LAWYERS.73---The first lawyer who located at Norwich was James Birdsall, who came from Dutchess county soon after 1800, and was admitted to practice October 15, 1806. He practiced here several years and married here Rizpah, daughter of Judge Stephen Steere, with whom he removed about 1839 to Fenton, Mich., where both died. He was an active and leading politician in this county, and was a Representative in Congress from the 15th District from 1815 to 1817, and a Member of Assembly from this county in 1827. He was one of the first directors of the Bank of Chenango, and was elected its attorney Oct. 6, 1818. On the creation of the office of Vice-President of that institution, Sept. 16, 1823, he was elected Cashier, holding that position till 1833.
David Buttolph and Peter B. Garnsey were also lawyers here about this period. Buttolph, who was licensed June 15, 1808, came from Dutchess county soon after Birdsall, with whom he formed a law partnership which continued five or six years. About 1838, Buttolph retired to a small farm of some fourteen acres, on the Canasawacta, about one and one-half miles above Norwich, where he resided till his death, which occurred some ten years ago, in Charleston, S. C., while on a visit to his son David, who was a Presbyterian minister in that city. He was an active politician and a prominent attorney at an early day. He married Urania Lyman, of Durham, Conn., who died from bleeding at the lungs April 3, 1827, aged 35. He afterwards married Esther, widow of Deacon Joseph Kelso,74 who died May 19, 1859, aged 76. He had one other child, Jane, who was an invalid, and died August 19, 1875, aged 48. Garnsey was admitted November 5, 1795, and had practiced previous to coming here, in Oxford. Soon after coming to Norwich he was mainly engaged in manufacturing enterprises. 75
James W. Gazlee, who was licensed June 16, 1809, came here from the East about that time, but removed after a year or two to New Orleans. He was a man of good ability, and married here Patty, daughter of Capt. John Randall.
Nathan Chamberlin was admitted October 13, 1813, about which time he came here from the east part of the State. He married here a daughter of Judge Robert Monell, of Greene, and after practicing five or six years removed to New York, where he died. Lot Clark was admitted to practice June 11, 1816, and was one of the leading Republican politicians here about 1820. He practiced here till about 1830, when he removed to Lockport. He was the father of Hiram C. Clark, author of the History of Chenango County, of 1850, who also practiced here a little between 1850 and '60, and died a few years ago in New York. Smith M. Purdy, son of Abner Purdy, an early settler in North Norwich, studied law with James Birdsall, of Norwich, and was licensed February 10, 1819. He practiced the first year in Sherburne, and from thence removed to Norwich, where he practiced till his appointment as First Judge of Chenango County, January 11, 1833. He was elected County Judge in June, 1847, the first person elected to that office in Chenango county under the Constitution of 1846, which made it elective. He was a Representative in Congress from the 22d District from 1843 to 1845; and was one of the most prominent lawyers of his day in Central New York. He died March 28, 1870, aged 73. He married Prudence, daughter of Newman Gates, of Norwich, who still survives him, and is living in Norwich with her son, Dr. Charles M. Purdy. Abial Cook was a prominent cotemporary of Purdy's, and was admitted on the eighth of January of the same year.
Charles A. Thorp came from Gilbertsville in 1820, on the twelfth of October of which year he was admitted. He practiced one year in New Berlin, and from thence removed to Norwich and formed a law partnership with David Buttolph, which continued several years. He was a smart, active lawyer, and removed about 1865 to the Mississippi, below Galena, Ill., where he now resides. John Clapp, who was admitted Oct. 10, 1822, was associated in practice with Lot Clark. In their office Hon. Daniel S. Dickinson commenced to read law in 1826. Benjamin F. Rexford, whose parents had settled at an early day in Sherburne, removed thence in 1833 to Norwich, having then just completed his studies and been admitted on the 12th of June of that year. He was a prominent lawyer and stood at the head of his profession in the county. He practiced here till his death in the fall of 1872. Samuel Bostwick Garvin, whose father was an Episcopal clergyman and a fine linguist, finished his law studies with John Clapp, of Norwich, where he practiced a short time. From here he removed to Sherburne, and from there to Utica, where he enjoyed a lucrative practice. Sherwood S. Merritt was born Sept. 4, 1817, and was admitted about 1841. He was a close student and industrious lawyer, and practiced in company with Judge Purdy, and afterwards with Henry M. Hyde. He died March 16, 1869. Harvey Hubbard was born March 29, 1821, and admitted about 1822. He was afterwards in partnership with Robert O. Reynolds, who was admitted Oct. 17, 1835. He was a fine scholar and writer, and his tastes led him to prefer literature to the legal profession. He became the editor of the Chenango Union, and published some works of prose and poetry. He died Sept. 14, 1862. Kimball H. Dimmick was admitted about 1843 or 1844, and practiced quite extensively in the bankruptcy courts. He was appointed Brigadier-General of militia about 1848 or 1849, and raised a company for the Mexican war. He went to California and afterwards became a Judge at San Jose in that State.
Philander B. Prindle, who was admitted Feb. 13, 1835, was a man of large acquirements, an accomplished gentleman, and a safe adviser. To him all referred for facts in the politics and history of this State. He was Clerk of the Assembly in 1840, '41, '47, '48 and '49, and has been pronounced the best the State ever had. He died in February, 1868.
Henry M. Hyde was admitted about 1842 or '43, and practiced in company with George M. Smith, who was admitted June 11, 1834. He was a man of brilliant talents, a fine speaker and successful advocate. His health failing he removed to New York, or Brooklyn, and after some years died there.
B. Gage Berry was born in Norwich, Oct. 10, 1830, his father, Ansel Berry,76 having removed to this town from Dansville in 1826. He was educated at Norwich Academy and Cazenovia Seminary, and in 1852 commenced the study of law with Benjamin F. Rexford, of Norwich, with whom he remained two years, and with whom he practiced one year after his admission, in 1854. Failing health induced him to go to Sing Sing, where he received an appointment as clerk in the prison at that place. After the expiration of a year, he returned to Norwich and formed a law partnership with John Wait (who was admitted Feb. 10, 1836,) which continued under the name of Wait & Berry till 1861, when Mr. Berry acquired a half interest in the Chenango Telegraph. In 1864 he acquired the remaining interest, and has since been its publisher, having been associated since Jan. 1, 1876, with John R. Blair, of Cambridge, N. Y. He was for four years Secretary of the New York and Oswego Midland Railroad; and for six years Clerk of the Board of Supervisors of Chenango county. He was a member of the Executive Committee of the Senatorial District Committee in 1862; and was Deputy Provost Marshal in 1863-'64. He has often represented his party in State conventions; was a member of the Republican State Committee in 1862; and alternate delegate to the National Republican convention at Philadelphia which nominated Grant for the Presidency in 1872. He represented Chenango county in the Assembly in 1878.
Samuel S. Randall was educated in Oxford Academy in 1823, and Hamilton College in 1824-5. From 1825 to 1830 he pursued the study of law in the office of Clapp & Clark in Norwich, and was admitted Feb. 9, 1831. After practicing several years in Pitcher, New Berlin and Norwich, in 1836-37 he was appointed deputy journalizing clerk of the Assembly. In May, 1837, he was appointed to a clerkship in the office of the State Superintendent of Common Schools, continuing in it as General Deputy Superintendent, till the fall of 1846, when he resigned on account of ill health. He returned again in the spring of 1849, after a brief absence in Virginia. In 1851 he was appointed to a clerkship in the War Department at Washington, which he exchanged in 1853, for that of City Superintendent of Public Schools in Brooklyn. In June, 1854, he was elected Superintendent of Public Schools in New York City, and held the office by successive biennial elections till June, 1870, when he resigned. In November, 1873, he was appointed Inspector of Common Schools for the Eighth School District, composed of the 22d and 24th wards, and the appointment was renewed in November, 1876.
The attorneys now practicing in Norwich village are, William N. Mason, Horace G. Prindle, Hamilton Phelps, Isaac S. Newton, Elizur H. Prindle, Deloss M. Powers, David L. Follett, David H. Knapp, Geo. W. Marvin, Calvin L. Tefft, Henry M. Tefft, George M. Tillson, Robert A. Stanton, George W. Ray, Albert F. Gladding, Charles Shumway, Edward B. Thomas, Elmore Sharpe, John W. Church, Willie B. Leach, William F. Jenks, Euclid B. Rogers, Frank B. Mitchell, Charles H. Stanton, Clarence G. Cook, George Abraham Thomas, Isaac F. Tiffany and James E. Nickerson.
William N. Mason was born in Preston, Feb. 13, 1820, and was educated at Oxford Academy. He commenced the study of law in 1838 with Messrs. Cook & Wait, of Norwich, and afterwards pursued his studies with John Wait, their successor. He was admitted in October, 1841, and entered upon the practice of his profession in Norwich that year, having since continued it here. He has been longer in practice in the village than any other attorney located here. He has held various minor offices, among them that of Justice for some twenty years, having been first elected to that office in 1850. Before the adoption of the Constitution of 1846, he was Supreme Court Commissioner and Master in Chancery. He has also held the office of United States Commissioner. He was elected Special Judge of Chenango county immediately after the law was made to apply to this county, (act of July 11, 1851,) and held that office till 1860. 77
Horace Gerald Prindle was born in Newtown, Conn., Jan. 6, 1828, and was educated in the common schools of Unadilla, (to which town his parents removed in 1836,) and the Academy at Gilbertsville. He commenced the study of law in 1844, with Henry Bennett, of New Berlin, with whom he remained four years and four months. He subsequently pursued his legal studies in the office of Benjamin F. Rexford, of Norwich, where he has practiced since his admission in 1848. He was elected County Judge in 1863, and held the office continuously fourteen years. He was superintendent of Common Schools in Norwich in 1851-2, and Justice from 1852 to 1856.
Hamilton Phelps was born in New Berlin, Oct. 12, 1823, and was educated in the New Berlin and Norwich Academy. He commenced the study of law in 1844, with Charles A. Thorp, of Norwich, where he commenced practice immediately after his admission in 1848 or '9, and has since continued. He was elected Special County Judge in 1860. 78
Isaac S. Newton was born in Sherburne, May 18, 1825, and received his early education at the district schools and the academy of that town. He was graduated from Yale in 1848, and that year commenced the study of law with Rexford & Newton, of Norwich, the latter of whom was his brother. He afterwards pursued his legal studies in New York city, with Nathaniel B. Blunt, and for six months in Illinois and Wisconsin. He was admitted in December, 1850, having commenced practice in Sherburne in April, of that year. In February, 1853, he removed to Norwich, where he has since practiced. He was District Attorney from 1854 to 1860.
Elizur H. Prindle, was born in Newtown, Conn., May 6, 1829, and was educated at Homer Academy. He pursued his legal studies with his cousin, H. G. Prindle, of Norwich, and was admitted in January, 1854. He commenced practice in Norwich, where he has since continued. He was elected District Attorney in 1859, and held that office till his election to the Assembly in 1863. He was a member of the Constitutional Convention of 1866-7; and was a Representative in Congress from the 19th District in 1871-3.
Deloss M. Powers was born in Norwich, Nov. 10, 1831, and educated in the Academy of his native village. He entered the Albany Law School in 1856, and was graduated there the following year. He commenced practice in 1858, in Norwich, where he has since continued. He was elected Justice to fill a vacancy in 1859, serving the unexpired term of nine months. He was for four years Clerk of the Board of Supervisors.
David L. Follett was born in Sherburne, (where his grand-parents were pioneer settlers,) July 17, 1836, and educated at Cazenovia. In 1856 he commenced the study of law, pursuing his studies with Messrs. Rexford & Kingsley, of Norwich. He was admitted in January, 1858, and in May following entered upon the practice of his profession in Norwich, where he has since continued it. Having been appointed Assessor of Internal Revenue for the 19th District of New York, he held that office until it was abolished by Congress. In 1874 he was elected Judge of the Supreme Court for the Sixth District, an office he still holds. 79
David H. Knapp was born in Guilford, June 27, 1836, and was educated in the academies of Norwich and Binghamton. He commenced his legal studies in the spring of 1857, with Isaac S. Newton, of Norwich, and pursued them with him till his admission in May, 1859. He practiced the first year in Chicago and returned from thence to Norwich, where he has since practiced, having been associated from 1870 to 1874 with E. H. Prindle, and for the last two years with George W. Ray, who was also a member of the firm of Prindle, Knapp & Ray. He was Justice from 1862 to 1870; and was elected District Attorney in 1874, serving one term of three years.
George W. Marvin was born in Dryden, Tompkins county, September 22, 1829, and was educated at the Academy in Jamestown, N. Y. He commenced the study of law in 1846, with his brother, Judge R. C. Marvin of Jamestown, and after studying a year or two engaged in teaching, continuing that vocation several years. He resumed his legal studies with Isaac S. Newton, of Norwich, and was admitted in May, 1861. He then commenced and has since continued practice in Norwich.
Calvin L. Tefft was born in Edmeston, N. Y., March 1, 1852, and was educated at Winfield Academy and Cooperstown Seminary, principally the latter. He commenced the study of law about 1859, having pursued his studies for eight seasons during the intervals of teaching in Otsego county. In 1860 he entered the office of Judge Burke, of Elyria, Ohio, where he remained during the summer of that year. In 1861 he entered the office of Wait & Berry, of Norwich, continuing his studies with them till his admission in November, 1861. He commenced practice in 1862, in Norwich, where he has since continued. He was Loan Commissioner in 1864 and '5; and was District Attorney in 1866, '7, '8, and again in 1872, '3 and '4.
Henry M. Tefft was born in Edmeston, N. Y., November 30, 1839, and was educated in the academic department of Madison University and the academies at Homer and Norwich. He pursued his legal studies with David L. Follett, of Norwich, commencing in 1862, and was admitted in 1865. He commenced practice immediately after his admission, in Norwich, where he has since continued.
George M. Tillson was born in Richfield, N. Y., May 7, 1841, and was educated at Cazenovia Seminary. He commenced the study of law in December, 1861, with Isaac S. Newton, of Norwich. In 1862, he entered the army as Captain of Co. K, of the 161st N. Y. Vols., serving two years. On returning from the army he resumed his studies with Mr. Newton. He was admitted in May, 1866, and that year commenced practice in Norwich, where he has since continued, having been associated with his preceptor from 1868 to 1873. He was for four years, 1869-73, postmaster of Norwich.
