New Haven was the last
town taken from Mexico before the organization of Oswego County.
It was formed on the 2d of April, 1813, (Laws 1813, Chap. 107), and as
originally organized it included the entire nineteenth township of Scriba
Patent and nothing more. This township was originally called by Mr.
Scriba Vera Cruz, which name he also gave to the city he caused to be laid
out at the mouth of Salmon Creek, which was in this township. By
Chapter 264 of the Laws of 1836, as amended by Chapter 33 of the Laws of
1837, lots 24, 25, 26 and 27 of this township, which included the mouth
of Salmon Creek and formed a strip of land about half a mile wide running
along the lake shore and which separated the town of Mexico from the lake,
were taken from New Haven and annexed to Mexico, to the great delight of
the latter. This left New Haven with its present area of 18,303 acres.
It is the smallest town in the county, being five miles east and west by
five and three-fourths north and south, and is divided into 133 lots, which
are numbered from the northwest corner eastwardly.
New Haven is situated
near the center of the extreme northwestern part of the county, and is
bounded on the north by Lake Ontario, on the east by Mexico, on the south
by Palermo and Volney, and on the west by Scriba. The surface is
gently rolling or nearly level, inclining toward the lake. The soil
is principally a sandy and gravelly loam and is underlaid with gray sandstone,
which crops out in many localities. Adequate drainage is afforded
by Spring Brook and Catfish and Butterfly Creeks, which flow northwardly
into Lake Ontario. At the mouth of the Butterfly there is quite an
extensive marsh and in the southwest part of the town there is a similar
The early settlers of
New Haven found a dense wilderness heavily timbered with pine, hemlock,
beech and maple, and for many years the conversion of this into marketable
lumber furnished profitable employment. Numerous saw mills were built
on the streams, and the work of clearing the land went forward rapidly.
In 1850 there were seven saw mills in town. In 1860 there were nine
saw mills, two grist mills, and other manufacturing establishments in active
operation. As the forests fell agriculture superseded all other industries.
Stock raising in time was given considerable attention, and dairying became
of paramount importance. The first cheese factory in town was built
in 1864. Within recent years, fruit growing has become one of the
chief industries, and at present New Haven ranks first in this respect
in Oswego county. The Strawberry Growers’ Association, organized
a few years ago through the efforts of Sterling A. Newell, who served
as secretary for seven years, has been largely instrumental in developing
and fostering this industry. Blackberries, raspberries, currants,
pears, peaches, apples and grapes are grown in large quantities, while
the grains, hay, potatoes and corn, receive due attention.
The first road in the
town was opened prior to 1806 and doubtless was the one leading to Scriba’s
proposed city of Vera Cruz at the mouth of Little Salmon Creek.
Others were laid out and made passable as the population increased, and
have generally been kept in good repair. In 1814 there were twelve
road districts. The Oswego and Rome plank road, authorized in 1844
and completed a few years afterward, passed through New Haven and was a
busy thoroughfare. The town now has sixty-six road districts with
a pathmaster in each. In the fall of 1865 the Rome and Oswego Railroad,
now the R., W. & O., was put in operation, running about midway between
New Haven village and Lake Ontario with a station at Demster post-office.
It gave a new impetus to the growth of the town and has ever since afforded
excellent shipping facilities.
The first town meeting
was held at the house of Ansel Snow, in the village of New Haven,
on April 19, 1814, more than one year after the town was formed.
Sixty-six votes were cast and the following officers were chosen:
David Easton, supervisor;
Jonathan Wing, town clerk; David Easton, Nathaniel Marvin,
and William Taylor, assessors; Joseph Bailey and Daniel
Hall, overseers of the poor; Joseph Bailey, Jr., Anson Drake,
and Joseph Boynton, highway commissioners; Joseph Bailey,
Jonathan Wing, and Nathaniel Marvin, commissioners of common
schools; David Easton, Anson Drake, and Eliphalet Colt, inspectors
of common schools; George C. Bailey, collector; George C. Bailey
and Crandall Kenyon, constables; Daniel Hall and Nathaniel
Marvin, fenceviewers; Almon Lindsley and Eleazer Snow,
pound-masters; Elias May, Chauncey Drake, Jesse Smith, Robert Jerrett,
William Taylor, Henry Hawley, Eliphalet Colt, Lyman Hatch, Daniel Hatch,
Philip Delano, Crandall Kenyon and John Wolcott, pathmasters.
The supervisors of
New Haven have been as follows:
David Easton, 1814-16; Orris
Hart, 1817-20; David Easton, 1821-23; Seth Severances,
1824-29; William Bullen, 1830; Orris Hart, 1831; Seth
Severance, 1832-38; Norman Rowe, 1839-40; Seth Severance,
1841-42; Hosea Cornish, 1843-45; Seth Severance, 1846; Norman
Rowe, 1847; Lorenzo W. Tanner, 1848; Charles Nichols,
1849; L. W. Tanner, 1850; Seth Severance, 1851; Abram
W. Hewitt, 1852; John C. Gillespie, 1853-54; Avery W. Severance,
1855-56; Lorenzo W. Tanner, 1857; Norman Rowe, 1858; L.
W. Tanner, 1859; Avery W. Severance, 1860-71; Henry J. Daggett,
1872-76; Schuyler M. Barker, 1877; H. J. Daggett, 1878; S.
