History will always remain a theme of fascinating interest---the romance of a realism stranger than fiction, with a glow of feeling and sentiment running along its lines of thought and action. Even when the white heat of life has burned to the ashes of forgetfulness, we walk with uncovered heads amid the crumbling ruins of the past, its very mystery moving to awe and reverence. History is recorded fact in the progress of a race, the founding of a nation or the building of a world. It may be engraven with a sword, a pen of iron, or a glacier, but the thought and purpose back of it all, and inciting it all, is what gives character to the event. The heroes of Thermopylæ and Bunker Hill and Balaklava were made incarnate by the spirit that inspired them, while gladiators who contended with brute courage for the world's applaud have perished in oblivion. The world takes account of noble deeds, but demands a reason before a name is written on the scroll of fame. By unanimous consent the patriot brave are placed upon the list,---those who have done something for the benefit of the race; who have stood for the good and the true; who have marched in the advance of progress and liberty; who in all the ages have set over against the rights of kings the kingly rights of men, and have at last emerged from the contest bearing aloft the banner of the free.
This the sufficient justification of this Centennial celebration: The event so commemorated, unique in itself and worthy of commemoration,---the setting up of the standard of Christian civilization in the wilderness, was dignified by the actors in it, and the halo of their heroic, patriotic lives. It was the culmination of hopes long cherished, the coming to a promised land they had long desired to enter. The hopes and aspirations of other generations that had preceded them found an answer in the dawn of those better days after the long waiting. Dissenter, and Covenanter, and Huguenot, fleeing from persecution and oppression, had found a temporary home on New England's rock-ribbed coast. Now, at last, they had come to their own. And their loyal sons and daughters do well to hail this day with jubilant acclaim; to fling out their banners; to let music swell the breeze and the glad summer air be resonant with the sounds of rejoicing---the very hills to clap their hands, the fields to smile in beauty, and the forests to wave their bannerets. For Sherburne, dear old Sherburne, was born a hundred years ago---well born, and all the prophesy of its bright promise fulfilled in this valley of our dreams, and your own beautiful town.
There can be but one primeval period of life to any place or people, and that must ever have about it an increasingly fascinating interest as the years go by. While virtue endures and patriotism remains an inspiration we may well recall with filial pride and affection the memory of those who have gone on before us---who wrought and toiled and suffered and endured, and who laid the foundations of our goodly heritage. The brave deeds of the days of old will indeed live in song and story so long as our country shall endure. Standing here this Centennial of Sherburne, it is fitting to recall something of its early history while loved voices from out of the past, which have long been hushed in the eternal silence, still find an echo in our hearts. The son may well turn back and crown his honored sire with laurels, and so we bring our votive offerings to-day.
But to begin at the beginning: That is the difficulty. The first pages of history are necessarily pre-historic. Darkening shadows cover it: A dense and mighty forest, the outgrowth of other primeval forests long since decayed, in which the wild beast roams at will and the wigwam of the stealthy savage here and there appears. At the earliest record it was a hunting ground of the Oneidas, scattered bands of whom had their homes here. Occasionally they returned to their favorite camping grounds in this vicinity long after their pale-face successors had taken possession, they having reserved the rights of hunting and fishing as an article in the conveyance of their vast domain. Evidences of its early occupation by the aborigines still exist in this township. "About four miles north of this village," as stated by Mr. Hatch in his history, "and one mile west of the Handsome Brook, are the remains of a structure worthy of the examination of antiquarians---an embankment of coarse gravel, built in the form of a horse shoe, the open ends towards the north; evidently an old Indian fortification. Flint arrow points are frequently found in the vicinity." On the Timothy Hatch farm over the river and on the first upland not far from its banks are evidences of Indian burial or caches for corn in mounds still to be seen. On the farm of Newcomb Raymond, near the so-called "cove" at the bend of the river, are the unmistakable evidences of an old camping ground in the blackened earth and stones, covering a considerable area, and in the adjoining fields hundreds of flint arrow heads have been found, some of them rare specimens of their kind, and near by a perfect stone tomahawk was turned up with a plow not many years since. The remnant of the Indians who remained appeared to be not unfriendly to the early settlers, indeed, it would not have been safe for them to have been otherwise, and the chief among them all---the notorious Abram Antone---who paid the penalty of his crimes, which by his tribal standard were but a just retribution exercised upon his enemies, by execution at Morrisville, September 12, 1823, set up the plea that he had been a friend to the struggling colonies and had been employed as a trusted scout by Washington himself. The story of his sudden appearance in this neighborhood to the late Alfred Raymond, armed to the teeth with deadly knives and rifle, while a large reward was offered for his capture and officers of the law were in pursuit, remains a vivid impression. His daughter Peggy, with her painted basket-ware, and her vagrant husband, "Abe", her brothers Moses and Cornele, and others of the family, were a familiar picture within the memory of many. But their footfall is no more heard, their shadows are no more seen, and they have gone, all gone, let us hope, to the happy hunting grounds of that mysterious race.
These lands were purchased from the Oneida Indians at a treaty held at Fort Schuyler, October 22, 1788, Gov. George Clinton and others acting as Commissioners for the State, and were a part of the Twenty Townships so called. By an act passed on the 25th of February, 1789, these towns were surveyed and divided into lots numbering from 1 to 100. At this period the whole of the northern part of this county as at present constituted, was included in the town of Whitestown, present Oneida County. It was at this treaty that the significant incident occurred between Gov. Clinton and a sachem of the Oneidas, in which the governor was made to appear at a disadvantage when asked by the sagacious savage to keep moving along upon the log where he was sitting until there was no further room to move, as indicative of the purpose of the white man to keep the poor Indian moving on until there was no further place for him. It was the end of Indian domination in Central New York.
Pursuant to an act passed March 22, 1791, these lands were sold by the State, Col. Wm. S. Smith being the purchaser, for himself and others whom he represented, of the 8th and 9th townships, present Sherburne and Smyrna, as well as of several other towns, embracing altogether 150,000 acres, at 3 shillings and 3 pence per acre, the Land Commissioners of this State having accepted his offer at a meeting held by them in the city of New York, July 13th, 1791.
The sturdy band of pioneers who were destined to locate here, and who had been tarrying for awhile tentatively at Duanesburgh, started on a tour of observation in this direction soon after these lands were advertised for sale by the State wisely piloted by Josiah Throop, chief of the engineering corps who had surveyed the twenty townships the year previous. The party consisted of Nathaniel Gray and the Surveyor, who, it is stated, came on horseback, and Elisha Gray, Joel Hatch, Newcomb Raymond and James Raymond, who came on foot, with their packs on their backs. It is said they reached the valley just east of Norwich, having crossed the Unadilla on their way below the present site of New Berlin. They then followed the river up its course as far as this place, reaching here, according to Mr. Hatch, after five days of hard travelling, in June, 1791. They do not appear to have proceeded farther, and finally decided upon the southwest quarter of township No. 9 as their choice of site, preferring that to the northwest quarter, as stated by Squire Hatch, from the fact that while there was about the same amount of flat lands in each, in the former (southwest) it was not divided by any hill, and consequently the families could live more together as one community. The result proves the wisdom of their choice. They evidently knew "where they were at!" An incident of their tour of observation here at that time as showing something of the perils that would confront their families in the frontier life which awaited them, is worth relating. One night during their sojourn here they had stopped at the camp of some friendly Indians near the swamp on the west side of the river, afterwards owned by Mr. Joshua Pratt. In the early morning an Indian girl was missed from the camp and then it was remembered that she had not returned from a visit made the evening before to some neighboring lodges on the other side. The ominous barking of dogs was heard midway between, and the Indians and their exploring guests, following up the trail, soon found the frightened girl crouching under the body of a protecting tree, defended by her faithful dogs from a huge panther that was glaring upon them as if ready to spring. A musket ball soon laid it low, and the trembling girl was rescued from the deadly peril to which she had been exposed all the night long by the ferocious beast.
The explorers returned by the northern route, through the present town of Paris, and brought a good report of the land to their families and associates. Nathaniel Gray was then dispatched to New York city to negotiate for the lands. He there found to his disappointment that they had already been sold by the State to Col. Smith. He returned to Duanesburgh, but on consultation made a second trip to New York, on which occasion he succeeded in making a contract with the owner of the desired lands. This was dated December 9, 1791, the purchase including 6,222 1-2 acres at $1.25 per acre. The deed was not taken until later, Col. Smith himself having only bought by contract, and did not receive his patent until April 16, 1794. In the meantime other settlers had made contracts for other tracts of land in this and the eighth township, J. N. Race, date of July 25, 1792; Chas. Bush, July 1, 1792; John Gilmore, August 6, 1792, and Prince Freeman, same date, all in the present town of Sherburne, while Joseph Porter settled in Smyrna as early as 1792, and the following year his brother-in-law Joseph Tobey, came on from Conway, Mass., and settled adjoining him. The title to the 8th township was conveyed to John Lawrence, Esq., of New York, date of April 17, 1794, and Col. Smith's remaining interest in Sherburne was conveyed in 1795 by two separate deeds to Judge John Watts of New York, by whom it was sold in lots and parcels to settlers. In this connection it is interesting to note that in all these sales of land by the State this important stipulation was made, that one family at least be settled upon each tract of 640 acres within seven years from the date of deed. The result was strenuous effort on the part of purchasers of these townships to effect settlement. What a saving clause that would have been had the general government adopted it, and how it would have prevented those large holdings of land in the hands of speculators, a source of disquietude and a menace to the state.
The story of the settlement of the southwest quarter of this township is told in particular here because it was the only organized New England colony in all of this region, and it imparted a like character to the settlement of both these townships, the 8th and 9th, which in this Centennial Celebration are rightfully considered as having a common interest, having been originally one in name and civic organization. The Proprietors, so called, eleven in number, whose names appear upon the front of this monument, were, with a single exception, of kindred blood, and New England origin. In the earlier days they had been neighbors in Kent and Sharon, Conn. During the Revolution the families had become somewhat separated, but afterwards they sought a common home together, and so planned this settlement. Having made the purchase as stated in 1791, in the spring of 1792 they came on for a further survey of the land and to make preparation for bringing in their families the succeeding year.
