Town of South Bristol History 

History of Ontario Co, NY      

 Pub 1878    pg 247 - 251


Transcribed by Dianne Thomas

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The town of South Bristol comprise the whole of No. 8, fourth range, and part of No. 8, third range.  Its eastern boundary is Canandaigua lake.  It was formed from Bristol, March 8, 1838.  The surface is an elevated upland, very uneven, yet rich and highly productive; it is divided into four ridges by Mud creek and smaller streams.  These ridges vary in height from 500 to 1,000 feet, and extend north and south through the town.  The valleys between, vary in width, and bear local appellations, one of which is "Burbee's Hollow," so called from a settler, early in that locality.

In 1788, about the time that Oliver PHELPS was holding his treaty with the Indians, Gamaliel WILDER, Joseph GILBERT, and others, visited the Genesee country, prospecting for settlement.   Mr. WILDER purchased the town of South Bristol of Phelps & Gorham, in the name of Price BRYAN of Luzerne, Pennsylvania, and platted it off into lots, save a few lots reserved to himself.  BRYAN released his interest to WILDER.  The reserved lots were sold to Charles WILLIAMSON, who had recently opened a land office at Bath for  the sale of lands obtained of Sir William PULTENEY.  WILLIAMSON transferred them to an agent of John HORNBY, of England.  HORNBY was then buying towns and parts of towns, as he could get them at low prices.  A later and well-known agent of this landed proprietor was John GREIG, whose widow is a present resident (1878) of Canandaigua. 

In 1794, James SMEDLEY, of Canandaigua, was employed to survey the town into lots in accordance with a plat made in 1789 by WILDER.  His work, like that of many other surveyors operating in a hilly country, was very inaccurate, more especially, his north and south lines.  Uneven surface, heavy timer, and cheap land were causes of error.  A few acres upon a lot more than was called for was a matter of slight moment.  The work was done late in the fall, and finished on November 19, in the midst of a snowstorm.  It had been designed when the first plat was made to have a grand avenue, eight rods in width, through the center, from east to west, and a strip that width is not included in the lots.  They evidently knew little of the surface of the town, as this grand highway was to have crossed the road now leading from Mud Creek to Bristol springs, on the north line of a farm formerly owned by John TREMBLY, and continuing westwardly up the hill to it’s summit, and thence descending an almost perpendicular hill-side, into South Hollow, near where S. CROUCH resides; thence up another, almost mountainside, over to a saw mill at Frosttown.   In the year (1789) following his purchase, Mr. WILDER started from Hartland, Connecticut, then his residence, with his family of wife and four sons, Daniel, Jonas, Joseph and Asa, to settle on his land.  He was accompanied by Theophilus ALLEN and wife, Jonathan and Nathan ALLEN, Jeremiah SPICER, Jared TUTTLE, Elisha PARRISH, and others.  Their route was up the Mohawk river, which they traversed in small boats hauled over the portage at Fort Stanwix to Wood creek, thence down to Oneida lake.  Thence down to its outlet, along this to the Clyde river, then to the Canandaigua outlet, upon that to the lake.  They coursed along the shore until they came to the old Indian orchard at Wilder’s Point.  The wife of Theophilus ALLEN was WILDER’s daughter, and the only white woman in Bristol for several months after their arrival.  WILDER and his men set to work, and soon had erected a comfortable log house on the point, whip-sawing what lumber they needed.    The process of whip sawing, a method employed by the first settlers to make the board used in building their houses, is thus briefly described: "A place was selected near a bank or sideling piece of ground, and skids placed, one end on the ground, the other on a bench as near horizontally as the ground would permit, logs were drawn to the ends of the skids, and hewed on two sides, then rolled upon the benches, the hewed sides top and bottom, and the thickness of the boards marked by chalk lines.  A saw somewhat thicker than a cross cut, with holes in each end for stick handles, was held by two men, one stood upon the log the other beneath.  The saw was worked vertically, and in this hard way 200 or 300 feet of boards were made in a day."  The reasons which induced WILDER to choose a residence in this locality betoken some degree of climatic knowledge.  WILDER had noticed at Geneva a general unhealthy condition of the level country.  Fevers, in some instances, fatal, prostrated most of the early settlers and there were localities where there were not sufficient well ones to take care of the sick.  He decided that a hilly country with rapidly-flowing streams of pure, soft water, devoid of swamps and marshes, must be healthy.  He was further induced to locate here by the apple orchard at what is now Seneca Point.  The Indians had planted orchards at almost every village, but this one at the point was among the largest.  The deprivation of fruit was a hardship to the pioneer.  A roasted apple to the sick was a luxury, and not infrequently some one would come fifteen or more miles to procure a few apples to roast for some ailing neighbor or relative.  The Bristol apple orchard, which had not been found by Sullivan’s raiders, contained both apples and peaches in fair quantities.  “A ride to WILDER’s apple and peach eating and cider drinking, on horseback, ox sled, or home sleigh, was not uncommon.  South Bristol, hilly and broken, could once have been exchanged for East Bloomfield, but the Indian orchard caused the bargain to be declined.” 