M. Barker, 1879-80; Henry B. Allen, 1881; S. M. Barker,
1882; George W. Daggett, 1883-84; S. M. Barker, 1885; George
M. Whitney, 1886-90; Lucian Snow, 1891; Frank W. Stevens,
served as town clerk from 1814 to 1816 inclusive, William Taylor
from 1817 to 1818, Hezekiah Nichols from 1819 to 1824, Isaac
Whipple from 1825 to 1829, Levi Rowe from 1830 to 1831, and
Chester R. Wells in 1833. David Easton was appointed
a justice of the peace in 1807, Joseph Bailey in 1810, and Jonathan
Wing in 1811; these were the only justices who lived in New Haven
while it was still a part of Mexico. The first justices appointed
after the formation of the town were Jonathan Wing, Samuel Cherry, Lyman
Blakesley, and Israel Ransom.
The town officers
for 1894-5 were as follows:
Frank V. Stevens????,
supervisor; B. T. Armstrong, clerk; H. B. Allen, B. T. Armstrong,
James E. Baker, and Newton W. Parsons, justices of the peace;
L. J. Groves, highway commissioner; Edward M. Mond, collector;
F. W. Mellon, overseer of the poor; William B. Searles, Clarence
D. Smith, and William E. Booth, assessors; H. A. Stacy, Jr.,
Silas Chesbro, and Frank Elmhirst, excise commissions.
The first permanent
settler(2), of New Haven was Solomon Smith, who located on lot 47
in 1800 and built the first log house in town, near the subsequent residence
of David Russell. He also erected, in 1812, the first frame
building, a dwelling, and soon after it was enclosed he gave a dance or
“house warming”. He died here November 28, 1824, at the age of seventy-five.
Of his several sons, John R. was killed at the raising of Orris Hart’s
ashery in October, 1823, and Jesse died in town aged over eighty.
In 1804 Capt Gardner
Wyman and Eleazer Snow came in from Eaton, Madison county.
It would thus appear that Mr. Smith and family were the sole inhabitants
of New Haven during a period of four years. Mr. Wyman obtained his
title of captain in the war of 1812 and was the first man in town to command
a militia company. His son, Meres Wyman, died here March 17,
1884, aged ninety-four. He once attended a dance at Mexico Point,
going on foot to Colosse to borrow a horse, returning to New Haven for
his girl, and traveling in all over fifty miles in making the round trip.
Captain Wyman erected the third log house in town, on lot 57, at the east
end of the old Barker farm. Leander Snow settled on the north
side of Catfish Creek, near New Haven Station, on the farm which has always
remained in the family. His son Daniel was born in 1803 and died
here in October, 1881. He had five children, of whom Lucien,
born in 1838, occupies the old homestead. Two other sons of Eleazer
Snow were Charles and Lebbeus, both of whom commanded sailing
vessels between Oswego and Lewiston. During a down trip a terrific
storm partially wrecked the craft of Charles Snow and all on board,
about thirty in number, were drowned. The vessel of which Lebbeus
was captain was saved in the mouth of the Genesee River.
and John Ames also settled here in 1804. The latter built
the second log house in town. Mr. Drake located near Cheever’s Mills,
and after the first mill was erected there he conducted it. Chester
Drake, a cabinet maker, was born here in 1840.
In 1805 Joseph Bailey,
James Jerrett, Ira Foot, David Easton, and Andrew Place became
settlers. The first named, from Vernon, N,Y., located on the Andrew
Coe farm west of New Haven Village. He was the first postmaster
(1) Frank V. Stevens was
born in New Haven in 1857, has served as assessor two terms, and for three
years was a member of the life saving crew at Salmon Creek Station.
(2) French’s State Gazeteer, 1860,
states that the first settlement was commenced by Messrs. Rood and
Doolittle at New Haven in 1798, but F. W. Squires, who is
recognized as authority on local history, gives this honor to Solomon
Smith. Rood and Doolittle doubtless settled at what is now Texas
or Mexico Point.
town, justice of the peace in 1810,
1814, and 1816 and performed the marriage ceremony for Capt. Ephraim
Van Valkenburgh, the first white child born in what is now Volney.
He was a soldier in the British Army, as was also Mr. Jerrett, who
came from Paris, Oneida county, and settled opposite Mr. Bailey.
Both deserted from Burgoyne about the time of the battle at Saratoga.
Mrs. Polly Coe and Richard Jerrett were children of Mr. Jerrett.
Ira Foot, from Kirkland, Oneida county, located at Cheever’s Mills,
where he built the first saw mill in town in 1805. Prior to raising
the frame he sent to Rome for a case of whiskey, which was drunk up, and
a second trip for another cask had to be made before the building was raised.
David Easton was one of the early prominent men and held several
positions of public trust, was supervisor six years and justice of the
peace, and held both offices at the time of his death in 1823; he was appointed
justice in 1807, 1809, 1811, 1820, and 1823, and became an associate justice
of the Common Pleas in 1816. He was the first justice of the peace
in the present town and the first supervisor of New Haven, and was also
elected to the last named office in Mexico in 1809. He located on
the Willis Johnson farm one mile south of Butterfly Corners.
Andrew Place was another early comer and a noteworthy citizen.
He first settled on the Ira D. Smith farm and later at May’s Corners,
two miles east of New Haven, where he opened and kept a log tavern.
Afterward he had an inn where his son Andrew G. subsequently resided.
He also lived in Richland and in New Haven village, where he died suddenly
in his wagon November 15, 1852, aged sixty-five. He was a shrewd
man, a good speaker, and an active Jacksonian Democrat. Andrew
G. Place was born here in December, 1819, and since 1837 has lived
in this town.
came from Vernon, Oneida county, in the spring of 1806, accompanied by
his eldest son, Zadok, then fifteen years old. He settled
three-fourths of a mile west of the present village of New Haven, opposite
the place now owned by Charles Davis, and lived there until his
death, in October, 1839. The country, on his arrival, was an almost
unbroken forest, and he came the greater part of the distance from Oneida
county by following a line of blazed trees. There were only two small
clearings between the place where he settled and Oswego, one that of Mr.
