The first settlements in this town were made in 1794, by some eight or nine persons from Nine Partners, Dutchess county, who purchased the 10th township, or large portions of it, and for whom it was surveyed and divided by Captain John HARRIS, a pioneer settler in Norwich. Among these persons were Jonathan DAN, Jacob GROW, Jonathan MEAD, Jonah POYER, Abram and Edward PER LEE and Isaac BOCKEE. Jonathan DAN is said to have been the first settler in the town. [French's Gazetteer says Joseph LOTHROP and A. MEAD made the first settlement, on lot 1, in 1794.] He located on the Smyrna road, on the farm now owned by John W. STURGES. He continued to reside on that place till his death. Among his children were Miranda, who married Jonah POYER, who lived in this town and in advanced life went to live with his daughter, the wife of James H. SMITH, in Smyrna. He died Aug. 5, 1870, aged 87; and his wife, Aug. 30, 1854, aged 60. Milton MYGATT's wife, of Smyrna, is a daughter of Jonah POYER's. Seth & Abijah Dan were also sons of Jonathan DAN
Jacob GROW settled in the south part of the town, on the farm now occupied by Willard SAGE. He afterwards removed to the locality of Polkville, in the town of Norwich, where he was killed while drawing timber, August 20, 1818, aged 53. Sarah, his wife, died March 30, 1813, aged 51. None of the family are left here.
Jonathan MEAD settled on the east side of the river, opposite Plasterville, on the farm now occupied by Daniel FISHER, where both he and his wife (Sarah) died, the former May 11, 1800, aged 64, and the latter Feb. 10, 1804, aged 66. His children, many of them, had become men and women when they came here, and some of them were married in Dutchess county. They were Amos, John, Samuel, Thompson, Ruth, Rachel, Sarah, Rebecca. Amos settled in the house next west of the cemetery near the village of North Norwich, where, in 1803, he commenced keeping tavern. This was the first tavern in the town. The house has been changed and modernized and is now occupied as a residence by Morris FURMAN. Mead sold in 1816 to Edmond G. PER LEE, who resided there till his death, June 25, 1859, aged 75; but he did not keep tavern. Mead removed to Marcellus, where he and his wife died. His only son, Amos, Jr., who was born Sept. 12, 1794, was the first child born in the town. John married Rhoda TITUS, and settled on the river in the north part of the town, on the farm now occupied by Lewis BRYANT. He sold that farm and spent the last years of his life in Plymouth, where he died May 18, 1843, aged 78, and his wife, May 30, 1846, aged 78. Samuel married Polly HAIGHT. He settled and lived in various places in the town, and both he and his wife died here. Thompson was a militia general and was taken prisoner at Queenstown during the war of 1812. He married Miriam HAIGHT, sister of Polly Haight, and settled on his father's homestead, where he lived several years. He afterwards removed to the Hall farm, from thence to Norwich, and after several years, when advanced in life, to the West, where he and his wife died. Ruth married Israel FERRIS and settled on the east side of the river in this town. They afterwards removed to Milo, N.Y., where she died. Rachel married Ebenezer HARTWELL in 1795. This marriage was the first one contracted in the town. Sarah married Jacob GROW, previously referred to, who after her death married Sarah HASKELL, widow of ---- BORDEN. Rebecca married Col. Jarvis K. PIKE, who served as a colonel in the war of 1812. He settled at Plasterville and afterwards removed to Wisconsin, where both died. Each of the sons of Jonathan Mead kept tavern in this town at the same time, in different locations.
Isaac BOCKEE owned about 500 acres a little south of North Norwich. He died in the town. He was the father of Isaac S. Bockee, who died March 8, 1848, aged. 61.
