Pulaski Democrat
Printed from January 24, 1923 to May 23, 1923
Old Lighthouse, Selkirk, Pulaski, NY
Old Lighthouse, Selkirk, Pulaski, NY


Many thanks and appreciation to Julie Litts Robst for contributing this most interesting history
on the Town of Richland. Julie has contributed a number of other historical and family items
which have helped many researchers and give a glimpse into what their lives were like back then.



LOCAL HISTORY - Beginning With Oswego County and Leading up to Pulaski Village
by B. G. Seamans

The first town meeting held in and for Richland was in the spring of 1807 at the
home of Ephriam Brewster. Joseph Hurd was elected supervisor; William Hale, town
clerk; George Harding, John Meacham and Joseph Chase, assessors. As there were
several divisions of the town they had two overseers of the poor. They were Isaac
Meacham and Gershaw Hale. They had three overseers of highways, Simon Meacham,
Elias Howe and Johnathan Rhodes. Among other officers were Ashel Hurd, Gershaw
Hale and Joseph Hurd fence views, whose duties were to corral stray animals and George
Harding was proud-master, whose duties were to look after stray animals of all kinds.
Both offices have been discontinued many years.
The supervisors for 115 years since the town was organized and town meetings
were held have been: Joseph Hurd, John Pride, Simon Meacham, John C. Pride, Thomas
C. Baker, Robert Gillispie, Isaac Stearns, M. W. Mathews, Bradley Higgins, Dr. H. F.
Hayes, A. Crandall, Casper C. West, E. M. Hill, N. W. Wardwell, S. H. Meacham, James
A. Clark, John T. McCarty. These cover the first fifty years of the town’s record of
officers. James A. Clark, Isaac Fellows, Sewel T. Gates, these too were serving 1861 -
1865. William H. Gray, G. T. Peckham, Dr. James N. Betts, Henry H. Lyman, William B.
Dixon, Robert L. Ingersoll, Lawson R. Muzzy, Thomas R. Ingersoll, Richard W. Box,
Isaac J. Rich, Lewis J. Macy, William D. Streeter, Minor J. Terry, John W. Parkhurst,
Fred B. Rich.
The town of Richland fast became important in the county. The district schools
early began to interest the inhabitants who cleared the land for farms and homes. We see
dates over some of the doors and among them is the one in Lehigh District which dates
back to 1857. There were two school houses at the mouth of Salmon River, one at Port
Ontario and one at Selkirk, up to about twenty-five years ago, when they were
consolidated and the school house near Bethel Church was erected.
(January 31, 1923) The population of the town of Richland in 1810 was 947 and
in ten years it increased to 2,728. (It is not much over 3,700 now, this showing that the
rural population has not kept up the pace set by the early settlers.) The first school in the
town was taught by Milly Ellis in the summer of 1808. The exact location of the building
where the school was conducted is not mentioned. The school system of the town grew
until 1860 there were twenty-three districts.
The first religious organization in the town was the First Congregational Society
of Richland in 1811. We will say more about this church later.
The first settlers of the town had a custom of making burial plots for their dead on
their own premises but it was not long before cemeteries were planned and a general
burying ground was adopted. Pulaski cemetery was one of the first. There are at least five
cemeteries in the town now. The south part of the town was first settled by Jabin Holmes,
a native of Cherry Valley, Otsego County, who was a veteran of the war of 1812. He
lived to be 100 years of age. There was much good bark timber in that locality and a
tannery was built which stood until 1886.
The Light House at Selkirk was built in 1838 and used by the government until
1858. There is an intensely interesting story about the early days at the mouth of the
Salmon River which we will give in a subsequent installment.
(February 7, 1923) Returning to the interesting story of early days at the mouth of
the Salmon River and its consequence in the estimate of those who came into the mouth
of the river which was once a great bay, furnishing a good harbor, before it was washed
full of soil, we find the following interesting story which we take from anothers historical
sketch:
On July 10, 1864, La Barre, the French Governor of Canada, left Quebec with 700
Canadians, 130 regular French soldiers and 200 Mission Indians, beating against the
currents of the St. Lawrence River in unwieldy flat boats and frail birch bark canoes.
After several days of wearisome labors they entered what is now the harbor of Kingston,
Ontario, seeking rest and safety behind the palisades of Fort Frontenac, the extreme
fortified outpost of the French at that time. La Barre, the Governor of New France, as
Canada was then called, who was in personal command of the expedition, in a letter to
the French court, thus relates the object of the journey: “My purpose is to exterminate the
Senecas, for otherwise your Majesty need take no further account of this country since
there is no hope of peace with them, except when they are driven to it by force.” Not
daring to meet the Senecas in council, La Barre sent the Jesuit Le Moyne to ask
meditation of the Onondagas, and appointed as a meeting place the mouth of the Salmon
River. While waiting to hear from his embassy, La Barre kept his party in camp under the
protection of the guns of the fort, where in the heat of August they sickened and died by
scores. Provisions too, became scarce, and when finally on the first of September the
expedition crossed the lake and pitched its encampment on the sandy tongue of land
which forms the north shore of the river where it empties into the lake, the men were
suffering terribly from lack of food. Two days later, Le Moyne, accompanied by Big
Mouth, the famous Onondaga Chief, and thirteen of their wisest sachems, arrived,
attended by a large retinue of Indians. That well known fishing resort on the east shore of
Ontario Lake, never before or since presented such a scene of savage glory, such
picturesque groupings of wilderness finery. There were assembled the great warriors of
the Iroquois, the fiercest tribe on the continent. Under the banners of France, led by the
King’s own representative, the Governor of New France, who representing the most
brilliant court of those times, made all the display of pomp and power that his
environments and methods of traversing a new country permitted, were assembled the
chevaliers seeking wealth and adventure in the new world; gathered from the west even to
the shored of Lake Superior under their chieftains, Du Lihut and La Durantaye, came the
French-Canadian Indian fighters and hunters, whose lives were spent in roaming the
forests, dressed in their strange costumes of skins, known in story and song as the
coureurs de bois; in their rude encampments, partly hidden in the scrub and timbers that
then skirted the banks of the Salmon River, were the red allies of the French, all of them
hunted by the Iroquois, of whom they were in deadly fear. There were the Abenakis, the
terrors of the New England colonists, from the coasts of Maine and Massachusetts; the
Algonquins from the remote Canadian interiors; the Hurons, from the shores of Lake
Huron, and the converted Iroquois, whom the Jesuits had gathered in their missions
scattered through Canada, from Quebec to the lakes. The most effeminate power of the
civilized world was there in that little corner of a great wilderness, cooped up in their
tents, pitched on the sand heaps, to meet in solemn treaty the representatives of a fierce
and barbarous nation of Indians. On that hot September day, two centuries ago, nearly a
thousand of this strange assortment of peoples gathered to a feast of bread, wine and
salmon trout. It was the fourth of the month, and on the morrow the two powers, the
French and the Iroquois were to determine which could out wit the other in their game for
the control of the American continent.
