Chapter XXI


The township of Virgil was originally in the southwestern corner of Cortland county, on the southern boundary of the military tract. It has since been divided, the towns of Harford and Lapeer being set off from it. The whole of this town did not belong to the military tract, as the tract called the "Massachusetts ten townships" comprehends about one-half mile in width across the original south side, leaving, however, the town nearly ten miles square. It is situated on the height of land between the St. Lawrence and Susquehanna rivers. The waters part near Virgil Corners and mingle with those of the broad Atlantic through the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Chesapeake Bay. The surface is variegated with hills and valleys, watered by numerous springs and smaller streams of water. The timber is rather heavy, consists of maple, beech, elm, basswood, pine, hemlock and cherry. Some of the hills have considerable chestnut and oak, and interspersed through the whole is some white ash and birch. The soil is quite uniform and better adapted to grazing than tillage. The water is good, and most parts are remarkably well supplied for common purposes; but there are no large permanent streams adapted to the propelling of mills and machinery. The Tioughnioga river runs through the northeast part of the town, remote from the principal part of the population.

To facilitate the settlement of this section of the country, a road was projected, connecting Oxford with the Cayuga lake, to pass through this town. Joseph Chaplin, the first inhabitant, was entrusted with this work. The instrument by which he was engaged in it was authenticated on the 5 th of May, 1792. He spent that season exploring and surveying the route, the length of which is about sixty miles. He came to lot No. 50, which he owned, and afterwards settled, erected a house and prosecuted his work, having a woman to keep the house and cook for the workmen. The work for cutting and clearing the road was done in 1793-94; so that he moved his family from Oxford over in the winter of 1894-95 [sic], employing six or seven sleighs freighted with family, furniture, provisions, etc.

Mr. Chaplin married Mrs. Abigail Messenger, who was the mother of Gideon Messenger, one of the pioneers of Virgil Corners, and of Nathan Messenger. By her he had three sons and four daughters. His son Joseph married a Miss Chatterton and finally died in the southwestern part of Illinois. He was distinguished in the locality where he resided as a man of intelligence and integrity, was chosen a justice of the peace and a major in the militia, and was familiarly known, on that account, as "Major Chaplin." His family were Harriet, who married a Mr. Patten and removed to Illinois, where she died; Joseph, who was last heard of in Pennsylvania; Aaron, now living in Jessop, Iowa; Polly, who married a Mr. Cook and lives in Cazenovia; Gideon, who died in Iowa; Cornelius, who married a daughter of Sylvester Crain, of Virgil, removed to Stockton, Cal., where he died Feb. 22d, 1874; Sylvester, now living in Harford, this county; Catherine, who married one of the Shevalier family, of Virgil, and now lives at Union, Storey Co., Iowa. Daniel Chaplin, the second son of the original Joseph, had a family, but we have not found a record of it.

Benjamin Franklin, the third son, was father of George A. Chaplin, who now lives in Marathon, and of Walter L., who lives at Messengerville. The daughters were Sally, Ruth, Marietta and Isabella, two of whom are still living. Such is a brief record of the descendants of the first settlers of Virgil.

In 1794 John M. Frank, who had a patent for lot No. 43, came to ascertain its location and condition. He came along lots by marked trees, taking the present south line of the town, upon which his lot was bounded, made his discoveries and returned.

The next year he came, made a beginning in the forest, erected a house, returned to his family and made preparations to move on. He came from Montgomery to Cooperstown, then down the Susquehanna to Chenango Point, thence up the Chenango and Tioughnioga rivers to Chaplin’s, thence on the State road to a point near where the village now is, thence southerly, and so on over the hill to near where Mr. Hotchkiss now lives, and then to the building he had erected. They arrived in November, 1795, after a journey of six weeks, and from that time till spring saw none but their own family. The man whom he had employed to move them in brought the family, and Mr. Frank came out on foot and drove seven head of cattle and six sheep. The sheep went away a little from the house a few days after their arrival, got out of sight and were never heard of after, and it was supposed that the wolves took them. The cattle were wintered on browse, and all lived except one yearling. Samuel Marvin, who moved the family, agreed further that he would clear two acres and furnish the family with provisions for one year for three hundred acres off the east side of the lot, which agreements were mutually fulfilled. It is well to understand, that, although the patents were for the whole square mile, yet the State reserved to itself the right to retain one hundred acres in the southeast corner of each lot, and give an equal amount in Ohio, unless the person to receive the patent should give notice of his wish to have his land together; also charged the patentee eight dollars for surveying, and in default of payment, reserved fifty acres in one corner, called "the survey fifty acres." Mr. Frank gave notice and saved the one hundred acres, but could not raise the eight dollars to save the fifty, though he offered a cow for the money, and also proposed to mortgage the whole lot in security; consequently the fifty acres were alienated, and constituted the farm now owned by George P. Dann.

The next inhabitant was John Gee, also a soldier of the Revolution. He drew lot No. 21, bounded west by the town of Dryden. He came in 1795, and two others with him, bringing their provisions with them on food from Chenango Point, and built such a house as three men could, with only an axe, without a board, a nail or a pane of glass, and returned. He moved his family the next year from Wyoming, arriving on the 7th of June. The family consisted of his father and mother, his wife and six children, to live in a building about sixteen feet by twelve.*

With Mr. Gee the neighbors were: J. Chaplin, at the river, about twelve miles by the road, J. M. Frank, four miles without road, and Ebenezer Brown, twelve miles west in Milton (now Lansing). The nearest grist-mill was at Chenango Point, now Binghamton, and no store even there. His flour was brought up in a canoe to Chaplin’s, and generally from there on foot. In 1798 Ludlow’s mill was built at Ludlowville, which was a convenience to him and the very few others who had then settled in the town.

In the spring of 1797 John E. Roe came on from Ulster county, and made a beginning on his lot (the same afterwards occupied by himself and family, the site of his house now being occupied by Asa Price), boarding with Mr. Frank. He cleared a spot, put up the body of a log-house, split plank and laid a floor, peeled bark for a roof and agreed with a man in Homer to put it on. He also cut and cured some of the wild grass growing in the swamp for hay, and returned. Preparations were then made for moving on, which was done in the winter following. He and his wife came in a sleigh with a young cow following them. When they came to the river opposite Mr. Chaplin’s they found the water high and the canoe that had been used in crossing carried away. Mr. Chaplin’s hog-trough was procured and Mrs. Roe was safely carried over in it. She then stood upon the bank to await the crossing of what remained. The horses being urged in, swam across with the sleigh, the cow followed, and came near being carried away by the current, but after a hard struggle made the shore in safety. They put up for the night, the horses being fastened to the sleigh, as no accommodations could be procured; and they ate from the bottoms of the chairs, to allay the keen demands of appetite. The snow was two feet deep, with no track, and the whole day was consumed in coming from the river to their new home. When they arrived they were surprised to find their house without covering, consequently the snow was as deep in it as out of it. Persons of less perseverance would have been disheartened. But no time was to be lost. The snow was cleared away from a portion of the floor, a fire built against the logs, some blankets drawn across the beams for a covering, the horses tied in one corner with some of the coarse hay before them, and their first and several successive nights were passed.

John E. Roe and Charlotte Roe were the parents of five children, who lived to mature life. The eldest, Betsey N. Roe, was reputed to be the first female child born in the town. She grew up an intelligent, exemplary woman, early made profession of religion, adorning the same by a life devoted to its interests. She removed to a western State, and since has died.

S. M. Roe, Erastus G. Roe and Philip T. Roe were the other children of John E. Roe. Their history was common in that they had only the advantages of the common school. All made profession of religion and became officers in the respective churches where they became located, several of which were weak and required much of their labor to sustain them. The eldest, S. M. Roe, was deacon in the Congregational Church in Virgil. Afterwards he removed to Cortland, where he engaged in the butter trade. He was an elder in the Presbyterian Church there seventeen years. John M. was a leading and efficient member and officer in the Presbyterian Church in Marathon. Erastus G. Roe returned to Fulton county.

