Town of Gorham History
History of Ontario Co, NY Pub 1878 Pgs. 152 - 154
Kindly transcribed in part by Donna Walker Judge
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TOWN OF GORHAM
The town of Gorham lies south and east of Canandaigua, and faces on Canandaigua lake. It is part of the original PHELPS and GORHAM purchase, and was formed January 27, 1789, as Easton. On the 17th of April, 1806, the name was changed to Lincoln, and, on April 6, 1807, it was called by its present name, Gorham. Several changes of territorial area have taken place in the process of settlement. In 1822 the town of Hopewell was taken off, and in 1824 a part of Canandaigua was annexed. The surface is rolling. The soil in the east is a gravelly loam, and in the west is of clay, and is fertile and productive. Its eastern border is traversed by Flint creek, while various brooks have an origin on its lands. The first few settlers began the work of transformation from dense forest to cleared and productive farms, as early as 1790. The primary location of pioneers within the present town was on the lots of
District No. 8. James WOOD cleared and occupied a tract on lot 54 as early as 1789, paying for it, so says tradition, in produce from the land. Mr. WOOD has a granddaughter, Mrs. OSBURN, still living on the lot opposite the old farm, and another granddaughter, Hannah ELWELL, living in the GAGE district. Silas REED, a man whose name is most honorably associated with the early history of Gorham, and a person active in town and public affairs, has many descendants living in this district. His son, Samuel REED, occupied lot 41 about 1813, while Mason REED, his grandson, is still living at REED’s Corners. Among the early men whose record is well preserved was John MCPHERSON, who was originally from Ireland, and of the Protestant stock. On arriving in this country, he settled temporarily in Pennsylvania, and came, in 1798, to Gorham and took to himself a home on lot 53. MCPHERSON had learned the trade of weaver in his youth, and resumed its practice when settled on his wild land, and in the little cabin busied at his loom earned the appellation of the Irish weaver. His son, Samuel MCPHERSON, is at present the postmaster at REED’s Corners. A man named GUERNSEY came to the locality about a year later than MCPHERSON, and purchased land next to him on the south. Few, apart from those who have had actual experience in this direction, can realize the cheerful influence of a neighbor to break the solitude of the woods. Some of the most pleasurable occasions of the times whereof we write are linked with the arrival of friends, relatives, and strangers, who are to be neighbors for years. One evening, a settler had concluded the labors of the day, and, with his wife, sat on a bench before the cabin-door, when to their ears was borne the sound of axes and voices. The latter seemed familiar, and recalled a like time far to the east, and the name of an old neighbor was mentioned as a likely person to be in this place. Next morning a visit through the woods found the very neighbor, unconscious of any other settler being near him, busily engaged in felling and trimming trees for his cabin. To both, the meeting was as when in the late war, men from New York, from Ontario, in the One Hundred and Twenty-sixth, Thirty-third, or One Hundred and Forty-eighth met casually upon the battle-fields of Virginia and exchanged a greeting. To borrow a kettle, a pan, or chair, was as much in the neighborly visit as in the use to be made of the article, and gave occasion for a friendly chat. Jeremiah SWART seems to have come in prior to 1800, and to have become well known in various capacities. The names of SWART and GUERNSEY are frequently associated in the old town records as of the town officers, and prominent in local events. The school interest of those early times was not neglected, and the primitive building in this district was erected on the same lot as the present Congregational church, somewhat south of that structure. A tavern was kept at REED’s Corners early in the present century by Mr. SHERWOOD, who seems to have been succeeded by Jeremiah SWART. On account of early settlement and a location more favorable to communication with adjoining towns, from the circumstance of being on the main road from Canandaigua to Geneva, the neighborhood about REED’s Corners was formerly the scene of considerable activity. Here were held the first town meetings, and from this, as a focus, went out the development of the town, as the east side grew from Bethel, later known as Gorham Post-Office.
