History of Ontario County , New York
                                                    

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Kindly transcribed by  Deborah Spencer

 

 

From History of Ontario County, NY    Published 1878

     Pg  31 - 36

 

 CHAPTER XI 

BIOGRAPHY OF NOTABLE AND DISTINGUISHED PIONEERS OF ONTARIO COUNTY:  PROPRIETORS, AGENTS, SUPERINTENDENTS, ATTORNEYS, MERCHANTS, MINISTERS, AND OTHERS. 

The commencement of all history of this section, for whatever purpose,---book, press, church, and nation,---repeats the names of those of whom we write, and begins with that of Oliver PHELPS, a native of Windsor, Connecticut.  He was present at the Lexington skirmish, April 19, 1775, and was later one of the Massachusetts Committee of Safety.  He served as an army contractor in the war for a time, and then became connected with the commissary department.  While a resident, at the close of the war, of Suffield, Massachusetts, various offices were given him, among which were those of assemblyman, senator, and member of the governor's council.  We have spoken of his preliminary arrangements for the ownership of western land, of his treaty, of his sale to Robert MORRIS, and of his retrocession of land west of the Genesee to Massachusetts.  During August, 1790, Mr. PHELPS wrote of Indian discontent, settlers' sickness, and the lack of medical attendance. 

Aiming at all times to deal justly, his motives were aspersed, and complaints of fraud in treaties made by CORNPLANTER and others.  Mr. PHELPS wrote the President a full account of his proceedings, accompanied with the depositions of prominent parties having knowledge of the facts.  In answer to Indian complaint, he made them a speech whose conclusion contains a characteristic statement.  "Now, brothers, I do not want to contend with you; I am an honest man.  If you go to New England and inquire my character, you will not find me as I am represented here to be."  During the early years of settlement, while his residence was in Massachusetts, his time was chiefly passed in Canandaigua, and there was no enterprise of school, church, or public character which he did not labor to promote.  His highest desire was the prosperity of the settlers, who found in him their best friend.  Much land in various ways came under his control, till, in 1795, he considered himself a millionaire.  He was elected to Congress, engaged in speculation, lost heavily, borrowed money, giving land mortgages, and involved his affairs in confusion.  He made a permanent removal to Canandaigua in 1802, and struggled manfully to reinstate himself and others connected with him.  Under a load of care his health gave way, and he died, aged sixty, in the year 1809.  Upon his tombstone may be read, "Enterprise, Industry, and Temperance cannot always secure success; but the fruits of those virtues will be felt by society."  

Mr. PHELPS was first judge of Ontario County, upon the formation of its courts, and a representative of Western New York to Congress.  He left a son and a daughter.  The son, Oliver L. PHELPS, married a granddaughter of Roger SHERMAN, and at his father's death dwelt in the old PHELPS mansion in Canandaigua village, where he died in 1813. 

The older Nathaniel GORHAM resided in Massachusetts.  His representative west was his son Nathaniel, who came to Canandaigua in May, 1789, and at once closely allied himself with the foremost of the pioneers in promulgating their and his own interests.  In these connections we find him a supervisor of Canandaigua, a judge in the county courts, and president of the Ontario Bank, from its incorporation, in March 1813, until his death, at the age of sixty-two, in 1826. 

The sale of lands to Robert MORRIS brings him forward as the second in the chain of proprietors.  He was born in Liverpool, England, came to America while young, and later became a merchant in Philadelphia.  He warmly espoused the cause of the Colonies during the Revolution, and, as a member of Congress from Pennsylvania, was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.  Time and again he loaned money to Washington, and gave freely to his resources for the public service.  Made Secretary of the Treasury, which existed but in name, his own means paid the army, and his credit obtained from the bankers of Holland the millions which maintained the unequal struggle.  To MORRIS is ascribed the plan which hemmed CORNWALLIS at Yorktown, and brought the contest to a close.  Having purchased the lands of PHELPS and GORHAM, he began initiatory efforts to secure their settlement, but soon sold, and later bought the lands which are known as the Holland Purchase.  The death of Mr. MORRIS occurred during 1806, in New Jersey. 

As evidence of belief in the value and future prosperity of the new country, Robert MORRIS wrote to Sir William PULTENEY, one of the London company to whom he had sold, that he desired to have his son Thomas settled therein.  During the summer of 1791, the son was one of a party who passed through Ontario to Niagara Falls, and returning, remained some time at Canandaigua.  The wooded nature of the land near the village caused the young man to become bewildered while on an excursion, and, when only a mile away, darkness came on, and he tramped over hill and through swamp until the hut of a settler came in sight, from the light which shone from it, and he there obtained lodging.  Early in the morning he was up, and before sunrise entered Canandaigua, having made a tramp of six miles.  He soon thereafter became a resident of the village, and acted as his father's agent in closing his business with the Holland Company.  In the three-fold character of lawyer, proprietor, and agent, he was closely associated with Ontario history, and was the first representative to Congress from the Genesee country.  Having unduly speculated in lands, reverses followed, and in 1803 or 1804 he moved to New York, and continued the practice of law until his death, in 1848. 

In manuscripts written in 1844, Mr. MORRIS says:  "In the early part of March, 1792, I left New York for Canandaigua.  I was induced to fix on that place for my residence from the character and respectability of the families already established there.  I finished building a frame house, filled in with brick, in the early part of the year 1793.  When it was completed, that and the house built by Oliver PHELPS were the only framed houses west of Whitesboro." 

The concerns of the Genesee lands in the hands of the London Associates, purchasers from Robert MORRIS, were chiefly placed in the charge of Patrick COLQUHOUN, who gave himself fully to the work.  His laudable aim was wealth for himself and prosperity for anticipated settlers.  Wherever the interests of the latter came up, they were fairly and honestly considered, and justly much was said of him to his honor, upon a marble tablet, which till recently was placed in front of the Congregational church of Canandaigua, to perpetuate his memory.  A native of Scotland, his life was that of a philanthropist, and his death took place in London, in 1820, at the age of seventy-six. 

Among agents, Charles WILLIAMSON stands first, and his exertions in favor of the pioneers of Ontario, especially at Geneva, are fully deserving of the mention given.  All his improvements were projected upon a liberal and extensive scale, and, in some localities, beyond the times.  Hotel, mill, road, academy, library, and fair, all found in him a patron.  It is said of him that in 1792 he was sick of a fever at the house of a Mr. DOLSON, near Elmira, and on his recovery gave the family twenty guineas, and the choice of a farm any place on the purchase, as payment for their trouble, and this incident is in keeping with his entire life during his sojourn in the west.  Several gentlemen accompanied WILLIAMSON to America.  Charles CAMERON was one of them, and was invaluable as an accountant and traveling companion.  The local agent at Lyons, he was the first to ship Genesee produce to Albany.  When the village of Canandaigua was the metropolis of the Genesee country, CAMERON was engaged in merchandising there, and so became well known to the pioneers. 