Thus in February, 1798, there were four families in the town, separated by long distances from each other, almost without roads, suffering in many respects for the necessaries of life, exposed in their property and persons to the ravages of wild beasts, and far from sympathetic friends. But the dark, howling wilderness must be changed to fruitful fields, and these were the pioneers to lead on this great work. Wild beast were very numerous, especially deer. Mr. Roe related that he had sat in his house and seen twenty-five pass in a drove. There were also many wolves and bears, and Mr. Roe and Captain Knapp caught and killed fifteen wolves in one year; and during the time when they were prevalent, Mr. Roe lost by them fifteen head of cattle and a large number of sheep. Their ravages were general, and subjected the inhabitants to the necessity of folding their sheep every night for about fifteen years.

For a series of years the settlers suffered great hardships and privations, but they gradually diminished, so that in 1809 or ’10 most of the necessaries of life were accessible to the mass of the people.

To the number above alluded to as having settled here in 1798 may be added James Wright, who located where Thomas Stanbro now lives; James Knapp, who settled where M. B. Mynard so long resided, on the corner opposite the "West Meeting-house;" James and John Glenny located just south of what was known as "Frog Huddle," and near the residences afterward occupied by H. P. Jones and Thomas Hammond; Joseph Bailey settled where William Givens afterward lived, on lot 11, and Wait Ball where Chas. Miller now lives.

In February, 1799, Enos Bouton came into the town and settled where Emory Gee now lives, on lot 41. He reared a family of five sons and eight daughters. The sons are all dead except John, who now lives at Virgil Corners. One of his sons was Sanford Bouton, who became a prominent citizen and held the office of justice for many years and was also county poormaster for a long period. Three of the daughters of Enos Bouton are still living. Dana Miles also came in that year, and others who are not now known, so that the number who were taxed with highway labor in that year was twenty-three.

In 1800 James Wright settled near where Punterson West now lives. John Calvert near where N. Chamberlain afterward lived. Seth Larabee located near where James Oaks now lives. John Ellis settled where Jay Terpening lives, on lot 23. Moses Rice located where George Luce now lives. Abial Brown where Abijah Haight after-ward lived, in the "Gee District." Moses Stevens where Barnabas Tyler afterward lived, the property now being owned by T. Lormor, on lot 41.

Some of the more prominent of those who came in the town and settled in 1801 were Daniel Edwards, who located on lot 33, where William Glenny subsequently lived; Nathaniel Bouton settled on lot 42, where he resided during his life. He was the father of the late Nathan Bouton, who may be called the historian of the town; and of Joseph Bouton. He was a prominent and enterprising citizen. His son, Nathan Bouton, was born in Virgil in July, 1802. Although his opportunities for obtaining an education were not very favorable, he learned readily, especially in mathematics, and his father therefore resolved to make a surveyor of him. He began this study in 1816 in Genoa. He obtained his instruments in 1823 and for forty-four years after continued to practice the profession in many of the towns of the county. He became a school teacher at the age of eighteen, and continued in that honorable work at different times for many years. He was a Member of Assembly in 1857, and was a member of the Board of Supervisors at a later date. He was a deacon of the Presbyterian Church for many years, and was always an uncompromising supporter of the temperance cause. One of his sons, Lewis H. Bouton, is a prominent attorney in Cortland village and a justice of the peace.

Prince Freeman also settled in the town, on lot 37, where Samuel N. Rounds now lives; and James Clark and his son where Wm. Terpening now lives, on lot 14.

Jonathan Edwards came in and settled in 1802 on the farm now owned by Nathaniel Lewis, near West’s mill. He subsequently removed to the Corners and lived in the house now occupied by Dr. Tripp. He had two sons, Rufus and William, and three daughters, one of whom in after life became insane and killed her father. Rufus and William Edwards were among the early merchants at Virgil Corners, in the store that stood on the site now occupied by W. A. Holton. Rufus Edwards became a prominent citizen of Virgil Corners, and was one of the county judges. He now lives in Cortland village. Samuel Carson settled in this year near where Joseph Bouton afterward lived. George Wigant located in the house on the premises now occupied by George Hicks. Abner and Ezra Bruce settled near where Jay Terpening lives. William Lincoln located on the hill southwest of the village, where Nehemiah Sherman now resides.

In 1803 Moses Olmstead located on the premises now occupied by Mrs. Horace Robinson, lot 23. Peter Powers and John I. Gee settled in the western part of the town, and Andrew Van Buskirk in the eastern part.

In 1804 Silas Lincoln settled where Salmon Curtis now lives, on lot 23. Alexander McNitt took the place of James Wright on lot 3, and Obadiah Glazier located near where James Colwell now lives, lot 24. Jeremiah Shevalier also located in the eastern part of the town, near where his son John afterward lived.

The town was now becoming settled in nearly all of its different sections, but of course the rude dwellings were still a long distance apart. In 1805 Simeon Luce settled on the hill that bears his name (now in the town of Lapeer); one of his daughters, Susan, became the wife of John Sheerar, one of the prominent farmers of the town. Isaac Barton located on the farm afterwards owned by Isaac B. Raymond, between Virgil Corners and Cortland. Jotham Glazier settled where L. B. Ball now lives. Zophar Moore settled on the site of the "Corners,"and was the first postmaster here. Oliver Ball located where M. B. Mynard long lived, giving his name to the school-house which was built at the four corners there. Isaac Elwell settled a little north of Mr. Ball’s and near the present residence of Jesse Trapp. Comfort Bruce, Shubel S. Marsh and James Monroe where located in the town as early as the year under consideration, but the exact dates of their arrival are not now known.

In 1806 John Hill settled on lot 41, and John Snider on the hill which has ever since borne his name.

John Tyler, father of Jeremiah Tyler, who now lives at Virgil Corners, settled on lot 33, a little south of Virgil Corners, in 1810, where Gordon Tyler now lives. The farm has been in possession of the family ever since. John Tyler had ten children, five of whom were boys; of these latter, Jeremiah is the only one now living.

It is manifestly impossible to the follow the settlements in the town from this time in detail, and we must content ourselves with a mention of some who in different ways became well known as officials, business men, or through the influence they wielded upon the general welfare of the town. Many of these will receive attention in our notice of the business and manufacturing interests of the professions.

Isaac Bloomer came into town from Delaware county in February, 1815, and settled on the State road east of the village, where he died in 1854. His son now lives near and owns the same farm on which his father settled. Isaac Spencer settled before 181? {illegible numeral}on the farm now occupied by his son Isaac. He had four sons, Nathan, Isaac, Jairah and Harvey. The first named lives on the State road about two miles east of the village. Joseph Reynolds settled in town in 1808, was one of the earliest merchants, held the office of justice, was Member of Assembly in 1819, county judge, Member of Congress and a brigadier-general of the militia. Much of his life was spent in Cortland. Gideon Messenger was an early settler, and a step-son of Joseph Chaplin, the pioneer. Mr. Messenger used to state that he had been through on the State road from Chaplin’s on the Tioughnioga to the Cayuga lake when there was not a house in the entire distance. Mr. Messenger became prominent and was a supervisor of the town. Reuben Gridley, one of the foremost pioneers in the eastern part of the town, from whom "Gridley Hollow" was named, and who was the cause of the State road being opened through that section, was long a respected citizen. He removed to Michigan. John Tyler settled in the town in 1806, and although his residence during much of his life has been over the line in the town of Dryden, he has always identified himself with the interests of Virgil. He is still living with faculties but little impaired. He has always been one of the pillars of the Free-will Baptist Church in the western part of the town.