WILDER built the first mil in the town on the Purchase.  It dates from 1791, and settlers came from Farmington and other distant towns for grinding.  A distillery and a saw mill were constructed, of which later mention will be made.  

WILDER approved himself a go-ahead businessman.  He set his men to work clearing what was later his old homestead.  A house was built, a large farm cleared and under cultivation, barns and other buildings, including saw and grist mills, went up rapidly.  Most of the men who came on with WILDER purchased of him small tracts of land, and mainly paid for them in work.  Others arriving followed the same course.     

The topography of the country is such that settlers were brought into localities and the history of the pioneers is then better known under the head of early settlement.  One of these was known under the title of "Mud Creek settlement".   The sons of WILDER, partaking of his energy and enterprise, soon scattered and located upon the most eligible tracts.  His daughters married Elisha PARRISH, Theophilus ALLEN, Nathan HATCH and  ____ HOAG.  ALLEN located on the farm now owned by his great-grandson, D. P. ALLEN.  His wife was the first white woman in town from spring until late in the fall.  Their son, Eli ALLEN, born December 1791, was the first native white in the town.  Mr. ALLEN, the pioneer, was a prominent citizen and an early office-holder.  He lived many years upon the farm before death called him away.  Eli ALLEN became a leading citizen in his time, and died at the age of seventy-six.  Eli W. ALLEN is a resident upon the old RICE farm purchased by his grandfather.  Theophilus ALLEN had tow brothers who became residents contemporary with him, Nathan and John.  Nathan lived on lot 16, east of the creek, on the farm now owned by Elias ALLEN.  He had worked by the day for WILDER previous to his removal to this farm, and paid for it in work.  He was well known in the town in later years; served as constable and collector; passed his life upon his farm, and his children have mostly gone a like course.  The other brother,  John ALLEN, became an early occupant of the place on the south end of lot 16.  Here he remained year in and year out until at a ripe old age he was gathered to his rest.  Here where he had resided came Allen BROWN, to whom he left the farm, and who tilled it until his change came, and then it passed to its present owner, Russel BROWN.  The next farm south of BROWN’s was first settled by Pliny HAYES, a wagon maker by trade.  His shop stood on the east side of the highway, and there was done a fair business for the times and place.  HAYES was the builder of the house now occupied by R. BROWN.  Munford HAYES, a son, has become a prosperous carriage maker in East Bloomfield.  The farm upon which Seymour SMITH now resides was also settled by a many named HAYES, probably a brother, although uncertain.  He put up and ran a small carding machine propelled by water power, and later moved to Steuben county, where soon after his death occurred.  The next early settler south of the carding machine was known as Erastus HILL, who came in soon after WILDER, for whom he worked for some time.  He was a man of good natural ability and fair education, which he utilized as one of the first teachers in the town.  He lived long upon the farm, but finally moved to what has been known as Hilltown, in the southwest part of South Bristol. 

The next place going south on the road, and occupied by Eli ALLEN, was first settled by Aaron RICE, one of WILDER’s party.  His stay was transient, and a sale was made to Theophilus ALLEN.  The third frame house erected in town is the one occupied by Mr. ALLEN, and was built by his grandfather.  Mr. RICE moved from here to the farm now owned by Henry ATCHISON, where he cleared a few acres and then removed to lot 9, where C. G. HEMENWAY resides.  He selected for his residence the west brow of hill, where he had a good view of the surrounding valleys.  His death took place here in 1821.  South of RICE’s first settlement comes the farm owned by D. P. ALLEN.  The first settler was Nathan HATCH, Jr., from Connecticut.  He came to the WILDER settlement prior to 1800, and married Lucy WILDER, daughter of Gamaliel.  The HATCH family were principally residents of Burbee Hollow.  The settler, Nathan, after a long sojourn here moved to Ohio.  A neighbor was a very deaf old man, known as Uncle David GILBERT, a brother in law to WILDER.  Here he died where J. A. BYAN now owns, on lot 18.  Near south we find Gamaliel WILDER, who first moved here form the Point, and built a double log house a trifle northeast of the present property of HOTCHKISS.  The southern part of the present dwelling was erected in 1808, and was the first frame house in town, and for years so remained.  Asa, a son of Gamaliel, who made his home with his parents, erected the north part of the house.  Directly south of this place, on the J. W. DAVIS farm, lived Elisha PARRISH, son in law to J. WILDER.  He came here from Naples, prior to 1800, and was one of the earliest school teacher in town.  His son, F. Drake PARRISH, was born in Naples, then Middletown, on December 20, 1796, and is now a resident of Oberlin, Ohio, where he has resided some sixty years.  From him we have received valuable notes of early settlement of this locality.    

