Smithville was formed from Greene April 1, 1808. It lies upon the west border of the county, south of the center, and is bounded on the north by German and McDonough, on the east by Oxford, on the south by Oxford and Greene, and on the west by Broome county. It is wholly within the Chenango Triangle, and derives its name from Elisha Smith, the first agent for that tract under the Hornby Estate.
The surface is broken and hilly, being formed into high ridges by the deep and generally narrow valleys of the numerous streams which cross it from north to south, and are tributary to the Chenango. The principal streams are Genegantslet1 and Ludlow creeks, and the former and larger flowing through the town a little west of the center, and the latter along the east border. Other and smaller streams are Red2 and Strong3 brooks and Five Stream Creek,4 all of which empty into the Genegantslet, the former a little above Smithville Flats, and the others at intervals respectively of about a mile and two and one-half miles above it.
The town is underlaid by the rocks of the Chemung and Catskill groups. The upper layer of the latter, the grindstone grit, furnishes some of the best stone in the county for building and other purposes. It is yellowish in color, easily wrought and hardens by exposure; it is used for grind-stones and for building purposes.
Two miles north-east of Smithville Flats, on the creek road, on the farm of James Harrison, is a quarry which is reputed to be the best of its kind in the State. Excellent flagging, and good building stone, in all desirable forms, is obtained there. "The stone exposed appears to have separated from the mass of which the hill-side is composed, in hugh longitudinal dykes parallel with the hill, between which are seams of a few inches in width filled with angular debris. Transverse seams divide these dykes into cubes 12 to 30 feet in length. The strata are 2 ½ to 16 inches in thickness, perfectly smooth, with square angles and sides. One or two only of the lowest layers are ripple-marked; the ripples examined in situ have a direction south-west and north-east." 5 The stone quarried is uniform in thickness, and all that can be desired as to color and surface. Massive blocks and slabs are taken out, some of them measuring 10 by 20 feet, and weighing nearly half a ton. Stone is being shipped in large quantities by rail to various parts of the State, by Mr. John E. Miller, of Oxford, who operates this in connection with several others in different parts of the county. Stone for the State Reformatory at Elmira was obtained from this quarry.
Two other flag-stone quarries are opened in the town, one known as the Buckley quarry, on the old Stephen Hasting's farm, and owned by William Buckley; and the other, not yet much worked, on the farm of Perry Loomis, at East Smithville. Good building, as well as flagging stone is obtained from both.
The soil is a gravelly and clayey loam in the valleys and a clayey and slaty loam upon the hills. In some places it is deep, while in others the hardpan lies near the surface. It is well adapted to grazing. The inhabitants are strictly an agricultural people, dairying being the principal branch of agriculture.
The town was thoroughly timbered with pine and hemlock in groves, interspersed all through the town with sugar maple, beech, elm, birch, basswood, poplar, iron wood and oak, and hickory, which was scarce, and chestnut upon some of the ridges. In 1824 there were no less than ten saw-mills and two asheries in the town. Game was plentiful when the first settlers came in, but fled as the country filled up.
The population of the town in 1875 was 1,518; of whom 1,402 were natives, 116 foreign, (all white,) 767 males and 751 females. Its area was 30,644 acres; of which 21,965 were improved, 8,404 woodland, and 275 otherwise unimproved. The cash value of farms was $1,090,517; of farm buildings other than dwellings, $155,395; of stock, $186,541; and of tools and implements, $64,910. The amount of gross sales from farms in 1874 was $132,414.
There are thirteen common school districts in the town, each of which has a school-house within the county. The number of children of school age residing in the districts Sept. 30, 1877, was 476. During the year ending Sept. 30, 1878, there were eleven male and twenty female teachers employed, fourteen of whom were licensed; the number of children residing in the districts who attended school was 374, of whom three were under five or over twenty-one years of age; the average daily attendance during the year was 192,182; the number of volumes in district libraries was 336, the value of which was $124; the number of school-houses was thirteen, all frame, which, with the sites, embracing three acres and one rod, valued at $965, were valued at $6,865; the assessed value of taxable property in the districts was $642,305. The number of children between eight and fourteen years of age residing in the districts Sept. 30, 1877, was 164, of whom 159 attended district school during fourteen weeks of that year.
Receipts and disbursement for school purposes: - Amount on hand Oct. 1, 1876 $ 13 47 Amount apportioned to districts 1,473 09 Raised by tax 1,203 73 From teachers' board 633 50 From other sources 9 04 ---------$3,332 83 Paid for teachers' wages $2,611 04 Paid for school-houses, sites, out- houses, fences, repairs, furniture, &c. 514 63 Paid for other incidental expenses 187 96 Forfeited in hands of Supervisor 08 Amount remaining on hand Oct. 1, 1877 19 12 ---------$3,332 83
SETTLEMENTS.---The first settlement in the town, if such it can be called, was made in the valley of the Genegantslet, on the site of Smithville Flats, in 1797, by Robert Lytle, an Irishman, who was a single man, and erected a shanty, a mere hunting cabin, which stood some forty rods north-east of the lower hotel in that village. He made no clearing, nor other improvements, and in February, 1798, sold to Joseph Agard, who came in that year from Litchfield, Conn., where he was born August 17, 1746, in company with Major Epaphras Sheldon, from the same place, the latter of whom had previously prospected the locality and induced Agard to accompany him in its settlement. Major Sheldon had formerly been a man of property, and Agard had worked for him as a day laborer in Connecticut. They were the first permanent settlers in the town. Both brought in their families, which then consisted of five sons and one daughter each, and varied but little in their relative ages, and both occupied at first the rude cabin vacated by Lytle. But being too numerous for one small cabin, Agard erected in the fall "a pen of logs," "to which the family repaired and excavated the snow and camped down in this inclosure to guard them against the wolves, with only the heavens for a covering. They split boards out of trees, and soon improved their habitation." "These families contended against poverty and hardships in a severe winter, with snow nearly seven feet deep, without neighbors till the spring birds struck up their melody." 6 Agard soon after built a frame house, which stood in front of Robert Hetrick's residence in the village, where he died Aug. 25, 1836. Tabitha, his wife, was born Nov. 20, 1750, and died Sept. 9, 1818, aged 68. That frame house was the first one built in the town. It is still standing, but has been moved. It is the first house east of the lower hotel, and is now occupied as a dwelling by Eugene Chase. Agard was a soldier in the Revolution, and was present at the surrender of Burgoyne. He was descended from Welch ancestors; his wife was of English descent. His children were: Joseph, born in Litchfield, Conn., May 11, 1776, and died of yellow fever in New York, Sept. 11, 1798; Tabitha, called Roxa, born in Litchfield, May 17, 1779, and died Oct. 4, 1814; John, born in Arlington, Vt., Aug. 21, 1781, and died in Michigan, Oct. 26, 1835; Elijah, born in Arlington, Vt., Nov. 10, 1782, and died at Sacket's Harbor, Aug. 22, 1814, while a soldier in the war of 1812; George, born in Tomhannock, March 2, 1785, and died at Springville, N. Y., May 14, 1854; and Erastus, born in Litchfield, Conn., February 11, 1787, and died at Smithville Flats, Oct. 1, 1863. Two grand-daughters are living in Smithville Flats, Marianne, wife of Hon. Judson L. Grant, and De Francee, a maiden lady, who is living with her sister, Mrs. Grant.
