Town of Richmond History
History of Ontario Co, NY
Pub 1878 pg 225 - 231
Transcribed by Dianne Thomas & Deborah Spencer
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TOWN OF RICHMOND
It was in September 1779, when an army of white men penetrated the territory of the Senecas, that the beauty and fertility of that country was made known to the cultivation of the rocky shores of New England. Here were fields long cultivated and from the masses of forests the troops came out upon plains covered with corn and bearing fruit trees. The Indians fled, overpowered, and warned by SULLIVAN'S morning and evening gun, of his whereabouts, kept at a distance. Near the Indian castle, at the foot of Honeoye lake, were afterwards turned up many relics of the camp, and the early settlers found little change from the day when the retiring army left behind them a solitude and a desolation.
April 1787, Gideon PITTS, James GOODWIN, and Asa SIMMONS
left Dighton, Massachusetts for a home in this eulogized region.
At Elmira they erected its first white habitation, and
there raised a crop of corn.
Returning home, their report resulted in the formation of
the Dighton company, whose object was the purchase of a large
tract when PHELPS had perfected a title.
Calvin JACOBS and Gideon PITTS were deputed to
attend the Indian treaty and select the land.
Following the survey into townships, forty six thousand and
eighty acres of land were purchased. A large portion was known as Pittstown, in honor of the first
to this purchase was taken in the name of Calvin JACOBS and John SMITH.
1789, Captain Peter PITTS, William, his son, Deacon CODDING, George, his son,
Calvin JACOBS and John
SMITH arrived, surveyed the towns of Richmond and Bristol.
was divided by lot. Captain
PITTS drew three thousand acres, mostly situated at the foot
of Honeoye lake, and including the site of the village destroyed
by SULLIVAN ten years previously, land near Allen's Hill,
and the rest in Livonia. Improvement
was begun in the spring of 1790, by Gideon and William
PITTS. Coming in
with two yoke of oxen, they made a temporary shelter with their
sled, using the boards of the box and bottom.
This camp was near the present house of George SWAN.
Their farming began on a field situated on the northeast corner of
the crossroads, three-fourths of a mile east from the village of
Peter PITTS, his family, John CODDING and family
arrived the 2nd of December.
During the season the brothers Gideon and William,
having got in some crop, built a good log house.
This was torn down, and a new one of square timber erected,
which might have been called the "Long House" by the
travelers on the old Genesee road, so long compared to width was
its dimension. Years
later a part was removed, and still it stands the "longest
house in town." When
it was built is unknown, but its only predecessor was the house of
1790. It is now owned
and occupied by D. PHELPS heir. It is well preserved and was solidly constructed.
Its doors studded with nails, are supported by heavy
strap-iron hinges, extending nearly across them.
I this house lived Captain PITTS, his wife and ten
children, some of whom became prominent citizens.
For three years the family were sole residents of the town.
Captain PITTS purchased some year old apple trees in
Bloomfield, set out two and a half acres, and placed a fence about
each tree. The trees
were grafted with scions brought out in his saddlebags.
This was the first orchard in the town.
Game was abundant. A hunter named Elisha PRATT, lived with PITTS,
and killed as many as half a dozen deer in a day, and the venison
was no unwelcome addition to the rough bill of fare.
The PITT house, standing on the old Indian trail
from Canandaigua to Genesee, was the only house on the road where
travelers could be accommodated, and hence is mentioned by noted
persons who enjoyed its protection.
Louis PHILIPPE, accompanied by TALLEYNALD,
while journeying in 1805 through this region, passed the Sabbath
with Captain PITTS; also, ten years earlier, DE LIACOURT
visited the captain while stopping at Canandaigua.
He says: "We set out with BLACONS to visit an
estate belonging to one Mr. PITT, of which we had heard
much talk through the country.
On our arrival we found the house crowded with
Presbyterians, its owner attending to a noisy, tedious harangue,
delivered by a minister (Rev. Z. HUNN) with such violence
of elocution that he appeared all over in a perspiration.
We found it very difficult to obtain some oats for our
horses and a few morsels for dinner."
The duke admired the handsome women in attendance, and
found them "even more pleasant to our senses than the fine
rural scenery." Rev.
HUNN at stated times held meetings at Captain PITTS' in
1793. Gideon PITTS,
the captain's oldest son, married Lorinda HULBERT, of
Richmond. The first
death in Richmond was the first wife of Colonel William PITTS;
her demised occurred April 9, 1793, at the early age of 23 years.
His second wife, Hannah RICHMOND, was found at
Dighton. Samuel PITTS married Deborah RICHMOND, and
after her death, Percis BARNARD.
Further reference to the family will be made hereafter in
connection with other pioneers.
Eber SIBLEY and Edward HAZEN were also early
residents of this vicinity, as was Edward TAYLOR.
Mr. HAZEN was the first path-master of the town, and
the incumbent of various other offices.
In the gully south of Dr. CROOKS, Silas WHITNEY
built a log cabin in 1799, and resided there some time while
engaged in clearing up the land.
John PENNELL of Massachusetts, moved to Cortland
county, in 1807, and six years later came to the town of Richmond
in sleighs drawn by oxen and horses.
The family consisted of seven persons.
The children's names were John, Abraham, Epaphras,
Horace and Martha.
John remained at the Cortland farm caring for the
stock till near the first of June, when his father came on, and
helped him drive them to the new farm.
The stock consisted of eight cattle, half a dozen hogs, and
about thirty sheep, some of which died on the way.
Mr. PENNELL bought fifty acres of John RHODES,
paying fourteen dollars per acre.
On the place was a double-hewed log house, a log barn and
some twenty-five acres of cleared land. He took up two lots from the State of Connecticut, one of one
hundred and tone of eighty acres.
The war had closed, produce had no price, and after a hard
struggle the land reverted to the State.
It was re-purchased by his sons John and Abraham,
who not only paid for it, but for additional land to the number of
over eight hundred acres. Four
more children were added to the PENNELL family - Dennis,
Nancy, Randolph and Chauncey.
John, Abraham and Nancy married and settled
in the town. John
lives with Thomas R. REED, of Honeoye, and is about eighty
years old, and Abraham lives a half mile east of the village. The sons just named operated one of the olden time
distilleries for some years.
Ebenezer FARRER lived where J. BRAY now
resides and later sold, and moved to Canada.
Jonathan RHODES was an early settler near where F.G.
PENNELL lives, on a tract that belonged to Oliver PHELPS. RHODES
also engaged in distilling liquor.
Centre, District No. 7 - A
diminutive settlement, located as the name indicates, sprang into
being, flourished, and now rests in quiet.
Here town business was done; here was a stock company
sustained by farmers, and here was organized the first religious
society and was opened the first school in that region.
following were early settlers in and near the "Centre": Noah
ASHLEY; Elias and Joseph GILBERT; David, William, Sanford, and
Heman CROOKS; Philip REED and his sons, John F., Silas,
Wheeler, William and Philip; Whitely MARSH; John and
Eleazer FRENY; Deacon HARMON, Roderick STEELE, Cyrus WELLS, Isaac and
Alden ADAMS, Daniel H. GOODSELL, O. RISDEN and some others.
in 1802 purchased at five dollars per acre, a farm of one hundred
and eighty-five acres, comprising lot 32, upon which a man named FULLER
had built a log house and cleared a few acres.
His son, Noah ASHLEY, now lives on the homestead.
In the spring of 1803, his wife and two children, Eliza and
Hiram, joined him. Squire
ASHLEY was agent for sale of the greater part of the land in
the southwest part of that town.
He was supervisor for years, and was well qualified for the
various positions of trust assigned him by his townsmen.
settled in 1803 on the farm now owned by John NORGATE.
He soon sold to Roderick STEELE, his brother in law,
and bought of David CROOKS the farm now the property of Wiliiam
H. WRIGHT, deceased. Deacon
GILBERT was a tanner and a shoemaker.
His tannery and shop stood just north of J. DANIELS'
residence, and he not only made these pursuits remunerative, but
likewise cleared his farm of its heavy growth of timber.