Robert TROUP, of New Jersey, was the successor of WILLIAMSON.  His appointment  as general agent of the Pulteney estate was made in 1801.  After many journeys west, he finally, in 1814, became a resident of Geneva.  Much of the land unsold found sale and purchase with him.  For thirty years his influence was felt in this country in works of public utility.  He died in 1832, aged seventy-four. 

Joseph FELLOWS, of England, came to Pennsylvania in 1795.  He was employed as sub-agent at Geneva in 1810.  The business of the office was discharged by him until the death of Mr. TROUP, when he became his successor, and many incidents attest his generosity and indulgence. 

The first clerks in the Geneva Land Office have been Thomas and George GOUNDRY, William VAN WIRT, David H. VANCE, William YOUNG, and John WRIDE. 

John GREIG, of Scotland, became a resident of Canandaigua in April, 1800.  He studied law in the office of N.W. HOWELL, and was admitted to practice in 1804.  Two years later he succeeded John JOHNSTON as the agent of the Hornby and COLQUHOUN lands.  As a lawyer he was a partner with Judge HOWELL till 1820, and possessed such attributes as placed him in the front rank among men whose ability is handed down as more than ordinary.  He was president of the Ontario Bank, a vice-chancellor of the Board of Regents of the University, and in 1841 and 1842 a representative in Congress.  He lived to an advanced age, and in all his labors for others found a willing helper in his wife, who still lives in the old home in Canandaigua---one of the oldest and best esteemed of its citizens. 

The services of Israel CHAPIN have been noted.  No man, probably, had a more difficult task to conciliate the Indians and secure quiet to the white people, and no other rendered such signal service in preventing the alliance of the Iroquois with the Western Indians against Wayne.  Himself and son were held in high esteem by both races, and the Seneca chiefs were very desirous that the latter should not be removed. 

Nathaniel W. HOWELL was, at the time of his death, the oldest resident member of the bar of Western New York.  He was a native of Orange county, and a farmer's son.  He was admitted an attorney of the Supreme Court in May, 1794.  A year later he opened an office in the town of Union, near the village of Binghamton.  General MATTHEWS, then practicing at Newtown, and Mr. HOWELL were the only Supreme Court lawyers then in the county of Tioga.  Judge HOWELL was admitted attorney of the Court of Common Pleas in Ontario County during June, 1795, and in February, 1796, became a resident of Canandaigua.  He was a legal adviser for WILLIAMSON, and in the employ of Joseph ELLICOTT in transactions connected with the Holland purchase.  Nominated by Governor Jay, he was, in 1799, appointed assistant attorney-general for the five western counties of New York, and discharged the duties of the office till his resignation in 1802.  Appointed, in 1819, first judge of Ontario, he continued in the position for thirteen years.  Early a member of the State Legislature, he was, in 1813 and 1814, a representative in Congress for this county and those lying west of it.  Retiring from the bench, he gave himself to the supervision of farm and garden, and at his death left an example of dignity, integrity, and exalted worth equaled by few. 

Dudley SALTONSTALL, a Yale graduate, and a student-at-law in the school of Judge REEVES, of Litchfield, Connecticut, was admitted to practice in the Ontario courts in 1795.  His primary efforts were made under promising circumstances, but failing to reach his own high standard of merit, he abandoned the profession, and in 1808 removed to Maryland, and afterwards to North Carolina. 

Myron HOLLEY located at Canandaigua in 1803.  He was married in 1804 to Sarah HOUSE, daughter of John HOUSE, a pioneer of Ontario.  His popularity and ability are seen in the frequent recurrence of his name in connection with orations on various public occasions.  For some time he was a clerk for the county, and was an early bookseller.  He was the acting commissioner in the original construction of the western portion of the Erie Canal until the work was contracted, and on the location of the route became a resident of Lyons.  Dying about 1840, his memory is cherished principally for services in connection with the canal. 

Among other and notable names connected with early history, are those of General Vincent MATTHEWS, John C. SPENCER, Walter HUBBELL, and Judge FITZHUGH.  No invidious examples these, but representatives of an honorable and honored class. 

Thomas BEALS came to Canandaigua in 1803, and opened a store.  Active and enterprising, he became favorably known to a large number of settlers, and obtained trade from an extended area of country.  His dealing was marked by fairness and honesty.  Succeeding Thaddeus CHAPIN as county treasurer in 1814, he held this office of trust for twenty-eight years.  Forty years he stood connected with the academy at Canandaigua as its secretary and as a trustee.  During the construction of the Congregational church in 1812, he was one of the committee on building as well as a trustee.  On the erection of the poor-house he was a superintendent, and later the treasurer of the Ontario Savings Bank. 

Moses ATWATER was a physician in Canandaigua in 1791.  The arrival at the settlement of Dr. ATWATER was regarded with gratification, and for many years he enjoyed an extensive practice, and was of much benefit to the community.  Two years later William A. WILLIAMS came to this village, and soon grew into and retained a large and prosperous patronage.  In 1797, Dr. Samuel DUNGAN came to this locality, and became widely known as a surgeon of unusual ability.   

Rev. Zadoc HUNN, of Berkshire county, Massachusetts, removing in 1795 with his family to the vicinity of Canandaigua, Ontario County, became the pioneer of religion in this region.  A Congregationalist, he was active in the organization of churches, and useful in ministerial duties.  At East Bloomfield he formed a church in 1796, with sixteen members, and in December following, with Rev. John ROLPH, organized a church of ten members at South Bristol.  As a test of influence, it may be said that during the revival of 1790-1800 the greatest evidence of conversion in number and extent was where he labored.  He was plain in appearance, estimable in character, and highly regarded by the people, by whom he was held in memory long after his death, which took place May 12, 1801. 