(February 14, 1923) The story of the French at the mouth of Salmon River
continued from last week.
The average historian has never made much of this meeting at the mouth of the
Salmon River. But it is the fact that it was one of the most momentous of colonial history.
The French held in alliance all of the Indian nations of the eastern part of America which
at that time were inimical to the welfare of the white races then trying to get a foothold on
the Western Continent, except the Iroquois. The latter then held the leverage of power
between the English and French, dickering with both without giving either the
opportunity to gain any advantage. As between the two, it is true, they were friendly to
the English, but even they, the Iroquois, were holding at arm’s length, so to speak, and at
the same time threatening the French with destruction, having already conquered all of
the Indian tribes who could possibly be a factor in the race for the possession of the new
continent. The situation to the French had finally become unendurable. The Governor had
written to the French King that the Iroquois must be severely punished or the court of
Versailles much give up the scheme of colonizing America. So with all the bluster of
which he was capable, La Barre had left his capital to settle the momentous question once
and forever. He had gathered his entire fighting strength on this side of the Atlantic, and
had got as far as the Iroquois outposts. There he evidently determined to once more resort
to diplomacy. His fever for war suddenly subsided. The last cast of the dice was to be
made at La Famine. The Onondagas, the rulers of the confederacy had previously refused
to take a single step towards treating for peace, and even after Onontion (as they called
the French Governor) had come as far as Frontenac to meet them in a council they had
refused to cross the lake for a conference, and haughtily demanded that the council fire
should move into their territory, saying that they would condescend to go as far as the
limits of their fishing grounds, and no farther.
So on this third of September here they were, both parties to the controversy, there
demons, their hands reeking with the blood of the defenseless people they had but
recently massacred within sight of the parapets of Quebec, and the almost starved
remnant of the western armies of France. A duel royal of diplomats was to settle the fate
of France, yes, of nations, since if the Iroquois were out generaled, the contest for their
lands would be quickly settled between the English and French, the latter moving by the
hundreds into the Iroquois territory, where, as it turned out, they were never able to settle
even a corporal’s guard.
The morning of the fifth opened bright. All ceremonials the Iroquois delighted in,
their sachem observed as they gathered and arranged themselves in a group about the
Governor, who was seated in an arm chair placed in an opening of the sand hills where
the came had been located. Big Mouth had not displayed other than surprise that in the
very hottest of that season of the year Le Barre should have set his camp in a place so
exposed to the heat, when on lower ground he could have found room with shade and
water nearer. On the ground that had been chosen for that council picnickers today find a
delightful retreat.
La Barre had two reasons for selecting the came he did. He mistrusted the
Iroquois, and had goof reason for so doing, and his force was in such helpless condition
that he desired concealment of the actual situation so far as possibly. The elevation of his
camp with the lake shore partly surrounding it, favored both purposes. The Iroquois were
not known to violate treaty ground, although they were vile dissimulators, and had no
compunctions about breaking treaties. But La Barre well knew that they had not forgotten
the avowed object of his expedition, and he felt safer where he could look down upon
their camp rather than they look upon his. Before the Onondaga delegation had arrived he
had sent home all of his sick men in order to further conceal his weakness. Supposing he
had succeeded in keeping them ignorant of his crippled forces, what must have been his
surprise when Big Mouth in his insolent reply to the commander’s firm demands, said
that he saw Onontio, “raving in a camp of sick men.”
The council opened with the two parties seated in Indian fashion. La Barre began,
say his Jesuit chroniclers, with a demand for satisfaction and indemnity on the part of the
Iroquois for the massacering that had been going on, saying, “In case of refusal his king
had ordered him to declare war.” Then he complained that the Five Nations had
“introduced the English into the lakes which belonged to the king, my master, and among
the tribes who are his children, in order to destroy the trade of his subjects, and seduce
these people from the obedience they owe him.”
The reply of Big Mouth is characteristic of the man. “Onontio,” said he, “when
you left Quebec, you must have thought that the heat of the sun had burned the forests
that make our country inaccessible to the French or that the lake had overflowed them so
that we could not escape from our villages. Now your eyes are opened, for I and my
warriors have come to tell you that the Senecas, Cayugas, Onondagas, Oneidas, and
Mohawks are all alive. Listen, Onontio, I am not asleep. My eyes are open and by the sun
that gives me light I see a great captain at the head of a band of soldiers, who talks like a
man in a dream. I see Onontio raving in a camp of sick men, whose lives the Great Spirit
has saved by smiting them with disease. Our women had snatched war clubs, our children
and old men seized bows and arrows to attack your camp, if our warriors had not
restrained them, when your messenger, Akouessan (Le Moyne) appeared in our village.”
In the afternoon a second session was held at which terms of peace were agreed
upon, a peace which the Iroquois broke before the French got back to Montreal. But the
latter were too depleted in numbers to do more than defend themselves behind their
barricades and the country of the Iroquois which they had looked upon with covetous
eyes they were never able to occupy. Their failure at the peace conference at La Famine to
impress the Iroquois with their might and power had placed them in the lowest estimate
of the Five Nations who no longer feared or respected them and the result was that not
only did their enemies, the Iroquois, at once declare their fealty to the English whom they
thereafter called Father instead of Brother, but it thoroughly alienated from the French
their western red allies who became convinced that the French were powerless to defend
them against the mighty Iroquois, with whom they at once sought conciliation and peace.
The last cast of the dice made at the mouth of the Salmon River bereft the French of the
last hope of getting a foothold south of the great lakes and a vast region which became
Anglicized without their opposition otherwise might have become in reality a new
France.
(February 21, 1923) The editor is indebted to Mrs. Frank Smart, of Daysville, for
the following interesting information regarding the early history of the town of Richland.
We incite anyone who cares to do so, to give us such information as we may not get from
the sources to which we go for information.
Among the early settlers of the Southern part of Richland was Dr. James
Manwarren who came there from Monroe County, and settled about 1817, in the school
district which was named in his honor and still retains the name, Manwarren District. His
first house was of logs as were all his neighbors, but he soon built a large frame house,
the first one in the district. This house was directly across the road from where L. P.
Waite now lives.
Dr. Manwarren’s remedies were like all the doctors of that time, roots and herbs,
and his favorite prescriptions were “Injun physic”, thoroughwort and red pepper, and it
was said that his patients invariably recovered so as to escape a second dose. He was the
father of five sons, Philo, Bradley, James, who became a physician and practiced for
many years in Mexico, Norman and Welcome. There were two daughters, Caroline, who
became Mrs. John Clapsaddle, and Joanna, who married Henry Tollerton.