Here we have an exact date of record, thanks to the careful surveyor, Cornelius Clark, in his own clear caligraphy, written down in his field book: "On Thursday, the 17th day of May, began surveying for the company." Later appears in connection, the year 1792. Then, after various memoranda follow the names of his assistants, closing with "Cornelius Clark, Capt. of ye Mess." It was this survey that was the basis of the invaluable old map of the southwest quarter, discovered a few years since, of which a number of fac-simile copies have been made. It gives the number of the lots, of the acres in each, and to whom allotted. It shows thirty-five owners, besides the ministerial gospel lot, including 33 acres still standing in the name of the Proprietors. The list shows Eleazer Lathrop to have had the largest holding, 612 acres.
The choice of lots fell to Nathaniel Gray, the patriarch and leader of the settlement, and he chose what was designated as No. 1, running east from the river and bounded on the east by lot No. 35, and on the north by the Quarter line, including Robinson Hill, Mr. Asa Foote's place, and extending so far southward as to include the Quarter Cemetery, which was in good part a gift from him. The plan to make the center of the town there was soon developed. The log houses of Nathaniel Gray, and of his son Elijah adjoining, who appear to have been joint owners of the premises, were located on the north side of the present north and south road and northwesterly from the burying ground, as has recently been stated by the daughter of Elijah, Mrs. Amanda Gray Lee, who still survives at Cedar Mountain, North Carolina, in her now 101st year, Cherishing tender memories of dear old Sherburne; and then in the deed given to James Elmore, date of June 28, 1798, to the present Asa Foote premises, the description is given as follows: "Beginning at a stake where the roads cross each other, east of north from Nathaniel Gray's house," clearly indicating the location of that house,---the two houses, as already stated. This is of historical interest, as the first school in Sherburne was taught there, and the Congregational Church in all probabilty organized there.
Abram Dixon, a son of Major Joseph Dixon and nephew of Elijah Gray, thus describes a visit to that primitive Gray homestead, winter of 1794-5: "Deacon Gray, (who was my step-grandfather,) and his son, Elijah Gray, (whose wife was my mother's sister,) had built a double log house, one part of which was occupied as a school house six hours a day. We found the school in full blast, under the care of Elisha Gray, brother of my uncle Elijah, who at the same time occupied the same room as a dwelling for his family, consisting of his wife and three children: Nathaniel, about my own age, and Amanda and Hannah, and it served as kitchen, parlor, dining and sleeping room, except that we, the children, were sent up the ladder into the loft, to bed!" This Amanda is Mrs. Amanda Gray Lee, of Cedar Mountain, N. C. The late Simeon B. Marsh, in a reminiscent communication to The Sherburne News, date of 1870, relates the following incident connected with that house worthy of reproduction here: "There were a remarkable number of natural singers with good voices among the families that then composed the congregation. A Mr. Fuller was the first teacher of music employed by the people. The singers being assembled one evening for practice in Deacon Gray'' log house the floor suddenly gave way in the midst of a tune and sank in the shape of a funnel, where men, women, table, chairs, cradle, baby, books and all were uncomfortably huddled together; and the story went that Mr. Fuller kept on with his tune, singing and beating time until he had finished it. Fortunately the cellar was not deep and consequently no one was hurt, without it was by excessive laughter!" And so these staid and steady going sons and daughters of the Puritans did occasionally unbend.
The summer of 1792 was a busy and eventful one in the new settlement. The pioneers, mainly if not wholly composed of the original Proprietors, are said to have made their headquarters in a hastily constructed cabin near the mouth of the Handsome Brook, which the Indians called Toto. There the only woman who accompanied this party, Mrs. Betsey Gray Raymond, wife of Abram Raymond, presided over the culinary department of the camp. Her graphic narration of those early experiences is still retained in the memory of at least one person who in after years heard it from her lips. A bedstead was formed for her by small poles extended from between the logs, and she was the only one honored with such a piece of furniture. On awakening in the morning she would be greatly amused to see the heads of the colony in different directions on the floor. Evidently there was a good deal of individuality in that primitive group. The repressions of conventionalism had not yet moulded them into one common groove. They were actively engaged in selecting sites for and in the erection of their rude log cabins, in making rough roadways for communication, and in felling the forest.
One of the first things they did was to build a saw mill on Mad Brook, on the south side, some distance below the Falls. And it was there that the first sermon was preached in Sherburne, or in all this region, by the Rev. Blackleach Burritt, the noted patriot preacher, who had suffered imprisonment in the notorious Sugar House at New York, as the penalty for his zeal and ability and courage during the perilous days of the Revolution. He had been the pastor of the little flock while they tarried at Duanesburgh, and had now come on to view the land, and to see how his neighbors and kindred (three of his daughters married three of the pioneers) were prospering in their to be new homes. He happily chose his theme for that occasion from Isaiah. "The wilderness and solitary place shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose." And without stopping, after the manner of some modern theologians, to speculate as to whether the grand old prophet really wrote it or not, he went straight on and expounded it as the Word of God. It was indeed a happily chosen theme. A love of song and joyous hope had survived the hard lessons of the veteran preacher's life and still glowed in his heart. So he lifted up his voice in this prophesy of promise, and on the determined faces of that sturdy band of pioneers, and on their strong arms and brave and reverent hearts he saw written its sure fulfillment. With prophetic vision he beheld the mighty monarchs of the primeval forest whose crested spears flashed in the sunlight, fall before the stroke of the woodman's axe; in place of the silence of the deep woods or its weird moanings, he heard happy voices; where had been the lair of the wild beast or the trail of the stealthy savage he saw the jocund farmer drive his team afield; he heard the busy hum of industry, he saw the thriving happy homes, the cultivated farms and glebes crowning the summits of the hills; he heard the sweet music of the Sabbath bells, and saw the church spires pointing heavenward while faithful pastors led the way. He saw it all and rejoiced in it all. It was fruitful ground for the preacher on which to sow his seed. His hearers were not idle dreamers; they were not waiting for some favorable turn in the wheel of fortune; they did not sit down and wait for God to fulfill his own promises without effort on their part; they did not expect their Isaiah to go forth and hew down their forests. They had already commenced to build their log houses and let in the sunlight.
During the later summer and fall, having accomplished the work they had set out to do, all the pioneers returned to their families, except Abram Raymond and his wife, who removed to a little settlement at what is now Norwich, where they remained during the winter, their cattle subsisting on browse and their family on pounded corn. The following spring, the pioneers returned to Sherburne, on which occasion it is related of Newcomb Raymond that, taking a bag of corn on his back he walked to Greene, by marked trees, where he had it ground, and so made the return trip with the bag of meal. But this is only one of the minor incidents of hardship of those primitive days.
The spring and early summer of 1893 witnessed a lively emigration in this direction. And it was not confined alone to the Proprietors and their families, most of whom came on at that time, but many of their friends and neighbors joined with them, and others who had heard of the fertile and beautiful Valley of the Chenango came this way prospecting with the view of settlement. It was a part of the great overflow of New England, of that Yankee invasion of New York, which had steadily extended its irrepressible advance all along the borders from the days of Wouter Van Twiller until now. In a comparatively short period the whole township was taken up and populated. There were the Grays from Beverly, Mass., by way of Windham County and Sharon, Conn., two of whom, Nathaniel and John Gray, Sr., had been soldiers in the French war, 1758, and the latter a member of the Committee of Public Safety in King's District, present Columbia Co., during the Revolution,---both prominent members of the new settlement; there were the four Lathrop brothers, Capt. Josiah, Eleazer, John and Ezra, stalwart sons of Deacon Melatiah, who was of Kent, Conn., and Dover Plains and Canaan, N. Y., descendants of the honorable Lathrop family of New England, from Rev. John Lathrop, the noted Dissenter; the Hatch brothers, Squire Joel and Deacon Timothy, sons of Major Jethro Hatch of Kent, Conn., and descendants of Jonathan early of Hartwich on the Cape---men of marked individuality, without whom the settlement would have been incomplete; the three Raymond brothers, Newcomb, James and Abram, sons of David and Bethiah Newcomb Raymond, from Kent, Conn., by way of Duanesburgh, of a family of Huguenots early of Norwalk, Conn., and still earlier (1690) of Beverly, Mass.,---sturdy, patriotic, true men; Cornelius Clark, a New Jersey Scotchman with a Dutch Bible, and a compass and chain, and knowledge of how to use them---an invaluable aid to the settlers and a useful member of the new community; the eminently respectable Elmores from Columbia Co., N. Y., whither they had come from Sharon and Hartford, Conn.; the honorable Benedict family from Norwalk, Conn., by way of Westchester Co., N. Y.; the Northrops from Milford, Conn., by way of Westchester Co.; Lorain and James Curtis from the Curtis family of Stratford, Conn., by way of Berkshire Co., Mass.; the Isaac Foote family, so prominent in the early days here, from Colchester, Conn., and of Samuel Foote, kindred of Isaac, from Gill, Mass., both descendants of Nathaniel Foote early of Wethersfield, Conn.; the Dixons from Manchester, Vt., by way of Kent and Lebanon, Conn.; the Rexfords from New Haven and Barkhamsted, Conn.; the Pratt family from Conn., by way of Spencertown, Columbia Co., N. Y.; the Talcotts from Bolton and Wethersfield, Conn.; the White family from Vermont by way of Jericho, N. Y.; the Guthries from Litchfield, Conn.; the Purdy family from Westchester Co., descendants of Francis and Mary Purdy early of Fairfield, Conn.; the Babcock, and Briggs, and Wilcox, and Lyon, and Reynolds, and Carpenter families from Rhode Island; the Reese and Race families from Stockbridge, Mass.; the Percivals from the Cape, by way of Lee, Mass.; the Gardiners from Gardiner's Island, by way of Stonington and Colchester, Conn.; the Newtons, also from Colchester; the Collins, and Billings, and Davis, and Sexton families from Somers, Conn.; the Averys from Stonington, Conn., by way of Durham, N. Y.; the Allen and Simons families from Gill, Mass.; the Thompsons and Wilbers from Dutchess Co.; the Lynde and Carver families from Brookfield, Mass.; Orsamus Holmes from Springfield, Vermont; the Gortons from New London, Conn.; the Stebbins family from Hartland, Conn.; the Burritt and Welles families from Stratford, Conn.; the Brown, Whitney, Rose, and Eaton families from Winhall, Vt.; the Hibbards and Meads from Greenwich, Conn.; the Perrys, Haxtons, and Scovilles, from Columbia Co., N. Y.; the Follett family from Vermont; the Mudge family from Sharon, Conn., and Columbia Co., N. Y; the Rynex from Schenectady Co.; the Kinsleys from Conn., and the Austins from Sheffield, Mass. by way of Clinton, N. Y.
