History of Oswego County, New York
1789 – 1877
~ RICHLAND ~
As the tide of immigration rolled westward the territory was rapidly surveyed and civil divisions erected. In 1792 the territory embraced within the present boundaries of this town comprised a portion of the old town of Whitestown, Herkimer County. Mexico was set off from Whitestown April 10, 1792. Williamstown was formed from Mexico March 24, 1804, and Richland was erected from Williamstown February 20, 1807, nine years prior to the organization of Oswego County.
It retained its original dimensions until 1817, when Rowel was set off. It was again reduced in area in 1825 by the erection of Sandy Creek and Albino. In 1836 a part of Mexico was taken off, and a part set off to Orwell in 1844. It lies upon the shore of Lake Ontario, north of the center of the county, and its surface is generally level, broken by several deep ravines. The principal streams are Salmon river, Deer and Sandstone creeks, and Trout brook.
The First Settlement
“Though we charge to-day with fleetness,
Though we dread to-morrow’s sky,
There’s a melancholy sweetness
In the name of days gone by.”
To call up from the dim vista of the past incidents of more than three-quarters of a century ago, the place before the readers of t0-day a glimpse of early scenes and actors, while it is attended with much difficulty, is a pleasing task, as there’s a sweetness in the annals of days gone by.
The first settlement of Richland dates back to 1801, when Nathan Tuttle and Nathan Wilcox, from Canada, located at the mouth of salmon river. Albert Bohannan settled during the same year at the mouth of Snake creek.
Benjamin Winch settled near the mouth of Salmon river in 1801, where he remained a few years, and removed to the village of Pulaski. He was a surveyor, and assisted in platting the original town. By the capsizing of a boat on the lake in 1804 a number were drowned, leaving Mr. Winch the only adult male at Vera Cruz, now Texas. Conrad Ripson was an early settler at Port Ontario. The first settler at Brown’s landing was a trapper named Jacob Ellis, who came in 1805. Jonathan Hooker was a prominent pioneer in that vicinity. He was the owner of a large part of its shipping, and for many years officiated as justice of the peace. Morse Hooker, a son, now resides in Sandy Creek. Brown’s landing received its name from an early settler named Sylvester Brown. Joel Ellis, brother of Jacob, mentioned above, located in an early day on the farm now occupied by Mr. Jones.
William Smith, a “down-easter,” who divided his time between farming and fishing, was a pioneer on the Ansel Brown farm.
In the early days of this town, when fishing and boating were of paramount importance to farming and cheesemaking, lake captains were numerous, and prominent among the number was Captain John Vorce. who lived on the farm now occupied by Edmond Brown. Mr. Jemmison now owns the place where Benjamin Winch settled after leaving the village. Daniel Brown located next to Winch, on premises now owned by Augustus Twichell. Mrs. Brown was a daughter of Benjamin Winch, and she, together with a sister, now resides in this town. Thaddeus Harmon was a pioneer on lands subsequently owned by his son James, and now occupied by a grandson, Calvin Harmon. John Ingersoll and family located in the year 1804 on lands now owned by T. W. Dixon, east of the village. Isaac Lehigh was an early settler, and met a melancholy fate by being drowned in the river. On the Spring brook road, east of the village, Isaac Fellows, and a son names Isaac, were pioneers. Moses Phillips was also an early settler. North of Pulaski the early settlers were Nathan Stoddard, Ezra Weed, Hamilton Meacham and Daniel Sykes. Ephraim Brewester located east of the village as early as 1808, and subsequently moved to Jefferson County, where he now resides. Abram Bates early located in the Ingersoll settlement. The Frareys came from Vermont, and settled east of the village. Stephen Wade located in the east part of the town in 1830. John Woods emigrated from the east part of the State in an early day, and, coming into this town, erected a log house on premises now owned by Ira Stewart. His widow, now at the advanced age of over ninety years, resides with her son, George Woods, in Pulaski. Alexander Valentine and his son, Noble, early located on the farm now owned by Clement Wallace, who settled in the year 1840. The next clearing on that road was made by Abner Hubbard, on lands now owned by Elder Moore.
In about the year 1824 David Taylor came into the town and located on the farm that he now occupies. He raised a numerous family, and has one son now stopping in Europe. Mr. Taylor was conspicuous as a musician in the old training days. It was his delight to “Beat the sheepskin, blow the fife, and march in trainin’ order.”
