Descriptions of Town of Fenner, Madison County, NY, in 19th Century Gazetteers
Comiled by Daniel H. Weiskotten
 
Last Modified July 4, 1999
 
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1813 Horatio G. Spafford (Fenner was a part of Cazenovia and Smithfield at this date)
1824 Horatio G. Spafford (Fenner was formed in 1823 but it is still listed as part of Cazenovia and Smithfield)
1833 Darby & Dwight (Fenner)
1836 Thomas F. Gordon (Fenner)
1841 Barber & Howe (Fenner)
1842 / 1843 John Disternell (Fenner)
1860 J.H. French (Fenner)
1868 Hamilton Child (Fenner)
1872 / 1873 Franklin B. Hough (Fenner)
1899 John E. Smith (Fenner)
 

 
Spafford, Horatio Gates, 1813, A Gazetteer of the State of New-York: Carefully Written from Original & Authentic Materials, Arranged on a New Plan, In Three Parts. H.C. Southwick. Albany, NY

(Smithfield, page 299)

FENNER was a part of Cazenovia and Smithfield until 1823

<:299>        SMITHFIELD, a Township of Madison County, bounded N. by Lenox, E. by Augusta in Oneida County, S. by Eaton and Nelson, W. by Cazenovia.  It was erected in 1807 from Cazenovia, and is about 12 miles E. and W., and 5 N. and S.  The principal part of this tract was leased of the Oneida Indians, by Peter Smith, in 1794, and Purchased by the State in 1795.  The soil is of a very superior quality, and the whole tract may be pronounced one of the best in the state.  It is abundantly irrigated by small streams, the sources of Oneida Creek, Cowasselon, Canaseraga, Chitteningo, waters of Oneida Lake; and also that of the main branch of the Chenango river, a large branch of the Susquehanna.  This Town is principally settled by emigrants from the Eastern States.  It comprises the largest part of the called New Petersburgh.  The population in 1810, 2651; 438 heads of families; 2 slaves.  The taxable property, agreeable to the valuation of the Supervisor's books, $124,308; senatorial electors, 193.  Peterboro' is the principal village, situated on the Oneida turnpike road and creek, 29 S. westerly of Utica, and 122 N. of W. from Albany: N. Lat. 42° 57' Long. 1° 37' W. of New-York.  her is a post office of the same name, 470 miles from Washington, a printing-office which publishes a weekly paper, an arsenal, a public library, several stores and houses, grain and saw-mills, distilleries, carding and clothier's works, &c.  The Madison Manufacturing Association are erecting extensive glass works and cotton and woolen manufactories.  The situation is pleasant and healthy, the soil fertile; materials for building are at hand, and the Oneida Creek affords some facilities for hydraulic works.
[source was] E.P. [?]
 

END of Spafford 1813 (Fenner)
 

Spafford, Horatio Gates, 1824, A Gazetteer of the State of New-York: Embracing an Ample Survey and Description of its Counties, Towns, Cities, Villages, Canals, Mountains, Lakes, Rivers, Creeks, Natural Topography, Arranged Alphabetically: With an Appendix. B.D. Packard. Albany, NY

(Fenner was formed in 1823 but it is still listed as part of Cazenovia and Smithfield)
(Transcript kindly provided by GDA)