Benjamin BARTON, of New Jersey, in 1787 assisted his father to drive cattle and sheep through to Niagara.  The route was along the main Indian trail.  A halt was made at the Genesee river, and while the drove were resting a log cabin was put up for their own and other drovers' convenience.  Major BARTON came to Geneva in 1788, and was then a youth of seventeen years.  Two years afterwards he bought of Debartsch, a Frenchman, who, by marrying a sqaw, had gained title to the land, a valuable farm, located seven miles from Geneva, on the site of an Indian town.  Upon this farm a hundred acres had been cleared, and apple-trees, eighteen inches in diameter, were growing upon it.  To pay for the farm, BARTON gave the trader all his money and property, even to pulling off his overcoat and turning that in.  The rights thus acquired were frail of tenure, and only through the kindly aid of Governor George CLINTON was the purchase allowed by the State.  Major BARTON married, at Canandaigua, in 1792, and settled at Geneva, where his first child, a daughter, was born.  He moved upon his farm in 1794, and there resided until the spring of 1807, when he went to Lewiston, Niagara county.  Long employed as a surveyor, he surveyed in the military tract east of Ontario, and was employed on the same duty in Ontario.  From 1801 to 1805 he was sheriff of Ontario County, then embracing all territory west of Seneca lake, except Steuben.  An advocate for the war of 1812, he gave all his influence in its support.  In 1813, during the Niagara invasion, his large property was burned or otherwise ruined.  In the spring of 1814 he joined PORTER's brigade as special quartermaster, and in July was commissioned quarter-master-general in the regular army.  Peace being restored, he gave attention to repairing his wasted property, and during his later years confined himself to agricultural concerns.  His life as a pioneer and a youth without means, on till his death, in 1842, at the age of seventy-two, wealthy and honored, is a fit subject for the biographer, and a useful lesson to the young men to to-day. 

Augustus and Peter B. PORTER, brothers, were prominently connected with the history of Western New York.  At an early period we have spoken of the advent of the former in Ontario County, and his survey of East Bloomfield, and now continue his history during his residence in Ontario.  General John FELLOWS and Judge Augustus PORTER were partners in the erection of a saw-mill on Mud Creek, East Bloomfield, in 1790.  Considerable difficulty was experienced in getting tools and provisions from Schenectady to the required locality; a boat on Canandaigua Outlet was employed to Manchester, and teams were used the remaining distance.  The mill was finished during the succeeding fall, a Mr. DIBBLE being the millwright, and it was the third structure of its class on the purchase.  In December, 1790, Judge PORTER, with three others, went on foot to Connecticut.  The snow was deep, and the journey was laborious, being in part accomplished upon show shoes.  After an experience in woods life of seven years Mr. PORTER resolved to settle in Canandaigua, and accepted a land agency offered him by Mr. PHELPS.  The journey was made, with his family, in a sleigh, during February, 1797, and Canandaigua was reached in March.  The work of survey, sale, and collection was at once begun.  He says, "One of the first acts of my agency was to sell three or four farms on the road leading north towards Farmington.  In running them out I caught a severe cold in the swamps, through which I was obliged to make my way by wading."  Judge PORTER built a dwelling-house in 1800 in the village of Canandaigua, and therein resided until his removal to the Holland purchase, in 1806.  With others, he contracted with the government to supply the garrisons of Fort Wayne, Chicago, Mackinaw, Detroit, and Niagara with provisions, and in 1810 took the contract alone, and maintained the supply till 1813, except such time as they were held by the enemy.  In 1811 the PORTER brothers attempted to buy Goat Island, on Niagara river.  It was secured by them in 1814, and a patent received in 1816.  Next year, and the one following, Judge PORTER erected bridges across the current.  He was the first postmaster in Niagara county, and in various ways was associated with pioneer events in that section.

Peter B. PORTER was younger than Augustus.  He was born in Connecticut, graduated at Yale, studied law in the office of Judge REEVE, and came west in 1793, upon a journey to the Genesee river.  In 1795 he accompanied Augustus to Canandaigua, where, in the same year, he was engaged as counsel in the first trial in a court of record in the Genesee country.  He was clerk of Ontario County in 1797, and a member of the Legislature in 1802.  In 1810 he resided in Niagara county; was elected to Congress in that year, and again in 1814.  In 1815 he filled the office of State Secretary, and the next year, appointed by Madison, was one of the commissioners to run a boundary line between the United States and British territory.  He was appointed Secretary of War by J.Q. ADAMS in 1828, and in all these relations showed the wisdom of the selection.  As a soldier, his rank was indicative of public estimation, having been appointed major-general, in 1815, by President MADISON.  His death took place at his residence, Niagara Falls, March 20, 1844, aged seventy-two.  And it is recorded that at his funeral an aged TUSCARORA chief was seen to yield a tribute of tears in memory of much kindness to his people. 

James D. BEMIS, a native of New Hampshire, is regarded as the founder of the press in Ontario and all Western New York.  For many years connected with the Ontario Repository, many who learned their trade and profession with him have since become eminent.  He set out from Albany during the winter of 1803 with a stock of books and stationery, and, arriving at Canandaigua, made that his home.  Becoming engaged with James K. GOULD on the Repository, he sold his book interest to Myron HOLLEY.  Before long, he connected the sale of books with printing, and for many years made the combined business profitable.  His career stands out as one which enjoyed a merited success.  In the various trades and professions Ontario has many honored sons, but few of them have surpassed in sterling qualities the pioneer of the early days.

   

CHAPTER XII 

THE JESUIT MISSIONARIES---PIONEER PREACHERS AND CHURCHES---SCHOOLS AND TEACHERS---MARRIAGES, BIRTHS, DEATHS, AND CEMETERIES. 

