"History of West Woodstock"
pages 28 to 33
Scanned and edited by
Daniel H. Weiskotten
Ellsworth, Anzolette D., and Mary E. Richmond, 1901, New Woodstock and Vicinity, Past & Present. J.A. Loyster, Cazenovia, NY
History of West Woodstock.
John Lincklaen, of Amsterdam, Holland, came to this country in 1790 for the Holland Land Company, who employed him to explore new countries, and to purchase land where he could do so advantageously. He brought letters of introduction to Theophilus Cazenove, of Philadelphia, who was the company's first general agent to America, the Holland Purchase, in the western part of the state having been purchased by him. Mr. Lincklaen began his work in September, 1792, accompanied by two hardy woodmen. He kept a journal, originally written in French, which has been preserved by his family. This journal states that he arrived, Oct. 11, 1792, at the foot of a lake, called by the Indian name of Owahgena. This lake was afterward called, "Lincklaen Lake," in honor of John Lincklaen. It is now Cazenovia Lake. He returned to Philadelphia after about a month' absence. As a result of his report the Holland Company purchased Road Township, now Cazenovia, and other lands in this section to the amount of 120,000 acres. In Apr. 1793, Samuel S. Forman met Mr. Lincklaen by appointment in New York City and came as his clerk to Cazenovia. They pitched their tents in a small ravine at the south end of the lake, May 8, 1793. A land office was soon established, and among the early settlers was Isaac Morse, then only twenty-one years of age. Mr. Morse was one of the first pioneers, coming here June 1, 1793, less than a month after John Lincklaen and his party. No record can he found of those who came with him. Their first encampment was at the foot of what are now called the West Woodstock hills, on the north side of the road, west of where are now Mr. Mead's barns, in a little ravine by the
brook. The original house built by Mr. Morse is still standing on the south side of the road, owned and occupied by Oliver Hatch and his sister, Mrs. R.J. Sunderlin. Mr. Morse's land extended from that point to the schoolhouse on the hill, and once, when on his way to milk the cow, he caught a bear's cub which he soon dropped because of its mother's wrath. The boundaries of the land when the country was a wilderness were indicated by blazed posts and trees, as shown by the original deeds, in the possession of Mr. Morse's nephew, Sylvenus Gage, between John Lincklaen of the county of Herkimer, State of New York, as well for himself as for Herman Leroy of the City of New York, and Isaac Morse, of the county of Windham and State of Connecticut. The amount of land purchased, June 8, 1793, was 150 acres, more or less, and ninety pounds, current money of the State of New York was the price paid. A year later, Mr. Morse bought of the same parties 143 acres, one rood and 25 perches, for one hundred seventy-two pounds, one shilling, nine pence, which was double the price paid the year before. Both deeds were witnessed by Jonathan and Samuel S. Forman, and were recorded in the Clerk's office of the County of Herkimer, Nov.19, 1796. Thirty-three years later, Mr. Morse bought 12 acres more for which he paid three hundred sixty dollars. As will be seen, Mr. Morse had purchased over 300 acres of land; paying in 1793, about three dollars per acre, and in 1827, thirty dollars per acre. His first land was purchased two years before Cazenovia became a town, and thirteen years before the County was called "Madison." The original county was Albany, formed in 1683. March 21, 1806, Madison County was so named in honor of President Madison.
In the settlement of the southern part of the town, West Woodstock, then called "Woodstock Settlement," and also "Bull's Corners," was of more importance in early days than New Woodstock. Mr. Morse was largely instrumental in building up that section. As he came from Woodstock, Windham Co. Conn., and several other young men and their families came from the same place early in the nineteenth century, -- among them Marvel and Abisnai [Abisha] Underwood, Silas Corbin and sons, Ebenezer, Luther, and Henry, Ezra Lyon, Warner, Calvin and John Goodell, Elisha Gage and family and Abiel Ainsworth, we naturally infer that the new home was called "Woodstock Settlement" in memory of the old home. As New Woodstock is east of the first settlement, that in time was called West Woodstock. The first Baptist meeting house, built of logs, stood in Sylvanus Gage's orchard. The first Methodist meeting house stood on the north side of the road, between the West Woodstock schoolhouse and places now owned by Mrs. Pettingill, near the four corners. It was sold in 1856 to Mansier G. Thomas, used a few years as a dwelling house by Jesse Hakes, then given to Mr. Thomas' son, M.C. Thomas, who moved it to the Elder Peck farm, which he bought of Ben <:30> Dixon and Erastus Carpenter. It is now used as a granary. The farm is now owned by Edward T. Buell.