South of Mr. PARRISH there was no settlement, till 1812, between his house and Naples, by way of the "Cold Spring."  The settlement, as we have indicated, extended itself around into "Burbee's Hollow", and the first settler southwest of  G. WILDER, up the creek, was of the pioneer blacksmith, James WILDER, a distant relative of the proprietor.  He came into town soon after the commencement of settlement and located on the  W. H. HURD place, and built a house opposite his residence, where states the house of Mrs. TUTTLE.   WILDER remained a blacksmith in this locality for thirty years, and few men of humble station became more generally known to the neighborhood.  He is described by one who knew him as a “jovial, witty, queer genius,” whose shop was thronged each stormy day to hear his stories and ready jokes.  He finally removed to Kentucky.  A neighbor to WILDER was Warren BROWN, whose clearing was upon the farm of A. INGRAHAM.  In 1812, Thomas LEE, a carpenter, who afterward resided in Cold Springs, built the frame house for BROWN which stands opposite the dwelling of INGRAHAM.  Here BROWN raised a family and later moved to Canandaigua, where he died at an advanced age. 

Next south of BROWN was Jared TUTTLE, another of the WILDER party of 179o, and an industrious settler, upon the farm of P. INGRAHAM.  He passed his years upon this estate, and died in 1840, at an honored age.  It was fortunate for the settlers that among their number were found men efficient and ready to use the natural resources of the country to the greatest advantage.  The rapid water suggested its power and use, and Ephraim BROWN, a Connecticut wheelwright, came in among the first, and locating near TUTTLE, at once set to work and erected the first mill here, under the direction of WILDER & ALLEN.  He was aged when he came to this new country, and his existence was not protracted here.  The process of acclimation was too severe for many, and not the least of the trials of the family was the loss of a member; but the danger past, the longevity of the settler seemed assured.  It is known that Alpheus GARY was a neighbor to TUTTLE, and that is all; a memory of a name, a dim recollection, and a life is dropped out of notice.

In 1796, KAUFMAN and family moved in form the east, and settled next above TUTTLE.  KAUFMAN was short-lived in the Genesee country, and the widow KAUFMAN attended the grist-mill in the locality, when it was first built, and was very well regarded in this connection.  A son, William, until his recent death, was the oldest resident in the town.  For many years this family had for a neighbor, a man named STRATTON, whose house was on the bank, south of the house of S. BERNER.   

Going north from Boswell's Corners, we come into what is termed "Burbee Hollow,: whose first setter, from the corners, was Phineas PERKINS, who moved here during 1796 and settled the farm where George ALEXANDER now owns.  Age came upon him while he lingered; but finally, when quite old, he sold out and found a home elsewhere.  Upon the same lot lived Deacon John FORBES, whose existence was spared to see his children grow up to maturity around him.  Shortly after his death, the family went to Kentucky.  The next neighbor north, on the same lot, was Richard BISHOP, whose residence in the neighborhood was somewhat late than that of FORBES.  As will be noted, WILDER had a distillery to utilize his peaches, and BISHOP was engaged in its management for a time, but ultimately removed to Kentucky, where he is said to have engaged in distilling on his own account, and to have become his own patron.  The next place north was not of early settlement, it being 1812 when Abraham ROBERTS moved upon it, and there resided till his death some years later.  Further northward, was the place settled by Levi AUSTIN and a man named FAY.  The former put out an orchard here in 1796, below where the barn of Warren PARMELY stands; the orchard is yet, after a lapse of fourscore years, in good bearing condition.  It is observed that every new settler as soon as he had cleared sufficient land, at once set out an apple orchard, and from 1812-14 there was an immense quantity of cider made.  The trees were young, thrifty and from ten to twelve years old, and bore abundantly.  A great incentive to the manufacture of large quantities was the ready market and high prices.  Our forces were then posted along the frontier from Sackett’s Harbor to Buffalo, and thousands of barrels of cider were hauled to the various camps where disposal was soon made.  The ALLEN's were heavily engaged in orchards, and made hundreds of barrels of cider annually.  They had erected a large cider mill house in which they placed two presses, which they ran constantly.  Prior to 1800, Nathan HATCH, Sr., moved in with a large family of boys, and two or three girls.  He bought out AUSTIN and FAY and made a further purchase of WILDER.  His sons were: Nathan, George, John, Thomas, Charles, Lyman and Luman.  Nathan afterwards purchased the farm north of John RYAN and owned by D .P. ALLEN.  George located upon the property held in part by Mrs. Betsy CROUCH.  John settled in No. 9, on the farm owned by the late Seymour W. CASE, west of Bristol Centre.  Lyman, on land adjacent his father, now held by Homer ALFORD.  Thomas returned to Connecticut and Luman lived upon the homestead until his death, which occurred in 1826.

