A History-Story With Illustrations And A Bundle Of Relevant Incidents
by J. H. Monroe, 1911
*Many thanks to Julie Litts Robst for her hard work and time put into this and contributing this wonderful history and biographies.  Many names mentioned throughout also.  Attached is the transcribed copy of Pulaski Past & Present written in 1911 by J. H. Monroe. It has a lot of good information on the area and people. Sincerely, Julie Litts Robst at:  <KeeperOfTheTree@aol.com>


        Had you stood in 1804, at a point near where now is located the Randall House,
and looked across the river on the upland, you could have seen in the fringe of the woods
the rude log cabin built and occupied by Benjamin Winch. This was the beginning of
        If white men only be considered in the reckoning, Winch was at that time the
monarch of the forest. He was a surveyor, or so history sets it down, by nature and in
spirit he was a pioneer. In his simple way Winch was making history but did not know it,
and, sitting there in the stillness of his cabin beside his tallow “dip”, Benjamin Winch
likely never dreamed that the little more than a hundred years later there would grow up
from his beginning the picturesque, progressive and substantial little municipality that
now reaches far out on both sides of the river that passes with many turnings on its way to
Lake Ontario.
        Winch at that time had done little more than to mark the spot and in a sense,
preempt the land. The year 1805 brought new blood to the one man settlement, and by
reason of this the course of empire had taken another long stride westward.
 It was a long stride for those days because the mode of travel was still as crude as
when the Pilgrim Fathers pushed out from Plymouth Rock into the adjacent country.
 Captain John Meacham, Simon Meacham, Ephriam Brewster, David Kidder,
Philo Sage and Gersham Hale, all from that Puritanic New England town, Pawlet,
Vermont, then came on to hazard their fortunes with that of Benjamin Winch in a new
country whose possibilities were such as only endurance and hardship could work out.
They were constructionists, though, every one of them. They had in their veins the real
red blood that pulsed for advancement and civilization. They, together with those of their
kind who immediately followed them to the new community, were the founders of
Pulaski, and this blood, be it said to its credit, has unquestionably been a potent element
in the upbuilding and developing its present high order of mentality and citizenship.
        But, then, few communities, few villages in the making, have had this peculiar
force of blood and character to upbuild and mould and achieve in all things that make a
successful and wholesome community. Soon after the coming to the new settlement of
those above mentioned, there was a marked influx of sturdy home seekers, all of New
England stock. John Hoar, P. A. Matthewson, Daniel Stone, Jonathan Rhodes, Lucius
Jones, Erastus Kellogg, John Woods, Silas Harmon, and that picturesque and noteworthy
character, Col. Thomas Standish Meacham, who probably attained greater things and
wider celebrity than falls to the fortune of most men in a new country.
 The locality presented peculiarly strong attractions to the hardy oncomers willing
to work out their destiny. The forest of pine, maple, oak and beech was mostly untouched,
and this resource soon constituted the main sinew of business in the rapidly growing
        The Salmon River, a beautiful stream of water, came rushing down from the
eastward with numerous falls that afforded marvelous water-power to turn the wheels of
industry. The river, too, was a maze of fish of enormous size. They at once became, in
fact, a mighty factor in the development and upbuilding of the community. Fish
comprised the chief element diet among the inhabitants. Most of the money passing
current in the community smelled of fish. They came near, in truth, to being coin of the
realm. So it is that their value and importance in both domestic and commercial affairs
warrant the presentation of some sidelights of the matter later on.

William J. Peach

        William J. Peach, in his line of business, has daily illustrated that essential
qualification for continued success, namely, a practical working knowledge of one’s
        His business is that of a dealer in milk products, chiefly cheese. Aside from
owning and operating a half dozen cheese factories and creameries, he handles the
product of more than five times as many more. His year’s business now totals close to a
million dollars, and at every stage and in of its varying conditions, he has a firm grasp of
it because of his practical knowledge.
        He was born in Pulaski and at fourteen left school to learn the business of cheese
making. He spent four years at a local factory acquiring the practical knowledge of cheese
making. He then at eighteen became manager of four factories. At twenty-five he was a
cheese buyer. With this knowledge and fifteen years experience Mr. Peach returned to
Pulaski and became a cheese, butter and milk dealer. Now, after fifteen years as an
operator and a buyer, a great part of the cheese produced in Oswego, Jefferson and St.
Lawrence counties passes through his hands to the various markets at Cleveland, Boston,
New York and many other cities.
        As a business man, he is a success. As a citizen, he is for everything that makes
for civic betterment. In politics Mr. Peach is a progressive, and this progressive spirit
dominates his course in all public and official matters. For some years he has been
president of the village, and back of that he was trustee as many more years. When
elected president of the village, he resigned the secretaryship of the Pulaski Electric Light
Company, in which he is financially interested. This was done in order to clear himself of
any charge that he, as President, had financial interest in a municipal corporation.
 Mr. Peach is a member of the Pulaski Blue Lodge, F. and A. M., Lake Ontario
Commandery of Oswego and of Media Temple of Watertown. He is also a member of the
Pulaski Board of Education.
        In 1892, Mr. Peach married Ellen B. Richardson of Pulaski. They have one
daughter, Mildred, and one son, Arthur F.


        By this time, with the added brain and brawn and courage and hope - the latter
born of a desire to accumulate and build up - the young settlement presented the aspect of
thrift and activity. On either side of the river habitations had been constructed. Log
houses squatted on many a slight clearing or, where urgency impelled haste, they nestled
in the wooded land. It was about this time that Charles Tollner built the box factory,
which, in greatly expanded form, still bears his name. It was in the early times, and is
now an industry of exceeding worth to the town.
        Thus the settlement grew both numerically and in prosperity. The foundation of
the Pulaski that was to be was now thoroughly established. The progress from 1812 to
1911 presents a picture of much interest.
        Captain John Meacham had the distinction of opening the first store in 1810. It
was a log dwelling, of course, but it was a store, nonetheless. This was really the
dedicatory exercise in establishing that which is now Main Street, because the Captain’s
store was located at the South end of the Street, near where is now South Park. This gave
new impetus to affairs, and the street built up and presented quite the air of a business
        The site of Pulaski had been an Indian fishing and trading center in the
ante-white-man days, and how the new era of things excited their keen interest but not
their hostility. 1817 saw the first county jury court in Pulaski. Two years later the court
house was built. For some time it was the county seat, because Pulaski was a sprightly
town before Oswego had a very large place on the map. The best that could be done later
on, in view of the conditions, was to divide the honor, and thus it has continued.

Mrs. Anna Douglass Moody

        Desiring to add greater facilities for advancing education and culture in Pulaski
and the community, Mrs. Anna Douglass Moody recently founded the Isaac Price
Douglass Memorial Library. It is a noteworthy contribution to the means for broader
        The library is of general scope. While it contains many of the choicest reference
works, it also embraces much of the standard literature. Included in the selection are
many complete sets of the noted writers. There is evidence of care and forethought in
every shelf of books because they are not only gracefully and handsomely bound but
substantially as well. It is the nucleus of a valuable library, and it is of sufficient scope
and extent to afford to the community great pleasure and profit.
        In this matter of the library, however, Mrs. Moody not only supplied books, but
equipped and furnished the library room complete. The cases which hold the books are of
the most modern type of oak sectional cases. The furniture was selected with great care in
the matter of quality and design.
 Mrs. Moody is a native of the community, as was also her father, and her
patriotism and desire to see it progress prompted this generous gift. A room in the High
School building was given over to this library, which is open at any time for reference and
        As a token of esteem and appreciation for the generous gifts this article together
with the portrait of Mrs. Moody herewith, is printed by direct request of the Board of
Education of Pulaski. It is done as a public expression of the Board’s esteem of the donor,
and appreciation of the thoughtful and generous act.


        Agriculture in the community kept pace with the town’s growth. Back from the
river’s banks in all directions grain fields shimmered in place of woodland, and from
those days on the soil in the region has been a scene of thrift and a source of wealth.
 Deacon Simon Meacham, when he left Pawlet, Vermont, some years previous to
join him fortune with others in building a new town, came armed with authority from the
mother church of that place to establish a Congregational Church. In spirit this authority
was early put into effect, although the organization of the society did not take form till
some time later. The Church, however, has been a factor in strengthening and upbuilding
the village and the community.

