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1810 Jedediah Morse (Madison County)
1813 Horatio G. Spafford (Madison County)
1824 Horatio G. Spafford (Madison County)
1833 Darby & Dwight (Madison County)
1836 Thomas F. Gordon (Madison County)
1829 David H. Burr (Madison County)
1841 Barber & Howe (Madison County)
1842 / 1843 John Disternell (Madison County)
1848 Mather & Brockett (Madison County)
1852 Gurdon Evans (Madison County)
1860 J.H. French (Madison County)
1868 Hamilton Child (Madison County)
1872 / 1873 Franklin B. Hough (Madison County)
1899 John E. Smith (note on text only)
1927 James Sullivan (Madison County)
Madison, a county western district of New York, taken from Chenango in 1806, bounded N by Brookfield, Hamilton and De Ruyter. In 1808 it contained 2987 electors.
END of Morse 1810 (Madison County)
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
(Madison County, page 83; statistics in tables pages 6, 7 and 50)
[Abstracted from the General Topographical and Statistical Table on
pages 6 & 7]:
Madison County is in the Western Election District; the population in 1810 was 25,144; there were 2,204 Senatorial Electors in 1810; in 1811 there were 11 towns; in 1811 there were 9 post offices; the court is held in Cazenovia, p.o., which is located along the best traveling route 130 miles from Albany; Cazenovia Village is incorporated with 70 houses; Hamilton Village has 40 houses; and Peterboro' Village has 35 houses.
[Abstracted from the General Table of Manufacturies on page 50 (data
from the 1810 Census)]:
(special Thanks! to Bill Hecht for this table)
Madison County has 1,468 Looms, which produced 120,452 yards of woolen cloth and 225,297 yards of linen cloth; 13 Fulling Mills and Clothieries, which clothed and dressed 63,100 yards of cloth; 13 Carding Machines which carded 61,450 lbs of wool; 5,026 yards of cotton cloth were made; 31 Tanneries made 8,550 hides of tanned upper sole, upper leather and calf skins; 2 Breweries (no production listed); 2 Distilleries made 64,650 gallons (of whiskey); 2 Oil Mills made 650 gallons of oill and there are 2 Triphammers. No mixed Mixed and Cotton Cloth was made, there were no Cotton Mills, Paper Mills, Hatteries, Blast Furnaces or Bloomeries.
<:83> Madison County, was erected March 21, 1806, from Chenango Co., and named in honor of James Madison, President of the United States. It is bounded N. and N. earterly [sic] by Oneida Lake and County; E. by about 10 miles of Otsego Co.; S. by Chenango Co.; W. by about 4 miles on Cortland Co., and 27 on Onondaga County. The are is 616 square miles, or 394,240 acres. Situated between 42° 43' and 43° 12' N. Latitude; 1° 16' W. and 2° 02' W. Longitude from New York.
The N. part of Madison County
bounds on Oneida Lake; the N.E. is washed by Oneida creek; the E. by Unadilla
river, on both which it is bounded; and the Chitteningo, forms its boundary
for a few miles at the N.W; extremity. Cowasselon, Chitteningo, and
Canaseraga creeks, spread over the northern and western part; and Chenango
river rises from many small streams spread over the central and southern
part. Otselick creek and some small head streams of Tioughnioga,
water the S. western part Linklaen lake, lies in Cazenovia; which receives
Lime- stone creek, and discharges the Chitteningo.
The surface of this county, is but moderately uneven in the S. part; the northern part is quite level. The soil is somewhat variegated, but the whole is fertile. Few if any of the counties of the western district, are calculated to support equal population on the same area. Gypsum, iron-ore, lime-stone, are among its products and much comparative wealth is possessed by its inhabitants, who are principally English, and active and industrious farmers. This County, includes the largest part of the New-Petersburgh tract of land, and of the New-Stockbridge Reservation; and no humane and benevolent American can fail to remember that this is a part of the favorite land of the Aborigines, now, thinly scattered over the United States. The numerous turnpikes and great leading roads that traverse this county, sufficiently indicate the importance of its geographical position. Cazenovia, the shire town, is situated on the great western turnpike, 130 miles from Albany, 20 miles N. of West; and about 20 miles S.W. from Utica, and the same distance eastward from Onondaga. The Manufactures of this county may be seen in the General Table, page 50, to be of considerable importance. A large portion of the inhabitants are husbandman, sober, temperate, industrious, peaceable, and good citizens. Much of the clothing is made in the families of the farmers, and at a much cheaper rate than it could be purchased from any large manufactories, domestic or foreign. Madison Co., sends 3 Members to the House of Assembly.
END of Spafford 1813 (Madison County)
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
(Madison County, page 297-298)
MADISON COUNTY, is
situated about 108 miles WNW. of Albany, 30 SW. of Utica, and is bounded
N. and NEasterly by Oneida Lake and County, E. by about 10 miles of Otsego
Co., S. by Chenango Co., W. by about 4 miles on Cortlandt Co., and 27 on
Onondaga County. The area is 616 square miles, or 394240 acres.
Situated between 42° 43' and 43° 12' N. Latitude; 1° 16' W.
and 2° 02' W. Longitude from New-York.
|Towns.||P.Offi.||Pop.||Imp. land.||Villages, Post Offices, &c.|
|Brookfield||P.T.1||4240||16127||25 m. SE. of Morrisville; Beaver Creek P.O., 31 m., 95 f. A.|
|Cazenovia||P.T.l||3909||12479||Cazenovia V., 113 m. WNW. of A.; New Woodstock P.O.|
|DeRuyter||P.T.||1214||3585||21 m. WSW. of Morrisville, 123 f. Albany; Tioughnioga.|
|EATON||P.T.1||3021||12316||Morrisville V. & P.O., 102 m. WNW. of A.; Eaton V.|
|Georgetown||P.T.||824||2055||13 miles SW. of M., 106 from Albany; Otselic Creek.|
|Hamilton||P.T.1||2681||10040||Hamilton V. & P.O., 8 m. SSE. of M.1 96 f. A.; Forks P.O.|
|Lebanon||P.T.1||1940||11307||8 m. S. of M., 110 f. A.; Chenango R.; Smith's Valley P.O.|
|Lenox||P.T.2||3360||10941||Lenox V.; Clockville V & P.O.; Canestota V & P.O.; 14 m. f M.|
|Madison||P.T.||2420||11411||Madison V., 7 in. f. M., 95 from Albany; Oriskany Creek.|
|Nelson||P.T.1||2329||11805||6 miles W. of M., 109 f. A.; Erieville P.O.; Height of land.|
|Smithfield||P.O.1||3338||15963||Peterboro' V.& P.O.; Oneida & New-Stockbridge Reserv.|
|Sullivan||P.T.2||2932||10232||Sullivan V.; Chitteningo V. & P.O.; Perryville V. & P.O|
<:298> The County
of Madison has the Erie Canal across its 2 northern Towns, Sullivan
and Lenox, along which are found immense masses of gypsum, water lime or
water cement, common lime-stone, with iron ore, and at least one saline
or salt spring, an opulence of mineralogical productions no where exceeded
in the western Counties. The middle and southern Towns have a diversified
surface, lie pretty well elevated, on the dividing ridge between the waters
of the Oneida Lake and the Susquehanna, but have a good soil for grazing
and dairy farming, though rather cold, wet and frosty. The soil of
the northern part is warmer, better for grain, more uneven, in part, and
also more level, having hills and plains, richly diversified, and every
part is well watered.--
The N. part of Madison County bounds on Oneida Lake; the NE. is washed by Oneida Creek; the E. by Unadilla River, on both which it is bounded; and the Chitteningo, forms its boundary for a few miles at the NW. extremity. Cowasselon, Chitteningo, and Canasaraga creeks, spread over the northern and western parts; and Chenango River rises from many small streams spread over the central and southern part. Otselic Creek, and some small head streams of Tioughnioga, water the SWestern part. Linklaen Lake, lies in Cazenovia: it receives Lime-stone Creek, and discharges the Chitteningo.
The inhabitants are principally Yankees, a large proportion of whom are husband men, sober, temperate, industrious, good citizens. much of the clothing is made in the families of the farmers, and at a much cheaper rate than it could be purchased from any large manufactories, domestic or foreign. This County includes the largest part of the New-Petersburgh tract of land, and of the New-Stockbridge Reservation,; and no humane and benevolent American can fail to remember that this is a part of the favorite land of the Aborigines, now thinly scattered over the United States. The numerous turnpikes and great leading roads that traverse this County, sufficiently indicate the importance of its geographical position. Its agriculture is productive, and yet the farmers had better send some of their sons to Stephentown, for instruction in the dairy business. Madison has an Agricultural Society, which receives $125 a year from the treasury. Morrisville, the capital of this County, is a pleasant Post-Village, situated on Morris's Flats, 102 miles about WNW. of Albany, for which see EATON. Cazenovia, late the County Town, has the largest population and most business of any Village in this County, if we except Chitteningo.
Statistics.--Madison elects 3 Members of Assembly, and, with Cortlandt, 1 Representative to Congress, forming the 22d District: Townships, 12; Post-Offices, 22: Population, 32208: ratio of increase per annum, 4 per cent: whites, 32016; free blacks 182; slaves, 10; foreigners not naturalized, 67; persons employed in agriculture, 5884; in manufactures and trades, 1085; in trade and commerce, 77: school districts, 172; schools kept, average, 8 months in 12; public monies received in 1821, $4848.29; No. of children between 5 and 15 years of age, 9851; No. taught that year, 11600: taxable property, $3,726,230: electors, 5829; acres of improved land, 128261; No. of neat cattle, 30953; horses, 6577; sheep, 71737; grist mills, 48; saw mills, 111; oil mills, 6; fulling mills, 31; carding machines, 29; cotton and woollen factories, 3; iron works, 1; trip hammers, 8; distilleries, 29; asheries, 64.
END of Spafford 1824 (Madison County)
Burr, David H., 1829, An Atlas of the State ov New York, Containing a Map of the State and Several Counties Projected and Drawn ... Under the Supervision of Simeon deWitt ... and also the Physical Geography of the State & of the Several Counties & Statistical Tables of the Same. D.H. Burr. New York, NY
(descriptive text accompanying Map #30)
(from a copy in the Virginia State Library)
This County is situated south
of the Oneida lake, in the central part of the State, between 42°44'
and 43°10' north latitude, and 0°57' and 1°40' east longitude
from the City of Washington, and about 108 miles westward from Albany.