District No. 6 lies south of REED’s Corners, and it was in this neighborhood that Silas REED had first settled and built the only frame house then to be seen in this part of the town. This old pioneer died in 1834, at the age of seventy-six years. In February, 1809, Harvey H. STONE came in from Greene county, New York, and bought upon lot 52. A daughter, Sarah WOODWARD, is still living at an advanced age on the old place. Jacob YOUNG, whose son, Abraham, is a resident of the town, settled upon lot 42 in 1812. Mr. WILSON took up his residence about the same time on the farm still the home of his descendant, Mr. WILSON. Royal STEARNS came from Upton, Massachusetts, about 1806, and bought on lot 44, the farm now owned by F. FRANDISH. The pioneer on lot 59 was Thomas TUFFS, who moved into this district in 1811. Mrs. George HARMON, his descendant, now lives on the old farm. John TUFFS came west soon after his son, and lived with him until his death. The first school-house erected in this district was opened for teaching during 1811, and was occupied as the pioneer teacher by Mrs. Laura CLARK, who was succeeded by Oliver BABCOCK. Tradition has also preserved the name of Joseph RYAN, a famous pedagogue of the olden time. As indicated by the name, Mr. RYAN was an Irishman, and possessed, in a remarkable degree, the wit and versatility characteristic of his race. Whatever may have been his accomplishments in other directions, he was skilled in the use of a quill-pen, and in its preparation for the work required of it. There are many handsome and rapidly-executed specimens of penmanship to-day, and, with steel and gold pens in endless variety, the execution should be faultless; but in the strong points of penmanship, the compact, legible documents of the early day speak volumes in praise of the old school-master, his penknife, and his quills. The teacher to-day “mends” no pen, sets no copy, and in many instances conducts no writing class in his school. It is not a return to the quill that is suggested, but the education of the teacher, who gladly shirks a branch wherein a pupil many chance to far excel.
District No. 16 lies southward of the
preceding, and here, upon lot 60, Nathan PRATT, from Halifax, came during 1803,
and endeavored to clear himself a home from his forest tract. Elisha, brother of
Nathan, had come from the same place in 1801, and occupied land on the same lot.
He married Elizabeth SAUNDERS, originally from Rhode Island, and their
descendants yet occupy the farm which still remains in the PRATT name. Charles
RUSSELL bought and began improvement in 1805 upon lot 61, which has not changed
the name of owner since. A son, Allen RUSSEL, lives upon the old farm at this
time. Benjamin WASHBURN, from Herkimer county, took up land embraced in lots 61
and 62, and on the same property his son, G. F. WASHBURN, now resides. Daniel
TREAT bought land of WASHBURN at an early date, and in turn was bought out by
Leonard MORSE. Eben HARWOOD was an early owner of land on lot 61. The names of
Archibald ARMSTRONG and G. MERRILL are also mentioned as of early settlers
somewhere in this locality. This district was slow to fill up. Families dropped
in only at long intervals, and for years no roads were laid out in the district.
The pioneers made their way to Canandaigua by marked trees, and along paths
which they had voluntarily turned out to underbrush. But there was little regret
for having entered upon this home in the forest, this contest with Nature on the
part of the woodmen. Many of them had become familiar with peril and accustomed
to the wild life. They loved to see the deer bounding across their clearings,
and when the wolf was heard at night, there came in mind the thoughts of the
bounty which would accrue from a successful shot. The unbroken character of the
woods in this town, at the comparatively later day of settlement, is attested by
the fact that here we find the most abundant traditions of game and of hunting.
Elisha PRATT, who was at once justice of the peace and a Nimrod of the woods,
bears an equal high reputation in either capacity. Deer were attainable in such
numbers that PRATT was accustomed to send many saddles wrapped in the skins to
Canandaigua, to exchange for goods. The instinct of the sportsman seemed to be
hereditary in the PRATT family, for a descendant of Elisha, now living on the
old place, is the most expert fisher on the lake. Although this district was
behind in population, it did not lag a whit in energy and intelligence. In 1803,
a blacksmith’s shop was built by Charles HEDGAR on what is now known as
HEDGAR’s knoll, on the PRATT farm. As was not unfrequently the case, the old
log dwelling-house of Elisha PLATT was put to use as a place to conduct a
school, and Polly DOOLITTLE acted as the early teacher.