Luman Hough and a Mr. Stowell were early settlers in this part of the town. The latter was killed while raising a barn. Mr. Hough is now living in this town, and has officiated as poor-master more than twenty years.
The first clearing within the present boundaries of Richland was made by Mr. Stimpson, on lands now owned by Mr. G. A. Fobes.
A pioneer tavern, bearing the industrious appellation of the “Beehive,” was a prominent stopping-place, which was located on the farm now known as the Dewey farm. Nelson Dewey and Stephen Tinker were early settlers in this vicinity. A son of the latter, Wilson Tinker, resides in the town. Other early settlers were Hiel Richards, John C. Pride, and Isaiah Holmes.
From the earliest days of international commerce to our own time the smuggling of goods into the United States has been carried on, and many have been the “hair-breadth scapes” from the “government officer.” During the war of 1812 this hazardous business was extensively engaged in by various persons along the lake; but of the whole number, none caused the officials so much annoyance as one Samuel McNett, an early settler in this town. He was the owner of a little craft, and was constantly getting into trouble with the custom-house officers, who, after listening to his piteous story of poverty and ignorance, would send the poor boatman adrift, only to repeat his of-told story to other credulous officials into whose grasp he and his small bark next chanced to fall. On the road leading to Port Ontario, on the south side of the river, the first settlers outside of the corporation of Pulaski, were Timothy Maltby, Joseph Spaids, Samuel Vorce, Colonel Rufus Price, Ralph and Isaac Price, and Russel Rathbone. On the State road south of Port Ontario, leading from Oswego to Sackett’s Harbor, the first settler was a Mr. McFarlin; Daniel H. Litts also settled early in that vicinity. At that point where the road crosses Grindstone creek William Fedder first settled, and about this time Benjamin Wright, of Rome, one of the surveyors of the town, built one of the first saw-mills. Walter Hewitt and a Mr. Page, and the Douglass family, consisting of John, Abel, and Sanford, early located near the town line.
A Revolutionary soldier named Bragdon located north of Port Ontario, where he died at an advanced age. His son, George Bragdon, resides on the old homestead. Other pioneers in this vicinity were Joseph Carr, Daniel Pratt, and one Muzzy. Levi Tryon was an early settler on the lake shore north of Port Ontario.
A family of brothers, named Henry, Robert, and Hugh Gillespie, settled in an early day at what is known as Gillespie’s mills, on Grindstone creek. Numerous descendants are honored residents of the town. Henry Gillespie erected a grist and saw-mill at this place. The Calkins family also located in this vicinity, and many representatives of the family are numbered among the inhabitants of Richland.
One of the first taverns in the town was erected by Pliny Jones, one mile south of the village. His son, the venerable Pliny H. Jones, resides on the old homestead. Israel Jones located on lands now occupied by a grandson, Charles E. Jones. A large family of Holmes located in and about Holmesville, where numerous descendants now reside. Other early settlers near Holmesville were Salmon Erskine, Lewis Conant, Avery Griffen, Mr. Halsey, and the Perry family. The Soult family settled at Daysville, and south of the village a family named Brown located.
Captain Muzzy, a soldier of the Revolution, early located in this town, on the farm now occupied by Newton Tompson. Lieutenant Muzzy, a son of Captain Muzzy, was an officer in the war of 1812. He reared a large family of children. L. Reade Muzzy, a grandson, is editor and proprietor of the Pulaski Democrat.
THE CITY OF PORT ONTARIO
Some time prior to the year 1836, John L. Dickinson, Asa C. Dickinson, Elias Camp, and Colonel Robert Nichols organized what was called the Port Ontario Company. They conceived the idea that a city must soon spring up at the mouth of Salmon river, and immediately set about surveying a large tract, and laying it out into lots. It embraced one hundred and twenty half-acre, and sixty-six five-acre lots. The embryo city was announced with a great flourish of trumpets, and its enterprising progenitors were sanguine in the belief that it would soon outstrip the then village of Oswego. Lots were sold at a large price; the excitement continued, and in October, 1837, was issued the first copy of a good sized paper, called The Port Ontario Aurora, and was “printed for the publishers, by L. W. Cole, office, corner of Bridge and Pulaski streets.”
