Yates County, New York
Early Settlers for the Town of Starkey
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History & Directory of Yates County, Volume II
Pub. 1873 by Cleveland
Transcribed by Deborah Spencer pg 1115 - 1152
William EDDY having made the first
settlement in Starkey, the pioneer community which soon after clustered around
him was very properly known far and wide as Eddy Settlement.
It was the political and social center of the old town of Reading, and 10
years after the erection of Yates County was more of a business center than Penn
Yan. It never became an
incorporated village, and lacking water power, was outgrown by Dundee.
It had in fact been previously blighted by the overweening expectations
of those who owned the land within its limits and refused to sell lots at prices
that men of enterprise were willing to pay.
Had the early opportunities of the place been seconded by a wise
liberality, the village might have gained a foothold sufficient to maintain a
successful rivalry with any of the surrounding centers of business.
Its chief importance consists now in being the location of Starkey
Seminary. The village came to its
name after outliving repeated attempts to give it some other title.
Spafford’s Gazetteer in 1824 called it “Reading Village, or
Decatursville.” It was finally
and justly concluded to commemorate in its name the pioneer whose axe first
assailed the forest where it stands.
Isaac LANNING’s picture of the settlement
in 1806 describes it as a neighborhood of log houses, with adjacent clearings
dotting the forest. These log
dwellings were the homes of an excellent community of pioneers, transplanted
from New England and New Jersey, daring hazards and privations that would prove
very discouraging to their descendants. Wild
animals were abundant, though wolves troubled that vicinity but little.
Deer were numerous, and venison furnished the larders of the log cabin
housekeeper with much of their meat. The
deer were largely caught by being driven to the Lake.
As a man could row a canoe or skiff faster than a deer could swim, the
deer would soon be overtaken and captured by having a green hickory withe thrown
about its neck. The ruthless hunter
would cut the victim’s throat on the water, and tow its body to the shore.
Bears vexed the settlers by carrying off their pigs.
Matthew ROYCE commenced a clearing about 40
rods from his house, and there his sow and pigs wandered one evening, just at
dusk. Hearing the sow squeal he ran
to the spot, and was confronted by a large bear standing on its hind feet,
frightened at his approach. They
stared at each other a few moments, when one of the pigs darted out of a large
brush heap. The bear seized the pig
and hastened off, while the sow and remainder of the pigs, with their owner,
made a quick retreat for home. Another
reminiscence given by this venerable pioneer illustrates the self-denials and
hardships of the early days. He
sometimes went to dances when his shoes were so worn and dilapidated that he had
to bind them on his feet with twigs of hickory. This man, whose span of life covered almost an entire
century, chopped and corded five cords of wood on his 71st birthday.
Mrs. Betsey QUIN, who moved with her husband
to Eddy Settlement in 1813, says it was a hard-looking country to her at that
time, “the trees standing girdled for two miles north and three south.
There were about 20 families and three framed buildings.
Samuel BIGELOW was the principal preacher there.
A miniature store was kept in a little room of Timothy HURD’s tavern.
Judge NORTON had a carding machine and cloth-dressing establishment on
Rock Stream. Simeon ROYCE and
Andrew HARRISON had each a pocket distillery.
Timothy HURD was captain of a uniformed company.
They went to the Niagara frontier a few days after we moved into the
settlement.” A man who found a
home on the opposite shore of the Lake in 1815, says that on the west side as
viewed from the east, all looked even then like an almost unbroken forest.
At a considerably later period Eddytown had
five stores selling general merchandise, two asheries, two taverns, two or three
shoemakers’ shops, a blacksmith shop and foundry, a tailor shop, hatter’s
shop, cabinet shop, and other mechanical industries.
In 1816 Dr. John L. CLEVELAND commenced his
practice at Eddy Settlement, and built a house in the village.
He was succeeded a year later by Dr. Simeon H. GOSS, and he in 1818 by
Dr. Walter WOLCOTT. It is a
remarkable fact that these three young men were all students of Dr. Joshua LEE,
and they with Morris BIRDSALL, another student of Dr. LEE, and Jesse YOUNG, a
student of Dr. Anthony GAGE, were licensed in one class by the Ontario County
Medical Society in September, 1816. Dr. James CARTER of Geneva was President of the Society, and
Dr. Richard WELLS of Canandaigua Secretary.
The censors were Drs. Nathaniel JACOBS of Canandaigua, Erastus B.
WOODWORTH and Joshua LEE. Dr. GOSS
married Cynthia SMITH, daughter of a stone mason of Penn Yan.
After leaving Eddytown he practiced some time in Bennett’s Settlement,
and finally moved to Canada. Dr.
Jesse YOUNG lost an arm in the War of 1812.
He lived and died at Burdett in the town of Hector, a noted free thinker,
a conspicuous Whig politician, and a man of superior ability and intelligence.
He grew up from childhood in the family of Capt. Eliah HOLCOMB of Benton.
Morris BIRDSALL was an able physician, and moved to Texas, where he died
many years since.
In 1824 Dr. WOLCOTT purchased of Timothy
HURD for $95.50 a ¼ of an acre of land, directly opposite the tavern of Joshua
MAPES, and lying between Benjamin CHEEVER’s store and Dan TOMPKINS’ house
and shoemaker’s shop, on the east side of the road, and in that year built a
dwelling house in which he resided until he removed from the place to Dundee in
1846. In 1834 he built an office or
store on the same lot which thereafter served as his medical office and drug
establishment. He also laid a
flag-stone sidewalk in front of this lot, and later, one in front of the Dan
TOMPKINS lot, which he purchased in 1842. In
this office or store, DeWitt C. LAWRENCE, about the year 1838, had a law office.
Dr. WOLCOTT’s village property was always kept up by him in the neatest
order, and his office was the prominent social center in the village.
In 1818 James TAYLOR bought of Elisha CLARK,
for $51.50 a village lot directly opposite where the Presbyterian meeting house
was erected in 1825, and the next north of the brick school house, which was
erected before 1818, and built a house and law office, and resided there until
his removal from the place to Penn Yan, in 1832.
The house built by Dr. CLEVELAND afterwards
became part of the public house first kept by Joshua MAPES, who was followed by
Isaac P. SEYMOUR, William R. KELSEY, Alexander HEMIUP, Philip L. DRAKE,
Valentine WORDEN, Thomas S. PAGE, Ira CHAMBERLAIN, Lewis M. EATON, Elam A.
HOGEBOOM, Abram R. DAINS and Joseph L. BELLIS.
The house was finally purchased by Prof. Edmund CHADWICK, and is now a
boarding house, known as Schuyler Hall.
Harry C. LEONARD had a tavern at the north
end of the village, which was established about 1828.
He and his brother Seth kept it together at one time.
It was also kept by Col. John J. SMITH, and by Philip L. DRAKE, who
Among the merchants at this place have been,
since the time of James & Jabez PEASE, and Henry NEWTON, William HUSTON,
William PEASE, Isaac P. SEYMOUR, Benjamin CHEEVER, James HUNGTINTON, John NOYES,
Frederick A. KING, John BOGART, Dennis K. ROYCE, James HOLDEN, Calvin TAYLOR,
Harvey G. STAFFORD, George W. SIMMONS, Peter M. SUTPHEN, and Ashbel HOLLISTER.
Hezekiah LEONARDSON has a store there now, and Nicholas MILLSPAUGH another.
William HUSTON was born in Coleraine, county Antrim, Ireland, in 1787. He came to Eddy Settlement as early as 1816, opened a store
and built a large frame house. He
died in Starkey in 1858.
Although the oldest village or business
center in the town, many years an important stage route where the stage horses
were changed, this village had no Post Office till 1849, Isaac LANNING being the
first Postmaster; the office having first the designation of Starkey, and taking
the place of the one at Starkey Corners. Before
1861 the Postmasters were Isaac LANNING, William ANDREWS, Philip ROOF, James M.
HALL. Since 1861 the office has been held continuously by Isaac
LANNING, the name was changed from Starkey to Eddytown while Andrews was
In 1809, Richard HURD and sons built a large
store at Hurd’s Corners, which was the initial enterprise that made that place
a business center. They kept up a
large mercantile business there a number of years--how long is not remembered,
nor whether they had any successors in that building, which is said to have
stood directly west of the present store of Charles W. BARNES.
In 1831, Alonzo SIMMONS built a store
opposite that of Mr. BARNES, and carried on a large trade there till 1842.
His successors are named in his personal history, and theirs in that of
About the time SIMMONS started there,
Gilbert HATHAWAY built a store near where the Presbyterian Church now stands.
It had stood vacant some years when Charles W. BARNES and William L.
SHARP commenced trade in it in 1845. Charles
W. BARNES erected the store in which he is now doing business.
The first tavern was kept there in 1817 by
Simeon HURD, son of Richard HURD, Sr. In
1821 the same house was kept by Elijah CARVER.
He was succeeded by Samuel HALE, who was also a merchant and a stirring
business man. His son Samuel P.
HALE was also a successful merchant, for a considerable time resident in Albany,
and a member of the firm of Williams, White & Co., of whom many of the older
merchants in this county bought their goods.
He lived several years after retirement from trade in Dundee, and finally
died in Tyrone, at the former residence of his father-in-law, Judge Henry S.
WILLIAMS, Peter BACKER succeeded HALE in the tavern, and he was followed by
Gilbert HATHAWAY, who kept a popular house there till about 1840.
Another tavern was first kept by Rufus
HENDERSON at the fork of the roads on the east side.
A Mr. WEBB followed HENDERSON, who was succeeded by Philip WARD, he by
Daniel G. HUNTER, and he by Benjamin E. JONES, who discontinued it about the
same time that Hathaway’s was closed.
Stephen HURD plied his trade as blacksmith
at this place many years.
Samuel F. EMBREE had a boot and shoe shop
there several years. Joseph BROOM
had a tailor shop there some time.
Bradford G. H. HATHAWAY, an ingenious and
noted inventor and mechanic, manufactured carriages and cutters and agricultural
machinery at this place for a long period.
The place was known first as Hurd’s Corners, then for many years as
Hathaway’s Corners, and finally as Rock Stream, to correspond with the name of
the Post Office, which was established about 1830.
Dr. Enos BARNES was the first postmaster, succeeded by Alonzo SIMMONS.
After his removal, Hiram A. NEWCOMB was appointed, and succeeded by
William L. SHARP; he by Charles W. BARNES.
Reuben B. HENDERSON followed, and is succeeded by Alvah M. NEWCOMB.
BIG STREAM POINT
This noted Point was wholly unoccupied till
after 1815. Some of the changes
that occurred there are mentioned in the sketch of Larmon G. TOWNSEND.
Silas BEERS moved there in 1816, and occupied a log house near the end of
the Point. He aided in building a
saw mill there. This mill in 1818
was carried away by a memorable freshet, which bore the water wheel and crank
into the Lake. The same freshet
broke away all the dams on the stream, and carried off other mills besides the
one at the Point. This catastrophe
drove Mr. BEERS from the place. He
went there as a partner of William W. FOLWELL and Romulus and the enterprise was
Silas BEERS was from New Jersey, and was the
first blacksmith at Bath, about 1794. He
moved from there to Seneca county, and built a mill in Fayette.
In 1815 he moved to Shannontown, and after his misfortune at Big Stream
moved back to Shannontown, and died there in 1829 at 59, a farmer.
His wife Mary BEACH died in Ohio in 1842, at 69.
Their children were, Joseph, Ezekiel B., Miriam, John, Jabez B., Daniel
S., Lucy and Teresa. All these
moved west except John, born in 1802, who married first Eliza LEONARD of Ovid.
He sold the farm at Shannontown and moved to Barrington, 2 ½ miles from
Dundee, in Sunderlin Hollow. He
lived there till 1854, when he removed to Emporium, Pa., where his wife died in
1857, leaving two children, Mary E. and John L.
He married there a second wife, Mary A. BEACH.
