Yates County, New York

History - Town of Italy

From the History of Yates County, NY
published 1892, by L.C. Aldrich

pg 479- 481

 

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Thetown of Italy comprises a location in the extreme western part of Yates County,and while no more remote from the county seat than the adjoining town ofMiddlesex**, the distance between these points is less easily traveled from Italyon account of the exceedingly rough, rouged and mountainous character of theland surface in the town of which we write. But with all of its great elevations, Italy has agricultural lands offine quality, and these are found alike in the valleys and on its heights.   

** Although you may have copied this text as Mr. Aldrich wrote it; for the sake of accuracy the name of Naples was MIDDLETOWN, not Middlesex. And, it was changed to Naples in 1808. It was changed to Italy when the new county was formed (1823).    Jabez Metcalf ran a tavern in Naples. One frequent guest was a Duke from France who remarked that he loved the area because it reminded him so very much of Naples Italy, one of his favorite places. In that era there were six communities named Middletown.   And, when anyone said where they were from they always had to explain which one.   The folks grew tired of that and wanted something unique.   They held a meeting and, during the discussion, Jabez mentioned the Duke's comment.  Middletown was changed to Naples.   It was not a quantum leap for the name when the Eastern half of the town was split off with the birth of Yates County.   (contributed by Jerry Eberwein)

Towtown has two principal water courses, and each of these has its smallertributaries.  West River is perhapsthe greater of the large streams, but its course in the town is confined to thenorthwestern locality, whence it comes from Middlesex, and eventually dischargesinto the head of Canandaigua Lake.  Thislast named body of water hardly more than touches the lands of this town, andthe advantages derived from it are necessarily small.  This town, with Potter, are the only two of Yates County thatare only indirectly benefited by the lakes of the region, but Potter still lessso than Italy.  The other chiefwater course of Italy is the ancient Ah-ta-gweh-da-ga of the Senecas, butfrom time out of mind known to the white settlers and residents as Flint Creek. This stream has its source in the southeast part of the town, whence itruns west into the valley, and then takes a northeasterly general course andpasses form the town near its northeast corner. This creek, although second in magnitude and volume of water to the WestRiver, has ever been of more importance to the dwellers of Italy, for along itsbanks the saw mills have been numbered by dozens, while grist and flour millshave likewise been maintained thereon to supply domestic demands. And it is a safe assertion to make that there are but few farm in thecentral, eastern and southwest portions of Italy, the buildings upon which havenot been erected with lumber manufactured at some of the mills along FlintCreek.  The stream itself is notlarge, but its water power had been abundant. It follows the course of a valley through the town, and so continues inthe town into which it passes on the north.  

ItalySummit is the most elevated height of land in the county, rising above KeukaLake, 1,324 feet, according to the estimate of the late Israel H. ARNOLD. It is also higher than Canandaigua Lake, 1,374 feet, and above SenecaLake, 1,595 feet.  It is also moreelevated than the extreme height of Bluff Point, in Jerusalem, 613 feet, andabove Barrington Summit by 404 feet. 

ItalyHollow, the only settled hamlet of the town is the opposite of the Summit, beingin the valley of Flint Creek; but this particular locality is not more depressedthan its surrounding localities in the same vale, nor is it so much lower thanthe summit by fifty feet as is the locality of the lake in the town. 

Ifthe town of Italy can be said to possess any historical locality, the spotoccupied by the famous “big elm tree” must necessarily take precedence overall others.  This tree is by fat thelargest in the county, if not in the region. Its height reaches beyond 125 feet, while in circumference it is almostthirty feet, two feet above the ground.  Itis claimed that this was a council tree, and as such greatly revered by theIndians; but as the Senecas had no village in this locality, it is quitedoubtful if the claim has much foundation in truth.  As a somewhat jocose wight of the town recently remarked:“What on earth did the Indians know about Italy Hollow? And if they knew ofit, what could induce them to come there to hold a council?” 

