PRESTON was formed from Norwich April 2, 1806. McDonough was taken off April 17, 1816, and a part of Norwich in 1808. A part of the latter town was re-annexed in 1820. As at present constituted, it forms the major portion of No. 14 of the Twenty Townships. It is the center town of the county, and is bounded on the north by Plymouth, on the east by Norwich, on the south by Oxford, and on the west by McDonough. The surface is a high, rolling upland, broken into two distinct ridges, extending north and south. The hills rise to the height of 200 to 800 feet above the valley of the Chenango at Norwich. The principal streams are Turner Brook, Fly Meadow Creek, and Mill Brook, all flowing south to the Chenango, respectively through the eastern, central and western parts of the town.
It is mostly underlaid by the rocks of the Catskill Group, which affords the best stone for building and other purposes obtained in the county. Numerous quarries have been opened in this rock within the town; one on the farm of Richard Winsor, about a mile east of Preston Corners, which has been worked more or less for several years; on the farms of Leander Law and Sylvester Crumb, on Rogers street, two miles south-west of Preston Corners, though not much worked now; on the farm of Jesse Keech, in the south-east part of the town, from which grindstones have been wrought; and on the Everet Judson farm, on the east side of the creek, near the line of Oxford, from which some very fine flagging stone is obtained. The rock crops out upon the surface in various places, especially in the west part of the town, making it difficult of cultivation. The soil is generally a gravelly and slaty loam, well adapted to grazing and dairying. A reddish clay predominates in the south-west part.
Dairying forms the chief branch of agriculture, the dairies being mostly private ones. There are three factories in the town, one at Preston Corners, which was built about 1876, by W. F. Scott, by whom it was operated till 1879, when he rented it to C. W. and A. Phelps, brothers, who now carry on a creamery business, and received in 1879 the milk of 200 cows; one on and one-half miles below Preston Center, owned by Samuel E. Lewis; and a third in the south part of the town, near the line of Oxford, owned by Loren Willcox and Clarence Miner.
In 1875 the population of the town was 892; of whom 826 were native, 66 foreign, 888 white, and 4 colored. Its area was 20,601 acres; of which 16,737 were improved; 3,805, woodland; and 59, otherwise unimproved. The cash value of farms was $795,110; of farm buildings other than dwellings, $110,435; of stock, $146,420; and of tools and implements, $46,355. The amount of gross sales from farms in 1874, was $101,600.
There are eight common school districts in the town, each of which has a school-house within the town. The number of children of school age residing in the districts Sept. 30, 1877, was 223. During the year ending Sept. 30, 1878, there were seven male and ten female teachers employed, eight of whom were licensed; the number of children residing in the districts who attended school was 194, of whom seven were under five or over twenty-one years of age; the average daily attendance during the year was 103-749; the number of volumes in district libraries was 460, the value of which was $71; the number of school-houses was eight, all frame, which, with the sites, embracing 2 acres and 47 rods, valued at $325, were valued at $2,815; the assessed value of taxable property in the districts was $490,030. The number of children between eight and fourteen years of age residing in the districts Sept. 30, 1877, was 85, of whom 84 attended district school during fourteen weeks of that year.
Receipts and disbursements for school purposes:---
Amount on hand Oct. 1, 1876 $ 20.65 Amount apportioned to districts 803.83 Proceeds of Gospel and School Lands 27.45 Raised by tax 240.74 From teachers' board 377.00 --------- Total $1,469.67 Paid for teachers' wages $1,345.95 Paid for school apparatus 7.55 Paid for school-houses, sites, fences, out-houses, repairs, furniture, &c. 3.70 Paid for other incidental expenses 104.55 Amount remaining on hand Oct. 1, 1877 7.92 --------- Total $1,469.67
SETTLEMENTS.---The first settlement was made in 1787, by James Glover, who came from Norwich, Conn., his native place, and settled on lot 75, on the farm now owned and occupied by Samuel E. Lewis, on Fly Meadow Creek, about three miles south of Preston Corners. He removed soon after 1800 to Montezuma, where he died. He built in 1789 the first grist-mill in the town, which is said also to have been the first in the county. It stood on the east bank of Fly Meadow Creek, about a quarter of a mile west of his residence. It, or one on its site, stood as late as about 1849. He opened in his house in 1788-9, the first store in the town, and probably, the first in the county, which he kept till his removal to Montezuma. The residence of Samuel E. Lewis was built by him as early as 1794, in which year his daughter, Mary Ann, was born there.1 This was the first frame house in the town. Thus it is seen that many of the earlier events connected with the history of both the town and the county are associated with his settlement here.
James Glover was born Dec. 26, 1768, and married Alphena Hovey, who was born Jan. 22, 1778, sister of Gen. Benjamin Hovey, an early settler in Oxford. He had nine children, most of whom were born after his removal to Montezuma, viz: Mary Ann, born Nov. 23, 1796, who married William Johnson, (a Scotch Presbyterian clergyman, who lived a great many years, and died in Owasco, where from 1838 to 1863 or '4 he was pastor of the True Reformed Dutch Church of Owasco,) and died only a few years ago; Ursula M., born April 6, 1799, who married Henry Tifft, and lived in various places, for some time in Albany, where he was connected with one of the State departments, but chiefly in Auburn, where both died; Justus S., born Feb. 21, 1802, who married a lady named Cornell, of Penn Yan, where he lived and died, but is survived by his wife, who is now living in East Saginaw, Mich.; Eliza, born May 6, 1804; James B., born Sept. 14, 1807, who married and died in New Jersey; Harriet S., born Aug. 14, 1813, who was married late in life to Charles H. Merriman, (who was for twenty-six years cashier of The National Bank of Auburn, and afterwards for one year its President,) and is now living in Auburn; Joseph O., born April 13, 1810, who is practicing law in Chicago, and has been for some years United States District Attorney for that district; Catharine A., born Dec. 28, 1816, who married DeWitt C. Gage, a lawyer, with whom she is living in East Saginaw, Mich.; Wm. Johnson, born May 2, 1820, who removed to Illinois, married and died there soon after; and a daughter who married George Rathbun, a lawyer of some prominence in Auburn, where both died.
None of the descendants have lived in the county since his removal to Montezuma.