Fifty years he lived upon his selected farm.
To him fell the work of locating a site for burial-ground
and meetinghouse, and finally he moved to Davenport, Iowa, where,
at the good old age of ninety-five, he passed away.
settled on the northeast corner, opposite the Congregational
church, on the present property of T. O'NEIL, and the east
part of the recent property of Hon. Hiram ASHLEY, son of Noah.
Where Frank ASHLEY, a grandson of the squire now
lives, John FRENEY was the original occupant.
Opposite FRENY lived Whiting MARSH, upon the
lot now owned by John NORGATE.
from Blanford, Massachusetts, moved in 1800, with his wife and
five children, to this locality.
Eli and Riley were his sons, and Rachel,
Zada and Sarah, his daughters.
Mr. CROOKS accompanied a party seeking homes in Ohio. They
mostly located in that State, but on the return he saw this
section, and made a purchase of the farm now owned by the heirs of
William H. WRIGHT. He
sold, in 1803, at a nominal figure, ten acres of land for public
uses. Here were
erected a schoolhouse, a church, and a parsonage.
An acre or two in the rear was set aside for a graveyard.
After seven years residence, he sold to Deacon GILBERT,
and bought seven hundred and fifty acres, three-fourths of a mile
east from Honeoye. This land, now owned by John PENNELL, had been
reserved by Judge Oliver PHELPS for a homestead.
The judge had erected thereon a large farmhouse, still
standing, and occupied by Mryon H. BLACKMER, son in law of John
He had also erected a saw and a gristmill, probably the
first in town, upon Mill creek.
The gristmill was east of south from the farmhouse, and the
sawmill east from the gristmill, on land now owned by Frank G.
mills, once indispensable, have long gone to ruin.
Thirty years ago, the ruin of the old gristmill, with
decaying roof and crumbling frame, stood leaning over the creek as
a reminder of a bygone age. For five years, Mr. CROOKS occupied the farm, improved
its fields and set out an orchard, still serviceable; then was
presented a claim for the land by a son in law of Judge PHELPS,
and the property was swept away.
This loss and an injury at the mill caused his death, while
but forty-four years of age.
Four children were added to the family of David CROOKS
in Richmond - David K., Eunice, William and Polly.
The first, seventy-six years of age, and a resident of the
town, is said to be its oldest native-born inhabitant.
father of David, came out from Massachusetts in 1802,
bringing with him his sons Heman and Sanford.
He purchased and built a house upon the farm now owned by Ira
ALLEN, Sr., and after eighteen years residence, died there.
Heman CROOKS, in 1801, had been out to see the
country, and next year married, and emigrating to Richmond,
settles upon the farm now owned by Hiram D. ADAMS.
Sanford CROOKS lived with his father, and aided him in
caring on the farm. He
marred a daughter of Jacob FROST, and soon after died of
fever, then prevalent.
of Vermont, built a house on a farm part of which is the property
of William, son of Squire ASHLEY, and here lived
with his family until well advanced in years.
was a blacksmith, and lived in a log house built near the south
side of William ASHLEY's garden.
His shop stood south of the cabin, near Whetstone brook.
came west with David CROOKS, worked for him one year, and
settled on the lot now owned by Edward OLMSTEAD.
At a barn raising in 1802, for Deacon HARMON, a bent
fell, and killing an adopted son of the deacon, named BUTTS,
it stunned BISHOP, and he recovered only to find his memory
of the past obliterated. He
again learned his letters, taught by his wife, and even the names
of his children had been forgotten.
No. 6 lies in the northeast part of the town.
Lots 5 and 6 were purchased in 1795 by Lemuel and Cyrus
CHIPMAN, who came from Vermont to Pittstown by sled, with
horse and ox teams driven by Asa DENNISON and Levi
BLACKMER, hired men. There
were eighteen days on the road.
Lemuel CHIPMAN had been a surgeon in the war for
Independence, and in Ontario became a judge of the courts, was a
member of the Legislature, a state senator, and was twice an
elector for president and vice president.
About 1817 he settled in Sheldon, Wyoming county, where he
died at an advanced age. Lemuel,
his son was a volunteer in the War of 1812; was taken prisoner at
Queenstown, and afterwards exchanged.
Samuel, another son, was an ardent temperance man.
He visited every jail and poorhouse, not only in New York,
but Ohio, and four other states, and collected material for the Star
of Temperance, a paper of which he was the editor, and which
was published in 1828 at Rochester.
A daughter, Altie, married Dr. E.W. CHENEY,
of Canandaigua. David
AKEN came to town and located a lot south of the residence of Isaac
ABBEY, on the west of the road.
Uriel, his son, settled on a farm of one hundred
acres opposite his father and erected the old framed building yet
standing on the farm of Isaac GREEN.
Orry Aken, another son, located on thirty acres
now the northeast part of David K. CROOK'S farm.
The father and sons were blacksmiths, in a shop built in
front of Uriel's place, near the road.
Here the AKENS resided for twenty years until the
wife of David AKEN died, when all sold and moved to farms
on the road to Honeoye from Allen's hill. The father sold to a son in law, Jonathan JEROMES, and
his sons, to William BAKER.
David and Orry settled on the Henry OGDEN
place, and Uriel bought where Benjamin OGDEN lives.
The family was cut off by consumption, a disease hereditary
to them. Uriel's
farm at his death, passed to William SIBLEY.
son in law of David AKEN, purchased a large track joining Uriel on the south, and extending to include the present farm
Dr. J.C.K. CROOKS. He built two log houses, one near the residence of Isaac
GREEN, the other near Dr. CROOKS; the latter he rented.
He sold to Tilness BENTLEY Sr., the south half, and
later to William BAKER, the north part.
When BAKER died these lands fell to his sons James
and William, and then as time elapsed passed with the farm of MR.
JEROMES into the hands of John ABBEY.
WILSON bought and built where Charles QUAYLE
Tilness BENTLY, Sr.,
not only purchased of WILSON in 1808, but entered a sixty
acre lot on the east, which is now owned by James MC CLURG.
He had six children on his arrival, and five others were
born to him in his new home.
Of this large family, four died in their minority.
The two eldest sons were in the War of 1812.
Tilness Jr., was a prisoner, taken at Queenstown,
but soon after exchanged. Tilness
Sr., about 1815, fell through a bridge, and was rendered
insane by the accident. His life was protracted to eighty-four years.
His son, Tilness, was a man of unblemished
reputation; passed his life in Richmond, and died March 1875, aged
eighty-two. In 1798, William
BAKER, Esq., with his wife and a large family, arrived and
entered land adjoining CHIPMAN, the farms being separated
by the Genesee highway. His first purchase was of four hundred acres, extending from
the Honeoye road to the Bristol line.
Part of an apple orchard set out by him is still in a
bearing condition. William
BAKER was forty years old when he settled in Richmond, and
having been elected justice of the peace, held the office during
life. He was twice
married. His second
wife (Marget) died March 1805, and was buried in a small
grove on the ridge near his residence.
The locality is known as the "Baker Cemetery",
and in this consecrated ground lies the remains of a score or more
of the early settlers. He
erected a fine frame building for a residence across the road from
his old home, and upon a hill from which one may view nearly the
whole town. He was
the founder of Methodism in Richmond, and his house was ever open
to all clergymen of that denomination.
Here was organized the first Methodist society in town.
Meetings were held at his house, barn, or the neighboring
grove until the old church was erected east of Abbey's Corners.
Here the society flourished till a new church was built in
1860, at Allen's Hill. He
married a third time, and January 14, 1824, aged sixty-six years,
died suddenly while sitting in a chair conversing with members of
his family. He was
buried in the cemetery referred to, as was also his wife Anna M.,
on February 14, 1853. Of
a family seventeen in number of children, not one survives in this
town. One son, Elisha,
enlisted in the army; was stationed at Green Bay, and while out
one night away from the fort, with two comrades, was attacked and
killed by wolves; the others escaped.
and John ABBEY,
father and son, came to Richmond in 1800.