Silas BEERS, while residing at Shannontown,
joined a Baptist Church in Chubb Hollow, which held its meetings in a log school
house. Its minister was Elder
BEERS and FOLWELL had a schooner and a ferry
boat, and began large operations. George
S. SHELMIRE of Philadelphia took the place of Silas BEERS with FOLWELL, and
operated for some time, with ambitious designs.
They had a saw mill, started a distillery, and commenced building a large
stone grist mill. SHELMIRE soon
failed for want of capital, and FOLWELL lost heavily by the enterprise.
William W. FOLWELL was a wealthy farmer, owning 700 acres of land in
Romulus. He died in 1858, at 91.
He was the father of Sarah M., wife of Dr. Claudius C. COAN of Ovid, and
Mary P., wife of Rev. Samuel M. BAINBRIDGE, formerly a Baptist minister in Penn
After the failure of the foregoing
enterprises at Big Stream Point, the writer cannot learn that much was
accomplished there till Larmon G. TOWNSEND came on the scene.
He made it a lively place until his failure in 1852.
Since that time the business of the place has been comparatively limited.
James W. MORRIS conducted a profitable business there some time.
George W. WILMOTT was a grain buyer there, doing a considerable business,
and George ROBERTS is now a grain buyer there, and owns the saw mill.
James PECHE owns and runs the grist mill, and William TOWNSEND the
plaster mill. Royal LINCOLN keeps a
store in the old TOWNSEND store building. It
has always been a steamboat landing, and for a long time was an important one.
Larmon G. TOWNSEND had a post office established before 1840, and was
postmaster while he lived there. After
him, Eli TOWNSEND, Nathaniel TOWNSEND, Alonzo MARSHALL, Henry B. GARDNER and
Jared SLEEPER were successively postmasters till 1865, when the office (called
Big Stream Point) was discontinued.
In 1867 Joshua K. INGALLS, then resident at
that place, obtained its resuscitation, and was Postmaster till 1870, when he
was followed by Abishai SCOFIELD, who was succeeded by Frank NEWCOMB in 1872.
Mr. INGALLS had the office named Glenora, intending to signify “mouth
of the glen.”
Joshua K. INGALLS is a reformer and
inventor, connected with the land and labor reform organizations of the city of
New York. He married in 1866 Olive
H. FRASER, residing at Glenora. She
is an accomplished wood engraver, and a woman of worth and intelligence.
In 1829 a Ferry was chartered by the
Legislature for 15 years, in behalf of Terah CARPENTER, to run from the cove on
the south side of Peach Orchard Point, in Hector, to Big Stream Point.
No other charter was ever granted for a Ferry at this place although a
Ferry was kept up by Larmon G. TOWNSEND. John
DICKINSON, who lived on the Hector side, run the boat many years, and when he
quit the ferry was abandoned.
Among the important enterprises of Larmon G.
TOWNSEND, at Big Stream Point, was a Woolen Factory, which was operated a number
of years much to the advantage of the place and the surrounding country.
Among the characters worthy of note,
connected with Mr. TOWNSEND’s supremacy at Big Stream Point, was David D.
SMITH, a respectable colored man, who in days when men of his race were few and
far between, was an object of curiosity and interest.
David and his wife Dolly were general favorites.
And when David drove the family carriage, drawn by a span of large sorrel
horses, to Eddytown to church, it was regarded as the most peculiar turn-out in
John STARKEY was the first man to carry into
effect the conception of making a place of business at Starkey Corners,
previously known as Reeder’s Corners. Starkey
commenced operations about 1816, and built a store in which Halsey SANDFORD and
William D. KELLEY commenced trade in 1821, as the successors of Clayton SEMANS
and Abraham DeMOTT, Jr., Kelley remained one year and SANDFORD 10 years.
Halsey SANDFORD was the first town clerk in Starkey.
He left in 1831, returning to Seneca county where he has been a man of
much prominence and influence. He
was succeeded by Adna TREAT, who was still later associated with Gilbert R.
RILEY. They were followed by Riley
& Snow, Silas MANN, Charles G. TUTHILL, Demary & Hollister.
In 1855 the store was moved to Starkey Station.
Burgess TRUESDELL built a store on the
south-east corner about 1830. He
kept a store there a few years and moved west.
A millinery establishment was kept there by
Alletta and Elizabeth PRUDEN sometime after 1830.
Charles CHANDLER was a tailor there.
Homer W. DUNN and Joel DORMAN, now of Jerusalem, were a firm of tailors
known as Dunn & Dorman. Thomas
SWARTHOUT was an early shoemaker there. Joseph
Pierson HOWELL was a blacksmith there, followed by John W. HYATT, who remained
till about 1860.
John STARKEY had a Post office established
at the corners in 1820, and was the first Postmaster.
Halsey SANDFORD succeeded him, and was followed 18 years by Benj. TUTHILL.
During the administration of Zachary TAYLOR, Isaac LANNING was appointed
Postmaster and had the mail route changed to run to Dundee by way of Eddytown,
to which place the office was moved. About
the same time a new office was established called North Starkey, located at
Shannontown, William R. BRIGGS being appointed Postmaster.
BRIGGS deputized Ira FOWLER to keep the office, and he finally took it to
the Starkey railway station. It was
not there long before the name was changed to Starkey again, and Mr. LANNING’s
office was called Eddytown. The
Postmasters since have been Ira FOWLER, Andrew J. KRESS, George W. DENSE,
William OVENSHIRE and Cornelius F. BENJAMIN.
In 1820 Dr. Walter WOLCOTT located at the
corners and remained about three years. No
other Physician has resided at that place.
In 1857 Ira FOWLER began improvements at the Starkey Station. Thomas J. VANDERLIP erected a public house there in 1866, having first owned and kept the one previously built.
Two hotels are now kept there, besides a
store and the post office. Much of
the grain formerly drawn to the Lake at Starkey Landing is now shipped at
Starkey Station. Egbert GULICK
erected a malt house about ½ a mile south-eastward from the Station, in 1860,
and it has made since that time a large barley market at that point.
Starkey Station is 330 feet above Seneca
The first charter granted by the Legislature
for a Ferry at Goodwin’s Point was granted in 1820, to John GOODWIN, for 10
years. Previous to that time John
GOODWIN operated the Ferry under a license from the Court of Common Pleas of
Steuben county. In 1826 John
STARKEY procured a charter from the Legislature for 15 years, to operate the
same Ferry. The next charter was
enacted by the Legislature in 1845, giving the privileges of the Ferry to Ira
FOWLER and Alfred GOODWIN, for 15 years. The
Ferry has been principally managed by the GOODWINS from the first.
At Starkey Point, previous to the
construction of the Elmira and Canandaigua railroad, there was for many years a
great grain market, controlled first by Eddytown merchants, and finally more
largely by Ira FOWLER than by any other man.
Subsequent to the original work accomplished
by Daniel SHANNON at Shannon’s Corners, the fulling mill was changed into a
grist mill by Jonathan ANDREWS, from Penn Yan, and Daniel D. VAN ALLEN.
This was in 1836. David B.
BARTHOLOMEW was the mill-wright. Among
the workmen were Abel F. TERRIL, Lewis CULVER and Joseph BARTHOLOMEW. Two years later William ELLIS bought the share of VAN ALLEN,
and four or five years later William R. BRIGGS bought ELLIS’ interest.
Andrew & Briggs continued in partnership 20 years or more.
They also had, during some years, a distillery.
John B. ACKLEY succeeded BRIGGS in the mill, and five years later Elijah
CASTERLINE succeeded ANDREWS. Three
years later Abel F. TERRILL succeeded ACKLEY.
CASTERLINE & TERRILL run the mill in 1872. The millers there have been Aaron BROOKS, Nehemiah LONGCOR,
John HUMPHREY, Thomas RICHARDSON and Elijah CASTERLINE.
William R. BRIGGS had a distillery on his
farm, now owned by Daniel S. ELLIS, at an early date, the apparatus of which
was, about 1840 moved near Shannontown and became the property of Andrew &
Briggs. The distillery was
discontinued five years later.
William R. WILKIN, a wagon maker, started a
shop about 1830, and has wrought at that business ever since.
About 10 years ago he added to his shop a cider mill and turning lathe,
both propelled by horse power, applied to a horizontal wheel.
Elijah DENSE was for many years a shoemaker
at Shannontown. There was a cooper
shop operated by Alexander H. TOOKER, a brother-in-law of Henry A. BRUNER.
A blacksmith shop by one Sheldon, and later by James BEARD.
Delos ANDREWS was a cabinet maker there 10 or 11 years.
FOWLER & WARD were succeeded in the mercantile business by George H.
ELLIS, he by Denis K. ROYCE and Clayton SEMANS.
Jehiel H. MONTGOMERY succeeded Mr. SEMANS.
John D. WOLCOTT was the clerk of ROYCE and MONTGOMERY in 1843.
Mr. MONTGOMERY bought out ROYCE and carried on the store alone.
Samuel H. STAFFORD succeeded MONTGOMERY, but did not stay long.
Harmon B. SOPER was the last person who did mercantile business at
Shannontown. This was about 1848.
Ten years later the store building was removed by Ira FOWLER to the
railway station at Starkey. It has
since been sold to the Catholics for a church.
Robert L. SHANNON had an oil mill ½ a mile
east of Shannontown which was conducted effectively several years and was burned
down about 1848.
It may seem singular to relate, but is said
to be the truth of history, that the plain whereon Dundee is located, was
thought by the pioneers to be too poor to be worth settling upon.
Hence its obvious advantages of location were not immediately improved.
Dense forests of pine which surrounded that
locality were full of wolves and other wild game.
As late as 1812 George PLUMMER shot two deer, on the space between the
two taverns, in Dundee. The Indians
came there to make salt, and the early settlers were familiar with the Indian
trail which passed through that place, leading from Catharine northward to
Kanadesaga. Isaac STARK’s saw
mill was the first improvement made there so far as now known, and gave its name
to the place until it became known as Harpending’s Corners.
It bore the latter name many years, during which time it was attempted to
give the village the title of Plainville, a name which did not seem to become
popular. In 1833 James T. GIFFORD
gave it the name of Dundee which was readily adopted, and the village was
incorporated in 1848, under that designation. The name of the Post office was also changed from
Harpending’s Corners to Dundee. The
incorporated limits embrace 650 acres on McKnight’s Location, extending east
and west from the Old Preemption Line to the New Preemption Line, a
parallelogram, nearly 1 ½ miles east and west, and 2/3 of a mile north and
south. The vote taken, June 24,
1848, to determine the question of incorporation, stood 73 Yes and 40 No.
Among the first settlers on this territory
were Isaac STARK, Aaron STARK, Isaac HOUGHTALING, Hendrick HOUGHTALING, Elias
FITZWATER, William DURLAND, John WALTON, Lazarus REED, Benjamin POTTER, Joseph
GREEN, Jonathan BOTSFORD. For many years the inhabitants chiefly resided along the
banks of Big Stream, where John WALTON had a store, POTTER a tavern, and a
blacksmith shop, the STARKS a saw-mill, and Jonathan BOTSFORD, (son of Abel
BOTSFORD) an ashery.
In 1813 the east and west road were opened,
now known as Union and Seneca streets, and the first framed house built in the
place was erected on the corner where the ELLIS House now stands.
One ROOT, kept a tavern there before 1817 and left in 1820.
In 1827 Burgess TRUESDALE enlarged the house and kept a hotel there,
being succeeded by John J. SMITH in 1832, Marvin BYINGTON followed in 1835,
Reuben COMPTON in 1841, James SPICER in 1846, Fletcher PATTEN in 1848, Orange
HOLLLISTER, Peter M. SUTPHEN and Lorenzo BARKMAN followed before 1853, Justus
ELLIS succeeded that year. It was
burned in 1859 and rebuilt by ELLIS on a much larger scale.
It was again burned in 1861, and rebuilt by ELLIS, who kept it till his
death, in 1870. His widow kept it
two years longer, and still owns it. Frank
MITCHELL is keeping the house in 1872. Harpending’s
tavern, built on the opposite corner in 1817, has always been retained in that
family, Abraham V. and Andrew HARPENDING having rebuilt it after it was burned
in the disastrous fire of 1861, which swept away a large share of the business
portion of the village.
