NORWICH 1 was formed from Jericho (Bainbridge,) and Union (Broome county,) both then in Tioga county, Jan. 19, 1793, and then embraced the towns of Pharsalia, Plymouth, Preston,2 which were taken off April 2, 1806, New Berlin and a part of Columbus, which were taken off April 3, 1807, and North Norwich, which was taken off April 7, 1849.3 A part of Preston was annexed in 1808, and a part of the same town taken off in 1820. It is the central town upon the east border of the county, and is bounded on the north by North Norwich and New Berlin, on the east by New Berlin and Otsego county, on the south by Guilford and Oxford, and on the west by Preston. The surface consists of two high rolling ridges, separated by the valley of the Chenango. The highest summits are about five hundred feet above the valleys. The principal streams are the Chenango and Unadilla rivers. The former flows through the western part of the town, which it enters about two miles east of the west line, and leaves in the southwest corner; the latter forms the eastern boundary. The Chenango receives Canasawacta Creek and Mineral Spring Brook from the west, and Thompson, Ransford and Johnson creeks from the east.
It is underlaid by the rocks of the Portage and Catskill groups, and good building and flagging stone is obtained in various parts of the town. Among these localities may be mentioned the little brook in the north part of Norwich village; the farm of Norman Cox, at Wood's Corners, from which stone for the locks on the canal was quarried; on the west hill, on the Benjamin Aldrich farm, afterwards owned by Charles and William Brooks, who opened the quarry, and took out a good many flagging stone, most of that used for walks in Norwich village. The former, which is on the farm of Isaac Pendleton, furnished stone for the abutments of the bridges. Considerable stone has been taken from the west bank of the Canasawacta, near the red mill in Norwich village. It is a good looking, blueish stone, but slacks when in contact with water, and for that reason has been abandoned. A reddish and excellent building stone has been obtained from a quarry opened in the Cook settlement.
The sulphur spring on the old Smiley farm, now owned by William Breed, was discovered as early as 1800, from a deer lick in the same locality. The water was strongly impregnated with sulphur and was used with efficacy for the cure of cutaneous diseases. Two springs, one discharging pure, and the other sulphur water, issued from the earth within a foot of each other. Cyrus Wheeler, who saw in it the elements of a popular watering place, and designed making it such, made an effort some thirty years ago to improve it by putting in a curb; but the removal of a stone, which seemed to separate the two springs, caused them to unite, and subsequent efforts to separate them have been unavailing.
The soil upon the uplands is a shaly and gravelly loam, and in the valleys a gravelly loam and alluvium.
In 1875 the town had a population of 5,921; of whom 5,290 were native, 631 foreign, 5,777 white, 144 colored, 2,859 males, 3,062 females, and 185 aliens. The number of males of voting age was 1,703, of whom 56 were aliens. The number unable to read and write was 49. Its area was 26,379 acres; of which 21,441 were improved; 4,595 woodland; and 343 otherwise unimproved. The cash value of farms was $1,539,629; of farm buildings other than dwellings $173,315; of stock $206,986; of tools and implements $48,052. The gross amount of sales from farms in 1874 was $163,283.
The Utica, Chenango and Susquehanna Valley, and the New York, Ontario and Western railroads, (the latter better known as the Midland,4) cross the western part of the town, the former along the valley of the Chenango, which the latter leaves near the center (north and south) of the town. The New Berlin Branch of the latter road extends along the eastern border of the town, in the valley of the Unadilla, and the abandoned Auburn Branch from Norwich up the valley of the Canasawacta.
There are sixteen common and one Union Free School districts in the town, each of which has a school-house within the town. During the year ending September 30, 1877,5 there were thirty-one licensed teachers at one time during twenty-eight weeks or more. The number of children of school age residing in the districts at that date was 1,574. During that year there were ten male and forty female teachers employed; the number of children residing in the districts who attended school was 1,222, of whom six were under five or over twenty-one years of age; the average daily attendance during the year was 738,008; the number of volumes in district libraries was 2,137, the value of which was $1,584; the number of school-houses was twenty-one, all of which were frame, which, with the sites, embracing 5 acres, 3 ½ rods, valued at $8,230, were valued at $14,700; the assessed value of taxable property in the districts was $4,431,266. The number of children between eight and fourteen years of age, residing in the districts at that date was 625, of whom 515 attended district school fourteen weeks of that year.
Receipts and Disbursements for School Purposes:---
Amount on hand, Oct. 1, 1876 $70.06 " apportioned to district 4,212.10 Proceeds of Gospel and School lands 162.86 Raised by tax 7,689.94 From teachers' board 486.00 " other sources 610.68 ---------- Total Receipts $13,231.64 Paid for teachers' wages $10,761.94 " libraries 2.57 " school apparatus 3.00 " houses, sites, fences, outhouses, repairs, furniture, &c. 660.72 Paid for other incidental expenses 1,740.80 Forfeited in hands of Supervisor 7.72 Amount remaining on hand Oct. 1, 1877 54.89 ---------- Total Payments $13,231.64
Norwich presents some relics of interest which refer to the former occupants of this country. The locality known as the Castle, situated on a bluff on the east bank of the Chenango, near Polkville, partially on the farm of Homer Johnson and partially on that of Thomas Hall, and about twenty rods in rear of Johnson's house, presented some vestiges of a fortification in 1817, but is probably of more modern date than the one at Oxford.6 The Indians had made a clearing there of some ten acres, and were numerous up and down the valley when the first settlers came in and for some years subsequent to that time. "Here they held councils," says Clark, "and appointed courts for the trial of delinquents. Here, too, they received their chief, and here too they entertained their guests from the neighboring tribes." 7 The Randall farm about a mile below the creek bridge in Norwich, and a little south of the confluence of Canasawacta Creek and Chenango River, was also a favorite Indian resort, and was partially cleared by the aborigines.
Of another locality Mr. Clark thus speaks:---
"Very near the residence of Mr. Abel Chandler, in Norwich, there is a large mound having many appearances in common with the mounds found in Illinois and the Mississippi, and which are known to have been places of deposit for the dead. This mound is situated on the alluvial soil of the valley and is detached from the high grounds near by. If it had a rock basis it would be rational to conclude some stream had caused its disruption from the high land standing in proximity to it. But it is equally steep, or very nearly so, on each side and corresponds in length and breadth with the tumuli on the Mississippi and other western rivers. We know of no Indian burying place nearer than Oxford. Bones have been found when excavating about the fort in that village. But at Norwich, where the Indians were in greater numbers, and at an early day, no burial place has been discovered, so far as the writer can ascertain. The Castle had a village around it, as some of the first inhabitants report. Forty or fifty years ago the outlines of an Indian huddle or hamlet were plain to be seen." 8
The first settlement in the present town of Norwich was made in 1788, the year in which the Indian title to this section was extinguished by Avery Power, who came before the title was extinguished and squatted on lands for which he afterwards paid, at the rate of three shillings per acre, by services rendered the government surveyors, who laid out this tract in 1789 and '90. The farm he took up was early known as the Indian fields; for, with the exception of some fifteen or twenty acres lying upon the side hill, it had been cleared and cultivated by the Indians, and apple trees in bearing, planted by the latter, were then growing upon it. Latterly it is better known as the Randall farm, from its subsequent occupant. It contained the whole of lot 39 (250 acres,) and an additional thirty-six acres. It is located a mile south of Norwich village, lying on both sides of the river, but mostly upon the west side, lot 39 cornering near the residence of Homer Johnson. His log cabin stood a little east of the canal, near the barn on the Jeduthan Newton place, formerly owned by John Randall. Mr. Power was possessed of a hardy, bold and venturesome spirit, which made him restive under the restraints imposed by civilization. He was a sort of compromise between the savage Indian and civilized white man. He soon pined for the wild associations which the locality of his settlement was rapidly losing, and in 1800 he sold to John Randall, and removed to the Western States, receiving for his farm and improvements $4,100. His removal was doubtless hastened by the misfortune which overtook him; for he lost in as many weeks three daughters after a brief illness, all of whom were buried on the Burlingame farm on the east side of the river, the yard being still preserved. These deaths are supposed to have been the first in the town. His daughter, Lucy Power, was the first child born in the town.9 His was the first dwelling house and, says Clark, the first tavern,10 in Norwich.
David Fairchild is supposed to have been the next settler in the town. He located near the south line of the town, near what was once known as Gates' tavern. He soon after removed to the central part of the town of Preston, where he was killed about 1805, in a log trap, set for bears. He was a noted hunter and trapper.
The third settler is supposed to have been Silas Cole, who came with his wife from Connecticut on horseback, both riding one horse. He took up all that part of the village of Norwich lying east of South Main street, between the points where East street intersects and the Canasawacta crosses South Main street. It afterwards formed the farms of Elder Jedediah Randall and Judge Steere, on the former of which he settled. Mr. Cole built the house afterwards owned by Judge York for a tavern; and when the first militia muster was advertised to take place in Norwich he made extensive and expensive preparations to entertain the expected multitude, which was even greater than was anticipated, but, owing to the numerous hucksters, who supplied the wants of the large crowd, the tavern keepers failed to receive their expected patronage. Mr. Cole thus became involved and was obliged to sell his fine farm, which he did, and removed with his family of three children, Marcus, Lucius and Minerva, about 1806, to Sugar Creek, Ohio, where he died.
Capt. John Harris and William Smiley came in company from Voluntown, Conn., in 1789. Harris took up land that year and returned in the fall for his family. Smiley brought his family with him, and settled on the west side of the river, two miles below Norwich, on the farm afterward occupied successively by Stephen Collins, Elias Breed, who held it a great many years, and John Fryer. He built that year on the site of the residence recently occupied by John Fryer, a log house, which Dr. Harris says was the second dwelling house in the town. This is the farm on which the sulphur spring before referred to was located. Smiley sold about 1796-8, to Stephen Collins, and went west with his family. Collins came in at that time from Connecticut, and about 1806, built the present house on that farm. He kept tavern there, and also, the toll-gate on the turnpike from Utica to Binghamton, which was built about 1800. About 1810, he sold to Elias Breed and removed from the town with his family. Breed came from Stonington, Conn., and continued to reside on the farm till his death, Dec. 6, 1849, aged 67. His wife, Elizabeth R., also died there, Oct. 22, 1868, aged 84. They were succeeded on the farm by their children William and Jane, wife of John Fryer, the latter now living in Norwich village and the former on the homestead. William married a daughter of James Packer, in the south-west part of Norwich, and is also still living. 11
Captain John Harris was born on Nantucket Island, Mass., about 1753. He followed the sea and run a packet between New York and Liverpool till the opening of the Revolutionary war, when he removed to Voluntown (now Sterling,) Conn., where, in 1776, just one month before the Declaration of Independence, he married Tamer, daughter of William Ransford, a native of Voluntown, Conn., where they resided till 1790. Captain Harris, as before stated, came to Norwich in 1789, and took up 256 acres, extending from Broad street to the river, and from the south bounds of the American Hotel property to the north line of the Terwilliger place, in the north part of the village. Having arranged with Avery Power and William Smiley to build him a log cabin he returned in the fall for his family, which he brought in the following January, with two yoke of oxen, attached to a long sled, on which were packed goods and family supplies. His family rode in a sleigh, drawn by a span of horses. They stopped one night at the house of John Eastwood, a noted Methodist, who had then made a settlement on the Unadilla in Guilford.