<:   >
SMITHFIELD, a large Township of Madison county, 6 miles N. of Morrisville, 108 WNW of Albany, bounded N. by Sullivan and Lenox, E. by Augusta of Oneida County, S. by Eaton and Nelson, W. by Cazenovia, and is about 12 miles E. and W. and 5 N. and S.  The principal part of this tract was leased of the Oneida Indians by Peter Smith in 1794 and purchased by the state in 1795.  The soil is of a very superior quality, and the whole tract may be pronounced one of the best in the state.  It is abundantly irrigated by small streams, the sources of Oneida creek, Cowasselon, Canasaraga and Chitteningo, waters of Oneida Lake; and also by the sources of the main branch of Chenango river, a large branch of the Susquehanna.  This Town is principally settled by immigrants from the Eastern States.  It comprises the largest part of the tract called New-Petersburg; and of the Oneida Reservation, "the cream of the country", as it was called some 20 odd years ago.  The Post-Village of Peterboro', is pleasantly situated on the Oneida turnpike and creek 29 miles SW. of Utica, 6 N. of Morrisville, and 125 WNW. of Albany, via Utica, or 108 by Cherry Valley and Morrisville, N. Lat. 42°, 57' Long. 1° 37' W of New York.  It is about 7 miles S. of the Erie Canal, along which all the business-men are clustering for trade, a "Town" already, in their estimation, of 360 miles in length. -- The new roads all point to it, and the little towns of former days, full of stores and traffic are in great trepidation.- Peterboro' has a handsome collection of houses, stores, grain and saw mills, carding and clothiers' works, a library, and several of the good things of social institutions.  The Stockbridge, or New Stockbridge tract of Indian Reservation, is in this Town and Augusta of Oneida County, where the Indians of that tribe reside.  Population [of the town], 3338: 633 farmers, 4 traders, 88 mechanics; 6 foreigners; 6 free blacks: taxable property, $388688: 16 schools, 9 months in 12; [public monies received in 1821] $402.62; [No. of children between 5 and 15 years of age] 794; [No. taught that year] 904: 672 electors, 15963 acres improved land, 3234 cattle, 646 horses, 7678 sheep: 28798 yards cloth, 7 grist mills, 13 saw mills, 2 fulling mills, 2 carding machines, 3 distilleries, 18 asheries.
[Sources were] J.K [Jesse Kilborn], O.E.B. [Oran E. Baker], E.P. [Elijah Pratt]
 

END of Spafford 1824 (Fenner)
 
 
Darby, William and Timothy Dwight, Jr., 1833, A New Gazetteer of the United States of America; Containing a Copious Description of the States, Territories, Counties, Parishes, Districts, Cities and Towns Mountains, Lakes, Rivers and Canals Commerce, Manufactures, Agriculture, and the Arts Generally, of the United States; Embracing Also the Extent, Boundaries, and Natural Productions of the Principal Subdivisions, the Latitude and Longitude of Cities and Towns, and Their Bearing and Distance from Important Places; Including Other Interesting and Valuable Geographical, Historical, Political, and Statistical Information; With the Population of 1830. Edward Hopkins. Hartford (CT)

(Fenner, pages 161; Perryville, page 412)

<:161>    FENNER, p-t.  Madison co.  12 ms. N.W. Morrisville.

<:412>    PERRYVILLE, p-v.  Sullivan, Madison co. N.

 

END of Darby & Dwight 1833 (Fenner)
 
 

Gordon, Thomas F., 1836, Gazetteer of the State of New York: Comprehending its Colonial History; General Geography, Geology, and Internal Improvements; Its Political State; A Minute Description of its Several Counties, Towns, and Villages; Statistical Tables, Exhibiting the Area, Improved Lands, Population, Stock, Taxes, Manufactures, Schools, and Cost of Public Instruction, in Each Town. With a Map of the State, and a Map of Each County, and Plans of the Cities and Principal Villages. T.K. and P.G. Collins, Printers. Philadelphia, PA

(Fenner, Book II page 520)

<:520>        FENNER, taken from Cazenovia and Smithfield 22d April, 1823; W. from Albany 115 miles; surface undulating; soil clay and gravelly loam, chiefly on limestone of excellent quality; drained N. by Chittenango and Canaseraga creeks.  Perrysville and Fenner, are post villages.  The former, 15 miles N.W. from Morrisville, on the line between this and Sullivan, has 1 Episcopal Church, 1 grist mill, 1 store, 1 tavern, extensive tannery, and 40 dwellings.  The latter, centrally situate, has a tavern, store, and 20 dwellings, and near it a Baptist Church.