Many others might be named but there is not time here to call the roll of all these worthies. Altogether they contained some of the best blood of New England, and the Sherburne of to-day indeed honors itself in honoring these men of an hundred years ago. They were mostly in the prime and vigor of manhood, and did not shrink from the great task before them. Through their toils, and struggles, and labors, and patriotism, and heroism, the Nation had birth, and they were regnant with its new life.
Such were the settlers of those early days. They brought their religious convictions with them, and that was a very important part of their character. It is stated that the advance company arrived on a Saturday night in March, 1793; that they assembled for religious worship on the second Sabbath following, and that the custom was continued by them ever after, whether they had a preacher of the Word with them or not. Their first organization was that of the Congregational Church of Sherburne, date of July 6, 1794, which has ever been and still remains a tower of strength in this community, and on its grounds this Centennial is very properly celebrated to-day, and this monument set up. They believed something, they knew what they believed, and they were ready to stand for it against the world. They were plain and unpretentious, as modest as brave, but as firm and unyielding as this granite; freedom-loving, God fearing, the typical sons of New England.
To go back to the genesis of things: The women of Sherburne must not be forgotten; for the golden threads of their lives are woven in all the warp and woof of its history. What wives and mothers and sweethearts and helpmeets they were! They were like the woman eulogized in Holy Writ: "She riseth also while it is yet night and giveth meat to her household." "She seeketh wool and flax and worketh willingly with her hands;" "She maketh fine linen and selleth it;" "She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff;" "She is not afraid of the winter for her household, for all her household are clothed with scarlet;" "The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her;" "Her children rise up and call her blessed."
To particularize a little: Diantha Burritt, wife of John Gray, Jr., had been a school teacher in Vermont before her marriage, and was a woman of literary taste, as a poem written by her, still preserved, testifies; Melissa Burritt, wife of James Raymond, was noted for strong traits of character which are perpetuated in her descendants; Martha (Patsy) Burritt, wife of Elisha Gray, was a woman of more than usual ability---all daughters of Rev. Blackleach Burritt and Martha Welles his wife, who was a direct descendant of Thomas Welles, the noted Dissenter, distinguished as one of the early Colonial Governors of Connecticut; Mabel Gray, the lovable and beloved wife of Newcomb Raymond, was a daughter of John Gray, Sr.; Betsey Gray, another daughter of John Gray, Sr., was the wife of Deacon Abram Raymond, and the pioneer woman of Sherburne; Ruth Gray, the only daughter of Nathaniel Gray and Deborah Lathrop, (his first wife) who was the sister of the four Lathrop brothers, was the wife of Squire Joel Hatch; Ruth Welles, a sister of the wife of Rev. Blackleach Burritt, was the wife of Deacon Timothy Hatch; Mercy Raymond, who was the wife of Major Joseph Dixon, and Sarai Raymond, the wife of Elijah Gray; Bethiah Newcomb-Raymond, wife of Nathaniel Gray (by a second marriage of each) and the mother of the two sisters and the three brothers Raymond---all these, and others, might well be mentioned as types of the women of the early days in Sherburne, and how worthy they were of the tribute which is loyally and gratefully paid them this day.
From the time of the first settlement until March 5, 1795, when the 8th and 9th townships were organized as a distinct civic autonomy under the name of Sherburne, they were nominally under the jurisdiction of the town of Paris, yet nothing appears in the records of that township of that date referring to matters in either of these two towns; not the appointment of a single officer, or the laying out of a single road district---no reference whatever---from which it may be inferred that they were left to govern themselves, which they were quite capable of doing.
The act of the Legislature incorporating this town on the date named, specified that the first Town Meeting should be held "at the dwelling house of Timothy Hatch," which was a log house, located on the upper cross road over the river, not far from the present Wiley residence; and it was there held on the first Tuesday in April, 1795, Isaac Foote acting as Moderator. The following officers were then and there chosen:
Town Clerk---Orsamus Holmes.
Assessors---John Hibbard, Joseph Simons, Josiah Lathrop.
Constable and Collector---Eleazer Lathrop.
Overseers of Highways---Joel Northrop, Abner Calkins, James Raymond, Stephen Parker, Joseph Guthrie.
Pound Keeper---Newcomb Raymond.
Commissioners of Highways---John Lathrop, John Guthrie, Timothy Hatch.
School Commissioners---Isaac Foote, Orsamus Holmes, John Hibbard, Josiah Lathrop.
Fence Viewers---Joel Hatch, Ichabod Munger.
Isaac Foote was continued as Supervisor for three years, then John Gray, Sr., three years, then Jesse Hutchinson two years, Joseph Simons, three years, 1803, '5, '8; Joel Hatch, 1804, '9,'12; John Gray, Jr., 1810-11; Stephen Benedict, from 1813 to 1826, inclusive; Tilly Lynde, 1827, '31, '32; Smith M. Purdy, 1828; Milo Hunt, 1829-30; James N. Cassells, 1833-35; James Thompson, 1836-37; Philo Robinson, 1838-39; Devillo White, 1840; William Newton, 1841.
For Town Clerk, Orsamus Homes was continued until his removal from the place, in the spring of 1803; James Elmore was his successor, holding the office until 1818; then Samuel Stebbins until 1831; then Devillo White five years; Joseph Benedict, 1836; William Cook, 1837; Joshua Pratt, Jr., 1838; Stephen Benedict, from 1839 to 1842; William Cook, 1843; John P. Deitz, 1844.
Isaac Foote and Nathaniel Gray were the first Justices of the Peace appointed, date of Feb. 18, 1795, and as will be seen, prior to the incorporation of the town. Later, in 1798, Joel Thompson, Elijah Sexton, Nathaniel King, were made Justices, and the latter a Master of Chancery, 1801. David Dixon was appointed Justice of the Peace in March, 1804. Also Joel Hatch, Joseph Simons, Jonathan Pettit, Stephen Benedict, Elisha Mills, Lyman S. Rexford, Joseph Guthrie, and James Sheffield, at various times were appointed to that office. It was a judicial position of no little importance in the early days, and it is not derogation of any others to say that none more magnified the office than did Squire Joel Hatch, who was in himself a quaint and original personality around whom tradition loves to linger in interesting reminiscence. His summing up of strong, hard common sense in his significant "On the general whole!" his ability to make up his mind and keep it made, as instanced in the trial before him on an occasion when one of the lawyers in the case strongly protested against his dropping off into a nap during the continuance of his argument, to which he tersely and characteristically replied, "Never mind! Go on! I decided this case more than an hour ago!" and to the surprise of the indignant pettifogger the sequel proved that it was in favor of his client that the Squire had decided;---his self forgetfulness, as instanced in his humorous attempt to shave sugar for his coffee from a whetstone; and his going to a neighbor's to borrow a steel-yard and carrying away a strip of dried pumpkin which he had all unconsciously taken in its stead,---these are but a few flash lights upon his unique individuality, which on occasion towered up to his full stature, as illustrated in the following incident taken from Hatch's History of Sherburne. It appears he had gone to Albany in the winter of 1808, as a duly accredited agent, to present a petition to the Legislature asking for a division of the 8th and 9th townships. On appearing, he found a strong array in opposition. After some time had been spent upon the question he was invited to give such information as he was able upon the subject. He arose at once, and was entering into the merits of the case in his peculiar manner, riveting the attention of the house to such a degree that the opposition became annoyed, when in order to break him down they raised the question of his right to speak there, wishing to know if he was a Member, etc. This interruption and these remarks were construed by him as an infringement upon his right of petition, for the securing of which he had shouldered his musket in the Revolutionary war, and it aroused the spirit and energy of the old hero. His stentorian voice instantly rang through the hall as he exclaimed: "I came here with a petition from the people! I am one of the people! I have a right to be heard, and I will be heard!" From that moment he was listened to with evident delight by the large majority of those present, and it is scarcely necessary to add that Squire Hatch's petition prevailed.
The first election of Justices of the Peace by the people was at the general election in 1827. Mills Landon, Jonathan Copeland, Smith M. Purdy, and Joseph Guthrie being then chosen. The first Justice of the Peace elected at Town Meeting was in 1835.
James Elmore was the first Postmaster in Sherburne, having been appointed in January, 1801. He was also the first merchant, and it is said also hung out the first sign for an inn, though there were several other inn-keepers before him. Samuel Picket having taken out a license for that purpose as early as 1797. James Elmore erected the first framed house in town, on the site of Mr. Asa Foote's present residence, something over a mile north of this village, a part of which still remains in its primitive condition. It was there that Judge Isaac Foote delivered an address on the occasion of the death of Washington, the last of December, 1799. Mr. Elmore was succeeded as Postmaster by John Guthrie, and afterwards Mr. S. P. Scoville, who was a merchant in Sherburne village, and a brother-in-law of Mr. Elmore, held that office for many years.
In this connection it is interesting to notice that the West Hill is frequently mentioned in the town records, early as 1816, as Sherburne West Village, and this place was spoken of, in the Olive Branch, published on the West Hill, date of 1806, as "Sherburne Turnpike Village." In fact that place had priority of existence, its principal rival in the early days being the settlement at what became known as the Quarter, and Robinson's Hill. In the latter part of 1802, a store was opened on the West Hill by Gerritt Y. Lansing, Jr., of Albany, who had previously to his going there been for a time at Herkimer. The store was located on the northeast corner of the cross roads in a wooden building some years since torn down, and it was for many years a place of much business activity, it being the principal trading post for all the surrounding country. Mr. Lansing was succeeded by his enterprising clerk, Tilly Lynde, in 1805, and it was there that he accumulated what in those days was considered a handsome fortune, he having been one of the most prosperous and successful merchants that ever lived in Sherburne, as well as having achieved much prominence in public life. Soon after the store was started an inn was erected by Samuel Foote of the 8th township, on the south-west corner, (the present Sexton homestead) and in 1803 Mr. Foote was appointed Postmaster of the office there established. The mails from Cooperstown west to Homer, and north and south between Utica and Oxford crossed there at that time, making it a place of transfer of importance. In 1810-11 Tilly Lynde was the Asst. P. M.
