Gazetteer of Towns


    McDONOUGH, named in honor of Commodore McDonough, of the United States Navy, was formed from Preston, April 17, 1816. It is an interior town, lying west of the center of the County. The surface is hilly and in some places broken by deep ravines and sharp ridges extending north and south. The principal drainage of the town is Bowman's and Genegantslet's Creeks and their tributaries. Genegantslet Lake is a fine sheet of water on the west border of the town. The soil is a clay loam, better adapted to grazing and dairying than to tillage. This town was number fifteen of the Chenango Twenty Towns.

    McDonough, (p. v.) situated in the western part, on Genegantslet Creek, contains two churches, viz., Baptist and Methodist, four stores, a hotel, a school house, a harness shop, three blacksmith shops, two tanneries and fifty-six dwellings, with a population of about 300. There is also a foundry and manufactory of edge tools and agricultural implements. It was erected in 1846 and is doing an extensive business. There is a valuable quarry of building stone near the village.

    East McDonough, (p. v.) situated in the east part, contains a Free Will Baptist church, a school house, a hotel, a grocery, a store, two blacksmith shops, a shoe shop and about a dozen dwellings.

    The first settlements were made in 1795, by Nathaniel Locke, Loring and Emery Willard, Henry Ludlow and others. Edward Colburn, Benjamin Ketchum, Benjamin Kenyon, Ephraim Fish, John Anderson, Nehemiah Dunbar, Jonah and Sylvanus Moore, Joseph and Ransom Cook, William Mead, William Norton, Daniel Wainwright, Adam Oyshlenbank and M. Turner, settled in the town previous to 1808.

    The first marriage was that of Sylvanus Moore, and the first death that of Mrs. Benjamin Ketchum. The first school was taught by Captain Joshua A. Burke. Sylvanus Moore kept the first inn, in 1799, and Henry Ludlow the first store, in 1802. The first saw-mill was erected on the outlet of Genegantslet Lake, in 1798, by Henry Ludlow, and the first grist-mill by Gates Wilcox, in 1808. This mill was subsequently replaced by a stone one by the same man. The first paper mill was built at the village in 1828, by J. Nevins. The first house was erected in the village of McDonough by Micah Coville, who came here in 1818. He is still living, and eighty-six years of age. The first frame house was built by Messrs. Sloan and Fanning. The first white child born in the village was Leroy Coville, son of Micah Coville, in 1818. The first religious society, (M. E.) was organized in 1798. The Congregational Church was organized July 28, 1814, by Rev. John Truair, of Sherburne. At its organization it consisted of fourteen members, mostly from Massachusetts. The Church adopted the Presbyterian form of government in October, 1826, and united with the Presbytery of Chenango, at the first meeting of that body after its organization. Rev. Nahum Gould, Rev. John Ivison, Rev. Hiram Dyer and Rev. Charles Bowles are some of the preachers who officiated at this church after it united with the Presbytery. The Free Will Baptist church edifice was erected in 1831. Elder Cyrus Steer was the first pastor.

    The population of McDonough in 1865 was 1,306, and its area 23,853 acres.

    It contains nine school districts and a school population of 421, 353 of whom attended school some part of the last year. The average attendance was 189, and the amount expended for school purposes for the year ending September 30, 1868 was $1,814.60.


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