Aaron fought at Bunker Hill, and served through the
war. When discharged
and on his way home, weary and foot-sore, he stopped near Albany,
at a small tavern, for breakfast.
His bill for that meal was eighty dollars. He has served ten months for the Continental currency, which
had returned him so small an equivalent.
Trusting in the honor of his country to redeem her
promises, he sold his farm and took pay in Continental paper,
which became worthless; then, disappointed and broken in health,
he came as said, to Richmond, where he soon died.
John, his youngest son, twenty years of age, soon
hired to William BAKER by the month, and while so engaged,
asked the squire for his oldest daughter, Elizabeth, and he
was married before being twenty-one.
ABBEY first bought a lot of fifty acres, part of the
farm now belonging to David CROOKS.
Other acres were added till he had one hundred and forty,
which in 1838, he sold to Mr. CROOKS.
Elected constable and collector, he had at one time one
hundred and fifty summonses to serve upon parties in this and
adjacent towns. In
1829 he moved to the four corners northward, where he had
purchased forty acres of his father in law's place, and put up a
good house. Travelers
solicited permission to lodge with him, and he did not refuse
them. A license was
obtained and a tavern opened, in which he did a prosperous
business, which he closed in 1845, and thereafter attended to
farming. He (ABBEY)
died aged eighty-two, wealthy and highly esteemed.
It is related of him that in the early day the flour was
found to have given out. A
bag was filled with wheat, shouldered, and taken to a mill on the
creek, three miles distant. He
found the water drawn off to clean the race.
The miller told him "the sooner it is cleaned the
sooner you get your grist; if you want help there is a
chance." He worked three days, and then received three dollars and his
flour. While living
with his father, where now is the place of Dr. CROOKS, he
was returning home on horseback along a bridle path, and reaching
a brook on the farm, turned the horse into a field and set off
barefoot, and carrying saddle and bridle, for home.
The howl of a wolf attracted his attention; responding
howls here heard, and soon sounded near by.
ABBEY set off on a run; but, turning an angle of the
path, had made but a few rods along the foot of the hill when a
pack of the beasts darted out in close pursuit. The saddle and bridle thrown down checked pursuit for the
moment, and ABBEY fled with the rapidity lent by fear, and
reached home safely. Seth
TUBBS, Sr., in 1800 took up fifty acres on the north side of
the Mc Clurg road, and afterwards added sixty acres.
A cooper by trade, he built a shop near his dwelling,
taught the business to his son and made many barrels, and later,
erecting a comfortable framed house in front of his orchard, lived
in ease for many years. His
death took place February 19, 1859, aged eighty-five.
His wife (Jerusha) died aged 91, on March
24, 1865. David
CRAWFORD moved in contemporary with BENTLEY, and
purchased where T.A. CROOKS lives.
He was a prominent citizen, and removed to Michigan, where
he died. Two sons are Methodist Episcopal ministers; his daughters
were at one time teachers in the Green Bay mission school. A man named DOYLE was an early resident where P.
BACON resides. He
had a double-log house near the turn of the road.
A daughter, Mrs. BROWNELL, resides in town.
Hill, district No. 2, adjoins West Bloomfield on the north. In 1796 and 1797; Moses ALLEN, with his sons, Peter and Nathaniel, and their families, became residents of
this vicinity. Peter
became a soldier, commanded a regiment at Queenstown, where he was
captured, and rose to be a brigadier-general.
He was a member of the Legislature from Ontario.
He moved in 1816 to Terre Haute, in Indiana.
Nathaniel ALLEN was the primitive blacksmith of Pittstown. He began as a journeyman at Canandaigua; then started a shop in this town near the tile factory south of Allen's Hill. Afterwards he worked in a shop on the hill know by his name. Mr. ALLEN was an officer of militia, sheriff, and a member of the Legislature. In 1812 he was commissioner and paymaster on the Niagara frontier. He died in 1833, at Louisville, Kentucky. An only daughter was the first wife of Hon. R. L. ROSE, who occupied the homestead on the hill from 1829 till 1857, and now resides at Hagerstown, Maryland. Joseph, son of James GARLINGHOUSE, a settler in Ontario about 1800, from New Jersey, some years after arrival here bought twenty-five acres near Allen's Hill, giving in payment, the uniform of a militia officer. He served in the War of 1812; was at the burning of Buffalo; brought back a musket, which he exchanged for a cow. He married Submit SHELDON, and settled in the west part of town on the farm now owned by Tisdale ASHLEY. Joseph GARLINGHOUSE raised a family of eight children; four are living, Nelson, Joseph, Louise and Mary. Nelson, the only resident in town, has lived twenty-six years on Allen's Hill. Mr. GARLINGHOUSE held various offices of trust in town, and at his death, in 1862, was janitor of the State Senate chamber. Mr. FOLGER addressed the Senate in reference to his decease, and the following brief extract is given:
"During that intense anti-Masonic excitement which convulsed western New York, he was in active service of the State in pursuit and capture of the persons indicted as participants in the MORGAN abduction, and was also in the service of the government in the removal of the Cherokees beyond the Mississippi, and in the capacities exhibited resolution, sagacity, and persistence."
of Vermont, purchased and built upon the farm now owned by George
RAY, about a mile north from the center, on the Genesee road.
Sylvester CURTIS took up one farm opposite the
residence of William CULVER.
A man named BOYD located on the CULVER farm,
and JENKINS upon the lot later the property of Horace
SCOVILL built where Judge H. SMITH resides, and died in
town. His son, Abijah,
sold to William SMITH, whose son, now seventy-six years of
age, is the present occupant.
Hugh GREGG was an early settler near the old outlet
on No. 35, and occupied a small log house, whose remains are yet
in existence. George FOX and Abram WILEY were also
early settlers in this vicinity.
Gideon GATES came in early, and built a three-story
tavern west of the Episcopal church.
The third story was occupied by a lodge of Free masons, the
largest in this part of the country.
GATES sold to David PIERPONT, and went to
of Vermont, came out in 1816, and bought of BEMIS, where Amos
SYMONDS lives. Here he engaged in cabinet making, as BEMIS had done
before him. In
settlers' houses were found chairs, sideboards, tables, and other
furniture of his workmanship.
He purchased GATES' tavern before its completion, in
1818, and combined tavern-keeping with the cabinet making business
for several years. He
put the first post-coaches on the road from Canandaigua to
Genesee, and ran a daily line for years.
Mr. PERPONT died in town in 1862, aged seventy-three
years. His son,
D.A. PIERPONT, sixty years of age, is a present resident.
Samuel CALDWELL opened a store in 1816, on the lot
east of the Episcopal church.
Thomas WILLIAMS was a storekeeper at a late period,
and now, aged eighty-three, is a resident of Le Roy.
of Dington, Massachusetts, had worked for Philip SHORT in
1791; and in 1803 bought and built where A. SLEIGHT lives.
A large family came west with him, and twenty-seven days
passed while on the journey.
They brought out a flock of sheep for Captain PITTS.
The family temporarily lived with Sylvester WHEELER,
where George JOHNSON now resides.
Three families at one time dwelt in this house.
There was but one room below; a ladder let to two rooms
Dighton people of Bristol turned out and put up a house for him.
Apertures for doors and windows,
were filled by blankets.
He was in the War of 1812, and a lieutenant in the company
of Captain CLARK, stationed at Schlosser.
He was captured at Queenstown, sent to Halifax; paroled;
returned home and drew provisions to the liens till the war ended.
He died in town, eighty-four years of age during the year
1865. Nathan HICKS,
of Dighton, built a house upon the farm of John SAVAGE, and
here he died, advanced in years. Elijah WHEELER had been a previous settler on the place.
Pierce CHAMBERLAIN, son in law to Captain PITTS,
located where L. TIFFANY lives, but remained a brief time.
Corners and Richmond mills lie in the northwest part of the town.
Asa DENNISON came to Richmond in 1795 and with Levi
BLACKMER, set out to find a home.