Thomas Standish Meacham

        Thomas Standish Meacham, the last living male member in the vicinity, of a
family that probably has been more in the affairs and more in the public eye than any
other family in Pulaski or vicinity since the first settlement of the county in 1804, was
born on a farm a little distance out of Pulaski. His father, Daniel Brownson Meacham,
came to Pulaski when fourteen years of age. He came with his parents from Benson,
Vermont, in 1826. His father was also Daniel Meacham.
        Daniel Brownson began his life as a farm worker. He was both thrifty and
temperate in all his habits, and when he became twenty-one it afforded him satisfaction to
turn over to his father three hundred dollars that he had accumulated. Afterwards he was
associated for several years with Col. Thomas S. Meacham in the famous Agricultural
Hall project. In 1849 Mr. Meacham moved into Pulaski and embarked in the hardware
business. This he continued until 1867, at which time he sold out.
        Meanwhile he had become interested in the drug business, having associated with
him John F. Box, under the firm name of Box & Meacham. Thomas S., during the years
prior to 1867, had been connected with the business, and represented his father’s interest.
        At this time, 1867, Daniel Brownson purchased the interest of John F. Box and
the firm then became D. B. Meacham & Son. This continued till 1886. At that time,
Thomas Standish bought his father’s interest in the business and has since conducted it.
As a business man there has been no backward movement, but continual success.
 In 1871, Mr. Meacham married Martha, daughter of Wesley Woods. They had one
son, Dean S., who died in 1895. Mrs. Meacham died in 1875. He married again in 1888,
Illinia Woods, daughter of Chauncey C. Woods.
        Mr. Meacham has held the office of town clerk for thirty years. He has also been
many years a member of the Board of Education. He is past Master of Pulaski Lodge, No.
415, F. & A. M., also member of Lake Ontario Commandery, Royal Arch Chapter No.
179, Media Temple of Watertown and a 32d degree Scottish Right Mason.

        When the first post office was established in 1817, with Henry White as the
postmaster, it gave an added air of dignity and completeness to the town, which already
throbbed with civic pride. There has been both revolution and evolution in this function
of public affairs since then, in one notable respect, in former days one could get trusted
for postage stamps.
        The War of 1812 at once fired the patriotism of the dwellers on the banks of the
Salmon River. The memory of ‘76 was still alive in the minds of many. Captain
Meacham sent out a call for volunteers, and almost within the space of two suns a
company of stalwarts was on foot and ready for service. The company, under Captain
Meacham, later went to Sackett’s Harbor on two occasions to meet the expected enemy.
Oswego, which had something of a settlement, also called for their services to defend the
town. But, like a picture show, however, the war was soon over, and the fighting vigor
returned to spend itself in labor and industry at home. And Pulaski was not less patriotic
at the call for troops in the Civil War of 1861.

Woodlawn, the home of Miss Sarah E. Woods

        Woodlawn, the home of Miss Sarah E. Woods, is situated well out on Salina
Street, the main thoroughfare from Pulaski southward to Syracuse.
 Age, with the early thought and care for the surroundings that beautify a home,
has given it a wealth of trees, amounting almost to a park. This lends to the place the
charm of comfort and beauty so often the heritage of country homes.
        The house was built in 1840, and stands today practically unchanged, and, so far
as the interior is concerned, shows few evidences of disintegration caused by time.
        The house was built by Gilbert A. Woods, and both in the workmanship and
material employed in its construction, he seems to have planned to stay the hand of time.
The estate and home comprises an area of about one hundred acres of land within the
village of Pulaski.
        John Woods, father of Gilbert A. Woods, and grandfather of Sarah E. Woods,
came to Pulaski from Pawlet, Vermont in 1811. He was a man of characteristic New
England force. He was a farmer, a contractor, a speculator, and withal, a general banker
for the people in early times. When he died in 1852, he had accumulated a large estate for
those days. John Woods left nine sons and one daughter. At his death, Gilbert A. was
names as his executor.
        Gilbert A. Woods was also a man of extensive business affairs. He was not only a
farmer on an extended scale, but also a manufacturer of wagons and linseed oil. He was
one of the organizers of the first bank in Pulaski, known as the Pulaski Bank. For a
considerable time he was a director in the bank and finally became its president,
continuing in this capacity for many years. In the latter years of the bank’s existence, the
bills issued by authority of the State, bore his picture.
        For fifty-five years, Gilbert A. Woods occupied the home he had so painstakingly
built on Salina Street. He died March 26, 1896, six children surviving, Henry G., Carrie
W., who married W. H. Bentley of Pulaski, Phoebe E., who married Horace A. Knight of
Auburn, New York, John C., Charles C., and Sarah E., the present occupant of the

        The honor of building the first frame house in Pulaski seems to have fallen to
Erastus Kellogg, a blacksmith. It still stands, grim and weather beaten, on North Street.
So far as any record reveals the fact, this house, in all its hundred years of existence, has
never but once felt the preserving touch of the house painter’s brush. At that time, now
out of memory, the color was red.
        Today, Pulaski’s residence streets are lined with beautiful modern homes. It has
natural gas in abundance, electricity for lighting, and also a water system owned by the
village. The main street is compactly lined on either side with a fine class of buildings of
modern construction. It also has a class of high-grade, substantial merchants. The Retail
Merchants’ Association of the town is of far-reaching beneficial influence.
        Pulaski also has beautiful parks, an efficient fire department, and, to its credit be it
set down, no policemen. As arteries of business, aside from the strictly mercantile, it has a
strong and well organized national bank, and, as a chief factor, many progressive and
successful manufacturing industries. In the matter of railroads, Pulaski is specially
favored. By reason of this, it is unquestionable the most accessible town by rail in the
        Years back, when Pulaski was yet too young to stand firmly alone, a man, whose
name is now unknown, had the hardihood and courage to start a newspaper. However, in
those days the equipment of a country newspaper office comprised for the most part a
“shooting stick,” some wood ringlets, a few fonts of type and a crude hand-press, if
indeed it had a press at all. But this man started a newspaper, the Pulaski Banner. After a
series of horrible convulsions, the Banner succumbed and passed into oblivion. After the
Banner’s melancholy death, the Courier came into life. Then came the Northern
Democrat, and finally the Pulaski Democrat. The Democrat for many years has been a
strong country newspaper. In 1895, B. G. Seamans bought the plant and has since been its
editor and publisher. Mr. Seamans brought to the Democrat both experience and ability.
Under his control and editorship, the Democrat is today recognized as one of the most
ably edited and most successful country newspapers in the State. It is always an exponent
of everything that is best in Pulaski and throughout its parish.
        The schools and societies of a town other than beneficiary, usually are a pretty
accurate index to the mental status of its inhabitants. Good schools foster and simulate
educational advancement and in these matters, surely, Pulaski is not backward. The
public school ranks among the best in the State. Many men and women of note have
acquired the substantial foundation of their learning in the old high school. It has every
equipment for new efficient work.

Robert D. Gillispie

        Few communities have had stauncher or a higher type of men than has the eastern
section of Oswego County. They have always stood for progress, good order and every
measure that made for the advancement of home interests and the uplift of citizenship. Of
this order of men was Robert D. Gillispie, who died in Pulaski in September 1906, aged
eighty years. Mr. Gillispie spent his early days on a farm a little out of Pulaski, while his
school days were spent in a course at Mexico Academy. Subsequently he taught school
for a considerable time.
        Meanwhile, the California gold fever of “forty-nine” had caught his interest and
he, therefore, joined the throng that hoped to find riches in the New Eldorado. After two
or three years, he returned to engage in other enterprises at home. He engaged in the
milling business in Pulaski, in which he achieved success. This continued for many years.
 Mr. Gillispie had always a keen interest in public affairs and gave much time and
effort to the furthering of every cause that seemed to him to be right and for the
conservation of good to the community.
        In politics, he was an unswerving Republican. He believed in the party’s
foundation principles from its birth.
        Therefore he became a strong factor in the political affairs of the county. He was
chosen Deputy Sheriff of his county and proved himself a most efficient officer. He was
subsequently elected to the office of Sheriff and served the county with marked credit. At
the end of his term he was again chosen Deputy Sheriff and jailer with the offices at the
Pulaski Court House. He was also for a considerable time Assistant Assessor of Internal
Revenue for his district. In his official life he was thorough, painstaking and scrupulously
        Mr. Gillispie became an ardent admirer of Roscoe Conkling. When, in 1881, the
Republican party lined up into two factions, the Half-breeds and the Stalwarts, he saw in
the betterment of the party and therefore of political affairs. Although Conkling
eliminated himself from political affairs, in fact died in 1888, Mr. Gillispie never lost any
of his admiration for the man. Mr. Gillispie was of strong character, deep affection and
strict honesty.
        In 1860, Mr. Gillispie married Miss Minerva M. Doane of Pulaski. They had one
daughter, Lizzie M., who is now the wife of Merton L. Bennett. They occupy the old
home in Jefferson Street.

