of inhabitants have
been as follows: In 1840 the population was 5,652; in 1850 it was 6,143; in 1860
it was 7,075; in 1870 it was 7,274; in 1880 was 8,363; and in 1890 it was 8,229.
the inhabitants of the town have never been unmindful of their personal
interests, they have at the same time shown due care for the educational welfare
of their children. Among
the pioneers of the town every necessary effort was put forth to provide
comfortable schools and competent teachers, and for this purpose the territory
of the town was divided into school districts.
In some localities school-houses were erected and opened for attendance
several years before the beginning of the present century, but it was not until
the lands of the town had become fully occupied that the districts became
regularly settled by established boundaries; and however interesting a subject
for narration might be a complete history of the schools and school districts of
Canandaigua, the absence of reliable records precludes the possibility of such a
record, and we must content ourselves with a brief reference to the educational
system of the town as it has for some years existed, and is still maintained;
reserving, however, a further reference to the schools of the village as a
succeeding portion of this chapter.
to the present arrangement, this town is divided into 19 school districts (with
one union district in the village), in which there are employed 43 teachers, and
in each of these districts, in addition to the customary branches, the pupils
are specially instructed in the important branches of physiology and hygiene.
As shown by the last school census, the number of children between the
ages of five and 21 years was 2,259, while the average school attendance
amounted to 907. In
addition to the public schools, the town also has three private schools, with an
attendance of 250. In
the town there are 22 school houses, and the total value of school property
amounts to $122,850. As
shown by the reports of the commissioner for the year ending July 25, 1892, the
total amount of money received for school purposes from all sources was
$41,141.19, and of this sum there was paid to teachers alone an aggregate of
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