Gordon's 1836 Table of Madison County Statistics (shown with the Madison County descriptions) on page 523 shows for Fenner [statistics from 1835 State Census?]:
population 1820 = [part of Cazenovia], 1825 = 1933, 1830 = 2017, 1835 = 1972; militia = 159; voters = 400; aliens = 9; unmarried females under age 16  years of age = 430, unmarried females between 16 and 45 of age = 162, married females under 45 years of age = 251; marriages = 14; male births = 48, female births = 21; male deaths = 21, female deaths = 17; area in acres = 17835, acres improved = 12069; assessed value of real estate = [$]232822, assessed value of personal estate = [$]8480; cattle = 2263, horses = 671, sheep = 6932, swine = 2054; fulled yards [of cloth] = 3595, unfulled woolens [yards of cloth?] = 4676, cottons, linens &c. [yards of cloth?] 5081; County tax = [$]528.43, Town tax = [$]558.80; grist mills = 1, saw mills = 12, fulling mills = 2, carding machines = 1, asheries = 1, tanneries = 2; school districts = 12, public money expended [on schools, per district?] = 315, teachers wages besides public money = 482, scholars = 725.
 

END of Gordon 1836 (Fenner)

 
Barber, John W. & Henry Howe, 1841, Historical Collections of the State of New York; Containing a General Collection of the Most Interesting Facts, Traditions, Biographical Sketches, Anecdotes, &c. Relating to its History and Antiquities With Geographical Descriptions of Every Township in the State. S. Tuttle. New York, NY

(Fenner, pages 258-259)

<:258>        FENNER, taken from Cazenovia and Smithfield in 1823; from Albany 115 miles.  Pop. 1,997.  Perrysville, on the Sullivan line 15 miles <:259> miles NW. from Morrisville, and Fenner centrally situated, are small settlements.
 

END of Barber & Howe 1841 (Fenner)
 

Disternell, John, 1842 / 1843, A Gazetteer of the State of New-York: Comprising its Topography, Geology, Mineralogical Resources, Civil Divisions, Canals, Railroads, and Public Institutions: Together with General Statistics: The Whole Alphabetically Arranged: Also, Statistical Tables, Including the Census of 1840: And Tables of Distances: With a New Township Map of the State Engraved on Steel. J. Disternell. Albany, NY (1842 and 1843 editions are the same)

(Fenner Town, page 163; Perryville Hamlet, page 321)

<:163>        FENNER, t. Madison co. situated 8 miles north-west of the village of Morrisville, and distant 115 miles from Albany; contained in 1840, 1,997 inhabitants.  The surface is undulating; soil, clay and gravelly loam, mostly underlaid by lime stone and is of good quality; it is drained north by Chittenango and Canaseraga creeks.  Fenner and Perryville and names of post offices.

<:321>        PERRYVILLE, v. and p.o. Fenner Madison co., contains about 250 inhabitants, 40 dwelling houses, 1 church, 1 tavern, 1 store, 1 flouring mill, 1 tannery and 1 distillery.
 

END of Disternell 1842 / 1843 (Fenner)
 

French, J.H., 1860, Gazetteer of the State of New York: Embracing a Comprehensive View of the Geography, Geology, and General History of the State, and a Complete History and Description of Every County, City, Town, Village, and Locality. With Full Tables of Statistics. R. Pearsall Smith. Syracuse, NY

(Fenner, page 391)

<:391> FENNER (note 391-6) -- was formed from Cazenovia and Smithfield, April 22, 1823.  It is an interior town, lying N.W. of the center of the co.  Its surface is a rolling upland.  Oneida, Canaseraga, and Chittenango Creeks have their sources in this town.  The latter forms a part of its W. boundary.  Extensive marl beds are found; and on the bank of Chittenango Creek calcareous tufa is quarried and burned into lime.  The soil is a gravelly and clayey loam.  Perryville, (p.v.,) partly in this town, contains 2 churches and 25 houses.  Fenner (p.o.) is a hamlet.  The first settlement was made about the year 1793. (note 391-7)  The first church (Bap.) was organized Aug. 23, 1801. (note 391-8)

Note 391-6
Named from Gov. Fenner, of Rhode Island.

Note 391-7
Among the early settlers were Alpheus Twist and James Munger, from Conn., who located a mile S. of the center of, Jonathan Munger and _____ Page in the N. part and Elisha Freeman, Ithurial Flower, Ames Webster and Amanda Munger, in the S. part.  The first birth was a child of Alpheus Twist; and the first death, that of the wife of Alpheus Twist.  Elder Nathan Baker was the first preacher.