Italywas one of the townships that formed a part of the vast Phelps and Gorhampurchase, and in the survey made under that ownership was number seven in thethird range.  It appears that duringthe proprietorship of Phelps and Gorham no setters came forward and expressed adesire to purchase the town or locate on any of its lands. When the proprietary sold to Robert MORRIS, and the latter to the Englishsyndicate, Italy was one of the towns transferred in the deeds then executed. It thereafter became part of the Pultney and Hornby estates, each takingalternate lots.  The town wassurveyed afterwards, and in an irregular and somewhat unaccountable manner. The first was known as Slots’ survey, made in 1793, and coveredthirteen lots east of, except two, and lying near Flint Creek, or Potter’sCreek, as it was then called.  Theso-called south survey was made in 1795, and included about 10,000 acres. This track was again surveyed in 1826. The northeast portion of the town was surveyed in 1795, designated thenortheast section, and containing forty-eight lots of 160 acres each. The “Brothers Tract” survey covered the middle of the town. The northwest section has ever been known as the unsurveyed tract.

 

EarlyHistory – Originally, the land and territory of Italy were included within thetown of Middlesex, as one of the divisions of Ontario County, and so organizedin 1789.  The name was change toNaples in 1808 and so remained until 1815, when the district was divided andItaly set off as a separate town.  Thename is plain, but why applied to the town is a matter on which there appears tobe no reliable authority extant.  Thetown was taken into Yates County upon the extension and organization of thelatter in 1823.  The succession ofsupervisors who have represented Italy in the county legislature has been asfollows: Asahel STONE Jr., 1815-16; Jabez METCALF, 1817-20, ’24, 27; RandallGRAVES 1821 – 23; Elisha DOUBLEDAY, 1825, ’28, ’42; Harvey ROFF, 1826;Abraham MAXFIELD, 1829-30; Elisha BARKER, 1831, ’32, ’35, ’40; David BURK,1833-34, ’36, ’37. ’46; Nathaniel SQUIRE, 1838 –39, ’50-51; SpencerCLARK, 1841; Lewis B GRAHAM, 1842, 1853-55; Stephen MUMFORD, 1844 –45; HenryHUTCHINSON, 1847-48; David SMITH, 1852, ’56; William SCOTT, 1857-58; Alden D.FOX, 1859-62, 1864-67; William S. GREEN, 1863; Bradford S. WIXSOM, 1868-70; JoelM. CLARK, 1871-74; Francis M. KENNEDY, 1875-77; Ithamar CLARK, 1878-79; AbsalomC. LAW, 1880-81; David KENNEDY, 1882, ’84; Joseph W. ROBSON, 1883; A F.ROBSON, 1885-86; James S. PADDOCK, 1887-88; Harvey M. CLARK, 1889-90; Alden DFOX, 1891. 

Justicesof the Peace – Prior to the election of the justices of the peace that officein the town was held by appointment by Jabez METCALF, Asahel STONE Jr.,Henderson COLE, Henry ROFF Jr. and James FOX. Subsequently elections have been as follows: James FOX, 1830,’31,’35and ’39; Orison GRAHAM, 1830; Elisha DOUBLEDAY 1831 and consecutively forth tothe time of his death in 1863; Jabez METCALF, 1830; Valentine GRAHAM, 1834;Edward LOW, 1834, ’38, ’42; Holden T. WING, 1838, ’42; Henry A. METCALF,1843; Lewis B. GRAHAM, 1844, ’48; Martin N. FLOWERS, 1846; George W. BARKER,1848; William SCOTT, 1849,’53,’60,’64,’69; Philip PADDOCK, 1851; EdwardH. BEALS, 1852; Israel CHISSOM, 1852; Gilbert GRAHAM, 1855; Erastus G. CLARK,1855,’59,’63; Charles  G.MAXFIELD, 1857; Lucien ANNABLE, 1858,’62,’66,’72; Guy L. DOUBLEDAY,1864,’68; Jon W. MOWER, 1864; Joel M. CLARK, 1868; William C. WILLIAMS, 1868;William SCOTT, 1871, ’78; Ezra SQUIRES, 1871, ’77; Frank H. SMITH, 1873;Joel M. CLARK, 1874, ’82,’86; Chester STODDARD, 1874,’ 77; Bradford S.WIXSOM, 1875,’79,’83,’87,’91; Elnathan MEAD, 1876; Guy D. WIXSOM, 1879;David WOLVIN, 1880, ’84,’88; James SHAW, 1881, ’85,’89; James S. PADDOCK, 1890.