Passing south, we come to a joint district bordering on the Yates county line, and containing the village of Rushville. Henry GREEN, who came to Naples in 1796 from Windsor, Massachusetts, removed to Gorham in 1799, and was the father of a large family, all of whom have passed away, except Erastus GREEN, who is living on the homestead at Rushville. Chester LOOMIS settled in Gorham, near the POTTER line, in 1815. The place has remained in the possession of Judge LOOMIS’ family to the present. As illustrative of the times, it is told of Judge LOOMIS that, when a child on the journey with his father, Nathan LOOMIS, from Connecticut, they passed through the town of Geneva during the cold season. Stopping at a house, the boy saw that he took to be a curious black box standing near the middle of the room. Never having seen anything of the kind in this section of the country the child naturally attempted an examination of its character; but, putting his finger on the “black box,” he speedily discovered at least one of its qualities, and learned a useful and durable lesson. About 1805, Samuel TORREY built a blacksmith’s shop just north of West river, near the Presbyterian church. In those early days, the shop of the blacksmith was the parent of manufacturing industries, and the man who built and conducted such an institution not only had to work his own iron, but to make his own coal. The process of making charcoal was simple and effective. A quantity of hardwood sticks were cut and piled, and then covered over with forest leaves; upon this a quantity of dirt was thrown, and a pit formed at the base; through the dirt holes were punched to permit the egress of smoke and gas, and a fire was communicated form a point on the base. A slow and smouldering combustion ensues. The sticks gradually change their character, preserving their form, and the change being effected, charcoal is produced. Thus supplied, the stock of iron was indeed meager. The horse to be shod required that the old shoe be brought along. The welding of broken tools was accomplished in time, and the shop was not less important and necessary from its humble, unpretentious character. Timothy MOORE moved into Gorham from Naples about 1802, and was recognized as a man of great local influence,--active in all town affairs, and holding the office of justice of the peace. Captain HARWOOD was a man of character and position, and when the tidings of war against Great Britain found their way to this region, he responded to the call, and served through that eventful season. He had settled, about 1799, upon lot 63, now owned by J. LINDRUFF. The first school of this district was kept in the Presbyterian meeting-house; and however it may have been as regards physical culture, it is certain that books were not numerous, nor progress far advanced. The names of Elisha PRATT and Samuel POWERS are remembered as those of early teachers.
District No. 12 is a section of the town known as the “gore,” on account of the bend in the shore of the lake. The oldest inhabitant, not only of the district but of the town, now living, is Christian FISHER, a resident upon lot 33. Mr. FISHER removed to Gorham from Geneva about 1805, and made a choice of this farm as his location for a permanent home, and thereon has dwelt until, at the age of ninety-one, he may look back upon the viscissitudes of three-quarters of a century passed in that one cherished spot. Still with him is his wife, who, at the age of eighty, is bright and smart—full of the energy of former days—and surrounded with luxuries then unattainable. Abraham GARRISON is also of the pioneers in this district, and dates his settlement about 1806, on lot 23, upon the farm now owned by heirs. John FERGUSON came in 1813 from near Albany, and settled upon that part of lot 32 where his son Stephen, now a vigorous, hearty man, had long resided. The FRANCISCOS are remembered as settlers of about 1807, and the BRIGGS family are identified with the early history of this district. They lived upon a farm occupied b G. H. LAKE, on lot 18. Old Uncle VAN BRANKEN, as he is termed, was the early Vulcan of the neighborhood, and erected his black-smith-shop upon the site of the present building. The MARTINS have long been known as settlers and farmers in the district. In abut 1810, a man named Aleck SHEEP moved into this neighborhood, and exerted considerable influence. His stay was transient. The primitive school-building in this district, composed of unhewn logs, was located a little south of the old blacksmith’s shop, on what is now called the RAPPALEE farm. Abner DUVALLE and a Mr. BASCOM were among the first teachers. In the minds of those who, as children, sought instruction in this old, well-remembered spot, lies many a vivid recollection. The fire-place was huge in size compared with the area of the room, and when a stove took precedence it became a topic of interest. Its durability is beyond question, as it was only thrown aside in 1874. Whether of an early or a later period, the associations of each old log school-house are of the most interesting character. Here acquaintance was made to continue for life; here influences, salutary or otherwise were received; and within and about the old house the task, the punishment of those unfortunate in falling into disgrace the games of childhood, and the peculiarities of the teacher, were all noticed and treasured up. The history of the going to school of a winter morning, and visiting the traps set for game on the way, the arbitrary rule and condign penalty—the nooning the various classes, the very site occupied by the apertures termed windows, and the boys or the girls who sat next upon the seat, every event, trivial to the stranger, important to the actors—is a pleasing recollection, always cherished through life, and borne away with its departure. Were it needful, the influence of the instruction and surroundings of the log school-house could easily be shown to have been, in most cases, the most pleasing and impressive and the most salutary of those received in early life.
