Yates County, New York

Early Settlers for the Town of Italy

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

pg  481- 485

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EarlySettlement of Italy 

Thepioneer settlement of Italy was not unlike that of other towns in the samegeneral region and similarly conditioned; but here where the physicalcharacteristics of the land were such as to repel rather than invite settlement,it was hardly to be expected that settlement should commence so early andprogress so rapidly as in the more desirable townships. The honor of being called “fist settler” in Italy appears to havefallen upon John MOWER, one of an old surveying party, and acting in thecapacity of chain bearer.  At thetime of first coming to Italy, in 1790, it is said that MOWER was but nineteenyears old, and had no family.  It isalso asserted, or at least strongly intimated, that MOWER’s settlement at thattime was not permanent, and that he made no actual settlement earlier than 1795. His lands embraced 292 acres, lots 6 and 7 of the Slot survey. 

WilliamCLARK also is said to have come to the town in 1790, locating near MOWER, on lot8.  He too was a pioneer and one whohad a large family of children.  WilliamDUNTON settled on lot 30 of the Brothers Tract in 1793 and died there in 1806. In 1796 Edward LOW settled on lot 1, Slot Tract. Fisher WHITNEY located on lot 4 of the same tract in 1800. Fisher METCALF came to the unsurveyed district in 1805, and ten yearslater was drowned in Canandaigua Lake. 

JabezMETCALF located on lot 5 of the Sloat Tract in 1807. He was one of the founders of Methodism in the town, and died here in1859.  Jason WATKIKNS came fromMassachusetts and settled on lot 2 of Slot’s Tract in 1807. He died in 1844.  The PARISH family, Samuel PARISH, his wife and sons Levi andReuben, came in February 1791, and settled at the head of the lake. Edwin R. PARISH, a descendant of Samuel, became one of the best andwealthiest farmers of the town.  JosiahBRADISH located on the Sloat Tract in 1793, but moved from the town in 1806. In 1793 Seth SPRAGUE located on lot 2 of Slot’s Tract. His daughter Olive was the first white child born in this town. Elisa LEE settled on lot 3, same tract, in 1800. 

Thepioneer of Italy Hollow is said to have been a man named FLINT, and after himthe creek was named.  ArchibaldARMSTRONG settled here in 1794.  Hewas called “Old Algerine.”  AlexanderPORTER settled on the North Survey, on lot 15, in 1794; John ARMSTRONG, on lot3, in 1795; Stephen and Isaiah POST in 1796; Sylvanus HASTINGS and John MORRISin the same vicinity in 1798; John C. KNOWLES in 1798; and Jacob VIRGIL in thesame year on lot 7; Andrew ROBSON, an Englishman came to lot 38, North Tract, in1806; Nathan SCOTT to lot 30 in 1809.  JohnCROUCH, prominent in Baptist church history in the town, settled here in 1813;Robert STRAUGHAN in 1808 on lot 34 North Tract;; Joshua STEARNS on lot 11 in1806; John BROWN in 1800 on lot 19; John HOOD on lot 23, in 1800. 

Onthe South Survey, John GRAHAM Jr., settled in 1812, on lot 39; Benjamin BARTLETTon lot 30, in 1811; George MURPHY on lot 30 also in 1812; Isaac BARKER on lot39, in 1810; Amos ARNOLD on lot 38 in 1812; James FOX on lot 30 in 1813; JosiahBARKER on the same lot in 1813, also; Elisha BARKER on lot 63 in 1814; DanielENSIGN on lot 44 in 1812; James SLAUGHTER on lot 11, in 1812; Rufus EDSON Jr. onlot 16, in 1809; James TOURTELOTTE on lot 29 in 1818; William DOUGLASS on lot 17in 1816; Henderson COLE located on lot 8 northeast section in 1810; John CRAFT in 1812 on lot 35; William GREEN settled on lot7, north Survey, in 1815;John GREEN located on lot 28, Brothers Survey in 1825. Again on North Survey, Charles HUTCHINS settled on lot 3 in 1815;ThaddeusPARSONS on lot 11, in 1809; Charles MUMFORD on lot 18, in 1819; Joel COOPER onlot 26, in 1818; Charles CLARK on lot 26, in 1818; Jeduthan WING on the southhalf of lot 26 in 1817; Samuel H. TORREY on the south half of lot 15, in 1812;Samuel DEAN Sr., in 1820 on lot 34; Charles GRAVES on the east half of lot 45 in1813; Eli GRAVES on the same lot in 1814; Truman CURTIS on lot 31 in 1810; RufusRAZEE on lot 42 in 1814; William E. SMITH on lot 29 in 1813; Truman REED on lot3 in 1815; Josiah REED on lot 4, in 1814; William GRISWOLD on lot 9, in 1815;Erastus GRISWOLD on lot 9 in 1815; James KENNEDY on lot 32 in 1845; John HOOPERon lot 50 in 1820; George NUTTE on lot 11 in 1823; Hiram DOUBLEDAY on lot 9 in1830; Daniel SWIFT on lot 9, in 1830; Thomas TREAT on lot 6 in 1817; DanielBALDWIN on lot 44 in 1813; John B. YOUNG on lot 47 in 1823; Heman SQUIRE on lot10 in 1810; Sherman STANTON on lot 2, in 1821; James SHEPHERD on lot 17 in 1835;Lucien ANABLE in 1830 on lot 1; George W. HORTON on lot 18, in 1835; Ira BASSETTon lot 33 in 1835; Theodorus NORTHRUP on lot 29 in 1830; Jacob THOMAS on lot 39in 1830; Thomas W. TEALL on lot 25 in 1840; William C. KEECH on lot 36 in 1823. 