 

 

History& Directory of Yates Co., Volume 1 

by Stafford C.Cleveland, pub.1873  pg 373 - 377

 

 

ChapterVIII

 

Thesouth-most of the two western towns of Yates county is Italy.  It embracestownship number 7 of the 3rd range of Phelps' and Gorham's purchase, and in itsnatural features is extremely rugged.  It is drained by two importantstreams, running in opposite directions, through narrow valleys, walled in byhigh and abrupt hills, which form some of the most elevated land in thecounty.  On one of these streams, known as West River, and originallycalled Potter's Creek, has its source in the town of Gorham, and runningsouthwest through Middlesex, cuts off the northwest corner of Italy, and emptiesinto Naples Creek, about one mile above the head of Canandaigua Lake, into whichits waters are thus conveyed.  The other, known as Flint Creek, the 'Ah-ta-gweh-da-ga'of the Senecas, takes its rise in the southeast part of Italy; running west tothe valley, it takes a northeasterly direction and leaves the town near thenortheast corner.  It has several tributary rivulets which drain all thesouth and southwest part of the town .  The vales bordering these streamsare called respectively West River Hollow and Italy Hollow.   The 'Ah-ta-gweh-da-ga'was a favorite fishing ground of the Indians and when first visited by thewhites, speckled trout were so abundant in that stream, that all a man couldcarry could be taken in a short time, with his naked hands. 

 

Froma dividing ridge in the south part of Italy, water flows to the Gulf of the St.Lawrence, by way of Flint Creek, Seneca River and Lake Ontario; on the other, toChesapeake Bay, by way of the the Conhocton, Chemung and Susquehanna Rivers.

 

Thetown for the most part has an excellent soil, that of the valleys beingespecially rich and productive, abounding in a gravelly loam, while the hillsare covered with a gravely drift well adapted to the staple crops of the country. Although the hills are precipitous and difficult to cultivate, they yield goodcrops, and and there is little absolutely poor land in the town.  Theelevations of the town have never been measured, nor have the differences oflevel between the West River and Flint Creek valley been ascertained.  Thesteep West Hill between Flint Creek and West River can hardly ascent less than800 fee from either stream, and the two creeks are said to be no more than 3miles apart, at the space measured between the Big Elm of Italy Hollow, and thenorth line of the town on West River.  The East Hill rises, it is thought,300 or 400 feet higher still, making the highest land of the county, but slopesoff more gradually to the east and south from the higher points of the ridge.

 

