town of Volney, which was set off from Mexico on the 21st of March, 1806,
comprised the present towns of Scriba, Palermo, Volney and Schroeppel.
It included the 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th and 24th townships of Scriba’s
patent, and was called Fredericksburgh (the original name of township 17),
from George Scriba’s son Frederick William. April 5, 1811, survey
township 18, lying north of the base line of Scriba’s patent, and the north
part of No. 17, adjoining that township on the south, were erected into
the present town of Scriba. At the same time the name of the remaining
territory was changed from Fredericksburgh to Volney.*1 On the 4th
of April, 1832, Palermo and Schroeppel were taken off, leaving this town
with its present area of 29,472 acres. It comprises 170 lots, situated
in three survey townships, as follows:
Eighty-three lots in township 15,
originally called Mentz*2, surveyed by Elijah BLAKE and Ebenezer WRIGHT
in 1796, and being the north part of the town; forty-one lots in No. 16,
known originally as Georgia, lying in the south part of Volney, and surveyed
by Moses WRIGHT the same year; and forty-six lots in No. 17 (or Fredericksburgh),
the largest township of the original six, surveyed by Benjamin WINCH and
Miles DOOLITTLE, also in 1796, and comprising the west third of the town.
Elijah Blake, one of the surveyors, afterward settled in Williamstown,
in this county, and was considered the best surveyor among the twenty-two
employed by Benjamin Wright in laying out Scriba’s great patent.
*1. It was so named in honor of Comte
Constantin Francois Chasseboeuf De Volney, the celebrated French philosopher,
author, traveler, and academician, who visited this locality very early
in the present century, probably in 1808. He came from Montreal,
and in a storm during the voyage “lost many of his papers and came near
losing his life.” He proceeded up the river to Oswego Falls and was
entertained by Noah A. WHITNEY, who was so charmed with his noble guest
that he proposed calling the town Volney, a suggestion unanimously approved
and subsequently adopted.
*2. Properly Mainz, the capital
of the province of Rhine-Hesse, one of the strongest fortresses in Germany.
The town also
includes John TAYLOR’s location of 200 acres; Frederick CLUTE’s location
of 440 acres; Gerret NEWKERK’s location of 200 acres; Coonradt STEEN’s
location of 200 acres; Gerret G, VAN WAGENEN’s location of 1,440 acres,
sold by him to William HARPER and hence commonly known as Harper’s location;
and Charles NEWKERK’s location of 1,100 acres. These “locations”
were lands lying along the river which had been sold by the State before
the contract with the Roosevelts in 1791, and which were not included in
the lands patented to Scriba in 1794, as will be seen by a reference to
that patent herein-before set forth. Of the land included in “Harper’s
location” the State reserved fifty acres at the falls, now included within
the corporate limits of Fulton; this was long known as the Oswego Falls
Volney is an irregular,
interior town lying immediately east or northeast of the Oswego River and
southwest from the center of the county. It is bounded on the
north by Scriba and New Haven, on the east by Palermo and Schroeppel, on
the south by the Oswego River, which divides it from Granby and Oswego
and on the west by the same stream and Scriba. The surface is undulating
with generally high steep banks along the river, and with ridges from 100
to 200 feet above that stream and 50 to 100 feet above the valleys.
Bordering the Oswego River the red sandstone formation crops out, and in
former years was extensively quarried for building purposes. The
soil is a rich sandy and gravelly loam, well adapted to grazing and to
all kinds of farming.
of pine, basswood or American linden, oak, chestnut, ash beech and sugar
maple originally covered the entire territory, and gave employment to numerous
saw mills and kindred establishments. The pine was abundant and very
large and fine and early settlers found the business of furnishing spars
and masts of this timber for ocean-going ships so profitable that it flourished
as a regular pursuit from 1812 until about 1825. This wilderness
was long the home of various game—the black bear, the fox, deer, the moose,
panther, wolf, beaver, martin, mink and otter, nearly all of which long
since disappeared. The more ferocious, especially the wolf and panther,
were so troublesome to the pioneers that large bounties were offered for
stream of the town is the Oswego River, which forms the western or southwestern
boundary for about ten miles in length, and which furnishes for manufacturing
purposes, an almost unparalleled water-power. About equidistant above
and below the center of Fulton village are what were early called the “Upper”
and the “Lower Landing,” being respectively the head and foot of the rapids
and about one mile apart. This intervening stretch of water, flowing
over an uneven, rocky bottom was the “portage of Oswego Falls” and caused
the two places to spring into existence, as subsequently noted. Around
this all goods and merchandise, and sometime boats and bateaux were carried.
Canoes and similar craft were frequently piloted through it, a feat usually
performed by Indians and immortalized by J. Fenimore Cooper in his “Leatherstocking
Tales.” The great water power afforded at this point and a little
farther down at Seneca Hill, opposite Minetto, early gave rise to various
manufacturing interests, which are noticed in their proper order.
This development began with the present century, and has continued to the
present time, being the second in importance in Oswego County. It
has had an important influence upon the settlement of Volney and particularly
of Fulton village, and from the earliest pioneer period attracted the attention
of capitalists and business men.
The Oswego River,
especially within the limits of this town, is rich in history. The
trips of Jesuit missionaries, the discovery of the Oswego Falls*1 by Father
Simon Le Moine in 1653, numerous expeditions of Indians, French, and English,
and many other events along this stream, have already been narrated.
Soon after the engagement at Battle Island, which gave it its name, Colonel
Bradstreet, acting under orders from the governor, built a fort in what
is now Fulton village, between First street and the canal, a little west
of the subsequent residence of Timothy PRATT. For several years,
or until the Revolutionary war, it was occupied by a small garrison.
This was the first permanent structure of any kind erected within the present
town of Volney.
*1 In the Indian language Ahaouete.
streams have contributed materially to the development of the town, principally
by furnishing power for numerous saw mills and other manufacturing establishments.
Black Creek, after flowing through two or three lakes, empties into the
Oswego River near Battle Island, and Spafford’s Creek just below Fulton
village. Sixmile Creek, after receiving the waters of Bell Creek,
passes into Schroeppel and flows into the Oneida River. These with
other small brooks afford excellent drainage and an unfailing water supply.
The first bridge
across the Oswego River within the limits of Volney was built about 1814
at the upper landing. It crossed Yelverton Island, and was a toll
bridge, and one of the earlier toll collectors was John, the father of
M. B. and a brother of William SCHENCK. In 1826 another toll bridge
was erected near the site of the present lower bridge in Fulton.
In 1849 it was purchased by the village and the towns of Volney and Granby
for $2,000. The act authorizing this was passed April 10, 1849, and
appointed George SALMON, De Witt GARDNER, and Sands N. KENYON commissioners
for the purpose. It also authorized a tax levy of $4,000 on the two
towns. It was then made permanently a free bridge. In 1849
the old toll bridge near the upper landing was replaced by a new structure
at a cost of about $16,000, of which the State paid $1,900. This
was erected mainly by Colonel VOORHEES, and was burned October 4, 1862,
and rebuilt. It occupied the site of the present iron bridge, which
was built in 1872. The present lower iron bridge in Fulton was erected
in 1871. In 1872 the iron bridge between Seneca Hill and Minetto
In 1827 Volney
had sixty-one road districts, and three years later seventy-four.