Dr. Green and Eli Johnson settled in the town about the year 1813, on the next farm west of that owned by Isaac Bloomer, now owned by Wm. Barry. John Giles was an early settler and lived where Samuel Sager now resides. Wm. Bell also came to town early and has carried on the blacksmith shop two miles east of the village for more than fifty years. A man named Blaisdell was one of the first settlers in the vicinity of Messengerville, where he built one of the first saw-mills in the town, probably as early as 1805. Abram Smith settled early on the hill north of Gridley Hollow. He was the father of Nathan Smith, now of Cortland, and grandfather of Abram P. Smith, the prominent attorney and for several years county judge, now living in Cortland village. Thomas Ryan settled in early times on the hill near Mr. Smith’s; also Christopher Rorabacher, Samuel Woodward and John Woodward, and Stephen Benton, who reared a family whose names are conspicuous in the history of the town.

But we cannot trace the settlers of the town farther in this connection; many others will appear farther on, and many who are doubtless worthy of recognition, as having taken honorable part in the settlement, clearing and general advancement of the communities where their lives were spent, may necessarily be left to future publications.

Quoting from Mr. Bouton’s pamphlet we learn that "the early inhabitants did not settle on prairie, where they could raise their provisions the first year, but the heavy forest must be cleared away, which was a work of time, before the laborer could be fed from the soil he cultivated; and must wait a year or two more before he had grass for his cows, and they must run in the woods, and much time be spent in finding them and bringing them home. And frequently they could not be found, especially if the search were commenced late, when they would have lain down and the tinkling of the bell could no more be heard. The milk was also of inferior quality, owing to the leeks and other weeds upon which they fed. Money was very scarce through the country, and particularly in the new parts where there was little to be sold and much to be bought. It would be impossible to express to the understanding of this, or any audience of modern times, the difficulties experienced on this account.

"It is impossible to collect enough in the year to pay the taxes. This difficulty was very much owing, so far as the older parts were concerned, to the embargo which was then in force, restricting commerce and causing a stagnation in all departments of business, and though the newly settled parts had not much to sell, they felt severely the effect of this state of things. Another difficulty existing in this town particularly, was that land was not owned by the inhabitants, but must be paid for from the products of the same to add to the capital of rich men living at a distance.

"Another embarrassment was one to which allusion was made in the description of the natural features of the town, viz.: The want of sufficient water power to propel mills and machinery, thus taking business away, and while other places were benefited, this town was the loser. There was, however, a commendable degree of enterprise among the people, and the crops were for a number of years abundant, compared with the area of ground cultivated.

"Their hardships were also very much ameliorated by common participation and mutual sympathy. Hospitality prevailed and mutual dependence promoted harmony and fellow feeling. They met, exchanged accounts of their trials, often with much humor and pleasantry, and cheered each other on. If a log cabin was to be raised for some new-comer they were all on the spot with strong arms and a hearty good will."

When first settled, Homer, Solon, Cincinnatus and Virgil were in one town called Homer. At the town meeting in 1797 it was resolved that the township of Virgil shall constitute one highway district.

In 1798 Virgil was represented and James Knapp was chosen assessor, commissioner of highways and overseer of highways, and returned eight names to be taxed for highway work. The poll tax was three days, and the number of days assessed was fifty-eight and one-half. At the town meeting in 1799, held at the house of Moses Hopkins, Virgil was honored with the office of supervisor in the person of James Knapp; Wait Ball was chosen assessor; John E. Roe, overseer of the poor; Wait Ball, commissioner of highways, and Dana Miles, overseer of highways, and returned twenty-three names to be taxed.

Thus this town continued with Homer through the year 1804, always having its proper proportion of office and privilege.

The township of Virgil having been set off from Homer into a separate town, the inhabitants assembled in a town meeting, at the house of James Knapp, on the 2d day of April, 1805, and proceeded to choose John I. Gee, moderator; Gideon Messenger, town clerk; Moses Rice, supervisor; Abner Bruce, John Gee nnd [sic] Joseph Chaplin, assessors; John Glenny, George Wigant and John I. Gee, commissioners of highways; Jonathan Edwards and Peter Powers, poormasters, and Shubel S. Marsh, constable and collector. Pathmasters, John Gee, Isaac Elwell, Samuel Carson, Jonathan Edwards, Comfort Bruce, Alexander McNitt, Obadiah Glazier, James Wright, Peter Powers, Joseph Chaplin, Elias Thompson, Peter Gray, Seth Jennings. Moses Olmstead and Abial Brown, fence viewers.

Schools. --- The inhabitants of Virgil were early awake to the importance of education, and were resolved that their children should have all the means in their power to provide for its acquisition. Accordingly, in 1799, the few that were here came together and built a school-house a short distance easterly from the West Meeting-house. The first teacher was Charles Joyce, who taught two or three weeks. Next Rebecca Ball, daughter of Wait Ball, taught two summers. After her, Abigail, sister of Rebecca, was employed one term. The first school near the village was taught by Mrs. L. Edwards in her own house. Afterwards Moses Rice taught in what was known as the Remington house in the winter of 1804-5.

The Legislature had appropriated one lot in this town to the support of the Gospel and schools, and when the school law took effect in 1813, the rent was added to the funds derived from the State, and has since been available for this purpose. In that year William Powers, Oliver Ball and Gideon Messenger, school commissioners, divided the town into seven school districts.

The first grammar school was taught in 1819 by Henry J. Hall, in the east part of the double log house of John I. Gee, located where T. L. Lincoln, afterward lived. This was the first systematic instruction of that science in the town. It continued four weeks with thirteen scholars. Their names were L. Beebe Ball, Stephen S. Powers, James Ball, John M. Roe, John Harris, Wm. L. Gee, Nathan Bouton, Rufus and Harriet Edwards, Lemira Byram, Marietta Chaplin and Sally and Lucy Messenger.

From 1837 to 1845, a school called the "Literary Institute" was taught one-half of each year by N. Bouton and William E. Gee, which was in a good degree successful. It was afterwards continued about two years by A. F. Frye. Other select schools have been taught since at different times. There was also a select school taught by Jesse Storrs in the part now Lapeer, which continued several terms.

There was a great scarcity of reading matter in the early settlement. Newspapers were scarce and dear; the usual price $2 per annum, with less than half the reading matter we now have, at double the price. To remedy this defect, in part, the inhabitants set up a library called the "Virgil Library," with thirty shares of one dollar each, and a very good selection of books was procured in about 1807. Another library was established about 1814, with a capital of $200, called the "Virgil Union Library." Libraries were subsequently established in each school district.

The first Sabbath-school was instituted in 1822, in connection with the Congregational Church. Since that time the Sabbath-schools have been conducted in the different churches and neighborhoods with various degrees of success.

Churches. --- The first religious meetings were begun in the town in 1802. Prayers were offered by Prince Freeman, of Virgil, and James Wood, of Dryden. Moses Rice conducted the singing, and sermons were read by James Glenny. Since that early date religious meetings have been held every Sabbath, except in case of some remarkable emergency. Before that date there had been missionaries in the town, in the persons of Revs. Williston, Phelps and Johnson, of the Congregational faith, and Root, Whipple and Cole, Baptists. Methodist preachers also labored here at intervals at an early day, and some meetings were held by the Universalists, which were addressed by Rev. Archelaus Green, a resident of the town.

The first church society formed was the Congregational, on the 28 th of February, 1805, with eight members, under the charge of Rev. Seth Williston. Of this church Mr. Bouton writes in his reminiscences: ---

"The church was without stated preaching several years. They felt severely their destitute condition, which will be seen by the following vote passed December 3d, 1806: ‘That the church will see to the satisfying of Rev. Dr. Darrow for two Sabbaths’ service a year, at five dollars a Sabbath, to attend on sacramental occasions, and also to take the oversight of the church for the present.’ The church struggled on through various difficulties, with preaching part of the time, meeting in various places where they could, after the "Center School House" was burnt, in 1818, till this house could be used for that purpose. This house was put up in 1821, but it was two or three years before it was inclosed and made comfortable, and the present seats were not built till 1831. Its location, near the burying-ground, was found inconvenient, and removed to this place in 1834. About two hundred and seventy persons have been added to the church, and it now embraces about seventy resident members. The ministers who have preached statedly to the church are Rev. Messrs. Wallace, Hitchcock, Dunning, Robertson, Bliss, Bradford, Chaffee, Headley, Walcot, Thacher, Bronson, Bates, Otis, Kinnie, Burgess, Marshall, Humphreys, Kneiskern, Dunning and Offen."