Bailey, now known as the Coe farm, and the other the Burt and Stone
place at Scriba Corners. The first summer he cleared a few acres
of land, planted and raised a small quantity of corn, built a log house,
and went back, in the fall, to Oneida county. In the following winter
he returned with a cow, a few sheep, a yoke of oxen, a sled, and his family,
which then consisted of a wife and five children (one daughter and four
sons), the youngest five years old.
One or two incidents
will suffice to show the wildness of the country. On the journey
from Oneida county they stopped for a night at a log house which served
them as a “tavern”. The cow, sheep, and oxen were placed in a log
barn. In the night a pack of wolves, attracted by the animals, surrounded
the buildings, and not only made the forests echo with their howlings,
but also made an onslaught upon the doors of both the house and barn with
such fury as to create serious alarm. On arriving at their rude cabin
the sheep were put into a log pen, that had been prepared for the purpose
the previous summer. It was covered with poles and brush, and supposed
to be secure against wolves. The family went on, for the night, a
mile farther, to the Bailey place. On their return, in the morning,
they found their sheep pen had been broken into, and their little flock
all killed by the wolves. Today, when the great majority of the people
have an abundance of the necessaries of life, and live in comparative luxury,
it is difficult to appreciate such a loss to a family, almost wholly dependent
upon the fleeces of their flock for their clothing and bedding, in their
new forest home.
son of Roswell, was born in this town July 4, 1812, and is the oldest
living native resident.
Among other arrivals
of 1806 were Daniel Hewitt and Joseph Boynton. Mr.
Hewitt settled southeast of the village of New Haven. He had two
sons, Palmer and Elihu. Palmer Hewitt was a prominent
man and a colonel in the old State militia. He had two sons, Abram
W. and Mahlon. A.W. or “Wood” Hewitt, as he was familiarly
called, was supervisor and justice of the peace, and has two sons living
in town, C. B. and George. Mr. Boynton located on the T.
S. Dowd farm, where he kept a tavern, the locality being named from
him, Boynton Hill.
From 1808 to 1810 Jonathan
Wing, Ezra May, Waldo Brayton, Daniel Hall, and Warner Drake
came in. Mr. Wing, who settled near David Easton’s,
on the Warren Johnson farm, was the first town clerk and was appointed
a justice of the peace in 1811, 1814, 1816, 1823, and 1827. Ezra
May took up his residence in New Haven village, where he opened in
1810 the first tavern in the town; it stood just east of the brick house,
which was also erected by him in 1824. He was at one time a pilot
in Commodore Chauncey’s fleet on Lake Ontario in the war of 1812,
and during a severe storm, because of a drunken captain’s refusal
to attend to his duty, left the vessel, was rescued by another boat which
was soon captured by the British, and was taken a prisoner to Kingston.
With others, he succeeded in bribing the sentinel and escaped; he finally
reached Sackett’s Harbor and was paid $50 by Commodore Chauncey on account
of his courage and shrewdness. Warner Drake was the father
of Butler S. Drake, a farmer and teacher. Anson Drake
located in New Haven village, where he opened the first store in town in
1809. Waldo Brayton, who settled at Cheever’s Mills, erected
the first grist mill in New Haven the same year. Daniel Hall became
a resident on the A. B. Tuller place and a very influential citizen.
In 1810 came Nathaniel
Marvin, Almon Lindsley, Peleg Davis, William Taylor, Reuben Halliday,
and Herman Hitchcock. Mr. Marvin lived at the “Hollow” where
his son Orton O. afterward resided. With Hezekiah Nichols,
he erected the second grist mill in town, at the “Hollow”, about 1815.
Orton O. Martin was born in 1816 and died November 15, 1892.
A brother, Rozelle, aged eight years, was drowned about 1837.
Almond Lindsley located near Jonathan Wing in the eastern part
of the town and held several important positions. George N. Lindsley
was born here in 1838. Peleg Davis had three wives
and twenty two children. His youngest son resides on the homestead
on the State road. Mr. Taylor settled on the hill west of
the “Hollow” on what later became the S. O. Wilmarth place, and
was town clerk in 1820 and a justice of the peace the same year.
Mr. Hitchcock located one and one-half miles south of New Haven
village, and Reuben Halliday in the east part of the town.
The latter was the first Methodist class leader and for many years a local
In 1811 Henry Hawley
located south of the village of New Haven and was killed at the raising
of Robert Jerrett’s barn in 1815. He had three sons, Philander,
John, and Henry, jr. Mrs. H. J. Daggett is a daughter
of Philander Hawley; she has three nephews, Charlels, Elmer and
Henry Hawley living in town.
Between 1810 and 1813
Seth Severance, Ezra Bromley, Mitchell Crandall, William Griffin, Ansel
Snow, Crandall Kenyon, Dr. Eliphalet Colt, John Walcott, Elias May,
Lyman and Daniel Hatch, Samuel Cherry, Israel Ransom, Philip Delano,
and Lyman Blakesley became residents of the town. Seth
Severance came from Leyden, Mass, and served as justice of the peace
several years, beginning in 1821. He was supervisor seventeen years
--- longer than any other man in New Haven. He settled east of Butterfly
and died there March 8, 1856. He was twice married, his wives being
sisters, and had several children. Hon. Avery W. Severance,
son of Seth, was born in New Haven on February 23, 1819, and died
here February 15, 1874. He was elected justice of the peace in 1841,
was for several years supervisor and chairman of the board, long president
of the Oswego County Agricultural Society, and a member of assembly in
Dr. Colt was
the first physician in the town, and remained until about 1830.