Led by avarice, the trader ventured to the forests, and sought wealth in a traffic in fur and peltries.  Treading in his footsteps came the disciples of Loyola, and sometimes preceding them.  They told the story of the Cross to the dusky warriors of the Western lakes, and, as early as 1611, fifteen Jesuits from the Old World, arriving at Montreal, went among the FIVE NATIONS.  Others followed them until, in 1833, the number of the order who had come to this country was twelve hundred.  With the creed our province has nothing to do, but with the devotion of the Jesuit who can study but to admire?  They knew no danger, they traversed the wilderness without a path, they paddled their canoes upon unknown river and lake, and with unflagging zeal erected their chapels in the Indian villages, and brought the entire population to bow beneath the emblems of salvation.  Untainted by pernicious white intercourse, the impression was deep, the effect wholesome.  As French influence declined Jesuitical power waned, until the only indication of their advent is the silver cross of ornament and the rude symbol at the grave.  In the year 1669 came Robert Cavelier DE LA SALLE to Western New York, and with him were DE CASSON and DE GALINEE, two missionaries of the order of St. Sulpice.  They came, with twenty-two men, in seven canoes, under escort of a party of SENECAS, and landed, on August 10, at the mouth of Irondequoit Bay.  The IROQUOIS  had four villages, all east of the Genesee.  Thirteen years previously, Father CHAUMONOT had made here a brief sojourn.  In July of 1667, three men---FREMIN, PIERRON, and BRUYAS---left Quebec for the IROQUOIS country.  In August they reached a Mohawk village called "Gandaonaye," where, twenty-one years before, Jogues died a martyr to the cause.  Here two remained.  The third, Father BRUYAS, advanced to Oneida, where Garnier soon joined him.  Farther on, the ONONDAGAS asked missionaries among them.  The SENECAS then sent a deputation of chiefs to Montreal in November, 1668, asking a mission at their villages.  Father FREMIN was promptly sent forward to their country, where a pestilence was raging so deadly that he called to his assistance GARNIER, from Onondaga.  FREMIN resided at Gandongarae, four miles southeast from Victor, where was founded the mission of St. Michael, and where he labored until 1671.  Garnier located in "Ganagarro," situated on what is known as Boughton Hill, in Victor, and there remained till 1683, and established the mission of St. James.  La Salle came to the Seneca country to obtain a guide through to the sources of the Ohio.  The Jesuits FREMIN and GARNIER were absent at the Onondaga council, as is thought by design, and LA SALLE traversed the country and held councils in the SENECA  villages without the notice of the missionaries.  The deep-seated and natural interest attached to the past throws a charm about the lives of the Jesuits.  Religious principles and fixed attachments were succeeded by much of benefit, and when the Protestants sent Joseph BAXTER, of Massachusetts, to a mission among the ABENAKIS, he returned, convinced that the Indians desired no other teachers.  Then came Samuel KIRKLAND, early in 1765, and, adopted by the SENECAS, advanced their interests in peace and treaty, and by faithful teaching did them much good. 

Secure in their homes, and selecting lands according to their taste, single families have been found living miles from any other.  Intelligent, educated, and enterprising, the first emigrants to Ontario were comprised in two classes, the irreligious and the religious.  These latter were again a composition of two principles:---those who were habituated to the observance of Christian rules, sent their children to religious institutions for their salutary effect, and themselves, without piety, loved to attend preaching; and professors of religion, members of churches East, anxious for the formation of society, and the enjoyment of religion in their new home.  This field was the domain of the missionary.  To him was intrusted the encouragement of the Christian, the confirmation of the moral, and the reclamation of the erring, and nobly did he strive to do his work.  From its origin, the Methodist church took the lead in the great enterprise of supplying the people with gospel privileges.  Its creed of salvation by faith and works has caused her to push out from the great centres into new and sparsely settled portions of the country, following and keeping pace with the resolute emigrant, and furnishing the "bread of life" to all who would consent to receive it at their hands.  And when the notice came of preaching in cabin, barn, or open air, the settlers gathered on foot, or with ox-sled from miles away.  In some favored spots several Christian families, settled adjacent to each other, began the observance of the Sabbath at once by meetings where there were prayer, singing, and reading sermons; sometimes prayer was omitted, from none present being willing to take upon himself this office, and again the Bible was read, and psalm or hymn sung. 

In 1789, the Genesee country was rightly considered upon the very outskirts of civilization.  To this distant field the New York and Philadelphia Conferences sent missionaries.  The first of these to travel through the settlements upon the Indian trail, or without a path, were David DUNHAM, Benjamin BIDLACK, Smith WEEKS, and Roger BENTON.  Only the names of these men are now known to us, but what an experience was theirs!  Two by two they went out upon their extended circuit.  The circuit in 1808 extended three hundred miles, and included Rochester, Lima, Groveland, Sparta, Avon, Mendon, Pittsford, Bloomfield, Canandaigua, Sulphur Springs, Phelps, Palmyra, Lyons, Perinton, and Penfield, and such it remained for years.  Every day services were held, and the itinerant pushed on through the woods over bridges and streams to the next appointment, and from four to six weeks elapsed ere the round was completed. 

The records show that Joseph JEWELL was presiding elder during 1805, and Reverends Amos JENKS and James KELSEY, the ministers on the circuit, which was of extended and undefined area.  A Methodist class was formed in Victor during 1807.  It was composed of seven persons, and was attended by Samuel TALBOT and Joseph SCULL.  In 1808, this was known as the Susquehanna District.  James HERRON was the presiding elder, and William B. LACEY and James MITCHELL were the preachers.  Years passed before a church was built, and while circuits became less, and ministers increased in numbers, other denominations erected meeting-houses, and entered upon an existence which we hope may know of no temporal limit.  At a Quarterly Conference held during 1809, it was "resolved that this Quarterly Conference give to Brother Levi JACOBS, of Canandaigua village, credentials and authority to go into the Southern States and collect money, if collectable, for the purpose of building a meeting-house in the aforesaid village."  Whether he went and prospered, or found funds uncollectable, is unknown, but the resolution is calculated to excite reflection, when read at this late day. 

The first organization of a church is reported to have been effected by Rev. John SMITH, of Dighton, Massachusetts, in 1791.  He came to Ontario with Captain PITTS and others in 1789, and is reputed to have preached the first sermon in Canandaigua delivered by other than Indian missionaries in the Genesee country.  The next sermon was preached by Rev. GUERNSEY.  In 1790, religious meetings were held in the barn of Judge PHELPS.  John CALL read sermons, and Nathaniel SANBORN led the singing; prayers were omitted.  The church organization above noted was temporary and composed of persons widely scattered.  The Lord's Supper was there and then celebrated for the first time in the western part of the State, and no record of subsequent assembly exists. 

 Rev. Zadoc HUNN, a settler in the town of Canandaigua during 1795, organized a church of the Congregationists in 1796 at East Bloomfield.  It numbered sixteen members, including the minister.  During December, 1795, a church having ten members was formed at South Bristol.  A Presbyterian society was formed in Geneva as early as 1798.  A meeting was held in July, at which John FULTON and Oliver WHITMORE presided.  The Rev. Jedediah CHAPMAN became the first local minister, and so continued until his death in 1813.  He was an active, zealous man, and stood connected with the formation of various societies, both in Ontario and Seneca counties.  His successor was Rev. Henry AXTELL.  No house was erected until 1811.  The second minister of the Congregational denomination was Rev. John ROLPH, who was installed pastor of the South Bristol church by an ecclesiastical council for that purpose convened, and consisting of Rev. HUNN, Rev. Eliphalet STEELE, of Paris, Oneida county, and Rev. Asahel S. NORTON, later known as Dr. NORTON, of Clinton, Oneida county.  These last named were the nearest to be obtained, and were probably several days on the journey.  This council was the first one ever convened in the limits of Ontario County. 