        An outgrowth of this influence is the Monday Historical Club, now completing its
twelfth year of existence. It is a woman’s club, an exclusive one, too. Mrs. Frances Betts
was its first president. Its membership is limited to twenty-five, with twelve associate
members. It is composed of women of intellect and culture. It is a live and progressive
literary society. In addition to historical research and literary work and the furnishing
entertainment’s and lectures of an educational character, this Club in 1910 erected in
South Park a “Memorial to the Pioneers and Founders of Pulaski.” It is a graceful symbol
of the spirit entering into the completed work. Mrs. Herbert J. Brown is and has been for
a considerable time its president.
        Another noteworthy organization is that of the Daughters of the American
Revolution. This Society, Ontario Chapter, was organized with thirteen members. Mrs.
Herbert J. Brown was the first Regent and Miss Adella Orr, Secretary. Since its
organization twenty-seven have been added to the list of members. Its primary object, of
course, is to perpetuate the memory of those who fought to achieve American
Independence and to foster patriotism. The members also interest themselves in studies of
an educational character. Written essays along literary lines are read at started meetings.
The present Regent of this society is Miss May I. Woods and the Secretary, Miss Frances
        The Masonic order is specially strong in this, as in other respects, strong town.
Pulaski Lodge, No. 415, F. & A. M., has a membership of something like one hundred
and twenty-five, while Pulaski Chapter, No. 279, R. & A. M., has about an equal number.
Pulaski Chapter Order Eastern Star has a strong and active membership. The Independent
Order of Odd Fellows has a membership numerically as strong as the Masonic body. This
includes Pulaski Lodge No. 648 and the Salmon River Encampment. In addition to all
these, there are the J. B. Butler Post, G. A. R., and the Citizen’s Club, a social
        Thus we have seen Pulaski in 1804 and in 1911. It was born and went on for the
first forty years of its life in an atmosphere of romance. We will now go back to Benjamin
Winch, and still further back to the early days when “Famine Bay”, now Selkirk, was the
political forum, the Hague where both red men and white men met to argue important
questions and make treaties. Also to review again some of those whose lives in one way
or another, in earlier times, were linked with the making and development of Pulaski.
 Now, to speak of Pulaski and not at least have the Port, now Selkirk, firmly fixed
on one’s mind, would be a lack of the proper sense of relationship, because they are
inseparable both in history and association. The Port, though, has history reaching back
nearly three hundred years. It was an arena of activities of various kinds two hundred
years before Benjamin Winch built his log hut on the bank of the Salmon River.
Therefore, the Port had already attained repute.
        That old warrior and Indian fighter, Samuel de Champlain was at the Port in 1615.
He came up from the lake which bears his name and established a camp with the intention
of starting a campaign for the subjugation of the Iroquois. History records the story of
Champlain’s humiliating defeat and final departure.
        A little later, 1656, there was that memorable attempt to establish a French colony
at the Port, with the view of developing an important shipping port. Record has it that the
colonists came near to the point of starvation while there and in their dire distress, spoke
of the place as “La Famine Bay,” or the place where they starved.

James L. More, M. D.

        Dr. James L. More is not only a successful medical practitioner, but he is also
successful as a business man and a politician. This latter qualification has fallen into
desuetudo of late, however, because the Doctor is Postmaster and this official position, by
government ruling, bars him from political activity.
 He was appointed first by President Roosevelt, and after four years of faithful and
efficient service in this capacity, President Taft re-appointed him. Therefore, he is now
serving his second term as Postmaster of Pulaski. Under his official supervision, the
business of the post office has so increased in volume that it has nearly reached the rank
of a free delivery office.
        Besides, the Doctor is interested in several business enterprises, all in Pulaski. He
is at all times foremost and active in any project for the advancement of the best interests
of his home town.
        Doctor More is not a native of Pulaski, he was born at Parish and spent his school
days at Mexico Academy. After completing his course in that institution, he entered the
drug store of E. L. Huntington, where he served as clerk for a considerable period of time.
Meanwhile, he had turned to the study of medicine, and afterward spent three years in the
medical department of New York University, graduating in 1887.
        After eight years’ practice in Fernwood, the Doctor moved to Pulaski, a broader
field and therefore of better opportunities.
        He married Ella A. Searles of New Haven, New York. They have a family of four
children, Mabell, Anna, Jay James, and Don Searles.
        The Doctor is also an active member of the Pulaski Lodge of Masons, and a
member of Lake Ontario Commandery of Oswego. 

        Then there was that interesting journey of Father Le Moyne from Famine Bay up
the river. He left En-ton-ho-rons, Lake Ontario, accompanied by an Onondaga chief. They
made their way up the On-ti-a-han-ta-gue, Salmon River, to the present site of Pulaski;
and thence by trail to the home village of the Onondagas. On this trip, so the story runs,
the Indian chief made a fervent address to the fish in the Salmon River imploring them to
leap forth and fill the nets of the Frenchmen, assuring them of the high honor that would
attach to such action on their part.
        Probably few events of a similar character have been attended with more dramatic
- almost tragic - features, than the great Council held at the Port in 1684. It will be
recalled that the relations between the French and the Iroquois Indians had reached open
rupture. De La Barre, Governor General of Canada, had come on with the intention to
coerce the nations into agreeable behavior towards his government and his cause. To
accomplish this end, it required the star gallery play of his career. De La Barre had
meantime enlisted the good offices of the Onondagas as mediator in bringing about the
desired condition. So they gathered at the ancient Hague, De La Barre with the merest
semblance of an army, and against this a mighty representation of the Indian nations,
dressed mainly in war paint. De La Barre, to carry his scheme to success, omitted no
attempt in subterfuge and deception. The story is told of how he made the lightning shifts
in the bespangled and gaudy attire of his handful of troops, in order to overawe and
impress his adversaries with his numerical strength. He supplemented this by marking a
whirlwind speech, in which he stated that if he did not have assurance of hearty
cooperation on the part of the Iroquois, he would declare war.

Lyndhurst, the Home of George Dixson Smith

        A beautiful country home, situated on upper Jefferson Street, in the outskirts of
Pulaski. This place has a farm area of two hundred acres of cultivated farmland. This is
one of the noted stock farms of Northern New York. Holstein-Friesian cattle and standard
bred horses, which go to all sections of the country, have made this farm notable. One of
the horses raised by Mr. Smith took high rank at the Madison Square, New York, horse
show, and was sold there for a large sum.
        Mr. Smith was born at this place. It was the former home of Thomas Dixson, and
afterwards the home of Charlotte Dixson Smith, daughter of Thomas Dixson and mother
of the present owner, George Dixson Smith.
        Mr. Smith married Julia B. Bishop, daughter of Don C. and Harriet A. Bishop, of