The S. T. SWARTS place was first settled by one BELKNAP, who remained but a brief time.  Aaron SPENCER came to the settlement in 1790, worked for a time with WILDER, and then returning to Connecticut, brought out his family and moved in 1792 upon that part of lot 36 occupied by T. SMYTH.  Here he cleared a few acres, and remained three years, when he sold to Nicholas BURBEE, who had recently come in with Colonel John GREEN, of Pittstown.  The sojourn of BURBEE, which terminated in the spring of 1812, gave origin to the name of Burbee Hollow, by which the vicinity has since been known.  Soon after his purchase, BURBEE sold the north half to Captain Reuben GILBERT, and afterwards Seevel GILBERT, brother to Reuben, came to live upon the place now owned by I. J. BARNES.  Deacon PARMELY bought BURBEE out in 1812, and settled down upon a large farm for life.  He had practical knowledge of surveying, and made it available to the neighborhood.  At his father’s death, James PARMELY remained upon the old farm until within a few years, when he removed to Louisiana, and his remembrances are the basis of much of our information.  “Lawyer” BUTLER was a resident of the neighborhood in the pioneer period and found employment as a petty attorney in local disagreements.  His home was a small log cabin, and his legal business occupied time not engaged in farming.  A family named REED once lived in this vicinity.  At Seneca Point, as now known, WILDER made his first sojourn, and afterwards removed to lot 18, north of the forks of the road.  Gideon BEEMAN came out in 1809, form Connecticut, and located near the lake, where now lives W. H. HICKS.  Here, having erected a log cabin, he engaged in horse trading in connection with farming.  For a time he was away, but returned to the town, where he died.  A son, Nelson, resides in the town.  It is notable how character becomes manifest in the life of an individual.  Contentment and love of home become a habit, and fix a man to one locality, whence he never departs.  This was illustrated in the life of Daniel WILDER, son of Gamaliel; where he settled with his father, there he remained until the close of his life.  

The Covel settlement derived its name from its leading early settlers, James COVEL, who in 1806, came out from Woodstock, Vermont, and located east of the cemetery on a tract of two hundred acres opposite where G. S. RANDALL resides.  Some years later he remove to Allegany.  He has a son, named Thomas, residing in Naples.  The old gentleman has attained the age of eighty-five.  John WOOD came to this neighborhood soon after COVEL, and took up his residence upon one hundred and fifty acres of the lot opposite.  His death took place when advanced in life, and no descendant resides in the town.  Ezra WOOD moved in about 1810 from Woodstock, Vermont and the land now tilled by E. F. WOOD is the same as that cleared by his grandfather.  One hundred acres comprised his possession.  His death took place February 23, 1813, when fifty-one years of age.  In February 1876, Isaac, son of Ezra, died here, aged eighty-one years.  Gaius RANDALL accompanied WOOD here and bought him a house upon the north part of lot 0.  While a portion of his time was given to carpentry, the farm was his main dependence.  He moved to the WILDER farm in 1814, after the death of Daniel WILDER, and from there to the place where Martin HICKS lives.  He finally bought the COVEL place where, at the age of seventy-three, he died.  He has two sons, aged respectively seventy-one and fifty-five, who yet reside in the town. 