Theland was originally covered by dense forests; in some localities with pines oflarge and beautiful growth, and in others with much excellent oak, interspersedwith ridges of chestnuts.  Beech and maple were plentiful and hickory tosome extent.  There was fine basswood and some butternut in thevalleys.  Both hollows when first penetrated by white men, were so filledwith fallen trees and dense undergrowth, and so overflowed by the windingstreams, that it was almost impossible to thread a passage through them, even onfoot; and being abundantly populated with rattlesnakes, they were by no meansinviting places to visit, except to the most hardy and daring woodmen.  Yetin  a state of nature, this was a wild and beautiful region.  Thelustrous evergreen of the towering hills was a perpetual picture of the grandestbeauty.  The rich and matted jungle of the valleys, surmounted by grand andgraceful elms, gigantic basswood and maples, was in its season of verdure,equally beautiful and captivating to the poetic eye.  Artemus CROUCH, nowan aged man, but always alive to the beauties of nature, on being questioned bythe writer in regard to the appearance of the country when new, replied withmuch animation, "it was a pretty place," and proceeded to speak of thegrand landscapes and the majestic trees, among which the chestnuts ranked veryhigh, both for their beauty and their productiveness.  He says they boreprofusely, and the chestnuts could be gathered up by bushels from the ground inthe autumn.  The town is well supplied with springs of the finest quality;and there is a fine salt spring in the Flint Creek valley, on the northwestcorner of lot 19, on the north survey.  The settlement of the town wascommenced in West River Hollow as early as 1790; but it ws very little inhabitedfor 20 years thereafter. It was long the refuge of wolves, panthers, bear anddeer and the point where they held their ground after they were driven out ofthe less rugged portions of the country.  Italy was originally part of thetown of Naples, which was organized in 1789, as Middletown.  It was changedto Naples in 1808.  In 1815, Italy was set off.  Naples consists,since the division, of township 7, of the fourth range of Phelps' and Gorham's,and it was included entire in their conveyance to Robert MORRIS, and by him tothe London Association, part of the lands going to the PULTNEY estate, and partto the HORNBY estate, each taking alternate lots.  

Theland of this township was surveyed in separate parcels, somewhatsingularly.  The first survey was made in 1793 by Alexander SLOT anddesignated as Slot's Survey.  It was an irregular tract, and consists of 13lots of unequal size, eight of which bordered on Potter's Creek, two being onthe west side.  Another survey of abut 10,100 acres of the south side ofthe township was made in 1795 by John BILES and David W. PATTERSON, anddesignated at the South Survey.  This survey numbered 65 lots, of 160 acreseach, or half a mile square.  This tract was re-surveyed in 1826 by JesseSTEVENS.  Another tract embracing the northeast corner of the town,extending to the South Survey, and west to the middle of the town, was surveyedin June 1795, by John SMITH.  This was designated the Northeast section andcontained 48 lots of 160 acres each.  This section was partiallyre-surveyed in 1826 by Jesse Stevens.  Another tract of 30 lots ws surveyedby Valentine BROTHER and designated Brother's survey.  It embraces themiddle section of the town west of the Northeast Survey and extending in theform of an "L", about a portion of Slot's survey.  Still anothersurvey was made by Jeffrey CHIPMAN, which has not bee traced on any public map;and the marsh about the head of Canandaigua Lake is known as an unsurveyedtract.  

 

Theoffice for the sale of the PULTNEY estate lands was located at Geneva, whereRobert TROUP succeeded Charles WILLIAMSON as agent, and after him, JosephFELLOWS.  The office for the sale of the HORNBY lands was at Canandaigua,and John GREIG was the agent for this estate during his life, and after him,William JEFFREY, his executor.  Mr. GREIG became the owner in person of alarge portion of the HORNBY lands.  The primitive settlers of Italy werealmost without exception, men of very little means, who bought their land uponcontracts by which they stipulated to pay small installments, extending over aseries of years.  The agents with whom they dealt have always been kindlyremembered by the original settlers for their uniform forbearance and lenity,when hardships, ill-paid toils, sickness and privation, incident to the firstsettlement of the country made it often impossible for them to make thestipulated payment.  Most of them had families to support; corps were smalland uncertain; prices low; and markets nearest and best at Canandaigua andGeneva.  Many acres of Italy land were paid for with money procured by thesale of wheat from 31 cents to 75 cents per bushel.  No honest, industriousman was dispossessed of his land, and no man in that town ever sympathized withthe "Anti-Pulteyites" in Steuben county.  The last of HORNBY andGREIG land in Italy, was purchased by Lewis B. GRAHAM, in 1859.  It was inpart the North East Survey.