Robert A. Stanton was born in Norwich, April 29, 1838, and was educated in the academies of Norwich and Oxford. He commenced the study of law in 1859, with Horace Packer, of Oxford, and afterwards pursued them with Judge Dwight H. Clarke, of that village. In May, 1861, he entered the army and served till July, 1864.80 On returning from the army he resumed his legal studies with Rexford & Kingsley, of Norwich, and was admitted in November, 1865. He commenced practice January 1, 1866, in Norwich, where he has since continued. He was elected Justice in 1865, and resigned after executing the duties of that office two years. He was elected District Attorney in 1868 and served one term.
George W. Ray was born in Otselic, Feb. 3, 1844, and was educated at Norwich Academy. He commenced to read law with E. H. Prindle, of Norwich, in March, 1866, and was admitted in November, 1867, in which year he commenced practice in Norwich, where he has since continued.
Albert F. Gladding was born in Pharsalia, Dec. 9, 1842, and was educated in the district schools of his native town and Norwich Academy. He commenced to read law, August 22, 1866, with David L. Follett, of Norwich, and was admitted in May, 1869, in which year he commenced practice in Norwich, continuing in the office of his preceptor as assistant till 1874. He was a Justice one term from Jan. 1, 1872, and in 1873, was appointed Deputy Collector of Internal Revenue, which office he still holds.
Charles Shumway was born in Guilford, June 10, 1847, and educated at the Academies of Norwich and Cortland, principally the former. He read law with Messrs. Merritt & Prindle, of Norwich, commencing in 1868, and after the death of S. S. Merritt, (March 16, 1869,) continued with his partner, E. H. Prindle. He was admitted in December, 1871, and commenced practice in Norwich, where he has since continued.
Edward B. Thomas was born in Cortlandville, N. Y., Aug. 4, 1848, and educated at Cortland Academy and Yale College, graduating at the latter in 1870. During the winter of 1864-'65, he read law in the office of Ballard & Warren, of Cortland, and in the summer of 1868, with Judge Hiram Crandall. After leaving college he resumed the study of law with Judge William H. Shankland, of Cortland, and was admitted Nov. 16, 1870. He commenced in Cortland, where he remained till April 2, 1871, when he removed to and has since practiced in Norwich.
Elmore Sharpe was born in Smithville, July 21, 1844, and educated at Oxford Academy and Collegiate Institute, where he was graduated in the fall of 1866. In 1867 he commenced the study of law, devoting to it such time as could be spared from the active duties of farm life. March 26, 1871, he entered the office of Hon. Benjamin F. Rexford, of Norwich, and was admitted Nov. 15th of that year. He practiced in the office of his preceptor till the death of the latter in the fall of 1872. His principal business is that of a claim agent.
John William Church was born in Norwich, April 15, 1846, and was educated at Norwich Academy and Hamilton College, graduating in the Law Department of the latter institution in 1872. He had previously, in 1868, read law in the Office of Robert A. Stanton, in Norwich, and after graduating, established himself in practice in that village. He was Deputy U. S. Marshal from 1867 to 1870; and was elected District Attorney in 1877. 81
Willie B. Leach was born in North Norwich, May 11, 1851, and was educated at Norwich Academy and Cornell University from which he was graduated in 1871, in November of which year he entered the law office of Hon. E. H. Prindle, of Norwich. He was admitted in November, 1876, and commenced practice that year in Norwich.
William F. Jenks was born in Burlington, N. Y., Aug. 29, 1831, and was educated in the common schools of his native town. He commenced the study of law in the spring of 1851, with Gorham & Foster, of Burlington, and completed his studies with Cutler Field, of Cooperstown. He was admitted in August, 1853, and in the fall of that year commenced practice at Friendship, N. Y., continuing there till the following year, when he removed to New Berlin, and from thence in January, 1875, to Norwich, where he has since practiced. He was Supervisor of his native town one year; and in 1877, was elected County Judge and Surrogate of Chenango county, which office he still holds.
Euclid B. Rogers was born in Norwich, March 1, 1852, and educated at Norwich Academy and Madison University. He read law with Isaac S. Newton, of Norwich, commencing in 1871, and afterwards with Chapman & Martin, of Binghamton. He was admitted in 1876, and commenced practice in Norwich.
Frank B. Mitchell was born in Norwich, Sept. 19, 1852, and educated at Williston Seminary, at East Hampton, Mass., and Yale College. He entered the latter institution in 1871, and was graduated in 1875. In 1875 he entered the Columbia Law School of New York and was graduated there in 1877, in the spring of which year he was admitted. He commenced practice that year in St. Louis, and after a year and a half removed thence to Norwich.
Charles H. Stanton was born in Trenton, N. Y.; entered Hamilton College in 1868, and was graduated there in 1872. He took a partial law course there, and in 1874, he entered the law office of Robert A. Stanton, of Norwich. He was admitted as attorney in January, 1878, and as counselor, in September, 1879.
Clarence G. Cook was born in Hartwick, N. Y., Feb. 19, 1853. He was educated mostly at a select school in Hartwick, and subsequently spent one year in Hartwick Seminary. Entering the law office of Luther I. Burditt, of Cooperstown, May 1, 1875, he pursued his studies there a year, and subsequently a year with James H. Keyes, of Oneonta, completing them with Isaac S. Newton, of Norwich. He was admitted as an attorney in May, 1878, and as a counselor, in September, 1879. He was elected Justice in the spring of 1879. 82
George Abraham Thomas was born in Norwich, Sept. 10, 1847, and was educated at Norwich Academy and Madison University. He commenced the study of law in 1872 with H. G. Prindle, of Norwich, and was admitted as an attorney in May, 1878, and as a counselor, in 1879.
Isaac F. Tiffany was born in Knoxville, Penn., Nov. 5, 1857, and educated at Hornellsville Academy. He commenced the study of law Aug. 31, 1876, with E. H. Prindle, of Norwich, having for the two preceding years been clerk for E. P. Pellet, then and now United States Consul to Barranquilla, United States of Colombia. He completed his studies with Mr. Prindle and was admitted Sept. 5, 1879.
BANKS.---The Bank of Chenango was incorporated under the Safety Fund act, April 21, 1818. The petitioners for a charter were Ebenezer Wakeley, Joseph S. Fenton, John Randall, Jr., Uri Tracy and others. The charter extended to Jan. 1, 1834, and permitted a capital not to exceed $200,000, in shares of $50 each; but prohibited the dealing or trading, directly or indirectly, in buying or selling any stock created under any act of the United States, or of this State, or in any goods, wares or merchandise whatsoever, except such as came into the possession of the bank as security for debts. The charter designated Thompson Mead, Charles Knapp, Robert Monell, Samuel Ladd and Samuel Campbell as commissioners, whose duty it was to open books to receive subscriptions to the capital stock of said bank in some proper place in the village of Norwich on the first Monday in June following, to give four weeks' notice of the time and place of opening the books in all the newspapers in the county, to keep the books open one week, (Sunday excepted,) from ten to three o'clock each day, to receive subscriptions from all persons inclined to subscribe, and to demand and receive from each subscriber at the time of subscribing, one dollar on each share subscribed. If the number of shares subscribed exceeded four thousand, they were required, in their discretion, to make an equitable apportionment thereof among the "respectable" subscribers, having reference to the amount subscribed by each. The commissioners were constituted inspectors of the first election of directors, and were required to give at least thirty days' notice of the time and place of holding such election, and to deliver over to the directors then elected, the subscription books and the deposit money on the stock subscribed. If four thousand shares were not subscribed within the time designated, the books were to be kept open under the discretion of the commissioners until the whole number was subscribed. The total amount of debts at any time and in any manner due the bank over and above the specie then actually deposited therein should not exceed three times the sum of the capital subscribed and actually paid in over and above the specie then deposited therein, and in case of any excess, the directors under whose administration it occurred, except those who dissented therefrom, or who were not present when it occurred, in their individual and private capacity, as well as the estate of the corporation, were liable therefor. In case of their failure to pay specie on demand on any of their bills, notes or other evidences of debts, the bank was required to wholly discontinue business by way of discount and close banking operations until they could resume the payment of specie; and they were required to pay fourteen per cent. interest per annum on all such sums as were demanded and not paid until payment in specie was made or tendered. They were not allowed to demand more than six per cent. per annum on any loan or discount. Two per cent. interest was to be paid on deposits remaining one month; three per cent. on sums remaining two months; four per cent. on sums remaining three months; and five per cent .on sums remaining more than three months.
The subscribers to stock were:---
No. of No. of Shares. Shares. Benjamin Jones,83 2 Consider Comes, 5 Lot Clark, 200 Benjamin Birdsall, 150 Dan Munroe, 20 Isaac Greene, 50 Silas Read, 50 Benjamin Medbury, 50 Timothy Steere, 30 David G. Bright, 100 James Birdsall, 200 Truman Enos, 30 Nathan Chamberlin, 100 Jonathan Johnson, 200 John Noyes, Jr. 20 H. D. Dillaye, 10 Chy. Morgan, 2 Joseph Prentis, 10 Stephen Steere, 50 Charles Walsworth, 5 Horace Dowd, 30 Robert Monell, 100 Judah Bement, 20 Thompson Mead, 200 Thomas Milner, 40 Joseph Dimmick, 10 Charles Holcomb, 4 Matthew Dimmick 10 Daniel Root, 20 H. Mitchell, 30 Nathaniel Locke, 1 Colby Knapp, 15 Noah Ely, 100 Joel Crane, 2 Levi Farr, 20 John Sayre, 2 Cyrus Strong, 240 Frederick Sexton, 10 Samuel Pike, 20 Abiel Cady, 5 John Noyes, 80 Charles Knap, 200 Mark Steere, 100 Charles Medbury, 12 Eleazer Browning, 25 Elisha Morgan, 25 Labina C. Andrus, 5 Tilly Lynde, 50 John F. Hubbard, 5 Samuel Ladd, 25 Cyrus Case, 5 J. S. Fenton, 100 Joseph S. Fenton, 200 Maurice Birdsall, 20 Lorin S. Fenton, 50 Waters Clark, 88 Henry Mitchell, 20 Joseph Kelso, 5 Israel Baldwin, 50 Dexter Smith, 20 Charles Josslyn, 50 Jabez Birdsley, 28 Thomas Lee, 25 Sylvester Walker, 10 Peter B. Garnsey, 100 Samuel Campbell, 10 Seth Sexton, 20 Elias Babcock, 50 David Buttolph, 50 Lot Clark, 100 John Randall, Jr., 10 Mark Steere, 60 Chauncey S. Garlick, 2 Thompson Mead, 100 Perez Hughes, 5 Jonathan Johnson, 100 Germon Rundell, 2 John Noyes, 80
The election for the choice of directors was held at the house of Mark Steere, in the village of Norwich, July 7, 1818, and the following named persons were chosen: Charles Knap, Tilly Lynde, Elias Babcock, Jonathan Johnson, Thompson Mead, John Noyes, Henry Mitchell, Cyrus Strong, Robert Monell, Joseph S. Fenton, James Birdsall, David G. Bright and Mark Steere. At a meeting of the directors held at the same place and on the same day, Charles Knap was elected President;84 Matthew Talcott, Cashier,85 and James Birdsall, John Noyes and Thompson Mead were appointed a Committee to procure a banking house. It was resolved to call in $5.25 on each share of stock, to be paid on or before the 7th day of September following, and Henry Mitchell and J. S. Fenton were designated to receive the money thus paid in. September 7, 1818, by-laws and ordinances were adopted, and on that day the bank opened for business. The rate of discount was fixed at 6 per cent. on sixty days paper and seven per cent. on paper remaining more than sixty days. It was decided that one negative vote would exclude a note from being discounted, and that no director should be obliged to assign a reason for a negative vote. At this time also it was decided to call in an addition $1.50 on each share of stock, to be paid on or before the 1st of December following.86 October 6, 1818, James Birdsall was elected attorney. December 22, 1818, Giles Chittenden was appointed teller.87 Joshua Pratt, Jr., Henry Mitchell and D. G. Bright were appointed a committee to make contracts for building a banking house and authorized to draw on the cashier not to exceed $4,000 to meet their contracts. July 5, 1819, the cashier was instructed to stop the payment of specie.88 March 20, 1821, a dividend of 4 ½ per cent. was declared. This is the first dividend recorded.89 September 16, 1823, the office of Vice-President was created and James Birdsall was appointed to fill it. 90
April 20, 1830, the capital was reduced from $200,000 to $120,000; and in 1856, when the third charter was granted,91 it was increased to $150,000. The bank is now winding up its business preparatory to surrendering its charter. The present officers are: George Rider, President; Joseph Wood, Vice-President; and Martin McLean, Cashier.
The National Bank of Norwich was organized under the general banking laws of the State, as The Bank of Norwich, July 15, 1856, at which time it commenced business. Its capital was $125,000, divided into one hundred and twenty-five shares of $100 each. There were thirty-nine stockholders. The first directors were James H. Smith, Jonathan Wells, Theodore Miller, Nelson B. Hale, Burr B. Andrews, Ansel Berry, Harvey Thompson, Charles Lewis, William Packer, Charles H. Wheeler and Warren Newton. Twenty-four of the original stockholders, including seven of the above name directors are dead.
June 28, 1865, it was changed from a State to a National Bank, and has since done business under its national charter.
The Bank has an unimpaired surplus of $50,000. It has never passed a dividend. For several years it paid a semi-annual dividend of eight per cent. free of all taxes; latterly it has paid a semi-annual dividend of five per cent.
James H. Smith was the first President of the Bank and held that office till his death, May 15, 1872. He was succeeded that year by Nelson B. Hale, who also held it till his death, January 16, 1877. Jonathan Wells was the first Vice-President, and held that office till his death November 20, 1871. T. DeWitt Miller has been Vice-President since January, 1873. Warren Newton has been the cashier and business manager since the organization of the Bank.
The present directors are Warren Newton, T. DeWitt Miller, Charles Lewis, Harvey Thompson, Burr B. Andrews, Horatio H. Bellows, John Mitchell, David Maydole, B. Gage Berry, Elisha Brown and Isaac S. Newton. The officers are, Burr B. Andrews, President; T. DeWitt Miller, Vice-President; Warren Newton, Cashier.
MANUFACTURES.---Norwich is the seat of important manufacturing enterprises, though these have greatly diminished both in number and magnitude within the last few years. At the head of these stands the Hammer Factory of David Maydole & Co. This business was established in 1840, by David Maydole and Levi Ray, Jr., who commenced that year the manufacture of edge tools. Mr. Maydole, who is a native of Sharon, Schoharie county, had previously carried on the manufacture of edge tools in Eaton, where he was burned out in 1838. Messrs. Maydole & Ray continued the business together till 1847, having during the last two years made the common plain hammer, but not as a specialty. In 1847, Mr. Maydole commenced the manufacture of the adze-eye hammer, which is now the special feature of his business, on his own account and in his present location, employing at first three men besides himself. In October, 1848, his establishment was burned; but he immediately rebuilt on a larger scale, and with such expedition that the new works were ready for operation by the 1st of January following. A portion of that building is still standing and forms the east half of the present one, having, however, received an additional story in 1868, together with the fifty feet addition to the west end erected in 1856. Some twelve additions have been made to the buildings at different times as the demands of the business required them. The buildings are all constructed of wood, except the engine house, which is built of brick and is fire-proof. The front building is thirty by one hundred feet, three stories high, and is used for general machine finishing work. The forge shop is forty, by one hundred and thirty feet, two stories high; and the engine room twenty-four by forty-four feet.