In number four of volume one, Mercy Clark informs the ladies of the “city” that she is prepared to execute mantua-making in all its branches. O. E. Dwight tells the people that he is ready to do their painting; while Libbeus Marshall announces that he will be happy to execute all orders in his business, which was cabinet-making. B. H. Corbin, familiarly known as “Uncle Ben,” sounds his occupation in the following manner:
“Come, honest farmers, one and all,
And give old Uncle Ben a call;
All kinds of blacksmith-work I do,
And the old mare and horse I shoe.”
The city had two hotels, “Port Ontario House” and “Selkirk House,” one located in the First and the other in the Fourth ward. We find no Gamaliels of the law, but, doubtless, there were members of this harmless profession not far away, as a sheriff’s sale is advertised.
The great expectations of this city, however, were never realized. Oswego rapidly advanced, and but a few years only had elapsed when Port Ontario exhibited signs of decay, and now all that remains is a hotel, store, and a few houses. The waters of old Ontario was the shore as of old, but the city, alas! it never came.
Many of the customs prevalent during the early settlements of the country have with the advance of civilization passed away, and are only remembered by old settlers as customs “more honored in the breach than in the observance.” It was the custom in those early days at the raising of a building, after all had become comfortably merry, to name the structure, and at the erection of the first church at Port Ontario, the following couplet was composed by Azel Walworth:
“Small church and tall steeple,
Lying priest and drunken people.”
Whether in consequence of this his Satanic majesty breathed a curse against it, as of old was uttered against the Cologne cathedral, nevertheless, the fact remains that no more work was ever done upon it, and the building was subsequently taken down and removed to Mexico.
John C. Price was an early settler in this town; he came from Otsego county, and located on lots 77 and 78. He subsequently located on the road leading from Salt Point to Holmesville. He was a leading citizen of the town, and officiated as supervisor for a period of thirteen years.
Among the early settlers in what was then the town of Richland were five families of Meachams, who came from Vermont. They settled near this village, in what is now Sandy Creek. One of the number, John Meacham, became a resident of Pulaski. Deacon Simon Meacham, who died in Pulaski a few years since, was one of this colony. His brother, Thomas Standish Meacham, came soon after.
Salmon river in an early day was celebrated as a fishing ground. At that period it seemed not to require all the artifice and ingenuity of man to secure the finny tribe, and although perhaps no more sport attended “going a-fishing” then than now, certain it was that more fish were taken. Mr. Jeremiah A. Mathewson relates that salmon were in such abundance that two men “speared six hundred in a single night,” and that himself and Charles A. Mathewson, in the fall of 1836, “speared” two hundred and thirty-four in four hours. Sixty-three were caught by one “jack-light” lasting seventeen minutes; one hundred taken promiscuously from the pile weighed fourteen hundred and seventy-five pounds, an average of fourteen and three-quarter pounds each. Mr. M. has frequently “speared” two at one stroke, and remembers at one time of spearing two that weighed forty-six and one-half pounds.
Richland in 1810 is thus described by H. G. Spafford: “Richland is a large township in the northwest angle of Oneida county, erected in 1807 from the west part of Redfield, fifty-five miles northwest of Utica. Bounded north by Jefferson county, east by Redfield and Williamstown, south by Williamstown and Mexico, and west by Lake Ontario. At present this town comprises the townships named Campania, Longinus, Alkmaer, Rhadmant, and Richland, on the maps of the surveyor-general, with an area of about two hundred and eighty square miles. The settlements are but of recent date, and the principal part is wholly wild. The whole population in 1810 was nine hundred and forty-seven, and there were then one hundred and fifty-two senatorial electors; but the population is increasing, and the land is of pretty good quality in general, and much of it is very excellent. It is but moderately uneven, and very well watered. Salmon creek, is a fine large stream that rises in the southwest part of Lewis county, runs west across this tract to Lake Ontario. Little Sandy creek rises in the north part and runs west also to the lake, as do some smaller streams that abound with fish of various kinds, and supply abundance of mill-seats. There is a road from Rome to the mouth of Salmon creek, and one also north and south through this town.”