The war of 1812, followed
by the cold season of 1816, checked immigration, and for three or four
years few settlers arrived. About 1815 the prominent arrivals were
Orris Hart, Hezekiah Nichols, Luman Cummings, John Parsons, Dr.
Stephen H. Kinne, Calvin Eason, Peter Kelsey, and Harvey Tuller.
Mr. Nichols, from Oneida county, located west of New Haven village,
and owned a grist mill at the “Hollow”. He was a justice of the peace
in 1819-21, and died here over thirty years ago, leaving three sons, Samuel,
John, and Henry E. John Nichols is living in Michigan and Henry
E. is a prominent lawyer in Fulton. Samuel Nichols served
as captain of Co. E, 110th N.Y. Vols., and is the proprietor of Pleasant
Point, subsequently noticed.
Orris Hart was
one of the leading men of the town and ably filled a number of important
offices. He was appointed associate judge of the Common Pleas in
1817 and 1819, surrogate of the county in 1819 and 1845, and sheriff in
1821, and was elected to the latter office in 1822. He was also a
justice of the peace in 1817 and 1831 and member of assembly in 1827-28.
He built the first ashery in town, of logs, in 1816, and in 1823 replaced
it with a frame structure. 1818 he started a distillery just east
of New Haven village. He came from Paris, Oneida county.
settled northeast of the village of New Haven, whence he removed in 1818
to the locality that took his name, Cummings Mills, on the Catfish, in
the south part of the town, where he died October 29, 1876, aged eighty
years. He built the mill at that place about 1861, and rebuilt it
three times. This was the fourth saw mill in town. He was a
soldier in the war of 1812, and is survived by one son, Orlando R.,
who was born here in 1827, and who resides on the homestead.
Dr. S. H. Kinne was
the second physician in New Haven and remained till about 1839. He
was justice of the peace two or three years and prominent in local affairs.
Peter Kelsey, John Parsons, and Calvin Eason settled
near Butterfly. The latter came from Vermont and died in 1863, aged
eighty seven. He served in the war of 1812, and was the father of
Charles G., who was born here in 1839. Mr. Parsons was appointed
a justice of the peace in 1819 and served as postmaster at Butterfly about
twenty years. He was the father of John Parsons, of Mexico,
and the grandfather of N. W. Parsons of Demster.
and Simeon Wells were two settlers of 1816. Carmi Millard,
a son of the former, is living here at the age of ninety-four, being the
oldest resident of the town.
Norman Rowe removed
from Paris, Oneida county, and settled northwest of New Haven village in
February, 1817. He was born in Litchfield county, Conn., January
2, 1795, and came with his parents to this State in 1803. He was
a self educated man and possessed a large amount of useful knowledge.
He served a short time at Sackett’s Harbor in the war of 1812. In
1836 he settled in the village, where he died October 28, 1887. In
1827 he was elected assessor and in 1828 a justice of the peace.
He held the latter office almost fifty years. He was sheriff of the
county six years from 1840 to 1842 and 1848 to 1851, justice of sessions
in 1835, supervisor several terms, chairman of the board until 1839 and
1840, and town clerk for more than twenty years, holding office longer
than any other man in Oswego county. He was first a Whig and later
a Republican, and became lieutenant-colonel of militia in 1828. He
was long a trustee and deacon of the Congregational church of New Haven,
and ever an upright, influential, and respected citizen. He was married
twice and had eleven children.
Among other settlers
prior to 1820 were Theodore Gridley, Peter Tyler, Orrin Wilmarth,
and B. G. Sherman. Mr. Gridley was from Paris, Oneida county,
and settled northwest of New Haven village at a place long known as “Gridley’s”
now “Daggett’s”, where he built a saw mill and wool carding-mill, both
of which long since ceased to exist. He was a justice of the peace
several years, beginning in 1823, and was the grandfather of Lewis Gridley,
who reside in this town. Silas O. Wilmarth was the only son
of Orrin Wilmarth and now resides in the village of New Haven.
He has three sisters in town, one of whom is the wife of A. F. Rowe.
Mr. Sherman was a native of Herkimer county.
The population of the
town at this period (1820) numbered 899 persons, but this included the
half-mile strip along the lake shore in what is now Mexico. During
the next five years Deacon Samuel Allen, Hervey Simmons, Simeon Gilson,
Charles Nichols, William O. Guile, John M. Howard, Thomas H. Austin, Milo
A. Mack, and Joshua Mark became resident of New Haven.
Deacon Allen, long an active member of the Congregational church,
came in 1821 and settled in the village. He had sons Warren, George
W., Samuel, jr, Silas O., and Joseph H. , all deceased. Henry
B. Allen, a son of George W. is one of the present justices and
lives at the “Hollow”. Mr. Nichols, a brother of Hezekiah Nichols,
previously mentioned, moved here from Oneida county and located north of
New Haven village the same year. He was a deacon of the Congregational
church from 1834 until his death on July 23, 1872, at the age of seventy-two.
His grandson, C. H. Nichols, occupies the old homestead. Hervey
Simmons came in 1823, settled in the east part of New Haven village,
and died June 15, 1876, aged eighty years. His son Henry resides
on the homestead at the age of sixty-one. Simeon Gilson was
a native of Hampshire, Mass., and C. C. Gilson was born here in
1829; the former had four sons and three daughters, of whom two daughters
and two sons are living. Milo A. Mack came here with his father,
Joshua, when about seven years old. His son Fred A. was born
in 1853 and has always lived on the homestead. William O. Guile
came about 1820 and died August 12, 1876, aged seventy-six years.