On the 25th day of November, 1800, a new church society was formed on the West Hill entitled "The Second Calvinistick Society of Sherburne," Which was evidently intended to absorb and supplant the First Congregational Church and Society, which had already been formed on the east side of the river, and it came very near doing so, comprising as it did at the outset a large majority of the men and families of influence in the community. After a long time spent in trying to agree upon a common centre, which must of necessity be upon one side of the river or the other, the effort was finally given up, and a Church was organized on the West Hill date of October 18, 1803, and soon thereafter a meeting house was built---believed to be the first church edifice erected in Chenango County, and which is still standing, though used now these many years for other purposes. The following year the East or First Congregational Society erected a church building on the West side of the road on Robinson Hill.
And so the rivalry between the two village sites for supremacy was continued. In the way of numbers, and business, and material prosperity, the West Hill, receiving as it did the strong and undivided support of the 8th township, had the decided advantage, but neither of them was to win the coveted prize; for in the meantime the present village of Sherburne, which at the first was considered an unfavorable site, and promised nothing better than good farm land when once it was cleared up and the low levels on its borders drained, began development. Nature had presented an almost impassable barrier to the location of a center of business at the Quarter or vicinity, in the shape of Granville Hill rising abruptly to the eastward, making communication in that direction very difficult. A better highway for travel and the freighting of goods and produce early became imperative, and it was found in the divide of the hills made by Mad Brook in its westward course to this valley. The outlet was here. This was the natural approach from the east and to the east, and when once the road was laid out which afterwards came to be known as the Great Western and the Cherry Valley Turnpike, bisecting as it did the north and south road, the Chenango Valley Turnpike, at this point, the center of business for this township, and the site of the village to be, were fixed as absolute as if a decree had been entered to that effect. And from that day this place steadily increased in population and business importance.
One of the first to observe and foresee and take advantage of the new situation, was Dr. Asa White, who had early settled on the cross road near the upper river bridge; and he put his faith in the future of this place into practice by the purchase, in 1802, of this south-east corner, comprising all that part of lot No. 12, originally allotted to John Gray, Sr., lying south of the east turnpike road and extending to the lands of John Hibbard on the south, and to the quarter line on the east, embracing altogether thirty-four acres, including the site upon which this Centennial celebration is held and this monument stands, the title being direct to him from the Proprietors. The erection of his inn and residence on this corner followed, and that was the beginning of the village of Sherburne. A store was built over opposite on the north-east corner, by Alfred Gray, son of John Gray, Sr., the original owner of those premises, and Stebbins & Scoville built an inn on the south-west corner, site of the present Daniels House as early as 1803, about which time Zacchæus W. Elmore commenced in trade in a small way on the west side of South Street, opposite the Congregational Church grounds, and afterwards Joshua Pratt, Elias Babcock, and others, successively engaged in business here.
The future village was booming, and the Quarter and the West Hill took note of it with jealous eye. So early as 1810 the removal of the church building from Robinson's Hill to the borders of this village was undertaken,---a recognition of the fact that the sceptre had departed from thence. And so this place grew and its future was made secure. The village was incorporated as such April 16, 1830. The building of the Chenango Canal, commenced in 1833 and completed in 1837, marked an era of phenominal growth and speculation here. In fact, property was then sold in this village at prices that would frighten the steady going burgher of to-day. A great collapse followed the panic of 1837, but fortunately the canal was undisturbed by it, and "the soil still remained in its place!"
The growth of the town of Sherburne was rapid and continuous. The number of qualified voters in 1795 was 79; by 1807 they had increased to 423, two being colored men who had the property qualification. By the census of 1800 the population was 1,282, and in 1810 increased to 2,520, although in the meantime the 8th township had been set off as Smyrna. On the last assessment roll for highways on which both towns appear as one, 1808, are 588 names of male adults liable to such duty. Then, too, it must be remembered that this remarkable movement of population took place when the facilities of travel and transportation were exceedingly limited.
According to Mr. Hatch's History the name of Sherburne came in this way: "After the bounds had been agreed upon, the question was asked by one of the members of the Legislature, 'What name shall we give it?' The reply was: 'The inhabitants of that place always sing in their religious meetings a tune called Sherburne, and I think that name will suit them better than any other.' And so it was called Sherburne." What sweet association, and how suggestive. The pioneers, with all their plainness and the severe exactions of their lives, had an undertone of deep sentiment in their natures; were lovers of song,---and so they gave us Sherburne, as a sweet synonym of their symphonies.
Sherburne and Smyrna were like twin brothers in the early days when they were one. The latter gave the town its first Supervisor in the person of Isaac Foote, a name well placed upon this monument, and one which we will all rise up to honor this day. He was in every sense an eminent citizen, and Sherburne may well be proud to claim an interest in him. Then again the 8th township furnished a worthy Supervisor and Member of Assembly in the person of Joseph Simons, and another Supervisor in Jesse Hutchinson. But it was inevitable that the two towns should finally be divided, as they were in 1808. The area of the townships was originally as follows: 8th, 25,780 acres; 9th, 24,205, to which has since been added by act of the Board of Supervisors in 1852, from New Berlin, the district known as Skinner Hill, containing 3,231 acres, making altogether 27,436 acres in this town as at present constituted.
Sherburne has a wealth of agricultural resources, and has always been rated higher per acre on the tax roll than any other town in this county, in that respect showing the wisdom of the fathers in their selection. It was heavily timbered in pine, hemlock, maple, beach, elm, chestnut, butternut, oak and hickory. Its alluvial meadows were rich, and its uplands produced large crops of grain, wheat and corn being the staples in the early days. No town in the county was ever its equal in those respects. The percentage of unproductive lands is at the minimum. Its dairies have had a reputation second to none. The number of sheep in the town in 1845 was 21,873, and much attention was then paid to wool raising. But only very briefly can such data be referred to here.
To return to the old Town Records: They are models of neatness and particularity, exceedingly well kept, a great credit to the painstaking care of the various Clerks who have served this town from the days of Orsamus Holmes and James Elmore until now. Only one book, extending from 1795 to 1800, of the general record is missing, believed to be in the hands of some one unwittingly who has borrowed it. Has never been in the possession of the present Town Clerk. It is invaluable, and should be found and returned. Some other books and records of that period are however preserved. The general election record goes back to 1799.
The records give evidence of a favoring view, in fact of advanced opinions, concerning internal navigation, in the following quaint resolution passed at the annual Town Meeting held March 2, 1802: "Agreed, that a petition be sent to the Legislature praying that the several towns where the Chenango River passes through, that each town be taxed a sufficient sum to clear said river so that Arks may pass!" Nothing small about that. And Capt. Nathaniel Austin did essay to take his Ark down the river the following spring, and sailed away never to return. A brave, adventurous spirit was his. At 17 years of age he was married, having previously been a soldier of the Revolution. At twenty he was the father of three sons, and a prisoner sentenced to death for having participated in Shay's Rebellion. However, by the aid of his wife, he escaped, and afterwards was one of the pioneers of Sherburne. He organized the first Military Co. in this town, 1796, electing himself as Captain.
Wolves, bears and panthers, roamed through the thick forests, but none of the settlers were injured by them, though there were some narrow escapes. There were plenty of deers, and for several years they were occasionally seen in the woods hereabouts. As late as 1805 it was voted that a bounty of $10 be paid for "the killing of a grown wolf within the bounds of this town and $5 for a young one." At the Town Meeting in 1806 it was "Voted that swine, rams and wolves be the same as last year," showing that the "varmints" were not yet exterminated. No bounty appears to have been offered on bears although quite common in those days, their meat probably being considered a sufficient compensation for their destruction. In fact, an old Revolutionary soldier could look an ordinary bear out of countenance.
That the Forefathers were unjustly charged with being addicted to the drink habit, and did not look with favor in those early days upon making this a "dry" town, is decisively negatived by the following significant extract made from the record: "At a special Town Meeting held at the East Meeting House, on Tuesday the 17th of January, 1815, Joel Hatch, Moderator, voted to petition the Legislature of this State at their next session to make a law to prevent persons from drinking." A radical movement certainly, and approving at least of local prohibition.
Of the list of Jurors, date of 1801, comprising 114 names, the following classification of occupations is given: Yeomen, 98; carpenters, 3; cordwinders, 3; joiners, 2; esquires, 2; clothier, 1; hatter, 1; taylor, 1; mason, 1; blacksmith, 1; merchant, 1. A significant exhibit, showing the rural character of the settlement.
In the early days it was unquestionably expected that Sherburne would be the County seat, and the location of the jail limits at the Four Corners in 1799, was such an indication. As Chenango County was at first constituted it was indeed well situated for such a center,---a local Capital---and that fact doubtless accounts in part for the unusually large number of prominent men who located here, giving the place so much importance. But the erection of Madison County in 1806, by which Sherburne was left on the extreme northern boundary of Chenango, voided all such expectations, and yet this town had a predominating influence in this county for many years after that division was made.
The military record of Sherburne in the early times is not very full but is interesting as showing the martial spirit that prevailed. As already stated, Capt. Nathaniel Austin organized a company of militia, date of April 11, 1796, with Joseph Guthrie, 1st Lieut., and George Anderson, Ensign. Joseph Dixon was 2d Major and Nathaniel King Paymaster of Col. Clemons' Chenango County Regt., 1800. In 1803, John Guthrie was Paymaster; Asa White, Surgeon; Nathaniel Austin, Major; Isaac Foote, Jr., Adjutant; Joah Gardner, Surgeon's Mate; Josiah Lathrop, Joseph Guthrie, and Bigelow Waters, were Captains; Daniel D. Gardiner, Joshua Talcott, Jr., Wicks Smith, Alpheus Hall, Joel Lee, and Noah Robinson, Lieutenants; and John Gray, Jr., Ensign, all of the 105th Regt., and all of Sherburne.