A Baptist church was organized in 1807, and was fully organized in 1813. Meetings were held in private houses, with preaching by Elder Bennett, of Homer, Powers, Robinson and others, until about the year 1826, when the church organization was disbanded. In June, 1830, it was reorganized and the following year the church building was erected. It has been repaired and improved at different times since then. Following is a list of the pastors as nearly as we have been able to obtain them: William Powers, David Robinson, ---- Andrews, ---- Clark, Daniel Robinson, 1833: Nathan Peck, 1834; Mr. Ainsworth, 1836; Albert Cole, 1838; Stephen Jones, 1840; Mr. Lyons, 1847; C. D. De Witt, 1849; Mr. Nichols, 1854; Sidney Wilder, 1855; George Crosson, 1858; ---- Betts, 1874; ---- Phillips, S. H. Haskell, J. W. Starkweather, S. W. Schoonover, S. P. Way.

The first Methodist religious services in the town were held at the house of Robert Keech, on the State road, on the premises now occupied by Isaac Bloomer, in the year 1807 0r 1808. The services were conducted by Rev. Geo. W. Densmore. There were but two professors of religion present --- the wife of Robert Keech and another, name not known. Preaching was continued from time to time in private houses till about the year 1818, when Israel Reynolds, a local preacher, formed a class on Snider hill. This was continued until 1859, when the class was removed to Gridley Hollow and a church society organized. The house of worship, which had been built as a union church by the Universalists and others, was purchased and the society has been kept up since, as a part of the Virgil charge. In 1830 and 1831 the Rev. Wm. C. Mason was appointed to the Virgil charge, and under his ministrations a vigorous revival was experienced and a strong society was built up. They erected the house of worship in 1831, which was used for several years, when it was removed and the present handsome structure erected. The following preachers have served the charge; the time and order of some of the earlier terms cannot now be ascertained, but where it is possible the dates of the appointment are given: W. Mason, 1829; ---- Wood, 1832; Smith; Densmore; S. Minier; Benham; Wadsworth; W. Woodbury; E. North; T. Wire; W. Fox; W. Wyatt; L. Tryon; I. Wilcox; J. Jameson; S. Brown, 1843; S. Minier, 1844; C. W. Harris, 1845; I. Worthing and A. Hamilton, 1847; J. Hewitt, 1848; O. L. Torrey, 1850; H. Ercanbrack, 1852; Z. Barnes, 1853; Abijah Brown, 1855; I. B. Hyde, 1857; E. House, 1858; G. Howland, 1860; A. F. Brown, 1863; O. N. Hinman, 1866; O. L. Torrey, 1868; W. Bunnell, 1869; S. Luce, 1870; J. Steele, 1873; J. Gutsell, 1876; A. H. Shurtleff, 1879; and the present pastor, H. W. Williams.

In the year 1822 a Free-will Baptist society was organized in the west part of the town, on one of the four corners near what was then known as "Ball’s School-House." Meetings were held in the school-house until the year 1838, when the present house of worship was erected. This church has, at some periods of its existence, been vigorous and well-supported, but in late years has somewhat declined. There is no regular pastor in charge at the present time.

About the year 1834, according to Mr. Bouton, "the Universalists formed a society, which increased to about thirty members, and continued their organization and meetings several years. Among the preachers who labored statedly with them were Revs. Brown, Sanderson, Doolittle, Brown, Foster and Bullard."

Roads. --- The first road passing through the town, was the "State road." A road was slightly cut through from near the village, in the direction of the head of the lake, called the "Bridle road." The next was one laid from the State road, commencing about two miles east of Virgil Corners, where Nathan Spencer lives, and taking a northeasterly direction till it intersected the road from Port Watson to Solon, laid July 2d, 1798. The next from the State road on lot No. 24, southwesterly to near where the "West Meeting-house" now is and turned and went over the hill to the State road again. Soon after a road was laid from the State road west of Virgil Corners, and continued on to Homer. In 1801 this road was altered and run nearly on its present line. About the same time a road was laid from where the village now is southerly over Owego Hill, and the road leading from Frank’s Corners nearly as it now runs, intersecting the road leading to the Gee neighborhood at the West Meeting-house, was laid soon afterwards. The road from Cortlandville to Virgil, where it now is, was laid in 1816, and that over Luce Hill nearly at the same time. The State road from Chaplin’s this way was rather rugged, and it early occurred to the inhabitants that much of the hill might be saved by a road that might be constructed from the State road, passing down the stream to Vandenburg’s mill, continuing on past the saw-mill afterwards owned by Kirk, intersecting the State road near the house of Joseph Chaplin. This road was laid in 1818 through to the grist-mill. This road required much labor and expense to make it passable. It was, however, cut and worked through, so that it was traveled in 1833, and remains a lasting monument to the energy and perseverance of Reuben Gridley, who was principally instrumental in its construction, though aided very much by funds appropriated by the town.

Post-Offices. --- Previous to 1808 there was no post-office in the town, and all intelligence was transmitted by means of distant offices, or sent by individuals who might be going in the direction desired, which was attended with much delay and uncertainty. In that year a post-office was established, and Zophar Moore appointed postmaster, and the mail carried for some time by a man traveling on foot; afterwards it was carried on horseback for several years. The postmasters at Virgil Corners, as far as we have been able to ascertain, have been Zophar Moore, since whose administration and down to 1840, we have no records. In 1840 N. Chamberlain was in the office. A. E. Heberd was the next incumbent and was followed by Wm. Snyder. Willard Chatterton then took the office; then Mr. Heberd again, to be followed by Edwin Slafter. He was succeeded by N. R. Locke, and he by E. Winslow in 1865. Mr. Winslow has acceptably filled the office ever since.

An office was established in the southwest part of the town, in 1825 or ’26, first named Worthington, afterward changed to Harford, and Theodore E. Hart was appointed postmaster. An office was also located in the east part, called East Virgil, in 1845, and William Gray appointed postmaster. John Lewis is the present postmaster there.

Military. --- Among the early settlers a large portion were soldiers of the French and Revolutionary Wars. Derosel Gee, Thomas Nichols and John Smith were engaged in the French War, so called, of 1754-63. The following are the names of the Revolutionary soldiers who have lived in the town: Joseph Bailey, John Gee, Seth Larabee, John M. Frank, Dana Miles, James Knapp, James Wright, Nicholas Brown, Robert Ryan, John Smith, James Sherwood, Enoch Smith, John Snider, Thomas Russell, Seth Bouton, George Totman, Elias Thompson, Epaphras Shelden, Silas Lincoln, Jason Crawford, David Robinson, Altamont Donaldson, Abner Baker, Isaac Tillotson, Moses Stevens, George Barlow, Simeon Leroy, Jeremiah Chase, John Stanbro, Cornelius Lamont, Elisha Brewer, Thomas Kingsbury, Adam Kingman, Moses Rice, David Darling, Stephen Kelly, Oliver Hopkins, William Parker, David Crowell, Robert Smith, Nathan Smith, Henry Turck, Nathan Walker, Timothy Robertson, Samuel Sole, Asa Parker, Thomas Nichols, Lemuel Barnes, Joel Morten, John Green, Benjamin Glazier, Jonathan Skeel.

Of these Jeremiah Chase, Simeon Leroy, George Totman, Joel Morten, John Gee, Elisha Brewer, Cornelius Lamont, John Stanbro, Enoch Smith, Thomas Kingsbury, and Stephen Kelly, were living in the town in 1840.