The Union House, located near the Union
Mill, at the west end of Union street, was opened in 1838 by Thomas Clark SMITH,
who left in 1840. Among those who
succeeded him were George HERDICK, James G. BAILEY, Benjamin LEFURGE, Erastus
CASE and Anthony H. RARICK, who discontinued the house soon after 1861.
Myron HAMLIN opened a store on the
south-west corner in 1830, and sold his stock to Newell F. MURDOCK, in 1832.
MURDOCK lived in this village, a merchant till his death in 1862, at 71.
He built a store in 1833, a wooden block of stores in 1835 directly
opposite his own place of business on Main street, a house on the west side of
the same street, another standing near it, both of which constitute the present
residence of Marvin T. MURDOCK, his son. In
1846 he and his son Marvin built a brick block of three stores opposite where
his own place of business had previously been; in 1848 a brick block of three
stores on the spot where his first store had been; in 1853 the block on the
north-west corner; in 1859 a dwelling house between his store and Stafford’s
banking house. His business career
was eminently successful.
William B. HAMLIN came to this place in 1835
and succeeded Samuel KRESS, Jr., and Edwin W. LEWIS, and has remained in
business on the same spot, on the south-west corner till 1872.
In 1857 he erected a brick store which was
burned in 1860. The same year he
built of wood a block, which cost $5,000 and was burned in 1861.
He then rebuilt of brick, making a large and elegant structure.
He did a constantly advancing business, and during three years previous
to 1868 his business amounted to $350,000 a year in merchadize and banking.
The goods sold amounted to $125,000.
He is now succeeded by Cyrus P. McLean & Co., and Augustus Maltby
& Son, the building being divided into two stores.
Mr. HAMLIN was born in 1811, in Connecticut, and married in 1836 Mary,
sister of Harvey G. STAFFORD. His
business has been far the largest of any merchant in Dundee.
Samuel HUSON and George W. SIMMONS had a
store on the north-west corner, and William B. HAMLIN says they were competitors
of no mean pretentions. Anthony C.
HARPENDING was long a successful merchant in this place, and also built the
block known as the Harpending block, west side of Main street.
James D. and Henry F. MORGAN had a hardware store in this place many
years. Henry D. MORGAN and John
CATON followed a number of years, and John CATON afterwards carried on the
business. Newell F. MURDOCK and his
son Hiram have each had hardware stores.
Some of the merchants now doing business in
this place are, Charles H. MARTIN, Reuben S. VOSBURG and John T. ANDREWS,
comprising the firm of Martin, Vosburg, & Co., and Wesley Benedict Dry Good
Dealers, John BACKMAN and Dr. George Z. NOBLE, Druggists, Egbert WOODWORTH and
John DEMARY hardware dealers, Ashbel HOLLISTER dealer in Clothing, Beekman &
Co., dealers in Furniture.
Jefferson T. RAPLEE established a State Bank
at Dundee with a capital of $50,000 in 1857, which he moved to Penn Yan in 1858.
Lewis J. WILKIN started a Banking House in 1868 in connection with Uriah
HAIR. He is, in 1872, in the same
business, in a banking house erected by himself, and is associated in business
with Anthony C. HARPENDING. Harvey
G. STAFFORD succeeded J. T. RAPLEE as a banker at Dundee, and kept up a banking
office till 1871.
A foundry was established on Union street,
opposite the Methodist church, in 1835, by David HULBURT.
Harry S. DUNN succeeded him in 1837, and Robert FERRIER became the owner
and operator of the business in 1838, and continued to control it till his death
in 1872. Simeon DeWITT, Martin WHEELER, and Major Charles ORWIN, under
the firm of DeWITT, Wheeler & Co., succeeded Simeon DeWITT and Francis
GILBERT, who established in 1841 a Foundry on Union street, near the mill.
It was discontinued in 1849, DeWITT leaving Dundee
penniless. Afterwards at
Rochester he retired from the firm of Dewitt & Galusha with a large fortune
amassed in the same business.
In 1850 Abraham BYINGTON and John E. BLIVEN
established a Foundry adjoining that of Robert FERRIER.
After two year or partnership BLIVEN became the sole proprietor and
remains so in 1872.
Chilion STOLL did a large business as a
carriage manufacturer for many years, and also started the first Livery Stable
in the place. John J. HOLLETT &
Son are now carriage manufacturers.
The physicians of the place have been John
WARNER, James W. WARNER, Daniel GILBERT, Simeon H. GOSS, Partridge PARSONS,
Benjamin NICHOLS, Hervey SMITH, Hosea PALMER, Alexander S. PALMER, Richard HUSON,
Martin DUNN, Walter WOLCOTT, Hiland G. WOLCOTT, John D. WOLCOTT, Roscius MORSE,
Emerson W. ROGERS, William S. PURDY, John H. SHAW, J. H. CHAPMAN, George Z.
NOBLE, G. Z. DIMOCK, D. D. BARTHOLOMEW, Ashbell R. OTIS.
In 1824 a Masonic Lodge was established in
this place and named Reading Lodge. Among its early members were, Samuel KRESS, Jr., John J.
SMITH, Nathaniel HUSON, Dr. Hosea PALMER, John SPICER, Jonathan BAILEY, Samuel
HARPENDING, Ichabod ANDREWS, John T. ANDREWS, James TAYLOR, Dr. Enos BARNES,
Samuel L. BIGELOW, Harry C. LEONARD, Elisha WARD, Rev. Samuel WHITE, James
NORTON, Timothy HURD, Jacob WOOD, Patrick QUIN, Patrick BRODERICK, John DOW,
Amherst ANDREWS, John and David CULVER, George REEDER, William HUTCHINSON, Jesse
S. LAYTON, Richard and Philo HURD, Dr. Henry SPENCE, Elder
John B. CHASE, Joseph C. LEWIS, John S. SUTPHEN, Sherlock and Dr. Anson ANDREWS,
Daniel and Sylvenus ARNOLD. In 1848
it was organized as Dundee Lodge, and now consists of about 200 members. Among those who were Masters of Reading Lodge, are Dr. Hosea
PALMER, Samuel KRESS, Jr., Ichabod ANDREWS, John DOW, Samuel HARPENDING, John T.
ANDREWS, James TAYLOR, Dr. Enos BARNES, Harry C. LEONARD.
The Masters of Dundee Lodge, have been Dr. Hosea PALMER, Samuel KRESS,
Jr., Edward HOOGLAND, Dr. John H. SHAW, Dr. J. H. CHAPMAN, Dr. Emerson W.
ROGERS, James SPICER, Uriah HAIR, John T. ANDREWS, Samuel K. HUSON, Darius
The Postmasters of this place have been
Samuel HARPENDING, who was
appointed in 1825, Nehemiah RAPLEE, appointed in 1827, holding the office till
1841, when Anthony C. HARPENDING was appointed, and under the John TYLER
succeeded by Edward HOOGLAND. After
him came Lucien C. MURDOCK, and Samuel S. BENHAM.
Harvey G. STAFFORD was appointed and held the office under TAYLOR and
FILLMORE; Harmon B. CHURCH was appointed under PIERCE, and succeeded by Samuel
S. BENHAM. In 1861 James HOLMES was
appointed and holds the office in 1872, James C. LANNING held the office six
months, during the administration of Andrew JOHNSON.
The first Board of Trustees in Dundee were
James L. SEELY, Alvah WRIGHT, Samuel S. BENHAM, Elam A. HOGEBOOM.
Edward HOOGLAND was the first Clerk, Joseph B. GANO, Treasurer, Joseph
IRETON, Collector, Nehemiah RAPLEE, James HOLMES and Anthony C. HARPENDING,
Assessors. James L. SEELY was the first President of the Board.
At the first election but 47 votes were cast, all for one ticket.
The succeeding Presidents of the Board of Trustees have been John T.
ANDREWS, Alva WRIGHT, James L. SEELY, Herschel W. PIERCE, Dr. Roscius MORSE,
Jefferson T. RAPLEE, Horace DEXTER, James HOLMES, James SPICER in 1858, James
HUNTINGTON, James SPICER in 1860 and 1861, Hiland G. WOLCOTT, DeWit C. BEEKMAN
in 1863 and 1864, George W. KINGSLEY, James KING, William H. HARRINGTON in 1868
and 1869, Lyman BALLARD, Smith SHOEMAKER, James M. SHOEMAKER in 1872.
The fire of September 14, 1859, in Dundee,
destroyed property to the amount of $25,000, including the ELLIS House, and
several other places of business. The loss was but slightly covered by insurance.
The fire of November, 1860, caused a loss of $60,000, including the
Harpending block and several stores, with the Record office; insurance, $37,000.
By the fire of March 1, 1861, there was a loss of $76,000, insurance
$42,000. The last fire consumed a
large share of the business portion of the village.
James T. GIFFORD, who gave Dundee its name,
came from Binghamton in 1832, and built a race and saw-mill, near the Union
Grist Mill. He was a man of simple
habits and sterling character, as well as thorough enterprise.
He left the place in 1835, and founded the city of Elgin, Illinois, which
place he also named.
The population of Dundee by the census of
1855 was 732; 1860, 733; 1865, 733; 1870, 730.
The altitude of Dundee above Seneca Lake is 507 feet.
The Dundee Record was established in
January 1844, by Gifford J. BOOTH, son of Elder Elisha BOOTH, at an early period
a Baptist preacher, in Wayne, (now Barrington).
The old type on which it was first printed, had been first used at Ithaca
by Mack & Andruss, afterwards at Hammondsport, by David FAIRCHILD, and later
still at Addison, where Oliver DENISON printed a newspaper edited by Elisha
BOOTH, his father-in-law. With an
old Ramage press, and Oliver DENISON to take charge of the office, the Record
was started, the office being located in the second story of Dr. Richard
HUSON’s office. The sheet was 22 by 19 and ½” in size. Its original articles were chiefly contributed by citizens of
the place. After a few months
William BUTMAN, another son-in-law of Elisha BOOTH, became one of its
proprietors. BOOTH retired some
months later, leaving BUTMAN sole proprietor, but in 1846 took it back again and
became full owner of the establishment, which he sold to Edward HOOGLAND, in
1848. HOOGLAND conducted the paper
with much spirit till 1854, when he sold to John J. DIEFENDORF.
Under the management of HOOGLAND, who was a
vivacious editor, the paper attained a circulation of upwards of 1,000.
Among his enterprises was the publication of biographical sketches of
leading citizens with portraits. Among
those noticed in this way were Samuel HARPENDING, Abraham WAGENER, William M.
OLIVER, John DOW, and HOOGLAND himself. DIEFENDORF
was a lawyer, but a man of much less force than HOOGLAND, and he made a paper
less interesting. In 1858
DIEFENDORT sold to David S. BRUNER, a young man of character and fair ability,
educated at Starkey Seminary, and a brother of Henry A. BRUNER.
In his hands the paper was prosperous.
In November, 1860, the office was burned, and was nearly a total loss.
Mr. BRUNER immediately replaced the office and commenced anew the
publication of the Record, when in March 1861, in the great fire than desolated
the village, on that occasion the office was again destroyed.
In June of the same year he was again able to commence its publication.
In October, 1862 he sold the concern to George D. A. BRIDGMAN, who
reduced it in size, and conducted it six months, with a political tone not
adapted to the locality, which reduced its circulation.
He then sold it to James M. WESCOTT, who conducts it still in 1872.
Mr. WESCOTT has made the paper decidedly Republican though not strictly
partizan in its sentiments, and a vehement organ of Temperance.
David S. BRUNER after leaving Dundee, united
with his brother, Henry A. BRUNER, in the publication of the Orleans American,
at Albion, NY. He died of
consumption in 1868, leaving a widow and one child.
The Dundee Herald was established in 1867 by
Oliver DENISON and T. Wm. HODSON. It
was a paper of little worth, and the following year was sold to Thomas ROBINSON,
who changed its name to that of Dundee Expositor.