Jonathan FORBES, son of the deacon, was a farmer on lot 8, where Charles GOFF lived as early as 1808 and emigrated as did many others, to lands in Kentucky.  South of GOFF, dwelt Jeremiah SPICER, on the VANDERBURG place.  He raised a family and in his age moved upon a farm father south, where he died.  His son, Jeremiah, now lives in Naples.  In the person of Aaron RICE,  a resident upon lot 9 upon the HEMEWAY place, was found the only farrier then in the county.  He was old and worthy, a citizen of good reputation in the community.  Luke COYE came in about 1814, and settled near Naples, but afterwards moved to lot 2, south of the present school house.  A son, David, and two daughters are residents of the town.  Elam CRANE of Durham, Connecticut, moved to the county in the spring of 1791 and settled on the Archer farm in Hopewell.  A son, John, was born in 1792.  Mr. CRANE has been mentioned as a teacher of repute.  In 1826 he moved from near Cheshire to lot No. 9, where, November 17, 1850, he died in his eighty-third year.  He was industrious as he was intelligent, but with a large family to support, never accumulated property.  His family consisted of twelve children, three by a first wife.  There were six boys and a like number of girls.  Three sons and two daughters survive.  One son, George, lives near his father’s place; Calvin lives near Canandaigua, and is eighty-two years of age.  The remains of Mr. CRANE, the teacher, rest in the Academy graveyard (in Canandaigua).   

Thomas FRANCISCO, from near Albany, moved in and in time married a daughter of John WOOD, and settled on lot No. 1, where W. E. LINCOLN lives.  After some years he moved to Michigan, where his descendants are living.  Ezra PARMELY, as late as 1812, was the first to settle upon lot 2, near the place of J. M. SANFORD.  Some years later he traded his farm to GRANGER, of Canandaigua, and joined the movement to Kentucky.  Clark WOREN joined PARMELY in the purchase from WILDER, a tract of land lying on the East Hill, adjoining the RICE place on the east, and moved on in the spring of 1812.  A year or two later a man named WARD, and designated “Papa” WARD, had located next south of WORDEN.  These, with RICE, SPICER and FORBES, constituted the inhabitants at that time of the locality.  David KNICKERBOCKER moved in from Hopewell in 1811 and bought of BEEMAN the place occupied by William HICKS, on lot 12, near the Point.  A numerous family grew up around him, and thinking to better their condition, removed to Ohio, where he died.  Some of the children are still living there; the older son, Larry, married Orpha, daughter of Daniel WILDER.  Larry built a schooner on the lake about 1826.  It was announced that it would be launched at the Point on July 3, and people turned out to see the novel spectacle from all directions.  The event was marked by the drowning of Leonard  HOSKINS.  The craft sailed to Canandaigua and on July 4, a good load of passengers went down to the village, and had a memorable and enjoyable time.  It attracted considerable attention as it sailed gaily along, and groups gathered at various points to observe the progress of the schooner. 

In this vicinity a school was opened during 1816, in a log house east of where Frank WOOD resides.  The first school master was Winthrop HOLCOMB, who had about a score of scholars, most of whom have departed.  The teacher later conducted a school near Standish, and still survives.  In 1812 and years afterwards, Indians were frequently seen.  The settlers were accustomed to see them pass their houses in parties of from two or three to twenty, some being on foot and some on ponies.  They generally stopped at the cabins and houses to beg bread.  Their method was to halt in the road, and send in a squaw or two to do the begging.  The present of a loaf or more was taken with a grunt of satisfaction.  It was divided among the whole party, which then moved on another stage.  The papoose was carried by the squaw upon her back.  The infant was lashed to a thin board, face outward; a leather strap was attached, which rested against the forehead in carrying.  When a squaw entered a house, the child was set against the fence or house, and never uttered a cry to indicate discomfort, although left to itself for a considerable period of time.  The last wigwam stood till 1815, about a mile from Cold Spring, and from time to time Indians occupied it temporarily, but the hills and valley of South Bristol are traversed no more by the Seneca, and the white man dwells there supreme and alone.  