The first marriage in the town was contracted in 1801 by Enos B. Bragg and Tabitha (Roxa) Agard, daughter of Joseph Agard.
Epaphras Sheldon afterwards settled on the farm of the Jesse Read estate, about one-half mile north of Smithville Flats. He returned with his family a few years after to Connecticut.
In 1799, Edward Loomis settled in the east part of the town, at East Smithville, where he was the first settler. He was born in Egremont, Massachusetts, Feb. 2, 1777, and removed about 1790, with his father from Catskill to Oxford, where the latter settled. He took up 50 acres on lot 25, in Smithville, for which he paid by cutting, the following year, a road from Oxford to Smithville Flats. This was the first road in the town. In the winter he brought in his family, consisting of his wife, Polly, daughter of Blodgett Smith, a native of Massachusetts, and one child, Vinson, born in Oxford, October 4, 1799, and occupied a log house erected by him the previous fall. It stood on the farm now occupied by Perry Loomis, on Burlingame creek, about 100 rods below the junction of Ludlow and Bowman creeks, which unite and form it. He continued to reside on that farm till within two or three years of his death, when he went to live with his son Daniel in Oxford village, where he died June 21, 1869, at the advance age of 92 years. His wife died on the farm in Smithville June 10, 1850.
Vinson Loomis, son of Edward, married Polly, daughter of Heber Williams, and lived and died near the center of the town, on the farm now occupied by David Purdy. He died November 27, 1864; and his wife on his father's farm in East Smithville about 1825. He afterwards married Cynthia Moore, who died in 1840.
The children of Edward Loomis born after he removed to Smithville were: Jane, who was born May 2, 1801, and was the first child born in the town, who married Thurston Wilcox of Smithville, where she lived and died July 7, 1861, leaving eight children, (Edward, Mary Jane, who married Ransom Yale, Ruth, who married Chauncey Adams, Thurston, Patience, wife of Henry Church, Charles, Harriet, wife of Avery D. Landers, and Almira, widow of William Stratton and wife of Eugene Butler;) Eleanor, who married Joseph Corbin and died August 20, 1876, in Harford, Cortland county, where most of her family are now living, none in this town; Lucinda, who married Daniel Williams, and died in Cincinnatus, Cortland county February 24, 1867; Lovina, who married Charles Stratton and died in Willett, Cortland county, January 3, 1870, leaving five children, one of whom, Louisa, wife of Joseph Warren Hamilton, is living in Smithville, and another, Charles, in Oxford; Abigail, who married Joel Webb and is now living in Oxford, where three of her children reside, George, Alvin and Charlotte, wife of Charles A. McFarland, and four in Greene, Benaiah, Edward, Whitman and Marion, wife of Clark McNeil; Daniel, who married Mary Cline, and after her death May 30, 1853, Diantha, widow of William Wood, with whom he is now living in Oxford, and has one child living in Smithville, Betsey M., wife of Samuel Cline; Hannah, who married Simon G. Willcox, and died in Cortland November 6, 1866; Lois, who married Jonathan Bennett, and died in Cortland county January 15, 1865; Rachel, who married Charles Williams and is living in Michigan; Benaiah, who married Sally Hamilton and is now living in Smithville, having five children living in the county, Edward, Alexander and Minnie in Smithville, Sarah, wife of Arvine Lewis, in Oxford, and Emma, wife of Adelbert Flagg in Greene; and Betsey who married George M. Starkey, and is living in Broome county.
Timothy Scoville came in from the New England States in 1799 and settled at Smithville Flats. He was a millwright and built in 1805, on the outlet of Long Pond, about fifty rods north-west of the village, the first saw-mill in the town. The mill did not stand many years, but went to decay. He removed to Ohio at an early day. Joseph Robbins settled in the same locality the same year, and died there April 2, 1827, aged 71. During this year also (1799) Simeon Neal, Robert Williams, Asa Straight, Daniel Phillips, John Youngs and Capt. John Palmer came in. Phillips settled a little west of Smithville Flats and died there, he and his wife, a great many years ago. None of his children are living. The last, Dorcas, who married Daniel Wall, died here August 13, 1876, age 77, and her husband, September 21, 1875, at the same age. Youngs was from Vermont. He purchased 100 acres of land and paid therefor $5 per acre. He settled about a mile south-west of the Flats, on the farm now owned and occupied by Ephraim Loomis, and died there May 7, 1837, aged 59, and Jane, his wife, Jan. 26, 1862, aged 69. His children were Stephen and Laura, widow of Amos Boardman, now living in Triangle, by his first wife, and Sylvanus and Sylvia, twins, the latter of whom married Isaac Fuller, Polly, wife of Charles Sweetland, living in Triangle, Joseph, who was killed by the fall of a tree June 18, 1842, aged 21, John, who died in Greene about a year ago, and James and Jane, twins, both living in Greene, by his second wife.
We extract from Hamilton Child's Gazetteer of Chenango County, published in 1869, the following facts relative to Mr. Youngs' settlement, furnished by Mr. Harry Young, of Triangle, Broome county, as being applicable in great measure to the settlements in general:---
"At the time of his settlement here there was one family about one-half mile and another about a mile distant; these were the only ones within five miles.7 His first work, like that of all other pioneers in this country, was to clear the land; this he did to some extent and soon raised corn, potatoes and a little rye. He purchased two cows soon after, and yet with this additional aid his little store of provisions would sometimes run short, compelling him to resort to the forest for additions to his store. Deer were very abundant and furnished the settlers with plenty of venison, and the streams abounded in fish. The tallow of the deer furnished candles, and when that gave out the 'fat pine' was brought into requisition. They pounded their corn for bread, or hulled it, to sustain life, until a mill was erected at Oxford, twelve miles distant. Going to mill was a tedious journey, for they had no wagons nor roads suitable for them. The grist was placed upon the horse's back, and the animal led over the hills, the journey sometimes occupying three or four days. The children at home were sometimes put upon so short an allowance as to cry for food. The wolves were always within hearing of the traveler and rendered night hideous by their howls. A few Indians still lingered in this region, and were accustomed to camp along the streams, hunt, fish, make baskets, brooms, &c. They were generally quiet and peaceable, but the whites would sometimes abuse them after they became more numerous. On one occasion they laid a plot to frighten the red men from their camping ground. To do this the settlers assembled, and at night crept cautiously as near the Indian camping ground as they deemed prudent, and at a signal, discharged their guns into the air, as they did not wish to hurt the Indians. The latter replied to the shot by firing among the trees behind which their foes were concealed, but no injury was done. The next morning the Indians departed, some went down the river and others went north, where they could hunt in peace."
Captain John Palmer kept both the first inn and store at Smithville Flats in 1806. He also erected the first distillery, and died in Chenango Forks, Aug. 20, 1847, aged 63.
George Shaddock probably came in about this time. He settled about one and one-half miles north of East Smithville, on the farm now owned by Lorin Holdridge, where he died. His children who lived to maturity were Alvah and Editha, the latter of whom married Lewis Crandall, and both of whom are dead. It has been stated that the first death in the town was that of a son of Shaddock's, in 1799. While it is true that Shaddock lost a son at an early day, it is highly probable that it was not earlier than 1804 or 1805, as Vinson Loomis, who was born in 1799, could remember the funeral. There remains the possibility of Mr. Loomis' confounding that event with some other similar one.