David Fairchild came in 1795 and settled at Preston Corners, where William Lewis now lives. He had three children, John, Amos, and a daughter who married Nathan Squires. Fairchild and his sons were noted hunters and trappers. They removed to Plymouth and afterwards to the Holland Purchase. His daughter and her husband also moved west, first to Canandaigua, where they were living in 1813. The following year (1796) Randall Billings and Silas Champlain from Connecticut settled; Billings at Preston Center, on the south-east corner, on the farm now owned by George Coville, where he and his wife Lucy died, the latter, April 23, 1830, aged 73; and Champlain on the creek, one and one-half miles south-west of Preston Corners, where Porter Slater now lives. Billings had several children, among them William, Henry, Asa, Lucy, Fanny, Nancy and Polly, all of whom are dead. Chamberlain afterwards removed to Pharsalia. He had no children of his own living. His nephews, John, Charles and Lodowick Crandall came in a little later from Connecticut, with their mother, a widow, who, in 1798, contracted the first marriage in the town with Capt. Lyon, from whom Lyon Brook, near Norwich, derives its name. John and Charles lived to be of age, but Lodowick went to work on the river above Norwich shortly before he attained his majority and died of fever. His brother John caught the fever from him and also died. Charles married a Waite and removed to Phelps and died there.
David Eccleston came in from Stonington, Conn., in the spring of 1797, and settled on 100 acres two miles south of Preston Corners, at Preston Center, which is very near the geographical center of the county. He died there in 1845, while siting in his chair, at the age of 88 years. His wife died in Norwich a few years after at the age of 90. He came with his wife, Catharine Fanning, of Stonington, Conn., and six children, David, Washington, Frederick, Hannah, Charles, and one other daughter. David married Polly B., daughter of Dow Burdick, and settled opposite his father, where he resided till well advanced in years, when he removed to Norwich, where he died Aug. 30, 1872, aged 87. His wife died in Preston May 20, 1847, aged 57. He afterwards married Sally B. ______, who died in Norwich May 4, 1876, aged 71. Those of his children who are living are Polly, wife of Whitman Kinyon, in Brooklyn; Esther, widow of Orville Fitch, and Ursula, widow of Erastus R. Johnson, and wife of _______ Simmons, in Burlington, N. Y.; Aurelia, wife of Stephen Lewis, in Oxford; Leroy, in Afton; Sarah, wife of _______ Evans, in Plymouth; Daniel, in Smithville; and Ansel, in Norwich. Washington married Lydia Peabody, of Norwich, and settled opposite his brother David and afterwards in Norwich, where he lived a good many years. He is now living in Willett. A daughter, Eliza, a maiden lady, is living in Norwich. Frederick married and settled near East McDonough, where he and his wife died, the latter in 1879, aged about 90. Several children are living, Hosea, Ann, wife of Charles Watts, Ledyard, Uriel and Minerva, all in Norwich. Hannah married Joseph Marsh and both she and her husband lived and died in Norwich, the former some fifteen years ago and the latter Aug. 3, 1859, aged 85. Her children subsequently removed from the county. Charles married Mary Lewis and settled on what is known as the Ashcraft farm, a half mile south of the homestead. He afterwards removed to Oxford village and died there Dec. 26, 1873, aged 78. His widow is still living in Oxford, aged 75. Three children are living, Charles H. and Noyes B. in Oxford, the former a dentist and the latter a druggist, and Harriet C., wife of Leroy Eccleston, her cousin, in Afton.
Settlements were made in 1799 by Jonas Marsh and Colonel Gurdon and Dudley Hewitt. Marsh came from Massachusetts, and located at Preston Center on the north-west corner, where Dudley Brown now lives, and opened there in 1800 the first inn in the town. He afterwards removed to Pharsalia and died there May 21, 1847, aged 76. His children were Nancy, who married Erastus Brown of Pharsalia, where they settled and lived a good many years and finally went west; Sibley, who lived in Pharsalia and died in the insane department of the county house in Preston, August 14, 1848, aged 49; Shepard, Stephen, Tyler, and Sally, who married Henry Brown, brother of Erastus, all of whom went to Pennsylvania; Ursula, who died in Pharsalia of scarlet fever, unmarried; and Sophia, who married _____ Secord and died in Pharsalia. Sally, Ursula, Sibley and Shepard were teachers. The Hewitts were brothers and came from the New England States. Gurdon settled where the County house now stands. He afterwards removed to Oxford and bought a tavern stand on Fort Hill, and subsequently to Owego, where he died. His son Gurdon was prominently connected with a bank in Owego. His daughter Charlotte married a lawyer in Oxford and afterwards removed from there. Dudley settled a mile east of the center, on the farm afterwards owned by Ephraim Wells, but which has since been cut up. He married after coming here a woman in Connecticut, and subsequently removed to Steuben county.
Capt. Stephen Brown and Simon Turner settled in the town about 1800. Brown came from Rowe, Massachusetts, and located about a mile west of the Center, on the farm one-half of which is now owned by Dr. Thomas Dwight of Preston, and the other half by Wells Crumb, where he died March 5, 1841, aged 76, and Sarah, his wife, March 22, 1846, aged 80. His children were Consider, who married and lived on the homestead, where he died September 13, 1864, aged 68, and Candace, his wife, Dec. 20, 1873, aged 71; Walter, who married Elizabeth, daughter of Richard Smith, and lived on the homestead till within about a year of his death which occurred in Oxford, June 13, 1866, aged 68, (his wife died in Binghamton about two years ago;) Olive, who married Moses Stewart of Plymouth, and settled and died in that town; Charlotte, who married Dexter Brown of Massachusetts, where she lived and died; Louisa, who married Joel F. Gleason of Oxford, where both died, the former March 19, 1857, aged 49, and the latter, February 4, 1857, aged 50; Sarah, who married Lyman Smith of Preston, where she lived and died April 12, 1850, aged 49, and her husband November 5, 1847, aged 55; and a daughter. William, living in Norwich, and James and Smith, in Preston, sons of Walter Brown, and Lorana, wife of Oliver Miner and Alameda, wife of Adelbert Clarke, daughters of Joel F. Gleason, are grand-children of Stephen Brown's, and the only ones living in the county. Simon Turner was born in Stonington, Conn., in 1788, and removed with his parents at the age of ten years to Burlington, Otsego county, and from thence after about a year to Norwich, where he also resided about a year, when he removed to Preston, and lived for seventy-eight years on the same farm. He died July 8, 1879, by drowning in about four inches of water in the brook near his residence, to which it is supposed he went for the purpose of washing himself, and being very lame stumbled and fell, striking his head upon the stones, the fall rendering him unconscious. His wife preceded him in death several years. He left four children, among them Captain Daniel W. Turner of the 114th N. Y. Vols., now residing in Steamboat Rock, Ill.
John Wait settled at Preston Corners as early as 1801, Sept. 28 of which year he died there, aged 57. Mary, his wife, survived him many years. She died Jun 18, 1842, aged 94. His son Solomon died Sept. 25, 1846, aged 78 and Lucy, his wife, March 9, 1834, aged 64.