Another of the early settlers of this district was James Fleming. His children were
William, David, and Andrew Fleming, and Margaret who became Mrs. Welcome
Manwarren. One of his grandsons, George Fleming, now owns and lives upon the first
farm upon which the grandfather had settled. The Calkins brothers, Roswell and Jesse
were among the early pioneers and helped make history in this section.
Roswell Calkins for many years kept a wayside inn at the foot of Sand Hill, below
the cemetery. Another of those early hostelries was on the other side of the hill near the
Cold Spring cheese factory and the shell of it is still standing being bow used to store
fodder. This was called “The Ripsom House.” Among other names well known at that
time were those of Niles, Page, Hungerford, Woodruff, Sherman, Loomis, Hager and
Ripsom. The Grindstone Creek is dotted with sites of old saw mills and it would be very
interesting if we could know who owned and operated each in that far away time.
(February 28, 1923) We have not covered the ground as fully as we would like to
have covered it in Richland town history. We could go deeper into facts if we had more
such as Mrs. Smart, in the town to help us. We will not consider town history closed yet,
but if more interesting material comes to light we will introduce it, parenthetically, for the
information of our readers. The road improvement, the change from the old “Town
Meeting” to election day, to select town officers, the change from one to two year terms
for officials; the change from “working road tax” to the cash system and consolidation of
some schools has all come in the past thirty years. Up to 1808 there were no roads
passable in the town of Richland. There was a road from Williamstown to Redfield. In
1814 there was some military history recorded which implicates Richlands roads.
It seems Commodore Chauncey was building a vessel at Sacket’s Harbor, called
the “Superior”, and other vessels. The “Superior” was launched May 2 of that year, eighty
days after her keel was laid. The other vessels, the “Jefferson” and the “Jones” were ready
for use, with the exception of part of the armament. A large number of heavy guns and
navel stores, designed for these vessels, were brought through from Albany to Oswego
Falls, where they were detained, awaiting a safe opportunity to ship them to Sacket’s
Harbor. There was also a large amount of stores at Oswego, in charge of Alvin Bronson,
military storekeeper at Oswego. The ice in the lake broke up early in April. General
Gaines, at Sacket’s Harbor, learned that the British were fitting out an expedition at
Kingston, the object of which was suppose to be Oswego, or, rather the stores and
ammunitions believed to be gathered there. Gaines immediately dispatched Colonel
Mitchell from Sacket’s Harbor, with five companies of artillery armed as infantry, with
orders to protect the cannon and naval munitions, at Oswego Falls, at the hazard of
everything else. Colonel Mitchell marched his little force, less than three hundred, all
told, along the main road, a very crude one, through Sandy Creek, Pulaski, Mexico, New
Haven, reaching Fort Ontario, Oswego, April 30. Nearly two years previous, it will be
recalled, the War of 1812, was declared. The exact date that war was declared was June
18, 1812. He found the fort in a most wretched condition, the stockade broken down and
only five rusty iron guns mounted on the ramparts.
In 1851 the town of Richland was first entered by a railroad. The Rome,
Watertown and Ogdensburg line opened in May of that year. The station at Richland
made that settlement an important place. Up to this time a plank road was the highway
from Rome to Oswego through the town of Richland also a similar road was maintained
to Syracuse, some of which was discarded only about a decade and a half ago. The daily
stage lines were the only means of public travel. Not until after the close of the Civil War
was the Oswego branch of the R. W. and O. completed. Speaking of plank roads, we
might add the first plank road in the United States was laid between Central Square and
Syracuse, and began taking tolls in July 1846.
(March 7, 1923) When one travels about the country and observes the locations
chosen, for the building of villages and cities, it is very natural to take into account the
“lay of the land”, on which the village or town is built. The topography of its
surroundings. Some settlements, both small and great, are placed away from elected
lands, apart from river or lake and such settlements always seem to lack a very desirable
denature of topographical setting. If a town has hills around it and is away from water, it
is not altogether lacking in natural beauty or is a town is on a river or the shore of a lake
or ocean it is equally fortunate in attractiveness. It is very natural for the inhabitants to
emphasize any particular natural features in connection with the location of their own
town.
Pulaski has been noted for its good fortune in having been located on a beautiful
river and very near a great lake. Beyond its limits the scenery to the east is interesting for
the hills of eastern Oswego county ever loom above the horizon, and in the season of
foliage they invite our admiration, while on the other side we hear the roar of the lake and
get the fresh breezes (some times more penetrating than soothing) that are free from
stagnation, such as are wafted into some cities or towns we have visited where, perhaps
lowlands prevailed.
Though the founders had no intimation that the public thoroughfares would be as
they are today the location of Pulaski commanded the attention of highway and railroad
constructors and it came about that Pulaski final destiny was to be a center of travel.
Using the language of other historians, we would say the founders of Pulaski were
lineal descendants of the Pilgrims who came to the New World in the Mayflower and
their names were Ephraim Brewster, whose name is closely associated with the history of
these who first gave evidence of a determination to settle this continent; also John and
Simon Meacham, who were descended from Miles Standish; Gersham Hale, Philo Sage
and David Kidder.
It is credited to Benjamin Winch as being the first white settler in Pulaski when, in
1804, he built a log hut within the limits of the present village and this was the only
inhabitance found by sixty young men, including those mentioned above, when they came
there. They had left their families back in Paulet, Vermont, to come here and begin the
task of building homes into which they would later bring them. These men made their
way through Lake Champlain and across northern New York, down to the present site of
Pulaski, reaching here March 22, 1805. They returned to Vermont that fall and in
February 1806, returned to Pulaski to make their permanent home.
(March 9, 1923) The name Pulaski, we are told, was chosen by the early settlers
who had it in their power to select a name for the new settlement. Who suggested the
name is not recorded in any history we have seen and how the name Pulaski was chosen
is not within our scope of information. Count Pulaski was a celebrated Polish officer,
born in 1747. He took arms against the Russians and distinguished himself greatly in the
field; he made a bold attempt to seize King Stanislaus Augustus, at Warsaw; in 1772 he
was outlawed in his own country and came to America where, in 1777 he entered the
United Stated Army and was made a Brigadier-General. He was a brave officer and
fought nobly in the War of Independence. He was killed at the siege of Savannah in 1779.
Some one in the group of early settlers of this village must have kept Count Pulaski in
mind and it was decided that his name would be a good name to apply to the new village.
The accompanying picture is one we have used on various occasions and it is a true copy
of the picture made of the Count by an artist who knew him. Whether the Pulaski in
Tennessee, with a population of 2,000 was named for the Count we can not say.
Speaking of the origin of names of villages reminds me that we have the
distinction of clinging to the original name given our village while many settlements
about us have been changed. We understand the original name of Sandy Creek village
was Washingtonville; Orwell was first called Moscow; Pekin has been called Molino;
Altmar was first called Sand Bank; Fernwood’s original name was Holmesville, and
Mapleview was changed from Union Square.