Abner PURDY was a native of Horse Neck, near Salem, in Westchester county, and came to North Norwich from Dutchess county. He settled a little east of the cemetery near North Norwich, where Isaac PER LEE now lives, and resided there till his death, July 25, 1821, aged 69. His wife, Hannah FISHER, was the first person who died in the town, and the first person buried in the cemetery near North Norwich, in 1796. He afterwards married the widow Naomi RANDELL, who died Nov. 30, 1847, aged 86, and by whom he had one child, Alfred, who married a daughter of Dr. MILLER, of Truxton and was engaged in mercantile business some twenty-five years in Norwich. He was Clerk of Chenango county from 1839 to 1842, and removed some four or five years after the expiration of his clerkship to the farm of his father-in-law in Truxton, where he died. Abner Purdy's children by his first wife were Hannah, who married Stephen S. MERRITT, who settled and kept tavern in the present hotel in North Norwich, which he built. He afterwards removed to Norwich, where he died Nov. 16, 1854, aged 69, and his wife Sept. 2, 1851, aged 70; Tamma, who married Ammon MERRITT, brother of Stephen, and settled, lived and died in North Norwich, the former Aug. 29, 1850, aged 62, and the latter, Sept. 14, 1863, aged 76; Nancy, who married Frederick SEXTON, of Sherburne Hill, where both died, the former March 27, 1838, aged 54, and the latter, March 15, 1871, aged 90. Sexton's son Frederick and daughter Tamma, are living on the homestead in Sherburne; Abner, who married ---- STEVENS, of Geneseo, where they settled and died leaving no children; Amy, who married Weeks SMITH, settled first in this town, afterwards removed to Richmond, N.Y., and died there; Jemima, who married Elisha, brother of Weeks SMITH, and settled in Perry Center, Wyoming county; Polly, who married John GUTHRIE and settled in Sherburne, where both died; Rachel, who married Reuben FERRIS, of North Norwich, where he settled and afterwards removed to Steuben county, and died there; Malinda, who died young and unmarried; Daniel, who married Betsey, daughter of Jonathan DAN, and settled in Plymouth, where both died; Abner, who married Abby, daughter of Joseph COOK, and settled first in North Norwich, but removed at an early day to Illinois, and died there; and Smith M., who became a lawyer of distinction in Norwich, where he died March 28, 1870, aged 73. He was appointed first Judge of Chenango county, Jan. 11, 1833, and elected county judge in 1847. He represented the 22nd District in Congress from 1843 to 1845. He married Prudence, daughter of Newman GATES, of Norwich, who still survives him, and is living with her son, Dr. Charles M. Purdy, of Norwich.
Israel FERRIS settled on the DALRYMPLE farm, about a mile above North Norwich. He was a brother of Benjamin Ferris, an early settler in Sherburne.
Ebenezer HARTWELL came in from Dutchess county and settled about a mile and a half north of North Norwich village, on the farm now owned and occupied by Milton BENTLEY. He took up the entire lot comprising some 250 acres, and resided there till his death Dec. 16, 1857, aged 89. In 1795, he married Rachel, daughter of Jonathan MEAD; this marriage being, as previously stated, the first one in the town. His wife died May 12, 1845, aged 65. His children were Hannah, who married Horace FLINT; Samuel, who married Phebe, daughter of James PURDY, who settled on the place now owned and occupied by Charles HARTWELL, at Sherburne Four Corners, where he died Nov. 2, 1868, aged 70, and where his widow still lives; Jonathan Mead, who married Eliza CRANDALL, cousin of Israel Crandall; Polly, who married Horace GREEN; Benjamin, who married Philura, daughter of Harvey TALCOTT, of Smyrna, where they settled, and both of whom are now living in Norwich; Rachel Diantha, who married Josiah PURDY, of Georgetown; Sarah, who married Zenas WISWELL, of North Norwich, and settled in Bainbridge, where she died; Hiram, who married Celia, daughter of David ECCLESTON, of Preston; Ebenezer, who died unmarried August 26, 1843, aged 26; Thompson, who married Lucy, daughter of Nathaniel PURDY, of Plymouth, settled on his father's homestead in North Norwich, removed in 1863 to Norwich, and thence in the spring of 1879 to Spencerport, where he now resides; Rebecca, who married James COOK, a Baptist minister, of North Norwich; and "Lowvinia," who died unmarried May 15, 1843, aged 22. Oliver Hartwell, father of Ebenezer, did not come here till some time later. He died here July 17, 1835, at the advanced age of 96 years.