From 1847 to 1861, Mr. Maydole carried on the business alone, with the exception of three years, from 1851 to 1854, when N. B. Hale was his partner. In 1861, his son-in-law, Charles H. Merritt, became his associate, and the firm name became and has since remained D. Maydole & Co. In the summer of 1877, Cyrus B. Martin, another son-in-law, became and still continues to be a member of the firm. They employ a capital of about $150,000.
Up to 1875 the labor in these shops was performed by hand, necessitating the employment of one hundred and twenty men. In that year machinery was introduced, which enable forty-eight men, the present number employed, to do a third more work than was formerly performed by the larger number. The principal saving is made in the forge. The various dies used are the invention of Mr. Maydole, and are patented in his name. The celebrated adze-eye hammer, though not patented, is also his invention. Some sixty-five different sorts and sizes of hammers are made in this establishment.
Previous to 1864 the machinery was propelled by water-power. In that year steam-power was introduced, and a first-class Corliss engine of sixty horsepower now furnishes the motive power.
Every part of the business is performed within the establishment, thus enabling the firm to control not only the quality of the labor but also the quality of the material which enters into the construction of these goods. In this respect they differ from most manufacturing establishments in this country, where the parts which enter into the construction of an article are so often made specialties. Mr. Maydole's aim has been to make a good article---as good as first-class material and skilled labor can produce---and all the appointments of the establishment have been directed to this end. He has thus established a reputation for the excellence of his goods which is world-wide. His hammers are generally acknowledged to be the best in the market. This is by far the largest hammer manufactory in the country. 92
J. P. & S. C. Sawyer carry on an extensive cooperage business on the west side of the canal, in the south-west part of the village, in the old piano shops. The business was started by Asher C. Scott about twenty-seven years ago, in a small building which stood on the site of the old cooper shops, a little above the present ones, on the same side of the canal, next east of Per Lee's flour and salt warehouse. Scott did business some five or six years and sold to Silas Brooks, who built the shops just located. In 1870 he sold to John P. Sawyer, who, in 1872, associated with himself as partner his brother, Samuel C. Sawyer, with whom he has since carried on the business under the above name. They removed to their present location in January, 1879, having bought the shops of Messrs. Hayes & Rider, in June, 1878. They employ from twenty to twenty-five hands, and do a general cooperage business. The capital invested is about $20,000. The motive power is furnished by a fifty horse-power engine.
The Norwich Sash and Blind Factory, located on the east bank of the canal, and north side of East Main street, was established in 1853, by Morse & Kershaw, who continued the business ten years, when they sold to Sternberg, Hall & Co., who continued it a like period, till 1873, when Harry C. Hall withdrew, and Warren Wright, S. R. Foote, John Reddington and Orville L. Fields became interested in it. They failed in 1876, and the assignee sold the property to S. H. Hall, who carried on the business about a year, and sold to George S. Merritt & Co., who sold in 1878, to Brown Bros. & Co.,93 the present proprietors.
They use a capital of about $15,000; employ some eighteen hands, and manufacture principally sash, doors, blinds and lumber. They also manufacture sectional maps, of the copyright of which they are the proprietors. They have made and sold about 25,000 of these maps within a year, the sales being limited to three States. They have doubled their general business during the last year.
The Norwich foundry and machine shop was established about 1836, by a stock company, under the name of S. W. Chubbuck & Co., and composed of Samuel W. Chubbuck, a machinist, who had charge of the business, David Griffing, Judah Bement, Hiram Weller and Hiram H. Haynes. The first shop was erected at that time, in about the locality of the present one, on the west bank of the canal, and near the bridge which crosses it on East Main street. January 1, 1838, Hiram Weller and Hiram H. Haynes, who had a hardware and tin store in the village, bought the other shares, and united their hardware and tin business with this. On the 24th of May following, Ralph Johnson94 bought a third interest and the name became Weller, Haynes & Co. After about two years, Mr. Johnson retired from the firm. Charles W. Babcock soon after became a member, and the name was changed to Weller, Haynes & Babcock. Mr. Babcock also retired after about two years.
February 5, 1848, Weller & Haynes dissolved partnership, the latter taking the hardware and tin business to the old Guernsey Block on South Main street, and the former continuing the foundry and machine shop. March 6th following, Mr. Weller admitted his son, H. C. Weller, to partnership, and the name became and remained H. Weller & Son till the death of the elder Weller, Oct. 28, 1851. May 6, 1853, the younger Weller sold a half interest to Horace Thompson, and the firm became Weller & Thompson. In 1857 or '58, Mr. Thompson sold back his interest to Mr. Weller, who, on the 10th of May, 1859, sold the property to Mr. Thompson and his brother, Dyer M. Thompson. The business was continued under the name of H. Thompson & Co. till the death of Horace, Dec. 13, 1876. D. M. Thompson took charge of the business as surviving partner, and bought his brother's interest July 13, 1877, since which time he has carried on the business alone.
For a number of years after its establishment the business consisted principally in the manufacture of cook stoves and a general job work in the machine shop. After 1859 it changed to the building of steam engines, circular saw-mills and turbine water-wheels and repairs to all kinds of machinery. In 1876 iron bridge building was added, and the first bridge was finished in May of that year. This has since been a prominent branch of the business. In December, 1877, the bridge over Rexford Falls, in Sherburne, was erected by this establishment. During the summer of 1879, five similar structures have been put up by it. There are now employed in and about the establishment from ten to fifteen men.
The Guernsey Stone Mills, located on Canasawacta Creek in the west end of the village, were built in 1836, by Col. William G. Guernsey, who operated them till within seven or eight years, when they came into possession of his nephew, William B. Guernsey, who still owns them. They were leased by P. E. Davis, the present proprietor, in 1877. They contain four run of stone, which are propelled by water from the Canasawacta, with a fall of nine feet, and do a grist and merchant business.
The tannery, located on the west side of the canal, at the terminus of Mechanic street, is owned by Judge H. G. Prindle, and operated by Thomas Borland, who has leased it since January, 1876. It contains twenty-three vats, gives employment to six men, and tans about one hundred and forty sides per week. The capacity of the tannery is two hundred sides of rough leather, or eight hundred calf skins per week. The active capital employed is $10,000. The property is worth about an equal amount.
The first tannery on this site was built in 1843, by Nathaniel Hughson and D. M. Randall, who carried on the business ten years and sold to James Isbell, who did business some five years, when the property passed into the hands of Ira Dibble, who continued the business till his death, about 1870. The property then passed into the hands of Judge Prindle.
A saw-mill was built in connection with the tannery in 1853, by Hughson & Randall, and was burned together with the tannery soon after. Isbell immediately rebuilt both saw-mill and tannery, the former of which and a part of the latter, were burned shortly before Dibble's death, and rebuilt soon after by his executor.
The first tannery in the town was built on the site of the stone grist-mill, on the Canasawacta, on West Main street, by Truman Enos, in 1806, and was operated by him till about 1830, when he built the tannery now standing just north of the old red grist-mill, which was built by Thomas Lewis at the same time. Soon after 1843, Mr. Enos associated with himself Ephraim Moak, who is now carrying on the tanning business in Sherburne. The business was conducted under the name of Enos & Moak but a few years, when the property passed into the hands of the latter, who was succeeded in the proprietorship by John Eddy, who was formerly a tanner on Great Brook, in the south-east corner of this town, and by Simon Buell, the present owner, and a brother-in-law of Eddy's. The tannery was rented the present year (1879) by Mr. Lull, who is doing business in a small way on light work.
The tannery located on the east side of the Chenango, in the locality of the covered bridge across that stream on East Main street, was built about 1863, by David Griffing, who operated it till the spring of 1872, when it came into the possession of the present proprietor, Burr B. Andrews. It contains sixteen vats, gives employment to three men, and tanned in 1878, twelve hundred hides and four thousand calf-skins.
John P. Bosworth, proprietor of the cordage factory in Norwich, is a native of Pharsalia, and came to Norwich in November, 1862, from Otselic, where he commenced the manufacture of ropes in 1848. In the summer of 1867, he built his present rope walk, and has since carried on that business here. He had previously manufactured to some extent in the open air. He employs from three to six persons in the manufacture of silk, linen and cotton chalk and fish lines and bow strings, mostly light goods. His business now amounts to from $8,000 to $10,000 per annum, having increased from $2,000, the amount the first year. 95
The Riverside Brewery of Norwich, located on the east side of the river, was established in 1871, by A. C. Scott & Son, (Thomas,) who carried on the business till January, 1879, when it passed into the hands of M. A. Scott, the present proprietor. The building was erected in 1871, by A. C. Scott & Son. Four persons are employed, and from 1,000 to 2,000 barrels of ale and lager are made per annum.
The manufacture of pianos was once one of Norwich's principal industries. The business was established in December, 1838, by Edward T. Hayes, whose grandfather, James Hayes, from Towner's Station, Putnam county, was a pioneer settler in Guilford, in which town Mr. Hayes was born in 1812. Mr. Hayes commenced in company with his brother James, who, after about two years went to New Jersey. About 1842 George H. Lattin became his partner and continued such till his death, which occurred about 1863, at Summerville, Tenn., to which State he removed about 1859. Calvin M. Lewis subsequently became a partner and continued such till his death, Sept. 10, 1865. During this time _____ Babcock and John Slater were interested in the business, the former for a short time only. In June, 1854, George Rider became a partner, and from that time till Lattin's death the business was conducted under the name of Hayes, Lattin & Co. Sept. 5, 1854, Mr. Slater sold his interest to the remaining partners. On the death of Lattin the name was changed to E. T. Hayes & Co., and after Lewis' death, to Hayes & Rider, remaining so till Dec. 1, 1870, when Orson Pope, Alvin G. Sergeant and George W. Latimer were admitted as partners, and the name was changed to Hayes, Rider & Co. March 26, 1878, Messrs. Hayes & Rider bought out the other partners, and the name again became and has since remained Hayes & Rider.
Mr. Hayes, who during all this time has been the mechanical member of the firm, acquired a knowledge of the construction of musical instruments with Utley & Smith, of Guilford, and subsequently with Pease & Utley, of Cooperstown, with each of whom he remained about four years. The first year Mr. Hayes made four pianos. The business increased slowly till within a short time of the war, when about one hundred were made per annum. During the war it increased rapidly and for some two years six pianos were made per week, giving employment to some forty persons, most of whom were skilled workmen, and required a capital of about $75,000.
The business was commenced in the storehouse now occupied by Smith & Mitchell as a flour and feed store, on the canal. About 1850, the shops in the south-west part of the village, now occupied by the Messrs. Sawyer as cooper shops, were built to accommodate the increased demand for their goods. These soon proved inadequate, and in 1855 the large brick building on the corner of East Main street and the East Park, which was erected about 1853 for a store, by Benjamin Slater, and occupied by him as such for a short time, was additionally fitted up and occupied as ware, finishing and varnishing rooms, the other building still being used for the rougher portions of the work. Until about 1870, all parts of the pianos were made here. From that time the actions, which were then made by specialists, and therefore, cheaper, were bought in New York; and when carved legs became fashionable, they too were bought there.
In 1878, when Messrs. Pope, Sergeant and Latimer withdrew from the firm, the business had declined, and its discontinuance was then begun. At present some four or five men only are occasionally employed to finish and work up the stock on hand. The decline in the business is attributed to unscrupulous competition, and the general financial stringency which has practically removed from the market for many this class of luxuries. This firm have aimed at excellence in the manufacture of their goods, and have produced a good article, with which they were unable to compete in prices with inferior ones sold for less money to persons who, in the nature of things, are incompetent to judge of the comparative merits of different makes.
The Norwich Blast Furnace was another of Norwich's important enterprises. It was built in 1856, on the old Samuel Hammond farm by Andrew, Rider & Co.,96 who carried on the business in company till 1863, when the property was sold to Burr B. Andrews and J. & N. C. Scoville, who are the present proprietors. Mr. Andrews is a native of Stamford, Delaware county, and removed thence to Norwich in 1829. The Scovilles are from Buffalo, formerly from Connecticut. The furnace has not been in operation since 1873. When in operation it gave employment to eighteen men specifically, and directly and indirectly to about a hundred, in cutting and hauling wood, drawing coal, &c. It was burned April 21, 1869, and rebuilt the same year.
The Norwich Boot and Shoe Manufacturing Company was organized in 1873. It was a stock company, with a capital of $30,000, all of which was paid in. Business was commenced that year in the Hayes & Rider piano factory, and was continued till 1876, under the management of E. H. Williams the first and last years, and that of N. P. Wheeler, the intermediate year---1875. Some fifty persons were employed, about half of whom were girls. The business was unprofitable and was discontinued for that reason. The stockholders have received sixty-four per cent. of their shares of stock, and have on hand the machinery, which cost about $5,000.
George Wheeler, proprietor of the planing-mill and manufacturer of flower-stands and step-ladders, has been engaged in the business three years, the first year in company with James K. Benway and George A. Harris. Mr. Wheeler bought the property of Mrs. Jane M. Guernsey. The building was originally erected by the Lewis Brothers, who were millwrights, and sold it to William Guernsey, who converted it into a grist-mill and run it as such till about 1856, when he converted it into a planing-mill. It was and is still known as Guernsey's red mill. Lead pipe was made in the basement of the building at an early day, by ______ Comstock and William Randall. Mr. Wheeler makes about two hundred dozen flower-stands and step-ladders per annum. The motive power is furnished by the Canasawacta, on the east bank of which it is situated. There is a fall in the creek of nine feet.
The planing-mill built by Sylvanus Shumway and Joseph Winsor about 1873, was continued in operation by them until March, 1879. A year or two after starting they associated with themselves Clark Shumway and Joshua Winsor. The property is now in the hands of an assignee---Deloss Fowlston.
Three firms are engaged in the manufacture of cigars, employing in the aggregate some thirty persons, and manufacturing about 125,000 cigars per month. These are John C. Taylor, who commenced business in 1869, employs fifteen hands, having been associated one year, about 1870, with Lewis A. Rhodes, and about six months in 1871 with David Pierce; Follet & Schorm, who commenced business in May, 1873, continued till 1878, when Mr. Schorm sold his interest to his partner and bought it again in January, 1879, employing some ten persons; and Willcox & Macksey, who commenced business in 1876, and employ some four hands.