They selected what is known as Dennison's Corners, being
induced thereto by the thrifty timer, which they regarded as an
index of a fertile soil. DENNISON
articled at three dollars an acre for one hundred and fifty acres,
and began, with an axe and twenty-five dollars cash, to prepare a
home for his wife and child in Vermont.
He cleared a field fronting the residence of Asa
DENNISON, Jr., and built a log home, where he lived alone till
1798, when himself and BLACKMER, set out for Vermont, one
having six dollars and the other five dollars to pay expenses.
A day's travel from their destination, DENNISON gave
out, and BLACKMER, giving him the last dollar, pushed on
alone. The other
rested, and then completed his journey.
DENNISON'S oldest child, Ann MARCH, resides
at Erie, Pennsylvania. Zebediah
married Harriet MEAD, of town, and lived here thirty years,
and moving to Ohio, died there, aged seventy-two years.
Cynthia married B.F. GREEN; moved from town
to Wisconsin in 1845. Asa
DENNISON, was assisted at his first logging bee, in clearing
his farm by Indians, who were furnished food and whiskey and did
lively work. He built
a framed tavern at the corners, two stories and forty feet square.
A ballroom was fitted up, and was the scene of many a
festive occasion. Another
building was erected, of the same size as the first, adjacent to
it, and the habitation was now forty by eighty feet, and contained
two long ballrooms. DENNISON
kept tavern sixty years, and made the business profitable.
The bill of fare was principally bread, pork, potatoes and
whisky - last named, but first called for.
The part of the old farm on which the tavern is situated
has passed from various hands to Richard BLACKMER.
engaged at one hundred and twenty dollars per year, for one year,
to Lemuel CHIPMAN, and remained with him two years.
CHIPMAN wrote the agent of Phelps and Gorham, at
Canandaigua, that his hired men wanted land, and BLACKMER bought
one hundred and fifty acres; at three dollars an acre, from him.
He paid one hundred dollars, and with the rest of his wages
bought a yoke of oxen and utensils for farming.
cut and piled the first brush heap on a knoll a few rods south of R.
BLACKMER'S residence; a log house was erected, where he lived
alone, working for others and clearing his land.
On September 5, 1799, he married Hannah PITTS,
daughter of the captain. They
raised seven children. Richmond,
the youngest, lives upon the homestead, and Levi, the only other
survivor, is a resident of Kalamazoo, Michigan.
BLACKMER became the owner of one thousand acres of
land, and died February 15, 1855.
1796, Roswell TURNER bought land on Hemlock lake outlet,
built a cabin, made a clearing, and in winter was joined by his
parents and his family. About
1798 the family moved to Allen's Hill, whence, in 1804, they went
to the Holland purchase, where de died in 1809.
the spring of 1816, Calvin WARD with his wife and two year
old son, Harry, came from Vermont to Richmond.
In the fall he bought fifty acres at twenty dollars per
acre of Mr. COLLINS, then owner of what is now part of Mr.
WARD'S farm, occupied by his son, Harry WARD.
Within eleven days of the purchase, WARD had dug a
cellar of twelve feet square, and built over it a log house with a
shingled roof. In
three weeks a door was hung, and in a year there was a window with
sash and glass. The first winter WARD threshed for Mr.
FROST three hundred bushels of wheat and sold it at Albany,
bringing back a load of goods for the merchants as far west as
Batavia. At his
death, in 1870, aged eighty-two, he left a farm of one hundred and
fifty acres. Mrs.
WARD is living, aged eighty-three.
Philip REED moved in 1795 from Vermont to Richmond.
He has been out with the CHIPMANS in June 1794, when PITTS was the only resident of town.
When REED arrived in spring of next year, he had
found five families had preceded him.
He bought on lot 48 and 49, and soon made additional
purchases, until his farm included one thousand five hundred
acres, most of which is now owned by his descendants.
REED and his family stayed with Captain PITTS until
with two loads of lumber, drawn from "Norton's mills", a
shanty was erected. In
this shanty, REED, his wife, three sons and a hired man
lived three weeks, and did their cooking at a fire built by a
fallen tree close by. A
log house then ready was occupied.
He and Cyrus CHIPMAN erected the first brick house
in town. CHIPMAN,
making the brick of his own land.
Mr. REED was thought wealthy, from having three
thousand dollars in money to pay for his land.
He built both a grist and a saw mill a short distance above
Richmond Mills, and became prominent in town affairs.
Isaac ADAMS came on as REED'S hired man, and
in time bought one hundred acres from the east end of lot 49,
joining him. His two
sons, John and Cyrus, erected a distillery in later
years, and operated it several years.
set out in the fall of 1812 on foot and alone, from Brookfield,
Massachusetts, for the Genesee country.
He was sixteen years of age and when he had paid his bill
to Gamaliel WILDER, at South Bristol, for lodging, he had
left with a New England dollar, here, uncurrent.
He served in 1813 on the Niagara frontier.
Discharged at the expiration of service, he came to
Dennison's Corners, and hired at blacksmithing to Joshua ABBEY,
for sixteen dollars per month.
He first bought out his employer, and soon raised enough to
buy some land, when he engaged in wheat raising and wool growing.
He was elected to the Assembly in 1857 and sided in 1861 to
raise a company in Lima. He
died in Lima July 5, 1861, aged 65. His niece, Mrs. Mary J. HOLMES, of Brockport, New
York, well known as a writer, taught school and married in this
town. George MC
CLURE of Bath, sent to Allen's Hill the first stock of goods
and during 1808-09 a clerk was employed to sell them.
In the fall of 1810 Amos and John DIXON
established a store at Dennison's Corners, and in addition to
goods, hardware, and other articles, a hogshead of West India rum
was brought on for sale. They
had an extensive trade. John
DIXON, now of Canandaigua, and about 90 years of age,
continued merchandising many years.
He was later the proprietor of a flouring mill at Frost's
Hollow for a few years. Oliver LYON was an early resident just north of the
Corners. He has no
descendants living. William
WARNER was a resident in the same neighborhood.
He served as constable in 1797.
He moved to Lima in 1812, and there died.
Other settlers were Parley BROWN, Luther STANLEY and
Parley DRURY; the last named soon moved west.
No. 8 lies south of No. 4.
A resident for many years upon the present farm of Philip
REED was an early settler named FRISBEE, who sold out
and went to Canadice. On
lot 52 dwelt an Irishman, James MC CROSSEN by name.
He was one of the early distillers, and ended his days on
the place. STODDART lived where W.D. BEECHER now owns.
He was elected to several offices.
At his death, well along in years, his descendants mainly
removed to Michigan. Rufus
BULLOCK was an early resident near the Baptist church, of
whose society he was a leading member.
Here lived and died the BRIGGS brothers - Caleb,
a preacher for many years for the denomination, and Thomas;
and Barzilla L. BULLOCK, son of Thomas, resides
here. James GREEN
lived many years upon lot 59.
He built a house west of the road, and later sold out.
Colonel JEWETT was an owner of the property for some
FROST moved upon the L.S. PURCELL place, and there
closed his life. Near
him, on the same farm, resided William SHORT, who removed
to Michigan and there died. Near
where BURLINGAME lives was the cabin home of Gates
this farm he expended his efforts and clearing, and here died.
North of the present farm of George W. SHARPSTEIN
lived his father, upon the place owned and occupied by M. SMITH.
He followed the tide moving to Michigan, and there died.
Caleb SMITH was the former owner and farmer upon the
place on which his son W.P. SMITH resides.
Following his trade of blacksmith, he was a good workman,
and secured all the patronage of this part of town.
Nelson SKINNER took up the place and erected a log
house where now H. H. REED farms and prospers; here he died,
and his heirs sold and removed.
East of the Whetstone creek, on the farm of H. SHORT,
long ago, a cabin was erected by John NORTON, a Baptist
preacher; he went west. Farther
cast on this road lives James PARKER, on a farm of fifty
acres, and opposite him was Abijah WRIGHT, a Methodist
preacher. Double-log houses were in common use, and on one occasion,
standing at the door between, he announced as his text,
"Behold, I stand at the door and knock," and verified
his assertion, thereby gaining unusual attention.