The first town-meeting in Richland was held at the house of Ephriam Brewester, in 1807, and the following persons were elected:
Joseph Hurd, supervisor; William Hale, town clerk; George Harding, John Meacham, Joseph Chase, assessors; Isaac Meacham, Gersham Hale, overseers of the poor; Simon Meacham, Elias Howe, and Jonathan Rhodes, commissioners of highways; Elias Howe, collector for townships 6, 10, 11, or the north part of Richland, Sandy Creek, Orwell, and Boylston; Pliny Jones, collector for townships 21 and 22, or south part of Richland and Albion; Elias Howe, Pliny Jones, Justus St. John, constables; Asahel Hurd, Gersham Hale, and Joseph Chase, fence-viewers; George Harding, pound-master; William Robinson, Timothy Balch, Nathan W. Noyes, Elias Howe, Ephraim Brewester, Gersham Hale, Timothy Kellogg, Jonathan Rhodes, Isaac Lehigh, path-masters. Joseph and Asahel Hurd, the Meachams, and Elias Howe, resided in the present town of Sandy Creek, William Hale, the clerk, in the village of Pulaski; Timothy Balch and N. W. Noyes in Orwell; and Jones, St. John, and Chase in Richland.
The following is a list of the supervisors from the organization of the town to 1878: Joseph Hurd, 1807-08; John C. Pride, 1809-16; Simon Meacham, 1817-19; John C. Pride, 1820-21; Simon Meacham, 1822; John C. Pride, 1823; Simon Meacham, 1824-25; John C. Pride, 1825-26; Thomas C. Baker, 1827; Robert Gillespie, 1828-29; Isaac Stearns, 1830; Robert Gillespie, 1831-33; Isaac Stearns, 1834; L. D. Mansfield, 1835; Isaac Stearns, 1836; Robert Gillespie, 1837-38; M. W. Mathews, 1839-41; Bradley Higgins, 1842-43; H. F. Noyes, 1844; A. Crandall, 1845-46; Caspar C. West, 1847; E. M. Hill, 1848-51; H. F. Noyes, 1852; N. W. Wardwell, 1853; S. H. Meacham, 1854; James A. Clark, 1855-56; John T. McCarty, 1857-58; James A. Clark, 1859-60; Isaac Fellows, 1861-62; S. T. Gates, 1863-65; William H. Gray, 1866; G. T. Peckham, 1867-69; James M. Betts, 1870; H. H. Lyman, 1871-72; William B. Dixon, 1873-76.
Town clerks: William Hale, 1807-08; F. Curtis, 1809; Simon Meacham, 1810-16; Smith Dunlap, 1817; Silas Harmon, 1818-19; Hiram Hubble, 1820-22; James A. Davis, 1823-24; E. C. Hart and M. Harmon, 1825; Allen Andrews, 1826; Hiram Hubble, 1827-28; A. H. Stevens, 1829; John Dickinson, 1830; A. H. Stevens, 1831; James M. Hall, 1832; Ira Allen, 1833; W. W. Mathews, 1834; James A. Davis, 1835; John D. Lane, 1836; George Gurley, 1837; E. W. Fox, 1838-39; E. S. Salisbury, 1840-41; H. N. Wright, 1842-43; Sidney M. Tucker, 1844; Henry Mitchell, 1845-47; Sidney M. Tucker, 1848-51; Henry Mitchell, 1852; William H. Gray, 1853; D. B. Meacham, 1854-55; Henry Mitchell, 1856; D. B. Meacham, 1857-63; Newell Wright, 1864; John F. Box, 1865; Newell Wright, 1866-67; H. H. Lyman, 1868-70; D. B. Meacham, 1871-77. D. B. Meacham has held the office nearly sixteen years.
It will be noticed that two supervisors are credited to 1825, and two town clerks. Mr. Meacham was elected supervisor and Mr. Hart clerk in that year, and upon the erection of Sandy Creek the old town was left with these offices vacant, as both men resided within the boundaries of the new town. Their places were supplied by John C. Pride and Milton Harmon
Importance always attaches to those courageous spirits who leave their homes and threading their way into the wilderness, first erect the standard of civilization. To Benjamin Winch the honor is inscribed of being the first white settler within the boundaries of the present thriving village of Pulaski. He located in 1804, and erected the first tavern on the site now occupied by the Palmer House. It was a log structure, but many a pioneer was cheered alike by his fireside, venison, and whisky. Mr. Winch subsequently sold the tavern to John Hoar, who was probably an itinerant, as nothing is known of him, who in turn disposed of it to J. A. Mathewson, a native of Scituate, Rhode Island, who settled in 1806. A son, Jeremiah A. Mathewson, resides in the village, and is without doubt more familiar with the history of this village and town than any person now living. Five families located in 1805, viz., William Smith, who lived in a rude shanty near the point at the crossing of the railroads; Daniel Stone, who occupied a log house on the site of the present residence of Lucian Jones, which was a partnership affair, one end being the house Jonathan Rhodes; Rufus Fox located on the site now occupied by the Baptist church; and Erastus Kellogg, a blacksmith, whose house stood a few rods north of the Frond block, and was the first frame building erected in the village.