Four of his sons, O.O., P.K., Luke, and John are living in New Haven.
Joshua Mark arrived prior to 1825. His children were Harmon,
William, Norman, Milo, Wallace (all deceased except Norman, who resides
in town), Charlotte (Mrs. Parkhurst), Lucinda (Mrs. E. G. Parsons),
Other settlers prior
to 1830 were:
William M. Cheever,
Job Dowd, Deacon House, Uzel M. Barker, Stephen Luce, Chester R. Wells,
B. J. Hale, T. S. Daviel, Michael Fenneron, Archibald Forbes, Cyrus L.
Head, Oramel Law, G. L. Lyons, William Bullen, Capt. G. A. Smith, A. J.
Stacy and E. A. Taylor.
William M. Cheever,
from Whitestown, N.Y., located at Cheever’s Mills, in the north part of
the town, about 1827. He was a wealthy man for those times, and gave
each of his children a farm or its equivalent. He was also a land
agent, and died in 1843 aged nearly seventy years. He had seven daughters,
and sons William, Edward, Charles S., and Henry J.; the latter died
September 30, 1893, aged about sixty-eight. Charles S., the
youngest of the family, was born in 1818 and died on the homestead where
his son, William M. now resides. Job Dowd came here in 1828
with his family of nine children, and settled now owned by a grandson.
His three sons were Albert J., Titus S., and Thomas, of whom the
last two have children living in town. Titus S. Dowd was born
in 1819 and died in 1883. Deacon House settled near Boynton
Hill, and has a son Benjamin residing near the old homestead.
Uzel M. Barker,
born in Albany county in 1791, located in 1829 a mile and a quarter southeast
of New Haven village. He served as poormaster many years, and died
March 28, 1879. Of his four sons, James, Avery, John and Schuyler
M., the latter, born in 1828, is a farmer and surveyor, and has been
supervisor, and justice of the peace. Chester R. Wells came
in about 1830, and for many years was chorister of the Congregational church.
He was a plane maker by trade, and served as town clerk four years and
as justice of the peace some time. Mr. Hale was an undertaker
here for about fifty-five years, and is still living. He was born
April 22, 1812. E.A. Taylor, son of Cyprian, was born in Chenago
county in 1827 and came to the county with his parents while a babe.
Stephen Luce was for ten years a merchant at the “Hollow”, town
clerk in 1833, deputy sheriff under Norman Rose, and finally moved
to Oswego. William Bullen was first a clerk and later a partner
of Orris Hart, whose daughter he married. He was supervisor
in 1830 and justice of the peace in 1827 and 1830.
During the period between
1830 and 1840 the following, among others, became residents of the town:
Alexander H. Barton, Abram Bartlett,
Samuel G. Merriam, John Barlow, Lincoln Battles, Richard Cross, Nathaniel
Ball, Lyman B. Legg, Nicholas Chesbro, the Tanner family, Abram Fones,
A. S. Greene, G. L. Jones, Arthur Keefe, Alonzo Lee, Joseph Patten, Charles
Rosseter, S. H. Reed, and M. G. Stevens.
The Tanner family, William,
Lorenzo W., and Charles A., came to this town in 1832, as did also
Lyman B. Legg. William Tanner died August 18, 1839, aged twenty-five,
from a broken back caused by wrestling. Lorenzo W. lives in
Oswego and Charles A. died April 25, 1851. Mr. Legg was impressed
into the British service in the war of 1812, escaped and enlisted in the
U.S. Army. He died December 14, 1879. Richard Cross died here
in 1885, aged eighty years. His son Henry was born in New Haven in
1836, in which year Nathaniel Ball and Nicholas Chesbro located
in town. Mr. Ball was long one of the leading men; his son
Charles resides on the homestead. Mr. Chesbro served as assessor,
justice, etc., and died here in 1872; he was the father of Schuyler
Chesbro, who was born in Otsego county in 1827.
Samuel G. Merriam
settled in the village of New Haven in 1832 and the next year was appointed
commissioner of deeds. He was a very prominent and highly respected
citizen, and died April 13, 1889. He served as town clerk in 1836
and 1837, and was elected a justice of the peace in 1837. William
H. Merriam was town clerk in 1854, 1855 and 1856.
Alexander H. Barton
came into the town for the second time and settled permanently in 1838.
He was born in Marshall, Oneida county, June 1, 1805, and died here April
27, 1854. He was a farmer, nursery-man, justice of the peace eight
years, school teacher, and one of the first to engage in growing strawberries
for market in Oswego county. He has two sons, Henry L. and
David, living in Mexico.
Prominent among other
early settlers of New Haven may be mentioned here the names of James
H. Wright, who served as justice of the peace in 1841 and 1849
and as superintendent of common schools; Charles, Nelson, and Albert
Davis, of whom the former is still a resident at the age of eighty;
Levi Booth, and Nehemiah and Rhodes Sheldon, all of
whom have children living in town; Alanson May, a millwright, a soldier
of the war of 1812, and the father of Erastus and Charles; Stanton P.
Wheeden, who was justice of the peace in 1835 and 1847; John C.
Gillespie, who was elected to the same office in 1842, moved to Fulton
about 1870, where his widow and son now reside, and who died there April
13, 1886, aged seventy-five; Levi Rowe and George S. Thrall,
town clerks, the former in 1830-31 and the latter in 1838-42, and 1845-47;
John J. Ayer, who held the same position in 1834-35; Edmund E.