The next minister to locate in Ontario was Rev. Reuben PARMELE, who was installed pastor of the church in what is now known as Victor, during February, 1799.  The Rev. Timothy FIELD came to Canandaigua in 1799, in response to an application by the villagers, and recommended by Dr. DWIGHT, then president of Yale.  He was favorably received, and responding to a call, was, in February, 1800, ordained to ministerial work, and installed pastor of the church by an ecclesiastical council convened for that purpose.  This ordination was the first one in the Congregational churches of Ontario, and prior to any such action by the Presbyterian church. 

In the early part of 1799, a Congregational church numbering twenty members was organized in Bristol by Rev. HUNN, and Rev. Seth WILLISTON, a missionary.  At its first meeting in connected itself with the Ontario Association.  Rev. Joseph GROVER, a missionary from New Jersey, preached for the society several times acceptably.  A call was received, and moving on his family, he was installed pastor in June, 1800, and remained fourteen years.  This society is entitled to the honor of erecting the first meeting-house built exclusively for the worship of God in the county of Ontario.  It was a log structure, composed of unhewn timbers raised sufficiently high to permit of a gallery, and was supplied with desk and seats of rude description.  The date of its erection was about 1800, and its site was somewhat south of the junction of the Bloomfield and Canandaigua roads. 

The Congregational society of East Bloomfield erected the frame of a house of worship during 1800.  It was sixty feet long by forty-six in breadth, and had a steeple.  Although, several years before it was finished, it was used by the society for holding services, this was the first frame church erected in the Genesee country.  The Congregational and Presbyterian societies were in utmost concord during the early settlement of Ontario, and members of each united to give strength to the societies formed, and their history at his period is one and the same.  We have noted early Methodist ministers, and also of the Congregational.  The Episcopal and Baptist were also in existence in strength at a primitive stage of settlement.  The oldest parishes in Western New York were Trinity, of Geneva, and St. Matthew's, of Canandaigua.  The former was organized in 1806, with nineteen adults, and in default of a rector was presided over by John NICHOLAS.  Rev. Davenport PHELPS was the first officiating clergyman, and Rev. Orrin CLARK was his successor.  A building was erected in 1809.  An Episcopal church was organized under the name of St. Matthew's, in Canandaigua village, on February 4, 1799, by Rev. Philander CHASE, then a missionary, and afterwards Bishop of Ohio.  In accordance with previous notice to persons belonging to that denomination and wishing to establish such a church, a meeting was held, and a vestry elected at the date given.  Ezra PLATT was called to the chair and presided, Joseph COLT was chosen secretary, and Rev. CHASE read prayers.  Two churchwardens were chosen, and eight vestrymen.  The organization is scarcely known to have existed, and the names of its officers are therefore given in this preliminary notice of the society.  The wardens were Ezra PLATT and Joseph COLT, and the vestrymen were John CLARK, Augustus PORTER, John HICKOX, Nathaniel SANBORN, Benjamin WELLS, James FIELDS, Moses ATWATER, and Aaron FLINT.  A day for election of officers was fixed, the title was voted, and Messrs. COLT and WELLS, with the chairman, certified and acknowledged their action before the Judges of the Court of Common Pleas, and filed a copy with the clerk. 

The first Baptist church in Bloomfield was formed in 1799.  A council, composed of delegates from the several Baptist churches in the vicinity, met on June 13.  Elder IRISH was moderator; Solomon GOODALE, clerk.  The church was formed with seventeen members.  No regular meetings were held during that year.  The early ministers were William FARNAM, S. GOODALL, Elnathan WILCOX, and Elder WILSON; preaching being the homes of members.  Fifteen dollars was voted to support the gospel, in June, 1800, and the apportionment was made among the members. 

The first Baptist church of Bristol was formed February 7, 1805, and embodied the members of the Bloomfield church.  Their log meeting-house was sold to a settler, and another one built near the present site of the Universalist church. 

The earliest record of the first Baptist church of Phelps dates August 31, 1808, and embraces the result of a council held at that place at this date.  The council was formed of delegates from churches in Palmyra, Farmington, now Manchester, Bristol, Romulus, Ovid, Augusta, and Gorham.  The ministers present were Jeremiah IRONS, John CATON, Jehiel WISNER, and John GOFF.  Elder IRISH was chosen moderator.  This was not the original formation, which had apparently ceased to exist.  The struggles of the pioneer societies, dissolving, reforming, branching off, endeavoring to erect houses, the difficulty of maintaining preaching, and the strict character of the discipline, present a feature of early settlement of unusual interest to the people of the county. 

Detailed history will be found in the various town histories, and a summary farther along in the county work.  Second only to religion, and intimately associated with it, is education.  The pioneers were fully aware of its necessity, and when a foreign population moved in and blended with the Eastern people, no influence was more powerful to assimilate and harmonize diverse languages and customs.  No sooner had a few settlers found themselves sufficiently numerous, and some young New Englander or an old-time pedagogue made his appearance, than a settler's cabin was utilized and a school started.  The backwoodsmen set their day, and, meeting at a central point, erected the log cabin; and then, as now, these schools were of the highest advantage, or lamentable failures.  In the log house age of country schools, when they rested with the people, the buildings primarily erected for education were generally occupied for religious exercises, and held as common property.  In the history of the villages and towns of Ontario will be found the existence of schools contemporary almost with settlement. 