It is bounded northerly by the counties of Oswego and Oneida, easterly
by the counties of Oneida and Otsego, southerly by the county of Chenango,
and westerly by the counties of Cortland and Onondaga. Its area is
about 582 square miles, or 372,000 acres.
The surface of the county os much diversified. The elevated ridge which separates the waters of the northern lakes from the waters of the Susquehannah River, crosses the southern boundary of this county. The middle and southern towns are more or less uneven and hilly: There is, however, much good land; and the vallies are extensive and fertile. The northern part of the county is generally more level, though there are many hills. The county is generally well watered, and has very fertile soil. Large masses of gypsum, water lime, and common limestone, with some iron ore, are found in Sullivan and Lenox.
The Oneida lake lies upon the northern boundary. Canaseraga lake, and its outlet the Chitteningo creek forms a part of the western boundary of the county: This creek and its branches, the Canaseraga and Cowasselon, spread over the northern and western parts of the county. The Oneida creek, and the Unadilla river, form part of the eastern bounds of the county. The Oriskany, a tributary of the Mohawk, and Chenango, a branch of the Susquehannah, have their sources in the southeastern, and the Otselic and Tioughnioga in the southwestern part of the county.
The route of the Chenango Canal follows up the Oriskany, and crosses thence to the Chenango valley. The summit level, about 17 miles in length, is in this county.
The public buildings for this county are located at Morrisville, which is situated on the Third Great Western turnpike road, 102 miles from Albany. This county forms part of the fifth senatorial, and together with the county of Cortland, the twenty-second congressional district, and is entitled to elect three members of assembly.
Statistics of the 1820 Federal Census (abstracted from tables)
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)
(Madison County, page 274)
<:274> MADISON, co. N.Y., bounded N. and N.E. by Oneida lake and co., E. by Otsego co., S. by Chenango co., W. by Cortland and Onondaga cos. containing 616 sq. ms. or 394,240 acres. Morrisville is the st. just. of the co. Its mineralogical productions are no where exceeded in the western cos. Pop. 1820, 32,208 ? 1830, 39,038.
END of Darby & Dwight 1833 (Madison County)
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
(Madison County, Book II pages 517, 518, & 519)
<:517> MADISON COUNTY,
taken from Chenango County 21st March, 1806, bounded N. by the Oneida Lake
separating it from Oneida and Oswego counties; N.E. by Oneida county; E.
by Otsego; S. by Chenango; and W. by Cortland and Onondaga, counties: greatest
length, N. and S. 33, greatest breadth E. and W. 32, miles; area 590 square
miles; situate between 42° 44' and 43° 10' N. Lat and 0° 57'
and 1° 40' E. Long.; centrally distant N.W. from New York city 250,
from Albany W.N.W. 108, miles.
Surface generally hilly, except, about 8 or 10 miles upon the N., where the level and swampy ground, which borders on Oneida Lake extends. Much of this marsh has already been drained by a cut to the lake, and an incorporated company are successfully prosecuting the draining of the remainder, converting it into a highly productive soil. Its area exceeds 50,000 acres. The hills have, generally, smooth outlines and easy ascents. A ridge across the county, centrally, from E. to W. through the towns of De Ruyter, Nelson, Eaton, and Madison, rising probably more than 1,500 feet above tide level, inasmuch as the summit level of the Chenango canal, is 1,226 feet above tide, and 706 feet above the Erie canal. This ridge is part of the shed, dividing waters of the Susquehanna from those of the Mohawk.
The whole of the county is, probably based on slate, over a greater portion of which, however, the great central secondary lime formation spreads, covering the northern half, excepting a strip of sand stone on the lake, and for some miles <:518> further is seen alternating ridges with the slate. Fragments of this rock are found, in boulders, from the size of an egg, to masses of many tons, over the southern portions. Fresh water limestone, containing much quartzose matter and fresh water shells, is found in the vicinity of the village of Chittenango, 2 miles S. of the great swamp.
Water lime is abundant in Sullivan, and gypsum in that town and in Lenox, where it is extensively prepared for use. The latter rises into small swells and ridges, near the Erie canal. Argillaceous iron ore is dug and manufactured in Lenox.
The soil corresponds, generally, with the rock beneath; affected, somewhat, by the alluvation which may blend with it. The four northern towns, Sullivan, Lenox, Fenner, and Smithfield, have loamy soils, compounded of clay and sand, in which calcareous gravel abounds. These are excellently adapted for, and produce vast quantities of, wheat. In the soils of the southern towns, clay predominates, and they are better adapted for, and are employed in, grass. The greater portion of the county is subject to untimely frosts. In the middle of August 1835, we saw many large tracts of Indian corn, as dry and shriveled as if the blasts of January had swept over them. But this was an extraordinary event. The summer crops generally thrive in the south.
With some inconsiderable exceptions, the county is abundantly watered. The Oriskany, Oneida, Cowaselon, and Canaseraga, creeks have their sources in its <:519> northerly declivity; whilst the Chittenango, Unadilla, and Otselic, rivers, flow from the southern. An account of most of these streams, will be more appropriately given under other heads, and we shall confine ourselves here to the following.
The Cowaselon, rises near Siloam, in Peterboro', and flows N.N.W. through Lenox and Sullivan, 18 miles to the Canaseraga. In its upper course it is a useful mill stream; its lower is on the level of, and through the Great Swamp.
The Canaseraga, head also in the town of Smithfield, and has a like course with the Cowaselon, of 25 miles, crossing for 6 miles through the swamp, to the Chittenango, in the town of Sullivan, on the N.W. line of the county.
The Chittenango, has its sources in Nelson and Fenner, and passes, by a very devious and rapid course, of 35 miles N.E. into the Oneida Lake; receiving in its way the overflowings of Lincklaen's Lake.
That lake, called by the aborigines, Hawgena, sometimes by the inhabitants, Cazenovia and Canaseraga, but generally Lincklaen, in the town of Cazenovia, is 4 miles long by 1 broad. It is a beautiful expanse, environed by gently waving country. There are several small ponds on the ridges, in Eaton and Madison, but, they do not claim special description.
There are three turnpike roads, the Cherry Valley; the Seneca, from Albany by Utica to Buffalo; and the Hampton [Hamilton] and Skaneateles, from Madison to Skaneateles, 53 miles. A company was incorporated April 17th, 1829, for making a rail road from Chittenango to Cazenovia; capital $200,000; the road to be made within ten years. It is proposed to connect it with the Erie rail road at Binghamton.
The Erie canal runs westerly through the northern towns, Lenox and Sullivan.
The county is divided into 13 towns. (Brookfield [:519]; Cazenovia [:519-520], DeRuyter [:520], Eaton [:520], Fenner [:520], Georgetown [:520], Hamilton [:520-521], Lebanon [:521], Lenox [:521], Madison [:521], Nelson [:521-522], Smithfield [:522], and Sullivan [:522].)
for Gordon's 1836 map of Madison and Chenango Counties [combined])
END of Gordon 1836 (Madison County)
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
(Madison County, pages 255)
<:255> MADISON COUNTY was taken from Chenango County in 1806, named after James Madison, president of the United States. Greatest length N. and S. 33, greatest breadth E. and W. 32 miles. Centrally distant from New York 250, Albany 108 miles. The surface of the country os much diversified. The middle and southern towns are more or less uneven and hilly; but the northern is more level. In the northern part much wheat is produced: the southern is better adapted to grass. The country is generally well watered. The route of the Chenango canal follows up the Oriskany, and crosses thence into Chenango County. The Erie canal runs westerly through the northern towns of Lenox and Sullivan. The county is divided into 14 towns. Pop. 40,032. (Brookfield [:255]; Cazenovia [:255-256], DeRuyter [:256], Eaton [:256-258], Fenner [:258-259], Georgetown [:259], Hamilton [:259], Lebanon [:260], Lenox [:260], Madison [:260], Nelson [:260], Smithfield [:260], and Sullivan [:260-262].)
Illustrations of Madison County Communities:
South Western view of Cazenovia (:256).
Northeast view of the public buildings in Morrisville (:256).
Northern view of Hamilton Village, Madison county (:259).
Southeastern view of Chittenango (:261).
END of Barber & Howe 1841 (Madison County)
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)
(Madison County, page 239)
<:239> MADISON COUNTY,
taken from Chenango in 1806, is centrally distant 108 miles west from the
city of Albany. it is bounded on the north by Oneida county, east
by Oneida and Otsego counties, south by Chenango, and west by Onondaga
county. The surface is much diversified; the elevated ridge which
separates the waters flowing north from the tributary waters of the Susquehannah
river, crosses the southern part of the county. The middle and southern
towns are uneven and hilly, while the northern portion is more level.
The soil is generally more fertile, and very fertile in the valleys, which
are extensive. It is drained on the south by the head branches of
the Chenango, Unadilla, Otselic and Tioughnioga rivers, and on the north
by several small streams, most of which fall into Oneida lake, lying upon
its northern boundary. Two very important mineral products, gypsum
and water lime stone, were at an early period discovered in this county
in great abundance, and have been a source of wealth to its citizens; they
are located near the Erie canal, affording facilities not often possessed,
for transporting the surplus to distant markets. Marl is found in
abundance, and bog iron ore has been found in various parts of the county,
though not in large quantities. There are two important sulphur springs
near the village of Chittenango; they are highly charged with gas, and
rank next to the Avon springs. The Erie Canal and the Syracuse and
Utica Railroad, both cross the northern part of the county. The county
buildings are located in the village of Morrisville, in the town of Eaton.
Its area is about 582 square miles, or 372,000 acres.
The following are names of the towns in Madison county, with the population in 1840. Brookfield = 3,695, Cazenovia = 4,153, DeRuyter = 1,799, Eaton = 3,409, Fenner = 1,977, Georgetown = 1,130, Hamilton = 3,738, Lebanon = 1,794, Lenox = 5,440, Madison = 2,344, Nelson = 2,100, Smithfield = 1,699, Stockbridge = 2,320, Sullivan = 4,390, Total inhabitants = 40,008.