Wm. Clark, a Revolutionary soldier, removed from Hampton, Conn., to Burlington, Otsego county, in 1795, and thence in 1802 to Preston. He settled on 25 acres, a little north of the county house, now owned by Wm. Hall, the keeper of the Insane Asylum, which he traded after a few years for a farm of 100 acres a half mile west of Preston Corners, which is now owned by Wm. B. Nicholson, where he and his wife died. He died Oct. 4, 1840, aged 87; and his wife, Eunice F. Preston, to whom he was married in Conn., Oct. 31, 1856, aged 98. Two children came in with them, Eunice and Alfred, the latter of whom, born in Conn., June 13, 1789, is still living in Preston Corners, though he is quite deaf. He married Susy, daughter of Sylvester Miner, who died about 1863. They had nine children, six of whom grew to maturity: Albert G., a Universalist minister, who settled at De Ruyter, where he died in November, 1873; Laura Ann, widow of Ralph Crumb, now living at Preston Corners; Electa Louisa, widow of Wesley Powers; Lydia N., wife of Prentice Evans; and Eunice F., wife of J. J. Noyes, all living in Preston, and Wm. W. who married Martha McKibbin, and is living in Norwich, Eunice, sister of Alfred, married Wm. Nicholson, a native of Stonington, Conn., and both lived and died in Preston. Eunice died April 28, 1839, aged 58, and her husband in the fall of 1878. Their children were Amos, now living in Preston, who married Pamelia Fisher, who died in the spring of 1872; Wm. C., who married Christina Stockwell, and is also living in Preston; Lucy, who married Jesse Muncey, both of whom died in Truxton; Lois, who married Horace Wells, and is living in De Ruyter, and Calvin, who married Catharine Steere, and is living in Penn.
Wm. Walsworth also came in 1802. He settled on the road directly north from the Center, and died there Aug. 15, 1825, aged 70, and his wife, Esther, May 24, 1838, aged 83. Their children were Perez, who was demented, Nathan, William, Charles, Abel and Daniel, all of whom are dead. Eli Widger came in with a large family from New London, Conn., about 1802 or '3, and settled in the west part of the town, on the farm now owned by the heirs of his son William who died in the spring of 1879, and died there. His wife went to live with her daughter, in Potter county, Penn., and died there. He was a man of excellent repute, though he was credited with having led the British troops who burned New London during the war of the Revolution. His children were Jonathan, Elias, Fanny, who married a man named Hines, but did not live with him, and afterwards committed suicide, George, who suicided by cutting his throat, in 1850, William, who lived and died recently on the homestead, Eli, Henry, who was crazy and was burned to death, Polly, who married and removed to Potter county, Penn., Lucy, who married Ichabod Rogers and removed to Ohio, and Benjamin; none of whom are living, unless it be Benjamin.
Judge John Noyes, a native of Stonington, Conn., came from Guilford, Vt., in February, 1803, with his family, consisting of his wife, Priscilla Packer, a native of Vermont, and three children, Lydia, John and Daniel, the latter of whom was a year old the preceding December. He bought on the site of the County House an improved farm of 170 acres, of Gurdon Hewitt. He resided there till the opening of the war of 1812, when he entered the army as adjutant in Col. Thompson Mead's regiment. After the close of the war he removed his family to Norwich, where he resided till his death, Sept. 4, 1830, aged 61. His wife died Oct. 15, 1849, aged 78. While living in Preston he was engaged in farming; in Norwich he engaged in mercantile business, in which, after some two years, he was succeeded by his son John, who continued the business several years. He represented this county in the Assembly in 1810, and again in 1814; and the Middle District in the State Senate from 1817 till 1820. He was appointed Judge of the Chenango Court of Common Pleas by the Council of Appointment, and held the office of Judge till his death. He had four children after he came here, Priscilla, Betsey, Thomas J. and William P. Lydia, his daughter, married Dr. Wm. Mason, of Preston, and died there, leaving two children, Wm. N. Mason, a lawyer in Norwich, and Harriet, wife of Dr. William Pancost, of Camden, N. J. John married Clarissa, widow of Smith Miller, both of whom died in Norwich, the former July 9, 1852, aged 54, and the latter April 29, 1864, aged 69. He represented the 18th District in the State Senate in 1850 and '51. Daniel married Applia, daughter of Abner Dickinson, of Preston, where he engaged in mercantile business in 1837, continuing four years, a part of the time in company with his brother, Thomas J., being then and ever since then a live-stock dealer. He removed to Norwich in 1856, and still resides there, having been engaged in the mercantile business there two years while residing in Preston. His wife died Nov. 13, 1864. He afterwards married Sarah Ann, widow of Harmon Hickok, who is also living in Norwich. He had five children, all by his first wife, only one of whom is living, Ashbel A., in Hardin county, Iowa. He (Daniel) represented this county in the Assembly in 1844. Priscilla, who was born Sept. 16, 1806, married Delancey Wait and settled in Preston. They afterwards removed to Norwich, where both died, the former, Nov. 5, 1868, and the latter (born Dec. 7, 1799,) Feb. 7, 1867. They had no children. Thomas J. married Ellen, daughter of Nelson B. Hale, of Norwich, and settled and still lives, he and his wife, in that village, where for three or four years he was engaged in mercantile business, in company with his brother, William P. He was afterwards Superintendent on the Chenango canal, and is now Court Crier. He has three children living, James B., a physician in New Berlin, and Clarissa and Ellen, both living in Norwich. William P. married Helen, daughter of Hubbard B. Avery, and settled in Preston, afterwards removing to Norwich and subsequently to Iowa, where he died, and his wife still lives. He had three children, two of whom are living, Mary and Everett, both in Iowa.
Gashan Noyes, a Revolutionary soldier, and cousin to Judge John Noyes, came in two or three years later from Stonington, Conn., and settled two miles south-west of Preston Corners, on the place now owned by Thomas Holmes. He came in the summer season and brought his family, consisting of his wife and three children, Gashan, Henry and Mercy with an ox sled, wood-shod, drawn by a yoke of three-year old steers. He continued to reside there some fifty years, and removed after eighty years old with his children to Wisconsin, and died there. His children born here were Fanny, Polly, Isaac, Samuel and Percy.