 

Italywas neither early nor rapid in its settlement, but it is said that John MOWERsettled in West River Hollow, as early as 1790.  As he was at that time but19 years old, and not married till five years later, it is not probable that hemade an abiding foothold at that early period.  He was a chain bearer inthe survey of the New Pre-emption Line, and also acted as cook and had charge ofthe pack horse for the surveying party.  He received a dollar a day for hiswork and paid a dollar an acre for his land, which ws conveyed by CharlesWILLIAMSON in two deeds, both of the date of December 16, 1793, and acknowledgedin 1812, before Moses ATWATER.  His land embraced lots 6 and 7 of Slot'ssurvey.  No. 7 embraced 160 acres and No 6, 132 acres.  Commencingwith his land paid for, he had advantages as a pioneer not generally enjoyed bythe first settlers.  He was an industrious man, and a good citizen, dyingin 1855 at the age of nearly 84 years.  His son, John W. MOWER* *correctedfrom book), still owns and occupies the same premises, the only instance inItaly in which continuity of ownership has been retained by father and sonthrough two generations.  The first frame building erected in Italy wsbuilt by John MOWER.  He was married three times, first in 1795, to AnnaWATKINS, who was born in 1771 and died in 1802; in 1803 to Polly WILLIAMS whodied in 1813 at the age of 35; in 1813, to Judith Larned TORREY, who died in1856 at the age of 74 years.  The children of the first marriage werePolly, Simeon and John W.; of the second, Mary Ann, Huldah and John W.; of thethird marriage, Sally and Mary Ann.  Polly died single in 1869, at the ageof 72 years.  Simeon born in 1799, died at the age of 9 months in 1800, andthis was the first decease of a white person in that town.  John W., bornin 1801, died the same year.  Mary Ann born in 1805, died in 1863. Huldah, an infant, born in 1807 died in 1809.  Huldah 2nd born in 1809 diedin 1833.  John Warner, born in 1811, is the present proprietor of thehomestead.  He married in 1837 Betsey FOLSOM.  Their children havebeen William H., Byron H., and Alice Elizabeth.  The sons died young andthe daughter, born in 1843, survives, residing with her parents.  

 

 

 

History& Directory of Yates County, NY 

Volume1, Published 1873

 ITALYCIVIL HISTORY

pg438 – 443 

The town of Italy waserected by act of the Legislature February 15, 1815, through the efforts ofDavid SOUTHERLAND, then a Member of Assembly from Ontario County. Why or how it came to be named Italy, no person now living seems to know. The town of Naples, from which Italy was set off, had a population in1800 of only 259, which had increased in 1810 to 637. By the census of 1814,Naples had a population of 1128. Italy Hollow had just begun to fill up withsettlers in 1815, when the town of Italy was formed, and the census of 1820found 728 people in that town and 1638 in Naples. Italy grew to a population of995 in 1825, and 1092 in 1830; 1245 in 1835, 1634 in 1840, and reached themaximum of 1698 in 1845. It was 1627 in 1850, 1506 in 1855, 1605 in 1860 and1452 in 1865. The supervisors of Italy have been:

 