District No. 13 has been known as the GAGE district. Among its first settlers was Otis LINCOLN, who came from Otsego county in 1806, and located on lot 2. LINCOLN had served as a soldier in the Revolution, and when one of his sons was drafted during the war of 1812, the old man served as his substitute, an instance this of rare and remarkable character. Lot 5 was originally settled by Southwick COLE, in 1805, and he, with Mr. LINCOLN, was the pioneer inhabitant of the district. The farm has passed out of the name, but the LINCOLN property is now owned by a son of the pioneer. Amasa GAGE was the first of the numerous GAGE family, whose name has been given to the neighborhood. The farm is now in the ownership of his grandson, Marion GAGE. At an early date a family named HENIKE settled on lot 1, now owned by G. H. GREEN. Joshua WASHBURN, in 1827, took the farm now occupied by him on lot 4. This was part of the original COLE land, having been bought of him by Widow SNOOK and sold to WASHBURN. For a number of years after settlement here, the pioneers had little more than the old Indian trails for their roads. The foot or horseman found his path unimpeded, and the ox-sled wound its way to the neighbors, or struck out for the Geneva and Canandaigua road. The first highway laid out was the present lake-shore road. The lands of this locality being supplied with sufficient water-course, afforded opportunity for the establishment of some slight manufactories. A grist-mill was put up about 1815 by a miller named Henry ELLIOTT, and was located on the old COLE farm. About 1808 a tannery was built in a ravine near the present school-house. The owner soon left, and the vacated building was used as a place of instruction in rudimentary branches of learning. The primal teacher in this structure was a Miss BOSTWICK. A single season was all that the old tannery served as a school; it was then abandoned, and another vacated house selected for the same purpose. This was finally burned, and the present school-house was then erected.
District No. 11 lies north from the GAGE district, upon the lake-shore. James WOOD was a resident of Gorham as early as 1796 or 1797. His son James built a framed house upon lot 57 about the year 1806. Aleck SAMPSON had a farm at an early day upon the same lot. His successor was James TURNER. Another occupant of this farm was John PARKER. A pioneer upon lot 58 was a man named KOOMER, who inhabited a log house for a time, and then gave way to Mr. SACKETT, who was in turn succeeded by Isaac SHAW. Lot 53, where Addison STEARNS, justice of the peace, lives, was formerly the property of Jane MEAD, daughter of James WILSON, one of Gorham’s first settlers. Mr. STEARNS is a son of Jonathan STEARNS, who, in 1803, settled on lot 54, now in district No. 6. The DAVIS family are descendants of a man who, about 1810, bought a tract of some seven hundred acres on the lake-shore for speculative purposes. DAVIS had planned to allow the use of land for a limited period, in consideration of its improvement. When the land was in condition for crops, a certain rental was taken in farm products. Sometimes this amount reached five to seven bushels of wheat per acre. A Mr. SHEPARD was the agent of DAVIS in the transaction of business connected with his landed estate. Among those who early settled upon the DAVIS tract were John and Christian FISHER, C. CARSON, and John GULICK. To some slight degree this district was distinguished by its pioneer efforts in the line of manufacture. One of the many distilleries which grew up like mushrooms, all over the county, and thrived upon the bounteous products of the soil, was located east of the Davis tract, upon Gravel Run.
The districts so far enumerated, including Joint District No. 9, whose history is connected with that of Hopewell, constitute the eastern half of the town of which Reed’s Corners and Rushville were the points of development. The remaining districts, constituting the eastern half of the town, naturally take their growth from Gorham, which will be next considered.
District No. 3, which contains in its east part, the village of Gorham, is traversed by the waters of Flint creek, which furnish considerable water-power, and gave an advantage very soon perceived and improved by Levi BENTON, a well known millwright of this section. He put up a grist-mill upon the creek and this mill was the first one of any description erected within the present limits of the town. As early as 1808 a saw-mill was built in this vicinity, and run by a Mr. CRAFT. It took the name of CRAFT’s mill, and was for some time in operation. Since that time great progress in manufacture has been made at this point. A large and well-equipped grist-mill operated by what is known as the Gorham Mill Company, is engaged in an extensive and flourishing business. The village of Gorham, formerly called Bethel, is the chief trading and manufacturing point of the town. Besides the mill, there is a large saw and turning-mill owned by STOKELY & WILSON, a barrel and stave factory, a straw and feed mill, besides minor manufacturing interests. Among those who have been, and in some instances still are connected with the material growth of the district, the following are named: William PETTIT came into Gorham from Saratoga county in 1816, and was known and employed as one of the early school-teachers. Isaac PHILLIPS moved during the year from the same county, and settled on lot 4; the farm, contrary to the usual condition of lands lying adjacent to villages, has remained in the family from settlement till date. The present oldest resident of this section is Ebenezer PERKINS, a former resident of Ulster county. Mr. PERKINS, now in his eighty-fourth year, came to this town and here took up his residence in 1806.