No. 9 lies at the foot of Honeoye lake, and contains the village
of the town. William
ARNOLD, of Vermont, moved upon the farm near the town line.
One DAVIS was his successor, who soon sold and left.
East of the Corners, on lot 26, lived Amos JONES, a
tavern keeper, in 1814, and several years subsequently. Another inn-keeper was Jesse STEPHENS, who came to
Richmond in 1811, and in 1815 opened a public house in a small
frame erected near JONES, and there remained many years. JONES moved west.
A journeyman shoemaker named NOBLE purchased and
built a cabin of logs on the FRANKLIN farm.
Jesse STEVENS came to the town, November 19,
1811with a family of six children.
He articled with ASHLEY, then agent for Tuckerman,
of Boston, owner of a number of lots.
The land is about two miles southwest of Honeoye village,
and is owned by his son Jesse, now in his eighty-second year.
West of Jones' tavern, on the south side of the road, lived
A.S. BUSHNELL, in a small log house, which served as a home
until he packed up and went west. In this vicinity Philip SHORT had a distillery, which
was operated by Walter and Jesse STEVENS for several
years, during the heyday of that then not disreputable business. Caleb ARNOLD and family came in 1807 to Richmond, and
there bought eighty acres of wild land, owned by Connecticut, of
the agent Seymour, paying four to five dollars per acre.
He worked hard and cleared a large portion during his stay
of some eight years, and then sold to John GREEN.
The farm in now owned by Zack BRIGGS. Three children are living.
Caleb ARNOLD, Jr., works in a cabinet shop in
Honeoye, where his brother, William, is a dentist.
When ARNOLD sold he went to Honeoye, and built the
first part of the house occupied by Thomas R. REED, having
to cut trees and make room for the building.
Finding a white oak log with a proper twist to the grain,
he used it in making mould boards for the wooden plows then
generally used. ARNOLD
is credited with having made the first plow manufactured in town.
Abel SHORT, son in law of Captain Peter PITTS,
lived upon the farm now owned by Cyrus BRIGGS.
Many a story is told of his daring and recklessness.
He was a superb horseman, and "Ranger, an animal that
followed him with blind devotion, was the hero of more than one
adventure still told by settlers.
Artemus BRIGGS, then living in Bristol, in 1813 traded with Jesse ALLEN for one hundred and fifty acres in Richmond. He agreed to pay five hundred dollars, the estimated difference in value. To raise the money he made a sled twenty feet long, loaded it with pork and flour, and set out to find sale with a yoke of oxen and one horse. Cyrus, a son, lives on the old homestead, the owner of full six hundred acres of fine land. Jedediah, another son, lives in Honeoye, in a home erected by Gideon, son of Peter PITTS. He bought from the heirs of Gideon, some 170 acres of land, all of which, save fifty acres, he has sold in small parcels and village lots, and has given, in consequence, more deeds than any other man in the town. His house is forty-eight feet square, with a cellar under the whole structure. In this old building Jedediah BRIGGS has lived since 1852. Benjamin BRIGGS farmed for a time, then sold to C.C. CURTIS the place on which he lived, and went west. John BEECHER was a predecessor of J.J. WHITE; while south of this farm, in an early day, lived Gilbert KINYON and a man named RAY; all three died upon their lands.
This village, at the foot of the lake, is a business centre, and a place of some importance. Artemus BRIGGS was the proprietor, and his son Jedediah is a present resident of a thriving hamlet grown to a village under his own observation. A brief record of early occupants, tradesmen, and business men is given as follows: In 1813, Moses RISDEN, living in a frame house now occupied by A. PLIMPTON, was the proprietor of a tannery, which he sold to Daniel PHILLIPS. In a log house, previously occupied by Ebenezer JONES, lived Daniel SHORT, whose occupation is not given. In the spring of the year, Gideon PITTS built a blacksmith shop and employed a man named WAY to work in it. After WAY, Abner MATHER entered the shop and labored at the anvil several years. A saw mill, built that season by PITTS, is yet standing. Two years later he built a grist mill, and at present both mills are the property of Mr. QUICK. The frame house now occupied by Mr. HAWKS, was built by Caleb ARNOLD, a well known and skillful carpenter. The next settler was Mrs. HOVEY, who built a frame house where Dr. HAMILTON now owns. Eliab SOLES followed, and erected a frame, yet standing, and in use as a dwelling, by A. FRANKLIN. SOLES was the successor of MATHER in the shop, and remained about 6 years. Isaac DE MILLE was a later villager, yet he built a frame house as a dwelling and near by erected a shop, where he remained many years. About 1815 R. DAVIDS came in and, adding to the ARNOLD house, opened a tavern, where he kept for a few years and then sold to Samuel G. CROOKS, who in time, sold to Smith HENRY. A fulling mill and clothing works were built in 1817 by John BROWN and Linus GIDDINGS; art of this building is now the foundry building. Sale was made within a year or two, and Joseph BLOUNT became the owner. On his death, which took place about 1822, his brother, Walter, carried it on a year; then John CULBERTON, followed by HUNTLY. It was idle for several years, when Hiram PITTS and Joseph SAVILL, an Englishman, built an addition and ran the establishment as a woolen factory. A store was built in 1822 by John BROWN, who thus for 3 years was the pioneer merchant of the village. Erastus HILL and Richmond WALDRON were his successors. Dexter K. HAWKS having carried on the business with a partner under the firm name of Hawks & Whipple, sold, and built a store for himself across the street. In the SOLES house, then owned by MILLS, Edwin GILBERT began merchandising and in 2 years had built the store now occupied by his sons. Isaac G. HAZEN erected the next store building, near HAWKS; and sold in a few years to M. M. GREGORY, who later opened there a hardware store. Lyman PEARCE started an ashery here prior to 1830. He died and E. PEARCE, his brother, continued the business, which connections have kept alive many years. The store building now occupied by A. FRANKLIN, was erected by Benton PITTS, who rented to PEARCE. Isaac SEWARD came here about 1815, and combined a tannery and a shoe shop business for years. He was the first shoemaker in the place, where he ultimately died. Cornelius HOLLENBECK came to the village about 1820, and erected and ran a tannery. Ten years later Oliver ADAMS built both tannery and shoe shop and the fact indicates that the business proved profitable. Part of STOUT's tavern was originally built by Caleb ARNOLD, and a man named TUBBS, about 1830, as a cabinet shop. In a few years, O. ADAMS used it as a shoe shop. Artemus BRIGGS and Ephraim TURNER were distillers here about 1818, on land south of the village; they sold to John PENNELL, who afterwards took the better part of it and built anew in the east part of the town. Gideon PITTS and Erastus HILL built the next; it stood near the Catholic church. The Protestant Methodist church built a frame in 1832, where Mrs.. PHILLIPS lives; it burned some years ago. During the same year a Baptist church was built west of town.
HONEOYE MILLS - "The natural order of human effort is from rudeness to convenience. Primitive labor is the fruit of necessity; improvement keeps pace with demand. He is the most prosperous who can anticipate the wants of his fellows and thereby secure their patronage and his own advancement. The pioneer mills did for early times, but later years have higher demands" : these have been met by J. A. QUICK, who came here from Stueben county, where he had followed milling 25 years, and purchase the Honeoye mills in 1876 of Messrs. Stevens & Hazelett. The mills are run by water power supplied by the surplus waters of Honeoye lake. They have three runs of burrs, the latest machinery of bolts, and smut machine, and this is run by two Leffell water wheels, forty inches in diameter. The capacity of the mill is an average of 100 bushels per day. The yearly production of flour is about 1,000 barrels, which find sale in the neighboring villages. Recent and thorough repairs have been made, and the mill, refitted, is prepared to execute superior work. In connection with the grist mill is a custom saw mill, supplied with a muley saw. Its capacity is about 2,000 feet of lumber, daily, and it is operated about 6 months of the years, doing business altogether as a local enterprise supplying the demands of the neighborhood. It is generally reputed to be the best custom mill in Ontario County, and reflects credit upon the skill and enterprise of the proprietor.