The manufacture of carriages has been an important industry in Norwich. Its commencement dates from about 1840, about which time Roswell Avery and Charles Parker were doing business in a small way. Avery was located near the Bank of Chenango, and subsequently on the site of the piano factory; and Parker just east of that factory. The latter, in 1844, went to work for Major Coddington B. Brown, who commenced the manufacture of carriages that year in what is known as the old Brown shop, on the corner of Brown and Peacock streets, which was erected by him. Mr. Brown continued the business till 1860. In 1849-'50, Calvin G. Lee, who has worked here at the carriage business since 1844, was Major Brown's partner.
Horace Lettington commenced the carriage business in 1842 and continued it till 1853 or '4, when he took in as partner John Wait. In December, 1856, E. D. Baker bought Lettington's interest, and in the fall of 1859, Wait's also. In 1870, his brothers Isaac W. and Garwood became his partners, and the business was conducted under the name of E. D. Baker & Co., till the spring of 1876, when they sold to Freeman & Eastman, who did business in company three years. Eugene Eastman then bought the interest of his partner, George W. Freeman, and still continues the business. He employs some seven men, but the business has been largely increased with the same number of men by the introduction of machinery. He now makes about twenty carriages and wagons of all kinds per annum. E. D. Baker employed at one time some twelve to fifteen men in the manufacture of carriages. Freeman & Eastman succeeded E. D. Baker & Co., in the occupancy of the old stone shop, next east of Mr. Eastman's present location, and now occupied as a blacksmith shop by D. Marion. That building was erected by Levi Ray and in it the hammer factory was first started. They removed to Mr. Eastman's present location in 1876. These buildings were erected by E. D. Baker in 1871, and enlarged by him in 1872.
A. W. Warner and Henry Snow, both of whom are dead, were engaged in the carriage business in Mr. Snow retired in 1843 and Mr. Warner continued till 1852 or '53, when he sold to Joel J. Bixby, and commenced the manufacture of spokes, which he continued some ten years. The Warner & Snow shops stood opposite the Utica, Chenango and Susquehanna Valley Railroad depot, its site being now occupied by the tracks of that road. Mr. Bixby continued the business some ten years, when A. W. Warner, who continued to hold the real estate, resumed business in company with this son Charles, continuing till about 1870, when he exchanged the property for a farm with Henry F. Bissell, who sold it to the railroad company.
THE NORWICH GAS LIGHT COMPANY.---The measures preliminary to the organization of this company are foreshadowed in the records of the Board of Trustees of Norwich village. June 9, 1860, that Board enacted the following:---
"Resolved, That Nathan Randall, of Syracuse, and his associates and their assigns, if they shall have within one year from the first of July, 1860, organized themselves into a corporation under the laws of this State, to be called the Norwich Gas Company, are hereby authorized to use any of the public streets, lanes, alleys or squares belonging to the village of Norwich, for the purpose of laying down pipes or conductors of such size and materials as are most suitable for the proper conveyance of gas from the works where the gas is made in said village or vicinity to the dwellings of any and every kind in said village of Norwich at any time during the next twenty-five years after the organization of said company, and said corporation shall also be authorized at any time within the period aforesaid to use said streets, lanes, alleys and squares in repairing said pipes or conductors, in taking them up or putting down new ones, or to do any other act in the prosecution of said gas works or in the manufacture of gas, that may be necessary in the prosecution of said business, and in supplying the village and its inhabitants with gas. But said corporation shall in all cases be required to restore the streets, lanes, alleys and squares to their proper usefulness within a reasonable time, at their own expense, after using them for the purpose aforesaid.
Resolved, That said corporation when organized as aforesaid shall not charge, and this permission is granted to them on the condition that they shall not charge for their gas to exceed $4 for 1,000 feet for resin gas, so called, made in the usual manner of making coal and resin gas, and the personal property of said corporation be exempt from taxation for the term of three years from the organization of said company or corporation.
"Resolved, That this grant shall be null and void unless the corporation is duly organized and the work of construction commence by the 1st of July 1861."
Nothing was done under the provisions of this act by the persons indicated therein, and July 8, 1861, similar privileges were granted to Messrs. McDougall & Avery, of Oswego, and their associates and assigns, the conditions being that they should furnish coal gas of the best quality at not to exceed $4 per one thousand feet, and that they should duly organize and commence the work of construction by Oct. 1, 1861, and have the works ready for use by April 1, 1862. The grant was to be exclusive so long as the conditions specified were complied with. Messrs. McDougall & Avery erected the works in the fall of 1861.97 Their capital stock was $12,000. In 1865, George Rider bought out McDougall, the rights and privileges granted McDougall & Avery July 8, 1861, having been extended to Avery & Rider, Dec. 15, 1864, subject to the same restrictions, except that they were permitted to charge not to exceed $5 for one thousand cubic feet of the best quality of coal gas, for one year, from Jan. 1, 1865.98 The business was conducted by Avery & Rider till Jan. 1, 1868, when Edward T. Hayes bought out Mr. Avery, and the business has since been conducted under the name of Hayes & Rider.
Coal gas has been used from the first. Originally four inch mains were laid. These proving inadequate to the service, in 1870, the company commenced to lay six inch mains extending parallel with the others, which are also still used. Twenty-two gas lamps are set in the village, four of which are owned by private individuals.99 The price charged for gas is $3 per one thousand feet.
THE NORWICH WATER WORKS COMPANY was incorporated by act of the Legislature April 21, 1871. The Act authorized the trustees of the village of Norwich "to take and lease land and water for the purpose of said company," and fixed the capital stock at $20,000, divided into two hundred shares of $100 each.
At a meeting of the directors held at the office of David Maydole & Co., in Norwich, Friday, Aug. 22, 1873,100 attended by Charles H. Merritt, Warren Newton, John Mitchell, Theodore D. Miller, Theodore Hill and Walter A. Cook, and of which Warren Newton and Charles H. Merritt were appointed chairmen, and J. F. Hubbard, secretary, it was resolved to open a book of subscriptions to the capital stock Aug. 28, 1873, at the office of D. Maydole & Co., and to keep it open ten days.
The subscribers to the capital stock, all of them residents of Norwich, were:---
David Maydole 50 shares $5,000 John Mitchell 58 " 5,800 J. F. Hubbard, Jr. 25 " 2,500 Warren Newton 25 " 2,500 T. D. Miller 13 " 1,300 H. K. Bellows 12 " 1,200 C. H. Merritt 15 " 1,500 Theodore Hill 2 " 200
At a meeting of the directors, Tuesday, Sept. 9, 1873, at which time the stock had been subscribed, it was resolved to hold an election for five directors, Wednesday, Sept. 17, 1873. Warren Newton, T. D. Miller, Theodore Hill and J. F. Hubbard, Jr., were appointed inspectors of election. The election was held at the time designated, and David Maydole, John Mitchell, Theodore D. Miller, Warren Newton and Charles H. Merritt were chosen trustees, each receiving 188 votes, the whole number cast. At a meeting of the directors held the same day, John F. Hubbard, Jr., was chosen President; Warren Newton, Treasurer; and Theodore Hill, Secretary. Feb. 2, 1874, John Mitchell, George Rider and T. D. Miller were constituted a committee to confer with Erasmus Smith and others to ascertain the prices of land for reservoir, right to draw water, and the right of way to lay water mains to the village. It was designed to obtain water from Hopkins Brook, two miles east of the village, which has an unfailing supply of pure water and at that point an elevation of two hundred feet; but difficulty was experienced in securing at a reasonable price the necessary land in the locality indicated and the project was delayed until the increasing stringency resulting from the financial panic of 1873, had the effect to induce a more conservative feeling and consequent relaxed energy on the part of the projectors of the scheme, which still remains unconsummated.
HOTELS.---The first hotel on the site of the Eagle Hotel was built about 1799 or 1800, by Stephen and Asahel Steere, and was first kept by a man named Doty. It was afterwards kept by Mark Steere and subsequently for a great many years by Henry DeForest, who was the proprietor up to the time it was burned on the morning of July 4, 1849, and for some time after it was rebuilt, until 1862, since which time there have been several different proprietors. The building burned in 1849 was known as the Eagle Tavern.
The present hotel was built in 1850, by the Eagle Hotel Company, which was formed Oct. 4, 1849, with a capital of $11,000, divided into 110 equal shares, for the purpose of purchasing at the price of $4,000, "the premises lately occupied by the Eagle Tavern in the village of Norwich," and erecting thereon a suitable building for a hotel and two stores, and renting and disposing of the same for the benefit of the company.101 It was agreed in the articles of association that as soon as one hundred shares of stock had been subscribed by responsible persons a conveyance of the premises should be secured in the names of Henry DeForest, Theodore Miller, Ansel Berry, Augustus Stanford and Warren Newton as trustees, who were to hold the same in trust for the use and benefit of the company. The trustees were to issue certificates for stock paid in, make all necessary contracts and arrangements for building, insuring and renting the building and premises, to have the entire control and management of the premises, and to do all acts necessary to be done to further the interests of the company. 102
October 5, 1849, the trustees made a contract with Smith Lane and George L. Rider to dig the cellar, build the walls, &c., for $575. Nov. 14, 1849, Henry DeForest was chosen President103; Warren Newton, Secretary104; and William B. Pellet, Treasurer.105 March 29, 1850, a contract was made with Daniel Wheeler and Morris Allpaugh to build the hotel two stories high.106 The stock was paid in three assessments, twenty per cent. being called for Nov. 14, 1849; forty per cent. March 29, 1850; and forty per cent. August 30, 1850. March 11, 1850, the trustees were authorized to contract a debt of $1,000 on the credit of the company for the purpose of furnishing the hotel, the same to be paid out of the first rents of the hotel thereafter received. April 16, 1853, the first dividend, of 3 ½ per cent. was declared. Nov. 1, 1862, the company sold the hotel premises to Orra M. Hughson, who had previously acquired a major portion of the stock.107 The consideration was $11,000, and the agreement of sale was signed by John Wait, David Pellet, John Gile, O. M. Hughson and D. L. Follett, as trustees of the company. Mr. Hughson made sundry improvements, and in 1864 added the fourth story and enlarged the building to its present size. In 1870, he sold the hotel and furniture for $50,000, to Andrew J. Beebe and Jeremiah Medbury, who kept in company till June 5, 1876, when Mr. Beebe, the present owner, bought Medbury's interest and kept it till Sept. 1, 1879, when Martin McLean and James K. Spaulding, the present proprietors took a five years' lease of it.
The Spaulding House was built about 1826 or '28, by Corrington Lamb, for a residence. It was converted into a hotel about 1830, and kept as such for a few years and then sold to Harmon Hickok, who sold it in January, 1867, to Ira Spaulding, father of the present proprietor, Henry Spaulding, who succeeded his father at his death in May, 1878. Several additions have been made to it and it has been both raised and lengthened. Ira Spaulding had previously kept the Palmer House thirteen years.
The American Hotel was built about 1830, by Smith Miller, who kept it till his death. John Noyes, who married his widow, succeeded him and kept it till about 1850. Mr. Noyes raised it, put on a new roof, put up the pillars in front, and built a rear addition. It is now kept by M. A. Robinson, who took possession May 20, 1879. He bought of Charles M. Blivin, who kept it about nine and one-half years.
The Palmer House was built about 1830, by Nelson Carpenter and Dr. Jonathan Johnson, the former of whom kept it two or three years. It is now kept by Thomas and A. D. Murray, who leased the property April 1, 1879.
The Adams House was built by Henry Hansen, about 1870, and kept by him a short time. It came into possession of the present proprietor, Vincent L. Adams, in February, 1877, at which time he bought of Charles W. Olendorf and Mason Westcott.
NORWICH FIRE DEPARTMENT.---We are unable to state at what period the first organized efforts were made to protect the property of the village from the ravages of fire, as the village records prior to 1844 are missing. The first allusion to this subject in the minutes subsequent to that year appears under date of May 4, 1846, when it was resolved to raise $800 for the purpose of purchasing a fire engine. May 6, 1850, $2,500 were voted for the purchase of fire engines and implements for extinguishing fires, and for necessary land to build engine houses thereon. July 15, 1852, $750 were voted for one fire engine and necessary apparatus; $225 for 300 feet of hose; $55 for a hose cart; and $100 for five wells and fixtures therefor. May 2, 1853, the trustees were authorized to raise by tax $250 for the purchase of necessary ground for one engine house;108 $500 for the erection of a suitable engine house for one fire engine; $150 for 250 feet of extra hose and apparatus; and $500 for the construction of a reservoir and procuring the necessary fixtures therefor. April 24, 1854, the trustees pursuant to an Act of the Legislature passed April 28, 1847, appointed a fire company, under the name of "Deluge Fire Engine Co No. 1."109 In May, 1854, $160 were voted to procure 200 feet of additional hose; $30 for two fire hooks and fixtures; and $200 for making one reservoir. May 5, 1856, $150 were voted for implements for a hook and ladder company,110 and the trustees were requested to appropriate $60 of the amount in their hands to the "purchase of the reservoir," excavated on the lands of George L. Rider during the winter of 1855-'6. May 16, 1857, the office of Chief Engineer of the Fire Department was created and James H. Sinclair was elected to fill it.
At a special corporation meeting held in the rooms of the Deluge Fire Engine Company January 20, 1872, and largely attended, a sum not to exceed $5,000, was voted for the purchase of a steam fire engine. B. Gage Berry, J. F. Hill, T. D. Miller and Henry M. Knapp were appointed a committee to act in conjunction with the trustees in making such purchase. May 15, 1872, it was decided to buy of the Clapp & Jones Manufacturing Co., of Hudson, and a contract was entered into for an engine, hose cart and 500 feet of hose, for $4,250. April 14, 1873, the trustees were authorized to construct a suitable fire alarm for the village at an expense not to exceed $100.
The following is the organization of the department in 1879:---
Chief Engineer---George W. Ray.111
Assistant Engineer---W. B. Andrews.
Secretary and Treasurer---Norman Carr.
Steamer Co. No. 1.---Foreman, Geo. P. Bliven; Assistant Foreman, Charles Denslow; Secretary, Walter H. Marquis; Engineer, Charles H. Dimmick; total number of officers and men, 34.
Alert Hose Co. No. 1.---Foreman, A. W. Niblock; Assistant Foreman, Albert Stratton; President, William D. Allen; Vice-President, A. N. Nash; Secretary, George D. W. Mandeville; total number of officers and men, 31.