1815 Asabel STONE, jr.

1843 Lewis B. GRAHAM

1816 Asabel STONE, jr.

1844 Stephen MUMFORD

1817 Jabez METCALF

1845 Stephen MUMFORD

1818 Jabez METCALF

1846 David BURK

1819 Jabez METCALF

1847 Henry HUTCHINSON

1820 Jabez METCALF

1848 Henry HUTCHINSON

1821 Randall GRAVES

1849 David BURK

1822 Randall GRAVES

1850 Nathaniel SQUIER

1823 Randall GRAVES

1851 Nathaniel SQUIER

1824 Jabez METCALF

1852 Daniel SMITH

1825 Elisha DOUBLEDAY

1853 Lewis B. GRAHAM

1826 Henry ROFF

1854 Lewis B. GRAHAM

1827 Jabez METCALF

1855 Lewis B. GRAHAM

1828 Elisha DOUBLEDAY

1856 Daniel SMITH

1829 Abraham MAXFIELD

1857 William SCOTT

1830 Abraham MAXFIELD

1858 William SCOTT

1831 Elisha BARKER

1859 Alden D. FOX

1832 Elisha BARKER

1860 Alden D. FOX

1833 David BURK

1861 Alden D. FOX

1834 David BURK

1862 Alden D. FOX

1835 Elisha BARKER

1863 William S. GREEN

1836 David BURK

1864 Alden D. FOX

1837 David BURK

1865 Alden D. FOX

1838 Nathaniel SQUIER

1866 Alden D. FOX

1839 Nathaniel SQUIER

1867 Alden D. FOX

1840 Elisha BARKER

1868 Bradford S. WIXOM

1841 Spencer CLARK

1869 Bradford S. WIXOM

1842 Elisha DOUBLEDAY

1870 Bradford S. WIXOM

Among the town clerks ofItaly previous to 1834 were Jabez METCALF, Timothy BARNES, Valentine GRAHAM,Michael MAXFIELD. 

Orison GRAHAM was Town Clerkin 1834, Dan SWIFT in 1835, Orison GRAHAM five years thereafter, and Lewis B.GRAHAM in 1841 and 1842. Stephen MUMFORD in 1843, then William S. GREEN twoyears, James FOX two years, Thomas ROBSON two years, Alden D. FOX three years,Thomas S. ROBSON in 1857, then James FOX five years, and Joel M. CLARK fiveyears; Thomas J. CORNISH in 1868 and John H. DURHAM in 1869.

Jabez METCALF, Asahel STONE,jr., Henderson COLE, Henry ROFF, jr., and James FOX were Justices of the Peacein Italy by appointment previous to the election by the people. James FOX waselected Justice of the Peace in 1830, 1831, 1835, and 1839, Orison GRAHAM in1830, Elisha DOUBLEDAY in 1831, and held the office till he died in 1863, JabezMETCALF in 1830, Valentine GRAHAM in 1834, Edward LOW in 1834, 1838, 1842,Holden T. WING in 1838 and 1842; Henry A. METCALF in 1843, Lewis B. GRAHAM in1844 and 1848, Martin N. FLOWERS in 1846, George W. BARKER in 1848, WilliamSCOTT in 1849, 1853, 1860, 1864, 1869, Phillip PADDOCK in 1851, Edward H. BEALSin 1852, Israel CHISSOM in 1852, Gilbert GRAHAM in 1855, Erastus G. CLARK in1855, 1859, and 1863, in which year he died, Charles G. MAXFIELD in 1857, LucianANNABLE in 1858, 1862, 1866, Guy L. DOUBLEDAY in 1864 and 1868, John W. MOWER in1864, Joel M. CLARK in 1868, William C. WILLIAMS in 1868.

The tax collected inItaly in 1819 was $413.90, in 1822 it was $370.35. In 1824 Ichabod B. RANDALLwas collector and the tax was $504.25. Charles MUMFORD was collector for sixyears thereafter and again in 1832 and the largest tax collected by him was hislast $508.25. Russel A MANN was collector in 1831, William C. KEECH in 1833,William S. GREEN in1834. Samuel BARKER, jr., collected a tax of $741.53 in 1836,the largest up to that time. Reuben WELLS was collector in 1837 and 1840, bothtaxes being less than $600. Nathaniel SQUIER collected $783 in 1841, and LewisB. GRAHAM $6327.50 in 1842, From this time the tax of Italy was enlarged till1857 when Lewis B. GRAHAM collected $1,000. In the mean time ThomasJ. FOX had been collector two years, and Ansel MUMFORD, Whitman H. REYNOLDS,William H. FOX, Charles G. MAXFIELD, and Thomas B. MANNING, each one. William S.GREEN collected $1170.40 in 1852, Stephen MUMFORD $992.50 in 1853, and LemanCOREY $1,500 in 1855, Jeremiah Van RIPER $2,200 in 1856, Charles S. HEDGER nextcollected $1,900 in 1857, $3,000 in 1858, and $2,000 in 1859, David A. LARE$2,000 in 1860, Charles BELL $4,250 in 1863, Rufus J. BUSH $5,000 in 1864,Charles BELL $9,000 in 1865, David KENNEDY $3,000 in 1867, John T. JOHNSON$3,890.35 in 1868.