William Packer came from Guilford, Vt., in 1804, and took up about 300 acres one and one-half miles south-east of Preston Corners. The farm on which he settled is now owned and occupied by his grandsons Austin J. and Perez Packer. He resided there till within four or five years of his death, when he removed to the place on which his grandsons above named now reside, and died there Oct. 5, 1852, aged 88. He married in Vermont, Sept. 18, 1785, Persis Bigelow, of Guilford, Vt., who died on the old place Sept. 9, 1836, aged 71. He was born Dec. 22, 1763, and his wife, Oct. 25, 1764. They had eight children, William, Perez, Jotham, Elisha, Charles E., Persis, Lucinda and Lucretia. William was born July 10, 1787, married Abigail Mason, and settled just below the county-house, on the place now owned by Stephen Franklin. He afterwards removed to the Corners and kept tavern there a good many years. He died in the town Dec. 16, 1874, and his wife March 24, 1869, aged 79. Perez was born Jan. 31, 1790, and Married Nancy Davis, of Oxford. He was a physician, and commenced practice at Latham's Corners, in the town of Guilford, about the opening of the war of 1812. He soon after removed to Oxford, where he became noted in his profession, and died there July 10, 1832, aged 42, and his wife Feb. 16, 1843, aged 47. Jotham was born July 14, 1792. He married Almira, sister of Abigail Mason, Jan. 14, 1819, and settled in Norwich village. The next year he bought 30 acres of the homestead farm in Preston. He afterwards removed to the farm on which his sons Austin J. and Perez now live, and died there June 23, 1876, and his wife Jan. 4, 1863, aged 70. Elisha was born March 31, 1796. He married Lucy, sister of Abigail and Almira Mason, and lived on various places in the town. Both he and his wife died at Preston Corners, the former Oct. 20, 1849, and the latter Aug. 23, 1873, aged 77. Charles E. was born March 4, 1799. He married and settled and died in Palmyra Feb. 2, 1826. Persis was born Feb. 22, 1802, and married Uri Tracy, of Oxford, where she lived and died May 3, 1857, and her husband April 6, 1856, aged 56. Lucinda was born Aug. 10, 1805, and married Squire Smith of Norwich, where she lived and died March 31, 1844. Lucretia was born Dec. 13, 1808, and died unmarried in Preston, Sept. 19, 1835.
Elder Davis Rogers and his son-in-law, Joseph Truman, came in from Waterford, Conn., about 1804, and settled on the road known as Rogers' street, in the west part of the town, the Elder a half mile south of the meeting house on that road, on the place now owned in part by Nathan Rogers, and Truman at what was known as Truman Corners, on the south-west corner, in which locality he was the first settler. They came across the country via Albany with teams, with their families, and both died upon the place on which they respectively settled, the former April 4, 1833, aged 78. The Elder's first wife, Hannah, died there Jan. 4, 1821, aged 70, and his second wife, Avis Burdick, in Pharsalia, Jan. 11, 1835, aged 56. Elder Rogers brought in eight children, four of whom were married when they came,---Davis, Silas, Amos, Adon, who lived and died on the homestead unmarried, June 9, 1851, aged 66, Nathan, Asenath, who married Joseph Truman and came in with him, Lydia and Patty. Davis married Polly, daughter of Jonathan Truman, of Long Island, and settled on the place now occupied by John C. Maxson, his son-in-law, near which place he died Oct. 9, 1845, aged 68. His wife died Sept. 8, 1845, aged 63. He had one child when he came, Jennette, who married Paul Maxson. His other children were Mary Ann, who married William Clark, of Preston, where she lived and died, and Harriet Alzina, who married Zebulon Rogers, who was drowned while crossing the ferry at New London. She afterwards married John C. Maxson, of Preston, where she is now living. Silas came with his wife, Sally, and one son, (Silas, who married Maria Yeomans, and after her death, Sept. 14, 1842, Polly Beardsley, with whom he is now living on Rogers street.) He settled where Emmet Leander Hammond now lives, and died there Feb. 21, 1870, aged 88, and his wife Oct. 1, 1877, aged 92. His other children were William, who married Lydia, daughter of James Pickett, of McDonough, and settled where his son Ellery now lives, and lived there till four years ago, when he removed to the town of Greene, where he now resides; Jemima, who married Jonathan D. Rogers, of Preston, where she lived and died, June 13, 1842, aged 69; Adon, who married Juliette Rogers and is now living in McDonough; Sarah, who married Daniel Yeomans, and is now living in Preston; Lydia, who married Stephen E. Brown, both of whom lived and died in Preston, the former Aug. 30, 1872, aged 52, and the latter, March 23, 1847, aged 26; Ezekiel C., who married Roxana Stanley and lived and died in German; Lucina, who died unmarried Feb. 12, 1870, aged 44; and James, who is living unmarried in Preston. Amos came with his wife, Mary Chapin, and two children, (Elpha, who married Daniel Lewis, and John, who married Ann Finch, both of whom are living,) and settled where Ezekiel Rogers now lives. His other children were Hannah, who is living unmarried in Preston; Davis, who married Roby, widow of Jesse Rogers, and is now living in Illinois; Polly, who married Henry Langworthy, and lived and died in Brookfield; Juliette, who married Adon Rogers, and is living in McDonough; Tryphena, who married Henry Hull, and is living in Oxford; Abigail, who married Horace Champlin, and is living in Farina, Ill.; Amos, who married Jane Rogers, also living in Illinois; and Phebe, who married German Soper, and lives in Minnesota. Nathan married Phebe, daughter of Rogers Davis, of Brookfield, and settled on the homestead farm. He afterwards removed to Connecticut, and died there. They had no children. Lydia married Orange Holcomb, of Plymouth, where she lived and died. Her children were John, who removed to Ohio and married there, Orange, Betsey and Maria, the latter of whom married John Truman. Patty married Alvah Doud, and settled first in Preston; afterwards removed to Ohio, and subsequently, after the death of her husband, to Illinois, where she died.
Joseph Truman's children were Polly, who married Thomas Griffin, and lived and died in Oxford; Cynthia, who married John Truman, and lived and died in Wisconsin; Clarissa, who married Clark Truman, and lived and died in Otselic; Sophia, who married Henry Crumb, and lived and died in Georgetown; John, who married and lived in Otselic; Nathan, who married a Burdick and is living in Alfred, Allegany county; Henry, who married a Salisbury and lived and died in Wisconsin; William, who married a Babcock, and is a physician in Alfred, Allegany county; and Asenath, who married Orlando Holcomb, both of whom lived and died in De Ruyter.
Ethan Rogers, a half-brother of Elder Davis Rogers, came from Waterford, Conn., his native place, in 1806, and settled a mile below the meeting-house, on Rogers street, where his son Nathan now lives. This is said to be the only place in the west part of the town now owned by the descendants of those who first settled them. He brought his wife, Sally, daughter of Jonathan and Annie Truman, and five children. His children were Ethan, who married Fanny Davis, is living in Preston, aged 83; Clark Truman, who married Nancy Williams of Oneida county, and after her death, Laura, widow of George Benjamin, and is living in Sangerfield, Oneida county, aged 81; Susan, who married Elder Ephraim Curtis, and lived and died in Truxton; Jesse, who married Roby Willmarth, sister of Galon Willmarth, and lived and died in Preston, March 21, 1832, aged 28; Sarah Ann, who married Hial Williams and is living in Brookfield; Jonathan D., who married Jemima Rogers, and after her death, which resulted from a cancer, July 29, 1859, Rachel A. Mapes, with whom he is living in Preston; Ezra Harris, who died at the age of about 17; Nathan, who married Harriet Clark, and is living on the homestead; Betsey, who married Thomas Holmes, both of whom are living in Brookfield; and Jennette, who married Clark T. Rogers, both of whom are living in Preston. Both Ethan and his wife died on the farm on which they settled, the former April 25, 1841, aged 73, and the latter Oct. 21, 1860, aged 83.