Settlements were made as early as 1801 by William Knickerbocker, William Kirkland, Isaac Perry, Ichabod Merriam and Phineas Pond; and as early as 1805, by Isaac Sellick, Peter Rorapaugh, Darius Tousley, Isaac Grant, John Perkins, Samuel Miller, James Stevens, J. J. Reed, George Manly, Daniel Corbin, Isaac Snediker, John Corbin and Frederick Cline. Isaac Perry died here March 18, 1810. Peter Rorapaugh came in from Massachusetts and settled at East Smithville, on a farm adjoining Edward Loomis' on the north, and now occupied by his son Uriah, where he died about 1851-3. He married Catharine, sister of Edward Loomis, by whom he had twelve children: Hannah, who married Jason Smith and died in Smithville about fifteen years ago; Betsey, who married Jacob Carr and died in Cayuga county; Benjamin, who married Palma, daughter of Nathaniel Blakeslee, and is now living in Erie county, Penn.; Andrew, who married Angeline Webb, of Smithville, where he died; Rachel, who married James Carr, and died in Cayuga county; Jeduthan, who married and died in Cortland county; Clarissa, who married Davidson Landers and is living in Smithville; Polly, who married Luke Haight and is living in Chautauqua county; Uriah, who married Betsey Nash, and after her death, Julia Ann Bolles, and is living on the homestead in Smithville; Angelia, who married Augustus Vickery and is living in Smithville; Tabitha, who married Orrin Tillotson, and after his death, Simon G. Willcox, with whom she is living in Susquehanna county, Penn.; and Julia Ann, who married Jared Knickerbocker and is living in Chautauqua county. Frederick Cline was likewise from Massachusetts. He settled in the north-east part of the town, on the farm now occupied by Albert Tillotson, where he died. His children were Anna, who married Daniel Tyler and died in Smithville, and another daughter who married Jeremiah Mead, by his first wife, who died in Massachusetts. He married in Massachusetts for his second wife, Lovina Wooden, by whom he had eight children: John, who married Polly Bennett and died in Cattaraugus county; Elisha, who married Betsey Bennett and died in Cattaraugus county; Sally, who married Thomas Tyler and died in Otsego county; Seymour, who married Lovina Bennett, sister to Polly and Betsey, and died in Michigan; Mary Ann, who married Daniel Loomis and died in Smithville in 1853; Lucy Ann, who married Isaac Hamilton, and after his death, Vinson Loomis, and is living in Susquehanna county, Penn.; Lovina, who married Alanson Tillotson and is living in McDonough; and Betsey, who married Charles Cole and died in Greene.
The first school was kept by Samuel Askeels in 1802.
Captain Jonathan Phelps came in from Connecticut about 1805 or '6, and settled on the old Gutchess farm one-half mile north of Smithville Flats, now occupied by Mrs. Hannah Grant. Rodney and Becket, his sons, came in with him and settled, Rodney one mile north of Smithville Flats, where William Kinnier now lives, and Becket in the same locality, but removed a little later a half mile further north, on the farm belonging to the Jonas White estate. The Captain removed to Chautauqua county about fifty years ago and died there. Rodney lived in the town till within a short time of his death, on a farm adjoining the one on which he first settled, to which he removed a few years before he died. He died while on a visit to his sons, Smith and Sherman, in Illinois. Becket removed to Genesee county some 45 years ago. None of the Captain's children, but two grandchildren, are living here. Ethelinda, widow of Jefferson Read, and Diantha, wife of Amos Hotchkiss. Thomas Shattuck came in with his family in company with the Phelpses from Connecticut, and settled on the farm adjoining that of Rodney Phelps. It now forms a part of William Kinnier's farm. He lived there a good many years and then removed to Smithville Flats, and subsequently to his son Calvin's in Greene, where he died May 22, 1834, aged 82. Olive, his wife, died July 23, 1819, aged 52. He had two sons, Calvin, who died in Greene, on the same place as his father, and Lyman, who moved west. One daughter by his second wife, Mary, widow of Henry Hoyt, is living in Greene. John Carpenter came in from Rhode Island about 1806, and settled a little east of the ridge road, about three miles above Smithville Flats, on the farm now occupied by Chas. Matthews and brothers, where he and his wife Sarah died, the former May 29, 1828, aged 77, and the latter Oct. 12, 1838, aged 84. Samuel, his son, came in with him and settled in Greene, on the creek road, about a mile above Genegantslet, on the farm known as the Forbes place. Samuel has one daughter living in Greene, Lydia, widow of Elhanan W. King, who died August 20, 1850, aged 55. She is living with her daughter, Urania Atwater. Marianne, wife of Judson L. Grant of Smithville Flats, is a granddaughter of his.
Settlements were made in 1807 by Edward Purple and Jared Grant, and about that year by Nicholas Powell.
Edward Purple was born in Middlesex county, Conn., in August, 1769, and removed thence in 1798 to Burlington, Otsego county. In 1805 he removed to New Hartford, Oneida county, and thence in 1807 to the central part of the town of Smithville, where he took up 50 acres. In 1814 he removed to the village of Greene, and engaged in wagon making. He returned to Smithville in 1828, and died there July1, 1834, aged 65. Three of his children are living: Thomas S., in Windsor, Broome county, Dr. William D., formerly a physician, now a merchant in Greene, and Lydia, widow of Lyman Ackley, in Dubuque, Iowa.
Jared Grant was born in Litchfield, Conn., Oct. 19, 1779, and removed to Smithville in 1807. He settled about one-half mile east of Smithville Flats, on the farm now belonging to the David Grant estate. After a few years he sold his place and went to Ohio prospecting, but soon returned and bought the Harrison farm, where Hugh F. Crozier now lives, and where, in 1818, he built the first two-story house in the town. He subsequently removed to the farm now occupied by George Foulston, about three miles north of the village, on the ridge road, where he died Dec. 10, 1849, aged 70. Jan. 27, 1807, just before coming to Smithville, he married Betsey Judson, daughter of Lewis Judson, of Litchfield, Conn., where she was born Sept. 20, 1780. She died Oct. 1, 1870, aged 88. Their children were Lavinia, who married John Forbes, and is now living in Rochester; Cornelia A., who married Drury Morse, and died in Jan., 1878; Mary E., who married Edson Gould, and died Nov. 3, 1855; Judson L., who was born in Smithville, where he now resides, July 11, 1815, and represented this county in the Assembly in 1859; Rebecca S., who died unmarried Oct. 22, 1850; and Harriet C., who is living, unmarried, with her sister in Rochester. Nicholas Powell settled in Smithville Flats, where, in 1809, he built the first grist-mill in the town, on the site of the present grist-mill in that village, which he run till about 1820. About the same time he built also in the village a saw-mill on the site of the mills of Uri Rorapaugh, a grandson of Peter Rorapaugh, an early settler at East Smithville. Powell removed from the town soon after discontinuing the mills. He died about 1832, aged 58.