The following list oforiginal settlers in Italy embraces a few who have not been previously named inthis chapter:

SOUTH SURVEY.—Lot 1,Gideon COLE in 1819; lot 1, Henderson COLE 1810, Clark STANTON 1819; lot 5,Randall HEWITT 1818; lot 6, Thomas TREAT 1817; lot 7, Ebenezer JENNINGS in 1819,now occupied by Chester STODDARD; lot 8, Henderson COLE 1819; lot 9, Erastus andWilliam GRISWOLD 1815, Daniel BURROUGHS 1819; lot 11, James SLAUGHTER 1811,Luther WASHBURN 1819; lot 12, John SMITH 1795, Leonard WHITE 1835; lot 18,Luther WASHBURN 1817, Reuben WHEATON 1821, lot 19, Solomon HEWITT 1820; lot 23,Peter ELLIOTT 1821,Lemuel PETERSON 1822; lot 25, Orison GRAHAM 1815, Henry KIRK1819; lot 26, Cephas HAYES 1822, Peter ELLIOTT 1820; lot 27, David ELLIOTT 1820;lot 33, Drayton HAYES; lot 54, Levi H. BEMENT; lot 59, John T. DUNN, JohnANDRIDGE; lot 60, David TAYLOR 1825.

NORTH SURVEY.—Lot 2,Luther BROWN 1819, John ARMSTRONG 1795; lot 4, Jeremiah BEBEE 1810, EphraimTYLER 1819, lot 6; Weston TINNEY, Jacob VIRGIL 1811; lot 9; Jason WATKINS 1819;Jared WATKINS 1819; lot 10, Samuel STANCLIFF 1819, Samuel STEWART 1819; lot 11,Amos STANCLIFF 1819, Joshua STEARNS 1818; lot 12, Frederick AMSTERBURG 1819; lot18, Consider CHESEBRO 1819, John GOWDY 1822; lot 19, John GOWDY 1822; lot 22,Jesse CHESEBRO 1819, Joel COOPER 1820; lot 25, Joel COOPER 1815; lot 29,Theodore ANTHONY, Jacob THOMAS; lot 33, Cornelius BASSETT, Ira BASSETT; lot 40,Gabriel FRIER 1820, James COOLEY 1819; lot 44, Ezra CUMMINGS 1819, DanielBALDWIN 1819; lot 48, Solomon DOWNING 1819.

CHIPMAN’S SURVEY.—Lot 7,R.C. RATHBUN; lot 8, Abraham SLOVER, lot 10, Stephen JOHNSON 1822; lot 11,Stephen JOHNSON 1816. The widow of Stephen JOHNSON still lives at a veryadvanced age on the same land.

BROTHER’S SURVEY.—Lot 3,A.B. MOWER, lot 4; Russel BURNETT, A.I. Van NORDSTRAND; lot 5, William BASSETT,A.I. Van NORDSTRAND; lot 6, Joseph SEGAR; lot 7, Stephen JOHNSON; lot 8, AnselTREAT; lot 9, Henry CRANK; lot 14, James KIMBALL; lot 16, Joshua ROSS, PhilanderPOWERS; lot 17, Joshua ROSS; lot 18, Alanson CAREY; lot 23, A.B. MOWER; lot 30,William DUNTON 1790.

By the census of 1840 Italyhad two revolutionary pensioners, William SMITH, aged seventy-five, and ThomasTREAT, aged seventy-eight; one person between ninety and one hundred years old.