That portion of Richmond lying east of Honeoye lake is not inappropriately named the Pan-Handle, and is a section well worth the while to chronicle its earlier citizens and their industrial efforts. Hugh HAMILTON came out from Hampden, then Hampshire county, Massachusetts, in 1810. He journeyed on horseback in search of a desirable location for a home westward to Erie, Pennsylvania. He was not favorably impressed with the country along the lake, but was better satisfied with the lands on Ontario. David CROOKS Sr., having offered to sell to him one half interest in the Phelps grist and saw mills on Mill creek, and John RHODES, as agent, having proposed to sell him 100 acres from the south side of the Phelps farm, where A. PENNELL now lives, he turned back and made both purchase. He took charge of and ran the grist mill until December, when he went back to Massachusetts to bring out his family. The journey was made in sleighs during January 1811. HAMILTON remained a few years in the mill, dug a new race-way, made frequent necessary repairs, and finally resold to Mr. CROOKS for a small sum, and put up a log house upon his land and into it moved his family. He previously and afterwards cleared most of the land between the road and old landing. The title to the land became disputed, and he sold his improvements to MILLER and bought a small tract, where his youngest son, David L. HAMILTON resides, where he resided permanently until his (Hugh's) death in 1851, at the age of 80 years. His widow died in 1856, aged 84 years. He had 6 children. Justin went to Kentucky in 1818, traded his land there to John GARLINGHOUSE, moved to Ohio and there died in 1863, having been a member of the Ohio Legislature for a number of years. William emigrated to Mercer county in 1828, and David L. lives upon the old homestead.
George GORDON, A Scotchman, had been a soldier in the army of General Burgoyne, and was captured by the Americans at Saratoga. He was one of many British solders who, after the war, made their homes with us. He early settled in Richmond, on the south part of the farm of D. L. HAMILTON, where he built and occupied a log cabin. Finally, as if not satisfied with the hardships of pioneer life, sale was made to William LAYNE, and old Revolutionary soldier, who was on the victor side at Saratoga, and went upon the Holland purchase. It is well known that when the splendid army of Burgoyne set out from Canada, it numbered full 10,000 men. With this fine army was a large body of Indians, who hung like a cloud about the English columns, and struck terror to the hears of the settlers for away from the line of march. Ruthless, they spared neither age, sex, nor condition. One of their victims, a little girl, was found to have grown up, married and become as settler in Ontario County. LAYNE died upon the farm, and his descendants migrated to Kentucky.
David KNAPP, from Connecticut, became a settler in 1790, and after making some improvements sold out to John FLANDERS, a carpenter, who erected several buildings in the neighborhood. He finally sold and went to Michigan and William ALLEN now owns the farm.
John PARKER was the first settler on the farm afterwards owned by a man named BOLTON, and at present, by James KELLY.
Edmond DOWNS was the first to locate upon and clear land on that portion of lot 6, subsequently the property of David THOMPSON, of Utica. The latter built a log house and manufactured tar from the pines growing near. He had been educated by Governor ROOT, and was a person of ability; but the love of spirituous liquors balked advancement. When he sold here, he went west.
William JUDEVINE located early upon the C. S. NORTH place. He was from Connecticut, moved to Canandaigua, and reached an advanced age. His son, Harry, was captured by the Indians during the War of 1812, and by them brought to Fort Erie, where he was sold to friendly Indians and redeemed.
Job WOOD was an early resident where W. G. PIERCE lives. He was preceded upon the farm by Benjamin GARLINGHOUSE, cousin of the sheriff. WOOD sold to his son, Job, and removed to Virginia. Job, patiently labored many years in clearing nad improving his farm, but finally sold to Amos STYLES and removed.
Jacob FLANDERS came through the Genesee country with SULLIVAN in 1779, and lie so many another, saw that the land was good, and returning after his discharge, located on the north part of the farm now owned by J. G. BRIGGS. A hewed log house built by him stood upon the place many years. The old soldier soon saw the interest attached to anything relative to SULLIVAN'S expedition and delighted, to tell the old settlers of incidents of his own observation. He spoke of the warning cannon shot which struck consternation to the Indians, who scattered in every direction, and could bee seen crossing the openings on the run. He affirmed the truth of the traditional burial of a cannon near the fort of the lake, east of the outlet, and often searched for it, but so changed had become the country since his first visit, that his efforts were not successful. FLANDERS was a carpenter by the "scribe rule," and erected many a building yet standing. He took part in the Kentucky exodus, there followed his calling and there died.
Colonel John GREENE, in 1794, became the owner of the farm of John G. BRIGGS, Esq., situated near the head of Honeoye lake. He had a copper still in connection with farm work and added his mite to the many then engaged in supplying the people with strong drink. GREENE was notably connected with affairs during the War of 1812. Previous to the opening of hostilities, but after a formal declaration of war, he had gone on business to Canada. All went well until, when ready to return, an arrest was made, and every effort made to learn from him information concerning American preparations and military strength. His captors finally resorted to partial hanging, in hopes of compelling the disclosures sought. A rope was put to his neck and he was run up and held for a time, then lowered and questioned with no result. Again drawn up and held suspended until unconscious, he was finally let down and asked if he would give information regarding the strength of the Untied States forces. The nearly exhausted man greeted his inquisitors with the reply, "No, by the Lord I won't!" No effort could change his mind and he was imprisoned; escaped and returned to the States. Aroused by this experience, he joined the army, served efficiently and was commissioned colonel. The distillery early spoken of was a sold to Hugh HAMILTON and Enoch E. COLBY, who moved the concern to lot 20, rant it a half dozen years and then gave up the business. GREENE moved to Kentucky with the dupes who had traded to GRANGER their good lands here for the "Barrens" there, and too late found their mistake.
A family named SKINNER located on lot 13, where Mrs. S. ALLEN now lives. They were the ruder class of pioneers and of reckless character. One of the family, bitten by a rattlesnake, sent in alarm for preacher WRIGHT to pray for him. The good man fervently prayed that the Lord would cause rattlesnakes to bite the whole SKINNER family.
A man named VINAL, who followed pettifogging and was constantly engaged in litigation, lived for a few years on lot 5. He sold to Ephraim HARTWELL.
The farm whereon HANCOCK'S house stands, was occupied in 1814 by James MOORE, from Otsego county. He was made justice of the peace and continued as such for years and died in 1841. A daughter, Mrs. D. L. HAMILTON, resides in town.
As occupant of lot 5 among early setters was Daniel SMITH, who in time moved elsewhere.
Aaron J. HUNT settled where Mrs. M. A. BRAY lives, on lot 2, in the southwest corner of the Pan Handle, in 1795. In the history of Canadice, it will be seen that he was connected with the earliest settlement of that town. MR. HUNT built his cabin on the east side of Honeoye inlet, and there began his clearing, while his then to be son in law, the pioneer of Canadice, Jacob HOLDRON, made corresponding improvements on the west side.
A saw mill was built by John GREEN in Briggs' gully, and was the first structure of the kind in the town south of Mill creek. The business was highly successful for a time, and then the mill was suffered to run down. A saw mill was put up on Artemus BRIGGS, north of the gully.
Andrew BRAY came in early and settled where General Thomas BARKLEY lives. The descendants of Mr. BRAY are residents of the town, upon land now owned by BRAY and BARKLEY.
Jacob BOWERS located and erected a house and saw mill; the latter has since gone down.