The journey from the Unadilla to Norwich occupied two days. His family then consisted of his wife and six children, Blin, Abby, John, Squire, Tamer and William.
The house, which he expected to find ready for occupancy, was not begun. He quartered his family with that of William Smiley until he rolled up his log-house, which, with the aid of his brothers-in-law, Hascall and William Ransford, who accompanied him in the settlement, in 1790, occupied only four days. Smiley's house contained only one room, and in this he, his wife and two or three children, Harris, with his family and two brothers-in-law, lived in the most democratic manner, making their beds upon the floor. Harris' house was something of an improvement on this, as it had two rooms. It stood just north of the brook which crosses the main street near the brick brewery, between that and the orchard on the Rexford place; but no trace of it remains. The orchard referred to was set out by Harris between 1790 and 1797. This house was replaced in 1808 by a frame structure, which was removed in the spring of 1836, to the corner above the residence of Dr. Harvey Harris, for which it made way, and in 1850, it was again removed to the canal, where it still stands, being still occupied as a residence.
Harris was principally engaged here in surveying. He surveyed and divided the 10th township (North Norwich,) which had been bought by some eight or nine individuals.12 He laid out immediately after coming in, the road which now forms Broad street in the village of Norwich and then extends north from the Canasawacta two and a half miles in a straight line and from thence north to Sherburne and south to Oxford. This was the first road in the old town of Norwich, and in the north part of the county, probably the only one then in the county, except the old military, or Chenango, road in the south part of the county, and possibly the Unadilla river road. Harris and his wife both died on the homestead, the former of dropsy, in 1797, and the latter, February 18, 1835, aged 76. Subsequent to Harris' death, she married Samuel Hull, from Stillwater, Saratoga county, who also died here, Dec. 13, 1830, aged 88. Harris had two children after he came here Harvey and Annie. 13
Hascall and William Ransford, before referred to, were brothers and natives of Voluntown, Connecticut, from whence they removed to this county. They came on foot. Hascall was born February 10, 1766, and came at the age of twenty-four years. He took up 150 acres of land, to which he subsequently added, a mile north of the village. The farm, the larger part of it, is now occupied by J. Dakin Reed. R. A. Young, occupies that part of the farm which lies east of the river. A portion of the west side is occupied by his daughter Fanny, wife of Anthony Lamb. It is still known as the Ransford farm, having remained in that family till within some twelve or fifteen years. He worked two summers and spent his winters in Ballston. The second winter he brought in his parents, William and Abigail, the former of whom was born in Old Plymouth, Massachusetts, July 3, 1728, and the latter in Hillingsby, Connecticut, Feb. 25, 1726. His father died July 2, 1814, aged 85 and his mother, May 6, 1811, at the same age. At this time (1792) his worldly possessions consisted of a span of horses, a sleigh and forty dollars in money. With the latter he bought a yoke of oxen. He sold one horse and the other went to make the first payment on his land. July 12, 1792, he married Fanny, daughter of Matthew Graves, who was born in Conway, Massachusetts, December 21, 1775.14 He had previously made a small clearing on his land and built a log shanty in which he soon after commenced keeping tavern. This, his family claim, was the first tavern in the town. This house stood on the east side of the road, about twenty-five rods south of the residence of the widow Lamb, about the locality of the gate across the road leading to the bridge which crosses the canal in that vicinity. About 1799, he built a frame house, which stood on the hill opposite the log house, on the west side of the road. This was torn down some twenty or more years ago, by George Mulligan, who used the frame in the construction of his present residence in the north part of the village. That was the second frame house in town.15 Haskell died on the farm on which he first settled June 30, 1839, aged 73, and his wife, on the portion then occupied by his son William, December 20, 1859, aged 85. He represented Chenango county in the Assembly in 1814. Numerous descendants are living in the locality of his settlement.16
William Ransford settled on 190 acres on the east side of the river, at Wood's Corners. The farm has since been divided between two grand-daughters: Henrietta, wife of William K. Loomis, a wheelwright in Norwich, and Jennette, wife of M. J. Reese, who is now living on the homestead. He married Hannah, daughter of Josiah Brown and both died on the farm upon which they settled. He died Oct. 26, 1826, aged 27. They had five children, three sons and two daughters.17
Jacob and Joseph Skinner, brothers, came in from Hebron, Conn., in 1790. We are not advised where Jacob first settled, but after the death of Timothy Johnson, about 1794, he occupied the farm taken up by the latter about 1795. Johnson came from Stirling, Conn., and settled on the flats between the road and the river, on the west side about half a mile north of the village of Norwich. Johnson was the first adult person who died in the town. His wife died in Connecticut. He had two sons, Heman and Jared, the former of whom married, settled and died in Plymouth, the latter settled and died in North Norwich. Skinner occupied that place only a few years. He soon after removed from the stone mill, to the crest of the west hill, where he built a log house and afterwards a frame structure, in which both he and his wife died, the former June 3, 1847, aged 80, and the latter, (Phebe,) Feb. 1, 1842, aged 72. They left two sons and a daughter. John, who married a daughter of Job Stafford,18 and settled and died in the north-east quarter of Norwich; Reuben, who removed when young and single to Chautauqua county; and Hannah, who married a Breed and settled first on the homestead, and subsequently in Guilford.
Joseph Skinner settled on the east side of the river, about a mile above Norwich village, on the farm now occupied by Clarissa, widow of Joseph Skinner, Jr. He was a young, single man, and came on foot and alone, with fifty cents in his pocket, carrying on his back a bundle, done up in a handkerchief, and containing his possessions. He bought sixty acres of land, and built a log cabin on the river bank. Being out of provisions, he borrowed some corn of a neighbor, who preceded him in the settlement, took it to Oxford and had it ground. On returning he borrowed of the same kindly neighbor a spider, in which to bake his bread, which, he said afterwards, was the sweetest he ever tasted. The following year (1791) he married Lois Train, daughter of Oliver Train, who came in about this time with the family of Martin Taylor, from Whately, Mass. Her father never came to this country. He soon after removed to the village. Skinner and his wife died on the farm which he first took up, the former April 16, 1854, aged 86; the latter, Nov. 2, 1839, aged 71.19
Nicholas Pickett and Major Thomas Brooks were settlers of about this period, 1790-91. Pickett located on the east side of the river, on what was afterwards known as the Pendleton farm. He sold out after a few years and removed west. Major Brooks settled on the west green in Norwich village, on which he built a log shanty. He removed at an early day to the south-east corner of Plymouth, to the farm now occupied by Ambrose Bryant. He was killed by the fall of a tree, August 30, 1822, at the age of 61 years. Lucy, his wife, died on that farm Dec. 31, 1827, aged 71. Major Brooks was a Massachusetts man. He was a Revolutionary soldier, and also participated in Shay's rebellion, a fact which he always admitted and justified. His children mostly scattered and removed from the town.20
Settlements were made about 1791 or '2, by Matthew Graves, Martin Taylor, and Colonel William Monroe.
Matthew Graves came in from Hatfield, Massachusetts, and settled in the south part of Norwich village, on the John Randall, Jr., farm, where he lived till about 1813, when, being advanced in years, he went to live with Dr. Jonathan Johnson, his son-in-law, on the opposite side of the road, where Dr. Wm. H. Stuart now lives. The house in which he lived on the first farm, a small frame structure, is still standing on the Conkey farm, having been removed to the locality of the canal, and is still occupied as a tenement house. He died at the residence of his son-in-law, Hascall Ransford, August 17, 1824, aged 86. His wife (Hannah Morton) died on the old homestead March 28, 1813, aged 69. Their children were all born in Massachusetts. The eldest daughter married and remained there.21
Martin Taylor was from Massachusetts, and was implicated in the Shay rebellion. On the night of the day that the rebellion was quashed he mounted his horse and rode to Utica and thus escaped by proving an alibi. He returned to Massachusetts, and in 1791, squatted on the west side of the river, opposite the covered bridge which crosses the river at Norwich, where Joseph Skinner now lives. About 1804-'6, he removed to Wood's Corners, and from thence, during the war of 1812, to Chautauqua county. His sons Jared and Erastus, his only children, were engaged in the battle of Queenstown, in which Jared was shot through the leg. He afterwards joined the family in Chautauqua county.
Col. William Monroe enlisted as a drummer boy in the war of the Revolution, at the age of fourteen years, and served through that war. He came here from Windsor, Conn., and squatted on the east green in the village of Norwich. He built a log-house near the corner of Main and Broad streets, intending to take up land.
When the Twenty Townships were offered for sale by the State, certain of the settlers in this locality employed Capt. John Harris to attend the sale and purchase the lands in which they were interested; but Leonard M. Cutting, of New York, by bidding a penny an acre more than Mr. Harris was authorized to bid, secured the lands in the 15th township, and designed making them lease lands. The determined opposition of the settlers, however, defeated his plan, and saved Chenango county from those bitter feuds and clandestine violence which, for many years previous to 1846, agitated some of the eastern counties in this State. Avery Power was the only one who had a title to his lands. The other settlers expected to purchase directly of the State, but Cutting forestalled them.
In 1793, Mr. Cutting, whom Dr. Harris describes as a man small in stature, but big in feeling, visited the town and endeavored to induce those who had settled here, to the number of some twenty-five or thirty, to accept leases. He visited the homes of the different settlers, among them that of Monroe, who was away from home. From there he went to John Shattuck's,22 to which place Monroe followed him, on being informed by his wife of Cutting's visit. There Monroe, who was a large, powerful man, weighing about two hundred pounds, got into an altercation with Cutting, during which the latter called Monroe a liar. Near the door stood a swill barrel, made from a hollow button-wood tree, and provided with a bass-wood bottom. Monroe seized Cutting and doused him into this, remarking as he did so, "You young stripling! Call a Revolutionary soldier a liar, will you!" and emphasized his remarks with a repetition of the act, sousing poor Cutting, with his ruffled collar and cuffs, up to the neck in the barrel. Cutting, thoroughly discomfited, returned to New York as soon as his clothes were suitably washed and dried, and soon after sold the township to Dr. John Stites, of Elizabeth, N. J., and Anthony Lamb, of New York, the latter of whom sold the last of his lands on the east hill some ten years ago. Messrs. Stites and Lamb obviated the objectionable feature with regard to rents, but advanced the price of lands to twenty shillings per acre. This was a grievous disappointment to the occupants of the lands, who expected to purchase them for three shillings per acre. Many on learning that efforts were being made to make them lease lands became discouraged and threatened to leave the lands and abandon their improvements; but Dr. Stites came on and pacified them by making the above offer on long time. All the first settlers were poor, and many required a long time to lift the burden of indebtedness. Capt. John Harris, so Dr. Harris informs us, was the only one of the first settlers who paid anything down on their purchases.