PECK's children were Joel, who married his first wife (Huldah) in Dutchess county, and after her death, August 17, 1827, aged 29, married Mercy ----, of Sherburne, and settled a half mile north of North Norwich, where three of his great-grandchildren now live, and died there Feb. 16, 1852, aged 83, and his second wife, August 9, 1855, aged 79; Polly, who married David WILBER, a pioneer settler in Smyrna; Sarah, who married Daniel FISHER; Northrop, who married a PHILLIPS and settled in Solon, where they died; Nathan, who was a Baptist minister , settled in Solon and died in Cortland county, having lived several years in Nelson, as pastor of the church there; John, who settled and died in New Woodstock, Madison county; Betsey, who married John NASH, and settled in Sherburne, where he died. She removed after his death to Smyrna, and died there. Sarah, after the death of Fisher, married William HARRINGTON, and after his death became the second wife of Peter COLE, who came from Dutchess county about 1796, about the same time as PECK and FISHER, and settled three-fourths of a mile south of North Norwich, on the farm now occupied by Samuel TITUS, Jr., and John P. BELLINGER, where he and his first wife died. He died April 10, 1844, aged 74; Sarah died on the homestead in Plymouth August 20, 1847, aged 77. John was also a Baptist minister of some note. He was born Sept. 11, 1780, and died Dec. 15, 1849.
FISHER's children were Polly, who was seven years old when her father came here, and married Lyman COOK; Thompson G., who married Catharine, daughter of Russell WILCOX, of Smyrna, settled on the homestead farm, after a few years removed to Smyrna and subsequently to Norwich, to give his children scholastic advantages, where she died, and after her death sold his farm in Smyrna and went to live with his daughter, Jane, wife of Cyrus HARTWELL in Sherburne, where he died; Rachel, who married Ira RYDER; Phebe, who married Benjamin PHELPS; Calvin L., who married Abigail ROGERS, settled in Plymouth and after some years removed to Smyrna, where he died Jan. 29, 1868, aged 66, and whose widow is still living at Sherburne Four Corners; John, who married Martha HOLMES and settled in Plymouth, where they died; Wilber, who was a physician; and Sarah, who married William WALKER and settled in Sherburne, where both are now living.
Peter COLE had an only son, Peter, Jr., who lived several years on a part of the homestead farm and removed to the west part of the State. He had several daughters, one of whom married David HARRIS, who settled in Plymouth and died March 3, 1852, aged 57. One married a DRAPER, settled first in Plymouth and afterwards removed to Ohio. Charlotte married Morris MEAD and settled in this town, where she died Jan. 24, 1866, aged 57, and her husband Oct. 20, 1867, aged 67. Another married John RUNDELL, who settled first in North Norwich and afterwards when west.
Jesse RUNDELL settled in the north part of the town, on the PUGSLEY farm, which is now owned by Jonathan SLATER. He was killed in October, 1802 , by falling from the rafters of the Baptist meeting-house, in North Norwich, the construction of which he was superintending. He was twice married. Isaac and Lydia were children by his first wife. Isaac married Sarah RANSOM, and Lydia, Elias KINNE, who lived on the flats below North Norwich. His children by his second wife were Darius, Orrin G., Lyman, Clara and William, none of whom are living in this locality.
Gen. Obadiah GERMAN came here from Dutchess county and settled on the site of North Norwich village. His house stood opposite the Union church in that village. He was the first merchant in the town and his store was a great place of resort for the towns people. He was a militia general and in his day was one of the most prominent men in the western part of the State. He owned a large tract of land in this town, including the village site, and was agent for wild lands in some of the western towns in the county. He represented this county in the Assembly in 1798-'99, 1804-'05, 1807-'09, and 1818; was United States Senator from this State from 1908-15; and was appointed First Judge of Chenango county March 16, 1814. He is the only person from this county who has attained the distinction of United States Senator. He continued his residence here till his death Sept. 22, 1841, aged 75. His wife (Ann,) died Sept. 13, 1829, aged 61. After her death he married Mary Ann KNIGHT, by whom he had two sons, who went with their mother to Syracuse when young. Among his children by his first wife were Albert, who built and kept tavern in the house now occupied as a residence by Charles GILE, and removed at an early day to Ohio; a daughter, who married Stephen ANDERSON, settled in North Norwich, and after his death, May 2, 1853, removed to Wisconsin, where she now resides; another daughter who married a noted Methodist minister named HARMON; and Walter, who succeeded his father for some time in the mercantile business here.