Bristol Springs is a hamlet, occupied in the central portion of district No. 3, in the southern part of the town, near the lake.  It has a post office and to the eastward are Cook's and Lapham Points.   The first settler on the former point was Frederick Winthrop HOLCOMB, from Windsor, Connecticut in 1812, and came on foot.  He was no uncommon pedestrian, yet in nine days he had walked three hundred miles, and at the age of 24, began a settler’s life.   He marked Keziah WOOD, and these later pioneers dwelt for sixteen years in a log house having a single room.  In 1829 his father came to the place, while he himself moved to the land owned by S. BAPPEL.  He yet resides in this neighborhood at the age of 87 years, and is the oldest inhabitant of South Bristol.  At Cook’s Point, had lived a man named MALOY, who belonged to that transient, floating class who obtained subsistence from the lake and woods, and was of that type of whom the cheaper novels treat.  MALOY was a hunter and a fisherman; a cheerless cabin was his home, a section of a hollow tree served as a chimney to his fireplace, and here he lived and gave a first name to the Point.  It was first known as Maloy’s then Holcomb’s and finally as Cook’s Point.  Two and a half miles up the lake, where now stands the Standish Hotel, once lived a Welshman, named John PERRY, who cared not for society or habitation so long as deer ran in the woods and fish could be taken from the lake.  A few acres were cleared to furnish vegetables, an orchard was planted in trees, and a small, one roomed cabin was the tenement of the family.   PERRY was generally to be found hunting the deer with hounds, which drove the game into the water, where he made captures by the aid of a skiff, as many as five in a single day.  The old hunter lived many years in this place, and has a descendant, Ann HATCH, who yet resides in the town, at the age of eighty-six years.  Thomas STANDISH came from Vermont in 1811, with a family, and built a cabin where J. G. WOOD’s home now is, on lot 3.  STANDISH moved to Batavia, where he died.  This section was reputed unhealthy.  A fog of miasmatic composition arose from marsh and swamp at the head of the lake, and drifting along to the shelf, there rested during the clear, still nights of summer.  A man by the name of LOVERIDGE first settled on the farm subsequently owned by Luman HATCH.  The latter married Miss Ann PERRY, and in 1819 sold to Amos MINER, Jr., who, moving upon it the same year, was a sufferer all summer with fevers, and exchanged with HATCH for the farm now owned by S.T. SWARZ.  Phineas LEE was an early occupant where F. SEAMANS lives.  He married a Miss LEIPHART, and removed to Michigan.  The parents of this couple died here at an early period.  A man named Lucius LINCOLN came in about 1816, and located on the property own owned by T. L. LINCOLN, his son.  The father of Lucius, early resided in the town.  Thomas LEE, of Hopewell, came in 1820 and built the house occupied by William WOOD, a carpenter.  About 1840 he removed to Michigan.  Richard INGRAHAM came here about 1813, and took up a residence on lot 10.  His death occurred several years since, and members of the family reside in the town.  A shoemaker, named KNOWLES, resided in this place, and traveled from house to house for several years to do the work of making and mending, as was the pioneer custom. 

Jonathan GREENE came in about 1813, and lived north of the Springs on the farm of Isaac TREMBLY. He was known as a carpet weaver, and his death occurred at an early period.  Dr. David WILLIAMS came in from Connecticut and located north of GREENE, and practiced about two years, when he died.  It is related in connection with his funeral, that being in life a Methodist, when his remains were taken to the house of a Presbyterian, the owner saw the assembly seated and then withdrew until the exercises were concluded.  North of WILLIAMS, the doctor, was WILLIAMS, the distiller, whose business was of brief duration.  Anson PARRISH built upon the adjoining farm.  He was a son to Elisha, who lived opposite the place of W. W. DAVIS.  William GATIS and brothers came about 1818 and purchased where L. HUGHSON lives on lot 9.  They were from Ireland and gave attention to farming.  Samuel was by trade a mason, and was ready to do any work in his line as occasion offered.  John FOX came in during 1815 and settled on the farm lately owned by H. D. COYE on lot 18; opposite FOX dwelt E. G. HURLBURT, on lot 13, where SAILOR has preceded him.  Farther north on this road lived VAN NESS, on the present farm of Charles CANNETT.  Harrison SALSBURY, a relative to VAN NESS, moved in about 1817 and settled where Lewis E. GANNETT recently owned on lot 17.   He moved to Cold Springs at a later period.  A son resides in Michigan.  On what is known as the CRANDALL farm was located Pitts WALKER, an early settler.   

South Hollow vicinity has no early history.  From Boswell’s Corners to the Naples line there were in 1810, no occupants.  About 1813, Jeremiah SPICER moved from Covel Hill to land upon the creek, and built a log house opposite to where J. A. PIERCE now lives.  He left the impress of a life of toil in the fields cleared by his labor and save this brief mention wood soon have been forgotten, so quietly do the generations pass, and so little heed is paid to their departure.  About the same year as SPICER moved, William KAUFMAN changed his residence to where S. CROUCH resides, near the south line of lot 29.  In 1815, Eleazer PARKER came in from Bloomfield, and developed a farm from the wild lands on lot 23, where is now the farm of Chauncey F. INGRAHAM.  About 1818 he was joined by his brother, David, and the two ended their days on their farms.  South of this point, the land remained in its native state until some thirty years since, when Caleb MC NAIR moved in from Yates county and purchased fifty acres.  About the same time a man named SHELDON came in and bought a large tract of land.  His family grew to maturity and became prominent in various localities. 