David Grant, brother of Jared, came in from the same place the following year (1808,) and settled north of him, on the farm now owned by his grandchildren, where he died July 25, 1849, aged 71. His children who are living are: Flora, wife of Horace S. Read, in Oxford; Albert, in Fredonia, Chautauqua county; Oliver, in the north part of Smithville, on the Andrew Bailey place; and Hiram in Norwich. John Grant, brother of David and Jared, came in about a year after David, and settled on the John Harrison place, about one-fourth mile south-east of Smithville Flats, on what was called the plank road. He removed to Fredonia about 1830. One son, Lewis, a merchant, and a daughter, Julia Ann, wife of _______ Crissey, are living there. John, another son, is a merchant in Jamestown. David, Caleb and Jesse Leach, brothers, and nephews of Joseph Agard's wife, came in with their families from Litchfield, Conn., about 1808. David settled on the site of the house now occupied by the widow of Joseph McCrary, next north of the Baptist church in Smithville Flats, and subsequently became a Baptist minister; Caleb, where Dr. Luther J. Purdy now lives; and Jesse, about a mile north-east of the village. All three lived here till they became old men. David died at Whitney's Point; Caleb, in Milwaukee; and Jesse, in Smithville, Oct. 19, 1837, aged 53. Zeruah, wife of Jesse, died August 23, 1871, aged 80. Two sons of Jesse's, Lorin and Frederick, are living in the town. Other settlements were made as early as 1808, by Jerediah Brown, Elisha Harris, Woodruff Harris, Bela and Sylvester Cowles, Whiting Edgerton, John Starkey and Levi Benedict. Whiting Edgerton died March 24, 1865, aged 80; and Jane, his wife, Aug. 14, 1874, aged 83. Bela Cowles spent a long life in this town and Greene. "He was emphatically a pioneer in this wilderness, and did his whole duty in making the same blossom with the fragrance of civilization."
Peter Smith, a Hollander, came in as early as 1810 or 1812, with a large family, and settled on the same farm as Thomas Phelps. After a few years he removed to the ridge in the north part of the town, on the farm now known as the Smith farm, which was taken up by his son Henry. Peter, another son, settled on the Casey farm, a little east of the ridge road. The elder Peter died here about forty years ago, and his family removed about that time to Steuben county. His other children were George, who never married, but took up a farm joining the Henry Smith farm, and now occupied by Moses Bronson; Sarah, who married Conrad Burger; and Christina, who married Roman Loomis. None of his family are living. Thorit Smith, a grandson, is living on the Henry Smith farm. Two other grandchildren, Joseph and John, are living in Cincinnatus.
Other early settlers were: Stephen Olmstead, Silas Read, Jason Smith, Reuben Crandall, Stephen Hastings, Richard Holdridge, Leonard Webb, _____ Norris, and _____ Phelps.
Stephen Olmstead settled in the central part of the town. He raised a large family. Silas Read settled on the Genegantslet, two miles above Smithville Flats, on the farm now occupied by James and Arthur Harrison, where he died, Feb. 8, 1850, aged 79, and Lucy, his wife, May 25, 1853, aged 78. Colonel Silas M., his son, settled on an adjoining farm on the north, the one now occupied by William Harrison. He afterwards sold and went to Elmira, where he died, Oct. 28, 1858. Virgil Read, a grain dealer in Elmira, and Horace S. Read, a resident of Oxford, are sons of his. None of the elder Silas' children are living. The last, Harriet, wife of Dr. Chappell, died in Rochester in 1876. Sophia and Polly died in Smithville. Hiram settled one-fourth mile north of Colonel Silas, his brother, on the farm now occupied by William Johnson. He afterwards removed to Greene and died there. One child only, Bruce, is living in Greene. Merrick settled opposite to his father, where James Harrison now lives. He afterwards removed to the Flats and engaged in mercantile business, in which his father and brother Horace S., were also previously engaged, and subsequently to the Elder Leach farm. He died in California, Oct. 31, 1860, while engaged in transacting business for his son.
Jason Smith came in from Massachusetts and settled about a mile west of East Smithville, where Henry Flagg now lives. His marriage with Hannah Rorapaugh, in 1807, has been generally supposed to have been the first in the town; but there is no doubt whatever that the supposition is incorrect. He died in Smithville some twenty years ago, and his wife some fifteen years ago. His children were: Blodgett, who married west; Lumina, who married Dyer Perkins, and removed to Michigan; Stephen, who married and moved west; Andrew, who married Betsey Ann, daughter of Joseph Corbin, and is living in Cortland county; Chauncey, who moved west; Jane, who died in Smithville; and Dow, who removed to Ontario county, where he was living a few year ago.
Reuben Crandall settled on Bowman brook, a little north of East Smithville, on the farm now occupied by Albert and Nathan Willcox, where he died. He had two sons, Lewis and Cyrus. The former married Editha Shaddock, and the latter, Sylpha Wilmoth. Both died on the homestead.
Stephen Hastings was from the New England States and settled in the south-east part of the town on the farm, a large portion of which is occupied by Erastus Hill. He removed to Tioga county and died near Owego. His children were: Hiram, William, Abigail, who married James Potter, and Clarinda, who married Jacob Buckley, of Oxford. Richard Holdridge, also from the New England States, settled in the north-east part of the town, on the farm now occupied by his grandson, Lorin Holdridge, and died there. His children were: Ira; Richard, who married Polly Webb; Daniel, who married a Miss Teachout; Peter, who married Delilah Cutler; and a daughter who married Jesse Matteson.
Leonard Webb was from Massachusetts, and settled in the north-east part of the town, on the farm now occupied by Warren Hamilton, where he died. His children were: Sally, who married _____ Wheeler; Polly, who married Richard Holdridge; Merritt, who married an adopted daughter of _____ Baldwin; Angeline, who married Andrew Rorapaugh, both of whom died in Smithville; Charles, who removed from the town before marrying; Sylvester, who married Polly Norris, and died in McDonough; Julia Ann, who married Henry Flagg, and died in Smithville. Norris came from the New England States and settled in the east part of the town, on the farm now occupied by his grandson, William Norris, and died there. His children were: Lawrence, Daniel, Henry, Samuel, Peter, Isaac, William, Silas, Charity, who married George Whittenhall, and two other daughters who married respectively Reuben and Smith Simmons. Two are living, Isaac in Smithville, and Silas in Oxford. Phelps settled a little west of East Smithville, where Edward Loomis now lives. His wife died upon the farm on which they settled. His children are: Samantha, who married John Skillin; Samuel; and Edward, who married a Bronson, all of whom are living, Samantha in Greene and Edward in Oxford.
TOWN OFFICERS.--- At the annual town meeting held at the school house near Capt. Jonathan Phelps', Tuesday, March 7, 1809, the following named officers were chosen:---
Supervisor---Dr. Isaac Grant.
Assessors---Constant Chapman, E. Eggleston and Bela Cowles.
Commissioners of Highways---Elisha Harris, Edward Loomis and Jonathan Phelps.
Overseers of the Poor---Silas Read and Reuben Crandall.
Constables---Edward Purple, John Agard and Frederick Cline.
Fence Viewers---William Kirtland, Reuben Crandall and Thomas Shaddock.
Pound Keepers---Edward Loomis, Robert Hotchkiss and Thomas Shaddock.
The following list of the officers of the town of Smithville, for the year 1880-'81, was kindly furnished us by Robert Boyd:---
Supervisor---George D. Cowles.
Town Clerk---Robert Boyd.