Thomas BROOKS settled in the adjoining town of Plymouth, and died there Aug. 30, 1822, aged 61. He taught the first school, however, in this town. The school-house in which he taught was located at Sherburne Four Corners, a little east of the cheese factory. It was a log building and stood as late as 1805 or '6, when a frame school-house was built a half mile above, near Andrew MARTIN's blacksmith shop. Mrs. Samuel HARTWELL, who is now living at Sherburne Four Corners, attended school in the old log building about two years before it was superseded by the frame structure. In 1803, when she first attended school, Deacon ADAMS who lived on Sherburne Hill was the teacher.
Azel CRANDALL, from Connecticut, settled in the village of North Norwich, where he was engaged in wagon making a number of years, until he became old. After the death of his wife, Philena, Dec. 29, 1865, aged 79, he went to live with his son Marshall in Ohio. Samuel, another son, was a bachelor, and succeeded his father in the wagon business, which he continued till his death, May 6, 1859, aged 53.
Nathan CHURCH and his sons Samuel, Nathaniel, Nathan, Benjamin and William, came from Connecticut about 1816, and settled on what is known as Church Hill, in the east part of the town, where all died except Nathaniel, who was a bachelor, and died at the county-house, and Benjamin, who is still living in the town, aged nearly ninety.
Cogshall WALL settled in the west part of the town, within a quarter of a mile of North Norwich, and died there July 30, 1826, aged 62. Elizabeth, his wife, died Dec. 10, 18111, aged 44.
Stephen PUGSLEY settled on the Jesse RUNDELL farm, two and a half miles up the river from North Norwich, and died there July 21, 1805, aged 78.
William WEST settled where Edward ADSIT now lives, in the north part of the town, and died there June 4, 1810, aged 65.
Jacob COLE, from Dutchess county, settled on the river road a mile and a half below North Norwich, where Samuel TITUS, Jr., now lives, and died there June 3, 1800, aged 94. Rachel, his wife, died June 12, 1808, aged 69. Peter Cole was a son of his and succeeded his father on that farm.
Stephen KINNE came from Connecticut and settled on what is known as Kinne Hill. Nathaniel, Benjamin and Elias, brothers of Stephen's, came in at the same time and settled in the same locality, some in Sherburne and some in New Berlin. Elias removed in 1810 to North Norwich and settled about a mile and a half below the village, just below the Joseph COLE farm. Benjamin was killed in the war of 1812. Stephen died Oct, 1, 1855, aged 79; and Elizabeth, his wife, May 1, 1822, aged 48. Nathaniel died Feb. 4, 1854, aged 84; and Eunice, his wife, April 13, 1868, aged 89. Stephen, son of Nathaniel, who had ten girls and one boy, is now living in North Norwich. Almira, a maiden lady, who is living with her sister, the wife of George WATERS, are daughters of Stephen and are living in North Norwich. Miriam, widow of Benjamin GORTON, who is living three miles north-east of North Norwich, is another of Stephen's daughters.
Thomas WELLING, who also came from Connecticut, married Priscilla, sister of the KINNE brothers and settled in the same locality as they.
Cyrus CASE settled about two miles below North Norwich, on the farm now occupied by his grandchildren, Adelbert and Cyrus Case. He sold his farm to his son Albert, (who died there Oct. 27, 1876, aged 71, and Sylvia, his wife, Dec. 26, 1860, aged 46,) and removed to Sherburne. He afterwards returned to North Norwich village and died there May 12, 1856, aged 83. Roby, his second wife, survived him many years. She died May 17, 1875, aged 80. One son, John W. Case, is living in Norwich.