Rough and Ready Hose Co. No. 2.---Foreman, James Coleman; Assistant Foreman, R. Mack; President, J. Potter; Vice-President, C. Angell; Secretary, J. E. Macksey; total number of officers and men, 22.
Rescue Hook and Ladder Co. No. 1.112 ---Foreman, H. C. Molson; First Assistant Foreman, G. F. Breed; Second Assistant Foreman, Charles Robbins; President, L. F. Rogers; Vice-President, Albert Garrison; Recording Secretary, Richard Newton; Financial Secretary, William Randall; Treasurer, William Johnson; total number of officers and men, 35.
The equipment of the Department consists of one steamer and attachments; a Button hand engine and attachments; four hose carts and 3,000 feet of hose, about 2,000 feet of which is rubber; a hook and ladder truck, with six ladders, two fire extinguishers, thirty-nine buckets, eleven hooks, together with ropes, picks, axes, stoves, pictures and chairs necessary for its use, all in good condition.
The water for fire purposes is supplied by reservoirs in various parts of the village, and to some extent by the canal, which has been dammed for the purpose. The tendency, however, is to construct additional reservoirs, so that the canal need not be relied upon.
NORWICH ACADEMY was incorporated by the Regents of the University, February 14, 1843.113 The Academy was built by subscription. Between two of the subscribers there was great strife as to which should give the most. David Griffing gave $400 and George L. Rider $401. William G. Guernsey gave a deed of the land, December 15, 1842, the consideration being $1,000. The Academy building was completed early in November, 1842. George L. Rider built the basement by contract; and Abram Thomas and Albert S. Tanner the superstructure. School was opened in it within a week or two of its completion.114 Benjamin F. Taylor, poet, prose writer, lecturer and journalist, and who has been styled "the most brilliant word-painter in America," was the first Principal, and was then but twenty-one years of age. Harriet Dillaye, now of Philadelphia, was Preceptress. William Robinson and Miss Susan Austin (now Mrs. Harvey Hubbard,) were assistants. The successive Principals, after Mr. Taylor, were: Jarvis C. Howard, J. G. K. Truair, now one of the publishers of the Syracuse Daily Journal, Daniel B. Hagar, Rev. Rollo E. Page, William K. Paddock, Prof. Humphrey, Charles Hopkins, during whose Principalship a four-paper paper was published, D. G. Barber, now of Oxford, John Dunlap, Rev. M. L. Ward, now president of a western college, and J. G. Williams. 115
Among the Preceptresses, in addition to Miss Dillaye, were: Miss Olive P. Rider, Mrs. Truair, Miss Eaton, Miss Bennett, Miss Buck, Miss Cazier, Miss Cushman, Miss Reed, Miss Gordon, Miss Pardee, Mrs. M. L. Ward, Miss Bump, Mrs. Hyde, Miss Jaynes, Miss Proctor, Miss Parmelee, Miss Forbes and Mrs. Snow. 116
The report to the Regents in 1871 shows that 221 scholars attended the school during that year; that 73---27 males and 46 females---pursued classical or higher English studies, or both, for four months or more of that year; that the value of academy lot and buildings was $8,400, of library, $1,000, and of apparatus, $798; that the value of other academic property was $130; the total value, $10,328; and the debts due by the academy, $500.
THE NORWICH ACADEMY AND UNION FREE SCHOOL.---August 29, 1873, a meeting was held at the court house for the purpose of taking action upon the question of consolidating the four school districts, Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 8, in the village of Norwich, and the establishment of a Free Union School therein. Hon. John F. Hubbard, Jr., was called to the chair, and Isaac S. Newton and David H. Knapp were chosen secretaries. Prof. Hoose, of the Cortland Normal School, was present and advocated the change. The roll of tax-payers was called and more than the requisite one-third found to be present, and on presenting the resolution favoring the establishment of a Union School, there was but one dissenting voice. Isaac S. Newton, David L. Follett, H. H. Beecher, Orville Field and Charles H. Merritt were appointed a committee to report at an adjourned meeting nominees for a Board of Education. Sept. 1, 1873, John F. Hubbard, Jr., R. A. Stanton, D. M. Holmes, Michael Conway, John Mitchell, Warren L. Scott and O. M. Hughson were reported as such Board, and were organized as such Nov. 5, 1873. John F. Hubbard, Jr., was elected President,117 and R. A. Stanton, Clerk. At the latter date Messrs. Homes, Scott and Hughson were appointed a committee to confer with the trustees of Norwich Academy with reference to the transfer of the academy to this Board. Nov. 10, 1873, William S. Hewitt was appointed Treasurer.118 A committee of the trustees of the Academy, consisting of B. G. Berry, Dr. H. H. Beecher and C. L. King, informed the Board that the trustees of the Academy would transfer to it the property of the Academy, on condition that the Board assume the obligations of the Academy, estimated at $3,200, to which the Board assented.
November 17, 1873, it was decided that the schools to be organized by this Board be called collectively "The Norwich Academy and Union Free School," and divided into four departments, to be known as the academic, senior, junior and primary. Messrs. Ward, Record, Holmes, Hubbard, Hughson and Stanton were appointed a committee to grade the scholars.
December 32, 1873, increased school accommodation being needed, Messrs. Holmes, Hughson and Mitchell were appointed a committee to fit up the third story of the academy for that purpose.
January 31, 1874, James McCaw was appointed collector, an office to which he has been annually re-elected.
May 19, 1874, it was resolved to employ a general superintendent, an assistant superintendent, a preceptress of the academy, four female assistants, four female teachers of the junior department, and three female teachers of the primary department. The records do not show definitely just what the management had hitherto been.
April 24, 1877, Prof. H. L. Ward and Mrs. Ward presented their resignations as superintendent and preceptress, offices which they had respectively held from the organization of the Free Union School. They were succeeded in those offices by Prof. S. H. Albro and wife, who are the present incumbents.
The rates of tuition per term to non-resident pupils, as adopted June 23, 1879, are:---
Primary Departments $3 00 Junior " 4 00 Senior " 4 50 Higher English 5 50 " Mathematics and Sciences 6 50 Ancient and Modern Languages 8 00 Drawing - Private Lessons 3 00
From the report to the regents for the academic year ending June 20, 1879, we glean the following particulars:---
Value of academy grounds $3,000 00 " " buildings,119 4,000 00 " library,120 1,292 14 " philosophical apparatus,121 600 00 " tuition bills uncollected 50 25 " furniture not fixtures 500 00 Cash in hands of treasurer at date of report 333 42 ________ $9,775 81 Debts and incumbrances, June 20, 1879 79 61 Academic property, less indebtedness $9,696 20
Received from tuition collected or considered collectable $351 25 Received for apportionment from literature fund 301 26 Received from local taxes 275 00 ------- $927 51 Paid for salaries of teachers $2,000 00 " repairs of buildings or other academic property 3 58 Paid for fuel and other incidental expenses 60 00 " janitor 50 00 $2,113 58 _________ Excess of expenditures over revenue $1,186 07
Two male and one female teachers are employed in the academic department of the Union School, viz: S. H. Albro, A. M., who was educated at Brown University, has spent thirteen years in teaching, is principal, and receives a salary of $1,500; R. C. Albro, who was educated at East Greenwich Seminary, has taught ten years, is preceptress, and receives a salary of $700; and H. Blodgett, A. B., who was educated at Yale College, has taught two years, is teacher of classics, and receives a salary of $800.
The whole number of scholars taught during the year ending June 20, 1879 (in the academy,) was 109, of whom 45 were males and 64 females, and whose average age was 16 6/10 years. The number and average age of academic students at that date, or enrolled during part of that year, who were claimed by the trustees to have pursued for four months or more, classical studies, or the higher branches of English education, or both, after having passed the preliminary academic examination was: males 24, females 31, total 55; average age of both males and females, 17 years. The number of scholars pursuing classical studies during the year was 50, of whom 24 were males and 26 females. The number preparing for college was 10.
Rates of Tuition---Common English Studies, per year, $18.00; Mathematics and Higher English, $24; Classical, including the preceding, $27.
The academic year consists of three terms, of thirteen, fourteen and thirteen weeks respectively.
Present officers---John Mitchell, President; W. F. Jenks, Secretary; A. C. Latham, Treasurer; John Mitchell, W. F. Jenks, J. F. Hubbard, M. Conway, N. D. Wheeler, J. G. Thompson and D. M. Holmes, Trustees.
Standing Committees---On Preliminary Academic Examinations, George A. Thomas, Lucy Jennison, Agnes McCaw; On Visitation of Academy, John Mitchell, J. G. Thompson, J. F. Hubbard, D. M. Holmes; On Advanced Regents' Examinations, Charles H. Stanton, John H. Hicks, A. B. Packer.
CHURCHES.---The first religious services in the town of Norwich are conceded to have been held by Manasseh French, a Baptist minister, who located here as early as 1793 or '4, but remained only a few years. The next minister who came into the village was Elder Elisha Ransom, also a Baptist, who remained only a few months and afterwards settled in Plymouth, where he died August 17, 1818, at the age of 72 years. About 1798, Rev. John Camp came to Oxford and soon after gathered together the Associated Presbyterian Church of that village, to which he ministered about three years. He was for several years employed by the people of that village and Norwich, without regard to denomination, and preached alternately in the two villages. His labors ended about 1806, and for several years thereafter only occasional services were held in the village by some missionary or Methodist preacher who chanced this way. Very few of the settlers were religious people, and as there was no Church organization, those who had been professors meeting with no sympathy, soon relapsed into worldliness. 122
In the fall of 1812, Rev. Jonathan Haskell, a Baptist, from Oneida county, who had been in the place a few times previously, visited the village and stopped at the House of Mr. Enos, who engaged the ball-room of the tavern, the "old yellow house" kept by Benjamin Edmonds, now the resident of Dr. Charles M. Purdy, No. 138 Broad street. Hr. Haskell preached there the following Sunday to a good congregation; and after the services a consultation was held which resulted in his being hired for a year, on a salary of "$300 in money and produce." Mr. Enos carried the subscription paper up and down the valley and raised the amount, contributions being made alike by professors and non-professors. The labors of Mr. Haskell soon developed an organized effort on the part of the people for the support of the gospel. On the 26th of June, 1813, a meeting was held in the Court House in Norwich, and The First Congregational Baptist Society of Norwich was organized. 123
The Baptist Church and Society of Norwich124 ---August 13, 1814, a few who entertained Baptist sentiments assembled at the house of Elder Jedediah Randall for the purpose of forming a church of that denomination. Elder Randall was chosen moderator and Reuben Nichols clerk, Elder Randall, Jonathan Haskell, John Randall and Beriah Lewis were appointed a committee to draw up articles of faith and covenant which were presented and adopted at the next meeting, August 18th following, by Beriah Lewis, John Randall, Jedediah Randall, Jonathan Haskell, Elias Breed, Thomas Prentice, Reuben Nichols, Lois Lewis, Lois W. Lewis, Mary Norton, Anna Nichols, Huldah Welch, Anna York, Elizabeth R. Breed,125 and P. Brushel. Feb. 11, 1815, they voted to invite the churches in North Norwich, German, Preston, Pharsalia and Brookfield to sit in council March 1st, for the purpose of receiving them into church fellowship. The council convened March 1, 1815, at the house of Elder Randall, and was composed of the following delegates: Elder Jonathan Ferris, Deacon James Purdy, James Anderson, Jacob Grow and Deacon Isaac Ferris, from North Norwich; Nathan Noyes, Hugh Smith, Isaac Willcox, Dudley Williams, Gershom Noyes and Richard Smith, from Preston, Lodowick Weaver and Benjamin Lamphier from Pharsalia; Elder John Lawton, Edward Southworth and Ebenezer Wakeley from German; and Daniel Maine, Thomas Dye and Luther Hinkley from Brookfield. Elders Elisha Ransom and Jonathan Haskell being present were invited to sit with the council, of which Jonathan Ferris was chosen moderator and Nathan Noyes, clerk. After examination of the articles of faith and covenant they were admitted to fellowship.
The church worshiped in the dwelling of Eld. Randall and in the hall of the house now occupied by Dr. C. M. Purdy, which was then a tavern, till 1817, when they built a house of worship on the east side of the public common in Norwich village, where they worshiped till August, 1845, when the building was consumed by fire. Their present church edifice was then nearly completed, and was dedicated November 1st, of that year. 126
The first pastor was Elder Jedediah Randall, who served them till 1822, when Elder Silas Spaulding was called to the pastorate, and served them till 1829. During Elder Randall's pastorate, he received an injury by which his left arm became paralyzed, so that he was unable to administer the ordinance of baptism, and was, therefore, under the necessity of calling upon his neighboring brethren to officiate.
Elder Spaulding was succeeded in the pastorate by Jabez S. Swan, to whom a call was extended Feb. 23, 1829. The compensation offered him was $250 per year and his firewood. He accepted the call May 9, 1830, and continued his labors till October, 1837, when, at his earnest request, his resignation was accepted. His salary in the meantime had been increased to $600 per annum. Elder Swan was succeeded in the order named by Alonzo Wheelock, Leland Howard, Charles T. Johnson, John Duncan, who served them from 1845 to 1847, Marsena Stone, from 1847 to 1853, Lyman Wright, A. N. Benedict, R. A. Patterson,127 J. D. Pope, and Lucius M. S. Haynes, the latter of whom is the present pastor, having entered upon his pastoral labors in September, 1873.
The church has thus been served by thirteen pastors, four of whom are dead. 128
January 2, 1819, Charles Randall and Ira Noble were elected deacons. This is the first record of the election of any one to that office. Deacon Noble soon after left, and Thomas Prentice succeeded him in that office. Both Randall and Prentice served till old age and infirmities compelled them to relinquish the labor to others. 129
Miss Martha Randall was the first person baptized in this church. The ceremony took place in 1815.130 Charles Randall was the second male person baptized, January 17, 1817. He afterwards became a deacon. The first male person baptized was Amos Brushel, January 10, 1817. He is still living, aged 81 years. Mrs. Elijah Lewis, now living at the age of 82 years, was baptized Oct. 7, 1816. This is the earliest baptism of any member now living.
The earliest recorded case of discipline bears date of July 11, 1819. James Lane was called to account for playing ball, "to the grief of the church." He acknowledged the offense, said he would do so no more, and the church voted satisfaction.
Ten young brethren have entered the ministry, viz.: Ralph M. Prentice, Roswell R. Prentice, Harvey E. Knapp, Seth D. Bowker, Lyman Fisher, Stephen Keyes, Jr., Oliver Fletcher, J. C. Seeley, James H. Sage and Charles H. Johnson. Three of these fell in the prime of life, in the midst of their usefulness, Ralph M. Prentice, Harvey E. Knapp and Stephen Keyes, Jr. Knapp married Eunice R. Keyes, both of whom went as missionaries to Aracan, Oct. 4, 1849. But their stay in their chosen field of labor was brief. He died November 9, 1853, aged 33, and his wife, May 24, 1851, aged 26.