Onthe South Survey, James SCOFIELD settled on lot 3 in 1812; William SMITH on lot29 in 1814; Daniel SMITH on the same lot; Chester SMITH on lot 30; Elisha PIERCEon lot 3, in 1816; Holden STONE on lot 4 in 1816; Asahel STONE on lot 39 in1815; David BURKE on lot 9, in 1820; James PACKARD on lot 39 in 1819; Jesse MCALLISTER on lot 39 in 1821; David FISHER on lot 50 in 1820; Felix FISHER on lot55 in 1821; Jeremiah FISHER on lot 44 in 1823; James FISHER in 1820; WilliamFISHER on lot 48 in 1821; Dr. Elisha DOUBLEDAY on lot 2 in 1820; ChristopherCOREY on lot 18 in 1820; Randall HEWITT on lot 5 in 1818; Solomon HEWITT on lot19 in 1820; Alexander V. DEAN on lot 13, in 1825; David ELLIOTT on lot 22 in1821; Peter ELLIOTT on lot 23 in 1821; Joseph SQUIER on lot 28 in1822; SamuelBARKER on lot 63 in 1817; Orlando BARKER on lot 56 in 1830; Enoch BARKER on lot43 in 1820; Reuben WHEATON on lot 18 in 1821; Avery HERRICK on lot 49 in 1819;Garrett VAN RIPPER on lot 49 in 1830; Levi WOLVIN on lot 17 in 1830; Henry KIRKon lot 25 in 1822; Stephen MARSH on lot 25, in 1817; Ebenezer ARNOLD on lot 22in 1820; Adolphus HOWARD on lot 22 in 1820; Jabez GILLETT on lot 46 in 1832;Charles G. MAXFIELD on lot 41 in 1834; Moses W. BARDEN on lot 36 in 1840; AnsonCLARK on lot 51 in 1835. 

Amongthe other early setters in the town, whose names have not been alreadymentioned, were William J. KINNEY on lot 34 in 1815; Russell A. MANN in 1824;Henry HENNEBERG in 1820, Stephen JOHNSON on lot 11, Chipman’s Survey, in 1819;Stephen HENDRICKS on lot 12 of the same; Hugh BURNS; Henry ROFF Jr.; WorcesterBURKE in 1817; Alanson PACKARD the cloth dresser; Edward MARKHAM, who bought thefirst Joshua STEARNS farm; John CHASE, the mason and shoemaker in 1830; Smith MCLOUD, formerly of Starkey; Nehemiah and Leonard WHITE in 1820; Michael MAXFIELDthe tailor, in 1819; Abraham MAXFIELD, the merchant and miller in 1821; IchabodRANDALL, clothier; Reuben DURKEE, clothier; Asa BUTLER, harness and saddlemaker; Bradley WOODWORTH, tailor; Amos PEABODY, tailor; Weldon GALLUP, settleron lot 60, northeast tract in 1822; Simon P. COOKINGHAM on lot 31, North Survey,in 1830; Joseph DE WICK on lot 16, same tract; Benjamin DUMBOLTON in ItalyHollow in 1823; Alfred PELTON who lived with Adolphus HOWARD; Cornelius BASSETTon lot 1, of the Brothers Survey in 1835; Martin FLOWERS on lot 12 in 1838;Henry CRANK on lot 9 in 1836; William BASSETT on lot 4; Abram I. VAN ORDSTRANDon lot 5 in 1832; Russell BURNETT on lot 4 in 1832; James G. WILLIAMSON on lot3; Luther B. BLOOD, settler on Italy Hill in 1832.  

Thesewho have been named on foregoing pages were the pioneers of the town of Italy,and upon them fell the burden of clearing the vast forest growths and making theland fit for cultivation.  That theywere a determined, sturdy set of men is evinced by their works. Italy offers no inducements as a place of settlement and abode, or evenof speculation, but the labors of the pioneer brought good results in the courseof time, and the town soon ranked favorably with others of the region inagricultural products.  In 1800 the town had a population of 259, or about forty orfifty families.  Forty-five yearslater the census enumeration showed the maximum population of 1,96. From that until the present time there has been a general decrease, sothat at this time the number of inhabitants cannot much exceed 1,300.


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