ROBINSON traded the paper with G. D. A. BRIDGMAN for the Penn Yan Express
in 1869, and BRIDGMAN finding the publication of the paper unprofitable
suspended it in the Spring of 1870.
The Dundee Telegraph was established in the
latter part of 1871, by William DRYSDALE, a young man, son of Rev. Walter S.
DRYSDALE, the Presbyterian Pastor now resident at Dundee.
DUNDEE SALT SPRING
On an island of eight acres in Big Stream,
at Dundee, there is a Salt Spring which is believed to be of considerable value.
The Indians had resorted to it for making salt, and about 1850 George P.
ROSE undertook to develop the Spring and test its qualities.
He obtained a considerable flow of brine, and boiled it for some time
with a block of about 20 kettles. He
manufactured several hundred bushels of salt, but the need of more capital to
overcome the difficulties of the situation, deterred him from prosecuting the
work. Edward HOOGLAND endeavored to
obtain aid from the State, but without success. In 1865 Jefferson T. RAPLEE organized a company to bore at
this point for petroleum, afterwards including the manufacture of salt in the
objects of the charter. About
$5,000 was expended in this enterprise. One
boring at the depth of 300 feet gave a copious flow of salt water, from which a
superior quality of salt was made. Another
well, 800 feet in depth gave no better brine than the former one.
There was a great flow of gas, sufficient in volume, it was believed, for
very extensive illuminating purposes. The
difficulty of keeping out the flow of fresh water caused the work to be
BIG STREAM CREEK
How Rock Stream and Big Stream came by their
respective names, has come down to this day in no record or tradition.
The first will all its affluents is principally confined to the town of
Starkey. The second has two
branches above Dundee, one of which rises in Tyrone and flows through Sunderlin
Hollow; the other and lesser, takes its rise in South Milo, and flows through
Chubb Hollow. They form a junction
about one mile west of Dundee. The
stream thus formed furnished until recent years abundant water power for very
numerous saw-mills and several grist mills, all of which found eligible
locations on its banks. It is
impossible now to tell when all the earlier mills were erected, or how many have
been built, on this remarkable stream.
The first was a saw-mill, erected by Abner
and Timothy HURD, in 1805, Dr. Jacob PEASE built the second, and Isaac STARK
probably the third. The first grist
mill on this stream was built in 1807, by Wickham & Murray, and not by Gen.
Timothy HURD, in 1811, as inadvertently stated on page 899.
He however, built a mill in that year, which was the first one built by
him. The third grist mill on the
stream was built in 1812, by Griffin B. HAZARD, about one mile below Dundee.
James NORTON built in 1817 the mills known as Norton’s Mills, and the
same year Richard and Philo HURD & Co. built a mill a short distance below
the Hazard mill which was called the second Hurd mill.
It was long known as Carmichael’s mill, James H. CARMICHAEL beings its
owner and operator many years. It
is now sometimes called the Red mill. The
Stone mill, which is considered one of the best on the stream, was built in 1836
by Clarkson MARTIN on a site previously occupied by a mill owned by John C.
SHANNON Sr., and erected in 1813.
James M. WESCOTT gives the following
statement of mills in operation on Big Stream in 1839.
At the lake were a saw-mill, plaster mill, flouring mill and woolen
factory operated from one dam at the head of the falls, which are said to be 100
feet high. Next was the carding and
clothing dressing establishment of Gen. Timothy HURD, erected by James NORTON.
Above this, and at the road crossing near Gen. HURD’s flouring mill, a
saw-mill and a plaster mill, operated from one dam, next was Ira CRANDALL’s
saw-mill, and above this David PETERSON had a gun shop, with a turning lathe. Then came the Stone mill, at which there was also a saw-mill,
and next the Carmichael mill and another saw-mill; still further up James P.
HAZARD had a wool carding and cloth dressing establishment, a grist mill,
plaster mill and saw-mill run from one dam.
Next was the Dundee mill, and another saw-mill, and next the Union mill,
and three saw-mills, the grist mill drawing its water from a dam, above that
which supplied the saw-mills. There
was also a tannery at this point, built in 1837 by Alva and Joseph WRIGHT.
On the Old Preemption Line Daniel HUSTED had a saw-mill and woolen
manufactory, which did a good business in their day.
This property is now owned by Clinton RAPLEE.
The woolen factory is gone, and its place is occupied by a steam grist
mill, a cider mill with eight presses, and a saw-mill.
On the south branch John SPICER had a new saw-mill, above him Dennis
SUNDERLIN, John WRIGHT, and Benjamin SACKET had saw-mills.
On a lateral of this branch, known as Gravel Run, which rises in the
vicinity of “Six Corners,” in Barrington, and enters the main stream near
the confluence of the two branches, is a saw-mill known in 1839 as Detro’s
mill, and now owned by Alonzo WINTERS. An
other lateral rises near William OVENSHIRE’s and discharges into the main
stream near the SHOEMAKER farm. On
this were two saw-mills in 1839, one owned by John BEERS, the other by Benjamin
COOLBAUGH. On the Chubb Hollow
branch was a saw-mill on the main stream, one near it on a lateral, and another
on a second lateral. All these were
operated profitably in 1839. The
only one now kept up, above Clinton RAPLEE’s is the mill of Alonzo WINTERS.
The Union mill, the Dundee mill, the Stone mill, the Red mill, and the
mill at Big Stream Point, are the only grist mills now operated below RAPLEE’s.
Saw-mills are now kept up at the same points where the grist mills are.
There is little else done by water power now on Big Stream.
In 1817 Silas WICKES built a grist mill on
Rock Stream below the farm now occupied by Reuben B. HENDERSON.
It was not long kept in operation.
The law erecting the town of Reading was
passed in 1806, the first town meeting was held at the house of Abner HURD, on
the 24th day of June following, and the officers elected were as
DOW. Town Clerk--Abner HURD.
HURD, Samuel SHOEMAKER, and David CULVER.
of Highways--Elisha BENEDICT, Philemon E. FRENCH and Daniel DeWITT.
BOOTH. Constables--Eden BOOTH, Luke
Viewers--Thomas FITZSIMMONS, Reuben ROYCE, David CULVER.
John DOW was re-elected Supervisor and held
the office during the first 13 years after the organization of the town.
John ROBERTS was then Supervisor one year, Timothy HURD six years, which
brings us to the erection of the town of Starkey.
Abner HURD was Town Clerk five years, Harry SMITH three, James NORTON
eight, and Timothy HURD two. Daniel
DeWITT was Justice of the Peace and Commissioner of Highways until his death. Dr. John WARNER was Overseer of the Poor and School
Commissioner seven years. James
TAYLOR, Dr. Walter WOLCOTT, Silas BEERS and John O. COOK were also Commissioners
of Schools. Dr. Enos BARNES, James
TAYLOR, Dr. Walter WOLCOTT, Benjamin CHEEVER, Dr. John WARNER, and Walter
DICKINSON, were frequently Inspectors of Common Schools.
The last town meeting held in the town of
Reading, including the territory of Starkey, was held in the Spring of 1825.
The act erecting the town of Starkey was passed the year before but did
not take effect till 1826. The town
meeting was held in 1825, at the inn of Isaac P. SEYMOUR, in Eddytown, and the
following officers were chosen.
HURD. Town Clerk--James NORTON.
KRESS, Jr., Isaac LANNING, John ROBERTS.
of Highways--Garret HARING, Isaac LANNING, Abel PIERCE.
SCHENK, Garret HARING, William PLUMMER. Collector--Garret
of the Poor--David CULVER and John WARNER.
of Common Schools--John WARNER, John ROBERTS, James TAYLOR.
of Common Schools--Elisha HATCH, Enos BARNES, Benjamin CHEEVER.
Masters--Timothy HURD, Samuel HARPENDING, Elisha HATCH, David CULVER.
Viewers--Drs. Walter WOLCOTT, Enos BARNES, Hosea PALMER, Moses C. KELLOGG, Henry
SPENCE, John WARNER.
The first town meeting in the town of
Starkey was held April 4, 1826, at the house of Stephen REEDER, at Starkey
Corners, and the officers chosen were the following.
LANNING. Town Clerk--Halsey
O. COOK, Enos BARNES, and Silas BEERS.
of Highways--Abel PIERCE, Chidsey FIELDS, Nehemiah RAPLEE.
HENDERSON, Porter P. VAN VALKENBURG, William PLUMMER.
of the Poor--John WARNER, Richard LANNING.
of Common Schools--John WARNER, Benjamin CHEEVER, John O. COOK.
of Common Schools--Burgess TRUESDALE, James H. WICKES, Walter WOLCOTT.
of Weights and Measures--Enos BARNES.
Viewers--Benjamin E. JONES, Nathaniel HUSON, Samuel L. BIGELOW, William BASKIN.
Pound Masters--Calvin TAYLOR, Samuel HALE, Richard TORRANCE, Samuel HARPENDING, Henry CONKLIN.
Overseers of Highways appointed that year were:
Benjamin E. JONES,
Joseph M. WATSON,
John J. SMITH,
William R. BRIGGS,
Jacob Y. CARPENTER,
SUPERVISORS OF STARKEY
George W. SIMMONS.
Larmon G. TOWNSEND.
James L. SEELY.
James L. SEELY.
William L. SHARP.
William L. SHARP.
Herschell W. PIERCE.
Anthony C. HARPENDING.
Anthony C. HARPENDING.
Hiland G. WOLCOTT.
Herschell W. PIERCE.
Herschell W. PIERCE.
Alva M. NEWCOMB.
Alva M. NEWCOMB.
Justices of the Peace--Daniel DeWitt, Harry
SMITH, John DOW, George KRESS, John ROBERTS, James NORTON, Richard LANNING, John
O. COOK, were Justices of the Peace by appointment in the old town of Reading.
The last three, together with John STARKEY, were the first four elected
in the town of Starkey. The
election was held in 1827. Andrew
G. MARSHALL was elected in 1830 and 1834; Abel PIERCE in 1829 and 1831; Isaac P.
SEYMOUR in 1828, 1832, 1836 and 1840; James L. SEELY in 1833 and 1841; David
SEMANS in 1835; John L. LEWIS, Sr. in 1837; Stephen HURD in 1838; William R.
BRIGGS in 1829, 1839, 1843, 1847 and 1856; Horace HENDERSON in 1842 and 1846;
Isaac LANNING in 1844 and 1848; Joseph B. GANO in 1845; James HOLMES in 1849 and
1859; Reuben R. HENDERSON in 1850, 1854 and 1858; Adna SAWYER in 1851; William
ANDREWS in 1852; Hiland G. WOLCOTT in 1853, 1866 and 1869; John J. DIEFENDORT in
1855; Dennis W. DISBROW in 1857; Lewis J. WILKIN in 1859, 1863 and 1867;
Vermilyea T. BROUWERE in 1859; Thomas B. CURTIS in 1860 and 1864; James L.
KETCHUM in 1861; Calvin SHARP in 1862 and 1870; Daniel MILLSPAUGH in 1865;
Harlow SOFIELD in 1866; Montgomery McLOUD in 1868 and 1872; James P. HENDERSON
in 1870; and James M. LETTS in 1871.
Town Clerks.--Isaac P. SEYMOUR was elected
in 1827; Hiram BELL in 1828; James HUNTINGTON in 1829, 1830, 1831, 1832, 1833
and 1834; Dr. Benjamin NICHOLS in 1835; Richard HUSON in 1836; Harvey G.
STAFFORD in 1837; Anthony C. HARPENDING in 1838; Samuel KRESS, Jr. in 1839,
1840, 1841 and 1842; Hiland G. WOLCOTT in 1843; Samuel S. BENHAM in 1844 and
1850; Simeon ROYCE in 1845, 1847 and 1849; Dan TOMPKINS in 1846; William S.