Following is a statement of the membership from the organization of the church:---
Number of constituent members 15 " joined by baptism 1,323 " " letter 596 " " experience 36 ----- Number joined since the organization 1,970 Number dismissed by letter 760 " died 316 " disfellowshipped 135 " dropped 2 --- 1,213 ----- 757 Number restored 26 --- Present number of members131 731
The First Congregational Church of Norwich.---About 1812, ministers of the Congregational church in the employ of the Missionary Society of Connecticut, began to visit this place and hold meetings. Prominent among these were Revs. David Harrower and Joe T. Benedict, under whose faithful labors and the zeal of the little band of believers, the First Congregational Church of Norwich was organized on the 19th day of June, 1814, by Joel T. Benedict, with twenty-one members,132 six of whom were baptized. The meeting was held in the court house, and Revs. John B. Hoyt and Elisha Ransom assisted in the exercises, the latter conducting the examination of candidates, which was very thorough. 133
On the organization of the Church, Elijah Chamberlin and Tracy Ensworth, St., were chosen its first deacons.
For three or four years the Church had no settled pastor. The Sunday services in the absence of a missionary, consisted of a sermon---often one of Payson's---read by Mr. Fenton or David Buttolph, and were generally held in the two-story academy, which was torn down to make room for the stone house, No. 286 Broad street, corner of Mitchell, now the residence of John Mitchell. "Sometimes," says Mr. Johnson, "it was locked against them by a 'little pesky teachers,' thought to have been Noah Hubbard, who loved to annoy them for their strong doctrines about the future state." 134 The weekly prayer meetings were held in the large kitchens of Mr. Enos and Mr. Fenton. For much of this time the Church was supplied with preaching by the Missionary Society of Connecticut, which, with other local societies, became in 1826 the American Home Mission Society. At such times the services were generally held in the Court House. Among these supplies were: Revs. Asa Messer, who stayed about nine months; Wm. M. Adams, who was the first regularly hired minister of this Church, but was only a licentiate at the time; Benjamin Bell, Norris Bull, who came probably some time in 1819; and Ezekiel J. Chapman, brother of Benjamin Chapman, of this village.
In the summer of 1816 measures were taken to secure the erection of a Church edifice. Messrs. Enos and Fenton were appointed a committee to raise the necessary means, and during the summer and fall, "scoured the whole township, taking money or produce of any kind---anything that a man could give." Joel Atkins was engaged to draw the plans and superintend the work, which was performed by William Wait and Josiah Dickinson. 135
April 22, 1817, Peter B. Garnsey and Polly, his wife, in consideration of $260, deeded to the trustees the land on which the church was built, and which is covered by the eastern third of the present brick church. The frame was raised in July of that year, and notice having been sent, a large number congregated from all quarters to assist, and enjoy the sport which always followed --- a wrestling match. The church was completed in 1819 and dedicated July 14th of that year.136 The services were imposing for the time, and the attendance from the surrounding country was very large. Several ministers were present and took part in the exercises; among them were Rev. John Truair, then pastor of the church in Sherburne, who preached the dedicatory sermon; Rev. John Smith, pastor of the First Presbyterian church at Cooperstown; Rev. Luther Clark, probably a missionary, who supplied the church for a while after the dedication; Rev. Edward Andrews, afterwards pastor of the Church; and Rev. John B. Hoyt, then stated supply at Greene. The music was furnished by Societies from Sherburne, which then and still enjoys an enviable notoriety for its many excellent musicians. 137
Succeeding Mr. Clark's brief stay immediately after the dedication, Rev. Edward Andrews was called to the pastorate in April or May, 1820, and was ordained and installed on the 28th of June following. He was the first regularly settled pastor.
Originally the church united with the Union Association,138 but when is not known. After the dissolution of that body, Feb. 20, 1822, it united with the Presbytery of Otsego, but this date is equally uncertain. The Presbytery of Chenango was formed May 29, 1826, and at its first meeting held in Oxford, June 29, 1826, this church, through its representative, Jeduthan Hitchcock, applied to be, and was received to membership on the union or accommodation plan. 139
October 25, 1826, Mr. Andrews requested the Presbytery to dissolve the pastoral relation with this church, to take effect November 30th. The request was granted, and Sunday, December 3, Rev. Ambrose Eggleston preached by direction of the Presbytery, and declared the pulpit vacant. The Presbytery also appointed Rev. Asa Donaldson to supply the pulpit during December and January following. About the middle of January, 1827, Rev. Peter Lockwood came as a candidate, and began to preach on the usual three months' trial. He remained till about the middle of May, accepted a call, and was to have been installed in July following, but while he had returned to Stamford, Conn., for his family and goods, a factional feeling which had sprung up in the church before Mr. Andrews left developed such an opposition to his settlement that he refused to remain. These factions remained in the church for nearly four years, and prevented the settlement of a pastor. They were finally united under Mr. Bogue. Rev. Lyman S. Rexford next occupied the pulpit, probably late in 1827, or early in 1828, but he was not installed, and when his labors ceased is not known. In the report to the Presbytery, Sept. 10, 1828, the pulpit was reported vacant.
September 8, 1829, the church obtained permission from the Chenango Presbytery to extend a call to Rev. Horace P. Bogue, a member of the Otsego Presbytery, and pastor of the church at Butternuts. He came to Norwich in the latter part of December, received a call on the 2d of February following, and was installed on the 24th of that month. He continued to hold the relation of pastor to this people till April 28, 1833. He was succeeded June 9, 1833, by Rev. Seth Williston, who served them till Sept. 10, 1834, as stated supply. Succeeding his removal the church underwent extensive repairs, which were complete in 1835.
October 12, 1834, Rev. John Sessions entered upon his labors with this church, and was installed pastor Feb. 18, 1835. Mr. Sessions was a rigid Presbyterian; and at his installation, the Presbytery, by request of the church, constituted a session, and the church became fully Presbyterian. This action resulted in serious trouble and caused wounds which were never entirely healed.140 The church grew, however, during this pastorate, in spite of this unfavorable state of feeling. Mr. Sessions closed his labors May 1, 1842. He was succeeded about Sept. 1st, 1842, by Aaron R. Livermore, a licentiate of Hampden Association, Mass., who served the church as stated supply till about the 1st of April, 1842, when ill health compelled him to leave. From Jan. 14, 1844, to Feb. 9, 1844, Rev. Seth Williston again supplied the pulpit, and the next Sunday, Feb. 11, Rev. Wm. M. Richards began to serve the church as stated supply. He was a Congregationalist and strongly anti-slavery, "which made it impossible at that time for the church to be united on him." He closed his labors May 9, 1845. A call was then extended to Rev. Charles P. Jennings, but the church not being "homogeneous in doctrine," he refused to accept it, yet came as stated supply in July, 1845, and remained till January 1, 1847, when sickness compelled him to give it up.
About the first of June, 1847, Rev. Daniel Clark, Jr., came to the village as agent of The American Education Society. At a meeting of this church and Society, June 15, 1847, he was unanimously elected pastor. The call was accepted and he was installed on the 6th of July following. Aug. 19, 1851, he requested the Presbytery to dissolve his pastoral relation; naming as reasons therefor, first, "the want of a comfortable and permanent residence for his family;" and second, "the insufficiency of his salary to meet his necessary expenses." The request was granted and the relation dissolved Sept. 1, 1851. In October following Rev. Samuel W. Bush began his ministrations as stated supply, and closed his labors in May, 1855.
In the winter of 1852, the Society bought of Ralph Johnson the house No. 295 Broad street, which, since April 1, 1852, it has occupied as a parsonage.
January 6, 1856, Rev. Hiram Doane began his ministrations and was installed July 15th of that year.
January 30, 1857, the Standing Committee of the church having resigned, the church passed the following, signed by Elijah Chamberlin and twenty-five other male and female members:---
"Resolved, That this First Congregational Church in Norwich, hereafter administer its government and discipline after the Congregational form, as generally understood, believing this to be the course most evidently indicated in the teachings of our Savior on this subject."
On Sunday morning, Feb. 2, 1858, the church was consumed by fire. From this time till about the middle of November of that year services were held in the Academy hall. At that time a room owned by Ransom Close, and built by him for a furniture ware-room,141 at No. 168 Broad street, was leased, and there the Society worshiped till November, 1861, on the 3d of which month Concert Hall, over the piano factory, was rented for one year.
During the year 1858, the church began to sever its connection with the Presbytery, and to resume the Congregational form of government. This action caused even more serious consequences than that of 1835. Several of the most prominent members were excommunicated; others withdrew, and with them, employing Rev. Hiram Dyer, long a pastor at Preston, held regular religious services in the Academy hall, beginning about the middle of July, 1859.
July 12, 1858, that part of the Society by whom Mr. Doane was employed voted to build a new church. A subscription paper had been drawn May 5, 1858, and at the time of this meeting the necessary amount had been pledged. Plans presented by Thomas Cheeseman, an English architect of Utica, were adopted, and he was employed to superintend the work. But delays were occasioned by unforseen circumstances. The heirs of Peter B. Garnsey, claiming that the old church occupied more land than was conveyed by the deed of 1817, sought to prevent the trustees from occupying any of the disputed land. There was also some trouble about the subscription, and Jan. 17, 1860, a new one was drawn and circulated until March 17, when it was presented to the trustees, who thereupon engaged Mr. Cheeseman to draw new plans.
Mr. Doane closed his labors with this church in October, 1860, and for the next nine months the pulpit was not regularly supplied. Services were held in the hall before mentioned, and pastors from neighboring churches occasionally preached. February 3, 1861, Samuel Scoville, a student in Union Theological Seminary, in New York city, preached morning and evening by invitation of one of the members, and returned to New York the same week. June 10, 1861, the trustees voted to hire Mr. Scoville three months. He accepted, and began his labors on the 23d of June, preaching in the ware-room hall. Sept. 18, 1861, he was called to the pastorate. He accepted, and entered upon his duties as pastor, without installation, on the 3d of November following. His pastorate was by far the longest and happiest the church has enjoyed. It was terminated Oct. 6, 1879.
In the meantime, the church, by resolutions passed Feb. 19, 1861, had severed its connection with the Chenango Presbytery, and become fully Congregational and entirely independent. The arrangements for building the new church had so far progressed that on the 4th of June, 1861, the contract was let to Abner Wood, William H. Sternberg and Henry Alfrey, for $9,127.50. Work was begun Monday, June 17, 1861, and Aug. 3d, at 2 P. M., the corner-stone was laid, with impressive ceremonies.
By cold weather the church was inclosed, and during the winter was plastered and frescoed. It was finished early in June, 1862, and dedicated on the 16th of that month, with ceremonies of a solemn and highly interesting character. Rev. Samuel Scoville, the pastor, preached the dedicatory sermon. 142
The church being finished, Mr. Scoville set about the very delicate task of reconciling and bringing together the two factions, and in a short time harmony was again restored. A resolution rescinding the vote of suspension, in the case of those then living in the village, was passed without dissent, July 4, 1853, and in case of all the others then alive, May 9, 1867. Under the influences thus happily inaugurated, the membership and congregation largely increased, and the demand for increased accommodations began to be felt. As a temporary expedient the small brick building which stood west of the church, formerly the County Clerk's office, and later used as an engine house, was rented and used for prayer meetings and the infant class of the Sunday-School, for most of the time till 1867; after which the audience room was used for all the meetings and services of the church. By 1871, the necessity for enlargement became pressing and various plans were devised to effect it, but none seemed acceptable until in 1873, William M. Woollett, an architect in Albany, by request of the trustees, drew a plan which seemed to contain the fewest objectionable features, and was accepted and Mr. Woollett employed. Additional ground to the west of the former lot was purchased at a cost of $5,000, and during the winter and spring following materials were bought. Isaac S. Newton was appointed a building committee; and March 29, 1873, the trustees advertised for proposals for building the church enlargement. On Monday, June 3, 1873, ground was broken for the cellar, Mr. Scoville shoveling the first wagon load of dirt. Late in the fall the walls were finished, but it was late in December before the roof was on and the building inclosed.
The addition was nearly twice the size of the former church, and was built to that on the west side. While its construction was in progress, services were held uninterruptedly in the old portion till September 17, 1874, when they were transferred to the west division of the new part, which had been fitted up for the purpose. The building was finished and dedicated December 31, 1874, Rev. J. C. Holbrook, D. D., of Syracuse, preaching the dedicatory sermon. The services and ceremonies connected with the dedication commenced Sunday, December 27, 1874, and continued through that week and the following Sunday.
The whole church had been built at a cost of about $50,000, about $35,000 of which had been paid. Sunday morning, June 6, 1875, Mr. Scoville preached his fourteenth anniversary sermon, and at its close called for subscriptions and pledges from those present for the purpose of paying the debt. A subscription was drawn, payable in four yearly payments, and at the close of the service $9,600 had been pledged. Before July 1st, the whole debt was provided for. 143
Following is a statement of the membership from 1814 to 1879:---
Number joined by Letter 213 " " Profession 479 --- 692 " Dismissed to other Churches 217 " Died 107 " Excommunicated 5 " Dropped 30 " Absent 60 --- 419 --- " Of members in 1879 273
The First Methodist Episcopal Church of Norwich.---As early as 1822, Rev. Reuben Reynolds, a Methodist minister, familiarly known as "Father Reynolds," held prayer meetings in his house on West Main street in Norwich village, near where the Congregational church now stands. Soon after this Mr. Reynolds moved into the "old Holcomb house," now No. 1 Pleasant street, which was moved back to make room for the present residence of B. Gage Berry, on the south-west corner of Broad and Pleasant streets. Connected with it was a marble shop, which, one Saturday afternoon in 1824, was cleaned for the services to be held in it the following day. At that meeting Father Reynolds organized the first class, of which he was chosen leader. It consisted of twelve members, only three of whom are known to be living.144 During the day a young man named Daniel Torrey was reclaimed, and afterwards became a successful minister. Father Reynolds was minister, as well as class leader, the first the Church had.