In 1810 the records show Reuben Gray, Captain; Edward Gray, Gardner and Henry Waters, Lieutenants; Nathaniel E. Gray and Calvin Coe, Ensigns, and Tilly Lynde, Quartermaster, (afterwards Ensign.) In 1812 Marsena Allen was a Lieutenant, and Reuben Gray (afterwards, 1817, Lieut.-Col. Of a Chenango County Regt.,) was Captain of the Sherburne Company that marched to the frontier under Col. Thompson Mead. The following military order issued by Col. Mead, per Tilly Lynde, Adjutant, date of May 12, 1812, is pertinent to the forgoing:
"Capt. Bigelow Waters, Capt. Joseph Billings, Capt. Solomon Kelsey, Capt. Reuben Gray, Capt. Rufus Rose, and Capt. Amasa Foote, are hereby ordered and directed to parade their respective Companies at John Guthrie's in Sherburne, on Friday, the 22d of May, at 9 A.M., to furnish their several quotas to march to the frontiers."
In 1814 the Brigade Returns of Gen. Obadiah German show Joshua Pratt, Jr., Captain; Theopholus Robinson, Lieut., John Nash, Ensign, and Samuel Guthrie, Surgeon, in the 105th Regt. Asa White tendered his resignation as Major of the First Squadron of Light Dragoons, Feb. 19th, 1814, giving as a reason for his doing so, that he was "about to quit the State."
A large proportion of the early settlers had been Revolutionary soldiers, and one, Nathaniel Brown, is said to have been of the celebrated Boston Tea Party; but the roll of honor is too lengthy to be presented here, as is also that other roll of honor of Sherburne's sons in that later contest for Union and Liberty represented by this narrowing band of the Grand Army of the Republic here to-day, showing that to the sons, as well as to the fathers, patriotism was a crowning glory.
The first church formed here, as already stated, was the First Congregational, date of July 6, 1794; the First Baptist Church, in the borders of the town near Earlville, and now located in that place, June 24, 1802, with Elder John Mudge as pastor; the Second Congregational Church, on the West Hill, October 18, 1803, Rev. Joshua Knight, pastor; the Open Communion Baptist Church, on the East Hill, organized as a branch of the Plainfield (Otsego Co.) Church, Feb'y 8, 1809; Christ Church, Episcopal, June 7, 1828, Rev. Edward Andrews, Rector; the Second Baptist Church, of Sherburne village, July 2, 1836; the Methodist Church, March 12, 1839; Universalist, August 25, 1849; and St. Malachi's, Roman Catholic, has had a house of worship here since 1858.
The history of the schools of Sherburne would make a very interesting chapter of itself, but can only be briefly alluded to here. The first school in town, says Mr. Hatch in his history, was at the house of Nathaniel Gray, the winter of 1793-'94. "A pedagogue by the name of Gardner was employed to teach it. When exercising a class in spelling, he put the word 'book.' The scholar spelled it b-u-k, and the teacher pronounced it right. Edward Gray, a son of John Gray, Sr., disputed this, whereupon the master, in order to maintain the dignity of his station, undertook to correct him corporeally and a scuffle ensued from which the teacher came out second best. The result was the school was broken up for the winter." So little progress had Volapuk made at that early period. The school was taught the second winter in the house of Elijah Gray, adjoining. Elisha Gray being the teacher, and in the same place the winter following, 1795-6, the official report of which in the neat caligraphy of Isaac Foote, one of the School Commissioners of the town, gives names of all the pupils, the number of days during which they attended, and the heads of families so represented. From that report it appears that there were two teachers during the winter---a Mr. Hartshorn, from December 1, 1795, to January 30, 1796, at $8 per month; and for the balance of the winter Elisha Gray at $10 per month. The report of the District at the Forks, also appears for the latter part of the same winter. Mr. Lemuel Hopkins was the teacher there at the munificent salary of $9 per month. There were 51 pupils reported in the first named district, and 25 in the latter. The first school house in the town is said to have been built at the Quarter, 1797, and was used also as a place for holding meetings on Sundays. The second, was in the district on the West side of the river, built the following year. From that primeval period what a development. Only passing reference can be made to the old Academy, established in this village about 1840, and which is looked back to with fond memory by so many of the sons and daughters of Sherburne as their cherished Alma Mater.
The early literary taste of the pioneers was attested by the incorporation of the Sherburne Federal Library, January 10, 1800, some of the books belonging to which are still in existence.
The first newspaper published in the town and in this county, was The Western Oracle, by Abraham Romeyn, at Sherburne Four Corners, 1803, a file of which is in the Centennial exhibit. The next was The Olive Branch, published by Phinney & Fairchild, on the West Hill, commencing in May, 1806, and continued there until April, 1808, when it was removed to Norwich. It was printed by John Flavel Fairchild, who married Elizabeth Merrill, daughter of Thomas Merrill of the Four Corners. The printing office was located on a lot purchased of Oliver Wells, the first goldsmith in Sherburne, and was between the West Hill Meeting House and Lynde's corner. Mr. Fairchild's name appears on the list of qualified voters of this town for 1807. Files of that paper, by the courtesy of Lewison Fairchild, Esq., of Cazenovia, are in the Centennial exhibit. In the volume of the paper published after its removal to Norwich, 1808, Mr. Fairchild advertises for sale, "A house and lot in the rich and flourishing town of Sherburne, a few rods west of the Meeting House on the West Hill." So it will be seen that Sherburne had begun to put on airs even at that early day. The Republican Messenger, published by Jonathan Pettit and James Percival, appeared in the present village of Sherburne in 1810, but was not long continued. So much for the press of the early times in which Sherburne took the lead of any other town in the county.
The political history of the town, a very interesting chapter, can only be briefly touched upon here. In the earlier days the pioneers seemed to be nearly all of one mind in regard to public affairs. In fact, at the annual Town Meetings, which were primarily held at the log house of some one of the settlers, or at some wayside inn, and afterwards alternately at the East and West Meeting Houses, the minor officers were chosen by the uplifted hand, and others, by "going around," whatever that might be. Perhaps the passing of the quaint old original ballot box to be seen in the Centennial exhibit. On the question of the war of 1812 the majority were Federalists; in the anti-Masonic times the majority were anti-Masons; in 1832, '34, '36, and '40, the Whigs were largely in the majority at the general elections; in 1844, a large Abolition vote and a small Democratic majority; in 1848 and '52, again Whig; in 1856, and since that time, largely Republican; in fact the banner town of that party in the county at the general elections. In passing we may remark upon the present lack of the local color and elan which characterized the great historic struggles of 1840 and '44, the like of which, with their Log Cabins and Hard Cider, and Processions, and Pole Raisings, and Cannon Firing, will never be seen again. Yes, what a story might be told of that old brass cannon which heralded forth in notes of thunder from its brazen throat alike the victories of the Whigs and the Locofocos in those exciting days.
The honor of being the first white male child born in the town is claimed alike for Lorenzo Hatch and Justin Guthrie. The first white female infant was Abigail Raymond, born 1793; the first marriage was that of John Hibbard and Betsey Sartwell, 1795; the first death among the pioneers was that of Joel Northrop, 1802; the first grist mill on the Handsome Brook, the present Furman Mill. The Kershaw Mill, so called, was built at an early day by Elisha Mills, and afterwards owned successively by Fitch Raymond and Wells Hatch. Capt. Josiah Lathrop had a mill on the river, not far from what was afterwards known as the Feeder Dam.
Among the men prominent in public life in the early days here were Isaac Foote, Member of Assembly, State Senator, County Judge; Joel Thompson, Member of Assembly, County Judge, Member of Congress; Tilly Lynde, Member of Assembly, State Senator; John Gray, Jr., Associate Justice. Later, Smith M. Purdy, County Judge and Member of Congress; Demas Hubbard, Jr., Member of Assembly and Member of Congress; Clark Burnham, Member of Assembly and State Senator; Roswell Judson, County Judge and Surrogate. Two other names are prominently connected with the early history of Sherburne, that of Col. Wm. Smith and Judge John Watts; the former the original purchaser of the township from the state, and the latter receiving the title of a large portion of it from him. Col. Smith achieved distinction as a soldier of the Revolution, winning the high honor of becoming an Aide-de-Camp to Washington; at the close of the war was appointed Secretary of Legation to London where he married the only daughter of John Adams, then Minister to England. Was afterwards U.S. Marshal, Surveyor of the Port of New York, and retiring to his estate at Smith's Valley, Lebanon, Madison County, he was elected Member of Congress. At his death, in 1816, he was buried beside his mother and his brothers in the Sherburne West Hill Cemetery, where a stone has recently been placed at his grave by his descendants. Judge John Watts, of New York, was a familiar personality in times within the memory of those now living, when he spent portions of the summer each year at his Manor House so called, just above the Kershaws. He aided materially in the founding of Christ Church at this place, being one of the largest contributors. He was the grandfather of gallant Gen. Phil Kearney, who often visited Sherburne with him in his youth, and inherited this portion of his estate. Another grandson, Gen. J. Watts De Peyster, of Tivoli and New York, still survives, and is quite interested in Sherburne.
Hon. Joseph Benedict, whom we all delight to honor, now in his 93d year, and present with us on this occasion; your venerable fellow townsman, Mr. William Cook, whose name for more than three-quarters of a century has been a synonym for urbanity and uprightness in this community; Dr. Devillo White, the son of that other elder Dr. White, whose boyhood home was on this spot, for half a century and more one of the strongest personalities in this town, whose unquenchable patriotism incited him to erect that other and noble monument here to other sons of Sherburne who won imperishable honors in defense of the Flag which the Fathers had upheld on other fields of glory; and then there is that son of Sherburne from Brooklyn whose eloquent oration has so stirred our hearts to-day; and a son of Sherburne, Hon. David L. Follett, who has worn the ermine unsullied in the highest courts of this State. A great-grandson of one of the Proprietors is a Missionary in far away Corea, and the great-great-grandson of another has followed the star of empire to the Hawaiian Islands where with his journalistic pen he is striving to hold aloft the Stars and Stripes at Honolulu.