Wells, likewise town clerk two years; Robert S. Kelsey, who
held the office in 1850-51 and 1857-58; A.M. Andrews and James
Talmadge, justices of the peace; Rev. W.C. Johnson, a native
of New Haven, son of Seth, and born in 1829; Henry Stacy, who died
in 1862, and whose son Henry, born here in 1828, lives in town; Sterling
Newell, who died in Mexico in 1888, and whose son, Sterling A., born
in New Haven in 1848 married a daughter of Milo A. Mark, served
as secretary of the New Haven Strawberry Growers’ Association for seven
years, and was one of the originators and incorporators of the New Haven
Cheese and Butter Association, of which he was secretary and president,
each, five years; and Wright Sherman, originally from Rhode Island,
a soldier of the war of 1812, and a very early settler, whose son, Samuel
S. Sherman, was born in 1824 on the homestead on which he still resides,
and where he has always lived, being one of nine children.
Amos King, a
ship carpenter, came from Jefferson county to this town in 1840.
He was married three times and had seven children, of whom George R., born
in 1824, is also a ship carpenter by trade, and resides in New Haven.
The same year Jacob Marshall, father of Jacob I., became a resident.
Capt. Henry J. Daggett,
son of Henry and Mary Daggett, came to Oswego village (now city)
with his parents in 1838, and in 1842 removed with them to New Haven, where
the father died in April, 1870, and the mother in September, 1871.
Captain Daggett, born in Boston, Mass., August 16, 1826, early became a
sailor on the lakes and rose to commander, from which he retired in 1863.
He served his town in various capacities, was chairman of the Board of
Supervisors in 1876, and in 1875 represented his district in the Assembly.
A brother, George W. Daggett, is deceased.
became a resident of New Haven as early as 1844. He was a general
in the old State militia, and died in town July 17, 1857. His son,
Solomon resides on the homestead with his son Charles. He was formerly
a merchant and postmaster. Daniel B. Van Buren and Avery
O. Brown were settlers of the town in 1845. During the same year
the former built, with John D. Reed, the first stave mill in New
Haven, at the “Hollow”. He was the father of ex-sheriff John Van
Buren and of Ernest Van Buren, and died May 6, 1891, aged seventy,
survived by his widow. Mr. Brown moved to Oswego city, where he died
May 22, 1885, leaving there two sons, Frank L., and Horace. Philetus
Lee settled near Cheever’s Mills in 1846, and died in September, 1882,
aged seventy-five. Two sons, A.C. and Edward Lee, reside in
Zadoc W. Stevens,
born in Hillsborough, N.H. in April, 1793, was a schoolmate of Franklin
Pierce, came to Oswego county in 1835, and in 1845 settled in New Haven,
where he died February 26, 1858. His sons, William, M.G. and Calvin
J. reside in town, the former on the homestead. M.G. was the father
of Frank V. Stevens, the present supervisor.
The following notice
appears in Barber and Howe’s Historical Collections of the State of New
York, 1846: “New Haven, taken from Mexico in 1813; from Albany 157 miles.
Pop 1,735. New Haven 10 miles E. from Oswego, and 12 S.W. from Pulaski,
has about 20 dwellings. Butterfly is a post-office.”
removed from Madison county to Martinsburg, N.Y. in 1838, and in the spring
of 1846 came thence with his family to New Haven, settling one and one-half
miles northeast of the village. He died January 11, 1861, at the
age of over seventy-five. W.W. Squires, his son, occupies
the homestead. Francis W. Squires, another son, was born in
Lebanon, Madison county, October 22, 1820, followed the fortunes of the
family to their settlement in this town, and early engaged in teaching
school. October 9, 1851, he married Sarah R. Rice, and in
the spring of 1853 removed to North Volney, where he officiated as postmaster
from October, 1861, till about August 21, 1883, when he returned to New
Haven. He enlisted in Co. A, 184th N.Y. Vols. in the Rebellion, and
served as clerk of the company. He has been justice of the peace,
in all twelve years, beginning in 1859, and was elected justice of sessions
in 1874. His wife died March 8, 1860, leaving three children, and
on August 29, 1875, he married Mrs. Maria L. Coe. Mr. Squires
is a local historian of recognized ability. He has kept a daily diary
since January 1, 1843. Visiting every town in the county, he has
searched records and collected valuable data, much of which is incorporated
in the present volume. He is accurate and painstaking, and has preserved
a large amount of information which would otherwise have passed into oblivion.
Since August 20, 1883, he has resided at Demster.
Jonathan E. Robinson
came here in 1852, and died October 14, 1872. His father, Rev.
Ralph Robinson, was a preacher for half a century. Daniel
L. Nichols was born in this town in 1828, and has held several offices
of trust. William B. Searles was born in 1827, removed with
his parents in 1837 to Williamstown, and finally became a resident of New
Haven. N. W. Parsons was born in Mexico in 1843, served in
the Civil war four years, and was long a mail carrier between Mexico, East
Palermo and Fulton.
This brings us down
to about 1850, when the population numbered some 2,000 persons. It
is impossible to trace the career, however briefly, of every newcomer.
A few more are mentioned in succeeding pages of this chapter and a number
more fully in Part III of the present work.
The population of the
town at various periods was as follows: In 1830, 1,410; 1835, 1,551;
1840, 1,737; 1845, 1,707; 1850, 2,015; 1855, 2,012; 1860, 2,073; 1865,
1,948; 1870, 1,764; 1875, 1,728; 1880, 1,713; 1890, 1,557. It will
be noticed that a steady decrease has been going on for the past thirty
years or more.