END of Disternell 1842 / 1843 (Madison County)
Mather, J.H. and L.P. Brockett, 1848, Geographical History of the State of New York; Embracing its History, Governemnt, Physical Features, Climate, Geology, Mineralogy, Botany, Zoology, Education, Internal Improvements, &c with a Seperate Map fo Each County. The Whole Forming a Complete History of the State. H.H. Hawley & Co.. Utica, NY
(Madison County, pages 326 to 329 and 417 to 428)
(Statistics:) Square Miles, 582; Organized, 1806; Population, 40,987; Valuation 1845, $6,490,881.
(County Map with little detail not presented here)
Towns (14): Brookfield, 1795; Cazenovia, 1795; DeRuyter, 1798; Hamilton, 1801; Sullivan, 1803; Eaton, 1807; Lebanon, 1807; Madison, 1807; Nelson, 1807; Smithfield, 1807; Lenox, 1809; Georgetown, 1815; Fenner, 1823; Stockbridge, 1839.
Rivers, &c.: Chenango river, Unadilla, Oriskany Creek, Cowasalon, Canaseraga, Chittenango, Oneida.
Lakes: Oneida; Cazenovia, or Linklaen.
Marshes: Great Swamp.
Universities: Madison University.
Villages: MORRISVILLE, Hamilton, Cazenovia, Canastota, Chittenango.
(Madison County statistics only)
Table I. Agricultural and Horticultural Products
Table II. Agricultural Products
Table III. Manufacturing Statistics
END of Mather & Brockett 1848 (Madison County)
Evans, Gurdon, 1852 "A General View and Agricultural Survey of the County of Madison." in Transactions of the New York State Agricultural Society for 1851. Volume XI (9), pages 658-777. Printed by Charles Van Benthuysen. Albany, NY.
(Geography and Topography, pages 686-691)
The boundaries of the county of Madison may be thus defined: a nearly east and west line, through Oneida lake forms the northern boundary to the mouth of Oneida creek: this stream forms the northeast and eastern bounds to the north line of Stockbridge - thence east, according to the compass in 1824, two miles and 112 rods (1,848 feet) thence S. 25' E., 487 chains 80 links (32,195 feet) to the south line of the Stockbridge grant: thence south to the north line of Madison town: thence east 6° south, along the north line of Madison to the N.E. corner of said town thence along thee eastern line of said <:687> town to the north line of Brookfield, which it follows easterly to the Unadilla river: thence following the course of the river to the junction with the south line of the 18th township of the Chenango townships: thence west, on the south line of the 18th, 4th, 6th and 6th townships to the east line of DeRuyter, formerly Troup lot 82; thence due west through a tier of lots to the east line of the military tract: thence along said line northerly, to a point where it intersects the Chittenango creek: thence along the said creek to the Oneida lake and the place of beginning. Such is the unmeaning description as recorded, of the bounds of Madison county; a description, from which no chorographer could, with any approach to accuracy, plot the form or figure of the county. The same inexcusable want of precision or correct delineation marks most of the geographical descriptions of the State. Neither can its longitude be given with any certitude, for no observations appear to have been made or recorded, in regard to the longitude of any point or place in Western New-York. The surveyor of Seneca county (footnote = Mr. John Delafield of Seneca County), finding a similar difficulty last year, entered into a correspondence with the general and State governments, from which it is earnestly hoped measures will be devised and adopted for making a series of precise observations by which to determine the true longitude of every principal city and village in the State. The nearest means of approach to the longitude of Madison county, is the east line of the military tract. This line is estimated by the Surveyor General to be 1° 2' 20" east of the meridian of Washington; this is, however, an assumption, though, probably, not very far from the truth. The latitude is readily obtained, and until more correct observations are procured, the position of the county may be stated at between 42° 43', and 43° 10' north latitude and 1° 2' 20" and 1° 39' east longitude, from the meridian at Washington.
This county was organized in 1806, and was taken from the county of Chenango: since that date no change has occurred, save only the addition of that part of Stockbridge lying east of the Oneida creek, which was taken from Augusta, in Oneida county. The rapid increase of population demanded a rapid division into <:688> communities, the dates of the organization of the present towns indicate the county's growth: Brookfield was organized in 1796; Cazenovia in 1795; DeRuyter in 1798; Hamilton in 1801; Sullivan in 1803; Eaton in 1807; Lebanon in 1807; Madison in 1807; Nelson in 1807; Smithfield in 1807; Lenox in 1809; Georgetown in 1816; Fenner in 1823; Stockbridge in 1839. The division of the county into towns excited from time to time new and rival interests, from which public benefits flowed, and private gain necessarily followed. The most prominent public figure was the extension of roads, and the opening of new avenues in various directions.
In the year 1800 the Seneca Turnpike Company was empowered to improve the old State road from Utica to Canandaigua; under the vigorous exertions of the commissioners, this road was opened to a width of six rods (99 feet), during the first season, as far as Vernon; reaching Chittenango in 1801. At an early day a load was opened from Peterboro, through Skaneateles and Cherry Valley.
The construction of the Erie canal opened a water communication with Albany and New- York, forming ports for the import and export of commodities within this county at Canastota and Oneida. The Chenango canal opened a connection from the eastern borders direct to Utica, or south to Binghamton, connecting with the Erie railroad. The Syracuse and Utica railroad has been equally instrumental in advancing the prominent interests of this county, having depots at Chittenango and Canastota.
The influences of the agricultural character of this region seem to be strongly marked in the rapid extension of plank roads in various directions: the chief products being wheat and barley, wool, dairy products, hops, and teasels, and the places for deposit being in northern and eastern towns, an easy mode of transportation around or over the many hills and rough places, soon indicated the value of plank roads, consequently in 1848, a plank road was constructed from Hamilton to Utica; another connected Hamilton, Madison and Oriskany, in 1860; and in the same year, Georgetown and Pecksport were joined or linked together by a road passing <:689> through Eaton and Leeville. During the year 1861 a plank road was laid from Canastota to Morrisville, and another from Peterboro to Clarksville was in progress. A very principal plank road extends from DeRuyter to the Oneida lake, passing through Cazenovia, Chittenango and its depots, a distance of thirty-one miles. This last named road marks the enterprise of the people of Madison county, it was completed in 1848, a portion of it passing through a difficult valley, which at some points assumed the character of a gorge, and overcoming a hill of 800 feet elevation, by an easy ascent, in no place more than six feet rise in a hundred. The road formerly in use, in going to the canal and returning required an aggregate ascent of about 1,600 feet. This road cost $21,000, of which more than $10,000 was expended in grading; this cost has rendered available and valuable, a water power before useless, whose entire fall is 750 feet, and the greater part or which was previously inaccessible.
The effect of this net work of roads and canals, has brought to the doors of every farmer and inhabitant every article of necessity, ornament and luxury produced in other regions, to be exchanged for such surplus products as the county may yield; it has induced an increase of population and necessarily an increase of labor, of production, and wealth; it may and probably has diminished the occupation of a class of non-producers or traders, because the profits which they intercepted go now more directly to the farmer or actual consumer, thus diverting a capital though not large, into other and probably more beneficial channels, both for the proprietor and the nation.
The formation of the face of this county and its elevation, do not admit of the flow of navigable waters; from east to west, and near the center of the county, an elevated ridge forms a dividing line, on either side of which the waters flow north or south. The waters collected on the northern side are received into the basin of Oneida lake, passing thence through the Oswego river to Lake Ontario, and mingling with that inland ocean, they escape, through the river and gulf of St. Lawrence, into the Atlantic. The waters <:690> which course down the southern slope, fall into the valleys of the Chenango and Unadilla, and joining the Susquehanna, they reach the Atlantic through the Chesapeake bay. The Chittenango creek (footnote = Meaning "waters divide and run north") is navigable for boats after receiving the waters of the Canaseraga and Cowasalon.
The Canaseraga (footnote = Meaning "Big Elks horn") falls over a precipice near to Perryville, passes through the great marsh, and falls into the Chittenango, a few miles from Oneida lake. The Cowasalon is a tributary to the Canaseraga. Oneida creek rises in the town of Fenner; passes through Smithfield into Stockbridge. This stream presents a water power at the falls, worthy of more extended use and occupation of capital, than have yet been directed to it. Oneida lake forms one of the most interesting features in connection with the olden route of travel as well as a present means of communication with other ports. It was once the great and only track or road way by water and land from the Hudson river to the Genesee Valley or to the Seneca lake. Batteaux ascended the Mohawk, or teams would follow its banks to Fort Stanwix, (Rome,) thence cross a portage to Fort Bull, on the head waters of Wood creek and following on the surface of this stream, would reach the bosom of Oneida lake. Here a choice of routes was presented, first: from the outlet of this lake to Seneca river, and along its course to the never freezing Seneca lake, whose high temperature never permits an icy barrier to the traveler's progress - turning into the Oswego river, float into Lake Ontario, and reach, with ease, any point on its shores. On the western margin of the county is Cazenovia lake, a sheet of water known among the Indians as 0-wah-ge-ha-gah, meaning the lake where yellow fish abound, or yellow perch lake; the elevation of this lake is 1,227 feet [actually 1190 feet] above tide water, and about 832 feet [actually 820 feet] above the surface of Oneida lake. In length it does not exceed four miles, and is about four-fifths of a mile in breadth.
The elevation of Madison county presented to the Canal Commissioners, favorable features for the construction of reservoirs, wherein to collect masses of water for the supply of the Erie <:691> canal if needed, in seasons of drought. Five of these reservoirs are wholly artificial, and four are natural ponds enlarged. The acres covered by water within the county may be estimated as follows:
Eaton reservoir 284 "
Madison brook reservoir 235 "
Woodman's pond 148 "
Hatch's pond 136 "
Lord's Pond 70 "
Madison pond 50 "
Bradley brook 134 "
Kingsley brook 205 "
Leland pond 173 "
Cazenovia lake 1,900 "
Total 3,676 acres.