Among the sons and daughters of Sherburne, either by birth, descent, or adoption, who deserve to be mentioned here, are James Talcott Gifford, the founder of the city of Elgin, Ill.; Mrs. Rev. D. E. Sackett, of Cranford, N. J., the only living child of one of the Proprietors, (daughter of John Gray, Jr.,) who was born in Sherburne, one of the founders of Elmira Female College, and a lady of rare gifts and worth; Mrs. Amanda Gray Lee, of Cedar Mountain, N. C., the daughter of Elijah Gray, another of the Proprietors, who celebrated her centennial in November last, having been born before the settlement of Sherburne, and still retaining great interest in and love for this home of her childhood; Philander Raymond, a son of James Raymond, one of the Proprietors, who was the founder of Toledo, O., and foremost in the development of the great iron industries in western Pennsylvania; Dr. Samuel Guthrie, from Brimfield, Mass., distinguished as the discoverer of anæsthetics; Dr. Elial T. Foote, son of Samuel Foote, of Sherburne and Smyrna, eminent as a physician and in public life in Chautauqua County, who was much interested in the history of this place; Dr. John F. Gray, a grandson of John Gray, Sr., whose log house stood near what is now known as the Upham corner, who was the first Homopathist in the city of New York, won fame and fortune there, and ever cherished a wonderful love for his birthplace; Abigail Raymond Smith, daughter of Abram Raymond, the first white woman to cross the Rocky Mountains as a Missionary to the Indians in the farther West; Rev. O. P. Allen, son of Deacon Marsena Allen, of Sherburne and Smyrna, and a baptized child of the old West Hill Church, for over thirty years a faithful Missionary at Harpoot, Turkey; Amelia Newton Little, the fairest daughter of the family, and of this Church, who gave her life as a Missionary in far away India; Alida C. Avery, M. D., for many years Professor of Physiology and Physician in charge of Vassar College, now of San Jose, California; Gen. John B. Gray of New York, a grandson of Judge John Gray, Jr., one of the Proprietors, who won distinction as Adjutant General of the State of Missouri during the war of the Rebellion; Major Curtis Burritt Raymond, late of Boston, grandson of James Raymond; Major Curtiss C. Gardiner, of St. Louis, Mo., grandson of Capt. Daniel Denison Gardiner of Sherburne West Hill; Prof. Hubert A. Newton, of Yale, distinguished as a scholar and scientist the world over; Hon. Herschel H. Hatch, of Bay City, Mich.,; the late Hon. Wm. Pitt Lynde, of Milwaukee; Rev. Shubael Carver, of North Bergen, N. Y.; Jas. R. Lathrop, Supt. of the Roosevelt Hospital, New York City; T. H. Matteson, celebrated as an artist; Sidney T. Fairchild, prominent in public affairs, and his brother Lewison Fairchild, sons of John F. Fairchild, published of the "Olive Branch" on Sherburne West Hill, both baptised children of the old church there, may well be claimed as sons of Sherburne. A son of the former, Hon. Chas. S. Fairchild, of New York, has been Att'y Gen'l of this State, and Sec'y of the Treasury of the United States.
Hon. Chas. M. Gray, formerly Mayor of Chicago, was a native of Sherburne, and grandson of John Gray, Sr. Alvan Lathrop, A. M., a grandson of Eleazer Lathrop, noted as a teacher; John H. Lathrop, LL. D., eminent as a Professor and educator; Abram Dixon, State Senator; Rev. Raymond Dixon, the first graduate at Yale from Sherburne; Judge Cowing, of New York City, grandson of Samuel Foote; Judge Thacher, of Hornellsville, grandson of Amos Graves early of Sherburne; and Hon. John J. Foote, of Belvidere, a grandson of Judge Isaac Foote who was formerly a New York State Senator.
Orrin S. Wood, Esq., of Staten Island, was born in Sherburne 1817, the son of Benjamin Wood, a brother-in-law of the late Hon. Ezra Cornell, with whom he was associated in the development of American Telegraphy, the first telegraph operator in the world, who has achieved fame and fortune on the lines of honorable enterprise; and his sister, Mrs. Ezra Cornell, the mother of Ex-Gov. A. B. Cornell, of whom it is said: "At four years of age she came to live in Sherburne, spending four other years in the excellent public schools of that place. Those Sherburne school days did more than aught else to ripen the beauty of her childhood into an especial charm of girlhood. They served to implant firmly her strong, calculating mind, which in mature years urged forward her venerated husband to found a University the broadest in the land." What a compliment to Sherburne.
The migrations of the early settlers were most remarkable. Like the true sons of the Pilgrims they went marching on, peopling other towns and cities in other states until we find them now in nearly every part of the Union and the islands of the sea. On this Centennial day how many of them are turning their longing eyes hitherward with the desire to once more view these loved scenes, exclaiming meanwhile with all the ardor of the Scottish poet, "My heart's in the highlands, my heart is not here." And so we bid them hail, and all the worthies of the past, and all its tender memories, on this day of days, this Centennial of dear old Sherburne.
"We sleep and wake and sleep, but all things move;|
The Sun flies forward to his brother Sun;
The dark Earth follows wheel'd in her ellipse;
And human things returning on themselves
Move onward, leading up the golden years."
Mr. M. D. Raymond was called to preside, when, after music by the choir, the reading of extracts from a large number of letters from friends not able to be present, and which appear herewith on following pages, proceeded. Rev. Shubael Carver, of North Bergen, Genesee Co., a well preserved octogenarian, who is a native of Sherburne and passed his youth and early manhood there, was then introduced as the first speaker of the evening, and he proceeded to make a quaint, old-fashioned address.
Hon. Walstene D. Pudney, of Cleveland, Ohio, was introduced as a good representative of the younger sons of Sherburne, who having worn the blue with honor in the war for the Union, had won success on other fields; and he happily and in a patriotic spirit responded, doing honor to his native and his adopted State.
Dr. Elbert M. Somers, of Deansville, Oneida Co., a highly esteemed son of Sherburne, whose public and private life has fully realized all the bright promise of his youth, and who when he went from here took with him one of the loveliest and most gifted of the daughters of Sherburne as his wife, was then called out, and spoke substantially as follows: "You have been so handsomely entertained of the pulpit and the press on this occasion that you must listen with something of impatience, I fear, to the less attractive words of a member of the silent profession. Nevertheless I stand up cheerfully to be counted as one of the native born citizens of the town of Sherburne. Although forty years of my life have been spent elsewhere, I have never ceased to remember the good friends of my earlier years with sincere respect and affection. Indeed, it has been an axiom with me oft repeated, that to have been born in the town of Sherburne was to have been well born. Out of the forest primeval the fathers carved this goodly township, now clothed in richest robe of deepest green, and decked with gorgeous flowers of rich perfumes. It was ours to first look out upon this landscape of surpassing beauty, where a Cropsey, a Bierstadt, and a Matteson lingered long to drink in its beauties and transfer them to canvass. The laborious and accomplished Historian of the occasion has to-day made us proud of our heritage, proud of our parentage, and deeply thankful for the memories that cluster here."
Rev. Dr. E. M. Mills, of Elmira, followed with some oratorical pyrotechnics which added to his reputation as a brilliant off-hand speaker, and much enlivened the occasion.
Edward F. Lawrence, Esq., of the Elmira Advertiser, a son of Sherburne who is doing honor to his native place, evinced his ability, when called upon, to think on his feet and to speak as he thinks, in a way original and vivacious.
James R. Lathrop, Esq., the able and cultured Supt. of the Roosevelt Hospital, New York, who was an officer in the war for the Union, when called upon responded in a thoughtful way, speaking a word for the American youth in American homes, closing his excellent remarks by the reading of a poem written by his father, the late Alvan Lathrop, on visiting Sherburne, his native place, some fifty years ago.
Capt. Chas. A. Fuller, on being called out with a complimentary word by the chairman, happily and patriotically responded, but did not succeed in his effort to belittle the great services he rendered in aiding to make the Centennial a success.
Rev. J. C. Barber, Messrs. Tucker, Peck, and J. H. Shepard, George Buchanan, Cornetist, and Mrs. Botsford, Organist, furnished very acceptable music, including old "Sherburne," and a pleasing feature was the felicitous rendering of a song entitled "The Chenango Valley," by the Dixon Brothers, Mrs. Billings and Frank Avery, all grandchildren of Major Joseph Dixon, the tune composed and words written by the late Simeon B. Marsh, formerly the Precentor of the Congregational Church.
A few farewell remarks by the chairman, a few kind words and the benediction by the pastor, Rev. A. F. Norcross, and the Centennial anniversary of Sherburne had passed into history.
LETTER FROM MRS. AMANDA GRAY LEE.
Cedar Mountain, North Carolina
June 10th, 1893
I would love to be with you all on the memorial day, but since that is impossible, I send love and greeting to all of the children and grand children of Sherburne who take an interest in one who is, I think, the only survivor of the little band of pioneers of a hundred years ago, and who may well be called the "oldest inhabitant."
The happiest days of my life were spent in Sherburne-days of glad sunshine and music. I dream of them now, almost forgetting the one's of labor, and trial, and sorrow, that have intervened since that far away time when, as a child I mingled in those scenes.
LETTER FROM MRS. ELIZA R. WHITEMAN.
MILTON, OREGON, June 4th, 1893.Dear Mr. Raymond:--How I wish I could be with you all on Centennial day. I could see the remnant of my old friends, and there will never be another such an opportunity. And to meet them all with the thrilling oneness of spirit that must prevail on that day would be a treat indeed. There will be wrinkles in the faces, and gray hairs on the temples of those who were just in their prime when I saw them last, but that only serves to remind us of the lapse of time which you come to celebrate.
As I cannot be with you on that occasion I send as a reminder of my interest in it, the first Ballot Box ever used in Sherburne. They elected their town officers for the first few years by acclamation. Then, at a Town Meeting held at my grandfather's house, it was proposed to vote by ballot. Grandfather took a box which he had bought from the Indians, covered with straw laid in fancy checks and rows, and varnished. It is about a foot long, 3 inches high, and 6 wide. He thought it too pretty to spoil by cutting a hole in the top, so he turned it over, and they put in their ballots through a hole which he cut in the bottom. How would you like to look into a ballot box which was used 95 or more years ago, and which never knew fraud, or trickery, or deception? Once, when speaking at a Prohibition meeting in Washington Territory, I said, "When I have an opportunity to vote for Temperance, my grandfather's ballot box will not be too good to have a hole cut in its top!" But the time has not yet come I am sorry to say, for making a slit in the top of the historic old ballot box.