Bristol was formed in 1789, and Thomas HUNN was a teacher in that town in the year following.  Thirty families constituted the population of Canandaigua in 1792, yet Major WALLIS is recorded as the instructor of their children at that date.  The pioneer teacher in East Bloomfield was Laura ADAMS, in 1794.  The first schoolmaster in the town of Gorham was Timothy MOORE, who, in 1802, opened a term in Rushville.  Prior to this, HOPEWELL, formed from the northern portion in Gorham, had enjoyed school advantages under the direction of Calvin BACON, a teacher as early as 1792.  Elam CRANE, of whom frequent mention is made from his extensive experience in the schools of the county, was the first teacher in Manchester in 1800.  A marked contrast in capacity, apparent as late as 1806, was exhibited between two teachers.  One day unwonted quiet fell upon the school-rooms, the light faded, and the air grew chill; the sun was slowly darkened, and an awe was felt in many a troubled breast.  Elam CRANE called his scholars out to where a fair view could be obtained, and then, while they looked on and watched the dark body of the moon stealing over the great luminary, a lesson of astronomy was taught never to be forgotten.  In another school Draxy McLOUTH was teaching; she saw the gloom deepen with emotions of terror, dismissed her pupils, and sought shelter with a patron near by.  The early settlers of Naples established their first school in 1792, with Susannah PARISH as teacher, while the pioneer of Phelps is lost to recollection.  A house was known to have existed prior to 1800, and it is not probable that a man of enterprise like ROBINSON would delay the establishment of an agency so necessary to future well-being.  At Geneva, in Seneca, was established a model union school, and one of the first in the State.  To Francis DWIGHT is attributed the plan of its formation, and its success changed the opposition caused by the weight of taxation to the heartiest support; delegations from various localities came to visit and to observe its workings.  Though the oldest point of settlement, no school was opened in the settlement of Seneca until 1792, when Samuel WHEATON engaged in teaching, while the first school in South Bristol was taught by Joanna FORBES.  The old school-house, rude in every feature, from the round logs which formed its sides, and the broad fire-place which occupied one end, to the puncheon floor and slab seat, is a matter of history.  The text-books of that period are known no more.  The rod is little used in modern days, and the pens are no more to be mended, nor copies to be set.  While it were futile to challenge progress, nevertheless it is true that the few books were well conned, and some attention to good manners inculcated.  Schools of all grades and classes were established in the villages, and, as examples, we note a boarding-school at Canandaigua in June, 1804, by Mrs. WHALLEY, at her house, a few doors north of the court-house.  Her number was limited to twenty young misses, who, in addition to the branches of study, were taught sewing at the reasonable tuition of two dollars per quarter.  A military school was opened at the court-house by Othniel TAYLOR, and a dancing-school at a hotel by E.M. CUMMINGS.  A musical association was formed in 1803, under conduct of Elijah MORELY, and it is safe to assert that there is little taught at present but was known and practiced in those early days, and there is "no new thing they did not attempt." 

The marriages which characterized the early history of Ontario and all  this western region, were in accordance with the circumstances.  Not unfrequently, young men came out and sought their favorite spot for a farm, purchased, cleared, and built, and then went East to be married; and the long journey by ox-sled was the bridal tour, and the howling of wolves their charivari.  Bravely the youthful couple encountered the hardships of backwoods life, and together they passed along life's pathway down to rest.  Numerous anecdotes are extant of the simplicity of ceremonies attending the marriages in the settlements.  An instance or two must suffice. 

One afternoon in a day of 1794, Israel CHAPIN was busily engaged on the public square at Canandaigua in chopping, when a man called, desiring his services to marry him to a young lady accompanying him.  The ceremony was soon over, and the new-made bridegroom produced a silver dollar as the magistrate's fee.  Mr. CHAPIN took the coin and presented the same to the bride as her first gift; the squire returned to his chopping, and the couple whence they came. 

Again, it is related of Joseph ANNIN, known later as Judge ANNIN, that the "course of true love did not run smooth" in his efforts to provide a helpmeet.  The lady of his choice was a Miss READ, the daughter of Seth READ, a settler in the town of Phelps.  Tradition affirms that Mr. READ was much opposed to the match, and forbade ANNIN from entering his house.  One evening Mr. ANNIN, in company with Thomas SISSON, Esq., one of the first justices of the peace in Ontario, was passing the premises of the farmer, and found Miss READ employed in milking her father's cows near the highway.  The opportunity was propitious.  She set aside her milk-pail, stood up, and then and there the silken knot was tied by Esquire SISSON.  The justice and the bridegroom then wended their way home, while Mrs. ANNIN finished milking the cow that was commenced by Miss READ.  The parents of the young wife, compelled by necessity, became reconciled to the union, and, so far as is known, this wedding, unwitnessed and unceremonious, was productive of full as much felicity as those attended with the display of these times.  No form of law can soften asperity of temper nor inbue with conjugal affection, and the log cabin of the settler probably knew more of happiness in the marital relation than now exists in many a palatial abode.  The first marriage, not only in Ontario, but upon the PHELPS and GORHAM purchase, was that of Benjamin GOSS to a daughter of George CODDING.  The first marriage in Farmington was that of Otis COMSTOCK and Huldah FREEMAN, in 1792.  Philetus SWIFT and Sally DEAN were married in Phelps during 1793.  The first marriage in Naples was in 1795, of Benjamin CLARK and Thankful WATKINS.  The first marriage in Seneca was of Dr. Joel PRESCOTT and Phila REED, and in Victor, that of Zebulon NORTON and Miss BOUGHTON. 

An importance always attaches itself to the initial event of any character, and the first white child born in a county, a town, or a village takes precedence from that circumstance, and the fact becomes a matter of history.  The birth of Oliver Phelps RICE in 1790, at Canandaigua, was the first within the limits of Ontario.  Welcome HERINGTON was born during the same year, in Farmington.  The first born of Bristol was Cornelius McCRUM; of Naples, Phineas P. Lee; of Phelps, Henry H. ROBINSON; of South Bristol, Eli ALLEN, in 1791; of Hopewell, Benjamin Wells, Jr., on February 4, 1791; of Victor, Frederick Boughton, June, 1791, and of Bloomfield, Lucinda GARDNER, September, 1791.  It would be interesting in this connection to learn the consequents in the lives of these earliest native whites of Ontario; yet one fact is established---that the open air, the plain, nutritious food, the healthful exercise, and the freedom from care have resulted in long and happy lives. 

 The first deaths in the county, from the fact simply that they were such, require a brief notice.  It was on secure region, this country of the SENECAS; there were those who died while on their journey hither; there were deaths by falling trees, by burning fevers, by drowning, and by inclement weather; and hardly had the log cabin betokened occupation ere the lonely grave gave silent witness of man's destiny. 

Without medical care, destitute of medicines, many struggled with disease, and the intervals of fevers attempted to prosecute their labors.  We note the death of WALKER, in 1790, at Canandaigua, and that of Mrs. FISH, soon after.  The death of Elijah SMITH is given as 1793, in Farmington.  William JOHNSON, of Seneca, was found dead upon the banks of "Scanoedice" Lake, in Pittstown, in 1803; and on January 15, 1805, Charles ROBINS, of Canandaigua, and John KENNEDY, of Sparta, were found frozen to death.  Robert WILEY, of Middleton (Naples), was drowned in Canandaigua Lake in 1808, and Cotton DICKINSON was instantaneously killed by the falling of a stick of timber from a loft in 1804, at the raising of the Presbyterian church at Oak's Corners. 

Respect for the departed was not feigned, and while deep feeling of loss weighed upon the relative, tender sympathy was exercised by friends.  There was a class who looked indifferently upon death, and the carousal could proceed in one apartment while a body lay awaiting sepulture in the next.  Familiarity upon the battle-field with the grim horrors of war had blunted sensibility.  These settlers were tender and kind to the mourner, but regarded the remains with honor only as far as they recalled worth on the part of him who had left them.  Funeral rites were solemnized with little display.  No hearse with stoic driver preceded a long train of carriages, no rosewood, silver-mounted coffin inclosed the inanimate clay, and but a plain native slab marked the burial spot. 