Frosttown and vicinity was occupied by Gamaliel WILDER during the first or second year of his arrival.  He cut out a road from his place at the Point, westward over a hill, down the mountainside east of where he later died.  That same old road is still in use by many in the eastern part of that town, as a foot or horseback road in getting over the old WILDER place.  WILDER, therefore, continued his road up hillside and down into valley to what is now designated Frosttown.    

The route of the first road leading west across the town is thus given: "Continuing on westerly from Brown stand, very nearly on the site of the present road till near the top of the hill on TUTTLE place, where it bore to the right, along the south part of lot No. 28, 20 or 30 rods north of the Boswell school house, winding northwesterly up the hill, passing near where George ALEXANDER' s house now stands, on northwesterly down the valley eastward of the creek, to the farm now owned by Homer ALFORD.  It then turned west up the mountain; when part way, it wound around to the southwest, and so kept that course mainly to where, on lot 44, a saw mill was built."  Un-traveled for 70 odd years, its route is traceable most of the way from ALFORD'S to the mill.  During the days of early settlement, the inhabitants were obliged to spend much time and labor to cut out and open roads, though, as in this instance given, we see that WILDER performed a large share of the labor.  WILDER opened a road from his residence down the valley close under the foot of East Hill, avoiding the creek, and reaching the place of his brother, Ephraim, at Bristol Centre.

During this yeas, a road was cut out from WILDER' s nearly south, up the mountain, thence winding to past the gullies, but mainly direct to Naples settlement, which was then mostly at the lower end of the present village.  The old road was nearly upon the tract of the once south of H. B. GANNETT, to the old CLARK place, at the foot of the hill at Naples.  IT was the only one passable for teams that connected No. 8 with Naples for a dozen or more years.  James PARMELY says that, "In the summer of 1813, my father sent me to Naples with a sack of wool lashed on the horse behind the saddle, to get it carded,: and along this scarcely passable road, he made his way through what was then an unbroken wilderness.   In the fall of 1813 the notice was circulated that on a certain day all should meet to cut out a road from Boswell's Corners, south, to Sutton's settlement.  The setters, to an number of a score or more, turned out from four or five miles around.  Phineas PERKINS, an old but energetic man, was appointed "boss".  To make a road up and down the hills on banks each way from the creek, was a formidable task, but all went heartily to work.  The teams were variously employed, some in hauling logs to fill up low places, some plowing, while the settlers were active, some chopping, others shoveling and by night, there was a passable road to nearly opposite the mill pond of KAUFMAN.  After the erection, by WILDER, of a saw mill at Frosttown, the call for lumber from the northern towns was far in excess of the capacity of a mill, and three or four years after the erection of WILDER’s, the FROSTS, Jonathan and Jacob, bought several hundred acres of land west and south of it, and put up another mill just at the head of Wilders’ mill point and later purchased the lower mill.  These mills were the leading mart for pine lumber in Ontario County for twenty or thirty years, until the exhaustion of the timber.  Jacob FROST died about 1816 and Jonathan sold the upper mill to John HALL and the lower one to Israel BUTLER.  Having sold his mills, FROST, with his sons, Moses and Ephraim, went upon and cleared up the farm now owned by Hiram ABBEY.  Stiles PARKER, a local Methodist preacher, lived here some time and left to see a better country.  Hazzard WILCOX came in soon after the FROST's, and built a house on lot 48, near where his son, I. W. WILCOX, lives.  He built a seam saw mill in the later years, and it was the first in the neighborhood.  Several are now being run in this part of the town.   In the central part of joint district No. 11 lived HALL, on the farm of C. G. DAVIS.  HALL cleared large fields, and a family grew up around him.  He moved away in time, and settlement progressed slowly.   A man named NORTH was a temporary resident in this locality.   The first on the road was Caleb MC NAIR, who moved here in 1826 from another part of town.  Among those who came in about this time were William DUNN, of Naples, who built a saw mill on lot 43, and John LEE of Bloomfield; here both men resided to the close of their lives.  In the southwestern part of the the town, in district No. 10, is the locality which bears the appellations of "Hilltown".   About 1818, Erastus HILL, accompanied by his son, Cyrus, moved from the settlement on Mud Creek, and built a sawmill on the small stream called Mill creek.  They were industrious men and manufactured considerable lumber.  Soon after their becoming established, Franklin PIERCE and his father arrived, and located where S. LORD lives, on lot 38.  Mr. PIERCE Sr., occupied the farm of M. WOODWARD, whereon, he died, while Franklin went to Michigan.  Benjamin WILCOX, of Bloomfield came in and with Lewis WILSON built a sawmill, which they ran in company several years.  WILCOX died and LEWIS went west.   The locality was populated from adjacent towns at a much later day.  Some made permanent settlement, others temporary, and the original proprietors of the farms still reside upon them, in the prime of life, but suffering few of the hardships known to those of the older towns.   