The softened tints in which we view at this distance the lives of our ancestors, are the work of time's mellowing hand. How much clearer the nobility of their sacrifices for those who were to come after them, stands out against the background of the retreating century. The grand roll of its cycles has swept into oblivion all that should be forgotten, and left us a precious legacy, that time only preserves and hallows. God be with you all.
|(Grand-daughter of Joel Hatch.)||ELIZA R. WHITEMAN.|
CRANFORD, N. J., May 25, 1893.Dear Cousin Raymond:--Your kind letter inclosing invitation and programme of the memorial exercises of our own dear old Sherburne reached us last evening, for which many thanks. We are glad of the privilege of contributing something toward a monument to be erected there in honor of the Fathers, whose memory is precious and whose lives are worthy of emulation. I cannot well express my high appreciation of all that you have done and are doing to honor our common kinsmen. How I wish I could show you how truly I value what you have done for my pleasure in these declining years by your earnest work in all these matters. Much regretting that I shall be unable to be present at the Centennial, with a thankful, loving heart I wish you and yours peace.
|(Daughter of John Gray, Jr.)||D. E. SACKETT.|
ANGOLA, N. Y., June 3d, 1893.Dear Cousin:--The invitation to Centennial from you received. Would be very happy to go if circumstances were such that it were best, but I cannot well leave mother, (the widow of the late Irad Raymond and now in her 97th year, formerly of Sherburne,) for any length of time. It would be so nice if she could only go to Sherburne once more, and attend the celebration, but her days of enjoyment of this life are passed, and she is only waiting to be transferred to the other shore in full hope of a glorious immortality. Hope you will have a grand time. Yours Truly,
|(Grand-daughter of Newcomb Raymond.)||HARRIET A. KINSLEY.|
DUBUQUE, IOWA, April 22, 1893.DEAR COUSIN:--
NORTH CONWAY, N. H., June 5, 1893.TO HON. M. D. RAYMOND, Tarrytown, N. Y.-
Miss Helen Sawyer Raymond regrets exceedingly that the recent affliction, in the loss of her respected father, the late Honorable Major Curtis Burritt Raymond, prevents her from being present at the Centennial Celebration in commemoration of the settlement of Sherburne, N. Y., on Wednesday, June 21st, 1893.
MADISON, O., June 6, 1893.My Dear Mr. Raymond:--I regret to say that it will be impossible for me to attend the Sherburne Celebration. I should be delighted to contribute anything to its success, but my engagements will not permit. The memory of the brave men and women who laid the foundations of this fair land cannot be too often recalled or too much revered. It is our inheritance and our example. We should be proud that the blood of those who stood by this Nation in her birth-throes with their fortunes and their lives, flows in our veins. Since we cannot place the tribute of our affection and our praise in the warm clasp of living hands, let us carve it upon the enduring granite.
Hoping that the day may be auspicious, I remain,
|(Grandson James and Melissa Burritt Raymond.)||E. F. ENSIGN.|
129 W. 16TH ST., ERIE, PA.
June 19, 1893.
My Dear Kinsman:--I consider myself honored by receiving an invitation to be present at the celebration commemorating the settlement of Sherburne, and in counting myself a descendant of some of the pioneers who lived there a century ago. I am heartily in sympathy with the sentiment that inspired those who have arranged this reunion of the different branches of a widely scattered family, and which will tend to cement the bonds of kindred, while honoring an historical anniversary.
I regret that I cannot be present on the occasion, and extend to you all my best wishes for a happy day. Very Sincerely, Your Cousin,
ADELAIDE LEE STANCLIFFE.
(Grand-daughter of Amanda Gray Lee.)
359 PROSPECT AVE., BUFFALO, N. Y., May 28, 1893.My Dear Mr. Raymond:--Your kindness in sending an invitation to attend the Centennial Celebration at Sherburne is greatly appreciated. I regret that I cannot be there, for I should enjoy the exercises very much, and I should like to see the monument. That pleasure is only deferred, however, for I shall certainly make a pilgrimage to the home of my fathers some time. Your Cousin,
ADA M. KENYON.
(Great-grand-daughter of Nathaniel and Bethiah Newcomb-Raymond Gray.)
WESTFIELD, N. Y., June 10, 1893.Dear Mr. Raymond:--I thank you for the invitation to be present at the interesting ceremonies of the 21st inst., and wish that I could accept it. The occasion should be a memorable one, and I am sure that the people of Sherburne will give such expression to their appreciation and gratitude, as will make the day a proud and happy one to all the descendants of the pioneers. Sincerely Yours,
|Grand-daughter of Major Joseph Dixon.)||CAROLINE P. DIXON.|
MINNEAPOLIS, MINN., May 23, 1893MR. M. D. RAYMOND:--
MARCIA A. MITCHELL.
ST. LOUIS, MO., June 16, 1893.M. D. RAYMOND, Esq., Tarrytown, N. Y.:
May the skies shine serenely upon the Valley of the Chenango at Sherburne on the day of the Celebration, and may the gathered multitude contemplate the scene of a century's growth with grateful hearts to Almighty God. Sincerely Yours,
CURTISS C. GARDINER.
BELVIDERE, ILL., June 14, 1893.HON. M. D. RAYMOND:--
Again thanking you for the kindly invitation to attend the Centennial, I am
|(Grandson of Judge Isaac Foote.)||JOHN J. FOOTE.|
NEW YORK, June 20, 1893.My Dear Mr. Raymond:--I had hoped to be with you on Wednesday, but much to my regret, I shall be unable to do so. Please express my thanks to the Committee for their kind invitation. My grandfather, Samuel Foote, was one of the pioneers of Sherburne, and my father, Elial Todd Foote, spent his boyhood there, so that I feel interested in this Centennial. I therefore send greeting in behalf of the descendants of Samuel Foote and Sibyl D. Foote, to the good people of Sherburne and those who celebrate the day with them. May it be a day of thanksgiving for the blessings of the last hundred years, and for our Christian ancestry.
Let eloquence, poetry, music and history combine to make the day interesting for young and old-"Let joy be unconfined," and (confidentially, for the good people of Sherburne,) if the young people want to partake innocently in the enjoyment of an old-fashioned country dance, with their music, let us not bid them nay; and let us "keep up with the procession." All honor to the pioneers of Sherburne! and may their virtues be perpetuated in their descendants.
OFFICE OF ARGUS & RADICAL, (Daily and Weekly,)
BEAVER, PA., June 10, 1893.
BAY CITY, MICH., June 1, 1893.M. D. Raymond, Esq.:--I should very much like to be present at the Centennial anniversary but business engagements will prevent.
|(Grandson of Joel Hatch.)||H. H. HATCH.|
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA, June 12, 1893.MR. M. D. RAYMOND:--
|(Grandson of Ezra Lathrop)||H. D. LATHROP.|
STATE OF NEW YORK, EXECUTIVE CHAMBER,
ALBANY, June 19, 1893.
Thanking you in his behalf for the courtesy so extended, I remain
T. S. WILLIAMS,
YALE COLLEGE, June 7, 1893.My Dear Mr. Holden:--I have delayed reply to your invitation, on behalf of the Committee, to speak at the evening entertainment on the 21st of June, in hopes of being able to accept it, and be with you on that occasion; but as the time draws near I am more and more convinced that I ought not to incur the fatigue involved in my going to Sherburne at that time. It is one week before Commencement, a busy season for us. My judgment is not with my wishes in the matter, and it tells me I ought not to try my strength overmuch at this time.
I knew many of the first settlers of Sherburne as old men when I was a boy, and I have very great respect for what they were and what they did. They deserve our admiration and unstinted honor. Yours Most Truly,
POULTNEY, VT., May 29, 1893.Dear Mr. Raymond:--Your kind invitation to be present at the Centennial Celebration on June 21st, is received, but my age and feebleness in my 93d year, is an obstacle which I could not venture to overcome. My first pastorate was in Sherburne, and from beginning to end it was to me a very happy one, and I have always hoped a prosperous one to the church and acceptable to the people. May the Lord be with you all. Yours Truly,
I. N. SPRAGUE.
BELOIT, WIS., June 2, 1893.Deacon George W. Lathrop:--Thanks for the kind invitation to be present at the Centennial of the settlement of Sherburne, my dear old native home. Oh, how I wish I could. Should like to so much; should expect to see so many of my old acquaintances, whom I shall never see again if not at that time. If I am not there please remember me to all. Shall be with you in spirit if not in body. Yours Truly,
ANDREW B. KNAPP.
YPSILANTI, MICH., June 17, 1893.Mr. M. D. Raymond:--I would much like to be with you and others who are expected-to meet in Sherburne on Wednesday next to celebrate the Centennial of Sherburne's first settlement, but circumstances will not permit. I hope you will all have a good time, enjoy much, and do honor to the Fathers, who by severe toil, suffering many privations, were, with their noble wives, our mothers, laying the foundations of a society that their descendants may well be proud of.
Very Respectfully Yours,
F. K. REXFORD.
59 E. 21ST ST., NEW YORK, May 30, '93.HON. MARCIUS D. RAYMOND:--
|(Grandson of Judge John Watts.)||J. WATTS DEPUYSTER.|
Among other Centennial communications received were letters from President Stryker of Hamilton College, Orrin S. Wood, Esq., of Staten Island, Rowland B. Lacey, Esq. President of the Fairfield County Historical Society of Bridgeport, Conn., M. T. Lynde, Esq., of Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, Rev. Dr. R. L. Bachman, of Utica, Rev. Otis A. Dike, of Warsaw, formerly pastor of the Baptist Church at Sherburne, A. G. Nichols, Esq., of Kingston, step-grandson of Eleazer Lathrop, Raymond C. Gray, Esq., of Covington, Ky., Miss May Davidson, Elgin, Ill., Mrs. C. B. Raymond, Boston, Mass., Hon. Rufus B. Cowing, New York, T. Yale Hatch, Highmore, South Dakota, Farrand Hatch, Sugar Grove, Ill.