Most people know why they are named John, William, Mary, Elizabeth and so on,
but we find it difficult to find the exact reason for some geographical or community
names. Our school districts have names, quite generally from families who were first
settlers in them. We have around us many school districts bearing the names of families.
The Hinman, Balsey, Sage, Meacham, Fox, Lehigh, Lamb, Tyler, Farmer, Seamans,
Potter, Chamberlain, and many others we might mention, all names on account of families
settling in the locality where the school was established. Most given names to persons are
easily traced to some relative or friend. Many children are named for big men or noted
women, fathers, mothers, uncles, aunts, or teachers. The writer was not named for Lord
Byron (George Gordon), who was born in London in 1788, seventy-four years before my
birth in 1862, but for an uncle Byron Royal Seamans who was, at the time of my birth,
down south with the Federal Army helping to put down the Rebellion, and whose grave is
in Arlington. Among the thousands who made the supreme sacrifices in the great war that
saved the Union. We would be fortunate if, all through the past more care had been taken
to record facts concerning personal as well as general history. If we had the name of him
who made the motion to call the new village Pulaski and the man who seconded the
motion and the names of all who voted on the motion we would consider it a great asset
in our historical record, but we have not and no one will ever know, so far as we can find
out, but if anyone can tell, we will be glad to hear from them.
More about Richland Town History - Mrs. Laura Barnard, of Fernwood, has
kindly sent the following to be inserted in this historical column. It is just such
information I am glad to receive.
“In reading the history of Oswego County early dates, I was greatly interested. My
father, Mr. E. L. Hicks, bought a farm adjoining Mr. Young’s place. The place was then
owned by Mr. Jesse Calkins. Not long after the Oswego Railroad was run through,
cutting my father’s farm squarely in two. He sold our then to Mr. Calkins. I was about 12
years old. I went to school in the Page District and a Mr. Thompson owned a saw mill run
by the water of Grindstone Creek. On the farm of Mr. William Hardy, then the Page farm,
stood a large elm tree. There were two men by the name of Soule, one a bachelor, and his
nephew were fishing along this creek when a terrific thunder storm came up and much
rain fell. These men took shelter beneath the elm tree and were both killed by lightening.
Later on my parents and myself came back and made cheese in the Cold Spring factory
for three years, using the house, once the old hotel, for a living house in summer. The
factory was built by and owned by Mr. Gilbert Wood, then of Pulaski, and Mr. William
Dean whose home was where Mr. Edward Wilson now lives, near the Page school
house.”
(March 21, 1923) From those early days, when the foundations for Pulaski village
were being laid, there have been men and women who toiled and sacrificed, planned and
contributed of their thought, time and substance that future generations might have
conditions better than they had. We find the first settlers were mindful of church and
school as well as homes and business. They had been reared in a part of the country
where much regard was given to those two institutions. Before a school house was built
or a temple of worship was erected the early settlers had school exercises and religious
services.
Of early settlers we find mention of Rufus Fox, who built a house near where the
old Baptist Church stood and later moved east of the village and started what became and
still is Fox District. Erastus Kellogg built the first frame structure which stood near where
the Pulaski Democrat block now stands, this was between 1806 and 1810. William Smith
built a house near where the railroad station is located. We are told that Daniel Stone and
Jonathan Rhodes lived together in a log house just where we can not say.
In the beginning of 1810 there were less than a dozen families which constituted
the settlement. It is hard to imagine that, at the time, our present beautiful village
consisted of a few log dwellings, a blacksmith shop, a saw mill and a grist mill and for
most part the land embraced in the village limits was covered with pine and other trees
which, however, were being reduced to lumber and wood.
In the spring of 1810 there were evidences of merchandising. Captain John
Meacham moved a load of merchandise from Sandy Creek, near the present Hall school
house, on the Sandy Creek road. He began trade in the log house of Stone and Rhodes.
He very soon constructed a building for a store at the corner of Jefferson and Bridge
streets where Shaw’s market now stands, as we understand it. The following spring Silas
Harmon became the partner of Captain Meacham in the mercantile business. They sold
their business to Milton Harmer, and, in 1812, war having been declared, Captain
Meacham retired from business and raised a company of militia and led the same in
defense of Sacket’s Harbor and Oswego.
The first physician to locate in Pulaski was Dr. Isaac Whitmore, who came from
Madison County and settled some where on the south side of the river in 1810.
In 1808 John Mathewson erected a grist mill on the river near where W. M.
Wilder’s plant is located. The dam, back of Salmon River Table Company’s plant, must
have been erected about that time.
The first post office in Pulaski was established in 1817 and it was called Richland.
The first postmaster was Henry White, who was succeeded the following year by Orville
Morrison. Other postmasters whose names we find in the records were Hiram Hubbell in
1819, Daniel Fisk, 1842; Henry N. Wright, 1844; Joseph T. Stevens, 1849; Benjamin
Rhodes, 1851; Newell Wright, 1852. On January 27, 1853 the name of the post office
was changed to Pulaski by request of Postmaster Wright. On January 14, 1854 William C.
Helmstead became Postmaster, he was followed by Henry C. Wright in 1856, who was
again appointed in 1866, and John B. Watson was appointed in 1861 and 1867. In 1871
the office was made a presidential office and Mr. Watson appointed Postmaster. He was
followed by Don C. Bishop who served a short term, being succeeded by Lawson R.
Muzzy. Mr. Bishop was again appointed by President Cleveland and at the expiration of
his term, McKinley, having become president, he was succeeded by Richard W. Box,
who served eight years when he was succeeded by Dr. James L. More who served eight
years on appointments of Roosevelt and Taft. His successor was James L. Hutchens who
was appointed in 1914 by President Wilson and served two terms and about two months
when his official duties were terminated by his death. On his death, Miss Mary Warner,
assistant postmaster, acted until George M. Morton was appointed acting postmaster,
serving in that capacity until the third of the present month when he was made permanent
postmaster by President Harding.
(March 28, 1923) Pulaski village was incorporated April 26, 1832. The first
village officers were Abner French, president; Isaac H. Sterns, Hiram Hubbell, Benjamin
H. Wright and John H. Wells, trustee; Thomas C. Baker, John L. Dickinson and Casper
West, assessors; L. B. Cole, collector; Isaac Whitmore, treasurer. In 1849 the limits of the
village were enlarged to the present area. In April 1848, the charter was slightly amended
and in May 1858 the village was re-incorporated. March 1871 the charter was amended
relative to granting licenses and March 1883 it was further amended by placing the
cemetery under control of three commissioners. In 1884 it was again amended and June
of that year it was voted to incorporate under the laws of 1870.
In August 1853 a Button hand fire engine was purchased at a cost of $850. It will
be remembered by many as it was in use for many years May 9, 1873, Ringgold Fire Co.
was incorporated by Richard W. Box, Nathan B. Smith, Benjamin D. Salisbury, Dwight
C. Dodge, Sidney F. Doane, George H. Fuller, Lewis J. Macy and Alfred N. Beadle. Box,
Dodge and Macy are all of the members still living.