In 1849 the Oswego and Syracuse plank road was completed through the town.
The Oswego and Hastings plank road also passed through Volney. Both
of these were long ago discontinued as plank roads. The town now
has seventy-nine road districts.
For many years
there has been in this town the belief that oil or natural gas exists below
the suface. Gas is said to have been discovered on the Edward Van
Buren farm, three miles below Fulton, prior to 1865. Nothing was
done, however until August, 1887, when the Fulton Natural Gas, Oil, and
Mining Company was organized with a capital of $25,000. Boring was
commenced, and on January 2, 1888, gas was struck, but the well was soon
afterward abandoned. In January, 1895, the subject was revived, and
a well was started on the “flats” within the village limits, in which gas
was struck March 27 at a depth of 1,685 feet. A large number of acres
in the town have been leased with a view of sinking wells.
occupation of the inhabitants outside the village of Fulton is dairying
and general farming. All kinds of farm products are grown abundantly
and with profit to the husbandman. In 1860 the yield of farm productions
aggregated as follows:
Wheat, 1,686 bushels winter and
76,340 spring; hay 4, 307 tons; potatoes, 23,235 bushels; apples, 39,370
bushels; butter, 102,652 pounds; cheese, 58,451 pounds; domestic cloths,
1,351 yards. At this time the town contained 16,141 acres improved
land; real estate valued at $574,963 and personal property at $44,250;
1,166 dwellings, 1,343 families, 855 freeholders, 904 horses, 1,026 oxen
and calves, 1,124 cows, 2,185 sheep, and 1,606 swine.
of the dairying industry dates from about 1863, when cheese and butter
factories began to come into existence. There are at present six
of these establishments in operation, all doing a large and profitable
business. Fruit growing is given considerable attention, though not
so much as in former years.
The first town
meeting of Fredericksburgh was held at the tavern of Major Lawrence VAN
VALKENBURGH at the “Orchard Lock” in the spring of 1807, about a year after
the town was erected from Mexico, and the following officers were chosen:
supervisor; Samuel TIFFANY, town clerk; Gideon SEYMOUR, Henry
EVERTS and Hiel STONE, assessors; Lawerence VAN VALKENBURGH and Asahel
BUSH, overseers of the poor; John TYLER, Abraham VAN VALKENBURGH
and Hiel STONE commissioners of highways; Abraham Van Valkenburgh,
collector; Joseph F. SWEET and Abraham Van Valkenburgh, constables;
Asahel Bush, Lawrence Van Valkenburgh, John Tyler, Joseph F. Sweet, William
BURT, and Elisha WHITNEY, fenceviewers; John Tyler and Lawrence Van
Valkenburgh, poundmasters. Messers. Stone, Bush, Tyler, Everts, Whitney,
Tiffany, Sweet, and Burt, resided in what is now Scriba; the others
lived in the present town of Volney. Mr. Wright was re-elected supervisor
to 1811 inclusive. The town clerks of Fredericksburgh were Samuel
TIFFANY in 1807-9 and John WATERHOUSE in 1810-11.
The first town
meeting for the town of Volney, after the name Fredericksburgh was dropped,
was held at the inn of Major Van Valkenburgh March 3, 1812, and the
following officers were elected:
HOLLAND; town clerk, John WATERHOUSE; assessors, Ebenezer WRIGHT,
Oliver BURDICK, and Stephen GARDNER; poormasters, Samuel HOLLAND
and Gideon CANDEE; commissioners of highways, Phineas CHAPIN, Johathan
HOOKER, and Nathaniel FOSTER; collector, Asa WHITNEY; constables,
Asa Whitney, Richard M. GRAHAM, and Joseph SUTTON; pathmasters, Thomas
VICKERY, Noah A. WHITNEY, Josiah MEYERS, James BUNDY, Gideon SEYMOUR, Aaron
DODGE, Sylvanus HOPKINS, Johathan HOOKER, and Richard M. GRAHAM.
All of these lived
in Volney except Chapin and Hopkins, who resided in what is now Palermo,
and Sutton and Vickery, who lived in the present town of Schroeppel.
The town meetings were held at Major Van Valkenburgh’s from 1807 to 1812
inclusive, at Amos FOSTER’s in 1813-14, at Noah RUST’s in 1815, at Volney
Center in 1816-30, at the school house in 1831, at John GASPER’s tavern
in 1832-35, at Jeremiah HULL’s in 1836-38 and 1840, at S. H. De GRAW’s
in Fulton in 1839, at Gasper’s Hotel in 1841-47 and 1851-52, at Elliott
HARROUN’s in Fulton in 1848-50, near Gasper’s in 1853, and since then in
of the town have been as follows:
1807-11; Samuel Holland, 1812; Isaac CROCKER, 1813 and 1815;
Oliver BURDICK, 1814, 1816, 1818-30, 1834-35; Joseph EASTON, 1817;
George F. FALLEY, 1831-33, 1843; Aaron G. FISH, 1836, 1840-41; Darius
R. BELLOWS, 1837; Wm. INGALL, 1838-39; Peter H. KELLER, 1842,
1844; John PARKER, 1845-46; Lovwell JOHNSON, 1847-49, John
J. WOLCOTT, 1850, 1852-54, 1859; Hiram H. COATS, 1851; C. C.
LIVINGSTON, 1855; Samuel F. CASE, 1856-57; Wm P. P. WOODIN,
1858; Willard JOHNSON, 1860-61, 1890; Gardner WOOD, 1862, 1864;
John H. WOODIN, 1863; Chauncey B. HANCOCK, 1865; Henry C. HOWE,
1866-67, 1869-70; Abraham HOWE, 1868; Gilbert BENEDICT, 1871;
Charles J. De GRAW, 1872; Henry E. NICHOLS, 1873, 1876-77;
George D. FOSTER, 1874; John W. FRANCIS, 1875; Frederick D.
VAN WAGENER, 1878; Arvin RICE, 1879-82; William B. HOWARD,
1883, 1887-89; Thomas D. LEWIS, 1891-95.
The town clerks
1807-09; John WATERHOUSE, 1810-12; Jeremiah TAYLOR, 1813;
Amos BISHOP, 1814; Joseph EASTON, 1815-16; James LYON, 1817;
Elisha CANDEE, 1818-22; Elijah GOODELL, 1823-26; Darius R.
BELLOWS, 1827-32; Samuel DEAN, 1833; Richard D. HUBBARD, 1834-35;
Hiram BRADWAY, 1836-40; James D. LASHER, 1841-42, 1844; John
J. WOLCOTT, 1843; Albert TAYLOR, 1845-48; Charles A. DEAN,
1849; Andrew HANNA, 1850; Melvin F. STEPHENS, 1851; Richard
E. LUSK, 1852; S. N. DADA, 1853-54; Solon H. CLOUGH, 1855;
Wm. P. P. WOODIN, 1856-57; Henry H. HAYNES, 1858; Orville J.