PURDY in 1848; Ashbel HOLLISTER in 1851; Allen B. WILSON in 1852; Abram SLEEPER
in 1853; Henry A. WISNER in 1854; Horace DEXTER in 1855; Wilbur F. DIEFENDORF in
1856; Hiram MURDOCK was appointed in the same year; William F. SAGE was elected
in 1857 and 1858; Horace J. KIDDER in 1859, 1860 and 1861; Wesley BENEDICT in
1862, 1863, 1864, 1865, 1866, 1871 and 1872; Clark SMITH in 1867, 1868, 1869 and
Since the offices of Commissioners and
Inspectors of Common Schools were abolished, in 1843, and the office of Town
Superintendent of Common Schools was created, the following have been Town
Superintendents--Dr. Walter WOLCOTT, Hiram A. NEWCOMB, Herschell W. PIERCE and
Lewis J. WILKIN.
Collectors--Harry SMITH was collector in the
old town of Reading in 1807; Eden BOOTH in 1808; David THOMPSON in 1809;
Philemon E. FRENCH, 1810, 1812; Thomas FITZSIMMONS, 1811 to 1816; Simeon ROYCE,
1817; Rockwell ROOD, 1818; Patrick QUIN, 1819 to 1821; Garrett HARING, 1822 to
1825. William PLUMMER was elected
collector in Starkey 1826 to 1829; Reuben HILL, Jr., 1830 to 1832, John ROYCE,
1833 to 1836; Joshua T. KINGIN, 1838; Moses HURD, 1839; Marvin BYINGTON, 1840;
Calvin SHARP, 1841; John MITCHELL, 1842, 1847, 1849; Ebenezer P. SILSBEE, 1843;
Jesse G. ANDREWS, 1844; Jacob WALLING, 1845, 1846; George
W. HORN, 1848; William F. SAGE, 1850, 1859; Harry H. KINGIN, 1851; Royal
LINCOLN, 1852, 1854; George A. RINGER; 1853; James SPICER, 1855, 1856; Jonathan
MOORE, 1857, 1860; Martin BEAM, 1858; William RINGER; 1861; William McCONNELL,
1862, 1863; Theodorus C. RICH, 1864; Peleg BRIGGS, 1865; Horace EMBREE, 1866;
William D. SEMANS, 1867; Timothy J. TERRILL, 1868; Simpson HALLOCK, 1869; Edward
M. CARPENTER, 1870; Philo ANDREWS, 1871; Henry A. WILMOTT, 1872.
David CULVER was an Assessor from 1806 to
Sept. 26, 1821, a Special Town Meeting was
held, and John DOW was elected Supervisor, to fill the vacancy occasioned by the
absence of Timothy HURD, attending the Convention to amend the constitution.
In 1807 a bounty of $8 was voted for every
wolf killed in the town, $1 for every full grown bear, and 50 cents for every
cub. The bounties were abolished
the next year and not afterwards paid.
Town meetings were held from 1806 to 1809 at
the house of Abner HURD; in 1810 and 1812, Caleb FULKERSON’s 1811, 1813, and
1816, Timothy HURD’s; 1814 and 1817, David CULVER’s; 1815, Andrew RAPLEE’s;
1818-19-20-21, School house of district number seven; 1822-23, Elijah CARVER’s,
Rock Stream; 1824-25, Isaac P. SEYMOUR’s; 1826 to 1829, Stephen REEDER’s;
1827, William R. KELSEY’s, Eddytown; 1828, 1833, 1839, 1841, 1843, and 1845,
Samuel HARPENDING’s; 1830-1-2, Alexander HEMIUP’s, Eddytown; 1834 and 1836,
Drake’s, Eddytown; 1835 and 1848, Andrew HARPENDING’s; 1837, Jesse G.
ANDREWS’, Dundee; 1838 and 1840, Valentine WORDEN’s, Eddytown; 1842, Thomas
S. PAGE’s Eddytown; 1844, Lewis M. EATON’s, Eddytown; 1846, John ROOF’s,
Eddytown; 1847, James SPICER’s Dundee; 1849, Abram R. DAINS, Eddytown; 1850,
1853-54, at Samuel C. HARPENDING’s; 1851, Joseph McCAIN’s; 1852, Lorenzo
BARKMAN’s, Dundee; 1855-56, Justus ELLIS’, Dundee; 1857, at Rock Stream;
1858 at the house of Andrew J. KRESS, Starkey Corners, thenceforth at Dundee.
Among the earlier Commissioners of Highway
were Daniel DeWITT, David CULVER, Jr., Philemon E. FRENCH, Andrew RAPLEE, Isaac
STARK, Daniel SHANNON, John TAYLOR, Timothy HURD, James ROBERTS, John DeWITT,
Stephen REEDER, Ichabod ANDREWS, Joshua TUTHILL, Garrett HARING, Frederick
HAYNES; Elisha CLARK, Isaac LANNING, Abel PIERCE.
The overseers of Highways in 1806 were Elisha BENEDICT, David CULVER,
Elisha WARD, Caleb FULKERSON, Timothy HURD, Samuel KRESS, and Robert BAKER.
In 1807 they were Thomas TORRANCE, Abner HURD, David CULVER, John HOWARD,
Elisha CLARK, Samuel SHOEMAKER, Dr. Jacob PEASE, Samuel KRESS.
In June, 1806, was surveyed from the head of
Seneca Lake to Big Stream, the present Lake road.
The same road was cut open through the woods in 1804.
The same year (1806) the inhabitants of Eddy
Settlement, and those of Frederickstown, working each way, opened a road leading
to Bath, and meeting west of the Old Premption Line, not far from the former
premises of Samuel SPINK. This road
crossed Big Stream at the point where Wickham & Murray soon after erected a
A road was surveyed December 22, 1806,
leading from Eddy Settlement to the north line of Reading, first to the
residence of Daniel SHANNON, and thence north and west to “the Potter House
where Brundage lived,” and passing the same to the Friend’s Settlement.
The next day a road was laid out beginning
at the bank of Seneca Lake, on White Run, and running westwardly by an irregular
course, to the highway in the north line of Daniel DeWITT’s land, in
Bennett’s settlement, DeWITT being then the only magistrate in the town, and
Andrew RAPLEE having a distillery in the same neighborhood.
On the 29th of the same month, a
road was surveyed from the north line of Daniel DeWITT’s land westwardly to
the west line of the town.
What was called the “old road” from Eddy
Settlement to Stephen CARD’s, was nearly the present route, that surveyed by
Daniel SHANNON’s early residence nearer the Lake remains, except so much as
laid south of Starkey railway station, which has been long abandoned.
In February, 1807, Daniel DeWITT and
Philemon E. FRENCH, who laid out the earliest roads, caused one to be surveyed
north and south through the present town of Starkey, known as the Lake road.
November 13, 1807, a road was surveyed from
Big Stream Falls to Bennett’s Settlement, by way of Richard LANNING’s and
ending at Andrew RAPLEE’s Tavern.
What was called the old Catharine road
followed very nearly the original Indian trail by way of Irelandville, Reading
Center and Bennett’s Settlement, and bearing thence eastwardly to Stephen
CARD’s, formed a junction with the Eddytown road, at the county line or north
boundary of Starkey.
The new Catharine road diverged from the old
by way of “Canada Settlement,” crossing Big Stream at the Stone Mill run
east of the New Preemption Line and about parallel there with, by way of Richard
LANNING’s to the same junction with the Eddytown road at the county line.
One of the very first roads made was from
Seneca Lake west to the main road, running south-westwardly and westwardly by
way of John SEARS’ mill to where Isaac LANNING’s blacksmith shop now stands.
That road has long been abandoned.
Many other particulars might be given in
regard to the laying out of the early roads, but most of the first surveys for
highways have been greatly changed, very few remaining as they were originally
laid out. The lines of lots were
not very much respected at first, but afterwards were as far as possible
There were seven road districts in Reading
in 1806, eight in 1807, nine 1808, 13 in 1809; 15 in 1810, 17 in 1812, 25 in
1813, 28 in 1816; 30 in 1817, 40 in 1818, 44 in 1820, 53 in 1824.
Isaac ANDREWS, the old Surveyor, who
surveyed most of the early roads was of New England birth, a man of education
and elevated moral character. He
was a Presbyterian and a Mason and in his declining years was cared for by those
societies. He was buried with
Masonic honors by the old Reading Lodge, at Dundee, in the southwest corner of
the Baptist Church yard, where his wife was also buried.
In 1851 a Plank Road was built from Starkey
Point, by way of Dundee and Sunderlin Hollow to the county line in the direction
of Wayne. It was discontinued in
It was voted in 1808 that persons bringing
cattle into the town to run at large shall pay a fine of 25 cents a head.
The first deed given to any of the early
settlers in the town was given in 1797 to Thomas MANWARING.
The second was given by Jacob RYRESS to John RYRESS in 1798.
After these followed in 1806 Charles WILLIAMSON to Abel BOTSFORD, Simeon
POTTER to Daniel SHANNON, Richard HENDERSON to Thomas MANWARING, Arnold POTTER
to James ROBLIER, Simeon POTTER to William BASKIN, Wilkes and Simond to Samuel
GUSTIN, also to Matthew ROYCE and Reuben HENDERSON.
In 1807 and 1808 conveyances were given as follows: Jonathan LaRUE to
Phineas CLARK, Simeon POTTER to Daniel SHANNON, also the same to Stephen RAPLEE,
and to John PLANT, James ENNIS to Joel COYKENDALL, William POTTER to Simeon
POTTER, also to his daughter Alice HAZARD, Phineas CLARK to Elisha CLARK, James
RAPLEE to Ezra RAPLEE, Silas SPINK to Ezra SPINK, John HORNBY to John O. COOK,
Wilkes and Simond to John PETERSON.
It is related by an early settler that Harry
SPRY and Polly KRESS were the first couple married within the bounds of Starkey.
By another that they were married in 1803.
And by another it is claimed that Eden BOOTH and Sally BIGGER were first
wedded. Among the first births in
the town was that of a pair of twins, children of Jonathan BENNETT. The death of Archibald ELLIS by quick consumption, in 1804,
was the first in Eddy Settlement. David
PERRY and one ROBERTS, who died in 1804, in Bennett’s Settlement, it is
claimed were the first deaths in the town.
A child of Eliphalet CLARK was drowned in 1803.
In 1830 two slave holders from Virginia
visited Eddytown in quest of half a dozen of their escaped slaves.
They arrested three in the harvest field of
Zenas P. KELSEY, and one near the Red Mill.
Two others at work for Silas SPINK, by contrivance of Isaac LANNING were
notified of their danger and escaped. The
people were not a little excited by the transaction, but the slaveholders having
the law in their favor were reluctantly permitted to carry off their chattels.
Within the territory embraced in Starkey
there were three distilleries in 1806, Andrew HARRISON’s at Eddytown, Andrew
RAPLEE’s in Bennett’s Settlement, and O. KEELER’s in “Beartown.”
The same territory could boast 12 distilleries in full blast at one time
before it had a meeting house. Among
these was one owned by George YOUNGS of Milo.
Simeon ROYCE had one in 1813, and later.
Whisky seemed to be as indispensable as milk to the pioneers.
Before John STARKEY established the first
Post office in the town, the mail from Owego to Canandaigua was carried on
horseback once a week each way. Daniel
BROWN, of Benton, carried newspapers and sold them over the route from
Canandaigua through the Friend’s Settlement, thence through Bennett’s
Settlement, from thence to Abner HURD’s in Eddy Settlement, which was the end
of his route.
The town of Reading is said to have been
named after Reading, Pennsylvania.
The strip of land in Starkey known as the
Garter is about 80 rods wide, lying eastward of the Old Preemption Line, and
extending southward from Carpenter’s Location to within about ½ a mile of the
south line of the town.
A gun-barrel factory was erected in 1817,
just above Big Stream Point, by Phineas Thompson, by whom it was kept up several
There is a mineral spring on the farm of
Harriet EDGARTON at Rock Stream, which is believed to be of considerable value
for curative purposes.
A remarkable mirage was seen in the Spring
of 1868 by a young man, a student of Starkey Seminary.