The Erie canal, which passes through this county, occupies a length of line to Utica, known generally as "the long level," it is here about 473 feet above tide water; from this line of canal the surface descends gradually to Oneida lake, the surface of which is 66 feet below the canal. The land on the south side of the canal rises until reaching the ridge line, running east and west from near the southern end of Cazenovia lake; the waters of this lake lying 742 feet above the village of Chittenango. The hills along this region of the county, rise from one to two hundred feet above the Cazenovia level; and the surface may be deemed hilly, not ribbed with elevated ranges, but marked by abrupt, short hills, with narrow and deep valleys.
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
(Madison County, pages 388 & 389)
This county was formed from
Chenango, March 21, 1806, and named in honor of President Madison.
That part of Stockbridge E. of Oneida Creek was annexed from Oneida in
1836. It is situated in the central part of the State, is centrally
distant 98 mi. from Albany, and contains an area of 670 sq. mi. The
extreme N. part is low, level, and swampy; but the central and S. parts
are hilly, and constitute a portion of the general system of highlands
which occupy Central New York. The hills generally have rounded outlines
and steep declivities, their highest summits being 500 to 800 ft. above
the valleys and 900 to 1,200 ft. above tide. The highlands are divided
into separate ridges by a series of valleys extending N. and S., and they
form the watershed between Susquehanna River and Oneida Lake. The
principal streams upon the N. slope are Chittenango (note
388-1) Creek, forming a part of the W. boundary of the co.,
Oneida Creek, forming a part of the E. boundary, and the Canaseraga, (note
388-2) Canastota, (note 388-3) and Cowaselon
Creeks: and the principal flowing S. are Unadilla River, upon the E. border
Beaver Creek, Chenango River and its branches, Otselic (note
388-4) Creek, and Tioughnioga River. The principal bodies
of water are Oneida Lake, forming the N. boundary, and Owahgena or Cazenovia
Lake, near the center of the W. border. The latter, a beautiful sheet
of water, 4 mi. long, is 900 ft. above tide, and is completely surrounded
by gradually sloping hillsides. The lowest rocks of the co., outcropping
along Oneida Lake, belong to the Clinton group. The red iron ore
peculiar to this group is found to a limited extent, but not in sufficient
quantities to render mining profitable. Next above this successively
appear the Niagara and Onondaga groups, underlying the whole swampy region.
388-5) The red shales form the surface rock S. of the
swamp, and beds of gypsum extend along the base of the hills. These
beds are extensively quarried in some sections, and furnish an excellent
quality of plaster. Upon the N. declivities of the hills successively
appear the water lime stone, Pentameros limestone, Oriskany sandstone,
and Onondaga limestone. From these groups are obtained an abundance
of waterlime, quicklime, and building stone, all of excellent quality.
Next above appear the Marcellus and Hamilton shales, covering more than
one-half of the entire surface of the Co. The Tully limestone, Genesee
slate, and Ithaca groups are found to a limited extent covering the tops
of the southern hills. A large share of the co. is covered deep with
drift deposits. The soil upon the fiat lands of the N. is generally
a red clay, with great quantities of muck and marl in the swampy regions.
Upon the northern declivities of the hills the soil is a gravelly loam
intermixed with lime and plaster, and is very productive. Farther
S. the soil upon the hills is a clayey, gravelly, and shaly loam, best
adapted to pasturage, and in the valleys a gravelly loam and alluvium.
The people are principally engaged in stock raising and dairying.
Hops are largely cultivated. Manufactures are principally confined
to two or three villages.
The co. seat is located at Morrisville. The courthouse is a two story wooden building, pleasantly situated on a small park, fronting on a main street. It was built in 1849, and contains the court (note 388-6) and jury rooms. (note 388-7) The clerk's office is a small, brick, fireproof building adjoining the courthouse. The jail was burned in the winter of 1858. The poorhouse is located upon a farm of 185 acres near Eaton village, 5 mi. S. E. of Morrisville. The average number of inmates is 180, supported at a cost of 56 cts. per week each. A school is taught during the whole year. The farm yields a revenue of $1,500. (note 388-8) The principal public works in the co. are the Erie Canal and the N.Y. Central <:389> R.R., extending through Lenox and Sullivan. Among the hills are several large artificial reservoirs, used as feeders for the canal. Cazenovia Lake is used for the same purpose.
There are seven weekly newspapers published in the co. (note 389-1)
Nearly all the S. half of this co. belonged to the tract known as the "Chenango Twenty Towns." (note 389-2) A strip lying between this tract and the Military Tract including De Ruyter and the greater part of Cazenovia, was embraced in the Lincklaen Purchase. The Oneida Indian Reservation, originally embracing all the N. part of the co., was subsequently divided into several large tracts. The "New Petersburgh Tract," or purchase of Peter Smith, includes nearly all of Smithfield and Fenner, the N. part of Cazenovia, and a strip a mile wide across the s. part of Stockbridge. The remainder of Stockbridge was included in the reservation of the Stockbridge Indians. Lenox and Sullivan constituted the N.W. portion of the Oneida Indian Reservation. The first settlements were made by squatters upon the Oneida Reservation, in 1790. (note 389-3) The permanent settlements were commenced about 1795, and the co. rapidly filled up with immigrants, principally from New England.
Meaning "waters that divide and run N." Seaver, in "The life of Mary Jemison," says it is a corruption of the Oneida word "Chu-de-nääny," signifying "where the sun shines out."
Meaning "Big Elkshorn." Seaver gives it as "Ka-na-so-wa-ga," signifying "several strings of beads with a string lying across."
"Ka-ne-to-ta," signifying "pine tree standing alone."
In the marsh near Canastota a brine spring is found. A boring of 190 ft. was made here; but the water obtained was not sufficiently strong to warrant the further prosecution of the work.
The first courts were held alternatively at the "schoolhouse near David Barnard's, in Sullivan, [now Lenox,] and at the schoolhouse in the village of Hamilton." The first officers were Peter Smith, First Judge; Sylvanus Smalley, Edward Green, Elisha Payne, and David Cook, Associate Judges; Asa B. Sizer, Co. Clerk; Jeremiah Whipple, Sheriff; and Thos. H. Hubbard, Surrogate. In 1810, Cazenovia was selected as the site of the co. buildings, and Col. Lincklaen and Capt. Jackson were appointed to superintend the building of the courthouse. A brick building was erected, and the first court was held in it in Jan. 1812. In 1817 the co. seat was removed to Morrisville, and the first court was held there Oct. 7, 1817.
Ellis Moss, Sam'l White, and Oliver Pool were appointed to superintend the erection of the courthouse.
This institution consists of three two story stone buildings; the poorhouse proper, a lunatic asylum, and a hospital.
(Lengthy list of the Madison County Newspapers = see full text below)
The following is a list of these townships within the limits of this co.: Nelson = No. 1; Eaton = 2; Madison = 3; Hamilton = 4; Lebanon = 5; Georgetown = 6; Brookfield = 19 & 20. The Canastota Tract in this co. was granted in lieu of the school lots reserved in the "Twenty Towns;" but by some oversight was sold with those lands.
See page 461. (sic) (actually page 394 note 6) (refers to several men who had been under the command of Capt. Walter Vrooman on October 23 1780, when they were captured Canaseraga, and who later settled in the valley south of Chittenango).
Note 389-1 (Listing of Madison County Newspapers = Bold Titles indicate those published in 1860)
The Madison Freeholder was commenced at Peterboro,
before or in the early part of 1808, by Jonathan Bruce & and Co.
It soon after appeared as
The Freeholder, and was continued until 1813. It was then changed to
The Madison County Herald, and was continued several years.
The Pilot was established at Cazenovia, in Ang 1808, by Oran E Baker, and continued until Aug 1823.
The Republican Monitor was started in Cazenovia in Sept 1823, by L.L. Rice. It was published by John F. Fairchild from April, 1825, until Jan. 1832, by J.F. Fairchild & Son until July, 1840, and by J.F. Fairchild until March 4, 1841, when it was discontinued.
The Student Miscellany, semi mo., was published at Cazenovia, in 1831, by A. Owen and L. Kidder
The Union Herald was commenced May, 1835, by L. Myrick and E.W. Clark. In 1836 Clark withdrew; and un 1840 the paper war discontinued
The Cazenovia Democrat was started in Sept. 1836, by J.W. Chubbuck & Co.; it was edited by J.W. Dwinelle. In Feb. 1837, it was discontinued.
The Madison County Eagle was commenced at Cazenovia, in Feb. 1840 by Cyrus O. Pool. In 1841 it was published bv Thos. S. Myrick and W.H. Phillips. In June, 1842, Myrick withdrew; and in May, 1845, its name was changed to
The Madison County Whig. In Aug. 1848, Phillips was succeeded by H.A. Cooledge, by whom the paper was changed to
The Madison County News, in Oct. 1853. In May, 1854, it was again changed to
The Madison County Whig; and in Jan. 1857 it was discontinued.
The Abolitionist was started at Cazenovia, in 1841, by Luther Myrick, and continued 2 years
The Madison and Onondaga Abolitionist was published in 1843, by Luther Myrick.
The Madison Republic was commenced at Cazenovia in Jan. 1850, by W.H. Phillips and continued about 3 months.
The Cazenovia Gazette was published by Baker & Debnam, from Oct. 1851, until May, 1852.
The Progressive Christian was established in April, 1853, by A. Pryne, and was continued 2 years.
The Cazenovia Republican was commenced May 1 1854, by Seneca Lake, its present publisher
The Gazette and Madison County Advertiser was established at Peterboro in May, 1817 by John B. Johnson and son. It was removed to Morrisville in 1819, and discontinued in 1822.
The Madison Observer was commenced at Cazenovia, in Jan. 1821, by Rice & Hale. It was removed to Morrisville in 1822; and in 1824 Bennett Bicknell became its publisher. In 1829 it was united with The Hamilton Recorder and was issued is
The Observer and Recorder. In 1832 it passed into the hands of H.C. Bicknell and Jas. Norton and in 1834 into those of Jas. Norton. In 1835 it was changed to
The Madison Observer. In 1839 J. and E. Norton became its publishers, and in 1856 Edward Norton, by whom it is still published
The Hamilton Recorder was started in 1817, by John G. Stower and P.B. Havens. In 1819 it passed into the hands of Stower & Williams, and afterward into those of John P. Van Sice. In 1829 it was remove to Morrisville and united with The Observer.