In 1824 Italy had but fiveschool houses; in 1821, but $95.95 of public school money and 289 childrenbetween five and fifteen; taxable property $36,700; 183 farms, eight mechanicsand six free blacks; 150 voters; 1858 acres of improved land, which wasincreased to 15,552 acres in 1865; 894 cattle, 127 horses, 1508 sheep; 5654yards of cloth made in families; one grist mill, five saw mills, one fullingmill, two carding machines, one distillery and two asheries.

By the census of 1855 Italyhad 289 families in 159 framed dwellings, 101 of logs and two of stone; 276native voters and eleven naturalized. In 1854 there were harvested on 992 acres6,766 bushels of wheat, and 3,020 bushels of rye on 467 acres; 5,903 bushels ofapples were gathered, and 662 cows produced 65,540 lbs. of butter, and 23,470lbs. of cheese.

In 1865 Italy had 302families, 262 owners of land, 364 voters, four stone dwellings, valued at$4,900, and 248 framed dwellings, valued at $84,270, also 54 log dwellings,valued at $4,030. The cash value of farms was $694,982, of stock $144,746, oftools and implements $24,287; in 1846, acres plowed, 3,605, in pasture 5,584,and 5,336 in 1865; acres of meadow 3,552, spring wheat harvested in 1864, 3,152bushels from 584 acres, winter wheat 2,336 bushels from 301 acres, rye 428bushels, barley 2,795 from 304 acres, buckwheat 3,738 bushels from 349 acres,Indian corn 16,552 bushels from 344 acres, apples 8,883 bushels from 13,855trees, maple sugar 3,365 lbs., cows 630, butter 80,785 lbs., cheese 4,944 lbs.,pork 110,420 lbs., sheep 11,630, lambs raised (1864) 3,177 and (1865) 3,834,wool 43,447 lbs. (1864) and 21,490 lbs. (1865), fulled cloth, 40 yards, flannel190, linen 38. Italy had six blacksmiths in 1865, one wagon shop with a capitalof $100, two workers in leather, 269 male citizens between eighteen andforty-five. Ninety-two men went to the war to fight rebellion from Italy;twenty-one died in the service and but one was buried in the town.

William E. CHITTENDEN had astore at Italy Hill about 1828. Luther B. BLOOD went there as a clerk in thestore of Abraham MAXFIELD at that place and became a partner after the firstyear, and on the death of MAXFIELD, the sole proprietor. Isaac N. GAGE had astore there for some time, and BLOOD and GAGE became partners in 1837 andcontinued together two or three years. George JOHNSON is the present merchant atItaly Hill.

The postmasters at ItalyHill have been Elisha DOUBLEDAY, who was succeeded by Luther B. BLOOD in 1836;he was followed in 1856 by Dr. Israel CHISSOM, who was again succeeded in 1861by Dr. Elisha DOUBLEDAY, after his decease in 1863 Luther B. BLOOD was againappointed and held the office till 1868 when he resigned and was succeeded byAbsalom C. LARE, the present postmaster.

 

BIG ELM  OF ITALY HOLLOW 

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The large Elm Tree of ItalyHollow, on lot 15, North East Survey, by the bank of Flint Creek and the side ofthe highway, was famous among the Indians as one of the wonders of the forest,and it is said was honored by them as a Council Tree. Since their occupation ithas continued its growth, and its dimensions largely exceed those of thehistorical Big Tree at Genesco, which perished a few years ago. It is now onehundred and twenty-five feet high, twenty-nine feet in circumference, two feetfrom the ground; and its top spreads one hundred and four feet in one directionand eighty-six feet in a transverse direction, covering a superficial area ofthirty-three square rods. An experienced woodman estimates that the tree wouldmake forty cords of wood. Its roots have frequently been torn up by the plow inan adjoining field at a distance of thirty rods from the tree itself, and on theopposite side of the creek. It is claimed that this tree has no equal in size inthe State of New York.

 

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