In the meantime, Colonel Monroe, fearing a suit for trespass, removed to and bought the south-east corner lot in the town of Plymouth, where he built a log house and lived, he and his wife, till their death. The place on which he settled is now owned by Benjamin Frink, son of Benadam Frink, to whom it was sold by Orsamus,23 son of Colonel Monroe, a good many years ago. Colonel Monroe was twice married. His second wife was the widow of Benjamin Prentice, who also died on the homestead. He had two sons by his first wife, and one son and three daughters by his second.24
John Wait came in about 1792 or 1793 and settled about a half mile north-west of Norwich village, on some one hundred acres which now forms a part of Dakin J. Reed's farm. He died Sept. 28, 1801, aged 57, and Mary, his wife, the latter in Preston, June 18, 1842, aged 94. His children were: William who married Nancy, daughter of Josiah Brown; Judy, who married a carpenter and settled in Preston, where both died; Electa, who married and soon after moved west; Chester, who removed when young to Michigan; and Polly, who became John Harris' second wife, and is now living in New Berlin.
Josiah Brown, Manasseh and James French, James Gilmore and John McNitt joined the settlements about 1793 or 1794.
Josiah Brown came from Massachusetts, and settled at Wood's Corners,25 on the east side of the river, about a mile and a half above Norwich, on the farm afterwards occupied for many years by James Thompson. There Brown and his wife died.26
There was another Josiah Brown, who settled a little later, about 1794 or 1795, on the farm next below the cemetery in Norwich village, where his grandson, Hezekiah Brown, now lives.27
Manasseh French, a Baptist minister, and the first clergyman in Norwich, settled about a half mile below the Norwich village cemetery. He was a plain, unaffected preacher, and removed soon after to Cayuga county, and became the pioneer preacher in the town of Sennett in that county. He was one of the constituent members of the Sennett Baptist church, which was organized September 12, 1799, and was its first pastor, serving in that capacity till 1808. He settled on fifty acres of land in the town of Sennett.
James French, a brother of Manasseh's, settled about the same time in the north-east quarter of Norwich, on the farm now occupied by his grandson, Eben French. He and his wife died there. His son James, who married a daughter of Lemuel Wells, succeeded him on the farm, where his wife died, and lived there till some four years ago, when, having married for his second wife Polly, daughter of Willard Smith, an early settler in Norwich, he removed with her to the village of Norwich, where he died in the spring of 1878, and his second wife the following spring. Another of French's sons was living till recently in North Norwich.
James Gilmore settled about two and a half miles from Norwich village, on the farm now occupied by John Shattuck, where he died Feb. 18, 1821, aged 77, also his wife and sister Esther, a maiden lady, the latter of whom lived to exceed a hundred years. His daughter, Submit, married Col. Stephen L. Avery, who settled on the Gilmore farm, and after her death, March 30, 1847, aged 61, removed to Norwich village, and subsequently, after seven or eight years, to the locality of Earlville or Hamilton. Colonel Avery came in about 1816 from Stonington, Conn., with his brother, Roswell R. Avery and another brother, who was a bachelor. Roswell was a wagon-maker and settled first on the south-east corner of the east green, and afterwards where his daughter, the widow of Porter Clark, now lives, east of the canal on East Main street. Mary Ann and Cornelia, also daughters of Roswell, are living with the widow Clark. Roswell died March 1, 1871, aged 79, and Mary, his wife, Sept. 28, 1843, aged 43.
John McNitt, of Irish descent and a Revolutionary soldier, settled nearly a half mile south of Polkville, on the farm now owned by ________ Turner, son of Deacon Turner, of Norwich, where he and his wife died. He came with his wife and two sons, James and John, the latter of whom removed to Rock River, Ill. James married Ruth Johnson and settled on the hill a mile and a half south-east of Polkville, where he died Nov. 22, 1862, aged 77, and his wife, July 4, 1871, aged 78.
Settlements were made by Hezekiah Pellet and Elisha Smith about 1794; by Alexander McCullough, E. Green and Jedediah Sprague, about 1796; by John and Daniel Shattuck, Stephen Steere, Thomas Wood and Amos Bowen, in 1797; by Joshua Burlingame, previous to that year; and by Uriah Very and the Aldriches, Stephen Henry and the Phillipses about 1798.
Hezekiah Pellet came from Canterbury, Conn., his native place, and settled on the east side of the river, where he took up a large tract of land, which, at his death, embraced two valuable farms. The homestead farm is now owned by Matthew Ransford, and on that Hezekiah died March 20, 1816, aged 58. His wife (Mary,) after his death, lived with her son John, who succeeded his father on the homestead, which he retained for a number of years. He finally sold to Matthew Ransford and removed to the village, where his mother died April 17, 1845, aged 84. After Mr. Pellet's death his oldest son, Archibald, came into possession of the other half of the farm, which is now occupied by Peleg Pendleton and his half-brother, the former of whom is a grandson of Hezekiah Pellet's.28
Deacon Elisha Smith came from Hatfield, Mass.,29 and succeeded Col. William Monroe on the Guernsey farm, occupying at first the log house built by Col. Monroe on the west green in Norwich village. He built, in 1798, the mills on the west bank of the Canasawacta, in the locality of the present stone mill, known as the Guernsey mill.30 The saw-mill was built first, and the lumber for it was obtained from New Berlin. He soon after, about 1799, built the house now occupied by William B. Guernsey, which stood originally on the site of the liberty-pole. About 1804, Deacon Smith sold out to Peter B. Garnsey and removed to the north-east quarter of Norwich, to live with his son William, where he and his wife died. Smith came in with his wife, Abigail Church, and five children, Reuben C., William C., Lois, Martha and Jotham.31
Alexander McCullough was a Revolutionary soldier and came from the New England States. He settled in the south-west part of the town, on the farm now owned by Daniel M. Holmes, where he and his wife died. He had three sons, Alexander, who married in Preston and moved west; John who married Rebecca, daughter of Casper M. Rouse, and removed to Chautauqua county; and William, who went west and married there.
Judge Stephen Steere came from Chepachet, R. I., and in company with Capt. Edward Greene and Jedediah Sprague, from the same State, purchased the south-east quarter of Norwich, on which they settled, Steere, about a quarter of a mile above the White Store, where William T. Morse now lives, near the railroad bridge which crosses the small brook above White Store, Greene about a mile below White Store where his great-grandson, Adolphus Greene, now lives; and Sprague, about a mile north of White Store, where Douglas Burlingame now lives. They were the first settlers in the locality of White Store. Greene and Sprague continued to reside where they settled till their death. Capt. Greene died April 22, 1824, aged 67, and Prudence, his wife, Dec. 9, 1814, aged 59, leaving seven children, all of whom are dead.32
Sprague had three sons, all of whom are gone.33 Judge Steere soon after removed to Norwich village and located on fifty-six acres of the Silas Cole farm and seventy acres bought of John Harris. His first house stood between the residences of John Conkey and the daughters of Abiel Cook, on East Main street, and about two years after, he removed just north of the south canal bridge where, says Dr. Harris, he attempted to erect a frame house, before the mills at Norwich were built. The frame was hewed pine, and the clapboards were rived and planed. This, says the Doctor, though a shanty, was the first frame structure in the town. Soon after the mills were in operation he built anew, about two rods south of the residence of the widow Fitch.34 There he and his wife (Rizpah) died, the former in 1816, and the latter in 1810. Steere had been a Judge of the Court of Common Pleas in Providence, R. I. Here he was engaged in land speculations. Steere brought in his wife and family with an ox team. The journey occupied three weeks. His son Smith says they were obliged to cut a road from Butternuts to the Unadilla. Steere had ten children.35
John and Daniel Shattuck, brothers, came from Farmingham, Mass., and settled in Norwich village. John married June 29, 1775, Ruth Phelps, of Phillipston, who died of consumption in Conway, April 26, 1788, aged 30. He married for his second wife, about 1788, the widow Cranston, who died in Phelps, N. Y. He did not take up land in the village; but about 1800 or soon after, in conjunction with his son, David, took up a hundred acres on the west side of the river, about two and a half miles below the village, where his great-grandson, John Samuel Shattuck now lives. In the winter of 1804, he removed to Phelps, with his wife and son Daniel, and died there. David, after his father's death, also removed to Phelps and took with him the rest of the family.36
Daniel Shattuck came with his family, consisting of his wife, Elizabeth Washburn, and three children, a son and two daughters. He was a carpenter and mill-wright and carried on his trade in the village till about 1803, when he removed to Phelps, where his wife died. He died of the cholera in Canada West, where he went to build a mill. His children were Reuben, who was born Nov. 22, 1778, married in 1800, Bethaniah Josslyn, and removed to Otsego county, where he died, leaving no children; Olive, who married Hatfield Cooper, of Humphrey, Cattaraugus county, where they settled; and Lydia, who married Samuel Cooper, who died at sea. She afterwards married David Wheeler, who settled in Ontario county, where she died in 1848.
Thomas Wood was a native of Sapatic, R. I., from whence he removed to Thompson, Conn., where he married Mercy, daughter of Samuel Kimball, with whom he removed in the spring of 1797 to Norwich. He settled about four miles east of Norwich, where he took up 250 acres, the farm now owned by Buel Barnes, son of Asa Barnes, who owned the farm a good many years. In 1805, Wood sold to Esek Smith, who came in at that time from Rhode Island, with his son William and the latter's family, consisting of his wife and four or five children. The elder Smith lost his wife in Rhode Island. The Smiths removed some ten years after to Pennsylvania. Mr. Wood, after selling his farm in Norwich, removed to North Norwich, to the farm on which his son Marmaduke now lives. He took up 122 ½ acres on lot 79, on which he resided till his death, April 3, 1813, aged 45. His wife, Mercy, also died on the place August 16, 1845, aged 71. They had seven children, two of whom were born before they came here.37
Amos Bowen came from Gloucester, R. I., in 1797, and settled a mile and a half south-west of White Store, on the farm now occupied by his grandson, Francis Bowen, where he died Jan. 31, 1866. He was born Feb. 6, 1774. He married in Connecticut, Rebecca, daughter of Gilbert Salisbury, who was born March 24, 1776. He came here immediately after marrying. His wife also died on the homestead, March 20, 1858. They had five children, all of whom were born here.38
Gilbert Salisbury, Bowen's wife's father, came here from Killingly, Conn., about 1802 or 1803, and settled about one and one-half miles west of White Store, where William Hull now lives, on the farm owned by George Phetteplace, where he died March 5, 1824, aged 85, and Rebecca, his wife, June 13, 1809, aged 57. They left several children, but none of them are living. One grandchild, Uri Mallory, is living in Norwich.
Joshua Burlingame settled on the farm now owned and occupied by his son Charles, and died there Dec. 22, 1852, aged 84.
Uriah Avery came from New York, and settled on a part of the John Randall farm, where his granddaughter, a maiden lady named Cary, now lives, on the west side of South Broad street, about twenty rods south of the canal bridge, where he died August 25, 1843, aged 83, and his wife, Sibyl, August 14, 1838, aged 80. He was a saddler and harness-maker, the first in the settlements, and carried on that business till his death, or so long as he was able to work. His daughter Eliza married a son of Judge Cary, of Oxford, and lived and died in the same house. Cary died in Oxford, previous to his wife, while on a visit to his father's. His son William was clerk for one of the Lyttles, merchants in New York.
The locality known as the Rhode Island settlement in the north-west part of the town was settled about 1798, by the Aldrich, Henry and Phillips families, who came from Rhode Island. A Mohegan Indian who had been friendly toward the white people came with them, and continued to reside there till his death. There were five families of Aldriches, one of Henrys, and three of Phillipses.