Note 391-8
The census reports 5 churches; 3 M.E., Bap., and Prot. E.
 

END of French 1860 (Madison County)
 

Child, Hamilton, 1868, Gazetteer and Business Directory of Madison County, N.Y., for 1868-9. Printed at the Journal Office. Syracuse, NY

(Fenner, page 40 & 41)

<:40>        FENNER, named from Gov. Fenner, of Rhode Island, was formed from Cazenovia and Smithfield, April 22, 1823.  it is an <:41> interior town, lying north-west of the center of the County.  Its surface is a rolling upland. Oneida, Canaseraga and Chittenango Creeks have their sources in this town.  The latter forms a part of its western boundary.  Extensive marl beds are found, and on the bank of Chittenango Creek, calcarious tufa is quarried and burned into lime.  The soil is a gravelly and clayey loam.
        Perryville ( p. v.) lies partly in Sullivan and Lenox. It contains two churches, a flouring mill, two saw-mills, and about 200 inhabitants.  The Cazenovia and Canastota Railroad is to pass through this place.
        Fenner (p.o.) is a hamlet, and contains one church.
        Chittenango Falls (p.o.) is a hamlet, partly in this town.
        The first settlement was made about the year 1793.  Among the early settlers were Alpheus Twist and James Munger, from Connecticut, who located about a mile south of the center; Jonathan Munger and Mr. Page, in the north part; and Elisha Freeman, Ithuriel Flowers; Ames Webster and Amanda Munger, in the south part.  Phineas and Abel Town, John Needham, Thomas Cushing and J.D. Turner, were also early settlers.
        The first church was organized August 28, 1801 the first birth was that of a child of Alphen twist and the first death that of the wife of Alpheus Twist.  Nathan Baker was the first preacher.
        The population in 1865 was 1,387, and the area 17,776 acres.  There are fourteen school districts, employing 14 teachers.  The whole number of pupils is 415, and the average daily attendance 166.  The whole amount expended for schools in 1867 was $2,477.64.
        Among the early settlers of Fenner were Abner and Jesse Rumpus. The following adventure with a black bear, in 1802, is related by their descendants: A great part of the country was covered with forests, and wild beasts roamed at large, making depredations upon the flocks and herds of the farmers.  Abner and Jesse Rumpus, on one occasion, followed a bear about three miles.  Coming suddenly upon the bear on the bank of a brook, Abner snapped his gun, which missed fire.  Bruin then became the assailant, turning upon his antagonist, knocked him over into the brook, tearing his scalp in a most shocking manner, and otherwise severely wounding him. When about to be torn in pieces by the enraged bear, Jesse came to the rescue of his brother, seized the bear by the ears, and while engaged in the struggle had his own leg broken in two places.  Fortunately, after disabling both, the bear walked off deliberately, leaving his antagonists to obtain aid wherever they could.  Their shouts for assistance were at length heard, and they were rescued from their perilous situation.  Abner with his broken leg was carried home on a stretcher, and Jesse, by the assistance of another, was able to ride upon a horse.
 

END of Child 1868 (Fenner)
 

Hough, Franklin B., 1872 / 1873, Gazetteer of the State of New York, Embracing a Comprehensive Account of the History and Statistics of the State, With Geological and Topological Descriptions, and Recent Statistical Tables, Representing the Present Condition of Each County, City, Town, and Village in the State. Andrew Boyd. Albany, NY (1872 and 1873 editions are the same)

(Fenner, page 385)

<:385>        FENNER -- named from a Gov. of R. I., was formed from Cazenovia and Smithfield April 22, 1823.  It is an interior town, lying N.W. of the centre of the co.  Its surface is rolling upland.  Oneida, Canaseraga, and Chittenango Creeks, have their sources in this town.  The latter forms a part of its W. boundary.  Extensive marl beds are found; and on the bank of Chittenango Creek, calcareous tufa is quarried and burned into lime.  Perryville, (p.o.,) partly in this town, contains 2 churches, a gristmill, sawmill, and 35 houses.  Chittenango Falls, is a hamlet, partly in this town.  Fenner, (p.o.,) is a hamlet.   The Cazenovia and Canastota R.R. crosses the N.W. part of this town, with stations at Perryville and Chittenango Falls.  The first settlement was made about the year 1793. (note 385-5)  The first church (Bap.) was organized Aug. 28, 1861 [sic - 1801]. (note 385-6)