The Rogerses and Trumans, who intermarried a great deal, were Seventh Day Baptists, and all settled on the road known as Rogers street. In 1816 a church of that denomination was organized from members of these families, and a meeting-house, which is now in use, was built some 44 years ago.
William Kelsey, brother of Dr. Alex. Kelsey, came in from New Boston, N. H., in 1805, and settled a mile west of Preston Corners, on a farm adjoining his brother's, which is now occupied in part by Augustus Slater and his son Edwin Kelsey, the latter of whom owns the homestead plot. He married Mary Tewksbury, of Vermont, in the winter of 1804, and moved in with his wife the following spring. He afterwards removed a mile further west to the farm now owned by James D. Franklin, where he died March 16, 1851, aged 76, and his wife Oct. 29, 1869, aged 85. His children were Caroline, Mary Ann, widow of Nelson M. Slater, (who died Aug. 23, 1872,) and is living at Preston Corners with her youngest son, Augustus W.; Daniel D., living in Pharsalia; Emeline, who married Henry Ferry and lived and died in Norwich in 1876; Delia E. and Julia, unmarried, and Edwin, living together at Preston Corners; Jane R., wife of Charles Wallsworth, living in Norwich, and Hannah N., wife of Jeduthan Newton, also of Norwich.
Other early settlers were: Rev. Hazard Burdick, who settled near the line of Plymouth, afterwards removed to the Rhode Island settlement and died there Jan. 25, 1841, aged 82, and Esther, his wife, Aug. 28, 1847, aged 95; (Their children were Hazard, who died Nov. 31, 1873, aged 89, Samuel, John, and three daughters, one of whom married David Eccleston, son of the original settler of that name;) Abraham, Avery, who settled on the Norwich road, two and one-half miles east of Preston Corners, on the farm now owned by the heirs of Augustus Ross, and after the death of his wife, Mercy, removed to the town of Hamilton, where he died; Micah Gross, who settled on the road from Preston to Norwich, and afterwards removed to the locality of North Norwich; Phineas Wells, who settled a mile and a half east of Preston Corners, where Patrick and John Redden now live, and died there Feb. 8, 1831, aged 59, also Electa, his first wife, Oct. 18, 1806, aged 33, and Abigail, his second wife, Aug. 31, 1829, aged 61; Lucius Graves, who married Submit, sister of Daniel Scott, (who settled in the south edge of Plymouth,) and settled in the north part of the town, where Noah Wightman now lives, and died there Feb. 24, 1842, aged 66, and his wife August 17, 1851, aged 77; Capt. John Harvey, a Revolutionary soldier, who settled about a mile and a half south-west of Preston Corners, afterwards removed to the Corners and died there May 9, 1848, aged 86; Major James McCall, who settled in the south part of the town, a mile below the Center, on the place now owned by John Miner, and died Jan. 25, 1867, aged 80, and his wife Hannah, Oct. 11, 1855, aged 72; Wade and Clark Hough, brothers, who came from the New England States, and settled, the former three-fourths of a mile below Preston Center, where Edward Coville now lives and died there August 14, 1865, aged 77, and his wife, Mary, June 5, 1868, aged 79, and the latter on the farm next south, where James Thompson now lives, and died there Dec. 5, 1854, aged 62; and Servivah E., his wife, March 6, 1867, aged 70; Gurdon Whiteley, who was born in Lebanon, Ct., in 1790, was a bachelor, and made his home with Clark Hough, where he died Dec. 24, 1864; Ephraim Wells, who settled about a mile east of the Center, where Michael Scanlon now lives, and died there; Angell Stead, who settled on the same locality as Wells, his farm being also occupied by Michael Scanlon, where he died June 27, 1833, aged 54, and Ruth, his wife, April 19, 1842, aged 67; Capt. Joseph Slater, who settled on the farm next east of Stead's, which is now occupied by Edward Clark, and died there; Major Gideon Wetmore, who settled half a mile below the Center, on the place now occupied by Charles Breed, and after the death of his wife, Sarah Scott, March 18, 1856, aged 84, removed to Norwich, where he died Dec. 21, 1861, aged 92; Asa Fanning, a Revolutionary soldier, and a brother-in-law of David Eccleston's, came in from the New England States, and settled about a mile south-east of Preston Corners, where Patrick Casey now lives, and died there; Cyrryl Carpenter came in from the New England States and settled on the farm opposite Major Wetmore's, which is now owned by Charles Breed, where he died June 1, 1832, aged 73, and Lydia, his wife, May 12, 1837, aged 72; Joshua Aldrich, who settled in the north-east part of the town and removed when well advanced in years to North Norwich, where he died Oct. 17, 1849, aged 90, and Ruth, his wife, Jan. 11, 1851, aged 95; George Crary, the death of whose infant child is said to have been the first in the town; and William McAlpine, who was the first teacher in the town.
TOWN OFFICERS.---The first town meeting was held at the house of William Palmer, April 14, 1807, and the following named officers were elected: John Noyes, Supervisor; Thomas Richmond, Clerk; Randall Billings, Joshua A. Burk and Simon Willcox, Assessors; Frederick Bacon, Collector; Dudley Hewitt and Sylvanus Moore, overseers of the Poor; Abijah Barrow, Benjamin Ketchum and Samuel Nichols, Commissioners of Highways; Elisha Spafford, Frederick Barrow, Hugh Smith, Jr., James Sloan and Thomas Randall, Constables; William Smiley, Jr., Jesse T. Leach and Jonas Marsh, Fence Viewers; David Eccleston, Jonas Marsh, Simon Willcox and Ebenezer Willcox, Pound Keepers.
The following list of the officers of the town of Preston, for the year 1880-81, was kindly furnished by George A. Smith:---
Supervisor---Rowland B. Bliven.
Town Clerk---George A. Smith.
Justices---William Ross, Edward S. Clark, William Smith.
Assessors---William A. Brown, Michael O. Day, Sylvester Crumb.
Commissioner of Highways---William H. Packer.
Overseer of the Poor---Rufus Graves.