At a meeting of the male members of this Church, "legally convened at their meeting room in the village of Norwich," January 2, 1827, Rev. Benjamin Shipman was elected chairman, and Rev. Reuben Reynolds, secretary, and at an adjourned meeting held January 13, 1827, the First Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Norwich was organized, and George H. King, Caleb Seabury, Miriam Saunders, Reuben Reynolds, William D. Burdick, Nathan S. Stanton, and Thomas Neverson were elected trustees. 145
Almost immediately an effort was made to build a house of worship, but this hope was not realized until seven years later---in 1834, under the ministry of Rev. Lyman Beach---when their first church was built at a cost of about $2,000. It stood just north of the present church and was torn down in 1874. The building of the present church was begun in 1873 during the pastorate of Rev. Henry Wheeler. It was finished and dedicated January 14, 1875, the dedicatory sermon being preached by Bishop Jesse T. Peck. It is a remarkably fine brick structure, capable of seating eleven hundred people. It cost $50,000 including the site, which cost $7,600. Previous to the erection of their first church, the Society worshiped in the second story of the old Academy building, which stood very near the site of John Mitchell's residence and was torn down.
The present pastor is Rev. J. O. Woodruff, who commenced his labors in April, 1879. The present number of members is four hundred; the attendance at Sunday school about two hundred and twenty.
Emanuel Church of Norwich (Episcopal) was organized Sept. 17, 1832, under the labors of Rev. Liberty Alonzo Barrows, who was the first rector. The meeting at which this organization was effected was held at the court house, where persons of this persuasion had worshiped for a year or two previously. Liberty A. Barrows was chosen to preside, and he and David E. S. Bedford and Squire Smith were nominated to certify the proceedings of the meeting. David E. S. Bedford and Smith M. Purdy were elected church wardens, and Jason Gleason, Thomas Milner, David Griffing, Philander B. Prindle, John Clapp, Henry DeForest, Walter M. Conkey and Squire Smith, vestrymen. 146
Mr. Burrows' rectorship continued till 1836, when he was succeeded by Rev. John A. Brayton, who was here during the year 1837. Mr. Barrows' again became the rector, continuing four years, till 1841. He was succeeded by Rev. D. M. Fackler in 1842, at which time the congregation numbered twenty-six families, and the church twenty-four communicants. Mr. Fackler officiated three years, and was succeeded by Rev. Joseph Ransom, who remained till August, 1846. Rev. Samuel Goodale became the rector July 1, 1846, and continued his ministrations till 1849. There seems to have been an interim of two years between the close of Mr. Goodale's services and the commencement of those of his successor, Rev. Joshua L. Harrison, who became the rector in 1851. At this time there were forty-two families and twenty-five communicants. Mr. Harrison continued his services during that and the following year, and was succeeded in 1853 by Rev. Stephen Douglass. Rev. N. Watson Monroe officiated six months in 1854. Rev. James Abercrombie commenced a three years' rectorship July 1, 1855. He reported thirty-eight communicants and forty families. During his rectorship the church was improved by a recess chancel, and in 1857, the rectory was purchased at a cost of $1,000. In 1859, Rev. James W. Capen, now rector of Grace church, Whitney's Point, succeeded him, continuing till Feb. 1, 1860. In 1859 he reported fifty families and fifty-two communicants. Feb. 28, 1860, Rev. William T. Early entered upon a rectorship of eight months, when Edward C. Lewis was called. He reported in 1861, fifty-five families and seventy communicants. He remained ten years, closing his labors Nov. 18, 1870, and has since died. In 1870 he reported one hundred and twenty-nine communicants and ninety-two families. Daniel E. Loveridge, now rector of the church at Unadilla, entered upon the duties of rector Oct. 7, 1871, and continued them till Feb. 1, 1879. Under these two rectorships, the church increased in strength and numbers, having at one time as high as one hundred and ninety communicants, which number, in consequence of deaths and removals, is diminished to one hundred and twenty-nine, the present number. The present number of families is one hundred and thirty-three, embracing three hundred and twenty-nine individuals. Rev. E. Bayard Smith, the present rector, commenced his labors Feb. 9, 1879.
The Society continued to worship in the court house until 1834, in which year their church edifice, which now stands unoccupied next west of the Palmer House, was built. It was consecrated by Bishop Benjamin T. Onderdonk, June 4, 1836. Their present church, which is a neat, substantial stone structure, was finished in 1875. In the report of 1879, the church, including the lot, which cost $4,000, is valued at $25,000; the organ at $3,000; the old church at $2,000.
The present wardens are John Fryer and Hon. Russell A. Young; and vestrymen, John Crawley, George Rider, William N. Mason, William C. Main, Daniel E. Comstock, Peter W. Clarke, A. J. Beebe and Hon. John F. Hubbard.
St. Patrick's Church (Catholic,) of Norwich, was organized about 1854 or '5, by Father C. C. Brady, the first pastor. Occasional meetings were held at private houses from about 1846 or '7, among others by Fathers James Hourigan, of Binghamton, where he has since been located, and McCabe and Callan, the latter of whom was stationed at Oxford. Father Hourigan was the pioneer of Catholicism in Norwich. With the advent of Father Brady regular meetings were commenced, and were held in the old candle factory on Lock street, near the hammer factory. There they worshiped till 1859, in which year their present church edifice was erected, at a cost of about $2,200, exclusive of the lot, which cost $350, and was paid for by C. B. Smith, now of Binghamton, and Cornelius and Michael Conway, of Norwich. Father Brady also officiated at Oxford, Smithville, Sherburne, Hamilton, Cortland and Marathon. The church was first occupied on Christmas, 1859.
The prominent members when regular meetings were begun were: Clark B. Smith, Michael and Cornelius Conway, Michael Burns, Thomas Ryan, William Rath, Michael Welch, James McGinnis, John Normilo, Dennis Hickey, James Mulligan, Michael Kane, Martin O'Donnell, James Maxsey, Michael Foy, Edward Malloy, Michael Griffin, Patrick Farley, John Curley, James Ferry, Patrick Sullivan, Matthew Murphy, Michael Scanlan, Patrick Casey, Patrick Hassett, Dennis Griffin, and Dennis Conway, most of whom had families and many of whom are still living here.
Father Brady was succeeded in the pastorate by Fathers McDermot, McNulty, D. O'Connor, and James P. Harrigan, the latter of whom, the present pastor, entered upon his labors in April, 1875. During the pastorate of Father O'Connor, an addition was made to the rear end of the church, extending beyond the main body on both sides. There is a large congregation connected with the church, numbering about six hundred.
In 1870, a lot was purchased and a parsonage erected thereon at a cost of about $5,000. In 1871, seven acres were purchased for a cemetery at a cost of $2,000 on which only about $50 have been paid.
The present trustees are Patrick Byrnes, Thomas Maxsey, and James P. Harrigan.
The Free Will Baptist Church of Norwich was organized June 4, 1867, by a council convened at the house of J. S. Osmond, of which Rev. L. D. Turner was moderator, and Rev. D. J. Whiting, under whose labors the little band was gathered, was clerk. The constituent members were Elisha Crandall, Any Crandall, Joseph Crandall, Prudence Crandall, Anna Sayles, Anna Rathbun and John Collins, who joined by letter, and Joseph S. Osmond and Nehemiah Weed, who joined by experience. E. Crandall and J. S. Osmond were chosen deacons.147 The first covenant meeting was held Saturday, June 29, 1867, at which time Elvira L. Osmond, Esther M. Button and Emeline Matthewson joined, the former two by letter and the latter by experience.
The first business meeting was held June 24, 1867, at the house of J. S. Osmond, for the purpose of electing a board of trustees. Joseph Crandall was chairman, and D. J. Whiting, clerk. Elisha Crandall, Joseph Crandall and Jesse Matthewson were elected trustees, and D. J. Whiting was associated with them as chairman of a building committee.
August 24, 1867, Cyrus Blackman was elected clerk and has since filled that office.
The first baptism recorded took place Jan. 18, 1868, Jane Tilyou and Betsey Griffing were the candidates for baptism.
The arrangements for building the church had so far progressed that April 2, 1868, the corner stone was laid with impressive ceremonies. It was finished and dedicated Feb. 22, 1869.148 Rev. G. H. Ball preached the dedicatory sermon. The lot cost $1,000 and the building $4,000. The entire amount was provided for at the time of the dedication; but some of the subscriptions proved worthless and left the church $1,000 in debt. It is now free from debt, however; the last portion of indebtedness, $400, was assumed by the Centennial Association, which convened at this church Sept. 23, 1879.
The first pastor was Rev. D. J. Whiting, whose labors as such commenced with the organization of the church. He was succeeded in the pastorate April 1, 1870, by Rev. A. M. Totman, and in April, 1873, by Rev. W. H. Waldron. Rev. J. M. Langworthy supplied the pulpit for one year from April, 1876. Rev. W. R. Stone became the pastor in April, 1877, and remained two years. Rev. C. E. Brockway, the present pastor, entered upon his labors April 10, 1879.
Since the organization 36 have joined the church by letter, 55 by baptism, and 15 by experience. The present number of members is 106; the number of Sunday school scholars, 75. The Superintendent of the Sunday school is Henry Hewitt.
The present trustees are Eugene Paul, R. B. Cross and Elisha Crandall.
The African Methodist Episcopal Church of Norwich was organized in 1870, by Rev. Edward Mills, who served the church six months as pastor. He was succeeded in the pastorate by Benjamin F. Porter, who remained one year, Thomas E. Franklin, who staid about two years, William Winder, who served them about six months, James H. McCoy, who staid three years, Caleb Woodyard, who remained only three months, and A. James Tappin, who remained about seven months and was the last pastor of that organization. Under his ministry the church, which had numbered some forty to fifty members, lost interest and gradually died out. The church edifice, which was built in 1871, at a cost of $3,500 was sold on foreclosure of mortgage, and rented to the Union Church of Norwich, which is also composed of Africans, and was organized Sept. 5, 1878, by Rev. L. F. Rogers, who acted as moderator of the meeting, and composed of persons who were dissatisfied with the government of the other church. Union Church occupied the building till October, 1879, the pulpit having been supplied by superannuated ministers of the Methodist Episcopal Church. It has a membership of twenty-five.
SOCIETIES.---Canasawacta Lodge No. 205, I. O. of O. F., was instituted as Canasawacta Lodge, No. 236, I. O. of O. F., June 10, 1846. After a few years the number was changed to 405. It worked under that name and number till January 24, 1855, when the "old mammoth store" building in which its meetings were held was destroyed by fire, and its records and property consumed, so that there is no means of knowing who were the first officers. It reorganized under the above name and number October 17, 1868. The officers then elected were: Henry C. Wilcox, N. G.; Lewis A. Rhodes, V. G.; E. G. Ford, S.; N. B. Watkins, T.; Charles H. King, C.; S. V. Lyon, I. G.; Calvin C. Brooks, O. G.; William G. Mandeville, R. S. N. G.; William C. Bliven, R. S. V. G.; John R. Stearns, L. S. V. G.; George H. Bliven, R. S. S.
The following named persons have passed the chairs and are known as Past Grands. Some have left the town and others are dead,149 but the majority are still members of the lodge: Henry C. Wilcox, Lewis A. Rhodes, Hamilton DeLong, A. D. Nash, John W. Wait, Silas Brooks, H. C. Bosworth, W. R. Leversee, Henry J. Winsor, Charles C. Gager, William C. Thurston, Alexander Totman, James W. Thompson, Adin D. Eldridge, Charles Shumway, William Breese, Isaac W. Skinner, Darwin Totman, James N. Sibley, Charles A. Houghton, A. M. Gilbert, William C. Bliven, Roswell Curtis, Edward Childs, King Hovey, Nelson L. Ireland, William G. Mandeville, George M. Page, George Rider, George Race, James H. Sinclair, Asher C. Scott, Nathan B. Watkins, James G. Thompson, Marvin Wicks, Charles W. Scott.
The present officers are : B. Gage Berry, N. G.; Charles H. Watts, V. G.; Henry J. Winsor, R. S.; Warren Thurston, T.; James W. Thompson, P. S.; Edwin S. Post, W.; Charles H. Lottridge, C.; James T. Hutchins, I. G.; James K. Spaulding, O. G.; H. C. Bosworth, R. S. N. G.; Augustus E. Race, L. S. N. G.; Charles A. Houghton, R. S. V. G.; Charles H. Post, L. S. V. G.; Darwin Totman, R. S. S.; James N. Sibley, L. S. S.; Leroy C. Hayes, Chaplain; A. M. Gilbert, P. G.; William Breese, Isaac W. Skinner, B. Gage Berry, Trustees.
The lodge numbers eighty members and is in a flourishing condition financially and otherwise.
Norwich Lodge, No. 302, F. and A. M., was instituted June 12, 1853. The records of the lodge are burned, but from the charter we learn the names of the first three officers, viz: O. G. Rundell, W. M.; John F. Hubbard, S. W.; George L. Rider, J. W.
The living Past Masters are: William A. Smith, Andrew J. Avery, Nathan P. Wheeler, H. D. Mallory, William H. Sternberg, Albert Beals, Charles A. Church, Henry C. Wilcox, Hawley H. Bishop, James K. Benway, Henry M. Knapp.
The present officers are : David H. Knapp, W. M.; George W. Ray, S. W.; George W. Nagle, J. W.; Asher B. Young, S. D.; Charles E. Denslow, J. D.; Henry M. Ashcraft, Treasurer; Isaac W. Baker, Secretary; H. D. Mallory, Chaplain; Hendrick Crane, Tiler.
The lodge numbers 165, and meets in Masonic Hall, in the Hill Block, on the corner of Broad and West Main Streets, the first and third Tuesdays of each month.
Harmony Chapter, No. 151, was instituted Feb. 8, 1855. The charter officers were: William G. Sands, M. E. H. P.; Obadiah G. Randall, E. K.; George L. Rider, E. S.
The living Past High Priests are: William G. Sands, Albert Beals, James G. Thompson, E. Gage Berry, Ambrose Spencer, Henry M. Knapp, Isaac W. Baker, George W. Avery.
The present officers are: Joseph Winsor, M. E. H. P.; William Brown, E. K.; William Breese, E. S.; George Wheeler, C. of H.; William Main, R. A. C.; C. L. Ferry, Treasurer; H. D. Mallory, Chaplain; H. Crain, Tiler.
The chapter numbers 105, and meets in the same place as the lodge the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month.
Norwich Council of Royal and Select Masters No. 67, was instituted Sept. 9, 1874. The first officers were: Albert Beals, T. Ill. M.; Isaac W. Baker, D. M.; B. Gage Berry, P. C. of W.; N. E. Beals, Treasurer; C. L. Ferry, Rec.; Henry C. Hall, C. of G.; D. Shattuck, C. C.; H. Crane, S.
The present officers are: I. W. Bake, T. Ill. M.; B. Gage Berry, D. M.; David Shattuck, P. C. of W.; Joseph Winsor, C. of G.; Henry M. Knapp, C. C.; Whitman Stratton, Treasurer; C. L. Ferry, Rec.; H. Crane, S. Albert Beals is the only Past T. Ill. M. The present number of members is thirty-five. The council meets in the same place as the lodge and chapter the first Thursday in each month.