Benjamin Aldrich settled on the farm now occupied by his two grandsons, sons of Samuel, where he and his wife died. He had three sons, Nathan, George and Samuel, the former of whom was married when they moved in. He settled on the farm next adjoining his father's on the north, and afterwards removed to Greene, where both he and his wife died. A son and two daughters are now living in Greene. Sarah, another daughter, married Evans, and settled and still lives in the locality of her father's first settlement. Her husband died there. George married and removed to Chautauqua county. Samuel married Sarah Keith and settled on the homestead, where his wife died. He afterwards married Eliza Childs and removed to Norwich village, where he died. His widow still lives there.
Gardner and Noah Aldrich, brothers, and Benjamin Aldrich, were all three cousins of the Benjamin Aldrich just named, and were all married when they came in. Gardner settled on a farm still occupied by a member of his family, and afterwards removed to Plymouth. Noah settled on a farm adjoining his brother'', and removed about the same time to Plymouth, where both died. Benjamin settled on the hill about a mile west of Norwich village, where he and his wife died. He had three daughters, each of whom married a Crandall, Joseph, William and Latham, and all of whom are living, two in Norwich and one in Plymouth.
Stephen Henry settled on a farm adjoining that of Nathan Aldrich on the north. It is now occupied by Benjamin Frink. He afterwards removed to Norwich village, where he and his wife died. He had one son and two daughters. Stephen, the son, settled and died in the King Settlement in North Norwich. One daughter married Deacon Levi Brooks, and settled in Plymouth, where they died. The other married a shoemaker named Warner, now living in Norwich village. She died in Pharsalia, or the west part of Plymouth, where they were then living, some ten years ago.
Rufus, Nathan and Owen Phillips were brothers. The latter two removed soon after to Plymouth. Rufus, who was married before he came, settled among the Aldriches. He afterwards removed to Norwich village and lived in the second house north of the Catholic Church, where he and his wife died. They had three daughters. One married a man named Hinman and moved north; another married Charles Parker, a wagon-maker in Norwich village, where both died; and the third, Eliza, who was a maiden lady, lived and died on the homestead.
Settlements were made by John Randall and Hezekiah Brown in 1800; by Nathan Pendleton, the Gibsons and Casper M. Rouse, about 1800; and by Jacob Reynolds previous to that year.
John Randall was born in Stonington, Conn., March 24, 1754. He married in his native place Nov. 7, 1775, Mary, daughter of John and Mary (Prentice) Swan, who was born in Stonington, Conn., Nov. 29, 1757. In 1797, he removed thence with his family consisting of his wife and nine children to Pharsalia, and from thence in 1800, to Norwich, where he purchased of Avery Power 286 acres of land located south of the village, for which he paid $4,100. The farm, which embraces some of the most valuable and productive lands in this section, is still known as the Randall farm, and is owned in part by his descendants. He was one of the constituent members of the First Baptist Church of Norwich, of which his brother, Rev. Jedediah Randall, was the first Pastor. His wife died March 29, 1813, aged 55. May 3, 1816, he married, at Stonington, Conn., Hannah Mary, widow of his brother, Roswell Randall, and daughter of Rev. Nathaniel and Hannah (Stoddard) Avery, who was born in Stonington, Conn., in 1764, and died in Norwich, Oct. 9, 1838, aged 71, preceded by her husband, who died Oct. 7, 1818, aged 64. He had thirteen children, the first ten of whom were born in Stonington, Conn., the eleventh at Pharsalia, and the last two in Norwich. They were John, Denison, Charles, Paul, Perez, Samuel, Elias, Martha, Roswell, Esther, Lucy, Hannah and Jedediah Wheeler.
John was born March 1, 1776, and married at Stonington, Conn., Nov. 25, 1806, Hannah, daughter of Abraham and Elizabeth (Hale) Snow, who was born at Brookfield, Conn., Feb. 18, 1786, and died March 12, 1855, at Norwich, where all their nine children were born, and where John died Sept. 9, 1854.
Colonel Denison was born Oct. 25, 1777, and married at Stonington, Conn., in 1801, Betsey Stewart, who was born at Stonington, Conn., in 1780, and died in Clarkson, N. Y., May 21, 1861. Denison succeeded to the occupancy of the house and farm in Pharsalia owned by his father prior to his removal to Norwich, and resided there till his death Oct. 18, 1824. He represented this county in the Assembly in 1812. He had ten children, all of whom were born in Pharsalia.
Capt. Charles was born Jan. 25, 1780, and married at Stonington, Conn., Jan. 29, 1804, Keturah, daughter of Captain Nathan and Amelia (Babcock) Pendleton, who was born at Stonington, Conn., Dec. 5, 1782, and died at Norwich, April 28, 1811. November 7, 1811, he married at Norwich, Mary, sister of his first wife, who was born at Stonington, Conn., Dec. 16, 1786, and died at Norwich, Dec. 26, 1817. Sept. 3, 1818, he married at Norwich, Abigail, daughter of George and Edith King, who was born at Cambridge, N. Y., Nov. 2, 1789, and died at Norwich, Aug. 26, 1844. Dec. 8, 1846, he married at Earlville, Mrs. Dolly Pardee, daughter of Nathan and Dolly Geer, who was born in Chesterfield, Mass., Jan. 1, 1792. He had twelve children, all of whom were born in Norwich. Captain Charles followed his father and the other members of the family to Pharsalia in May, 1798, then in his nineteenth year, with three yoke of oxen, crossing the Hudson at Catskill. He was three weeks on the road. In 1800 he accompanied his father to Norwich. In 1812, he went with the regiment of Col. Thompson Mead, as Lieutenant, to the Niagara frontier. He was converted, with thirty-two others, Jan. 17, 1817, baptized and united with the Baptist church in Norwich, of which he was chosen deacon Jan. 2, 1819, a position he acceptably filled nearly fifty years. After spending a few years in Norwich village, engaged, in company with Truman Enos, in the manufacture of leather, he retired to a farm on the east side of the river, opposite to that of his father on the west, which he cultivated till a few years preceding his death, when he removed to the village and died there April 1, 1872.
Paul was born April 12, 1782, and married in Norwich in 1807, Charlotte Collins, who was born at Stonington, Conn., June 19, 1785, and died at Falmouth, Ky., May 13, 1814. June 4, 1816, he married at Falmouth, Ky., Elizabeth Swing, who was born in New Jersey, Jan. 1, 1793. They had nine children; the first two were born in Norwich, the next five at Falmouth, Ky., and the younger two at Rushville, Ind., where he died.
Perez was born April 6, 1784, and married at Norwich in 1808, Betsey, daughter of Benjamin and Eunice (Parker) Edmunds, who was born at Woodstock, Conn., in 1787, and died at Norwich, Sept. 9, 1813. In 1816, he married Ruby, daughter of William and Welcome Johnson, who was born at Canterbury, Conn., Dec. 25, 1796, and died at Norwich, May 12, 1865. He had thirteen children, all of whom were born in Norwich. Perez represented this county in the Assembly in 1818. He was appointed County Clerk of Chenango county March 6, 1819, and, with the exception of the years 1820, and 1831,'32 and '33, continued to discharge the duties of that office satisfactorily till his death, March 29, 1838.
Samuel was born May 10, 1786, and married at Norwich, in 1813, Sally Whaples, who died at Henderson, Ill., in January, 1850. He died at Providence, Ill., Feb. 24, 1851. They had five children, all of whom were born in Norwich.
Elias was born August 3, 1788, and died in Norwich, Feb. 17, 1803.
Martha (Patty) was born August 27, 1790, and married at Norwich, Dec. 8, 1811, James W., son of James and Huldah Gazley, who was born in New York City, July 23, 1784, and died at Cincinnati, Ohio, June 8, 1874. She died in Cincinnati, Dec. 24, 1817.
Roswell was born Oct. 10, 1793, and was married at Pharsalia, Nov. 20, 1826, to Lydia Brown, who was born at Stonington, Conn., January 16, 1803, and died at Pharsalia, March 14, 1831. Roswell died Sept. 5, 1839.
Esther was born January 14, 1796, and was married at Norwich, July 17, 1817, to Charles, son of Collins and Mary (Randall) York, who was born in Stonington, Conn., July 22, 1793, and died in Norwich, April 10, 1873, where Esther also died Nov. 21, 1873.
Lucy was born July 30, 1798, and died at Pharsalia, May 9, 1799.
Hannah was born March 24, 1802, and died at Norwich, January 12, 1827.
Jedediah Wheeler was born May 17, 1804, and married at Rushville, Ind., in 1828, Lucinda, daughter of John and Elizabeth Perkins, who was born in Rushville in 1808, and died in Orange, Ill., November 13, 1865. He died at Knoxville, Ill., February 1, 1861.
Hezekiah Brown, a native of Rhode Island, came in 1800, from Sterling, Conn., where he married Elizabeth Cole, a native of the latter place, bringing his wife and one child, Harry, who died soon after coming here. He settled on the farm next south of the cemetery, which is now owned by his youngest child, Elisha, where he died Oct. 24, 1847, aged 69, and his wife, Feb. 22, 1866, aged 83. He was a Justice of the Peace.39
Nathan Pendleton came in from Stonington, Conn., his native place, soon after 1800, and settled on the east side of the river, about three miles below Norwich village, on the farm now owned by the widow of Peleg Pendleton, who died there in July, 1866. His land lay on both sides of the river. He brought in his wife, Amelia Babcock, a native of Stonington, Connecticut, and seven children, three girls and four boys, leaving five in Connecticut. Two of the latter, Isaac and Keturah, both of whom married in Connecticut, came in afterwards, Isaac, in 1811, and Keturah, some years previously with her husband, Charles Randall, son of John Randall, to whom reference has been previously made. Nathan and his wife died on that place; so also did two sons, Peleg and Simon, and one daughter, Amelia, his eldest child, who was a maiden lady, and died at the age of eighty-seven. Nathan Pendleton survived his first wife, and after her death married Rhoda Gavitt, who also died on the homestead. Not one of the family is left, neither of those who settled here, nor of those who remained in the east. The last one, William Pendleton, died in Norwich, July 17, 1878, aged 83. Two of his daughters became the wives of Charles Randall, Keturah and Mary.40
Chauncey Gibson, who was originally from Connecticut, came from Duanesburgh with the family of his father, John Gibson, and settled on the east side of the river, near Wood's Corners, on the farm now owned by Matthew Ransford, where his father and mother died. Chauncey removed some twenty years since to South New Berlin, where he and his wife died.41
William Gibson, brother to Chauncey, came in about the same time from Ballston, Saratoga county, where, being a wheelwright, he was engaged in the manufacture of spinning wheels, an article which was in large demand at that day. He settled on a farm adjoining Chauncey's, and carried on the wheelwright business till his death, when his brother Chauncey, who was also a wheelwright, succeeded him, and continued it till his removal to New Berlin. William's wife was a sister to Hascall and William Ransford. She died at her brother Hascall's, with whom she went to live when her husband was taken sick.42
Casper M. Rouse came from the New England States and settled on the site of Norwich village cemetery, where he lived a number of years. He removed to Sugar creek about 1820. He was State Senator while residing in this county from 1812 to 1815; he also held the offices of Side Judge and Justice. He was the Senator for whose alleged bribery State Treasurer David Thomas was tried in Norwich in 1812.43 His children were Dr. Austin, Erasmus, John and Rebecca, who married John McCullough, the latter three of whom went west with their father. Austin married Jane E. Perkins, daughter of Erastus Perkins, an early tavern keeper in Oxford. He studied medicine with Dr. Henry Mitchell in Norwich and commenced practice in Oxford in 1820, continuing there till his death August 27, 1866, aged 70. His wife who was born May 2, 1806, also died in Oxford, September 28, 1875.
