The History of Cayuga County 1789-1879 page 289
Town of Cato / Early Settlements
The first settlement was made in 1800, by Samson Lawrence, who located on lot 32, on the farm latterly owned by Asa Crossman. Andrew Stockwell, from Whitehall, N.Y., also settled in 1800, about a mile and a half south-east of Meridian, on the farm now owned by Charles Bloomfield. His marriage with Sybil Root, June 4th, 1804, was the first in the town; and their daughter Alvira, (who, in company with her mother, met with a tragic death about 1840, both being burned in the house of Chauncey Stockwell, a brother and son,) who was born May 4th, 1805, was the first white child born in that portion of Cayuga County lying north of Seneca River. His daughter Rebecca, who is living at Meridian, is the only survivor of the family.
In 1802, Joshua Chappell came with his wife, in company with John Watson, from Marcellus, and settled a half mile west of Cato village.
In May, 1803, settlements were made by Solomon Knapp, who located on lot 100, at Meacham's Corners, on the farm now occupied by William Cook, and by Alanson Sheldon on the same farm.
George Loveless and Abel Pasko settled in the south part of Meridian, in 1804. Solomon, a son of the former, is living about two miles south of that village, and Deacon Milton Pasko, a son of the latter, is living between Meridian and Cato.
Elihu Peck came from Pompey, in 1804, and settled on the farm now owned by Edgar Drew. His father, Captain Enoch Peck and his brother, Peter, also from Pompey, came in soon after. Enoch settled where Wm. Cook's house now stands, at Meacham's corners. Peter, who was a batchelor and lived with his parents, took up a tract now owned by Isaac R. Merritt, in Ira. The Pecks sold to Joel Northrup, from Conn., and removed to Camillus, where their descendants are living. Northrup was wealthy and bought a large tract of land, covering a mile or more in extent. He brought in the first wagon in the town. He was a batchelor when he came, but married soon after to Clarissa Dudley, sister of Elder Ira Dudley, by whom he had three children. Northrup remained here till his death, about 1814.
Settlements were made in 1805, by Platt Titus, from Onondaga county, at Cato, where he was the first settler and felled the first tree; by Jesse Elwell and Abner Hollister, at Meridian; and by families named Cerow and Abrams, the former four and a half miles south of Meridian, and the latter, on the river, at the middle bridge, where, that year and for a good many years thereafter, he kept a ferry. Titus remained only two or three years, when he removed to the Taber farm one-half mile north of Meridian, in Ira, where he remained till 1833, when he removed to Hannibal, where he died in April, 1862. Elwell settled where the Meridian House now stands, and where he built, and kept till his death during the epidemic of 1811, the first tavern, which was built of logs and covered with bark. He had a large family, all of whom are gone. His daughter Polly was the wife of Abner Hollister, who settled in the south part of Meridian, where Marcus Drew now lives. Hollister bought of A.C. Rice, of Onondaga county, for a nominal sum, a tract of about three hundred acres, known as "possession land," to which the title was for a long time in doubt. Hollister soon after went south, where he spent several years as overseer on a plantation and acquired considerable wealth. On his return he removed to Cato, where he built the first frame house about 1810, which now forms a part of the Railroad House in that village. Stephen Olcott settled on the farm now owned by Carter Hickok, as early as 1805, in which year he died, his death being the first in the town.
In 1807, Stephen Dudley, from Vermont, came with his family, consisting of seven sons and five daughters, and settled in the north-east part, on the farm now owned by his grandson J.Y. Dudley, son of Sardis Dudley, the latter of whom died on the old homestead in January 1876. Stephen took up a State's hundred, of which he let his son Sardis have fifty, and to which both subsequently added. He died in 1827, at Hannibal, to which town he removed in 1824 or '25. Three sons and one daughter survive him, viz: Lyman; James; Ira, living at Meridian, who at present and for the past year has supplied the pulpit of the Baptist Church at Port Byron; and Rebecca, widow of Abner Loomis. Solomon Woodworth settled in this or some previous year, on the river, and kept for several years the ferry where the iron bridge now is. He was a captain and did service in the war of 1812. A man named Follett kept the ferry at the upper bridge at an early