JENNINGS, 1859; William ANDREWS, 1860; Morris C. HIGHRITER,
1861-62, 1872-75; George BACKUS, 1863; Henry C. HOWE, 1864-65;
Charles H. DAVID, 1866; Henry E. NICHOLS, 1867, 1869-70; John
C. HIGHRITER, jr., 1868; Arvin RICE, jr., 1871; Amos YOUMANS, 1876-78;
John H. CAVENAUGH, 1879; E. F. DE GRAW, 1880-81; Joseph FRANCIS,
1882-83; Clarence W. STREETER, 1884-85; Charles A. MILLER,
1886-87; Morris C. HIGHRITER, 1888-89; C. H. GARDNER, 1890-91;
Edwin B. MC CULLY, 1892; G. W. HOFF, 1893; W. P. HILLICK, 1894.
The town officers
for 1894-5 were as follows:
Thomas D. LEWIS,
supervisor; William P. HILLICK, town clerk; Charles H. DAVID,
John W. DISTIN, Girard TAFT, and Franklin KEENAN, justices of the peace;
W. Henry OWEN, Seymour PARMELEE, and O. D. ARMOUR, assessors; Antone
A. DEAN, highway commissioner; Henry S. GARDNER and W. W. LOOMIS,
overseers of the poor; Harry T. SEYMOUR, collector. The town
has six election districts, and in November, 1894, polled 1,289 votes.
During the eighteenth
century, particularly after 1750, the site of Fulton village was the seat
of a floating population, composed mainly of troops, Indian traders and
boatmen. Save the fort previously mentioned, it presented no evidence
of civilized habitation.
in the present town of Volney commenced more than one hundred years ago,
the first permanent settler being Daniel MASTERS, a blacksmith, who located
at the “upper landing” in what is now Fulton in 1793, building and occupying
a log house near Bradstreet’s fort. His blacksmith shop was the first
one in Oswego county. He was noted as a maker of spear-heads, for
each of which he received a silver dollar. He was a constable of
Mexico in 1800 and a pathmaster in 1803. In 1794 he opened the first
tavern in Volney. In 1796, at which time two or three families had
located on or near the site of Fulton village, he and a Mr. GOODELL built
a saw mill at this point, the first of any kind in town. A few years
later he removed to an island near Sackett’s Harbor, where he died.
In the spring
of 1795 Lawrence VAN VALKENBURGH, familiarly called “the major,” purchased
Cluet’s location on the east side of the river below the falls, and the
peninsula afterward called “Orchard Lock” became his permanent home.
He came from Chatham, Columbia county, and in 1792 had chosen a location
on the site of the village of Oswego Falls, as detailed in the chapter
devoted to Granby. His purchase in Volney comprised 600 acres, and
his house was built on the point a little southwest of the Orchard Lock,
where he lived until his death, about 1828. Evidences still exist
indicating the site where his dwelling stood. The major’s family
consisted of himself, his wife, his son Abraham and his wife (Zilpha),
and a younger son James. The latter was killed at Salina (Syracuse)
at an early day, leaving no descendants. Abraham was the father of
Lawrence Van Valkenburgh, who was born in what is now the village of Oswego
Falls in November 1793, and of Col. Ephraim Van Valkenburgh, who was born
here in 1796, being the first white child born in Volney. Colonel
Ephraim was the father of Dixon Van Valkenburgh, who was born here in 1822
and died in Oswego July 24, 1887.
Van Valkenburgh had altogether five sons. He was a slave owner, and
at an early date opened his house as a tavern. This was a frame structure
with log compartments at either end, the middle or frame part being used
for dances, parties, town meetings, and public entertainments. It
was the “headquarters” for all the country round about. Abraham Van
Valkenburgh was a prominent man in early times. He was elected a
constable of Mexico in 1798 and appointed a justice of the peace for Fredericksburgh
in 1810. June 8, 1797, he was licensed to keep a public house by
John MEYER, the first justice of the peace in Oswego county and the first
supervisor of Mexico. He died in Salina.
About 1796 John
VAN BUREN, a cousin of President Martin Van Buren, became the third settler
of the town. Coming from Kinderhook, N. Y., he first located on the
west side of the river in Granby, but very soon afterward removed to the
east bank and erected a house on the site of the home of his grandson Volkert.
He had five sons, Peter, John, jr., Jacob, Volkert and David. Jacob
married a daughter of Whitman CHURCH. She related that the first
dance whe ever attended was at Van Valkenburgh’s tavern, where the music
consisted of the melodious voice of a colored woman, a slave servant of
Peter SHARP. Volkert VAN BUREN resided near the old homestead and
owned a large tract of land, a saw mill on Black Creek, and grist mill
at Battle Island. David Van Buren, born here in October, 1798, was
for many years the second oldest resident in the county, and died on the
homestead February 20, 1887. A nephew of his, Daniel VAN BUREN, is
living on the farm where he was born in 1819. Peter was a half-brother
to the others and was the father of John C. Van Buren. He was a constable
of Mexico in 1803-4. Charles Van Buren, the owner of Van Buren Island,
died in February, 1885, aged sixty years.
In 1791 John WATERHOUSE,
the fourth settler of the town, took up his residence on Charles NEWKERK’s
location, where he died in August, 1790, his being the first death in Volney.
His children were Nathaniel, who died in 1800; John, jr., and Benjamin
B. who moved west in 1837; and Artemesia and Harriet. Artemesia Waterhouse
taught the first school in town in 1800. Mr. Waterhouse was the first
town clerk of Volney and the second supervisor. At this time (1797)
there was no house or clearing on either side of the river between the
Falls and Three River Point. There was a road or bridle path on the
east side from the first named point to Van Valkenburgh’s but it was a
very poor one. In 1810 or 1811 John, jr., and Benjamin B. Waterhouse
with Isaac CROCKER and Mathew MC NAIR built a saw mill on “Waterhouse”
Creek at a point where Sixth street in Fulton crosses that stream.
Afterward Samuel HOLLAND and Mr. Crocker purchased the interest of Mc Nair
in the saw mill and also in the portage.
was the only person in this town whose name appears on the old assessment
roll for the great town of Mexico in 1798, and his property was located
in the 17th township. It does not appear that any new settlers came
in during either this year or 1799. Yet John HOOPER and a Mr. DARLEY
took up their residence here about this time.
In 1800 Ebenezer
WRIGHT, the surveyor, located at the lower landing and has generally been
considered the fifth settler in the town. He was a very prominent
man, not only in his profession, but in local public affairs. He
was the first and only supervisor of Fredericksburgh, serving from 1807
to 1811 inclusive, and was appointed a justice of the peace here in 1804
and again in 1809. At a later period he moved West and died there.
In this same year (1800) a native of Scotland named AYYON or EATON, in
company with John BLAKEMAN, came into Volney and became the first settlers
on Steen’s location; their cabin stood near what is now the corner
of First and Oneida streets in Fulton village. On the bank of the
river they opened a quarry for the purpose of getting out furnace hearths,
but the quality of the rock proved undesirable, and another quarry was
opened on Harper’s location, which was worked for some time.
At this period,
the very beginning of the present century, when the entire population of
what is now the town of Volney was scattered along the river bank a little
above, but principally below the site of the village of Fulton, the place
was celebrated mainly for its portage and fishery. The few improvements
that had been made were rude and unimportant. No dams or bridges
had been thrown across the river, and quantities of silver eels, salmon,
and other fish frequented its waters. In this year (1800) the first
school in town was opened, and the locality soon gave evidence of considerable
activity. At this time and long afterward the place was designated
Oswego Falls and was locally know as the “upper” and “lower” landing.