Jacob Reynolds, brother to Sullivan Reynolds, who was interested in the mill property at Rockwell's Mills at an early day, came from the east the latter part of the last century, and settled about a hundred rods south of White Store, where Egbert Myres now lives, where he died April 1, 1837, aged 79. His first and second wives died on the same place, Sarah, November 15, 1807, aged 51. His third wife, Amy, died in the house now occupied by Rensselaer Bowen, at White Store, January 29, 1846, aged 73. He left two children by his third wife, Jacob and Alma, the latter of whom married Edward Wood, both of whom are living in Onondaga county.
Families named Shippey, Peters, Monroe, Ballou, Cook and Phetteplace from Rhode Island, settled in the south part of the town, near the line of Guilford about 1800.
Thomas Shippey, settled one and one-half miles south-west of White Store, where David Fields now lives, and died there March 12, 1823, aged 75, and Hannah, his wife, Dec. 6, 1838, aged 86.44
Wilmarth Peters settled about three miles south-west of White Store, and died there Feb. 3, 1864, aged 79. He was twice married and both wives died on the same place, the first, Rhoda, April 12, 1807, aged 32, and the second, Polly, March 21, 1854, aged 73.45
David Monroe settled and died on the farm on which his son John afterwards lived and died. The elder Monroe died May 20, 1809, aged 70, and Mary his wife, Sept. 11, 1833, aged 86. His son John married Phebe Colegrove, and died July 19, 1865, aged 91. His wife died March 8, 1862, aged 86. Celaney Winsor, daughter of Olney Winsor, and widow of John Monroe, grandson of David Monroe, is living a little below Polkville, with her son Wellington, where her husband died in March, 1879. Sylvanus Ballou settled one and one-half miles west of White Store, where David B. Phetteplace now lives. He afterwards removed to Smithville, where he died Dec. 1, 1857, aged 90, but was brought to White Store for interment. Mercy, his wife, died in Norwich, July 3, 1822, aged 59. Rev. Daniel Ballou, a Universalist minister now residing in Utica is a son of his. He had two other sons, one of whom, Amasa, went west, after the death of his wife, Cyrene, Oct. 31, 1842, at the age of 32 years. Gideon Cook settled two miles west of White Store, where _______ Eggleston now lives, and died there Sept. 6, 1813, aged 67. Jane, his wife, died Jan. 10, 1816, at the same age.46 Elijah Cook, brother to Gideon, settled three-fourths of a mile west of White Store, where Eddy Cook, a great-grandson of Gideon's, now lives, and died there. He had a large family of girls, who married and moved away. One, Orpha, who married Joseph May, returned after her father's death, and died here Jan. 25, 1866, aged 80, and her husband March 17, 1862, aged 82. Another daughter, Amanda, married Otis Winsor.
David, Philip, Thomas and Samuel Phetteplace were brothers. David settled three miles south-west of White Store, where his son Jonathan now lives. There he and his wife died. He had two wives. His first was Zeruah, daughter of George Bowen, whom he married in Rhode Island; the second was Betsey Tucker. Both died here. Jonathan, Noyes and David B., children by his first wife, are living in Norwich. The children by his second wife are all gone. Philip settled on a farm adjoining David's on the south. Both he and his wife died there. None of their children are left. Thomas settled about three miles north-west of White Store, where Philander Green now lives. He afterwards removed to Cortland county and died there Oct. 21, 1858, aged 80. Lillies, his wife, died April 2, 1861, aged 80. David, Philip and Thomas married sisters. Philip's wife was named Judith. Thomas had a large family, only one of whom is living in this locality, Emeline, widow of Jesse Matteson, in Norwich village. Samuel settled just above Holmesville, where Charles Britt now lives. One child is living in Norwich, Lydia, widow of Harry Burlingham, who died Nov. 23, 1854, aged 52.
Peter B. Garnsey,47 a native of New Lebanon, Columbia county, studied law in the office of Chancellor Walworth, and was admitted as an attorney Nov. 5, 1795, and as a counselor, Feb. 7, 1800. The former certificate is signed by Chief Justice Yates, and the latter, by John Lansing, Jr. He married at New Lebanon, Dec. 25, 1797, Mary Speirs, daughter of Dr. Speirs, a prominent merchant of New Lebanon, and removed immediately after to Oxford village and engaged in the practice of his profession.48 He removed thence soon after 1800 to Norwich village and purchased of Elisha Smith the old Col. Monroe place with the mill and other property added by Deacon Smith. This purchase included all that part of the village lying west of Broad street, north of Benjamin Chapman's store and south of Henry street, extending across the Canasawacta, nearly to the crest of the west hill. Here he engaged, in addition to his legal practice, in the milling business. He was also interested with Thomas Milner in wool carding and cloth dressing at Wood's Corners, one and one-half miles above Norwich village. Mr. Milner subsequently kept store for a number of years on the corner now occupied by Comstock's clothing store.49
It would appear from information received from Mr. William B. Guernsey that when Mr. Garnsey bought the place the grist-mill built by Deacon Smith was not standing. The saw-mill built by the latter stood a good many years. Mr. Garnsey built near it a grist-mill, which stood until the present mill on the east side of the creek was built, in 1836, when it was converted into a saw-mill and used as such for several years. Mr. Garnsey, in 1832, sold the mill property, together with all his other property, except the homestead, to his son William G. Guernsey, and retired from active business. He died in the house now occupied by William B. Guernsey, near the court house. It originally stood on Broad street, where the liberty pole now stands, and was removed by him to its present location in 1807, to make room for the court house and jail. Having promised a site for the county buildings if they were established in Norwich, a determination which he was instrumental in securing, he donated the ground on which the court house and jail now stand, and the west park which fronts them. This house, whose external appearance indicates a modern structure, is one of the oldest of Norwich's ancient landmarks, having been built about, perhaps a little earlier than 1800. The house is substantially as it then stood, the frame and rooms being precisely the same. It has been modernized by new casings, outside coverings, &c.
Peter B. Garnsey was one of Norwich's prominent and substantial citizens, and contributed in no small measure to the prominence it now enjoys in the county. Mr. Clark says of him:---
"Perhaps no citizen was so closely identified in his lifetime with the early growth and prosperity of the village of Norwich as Peter B. Guernsey. Himself and his heirs after him have been extensive land owners in the heart of the village. Mr. Guernsey was a lawyer by profession, but early relinquished his calling for active business pursuits. The characteristics of Mr. Guernsey's mind were strong, natural sense and untiring perseverance under difficulties that never intermitted. He was one of the many early settlers who literally died in the harness." 50
Settlements were made at an early day by Samuel Hammond, Rev. Jedediah Randall, John Welch, Lemuel Southwick, Lobden Jaynes, Jonathan Colegrove, Jonathan Thornton, Capt. James Thompson, Capt. Anan Winsor, Benjamin Sheldon, Maj. Samuel May, and Gideon Mann.
Samuel Hammond settled in the north part of the village of Norwich, and lived in the house now occupied by Thomas Lillis, which then stood on the site of Mr. Cornell's residence. He was engaged in farming, and resided there till his death, which occurred Dec. 2, 1821, at the age of 63 years. His wife, Polly, also died there, five days later, (Dec. 7, 1821,) aged 62.51 Rev. Jedediah Randall was born in Stonington, Conn., March 20, 1758. He was the first pastor of the Baptist church in Norwich, and in the two-fold capacity of preacher and farmer, was a valued and highly esteemed citizen. His farm, in the south part of the village, is now mostly cut up into village lots. He died here Feb. 22, 1844, aged 86; and Martha, his wife, Oct. 29, 1848, aged 88. John Welch was a blacksmith, and settled in the west part of the town, on the farm now occupied by Hiram Hale and Cyrus Brown, where he and his wife died. Nathaniel Welch, who removed west at an early day, was a son of his. Lemuel Southwick settled on the hill, about a half mile east of Polkville, on the place now occupied by Mr. Grant. He removed from the town with his family at an early day. Lobden Jaynes was a mason. He settled first in the Rhode Island settlement in the north-west part of Norwich, and after a few years removed to the town of Plymouth. He was the chimney builder of this section of country. Jonathan Colegrove settled about four miles north-west of White Store. He early removed to Pennsylvania and died there October 8, 1812, aged 76, but his remains are interred at White Store. He was an early teacher in this locality, and is recollected to be an austere one, though a man of good ability. Jonathan Thornton settled in the same locality as Colegrove. He was a stone mason and worked at his trade in connection with farming. He died March 9, 1847, aged 82; and Freelove, his wife, November 10, 1851, aged 88.
Captain James Thompson settled about four miles west of White Store, and afterwards removed to Polkville, where he died March 10, 1873, aged 90. Nabby, his wife, died where he first settled, July 16, 1851, aged 63. He was twice married. None of his children are left here. Smith, his son, went west; and Polly, his daughter, married Daniel Hunt, and both lived and died in this locality. Captain Anan Winsor, who was distantly related to Colonel Stephen Winsor, settled two and one-half miles west of White Store, where George Medbury now lives. He died there Dec. 30, 1820, aged 71; and Amey, his wife, August 28, 1834, aged 82. Washington, a Baptist minister, Adin and Angel, were sons of his, but all removed from the town. Benjamin Sheldon settled about three miles south-west of White Store, where Delancy Phetteplace now lives, and died there July 18, 1816, aged 65. Sarah, his wife, also died there Feb. 15, 1835, aged 85. Benjamin and Luke Sheldon were sons of his. The former lived and died on the homestead, August 25, 1824, aged 37. The latter settled and died in Guilford, near VanBuren's Corners, Sept. 7, 1851, aged 72. His wife, Mercy, died July 27, 1836, aged 59. Major Samuel May settled two miles south-west of White Store, near where George Phetteplace now lives. He died there May 3, 1810, aged 71. Joseph May, who married Orpha, daughter of Elijah Cook, Daniel, whose widow is living in Guilford, and Asa who went to Ohio at an early day, were sons of his. Joseph and Daniel settled and died in this locality; the former, March 17, 1862, aged 82, and his wife, Jan. 25, 1866, aged 80. Gideon Mann settled on the farm on which Benjamin Sheldon, Sr., afterwards settled, but removed at an early day. Caleb and Olney were sons of his. Caleb settle a mile and a half above White Store, and died there August 19, 1828, aged 46.
George Knapp joined the settlements in 1804. He came from Rhode Island, and settled on the south line of the town, on the farm on which his daughter Mary, the widow of John Shattuck, now lives, and died there some thirty years ago. He married in Rhode Island a Miss Rathbun, and came with his wife and two children, Anna and George, the former of whom married Charles Hatch and removed to Cattaraugus county, where she now resides. Her husband died there. George married Betsey, daughter of Captain Lyon (who settled at an early day on Lyon Brook, which derives its name from him,) and settled and died in Guilford. His widow is still living on the homestead. Mary Shattuck is the only one of the children living in this locality.