        The situation had become tense, and here reached a climax. Garangula (Indian for
Big Mouth) De La Barre’s chosen ambassador of peace, then rose to speak. And it is told
that how, with biting sarcasm and an attitude of ridicule, he hurled defiance at De La
Barre and his threat of war. In the thunder of his oratory, he said, “Here, Gonondio, I am
not asleep, I have my eyes wide open.” De La Barre realized the fact. He realized also that
his foes were as keen in scenting sophistry and bluff as they were in following a war trail.
In humiliation and defeat, De La Barre made haste to quit the country.
        These events with others, are interesting because they are local history, and these
with other and later activities at the same place constitute a part of the warp in the
weaving of Pulaski’s history.
        There are probably few places of a like kind with a more brilliant future in the
past than has the Port. Time was a hundred years ago when the sails of many ships
flapped in the breeze and played their tunes of inspiration and hope in the little harbor.
When Jabez Meacham built the lighthouse, a bevy of stalwart vessels hastened into the
harbor to load for ports on Lake Ontario and beyond, or else to discharge their load for
land transportation to Rome, Utica and Albany. It was one of the chief ports along the
lake. It was a natural harbor at the mouth of Salmon River. It had every warrant of a great
commercial future. For a considerable number of years, it was Pulaski’s port of entry. But
the winds of fortune changed and the Port dwindled, and finally a little band of mourners
looked for the last time upon the corpse of their dead ship commerce. The lighthouse still
stands as silent and dead as the commerce. No beacon light has shone from its tower in
more than two generations. It is merely a memory of the past.
        Now, as an epilogue to this chapter of dramatic events and of finished things,
there is still one feature of it that lives, one function in connection with it all that is still
operative. It is that of the Collector of the Port. This worthy functionary continues to draw
from the Government his fat annual stipend and smiles complacently while the sun year
after year kisses the waters of the shipless harbor. Thus does the great Port tragedy end
after all in an amusing farce comedy.
        But this is not the end. There is another chapter, another romance, if one could put
it all down, connected with that dream city on the hill just above the port of entry. It is a
story of unrewarded vaulting ambition, or, mayhap, one of not “getting in right.”
 The thing that lends some vividness of color to this latter condition or situation is
the fact that the city was spoken into being in that memorable year of the great panic, ‘37.
It was, at any rate, an unhappy time for “city boosting.” Then again it so happened that
the mighty flotilla of ships that some of them saw, in their mind, never dropped anchor in
the harbor at all. Yet on the basis of this vision, it seems they platted out a city, not
omitting meantime to levy taxes adequate for the city administration’s expenses. The
name of the city, by authority of the charter, was Port Ontario.
        The idea was securely lodged in the minds of many that the Port was destined to
become a mighty maritime city, and the hope born of this idea for a time situated much
activity in the way of city boosting.
        In a little while, however, the major portion of the dwellings on the numerous
streets were tenantless and as silent as the harbor below. And so the great city at the Port
was merely such stuff as dreams are made of.
        Yet it cannot be charged against nature that she did not do much for the spot. The
situation and surroundings possessed many attractions.
        Standing on the long bridge leading across from the Port, one can look over the
broad waters of the Salmon River where, in early times, it is said, men with pitchforks
gathered fish like gathering hay in a meadow. In fact in those days, so the story goes, a
salmon, as fertilizer, was placed in every hill of corn at planting. The settlers from time to
time gathered the dead fish along the shore and used them as food. Every rod of the river
from its mouth to Pulaski is historic. There are many interesting incidents in connection
with it, if they could only be dug up.
        As you swing up on the Port Road, you are on the highway which in early times
was the thoroughfare of transportation from the Port to Rome, Utica and Albany. This
was in the days when most of the trans-state shipments came and went by water through
the Port harbor.
        As you get well up towards Pulaski you reach the old historic home of Col. Rufus
Price, now Douglaston, the palatial summer home of Mr. Harry A. Moody. There is an
interesting story connected with the place, when one once knows it.
        It began with Col. Rufus Price in 1808. That was the year he came to the new
country and bought of the government five hundred acres of land lying along the Salmon
River midway between Pulaski and the Port. Nature had molded the surface of the land
into attractive form and covered it all densely with a beautiful growth of timber. Col.
Price was by nature a builder, and this new country offered opportunity for development.
 Col. Price came from an aristocratic old Virginia family. They were of Scotch
blood. The parents of Col. Rufus came from Scotland in 1656 and located in Virginia;
there they remained till 1700, at which time they migrated to Connecticut, where they
spent the rest of their lived. Col. Rufus Price was born in Connecticut in 1751, and he,
too, lived there till 1773. It was in that year that he came over into New York State,
locating at Saratoga.
        A little later, when the War of the Revolution came on, Rufus joined the ranks in
defense of freedom. When the war ended he had been advanced to the rank of Colonel.
But it was not until 1808 that he came to the Port and built up that great estate along the
Salmon River.
       A man of wonderful fibre, of commanding personality, a mind of high poise and a
heart always true to the sense of right and the uplife of his fellows. Withal Col. Price was
proud and unyielding in all matters that made for the debasement of dignity and character.
 Col. Price had two sons, Isaac and Ralph, and one daughter, Permelia. The story
of how the Colonel and his two some paid for the five hundred acres of land with fish
caught in the Salmon River, boarders on romance. Thus it was that an unusual but ready
resource was at hand for the building and the making of a goodly fortune. By much labor
the densely wooded land gradually gave place to fields of grain, until finally the land was
cleared and given over to agriculture on an immense scale.
        Col. Price was ever observant of the amenities of home life, the little things that
contributed to pleasure and happiness. The Prices were the guiding force in the
community. They were not without their hardships, however, in the early days. Then the
women of the household used to gather on the banks of the river below the house on a
wash day, and there under a certain elm tree cleanse the week’s washing. Nothing
remains of the old tree now but the stump and a memory. When, in 1812, Col. Price
bought the first buggy that came into the community, there was not only curiosity but
envy apparent among neighbors not so well circumstanced, and later on when the Colonel
bought cotton cloth in an unbroken bolt or piece, there were grounds for open rupture.
 But the proud Colonel himself had a slight jar now and then. The church people
had not yet shaken off their Puritanic notions in the matter of the Sabbath, and so once
when the Colonel and his sons were caught fishing on that day, the church authorities
summoned them to appear and show cause why. The outcome, of course, was a sharp fine
and the loss of all the precious salmon caught on that exceptionally beautiful and
profitable day’s fishing.
        To market the products of the farm was the problem in those days. The farmers
moved in united parties on their trips to Rome or Utica, and one of the necessary
precautions was the carrying along fresh pork, which was cut in pieces and thrown out on
the way to appease the hungry wolves.
        Human life romances, too, were a part of the affairs in the early days with similar
sittings of those of today. Permelia Price, the Colonel’s daughter, wanted to marry Russell
Calkins. The colonel objected. There was no open demonstration on Permelia’s part, but
one day she made shift to go to the field for cucumbers. There, by prearrangement, she
met Russell and the minister, and standing there side by side in the cornfield, they were
        The Colonel’s farm products came to have great repute, and many a first premium
was taken at county fairs.
        When the Colonel died in 1829, the farm of five hundred acres was divided
between Isaac and Ralph. By arrangement that part now comprising Douglaston fell to
Isaac, which he occupied till his death. He was a thrifty farmer and a man of unusual
capacity and strength of body and mind and character. He improved the property in many
respects. He built the house which formerly occupied the ground of the present
Douglaston, and added other buildings to the property.
        Isaac Price has three children, Ruth, Ann and Rufus. The son died at the age of
twenty-one. When Isaac Price died, the property fell to Ann, his daughter. She married
Volney Douglass, who was afterwards Collector of the Port at Selkirk. Volney and Ann
Price Douglass had three children, Isaac and Rufus, sons, and one daughter, Josephine
Adelle. The two sons occupied the homestead jointly for many years. Finally, by
agreement again, it fell to Isaac Price Douglass. He occupied the home until his death. He
also was active in both home and county affairs. He, like all the generations of his family,
was a Democrat, and always evinced a deep interest in public matters. Mr. Douglass was
a man of strong, yet lovable character.
        At the death of Isaac Price Douglass the historic and romantic old place passed to
Mrs. Anna Douglass Moody, the fifth generation from Col. Price.
        Thus the home has been in possession of the family from one generation to
another, for one hundred and three years. The sixth generation of ownership and
possession will be that of Dorothy Moody, now sixteen, daughter of Mrs. Anna Douglass
        In 1887, Anna Douglass married Harry A. Moody, and Dorothy is their daughter.
        Today on that charming site, selected by Col. Price, stands the sumptuous and
splendidly appointed summer home, Douglaston. Behind it is the more than one hundred
years of history told in chapters of struggle, of success, and of romance. And no chapter
of romance could paint a more fascinating store than is told in the transformation of the
old to the splendor of the present Douglaston.
        A little distance up the Salmon River and we are back to Pulaski again.
       Somewhere in the vicinity of the old Winch cabin began the Indian trail southward. This
trail went from Pulaski to Ga-no-qui-is-an, which means Brewerton, and thence onward
to Syracuse, or Sy-kuse, as the Indians pronounced it.
        If one’s vision could reach back a hundred years or more and see the rugged and
entrancing beauty along the Salmon River in the vicinity of the present Pulaski, he would
at once understand why Benjamin Winch chose the romantic and charming spot on which
he built his lonely home. Much of the pristine beauty is now gone, of course, but there is
still an interesting trace of it.
        As a surveyor Winch knew the region well. There are many heel marks of his
work in maps and transfers of property. Which, it is said, ran a hotel or entertained
pioneers who came on to locate beside him. Benjamin Winch lived however, to see his
embryo town firmly established and prosperous.
        Now for more than a hundred years the town founded by Winch has borne
gracefully and with honor the name of Pulaski, after Count Pulaski, of Revolutionary War
fame. How, or just when or by whom suggested, record, it seems, fails to reveal.
        It is known that Pulaski was a Polish soldier, a born soldier, a fighter for liberty.
The heart and spirit of the soldier that he was shows larger on the screen when one recalls
that he was born and reared in the land of autocracy and oppression. For the part he took
in an effort to achieve liberty for his own country, he was imprisoned, but later escaped
and embarked for this country, then in that memorable struggle for independence. Upon
his arrival in 1777, Congress at once gave him the rank of Brigadier General. He
thereupon entered the service and, like other foreigners of his kind and spirit, gave his life
for the cause for which his heart throbbed. Count Pulaski received a mortal wound in the
attack on Savannah, Georgia, in 1779, and died two days later. His grave is in the
Savannah River. He was worthy of all the honor bestowed by the settlement in selecting
the name.