In 1801 John MASTERS,
a blacksmith, lived at the lower landing but later moved to Oswego, where
he married, in 1806, Eliza BALDWIN, theirs being the first marriage in
Scriba. About 1801 Henry BAKEMAN, a native of New Jersey, became
a resident of the town. During the following five years few settlers
arrived; in fact it is impossible to determine the coming of a single
one, yet undoubtedly a number came in.
In 1806 Cornelius
H. MILLER settled on Steen’s location in the north part of the present
village of Fulton. He afterward removed to Granby. The same
year Peter SHARP located near John VAN BUREN’s and Gideon SEYMOUR, William
DEAN, Gideon CANDEE and Amos BISHOP settled at and near Volney Center.
This apparently, was the first settlement made in the interior of the town.
Major Van Valkenburgh had a hunter’s shanty at this point, just north of
the Corners, in which the four men encamped for the night. Mr. Seymour
opened the first hotel at this place, was elected one of the first assessors
of Fredericksburgh in1807, and re-elected in 1808, and died at Volney Center
in March, 1817, being succeeded in his tavern by his widow. Mr. Candee
was a prominent man and became a justice of the peace in 1810. These
two gentlemen had each a hired girl. In 1808 Calvin TIFFANY, who
had just opened a tavern one and one-fourth miles northeast from Mexico
village proposed giving a “log house dance.” Girls were scarce in
that vicinity, and three young men there, two of whom were Sherman HOSMER
and Nathaniel P. EASTON, started out on foot with ase and compass to secure
some from Oswego Falls. They unwittingly came upon this settlement
and immediately proposed that these two girls and another one near by should
return with them, fifteen miles to the dance, a proposition that was finally
accepted. The young men in making the round trip were absent from
their homes six days.
In 1807 Noah A.
WHITNEY and Dr. BISSELL came here and took charge of the mills at the Falls.
The latter was the first physician in the town. Mr. Whitney was one
of the leading citizen and held several important offices. He was
appointed justice of the peace in 1809, and was the first postmaster in
town in 1810, the office being known as Oswego Falls. Samuel TIFFANY
was living in Volney at this time on the north side of Seneca Hill, and
was made justice of the peace in 1808, being the first one appointed for
in 1808, built for the State the first grist mill in this vicinity.
It had a single run of stone and stood on the subsequent site of Gardner
WOOD’s plaster mill. Down to 1817 it was the only one of the kind
nearer than Oswego. A saw mill was also erected near by. Judge
Forman became interested in the reservation and in 1813 was associated
with James LYON, who came to the Falls in that year. In 1808 Jesse
COE settled near Volney Center on the Baldwin farm. He was the father
of Charles COE, Mrs. Ziba KENDALL, and Davis B. COE. The latter is
living in Palermo, at the age of eighty-three. Peter ALTHOUSE
and Enoch BRISTOL were settlers of 1808. The former located near
Orchard Lock and was the father of a large family, among whom were Peter,
jr., and Andrew. Andrew Althouse succeeded to the homestead and died
in February, 1885, aged eighty-three years.
In 1809 Ichabod
BRACKETT and Whitman CHURCH became settlers. The former built a frame
house and barn on a knoll just east of the old C. G. Case residence and
engaged in the forwarding business, having a shed at the foot of Yelverton
Island for a warehouse. In 1813 he erected a good warehouse and continued
in a business several years. Mr. Church came from Kinderhook, N.
Y., and settled near John Van Buren’s. He undoubtedly built the second
frame building (a house) in town, in a corner of which he attempted to
protect a few sheep from wolves, but without success, as the latter killed
a number one night while the family slept soundly overhead. He was
the grandfather of Whitman and Carlton CHURCH. The latter, a son
of Hubbard Church, was for a time a merchant in Fulton, and died in 1884.
In 1810 Dr. Anson
FAY, Joseph EASTON, Samuel HOLLAND, Samuel HYDE, Isaac CROCKER, Jeremias
TAYLOR, John BRISTOL, Capt. Asa WHITNEY, John DUNN, Oliver BURDICK, Jonathan
HOOKER, James BUNDY, Amos FOSTER and perhaps others came into the town;
some of these may have come a year or two before. Dr. Fay, the second
physician, succeeded Dr. Bissell, and died here in 1849. Mr. Easton
was a very prominent man and held several important offices, among them
those of town clerk and supervisor. He was a justice of the peace
in 1815, 1820, 1822, 1827, and 1831 and became associate judge of the Common
Pleas in 1822 and again in 1828. He came from Pittsfield, Mass.,
built a little frame dwelling in Fulton just east of the Lewis House site,
and died there in 1832. Messrs Holland, Crocker, and Taylor all settled
at the lower landing. The first two named were engaged in mercantile
business there in 1811 as Crocker & Holland, a firm that was subsequently
changed to Holland & Falley. Taylor kept a store there about
the same time. John BRISTOL, accompanied by his two brothers, located
on “Bristol Hill.” A Mr. DUNN settled near by. Mr. Bristol
was appointed justice of the peace in 1814 and 1817 and became the first
postmaster at Volney Center in 1825. Asa Whitney located east of
Fulton and served as a captain of militia in the war of 1812. Mr.
Hooker took up his residence on the old Luther WOOD place and was one of
the early town officers. He was appointed a justice in 1814 and 1820.
Oliver Burdick settled near Simpson’s Corners and was appointed a justice
of the peace in 1813 and 1821, being also in the latter year an associate
judge of the Common Pleas. He served as supervisor, in all, seventeen
years. He was the father of Norman D. Burdick, who died in Fulton
May 1, 1894, aged seventy-seven years. James Bundy located below
Orchard Lock and soon afterward his brother Elisha settled at Bundy’s Crossing,
a place so named from him. Samuel HYDE died at the lower landing
in 1813. Amos Foster made his home near the present residence of
W. S. NELSON in Fulton.
Among the settlers
of 1811 were Noah RUST, Roger S. NELSON, Thomas and Ansel HUBBARD, Samuel
and Richard GRAHAM, James PARKER, Capt. Joel WRIGHT, Adin BREED,
Josiah SMITH, and Alvin WHEELOCK. Mr. Rust located near the De Graw
brick mansion in Fulton, and was the father of Richard Rust. Mr.
Nelson settled on the Wallace Gardner farm, whence he moved to the old
Luther Wood place in 1823. His son, Willis S. Nelson, is a prominent
resident of Fulton. The Hubbard brothers came from Pittsfield, Mass.,
and settled at what has since been known as Hubbard’s Corners. Thomas
Hubbard was a typical pioneer and a very valuable citizen, and died September
3, 1885, aged ninety-five years. He became a captain of militia in
the war of 1812, was a consistent member of the M. E. church from 1817
until his death, and served four years as justice of the peace. Ansel
Hubbard, his brother, settled at Mount Pleasant and also served in the
war of 1812. His son Levi G. resides in Scriba. The Grahams
came from Paris, N. Y., and located near each other. Richard was
the father of Seth C. Graham, by whom he was succeeded on the homestead.