Rufus Fox remained in the village a few years, and then located two miles up the river, at what is called Fox’s bridge. A son, Justus Fox, died in this town at the advanced age of eighty years. A son of Justus Fox, named Hiram, resides near the old homestead. Rufus and Thomas Bishop were also early settlers. John Jones came from Oneida county in 1808, and still survives, at the age of eighty years.
Settlement rapidly increased in 1810. In that year Captain John Meacham moved into the town, and occupied the Rhodes and Stone house, and opened the first store, which occupied the site of the present mercantile establishment of C. R. Jones. Henry Patterson, a hatter, came with Mr. Meacham, and occupied a diminutive shop on what is now the east end of James A. Clark’s lot. In 1811, Silas Harmon became associated with Captain Meacham in the mercantile business, and this firm was soon succeeded by Milton Harmon, nephew of Silas.
One of the greatest inconveniences experienced by the pioneers was the want of mills for grinding grain. Long and tedious journeys were made on horseback with a bag of corn, and the pestle and spring pole were resorted to. J. A. Mathewson built the first grist-mill in 1808, and in 1810 the population of the village and town had so far increased that another grist-mill became one of the pressing necessities of the flourishing settlement, and in that year he erected the second grist-mill, which stood on the site of the present box factory of Charles Tollner.
The settlement of this town had so far advanced with able-bodied men in 1812, that a company was raised, under Captain John Meacham, which was twice called to the defense of Sackett;s Harbor, and once to Oswego.
During this year Hudson Tracy and John S. Davis settled. The latter was a prominent citizen, and officiated as first sheriff of Oswego County. They built the first carding and fulling-mill.
One of the early merchants was Thomas C. Baker. He occupied a prominent position among the business men of the county, and has officiated as supervisor and county clerk. Mr. Baker still resides in the village, at the advanced age of eighty years. A daughter married D. A. King, Esq.
Charles H. Cross, a native of Madison county, New York, settled here in the fall of 1814. He became connected with the land office in 1836 as a surveyor, and in 1851 assumed control of one of the agencies of the Pierpont estate, and still officiates in that capacity.
Other early merchants were as follows: Douglass & Watson, Allen & Hale, Hale & Smith, Baker & Preston, Jones & Clark, John T. McCarty, John H. Wells, J. Manning Hall, Newell Wright, Ralph French, Luther Allen, John L. Dickinson, James Wood.
Other early settlers in the village were: Gersham Hale, Jehiel Weed and two sons Ezra and Joel, Jacob Weed and sons, Angus McFee, Henry Mitchell, Oliver Ramsdell, Joel Harmon, Amos Fellows.
The first school in Pulaski was held in a building erected by J. A. Mathewson for a blacksmith-shop, near the south end of the Palmer House, and was taught by Rebecca Cross, afterwards the wife of James Harmon. She was succeeded in the management of this primitive institution by Miss A. Hinman. Pliny Jones kept the next school, in the log house belonging to J. A. Mathewson.
The first building erected solely for a school stood on the premises now owned by William Hill, and near the front gate leading to his residence. Two months afterwards this building was destroyed by fire, and school was opened in a building owned by Mr. Bush, which occupied the sire of the present residence of George W. Wood. Pliny Jones then opened his house for the accommodation of the school, where it was held during one winter, when a school-house was erected on the present site of the land office. It was subsequently removed to the present site of the Baptist church. The next school building erected was of brick, on the ground now occupied by the Congregational church. This was subsequently taken down, and school opened in the old Congregational church, which is now occupied as a grade school.
