Gazetteer of Towns


    GERMAN, named from General Obadiah German, the original owner of the township, was formed from DeRuyter, (Madison Co.) March 21, 1806. It was called Brakel Township at first. Otselic was taken off in 1817, Lincklaen in 1823, and in 1827 it was still further reduced by taking off a part of Pitcher. It is located centrally upon the west border of the County, has a hilly surface and is watered by several brooks flowing southward through the town, and forming what is called the Five Streams. The soil is a sandy and gravelly loam, well adapted to grazing.

    German, (p. o.) is situated on the west border of the town, and contains a Free Will Baptist church, a school house, a store, a marble shop, a hotel, and nine dwellings with a population of forty-three.

    East German (p. o.) is situated on the south-east border and contains a Methodist church, a school-house, a blacksmith shop, a shoe shop and twelve dwellings, with a population of forty-four.

    The first settlement was made by Benjamin Cleveland, from Oneida County. Abraham Livermore settled with his wife and children at Livermore's Corners, (German p. o.) in 1796. The names of the children were as follows: Abraham Jr., Becka, Daniel, Polly, Abel, Cyrus, Hepsey, Sally and Martin. These two families, so remote from any other settlement, suffered great privations and hardships during the first few years of their settlement here. In June 1796, Mr. Cleveland's family were entirely destitute of provisions, and to procure a supply for their pressing necessities, he started for Fort Stanwix, (now Rome,) intending to return in three or four days. He was detained longer than he expected, and on the fourth day of his absence, Mrs. Cleveland and the children, who had eaten nothing for three days except a few roots found in the woods, started for their nearest neighbors in Cincinnatus, on the Otselic, four and a half miles distant. When about a mile from home they were frightened by the appearance of a bear in their path, and thought it prudent to return. The next morning the mother was too weak to walk and the two older children again set out for Mr. Raymond'' on the Otselic. Mrs. Raymond was almost as destitute as those who sought her aid, but made a pudding of bran, the only article of food in the house, and bestowed this and a bottle of milk upon her starving neighbors, which sustained them until relief came. At another time, when the family were reduced to the greatest extremity, two unmilked cows came to their house at night and went away in the morning, furnishing the family with a supply of milk for several days. It was never known where the cows came from or whither they went. Other families suffered in a similar manner, but by patient endurance they lived to enjoy the comforts and many of the luxuries of life.

    The first birth was that of Polly Cleveland in 1796; the first marriage that of Jonathan Head and Hepsey Livermore, and the first death that of a Mr. Hartshorn. Abraham Livermore kept the first inn; Jonathan Chandler kept the first store and erected the first mill and factory, on the east branch of the Otselic River. The State Gazetteer says, "The first church, (Presb.) was formed at an early period, and a M. E. association was formed in 1815, at the house of Walter Oyshlenbank." I find no mention of the organization of any Presbyterian church in Hotchkin's History.

    The population of German in 1865, was 778, and its area 17,386 acres.

    The number of school districts is nine; number of the school population, 254; number attending school, 231; the average attendance, 106, and the amount expended for school purposes the last year was $2,003.68.


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