Freelon J. Davis

        Freelon J. Davis, the District Attorney of Oswego County, was born in the town of
Orwell, this county, October 12, 1867. His father, James F. Davis, and mother, Amelia A.
Stowell, were of New England ancestry and settled with their parents in the town of
Orwell in the early thirties. Mr. Davis spent his early life on a farm in that town, teaching
school during the winter months, graduated from Sandy Creek Academy in 1887 and was
elected Justice of the Peace of the town of Orwell when only twenty-one years of age,
which position he held for eight years. He studied law and graduated from Albany Law
College in 1896, and was admitted to the bar as Attorney and Counselor at Law the same
year. After being admitted to the bar, Mr. Davis practiced his profession at Orwell for
about three years and then in 1899, opened a law office in the Village of Pulaski, where
by his industry, ability and integrity, he soon built up and continues to carry on a
substantial and ever increasing law business.
        He has always been an active and influential worker in the Republican party of the
county and has been honored by election to responsible and important offices. In 1899, he
was chosen Special County Judge and was twice re-elected to that position. In 1908, he
was elected to the office of District Attorney on the Republican ticket. During his term of
administration of that office, he has prepared and conducted the trial of many difficult and
important criminal cases including the Benjamin Lee and George A. Eddy murder trials.
At all times, he has proven himself to be an able, fearless and faithful public prosecutor.
        He has an extensive and lucrative general law practice and enjoys the esteem and
confidence of the members of the Bench and Bar and all who know him.
        Mr. Davis is well known in fraternal circles, being a member of Pulaski Lodge,
No. 415, F. & A. M., Pulaski Chapter, No. 279, R. A. M., Lake Ontario Commandery No.
32 K. T., Media Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., Pulaski Chapter, No. 59, O. E. S., Welcome
Lodge No. 680, I. O. O. F., and Orwell Grange, P. of H., No. 66. 

        None are living now who can remember the first log house with actual panes of
glass in the windows. This was a signal distinction in the little log town on the bank of
the Salmon. But, be it known, the first to bear this honor could afford glass only on one
side of the house. This was the home of John Woods. It was occupied also, by another
family, each family living on the opposite sides. It was then quite the custom of the
housewife living on the opposite side to come over to the Woods side of an afternoon and
sew by the glass window. At the same house it was not uncommon at any hour for a party
of Indians to announce themselves and request something to eat, or at other times for the
family to return home after a brief absence to find a half dozen Red Men asleep on the
floor. Their spirit of friendliness was always manifest on these and all other occasions.
They were wont to call Mrs. Woods “Mother Woods.”
        When that memorable eclipse of the sun came on in 1806 and plunged the densely
wooded country into utter darkness, there was consternation among the little band of
settlers. Some there were who believed it to be the real crack of doom, and that their
tenure of life was about to end. The reappearance of the sun a few hours later, however,
brought them back to the struggles of the day.
        The “green”, where now is South Park, and extending still further northward was
adopted or set aside in the early days as the general training ground. The spirit of
patriotism prevailing made it not difficult to mass all the able bodied men of the
surrounding country on such occasions. These were red-letter days for Pulaski and
vicinity. Taking into account the side features, it was at once a fair, a bazaar and a show
of an amusing and incongruous sort. The troops lined up along the green while the
doughty Col. Meacham, with sword poised high and with a tense generalism air, gave the
commands back and forth, sawing the air with his sword, meanwhile becoming exhausted
in his effort to get order and uniformity among the men. Becoming at times disheartened
or incensed at the lack of soldierly bearing or action, the Colonel was wont to step aside
on the border of the green and give a personal illustration of what, in his mind, was the
proper manner and movement of an efficient soldier. Meanwhile the band played Yankee
Doodle and other inspiring airs. Thus it went on hour after hour, while the brigade of
gingerbread eaters lined up along the grounds and lent zest and enthusiasm to the
occasion by their cheers and humorous sallies. By and by the green, which they had, in a
sense dedicated, saw them no more. The day had passed.

Irving G. Hubbs

        Few lawyers of his age in Northern New York have made more substantial
headway or built up a wider practice in the higher courts than has Irving G. Hubbs. He
had some advantage in an early start, however. Before he was twenty-one, he had
graduated from Pulaski Academy and Cornell University. On account of age the State
held him up for a short time before he could be admitted to practice, although he had
qualified with a high record.
        Parish was his first field of endeavor in law, but for only a brief period of time.
After practicing there three years, Mr. Hubbs cast his lot in Pulaski, the eastern end
county seat of the county.
        There has been a steady, legitimate advancement in his professional career from
that time to the present. Many important cases, involving large sums of money have fallen
into his hands for adjustment and he has usually managed to bring about a pretty fair and
equitable adjustment of most of them. This is one of the reasons why the opinion prevails
pretty generally that he possesses real judicial qualities as well as the real thing in judicial
        Hubbs is a hard, earnest worker, otherwise he could not have attained, at his age,
the position he now occupies before the bar of the State. He is not given to the wasting of
time in vainglorious gallery plays in his business. He proceeds with a calm, well-poised
legal mind, gets at the root of the case in hand and wins if possible, on the merits of his
presentation. He has the reputation of being successful both as a pleader and as a
counselor. Mr. Hubbs has a large local practice, which tells well for his standing at home,
but his professional work takes him into all the courts of the State.
        In addition to all this, Mr. Hubbs is financially interested in many of the home
business enterprises. His heart is in every movement for the betterment of Pulaski.
        In 1893, he married Nannie C. Dixson, of Pulaski, daughter of W. B. Dixson. He
is also a member of the Masonic Lodge of Pulaski.


        When the day’s amusement was over, the throng would gather on the main street
to see the old stage coaches pull into town both from the north and south. Morning and
night, almost by schedule, these lumbering old four-horse conveyances stopped at the old
Salmon River House for rest and a change of horses. Sometimes they discharged as
passengers some notable people to quarter at that quaint old hostelry. It will be recalled
that J. A. Ford kept the hotel from the late forties to well along in the fifties. Ford was a
ruddy, jovial man of much kindness of heart. One day, in the early fifties, the old stage
coach rumbled in from the south and landed Horace Greeley and George Law, both of the
New York Tribune. Greeley with his round, plump face, his big spectacles and
mutton-chop whiskers, attracted considerable attention. Ford hastened out to greet the
guests, and, of course, not being aware of their identity, he greeted Greeley most cordially
and opened with, “Come up to go a fishin’? Fishin’s mighty good now, Jere Matthewson
inside’ll tell you all about it.” Jeremiah Matthewson was a fisherman of great renown,
and his reputation for telling fairy fish stories was as firmly established as was the former.
D. C. Littlejohn had sued the Tribune for slander and Greeley and his partner, Law, were
here as defendants. Mr. Porter of the law firm of Hill, Cagger & Porter was along as
Greeley’s attorney. Greeley, so the story went, became much interested in the beauties of
Pulaski and the surrounding country.

Sylvanis Convers Huntington

        When Judge Huntington died in 1894, his law practice, which had become very
extensive, fell into the hands of his son, Sylvanus Convers who had had unusual training
in the matter of education and experience for carrying on the professional work with
        Sylvanus first graduated at the Pulaski Academy, and five years later took his
degree at Oberlain College. This was supplemented by post-graduate work at Yale. He
taught school in the Pulaski Academy, and later returned to his College and became an
instructor in Greek. After a short time his career in this field was cut short at his father’s
request and he returned home to take up the study of law with his father and thus aid him
in his professional work. Sylvanus soon became a partner with his father, Judge
Huntington, and this partnership continued until the Judge’s death. Sylvanus C. continued
the business which had grown to be extensive. For a shirt period he had a partner in his
law practice, F. G. Whitney, Esq., but for the most part he has chosen to prosecute the
work without legal assistance.
        Mr. Huntington is the owner of several farms in the county and devotes some time
to the raising of grade cattle.
       For the last ten years Mr. Huntington has been active in the work of developing
the Salmon River Falls water-power, a momentous project now nearly consummated.
Probably no one has a clearer grasp or more practical knowledge of the far-reaching value
of this vast enterprise than has Mr. Huntington.
        Mr. Huntington has never sought or been elected to any office. He was chosen in
1905 to represent the State Bar before the Assembly Judiciary Committee in the
investigation of the charges made against Supreme Court Justice Warren B. Hooker. This
was one of the most noted cases of the kind ever brought before a court of investigation in
the State.
        Mr. Huntington, besides the other societies of which he is a member, has the
honor also of being a member of the Phi Beta Kappa, a fraternity of Oberlin College.
        In 1883, he married Miss Ellen, daughter of Rev. James and Mary J. Douglas of
Pulaski. They have four sons living, Carl Douglas, George Warner, Maurice Burt, and
Ralph Isham.


        Rev. Edward Beecher was also a guest at the Salmon River House, and along in
‘54 or ‘55 Gerritt Smith and Fred Douglass put up at the old hostelry. Both made
speeches in Pulaski. The old hotel changed proprietors many times during its existence,
fire finally, in 1881, ending it, save as a memory.
        And with this there is also the memory - merely a memory - of other early
incidents and events. The people were not without their disappointments and
heartburnings in the early days. There was Adaline Ladd, a teacher, back in ‘40. She was
about to be married, the wedding outfit had been made and painstakingly laid away. The
wedding day had approached to the night of the morrow. That night fire burned her
grandfather’s home, with whom she was living, it also burned her bridal clothes. In her
dilemma she went to George Fuller, then a merchant in the town, who after learning of
her plight, furnished her with a calico dress, and so, garbed in this, she went to the
marriage alter that morning at ten o’clock. George Fuller supplemented his gift of the
dress by going along to act as best man. Thus the human life romances shadow or
brighten the doings of that little god that has such a part in affairs.