The scenes of the war through which they had recently passed were fresh in their minds; and it is not strange that much of a military spirit should exist among the people. Consequently the call for the performance of military duty was soon made, and the call was responded to by five men, of whom Gideon Messenger was one, going to Homer to train under Captain Moses Hopkins. Captain Hopkins had previously held lower rank, but had exerted himself to get up a company of forty-five, by enlisting old men and boys to obviate the necessity of going to Marcellus to attend the company drills. Soon the soldiers of Virgil were permitted to train in town, and the first meeting for that purpose was held at the house of James Knapp, where M. B. Mynard afterward lived, under the command of Captain John Ellis, afterward Judge Ellis, of Dryden. The captains after him were successively Abial Brown, James Wright, Geo. Wigant and Joseph Chaplin. The company was then divided, and William Lincoln commanded the east company, and Enoch Allen the west. This was the condition of the military interest at the commencement of the war of 1812-15. Levies of troops were made and the companies in this town were called on for five or six men. In the west company a sufficient number enlisted; their names were John Russell, Moses Woolfeen, and Henry Green. The east company drafted for three, and John E. Roe, Daniel Price and Ira Lincoln were drawn. John E. Roe procured a substitute. Daniel Price went and served three months, and Ira Lincoln was excused on account of ill health. At another muster David Snider was drawn and went, serving three months, the usual time for militia. There have also been living in the town several others who were soldiers in that war. Among these were Joel Hancock, Edmund H. Robinson, Jacob Bronson, Barnabas Baker, Zachariah Low, John D. Barnes, Thomas Foster, Ezekiel Miller, Reuben Gridley, Joseph Miller, Joseph Terwilliger and Edward Griswold. There was a company of aged men and invalids organized in 1813, after the example set in the time of the Revolution. Of this company Simeon West was captain, John S. Squires lieutenant, and William Powers ensign.

The town was afterwards divided into four companies, out of which there has also been for most of the time an independent company. A company of rifleman was raised in about 1813, of which Joseph Reynolds was the first captain. This company was afterwards disbanded. A company of artillery was organized in 1828-29, of which Michael Frank was the first captain. It continued prosperous for several years, but was ultimately disbanded. Afterwards a company of infantry was raised, and John W. Morse was the first captain in uniform. This company was discontinued when military duty ceased to be called for.

Mills, Machinery, etc. --- The first saw-mill was built by Daniel Edwards, in 1801, nearly on the ground where Murdock’s tannery was located. The first grist-mill was built near where the Tyler mill stood, by Peter Vanderlyn and Nathaniel Knapp, in 1805. The mill on this site was burned some years ago. Hutchings’s grist-mill, in the edge of Dryden, was built in 1809 ---- mentioned because this town was much interested in it. Previous to the building of mills in Homer and in this town, several individuals practiced going to Ludlow’s and carrying their grist upon their backs. Among these were Joseph Bailey and Enos Bouton. After a few years, and when these mills were built, persons could go with a horse, get the grinding done and return the same day; and the yellow horse of Mr. Luce has been known to pace off the hill six times in a week, for the family and neighbors.

About 1814 or ’15 Abner Bruce built a grist-mill south of Virgil Corners on the site now occupied by P. West’s mill. It was burnt down in 1820, and rebuilt in a year or two. In 1827 it was bought by Josiah Byram, and occupied by him for carding and cloth dressing till his death, in 1842. It was carried on subsequently by S. M. Byram, until 1875, when Mr. West took it. It has been fitted up at considerable expense, and is doing a good business.

A grist-mill was built at East Virgil in 1819, by a Mr. Vandenburg, which has done considerable business, and is now operated by E. D. Angell. Harvey Jennings also built a grist-mill in the southeastern part, in 1833, which did some business till it was burnt in 1842.

The first wool carding by machinery was done by C. Baker, at his mill (afterward Tyler’s), in about 1814. In 1819 Henry Burgess commenced wool carding and cloth dressing near the same place, taking water from the same dam. His building was afterwards removed to the near the place afterward occupied for the same purpose by H. P. Jones.

Early Births, Marriages and Deaths. --- The first child born in town was John, a son of Joseph Chaplin, who was drowned in the spring of 1798, aged two years. The first who lived to mature age was John Frank, in autumn, 1797. Next to him was James Gee, in March, 1798; Betsey N. Roe and B. F. Chaplin, in February, 1799, and Hiram Ball and Hiram Bouton, in the same year.

The first marriage, as nearly as we can ascertain, was solemnized between Ruluff Whitney, of Dryden, and Susan, daughter of John Glenny, of this town, as early as 1800. In the autumn of 1801 Truman Terry was married to Rebecca, daughter of Wait Ball.

The first death was that of a stranger passing through, who undertook to go from Ebenezer Brown’s, in Milton (now Lansing), to Chaplin’s, at the river. He became fatigued, lost his way, lay down with his pack under his head and died. This was in April, 1798, and only four or five persons could be go together. They placed some timbers about him, for a protection from wild beasts, and left him. One of their number went to Homer to make the case known to Solomon Hubbard, esq., and ask direction. His advice was, that, as there was no coroner nearer than Pompey, the few inhabitants should get together and make such examination as they were able, and proceed accordingly. The next day they assembled and had as much of an examination as was practicable under the circumstances concerning the cause of his decease, and it was agreed as before stated. They took some boards brought into town by John E. Roe, for the purpose of making a table, and fastening them together in the form of a box, placed him in it and buried him in the grave which they had dug; his bones lie mouldering somewhere between the village and Mr. Sager’s, near the hill. His son came subsequently, said his father’s name was Charles Huffman, and took some shoemaker’s tools found with him at his death. The first death of an adult resident was that of Mary, wife of Derosel Gee, in March, 1802.

Previous to 1806, when the public burying ground was deeded to the town by George Wigant, persons were buried on the premises where they died. The first gravestone was erected to the memory of James Roe, esq., in about 1823. It was about 1808 that the public ground was opened. It turned out that its locality was not generally satisfactory, and within a few years a place was secured for a cemetery, on lands formerly owned by Hon. J. Reynolds, and where he had buried his dead. A cemetery association, or organization, was formed according to the law in such case made and provided. Additions have been made since the first purchase, and it now consists of about six acres.

The cemetery referred to is not in a romantic place, such as is frequently chosen for the final resting-place of the dead, though in portions it is gently undulating, easy of access and very neat, commodious and respectable in appearance, and very creditable to the piety, intelligence and refinement of the people of the town and all interested as having relatives here entombed. It was a long time before the public mind became thoroughly united on this locality, during which other and smaller grounds were, of necessity, being filled up. In later years families have been collecting the remains of friends from those scattered localities where they had been interred, and depositing them together in a family plat here procured for that purpose.

Temperance Societies. --- The first distillery was erected in 1803 or 1804 by James Wright. Intemperance prevailed, as in other places, till in 1829 six distilleries were in operation. The moral and philanthropic in the community became alarmed and inquired with solicitude what could be done to stay its ravages. Temperance societies began to be formed in different parts, and the inhabitants of this place, on consultation, agreed to meet and form a temperance society. The fourth of July, 1829, was chosen as the time to organize such a society, and Michael Frank to give the address, at the close of which a society was formed with about twenty members. Beebe L. Ball was the first president of that society, and while he lived was its firm, judicious and ardent supporter. In 1831 a society was instituted in that part now Harford; and one on Luce hill, and another on Snider hill, about the same time.

Agricultural Matters. --- Agriculture has engaged the attention of most of the people of Virgil. They have been employed in clearing away the forest and cultivating the earth, which has generally yielded good return. The implements used were those incident to the time. The plows were of the common rude kind till the year 1817, when the first cast-iron plow was brought in and used by Mr. Ball. Some of the first settlers, of whom John M. Frank was one, cleaned their grain by throwing it across the barn-floor with a small scoop-shovel, and afterwards shaking it up in a hand fan made of a hollow log, when the refuse parts were brushed off with a quill. Afterwards a willow fan and riddle were used. It was very important that the grain should be cleaned, as there were no means of taking out dust at the mills as there are now. Fanning-mills soon came to be used; the first, however, that is recollected was about the year 1809. Considerable grain of the several kinds has been raised in the town, and for some years past much attention has been given to the dairy, which, in 1851, brought in a return of $25,000. Some of the people in an early day directed their attention to the cultivation of fruit, especially apples. Very soon after his first settlement Joseph Chaplin sowed the seeds for a nursery of natural fruit, and Enos Bouton did the same soon after, and most of the oldest orchards are from these nurseries. The first nursery of grafted fruit was put out by Nathan Bouton, about 1808, and Oliver Ball did the same soon after.

