Yates County, New York
Early Settlers for the Town of Middlesex
From the History of Yates County, NY
published 1892, by L.C. Aldrich
pg. 472 - 475
Return to Home Page Return to Town Index
Settlers of Middlesex
POTTER made his purchase of the lands that now comprise Middlesex in 1789; and
during the same year the territory was surveyed into ranges and farm lots by
Perley HOWE. The ranges run north
and south, and the farm lots east and west.
However, on two after occasions the lands of the town were re-surveyed
and re-lotted. More than this,
large tracts passed into different ownerships, and were surveyed and lotted
according to their situation or as best pleased the fancy of their proprietors.
early settlement of the town of Middlesex was not unlike that of other towns of
the region. The coming of the
POTTER family to the vast purchase, and the offering of the lands for sale at
exceeding low prices, had the effect of rapidly bringing settlers to the town
even before the beginning of the present century; and although distant as it may
have been from the first settled community occupied by the Friends, this
locality was taken and improved generally earlier than the most accessible towns
now called Barrington, Starkey, Western Milo and Jerusalem. Prominent among the pioneers of Middlesex were the families
of John WALFORD, Benjamin TIBBITS and Michael PIERCE.
WALFORD was a Rhode Islander, and came to the Potter tract in 1789, and a few
years later made his permanent home where now is the hamlet of Middlesex Center.
His wife died in 1791 and was the first white person buried in this town.
John WALFORD died in 1813.
John Jr. and James WALFORD were the only children in this pioneer family.
PIERCE and his family also came from Rhode Island.
He bought 400 acres from Arnold POTTER, and both he and his wife died in
the town, far advanced in years. Their
children were Job, Thomas, Samuel, John, Sally and Lucina.
Michael PIERCE helped to survey the town.
WILLIAMS, a native of Connecticut, was one of the pioneers of the town, settling
first on lot 10, farm range four, but afterward moving to the Walford locality
on the river. His first wife was
Sarah CARR, who bore him three children: Huldah, Betsey and Anna. His second wife was Patty CONE, by whom he had seven
children: John W., Oliver S., Lucy, Melinda, Eunice, Valona and Caroline.
family of John BLAIR settled on Surveyor Perley HOWE’s lot, in the 7th
range in 1794. His wife died in
1805 and he in 1814. Their children
were John, James, Nathan, Warren, Amy and Sally.
John, James and Warren BLAIR served during the War of 1812.
1806 William FOSTER and family located on lot 7, range seven and there lived to
the end of his life. He had
thirteen children, seven of whom grew to maturity, viz.: Alanson, William,
Julia, John, Ira, Martin and Susan. Also
in 1806 came to the town, Daniel HAWLEY and family, and located on lot 8, range
6, succeeding a still earlier setter, Henry FAROUT.
They had one son, Daniel Jr., who married Sarah TAYLOR.
Of this marriage, five children were born, viz.: Charlotte, Daniel,
Abigail, Josiah and Thomas H. In
the same year, 1806, came from Vermont the family of Asahel ADAMS and settled on
West River. In this family were ten children: Betsey, Chauncey, John,
Alta, Cyrus, Polly, Sally, Asa P., Lovell and Cynthia.
of the children of Samuel and Rachel LINDSLEY were among the early setters in
the town and were afterward followed by their parents.
The mother died in 1816, and the father in 1819.
the children were Daniel, Samuel, Elizabeth and Benjamin, each of whom
had a family in the town. Anson C. LINDSLEY, the descendant of this pioneer family, has
been known as one of the most progressive farmers of the county.
Cornelius SAWYER and his family settled on lot 10, range seven in 1802,
and there he lived and died. His
children were Sybil, Betsey, Nancy, Olive, Thomas, Cornelius and Prescott.
Andrew CHRISTIE came to the town in 1812 and occupied lands on which
Rufus GALE had made a prior improvement. His
children, by a second marriage, were Gilbert, Abigail and James.
Thomas REYNOLDS and family came to the town in 1818, settling on the farm
opened first by Nathaniel WESTON. In
the Reynolds family were ten children: Phebe, Eleanor, Joseph, William, Andrew
and Angeline (twins), Sarah, Hannah, Daniel, and Thomas.
Gideon and Elizabeth (SHIELDS) SALISBURY were among the early setters of
the town and in their family were ten children.