The following articles were placed in a box under the base of the Monument:
List of Subscribers to the Monument Fund, Pictures of Capt. Josiah Lathrop, James Raymond, and Newcomb Raymond, (three of the Proprietors,) copies of the Sherburne News, Tarrytown Argus, Carbondale Leader, Utica Morning Herald, Binghamton Republican, Hawaiian Star, Sherburne Transcript, Western Oracle, (published at Sherburne Four Corners, 1804,) the Congregationalist, copy of the Sherburne Congregational Church Manual, 1893, copy of last Report of Proceedings of the Board of Supervisors of Chenango County.
The following articles were in the Centennial exhibit:
By Mr. and Mrs. G. W. Lathrop: Deacon Melatiah Lathrop's Account Book, date of 1765; Crayon Portrait of Capt. Josiah Lathrop, photograph of Eleazer Lathrop, Crayon of Simeon B. Marsh; copy of Shakspeare 1795, Spectator, 1814, John Moore's Views of Italy, 1784, Conquest of Canaan, 1785, Connecticut Evangelical Magazine, 1802-3; Capt. Josiah Lathrop's Conch Shell, 1795, Josiah Lathrop's Tobacco Box, 1793, Josiah Lathrop's Steel Square, 107 years old, Josiah Lathrop's Mahogany Table, 110 years old, package of Deeds dating from 1751 to 1823, files of the Western Oracle, (Four Corners) 1804.
Exhibited by M. D. Raymond: Old Deed from Proprietors to Newcomb Raymond, first Ballot Box used in Sherburne, old Bible presented by Col. Wm. S. Smith to Sherburne West Hill Church, School Report for of Winter 1795-6, files of the Olive Branch printed at Norwich, 1808-10, and single copy of same printed on Sherburne West Hill, 1806; Portraits of Newcomb Raymond, John Gray, Jr., Joel Hatch, James Raymond, Col. Wm. S. Smith, Judge John Watts, Rev. Dr. I. N. Sprague, Philander Raymond Gray and Family, Melissa Burritt Raymond, Hon. Chas. M. Gray, and others.
Exhibited by M. D. Raymond: Old Deed from Proprietors to Newcomb Raymond, first Ballot Box used in Sherburne, old Bible presented by Col. Wm. S. Smith to Sherburne West Hill Church, School Report for of Winter 1795-6, files of the Olive Branch printed at Norwich, 1808-10, and single copy of same printed on Sherburne West Hill, 1806; Portraits of Newcomb Raymond, John Gray, Jr., Joel Hatch, James Raymond, Col. Wm. S. Smith, Judge John Watts, Rev. Dr. I. N. Sprague, Philander Raymond Gray and Family, Melissa Burritt Raymond, Hon. Chas. M. Gray, and others.
The following were among the Centennial guests present:
Hon. Joseph Benedict, Utica. S. Comstock and wife, Springfield, Mass Rev. Shubæl Carver, North Bergen. Dr. Elbert M. Somers, Deansville. Rev. Lewis Ray Foote, D. D., Brooklyn. Dr. E. M. Somers, Jr., Jersey City, N. J. Hon. Walstine D. Pudney, Cleveland, O. Maud E. Somers, Brooklyn. Jas. R. Lathrop, wife and daughter, N. Y. L. G. Raymond and wife, Angelica. Mr. and Mrs. M. D. Raymond, Tarrytown. Mabel and Cornelia Raymond. Mrs. J. E. See, son and daughter, " William Butler Newton, Parma. Miss Bertha Carpenter, " Albro Newton, Brooklyn. Miss Mary Judson, Chicago, Ill. Howard D. Newton, Norwich. Mr. and Mrs. Edward Purdy, Brooklyn. Julia Carrier, Elmira. Stanley Ormsby and wife, Eaton. Wells Burritt Hatch, Syracuse. E. Lawrence, and daughter, Elmira. Mrs. Rev. Dr. D. K. Bartlett, Albany. John C. Foote, Belvidere, Ill. Henry Hopson, Utica. F. C. Hyatt and wife, Perryville. Hon. Albert F. Gladding, Norwich.
The report of receipts and disbursements of the Monument Fund is or will be of historic interest. The list of names of the subscribers to this fund there presented may well be entitled a roll of honor, for it is simply their due to say, that if these loyal sons and daughters of the Fathers had not responded to the call made upon them for that purpose, no Monument would have been erected, the Centennial would not have been celebrated, and consequently this Centennial souvenir would not have been issued. This is a self-evident proposition, but may well be stated here. It will be noticed, and doubtless with some surprise, that several of the names which appear upon the Monument are not represented on the subscription list by any of their descendants. It is but simple justice to say, that in no case has it been from a lack of invitation to contribute something toward that object, and in some instances these invitations were several times repeated, without results. It should perhaps be here stated that the surplus remaining over from the Monument Fund has not been sufficient to produce this volume, and the publisher of it will have to look to the disposal of a few extra copies issued, to make up the deficiency. This much in justice to himself.
The Monument is placed on the grounds of the Congregational Church, which comprise the south-east corner at the crossing of the two principal streets of the village, a handsome green, on which the beautiful Monument in memory of the Union soldiers of Sherburne also stands. The Centennial Monument is massive rather than ornamental, and was intended to be typical of the times, and the men in whose honor it was erected. It is of the best Quincy granite, the bases of rough rock work with beveled edges. The disc is also rustic with polished panels bearing the inscriptions. The dimensions are: First base, 4 feet 6 inches square, 2 feet rise; second base, 3 feet 6 inches square, 1 foot 2 inches rise; disc, 3 feet square, 4 feet 10 inches high, making the total height 8 feet. The weight is about 8 tons.
The photgraphic representations of the Monument so clearly present the names and inscriptions thereon that they need not be repeated here. It suffices to say in conclusion, that the work has elicited universal encomiums.
J. D. Rexford, of Janesville, Wis., for self and other descendants of Cornelius Clark, $200.00 Mrs. G. W. Lathrop, of Sherburne, N. Y., a great-grand-daughter of " 12.50 Geo. W. Lathrop, of Sherburne, a grandson of Josiah Lathrop, 12.50 Mrs. Rev. D. K. Bartlett, of Albany, N. Y., a descendant of Josiah Lathrop 10.00 James R. Lathrop, of New York, a grandson of Eleazer Lathrop, 25.00 Mrs. Chas. H. Nichols, of Washington, D. C., a grand-daughter of Eleazer Lathrop 25.00 Tracy Bros., of Mansfield, Ohio, descendants of " 25.00 Chas. Henry Lathrop, of Sherburne, grandson of John Lathrop 10.00 Gardiner Lathrop, of Kansas City, " " 25.00 William W. Lathrop, of Scranton, Pa., grandson of Ezra Lathrop 5.00 Mrs. Curtis Burritt Raymond, of Boston, for his grandfather, James Raymond 50.00 Miss Helen Sawyer Raymond, of Boston, great-grand-daughter of " 50.00 E. F. Ensign, of Madison, Ohio, a grandson of " 15.00 M. D. Raymond, of Tarrytown, N. Y., a grandson of Newcomb Raymond, 100.00 Geo. N. Raymond, of Dubuque, Iowa, " " 10.00 Mrs. G. B. K., and Chas. W. Raymond, Elgin, Ill. " " 10.00 Fulton Gifford, of Mendota, Ill. " " 10.00 LaMont Gardiner Raymond, Angelica, N. Y. " " 1.00 Wm. H. Raymond, Springfield, Ohio, (by a brother) " 1.00 Hervey Raymond, late of " " " " 1.00 Cornelia Raymond " " " grand-daughter " 1.00 Angeline Raymond Peet, late of " " " " 1.00 Mrs. Harriet Raymond Kinsley of Angola, N. Y. " " 1.00 Mrs. Diantha E. Sackett, of Cranford, N. J., daughter of John Gray, Jr. 30.00 Elizabeth Gray, " great-grand-daughter" 37.50 John Frederick Gray, of New York, great-grandson " 37.50 John B. Gray, of New York, grandson " 25.00 Philander Raymond Gray, of Elizabeth, J. J., great-grandson of Nathaniel Gray, 10.00 Adelaide and Caroline Kenyon, of Buffalo, great-grand-daughters " 5.00 Mrs. Marcia Mitchell, of Minneapolis, Minn. " " 10.00 " " as grand-daughter of Joel Hatch, 10.00 Herschel H. Hatch, of Bay City, Mich., grandson of " 25.00 Wells B. Hatch, of Syracuse, " " 5.00 Mrs. Minnie Carrier, of Elmira, grand-daughter of " 2.00 Miss Julia Carrier, " " " 5.00 Rev. Dr. R. L. Bachman, of Utica, for his late beloved wife, May Rose Bachman, a great-great-grand-daughter of Nathaniel and Deborah Lathrop Gray, 2.00 Timothy Yale Hatch, Highmore, South Dakota, grandson of Timothy Hatch, 10.00 Farrand Hatch, of Sugar Grove, Ill., " 10.00 Dr. Jethro Hatch, of Kentland, Ind., " 5.00 Herbert Dixon, of Smyrna, a grandson of Major Joseph Dixon, 5.00 Joseph Dixon, " " 5.00 Almenzo K. Dixon, of Earlville, " 5.00 Caroline P. Dixon, of Westfield, grand-daughter of " 3.00 Frank Avery, Smyrna, a grandson of " 2.00 Alida C. Avery, M. D., San Jose, Cal., gr-daughter " 1.00 Mrs. F. A. Hyatt, of Perryville, N. Y., grand-daughter of John Hibbard, 30.00 John J. Foote, of Belvidere, Ill., grandson of Isaac Foote, 25.00 John Crocker Foote, " great-grandson " 5.00 Horace A. Foote, New York, grandson of Samuel Foote, 20.00 Manville Austin, Washington, D. C., grandson of Nathaniel Austin, 5.00 Dr. F. K. Rexford, Ypsilanti, Mich., grandson of Joel Rexford, 25.00 Joshua Pratt, Sherburne, grandson of Joshua Talcott, Sr., 25.00 ------- Total, $986.00 DISBURSEMENTS. Paid C. E. Tayntor & Co., New York, for Monument, $744.00 Extra expenses in connection with same, 35.00 Paid for illustrating and printing the Centennial Souvenir, 207.00 ------- $986.00