There were once two schoolhouses in the district. James Moore, who owned the place, now Jerry Hitchcock's which has also been owned by P.R. Gorton, Asa Merrill and Joseph Covil, gave the land for the schoolhouse on West Woodstock hill, with the understanding that it should revert to the owner of the original farm when no longer used for school purposes. The district afterward bought the land, paying ten dollars for it. The other school house was on the road to DeRuyter, west side, in a hollow north of the place once owned by a soldier of 1812, Ebenezer Cotes. He came from Connecticut, and his first wife was a sister of Willard Abbott. Their children were Abijah Cotes and Harvey Cotes. Two daughters, Minerva and Roxy, were the children of the second wife. Abijah Cotes afterward owned the farm, selling it to its present owner, John Ackley. Abijah Cotes married Emeline Stilwell [Stillwell], niece of Thomas Morris. Their children are Warren, of Chicago and Miss Sarah Cotes of New Woodstock.
One of the first roads from DeRuyter ran east from what is now John Dixon's, coming out below Frank Tucker's thence north past the tavern on the corner built by Isaac Morse, coming out near Sidney Bowers' place at Union. When the first stage route from Ithaca through DeRuyter was built, the road was altered, and went past the Fiske farm, coming out at Jerry Hitchcock's, where it crossed the Hamilton and Skaneateles turnpike, going to Syracuse by way of Manlius. Thomas C. Nye owned the first stage route. John and David Pomeroy were the drivers. The first landlord of the tavern was Mr. Wood; second, Nathaniel Carpenter, and seventy-five years ago, Mr. Rew, grandfather of Mrs. Samuel Corbin, was landlord. Jacob Ten-Eyck, of Cazenovia, once held a mortgage on the tavern; Chester Gage paid it and bought the property, afterward selling it to Elijah Cotes and Ezekiel Carpenter. N.F. Parker is the present owner.
Mr. Morse built a store on the northwest corner which was kept by Mr. Turner, and later by Mansier G. Thomas, who lived back of the store and also rented rooms in it. Samuel Corbin was clerk for Mr. Thomas in 1840. The building was afterward made into a dwelling house. Patrick Moran lived in it, south of where Ellis Smith now lives.
There were two distilleries, one built by Isaac Morse on the corner where George King now lives; the other, built by Horatio Goodell, was on the southwest corner of the Noah Howe farm, which is now owned by his grandson, Sylvanus Gage, except the land where the distillery stood, which is now owned by George Dixon. Mr. Howe came from Amherst, Mass., in 1814.
There were two blacksmith shops. Richard Allen and his son, Joseph, owned one, and Leroy Ainsworth the other. A gristmill was built east of <:31> the road, and north of the bridge near P.S. Buell's house. There was also a sawmill, owned by the pioneer Jacob Post and a brick and lime kiln farther west on the same stream. This was carried away by the flood in 1837. Marvin Stowell, a tanner and shoemaker, lived where Mrs. Pinney [Phinney, Penny, Penney] afterward lived. Mr. Pinney [Phinney, Penny, Penney] owned a tannery. Daniel Lathrop, father of Philetus, took up the last fifty acres in the township. His farm has since been owned by John Holmes, Mr. Hamlin, Erastus Mann, Mr. Dixon, Jonas Reeve, and now by John Dixon. Noah Howe, John Watson, who once lived in the Moran house, Ebenezer Corbin and Isaac Morse married sisters of Warner, Calvin and John Goodell. Calvin Goodell married a daughter of Eld. Joseph Coley. Isaac Morse was twice married. His second wife, Sally Gorton, was a sister of P.R. Gorton. Nancy Goodell Morse was the mother of Philena (Abbott), Priscilla (Freeborn), Nancy (Peck), Emily (Dryer) and Jedediah Morse. Mr. Morse built the house where Mr. Mead now lives, and moved there, his son, Jedediah, owning the old home a few years, then going west. Willard Carpenter bought the farm, his son, Hiram, living with him. Others owning the place are John Atkinson, DeGrand Benjamin, Gurdin Barnard, Mrs. Sunderlin, and her brother, Oliver Hatch. Mr. Morse was a man of sound judgment and was greatly respected. He was one of the first road commissioners in the town. During his later years, his daughter, Phila, the only child who remained here, with her husband, Jared Abbott, lived with him. The first pioneer, he outlived many who came later, dying in 1858, at the age of eighty-six. Mrs. Abbott sold the farm to M.W. Richmond. Other owners have been James Barnard, M.C. Thomas, and Mr. Mead.