He saw suspended over Seneca Lake a beautiful landscape, previously
unknown to him, and his description proved it a district on the eastern shore of
Concerning the privations of early settlers
in this town it is related that many were obliged to suffer letters directed to
them to be returned to the dead letter office for the lack of 18 ¾ cents to pay
the postage. Simeon ROYCE carried
straw on his back several miles to keep his cow alive.
Another man living south of Big Stream going for Dr. WARNER at night was
treed by the wolves and had to remain in the tree till daylight appeared.
Some lived for months almost entirely on roots and venison.
Godfrey SHOEMAKER, to pay a debt of $7 had to allow the constable to sell
a horse worth $150.
Among the casualties on Big Stream Creek,
was the drowning of the young man, Miles HOLLISTER, while engaged in sheep
washing in a deep pool just east of the Eddytown road, about 1820; Amos TUCKER
drowned at the age of 20, in Timothy HURD’s mill pond, in 1824; Watson DISBROW,
drowned at 22, in 1839, while washing sheep in the pool mentioned; and a Mr.
DAVIS, at the mouth of the stream about 1846.
Aaron McCONNELL was killed about 1828, falling from the bridge on the
Eddytown road, to the bottom of the ravine.
In 1811 Philo HURD built a saw mill that did
a large amount of business, on what has since been known as Mill Gully, which
empties into the Lake a little north of Fir Tree Point and one mile south of
Rock Stream. The mill was 20 rods
from the Lake, and the highway leading to Fir Tree Point crosses the dam.
The lumber was conveyed by a steep slide to the Lake, and marketed at
In 1816 an epidemic raged called a winter
fever, which caused many deaths, and it is stated that at one time more people
were sick than well. Dr. WARNER,
the principal physician, had more calls than he could attend to, but the people
were so poor his profession would hardly support his family.
In those days the women would often plant
and hoe corn, pull flax, rake hay and grain, and help in most sorts of out-door
The children, almost without exception, went
bare-footed in summer, and girls were glad to work out at house work or
spinning. The industry and
self-denial of all made a better day for their successors.
By the census of 1800 the town of
Frederickstown had a population of 258, and Reading, erected in 1806, had a
population of 1210 in 1810. This
was increased to 1754, in 1814; to 3009, in 1820; and 3431 in 1825.
Starkey, erected in 1824, had no separate
census till 1830, when its population was 2,285 increased to 2,400 in 1835; to
2,426 in 1840; to 2,539 in 1845; to 2,675 in 1850.
It fell back to 2,428 in 1855; increased to 2,542 in 1860; decreased to
2,394 in 1865; and still further to 2,372 in 1870.
In 1810 the town of Reading has 32
Senatorial Electors. These were
citizens who possessed a freehold estate worth £100,
were hereby authorized to vote for Governor, Lieut. Governor and State Senators. The town of Wayne had at that time 57 Senatorial Electors;
Jerusalem 44, and 96 families; Middlesex 130, and 180 families; Benton 320 and
1820 the town of Reading had 501 farmers, 2 traders, 152 mechanics; 10
foreigners not naturalized, 12 free blacks, 2 slaves; taxable property,
$110,353; Schools, 15, taught six months in the year; pupils attending the
schools, 857; public school fund, $134.79; electors, 537; acres of improved
land, 15,010; cattle 3,784; horses, 640; sheep, 10,203; yards of fulled cloth
manufactured, 22,122; grist mills, 9; saw mills, 16; one oil mill; fulling
mills, 3; carding machines, 4; distilleries, 3; asheries, 5.
In 1829 Starkey had of improved land, 9,764 acres; unimproved, 7,336
in 1840 gave account of one furnace that produced annually 100 tons of
manufactured products, employed $13,000 of capital, and four men, and consumed
180 tons of fuel. By the same
census there were 738 horses, 2,024 neat cattle, 4,852 sheep, 2,002 swine,
poultry valued at $1,325; bushels wheat grown the previous year, 44,776; rye,
262; barley, 1,480; oats, 13,093; buckwheat, 3,587; corn, 15,256; wool, 11, 393
pounds; potatoes, 11,061 bushels; hay, 2,704 tons; silk cocoons, 40 lbs.; maple
sugar, 600 lbs.; dairy products valued at $10,077; products of orchards, $2,374;
value of home-made or family goods $18,725. There were 12 retail stores, with a capital of $34,500
employing 26 men. Value of lumber
produced, $5,400, with 16 men employed. Value
of metallic manufacturers, $6,000. One
marble manufactory employed two men, and its products were valued at $400.
Brick and lime manufacturing employed 4 men, and produced $1,200.
Four fulling mills and one woolen factory, employed 15 men, $1,200
capital and gave $11,600 worth of products.
Two tanneries, employed $6,200 of capital and made 150 sides of sole
leather and 450 of upper leather. Two
other manufactories of leather products employed $2,500 of capital and yielded
products valued at 6,500. The
tanneries, saddlers and shoe manufactories employed 19 men.
Carriages and wagons were manufactured to the amount of $2,600, with a
capital invested of $2,350, and 8 men employed. Two flouring mills made 9000 barrels of flour.
There were four grist mills, 12 saw mills.
The products of all the mills was valued at $68,600, with a capital of
$51,300 and 22 men employed. Furniture
was manufactured to the amount of $900 by three men, employing $500 of capital.
Eight wooden houses were built the previous year by 17 men, at a cost of
$6,500. The valuation of all other
manufactories was $3,250, with a capital invested of 1,750.
The total capital employed in manufactories was $80,000.
1855 Starkey had 583 native and 12 naturalized voters; 527 families; 316 owners
of land; 32 persons over 21 unable to read and write; of its citizens 1,129 were
natives of Yates County; 1,910 of the State of New York; 2,290 of the United
States; 32 of England; 75 of Ireland, and 4 of Scotland.
There were two stone dwellings, valued at $12,000; five of brick valued
at $14,450; also 460 framed, valued at $297,215, and 22 of logs, valued at $542.
the census of 1855 Starkey had 15,858 acres of improved land, and 4062
unimproved. Cash value of farms,
$1,064,203; of stock, $120,508; of tools and implements, $30,372; acres of winter
wheat sowed in 1853, 1,901; bushels harvested in 1854, 16,885; of oats, 1,558
acres, bushels harvested, 27,967; of rye, 429 acres, bushels harvested, 5,296;
of barley, 1,564 acres, bushels harvested, 19,659; of buckwheat, 657 acres,
bushels harvested, 6,456; of corn, 1,358 acres, bushels harvested, 30,344; of
potatoes, 147 acres, bushels gathered, 11,585; of beans, 29 acres, bushels
harvested, 298; bushels of apples, 23,927; barrels of cider, 572; maple sugar,
231 lbs.; honey collected, 4,736 lbs., working oxen, 88; cows, 889; other
cattle, 973; butter, 91,-299 lbs.; cheese, 4,123 lbs.; horses, 775; swine,
1,507; sheep, 4,999; wool, 17,724 lbs.; value of poultry sold, $1,479; eggs
sold, $981. Fulled cloth made, 12
yards; flannel, 33 yards; linen, 22 yards.
was in 1855 one threshing machine manufactory which produced machines to the
value of 4,200; three furnaces manufactured articles valued at $6,750.
The products of one Steel Spring manufactory were valued at $1,200.
One match factory, $2,000; one sash and blind factory, $2,583; one coach
and wagon factory, $26,000, and employing 16 persons.
There were five grist mills, worth as real estate, $15,700, using $26,800
worth of raw materials, yielding $32,016 worth of products, and employing 13
men. There were two saw mills,
worth $5,000 as real estate, using $5,800 worth of raw materials, manufacturing
lumber to the value of $8,500. One
shingle manufactory, worth $12,000 as real estate, and $1,500 in tools and
machinery, made $860 worth of shingles. Two manufactories using leather, employed 11 persons and
manufactured products valued at $3,200, from $1,552 worth of raw material.
One plaster mill ground $800 worth of plaster.
One harness shop produced $700 worth of articles.
the same census there was one Baptist church, worth $800 with real estate valued
at $1,700, seats for 400 persons, average attendance 150, communicants 125,
minister’s salary, $700.
Presbyterian churches were valued at $4,800, with real estate $600, had seats
for 1,050 persons, average attendance 390, communicants 737, paid to ministers
$1,000 yearly. Two Methodist
churches were valued at $7,000, other real estate of the same $600, had seats
for 850 persons, average attendance 300, communicants 200, paid to ministers
Christian churches were valued at $3,600, had seats for 1,600 persons, average
attendance 110, communicants 85, paid ministers $400.
1865 Starkey had 628 native and 23 naturalized voters, 534 families, 372 owners
of land, and 81 over 21 years of age unable to read and write.
Of the whole population of the town, 1,146 were natives of Yates County,
1,969 of the State of New York, 2,280 of the United States, 24 of England, 56 of
Ireland, and 96 of all other foreign countries.
There were two stone dwellings, valued at $9,000; three of brick, at
$3,100 also 508 framed houses of the value of $355,-000, and 15 of logs, valued
the census of 1865, Starkey had 15,494 acres of improved land, and 4,016
unimproved; cash value of farms, $1,448,221; of stock, $174,367; of tools and
implements, $37,936; acres plowed in 1864, 5,137 fallow, 440; acres in pasture
in 1864, 3,981; in 1865, 4,011; acres meadow in 1864, 2,916; in 1865, 3,108;
tons of hay in 1864, 2,920; acres winter wheat sown in 1863, 2,120; in 1864,
2,048; bushels harvested in 1864, 20,363; acres oats in 1864, 1,231; in 1865,
1,266; bushels harvested in 1864, 20,155, acres rye sowed 1853, 243; in 1864,
108; bushels harvested in 1864, 1,357; acres barley sowed 1864, 1,419; in 1865,
1,584; bushels harvested in 1864, 18,145; acres buckwheat in 1864; 335; in 1865,
235; bushels harvested in 1864, 6,568; corn planted in 1864, 1,112 acres; in
1865, 1,274 acres; bushels harvested in 1864, 34,780; acres potatoes in 1864,
105; bushels harvested, 12,911; acres of flax in 1864, 15; pounds of lint, 800;
acres of tobacco in 1864, 44; in 1865, 20; pounds harvested in 1864, 67,860.
Number of apple trees, 14,216; bushels gathered in 1864, 23,553; barrels
cider 588; pounds maple sugar 635; gallons maple molasses 86; gallons grape wine
185; pounds of honey, 1,428. Working
oxen 16; cows 840; other cattle 904. Beeves
killed 295; pounds of butter 84,561; pounds of cheese 3,261.
Horses 780; swine slaughtered in 1864, 889; pork, 190,040 pounds.
Sheep shorn in 1864, 9,685; in 1865, 8,947;
raised in 1864, 2,494, in 1865, 2,764; wool shorn in 1864, 42,557 pounds; in
1865, 41,924; sheep slaughtered in 1864, 329; killed by dogs, 12.
Value of poultry in 1865, $2,634; value sold in 1864 $2,338; value of
eggs sold in 1864, $1,512. Value of manures and fertilizers bought in 1864, $1,355.
Flannel manufactured in 1864, 25 yards; of linen 12 yards.
were two carriage shops with $2,200 capital, producing $7,650 worth of products.
One Boot and Shoe shop with $1,800 capital, producing $2,200 worth of
fabrics; one harness shop with $1,150 worth of capital, producing $1,860 worth
of fabrics; one cabinet shop with $3,000 capital, producing fabrics worth
$1,000; one clothing establishment producing fabrics worth $6,500, with capital
of $1,600. One Baptist church with
lot worth $5,000, seating capacity 300, attendants 150, communicants 181, salary
of Pastors $700. Two Christian
churches, worth with lots, $3,000, seating capacity 750, attendants 65,
communicants 110, salary $300. Three
Methodist churches, worth $7,400, seating capacity 800, attendants 160,
communicants 135, salary of ministers $1,100.
One Presbyterian church worth $8,200, seating capacity 725, attendants
225, communicants 137, salary $1,200.
sent 118 men to the war for the Union, of whom 37 died in the service.