The Madison Farmer was published at Hamilton, in 1828, by Nathaniel King
The Civilian was started July 27, 1830 by Lauren Dewey. In Feb. 1831, it passed into the hands of Lewison Fairchild, and in Nov. 1831, it was discontinued.
The Hamilton Courier was commenced by G.R. Waldron, in Feb. 1834, and the following year it appeared as
The Hamilton Courier and Madison County Advertiser. It was continued until 1838.
The Hamilton Palladium was started in 1838, by John Atwood, and continued 6 years, a part of the time by J. & D. Atwood.
The Hamilton Eagle was published in 1839, by G.R. Waldron.
The Literary Visitor was published at Hamilton about 3 months, in 1842. by Dennis Redman.
The Democratic Reflector was started at Hamilton by G.R. Waldron, in 1842, and was published by Waldron & Baker from 1843 until 1854, and 2 years by Waldron alone, when it united with The Madison Co. Journal, and appeared as
The Democratic Republican. It is now published by Waldron & James.
The Madison County Journal was commenced in Sept. 1849, by E.F & C.B. Gould. W.W. Chubbuck, F.B. Fisher, and T.L. James were afterward interested in its publication; and in 1856 it united with The Democratic Reflector.
The Mill Boy was published during the campaign of 1844, at the Palladium office.
The Polker was published during the campaign of 1844, at the Reflector office.
The Land Mark was published as a campaign paper in 1850.
The New York State Radii was removed from Fort Plain, Montgomery Co., in 1854, by L.S. Backus, and continued about 18 months, when it was returned to Fort Plain.
The Democratic Union was commenced at Hamilton, in 1856, by Levi S. Backus, and in 1857 it passed into the hands of W.H. Baker the present publisher.
The Canastota Register was published it 1830, by Silas Judd and H.B. Mattison, and in 1831 by H.S. Merritt.
The Canastota Times was commenced in 1857, by Geo. H. Merriam, and was discontinued the following year.
The Canastota Eagle was started Nov. 4, 1858, by J.E.N. Backus, its present publisher.
The Chittenango Herald was established in 1832, by Isaac Lyon, and was published successively as
The Chittenango Republican
The Phoenix, and
The Democratic Gazette, until 1856 when it was discontinued.
The De Ruyter Herald was published in 1835, by C.W. Mason.
The Protestant Sentinel was brought from Schenectady to De Ruyter in Nov. 1836, and was published by J. & C.H. Maxon until the fall of 1857. It then passed into the hands of Wm. D. Cochran, by whom it was issued as
The Protestant Sentinel and Seventh Day Baptist Journal. In Feb. 1840, Joel Greene became its publisher, and changed it to
The Seventh Day Baptist Register. In 1841 it passed into the hands of James Bailey, by whom it was continued until 1845.
The National Banner was commenced at De Ruyter in Oct. 1847, by A.C. Hill, and continued 2 years.
The Central New Yorker was published at De Ruyter, by E.F. & C.B. Gould, from Sept. 1848, until May, 1851.
The Banner of the Times was started at De Ruyter, by Walker & Hill, and continued until 1855
The Oneida Telegraph was commenced at Oneida, in Sept. 1851, by D.H. Frost. In June, 1854, it passed into the hands of John Crawford, and was changed to
The Oneida Sachem, under which name it is still published.
The Circular was established in 1852, and is published weekly at the Oneida Community.
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
(Madison County, pages 21-32; Statistical Table, page 230; Additional Statistics, page 231)
Madison County items not copied:
Post Offices and Post Masters in Madison County, page 225,
Madison County Officers, page 227,
Internal Revenue Officers of the County of Madison, page 227,
Madison County Table of Distances, page 232
THIS COUNTY was formed from Chenango, March 21, 1806, and named in honor of President Madison. In 1836 it was enlarged, by annexing that part of Stockbridge east of Oneida Creek. It is situated in the central part of the State; is centrally distant 98 miles from Albany, and contains an area of 670 square miles. The surface, in the extreme northern part, is low, level and swampy, but in the central and southern parts, is hilly; constituting a portion of the general system of highlands which occupy central New York. The hills, generally, have rounded outlines, and steep declivities; their highest summits ranging from 500 to 800 feet above the valleys and from 900 to 1,200 feet above tide. The highlands, which are divided into separate ridges by a series of valleys extending north and south, form the watershed between the Susquehanna River and Oneida Lake. Upon the north slope, the principal streams are Chittenango Creek, (meaning "waters divide and run north,") forming a part of the west boundary of the County, Oneida Creek, forming a part of the east boundary, and the Canaseraga, (Big Elkshorn,) Canastota (Kanetota, meaning, "Big Pine,") and Cowaselon (meaning, "Weeping Squaw,") Creeks. The principal streams flowing south are Unadilla River, upon the east border, Beaver Creek; Chenango (meaning, "waters divide and run south,") River, and its branches, Otselic (meaning, "Capfull,") Creek, Tioughnioga River, Oneida Lake, forming the north boundary, and Owahgena, or Cazenovia Lake, near the center of the west border, are the principal bodies of water. The latter, one of the most beautiful lakes in the State, is four miles long, 900 feet above tide, and is surrounded by gradually sloping hillsides. The lowest rocks of the County, outcropping along Oneida Lake, belong to the Clinton group. The red iron one peculiar to this group, is found to a limited extent, but not in. sufficient quantities <:22> to render mining profitable. Next above this successively, appear the Niagara and Onondaga groups, underlying the whole swampy region. The red shales form the surface rock south of the swamp, and beds of gypsum extend along the base of the hills. These beds are extensively quarried, in some sections, and furnish an excellent quality of plaster. Upon the north declivities of the hills successively appear the water limestone, Pentameros limestone, Oriskany sandstone, and Onondaga limestone. From these groups are obtained an abundance of waterlime, quicklime and building stone; all of excellent quality. Next above appear the Marcellus and Hamilton shales, covering more than one half of the entire surface of the County. The Tully limestone, Genesee slate and Ithaca groups, are found, to some extent, covering the tops of the southern bills. A large share of the County is covered deep with drift deposits.
The soil upon the flat lands of the north, is generally of red clay, with great quantities of muck and marl in the swampy regions. Upon the northern declivities of the hills, the soil is a gravelly loam, intermixed with lime and plaster, and is very productive. Further south, the soil upon the hills is a clayey, gravelly and shaly loam, best adapted to pasturage; and in the valleys, a gravelly loam and alluvium. Stock raising and dairying are the principal pursuits of the people. Hops are cultivated extensively throughout the County. Manufactures are limited, and confined chiefly to a few villages.
The County seat is located
at Morrisville. The first Courts were held, alternately, at the schoolhouse
near David Barnard's, in Sullivan, (now Lenox,) and at the school house,
in the village of Hamilton. The first officers were the following:
-- Peter Smith, First Judge; Sylvanus Smalley, Edward Green, Elisha
Payne and David Cook, Associate Judges; Asa B. Sizer, County
Clerk; Jeremiah Whipple, Sheriff; and Thomas H. Hubbard, Surrogate.
In 1810 Cazenovia was selected as the site of the County buildings, and
Col. John Lincklaen and Capt. Jackson were appointed to superintend the
erection of a Court House. A brick building was erected, and the
first Court was held in it in January 1812. In 1817 the County seat
was removed to Morrisville and the first Court was held there October 7,
1817. A new Court House was erected in 1847, and burned in October
1865, during the session of Court. It was rebuilt in 1866.
It is a two story wooden building containing a very fine court room, with
gallery, jury rooms, and library. It is pleasantly situated, on a
small park, fronting on the main street. In the park is a beautiful
fountain and reservoir, thirty feet in diameter, and seven deep, affording
an abundant supply of water in case of fire.
<:23> The Clerk's office is a small brick building, fireproof, adjacent to the Court House. The present county officers are, Charles L. Kennedy, Judge; Andrew J. French, Sheriff; Lambert B. Kern, District Attorney; Nathan Brownell, County Clerk; Henry S. Wise; Deputy Clerk; David F. Payson, County Treasurer.
The County Poor House is located upon a farm of 159 acres, in the town of Eaton, five miles southeast of Morrisville. The following statistics respecting it are taken from the annual report of the Superintendent of the Poor, for the year 1867. The total expense for the year ending November 15, 1867, was $17,774.96. The stock upon the County House Farm consists of one span of horses, one yoke of oven, 16 milch cows, 17 fat cattle, 28 sheep, and 4 fat hogs. The products of the farm were as follows: ? 60 tons of hay, 100 bushels or oats, 250 bushels of corn, 450 bushels of potatoes, 35 bushels of beans, 10 bushels onions, 14 bushels of peas, aud [sic] a large supply of garden vegetables. There were milked on the farm, during the summer, 15 cows. Eight hundred pounds of butter, were made, and four hundred and eighty dollars worth of cheese. There were manufactured at the County House, during the year, 37 pairs of pants, 22 mens frocks, 6 pairs drawers, 30 pairs overalls, 42 shirts, 29 women's dresses, 16 chemise, 2 night dresses, 2 underskirts,, 23 pairs sheets, 18 pairs pillow cases, 14 bedquilts, 7 straw ticks, 7 jackets, and one coat. Fifty-two pounds of wool were manufactured into stockings and mittens by the inmates.
The whole number of paupers relieved and supported at the County House during the year was 161.
Number at the County House at the date of last report, = 73.
Number of births, = 1.
Number of deaths, = 7.
Number discharged, = 60.
Number who left without leave, = 10.
Number of children bound out, = 7.
Number of children out on trial, = 5.
Number at the County House now, = 72.
Greatest number at one time, = 135.
Least number at one time, = 67.
Number of children under 15 years of age, = 15.
Number of idiots, = 4.
Number of insane, = 14.
Number of blind, = 1.
Number of weeks board of resident paupers, = 4,079 3/7.
Number of weeks board of transient paupers, = 660 2/7.
Total [weeks of board], = 4,739 5/7.
Average cost per week, exclusive of produce of County Farm, = $0.6387.