The first school in
town was taught by Harriet, daughter of David Easton, in
1806. In 1808 Sherman Hosmer kept a school at Butterfly.
In 1860 there were eleven school districts, which were attended by 730
children. There are now twelve school districts with a school house
in each, in which thirteen teachers are employed, and which were attended
during the year 1892-93 by 335 scholars. The school buildings and
sites are valued at $7,350; assessed valuation of districts, $633,304;
public money received from the State, $1,562.97; raised by local tax, $1,470.52.
The various districts are locally known as follows: No. 1, Butterfly;
2, North Butterfly; 3. Mullen Hill; 4. Stone school house; 5, New Haven
village; 6, Cummings; 7, Howlett; 8, Dowd; 9, Kingdom; 10, South New Haven;
11, Vermilion; 12, Town Line.
Few towns in the State
responded more promptly or contributed more liberally of their brave and
patriotic citizens than did this. About 175 went to the front, of
whom forty-four were killed or died of wounds. To the memory of these
heroes the residents, in 1870, erected a handsome monument in the beautiful
cemetery in New Haven village, which was appropriately dedicated May 30
of that year. It is of Italian marble, about eighteen feet high,
and bears the names and ages of the forty-four soldiers, and also this
inscription; “Erected to the memory of New Haven’s gallant sons who died
for their country.” Among those who received deserved promotion were
George Wetmore, Chauncey L. Gridley, William N. Taylor, John N. Gilman,
and George E. Lansing. Doyle Post, No. 591, G.A.R., of which
N.W. Parsons was the commander in 1894, was permanently organized
in July, 1886. Relief Corps, No. 163, was formed in December, 1890;
Eliza Parsons is president for 1895.
for 1894: assessed valuation of real estate, $522,469; equalized,
$633,058. Personal property, $38, 210; railroads, 5.32 miles, $53,550;
town tax, $1,499.57; county tax, $3,759.10; total tax levy, $6,659; ratio
of tax on $100, $1.20; dog tax, $57. The town is divided into two
election districts and in November, 1894, polled 397 votes.
New Haven village.----This
is the largest and most important business place in town. It is centrally
situated, one mile south of the railroad station at Demster, and contains
about 300 inhabitants. In early days it was called Gay Head, but
since 1819 it has been known by the present designation. The first
store in the town was opened here in 1809 by Anson Drake, who was
succeeded in 1816 by Orris Hart. The latter was followed in
1833 by Samuel Cherry, and at the same time Samuel G. Merriam
became a merchant in the place. He continued in business until 1873,
a period of forty years, when he was succeeded by Rowe & Wilmarth.
The senior member of this firm, A. F. Rowe, had several partners,
and in May, 1882, became sole owner of the establishment. About 1860
a store was opened in the stone hotel building by Hewett & Goodsell,
who were succeeded in November, 1867, by Bohannan & Bennett.
For several years following 1850, Solomon White, jr., and Silas
Allen conducted a general mercantile trade. In 1835 B. J.
Hale established a coffin wareroom and undertaking establishment and
carried on an extensive business for nearly half a century. He was
the first in Oswego county to keep ready-made coffins, and made (March
6, 1838), one of the first caskets covered with velvet. He retired
from the undertaking business about 1885, selling out to Whitney Brothers,
and at that time was the oldest active undertaker in the State. For
a while he was associated with his son. The first drug stone was
opened about 1862 by Dr. James Austin. The first and only
foundry in town was operated here between 1836 and 1840, first by Richard
Eason and later by him and Hosea Cornish. Ezra May
opened the first tavern in New Haven in this place in 1810; it was a log
building, and in 1824 he replaced it by a brick structure. About
1826 Jesse Smith built a hotel in the rear of the old stone one,
and in 1828 Samuel Allen opened another on a site west of the Congregational
church. Richard Eason erected the stone tavern about 1850.
All these old-time inns have been discontinued and at present the village
is without hotel accommodations. Among other business interests which
have been carried on in the place may be mentioned, the agricultural implement
and carriage warehouse of G. M. Whitney, the fruit evaporator of
C.H. Taylor (established in 1882), and the harness shop of F.
About 1850 the Odd Fellows
organized a lodge which soon disbanded. In July, 1877, it was revived
under the name Beacon Light Lodge, No. 464, with Dr. George G. Whitaker
as noble grand.
The post-office, the
first in town, was established as West Mexico on January 19, 1813, with
Joseph Bailey as postmaster, at whose house about two miles west
of the village the office was kept. On December 25, 1819, the name
was changed to New Haven, Orris Hart became postmaster, and the
office was moved to the village. Mr. Hart was succeeded on February
8, 1833, by Samuel G. Merriam, who was followed on July 23, 1853,
by Solomon White, jr. On January 30, 1858, Silas Hart
was appointed and on June 28, 1861 S. G. Merriam again became the
incumbent. He was succeeded on January 2, 1873, by Augustus R.
Rowe, who served until May 25, 1893, when he was succeeded by the present
postmaster, Charles B. Hewitt. Mr. Hewitt was born in New
Haven in 1854 and has always resided here. He is a son of A. W.
Hewitt, and has held several town offices.
(New Haven Station, situated about one mile north of the village of New
Haven, dates its existence from the completion of the railroad. It
is the second important business place in town. For about thirteen
years O.N. Woodworth conducted a general mercantile trade here,
being succeeded in 1884 by Charles Gero. Mrs. Woodworth
also had a millinery and fancy goods store. The post-office was established
at Demster on August 25, 1883, with O.N. Woodworth as postmaster.