Residence of Dr. James L. Moore, Jefferson Street

 The residence of Dr. James L. More has a lawn frontage of one hundred and
twenty feet, surrounded by beautiful trees. The residence was formerly owned and
occupied by R. L. Ingersoll, banker, and after his death it passed into the hands of Damon
Averill. Averill was the originator of mixed paints, from which he amassed a fortune.
Subsequently L. R. Muzzy, who is now known as the “Pulaski globe trotter,” owned the
place. Dr. More purchased the residence from him and has occupied it since.


        But another event occurred later on, probably about 1854, another one quite
dramatic surely, if not tragic. It was that of the burning in effigy, in South Park, of
Edward Hill, the duly elected County Clerk. Hill had attained the office, as information
gives it, under a promise and agreement that if elected the County Clerk’s office, by hook
or crook, should go to Oswego. To make good in this matter, Hill, on one of those nights
when robbers can see their shadow, spirited away all the appurtenances and belongings of
the Clerk’s office and made good his escape. The next morning Oswego had a County
Clerk’s office and Pulaski had none. There was a whirlwind of fury in the young town,
and in a little time Hill’s effigy was dangling from a gallows on the green. When it had
been stoned, punched and scorned to the populace’s full relief, it was taken down and
burned. This seemed to be the only solace and satisfaction in the circumstances.

John W. Richards

        That a retail dry-goods merchant, who, having made a substantial success in that
line, can turn his talents to that of manufacturing with equally good success, is evidenced
by the career of John W. Richards.
         Mr. Richards was born near Pulaski, and at twenty was a clerk in the R. L.
Ingersoll & Co.’s bank in Pulaski, where he remained a capable and efficient employee
for seven years. Then, in 1882, in company with Lucius Jones, he engaged in the
dry-goods business on the main street of the thriving village. This business was carried on
with a good measure of success, until 1895. Meanwhile, Mr. Richards had become
interested in a creative line, namely, the manufacture of ladies’ house dresses. With a
clear vision of the possibilities in a broader field of trade, he retired permanently from the
retail business, and at once became a manufacturer. Each year since has marked greater
progress and an increasing business. His line now comprises not alone ladies’ house
dresses, but also dressing-sacques, aprons and children’s dresses. He still occupies the
same quarters as when in the retail trade, but the business has increased to so great an
extent as to require the entire building, including the basement. The building is steam
heated; he supplies his own power for operating the equipment for machines.
        The Richards brand of goods can easily be recognized by the trademark, “The J.
W. R., Pulaski, N. Y.”
        Much of the marked success of the J. W. Richards factory is due to the able and
effective assistance of Mrs. Richards. She has been actively interested in the business
throughout its life, and at such times as Mr. Richards is absent selling the output, she
directs with success the management of the business.

        These are merely memories now. There is another, a memory also, perhaps, but of
a different type, of a different character. It is of that unique and in many respects superb
character. Col. Thomas S. Meacham. Meacham stood for something, he stood for
progress, for achievement, for the upbuilding of his community and for high ideals. The
memory of such a man, certainly is inspiring. Forgetting his weaknesses and his failures
and taking cognizance more of heart motives, his ideas and his ideals, there are few men
in any place or community who have stronger title to at least a kind, respectful
        Meacham, to begin with, had the blood of a strong family in his veins. In outward
appearance he loved ostentation, but it is more than likely that this was his manner of
doing things. Certainly he did do things, he was an indefatigable doer, always on a
tremendous scale, too. His life was lived in a time when big enterprises were beset with
difficulties, and immeasurably more were they so in the country. This was his field of
action, and the period prior to 1847, in which year he died.
        The Colonel was, with other admirable characteristics, the embodiment of
kindness and generosity. He seldom returned home from an absence that each female
member of the household, and there were usually many of them, failed to receive a new
dress or some other gift of value. He was mindful always of others and stood for
everything tending to upbuild his neighborhood. But he was consumed by ambition, by
the desire to accomplish difficult feats. He had an enormously large farm, and he kept
more than a hundred cows. This was in a new country seventy-five years ago. His
Agricultural Hall had renown throughout the country at the time. A mighty structure, it
was, situated on the main highway running north from Pulaski. It was a curiosity shop
and many other features combined. To put into force an idea, a wooden soldier with
sword in hand revolved on a turret at the top of the building.

Grant G. Edick

        Grant G. Edick, now occupying the office of Deputy Sheriff of the county, is
probably one of the youngest men that was ever called to that important office in any
county of the state. He is not thirty years old, yet he had been Deputy Sheriff nearly three
        Edick was a farmer boy near Pulaski. At this occupation he spent several busy
years. He broke away from it for three or four years while he attended school at Mexico
and the Pulaski Academy.
        From the days of his youth, Mr. Edick was busy in politics as well as at his other
affairs. Every year, from the time he became a voter till he landed in his present office, he
was active and zealous in advancing the interests of the Republican party in his end of the
        When Charles W. Taft was elected Sheriff of the county in 1908, he at once
picked Grant Edick for his deputy at Pulaski, the half-shire section of Oswego County.
Edick has been a good officer, too. Many of the most notable cases for prosecution in the
annals of the county have come under his charge. He has been efficient and capable at all
        In 1902, Mr. Edick married Miss Julia B. Mowry. Their home is in Pulaski.

        There is now in Rochester a volunteer fireman’s relief fund of above eighty
thousand dollars as the result of a cheese presented to the city by the Colonel in 1835.
Then came the great cheese drama of the same year, a drama which netted the Colonel a
snug sum in the matter of glory but in dollars to the profit side, nil. This was the cheese
weighing fourteen hundred pounds which the Colonel sent to President Jackson. Great
preparation had been made for the event. A memorable dinner was given at the old
Agricultural Hall on the day the cheese was to be transported to Selkirk for shipment by
water to Washington. It was a gorgeous pageant that started from the Hall. The cheese,
loaded upon a draped and bespangled wagon, was drawn by eight fine gray horses, while
Col. Meacham and a band led the procession. The cheese was encircled by a mighty belt,
made to represent the different States of the Union. It was inscribed with the motto, “The
Union; it must be preserved.” The great cheese finally reached its destination and carried
consternation with it. The White House in those days was scarcely large enough to give it
storage. But there was cheese in Washington for some time. Mr. Jackson gave cheese
parties and cheese showers. Yet, in spite of this and the unstinted distribution of it in all
quarters, still there was cheese. The Government had no Dr. Pure Food Wiley in those
days, and later on when germs and bacteria had taken the cheese for their own, the
balance of it was consigned to the Potomac River. The whole thing presented many
amusing features, yet the act itself was typical of the man and of the great things he
essayed. But this was only one of the series of similar acts, and of notable undertakings of
Col. Meacham. From every section of the state and nation came memorials and
endorsement of both his act and his motive.

Residence of Mrs. A. E. Lewis

        Nature evinced a marked sense of the beautiful and picturesque when she shaped
the hill crest on which the residence of Mrs. A. E. Lewis stands. It has a commanding
view of all the contiguous country. The Salmon River skirts the wide area of land on two
sides, the north and the south, while on the east a vista of field and foliage extends over a
long reach. Age has surrounded the immediate grounds with a wealth of beautiful trees.
        The main part of the house is of stone construction, after the oddest sort of
architecture. It was built nearly one hundred years ago by Mr. Petit, he of Petit’s Eye
Salve fame. It was fashioned after the old time model, with every arrangement for
comfort. The estate now comprises twenty-seven acres of land. The house and grounds
are situated at the eastern terminus of Lewis Street, one block from Salina Street. It is one
of the most picturesque places in northern New York. 

        The following, only one of the many of its nature, indicates the sincerity of the
correspondent’s approval of Col. Meacham’s motive and the act.
        “We, the undersigned, Citizens of Albany in the State of New York, have with
much satisfaction examined the National Belt and Mammoth Cheeses, intended for the
President, Vice-President and the Congress of the United States and we cordially respond
and agree with the sentiments inscribed upon the National Belt, as reflecting credit on
Col. Meacham for his patriotism. And we also concur with the printed circular and the
Resolutions comprised on the former part of this book and consider that such specimens
of the Agricultural Produce of this State, as exhibited by Col. Meacham. This intention to
present them to the Chief Officers of our country, will have a beneficial influence on our
Agricultural prosperity and tend to strengthen the bonds of affection among our citizens.
        In furtherance of such desirable objects, we would invite all the friends of our
happy government to join with us, who have set our names and subscribed for the
purpose of carrying into effect the praiseworthy efforts of Col. Meacham in the name of
the whole people of the State of New York.”
        This was supplemented with an extended list of money subscriptions in aid of the
Colonel’s undertaking.
        One of the most interesting items in this unusual affair is the expense account kept
by the Colonel while on his trip to Washington in connection with the great Cheese. Here
it is item by item.
        A Bill of Expense of the National Belt and Mammoth Cheese.