The principal public works
in the County, are the Erie Canal and the New York Central Rail Road, extending
through Lenox and, Sullivan; Chenango Canal, extending through the northwest
part of Madison, along the east border of Eaton, and west border of' Hamilton,
leaving the County at Earlville. A new canal, connecting Oneida Lake,
at South Bay, with the Erie Canal at Durhamville, is now under contract.
The New York and Oswego Midland Rail Road is located in this County, from
Oneida, through Stockbridge, Eaton and Lebanon, to Norwich. It is
now under contract from Oswego to Sidney Plains, and the grading has already
been commenced at several points. The Utica, Chenango and Susquehanna
Rail Road extends through the northwest corner of Brookfield, near Hubbardsville,
East Hamilton and Earlville, to Sherburne. The cars are already,
running to Sherburne. The Cazenovia and Canastota Rail Road Company
has been organized, and the surveys made for a road from Canastota, via
Perryville, to Cazenovia.
The first newspaper published in the County was,
[a long list of newspapers follows, which is based on that presented by J.H. French in his 1860 Gazetteer of New York State. Only those papers with additional information from French's 1860 list are given here with the new information underlined. All other information is essentially the same (some wording is different) DHW 11/1998]
The Christian and Citizen was published at Peterboro
in 1854 by Pryne & Walker.
The Madison and Onondaga Abolitionist was published in 1843, by Luther Myrick and J.C. Jackson.
THE CAZENOVIA REPUBLICAN was commenced May 1, 1854, by Seneca Lake; it was subsequently published by Crandall Brothers, and is now issued by Forte Brothers.
THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLICAN. It was published
by Waldron & James until 1861; by J. Hunt Smith sixteen months,
when it passed into the hands of E.D. Van Slyck, by whom it is now published.
THE DEMOCRATIC UNION was commenced at Hamilton in 1856, by Levi S. Backus; and in 1857 it passed into the hands of W.H. Baker, who removed it to Oneida in 1863, where he continues to publish it.
The Canastota Eagle was started November 4, 1858, by J.F.N. Backus, and published about three years.
THE CANASTOTA HERALD was commenced in September 1866, and published by A. White until April 1867; then by White & Greenhow one year, when it passed into the hands of Greenhow & Son, its present publishers.
The De Ruyter Weekly News was established in
1862, by J.E.N. Backus, and was discontinued in 1864.
The Sabbath School Gem, monthly, was published in 1863 and 1864, by J.F.N. Backus.
The Oneida Sachem, under which name it continued until May 1868, when it was changed to
THE ONEIDA DISPATCH. September 16, 1865, it passed into the hands of Purdy & Jackson, its present publishers. From March to October 1864, Edward H. Spooner was associated with Mr. Crawford in the publication of the Dispatch.
The Independent Volunteer. was started July 28, 1864, at Morrisville and Hamilton. September 25, 1866, it was changed to
WALDRON'S DEMOCRATIC VOLUNTEER, and is now published at Hamilton, by G. R. Waldron & Son.
[Papers being published in 1868 are: The Cazenovia Republican, The Madison Observer, The Democratic Republican, The Democratic Union, The Canastota Herald, The Oneida Dispatch, and Waldron's Democratic Volunteer.]
[Papers published at the time of French's 1860 Gazetteer which had ceased publication by 1868 are: The Canastota Eagle, The Oneida Sachem, and The Circular.]
Nearly all the south half
of this County belonged to the tract known as the "Chenango Twenty Towns;"
a tract ceded by the Indians of the State, in a treaty made with Gov. George
Clinton, at Fort Schuyler, September 22, 1788. These towns were originally
designated by numbers. Those embraced in Madison County are Nelson,
Eaton, Madison, Hamilton, Lebanon and Georgetown, formerly numbered respectively,
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and Brookfield, embracing 19 and 20. A strip lying
between this tract and the Military Tract, including De Ruyter and the
greater part of Cazenovia, was embraced in the Lincklaen purchase.
The Oneida Indian Reservation originally embraced all the north part of
the County, but was subsequently divided into several large tracts.
The "New Petersburgh Tract," or purchase of Peter Smith, embraced fifty
thousand acres, including nearly all of Smithfield and Fenner, the north
part of Cazenovia, and a strip, one mile wide, across the <:28> south
part of Stockbridge. The remainder of Stockbridge was included in
the Reservation of the Stockbridge Indians. Lenox and Sullivan constituted
the northwest portion of the Oneida Indian Reservation.
The first settlements of this County were made by squatters upon the Oneida Reservation, in 1770. The permanent settlements were commenced about 1795, by immigrants, chiefly from the New England States, who have left an indelible stamp upon the County; of their industry, intelligence and morality. The great lines of travel, from the Hudson to the Niagara, passed either north or south of the territory embraced in Madison County, and to this fact, perhaps, may be attributed its exemption from the horrors of war, which disturbed the more southern and adjoining counties.
[Note: there are a great many errors in the following relation, and having spent some time researching this matter, I do not wish to have any part in fostering the wrong version of the story. I (D.H.W.) present corrective notes at the end of each paragraph]
One incident, prominent among revolutionary events, and probably the leading cause to the first settlement of the County, may with propriety be recorded among the local interests of the County. In the fall of 1780, about 800 men were collected in the vicinity of Montreal, with all possible speed and secrecy; embarked without delay upon batteaux that were in readiness for them; they passed up the river to Lake Ontario, through the lake, up the Oswego River, through the Oneida branch to Oneida Lake, thence a few miles up Chittenango Creek, where they concealed their boats and stores, and started on a marauding expedition. While Col's Johnston and Butler were organizing this force in Canada, Brant been collected the Indians at Tioga Point, and ascending the Susquehanna to Unadilla, he united his force with that of Col's. Johnston and Butler, and the whole army moved to Schoharie. Stains of blood and fire marked the progress of the invading foe. Yielding to the same fiendish spirit, they proceeded to the valley of the Mohawk, plundering and burning, till overcome with fatigue, and overburthened with plunder, they halted at a place called Klocks field, on the East Canada Creek. As soon as the news of this irruption reached the American headquarters, General Robert Van Rensselaer, went in pursuit of the foe, with a force of 1,500 men. Advancing upon the south side or the river, he reached the ford west of St. Johnsville, which was guarded by forty men, but did not advance until the guard was withdrawn. On the afternoon of the next day, the force came up with the British troops and Indians, who fled, intending to reach their boats by the shortest route. Gen. Van Rensselaer pursued them as far as Herkimer, then sent an express to Fort Schuyler (Rome,) ordering Captain Vrooman, with a strong detachment, to hasten forward to Chittenango Creek and destroy the enemies boats and stores. Capt. Vrooman surprised the guard left in charge of the boats, made them prisoners, and sunk all of the boats but two. Having accomplished their work, Vrooman and his party were in turn surprised by the arrival <:29> of Butler's Rangers and Indians, and the whole party made prisoners, without firing a gun. The British were much irritated at the discovery bf their boats sunk, and their stores destroyed. They succeeded, however in raising a sufficient number of boats to make their escape. While the regular troops were making the necessary arrangements for their embarkation, their more savage allies amused themselves by the wanton massacre of three prisoners and the torture, of the fourth. For many years a lofty pine tree stood near the place of Vrooman's capture, memorable as the "Turtle Tree," from the circumstance of the rude outline of a turtle [having] been engraved upon the trunk. This, symbol indicated a victory and torture of prisoners. An importance was attached to the latter incident, which caused the Indians, for many years, to make an annual pilgrimage to the "Turtle Tree." The prisoner was bound at the knees and ankles, and compelled to run the gauntlet between two files of Indians, who were armed with clubs and other weapons, ready and anxious to give their victim a blow. They promised him life and honor if he should reach the end of the line without serious injury. The prisoner made nine leaps along the line, of such astonishing length, that, for the moment, the savages withheld the blows they seemed ready to inflict; but at the tenth leap he was struck down, cruelly beaten, and afterwards burned. Each leap of the prisoner was marked, and for many years the Indians were accustomed to assemble at this spot, and attempt, unbound, to equal the leaps of the unfortunate prisoner, but without success. Authorities differ as to the precise spot upon which this British force landed, but the early ,settlers of Sullivan found portions of muskets, knives, hatchets and bullets, in the vicinity, and fragments of boats among the driftwood along the shore. A rumor long prevailed that in the hurry of escape, Johnston lost his military chest, containing a large amount of specie, and search was made for the lost treasure, but without success.
[D.H.W.'s notes on the above:
[Johnson's boats were on Onondaga Lake and not Chittenango Creek. Vrooman, who was stationed at Fort Stanwix, was ordered with all dispatch to Onondaga Lake, but made it only as far as the Deep Spring where they found evidence that the British had already passed through. The back-tracked to the abandoned Tuscarora village of Canaseraga where they awaited the arrival of Clinton and Van Rensselaer's militia. Believing themselves to be behind the enemy, Vrooman's men sat down to eat their dinner, but were surprised by a group of British who had not yet passed, and were captured without struggle. Four of Vrooman's men were killed, but there is no contemporary account of the Turtle Tree. in the earliest version of the Turtle Tree tale (Clark 1849 I:333, II:186-187) it was not sure if it was a an event of the French and Indian War or American Revolution, and all accounts place it 7 miles (11 km) to the northwest of Canaseraga on Chittenango Creek. It is clear from all records that this October 1780 British invasion did not cross over the location of the Turtle Tree tradition. The British probably did have to pull their boats from under the waters of Onondaga Lake as this was a typical manner of storing them so that the enemy could not find them. If true, the rumors of artifacts and boat fragments must be associated with some other event. Vrooman and his men were taken captive to Canada where they were held until the end of the war.]