Constables---Loren H. Janes, Franklin P. Maxon, Charles Roe.
Collector---Franklin P. Maxon.
Inspectors of Election---Loren H. Janes, Henry B. Seely, George H. Nicholson.
Town Auditors---William B. Lewis, Dudley Brown.
Excise Commissioner---Prentice Evans.
Preston is situated north of the center of the town, on the stage line from Norwich to Cortland, and is distant from the former village about five miles. It receives a mail each alternate day from the east and west. As viewed from the range of hills in the west part of the town, it, with the hills, upon the side of which it is situated, presents a pleasing appearance. It contains three churches, (Baptist, M. E. and Universalist,) one district school, one hotel, which was built in 1836 by Colonel Daniel Noyes, who kept it for a while, and has been kept the last seven years by James Jackson Noyes, a blacksmith shop, kept by George Smith, a shoe shop, kept by Loren Janes, a cheese factory, and a population of 63. The place is locally known as Preston Corners.
MERCHANTS.---Ebenezer Hall, of Massachusetts, sent his son and a man named Pelton to open a store here, about 1830. They did business here but a few years. They are believed to have been the first merchants at the Corners. They traded in the building next south of the hotel, which is now occupied by George Smith, the blacksmith. Peter Ely afterwards kept a small grocery for a short time. Daniel Noyes, son of Judge John Noyes, traded here four years, from 1837. There has been no store of any consequence here since. A few goods are kept in the bar-room of the hotel by the Proprietor, Mr. Noyes. The post-office is also kept there. Charles W. Powers, the present Postmaster, was appointed in 1873.
PHYSICIANS.---The first physician who practiced in this locality was Dr. Alexander Kelsey, who came from New Boston, N. H., his native place, about 1805, and settled about a mile west of Preston Corners, on the farm which is owned in part by Edwin Kelsey and in part by Charles W. Powers. He practiced here till about 1813, when he removed to Monroe county, where he was killed by the fall of a tree while riding out to visit a patient. He was probably the first physician in the town.
The first physician to locate at the Corners was Dr. William Mason, from whom they were once known as Mason's Corners. He came from Windham county, Conn., about 1809. He had studied medicine in Connecticut, but this was his first field of practice. He continued practice here till 1853, when failing health compelled him to relinquish it, and he removed that year to Norwich village to live with his son, William N., where he died Jan. 13, 1860, aged 73. His wife died in Preston in 1853, and that bereavement was the immediate cause of his removal to Norwich. They had three children, William N., a lawyer, who married Sarah M., daughter of George A. Cary, son of Anson Cary, one of the first settlers in Oxford, with whom he is now living in Norwich; Harriet B., who married Dr. D. P. Pancost, of Camden, N. J., where they settled and are still living; and Lydia Amelia, who died at the age of 14 years. Dr. Mason represented this county in the Assembly in 1820-22. Dr. Mason came in with his father, General James Mason, who brought in a large family and settled just east of Preston Corners, where he died Sept. 10, 1820, aged 61. His wife, Abigail, died in the house which forms a part of the residence of Edwin Kelsey May 8, 1836, aged 74. Julia, widow of Deacon Phineas Atwater, of Guilford, now living at Preston Corners is the only member of the General's family living. Dr. Mason occupied the house in which Dr. Thomas Dwight now resides.
Dr. Thomas Dwight was born in Cincinnatus, Sept. 1, 1817. He studied medicine with Dr. William Mason at Preston Corners, and was graduated from Geneva Medical College in February, 1847. He commenced practice at Preston Corners in 1845, and has since practiced there.
DeWitt C. Crumb, a native of Preston, son of Ralph Crumb, studied medicine with Dr. Thomas Dwight, and practiced here from 1871 to 1873, the first year in company with Dr. Dwight. He removed to Otselic, where he is now practicing.
CHURCHES.---The first Church in the town was of the Baptist denomination. It was organized in 1806, by Elder Haskall, the first preacher.2 We find a record of a religious society in this town, which was organized June 20, 1801, as "The Second Society in the town of Norwich, known by the name of Cheley," at a meeting "of the inhabitants on the square No. 14," (the present town of Preston,) Silas Champlin and Gurdon Hewitt were chosen returning officers, and Silas Champlin, Nathan Squire, Frederick Bacon, Israel Clark, Randall Billings and Thomas Richmond were elected trustees. The record does not indicate the denomination. The next of which we have any information was the Seventh Day Baptist Church on Rogers street, which was organized in 1816. This latter was incorporated Feb. 9, 1835, as The First Seventh Day Baptist Society of Preston, at a meeting held at the house of William Clark in Preston. John J. Maxson was chairman of the meeting and Elder Burdick Wescote, clerk. Nathan Rogers, William Clark and Nicholas Rogers were elected trustees. The church belonging to this society was built about that year.
The First Congregational Union Society of Preston, was organized March 27, 1822, by a committee of the Union Association consisting of Revs. Charles Thorp and Asa Donaldson and Mr. Asa Bradley, and was incorporated at Crandall's Inn in Preston, April 17, 1822. Randall Billings and Samuel Seymour were chosen presiding officers of the meeting held for the purpose, and Ephraim Wells, Abner Dickinson, Calvin Comstock, William Packer, Jr., Eliel Williams and Samuel Seymour were elected trustees. This Society, which had become dissolved by reason of negligence to elect its officers, was re-incorporated March 31, 1836, as The First Congregational Society of the Town of Preston, the word Union being omitted. James McCall, Abner Dickinson, Ebenezer W. Coville, Elisha Packer, George Wells and Lester Turner were elected trustees at that time. A church was built at the Center in 1835, and the society prospered for several years, as late as 1848.
The Baptist Society of Preston was organized at a meeting held in the school-house near Daniel Noyes, Jr's., in Preston, Monday, Nov. 13, 1837. Jabez S. Swan and Samuel Noyes were chosen to preside at that meeting, and Joseph Slater, John Hall, Allen Park, Galon Willmarth, Samuel Noyes and Elias Breed were elected trustees. The Preston Baptist Church, at Preston Corners, the outgrowth of this society, was organized May 2, 1838, at the meeting house, where religious services had previously been held a short time by Elder Jabez S. Swan, who was chosen moderator of the meeting, and was the first pastor. The original members were Gershom Noyes, Joshua Swan, Jr., Ezra Bradley, William B. Lewis, Samuel Noyes, Harry Noyes, Isaac Noyes, Aaron Strong, James August Surine, Ebenezer Hall, John Hall, William Hull, Elder Jabez S. Swan, who settled in the town about 1837, Polly Noyes, Lydia Nichols, Sally Bradley, Lydia Slater, Rachel Lewis, Electa Noyes, Hannah Noyes, Orinda H. Ray, Caroline Ray, Mary Ray, Lydia Eccleston, Adaliza Fletcher, Maria M. Fletcher, Phebe Hall, Adaliza Hall, Mary Hall, Persis Noyes, and Lydia Houghtaling.