Norwich Commandery, No. 46, K. T. was instituted Oct. 6, 1869. The first officers were: Sir Edwin J. Loomis, E. Com.; Sir John W. Crawley, G.; Sir Ambrose Spencer, C. G.
The present officers are: Sir David Shattuck, E. Com.; Sir Henry M. Ashcraft, G.; Sir George W. Ray, C. G.; Sir H. D. Mallory, Prelate; Sir George Rider, S. W.; Sir Martin McLean, J. W.; Sir D. E. Comstock, Treasurer; Sir Isaac W. Baker, Rec.; Sir Andrew Dassance, Std. B.; Sir Walter Potts, S. B.; Sir B. Gage Berry, W.; Sirs D. R. McDonald, Whitman Clarke, C. R. Frank, 1st, 2d and 3d Guards; Sir H. Crane, Capt. Guard.
The Past Commanders are : Edwin J. Loomis, George Rider, Martin McLean and B. Gage Berry.
The commandery numbers 171, and meets in the same place as the lodge, the first and third Fridays of each month.
Chenango Valley Lodge, No. 110 I. O. G. T.. was organized Oct. 6, 1866. The first officers were: ______, W. C. T.; Mrs. Charles J. Briggs, W. V. T.; W. S. Hewitt, W. Secretary, Charles J. Briggs, W. Chaplain; Nathaniel Chamberlin, W. A. S.; H. F. Williams, W. F. S.; Charles S. Carpenter, W. T.; James E. Case, W. M.; James N. Sibley, W. D. M.; H. R. Prentice, W. O. G.; John W. Wait, P. W. C. T.
The present officers are: I. C. Jewett, W. C. T.; Hattie Reynolds, W. V. T.; B. Brennan, W. C.; Alonzo Adams, W. S.; George Sailesbery, W. A. S.; Ella Reynolds, W. F. S.; Mary A. Henry, W. T.; William Morey, W. M.; Mrs. William Morey, W. I. G.; James Scott, W. O. G.; Mrs. B. F. New, W. R. H. S.; Effie Burdick, W. L. H. S.; N. L. Ireland, P. W. C. T.
The lodge numbers thirty-nine, and meets every Saturday evening in the Latham Block.
POLKVILLE, situated about a mile and a half south-east of Norwich, derives its name from the numerous Polk men in its vicinity during the Polk campaign. It contains a district school, one hotel, a small grist-mill, a saw-mill, a blacksmith shop, kept by Charles Main, two wagon shops, kept by Eli Goodrich and Jonathan Warner, the latter being connected with the grist-mill, and a population of sixty-nine within a distance of a mile up Johnson Creek, which propels the mills, and has two falls of eighteen feet each. The hotel is kept by George Burdick. It was built by Philip K. Warner, some twenty-five years ago, and kept by him for a number of years. The grist-mill is owned by Jonathan Warner, by whom it was built. The saw-mill is owned by VanDerlyn Winsor, and stands on the site of one built at a very early day.
On this stream, about three-fourths of a mile above Polkville, is a saw-mill owned by Harris and Hermon Lewis, by whom it was built about 1870. It occupies the site of one built about 1822, by Lorenzo Lewis, father of the present proprietors, for a man named Ryerson, who owned a tract of several hundred acres in that locality. The first mill contained a muley saw. The Lewis Brothers, when they built, put in a circular saw.
White Store is situated on the Unadilla, in the east part of the town, and is a station on the New Berlin Branch of the Midland Railroad, with a population of sixty-three. It contains a Union Church, built in 1820, by members of the Baptist, Methodist and Universalist denominations, a district school, a grist-mill, two groceries, kept by J. T. Curtis and Caleb Barr, the latter of whom is the postmaster, having been appointed to the office April 19, 1874. Mr. Barr was preceded in the office by William T. Morse, who held it about two years. David Shippey previously held it a great many years. The postoffice at this place was established at an early day.
The White Store Mill, owned by David Milks, was built in 1847, by George and Henry Curtis, who operated it till March, 1871, when George Curtis and his sons Joseph and Charles, who had shortly previously acquired Henry's interest, sold it to the present proprietor. It contains three run of stones and is operated by the Unadilla, which has a fall of about six feet.
White Store was at a comparatively early day a seat of some commercial importance. The first merchants at this point were probably Joseph Morse and James Averill, the latter from Cooperstown, who opened a store in the building now owned by Caleb B. Barr, and occupied as a residence by Dennis Reddington---in what is popularly known as the "White Store," from the fact of its having been the first building painted white in this locality.150 That portion of the name, however, which refers to its color is at present a sad misnomer; for the building exhibits both the ravages of time and the neglect of man. This building was erected in 1807; but whether there was any store here previous to that time cannot be definitely ascertained. Mr. Rensselaer Bowen, who was born here in 1801, and whose father settled here in 1797, has a vague impression that Obadiah Reynolds kept store before Morse & Averill, on the opposite side of the road. Messrs. Morse & Averill traded here a good many years. Mr. Morse removed to New Berlin, where one or two of his sons are now living.
Martin Miner was keeping store in the same building as early as 1818, and was also the school teacher of that day. He traded here some five or six years and went south. Henry Chapin, from New Berlin, and John Holmes, kept store there in company, succeeding Miner, and continued till about 1830. William West next traded there some five or six years. He sold to David Westcott and went to Smyrna. Mr. Westcott came in some years previously from Connecticut, and after trading some six or seven years, removed to Mt. Upton, afterwards to Norwich, and subsequently to Utica, where he now resides. George Winsor bought out Westcott, but traded only a short time. There have been no other merchants of prominence located here.
The Norwich Creamery, situated about a mile above Norwich village, was built in 1871 by Norman Cox, and was converted into a barn in 1873 by George H. Fausett, the present proprietor, who, in 1878, reconverted it into a creamery. In 1879 it received the milk from about 175 cows, and made 240 pounds of cheese and 60 pounds of butter per day. About three miles south of Norwich village is a creamery, which is owned by John Randall and was built by him in the summer of 1878. It was not in operation in 1879.
WAR OF THE REBELLION.---There is no record of the action taken by this town with regard to filling its quotas earlier than the latter part of 1863, and the records of its action subsequent to that date do not show the amount of bounty paid. It is known however, that its action was prompt and generous, its contributions in men during the entire period of the war exceeding seven per cent. of its population.
November 9, 1863, the town issued bonds to the amount of $2,500, payable, $475 in 1864, $554 in 1865, $526 in 1866, $498 in 1867, $570 in 1868, and $335 in 1869, and levied a tax for $408.61, to liquidate its indebtedness to the Bank of Norwich, amounting to $2,908.61, money borrowed to pay to soldiers under and by virtue of an Act passed February 21, 1863, by the Legislature, entitled an Act to authorize the levying of a tax upon the taxable property of the different counties and towns in the State, to repay monies borrowed for or expended in the payment of bounties to volunteers.
At a special town meeting held at the court house January 2, 1864, it was resolved to pay a bounty of $323 to each volunteer credited on the quota of the town under the last call; and David Griffing, Warren Newton and John Mitchell were appointed a committee to carry out the provisions of the resolution, to issue bonds in the necessary amount, payable one-fourth each first day of February, commencing in 1865. They were instructed to issue to those entitled to the town bounty who so desired, in lieu of money, bonds to the amount of at least $300. The chairman, John P. Smith, and secretary, B. Gage Berry, were appointed a committee to bring this action to the attention of the Legislature at its next session, and to take the necessary steps to secure the passage of a law legalizing it. Feb. 16, 1864, it was resolved at a regular town meeting to pay $323 each to N. W. Winters and Truman Blindberry, volunteers, as town bounties, they having been enlisted in excess of the quota of the town under the call of Oct. 17, 1863.
At a special town meeting held Aug. 12, 1864, it was resolved to pay to each volunteer credited on the quota under the call of July 18, 1864, for 500,000 men, not to exceed $1,000 for three years' men, $750 for two years', and $500 for one year's. Daniel M. Holmes, Delos M. Powers, Walter A. Cook, Roswell Curtis, Nehemiah Leach and Rawson Close were appointed a committee to secure the requisite number of volunteers to fill the quota of the town and take all measures necessary in their judgment and discretion to fill said quota at the least possible expense, and with three years' men if practicable. It was also resolved to pay to each person liable to the draft in the town and thereafter furnishing a substitute, in bonds of the town or in money at the discretion of the committee, the amount actually paid by him for such substitute applied on the town's quota, but not in any case to exceed $600 for three years', $400 for two years', $300 for one year's; and to pay to each person who had heretofore furnished a substitute applied on the quota of the town under that call, the amount actually paid to such substitute, but not in any case to exceed $600 for three years' men, $400 for two years', and $200 for one year's. It was further resolved that the Board of Town Auditors issue bonds for the money procured in pursuance of these resolutions, and in such sums and payable at such times, (not to exceed five years from Feb. 1, 1865,) as to them seemed most advantageous to the interest of the town; and that the necessary expenses incurred by the committee named in these resolutions in the discharge of their duties and a reasonable compensation for their services, be paid them.
It is creditable to the town that at this meeting it put itself on record in denunciation of the revolting practice which then prevailed of taking advantage of the necessities of the government and individuals to make merchandise of men. So far as the records show it is the only town in the county which took this commendable action. This, however, is doubtless due to the fact that here this disgusting species of brokerage developed and exhibited its most offensive features. At the instance of Rev. W. H. Olin the town adopted the following preamble and resolutions:
"WHEREAS, It is alleged that parties of this and other towns have from motives of the most mercenary and reprehensible character embarked in the dishonorable business commonly known as substitute brokerage, the apparent object of which brokerage is the robbery and swindling alike of the tax payers, the soldiers and the government; and
"WHEREAS, It is the dictate of the simplest self-respect, and of the most ordinary circumstances of honor, as well as due to the reciprocal good faith which should exist between the government, the soldiers and the people, that such corrupt and disgraceful practices should be discontinued, and those who engage in them rebuked, therefore, as the sentiment of the electors of the town of Norwich in special town meeting assembled, be it
"Resolved, That the business of substitute brokerage as alleged to be conducted by certain persons here and elsewhere is one calculated to corrupt private and public morals, is injurious to the military service by introducing into it a lawless, abandoned and desperate element and one which will receive the sternest condemnation of every honest man."
It was further resolved to aid the efforts of Captain Gordon to thwart the "corrupt designs of these scoundrels," and prevent this species of robbery, and to this end the committee were instructed to negotiate directly with the recruit, without the intervention of substitute brokers, and to pay the full amount of bounty to him.
March 5, 1864, D. M. Holmes, Supervisor, G. W. Marr, Clerk, and W. N. Mason, P. L. Wescott and D. H. Knapp, Jr., Justices, a Board of Relief in the town of Norwich, having power to grant relief to the indigent families of volunteers of that town, by virtue of an Act passed May 17, 1863, authorized the Overseer of the Poor to appropriate $195 for the relief and support of certain such families; and further sums for like purposes as follows: June 15, 1864, $260, Feb. 20, 1864, $20, and Oct. 31, 1864, $425. Another committee subsequently granted $305.59.
At a special town meeting held Dec. 31, 1864, it was resolved to raise $55,000 for the purpose of paying bounties and the incidental expenses connected with the raising of men required to fill the quota of the town under the call of December 19, 1864, for 300,000 volunteers for two and three years. D. M. Holmes, Delos M. Powers, Roswell Curtis, Walter A. Cook, Nehemiah Leach and Rawson Close were appointed a committee to procure volunteers to fill the quota at the least possible expense, and to take all measures that were in their judgment necessary. It was also resolved that any person in the town liable to the draft then pending who should thereafter furnish a substitute credited on the quota of the town under that call, should be paid in bonds of the town seventy-five per cent. of the amount actually paid by such person for such substitute, provided the amount paid by the committee did not exceed $400 for one year's, $550 for two years', and $700 for three years' men. The provisions of this resolution were applied to any person in the town who had already furnished a substitute applied on its quota. The proper officers were directed to issue bonds payable in sums and at such times, not to exceed two years from Feb. 1, 1865, as to them seemed for the best interest of the town. The expenses and a reasonable compensation of the committee were to be paid by the town.
The town of Norwich furnished towards the Union armies during the Rebellion 297 soldiers and 3 seamen, making the entire number of men furnished according to the record to be 300. Of this number only 34 were natives of the town; 4 held the rank of Colonel, 1 that of Lieut.-Colonel, 2 that of Surgeon, 9 that of Captain, 7 that of Lieutenant, and 7 that of Sergeant; 237 enlisted for three years, 3 for two years, 5 for one year, 2 for four years, 1 for fifteen months, and 1 for nineteen months. The record does not show the term of enlistment with regard to the remaining 51. They were distributed as far as the records indicate in the following branches of the service: 2 in the 8th, 15 in the 17th, 2 in the 20th, 1 each in the 26th, 85th and 40th, 11 in the 44th, 1 each in the 46th, 61st and 74th, 5 in the 76th, 1 in the 79th, 9 in the 89th, 1 each in the 90th and 97th, 7 in the 101st, 45 in the 114th, 1 each in the 121st, 126th and 131st, 2 in the 161st, 2 in the colored, and 1 each in the 3d Connecticut, 36th Ohio and 132d Pennsylvania infantry regiments; 1 in the 1st, 28 in the 8th, 1 each in the 10th and 11th, 13 in the 20th, and 19 in the 22d cavalry regiments; 9 in the 3d, 2 in the 4th, 23 in the 5th, 4 in the 7th, and 1 each in the 8th and 16th artillery regiments; and 1 in the 1st engineers. They were distributed among the various professions as follows: 74 were farmers, 42 laborers, 10 clerks, 8 each blacksmiths and painters, 7 carpenters, 6 each shoemakers, barbers and students, 5 each mechanics, coopers and printers, 4 boatmen, 3 each tanners, cigar makers, "gentlemen," butchers and tinners, 2 each cabinet makers, telegraph operators, platers and carriage trimmers, and 1 each masons, gas fitters, varnishers, teamsters, bakers, harness makers, chain makers, tailors, saloon keepers, surgeons, merchants, piano-makers, cook, grocers, saddlers, jewelers, peddlers, speculators, clothiers, teachers, sailors, waiters, book-keepers and music teachers.
viz: for " Clear stuff seasoned, pine boards, $12 per m. " " " clapboards, 10 " " Common boards, 5 " " First rate shingles, 1.75 " "J. S. FENTON "Norwich, Feb. 5, 1817. In behalf of the Trustees."