Mr. Parker came to Drake’s Corners, but subsequently removed to Granby.
He was the father of James, jr., and Linus. Joel Wright came from
Columbia, N. Y., and during the latter part of his life resided at Hubbard’s
Corners. He went with Captain Whitney to Oswego in the war of 1812
and afterward received a captain’s commission. He died here some
twenty years ago. His father, Smith Wright, came into Volney in 1815.
Messrs. Breed, Smith, and Wheelock all settled in the south part of the
town, the three coming with their families from Litchfield, Herkimer county.
Mr. Breed held several public offices, among them that of justice, and
finally removed to Three River Point. Mr. Smith was the father of
Harvey W. Smith.
the comers of 1812, or earlier, were John HOLLISTER, John ENO, Alexander
CAMPBELL, and James EASTON, all whom located at the upper landing;
Simeon COE, who settled at Strong’s Corners and died in 1832 in Palermo;
John KENDALL, the father of Jacob and Otis Kendall, just east of Volney
Center; and Ira IVES and Dr. STRICKLAND at the upper landing.
Mr. Ives, the tenth child of John Ives, was born in Wallingford, Conn.,
July 16, 1791 and died March 10, 1880. His children were John, Sarah,
Andrus, Chauncey, Lewis, George G., and Ira P., of whom the latter resides
on the homestead, and George G. a short distance north. His wife,
Hannah RICHMOND, died in 1873. Otis Kendall was one of twelve children,
was born in Paris, N. Y., March 21, 1811 and died August 23, 1887.
During the war
with England Capt. Asa Whitney raised a company of militia, which included
most of the men of Volney and with them took part in the engagement at
Oswego on May 5, 1814. On that day, while the thunder of cannon rolled
up the valley, the remaining inhabitants held a “grand council,” to decide
whether they should flee or remain. They determined to stay and brave
it out. This conflict checked the tide of immigration, and the cold
season which followed it, in 1816, added materially to the general suffering.
But the people quickly recovered from these calamities, old and new enterprises
flourished and peace and plenty everywhere prevailed.
In 1813 a few
prominent men came into the town, among the number being James LYON, Daniel
FALLEY, John, Freeman, Joel and Joseph GASPER, David OSBORN, Eliphalet
TREMBLY, and Abram BELL. Mr. Lyon was a slave-holder, as the following
entry taken from the town records shows:
I certify that
Bell, a Negro woman, a slave belonging to me, had a male child on the 27th
day of July last, whose name is Richard, or Dick.
was recorded by Mr. Lyon to save himself from incurring a penalty under
the law. He was interested with Judge FORMAN in the Oswego Falls
State Reservation and also in Harper’s location. He opened a store
soon after his arrival, was engaged in the lumber trade for several years,
took charge of the mill owned by the State, entered into the forwarding
business, and finally moved to Oswego, where he became an extensive mill
owner and shipper. Daniel Falley owned at one time a large portion
of the site of Fulton village, and was the first class-leader of the M.
E. church here in 1813. He was the father of Lewis and Hon. George
F. Falley, who were long prominently identified with the town.
The Gaspers came
with their widowed mother, and sister Mary, from Pittsfield, Mass.
John Gasper had twelve children. He served at Oswego and Henderson
Harbor in the war of 1812, formed and equipped a company of militia at
his own expense, and rose to the rank of colonel. He first settled
on 110 acres of land and later had a tavern at Volney. About 1852
he removed from his farm to Fulton, where he kept a hotel for thirty years,
and there he died October 24, 1877, aged eighty-five. Freeman Gasper,
born in Ashford, Conn., in November, 1794, officiated as steward, class-leader,
and Sabbath school superintendent at Mount Pleasant many years, and died
in Fulton on June 1, 1888. He was the father of Freeman S. (a son
in-law of Ephraim BEARDSLEY) and Mrs. John VAN BUREN. David OSBORN
and Eliphalet TREMBLY, from Albany, settled near Orchard Lock. Abram
Bell, from Massachusetts, located in the south part of the town.
The only settler
of 1814 seems to have been Benjamin EMORY, a native of New Hampshire, though
Peter ALTHOUSE, jr., was born here in this year. In 1815 William
INGELL, Joseph CHESBRO, Josiah HULL, James CAMPBELL, and the SHELDON family
came in. Mr. Ingell was born in Chester, Mass., in 1792. He
held several town offices, had seven children, and died June 19, 1873.
He located upon 150 acres of land at what is called “Ingell’s Crossing.”
His son William F. served in the Rebellion and died January 1 1894.
Mr. Chesbro was the father of James Chesbro, who married Mary C., daughter
of William Ingell, and of Thomas W. Chesbro, who died January 18, 1885.
Thomas W. Chesbro came here with his father and became an extensive contractor
with Charles G. Case, with whom he purchased the Genesee Mills, and with
whom he was associated in the Citizens’ bank. Joseph Hull came from
Paris, N. Y., and settled in the fifteenth township. James Campbell
migrated from Massachusetts and settled near William Ingell, whose sister
he married. He moved to North Volney in 1824 and died there April
17, 1868, aged eighty years. His son Ira occupies the homestead and
another son, James, lives in Palermo.
Jason S. MARKHAM,
a blacksmith, was born in Madison, N. Y., May 6, 1814, came to Volney with
his father, Isaac, in 1816, and is still living in town. Isaac Markham
settled on lot 63, and died January 9, 1859. Jason S. Markham followed
his trade here, in Oswego, and from 1838 to 1848 in Madison county, and
in the latter year returned and purchased 300 acres of timber land and
built a saw mill. He had five children. Another settler of
1816 was Lyman PATTERSON, who was born in Vermont March 28, 1794, and who
located near Fulton, where he bought seventy acres of timber land and engaged
in house painting in the village. He died May 24, 1879. Kingsbury
E. SANFORD also came in 1816 and settled in the sixteenth township.
Elisha CANDEE arrived as early as 1816 and was the first merchant at Volney
Center—the first outside the village of Fulton. He was the father
of Levi Candee, who resides at the Center.
Aaron G. FISH
came to Fulton with his father, Aaron, a tailor, in 1817. He was
born in Groton, Conn., July 24, 1794, and arriving here leased the mill
owned by the State, in which he manufactured flour for five years.
He also began manufacturing woolen fabrics, a business he continued about
twenty-eight years, carrying on a hundred acre farm in the mean time where
part of the village now stands. He again engaged extensively in the
manufacture of flour in the Volney Mills, and for two years was superintendent
of the Oswego Canal. The remainder of his active life was devoted
to farming and manufacturing cloth. He was a life-long Democrat and
served as supervisor, justice of the peace, and for twenty years as police
justice of the village, of which he was the first president. He was
also a loan commissioner. From 1820 until his death, September 11,
1877, he was a prominent member of the Baptist church. John PATTEN,
another settler of 1817, came from Herkimer county and located at North
Volney. His death occurred December 7, 1868, aged ninety-two.
His son Stephen, the last of the family, died September 7, 1878, at the
age of eighty years.