The court house was built in 1819. The building committee consisted of Simon
Meacham, John S. Davis and Ebenezer Young; James Weed was the builder. It was
rebuilt and enlarged in 1859 and a jail annex was erected in 1887. Until a few years ago
there were many cells where prisoners were detained but the whole interior has been
changed and where 20 to 30 criminals were held not one is held there now. The Supreme
Court chambers occupy a part of the structure while the school superintendent and junior
project leader have offices there. In 1920 a fine monument was erected on the court house
green to the memory of the Civil War veterans from the town of Richland.
In early days one of the most interesting occasions were the days of general
training which took place on the court house green. This event brought together all the
able bodied men who were watched while training, by crowds and spectators who came
from miles around. The public square occupied the space from the court house to the
street, south of Methodist church street named Hubbell street. Colonel Thomas S.
Meacham was commandant. The venders of gingerbread and cider were very busy on
training days.
Some can remember the old mill which stood south of the present Randall House,
which was built in 1924. Prior to 1850 there was established a hat factory, A. H. Stevens
proprietor; also Hiram Lewis made hats, we are not able to say what kind, in 1831.
Hudson Tracy and John Davis built a carding mill along in the 30’s, which burned in
1852. Straw paper was also manufactured here and quite a large tannery stood south of
Ontario Mills, now owned by W. A. Cuthbertson.
The first regularly organized religious society in Pulaski was the First
Congregational society and church of Richland, which still exists as such in our local
Pulaski Congregational church. It was given the name as of Richland as the name
Richland was greater influence than Pulaski. The meeting for organizing was held at the
home of Erastus Kellogg, January 22, 1811 and three days later the certificate of
incorporation was filed in the county clerk’s office. The society had its beginning,
however in a preliminary association of nine persons in Pawlet, Vermont, namely
Thaddeus Harmon, John Meacham, Levi Meacham, Joel Harmon, Simon Meacham, Lucy
Meacham, Olive Hall, Polly Meacham, and Ruth Harmon, who met for the purpose
before their departure for Richland, their future home. [line missing] were Timothy
Maltby, Silas Harmon, Rufus Pierce, John Meacham, Erastus Kellogg, Dr. Moses R.
Porter and Simon Meacham. Rev. Oliver Leavitt was the first pastor. For six years the
services were held in private houses, then in a school house, where Dr. Abbott’s dental
office now stands, then in 1819 services were held in the new court house. In 1827 the
first church was built at the corner of Church and Bridge streets, where the tennis court is
located. It cost $2,000. It was exchanged for the location of the present Congregational
church edifice in 1865. This building cost $15,000 of which sum Deacon Simon
Meacham gave $1,500. It will be noted that the name, Meacham, has an important place
in the history of the Congregational church and about the only person of that name
descending from that loyal family is Daniel B. Meacham of Cincinnati, Ohio, who has
seen to it that the name shall not perish from the church as he has placed two beautiful
windows in the church, one to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Bronson Meacham and
one to his brother, Thomas Standish, his two wives and his son.
(April 7, 1923) Note, I am going to introduce this week a fine contribution to our
story of Richland Town history. The following excellent addition to what has already
been published is from the pen of Belle M. Calkins (Mrs. Charles A. Niles) daughter of
the late Charles Calkins. We are indebted to her for a fine poem on the Home Paper
which we have published once or twice. We understand the Calkins family made great
sacrifices when they left Canada. They were ordered to swear allegiance to England or
suffer reproach. They did not swear allegiance but left all and came to New York State
where they became numerous and figured conspicuously in the early as well as modern
history of the town.
The Democrat has two of the descendants of that family in its organization,
Frederick L. McChesney connected with the Democrat nearly twenty-five years, now
superintendent of the working force and Frank Earle McChesney who is
secretary-Treasurer and general manager of the plant. They are grandsons of the late Belle
Calkins McChesney who was a daughter of Russel Calkins. There are few,
comparatively, of the Calkins family left in this locality.
Buena Vista March 19, 1923 - Dear Mr. Seamans: Saturday evening when my
husband went for our mail, I said probably you will not get our Pulaski paper the trains
have been so delayed of late by storms, we usually get your paper Saturday evening. On
his return he said, “here is your paper.” It was read with usual interest, and like your
Fernwood correspondent, I too am greatly interested in the early date history of the old
home country. I think I can furnish you with some early dates that may be of interest to
our older readers at least. You speak of school districts and towns bearing early day
names. Names of towns especially many of which have been changed. Tyler school
district was always to my father and his children, Gillispie’s and of Gillispie district I
wish to write.
My grandfather Russel Calkins reclaimed from the wilderness 300 acres of land
lying on what is now called the Mexico road. He came from Canada in an open boat and
as I have heard him say, entered the wilds of a strange land, an axe carried over his
shoulder was nearly his only possession. To him was to do and dare. Out of the virgin
forest he carved a home and the years brought him many possessions. Soon came the
Gillispies, a family of brothers named Henry, William, Robert and Hugh. At the four
corners on Grindstone creek was located Gillispie’s Mills. When a child I remember
hearing my grandfather tell how the clearing of the land was accomplished. Great log
heaps of maple, beech, birch and hemlock were rolled together and burned. I remember
asking why those fine logs were not taken to the saw mill. Grandfather said, “my child,
there were no sawmills in those early days.” Later the Gillispies built a sawmill, also a
grist mill. Grandfather built the house on the farm now owned by George Dyke. My
father was seven years old the January the family moved from the old log house on the
west portion of the farm, to the new one on the Mexico road. He, my father, was born in
1823. If Mr. Dyke should happen to see this article he can readily calculate the age of his
house. Nothing to annoy however for ‘twas built from the clearest and best.
Just across the bridge from Tyler’s on the right going south, stood an old rambling
building, long years torn down, or burned down, where William Gillispie taught a select
school having for his pupils, Gerry Sherwood, the Gillispies, the late Jesse W. Calkins,
Charles S. Calkins, Patience Burdick and many more in whom the seeds of a thorough
practical education were implanted by the teachings of this highly respected man.
My mother used to tell me of an amusing incident which rather brought the laugh
on Gerry Sherwood. In grammar class, young Sherwood was asked to parse from the
lines, “What boots it thee etc.” the word boots he got up readily and called this word a
noun, which if I can remember my grammar, Clark would call a word of euphony, one
young lady called out, “Gerry, what are you parsing, a pair of boots?” No reflections on
Mr. Sherwood as an educated man, merely to show that nearly a century ago the young
made mistakes and comrades joked just the same as they do today.