Justices---George R. Jacobson, Robert A. Dunning, A. M. Walworth, Dudley Breed.
Assessors---Samuel Cline, Smith Hotchkiss, Addison Hotchkiss.
Commissioner of Highways---Giles H. Hubbard.
Overseers of the Poor---O. P. Rose, John T. Knickerbocker.
Constables---Horace L. Payne, Floyd Reed, Thomas Knickerbocker, Charles Race.
Collector---Joseph A. Harrison.
Inspectors of Election---District No. 1: Joseph Randall, Charles Dibble, Leland M. Cowles; District No. 2: Henry Chase, Alvirus Fry, A. H. Nichols.
Town Auditors---Jesse Read, Luther Davis, Ephraim Loomis.
Sealer of Weights and Measures---Judson L. Grant.
Game Constable---Joseph Potter.
Excise Commissioners---James B. Wells, Ely Partridge, Frederick A. Skillman.
Smithville Flats is situated near the south line of the town, on the flats which border the Genegantslet and extend from some distance below the village to about three miles above it, for two miles of equal width with those at the village, and in some place considerably wider. They were early known as the "Big Flats," and from them the village derives its distinctive name. The creek is small at this point, affording a limited water power. It is dammed in two places in the village, at the upper and lower end, each dam affording a fall of three or four feet.
The surrounding hills, deeply indented by the valley of the Genegantslet, with the intervening spacious plains, combine in a highly picturesque degree some of the elements of quiet and rugged beauty. The road from Smithville Flats to Greene affords a most delightful view of that valley a short distance below the former village. A more charming landscape than is there presented, it would be difficult to imagine.
The village contains four churches, (Baptist, Universalist, Methodist Episcopal and Presbyterian,) but only three houses of worship, a Union Free School, two hotels, (the Central Valley House kept by Joseph Sanford and the Smithville House kept by Alonzo Adams, the former of which was built in 1871, by Charles D. Payne, and the latter about fifty years ago, by Erastus Agard,) a flouring-mill, built by David Grant about forty years ago, and of which Thomas Tanner is proprietor, a grist, saw and planing-mill combined, owned by Uriah Rorapaugh, by whom it was built in 1875, a steam saw-mill, built in the summer of 1878, by Frederick A. Skillman, the present proprietor, two wagon shops, kept by Joseph Limburger and Henry Chase, a cabinet shop, kept by Ephraim Loomis, three blacksmith shops, kept by Michael Flanaghan, Eugene Chase and Erastus Baker, a harness and shoe shop, kept by Arthur M. Harrison, two cooper shops, kept by Samuel Boyd and Robert Boyd, two shoe shops, kept by Horace Payne and Horace D. Read, the Harrison cheese factory, built in 1874 by a stock company, which receives 1,200 pounds of milk per day and makes 756 pounds of cheese and 90 pounds of butter per week, eight stores, and a population of 400.
MERCHANTS.---The first merchant at Smithville Flats was John Palmer, who opened a store there in 1806, but how long he kept it we could not definitely ascertain. He also kept the first inn and a distillery. The former probably stood on the site of the Central Valley House. Joseph Agard was probably the second merchant. He commenced business about the close of the war of 1812 and continued till January, 1843, when he sold to his son, George, who continued about two years and closed out.
Eli Tarbell came in from Chester, Vt., in 1816, and settled below the village, on the east side of the creek, where he was engaged in farming for several years. In the spring of 1825 he removed to the village and commenced keeping hotel in a building which occupied the site of the Central Valley House and was then an old building. In 1825 he built for a hotel the place now occupied as a dwelling by his widow, wife of Loren Hotchkiss, which he kept 13 or 14 years. At the same time he fitted up the north part for a store, and rented it to Isaac Comstock, who occupied it about a year, when he filled the store himself and did business till within a year or two of his death, which occurred Oct. 4, 1845. "He was a man of enterprise and energy, and became extensively engaged in the manufacture of lumber, and for many years was the most prominent man in his vicinity." His son, John Seymour, who had done business with his father three or four years, succeeded him and continued till about 1855, when he removed to Montrose, Pa., where he has since kept a hotel. In the meantime Eli built and moved into the store until recently occupied by the late George Kinnier. Isaac Comstock continued business some four or five years, when he removed from the place. He ran a still quite extensively the last year of his stay.
Nathaniel Howe commenced mercantile business about 1828, and after about two years became associated with his father-in-law, Silas Read, whose daughter Sophia he married. They continued together till about 1836, when they closed out the business. Silas Read, a son of Howe's partner, commenced business about 1831, and continued till about 1842, when his son Horace S. succeeded him and carried it on five or six years. Merrick Read succeeded to Howe's business about 1836 and continued it some five years.
Others of less prominence may have done business here for short periods, other than those at present doing business and those who have been associated with them.
The following are the merchants at present doing business here:---
Richard Harrison came in from New York city about 1842 and commenced mercantile business, which he continued till 1865, when his son, A. M. Harrison, succeeded him, and is still dealing in saddlery hardware, boots, shoes and trunks.
Jerome B. Lewis came in from Madison, his native county, in 1848, and commenced the hardware business, which he has since continued. He was associated as partner with his brother Alonzo the first ten years.
S. L. Rhodes, general merchant, who came in from Guilford three or four years previously, commenced business in 1855, in company with Lambert Terrell, with whom he did business a little over seven years. Mr. Terrell died Sept. 20, 1862, aged 59; and Jennet, his wife, July 2, 1875, aged 57.
Erastus Tremain is a native of Greene and a grandson of Daniel Tremain, an early settler in that town. He removed to Smithville Flats in the spring of 1864, and commenced the grocery business, which he has since continued, with the exception of two years.
Edward Harrison, general merchant, commenced business in 1869 in company with his brother, A. N. Harrison, under the name of A. N. & E. Harrison. After about five years he bought his brother's interest.
Dr. Luther James Purdy, druggist, commenced business April 1, 1874, in company with J. D. Skillman, whose interest he bought October 10th of that year.
H. D. Read, a native of Smithville, dealer in boots, shoes and confectionery, commenced business in December, 1875.
J. D. Livermore & Co., (Jerome D. and Cyrus K. Livermore,) general merchants and druggists, came in from Chenango Forks, and commenced business in April, 1879.
POSTMASTERS.---The first postmaster at Smithville Flats was Erastus Agard, who held the office a great many years, till 1837, when R. N. Messenger was appointed and held it during Van Buren's administration. John S. Tarbell was appointed in 1841 and held it till about 1849, when it passed into the hands of Horace S. Read, who held it about four years. Benjamin Brown next held it till 1861, when Jerome B. Lewis, the present incumbent, was appointed.
PHYSICIANS.---The first physician at Smithville Flats is believed to have been Dr. Locy, who came in about 1822, settled where Frederick Leach now lives, and practiced till about 1831. Daniel Clark came in from Genegantslet about 1827 and remained till about 1865. He went to Cortland and is now living with his son James in Philadelphia. Dr. Alling came in about 1859 and entered a military hospital about the opening of the war. He was taken sick with a fever and returned home deranged and died about 1864.
Dwight M. Lee, who served about a year in the army as surgeon, came after his discharge, in the fall of 1865, and practiced here about a year, when he removed to Oxford, where he has since practiced.