Asa Pellet came from Canterbury, Conn., in 1805, and settled in Norwich village, on the place now occupied by John Haynes, and owned by Mrs. S. H. Barnes. His occupation was that of a farmer. He purchased of Judge Stephen Steere about two hundred acres of land, the farm originally settled by John Shattuck, on which he resided till his death, which occurred July 2, 1838, aged 71. He imported soon after his settlement the first merino sheep brought into Chenango county, and was extensively engaged in raising wool. He married in Canterbury, Abigail Porter, who died in Plymouth, Feb. 7, 1864, aged 82, while visiting her son Asa, who resided in that town. They had nine children, two of whom were born in Canterbury.52
Lemuel Wells came from Massachusetts about this year (1805,) and settled in the north-east quarter of Norwich, and died there, he and his wife. They had seven children, all sons.53 Palmer Edmonds came from Rhode Island about 1805 or 1806, and worked on shares for seven or eight years a part of the William Ransford farm. He afterwards bought a farm in the north-east quarter of this town, and died there, he and his wife. Truman Enos came to Norwich in 1806, and established a tannery which he carried on about forty years. He died in Norwich village, May 11, 1869, aged 91 years. He had three wives, Lendy Trail, who died April 29, 1815, aged 35; Betsey Campbell, who died July 2, 1817, aged 26; and Abby Parmelee, who died Jan. 14, 1862, aged 69.
James Packer, a native of Groton, Conn., came in from Guilford, Vt., in 1806, and settled about three miles south-west of Norwich, on the farm now occupied by his grandson of the same name. He took up a hundred and fifty acres on lot 52, on which he resided forty-five years, and raised a family of twelve children. In 1851 he removed to Norwich village, and died there Dec. 7, 1867, aged 83. He married Mary Billings, a native of Groton, Conn., who died on the homestead farm June 16, 1826, aged 40. He afterwards married Eunice Lewis, of Norwich, by whom he had one child. She died in Norwich, June 29, 1868, aged 89.54
The south-east part of the town was settled by families from Rhode Island, among them the Cooks, Winsors, Thompsons, Ainsworths and Jennisons, who came about 1816 of '18, except the Cooks, who came about 1799, and the Winsors, about 1800. Numerous descendants of these families are now living in that locality. John, Richard, Daniel and Laban Cook were brothers, and all came in with families and settled on adjoining farms. John had two sons, both of whom are living on the homestead. Richard and Laban had no children. Daniel had two or three daughters. Olney, Joshua, Ziba and Washington Winsor were brothers, and each had families when they came in. The locality is known as the Cook settlement.
TOWN OFFICERS.---The records of the town prior to 1803 are missing; a fact which is to be regretted, as this period of ten years from the organization of the town covers the most interesting, as well as the most inaccessible portion of its history. The first town meeting was held at the house of Capt. John Harris,55 and the subsequent one at that of Hascall Ransford; but who were elected to office we have been unable to determine.
The town meeting in 1803 was held at the house of Hascall Ransford the first Tuesday in March, and the following named officers were elected:-- Casper M. Rouse, Supervisor; Hascall Ransford, Clerk; Barnabas Brown, John Randall, Sanford Morgan, Simon Trask and Thompson Mead, Assessors; William Munro, Collector; John Randall and Amos Mead, Overseers of the Poor; James McCullough, Stephen Collins and Joseph Medbury, Commissioners of Highways; Samuel White, Stephen B. Wever, William Palmer, John Randall, Jr., Judah Bennett, Amos Mead, Ezra Hoag, Thomas Brown, Jr., and James Simond, Constables; Joshua Phillips, Phineas Fanning, Silas Cole, Silas Burlingame and Thompson Mead, Fence Viewers; Jonah Curtis, William Palmer, John Randall, Silas Burlingame, James H. Smith, Pound Masters.
The following have been the Supervisors and Clerks of the town of Norwich from 1803 to 1880:---
Years. Supervisors. Clerks. 1803-'4. Casper M. Rouse. Hascall Ransford. 1805. Wm. Munro. do. 1806. Casper M. Rouse. do. 1807. Nathaniel Medbury. do. 1808. Joseph Brook. do. 1809-'13. Hascall Ransford. Perez Randall. 1814-'15. do. John Randall, Jr. 1816-'17. Perez Randall. do. 1818-'19. Hascall Ransford. David Buttolph. 1820. Edmond G. Per Lee. Peter B. Guernsey, Jr. 1821. James Thompson. do. 1822. Jonathan Thompson. do. 1823. John F. Hubbard. Squire Smith, Jr. 1824. Samuel Pike. do. 1825. Charles York. do. 1826-'8. do. Cyrus Wheeler. 1829-'31. Cyrus Wheeler. Levi Ray, Jr. 1832. Henry Mitchell. do. 1833-'4. Charles York. Ralph Johnson. 1835-'6. do. Burr B. Andrews. 1837. Smith M. Purdy. do. 1838. Harvey Harris. do. 1839-'41. Burr B. Andrews. Daniel M. Randall. 1842-'3. Burr B. Andrews. Nelson B. Hale. 1844. Ralph Johnson. Levi Ray, Jr. 1845. Aaron B. Gates. Horatio N. Walter. 1846-'7. Obadiah G. Randall. do. 1848-'9. Ambrose Smith. Charles E. Brown. 1850. do. Thos. H. Lewis. 1851. Charles York do. 1852. Harvey Hubbard. James H. Sinclair. 1853-'4. Daniel M. Randall. do. 1855. James M. Smith. Nathan P. Wheeler. 1856. Samuel R. Per Lee. Chas. F. Hinkley. 1857. Nathan F. Wheeler. Nelson H. Button. 1858. Philander B. Prindle. James H. Sinclair. 1859. Horatio N. Walter. do. 1860. Ansel Berry. do. 1861-'3. Daniel M. Holmes. Jno. W. Weller. 1864. do. Geo. W. Marr. 1865-'6. Daniel M. Holmes. Dennis Conway. 1867. Nathan P. Wheeler. George F. Stevens. 1868. do. C. L. Ferry. 1869. Silas Brooks. H. M. Ashcraft. 1870-'2. do. Charles B. Nash. 1871. Nelson O. Wood. do. 1873. James G. Thompson. do. 1874. Henry M. Ashcraft. Marion Henry. 1875. Henry P. Marvin. Charles H. Watts. 1876. Henry M. Ashcraft. do. 1877. Fred Mitchell. do. 1878. Sylvanus Shumway. T. Spencer Baker. 1879. Jeremiah Medbury. George W. Nagle. 1880. Andrew J. Phelps. Charles H. Watts.
The following list of the officers of the Town of Norwich for the year 1880-81, was kindly furnished by Charles H. Watts:---
Supervisor - Andrew J. Phelps.
Town Clerk - Charles H. Watts.
Justices - Isaac W. Baker, Hendrick C. Bosworth, William H. Gunn, Nathan Field.
Assessors - Henry P. Marion, Stiles B. Grant, Charles Ransford.
Commissioner of Highways - Harry F. Hickok.
Overseer of the Poor - Thomas W. Hall
Constables - Charles F. Hubbard, Thomas H. Lewis, William Graham, Albert H. Mead, Hiram White.
Collector - Henry L. York.
Inspectors of Election - District No. 1: George A. Thomas, Isaac S. Newton, Asher C. Scott. District No. 2: Hendrick C. Bosworth, Henry D. Spaulding, Thomas H. Lewis.
Town Auditors56 - Thomas Macksey, Kinyon Terry.
Game Constable - Richard Newton.57
Excise Commissioners - John D. Marion, Henry L. Marsh, Samuel Cole.
Norwich, the county seat, is delightfully situated on the west bank of the Chenango, in the angle formed by that river and its confluent, the Canasawacta. It is surrounded by a moderately rich agricultural district, whose produce finds here a ready market. It is a remarkably cleanly, neat and well-built town, with many fine residences and substantial business blocks. Its streets are broad, regularly laid out, handsomely shaded and lighted with gas; and its walks well paved with native stone. It is on the line of the Utica, Chenango and Susquehanna Valley, and New York, Ontario and Western (Midland) railroads, and the abandoned Chenango Canal, and is the eastern terminus of the Auburn Branch of the latter railroad.
It contains, in addition to the county buildings, seven churches,58 some of them very fine structures, a Union School, with academic department, five hotels,59 two newspaper offices,60 two banks, the extensive hammer factory of David Maydole & Co., a piano Manufactory, an extensive cooperage, a planing-mill, grist-mill, two tanneries, a brewery, a foundry and machine shop, sash, door and blind factory, a rope walk, a furnace, several carriage manufactories, and various other minor manufacturing establishments. It has a population of about 5,000.
It has two fine parks, centrally located, deficient, however, in ornamentation, which are separated only by Broad street, and are designated east and west parks. With a moderate outlay they might be made to enhance vastly the beauty of the village and the comfort and pleasure of its citizens. The east park was a gift from Stephen Steere, and the west one, from Peter B. Garnsey.
The following description of Norwich, which we extract from Spafford's Gazetteer of the State of New York, published in 1824, read in the light of subsequent events, will be of interest, and serve as a pleasing comparison with it present condition:---
"The * * * village * * * is finely seated in a spacious and fertile vale, on the point of land formed by the Canasawacta Creek and the Chenango. The buildings stand on two handsome streets, intersecting each other at right angles, and consist of 100 dwellings, 7 stores, 4 inns, 2 churches, a court house, jail and Clerk's office, with a brick banking house. There are also a very respectable female seminary of education, some common school houses, and about 500 inhabitants, principally of Yankee origin, and sober, persevering and industrious. The site of this Borough is much admired by travelers, surrounded by fields and farms in high cultivation, and being well supplied with pure and wholesome water, and having a charming and salubrious atmosphere, it is one of the healthiest and pleasantest towns of the west for a summer resort. There is a mineral spring of some note, about two miles from the borough, said to be a sovereign remedy for most cutaneous diseases. By-and-by, when experience and chastisement restore the sober senses of the community, people will wonder at the infatuation that ever located a bank at Norwich, as well as at very many other such country villages. But the evil, to cure itself, must operated gradually, and in its own way. I hope the farmers will have sense enough to keep their lands free from incumbrances, held by such 'monied institutions.' They are a heavy curse on the industry of a farming country, and every body will by-and-by adopt this opinion."