Near the present school house on lot 16, was an old log structure, in which one of the primitive teachers was William HAMILTON, for whom we give the following reminiscences, written July 26, 1876:
"When I first knew the country on the east side of Honeoye lake, there was no house or clearing between the LANES' and a peach orchard lot to the southward and adjacent, what was afterwards the JUDEVINE farm. James WRIGHT lived there and Levi RICE, on the south part of that lot and then Benjamin SLY on the tract afterwards the old Job WOOD farm, in the mouth of the gully. To the south were old Jacob FLANDERS, John FLANDERS, and John GREEN. On the next lot south, near the later site of the LATHROP school house, lived Mr. ALBERT, who died soon after and his widow married George FLANDERS, who lived on the place till all went to Kentucky. Old Jacob FLANDERS sold the farm north of GREEN to John SMITH, and put up what was later called the LATHROP house, south of Colonel GREEN. He occupied this place until 1817 or 18, when almost all the population from JUDEVINE's to the PARKER farm traded their farms to Francis GRANGER, for Kentucky barrens, in Hardin County, Kentucky, and moved down the Ohio river to their new location. The farm just north of PARKER was first settled by Joel FOSTER, son in law of old Elder Abijah WRIGHT. Ephraim HARTWELL, some time after FOSTER's death, which occurred early, married his widow, and when the exodus took place, moved to Vernon, Indiana. The FOSTER boys, his wife's children accompanied them. The farms between the LATHROP and FOSTER places were occupied by VINAL, HARTWELL and the SKINNERS. While father ran the old mill on the creek, all the south and east part of Richmond and West Bristol depended upon it for their grinding. It had but one small run of burrs, and when there was sufficient water, ran constantly. During the dry season it ran but little. Repairs were required, and then with difficulty was water saved to grind at all. Surplus grain was then sent to Albany to market, by wagon or sleigh. Rye, corn, and damaged or poor wheat was manufactured into whisky, and either sold or traded to Canandaigua merchants, and by then shipped to Albany in exchange for a stock of goods. Distilleries were then numerous. The distillers then were Colonel GREEN, at the heat of Honeoye lake, Enoch E. COLBY and Kirby FRARY, on then John RHODES', now PENNELL's flats, a little southeast of the Indian plum orchard; John JASON, east of Pitts' Corners, on the SWAN farm; Phillip SHORT, on the hill west of Honeoye, and one in the hollow south of Dennisons's Corners. The sons of John and Eleazer FRARY bought up all the ashes they could get, made potash, and sold to the merchants of Canandaigua. Such were the main articles of trade before the days of the Erie canal. Wheat alone would bear wagoning to Albany. In 1815, wheat sold in Canandaigua for 25 to 37 cents trade; no money was paid. In 1811 the hills east and west of Honeoye lake were wild lands."
On the lake road east of the lake the settlers have been given. Richmond was famous in the olden times for the number of distilleries as she is now honored for the temperance principles of her citizens. Where there were once 15 manufactories, not one exists, nor is there a place in town where it is legally sold. Mr. HAMILTON has sufficiently spoken of the proprietors of those early mischief makers and we page to record a brief incident of those times. Jack PETERS, colored, was short of funds and loved the "critter". He came one day to the distillery of Enoch COLBY, apparently in much pain, and asked for something to drink for relief. Under the stimulus, PETERS felt better. In response to inquiries as to his condition he said, " Hope I never have colic as long as I live again, but I know I shall." Gideon PITTS was engaged at one time in making beer. A quantity by mistake was let run into the slop vat and fed to the hogs, whose antics were most comical to witness. Drinking and fighting were common, and all gatherings were incomplete without these incidentals. A great change followed the agitation of the temperance question, and Richmond is the home of quiet, orderly, law abiding and industrious citizens.
Thayer GAUSS, resident of East Bloomfield, has done a service by a sketch of an early attempt at united efforts, which, under different or more favorable circumstances, would have been successful. Early in 1814, a score of prominent farmer, residents of Richmond and East Bloomfield, organized an association for mercantile purposes. Noah ASHLEY, Deacon GILBERT, Wheeler READ and others were of Richmond; Abner ADAMS, Roger SPRAGUE, Silas EGGLESTONS, Benjamin GAUSS and others were of East Bloomfield. The company appointed as the executive directors, Noah ASHLEY, Abner ADAMS and Robert SPRAGUE; and A. Sylvester HAMLIN was engaged as general agent. A large brick store was first erected in East Bloomfield village. This was completed by the fall of the same year, although, accompanied by great expense. SPRAGUE accompanied HAMLIN to New York, and both were instructed not to purchase goods beyond the value of $4,000, since peace was prospective. Instructions were not observed; $12,000 worth of goods were bought; peace tidings came in February 1815, and the merchandise had to sell under New York cost. A branch store was started in summer of 1816, in the house of Mr. BISHOP, at Richmond Centre. Curtis HAWLEY, of Canandaigua, and Thayer GAUSS of East Bloomfield, were placed in charge. The latter, then a young man, was in the capacity of an assistant for part of the summer. A store building, yet standing was erected near the residence of Deacon GILBERT. The business did not prosper and as rapidly as possible, goods and store at Richmond were sold. The store at East Bloomfield was dispose of to Abner ADAMS, the goods having been sold at auction. All obligations were fully paid and the business discontinued. HAMLIN was paid $2,000 and final settlement was made by Noah ASHLEY, Abner ADAMS, Heman COOK and Eleazer FRARY.
RICHMOND IN 1812
Information regarding the part taken by any one town in the War of 1812 must of necessity come from old soldiers. From that source it has been learned that Peter ALLEN, of Allen's Hill, commanded a regiment of Ontario men. It was about 600 strong, and four companies went out from near Geneva. The captains in command were Elijah CLARK, Josiah MOREHOUSE, Joel S. HART, Caleb HERRINGTON, Salma STANLEY, Abraham DOX, John BROWN, John and James BOGART. The regiment served from June 1812 to October of the same years and was at Buffalo and the frontier. A partial list has been gathered and is as follows: "Peter ALLEN, colonel; Nathaniel ALLEN, paymaster; James HENDERSON, major; Joshua PHILLIPS, first lieutenant; Tilness BENTLEY, taken prisoner; Eli CROOKS, killed at Erie. Henry HAZEN, Paul W. HAZEN, Thomas BENTLEY, Riley CROOKS, Robert CRAWFORD, John WHEELER, Sylvester WHEELER, Benjamin LESLEE, Benjamin DOWNING, David KNAPP, Richard WRIGHT, Pitts PHILLIPS, William LANE, John FLANDERS, Samuel BENTLEY, Lyman CANADA, Vincent CONKLIN, Darius FRENCH, Leonard PEMBLETON, Elijah RISDEN, Elijah SIBLEY and Cyrus BOOTH." Major HENDERSON was killed after being taken prisoner by the Indians. Sylvester WHEELER was shot through the lungs and recovered. Benjamin DOWNING was killed and Lyman CANADA died at Buffalo. The regiment lost heavily in killed, wounded and prisoners at the action in September 1812, at Quakertown. Here Judge CHIPMAN's oldest son was captured by the British. Dennison's Corners was an old time training ground. A Naples rifle company, under command of Elias B. KINNE, once attended a training at this place, and made the tavern of DENNISON, head quarters. The men wore green frock coats, trimmed with yellow fringe. and each carried a rifle, knife and hatchet. A training not on the programme was improvised. Food and drink were freely confiscated to their own use, and the proprietor was arrested and locked up in one of his rooms, under charge of "keeping a disorderly house." The bar was opened and supplies issued in generous proportions. Towards morning, DENNISON was tried by court martial, under charges of keeping a noisy house and of supplying poor whiskey and indifferent rations. Complaints proved damages, defendant adduced offsets, satisfactory receipts were exchanged and the company marched away in fine style.
Town meetings indicate the persons then reputed
best qualified for official position. "The proceedings of the first
meeting in Pittstown, on April 5, 1796 (the place then called Honeoye), held at
the house of Captain Peter PITTS, were as follows: Gideon PITTS, town clerk;
Lemuel CHIPMAN, supervisor; Philip REED, William PITTS and Solomon WOODRUFF,
assessors; Jonas BELKNAP, constable and collector; Solomon WOODRUFF, Gideon
PITTS and Elijah PARKER, commissioners of highways; Stiles PARKER and Roswell
TURNER, fence viewers; Edward HAZEN, pound master; Peter PITTS, Cyrus
CHIPMAN, Solomon WOODRUFF, Aaron HUNT and Roswell
TURNER, path-masters; Peter PITTS and Philip REED, overseers of the poor; Philip
REED, Cyrus CHIPMAN, and Jonas BELKNAP, commissioners of schools.