The old school house at Gillispies, now Tyler’s, was built on the early day order
or plan for such buildings. Seats were built around next the wall on a raised form, older
pupils occupied these; then a step down were the next row of desks and seats, another
step or two reaching the floor here was built a low seat for the A. B. C. or primer class;
was this to show that onward and upward must their flight for knowledge lead them? The
first teacher that I remember was Abbie Gillispie, later Mrs. Elihu Harmon, she was a
sister of Robert and Hugh Gillispie, children of one of the early settlers.
South of Gillispie’s corners lies that sacred and beautiful rural ground, now called
Willis Cemetery, once called South Richland and still farther back, Gillispie burying
ground. Here lie most of my kindred and I, thousands of miles away often think and
reflect on days gone by. A friend said to me, “Mrs. Niles, there seems to be with you a
clinging to the land of your birth.” My friend had certainly learned me well. Belle M.
Niles
(April 11, 1923) Note, I notices that the state was lacking in the head of Mrs.
Belle Niles’ contribution last week. She resides at Beuna Vista, Colorado.
Resuming the history of churches, which I was considering two weeks ago, I wish
to add a little to the history of the Congregational church. The pastors in the order of their
pastorates have been, after Rev. Oliver Leavitt came Rev. Oliver Ayer, 1822-26; Rev.
George Freeman, 1827-30; Rev. Ralph Robinson, 1830-46; Rev. Thomas Salmon,
1846-47; Rev. Fayette Shepard, 1855-58; Rev. Lucien W. Cheney, 1858-64; Rev. James
Douglas, 1864-83; Rev. A. Kinmuth, 1884-86; Rev. A. H. Post, 1887-90; Rev. A. N.
Raven, 1890-92; Rev. A. S. Emmons, 1892-98; Rev. J. B. Felt, 1889-07; Rev. H. A.
Lawrence, 1907-14; Rev. Frank H. Ferris, 1916-19; Rev. William MacLeod, 1919. The
church has been kept up in the matter of repairs and now has a fine pipe organ installed
during the pastorate of Mr. Ferris. The first Sunday School in the church was organized in
1817 with Deacon Simon Meacham as superintendent.
The Pulaski Methodist Episcopal church really had its beginning early in 1811
after a series of evangelistic meetings in the winter of 1811, which were held in the home
of John Ingersoll and the tavern of Pliny Jones. A class was organized in 1813. Meetings
of those persons leaning towards Methodism were held in private houses and school
houses until 1819, when the court house was built then that was used in common with
other religious societies. It might be mentioned that the old court house has been one of
the most useful buildings ever erected in Pulaski. It has been a most valuable building to
the people of the village. In 1832 a church edifice was built on the ground where Roy
Austin’s home now stands, east side of Salina street. The first Sunday School for
Methodist children was organized in 1834. In July 1840 the Black River Conference was
held with the Pulaski church and an open air meeting was held on the bank of the river.
The present house of worship was built in 1860 during the pastorate of Rev. Lemuel
Clark. The church was extensively repaired and changed in 1888 also within the past few
years more improvements have been made and in 1922 a fine new pipe organ was
installed. Among the early pastors were Revs. Calkins, Bibbens, McNine, Fuller,
Whitcomb, Chapin, G. C. Woodruff, Bowdish, Hawkins, Philips, Orlando C. Cole,
William Jones, S. B. Crosier, A. D. Webster, A. Bramley, S. E. Brown, C. H. Guiles, S.
O. Barnes, B. D. F. Snyder, Frederick Maunder, A. P. Palmer, and the present pastor is
Rev. Charles T. Holcombe. The church has a membership of about 400. The largest in
taking of members was after the Crabill meetings in 1911 when over 200 were received.
The next largest was in 1857 when 160 new members were added to the church.
Mr. Seamans: I can not add much to local history but will commence by saying
that my grandfather, Roswell Brown, was a soldier in the War of 1812. His home was in
Sackets Harbor. After the war he came to what is now called Richland, cleared a place in
the forest and built himself a log house, which in after years he replaced with substantial
buildings where his children passed their childhood of which my mother was one, and
where he spent the remainder of his days. It was located west of what is now called the
Jesse Calkins farm and one son, Laverett Brown journeyed to California, (what was then
considered a far away land) in search of gold, but his hopes were not realized, for he died
soon after reaching that promised land. Another son was the late O. H. Brown of Oswego,
who was the last of that once numerous family.
When the village of Pulaski was incorporated, Stearns and West were owners of a
large carding factory where carding, spinning, weaving and dyeing were done. My father
was one of the employees. Mr. West one of the proprietors, who was an uncle of mine,
built a store adjoining the factory where dry goods and groceries were kept, but in 1852
fire swept it all away. It was located south of Ontario Mills, now owned by W. A.
Cuthbertson, where some of the ruins still remain. The tannery was located nearer the
river. H. A. Filkins
(April 18, 1923) It would have been strange, indeed, if among the early settlers of
the town of Richland there had been no Baptists. The record shows that there were some
Baptists in evidence here as early as 1824. Deacon Templeton, of Sandy Creek, came here
and conducted prayer and conference meetings in the Court House and private residences.
In 1826 Rev. Norton Guiteau was secured to come and shepherd the little flock of
Baptists here but his work was of brief duration as death took him from his followers. He
was succeeded by Rev. Jason Lathrop, under whose labors the band increased from
twenty to twenty-eight. On June 9, 1828, the following representatives met in the Court
House, to consider the expeniency of organizing a church: Revs. Ferris and Holmes and
Messers. N. Powers, J. Holmes and Bangs, from the Baptist with Brazillai Snow; John
Gratton church of Richland; Rev. R. F. Smith and Cyrus Severence of the Baptist church
at New Haven; the delegation from the Baptist church at Ellisburg consisted of Rev.
Timothy Brewster with B. Freeman; from the Baptist church at Sandy Creek, Thomas
Gratton, Calvin Murray and Jedediah Gratton. Rev. Jason Lathrop was appointed
moderator and T. C. Baker, clerk, of the council. After due deliberation it was voted to
recommend the organization of a local church and on this day the First Baptist church of
Pulaski was formed. On July 12 a meeting was held to select deacons which resulted in
the choice of Benjamin Snow and T. C. Baker. Mr. Snow was the father of the late Emily
Fenton Huntington and the late Deacon Benjamin Snow who many readers of the
Democrat will remember. Steps were taken to build a church in August 1829 but the
church was not completed and dedicated until 1834. The church was on the site where the
present church stands. That the Baptist church was as much opposed to “spirits” as a
beverage as it was in favor of water, plenty for baptismal’s, is indicated by the following
resolution recorded “Voted unanimously that the church do hereby resolve that each and
every member refrain from the use of ardent spirits in any case, except as a medicine.”
The above appeared in the church minutes of June 20, 1829. The church united with the
Black River Association but five years later, when the Oswego Association was formed it
joined that association. In 1859 the church was rebuilt and enlarged and in 1895 it was
rebuilt. During the past ten years it has installed a fine pipe organ, new pews and floors.