In this year (1817)
a conflagration swept through the heavy forests immediately adjoining the
settlements along the river, destroying large quantities of valuable timber,
some of which remained standing many years afterward, monuments of that
In 1818 Halsey
HUBBARD, who was born in Pittsfield, Mass., in 1801, came to Hubbard’s
corners with his father, Rev. Thomas Hubbard, who died January 7, 1850.
He was a shoemaker, which trade he followed until 1830. He
had six children, and died May 5, 1875.
Hon. Willard JOHNSON
is the son of Lovwell Johnson (see bench and bar chapter), and was born
in Volney May 16, 1820. Educated at the Mexico Academy and Cazenovia
Seminary, he engaged in the lake and canal transpostion business
in 1852, and later became an extensive contractor on government works.
He has been a life-long Democrat. In 1862 he was elected to the Assembly,
and later served two years on the War Committee of Oswego county.
He has served as supervisor and assemblyman several years, and is still
living in Fulton, a respected citizen and widely-known Democratic “war
of the town prior to this period were Joel W. CROSBY (who came here with
his parents and died in May, 1886), William BARRETT, Laton BAKER, the father
of O. R. SMITH, and J. M. SPAFFORD (who died in Fulton, October 2, 1894.)
At this time (1820)
the town contained about 2,000 inhabitants. The Oswego Canal had
been projected, and the preliminary survey was completed this year.
The fisheries at the head and foot of the rapids had become an important
part of the business of the place. D. L. BATES, the engineer in charge
of the canal surveys and river improvements, in his report of September
21, 1820, stated:
the correctness of which I have not reason to doubt, the weirs and fisheries
of different kinds on the Oswego Falls reef alone produce about 1,000 barrels
of eels annually, independent of other fish, which may be estimated at
half that quantity. The price of a barrel of eels at its lowest is
$10, other fish are probably worth more, but say ten, and we have for an
estimate $15,000 as the product of the Oswego Falls reef.”
Anent. this subject
Amos G. Hull, in Brigham’s Directory and History of this region, published
in 1862, says: “Dams were afterwards built, but to relieve the minds
of epicures in the silver eel line it is proper to state that a nice industrious
old fisherman, and worthy man too, has continued to this time, regardless
of the dams, to take the eels below the Falls to the annual value of from
$300 to $1,000. Another old gentleman, who was a sturdy boy living
there at the close of the last century, takes about the same amount below
Bradstreet’s rift every year.”
During the decade
between 1820 and 1830 the following, among others, became residents of
the town and village: Stephen SIKES, Levi CARRIER, Ebenezer BALL,
Samuel HOLBROOK, Andrew DRUCE, Sanford PATRICK, Ephraim BEARDSLEY, Samuel
CROMBIE, L. R. CLARK, Franklin COLLINS, Albert HOWARD, S. B. STORRS, Nelson
SEARS, Rev. G. F. SHERMAN, Elias THOMAS, Hiram BRADWAY, J. C. DE GRAW,
H. N. GILBERT, H. W. SMITH, H. N. SABIN, Daniel ROGERS, G. C. LATHROP,
and Frederick SEYMOUR. Stephen Sikes moved here in 1820 and died
in town October 3, 1879, aged over ninety-seven years. He has three
grandsons living at North Volney. Sanford Patrick is now the oldest
resident of that locality, having lived in this town since about 1821.
Ebenezer Ball came on foot from Windsor, Mass., in 1823, and was the father
of Gordon D. Ball (long time a surveyor and engineer in Fulton), and also
of Marshall and Seymour Ball. He purchased a farm of Roger S. Nelson
near Volney Center, and died in July, 1889, aged ninety. Ephraim
Beardsley served as justice of the peace four terms from 1833 and was the
father of A. L. Beardsley, now living in town. Samuel Crombie, Elias
Thomas, Frederick Seymour, and Samuel Holbrook all arrived in 1827.
The former is a brother of the lawyer, James Crombie and came with his
father, William, from Otsego county, settling in the north part of the
town. In 1844, he removed to Fulton village, where he still resides,
at the age of eighty-five. He has been secretary of Mt. Adnah Cemetery
since the organization of that association, and served as justice twenty
years. Elias Thomas was born in Herkimer county in 1802, and became
a captain in the old State militia. He was a farmer and settled near
the line between Volney and Schroeppel. Mr. Seymour was born in Hartford,
Conn., September 25, 1799, and died here in December, 1883. Coming
to Fulton he formed a partnership with George SALMON and Dorman FELT and
started a furnace, which they continued until 1838, when he purchased the
Seymour farm on the Whitaker road. About 1875 he returned to Fulton.
Samuel Holbrook came from Pompey, Onondaga county and settled east of North
Volney, and died over twenty years ago. His son, Benton, occupies
the homestead. Andrew Druce became a settler at what was called Druce’s
Corners in 1829 and died at the age of about ninety-three years.
His sons were Varnum, Russell, Reuben, Andrew, jr., and Benjamin.
On the 4th of
July, 1826, the corner stone of the first lock on the Oswego Canal was
laid with impressive Masonic ceremonies at Fulton, a few feet from the
northwest corner of the brick block more recently occupied by R. T. Jones.
The president of the day was Jonathan CASE, a contractor who came here
about that time, and the orator was Hon. David P. BREWSTER, of Oswego who
delivered his oration from the hill just north of the M. E. church.
Peter Schenck read the Declaration of Independence, and Hastings CURTISS
acted as marshal, being assisted by Kingsbury E. SANDFORD. Dinner
was served on block 26, just east of the Fulton House, which was kept at
that time by Levi CARRIER. The cannon used, an eighteen-pounder,
exploded in the afternoon, but without serious results. The canal
was completed in 1828. It aided greatly the subsequent growth and
development of the town, and particularly of Fulton village. The
great water power, theretofore controlled by the State, passed into the
hands of individual owners, and thenceforward was more valuably employed.
t0 1840 the more prominent settlers were:
Walter WILBER, Ira CARRIER, Samuel HART, John H. DISTIN, Ferdinand V. TAFT,
Sands N. KENYON, Frederick D. VAN WAGENEN, Charles P. TUCKER, John STEVENS,
Frederick WELLS, Otis J. and A. ALLEN, L. B. BABCOCK, Gardiner, H. P.,
and George BRIGGS, F. N. BAKER, Anson CLARK, William CHURCH, W. H. Cook,
A. K. and John C. HILL, T. D. INGERSOLL, L. D. LITTLEFIELD, S. C. RICE,
C. W. STEWART, George A. TAYLOR, sr., Frederick VANT, J. P. WAUGH, J. W.
BUTLER, Perry CALKINS, J. J. KELLER, Daniel T. MORFA, J. W. PRATT, H. SKINNER,
S. B. WHITAKER, and James L. WILSON.
Sands Niles KENYON
came to Fulton in 1830. He was born in Newport, R. I., and died February
24, 1887. In 1852 he purchased the charter of the Bank of Ogdensburg
and removed it to this town, and conducted business about two years as
a private banker. In 1854 he organized the Citizens Bank (now the
Citizens National Bank), and was its president until he resigned in 1860.
In 1870 he was instrumental in organizing the Fulton Savings Bank, of which
he was president until 1887. Ira CARRIER, born in Lenox, Mass., August
18, 1806, a son of Levi, came to Volney in 1831 and died May 27, 1886.