The first barrel of cider made in town was by Enos Bouton, in 1818 or ’19. The apples were bruised by a pestle hung to a spring sweep like that referred to in pounding corn. The pomace was pressed by a lever placed under a log, passing over the cheese, with a weight at the other end. It was sold for four dollars.

The history of the Virgil Agricultural Society is given as follows in the pamphlet of Nathan Bouton, already so freely drawn upon: "In the county of Cortland an agricultural society was early formed, and has continued with varied success to the present time. Some individuals from this town attended its fairs with profit, but the distance was such that few only could be induced to attend. It occurred to a few minds that it might be practicable to hold a fair in this town, thus bringing the benefits of the institution home to the people here. It is said, I believe, with truth, that the two Lincolns, Theron and Wait, were the originators of this plan. When spoken of, it very soon awakened a great and prevailing interest on the subject, which resulted in the formation of the Virgil Agricultural Society early in 1854. The members were generally inexperienced in the matter, and other embarrassments tended to retard operations, but the adage ‘where there is a will there is a way’ proved true, and though it was a season of drought a successful fair was held, and several agricultural men from other towns came to wonder and admire. The fair was a success. The unquenchable ardor and indomitable enthusiasm of a large portion of the people prevailed, and creditable fairs were held till 1863, making the number of ten annual fairs.

"After two or three years it was thought best to procure a piece of ground where they might be held in successive years with convenience and security. A very suitable locality was secured on a lease of years, to the amount of four acres, in a square form and surrounded by a substantial fence of boards set upright, eight to ten feet high, and a building of unassuming pretension reared in the center for a ‘Floral Hall.’ At first it was impossible to procure sufficient funds from membership and other sources to pay the premiums. At length it was proposed that we proceed to make a large cheese to awaken more interest in attendance upon our exhibitions. A cheese was made and pressed in the cider-mill, in a hoop supported by the tire of a wagon-wheel, and afterwards turned by a machine of ingenious contrivance, and presented at the fair. The interest to see the cheese was great, and the premiums of that fair were fully paid.

"After the cheese became mature, it was divided among those who had furnished the curd, and the aggregate weight was more than five hundred pounds. The example and success of our fairs awakened an interest in other towns around; and other societies were formed which had the effect to draw from the interest of this, and owing to this fact, and also to that of a constant current of opposition raised by certain individuals who kept up a constant clamor against it, charging the administration with favoritism, etc.; and it having had the desired effect of awakening an all-controlling and widely extended spirit of vigilance and enterprise on the subject of agriculture and kindred employments, it was thought best, on consultation, to disband and profit by what we had learned, and by what we might yet learn from other fairs held near us."

Of those who held the office of president, the names are as follows: N. Bouton, S. G. Jones, Josephus Gee, C. A. Hotchkiss, J. G. Tyler, Martin Luce and Wait Lincoln.

The following are the names of those who held successively the office of secretary: S. G. Jones, C. B. Gleason, W. A. Wood, Orin C. Dann and A. Mahan, all of whom performed the duties of their offices with ability and fidelity.

"The enterprise of the people of Virgil," says Mr. Bouton, "was put to a very significant test when the proposition for the construction of the Syracuse & Binghamton road was made. Though it was to pass only through a corner of the town, the call was responded to by the payment of $11,100 to its stock, as I learned upon inquiry of the lamented David Hale. It is needless to say that this whole amount was lost by those who paid it. This sum was paid with the slender hope of advantage that could be entertained under the circumstances, while other towns had the road passing them centrally, where the people paid nothing. Within a few years those residing in the west part have been called on, very urgently, to aid in the construction of the Southern Central, passing through the hither part of Dryden, and considerable sums have been paid for that road. Both these roads have been carried through, but neither of them has a station nearer our village than six miles, so that the advantages of such roads are not brought very near to us. There is, however, one consideration left for us that is rather gratifying, which is, that our town is not bonded for railroads or any other great object. Our town issued bonds for the payment of bounties in the time of the late civil war, which were felt to be an embarrassment while they remained, and an evident feeling of relief prevailed when the last of these were redeemed; and they were brought together at a meeting of the auditing board, and one of the justices asked aloud, if any one had any objection to offer why they should not be destroyed? No one raised any objection, and they were all placed in the stove, and every one seemed to breathe easier.

"Much has been done here in the construction and support of common roads and bridges; more, probably, than in most other towns around, in proportion to space and population. The alteration of the State road, so called, so as to take most of the travel from Snider Hill, so called, through Gridley Hollow, has caused a great expense, especially to the people of the vicinity, and also to the town at large; yet as this road is so located as to avoid most of the hills which abound in this portion of the town, it has been adhered to, and the considerable expense involved in sustaining bridges, etc., has been borne with as much quietude and resignation as could reasonably be expected. We now assume that the credit of our people, for enterprise on the subject of the different classes of roads and bridges, should rank as high as that of any other town in this vicinity, or anywhere else.

"Several events have transpired that have caused great sensation for a time, and made a lasting impression on many minds. The first was that of a boy lost in the woods. In May, 1796, Daniel Chaplin, son of Joseph Chaplin, and father of Mrs. Gleason, aged about fourteen years, set out to drive a cow to Mr. Frank, and took with him a few pounds of flour. The cow became refractory and turned out of the road, and in endeavoring to get her back he lost the road and wandered in the trackless wilderness. The cow returned home, thus giving notice that he was lost. An alarm was given and about fifty men assembled, which was a great number for so sparse a population. He was gone four days and three nights without food, and was found on the ‘Bridge Road,’ in Dryden, by Aaron and James Knapp, of Homer. They ascertained who he was, and proceeded to help him home. He had the flour with him, but the weather having been rainy, it had become mouldy and they threw it away. He was very faint and weak, but being supported on each side he could walk, and they arrived at his father’s house about midnight, where his mother had about thirty men in and about the house, and was preparing victuals for them to take in their search on the morrow. Mr. Chaplin was absent at the time. We shall not make the vain attempt to paint the scene caused by his arrival.

"The next to be noticed was the great eclipse of the sun on the 16 th of June, 1806, which, though not peculiar to this town, made a deep impression, and was an event from which many others have been reckoned. Another event which produced general solemnity, was that of a sweeping sickness, which occurred in the winter and spring of 1813. In a very few weeks four heads of families in that thin population were removed by death. Their names were James Roe, esq., Jacob Chatterton, William Gee, and Lydia, wife of Benjamin Glazier.

"The season of 1816 was very unfruitful, generally denominated the cold season, followed by a great scarcity of provisions, etc. In 1821 there was much suffering on account of scarcity of food for stock, and it was also a time of great pecuniary embarrassment. In 1836-37 there was also a scan supply of provisions and a time of derangement in pecuniary matters, resulting from the insane speculations immediately preceding, in which many engaged with that recklessness characteristic of those in haste to be rich. It is unnecessary to say that these last were events common to the whole country, and affecting this town only as a constituent part of the same."

Frequent allusion has been made to the division of the town. It had long been evident to discriminating minds that this event must take place at some time, but the different interests involved and the condition of political parties delayed it till 1846. It was then divided into three towns; the north half constituted one and retained the original name. The south half was formed into two; the west part receiving the name of Harford, and the east that of Lapeer. Since that time a part of Virgil has been set to Cortlandville, and another part consisting of lot No. 20 has been attached to Freetown. Thus Virgil, from being one-fourth part of one town in 1796, has become the whole of three and a part of two others. The population has increased from thirty in 1798 to 4,541 in 1845, and 2,410 in 1850, after the division. Stock taken on the Syracuse and Binghamton Railroad amounts to $11,100. Other statistics have been given in their proper places.