Following are names of the pastors who have served, the average pastorates were four
years: James Lathrop, M. T. Smith, Jesse Elliott, I. N. T. Tucker, C. B. Taylor, Abner
Webb, M. V. Wilson, George A. Ames, M. B. Comfort, J. J. Townsend, D. D. Owen, I.
N. Steelman, D. J. Bailey, J. F. Wilcox, A. I. Ehle, E. A. Rogers, H. V. Miller, W. S.
Warren present pastor. The largest membership was 215, under J. F. Wilcox.
(April 25, 1923) St. James Protestant Episcopal church of Pulaski was organized
at the Court House, (again the court house comes in play) August 10, 1846, Hon. Andrew
McCarty presiding at the meeting, with the following vestry: John David and Andrew Z.
McCarty, wardens. John F. Box, Jr., David McCarty, Jerome B. Smith, Joseph T.
Stevens, John A. Rose, Alden Crandall, Frey Lane and J. C. Rhodes, vestrymen. We are
told the founder and life-long warden of the parish, was John David, who maintained lay
reading whenever a vacancy in the rectorship occurred. The church was finished and
consecrated February 27, 1850, by Rt. Rev. William H. DeLancey, bishop of western
New York. The cost was $2,500. Among the largest contributors towards the erection of
the church was Hon. William C. Pierrepont, of Pierrepont Manor, Jefferson County. His
gift was $500. He was father of Mrs. William Hill, who was a liberal giver toward the
church’s support for many years, and grandfather of Mary P. Etheridge of Salem,
Massachusetts, who was a native of Pulaski and a communicant of St. James up to the
time she married and moved away. Mr. Pierrepont gave $1000 towards the rectory.
Among the early rectors were Revs. Edward DeZeng, Henry Stanley, Gordon M. Bradley,
Andrew Oliver, Joshua L. Harrison, Moses E. Wilson, Peter B. Morrison, Milton B.
Benton, Gilbert B. Hayden and Robert Paul. Mr. Paul was rector for many years and was
greatly beloved by all Pulaski. He was followed by Rev. W. N. Hawkins and several
changes in rectorship have been made in the past twenty years. The present rector is Rev.
Alfred Martin who has been with the church about one year. The church edifice has been
kept in good repair and has a loyal band of worshippers, though not very numerous they
are very faithful to their church.
(May 9, 1923) It took several years of agitation and planning to bring Pulaski
Academy into existence. Not until 1853 was definite action taken to establish a school
that should serve the purpose of preparing the young people for college. On June 4, 1853
the New York State legislature passed an act consolidating parts of three districts lying
within the village which became the Pulaski School District.
The officers chosen to serve the new district were Charles H. Cross, Hiram
Murdock, Don A. King, George Gurley, Anson Maltby, Newton M. Wardwell, Anson R.
Jones, Samuel Woodruff, William Lester. They were given power to establish a classical
school to be known as Pulaski Academy. The names of the men are not all perpetuated by
descendants now living, but we still have descendants of Mr. Gurley, Mr. King, Mr.
Maltby among the names familiar among us today. These men were sturdy and wise, they
had a consciousness of the great responsibility the people had placed upon them and they
discharged that responsibility with honor and credit.
In 1854 a piece of land, on the north bank of the Salmon River, was purchased. It
was an oak, maple and chestnut grove and when cleared of most of the trees there was
found to be the beautiful plot on which to build a temple of learning. They began
constructing the building which was planned to be square, 80x50 feet in dimensions,
three stories and was to cost $10,000. A big sum in those days. It would cost four or five
times that to build the same building today. On the 8th of June, 1855 the building was
accepted from the contractors and dedicated. The address of the day was given by Hon.
Henry M. Wright. In September of that year the institution was opened with the following
faculty; Stephen C. Miller, principal; Frances Baker, preceptress; Homer T. Fowler and J.
W. Fenton, assistants. Mr. Miller held the principalship for two years when he was
succeeded by Henry L. Lamb who served for two years. During 1860 there were two
principals, R. B. Van Patten and A. Hoose; 1861-63 Pulaski E. Smith was principal; 1864
H. H. Butterworth was principal and he also served part of 1865. In 1866 D. D. Owens
was principal and among his assistants was Nathan B. Smith; Mr. Owens became a
Baptist minister and served Pulaski Baptist church for a time; N. B. Smith became
principal in 1867 and later studied law and practiced for several years in this village. 1868
to 1879 Sebastian Duffy was principal; 1879 to 1885 E. M. Wheeler was principal, James
T. Hoyt and Sylvanus C. Huntington were among the assistants; J. M. Moore was
principal in 1886-87; 1888 Henry Brown was principal; Jesse A. Ellsworth was principal
in 1889 and W. C. Gorman succeeded him in 1890, remaining two years; Sylvester R.
Shear was principal in 1893 to 1897, this was the beginning of the High School in
Pulaski. On the retirement of Mr. Shear, G. M. Davison was elected and served one year
and he was succeeded by Charles M. Bean who held the principalship ten years. During
his administration, 1906, the annex was built to the original building. Mr. Bean’s
successors have been Claude N. Brown, George M. Haight, Gregory G. Andrews,
Richard A. Bartlerr, W. S. Droman and William Thomson who retired last year and was
succeeded by the present principal, Irving R. Gladstone.
Pulaski homes have furnished some of the strongest teachers as preceptresses and
assistants, among whom we can recall a few now living. The first preceptress, under the
Union School system, was Miss Minnie Walker, also under Principal Shear, Miss S.
Frances King, (Mrs. William Elliot Griffis) was preceptress. Miss Harriet Hollis, (Mrs. H.
W. Damons) Miss Frances C. Richardson (Mrs. George W. Betts), Miss Marion Wright
(Mrs. Monroe Warner), Miss Mae I. Woods (Mrs. Gregory G. Andrews).
(May 16, 1923) The history of the local paper in Pulaski is interesting and varied.
There was more importance attached to the local paper in the early days of the country, in
the matter of general news, than today. A daily paper was a rare thing when the first paper
was launched in Pulaski, therefore much news from all over the world, it was called
news, but if not come down to within a month or more of the week it was published,
appeared in the local papers. We will take up the matter of republishing some of the
matter we find in the oldest copy of a Pulaski village paper we have in our possession, in
a later issue. This week we give a brief history of the papers.
The first local paper, of which we find any record and probably it was the first
published, is the Pulaski Banner which was established in 1830. We have a copy of
September 1834, sent us in 1900 from Chicago by D. M. Smart, a newspaper man who
began his career in the Democrat office. Nathan Randall was the editor and he remained
in the editorial chair until 1832 when he disposed of the paper to A. A. Mathewson and
G. G. Foster who owned and edited it for one year when it passed into the hands of James
Gedd, who published it until 1835 when it was suspended.