The first grist mill in the town and far beyond its limits, for the people came for grinding from Farmington and northern towns, was that of WILDER, erecting in 1791.  The old mill had an extensive patronage.  Farmers came with ox sleds in winter, and carts in summer, on account of poor roads.  Even as late as 1815, caravans of boys on horseback, each boy with a bushel or more of grain, came to the mill on No. 8 and when  the mill was crowded with custom the boys left their grain and made lively times on their return.  When WILDER moved from the point to his double log cabin, near the present BROWN stand, he removed the works form the old mill to the site of the present one on Mud creek.  The proprietors of this establishment were WILDER and Jesse ALLEN and Mrs. KAUFMAN, the miller.  

 Adjoining, a saw mill was erected.  In 1805 Ephraim BROWN built the present grist mill on the site of the Wilder mill.  It was owned and run in 1812 by Samuel WHEELER, who was succeeded by John RHODES. He traded it in 1818 to Gideon GRANGER for lands in the State of Ohio.  Since, these owners have been many. 

The first frame house built in town was erected by G. WILDER.  He kept tavern in it for years, and it still exists as the south end of the HOTCHKISS house.  The first store was opened in 1828, near Boswell Corners, by George WILDER and DR. HEWITT.

A flowing well exists near the old WILDER place.  The oil fever was raging in 1864, and a company was organized to bore for oil in this locality. When a depth of 135 feet had been reached, water began to rise; and by the time the shaft had been sunk 155 feet, a stream began to flow, and has continued till now.  It contains iron and other substances, and aids noticeably in augmenting the volume of water in the stream to which it contributes.  

The first teacher in South Bristol was named Joanna FORBES, and Elisha PARRISH was a winter teacher for several years, in the early days.  The first school house was built of closely fitted hewed logs.  It was 20 feet square, and stood on the west side of the main road, about a quarter of a mile north of WILDER's residence.  The present school house stands on the north side of a small run of water.



The town has 12 school house, all of which are frame buildings.  The value of the school property, as estimated September 30, 1875, was $4,930.  The number of persons between the ages of 5 and 21, was 405.  Of 17 teachers employed that year, five were males.  The commissioner had made 16 inspections.  The library contained 403 volumes.  Two of the districts had the teacher board around.  The statistics of compulsory education are void of arrests for truancy, or prosecution in violation of the act.  All seem to have been under instruction at home or in school  Financial standing is thus given: On hand, October 1, 1874, $62.42; Receipts, $2,788.95; total: $2,851.37.  Payments to teachers, $2,472.87.  Entire expense, $2802.48.  On hand October 1, 1875, $48.89.  The assessed valuation of taxable property, $222,798.  The report of 1867 gives value of school property at $4,825.  Expenses for the year, $2, 715.33.  Apportionment, $647.28   Little change is apparent.  


The first town meeting of the old tow of Bristol took place in 1797, and among the officers were many of the pioneers of South Bristol.  An act was passed by the Senate and Assembly, March 8, 1838, to divide the town of Bristol and South Bristol was then organized.   The first town meeting was held at the inn of Allen BROWN in April 1838.  Horace PENNELL, Esq., presided.  Franklin CROOKER was elected supervisor and S. COLLINS, town clerk; John STETSON, Philo JUDSON and G. HAYES, justices; David COYE, Cyrus HILLS and Allen BROWN, assessors; Peter CAMERON, collector; Thomas COVEL and M. HAYES, overseers of the poor; Ephraim RANDALL, Silas REYNOLDS and Joseph A. ALLEN, commissioners of highways; Joseph S. PENOYER, H. PENNELL and Samuel P. PAGE, commissioners of common schools; Garius RANDALL and David PARKER, constables; A. A. BROWN, A. BROWN and S. COLLINS, inspectors of common schools.  


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