It is worthy of note that Nathaniel Bouton, one of the pioneers of Virgil, was the projector of the New York and Erie Railroad, and continued to advocate the same till an influence was awakened that resulted in its construction and completion. He conceived the idea of constructing a railroad from the city of New York to Lake Erie, direct through the then secluded southern tier; and in the year 1828 he examined a route through sufficiently well to know that it was a feasible one, and with the aid of Nathan Bouton he prepared and published the outlines of his plan in the Cortland Observer, a paper then issued in Homer village.

His plan was copied in several periodicals along the line of the proposed road; and from that time the subject of a New York and Erie Railroad continued to occupy the public mind until the grand project was completed. The decease of De Witt Clinton, whose death was announced in the same sheet that published Mr. Bouton’s plan, was a cause of discouragement to him, for he had fondly hoped that his favorite project would receive the approbation and aid of that distinguished statesman; but the nucleus was formed, the project was originated, and the work advanced. Mr. Bouton was anxious that it should be a State work; he argued that it would be a good policy for the State to engage in it ---- that it would annually yield a revenue which might be advantageously expended for the support of schools.

A few months previous to the final completion of the road its worthy projector died at his residence in this town, where he had lived forty-five years. He had lived to see the place of his adoption transformed from a wild and howling wilderness into a delightful and well-cultivated country, inhabited by a moral, intelligent and industrious people. He had lived, too, to see the distance between his residence and the Atlantic changed from a dreary journey of two weeks into a pleasant ride of only a few hours, and this town enjoying all the privileges and possessed of all the elements which are necessary to promote the happiness of a people.

No town in the county has a prouder record than Virgil in the war of the rebellion. Her sons volunteered to the defense of liberty and her representatives were authorized to expend her wealth freely in the common cause. The following list shows the names of those who enlisted in the army, and the amount of bounties paid to them under the different calls of the president for troops: ---

Calls of October 17 th, 1863 and February and March, 1864. Amount of bounty paid $300.00. Total $12,600. --- E. F. Hovey, Rolland C. Frank, Jared L. Lathrop, Chester Hillsinger, John Schnottebeck, Melvin W. Diven, Eugene Johnson, Elias Joyner, Peter Conrad, Leander J. Webber, Riley E. Simmonds, Francis Haskill, Henry Colligan, Nelson R. Conrad, Peter N. Palmeter, Horatio E. Moore, Reuben Hawley, Silas L. Griswold, Miles H. Hutchings, Jaspar Parker, William H. Hopping, John Summers, Charles H. Spaulding, Charles Winney, Henry Wain, Martin L. Sweet, Henry A. Dean, Otis Graves, Chas. Clark, John Sullivan, James Shields, John Stevens, John J. H. Allen, John Corbett, Thomas Benson, George Kelly, Ira Pooler, James Welch, Harry F. Morris, William P. Ferman.

Call of July 18 th, 1864. Amount of bounty paid $1,000. Total, $46,000. Brokerage, $1,175. --- William B. West, James Gorman, John Manning, James Cooke, Thomas McFarland, William S. De Puy, Wilber R. Arnold, James Haskins, Nelson R. McIntosh, C. Bradly Mix, Nathaniel M. Parks, Aaron Williams, Loren D. Gillen, Charles H. Lang, Andrew Olmstead, Benjamin Pelham, George R. Price, Seymour Skinner, James Shevalier, Hiram G. Conrad, Nathan Sherman, Everett H. Jacobson, James L. Thomas, Nelson Joiner, Horace F. Baker, Edgar Parker, Elijah Moffat, jr., Vinus Johnson, George Butterfield, Hiram E. Baker, Albert Luce, Storry Kinney, Lafayette Darling, Thomas B. Hopkins, Eren Hackett, David B. Hammond, George W. Gross, Edward Harrison, Purdy H. Green, Samuel G. Dickinson, William Coe, Alfred D. Ascroft, De Forest Willard, Calvin S. Gray, Leander Ross, Horace Stafford, Frank D. Wright.

Call of December 19 th, 1864. Brokerage, $165. --- John Burnett, Andrew Parker, Patrick Brown, Charles Dogan, Eli J. Wood, James Brown, Charles Youngs, Sylvester Ryder, Joseph W. Harris, Charles H. Flint, James H. Hanson.

Recapitulation. --- Paid for filling quotas, calls October 17 th, 1863, February and March, 1864, $12,600. Paid for filling quotas, call July 18th, 1864, $47,175. Paid for filling quota, call for December 19th, 1864, $165. Grand Total, $59,940.



The place bearing this name is a pretty little village situated in the southwestern part of lot 24, which is located a little west of the center of the town. At this point valleys from the eastward, westward and southward open upon a level plain, while in other directions lofty and steep or rolling hills arise. The village now comprises three churches, a hotel, four stores, three carriage shops, four blacksmith shops, harness shop, etc., with about fifty houses. It is six miles south of Cortland village and about the same distance from railroad communication at Messengerville, on the Syracuse, Binghamton and New York railroad, and at Dryden on the Southern Central road. It has a daily mail from Cortland village.

One of the earliest settlers on the site of the town was Jacob Chatterton, the ancestor of numerous families of that name who lived in the town. He located in 1800 on the site of Dr. Muncey’s residence, where he subsequently died.

Thomas Mott was one of the earliest settlers in Virgil Corners, where he came from Franklin, Delaware county, in 1807. He settled on the premises now occupied by Myron Ballou, just east of the village, where he remained until his death. He had a large family, among whom was Thomas Mott, jr., who was born in Franklin in 1807. He spent a long life at Virgil Corners, where he held the office of justice of the peace for more than forty years and until his death, which occurred in 1882. Among the other children of the elder Thomas Mott were the second wife of Dr. Horace Bronson, who is still living at Virgil Corners; Mrs. Joseph Reynolds, her husband being one of the first merchants of the place; Mrs. Dr. Terry, whose husband was one of Dr. Bronson’s students, and Henry Mott, who died in Michigan.

Samuel Slater settled on the premises south of the Corners, where John Oakley now lives. He subsequently and at an early day removed to the village, where he engaged in the manufacture and sale of horn combs. He was postmaster at an early period. His son Edward became a merchant in the place, as will hereafter appear, and is now a prominent citizen of Cortland village.

William Lincoln settled in an early year on the farm now occupied by Abram Sager, and removed to the Corners some forty years ago. He lived in the house now occupied by Aaron Hutchings. He acquired the title of "Major," through his services in the State militia and was much respected. He had seven sons --- Silas, Theron, Wait, William, Clinton, Levi and Oscar. The latter is dead.

Timothy Green, sen., settled on the farm near the village on the south, where James Mitchell has subsequently lived, before 1810. He had three sons, Timothy, jr., Joel and Jesse. The last two were twins and removed to the West. Timothy spent most of his life on the farm about a mile west of the village, and became an influential citizen. He was elected to the Legislature, and was supervisor of the town. He removed to the Corners late in life, and died there.

Nathan Bouton lived for a number of years in the earlier portion of his life where Rufus Holton now lives and exerted an influence for good upon the young community.

Moses Olmstead lived at an early day three-fourths of a mile west of the Corners, on the farm where Horace Robinson now resides. He had three sons, William, David and James. They are all dead.