But with this early simplicity there was method and provision for the future.  One of the first acts of Oliver PHELPS, Sr., at the "chosen spot" was the presentation to the inhabitants of a lot for a cemetery, containing one acre of ground as surveyed by Daniel BRAINARD; and such lots were donated or purchased at suitable spots over the county.  Not upon unknown grounds, but in consecrated lots, were laid the bodies of the pioneers, borne thither upon the bier, and consigned to rest.  In these old cemeteries are to be found the honored names of many we have noted in these pages---the pioneer settlers of Ontario.  Upon those old graves the hand of affection still lays the fresh flowers over the dust of ancestors, and as in life they were the precursors of settlement, so are their remains the first in the ever-growing villages of the dead.

 

CHAPTER XIII

ADVENTURE, INCIDENT, AND REMINISCENCE ILLUSTRATIVE OF EARLY TIMES. 

A score of years passed away after the first settlement, and nearly another had gone its round before the abundant traces of pioneer efforts had given way to the old and permanent system which in many regards remains in the present.  In 1796, Lucius CAREY started a newspaper in Geneva, called the Ontario Gazette and Genesee Advertiser.  Other publications followed, but the circulation of these pioneer sheets delivered by post-riders was limited, and so far as the country was concerned of little effect.  Deprived of resources of literary character, the young and the old delighted in adventure, and gathered about the huge fireplace to hear such men as Follett recount the stirring scenes of the border, in which they were no idle spectators. 

Frederick FOLLETT, in 1778, was a border settler in the valley of Wyoming.  A party of four men, himself, Lieutenant BUCK, Elisha WILLIAMS, and Stephen PETTIBONE, were out one day upon the Kingston bank of the river, within view of the Wilkesbarre Fort, when they were suddenly assailed by a score of Indians.  A murderous volley stretched all four upon the ground.  Three were killed, and their scalps taken, while FOLLETT, with a ball in each shoulder, was stabbed repeatedly with spears, one of which pierced his stomach so that its contents came out at his side.  Retaining consciousness, he feigned death in hopes of escaping further injury from his ruthless enemies.  They came upon him, and one tore the scalp from his head as lay in gore and agony.  Aid came from the fort, and the Indians fled.  FOLLETT's case looked desperate; he was a pitiable object, but humanity dictated the utmost endeavor of medical and surgical skill.  In the charge of Dr. William H. SMITH, his recovery was assured, and he became a hale and hearty man.  His spear-wounds, nine in number, severe though they were, gave him no real trouble; the pain of an unextracted ball was felt at intervals, and that portion of the head from which the scalp had been removed was sensitive to the lightest touch, otherwise he was vigorous and active.  He entered the navy, and was captured.  After six months' confinement in prison at Halifax, he was released.  A second and yet a third time he became a prisoner to the British, but finally returned to Massachusetts, whence he emigrated to Ontario.  He was in the employ of Captain WILLIAMSON in 1794, and a settler in Gorham a few years later.  A notable instance of savage barbarity and human endurance rarely met with at any time. 

Israel HARRINGTON, a settler in Ontario prior to 1798, had been a soldier of the Revolution, and his musket was borne by him everywhere as his tried and trusty friend.  He was one of a small class who, partially deranged in mind, chose a hermit life; and while near his children and grandchildren, lived in a shanty in the woods comparatively alone.  It was his leading occupation to start away upon a hunting tour, weeks, and even months of duration.  His resort was the shore of Lake Ontario, where his favorite game---the bear---were abundant.  To this region came many another hunter, and a time arrived when one after another failed to return.  Suspicion of Indian hostility was so far verified as to preclude solitary hunting and trapping.  When neighbors, relatives, and friends learned that Israel was preparing for a trip to these dangerous hunting-grounds every effort was made to dissuade him from going, but without success.  Few expected that he would ever return, yet the smoke issuing from a hole in the roof of his cabin one day some time after proclaimed the old man's success.  It appears that when he had reached his old resort, and passed several days thereon, his experience enabled him to detect the presence of Indians in the neighborhood.  One night, as he walked along the lake-shore, he saw upon the water an approaching canoe, but sauntered leisurely along to a favorite camping spot, where he kindled a fire, from which he withdrew into the shadows of the forest.  Soon an Indian was seen stealthily approaching, and when within range was shot dead.  The body was taken to the canoe and placed therein; stones were filled in the frail vessel till it sunk to the water's edge; then, wading, Uncle Israel pushed the canoe out to deeper water, tipped the edge, and his foe was buried.  His hunting was not disturbed, and his return was within the usual time. 

Captain Peter PITTS lived upon the old Indian trail from Canandaigua to Genesee, and in the early years of settlement was almost constantly surrounded by Indians, camping and hunting on their old grounds.  In the main they were peaceable, but one day in 1794 a party under the influence of liquor, while on their way to the treaty at Canandaigua, called at the house, and demanding liquor of the women, were refused.  Mrs. PITTS was sick, and was attended by her daughter, who, as the Indians became boisterous, closed the door to shut them out, and in so doing caught and pinched the finger of a drunken savage.  He drew his knife, and his hostile movement was followed by his fellows.  William PITTS, and others engaged near by in cribbing corn, hastened to the scene, the former arming himself with a sled-stake, and the rest taking whatever came handiest.  They struck the Indians upon their arms, and as this caused them to drop their knives, the children caught up and hid them.  An Indian struck Captain PITTS a blow upon his head, felled him to the floor, and a moment later would have knifed him had not a heavy blow with the sled-stake in the hands of William PITTS upon the Indian's neck caused his head to lop quickly to one side.  Edward, later known as Elder HAZEN, armed with a fire-shovel, repeatedly brought his adversary to the floor.  The Indians were subdued, yet peace was not restored until Horatio JONES, arriving on his way to the treaty, interfered and ended the trouble.  The danger apprehended from the Indian was when he was intoxicated, and at such times all his natural ferocity was aroused. 