George O. Williams, who was graduated from the Albany Medical College in December, 1866, commenced practice here in the spring of 1867 and remained six years, when, in the spring of 1873, he removed to Greene, where he is now practicing.
The present physicians are Luther James Purdy and Arthur L. Lowe.
Luther James Purdy was born in German, April 4, 1848, and studied medicine in McDonough with Dr. E. L. Ensign, and in Cincinnatus with Dr. R. Barnes. He entered the Albany Medical School in 1869, and was graduated in 1871. He commenced practice in McDonough, January 1, 1871, and after two years removed to Smithville Flats, where he has since practiced.
Arthur L. Lowe was born in West Almond, N. Y., Sept. 15, 1853. He entered the University of Wooster, at Cleveland, Oct. 7, 1874, and remained there two years. November 5, 1876, he entered the University of Buffalo, N. Y., and was graduated Feb. 22, 1877. He commenced practice at Smithville Flats.
LAWYERS.---The first lawyer was R. N. Messenger, who came here from Oneida, commenced practice about 1834 and continued till about 1841, when he removed to Milwaukee, and died there. No other has settled here permanently since. Robert Dunning, who lives in the north part of the town, practices here occasionally.
SCHOOLS.---The Smithville Union School and Academy was organized Dec. 16, 1878, under the direction of Prof. E. W. Rogers, by the consolidation of the two districts, Nos. 1 and 13. It is managed by a Board of Education, consisting of H. G. Crozier, President; U. Rorapaugh, Secretary; Edward Harrison, Treasurer; Nelson McFarland, D. Kinnier and F. F. Peck. There has not been any change in the Board since the organization, except that F. F. Peck takes the place of Jesse Read, who resigned soon after the organization.
The school building, which was formerly occupied by district No. 13, was erected in 1864. It is a substantial frame wooden structure, two stories high, 26 by 50 feet, with front and entry wing two stories high, 16 by 20 feet. The entire upper story of the main part is occupied by the academic department. The room is 15 feet high, has windows on three sides, and is well lighted with chandeliers. A fine blackboard extends entirely around it, and it is supplied with good cases for the library, which is well selected, and the apparatus, which is new and very complete. It is furnished with Chase'' peerless furniture and recitation seats, and supplied with cloak rooms in the upper story of the wing. It is without exception the finest school-room in the county. The first floor of the main building is divided into two rooms, each 25 by 26 feet, and 11 feet high, which are occupied by the primary and grammar departments. The first floor of the entrance has a hall-way and cloak rooms. The lower rooms are seated with the old style of furniture, but a tax has been voted by the district for the purpose of remodeling and refurnishing them.
The building site consists of an acre of ground, which is ornamented with a fine locust grove, consisting of 32 trees in the 31st year of their growth. The grounds, buildings and fixtures are valued at $4,000. The library consists of 178 volumes, valued at $386.25; the apparatus is valued at $362.90. They are said to be the best school library and apparatus in the county.
The faculty consists of Prof. E. W. Rogers, Principal; Rev. H. W. Congdon, A. M., Ancient Languages; A. L. Lowe, M. D., Physiology and Hygiene; Mrs. T. M. Cowan, Grammar Department; Miss G. A. Porter, Primary Department; Mrs. E. W. Rogers, Drawing and Painting; Miss Minnie McCray, Vocal and Instrumental Music.
The school year consists of 42 weeks, divided into three terms of 14 weeks each.
Genegantslet Fire Co., No. 1 of the Town of Smithville, was organized July 9, 1864, and the following named persons were members Sept. 16, 1864: H. G. Crozier, F. D. Bunnell, O. F. Cowles, James Ramsey, H. D. Read, A. Bailey, J. B. Lewis, O. Whitmarsh, C. Post, J. Ferguson, John C. Henry, G. Henry, T. Payne, H. L. Payne, C. Tyler, J. Kinnier, D. Taylor, James Kinnee, E. Loomis, E. Harrison, T. Walters, William Cayton and M. Fitch.
Charles R. Brown is Foreman; Wm. Rogers, Secretary; Edward Harrison, Treasurer; A. M. Harrison, 1st Assistant Foreman; S. Boyd, 2d Assistant Foreman.
The equipment consists of a hand engine and about 250 feet of hose.
Genegantslet Hose Co., No. 1, was organized July 9, 1864. A. C. Leach is Foreman. The company is not as yet provided with a hose cart, but arrangements have been made to procure one.
CHURCHES.---The First Baptist Church of Smithville was organized Feb. 23, 1813, at the house of S. Huntley, and was composed of members of the Second Baptist church in Greene, who felt aggrieved because their pastor, Elder Jeduthan Gray, and other members, had joined the previous year, a body of Free and Accepted Masons, and worked with them in their lodges, which they believed to be contrary to the church policy. They were the majority of that church. As appears from the records the following named persons were the original members: David Leach, Silas Read, Merrick Read, Joseph Robbins, Jared Grant, Jesse Leach, Andrew Hibbard, Asahel Loomis Erastus Agard, John Grant, George Agard, Richard Sawtle, Samuel Carpenter, Ezra Whitmarsh, John Forbes, Stephen Goetcheus, Stephen Youngs, Lyman Shattuck, Nathaniel Lucas, David Grant, Silas Read, Jr. and John Nichols, Jr.
The church was incorporated Dec. 27, 1814, as The First Baptist Church and Society of Smithville, and the first trustees were Jonathan Fitts, David Leach, George Agard, Erastus Agard and Pardon C. Blivin. It was re-incorporated Jan. 2, 1819, and the number of trustees increased to nine.
The trustees met at the school-house near Silas Read's, and voted that the society should extend from the north to the south lines of the town, and from the west line to the east line of Phineas Pond'' land, directly north and south to the town lines. May 9, 1825, these local bounds were annulled.
January 21, 1819, the plan for a house was received, prepared by Nicholas Powell, Silas Read and Joseph L. Robbins, a committee previously appointed for that purpose, and it was voted to sell the pews to build the house and divide the sums to be paid therefor into four equal installments, to be paid semi-annually, the first and third in cash, and the second and fourth in grain or neat cattle. At a meeting held the first Monday in March, 1819, it was voted to relinquish this plan and adopt some other. A site on the lands of Joseph Agard on the corner near Andrew Arnold's was selected, and it was voted to build the house by subscription, the first payment on which was to be made in materials, the second in cash when the house was raised, and the other half, at the inclosure of the building, in grain or neat stock. Feb. 9, 1824, it was voted to circulate a subscription to raise "property" sufficient to complete the meeting-house. March 14, 1825, is the first recorded meeting of the society in the meeting-house, meetings having previously been held in the school-house. This church was burned in 1826. The present one was built and furnished in 1832, by Erastus Agard, who donated it to the society.
March 26, 1825, the Universalists were prohibited from longer holding meetings in the house of this society, "with or without their minister"; and owners of dogs were prohibited from admitting those animals to the meetings, under a penalty of $1 for each offense. April 23, 1825, permission was given the Presbyterians, Episcopalians and Methodists to occupy the church when not in use by this society, but was denied the Universalists, except by "consent of all the trustees." The trustees who enunciated this edict were Silas Read, Samuel Carpenter, David Grant, David Leach, John Forbes and John Grant. June 14, 1825, it was
Resolved, That we offer some of the leading characters of the Universalists by John Forbes and John Grant to have the matter of their intruding on the rights of the Baptist church and society by opening their meeting-house to the judges of this county."