The soldiers composing Capt. Vrooman's detachment, sent from Fort Schuyler, were mostly Dutchmen from the Mohawk settlements; a part of them lived to reach their homes, after a long captivity. They remembered their early expedition, the rich lands of the Oneida, the streams abounding in fish, and the forests in game. Among these hardy pioneers was Capt. Seber, who, in March 1790, with nine families, started from their first homes upon the Mohawk, to visit and people the region of their battle ground, now forming the north part of Madison County. In this pioneer band were included the Pickards, Van Slykes, and Palsleys, names familiar in the early history of the County. Reaching the flats of the Canaseraga, they were pleased with its appearance, and selecting farms contiguous to each other, commenced to clear the land, and put in the seed for the future harvest. The season was propitious, <:30> and a bountiful harvest rewarded the labors of these first settlers. The Oneida Indians were greatly irritated at the intrusion of these pale faces upon their rightful possessions, and watched Capt. Seber and his party with a jealous eye. Their ill will increased, and their grievances at length became intolerable. By the advice of their missionary, they submitted their grievances to the Governor, whose duty it was to see that justice was meted out to all within his dominions. The result was, that the settlers were ordered to remove from the lands of the Oneidas. They pertinaciously refused to obey the order, and Col. Colbraith, Sheriff of Montgomery County, was sent with an armed force of sixty men to dislodge them. Unawed by the power and authority of the Sheriff, they still clung to their cabins, absolutely refusing to remove. Finding all commands and entreaties of no avail, the Sheriff ordered all movable articles to be removed from their cabins, and then set them on fire, leaving the settlers to witness, in sullen silence, the destruction of their houses, and the blasting of their hopes of a permanent home in this goodly land. The Indians having accomplished their object, now came forward and directed the settlers to the grounds near the present village of Chittenango, where they were permitted to settle, and, unmolested, to hunt and fish until the earth should again yield her fruits for their sustenance. Capt. Seber and a few others removed afterwards to the vicinity of Clockville, in the town of Lenox.
[break in mid-paragraph]
[D.H.W.'s notes on the above:
[Only one man who settled in the vicinity of Canaseraga has been positively identified as being among Vrooman's group: John Schuyler, who is not among those listed above! The others are possibly connected, but more work needs to be done on this matter. The spot where they settled was not at Canaseraga, which was again occupied by the Tuscaroras after the war, but at a spot south of the present village of Chittenango (alluded to at the end of the section) where there were described as a group of squatters by John Lincklaen in May of 1793. The Oneida, at the request of their missionary, Samuel Kirkland, did complain to the Governor, who called in Col. Colbraith, but this was in 1794 or 1795. The matter was not settled by burning the squatters out, but by lopping off a big and valuable chunk of Oneida land and giving it to the squatters. This chunk included everything in the southwest part of the Town of Sullivan, bounded west by the County line, and extending north to the Genesee Road and south from Canaseraga. It included some very rich farm land including all that section of the fertile valleys of Chittenango and Canaseraga Creeks, and the level ground north of the great ridge in the southwest part of Sullivan. John Schuyler's home still stands at the site of the original squatters huddle, along Dyke Road on the west side of Chittenango Creek Other possible Vrooman troops are found on historic land maps within a few miles of Chittenango. These important events in Madison County history are marked by two historic markers, one of which marks the spot on Chittenango Creek where the captives were not captured, and another which marks the site of Canaseraga where the squatters did not squat!]
When this first attempt was made to form a settlement in this region, no road had been opened for wagons. An Indian trail extended from the villages of the Oneidas to the cabins of the Onondagas, nearly on the line of the Seneca turnpike, to Chittenango, thence to "Deep Spring," on the County line. The first attempt to make a road through the County was by William Wadsworth, from Connecticut, on his way to the "Genesee Country." He left his home in June 1790, with an ox team and cart, two or three hired men, and a favorite colored woman, Jenny, who was for a long time the only one of her race in that region. West of Whiteshoro, Mr. Wadsworth was obliged to cut away logs, build causeways through the slough, ford streams, and, at Cayuga Lake, construct a pontoon of two Indian canoes lashed together and covered with poles. The State afterwards made an appropriation for the improvement of this road, and in 1800, the "Seneca Turnpike Company" was empowered to improve the old State road, from Utica to Canandaigua. During the first season it was opened to the width of six rods, as far as Vernon, and the next season to Chittenango. Another road was opened at an early day from Peterboro to Cherry Valley, greatly increasing the facilities of travel, and offering additional inducements to settle this delightful region. Emigrants from the Mohawk Valley began at this time to settle upon lands now comprised in the towns of <:31> Lenox and Sullivan. The soil. was fertile, and yielded abundant harvests to reward the labor of those pioneers of the forest. There was neither gristmill or sawmill in this region till 1794, when they were erected by Col. John Lincklaen, in Cazenovia. Previous to this the inhabitants traveled with their grists to New Hartford or Manlius. From this time, roads were multiplied and improved; the facilities of travel increased, and the County rapidly increased in wealth and population. To facilitate the transportation of farm products to the canal and railroad, plank roads, for a time, were rapidly extended. In 1848 a plank road was constructed from Hamilton to Utica, and in 1850, another connecting Hamilton, Madison and Oriskany. The same year Georgetown and Pecksport were connected by a road passing through Eaton and Leeville. In 1851, a plank road was laid from Canastota to Morrisville, and another soon after from Peterboro to Clarkville. One of the principal plank roads of the County extended from De Ruyter, through Cazenovia and Chittenango, to Oneida Lake. It was completed in 1848, at a cost of $21,000, more than $10,000 of which was expended in grading. This road passed through a very difficult valley, in some places assuming the character of a gorge, and overcame an elevation of 800 feet, by a gradual ascent, in no place more than six feet in one hundred. The old road required an aggregate ascent of about 1600 feet. This road rendered available a valuable water power, which before was inaccessible. Many of these roads have been macadamized since the plank was worn out. One of the best in the County is from Canastota to Peterboro; another from Chittenango depot to Cazenovia.
The Madison County Agricultural
Society was formed in September 1841. J.D. Ledyard, of Cazenovia,
was chosen President; Elijah Morse, of Eaton, H.G. Warner, of Sullivan,
J.H. Dunbar, of East Hamilton, Vice Presidents; Alexander Krumbhaer, of
Cazenovia, and A.S. Sloan, of Eaton, Secretaries. For several years
the Society held annual Fairs at various points in the County, and the
occasions were of general interest to those immediately concerned in their
management, and to the spectators generally. Among those who have
at different times been interested in introducing improved breeds of stock,
we find recorded the following: Messrs. Whitman and Douglass introduced
a Devon bull into the town of Sullivan, about the year 1825, and in 1843,
S.A. Gilbert, of East Hamilton, raised a bull calf that became generally
known as the "Ackly Bull," and was subsequently owned by D.D. Palmer, of
Brookfield. The weight of this animal was nearly two thousand pounds.
A yoke of steers, the progeny of this bull, were exhibited at the County
Fair in 1851, by H.P. Potter, of East Hamilton, which weighed 8,860 pounds.
Mr. Beaumont, of <:32> Eaton, brought into the County a thorough bred
Durham bull, and a few heifers, which contributed largely to the improvement
of the stock of the County. Sylvester Burchard, of Madison, and David
Osgood, of Hamilton, may be honorably mentioned in this connection; as
also Sanford P. Chapman, of Lenox, who at one time owned a very valuable
herd of shorthorn stock. In 1810, Curtis Hoppin brought into the
town of Lebanon about two hundred sheep, of mixed breeds, among which were
coarse wooled, fine wooled, and a few South-down bucks and ewes.
This may be considered the commencement of sheep raising in the County
with a view to profit; the farmers selected from his flocks, and commenced
sheep breeding. In 1823, Mr. Hoppin introduced a few full blooded
Merino sheep, which in due season gave character and value to the growing
flocks. John B. Yates, Esq., of Chittenango; deserves honorable mention
for his efforts in improving the breed of horses in the County. He
introduced "Ethiop" and "Hambletonian," and other excellent horses. "Messenger"
was brought into the County by Henry and George Ehle, of Sullivan.
Messrs. Ackley, of Hamilton, introduced the "Morgan" horse from Vermont.
For several years the existence of the Agricultural Society inspired a
healthy rivalry on the part of the farmers and stock breeders of the County,
but for some reason, unknown to the writer of this, the Society has become
a defunct institution.
In preparing this brief historical sketch, we have had access to no reliable statistics from which we could ascertain the number of men this County furnished for the late war, or the number whose lives were offered as a sacrifice upon the altar of our common country, that the blessings handed down to us by our fathers might be preserved. That she responded cheerfully to the several calls, and performed her part in preserving the Government, whose foundation was cemented by the blood of our fathers, there is abundant evidence. The battle fields and prison pens of the South will bear witness that Madison was not behind her sister counties in her devotion to loyalty and justice. Though shafts of marble and granite may arise to perpetuate the memory of her fallen heroes, the most enduring monument is found in the hearts of a grateful people, whose land has been freed from treason and slavery.
In addition to the above
extracts we give the following notes for the County, as per returns for
the several heads mentioned:
Cash Value of Farms, 1865, $19,357,009; of Stock, 1865, $2,719,669; of Tools and Implements, 1865, $557,617; Acres Plowed, 1865, 51,246; Tons of Hay, 1864, 89,040¼; Winter Rye, bushels harvested in 1864 2,964½; Barley, bushels harvested in 1864, 70,176½; Flax, acres sown, 1865, 1597/8; Pounds of Lint, 1864, 33,722; Honey, pounds collected in 1864, 23,070; Working Oxen, number in 1865, 442; Neat Cattle, number killed for beef in 1864, 3,463; Swine, number or pigs in 1865, 8,581; one year old and over, 1865, 8,260; slaughtered in 1864, 10,711; pounds of pork made, 1864, 1,952,180; Wool, pounds shorn 1865, 274,227¼; Sheep, number of lambs raised, 1865, 28,311; number killed by dogs, 1864, 338; Poultry, value owned, 1865, $28,174.22; value of eggs sold, 1864, $27,740.13; Fertilizers, value bought, 1864, $5,882.75; Domestic Manufactures, 1864, yards of fulled cloth, 3,495¾; yards of flannel, 9,922½; yards of linen, 3,791½; yards of cotton and mixed goods, 383; Apples, number of trees in fruit, 1864, 196,818; barrels of cider, 1864, 8,251¾.
END of Child 1868 (Madison County)
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)
(Madison County, pages 381-383)
This county was named in
honor of President Madison, and was formed from Chenango, March 21, 1806.