The first court in Oswego County was held in Oswego in October, 1816, when a number of persons presented themselves, and were admitted to the bar. This, however, was the only business transacted, and the first court at which a jury was drawn was convened at Pulaski in February, 1817.
Three years after the first court was held in the county, the court-house in Pulaski was erected, and a tablet set in the walls bearing the following inscription: “This building erected A.D. 1819. James Weed, builder; Simon Meacham, John S. Davis, Ebenezer Young, building committee.” The old structure was rebuilt and enlarged in 1859, and is a comfortable and commodious edifice.
In the year 1816 when the first court was held, Pulaski had so far advanced that it required no prophetic vision to discern that it must soon become an important business village. At that early period as well as in our own time, there were “Doubtful balances of rights and wrongs, And weary lawyers with endless tongues.”
The first Gamaliel of the law who raised his voice in Pulaski was Benjamin Winch, familiarly known as “Pa” Winch. He was the graduate of no college or law school, neither had he sat under the tutelage of a Livingstone or a Kent, but he was possessed of a vast amount of self-esteem, which, with a sprinkling of good judgment and common sense, caused him to be eagerly sought after by the litigants of those early days.
The first regular attorney in Pulaski was James A. Davis, who came from Oneida County.
Chester Hayden was a prominent pioneer attorney, and subsequently became one of the judges of Oswego County.
Abram P. Vosburg came from the valley of the Mohawk. He was admitted at the first court held in the county.
J. W. Helme practiced here a number of years, and removed to the west. He subsequently abandoned the law and entered the Baptist ministry. James J. Petit and Harvey J. Harmon were also early practitioners.
The present bar consists of the following: Hon. A. Z. McCarty, J. B. Watson, D. A. King, Hon. S. C. Huntington, J. W. Fenton, Hon. N. B. Smith, Hon. John Preston, J. W. Shea, J. R. Brown, B. Parkhurst, and C. B. King.
The first disciple of Aesculapius in this town was Dr. Porter, who came from Vermont and located in 1806.
Isaac Whitmore was the first physician that settled within the present boundaries of the village. He came from Madison County in 1810, and located on the premises now occupied by Mr. Hohman.
Allen Andrews came soon after, and erected a portion of the house now occupied by Dr. J. N. Betts.
Dr. Gridley settled in the village in about the year 1815, and resided on the site now occupied by the residence of D. A. King, Esq. Dr. H. F. Noyes subsequently came and occupied the same residence.
The medical profession is at present ably represented by the following: F. S. Lowe, J. N. Betts, H. W. Caldwell, Ed. F. Kelly, A. S. Lowe.
R. L. INGERSOLL & COMPANY’S BANK
This banking institution was established in 1854 as the Pulaski Bank, R. L. Ingersoll president and S. R. Ingham cashier. It was conducted under this name until 1862, when it was changed to the name of R. L. Ingersol & Company’s Bank, which it still remains. W. B. Dixon is present cashier. The business was established in a building now occupied by Henry Clark as a store on the east side of Jefferson street. About two years afterwards it was removed to the Tucker block, where it has since remained. The present prosperous condition of this institution is mainly due to the personal attention of Mr. R. L. Ingersol, who has been connected with it since its organization.
PULASKI NATIONAL BANK
J. A. Clark & Company’s State Bank was organized September 1, 1862, with J. A. Clark president, and Charles A. Clark cashier. The offices have not changed. Lewis J., son of J. A. Clark, was appointed assistant cashier in 1874. The bank has a capital of one hundred thousand dollars. This business was commenced in a building now occupied by Mr. Forman. Their present banking building was erected in 1865, and was occupied by them in September of the same year.
Pulaski was incorporated in May, 1832, and at the first meeting held for the election of officers Judge Hubbell presided, and Hon. A. Z. McCarty officiated as clerk.
The following officers were elected, viz..: Abner French, president; Isaac H. Stearns, Hiram Hubbell, Benjamin H. Wright, and John H. Wells, trustees; John L. Dickinson, clerk; Thomas C. Baker, John L. Dickinson, Casper C. West, assessors; L. B. Cole, collector; Isaac Whitmore, treasurer.
The village was re-incorporated May 25, 1858.
The present officers are as follows: Albert F. Betts, president; Benjamin Pierce, John F. Box, Roswell C. Dickinson, Thomas Hall, trustees; E. Harmon, assessor; Elihu Bushnell, collector; William B. Dixon, treasurer; John Preston, clerk.