At one time seven Indian wigwams stood on the mill-yard of Wells WHITMORE, an early settler in Phelps.  One day Mrs. WHITMORE was left alone, the family having gone away not to return until the following morning.  An Indian, partially intoxicated, entered the house and demanded bread.  Mrs. WHITMORE told him that there was no bread in the house, and, to convince him of the fact, exhibited some dough prepared for baking.  The savage gave her the lie, drew his knife and brandished it over her, and yet insisted upon having some bread.  On this the resolute woman seized the cheese-tongs, the weapon nearest reach, and quickly drove her troublesome visitor from the house.  The cheese-tongs were then applied to their appropriate use; a cheese was put into a press that stood in an open shed that was attached to the house, and she retired to her lonely couch for rest, dreading the Indian's return.  During the night she heard a firm step in the shed where stood the cheese-press, accompanied with other noises that convinced her of his actual return.  The noise soon ceased, but she dared not open the door till morning, when she found that a bear, not an Indian, had stolen and eaten her cheese.  In the course of the day BRUIN was seen upon a bluff, standing straight up, reconnoitering the premises.  At night two men awaited his approach and saluted him with bullets, on which he wheeled and retreated to the forest. 

As late as 1802, the Indians sauntering the streets of Canandaigua seized every opportunity to get drunk.  "Indian John" was  a red man well known to the boys of the village, as he applied them with bows and arrows, taking his pay from them in hard cider.  We may know that the boys had no difficulty in getting the cider to pay, since in that day most cellars had a supply.  On one occasion "Indian John" came to the house of a boy customer very thirsty, and begged a drink of cider, promising to bring an arrow in payment on the morrow.  The lad told him to drink a quart of water, and he should have a drink of cider.  John consented, and swallowed the requisite quantity of water with many a contortion of face, but when the promised drink of cider was offered as agreed, his stomach had revolted at the strange and large load forced into it, and turning upon his heel in great disgust, he exclaimed, "Me got 'nuff this time." 

The early days were remembered as times when the shot-gun was unknown, and the rifle bullet was depended upon to secure the game, or else the trap and the dead-fall.  Deer came in flocks to feed upon the great wheat; bears came and took hogs from directly before the doors of new settlers, sometimes in open daylight; wolves followed benighted travelers, howled about the cabins, and when opportunity presented, played sad havoc with the sheep; and there were instances in the hilly regions of Naples and Bristol when the panther was known to frequent their wild and deep ravines.  While all are united in the assertion that the wolf was a pest to the settlements, there is no record of their having killed any person.  The aged say that when, while children, the first long-drawn howl of the wolf was heard in the log cabin in the woods, the sound awoke emotions of terror which in time changed to pleasure.  The boys went through the woods by day after the cattle with impunity, but when necessity required a journey by night, a torch was carried. 

Russel M. RUSH worked when a boy for Bezaliel GLEASON, and his evening chore was to bring home the cows, which, straying deep into the woods, involved the boy in darkness ere he could return.  On several occasions the wolves pursued, and only the protection of the cow-bells saved him from attack.  Moses WARD, Sr., now eighty years of age, and a resident of Canandaigua, near Cheshire, set out the last of August, 1808, at the age of twelve years, to go from Owl Creek, in Allegheny County, to Canandaigua.  He had been working for his brother-in-law, and left one morning, after a hearty meal from a mess of trout caught the evening previous and cooked by himself.  The boy was barefooted, had a half-dollar in his pocket, and a hatchet in his hand, which he called a "tomahawk."  He passed through four miles of woods, and called at the house of a Mr. SWIFT, who asked "where he came from and where he was going?"  His reply was, "I have been living with my sister on Owl Creek, and am going to Canandaigua to see my mother."  After a brief rest, four miles farther and two houses were passed; then another four, and the boy sought rest with a man named WARD.  With morning came three men who had been benighted and chased by wolves all night.  Young WARD had no fears, but set out upon his way, and soon saw wolf-tracks in large numbers in the mud along the road.  As he crossed a creek and ascended the opposite bank, he came close upon a half-dozen wolves, aud screamed at them without effect.  He then began to stone them with pebbles from the creek, and drove them off.  Fear now possessed him and he ran a long distance.  At Pike Hollow he halted to tell his story, was asked the former noted questions, and gave the same reply.  He was suspected to be a runaway, but was not molested.  It was nine miles through the next woods, and he was tired, when a doctor came along on horseback and took him on behind him to the house of a settler named WHALLEY.  Next morning our boy traveler was again on his way, when overtaken by two men in a wagon near the Pine Tavern, and was taken home.  The narrative is plain and unaffected, but there was something akin to heroism in the journey of this younger pioneer through the early forests of Ontario.  Low wages for chopping, and high bounties, made wolf-hunting a business, and the animal soon became a rarity. 

A wolf-hunt was organized on town-meeting day, 1818, and the last wolf captured in Manchester was taken on that occasion.  Sheep had been killed on the BENTLEY farm, word was passed around, and a day designated as stated.  A skirmish line was formed and reconnoitered the woods thoroughly to the clearing on the SAWYER farm.  Along the line of the road were posted a number of experienced marksmen; at the clearing the wolf broke cover.  A ball from the rifle of Joseph BENNEY crippled a hind leg, and another from that of Christopher BRADY closed his career and the hunt at the same time. 

Bears were numerous in the forest, and many a tale of them was told about the fire-side; men, boys, and dogs would start a bear from a corn-field and drive him to the tallest tree, whence, firing through the foliage in the gloom, some random shot would bring him down.  The bear was no coward, and when, as happened, the dogs became too eager, their temerity met condign punishment.  Their love of pork often proved their ruin.  A bear, one day, seized a hog belonging to a settler named Peter ALLEN, and carried it to the woods.  Standing upon his hind legs, with claws clinched in the hog, BRUIN attempted to beat out the life of the porker by dashing it against a tree, persisting until approached and attacked with clubs.  It was not unusual for a settler to have a wolf, bear, or deer for a pet, just as at this time raccoons and squirrels are kept by boys in the West.  An instance or so out of many, regarding the deer, will close our chapter.  A lady ws crossing the ground now the Phelps cemetery, then covered by a growth of hemlocks, and was met in the path by a large buck, which stood and disputed her passage.  Taking advantage of a slight diversion of his attention, she ran by, down the bank of Flint Creek, which she waded, and at the hut of a Mr. GRANGER, near the Eagle Mill, halted and gave the news.  GRANGER took his rifle, departed, and a rifle-shot proclaimed his success.  Fawns were sometimes found in the woods and taken home.  An occasional rescue has turned the tables and compelled a precipitate retreat.  While the woods contained game, it was much relied upon by the settlers for meat supply; and as late as 1816, the fare of some of them was reduced to squirrels, venison, and boiled wheat.  There is a fitness in the scheme of early settlement; and, rightly understood, there was little in the forest, its timber, soil, and occupants, but contributed to the pioneer's success.

 

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