 Jackson Cheese, 1400 lbs. at .14 cents per pound -  $252.00
 Van Burren Cheese, 750 lbs. -   $135.00
 Webster Cheese, 750 lbs. -    $135.00
 Gov. Marcy Cheese, 750 lbs. -    $135.00
 National Belt -      $107.96
 Jackson Cheese Hoop -     $ 25.00
 3 other hoops -      $ 15.00
 Inscriptions of the Jackson Cheese together with the
 belts which encircle it, 3 in number -    $ 35.00
 The 3 other Cheeses for belts and inscriptions - $ 30.00
 Ornamenting the Jackson Cheese -    $  5.00
 Ornamenting the 3 others -     $  9.00
 Platform, Jackson Cheese -     $ 10.00
 Platform for the 3 others -    $  9.00
 Loose cotton cloth spread over Jackson Cheese - $  1.50
 For the 3 other cheeses -    $  2.50
 Transporting the 4 cheeses from my house to the
 Village of Selkirk -      $ 25.00
 Paid Pierce & Dunlap for storage and shipping - $  5.00
 Freight from Selkirk to Oswego -   $ 10.00
 Expenses from Oswego to Utica -   $ 54.70
 Nov. 17th - 19th, expenses at Utica -   $ 55.85
 From Utica to Troy and while at Troy -  $ 76.85
 30th from Troy to Albany and at Troy -  $ 24.25
 Dec. 15th -      $246.75
        The Colonel died in 1847, at the age of fifty-two, and thus passed a man who
lived in advance of his time.
Frank W. White
        Frank W. White was born in Pulaski forty-two years ago. He attended the Pulaski
public school until he was fifteen years old, and then left to engage in the cattle business.
He bought and sold both grade cattle and those of common stock. He worked out a good
success in this line of business, which continued until 1902.
        Meanwhile, Mr. White had taken an active interest in Republican politics in the
county. He was not only a delegate to nearly every county convention of his party, but
also served his district as County Committeeman.
        The first of January, 1903, Mr. White was chosen Deputy Sheriff with
headquarters at the Court House at Pulaski. He served successfully in this office for six
years. Since that date he has been an extensive dealer in horses. He has established in
Pulaski a wide reaching business in this line. He buys horses throughout both the south
and the west, and markets them in New York and other states.
        Mr. White is also a stockholder in the Salmon River Table Works, one of the
successful manufacturing plants of Pulaski.
        He is a member of the Mexico Lodge of Odd Fellows and a life member of No.
271 Lodge of Elks at Oswego. In 1893, he married Ida M. Edick of Pulaski. They have
one son, Harold H. 

        A little South of Pulaski at the Palisade on the Salmon River, in early times was
an Indian fishing smack of considerable importance. Claude Deblon and Father LeMoyne,
French Missionaries, visited the Indians at this place and with members of the tribe went
on to the home of the Onondagas. When on the war-path, it is said, the Salmon River was
a favorite camping ground and a place to gather for council and also catch fish. The river
was the chief resource for food for the missionaries in passing back and forth among the
different tribes.
        But with all its charm and romance, the Salmon River has been the scene of both
tragedies and dramas. A long way back of the memory of anybody now living, Paul
Winthrop had a little log cabin on the river bank where the stream swings around to the
northward. After three or four years of struggle and industry the little house in the
clearing had come to have many of the appurtenances for comfort for his wife and small
child. A winter came at this time and Winthrop buried both the mother and child on the
hillside a little out of the settlement. The morning after he buried the wife and mother,
Winthrop’s body was found in the river near his cabin.
        Now the big reverse of this, there was that summer’s day romance of Walter
Briggs and Anna Johnson. Briggs was a young man, one of the pioneers of 1809. He
located on the north bank of the river where the great elms and maples reached down to
the water’s edge. As the months went on the clearing on his land grew and a snug little
log house went up log by log until it finally was ready for occupancy. Briggs had left
behind him in the old Vermont town his fiancee, and now she was coming on to live in
the new cabin. Anna Johnson arrived on a summer’s day and that day they were married
under a great elm tree standing beside their home.

Ernest J. Kuhne

        The above is the picture of Ernest J. Kuhne, a young man who possesses much of
the genius of an artist. Mr. Kuhne at present is in the amateur class, though some of the
work he had already done gives him title to a higher rank.
        Kuhne’s home is in Brooklyn, but he is spending the summer of 1911 at the noted
country home of Mr. H. A. Moody, near Pulaski. The talent displayed by Kuhne in his
local work was the moving cause for enlisting his services in the taking of most of the
pictures used in illustrating this book. In all his work in this line there is evidence of that
quality necessary for the making of a true artist. By the proper direction of this talent the
art world may later on hear further from Kuhne.

        The Winch log cabin in the beginning was the center of gravitation. It was also the
center of radiation. It was, too, the hub around which for some time all local affairs
revolved. It was a council house for all the settlers. They met at Winch’s to discuss all
matters of common or public interest. afterwards Winch entertained travelers at the log
house and so his place came to be designated a tavern. The old house for a long time held
its place against the march of Progress.

The Pulaski House, Main Street

        Midway between Syracuse and Watertown, and on the main street of Pulaski,
stands the well-equipped, well-ordered and well-constructed Pulaski House. It is on the
main thoroughfare from the south to the north country and from the north country
southward. The Pulaski House has all the modern improvements of a city  hostelry, and
too, the comforts in the matter of appointments and conduct.
        The proprietor, John F. Hubbard, possesses the qualities that make for a
successful landlord. He is genial, painstaking and courteous, always having a thought to
the comfort of his guests. All these qualities, together with his knowledge as to how to
conduct a hotel, have made him popular with the traveling public. Some twenty years ago
he purchased the hotel and having greatly enlarged it has made it a house that invites the

        James and Eli Weed, both carpenters, by actively plying their trade, probably did
more in the matter of hastening into vogue frame houses than did any others among the
early settlers in those years. Eli Weed, for forty years occupied the first house built by
Erastus Kellogg. It is still occupied by Miss Maggie Weed, his daughter.
        The old Pulaski Banner, started by Nathan Randall, was the second newspaper in
Oswego County. From the wreck of this there came into existence later the Pulaski
Advocate and Aurora. The Aurora was for a short time published at the dream city, Port
        Pulaski attained the dignity of a corporation in 1832. It was then a village of
goodly size and notably prosperous. Its vigor and enterprise has been several times
demonstrated by its rapid and sanguine rise from disastrous fires. The citizens have never
lost faith in themselves or in their village.

Ontario House, Port Ontario, N.Y.

        On the highland, overlooking Lake Ontario and the beautiful bay at the mouth of
the Salmon River, is situated the Ontario House.
        The Ontario is a hotel of history. It is located in a historic section, and reaches
back into early Indian history. For four hundred years this place has been a favorite
gathering place for both the Indian and the white race. It has lost none of its charm and
interest as a summer resort. In fact, it has of late been vastly improved in all respects that
contribute to the pleasure and comfort of the sojourner.
        The Ontario House, in the last six years has been transformed into a comfortable
and modern resort hotel. It can accommodate seventy guests with beautifully lighted and
well-furnished rooms. It is supplied with a good water system, natural gas and pleasant
grounds for tennis and other outdoor games.
        The fishing in the lake and bay afford daily sport and entertainment for those
seeking this pastime. The boat service at the hotel is adequate and perfect. Mr. F. R.
Wood, who conducts the Ontario, is a capable and successful landlord, as his six years of
increasing popularity among tourists and summer dwellers has proved.

        But to go back now to the Salmon River, the river of tragedy and romance, there is
the story of the “Black Hole”, drama or tragedy.
        It has its foundation in Indian traditions of more than three hundred years ago.
       That particular spot on the river appears to have had special attraction for the red men of
the different tribes. The densely wooded shored and the deep sidewalled stream afforded
quiet and seclusion. Here they gathered for secret council, and at times, when at war with
another tribe, the first to reach the place occupied it against all comers. If they had been
victorious in battle, they held great orgies at the Black Hole. If on the other hand they had
met defeat, they repaired to the spot for rest and communion with the Great Spirit. When
the god of war had been propitious and brought them victory they danced and indulged in
many superstitious and weird demonstrations.
        The story, or tradition, as it has come down, is that of the white ghost and the red
ghost. It is surrounded and colored with all the mythology and superstition that entered
into their lives. A battle had been fought somewhere in the forest of the north country
between two small bands representing different tribes, and among the vanquished there
was a white man. The victors captured the white man and the chief of their adversaries
and hastened away to the Black Hole to celebrate the event. After a protracted council,
while the moon glinted through the overhanging trees, so the tradition runs, they
dispatched both captives and his their bodies in a recess in the rocks. For a hundred years
thereafter, according to Indian tradition, the ghosts of the white man and the red man
stalked the banks of the stream by night, arm in arm, uttering strange words and
imprecations upon all who approached.
        But now this river, with its many charms and associations is about to pass to the
teeth of commercialism. The project on foot to harness the Salmon River Falls are about
twelve miles east of Pulaski, and in that distance the stream has a descent of nearly six
hundred feet. The plan contemplated a production of twenty-five thousand or more
horse-power. This probably will necessitate the building of a series of dams at the most
advantageous points along the river. The first dam and reservoir with an area of nearly
seven thousand acres, with a length of seven miles and a width of one and a half to two
miles, is now in process of construction.
        V. G. Converse is the chief engineer and Chester Wason Smith the construction
engineer. The practical work of property surveys, rights of way and the making of the
maps, is in charge of Charles E. Briggs, an engineer and surveyor of wide experience and
exceptional ability in this line of work.
        The Salmon River Falls Power and Development Company is prose cutting the
        Thus modern forces are at work in and around Pulaski today and viewing it back
through a hundred years and more, one can see the picture of Pulaski, Past and Present.