By the census of 1865 Starkey reported 459 male citizens between 18 and
the census of 1870 Starkey had 192 farms, 548 dwellings, and 32 manufacturing
The lands of Starkey in proximity to the Lake, have become noted for vine culture, and are probably excelled by few if any localities in the production of the fruits of our climate. In the immediate vicinity of the Lake, peaches seldom fail, and the crops are often enormous. In the neighborhood of Big Stream and Rock Stream Points, the culture of fruit has advanced to large proportions. The name of Isaac HILDRETH is worthy of remembrance, as a bold pioneer in the extension of tree and vineyard planting. His large peach orchard of 40 acres and extended plantation of other varieties of fruit, at Glenora, are now chiefly the property of Alfrederick O. ARNOLD. Mr. HILDRETH commenced his operations at that place in 1848, and died in 1864. He was born in 1815, in Vermont, and came to Geneva at 19, where he engaged in the Morus Multicaulus culture, and became the first general nurseryman in that place. At the time of his death he was preparing a book on the cultivation of tobacco. He married in 1841 Rachel LAMUNYON and had a second wife, Phebe CUNNINGHAM, whom he married in 1846. His children by the first marriage were Laura and Rachel and by the second, Isaac, Paul and Mary.
GROWERS OF STARKEY
Caroline A. MARSHALL,
Tilton OTIS, & Enos BARNES,
BULL, of Bath,
McMillan & Co.,
Among these are cultivators of Pears,
Peaches and other choice fruits, as follows:
Dr. Byron SPENCE, 10 acres; Edmund CHADWICK,
8; Anson DUNLAP, 10; Bronson, McMillan & Co., 20; Frank SEELEY, 8; Charles
Not least of the attractions of this
vicinity is the natural scenery. Every
landscape touching the Lake is one of beauty.
Each side of the Lake viewed from its opposite, appears like a vast and
fertile garden, in which nature and human effort have combined to plant delights
for the eye as well as supply material comforts for the common life.
The bold shores of the Lake, and the deep ravines of Big Stream, and Rock
Stream, abound with picturesque features, which have become famous among those
who admire these bold and romantic aspects of external nature. The railway bridge that spans Big Stream at an elevation not
less than 250 feet above the Lake level, affords not only a fine picture from
the Point below, but a dizzy downward sight to the passing traveler, who gazes
with wonder from his car window, at the rocky ravine and precipitous cascade far
below him, and Point and Lake still lower, and glides over the yawning chasm,
with a sense of relief quite equal to the pleasure inspired by the grandeur of
William C. POTTER, a young and talented
Artist of Elmira, during several successive seasons, made this locality a
special study, and painted a number of landscapes at various points, which his
friends have cherished with pride and satisfaction.
Mr. POTTER also made a like study of Canandaigua Lake, and many of his
pictures representing Bare Hill and other places on its banks are much prized at
Canandaigua, where he died very suddenly in 1867.
Few localities in all our favored country are so rich as this town of Starkey in advantages of soil, climate, scenery and situation. Its abundant products find an easy and convenient market, and the fatness of the land has been well transmuted into wealth and easy conditions of life by its enterprising farmers. If salubrity, material prosperity, and every advantage of mental and moral culture at their doors, can make a happy, intelligent and exemplary community, we should expect to find it here. Beginning with pioneers of the better class, it must be admitted there has been no deterioration, but a gratifying progress in social elevation.
From the History of Yates County, NY
published 1892, by L.C. Aldrich
pg. 370 - 371, 375, 387-389, 404 - 410
Transcribed by Dianne Thomas
EDDY settled on the farm south of Eddytown now owned by Dennis W. DISBROW, where
he remained several years. Later in
life he became possessed with the delusion that he had a fortune waiting for him
in his native county. He sold his
property and returned to Ireland to find, like many other fortune hunters, that
his fortune was but a myth. He
failed to find a person that had ever known or heard of him. He ended his life in an almshouse and died a pauper.
William EDDY to have been the first permanent white settler, we find the next in
order was a colony from Sandgate, Vermont, who located in and around Eddytown,
in the eastern part of the town of Starkey.
Among the number were the three brothers, Mathew, Simeon and Reuben
ROYCE, Abner HURD and his three sons, Timothy, Aaron and Ransom, all in 1802.
Andrew BOOTH came later, 1811, and was from the same locality as was
Moses HURD, who came in about the same time of the first colony and settled near
Rock stream, and gave the early name of Hurd’s Corners to that place.
New Jersey furnished a large quota.
Among the number was David HAY, 1804; Andrew RAPALEE, 1806; Teval SWARTS,
1807; Joseph C. LEWIS, David SHANNON, Stephen REEDER, Joshua TUTHILL, James
SPROULS and Hiram TITSWORTH, who
located in different parts of the town, mostly north of Dundee.
LANNING and his three sons came from Wilkesbarre in 1802. George PLUMMER came from the same place in 1807, and located
on the hill between Dundee and Eddytown. John
STARKEY and David SEMANS were originally from Maryland, but later from Seneca
county. Peter WALLACE, John O.
COOK, Reuben THOMAS, Gideon THOMAS, Thomas ROZELL and Col. Elisha WARD settled
the southwest part of the town.
mention of Col. Elisha WARD’s name recalls the memory of a horrible tragedy
with which the family was sadly connected.
Colonel WARD lived in the extreme south part of town on the county line.
He was as well-to-do farmer and lived in better style than his neighbors.
The family consisted of the parents and an infant child. There was boarding with them a man named BALDWIN, affected
slightly with insanity, but never known to be violent or dangerous.
He became apparently very fond of the child, and the baby became equally
fond of him. BALDWIN would quiet
the child when the mother failed. On
a certain day the child was unusually fretful.
The mother gave the child to BALDWIN who said he could “still” it.
He took it out of doors, laid it one the stump of a tree, and seizing an
axe, severed its head from the body. Turning
to the mother he said, “ the child is stilled.”
The mother was frantic. She
caught the headless body of her child and for a long time refused to relinquish
it. BALDWIN was afterward cured of
his malady and became an able lawyer.
first settlers where Dundee now stands were Isaac STARK, Anson STARK, William
DURLAND, Hendrick HOUGHTALING, Elias FITZWATER, Jonathan BOTSFORD, John WALTON,
Benjamin POTTER, Isaac HOUTGHTALING, Lazarus REED, Joseph GREEN, residing
chiefly on or near Big Stream. Whether
Isaac STARK was the first to settle on what in now the site of Dundee, or
whether the HOUGHTALING families were here before him, is a mooted question that
I have not been able to decide and on which the older inhabitants disagree.
It is probable that both families came in the same year.
In 1807 Isaac STARK built a double log house on the site now occupied by
James BIGELOW’s residence, corner of Main street east to the village limit and
south to Big Stream. Mr. STARK
offered the whole tract for a pair of gray horses.
The owner of the horses declined to accept the offer.
The land was originally so densely covered with pitch pine trees that the
older inhabitants used to say a “single ray of sunlight could not penetrate
them, and it was dusk at noon.” The
HOUGHTALINGS owned 200 acres on the north side of Seneca street. The land was called “pine barrens” and was considered of
HONEY occupied a very prominent place in the early history of the village of
Dundee. His failure, the first that
occurred in the village, gave undue prominence to a very ordinary man.
Mr. HONEY came from Troy, NY. He
had formerly been engaged in the Hudson River trade, running a sloop, of which
he was the owner, between Troy and New York.
It is supposed that he had at some time had some experience as clerk in
some mercantile establishment in Troy. He
had accumulated a capital of $1,300, which he invested in the business of the
firm of Honey & Simmons. Thirteen
hundred dollars was no mean sum in those times.
The firm of Honey & Simmons was successful, and Mr. HONEY had
probably added to his capital before commencing business on his own account.
After the dissolution of the firm of Honey & Simmons, HONEY built a
store on the corner of Main and Spring streets, was not successful in business,
and in 1830 made an assignment for the benefit of his creditors to Samuel KRESS.
HONEY was a dull, heavy man, and his personal appearance was not
prepossessing. He was short, square
built, stooped shouldered, dull eyed, of a tallow-colored complexion, and had a
downcast look. His appearance was
that of a common laborer. It used
to be said that “ he would sell a bill of goods on credit, place a dunning
letter in the package and sure the purchaser before he reached home.”
After his failure he moved to Mount Morris, where he remained several
years, and after serving a term in Auburn prison for grand larceny, he returned
to Dundee, where he remained until his death.
The last years of his life he supported himself and family by working as
a common laborer.
SIMMONS was born in Washington County in the village of Whitehall.
In his obituary notice we read that his “parents were only in moderate
circumstances, consequently his only heritage was an iron will, and industry and
perseverance that knew no bounds.” Mr.
SIMMONS was a clear-headed business many and a very successful merchant.
He served in the War of 1812 with honor.
After pursuing various avocations until 1824, he came into what is now
Dundee, and in company with Calvin HONEY occupied the store at the corner of
Main and Union streets, built for them by Samuel HARPENDING.
After a few years the firm of Honey & Simmons was dissolved, and Mr.
SIMMONS continued the business at the old stand, first with
______ DOOLITTLE as partner, and afterwards with Samuel HUSON.
After closing his business here he moved to Avoca, Steuben County, and
continued in business until 1843, when, having accumulated a large and
constantly increasing fortune, he retired from active business and purchased a
farm at Reading Center, where he resided until his death.
DOOLITTLE came from Seneca County. Of his business qualifications little is
known. He was a large man of fine
presence. He would now be called a
“dude”, but “dandy” was the term the applied to him.
He is said to have been a man of violent temper, and was not popular with
his customers. A story used to be
told of his carrying an elegant silk umbrella.
One day while passing form his store to his boarding house, during a
violent storm, a sudden gust of wind wrenched it from his hand and deposited it
in a mud puddle. This so enraged
him that he jumped upon the offending article, stamped it into the mud and left
it a perfect wreck. Mr. DOOLITTLE
did not remain long. He returned to
his former residence when he lost sight of.
TRUESDELL’s former residence was Columbia County, NY, his occupation, school
teaching. His advent in this place
dates from 1826. He bought on the
southeast corner of Main and Seneca street, a building formerly occupied as a
“tavern”. The corner room was
the former barroom, dimensions about 15 x 20 feet, he fitted up as a store.
The room was small but ample for the amount of business.
In 1832 or 1833 he sold the premises to Col. J. J. SMITH for hotel
purposes. And built a small store on the corner of Main and Spring
streets. Spring street was a
private alley leading to an ashery owned by Mr. TRUESDELL. In 1835, or about that time, he sold his store and business
to Cyrus MILLER and was for a short time in business with his brother, Alvin, at
Starkey. He then bought the farm
now owned by Mr. BRUNDAGE, in Starkey, where he remained until he removed to
Elgin, Ill., where he was one of the pioneers.
There he resided until his death, a man of few faults and many virtues.
By a fortunate purchase of land in the early settlement of Elgin, he
became one of the magnates of that city. It
has been and still is a puzzle to the later merchants, who have sold ten times
the amount of goods sold by these fathers in the trade and hardly make ends
meet, to know how it was done – how so small a business could be made to pay.
Small expenses and large profits solves that problem.
The business of those times was mostly conducted by the owner and a boy
or low priced young man as clerk. Ten
to fifteen dollars per month was the maximum price; the minimum price was about
nothing at all. The profits were enormous, often 75 to 100 percent; $3,000 to
$6,000 was a good yearly business.
HAMLIN came to Harpending’s Corners (now Dundee) in 1830, and was originally from
Salisbury, Conn. Previous to his
locating here, he had been in business at some point on Lake Champlain. He was surprised to find in his business competitor his old
school teacher, Burgess TRUESDELL. He
bought the store on the southwest corner of Main and Union streets, (the Mc Lean
corner), formerly occupied by Honey & Simmons.
He brought with him not much experience as a merchant, but plenty of a
proverbial push and shrewdness of the Connecticut
Yankee. His business was well
managed and prosperous from the outset, and it was here that he laid the
foundation of his future success. About
this time great questions began to agitate the public mind.