James HARRINGTON and family came from Bennington County, VT in 1818, and
located on lot 9, farm range eight. There
were eleven children in the family, five of whom only, James, Arvin, Patience,
Oliver and Olive, came to this town with their parents.
the earliest settlers in the Vine Valley was Hiram COLLINS, whose location was
near the place afterward owned by Major HIXSON.
Another pioneer in the same locality, perhaps the first settler, was John
MC NAIR, whose farm was on the lakeshore, afterward known as the Peters farm.
Henry FULLER came into the valley in 1816 from Saratoga.
The children in his family were Orrin, Mary Ann, Amanda, Harriet, Jane O.
and Sarah. David SPIKE came in
early and settled near the FULLERS, but later moved from the town.
Samuel FIST was also an early resident in the same locality.
In the same relation may also be mentioned David FAROUT.
John SMITH, better known as “Captain” SMITH took up an early abode on
Bare Hill, a location best suited to his peculiar character. He was a
conspicuous figure in all sports in the community, and was not unknown in some
discreditable performances, but crime was not charged against him.
He was a rough, uncouth, boisterous fellow, but possessed a good heard
and a warm friendship for all who treated him fairly.
connection with the early and pioneer history of every town there must always be
recorded the customary “first events”.
For those in Middlesex perhaps no more accurate account can be furnished
than is found in the report of Edward LOW to the County Historical Society, to
which the writer is indebted for what follows, although it may be said that new
names will appear in addition to those already mentioned in this chapter.
report disclosed that Michael PIERCE settled in the town in 1791, followed soon
afterward by John BLAIR, Chester ADAMS, Thomas and Joshua ALLEN and their two
sisters, all blind persons, James WESTBROOK, Solomon LEWIS, John Mc NAIR, John
C. KNOWLES, Benjamin LOOMIS, Cornelius SAWYER, Daniel LINDSLEY, N. WESTON, John
WALFORD, Nathan SMITH, and others whose names have already been mentioned.
The first justice of the peace, also postmaster, was pioneer Michael PIERCE. William BASSETT kept the first school in 1798. William COLBERT was the first Methodist Episcopal preacher, conducting services at Squire PIERCE’s house as early as 1797, and continuing until a church was built. Daniel LINDSLEY erected the first frame house, while Chester ADAMS built the first frame barn. Elias GILBERT started the first saw mill and a Mr. FIST the first grist-mill, having horsepower. Warham WILLIAMS was the pioneer landlord, and Davis WILLIAMS the first blacksmith. John C. KNOWLES was the first shoemaker. Seth LOW married Lois WILLIAMS in 1803, the first event of its kind in the town, while to Samuel PIERCE and wife was born the first white child in 1792. Crab apple cider was made in 1805 at Mathew SMITH’s primitive mill. Eli FOOTE was the first merchant. Daniel B. LINDSLEY built the first brick house. Finally, to bring as prominently as possible to the attention of the reader the names of the early setters of this region, there is appended hereto a list of persons resident in old Augusta township in 1798, who were enrolled as qualified to serve as jurors at the time. The list is as follows: J. LANE, A. VOUGHT, J. LATHAM, William BASSETT, N WESTON, J. CRAFT, Joshua BROWN, William HOBART, J. TUCKER, M. HOLTON, Moses PARSONS, Abraham LANE, J. SHERMAN, G. BATES, P. BRIGGS Jr., Francis BRIGGS, Jabez FRENCH, J WALFORD,. E. CROSS, David SOUTHERLAND, Jesse BROWN, Jonas WYMAN, Warham WILLIAMS, Job CARD, James LEWIS Jr., H. VAN WORMER, Rows PERRY, John SHEFFIELD, Chester ADAMS, Michael PIERCE, John BLAIR Sr., Elias GILBERT, Benjamin LOOMIS, E. CRAFT Jr., and Benoni MOON. But in explanation of the foregoing list it may be stated that Augusta, or even the original Middlesex township, represented a much larger area of territory that the present Middlesex; wherefore it is not to be assumed that all the persons just named were residents of the town within its present limits.
HTML by Dianne
These electronic pages may be printed as a link or for personal use, but is NOT to be reproduced in any format for profit or presentation by ANY other organization or persons.
Copyright 2004 - 2008
[NY History and Genealogy] [ALHN]