L. J. Farmer

        Pulaski is also the home of the world’s leading strawberry authority, L. J. Farmer,
whose place, Maplewood Farm, is just outside the corporate limits. Mr. Farmer is a good
illustration of what keeping everlastingly at one thing will accomplish. He now occupied
the same position in strawberry culture that Luther Burbank does in flower culture. From
a modest beginning in the early eighties his business has grown to large proportions, in
fact is now one of the largest of the kind in the United States. During each winter and
early spring he sends out his annual catalogue which now numbers fifty thousand copies
and which circulates in every civilized country in the world. He tells us that he has spent
for advertising nearly one hundred thousand dollars, in order to build up his business and
get this valuable list of names. He has received orders for plants from most all the
European countries, from Japan, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, as well as from
every nook and corner of the United States and Canada. It is hard to find a man interested
in strawberries, who does not know of L. J. Farmer. Not only has he popularized himself
by advertising, but he has written innumerable articles on Berry Culture for the press and
is the author of “Farmer on the Strawberry” of which two large editions have been sold.
This little work on the strawberry culture is conceded to be the most interesting and
valuable work on the subject ever written. Mr. Farmer is a ready talker as well as a writer
and is a popular speaker at Grange and other farmers meetings, Farmers Institutes,
Horticultural Meetings and the like. He can sing as well as write and speak, and it is hard
for him to dodge being called upon to take some part, if he appears at a meeting of
        One of the most striking things that Mr. Farmer has ever done was his successful
exhibit of sixty-eight varieties of strawberries at the World’s Fair in Chicago in 1893.
This exhibit was awarded the medal and diploma, the very highest awards. The berries
were packed in cotton wadding in cases similar to egg cases, each berry by itself, and
although the weather was very warm, they stood the eight hundred mile journey
admirably and were exhibited eleven days after being placed on the plates. Thousands of
people from all parts of the world saw and admired them.
 Mr. Farmer is the originator of “The New Strawberry Culture” idea and has
delivered his lecture on this subject in Canada and in several states of our own country at
Horticultural Society meetings.
        Mr. Farmer is now forty-five years of age and is best known to his friends and
neighbors by the name “plum Farmer,” a baby name given him by his father and which
has clung to him since infancy. The Plum Farmer raspberry now the most valuable black
raspberry grown, received his name and was originally disseminated by Mr. Farmer. Mr.
Farmer is the introducer of several varieties of strawberries and other berry fruits that
have become famous.
        Last but not least, Mr. Farmer has shown that fall strawberries can be made a
commercial success. To most people, having strawberries in the fall is about as hard to
realize as having apples, plums, pears and peaches in the spring. Mr. Farmer has secured
varieties of strawberries which by proper manipulation, the secrets of which are best
known to himself, are made to produce fully as large a crop of strawberries in August,
September and October as are usually produced by common plants in the month of June.
       From five-hundred plants, set out about the first of May, 1910, Mr. Farmer picked nearly
four hundred quarts of strawberries during August, September and October of the same
year. These berries sold at twenty-five cents per quart, wholesale, realizing at the rate of
over two thousand dollars to the acre. Nothing that Mr. Farmer has ever done has attained
such wide publicity, the newspapers and magazines all over the world containing articles
about his wonderful success in this line.
        L. J. Farmer is known by the things he has done. He is proud of the fact of his
having paid the first money they ever earned, to more young people than any other
business house in Pulaski. He points to the many young people that have become
successful, who used to pick strawberries for “Plum Farmer.” He jokingly tells the boys
and girls that “in order to succeed you must first pick berries for L. J. Farmer.”
        Mr. Farmer receives and sends out the largest mail of any concern in Pulaski. His
postage bill is about one-forth the total receipts of the Pulaski post-office, and has
resulted in raising the office from third to second-class. His business with the express is
enormous and is much the largest in town. His catalogue and other printing has always
been done at the Pulaski Democrat office and is by far the largest order that concern
receives during the year. It requires a large force of people several months to produce the
annual catalogue.
        Mr. Farmer is a dairyman and general farmer as well as strawberry man, and while
not in line with his specialty, strawberry culture, he is much interested in dairying and is
the originator of the idea of the Dairymen’s Protective Association, which has been such
a benefit to the farmers of Pulaski and vicinity. We predict that L. J. Farmer will long be
remembered for what he has done to promote the interests of agriculture and horticulture.

        Among some of the notable products of Pulaski is that of horticulture by L.
Mitchell, Jr., who aided by the peculiar soil and climate coupled with more than ordinary
genius for this particular work, is achieving a splendid success.
        He started several years ago raising tomato plants, and finally his tastes and
apparent adaptability led him into the present line. His product now goes to many markets
as a result of the quality and grade. Mr. Mitchell is a specialist in the production of
carnations, asters and gladiolas. His plant, which is situated on Port Street in the southern
outskirts of Pulaski, has grown to three large and well-equipped glass-covered houses and
ten acres of land for outdoor products.

Nathan B. Smith

        Hon. Nathan Button Smith is one of the best known and most prominent members
of the legal fraternity of Oswego County. He commenced the practice of law July 4, 1869,
in the village of Pulaski and since that time has continued to occupy the same offices in
the National Bank Building, except while he was district attorney of Oswego County.
 Mr. Smith is a native of Vermont and spent his early boyhood on his father’s farm
in the Otter Creek Valley. At the age of fifteen years he entered Burr and Burton’s
Seminary, a celebrated classical school at Manchester, Vermont, and in the year 1863
graduated at Middlebury College with the highest honors of his class. After his graduation
he was connected with the army of the Potomac and in the Shenandoah Valley as a field
correspondent for the New York daily. Returning from the south, Mr. Smith began the
study of law in the office of the Hon. John W. Stewart, afterwards Governor and U. S.
Senator from Vermont, and in the year 1865 came to the village of Pulaski, where he
continued with his law studies in the office of the late Judge Huntington and also taught
classics and higher mathematics in the Pulaski Academy. He was also principal of the
Academy for one year and a half and then resigned to complete his professional studies.
While a law student he was elected a member of the Assembly from the third district of
Oswego County, and was the youngest member of the Legislature in the year 1869. He
was elected Special Surrogate in the year 1875 and in 1881 was elected district attorney
of Oswego County. During his term as district attorney he conducted several important
trials in behalf of the people, among them being the trial of Joshua Gifford who was
indicted for uxoricide and was convicted of murder in the third degree after a memorable
legal battle which continued nearly four weeks.
        In the year 1898 he was appointed Referee in Bankruptcy for the district of
Oswego County and was known as an able and popular judicial officer. Several of his
decisions and opinions on mooted questions were published in bankruptcy journals. He
resigned as Referee in the year 1910, soon after his reappointment, to accept of an
appointment as Deputy Attorney General at Albany. He continued in the attorney
general’s office until the first of January, 1911, when he resigned because of a change in
the political administration of this state and then resumed his private law practice in
which he is now successfully engaged. On June 3, 1874, Mr. Smith married Ellen
Grinnell Cornell, the youngest daughter of the late Stephen Cornell, who was for many
years the senior captain in the U. S. Revenue Service. Two children were born of such
marriage, Cornell N. who is now a practicing physician in the city of Syracuse, and
Walter D. who is assistant sales agent for The American Electrical Works in New York
        Mr. Smith is a public spirited citizen and in all affairs relating to the welfare and
advancement of his home town and vicinity he has taken a deep interest. He has been for
many years a member of the Board of Education and a Trustee of the Congregational
Church of Pulaski. He is also a member of the Masonic fraternity and of other social
organizations. Mr. Smith has often been called upon to give addresses upon public
occasions and is deservedly popular as a public speaker. He enjoys excellent health and is
devoting all of his time to his large practice as a lawyer except when engaged in his
favorite mode of recreation.

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