He was one of the original stockholders of the Oswego River Bank in Fulton,
to which place he removed in 1871. His sons were Levi and Luther
S. Samuel HART, born in England October 30, 1806, came to Fulton
in 1832. With his brother he built a pottery and began the manufacture
of stoneware. Eight years later he became the sole owner; his entire
career in this business here, on the same site, covered a period of about
half a century, during a part of which time he was associated with and
was finally succeeded by his sons Charles A. and Elwin E. He died
December 27, 1891. Timothy PRATT, son of Caleb, a Revolutionary solder,
was born in Vermont in 1790, and came from Madison county to Fulton in
1833. He engaged in the manufacture of linseed oil and also largely
of lumber. He built a grist mill and carried on a large milling business,
and also conducted an extensive transportation business. He was long
interested in the Citizens’ National Bank of Fulton and a liberal donor
to Falley Seminary. He was the father of John W. Pratt. He
died October 19, 1879.
Frederick D. VAN
WAGENEN was born on the Hudson in July, 1815, came to Volney about 1835,
settled in Fulton in 1862, and died in February, 1885. He was instrumental
in draining and reclaiming the “Great Swamp” and was interested in several
large contracts. He built the stone dam across the river at Fulton,
and for many years did an extensive business. He was the father of
Mrs. George J. EMERY, Mrs. Amos WOOLIVER, and Frederick D. Van Wagenen,
jr. John H. DISTIN also came to Volney in 1835, and is still
living on the old farm with his son John W. He was born in Connecticut
March 17, 1813. John STEVENS and Frederick WELLS, sr., arrived in
1837. Mr. Stevens was born in Vermont in 1790, served in the war
of 1812, and died December 2, 1879. Mr. Wells was born in Northfield,
Mass., September 10, 1800, and died March 5, 1884. At one time he
was an extensive lumberman in Granby. Walter WILBER, born in Coxsackie,
N. Y., March 4, 1795, died November 20, 1881. He learned the clothier’s
and harnessmaker’s trades, served in the war of 1812, moved to New Haven
in this county in 1837, and came thence to a farm near Volney Center in
1869. He had ten children. Ferdinand V. TAFT married a daughter
of Smith WRIGHT, who died May 20, 1893, aged ninety-two. Their son
Orvid V. was born here about 1831 and occupies the homestead. He
has served eight years as justice of the peace, an office now held by his
son, Girard. Fred VANT, living at Mt. Pleasant at the age of seventy
years married a sister of A. L. BEARDSLEY, and is a leading member of the
Oswego Falls Agricultural Society. Charles P. TUCKER was born in
Madison county, became a prominent man in Fulton, and died April 21, 1888.
prominent men had already come into the town or arrived soon afterward.
John H. WOLCOTT, who died in Fulton July 31, 1881, at the age of seventy-one
years, was long a leading man of that village. He was supervisor,
member of assembly in 1858, and State senator in 1866-67. M. Lindley
LEE was assemblyman in 1847-48, State senator in 1856-57, and member of
congress in 1858-59. He died May 19, 1876, aged seventy-one.
Horatio N. GAYLORD lived at Volney Center and served as justice of the
peace sixteen years beginning January 1, 1843. He died about 1861.
R. George BASSETT succeeded him and held the office eighteen years, serving
also as justice of sessions in 1869 and 1870. He died at Volney Center,
October 17, 1876 at the age of fifty-four. His daughter, Mrs. Newell
R. Cole, resides in Fulton, and his son, Rev. Wayland G. Bassett, a Baptist
clergyman, in Brooklyn. Giles HAWKS settled with his parents at North
Volney when a child and died May 10, 1883. James B. SACKETT came
here with his father and died May 10, 1888, aged seventy-two. Joseph
W. Prosser came to Oswego county in 1812, lived in and near Fulton for
forty-one years and died in November, 1882. Walter HAYNES settled
at an early day at North Volney. Among other settlers prior to 1850
were Lewis E. LOOMIS, John DE WOLF, William MC COLLOCK, R. D. Pierce, H.
J. RANOUS, B. P. SANFORD, A. SEARLES, G. A. WASHBURN, J. G. BENEDICT, C.
S. EGGLESTON, J. T. HEWITT, Andrew Hanna, N. W. OLTMAN, C. S. OSGOOD, J.
P. STREETER, John SHERMAN and the YOUMANS family. J. G, Benedict
died in April, 1885. Jacob LE ROY died in town October 26, 1892,
at the great age of one hundred and two years and ten months. Lewis
E. Loomis was born in Connecticut in 1808, came to Fulton in 1845, and
died April 27, 1876. He engaged in the leather business in the firm
of Salmon and Falley, and a few years later became sole proprietor.
He soon took his brother Alanson into partnership, and in 1854 sold out
to him and retired. William G. ST. JOHN served as collector of Volney
twenty-two years beginning in 1833. John V. BOOMER, born in Jefferson
county in 1829, came to Fulton with his parents about 1844 and died in
November, 1884. He was a civil engineer and later became a merchant.
Eber G. C. RICE, who moved to Fulton from Vermont with his parents when
ten years old, died here March 30, 1888, aged seventy-three. He built
one of the first houses on Second street and served in Co. A, 184th regiment,
in the rebellion. Charles H. FOSTER settled in Volney at an early
day and in 1844 located in Fulton. He was born in Lenox, Mass., in
In 1848 Moses
MERICK and his brother erected a flouring mill at Seneca Hill which was
one of the largest establishments of the kind in the State. It had
fifteen runs of stone, with a separate wheel to each run, and a grinding
and packing capacity of 1,200 barrels of four per day. It was destroyed
by fire in 1864.
In the fall of
1848 the Oswego and Syracuse (now the D., L. & W.) Railroad was completed
along the west side of the river, in Granby, with a station at Oswego Falls,
affording thenceforth better transportation facilities for local products
In 1854 a stock
company erected a large starch factory at Battle Island at a cost of $175,000.
It was operated by water-power and covered an acre of ground. In
1857 the company failed and the following year it was leased by W. S. NELSON
for a firm consisting of Willis S. NELSON, Sands N. KENYON, Abram HOWE,
Willard JOHNSON, and N. M. Rowe. The plant was burned January 6,
1861, entailing a loss of $200,000, and was never rebuilt.
In the war of
the Rebellion the town contributed more than 500 of her citizens to the
Union army and navy. Every call for volunteers was promptly met.
Many of those who went to the front attained honorable distinction and
returned with laurels earned in active service. Among the number
who received the deserved promotion were Captain Orville J. JENNINGS, Captain
Albert TAYLOR, Charles A. TAYLOR, Norman G. COOPER, Richard L. HILL, Ten
Eyck G. PAULING, Captain T. Dwight STOWE, Captain Daniel C. RIX, Captain
John F. DE FOREST, Henry SHARP, Captain John SAWYER, Almon WOOD, Valorous
RANDALL, Rudolph VAN VALKENBURGH, Chaplain Edward LORD, Dr. Allen C. LIVINGSTON,
Captain Henry L. HINCKLY, Samuel P. STORMS, Captain George A. SISSON, Major
Richard ESMOND, Gilbert VAN DUSEN, Captain Alexander HULETT, Captain Joel
S. PALMER, Captain John SHERIDAN, John W. FRANCIS, Leonard S. CARTER, Marcus
L. BEACH, David N. SCOTT, La Grange F. MOORE, Marcus A. COREY, Captain
Edward L. LEWIS, Charles H. SPENCER, Captain John W. VAN VALKENBURGH, Ephraim
MORIN, Abial W. LAWS, Lieutenant-Colonel W. M. LEWIS, Captain Cyrus CHURCH,
Captain George N. FALLEY, Captain George SIMMONS, Captain W. K. KENDRICK,
Captain Noble D. PRESTON, and others. Michael MURPHY, a private in
Company C, 12th Infantry, enlisted April 20, 1861, and was killed at the
first battle of Bull Run on July 19, of that year, being the first man
killed from this town.