A fire department was organized here in an early day, but no records are in existence showing the date of such organization. May 9, 1865, the old company disbanded, and the “Ringgold Fire Company, No. 1,” was organized. The present officers are as follows: C. L. Myers, chief; J. N. Daly, president; D. C. Dodge, vice-president; M. D. Bumpus, secretary; D. C. Mahaffy, treasurer; S. T. Doane, janitor; George O. Harmon, foreman; William H. Lester, Jr., assistant foreman.
Much attention has been bestowed by the citizens of Pulaski on the fire department, and it is now in good condition. The company has a neat and substantial two-story brick engine-house, and the council-chamber is a model of neatness, surpassing in beauty of arrangement and elegance those of more pretentious towns. The department has two hand-engines in perfect order, a hose-cart, and about two hundred feet of hose.
The following persons represent the business interests of to-day except attorneys, physicians, and bankers, mentioned on a previous page:
Paper-mill, Outerson & Cornell.
Book-board paper-mill, Outerson & Lewis.
Cheese factory, Walter Holmes.
Carding-machine, Stewart & Mahaffy.
Block-Factory, Alcott & Son.
Planing-mill, R. L. Ingersol.
Grist-mills, C. R. Campbell’s erected in 1838 by Henry Averill; Dixon & Allen’s, erected by A. Porter in 1852; James Harmon’s, erected by Samuel and Hiram Cook in 1845; A. W. Davis’ “red mill,” erected in 1836 by J. A. Mathewson and his son, Jeremiah A. Mathewson..
Steam saw-mill, D. A. Delano.
Foundry and machine shop, Lorenzo Ling.
Furniture manufactory, R. W. Box.
Butter-tub and cheese box factories, Davis & Clark, Byron Stark.
Carriage-manufactures, T. R. Ingersoll, J. H. Larabee, J. David, A. Scheff.
Saw-mill, L. Calkins.
Fancy box factory, Charles Tollner.
Dry-goods, C. R. Jones, H. B. Clark, Jones & Lane, G. W. Woods.
Drugs, J. F. Box, G. W. Fuller, D. B. Meacham & Son.
Groceries, C. R. Jones, B. Pierce & Son, T. Wallace, M. L. Hollis, M. Pierce & Son, T. Bumpus.
Clothing, A. F. Betts, Wm. June, F. Frank, M. Levy.
Hardware, A. N. Beadle, C. R. Dickinson.
Books, A. Meacham, J. Austin.
Millinery, Miss A. Tifft, Miss L. F. Box, Miss Degraw, Mrs. E. A. Foreman, Mrs. Slater, Mr. Falk.
Furniture, R. W. Box.
Boots and shoes, S. Mason, B. D. Salisbury.
Jewelers, W. Allen & Co., L. A. Gaylord, Mr. Davis.
Harness-shop, J. Davison, Mr. Burton.
Livery, L. M. Tyler, E. A. Forman.
Hotels, “Salmon River House,” W. H. Gray, proprietor; “Palmer House.” S. A. Palmer, proprietor; “Mayo’s Hotel,” C. Mayo, proprietor.
Saloons, E. L. Austin, W. Hemans, F. Wood.
Station-agent, S. D. Moore.
Montreal telegraph, G. H. Fuller, operator.
Dominion telegraph, M. D. Bumpus, operator.
The first post office was established in Richland January, 1817, and Henry White appointed postmaster. Orville Morrison was appointed in 1818; Hiram Hubbell in 1819; Daniel H. Fisk in 1842; Henry N. Wright in December, 1844; Joseph T. Stevens in 1849; Benjamin Rhodes in 1851; Newell Wright in 1852. January 27, 1853, the name of the office was changed to Pulaski, and Newell Wright continued as postmaster until July 14, 1853, when William C. Hampstead was appointed. He was succeeded by Henry N. Wright in 1856. John B. Watson was appointed in 1861, and Henry N. Wright in 1866. John B. Watson was re-appointed in 1867, and still officiates in that capacity.
**Many thanks and appreciation to Julie Robst for contributing this history on the Town of Richland. Julie has contributed a number of photographs, newspaper articles and histories for both, Richland and Mexico.