In 1836 the Pulaski Advocate was established by Daniel Ayer who continued its
publication until 1838 when he sold it to Mr. Dickenson who consolidated it with Port
Ontario Aurora and it was published as the Advocate and Aurora until 1840 when Aurora
was dropped from the heading and Daniel Ayer became sole editor and he continued the
paper until 1842 when, as we understand, it was suspended.
In 1843 the Pulaski Courier was established by Mr. William H. S. Winans, who
was its editor until 1847 when it went into the hands of A. A. Matheson who changed the
name to the Richland Courier. He owned the paper until 1850 when it passed to J. C.
hatch who changed the name to the Northern Democrat and ran the paper as a Democratic
sheet. In 1853 the paper went into the hands of the late Beman Brockway, founder of the
Watertown Times, who, in July 1853 changed the name to Pulaski Democrat. While the
name has remained Democrat and often times has been misleading, the policy of the
paper has been independent, not leaning to the party which gave its name nor strongly
partisan on the other side. It has been the aim of the editors to make it a Home Paper,
suitable for everybody, irrespective of creed or politics. Stephen C. Miller became owner
and editor of the Democrat in 1853 and continued its owner and editor until 1869. He was
principal of the Pulaski Academy before he took over the Democrat. Mr. Miller died
while editor, in November 1869, and the following week, November 11, Lawson R.
Muzzy became editor and proprietor. He came from Mexico Independent office where he
had served as “printers devil” and developed his skill as printer and editorial writer under
Henry Humphrises. Mr. Muzzy owned the paper until October 1895, making of it a great
success both as local news disseminator and in financial gain as he retired in the
possession of a good fortune when he turned the paper to the present editor, Byron G.
Seamans, who has been in the editor’s chair since October 1895, except a little over a
year when he was only contributing editor and Mr. F. Earl McChesney was editor.
Arrangement has been made between the present editor and Mr. McChesney, now
business manager by which Mr. McChesney, in time will become the editor-in-chief of
the Democrat.
Mr. Muzzy died, at sea, in October 1912, while returning from Italy, having been
obliged to abandon his plans for a trip around the world, with his granddaughter, Miss
Dorothy Adams, of Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Thus it will be seen that the Democrat’s editorial chair has not been adjusted to fit
many new occupants in fifty-four years. We will take our next weeks installment from a
copy of an old paper.
(May 23, 1923) The Pulaski Banner, September 9, 1835 - I promised to give some
gleanings from the oldest Pulaski paper in existence, so far as I am able to ascertain, it is
the Pulaski Banner, printed on the 9th day of September 1835. Though it is 88 years old it
is as clear as any paper you see printed last week. There must have been a quality to the
paper better than any we get today. It was a rag paper. There were four columns to the
first page, each column once and a half as wide as the columns of the Democrat and the
other pages were five columns to the page, one and one-fourth the width of the columns
of the Democrat and four pages to the copy. Page one has a date line, “Richland, Oswego
County, N. Y., September 9, 1835. Vol. V, No. 34,” which indicates that the Banner was
born in 1820. The editor was James Gedd.
The first page was occupied by a long poem and an oration which were read and
delivered at the commencement of Lowville Academy, September 2, 1835, and to fill out
the page there was a half column of miscellaneous reading. What seems strange is that
there could have been so little interest in local matters, that so much type could be set by
hand, as they had no linotype in those days.
In reading the paper you would never dream it was intended to be a local paper for
Pulaski and Richland. The only items of local news were notices of the wedding of John
C. Gillispie and Miss Mary Meacham, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Asa Meacham, of Sandy
Creek; Rev. R. Robinson officiating. Another wedding was that of Maj. C. H. Harvey, of
Mexico and Angeline Niles, of Pulaski; H. Webb, Justice of the Peace officiating, and the
death of Erastus Mitchell, who had quick consumption, at the age of 35. He died in
Pulaski.
Some one who signed their communication “Q” wrote the editor that he attended
one of the churches in Pulaski, Sunday evening and, “after the sermon, it was announced
that a meeting of the Anti-Slavery Society would be held that evening and several
addresses would be given.” The writer says “I attended the meeting and while the
addresses were all right there was something about them that seemed to impress me that it
was not the time for such meetings, after people had been to church, and would suggest
that the meetings be held Saturday evening, and not on the evening of the first day of the
week.”
Notice is given that the village has bought a piece of land for a cemetery and
would subdivide the same into blocks and lots to accommodate families and a meeting
was called to be held in the Baptist church Monday, September 21, at 2 o’clock. The call
was signed by John D. Lane, clerk.
Two notices attracted my attention, which gave warning to people not to trust or
harbor any runaway boys. John P. Leavitt gives notice that he “has lost a seventeen year
old boy, William B. Pettis, who was lawfully bound to the service of the subscriber,” and
Mr. Leavitt forbids any person employing or harboring the runaway, and if they employ
him, he (Leavitt) will take the wages. This notice was dated Albion, August 26.
Johnathan Furgeson, of Richland, advertises Newell Kilburn, 14, his apprentice boy, in
about the same language as the Leavitt notice.
John Box, Jr. advertises that he “has bought the Trip Hammer Shop and is ready
to carry on business in his line.”
Luther Allen advertises to sell “cheap for cash, rum, gin, brandy, teas, candy, rice,
fish, tobacco, snuff, chalk lines, fish hooks, snuffers, trace chains, log chains, crowbars,
stone jars, chisels, etc.” He closes his ad with the following “I would like to whisper in
the ear of those whose accounts have been long standing. pay up - do you Take?”
Butter sold at 17 to 22 cents; cheese 6 to 8 cents; flour $6.50 per barrel.
Newell Wright advertised that he wanted 20 tons of butter delivered at his store in
Pulaski.
If we place this old relic of newspaperdom, in Pulaski, beside the present issue of
the Democrat the contrast in material the two papers carry is greater than anything we
could imagine. Then the aim seemed to be to cover the world and publish everything but
local matter. The daily paper was a rare thing. The New York Tribune, established by
Horace Greely, is the oldest daily paper we find mentioned and that came into life 11
years after the Pulaski Banner was established. One older weekly paper in New York
state we find is the Lyons Republican which began life in 1821. Pennsylvania,
undoubtedly boasts the oldest publication, The Saturday Evening Post, founded by
Benjamin Franklin in 1728. [line missing] Republican is next, so far as we can find, that
was established in 1790 and the next oldest was the Lewiston Gazette, established in
1811. What we want for the local paper now was not even mentioned in the days of the
Pulaski Banner. The local paper that is not a reflector of local news, today, is not worth
taking from the post office. The aim is to get all you can from the village and surrounding
country, first and then if there is any more room, use news from a wider circle of the
country. Local first and always.


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Copyright © 2002 Julie Litts Robst
Copyright © 2003Laura Perkins Postcard
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