His successors with the dates of their appointment have been as follows:
Charles Gero, August, 1884; H. G. Cheever, December 1888;
Newton W. Parsons, March 27, 1889; Benjamin W. Mott, incumbent,
July 31, 1893. The Grange, or Patrons of Husbandry, No. 52, of which
Mrs. Delia Lewis is master, and which was organized January 16,
1874, meets here every week, as does also New Haven Grange, No. 588, organized
June 25, 1889.
a postal hamlet in the eastern part of the town and the second oldest post-office
in New Haven. The office was established January 31, 1828, and John
Parsons was appointed postmaster. He was followed successively
by Sterling Newell September 14, 1844; John Parsons again
November 23, 1848; John Parsons, jr., June 13, 1849; and Avery
W. Severance February 13, 1858. January 13, 1870, the office
was discontinued and in 1880 it was re-established with Aurelia A. Baker,
as postmistress, who still holds the position. She is the wife of
James E. Baker, who came to New Haven with his parents in 1859.
South New Haven postoffice, in the southwest part of the town, was established
in the spring of 1877 with George H. Patten as postmaster.
He was succeeded by the present incumbent, Clarence D. Smith, in
1884. The latter is a native of New Haven and a son of William Smith.
Sala is a post-office
in the Reed district, about three miles south of New Haven village, and
was established in 1893 with Mrs. Hannah Potter as postmistress.
so called from William M. Cheever, is located in the north part
of the town, and was formerly a place of considerable importance.
A saw mill was built here by Ira Foot in 1805 and a distillery -
the first in New Haven - by John White in 1810. Mr. White
also opened a store about the same time. A grist mill was erected
here at an early day, and for many years the place was widely known.
At one time it had a second saw mill and a pump factory.
Gridley’s Mills, is situated three-quarters of a mile northwest of New
Haven village. At a very early date a wool-carding and cloth-dressing
establishment flourished here, but it has long since disappeared.
The third saw mill in town was erected here about 1816.
so called, is situated on Catfish Creek half a mile west of the village
of New Haven. About 1811 Timothy Norton built at this place
the second saw mill in town, about 1818 a Mr. Hutchins started the second
ashery, and in 1820 Barton & Doolittle erected here the third and last
distillery in town. There were also at an early date a tannery, a
saw mill, and a grist mill in operation. The latter is still in use,
but the others have gone to decay.
is a well-known location on the Catfish in the south part of New Haven,
having at various times quite extensive milling interests.
is a pretty summer resort on the lake short about two miles northwest of
New Haven station. It was formerly called Smith’s Landing, from Jesse
Smith, an old time resident. In 1865 the property passed into
the hands of Capt. Samuel Nichols, the present proprietor, who has
developed and improved it into quite a romantic spot. Captain Nichols
was born in New Haven in 1827 and is a son of Hezekiah Nichols,
previously mentioned, who died in 1855. He enlisted as first lieutenant
in Co. E, 110th N.Y. Vols., served three years, and became captain.
has acquired considerable renown as a pleasant summer resort. It
is situated on the shore of Lake Ontario about two miles northeast of Demster
post-office, and contains a hotel and several cottages.
has long been famous as a camp-meeting place, and is located three-fourths
of a mile from New Haven village. Near it is the New Haven union
cheese factory and creamery, which was built by a stock company in 1878.
The Congregational Church
of New Haven was organized as a society on June 30, 1817, and as a church
on July 30 following, by Revs. John Dunlap and David R. Dixon, with
thirteen members, viz: Dr. Stephen H. Kinne, Daniel and Esther Hitchcock,
Ori and Wealthy Rowe, Norman and Mary Rowe, Atwood and Hannah Aikens, Polly
Harman, Rebecca Hitchcock, Esther Delano, and Seth S. Sweetland,
of whom Norman Rowe was the last survivor. Daniel Hitchcock,
Seth S. Sweetland, Seth Severance, William Taylor, Norman Rowe, and
Roswell Harman were the first trustees elected, and Rev William
Williams, who began his labors here in 1820, was the first settled
pastor. Among his successors were Revs. Ralph Robinson, (1)
Oliver Ayer, Ichabod A. Hart, Isaac Headly, Samuel
(1) Rev. Ralph Robinson preached
for fifty years. He died in New Haven in May 1863, aged eighty
Swezey, John Reid, Thomas Bayne,
Lewis Jessup, and
others. Their church edifice, a frame structure, was built in 1824;
it has received repairs at different times and is still in use. The
present pastor is Rev. Samuel Johnson.
The Baptist Church of
New Haven was organized about 1820, but never became strong in members.
In 1825 a brick edifice was erected. The society enjoyed only occasional
preaching and finally discontinued their services altogether and disbanded.
The church was eventually sold and taken down. One of the leading
members of this society was Capt. Cyrus Severance, who stood by
it until his death.
The Methodist Episcopal
Church of New Haven had its beginning in a class which was formed about
1833 with Reuben Halliday as leader. Soon afterward this class
disbanded, and in 1839 another was organized under the leadership of Henry
K. Marvin, who officiated in that capacity many years. The first
members were Nelson Davis and wife, David Field and wife,
Nicholas Chesbro and wife, and Ezekiel Lewis and wife; the
first board of trustees consisted of Nicholas Chesbro, David Field, Ezekiel
Lewis, Alvin Buell, and Nelson Davis; and the first ministers were Revs.
Charles Northrop and Joseph Craggs. Prior to 1853, the
circuit being very large, two preachers visited this locality, alternately
once in four weeks each. The first church edifice was built in 1848;
it was finally converted into a shop and afterward destroyed by fire.
In 1876 the present building was erected under the pastorate of Rev.
Charles Manson. It is of frame veneered with brick and cost $5,650,
and contains a thousand pound bell, the gift of two members of the society.
It was dedicated November 29, 1876, by Rev. B. I. Ives.
The society has about 100 members under the pastoral care of Rev. Chamberlain