Samuel HAIGHT settled on the east side of the river, near the line of Sherburne, where Mr. COLE now lives, and died there Jan. 9, 1806, aged 68 Deliverance, his wife, died Dec. 6, 1805, aged 69. His children were William, John, Samuel, Lent, Miriam, who married Thompson MEAD, a daughter, who married Samuel MEAD, and Aner, who married Pardon MORRIS. Three grandchildren, Deloss, Charles and Almira, are living in North Norwich.
Samuel TITUS settled in the locality of Plasterville and died there Feb. 5, 1804, aged 64. James Titus, who lived a little above Plasterville, where Augustus ALDRICH now lives, and died March 26, 1821, aged 56, was probably a son of his. Martha, wife of Samuel, died Aug. 13, 1816, aged 74. [This family is not connected with that of Samuel TITUS, who now resided in North Norwich, about a mile below the village, aged 84, and who settled in 1816. Several of his children are living here.]
George and John KING, brothers, from Dutchess county, were among the first settlers in the town. They located in the east part of the town, at what is known as King's Settlement, where each raised large families. George died there some thirty years ago. They were the first settlers in that locality. George's children were George, Hezekiah, Benjamin H., Tama, who married Charles RANDALL, Lottie, who married Elijah BUELL, Lavina, who married David WEBB, all of whom are dead.
The BUELLs, who came in about 1820, succeeded to their possessions. There are four families of Buells: Elijah, Simon, George and William Riley, all of whom have families.
Rev. Mr. FLAGLEY, a Universalist minister, settled early in that locality, and sold to Benjamin BLOOM from Dutchess county, some years after.
William TIFFANY, from Dutchess county, settled soon after the KINGs in the same locality, where his grandson, William Tiffany, now lives, and died there. His children were Nelson, Albert, Richard, Lewis and two daughters, one of whom married ---- GILE, and the other, Elijah BUELL. Richard and Lewis and Gile's wife are still living in that locality.
Charles MERRITT and Walter K. SEXTON commenced trading here as early as 1835, in the building next north of the hotel, now occupied as a dwelling by Peter Russell. They continued some two or three years. Mead HARTWELL and William POYER, both residents of the town, commenced trading in the store now occupied by P. L. SHAW, about a year after Merritt & Sexton opened and failed after about a year. William PERLEE, a native of the town, traded one year, about 1834, and failed.
Noyes RANDALL, from Pharsalia, commenced trading about 1846, in a small building which stood on the west bank of the canal near the bridge, and has since been removed, and continued some four years. Benjamin PORTER, from Coventry, bought his stock and traded about a year, in 1850. He was succeeded in 1851 by James LUDINGTON, Sr., from Plymouth, who in 1854 removed to the Merritt store, and failed after trading there one or two years. Lathrop ROSBROOK occupied the Ludington store from about 1856 till his death, Jan. 28, 1860. His nephew, Joseph ROSBROOK, sold out the goods in the interest of the heirs, occupying about a year. Lathrop Rosbrook was also engaged in the forwarding business. He was an active, able business man. Benjamin SEYMOUR next did business a few months, and sold his goods to Lewis E. CARPENTER, a former resident of the town, who traded here two or three years.
In 1849, the German store which stood empty from the time PERLEE discontinued trading, was formed into a church and occupied by the Methodists about twenty years. At the expiration of that time Marenus JANES opened a store there and traded till the spring of 1872, when he sold to Perlee E. SHAW, who came here from Lebanon, N.Y., and is still engaged in business. The only merchant now doing business here is Daniel G. FIGARY, who came from Sherburne in the spring of 1868, and engaged in butchering and painting till the spring of 1877, when he embarked in his present business.
With the exception of ROSBROOK and JANES and the present merchants, all who have engaged in mercantile business here have failed.
[See page 326, Norwich, for mention of Dr. Beecher.]
The physician now practicing here is Dr. James D. LEWIS.