That part of Stockbridge E. of Oneida Creek was annexed from Oneida in
1836. It is situated in the central part of the State, is centrally
distant 98 mi. from Albany, and contains an area of 670 sq. mi. The
N. part is level, and swampy; but the central and S. parts are hilly and
broken. The hills generally have rounded outlines and steep declivities,
their highest summits being 500 to 800 ft. above the valleys, and 900 to
1,200 fl. above tide. The highlands an divided into separate ridges
by a series of valleys extending N. and S., and they form the watershed
between Susquehanna River and Oneida Lake. The principal streams upon the
N. slope are Chittenango (note 381-10)
Creek, forming a part of the E. boundary of the co., Oneida Creek, forming
a part of the E. boundary, and the <:382> Canaseraga, (note
382-1) Canastota, (note 382-2)
and Cowaselon Creeks; and the principal flowing S. are Unadilla River,
upon the S. border, Beaver Creek, Chenango River and its branches, Otselic
Creek, and Tioughnioga River. The principal bodies of water are Oneida
Lake, forming the N. boundary, and Owahgena or Cazenovia Lake, near the
centre of the W. border. The latter, a beautiful sheet of water,
4 mi. long, is 900 ft. above tide, and is completely rounded by gradually
sloping hillsides. The lowest rocks of the co., outcropping along
Oneida Lake, belong to the Clinton group. Next above this successively
appear the Niagara and Onondaga groups, underlaying the whole swampy region.
The red shales form the surface rock S. of the swamp, and beds of gypsum
extend along the base of the hills. (note
382-3) These beds are extensively quarried in some sections,
and furnish an excellent quality of plaster. Upon the N. declivities
of the hills successively appear the water limestone, Pentameros limestone,
Oriskany sandstone, and Onondaga limestone. From these groups are
obtained an abundance of waterlime, quicklime, and building stone, all
of excellent quality. Next above appear the Marcellus and Hamilton
shales, covering more than one-half of the entire surface of the co.
The Tully limestone, Genesee slate, and Ithaca groups are found to a limited
extent covering the tops of the southern hills. A large share of
the co. is covered deep with drift deposits. The soil upon the flat
lands of the N. is generally a red clay, with great quantities or muck
and marl in the swampy regions. Upon the northern declivities of
the hills the soil is a gravelly loam intermixed with lime and plaster,
and is very productive. Further S. the soil upon the hills is a clayey,
gravelly, and shaly loam, best adapted to pasturage, and in the valleys
a gravelly loam and alluvium. The people are principally engaged
in stock raising and dairying. (note 382-4)
Hops are largely cultivated. Manufactures are principally confined
to a few villages.
The co. seat is located at Morrisville. The courthouse is a two story wooden building, pleasantly situated on a small park, fronting on a main street. It was built in 1849, and contains the court and jury rooms. The clerk's office is a small, brick, fireproof building adjoining the courthouse. The jail is a two story wooden building erected in 1817. The poorhouse is located upon a farm of 159 acres, near Eaton village, 5 mi. S.E. of Morrisville. The principal building is of stone, 150 by 40 ft., two stories, with 2 small stone buildings for the insane. The premises have been recently repaired.
The public works of this Co., owned by the State, are the Erie Canal, crossing the towns of Lenox and Sullivan, and the Chenango Canal, crossing Madison, Eaton, and Lebanon. The Erie Canal is here about 60 feet above Oneida Lake, and 426.96 feet above tide at the "long level," and it receives feeders from the Oneida Creek, Cowaselon Creek, and Cazenovia Lake, by way of Chittenango Creek. The Chenango Canal summit is in this co., and it has several feeders. The railroads of this co. are the N.Y.C. & H.R.R.R., crossing Lenox and Sullivan; the Cazenovia and Canastota R.R., in Lenor, Fenner, and Cazenovia; the Syracuse and Chenango Valley R.R., crossing Cazenovia, Nelson, Georgetown, and Lebanon; the N.Y. and Oswego Midland R.R., crossing Lenox, Stockbridge, Eaton and Lebanon; the Auburn Branch of this road, crossing the town of De Ruyter; the Utica, C., & S.V.R.R., (leased to D., L. & W.R.R,) crossing Madison, Eaton, and Lebanon; and the Utica, Clinton, and Binghamton, (leased to Del. and Hud. Canal Co.,) crossing Hamilton and a part of Madison.
Nearly all the S. half of this co. belonged to the tract known as the "Chenango Twenty Towns." A strip lying between this tract and the Military Tract, including De Ruyter and the greater part of Cazenovia, was embraced in the Lincklaen Purchase. The Oneida Indian Reservation, originally embracing all the N. part of the co., was subsequently divided into several large tracts. The "New Petersburgh Tract," or purchase of Peter Smith, includes nearly all of Smithfield and Fenner, the N. part of Cazenovia, and a strip a mile wide across the S. part of Stockbridge. The remainder of Stockbridge was included in the reservation of the Stockbridge Indians. Lenox and Sullivan constituted the N.W. portion of the Oneida Indian Reservation. The first settlements were made by squatters upon the Oneida Reservation, in 1790. The permanent settlements were commenced about 1795, and the co. rapidly filled up with immigrants, principally from New England.
<:383> The troops raised in this co. in the late war were as follows: The "Oneida Independent Co." (Cavalry) was organized at Oneida, Sept. 4, 1861, for 3 years, by Capt. Daniel P. Mann. It remained in service until June 13, 1865, a separate organization from first to last. 157th Regiment N.Y. Vols. was organized at Hamilton in the fall of 1862. This was one of the two regiments raised that year, under orders dated July 7th, in the 23d Senatorial Dist., comprising the counties of Madison, Chenango, and Cortland. Parts of the 114th and 189th Regiments were also raised in this co.
Meaning "waters divide and run N." Seaver, in the "Life of Mary Jemison," says it is a corruption of the Oneida word "Chu-da-naany," signifying "where the sun shines out."
Meaning "Big Elkshorn." Seaver gives it as "Ka-na-so-wa-ga," signifying "several strings of beads with a string lying across."
"Ka-ne-to-ta," signifying "pine tree standing alone."
In the marsh near Canastota a bring spring is found. A boring of 190 feet has been made, and attempts made to manufacture salt.
In 1869, there were reported 58 cheese factories in this co., of which 52 used the milk of 20,442 cows. The census of 1865 reported 38 factories, of which 34 used the milk of 11,635 cows, and produced 3,462,057 pounds of cheese.
END of Hough 1872 / 1873 (Madison County)
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
The book is a large "County History" and does not contain a "gazetteer" format entry strictly for Madison County (although each township has a seperate "Gazetteer of the Towns" entry). The description of the county, as given in the examples above, is spread through several chapters and interwoven with the history of the individual townships, Indian history, and general county history. It is recommended that the original source be consulted for the full text.
END of Smith 1899 (Madison County)
Sullivan, James, Dr., (editor), 1927, History of New York State.
Early Madison County History
The history of Madison County
prior to its erection has been recounted under the chapter dealing with
Chenango county, with which it was joined (sorry, I do not have this text!).
The Madison region was relatively free from early Indian difficulties,
for the aborigines received the first settlers as friends with whom they
were glad to share their hunting grounds and lowland fields. Not
until persuaded by white men that they were being mistreated did they join
the former in raids upon their erstwhile friends. There was little
attempt to settle this district until Revolutionary times and the Indian
lands were then purchased by the authorities of the State, distributed
to the soldiers, or sold to speculators who induced many to migrate and
develop large areas which had hitherto been neglected or unknown.
Madison was a part of the great reserved Indian domain extending from its eastern boundaries indefinitely west. One of the first results of peace with England was the extinction of the Indian title to this great area. The county is on parts of three tracts surveyed from 1775 to 1795, known as the Military Tract, the Tuscarora Purchase and the Gore, a strip overlooked in the laying out of the lines of the first two. There are, of course, many minor divisions and patents in Madison to which even today land titles are traced.
Chenango County, set off from Herkimer and Tioga counties in 1798, included Madison, which became a separate division March 21, 1806. The latter was enlarged thirty years later by the annexation of part of the town of Stockbridge lying east of Oneida Creek. It took its title from President James Madison. On its formation there were only five civil divisions: Brookfield, Cazenovia, DeRuyter, Hamilton and Sullivan towns. From the territory of these five have nine others been erected, five during the year following the organization of the county. The names and 1920 population of these towns are: Brookfield, 2,092; Cazenovia, 3,343; DeRuyter, 1,141; Eaton, 2,223; Fenner, 780; Georgetown, 854; Hamilton, 3,354; Lebanon, 940; Lenox, 5,536; Lincoln, 821; Madison, 1,629; Nelson, 1,099; Smithfield, 767; Stockbridge, 1,413; and Sullivan, 3,002.
The county is one of the central ones of the State, bounded on the north by Oneida County; on the east by Oneida and Otsego; on the south by Chenango; and on the west by Onondaga and Cortland counties. It has an area of 650 square miles and a population in 1920 of 39,535, being one of the few rural counties which has not lost population to any extent in the last fifty years. It has a great variety of surface from the swamp lands near Lake Oneida on the north to the rich vales in the south. The central part is on the water shed of many of the streams, some going north to the lake, while the others make their way to the Susquehanna. The land is not mountainous but generally elevated. The principal stream of Madison is the Chittenango, which not only flows through a region of marked beauty, but has hydraulic possibilities which have never been fully utilized, although the site of many ancient mills. In one of its, reaches of eight miles it descends 740 feet, one of the falls being 134 feet. Besides Oneida Lake, the county has a gem in Cazenovia, or as it is sometimes called, Owahgena Lake, which has become one of the best known summer resorts of the county.
The variety of surface has made for a variety of uses made of the land. The heavy forests of the pioneer days have well nigh disappeared, but in their place have come large cultivated areas producing most of the staples possible to the central section of New York. The grains, hay and milk now lead among the products, but this has, from the first, proven its fitness for apple growing which has taken a new lease on life during the last twenty-five years. Hops used to be a banner crop, but was finding the competition of the far west severe and was on the wane before the Volstead law gave it the fatal blow. Cheese and butter making was the main industry of Madison until it proved more profitable to ship the milk in the natural state or turn it over to condenseries. Change has taken place in the agricultural methods and crops, and it is well for the visitor to remember, when he is passing through some beautiful section, and sees what to him are waste fields, ruined mills and neglected farms, that it is due to no fault of the region, but rather to the advance or change which is inherent in any business which is vital and grows.
END of Sullivan 1927 (Madison County)