The author of this work never expected until lately to make his appearance in this manner before the public. When he commenced writing this history he only intended to write a little sketch and put it in a newspaper for the benefit of the public. After a few articles had been published, fellow townsmen appealed and urged him, contrary to his own wishes, to look up and write a larger and more complete history of the town. After due consideration he consented to do so. It has cost a lot of hard work and a great deal of time to compile it, getting only a portion of it from any history, while the greater part had to be gleaned from the older inhabitants, which had to be done by traveling from house to house, making well on to a hundred miles, so you see it was no easy task to get up this history as most of the traveling was done on foot. Now if the reader should see some slight mistake I hope he will forgive, for he must remember that it had to be gleaned from old people that were 70 and 80 years old, and who at that age can have a memory so keen that they might not make some slight mistake; for they all had to tell it from memory. But on the whole I think it is as perfect any history can be.
The writer has put in some incidents, anecdotes, and some thrilling scenes, showing the physical strength and courage, and the determined will of our forefathers in coming into the then new country covered with dense forests, inhabited by wild beast and the more dreaded savage foe, the red man, to make homes for themselves and their posterity. He has also put in several poems, which are very appropriate, written for special occasions, by the poet and poetess of the town. It also contains all the most important events that have ever happened in the town. The mothers in those early times had much to do with shaping the destiny of the town, most of them coming from Connecticut, of the old Puritan stock. They could not bear to see the Sabbath day desecrated, so they held meetings every Sabbath, going from house to house, holding some kind of a religious meeting till the first church in town was organized.
The author submits this history to the public in the hope that those who read it will be inspired with as much of the spirit of courage, fidelity to home, of patriotism for country and brotherly love for each other as has been shown from the thousands of incidents; of courage and bravery with which our forefathers were inspired, scenes that are close to the human heart and which bring with them the glow of manhood and womanhood, showing the test of their courage and their heroism of everyday life.
NOTE.-The reader will find the words "old Chenango road" a good many times in the history. The younger people probably don't know what it means or where it is, or how it came there. In the Revolutionary war, before pioneers ever set foot on this soil to claim it, the Indians rose up against the whites in Wyoming Valley, Penn., and massacred them with great slaughter, also in Cherry Valley, N. Y. General Sullivan with several thousand men and cannon was sent out from Philadelphia to subdue the savage foe. After subduing them at Wyoming he started for Cherry Valley, coming through Elmira and Binghamton, then to Chenango Forks, from there he wanted to go to Bainbridge which was at that time a solid wilderness. So he had to cut his road through coming by the way of North Fenton, through Lower Page Brook by the white school house and where Henry SPENCER now lives, and Guy WYLIE's up the hill, the Matthew HOYT place, Thomas TIFFT farm down by the PEARSALL farm and so on through Wilkins Settlement, if I am informed right, and through to Bainbridge. This was the old Chenango road known as the Chenango and Catskill turnpike and the first road in town. The one now running from Greene to Bainbridge is part of the old Catskill and Ithaca turnpike.
OLIVER P. JUDD
Transcribed by Sandy Goodspeed, Sept. 2002