Articles of faith and covenant were adopted May 2, 1838, and they were admitted to Church fellowship, by a council convened for the purpose at Preston, Nov. 27, 1838. They were received into the Chenango Baptist Association Sept. 6, 1839.
Elder Swan closed his labors April 1, 1839, having served them half the time from Dec. 1, 1838. He was succeeded by Levi Peck, who was invited in April to stay two weeks with a view to settlement as pastor, and received a call May 12, 1839. He closed his labors in the spring of 1840. He is now living in Delaware county, aged 88. Elder Peck was followed in March, 1840, by Elder Caleb Bush, who received a call March 31, 1840, and closed his labors in the spring of 1842. Sept. 3, 1842, Henry H. Rogers was voted a license to preach, and it is presumed that he, though he was never ordained, filled the interval from the time Mr. Bush left till the next regular pastor began his labors, which seems to have been Rev. Mr. Downer whose name first appears in the records March 2, 1844. Mr. Downer served them about two years. He was succeeded in May, 1844, by Nelson Crandall. The Church having in 1847 just finished paying for their house seem to have labored under peculiarly stringent pecuniary embarrassments about this time, for Jan. 8, 1848, they voted to dismiss Mr. Crandall, because of their inability to support his "large family." He preached his farewell sermon April 2, 1848.
Reuben L. Warriner commenced his labors with the church April 30, 1848, and was called to the pastorate May 6, 1848, serving them six years. During his pastorate, in 1850, the church was reduced in size from 40 by 60 feet to 34 by 46 feet, lowered eight feet, and proportionately reduced in height, at a cost of about $800. Elder Warriner was a carpenter and worked upon the church while it was being rebuilt.
Elder Warriner was succeeded in the pastorate by O. Bennett and he by M. M. Everts, the latter of whom remained two years. He came Jan. 15, 1856, in company with Elder Yale, and under their joint labors a revival was inaugurated which resulted in ten conversions. Elder Everts commenced his labors as pastor April 7, 1856. About the close of his pastorate the Church numbered 67. April 1, 1858, O. Bennett again began preaching and continued about two years. He was succeeded April 8, 1860, by W. F. Benedict, a student from Madison University, who preached his farewell sermon March 24, 1861.
April 14, 1861, Henry Garlick commenced a three years' pastorate which was early signalized by a marked activity in both the spiritual and temporal concerns of the Church. April 21, 1861, the Sabbath School was organized, with Elder Garlick as general superintendent, Deacon William B. Lewis as assistant, and Rudolphus Wallsworth as librarian. The report to the Association that year shows the number of scholars to have been 78 and teachers 12. In 1861 a parsonage was purchased at a cost of $1,100.
After Elder Garlick left, the pulpit was supplied for about two years, principally by J. S. McKeen and W. C. Gunn, students from Madison University, the former of whom served them about a year. In 1866, the interior of the church was remodeled. Marcus Bennett became the pastor in the spring of 1867 and remained one year. He was succeeded by his brother, J. L. Bennett, who was dismissed April 23, 1871. He was followed by James Heath, who closed his labors in December, 1872. L. F. Moore, the next pastor, commenced his labors in January, 1873, and remained a year and a half. He was succeeded by T. J. Whittaker, who commenced his labors Oct. 4, 1874, and continued them two and a half years. After Elder Whittaker left, the pulpit was supplied for a few weeks by Rev. A. B. Jones, and from that time till April, 1878, when Rev. A. P. Merrill, the present pastor, commenced his labors, by various students from Madison University.
In 1875, the church was painted inside, the seats turned, and the pulpit removed from the south to the north end.
The present membership (July, 1879) is 53.
The First Universalist Society of the Town of Preston was organized at a meeting held in the school-house at Preston Corners, Dec. 18, 1843. Solomon Wait was appointed Moderator and George A. Throop, Clerk, Augustus Ross, Joel F. Gleason and Lyman Smith were elected Trustees. The nucleus of the church was gathered the preceding winter, under the ministrations of Rev. John T. Goodrich, who was then pastor of the church in Oxford, and who continued to officiate here for several years, during the period of his pastorate at Oxford. Mr. Goodrich is supposed to have been burned in the Chicago fire, as he was there the night previous to its occurrence and has not been seen since.
Prominent among the original members were Augustus Ross and his wife Lois, Joel Gleason and his wife Louisa, Lyman Smith and his wife Sally, Solomon Wait and his wife, Sally, Polly, daughter of Augustus Ross, (now living,) Alfred Clark, (now living in Preston,) and his wife Susy and daughter Electa, now the widow of Wesley Powers, and living in Preston, George Throop, Lydia, daughter, and Lester, son of Lyman Smith, the latter now living in Oxford, and Elizabeth Johnson.
The building of the church was begun in 1848, and finished in 1849. It was dedicated in June of the latter year.
The church has not had a resident pastor, and meetings are held only occasionally. The Universalists were far more numerous thirty years ago than now.3
The Preston Methodist Episcopal Church was organized as the Preston charge May 1, 1860, with William W. Andrews preacher in charge. The first stewards were King Evans, Lucius Aldrich, Calvin J. Wright, George Evans, and Horace Corbin; the first leaders, William Woodard, Peleg Ashcraft, King Evans and David Baldwin.
Rev. Mr. Andrews removed May 1, 1862. The interval from that time to 1865 is supposed to have been filled by Rev. Mr. Brown. The pastors subsequent to that time were: A. M. Colegrove, 1865-67; McKendree Shaw, Feb. 2, 1867, and during that year; C. D. Shepherd, 1868; A. W. Barrows, 1869; Abijah Brown, 1870-72; J. Hurlburt, 1873-75; C. C. Williams, 1876; George Parsons 1877-78; and J. B. Santee, the present pastor, who commenced his labors in April, 1879.
Their church edifice was built in 1867, at a cost of about $2,500. Services previous to that time were held in the Universalist church. June 21, 1871, the circulation of a subscription for the purpose of building a parsonage and barn was commenced, and $1,342.85 was subscribed by 31 individuals. The parsonage was built in 1871.
The present membership is 59; the attendance at Sabbath-school, 125.
The county-house is located in this town on a sightly eminence about a half mile south of Preston Corners. A description of it is given in connection with the county buildings, in the general history of the county.