July 6, 1825, James Clapp, of Oxford, was appointed attorney for the society. At the latter date the obverse side of a dime bearing date of 1821 was chosen as the seal for the church and society. Oct. 25, 1828, it was "voted to sell the meeting-house lot, i.e. one acre lying in front of the burying ground, with a reserve of a road to the burying ground of one rod wide on the north side, to John Forbes and Silas Read, and they to pay Clapp in full the demands he has against the Baptist church and society of Smithville, which amounts to about $40." What the result of this litigation was, other than the disposition of the above named property to defray its expense, the records do not show.
February 21, 1837, they resolved to become incorporated under the name of the "First Baptist Church and Society of the town of Smithville."
September 1, 1842, it is recorded that the Church at Smithville Flats united with this Church. This isolated record does not give much information, and we have been unable to obtain any which will throw any additional light on the action taken.
The records do not show the succession of pastors up to 1843, and only imperfectly so after that. It is believed however that Elder David Leach, who was ordained by this Church, was the first settled pastor. Elder B. F. Remington was the pastor May 20, 1843, and previously. He closed his labors in the early part of June of that year. Elder Ezra Dean, then stationed at North Norwich, officiated a few Sundays and received a call July 8th following, which he declined. August 14, 1843, a call was extended to Elder John W. VanHorn, who officiated the two preceding Sundays, and accepted. The relation was dissolved Jan. 13, 1844, when he and his wife were granted letters. Elder Hart's name appears as pastor September 14, 1844. He served in that capacity till November of that year. June 21, 1845, Elder Stephen Sargent united with the Church, the names of Elders Morey and Bennett appearing in the records previous to that time. He was presented for examination and ordination by this Church October 23, 1845, but the council convened for the purpose declined to ordain him in consequence of reports unfavorable to him before he left the Congregational Church. He was consequently dismissed November 1, 1845.
Elder E. Bailey began his labors with this Church April 5, 1846, and received and accepted a call extended him April 12th of that year. He was succeeded August 1, 1846, by Elder D. Phillips, who closed his labors October 14, 1846. November 14, 1846, the Church, at the request of G. W. Herrick, granted him liberty "to improve his gifts." He preached for them at times till April 10, 1847, when he withdrew his request for a license to preach.
Elder Reuben Warriner commenced his labors April 25, 1847, and received and accepted a call to the pastorate May 8, 1847. He served them till March, 1848, on the 18th of which month it was decided to accede to the request of the Second Smithville Church to unite with it in extending a call to Elder D. Cutler, who seems to have closed his labors with them some time in May, 1849. A call was extended to Zenas A. Bryant, his labors to commence May 6, 1840, the interval of a year seeming to have been spent without a settled pastor, the pulpit having been filled at times by Elders O. Bennett, Simpson and J. W. VanHorn. The records do not show when Mr. Bryant closed his labors, but as Elder Jones officiated as moderator August 23, 1851, it is probable that they ceased about that time. The records do not show that the pulpit was supplied from this period till June 3, 1853, when a call was extended to Elder Spaulding, who continued his labors as late as February 14, 1855, and was succeeded as early as May 3, 1855, by Elder Cady, but whether the latter was a settled pastor or only a temporary supply does not appear, as his name occurs in the records in that instance only. Elder A. B. Jones appears to have been the next pastor. The names of Elders Wm. Spaulding and Ranstead appear previously however, though apparently only as supplies. Elder Jones commenced his labors as early as October 2, 1858, and he and his wife Lucy were admitted on letters May 6, 1859. Letters of dismission were granted them November 1, 1863. Elder James Van Patten officiated from October, 1863, to May 7, 1864, at which time it was voted to purchase a parsonage and pay therefor $500.
February 4, 1865, a call was extended to Elder A. Parker, who was released from his engagement November 4, 1864; at least the trustees were then instructed to release him. Elder S. G. Keim began his labors March 17, 1871, up to which time there does not appear to have been a settled pastor. Elder Keim continued his labors till his death, August 12, 1872, aged 51. He was succeeded apparently by Elder J. D. Webster, May 5, 1877. He continued his pastoral labors till December 8, 1877. Carl A. Bliesman, a student from Madison University, officiated as pastor from June, 1878, to January, 1879, since which time they have been without a pastor.
The Second Baptist Church of Smithville to which reference has been made, was organized about 1828, and their church edifice was built about three miles above Smithville Flats, on the creek road, about 1836.8 It was known as the "North Church." It was disbanded about 1848, and most of its members united with the church in McDonough. Their meeting-house is now used as a school-house. That church was an offshoot or rather a split from the First Church of Smithville, a preference in pastors having led to a division in the latter body.
First Universalist Society of Smithville Flats. The first recorded meeting of this Society was held at the house of Eli Tarbell March 5, 1842, though an organization of persons of this religious persuasion appears to have existed as early as 1825.9 At that meeting Walter Fitch was chosen moderator, and Milo Coles, Secretary. The following named persons were chosen trustees: Russell B. Beedle, Richard Haselton (who died April 23, 1864, aged 60,) and Gideon Sibley. Their house of worship was erected this year, (1842.) The first minister of this denomination was Salmon Adams, who came from Upper Lisle about 1821 or '2, on invitation of some of the Universalists in this village, and in 1823, took up his residence here. He preached here half the time and the other half at Afton the first year and Bainbridge the second. George Messenger and Nelson Doolittle succeeded Mr. Adams, and preached alternately, each once a month, about a year. Neither were settled here. Both were single men. Messenger lived near Peterboro in Madison county. Charles Brown of Upper Lisle was the next pastor. He preached half the time for one year. He was succeeded by William M. DeLong, who preached statedly half the time for two or three years. He lived in Binghamton. L. S. Clark, who resided at Upper Lisle, preached statedly half the time for one year. Robert Queal next preached statedly for two years, dividing his time between this church and the one at Upper Lisle, where he resided. Rev. Mr. Perry preached occasionally till 1854, when J. G. Bartholomew came and preached half the time for one year, dividing his time with the church at Upper Lisle. Bartholomew was ordained in this church. They did not have stated preaching from the time Mr. Bartholomew left till 1867, when Albert G. Clark came and ministered to them one year. He resided at DeRuyter, where he died soon after, after a brief illness. He was the only regular preacher whose ministrations the church have enjoyed. Only occasional services have since been held. Their house of worship is rented to the Methodist Society, who have not yet secured one of their own. The present trustees are Amos Hotchkiss, Charles P. Tarbell and Loren Hotchkiss. The number of members does not exceed a dozen.
The Methodist Episcopal Church of Smithville Flats was organized Jan. 11, 1874, by Hiram Payne, and W. H. Garitt, the first pastor, was sent on the charge the following spring. The original members were Fred A. Skillman, Eglantine Skillman, Charles R. Potter, Emily Potter, Uri Hazzard, Philena Hazzard, George Brown, Lydia Brown, Jedediah Kendall, Alzina Kendall, Russell G. Card, Jane Card, Eliza Hendrickson, Kitter A. Elwood, Sarah Barnes, Albert Barnes, Alice Card, Elizabeth Cowan, Helen Rich, Lillie Cowan. The church is on the Greene charge and has been since it was organized.