“WOODRUFF, REED, PITTS and others, were
elected to several offices, which, from none being arduous, and the combination
being very convenient, resulted to the advantage of the townsmen.
Voted—that 40 shillings be paid as bounty for each wolf 'catcht' in the
town; hogs to run at large; 16 pounds tax to be raised to defray town charges;
name of district to be changed from Honeoye to Pittstown, and adjournment to
meet at the same place first Tuesday of April, 1797.
Second meeting--CHIPMAN was again elected, and Levi BLACKMER was made
town clerk. Sixteen pounds sterling
voted to meet expenses, and three pounds bounty to be paid for each wolf killed
in the town. The town was
apportioned into four road districts, named after the cardinal points: The Eastern district to include the east half of No. 9, in
the fifth range; the Southern district, No. 8, in the same range; the Middle
district, the west half of No. 9; and the Western district, including No. 9 in
sixth range and the gore; No. 5 was divided, in 1800, into three districts,
increasing the whole number to six. T.
CHIPMAN was supervisor until 1801, and P. REED for some years thereafter.
The office of supervisor was not
remunerative, and it was more profitable to shoot or trap a wolf, since Lemuel
CHIPMAN received $5 for two years’ service as supervisor, while in 1799 it was
voted that Captain Reuben GILBERT be allowed $11.25 for wolves caught and
killed. In 1800 a tax of $800 was
voted to pay town expenses. This
rapid increase is explained on the ground that bridges were to be built over
streams at needed points. A pound
for estrays was to be erected at the “Centre.”
It was contracted to be of good oak logs, 30 feet square, eight feet
high; the middle of the logs’ keys were required to prevent sagging, and a
large heavy door for security. The
committee to locate was composed of Silas MONY, David CROOKS, and Daniel RISDEN.
In 1806, bounty on wolves was repealed, and a bounty of one cent per head
voted for squirrels, blackbirds, and woodpeckers.
From this action we infer that the sheep were now regarded as tolerably
secure, while the crops were badly used by the designated small and numerous
depredators. At a town meeting held
in 1808 at the Centre school-house, the term Pittstown was used, and in the year
following, at the same place, Honeoye. A
special meeting was held February 24, 1815, to petition the Legislature for a
change of name to Richmond.
The early roads of Richmond were matters of
great interest to the settlers. The Indian followed general trails, well chosen, but having
no wheeled vehicles or sleds required but a foot-path, and highways were the
first evidences of public and united effort.
The first road through this town was the one from Canandaigua to Big
Tree, and to intersect this highway roads were laid out in all directions.
The first recorded begins at the northeast corner of the town, and
continues southeasterly till it intersects the Genesee road, and was laid out by
Gideon PITTS, Solomon WOODRUFF, and Elijah PARKER.
The second road, branching from the main trunk road, ran to the south
line of Canadice. The third began
west of Captain PITTS’ barn, on the Genesee road, and followed the track of
the present road through Allen’s Hill to the Bloomfield line.
It was surveyed April 23, 1798. The
next road survey was made in April, 1799, from the Bloomfield line, south by
Judge CHIPMAN’s and Silas WHITNEY’s (at the gully south of Dr. CROOKS’),
to the main road. The next road
surveyed began at the west line of the town, on the north line of lot 48,
followed that line to near the Hemlock outlet down to where Richmond Mills now
are, crossing there, and running easterly till intersecting the road just
mentioned between Judge CHIPMAN’s and William BAKER’s.
A road yet used was next surveyed on the line of the west tier of lots
from the Middle road south to the Genesee road.
In 1799, a road was laid on the centre line of town from the Genesee to
the Middle road, and is in use. The
road running west from Richmond Centre was surveyed May, 1800. In August following another was surveyed from Nathaniel
HARMON’s north line (lot 47) north to the town line of Charleston, now Lima.
There were then three houses on the road; there are now a dozen or more.
In May, 1800, the road now leading from the northeast part of the town
was surveyed through Allen’s Hill across to Dennison’s Corners, crossing the
Honeoye river, as it was termed in the survey, where the present bridge is.
The old Genesee road was surveyed a second time, in 1800, but few changes
were made. It was the main line of
travel for years, and a tide of travel passed over it from Canandaigua to Big
Masonic Lodges were established at an early
date, and did much to unite for mutual assistance the scattered members of that
ancient institution. The first
Masonic lodge in town was entitled the GENESEE LODGE, No. 32, F. & A.M.
This lodge was organized about 1806, with Judge Lemuel CHIPMAN as Master.
The meetings were held in Dennison’s tavern.
The old lodge-room still remains intact, while improvements have
elsewhere been extensively made by Mr. BLACKMER. The lodge was large and prosperous. A membership of about 120 was reached, and for many years the
institution was pleasurable and profitable; but the Morgan trouble gave rise to
strong opposition, and the lodge finally gave up its charter and disbanded.
At one time meetings were held at Allen’s Hill, in the building now
used by N. GARLINGHOUSE as a dwelling. The
assembly was afterwards held at Pierpont’s tavern till it burned.
Some of the first members of this lodge were Nathaniel ALLEN, Peter
ALLEN, David ALLEN, Cyrus WELLS, Noah ASHBY, Elias GILBERT, Asa DENNISON, John
R. REED, James HENDERSON, Samuel CHIPMAN, Colonel John GREEN, James HARKNESS,
and Job WILLIAMS. N. ALLEN was at
one time Master, but of this lodge and Richmond Chapter, No. 50, nothing is
known to us.
EAGLE LODGE, No. 619, F. & A. M., is
located at the village of Honeoye, in the town of Richmond.
The first meeting, under dispensation, was held at their lodge-room, in
Honeoye, August 4, 1866. The
original members were Ami W. STEVENS, W. M., of Union Lodge, No. 45; A. R.
HILBORN, S. W., Ovid, No. 127; G. P. MARBLE, J. W., Canandaigua, No. 294; A. G.
WILSON, Treasurer, Naples, No. 133; R. W. McCROSSEN, Secretary, Naples, No. 133;
George W. PENNELL, S. D., Union, No. 45; E. K. STEVENS, J. D., William STEVENS,
S. M. C., and G. D. MORGAN, J. M. C., of the same lodge as Pennell; H. P. ABBEY,
J. B. WEST, and L. W. WEST, of Canandaigua, No. 294; Cyrus PEMBERTON and Aiken
STARK, of Union, No. 45; J. L. GREEN, of Rushville, No. 377; C. L. GILBERT,
Rochester, No. 57; and James B. TUBBS, Ovid, Michigan, 127.
The first meeting under regular charter was held July 15, 1867. The charter bears date June 14, 1867. The first officers were A. W. STEVENS, Master, with Aiken
STARK, S. W., and Daniel W. BROWN, J. W. The
lodge has been familiar with prosperity. Aiken
STARK was elected Master December 17, 1869, and J. L. GREEN, S. W.
J. L. GREEN was Master in 1871, George W. ST. JOHN, S. W.; and George W.
SHEPARD, J. W. Mr. ST. JOHN was
Master in 1872, James R. TUBBS in 1873, and Leonidas F. WILBUR in 1874 and 1875.
The present officers are: L.
F. WILBUR, W. M.; T. R. REED, S. W.; J. H. WILSON, J. W.; P. L. STOUT,
Treasurer; M. P. WORTHY, Jr., Secretary; Frederick FRANCIS, S. D.; Thomas
MURRAY, J. D.; D. W. CASE, S. M. C.; George W. SHARPSTEEN, J. W. C.; and J. W.
ROTH, Tyler. Meetings are held
semi-monthly, and the number of active members is about 50.
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