In 1834, Deacon John Morse and family came here from Westmoreland. He bought a farm of Burdick Wallace. Two of his sons, Theodore and Jared, afterward purchased it, agreeing to pay the other heirs a certain amount. Succeeding in paying for the farm in a short time, their father wished them to reconsider the matter, and to pay the others more than the amount agreed upon, which they did. Jerman Morse, son of Jared, now owns the farm. His father and mother dying when he was a child, he lived with his uncle, Theodore, who is still remembered for his quaint remarks, and his ability as a cattle buyer.
Dr. Henry Bass was all early physician here, at one time living in the Pettingill house at the Corners. Others living there were Abram Bookhout, Mr. and Mrs. Pope, grandparents of Mrs. E. Cunningham, and Mrs. Estella Churchward-Chapman. Dr. David Mitchell, born in Westmoreland, N.H., in 1793, and a graduate of Amherst College, came here in 1817, living east of the tavern at West Woodstock, in a house that is no longer standing. He remained here several years, then removed to Cazenovia, where he practiced until his death in 1873. Daniel and Elizabeth Fiske came here from Fiske Hill, Sturbridge, Mass. Mr. Fiske bought <:32> the original Marvel Underwood place. He was a small, blue-eyed man whose word was considered law in his family, unfailing obedience being demanded and given. Six of the ten children came with the parents and settled in this state. John was the only one who located here permanently. He married Mary, daughter of Elder John Peck, and stayed on the farm with his father. He had two sons and three daughters, Mrs. Sarah Prentice, Miss Mary Fiske, and one son, John Peck Fiske; all who are left are living in Detroit, Mich. John Fiske was a prominent man, a school teacher and a leader of the Baptist choir for thirty years. Nearly every winter he held weekly choir meetings in New Woodstock. Mr. Fiske sold his farm to H.P. Hart, and it has since been owned by Richmond and Fuller, Clinton Mann, H.B. Vedder, A.R. Jenkins, and its present owner is H.W. Coley, of Oneida.
Elisha Gage, 1754-1833, of Woodstock, Conn., married Olive Underwood in 1778. They came here about 1799, and settled on ten acres of land south of the Howe farm. They afterward lived north of Eld. Peck's. They had ten children, Luther, 1779-1802, one of the constituent members of the Baptist church. Lucy (Carpenter), 1780, Elisha, 1782, Olive, 1784, Nancy, 1786, Chester, 1789, Anna, 1791, Salmon, 1794, Elias, 1796, and Zeriah, 1799. Salmon married Irene Howe, daughter of Noah Howe, and lived where their son, Sylvanus now lives. He was a carpenter and built Warren Smith's house at Shed's Corners, LaFayette Brown's house on the west road and Issac Morse's last residence. Polly (Gage), Barnard, Julia (Gilbert), Sylvanus and Rev. L.L. Gage were the children of Mr. and Mrs. Salmon Gage. Mr. Gage belonged to the New York State Militia. His commissions signed by Governor George Clinton are still in the family. He was ensign in 1819, lieutenant in 1820, and captain in 1821.
The first persons buried were on land east of Mr. Mead's house. The first record of deaths were Luther Gage, December 1, 1802, and Elias Gage, who died in 1806. Elisha Gage, the pioneer, moved to Pompey in 1830.
Ezra Davis, an early pioneer, lived where Ellis Smith now lives. He had three sons and a daughter. The daughter married Ezekiel Carpenter. William Davis, father of Mrs. George Kinney, was a carpenter and helped build Warren Smith's house the year he died, 1830. Edmund Davis married Ada Curtis and lived in the old home, the father living with his son Lyman, in the house once occupied by Dr. Mitchell. Lyman Davis afterward lived in New Woodstock, and was a jeweler. His wife was Serena Borden. Edmund Davis had six children, four of whom are living. Gilbert and Spencer in Minnesota, Harriet in the state of Washington and Nora, who married Walter Ainsworth and is also living in the west.
When Gilbert Davis was a child he was troubled with croup. His
mother, having faith in the tradition that placing a lock of his hair in
a knothole in the house would prevent the disease; did so. Gilbert
remembered <:33> the circumstance, and when he was here a few years
ago, with his brother Spencer, he went to the place in the old home, found
the hair after a lapse of fifty years, and carried it away with him.
Proceed on to the Next Section, Quaint Epitaphs from the Village Cemetery