The village was incorporated April 17, 1816. The Records previous to 1844 are lost. We give below the names of village Presidents and Clerks from 1844 to 1879:---
PRESIDENTS. CLERKS. 1844. Abner W. Warner. William N. Mason. 1845. Abel Comstock.61 do. 1846. Levi Ray, Jr. do. 1847.62 ______ ______ do. 1848. Alfred Purdy. J. DeWitt Rexford. 1849. Joseph Chapel. Henry M. Hyde. 1850-1. H. N. Walter. Benjamin E. Randall. 1852. Daniel Holmes. do.63 1853. do. Nelson W. Hatch64 1854. Abner W. Warner. John D. Lawyer. 1855. John Wait. Franklin Beebe. 1856. do. Henry L. York. 1857. Ansel Berry. Charles C. Gager. 1858. Henry Hubbard. Samuel S. Breed. 1859. Daniel M. Randall. do. 1860. Lewis Kingsley. Russel A. Young.65 1861. Ezra B. Barnett do. 1862. Benjamin Gardiner.66 Billings Wheeler 1863. Matthew Ransford. do. 1864. William H. Sternberg Orson Pope. 1865. H. C. Wilcox. Curtis Crane. 1866. David Maydole. A. T. Per Lee. 1867. do. Henry P. Marvin. 1868. do. James E. Case. 1869. George M. Page. John M. Gartsee. 1870. B. Gage Berry. George W. Marvin. 1871. Nathan P. Wheeler. Albert F. Gladding. 1872. Edwin Smith. David H. Knapp. 1873. Samuel R. Per Lee. William B. Leach. 1874. N. O. Wood. D. H. Knapp. 1875. Silas Brooks. Lyman P. Rogers. 1876. Dr. W. H. Stuart. Benjamin Frink. 1877-8. William Breese. A. E. Rathbun.67 1879. do. Charles Shumway.
The village officers elected March, 1880, were:---
Trustees - William Breese, Deloss Fowlston, James J. Westcott.
Collector - George A. Jacobs.
President - William Breese.
Street Commissioner - Deloss Fowlston.
Health Officer - James J. Westcott.
Clerk - Charles Shumway.
March 11, 1879, the former board of trustees elected Joseph Wood, Fire Marshal; Albert C. Latham, Treasurer; Charles H. Dimmick, Engineer of Fire Steamer, and Thomas H. Lewis, Hiram White, Charles E. Peacock, Dwight Cook, Charles E. Hubbard, J. D. McFarland, William Graham, and Charles H. Brooks were appointed Policemen.
October 25, 1877, the village was divided into four wards, as follows: All that portion of the village lying east of the centre of Broad Street, and south of the centre of East Main Street, was designated the First Ward; all lying east of the centre of Broad Street, and north of the center of East Main Street, the Second Ward; all west of the centre of Broad Street, and north of the centre of West Main Street, the Third Ward; all west of the centre of Broad Street, and south of the centre of West Main Street, the Fourth Ward.
MERCHANTS.---The first merchant in Norwich was Dr. Joseph Brooks, an educated physician, but not a medical practitioner. He opened a store about 1798-1800, in a building which stood on the site of the residence of Hon. B. Gage Berry, on the south corner of North Broad and Pleasant streets. He occupied the house both as a residence and store, using the front room for the latter purpose. He traded two or three years, and then commenced keeping tavern in a building which stood a little north of the American Hotel, which he continued till his death, which resulted from consumption March 10, 1813, at the age of 41 years. Lot Clark married his widow.
Two Englishmen, _____ Sharp and Thomas Milner, commenced trading soon after Brooks discontinued, in a building which stood about fifteen rods north of the residence of the widow Lamb, a half mile north of the village. They continued till 1810, and afterwards started a woolen factory and distillery at Wood's Corners, on the west side of the river, which they continued several years. Milner afterwards commenced trading again and continued till his death, Nov. 26, 1843. Sharpe removed to Otsego county.
Joseph S. Fenton, who was a member and leader of the Congregational church of Norwich, commenced trading here about 1810, and continued as late as 1823 or 1824. Asa Norton and Perez Randall also commenced trading about 1810. Norton was from Butternuts. He traded till about 1816 or 1817, when he went west. Randall was a son of John Randall, and was associated one year, 1814, with John Harris, brother of Dr. Harvey Harris. Cyrus Wheeler, Porter Wood (the latter of whom traded till his death, Dec. 10, 1859, and was for some years in company with Thomas Milner,) David E. S. Bedford and Charles York, who was in company a year or two with Cyrus Wheeler, were early, prominent merchants.
Benjamin Chapman, who was born in Connecticut in 1791, came from Durham, Greene county, in 1810, and settled in Norwich village, where he has since resided. He was employed first as a clerk for Zeno Allen, who came from Durham that year, and opened a store in a building which stood nearly opposite the American Hotel, which was removed to East Main street before the canal was built, and converted into a residence, for which purpose it is now used. Allen did business here only two or three years, when he removed to Sacket's Harbor and died there. Mr. Chapman clerked for him during his stay, and then for Ira Willcox, of Oxford, who was engaged in trade there, and opened a branch store here, which he continued two or three years. In 1815, Mr. Chapman commenced business for himself in the building, which has since been enlarged, which is now occupied by his son, William H. Chapman, and nephew, William Porter Chapman, who succeeded him in the business, and are now doing business under the name of W. H. Chapman & Co. Benjamin Chapman retired from active mercantile business about 1853. His son, William H., then changed the stock to drugs, but two years later, in 1855, changed back again to dry-goods. William Porter Chapman, who had clerked for William H. Chapman, since the spring of 1856, became his partner in 1865.
POSTMASTERS.---The post-office at Norwich was established in the latter part of the last century. Hascall Ransford was the first postmaster, and kept the office in his log cabin, which answered the double purpose of residence and tavern. The mail was carried on horseback from Cooperstown once a week. John Stearns was the first mail carrier. After a few years the mail was brought from Utica, still on horseback, and the office was removed to the village. About 1808 the mail was brought by stage from Utica, twice a week. The present postmaster is James K. Spaulding.68
PHYSICIANS.---The first physician both in the village and town of Norwich was Jonathan Johnson, who was born in Canterbury, Conn., Jan. 13, 1770, studied medicine in Pomfret in his native State, and came to Norwich from Ballston, Saratoga county, on horseback, about 1794. He boarded with Matthew Graves, and on the 28th of December, 1797, married his daughter Hannah. He located in the south part of the village, opposite John Randall, on a part of the Silas Cole farm, and soon after his marriage built the house now occupied by Dr. W. H. Stuart, where he spent the greater part of his life, and died Sept. 27, 1837, aged 67. His wife died April 17, 1874, aged about 96. 69
Dr. Johnson practiced here till his death, or until ill health incapacitated him shortly previous to that. His first surgical operation, if not the only one he ever performed, occurred about 1798, when, by the aid of a Dr. Upham, from Pennsylvania, who was passing through this valley on his way to the north, he amputated the leg of Levi Skinner, at Wood's Corners. Skinner's leg was crushed a little below the thigh by a falling tree. The operation was performed with a razor for an amputating knife and a forked wire for a tenaculum. The operation, notwithstanding the rude implements used, proved successful. There was then no surgeon nearer than Cherry Valley, where Dr. Asa White was then located. Dr. Johnson made no pretentions to being a surgeon. Dr. Henry Mitchell, who came here, in 1806, from Coventry, to which town he had removed a year or two previously from Connecticut, and who was the second physician to locate here, did not commence the practice of surgery till 1818. After that he performed nearly all the capital operations in surgery in the county for several years, and some in the adjoining counties.
Henry Mitchell, who, as we have seen, came to Norwich in 1806, arriving here on the day of the great eclipse, came originally from Woodbury, Conn., where he was born in 1784. He was graduated from Yale College in 1803, in the same class with John C. Calhoun, and had just completed his medical studies when he came here. He continued to practice here till his death, Jan. 12, 1856, at the age of 72, though he did not practice much during the last few years of his life. His duties as a physician during the early years of his practice were extremely arduous. His ride was large, extending into adjoining counties, and he visited his patients on horseback, threading the dense forests by means of blazed trees. He was for many years the leading surgeon in the county, and made hernia, a specialty, becoming eminently proficient in its treatment. He was highly educated and moved in the best professional circles. He represented this county in the Assembly in 1828, and was a member of Congress from 1833 to 1835. He married here Rowena, daughter of Nathan Wales of Plymouth, who died June 3, 1835, aged 42, having borne him seven children.70
Harvey Harris, son of John Harris, a pioneer settler in Norwich, was born in Norwich, August 3, 1795, and commenced the study of medicine in 1814, with Dr. Henry Mitchell. He attended lectures at the New York Medical College in 1816 and was licensed by the State Commissioners in 1817. He commenced practice in New Berlin in March of that year and remained there one year, when he removed to Norwich, where he practiced till within about ten years, and where he still resides. Ill health compelled him to withdraw from practice and advancing years prevented his resuming it. In 1832, in the absence of Dr. Mitchell, he performed his first capital operation in surgery, that of trephining, on ________ Soules, of the town of Plymouth. The operation was successful.
Dr. Jones came here about 1830 and practiced about a year; but failing to secure a remunerative practice he removed to Texas, of which State he afterwards became Governor. Patrick Hard, a nephew of Henry Mitchell's wife, studied with Dr. Mitchell and practiced in company with him one year, about 1831 or '32, when he went to Oswego. William Baxter practiced here about two years while Mitchell was in Congress - 1833-'35.
Andrew Baker was born in Berkshire county, Mass., August 28, 1805, and removed about 1830 to Allegany county, and thence to Howard, Steuben county, where he engaged in shoemaking and studied medicine with Dr. A. B. Case. He subsequently attended Geneva Medical College, where he was graduated in 1836, in which year he commenced to practice medicine in Bath. In 1842 he removed thence to Norwich, where he practiced till his death, Dec. 14, 1863.
Daniel Bellows removed from Rhode Island to South New Berlin in 1821, and practiced there till 1846, when he removed to Norwich, where he practiced till within a year or two of his death, when he became incapacitated by apoplexy, which terminated fatally March 6, 1866, at the age of 70. Nancy, his wife, died May 18, 1874, aged 81. His son, Horatio Knight Bellows, who was born in New Berlin, Nov. 5, 1823, received an academic education in the academies at Hamilton and Gilbertsville, and pursued his medical studies with and under the direction of his father, was graduated from the Medical Department of the University of New York in 1847, in which year he commenced practice in Norwich. He has enjoyed an extensive practice. In January, 1879, debilitated by the severe mental and physical labor connected with his profession, he was attacked with cerebral anmia which has finally resulted in probable cerebral softening, from which he now suffers.
Blin Harris, son of Blin Harris, and grandson of the pioneer, John Harris, studied medicine with his uncle, Dr. Harvey Harris, and went west, practicing three or four years in Erie, Penn. He then returned to Norwich, about 1849, and practiced till his death, Jan. 31, 1864, aged 55. He married Polly Ross, by whom he had five children, all of whom are living, four in this county, Mary, Angeline, Blin and Charlotte, the latter in New Berlin, and the former three in Norwich.
George W. Palmer came from Madison county about 1850, having then just graduated in Homeopathy. After one or two years' practice he returned to Madison county, near Hamilton, where he has since practiced. He was the first Homeopathist to locate in Norwich after Dr. Bruchhausen. Dr. Hiram Hurlbut, a botanic physician, came from Fabius, N. Y., July 13, 1845, and practiced till his death, Nov. 16, 1877. Charles Church, formerly of Norwich, attended lectures in Philadelphia and New York, and graduated at the latter place in 1871. He commenced practice in Norwich immediately after graduating and remained three years, when he removed to Passaic, N. J. R. B. Prindle came from Coventry some six years and has since practiced here, though he now devoted his time mainly to other business. Guy Westcott, an electrician, and a native of Norwich, practiced here some two years about four years ago. There have been other physicians who staid for short periods, but did not become prominent in the medical practice of the village.