Note 385-5
Among the earliest settlers were Alpheus Twist, and Jas. Munger, from Conn., who located a mile S. of the centre, Jonathan Munger and _____ Page in the N. part, and Elisha Freeman, Ithurial Flower, Ames Webster and Amanda Munger, in the S. part.  The first birth was that of a child of Alpheus twist: and the first death, that of the wife of Alpheus Twist.  Elder Nathan Baker was the first preacher.

Note 385-6
There are 5 churches: 3 M.E., Bap., and Prot. E.
 
 

END of Hough 1872 / 1873 (Fenner)
 
 
Smith, John E., 1899, Our County and Its People: A Descriptive and Biographical Record of Madison County, New York. The Boston History Co.. Boston, MA

(Fenner, pages 568 to 570)
(This book is a large "County History" and extensive historical and bibliographic information for the Town of Fenner is to be found in other parts of this source - please consult the original book for further information)

<:568>

The Town of Fenner
 
        This town was not organized until April 22, 1823, lies northwest of the center of the county and is bounded north by Lincoln and Sullivan, east by Smithfield, south by Nelson, and west by Cazenovia.  Its surface is rolling upland, which includes the most elevated parts of the ridge which divides the waters of the county.  A branch of Chittenango Creek, which forms a large part of the western boundary, rises in the eastern part, and the headwaters of Canaseraga Creek and a minor branch of Cowasselon Creek are in the northern part.  Perryville Falls, on the Canaseraga, are somewhat remarkable, the water having a descent of about 150 feet, into a large basin hollowed from the rock.
        The underlying rock of the town is mostly of the Hamilton group and the limestone crops out in the north and northwest parts; this stone has been quarried to some extent.  Marl deposits are found in the northwest part from which lime is made.  The soil is gravelly loam and well adapted to mixed farming.
        Fenner was first settled about 1793, in the west part, but not permanently until two years later, when the New Petersburgh Tract had been leased to Peter Smith.  Among the families who came into the town in the closing years of the last century were those of Jonathan and James Munger, Alpheus Twist, John Needham, Thomas Cushing, [David] Cook, Lt. David Hutchinson, Seneca Robinson and John Barber.  Other pioneers of a little later date were Enos Wells, William, Arnold and George Ballou, James Cameron, John Douglass, John Robertson, Robert Stewart, Guy Hatch, Gideon Parsons, Joel Downer, Hezekiah Hyatt, David Baldwin, J. D. Turner, Martin and Daniel M. Gillet, <:569> Thomas Wilson, Wallace Woodworth, Benjamin Woodworth, Col. Elisha Farnham, Ithuriel Flower, Amos Webster, Samuel and Zattu Payne, Timothy Foster, Drake Sellick, Russell Ransom, Asa Dana, and others noticed more fully in an earlier chapter.
        The first town meeting was held in the school house near David Cook, jr's, May 6, 1823, and the following named officers were elected: Daniel M. Gillet, supervisor; Sardis Dana, clerk; John Needham, William Esselstyne and Ralph J. Gates, assessors; John F. Hicks, collector; John Needham and Samuel Nichols, overseers of the poor; Samuel Ives, Amasa Ives, jr., and Noah Blakeslee, commissioners of highways; John F. Hicks and William Nichols, constables; Sardis Dana, William Doolittle and Daniel Pratt, commissioners of common schools; John Needham, jr., Federal Dana and Erastus F. Park, inspectors of common schools; David Cook, poundmaster.
        Following is a list of the supervisors of the town of Fenner from its formation to the present time:
        1823, Daniel M. Gillet; 1824-26, Czar Dykeman; 1827, Nathaniel Hazelton; 1828-31, Daniel M. Gillet; 1832-3, Nathaniel Hazelton; 1834, Asa Blakeslee; 1835-6, John Needham; 1837-9, Sardis Dana; 1840, Charles G. Dibble; 1841-2, Walter Clough; 1843-8, Robert G. Stewart; 1849, David Hess; 1850, Sergeant Britt; 1851, Robert G. Stewart; 1852, Jesse Watson; 1853, D. Miner Gillet; 1854, John Hill; 1855, Harvey W. Kendall; 1856, Thomas Marshall; 1857-8, Asa R. Maine; 1859, Asahel A. Annas; 1860-1, James Monroe Lownsbery; 1862-3, L. Vander C. Hess; 1864-6, Orra B. Hamblin; 1867, L. Vander C. Hess; 1868, John Woodcock; 1869, Theodore Meade; 1870, John Wilson; 1871, John Woodcock; 1872-3, J. Somers Hill; 1874-5, Norman B. Hill; 1876-7, Charles W. Barrett; 1878-81, Andrew Whipple; 1882-86, Paul S. Maine; 1887, Andrew Whipple; 1888-91, Paul S. Maine; 1892-93, R. Duncan Robertson; 1894-97, Paul S. Maine.
        Following is a statement of the population of the town since 1835 as shown by the census of various decades and semi-decades:
        1835 = 1,972; 1840 = 1,997; 1845 = 1,833; 1850 = 1,690; 1855 = 1,622; 1860 = 1,649; 1865 = 1,387; 1870 = 1,381; 1875 = 1,265; 1880 = 1,272; 1890 = 1,040; 1892 = 999
        The decrease in population in this town is seen to be as great, or a little greater, than that of any other town in the county.  The causes are the same as have been mentioned elsewhere, and need not be further noticed.
        There are only two post-offices in this town; one at Perryville and the <:570> other at Fenner Corners, with the name of Fenner.  Perryville is the most important village and lies partly in three towns -- Fenner, Sullivan, and Lincoln.  The post-office was established probably in 1816, with Oren S. Avery, postmaster.  He held the office until he died, in 1836.  His successors have been as follows: Silas Judd, to about 1845; Leonard Gough, Ira Bates, Mr Judd, again, O.J. Woodworth, Joseph V. Wells, Webster C. Hill, H.L. Keeler, John Hill, Paul S. Maine, Leon Berson, Duane Chapman, Paul S. Maine, James Wells, and again Paul S. Maine.
        Among the early merchants here were Tyre & Cole, about 1811; the Weeks Brothers, about 1812; William Doolittle, about 1820; Samuel Hill and a Mr. Stillson, succeeding Doolittle; Leonard Gough, 1835-50; John Hill, 1839-59 (also a tavern keeper and distiller); Webster C. Hill, son of John; H.L. Keeler, 1864, sold to Paul S. Maine in 1876, who is still in trade.
        The Perryville House was built about 1825 by Simeon Jenkins.  It has had a number of proprietors and is now kept by F.F. Hamilton.
        The early physicians of the village and town were Dr. John Didama, Dr. N.C. Powers, Dr. Powers R. Mead, Dr. Theodore Mead, and at later dates Drs, John H. Ramsey, Sylvanus Guernsey, George B. Munger, Benjamin R. Mead, George W. Miles, and M.R. Joy.  The present physician of Perryville is Dr. Nelson O. Brooks.
        The first church in Perryville was St. Stephen's, formed in September, 1816.  It passed out of existence many years ago.  The Methodist Church was organized in 1831, and the edifice was built in 1839.
        There are eleven school districts in this town, and in 1897 the Union School District of Perryville was incorporated.  This school occupies the old Episcopal church building.
        Fenner Corners is a hamlet in the central part of the town, where Martin and Daniel M. Gillet opened the first store.  Other early merchants were Charles F. Kellogg, Hiram Preston, Martin Woodworth, Perry Tibbits, and Augustus Daniels.  Benjamin Pearlman is the present merchant.  The post-office was established some time between 1820 and 1825, with Ebenezer Dunton, postmaster.  The Fenner Baptist Church was organized here in 1801.
        A part of the hamlet of Chittenango Falls is in the western part of the town, and has been sufficiently described in an earlier chapter.
 
END of Smith 1899 (Fenner)