District No. 5 lies west of Gorham, and has a meagre record. David PICKET came from Oneida county in 1820, and settled upon lot 28, where he has remained until the present. Francis HARRIS occupied lot 36 at an early date, and a son at this time lives upon the farm. The first frame house in this district was built for Eliza HEWMAN, a pioneer upon the lands of the locality. The farm of A. NEWMAN, on lot 27, was formerly the site of an old tavern kept by a Mr. SHERMAN as a half-way house between REED’s Corners and Bethel. Lot 20 was the former home of Jonathan ARNOLD. To the southward of his dwelling stood the first school-house. It was a combination of log and boards, and was some-what superior to the pioneer buildings. Where now V. HOGEBOOM lives dwelt his father, James HOGEBOOM, who was one of the pioneer school-masters and a reputed teacher in a school attended by Martin VAN BUREN, a President of the United States. It has been customary for school inspectors, upon occasion of formal visits, to edify and stimulate the youth assembled with words of a highly eulogistic character. “Who knows,” said one yet remembered, “but that in this school sits a boy not remarkable among his fellows, and all unconscious of his proud future, who is destined to fill the highest set within the gift of the American people?” The possibility exists in the various schools; its realization was a reflected honor to Mr. HOGEBOOM.
District No. 14 was settled by a colony of Dutch from Hoosick, on the Hudson. Industrious and frugal, they cleared considerable land, made themselves comfortable, and enjoyed the advantages of a previous and continued association. In the lapse of time some were removed by death; others removed elsewhere, and few can recall their names. Darius MINER, who has a son Samuel living on the homestead, came from Seneca in 1812, and settled on lot 26. The son is one of the oldest inhabitants of Gorham, and is now in his eighty-first year. Ebenezer LEWIS came from the east prior to 1800, and settled on lot 38, whereon he continued through life. His granddaughter, Mrs. LATHAM, now occupies the place. Levi SORTELL took up land on lot 21 in 1810, where his daughter, Mrs. ROBINSON, now resides. Frederick SPAULDING was a farmer upon lot 22 at a very early date, upon which tract probably about 1812, William HOWE, from Scipio, also settled. A farm on lot 23 was taken up by Nathan SMITH, who still lives thereon. Mr. SMITH is one of the few inhabitants of Gorham now living who has approached the centennial of existence and reached the advanced age of eighty-eight years. Owing to the thin population of the district, which even at this time contains few people in proportion to its area, no school-house was constructed in this vicinity until after 1820, the children being sent to school in contiguous districts. When a house was determined upon, a site was chosen upon the corner opposite the present DE GRAFF place. The first among the many in the lengthening list of school-masters was Darius MINER. The need of a blacksmith-shop was supplied by the enterprise of William DE WITT, a man who has left behind a reputation for skill and excellence as a mechanic.
District No.15 borders on the county line of Yates. Ludin, the first of the BLODGET family in Gorham, and now largely represented therein, came form Oneida county in 1800 and settled upon lot 47, where A. BLODGET now lives. Ephraim BLODGET came to the neighborhood some six months after Ludin. He is now an inhabitant of Canandaigua, and, while he has exceeded fourscore, his appearance is that of a man scarcely beyond the age of fifty. During his residence in Gorham different town offices were placed in his keeping. He was town clerk in 1804, and afterwards served as assessor. Parley GATES, son of Daniel, who was one of the early pioneers, and who came in with PHELPS, was a former resident upon lot 46, and kept a tavern at the corners where Mrs. G. BALDWIN now lives. “GATES’ tavern” was a celebrity in its day, and although taverns were by no means unfrequent, they were differently furnished and kept, and a clean bed, well-cooked provision, and a cheerful, friendly landlord were rare qualities to be met at the same place. GATES’ tavern was an unpretending log structure, but nevertheless seems to have dispensed a great deal of comfort and hospitality. In 1804 the old log house was removed, and a frame house erected in its place. Some time previous to 1805, Zebadiah MORSE and Daniel WHITE settled on lot 46. John CATLIN, from Oneida county, moved, in 1806, upon lot 47, and there abode some time. About 1800, a blacksmith’s shop was erected at the corners near the tavern by Curtis CHATFIELD. About two years after putting up this shop Mr. CHATFIELD went insane, and his brother Oliver came up from Oneida county and took possession of the business. In 1807, the pioneer school-house of the neighborhood was erected at the corners. Like the generality of those “first schools,” the sessions were held in a building substantially, if not elegantly, constructed. It stood but three years, and then gave place to a framed house, which was superseded in 1826 by a brick structure. Chester LOOMIS, afterwards Judge LOOMIS, was among those who taught the school of the district. Lemuel MORSE, later a justice of the peace and a member of Assembly, also gained the first round of advancement by conduct of the school. The BLODGET family had a representative in the corps of school-masters in the person of Joseph BLODGET, brother of Ephraim.