Mr. Garitt's pastorate continued three years, though no services were held the third year, owing to a dislike the congregation had for him. E. P. Eldridge became the pastor in April, 1877, and remained one year. The present pastor, H. N. Van Dusen, entered upon his labors in the spring of 1878.
The membership is about 30; the average attendance at Sabbath School, 35.
During the first three years the Society met in the Baptist Church; since then they have met in that of the Universalists.
East Smithville is situated near the east line of the town, north of the center, below and near the junction of Ludlow and Bowman creeks, which furnish a moderate water-power at this point. It contains two churches (Universalist and Methodist Episcopal,10 though the Methodists have no organization and have not held meetings for several years,) a district school, one saw-mill, a grist and planing-mill, a creamery, a blacksmith shop, kept by Michael Dunn, a shoe shop, Kept by Frank L. Sprague, a carding-mill, owned by Asa J. Stott, and a population of 64. There is no post-office here, and never has been.
MERCHANTS.--The first merchant at East Smithville was Wm. Knowlton, who opened a store about 1829 in the building now occupied as a dwelling by Isaac Noyes, and traded some two or three years. Jonathan Bennett and Asa Willcox opened a store in the same building about 1849 and traded some two years. There has not been a store kept here since. Bennett formerly resided in this town. Willcox was a native of McDonough, to which town he returned. Knowlton returned to his farm one-half mile west of the village, the one now occupied by Chauncey S. Brown, where previously for several years and subsequently for a short time, he also kept store, and where he was variously occupied as drover, tavern-keeper and shoemaker.
PHYSICIANS.---The only physician who has located at East Smithville was Edward York, who practiced about a year, some forty-five years ago.
MANUFACTURES.---The saw-mill at East Smithville, owned by Nathan Willcox, was built about twenty-five years ago by Harrington Willcox, brother of Gates Willcox, of McDonough and father of the present proprietor, who acquired possession on the death of his father in June, 1877.
The grist and planing-mill, containing one run of stones, is owned by John A. Flagg. The first grist-mill on this site was built soon after the close of the war of 1812, by Harry B. Smith, who operated it several years. It was burned about fifty years ago. A second one was built on the same site immediately after, and was converted some forty-three years ago into a hoe factory, by Erastus Bolles and his sons Lemuel and Erastus, who erected the present building some three years after, and for some ten years did quite an extensive business, employing six or seven hands. Lemuel then removed to Oxford and established a hoe factory there, continuing about ten years. He afterwards carried on the business at South Oxford four or five years and removed thence to Binghamton, where, in company with several others, he still continues it, under the name of L. Bolles & Co.
The creamery at East Smithville is owned by Horace Packer, of Oxford. It was built in June, 1864, by the East Smithville Cheese Factory Company, which was organized April 12, 1864, and filed articles of incorporation June 15, 1864. The company was composed of Cyrus Crandall, Lewis Ketcham, Benaiah Loomis, George Ketcham, Joseph W. Hamilton, William P. Butler, Uriah Rorapaugh, Warren Loomis, Samuel Cline, Sylvanus Church, Erastus Hill, Joel Webb and Isaac Whiting. The capital was $3,500. The first trustees were Daniel Loomis, Lewis Ketcham; Joel Webb, President; and Cyrus Crandall, Secretary. The company operated it as a cheese factory till Feb. 21, 1866, when it came into the possession of the present proprietor, who converted it into a creamery and has since conducted it as such. The milk from about 200 cows is received and both cheese and butter are made. It is and has been from the beginning known as the Deer Spring Butter and Cheese Factory. This is the first creamery established west of Orange county and the third one established in the United States. The first was established in Orange county by a stock company, of whom General Slaughter was the prime mover, about 1864 or '5.
WAR OF THE REBELLION.---At a special town meeting held in Smithville, Jan. 1, 1864, it was resolved to pledge the faith of the town to pay to each person who had or should thereafter volunteer and be applied on its quota under the call for 300,000 men to be drafted in January, 1864, a town bounty of $310, and Jesse Read, Ransom Yale and James Ferguson were appointed a finance committee to aid, advise and direct the Supervisor and Clerk in and about the preparation of bonds, which were to be sold at public or private sale, at not less than their par value, and made in amounts of not less than $100, nor more than $300. The bonds were made payable, $3,000 in one year from date of issue, $3,000 in two years, and the remainder in three years, together with the interest annually due and unpaid on the interest coupons. The clerk was directed to transmit without unnecessary delay to the Members of Assembly from this county, and to the Senator from this Senate district, copies of these resolutions, and request them to procure as soon as might be the passage of a law in accordance therewith. Feb. 16, 1864, the finance committee were authorized to obtain the number of volunteers required and to pay not to exceed $500 to each. Under the call for 200,000 men the town board was authorized March 30, 1864, to pay not to exceed $400 per man, and to issue the bonds of the town payable, with interest, Feb. 1, 1865.
At a special town meeting, held August 8, 1864, the Board of Town Auditors was authorized and directed to raise upon the credit of the town, in the manner prescribed by law, a sum of money necessary to procure the number of volunteers to fill the quota under the call for 500,000 men, which sum was not to exceed $500 each for one year's, nor $600 for two or three years' men, as bounty and expenses for procuring the, the money to be raised on bonds made payable Feb. 1, 1865. This action was rescinded Aug. 24, 1864, and it was then resolved to pay not to exceed $500 to one year's men as bounty and expenses, and to pay to each person who had theretofore or should thereafter furnish a substitute credited to the town on said call not to exceed $500 each. The Board was authorized to use the money obtained on the volunteer subscriptions of the young men for the purpose of procuring the money and paying other necessary expenses, and to issue bonds to the necessary amount, payable Feb. 1, 1865. Sept. 14, 1864, the Board was authorized and directed to raise upon the credit of the town a sum of money in addition to that voted Aug. 24, 1864, not to exceed $350 each, for the purpose of procuring volunteers and substitutes before the draft to apply on the quota under the call for 500,000 men, and to issue the bonds of the town in the necessary amount, made payable Feb. 1, 1868, '69 and '70, in three equal installments, with interest annually.
January 5, 1865, the Board was directed to raise on bonds made payable Feb. 1, 1865, a sum necessary to pay to each volunteer and person furnishing a substitute, credited on the quota of the town, not to exceed $1,000, provided that no person furnishing a substitute should receive more than was actually expended therefor.
The number of men who were credited on the quotas of this town during that war is 154, of whom 77 were from Smithville. They were distributed through various branches of the service as follows: 9th, 11th, 22d, 37th, 79th and 185th infantry regiments, each 1; 12th infantry, 5; 27th infantry, 4; 43d, 89th and 157th infantry, each 3; 114th infantry, 30; 144th infantry, 2; 8th cavalry, 27; 10th cavalry, 11; 3d Tenn. Cavalry, 2; 4th Tenn. Cavalry, 1; 12th Tenn. Cavalry, 8; 2d mounted rifles, 1; 1st Tenn. Light artillery, 6; 2d, 5th, 9th and 13th heavy artillery respectively 3,2,6 and 1; 8th independent battery, 4; unknown, 25.
The soldiers from this town received in bounties, as appears from the records, $33,387 from the town, and $9,400 from the county. It is probable, however, that this is not the whole amount paid.