History of Preston


    Preston was formed from Norwich April 2, 1806.

    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. [French's Gazetteer states that Fanny BILLINGS, who was born July 16, 1796, was the first child born in the town. It is probably that the birth referred to was the first, certainly prior to the one here referred to.] This was certainly 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, 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 Eat 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 o 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: 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 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 latter 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 sitting 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 Usrula, 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 McDouough, 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 an 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.

    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 thence. 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 Almeda, 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 his 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 June 18, 1842, aged 94. His son Solomon died Sept. 25, 1846, aged 78, and Lucy, his wife, March 9, 1834, aged 64.

   {see John WAIT in Norwich early settler & rest of his children]


    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, in 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. There 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 179 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 engaged in farming; in Norwich he engaged in mercantile business, in which, after two years, he was succeeded by his son John, who continued the business for 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 Clarisssa, 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 Perry.


    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 FITCH, 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 lives 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, and is living in Preston, aged 73; 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 Rogers 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 form 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 settlers 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 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 70, and the latter on the farm next south, where James THOMPSON now lives, and died there Dec. 5, 1864, 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.


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.


End of Preston (pg 357-368)
History of Chenango
Chenango Co, NY Page
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