District No. 2 was occupied in 1800 by Richard WESTBROOK, from Pennsylvania. His earliest residence was upon lot 33. James LEWIS and William BASSETT came in about the same time to this neighborhood. Lemuel MOORE, who had previously been living near Bushville, removed to this district about 1808. Here we again meet the BLODGETS, of Oneida; Solomon BLODGET came in from that county and bought lot 30 as a land speculation. A farm was taken on this tract by his son Augustus, and the remainder was speedily sold. Among the purchasers were Lewis GEORGE, Samuel REED, son of Silas, and Horatio GATES, son of Daniel. William BLODGET, son of Ludin, moved in during 1805 and located on lot 31, where he still lives, at the ripe age of eighty-two. Lydia MAPES became his wife at an early day, and still travels the life journey but one year behind her husband in age. The log house put up by Lewis GEORGE was afterwards used as the first place of instruction. Lucy CATLIN was employed to conduct the school. Subsequently a school-house was built on the farm of Augustus BLODGET. In 1806, the first road in this district, and one of the first in town, was surveyed and laid out at the petition of Ludin BLODGET.
Thus, briefly, are recounted the names of some who were early residents of the town of Gorham. When we are told “the country filled up slowly,” “that game was plenty, and that for many years the settlers had to make their way by marked trees to Canandaigua,” the mind must fill up the gaps, of whose nature these isolated facts only supply the hints. Again must be seen the wilderness whose natural gloom and solitude are heightened rather than diminished by the little cleared spots of the pioneer. One must picture the storms of winter, the lonely character of the clearings, and calculate the energy necessary to make a home from the rough material furnished by the forest. Consider the difficulty of clearing the land, estimate the dangers and misfortunes to pioneers of bad climate, poverty, and sickness. Out from the old home the pioneer advanced, and by the creek he made his selection. Day by day he labored, and when the frost warned of coming winter, all unheeding the journey, the eastern home was reached. Hard was the lot of the pioneers viewed from our stand-point, but habit and general custom render all things easier. The power of human adaptability seems to fit men for life in the forest, and readily the occupants of houses, and those who have never slept otherwise than upon a good bed, betake themselves to the blanket and the earth. Human power united has often accomplished objects of great moment unconsciously.
The early settlers of Gorham, led by motives of self-interest, did much for a later generation, and it is a lesson of the age, how closely the shadow of forgetfulness has closed upon the men and women, the lives and deeds, of the pioneers in Gorham.
Supplemental to the history of individual settlement, the following extracts from the early records of the town have special interest and value. From them we learn that at an annual meeting of the town of Easton, held at the house of Frederick FOLLETT, on the 4th day of April, 1797, and opened by Moses ATWATER, Esq., the following officers were chosen: James AUSTIN, clerk; Samuel DAY, Frederick FOLLET, Silas REED, and George BRUNDAGE, assessors; John WARREN, collector; William ENGEL, Joseph BRUNDAGE, overseers of the poor; Elijah HURD, Robert WHITTERIE, and William WICKS, commissioners of highways; John WARREN, constable; Elijah ELLIS, Joseph HILL, James WOOD, and Benjamin CANFIELD, “pathmasters.” “Voted that path-masters be fence viewers.” This is the only recorded vote of the meeting. At the next annual meeting in 1798, still held at the house of F. FOLLET, some indications of development are traceable in the increase of town officers and offices, and the character of the vote: “Southwick COLE, Frederick FOLLET, and Daniel GATES are appointed a committee to inspect the pound;” Joseph BIRDSLEY, F. FOLLET, and Samuel DAY are school commissioners. Voted twenty-seven dollars for the use of schools. At the town meeting of 1801 the “color line” was seen to be introduced in the vote “that this town grant five dollars bounty on each wolf’s head catched and killed in the district of Easton by any white citizen of the United States.” At the annual meeting held in March, 1802, it was voted “that we raise one hundred and fifty dollars for the contingent expenses of the town.” In the year 1804 the town had so far gained on the wolves that it was “voted that the bounty on wolves’ heads be discontinued.” Money due the treasurer for the support of schools is shown by the order dated May 31, 1797.
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