In the fall of
1869 the New York, Ontario and Western (Midland) Railroad was completed
through the town affording additional shipping facilities and closer communication
with distant centers of population. This road has stations at Fulton,
Ingell’s Crossing and Seneca Hill. In August, 1885, the Phoenix division
of the R., W. & O. Railroad was finished and placed in operation, with
two stations in Fulton village.
of the town at various periods has been as follows: In 1830,
3,629; 1835, 2,995; 1840, 3,154; 1845, 3,895;
1850, 5,310; 1855, 6,476; 1860, 8,045;
1865, 6,472; 1870, 6,565; 1875, 5,763;
1880, 6,588; 1890, 6,527.
for 1894: Assessed value of real estate, $2,456,066;
equalized, $2,017,000; personal property, $186,325; railroads,
17.82 miles, $146,808; town tax, $26,589.65; county tax, $12,338.62;
total tax levy, $43,524.57; ratio of tax on $100, $1.64; dog
The first school
in Volney was taught at the lower landing by Artemesia WATERHOUSE, afterward
Mrs. Ichabod BRACKETT, in 1800 and 1801. Subsequently a Mr. MC DONALD
and Ebenezer WRIGHT kept school in a part of Major VAN VALKENBURGH’s house
at Orchard Lock. In 1808 Asahel BUSH procured the services of Benjamin
ROBINSON, then living in Jamesville, Onondaga county, who taught in the
neighborhood until 1812. In 1810 he had a school in the major’s barn.
The first school house in the town was built near the old Van Buren residence
at Orchard Lock in that year, and in it Mr. Robinson was the first teacher.
In 1811 another school building was erected on Steen’s location, on what
is now the corner of First and Rochester streets in Fulton, which was designed
to accommodate the entire Portage settlement. Afterward a division
was effected and each landing became a separate school district.
In 1811 a small frame school house was erected at Volney Center and in
1820 a second one was put up there; in the first Mrs. Sally DEAN was an
early teacher. In 1817 a school house was built at Hubbard’s Corners,
and another on the four corners near what was then Josiah HULL’s residence.
In the latter Elizabeth RICHMOND (afterward Mrs. THOMAS) was an early teacher.
Of her pupils nine became ministers of the gospel. About the same
time a school building was also erected in the south part of the town.
A new school house was built at the Lower landing in 1817, and in 1822
the old red school house, which did service for so many years, was erected
on the corner of State and Second streets in Fulton village. In 1823
and 1824 a school was taught in a shanty about one mile east of Druce’s
Corners, and in 1825 a log structure was erected at North Volney.
The first frame school house was built at that point in 1834 and in it
Mary Ann SIKES became the first teacher; a second frame school building
was erected there in 1866. In 1838 the town had nine whole and four
joint school districts, which were attended by 644 children. Anson
FAY and Stephen PARDEE were school commissioners. In 1840 the number
of districts had increased to fourteen whole and six joint districts and
the scholars to 1,028 with T. H. HUBBARD, Anson FAY, and H. N. GAYLORD
as commissioners. The teachers’ wages amounted to $599.83, library
money received, $190.33, and all other funds, $762; number of volumes in
the libraries, 511. In 1843 Amos G. HULL became the first town superintendent
of common schools; he was followed by Dr. Charles G. BACON in 1844, Richard
K. SANFORD in 1845, Samuel CROMBIE in 1846-52 and G. D. BALL in 1853-55.
In 1850 there were nineteen school districts, attended by 1,252 children,
the teacher’s wages amounting to $1,124.36 and library money to $170.48.
The town now has
sixteen school districts, and for 1894-95 voted $4,944.68 for school purposes.
During the year 1892-93 thirty-six teachers were employed and 1649 children
attended the various schools. The school buildings and sites are
valued at $58,550; assessed valuation of the districts, $2,570,755;
public money received from the State, $4,953.64; raised by local tax, $10,861.18.
The districts are designated as follows: Nos. 1,2 and 14 Fulton (consolidated);
No. 3, Volney Center; 4, Sixteenth; Mt. Pleasant; 6,
Hawks; 7, Owen; 8, Ludington; 9, Pine Woods; 10,
North Volney; 11, Weed’s; 12, Bundy’s Crossing; 13, Crosby
Hill; 15, Cone; 16, Baldwin; 17, Seneca Hill. The
Falley Seminary and Fulton Schools are noticed further on in the portion
of this chapter devoted to that village.
The oldest cemetery
in the town is the one at Volney Center, the oldest stone therein marking
the grave of Eunice, wife of Joseph MOSS, who died in 1815. There
is a burial ground at North Volney and another at Hubbard’s Corners, the
oldest stone in the former indicating the grave of Mrs. Walter HAYNES,
who died in 1829. The earliest burying ground in Fulton occupied
a site a few rods south of the subsequent residence of Gardner WOOD.
Afterward the remains of the dead were mostly removed from that place to
another on blocks 34 and 38. This proved inconvenient, and about
1830 some three acres of blocks 62, 63, 71 and 72 were selected and set
aside for burial purposes. On June 2, 1851, the Mount Adnah Cemetery
Association was organized with Aaron FISH, Henry BROADWELL, O. O. SHUMAY,
Sands N. KENYON, John E. DUTTON, Willard OSGOOD, M. L. LEE, William SCHENCK
and Lewis E. LOOMIS trustees. Mr. Fish was chosen president, Henry
Broadwell vice-president; and O. O. Shumway secretary. A plat of
thirty-seven acres, bounded on the north by Broadway and on the west by
Seventh street, was purchased of James L. VOORHEES and laid out by Dr.
Lee and Peter Schenck. The first interment was that of D. R.
CASE September 23, 1853. In 1856 Mr. Shumway was succeeded
as secretary by Samuel CROMBIE, who has held that position ever since.
May 5, 1868, an act was passed by the Legislature authorizing the removal
of all bodies from blocks 62, 63, 71, and 72 to the new cemetery, and the
sale of that plat, which is now occupied by residences. Mount Adnah
contains about 3,500 graves, a good public vault, and a magnificent gateway,
which was built in the fall of 1894 at a cost of $1,000. It is one
of the most beautiful rural cemeteries in northern New York. The
trustees for 1894-95 are as follows: Willard JOHNSON, president;
George M. CASE, treasurer; Samuel CROMBIE, secretary; Willis S. NELSON,
Andrew HANNA, Dr. C. G. BACON, F. A. GAGE, F. M. WILSON, and John W. PRATT.