The physicians now practicing here, in addition to those named, are, Caspar Bruchhausen, Charles M. Purdy, James J. Westcott, Harris H. Beecher, Geo. W. Avery, Stephen M. Hand, William H. Stuart, Daniel J. Mosher, Edwin C. Andrews, James H. Westcott, Leroy J. Brooks, Samuel J. Fulton, Wm. H. Randall, and Emma Louise Randall.
Caspar Bruchhausen was born in Frankfurt on the Main, Prussia, Aug. 25, 1806, and was educated in Frankfurt College. He immigrated to Philadelphia, where, in 1839, he commenced the study of homeopathy with Dr. Charles Frederick Hoffendahl, a graduate of the University of Berlin, who removed in 1840 to Albany, where Dr. Bruchhausen continued his studies with him. He afterwards pursued his studies with Dr. George W. Cook, of Hudson, and subsequently went to New York and placed himself under the instruction of Drs. Frederick Gray and A. Gerald Hull, who were then the principal practitioners of the homeopathic school in New York city. The latter was then editor of The Homeopathic Examiner, published in that city. August 12, 1842, Mr. Bruchhausen removed to Greene, and from thence after about nine months to Oxford, where he remained five years, from 1843 to 1848. The latter year he removed to Norwich, where he has since practiced.71
Charles M. Purdy was born in Norwich, Aug. 16, 1826, and was educated in the academies of that village and Oxford. He commenced the study of medicine in 1846, with Dr. Andrew Baker, of Norwich, and attended lectures in the Albany Medical College that and the succeeding year. He was licensed by the State Medical Society in June, 1847, and commenced practice that year in DeRuyter. He removed thence after six months to Norwich, where he has since practiced, the first year in company with his preceptor, Dr. Andrew Baker.
James J. Westcott was born in Eaton, N. Y., Sept. 1, 1826, and was educated in the common schools of his native town. He commenced the study of medicine in 1852, with his father-in-law, Dr. Hiram Hurlbut, of Norwich, and in 1855, entered the Syracuse Medical College, where he was graduated in 1857. He commenced practice that year in company with his preceptor, Dr. Hurlbut, with whom he continued two years, and has since practiced here.
Harris H. Beecher was born in Coventry, where his father, Parson Beecher, settled in 1806. Having been incapacitated for manual labor from an injury producing painful and protracted lameness, at the age of sixteen years he was sent to Oxford Academy, where he remained four years, teaching at intervals to defray a part of the expense necessarily incurred. Being somewhat advanced in a college course, which he could not pursue for lack of funds, he turned his attention to medicine as the business of his life. His medical studies were pursued in Coventry under the instruction of different practitioners, and subsequently in Binghamton in the office of Dr., now Prof. Davis, of Chicago, teaching in the meantime not having been wholly relinquished. In the latter part of 1847 he was graduated in medicine at Castleton, Vt., and in the spring of 1848, located at North Norwich, where he practiced till December, 1861, when he removed to Norwich, where he has since practiced, with the exception of some three years spent in the army, which he entered in 1862, as Assistant Surgeon of the 114th Regiment, at the organization of that regiment, serving in that capacity till the close of the war and the disbandment of the regiment. For nearly nine months he was on duty by order of Gen. Banks at the United States Marine Hospital at New Orleans, and also for several months in charge of a post-hospital at Berwick City, La., containing a large number of wounded from the battle-field of Bisland. Before leaving the Marine Hospital for the famous Red River campaign, he was presented by the soldiers of that hospital with an elegant gold-headed cane and other valuable tokens of their appreciation and regard. In the Shenandoah Valley, during the closing year of the war, he was the most of the time the only medical officer with his regiment in the field.
While yet young Dr. Beecher exhibited quite a literary taste, and early commenced writing on miscellaneous subjects for the newspaper press, which, in the midst of other duties, he has continued more or less constantly to the present time. His "Army Correspondence," published mainly in the papers of his district, was eagerly sought for and read with interest. After the war, desiring that the noble deeds of his brave comrades should live in history, as well as in the hearts of a grateful people and surviving friends, he published, in 1866, a "Record of the 114th Regiment, N. Y. S. V.," embracing nearly six hundred pages, dedicated to his lamented Colonel, Elisha B. Smith, and all his fallen comrades, and graphically delineating, as the title page indicates, "Where it went, What it saw, and What it did." He has also spent much time and made considerable progress in gathering facts and data for a Memorial Record, portions of which have been published, of all the deceased soldiers in the late war from Chenango county. He has on various occasions given carefully prepared addresses, embracing medical, agricultural, scientific and political subjects. He takes a deep interest in educational matters, having held the position of School Superintendent, long serving as a trustee of Norwich Academy, and President of the Board.
As a physician he stands high. He passed a highly satisfactory examination before the Medical Board, and was recommended by the Surgeon-General of the State. He is a bachelor. He represented Chenango county in the Assembly in 1874, serving on the Committees on Public Health, Public Education and Joint Library.
George W. Avery was born in Sherburne, March 9, 1827, and received an academic education in his native town. He commenced the study of medicine in 1847, with Drs. Devillo White and E. S. Lyman, of Sherburne, and Profs. Alden Mach and James H. Armsby, at Albany. He was graduated from the Albany Medical College in January, 1850, and immediately thereafter commenced practice in Rochester, where he continued till May, 1861, when he entered the army as Surgeon of the 13th N. Y. Vols., and remained with that organization till it was mustered out two years after. He was afterwards for one year Surgeon of the 11th Heavy Artillery. After leaving the service he resumed practice in Norwich, where he has since continued. In April, 1865, he received a commission as U. S. Examining Surgeon for pensions, which he still holds. He was elected Coroner of Chenango county in 1870, serving three years, and again in 1877, still holding that office. He was for thirteen consecutive years Treasurer of the Chenango County Medical Society, an office he now holds, and was only relieved from its duties to assume those of President of the Society for one year.
Stephen M. Hand was born in New Lebanon, N. Y., March 8, 1830, and was educated in the common schools of his native town and in Massachusetts, where and in Columbia county, his father was an itinerant farmer, working farms on shares. He removed to Broome county with his parents in 1844, and there attended the Academy at Binghamton. He commenced the study of medicine with his uncle, Dr. S. D. Hand, of that city, remaining with him one year. He then entered the office of H. H. Child & Son, the former of whom was President of the Berkshire Medical College, in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. He pursued his studies there two years and in the meantime attended lectures in that college, where he was graduated November 22, 1853. He commenced practice in Windsor, Broome county, in 1855, and remained there nine years, with the exception of one year spent in the Union army as Surgeon. In March, 1864, he removed to Norwich, where he has since practiced.
William H. Stuart was born in German, November 4, 1839, and was educated at the Academy at Cincinnatus. He commenced the study of medicine in 1858, with Dr. A. D. Reed, of Cincinnatus; attended medical lectures at the University of Vermont, at Burlington; and was graduated from the Albany Medical College December 24, 1861. He commenced practice at Smyrna, in January, 1862, and some six months later received an appointment as Assistant Surgeon in the 27th N. Y. Vol. Infantry, and in 1863, at the expiration of the term of service of that regiment, he received a like appointment in the 143d Regiment, though he did duty with it only ten days. He was assigned to duty in the Hospital of the 1st Division, 20th Army Corps, where he remained till the disbandment of the regiment at the close of the war. After leaving the army, in 1865, he located at Earlville, where he practiced six years, and then removed to Norwich, where he has since practiced.
Daniel J. Mosher was born in Laurens, N. Y., September 8, 1839, and was educated at the University of Michigan, at Ann Arbor, and at Detroit Medical College, and was graduated from the latter in June, 1869. He had previously studied medicine with Dr. H. K. Bellows, of Norwich. He entered upon the practice of his profession in Norwich, in 1869, and has since continued here. Dr. Mosher was a medical cadet in the army about six months in 1863, and about four and a half years in the navy, from 1863 to 1867.
Edwin C. Andrews was born in Sherburne, Feb. 2, 1834, and educated at the Academy at Homer. He commenced the study of medicine in 1863, with G. W. Davis, of Seneca Falls, and was graduated at the Philadelphia Medical College in the spring of 1870. He commenced practice at Seneca Falls in 1866, previous to graduating, and continued there till March, 1870, when he went to New York City, and from there he removed the following June to Norwich, where he has since practiced.
James H. Westcott was born in Norwich, June 27, 1850, and educated at the Academy in his native village. He commenced his medical studies with his father, James J. Westcott, of Norwich, about 1868, and in the fall of 1871 he entered the Philadelphia University of Medicine and Surgery, where he was graduated the following year. He commenced practice in Norwich in 1872, in company with his father, continuing with him till after the spring of 1876, when he went to Binghamton and studied with his uncle, Dr. John E. Hurlbut, an oculist and aurist in that city. He returned to Norwich in September of the same year.
Leroy J. Brooks was born in Norwich, August 2, 1849, and received his literary education at the Academy in Norwich and the High School in Rochester. In the spring of 1868 he commenced the study of Medicine with Dr. Horatio K. Bellows, of Norwich, with whom he remained one year. He completed his studies in Bellevue Medical College Hospital in New York, where he was graduated in March, 1872. After spending a year in practice in that hospital he removed to Norwich, where he has since practiced.
Samuel J. Fulton was born in Sherburne, July 20, 1825, and was educated at Michigan University. He commenced the study of medicine in Pontiac, Mich., in 1845, with Dr. Amos Walker. He entered the University of Michigan in 1842, but was compelled to relinquish his studies by reason of inflammation of the eyes, which disabled him from reading for three years. In 1848 he entered the Western Homeopathic College,72 at Cleveland, now the Homeopathic Hospital College and was graduated from there in March, 1850. In the winter of 1850 and '51 he was demonstrator of anatomy in that institution. After practicing in various places in the Western States he removed to Binghamton and engaged in other business, expecting to discontinue the practice of medicine; but by solicitation he removed thence to Norwich in August, 1876, and took the place of Charles A. Church, who had removed to Passaic, N. J.
William H. Randall was born in Williamsport, Pa., Dec. 18, 1855, and received his early education in the Academy at that place. He commenced the study of medicine at Williamsport, in 1875, with Dr. Thomas Lyon, and in the fall of 1876, he entered Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia, where he was graduated in the spring of 1878, March 15th. He commenced practice at Trout Run, Pa., and after six months received an appointment on the clinical staff of Jefferson Medical College Hospital, where he remained till March, 1879, when he removed to Norwich.
Emma Louise Randall, who is a great-grand-daughter of John Randall, who settled in Norwich in 1800, was born in Norwich, November 13, 1849, and was educated at Norwich Academy and Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, where she took a special course. She commenced the study of medicine in the fall of 1874, with Dr. H. K. Bellows, of Norwich, and soon after entered the Woman's Medical College of the New York Infirmary, founded in 1869, by Emily and Elizabeth Blackwell, who were the first lady physicians in this country. There she took a four years' course and was graduated May 22, 1878. After practicing a year in the hospital and dispensary connected with that College, as assistant physician, she returned to Norwich, where she is now practicing. She is the first lady physician in Chenango county.
Chapter 23 continued