Yates County, New York

History - Town of Milo

Fromthe History of Yates County, NY

published1892, by L.C. Aldrich

pgs.285 - 289

 

 

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Pioneersettlements in Milo began with the coming of the Friendís colony in 1788, andso rapid was the growth in population and development that the years 1820 foundthe town to possess 2,612 inhabitants, about 400 families, and there were thenin operation seven grist-mills, fourteen saw-mills, three fulling-mills, oneoil-mill, four carding machines, six distilleries, three asheries, and twotrip-hammers.   Today the townhas but three grist-mills, no fulling-mills or carding-machines, no more thanthree saw-mills and fortunately but one distillery. 

In1818 the town of Milo was set off from Benton and given an independent corporateorganization.  The first townmeeting was held April 7th at the house of Isaac NICHOLS, and thenthe first town officers were elected as follows: Avery SMITH, supervisor;Charles ROBERTS, town clerk; George I. REMER, collector; Benedict ROBINSON,George NICHOLS and George YOUNGS, assessors; Richard HENDERSON and RogerSUTHERLAND, overseers of the poor; Isaac HEDGES, David BRIGGS and Solomon FINCH,commissioners of highways; Isaac NICHOLS, Thomas HATHAWAY and Allen VORCE,school commissioners; Samuel HENDERSON, Joel GILLETTE, John RANDLOPH, James N.EDMONSON, Peter YOUNG, and Luther SISSON, school inspectors; George I. REMER,Stephen YOUNGS, David J. BENNETT and Walter WOLCOTT, constables. Prior to 1855 the annual town meetings were held at Milo Center, but thesetting off of Torrey in 1853 and the increase in number of inhabitants in andabout Penn Yan, so changed the center of population in the town that a vote ofthe electors determined upon the county seat as the place for holding elections. 

Thehamlets of Milo are Himrods, Milo Center and Second Milo as at present known. 

Himrods,the hamlet proper, is located on lot No. 6, of the Potter location, and wasoriginally called Himrodís Corners, after Willhemus L. HIMROD, the founder ofa store at that place in 1831.  Throughthe village courses Plum Point Brook, a small stream having no presentimportance because of the devastation of the forests of the locality, butformerly furnishing power sufficient to run mills. Himrodís Corners was the name of the post office established here in1832, and so continued for many years and until changed to the more dignified,and perhaps more appropriate name of Himrods.  

ButHimrodís Corners and Himrods have never succeeded in acquiring any specialimportance either in mercantile pursuits or in point of population. Itsí greatest glory was attained in the construction of the NorthernCentral Railroad, a condition subsequently slighted improved by the building ofFall Brook line as at present known. 

Thepioneer industry of the hamlet, or its locality, was the distillery businessestablished about 1794 by Richared MATTHEWS; and this appears to have been abutthe only enterprise, except farming, that was conducted in the vicinity untilMr. HIMROD started his store in 1831.  StephenCARD was a pioneer in the Friendís settlement, but in latter years took up hisresidence where Himrods now is, and here he built and maintained a public house,such as the present generation would call a tavern or hotel. This he conducted for many years.  Thenext hotel built was that by Garret S. AYERS in 1835, which passed throughseveral owners and finally was transformed into a double dwelling. In 1861 William S. SEAMANS built the Eagle Hotel, a fairly large and wellappointed hostelry.  It is now theproperty of John SHEPPARD, and conducted by his son-in-law, Frank KNAPP. 

Themercantile business interests of Himrods have been represented by numerousproprietors since the time of Wilhemus HIMROND, the succession including GilbertR. Riley, Ellis & Baker, John and Jephtha F. RANDLOPH, Marshall &Sherman, William S. ELLIS, Philip DRAKE, Jonathan G. BAKER, Miles G. RAPLEE,Peter WYCKOFF, Cornelius POST, William S. SEAMANS, Amos E. VANOSDOL, covert& Chubb, George SWARTS and Hiram SWARTS. The last two named are the present leading merchants of the village. In addition to these there may be mentioned the grain business of S.Nelson JONES. 

MiloCenter as commonly known but properly, Milo, is a small hamlet of about twodozen houses, a store, a shop, hotel and possibly a few other light industriessituated in the eastern-central part of the township. This point was originally known as Nichols Corners, so-called from thepioneer family of the locality, of which family Isaac NICHOLS was the head andparent.  And even to this day, thesurname Nichols, representing descendants from the same ancestor, is frequentlyin this part of Milo.  IsaacNICHOLSís son, Isaac Jr., appears to have been the prime mover in theendeavors to establish a village at this point, and whatever was accomplished inthis direction was mainly doe to him.  Heopened a public house at the Corners in 1820 and was the first postmaster afteran office had been established there.  GeorgeB. NICHOLS and Herman SMITH were the pioneer merchants of the berg. During the state coach period, Nichols Corners or Milo, was a point ofsome importance, but when railroads superseded the slower means of travel thevillage lost much of its old-time importance. It is now no nearer than a mile from Milo station on the Northern Centralroad. 

Duringthe period of its existence the Center has had a number of successful merchants,among whom can be recalled the names of Nicols & Smith, Joseph C. STULL,William HOLDEN, Denreau & Fiero, Abel B. HUNT, Moses W. EASTMAN, GeorgeHOLLOWELL, H.F. ANDERSON, Schuyler SUTHERLAND, George W. and W. H. MILLARD. Among the various landlords, proprietors of the public house in thevillage have been Isaac NICHOLS JR., Philip DRAKE, Manchester TOWNSEND, F.F.RANDOLPH, John CLARK, M. DEPEW, Patrick BYRNE and others. The present landlord is Silas SPINK. 

AlthoughSecond Milo is a settlement of no great extent, it is never the less the centerof a rich agricultural district.  Inthis locality are the excellent farms of James A. THAYER, Isaiah YOUNGS, LewisSWARTHOUT,  Ira OWEN, Abner GARDNER,Rowland J. GARDNER, J.P. CASTNER, Andrew LONGWELL, Gilbert BAXTER, DanielPLAISTED, Frank MALONEY and others of whom mention might worthily be made in thesame connection.  In fact thisparticular locality can boast as of rich and productive farm lands as can befound in Yates County, and the husbandmen resident hereabouts are as thrifty,progressive and public spirited as their lands are valuable.  

Westfrom Second Milo about one mile is historic ground, but connected with it is butvery little known history. On the farm of Lewis SWARTHOUT, on a little circular rise of ground sometwo acres in extent, once stood a fortification of some kind, but by whom built,by whom occupied and for what particular purpose, both record and tradition aresilent; they furnish no satisfactory information. That the fort at one time existed there came be no shadow of doubt, fortraces of it even at this late day, are still discernible. The only mystery surrounding the subject grows out of the doubtful causesthat necessitated its construction.  Herewas the interior country of the Senecaís vast possessions, and not withinhundreds of miles was there an enemy; form which we reason that the Indiansthemselves could not have built the fortress. The French Jesuits and adventurers traveled the country of the Iroquoisand built forts at various places for their own protection. But of the principal defenses erected by them we have sufficient record,and any mention of this one is not to be found. It is hardly fair or reasonable to suppose that this fort could have beenthe handiwork of a pre-historic race of occupants.

 

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