The commencement of the temperance movement dates from about 1830, and
the anti-slavery movement came to the front at the same time.
To Myron HAMLIN belongs the honor of conducting the first temperance
store in Dundee. It was the
custom of those times for country stores to sell liquors, and this custom
continued many years later. In 1839
there were nine stores in Dundee, and eight of the nine sold intoxicants.
Whiskey paid better than any other merchandise.
few months, Mr. HAMLIN followed the prevailing custom and sold all kinds of
liquors; but becoming convinced of the evil and misery caused by the traffic, he
not only banished alcoholic stimulates from his store, but wages a fierce and
brave war against the evil. Upon
his counters could be seen stacks of temperance tracts and periodicals, and
every package that left his store contained one or more of these missives.
The passage from temperance to anti-slavery was natural and easy.
In the early days of the anti-slavery movement it cost something to be an
abolitionist. It cost a merchant in
the loss of custom. It often cost a
minister the loss of his pulpit and living.
More than half a century has passed, and the younger generations have but
small appreciation of the rancor and hatred bestowed on those who believed in
and advocated the right of a man to the ownership of himself, his wife and
children. Anti-slavery meetings
were broken up, the speakers insulted and hustled, and often pelted with ancient
and unsavory eggs. The press
thundered and the pulpit hurled its anathemas against the “cut-throats and
incendiaries”. “Cursed by
Canaan” was the theme of many a sermon, and the late Dr. VAN DYKE preached in
Brooklyn that slavery was a Divine institution.
About this time William Lloyd GARRISON was mobbed by the solid men of Boston; LOVEJOY was murdered and his printing press was thrown in the Mississippi at Alton, Ill., and the office of the anti-slavery paper edited by the Quaker poet WHITTIER was burned by a Philadelphia mob. Being an abolitionist was no joke in those days. But no personal considerations influenced those pioneers in the cause. They believe their cause to the right and advocated it regardless of personal considerations. The party in the village at that time consisted of four members all told – M. HAMLIN, the Rev. E. W. MARTIN, James GIFFORD and Alonzo DE WOLF. The number was small but there was a wonderful amount of back-bone in that quartette. They never fought on the defensive, particularly, Mr. HAMLIN, who was intensely aggressive. In the spring of 1835, Mr. HAMLIN opened a branch store on the east side of Main street, occupying the building vacated by the KINNANS, with his brother, William B. HAMLIN, manager. In 1836 he sold the whole business to his brother and removed to Buffalo, where he remained but a short time, finally settling in Penn Yan, where he remained until his death, having for fifty years been the leading merchant of the county.
during the progress of the church meetings (in 1832), that Jacob HACKETT put in
an appearance. During the afternoon
service, and while the Rev. William GREEN was preaching, HACKETT entered the
church on the west side, passing half way up the aisle, halted, and pointing his
finger at the preacher said in a loud voice: “I, Jake HACKETT, the second man
in the Trinity, command you to come down, you d____ rascal.”
There was a great commotion for a few minutes.
He was soon ejected and the services went on.
The next morning, HACKETT appears on the street in a perfectly nude
state, the costume of Eden before the fig-leaf era, was no more scanty than was
his. He had started for the church,
but was soon captured and returned to his home.
From this time he went from bad to worse until it became necessary to
confine him with straight-jacket and chain.
introduced HACKETT I think I will give him a chapter, thinking his strange life
and its tragic ending may interest the reader.
Sometime in his early career, John SHOEMAKER built a fine dwelling on the
farm now owned by the RAPLEE’s, half a mile west of Hillside Cemetery.
The house was completed and ready to be occupied, when, on a dark night,
it was burned to the ground. The
fire was evidently incendiary, and suspicion rested on HACKETT, but there was no
proof of his guilt. There was the
usual nine days wonderment, and as years passed the circumstance was nearly
was easily wrought upon religiously, and at a funeral some years after the
burning, while the services were progressing, he arose in the congregation and
made confession that he caused the burning of SHOEMAKER’s house and afterward
deeded him fifty acres of timberland in restitution.
Sometime subsequent to the burning, HACKETT built a sawmill on Big
Stream, half a mile west of the RAPLEE mills.
Whatever he attempted was always well done, and the mill was no exception
The building of this mill was a pet scheme.
It was his pride to make it the best mill on the stream.
The mill was finished, but before it was started there came a flood and
carried away the dam. The dam was
rebuilt in the most substantial manner. Nothing
that could give it stability was omitted. Standing
on the dam after it was finished, and raising his arm, HACKETT defied God, man
or the devil to tear it away. It
was a strange coincidence that while returning to his home, on the evening of
the same day, a heavy rain set in and before the next morning the dam was washed
out. It was never rebuilt.
The wheels of that mill never made a revolution.
Year after year, for half a century, it rusted and rotted and went to
ruin; piece by piece, it fell into the stream and was carried away bu the
current, until now a vestige remains. It
was said that HACKETT never visited the spot after his dam was destroyed.
Whether this was truth or romance I do not know.
Later in life, HACKETT purchased the CROSMAN farm in “Beartown”, now
owned by Mr. PHILLIPS. On this farm
he spent his last days. Caleb
COWING bought an adjoining farm. They
were cousins and came from Massachusetts and traveled together on foot the 200
miles between Old Rochester and Canandaigua.
They should have lived peaceful lives, which they did not.
A dispute soon arose between them regarding the disposition of the
surface water that in rainy times overflowed parts of their farms.
The neighbors said that in their disputes HACKETT was in the right.
Frequent disputes occurred, and there was bad blood between the parties.
A meeting to settle the difficulties was arranged. It was held in a schoolhouse located on the line between
their farms. It was a strange
meeting. In the darkness of a
November night, they met; no witnesses were present; high words were heard by
persons passing the place; criminations and recriminations.
COWING was cool, crafty and exasperating. HACKETT impulsive, wild and turbulent. COWING aggravated his opponent in every possible manner.
HACKETT raged, stormed and blasphemed.
COWING afterward said that HACKETT offered to fight it out to the death.
The proposition was declined. At
that argument HACKETT would have had his opponent at an advantage.
The meeting continued until well into the night, when they parted.
The next morning they met and quarreled.
It was their last meeting. They
both returned to their homes. HACKETT
sat down to his morning meal, but before he tasted of food, fell forward on the
table, a corpse. HACKETT was not
all bad. In his dealings he was
just, a good neighbor and very kind and benevolent to the poor.
is beautifully situated on the west shore of Seneca Lake.
The banks of the lake rise abruptly to a height of 200 feet or more.
The Northern Central Railroad bridge spans the chasm made by Big Stream
at that dizzy height. The
mercantile business is represented by one store, and the manufactures by a
flouring mill, saw mill, and a large factory manufacturing grape and other fruit
baskets. There is a “Union
hall” for the accommodation of religious gatherings and other purposes.
The village was formerly called Big Stream Point, and was a place of
business importance. Larmon G.
TOWNSEND, an energetic merchant, controlled the mercantile business of the
hamlet. He came from New Haven,
Conn., and commenced business as a merchant.
He soon enraged his sphere, taking in the grain and produce business, and
finally became owner of the flouring and saw mill and a woolen factory.
The business was too much for his capital, and like most business too
much extended ended disastrously. The
village has of late years become a summer resort.
Major BUDD’s summer hotel is always well patronized, and there are
several cottages rented or occupied by owners.
village of Rock Stream is located in the extreme southern limit of the town of
Starkey. It has two stores, two
churches, Christian and Presbyterian and a variety of mechanics.
It has been a place of considerable business importance.
It was first known as Hurd’s Corners, from a family of that name, early
settlers. The HATHAWAY families are
among the older families. Gilbert
HATHAWAY was a large landowner and kept a public house for many years.
W. BARNES was for many years a merchant at Rock Stream and carried on a large
business in merchandise and country produce.
Mr. BARNES was the senior partner in the firm of Barnes & Sharp,
which was dissolved many years ago. Alonzo
SIMMONS, a very successful merchant, amassed a handsome fortune here, and
retired to Reading Center in 1843. The
village is located in one of the finest sections of farming land in the State,
and has the Northern Central Railroad on the east and the Syracuse, Geneva,
& Corning on the west.
pile of rubbish in the southwest corner of an old “graveyard”, now included
in the public school lot, with nothing to mark the place, lies the remains of
Isaac ANDREWS, private secretary to Gen. George WASHINGTON during the war of
Independence. Mr. ANDREWS drew the
forms of the pay rolls used by General WASHINGTON, and which I have been
informed are still used in the army. Mr. ANDREWS was by profession a teacher and surveyor.
Over his grave the wagons rumble carrying supplies of fuel, etc., to the
public school and the children innocently and unknowingly pursue their noisy
sports. Mr. ANDREWS was a scholar
and Christian and a gentleman. He
was also a Mason. His funeral was
the first Masonic funeral held in the town and was largely attended.
Timothy HURD was a captain of militia in the War of 1812, and with his company
(or with as many as he could persuade to go over), crossed the Niagara River
into Canada. He was later elected
brigadier-general of militia. He
settled in Eddytown, built himself a large dwelling and became one the leading
men in the Methodist Episcopal Church and in the town.
He built a sawmill in 1809 on Big
Stream south of Eddytown, and later a grist mill.
It is claimed that his was the first sawmill on the stream.
Isaac STARK’s was senior by one year.
His family occupied a very high social position.
Leveret GABRIEL, a boy, came from Vermont with General HURD, and
afterward settled south of Eddytown.
REEDER and his brother-in-law, Joshua TUTHILL, bought 360 acres of land at
Starkey Corners and divided it equally between them, TUTHILL taking the north
half and REEDER the south. Josiah
REEDER came at the same time, 1811, and located on fifty acres in Eddytown, on
the northwest corner of the Dundee road.
SCHENCK sold to Teval SWARTS the farm now owned by William C. SWARTS, one and
one half miles north of Dundee. The
farm contains 107 acres, considering $900.
The farm has remained in the SWARTS family since its purchase, and is the
only farm in town that has never been encumbered with a mortgage nor has it been
bequeathed. When it has changed
owners it has been by purchase and sale. Tevel
sold it to his son Peter for a money consideration.
Peter sold to his son, William C. SWARTS, the present owner.
the prominent families who came early to the village of Dundee, then
Harpending’s Corners, that of Benjamin B. BEEKMAN deserves particular mention.
Mr. BEEKMAN was one of the older citizens.
He came from New York city in 1830 and stopped for a few months in
Eddytown, moving to Dundee in 1831 with his wife and oldest son, Cornelius.
From that time until his death he was a prominent figure in the affairs
of the village. He built on
contract the first Baptist “meetinghouse” and erected for himself three
brick blocks of stores and two dwellings, all of which remain the property of
the estate except one dwelling. He
was for many years a ruling elder of the Presbyterian Church, and to him and his
neighbor, Baltis TITWORTH, is the church indebted for many helps in time of
need. Mr. BEEKMAN’s business was
originally that of builder or carpenter; later in life he engaged in the
furniture and undertaking business, and was very successful.
His oldest son, Cornelius, emigrated to California in 1849, and is now a
resident of Jacksonville, Oregon. In
18__ he ran for governor, and claims he was fairly elected, but was defrauded of
his right. Of the other sons, Abram
and John have made a success of their business in Bath, NY and T. DEWITT, after
succeeding his father in the furniture business, sold out and is now one of the
firm of F. H. Sayre & Co., hardware merchants of Dundee.
ANDREWS has for many years been a prominent figure in Dundee. He came to the village sometime in the early forties and has
resided here since. The ANDREWS
family originally came from neat the Hudson River and settled in the town of
Reading in 1812. While a resident
of Steuben County he held the office of justice of the peace, was elected
sheriff and member of the 25th Congress.
After coming to Dundee he retired from business until 1866, when he
became a partner in the firm of Martin Vosburg & Co. until 1874; since then
he has not engaged in active business. At
the age of 88 years, he is active and in appearance has many years of life
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