On Fly Meadow Creek, three-fourths of a mile west of Preston Corners, is a saw-mill, which was built in the fall of 1833, by Aaron Lewis. It was afterwards sold to John Slater, who commenced the manufacture of cheese boxes and wagon hubs about 1844, and sold the property in May, 1847, to Wesley Powers, who increased the facilities for manufacturing in 1850, by the addition of a new shop, which was enlarged in 1858, by an addition for a planing machine. Mr. Powers continued the business till his death, Aug. 10, 1870, when it came into the possession of his son, Charles W. Powers, the present proprietor, who, in June, 1871, substituted a circular saw for the muley saw formerly used, at an expense of about $1,500. June 21, 1876, the mill was burned, involving a loss of about $3,000 on the mill, shop and their contents, and $1,000 on lumber stored on the premises, on which there was no insurance. That fall the foundation for the present mill was built, and the following April the frame was put up and inclosed, the whole involving an expense of about $1,000. The cheese-box factory has not been rebuilt. The business is now limited to the manufacture of lumber. The mill contains one of R. Hoe & Co.'s patent chisel tooth saws.
On Judson Creek, in the south part of Preston, is a saw-mill owned by Z. L. Drake, who came in possession in the spring of 1878, at which time he bought of Samuel E. Lewis. The mill was built by John Bliven about ten years ago, on the site of one built about fifty years ago by Abel Smith. It contains one circular saw.
WAR OF THE REBELLION.---At a special town meeting, held Sept. 10, 1862, a bounty of $100 was voted to volunteers who enlisted and were accepted from Aug. 20, 1862, to the expiration of the time in which the quota under the call for 600,000 men was required to be filled, to the number required to fill the quota of the town under that call. Henry P. Marion, William Packer and John C. Maxson were appointed a committee to pay said bounty.
January 6, 1864, a bounty of $323, in addition to the $300 voted by the Board of Supervisors, was voted to each volunteer accepted under the last call for 200,000 men. It was resolved to pay one-fifth of the principal sum required to meet this provision and the interest at 7 per cent, annually till the whole was paid. Jeduthan Newton, Jr., Samuel E. Lewis and Russell Maxson were appointed a committee to issue the bonds of the town, raise the money thereon and pay the bounties. The representatives from this district in Senate and Assembly were requested to use their influence to secure the repeal of all laws in conflict with this action.
At a special meeting held April 29, 1864, a bounty of not to exceed $400 was voted to each volunteer to the number necessary to fill the quota under the call of March 15, 1864, for 200,000 men.
At a special meeting held Aug. 4, 1864, a bounty not to exceed $1,000 for three years' men, $666.66 for two years' men, and $333.33 for one year's men, was voted to each volunteer applied on the quota of the town under the call of July 18, 1864, for 500,000 men; and John C. Maxson, Rufus Graves and Joseph A. Coville were appointed to carry the resolution into effect, to issue bonds payable Feb. 1, 1865, for so much as could then be raised, the remainder to be paid Feb. 1, 1866, and were instructed to secure the requisite number of men for as much less as they could. This resolution was amended Sept. 6, 1864, by a vote of 70 to 28, so as to authorize the committee to pay an additional bounty of $666.67 to recruits for one year. A proposition to increase the bounty to three years' men by $200 was rejected by a vote of 17 to 86.
At a special meeting held Jan. 3, 1865, it was resolved to raise $12,000, or so much thereof as should be necessary, to pay bounties to volunteers and persons furnishing substitutes under the call of Dec. 19, 1864, for 300,000 men. Clark T. Rogers and John C. Maxson were appointed to procure the men and pay, in their discretion, for one, two or three years' men such amount as they deemed best, not to exceed in the aggregate $12,000; and they were authorized to pay to each person furnishing a substitute credited to the town on that call for three years $800.
Following is a statement of bonds and other forms of indebtedness issued by the town in aid of the suppression of the Rebellion:---
Notes given in 1863 by Volunteer Committee to raise money to pay bounties, $ 1,400.00 Bonds issued March 12, 1864, 4,300.00 " " August 13, 1864, 15,000.00 " " May, 13, 1864, 3,000.00 " " Sept. 26, 1864, 1,558.00 " " Jan. 13, 1865, 10,000.00 Deduct amount of bonds canceled at the house of Van Ness Glazier, 35,258.00 Feb. 14, 1865, for which the Committee had no use, $1,800.00 Deduct Proceeds from sale of State Bonds, principal, 6,912.50 interest, 255.38 7,167.88 8,967.88 -------- -------- -------- Bonded indebtedness incurred by the town in aid of the war, $26,190.12
The last of the war loan bonds were paid Feb. 1, 1870, principal and interest, and all the bonds except Nos. 1 to 8, both inclusive, for $100 each, which were missing, were burned Feb. 20, 1871.
Statement of expenses incurred in aid of the war:---
Paid bounties to 14 volunteers to Nov. 6, 1863, $100 each, $1,400.00 Expenses 129.73 Paid bounties to 12 volunteers to March 17, 1864, $323 each, 3,876.00 Paid for printing bonds $11.00 " " Internal Revenue Stamps, 4.30 " " interest on money to Delancey Wait, 2.23 Paid for interest on money to Russel Maxson .87 ------ 18.40 Paid bounties to 8 volunteers to May 7, 1864, $375 each, 3,000.00 Paid for drafts on New York 72.50 Paid for stamp on joint note, 5.00 ------ 77.50 Paid bounty to one man enlisted in Virginia, 600.00 Paid Sweet & Wheeler on contract,4 12,030.00 Paid J. A. Coville, 30.00 Paid expenses to Washington and other places to procure recruits, 310.44 Paid Austin J. Packer 318.99 " Perez Packer, 318.99 " William Packer, 425.32 " to 9 persons furnishing substitutes under call of Dec. 19, 1864, $800 each, 7,200.00 Paid to one person furnishing substitute under call of July 18, 1864 800.00 Amount on deposit in Washington to pay for one man when enlisted and mustered, 350.00 ---------- Total, $30,885.37
The number who enlisted and were credited to this town, as appears from the records, was 86 soldiers and 13 seamen, of whom 17 were residents of Preston and 8 of other towns in this county; one bore the rank of captain and three were sergeants; 58 enlisted for three years, and one each for one and two years - with regard to the remainder the term of service is not indicated; two were students, thirty-eight farmers, two shoe-makers, two soldiers, and the professions of carpenters, boatmen, clerks and laborers each furnished one representative. So far as is indicated they were distributed among the various branches of the service as follows: Infantry regiments, 21 in the 114th, 5 in the 44th, 2 in the 89th, 8 in the 149th, 3 in the 161st, and 1 each in the 54th, 43d, 121st, 75th and 101st; cavalry regiments, 8 in the 10th, 10 in the 8th, 5 in the 22d and 1 in the 5th; artillery regiments, 2 in the 2d, 1 in the 16th: and 1 in the 8th New York Battery.