The names of many of the early settlers on the site of the little village called Virgil Corners, have already been mentioned. It was probably as late or later than 1810 before there was much of a settlement at this point, the post-office having been established in 1808, with Zophar Moore as postmaster, as before noted. There were then two or three grist-mills in the town, several saw-mills, carding-mills, etc., and a population sufficient to make it evident that there would soon at least be a demand for mercantile business.*** The first merchant at Virgil Corners was probably J. K. Lampheer, but the exact date when he began business here is not now accessible. His first place of business was on the site of Perkin’s wagon shop. About the same time Gideon Messenger opened a store in a small way in a portion of the house now occupied by Charles Johnson. Joseph Reynolds who came here in 1808, began mercantile business not long after the first store was opened, in the building which is now used as a shop by Mr. Perkins. It stood then on the site of A. H. Peckham’s store. The site now occupied by Wm. Holton’s store was first used for mercantile purposes by Wm. Snider. He was succeeded by Rufus and Wm. Edwards and later by A. E. Heberd, who transferred the business to John Chamberlain in about the year 1838 and two years later built the store now occupied by S. K. Jones. Chamberlain remained in the store on the Holton site about two years, when he bought out Mr. Reynolds, the purchase including the dwelling now occupied by E. A. Crain. Wm. Snider again took the site occupied by Mr. Holton and continued in business there until 1856, when he failed and closed out his business. He was followed by Patterson & Graves. The store was burned about the year 1860, when B. J. Jones purchased the lot and erected a new store. The premises were sold to Wm. A. Holton in 1873, who erected the present store in the same year. He now carries on a successful trade.

Mr. Chamberlain failed in the store on Mr. Peckham’s site about the year 1845, and the business was closed out by Rufus Edwards. The store was next occupied by Platt F. Grow and James S. Squires. About the year 1850 the old building was removed to its present location and the present store was built by Dudley Benton. The building was partially occupied by S. M. Roe as a produce depot for a year or more, when E. A. Crain took it and began mercantile business, which he continued about two years. He was followed by Grow & Jones for about the same length of time. Eugene Edwards then took it and continued business about four years. He sold out to Wm. H. Smith, who afterwards associated himself with D. F. Wallace. Mr. Smith retired from the firm and in 1870 W. A. Holton and A. H. Peckham purchased the business. They remained together until 1873, when Mr. Peckham bought out his partner, who bought and built upon his present location, as above stated. Mr. Peckham has successfully conducted business since 1873.

Mr. Heberd continued business in the store built by him in 1840 (now occupied by Mr. Jones) until 1847, when he failed. He was followed by Winslow & Slafter (E. Winslow and E. P. Slafter) for three years, when Mr. Winslow took the business alone and continued it successfully for eight years, or until 1858, having in the mean time purchased the building. At the date last mentioned he leased the store to Charles Snyder. About the year 1860 Grow & Jones (Platt F. Grow and B. J. Jones) began business there, continuing until the fall of 1860, when Mr. Grow died. The business was closed up and the remainder of the goods sold to Mr. Winslow. He continued in trade until 1868, when he sold the building to Joseph Burt. Howard Hubbard was associated with Burt for about a year, when Burt sold his interest to Wm. H. Smith. In the year 1869 A. H. Peckham became a member of the firm, which firm a year later sold the whole business to Mr. Hubbard. In the mean time the latter had transferred the building to Andrew Hutchings. In 1876 B. J. Jones bought the store of Mr. Hutchings, and it has since that time been occupied with mercantile business in the hands of S. K. Jones.

In the year 1868, a portion of the goods in the stock turned over to Joseph Burt came back into his possession. These he placed on sale in the building now occupied by Geo. H. Ladd as a shoe shop, where he continued until 1872. He then leased the Jones store for a year or two, going from there to his present location. Mr. Winslow has been postmaster since 1865, the office being kept in his store.

The record gives the history of the mercantile business of Virgil Corners as far as it is now accessible. There have been at different periods, small groceries or confectionery stores kept, but none of especial importance.

Physicians. --- The first physician in the town was Elijah Hartson, but no details of his life are now accessible. He was, however, with Drs. Moore, Green and Worden, here before 1810 or 1812. Dr. John Wood was here about the latter year and lived where S. Bouton now resides, west of the village. Dr. Ryan came to town before 1820, in which year one of the most eminent physicians of the county took up his residence at Virgil Corners where he remained in successful practice during a period of more than fifty years; this was Dr. Horace Bronson. The ancestors of Dr. Bronson came from Scotland and he was born in Catskill, N. Y., Sept. 8th, 1796. His parents removed to Vernon, Oneida county, when he was four or five years old and became well-to-do farmers. Horace early evinced a natural taste for study, especially of natural history, in which he fortunately received encouragement from his parents. He entered Hamilton College, to which institution his father had already been a donor, and graduated in due time. He attended four full courses of medical lectures and took his degree of Doctor of Medicine from the Fairfield Medical College in 1819, then a famous institution of Western New York.

By the advice of Dr. Lewis Riggs, then of Homer, Dr. Bronson came to Virgil in 1820, as above stated, where he continued in practice until 1873, when he was incapacitated for further labor by the sickness which terminated his valuable life on the 30th of January, 1874. He became a member of the Cortland Medical Society in 1821. Dr. Bronson was possessed of much more than ordinary native ability and his acquired attainments were varied and useful. He was very industrious in his profession, a skillful practitioner and kind and forbearing towards his patients who found it difficult to pay for medical treatment. Dr. Bronson married Polly Ball by whom he had one son and two daughter. His second wife was Happy Mott, who now resides in Virgil Corners with her son-in-law, Charles Johnson.

Dr. C. P. Weaver came to Virgil next after Dr. Bronson, and was followed by Drs. Wilson and Robinson, who came between 1841 and 1848. The next physicians were Drs. Wm. Fitch, now of Dryden, and Jay Ball, now of Cortland village.

In the spring of 1859 Dr. Wm. A. Muncey came to Virgil Corners from Waverly, Tioga county, N. Y., where he had pursued his studies and practiced one year in partnership with Dr. C. M. Nobles, with whom he had studied. In 1874 Dr. Muncey graduated from the American Medical University in Philadelphia, and in 1881-82 finished a course and graduated from the Eclectic Medical College of New York. He has been in constant practice in the town since his arrival. Dr. Chas. Lansing came here about the time Dr. Muncey came, but remained only for a short time.

Dr. John D. Tripp is a graduate of the Long Island College Hospital, from which institution he graduated in the year 1865, immediately after which he came to Virgil Corners. He has remained here ever since and enjoys an extensive practice and the confidence of the community.

Hotel. --- There has never been but one hotel of much pretensions in Virgil Corners. The first record of if that we have been able to obtain is of the year 1820, when it was kept by John I. Gee. Ezra Bruce next kept it, but it is not known at just what date nor how long. Nathaniel Knapp kept it also for a time. Eleazer Carpenter, and Reese & Fink were also proprietors at an early day. In 1840 it was kept by Jerry Terpening; then by Morgan & Terpening, and again by Mr. Terpening alone. Lewis Barton kept it for a time. A man named Humphrey and Horace Wilcox also had charge of the house. Later William Chatterton kept it, it having meanwhile passed into the possession of Dudley Benton, who made large additions and improvements in the buildings. William Benton then took the proprietorship of the house and was followed by Thomas Perkins for a short period, when the property came into possession of John D. Benton, who also made further improvements. In 1865-66 Culver & Gleason took the house but kept it only for a year or two, being followed by O. S. Withey. In 1869 frank French took the house and was succeeded at different dates, which are not of special interest, by John J. Isaacs, Evans Griggs, Martin Maricle, T. Warren, John C. Keefe (1881), F. D. Haskell. At about this time the property passed into the possession of Geo. W. Lason. A. T. Niver then leased it in 1882, and Mr. Lason took it in 1883. The present year (1884) John A. McKinney purchased the property and is now keeping the house to the satisfaction of the public.

A tavern was kept for a time before the last war in the large wooden structure locally known as "Bunker Hill," for a short time. This building was erected in the year 1804 by James Knapp. It served the double purpose, so it is said, of creating a good deal of astonishment among the inhabitants on account of its size and magnificence, and of ruining its builder. It now makes a convenient wagon shop and is owned by J. C. Seamans.

John Chamberlain kept something of a public house at an early day in the house now occupied as a residence by E. A. Crain. He was succeeded by a man named Traver, and Mr. Crain kept the house open to the public for a short time.

E. Winslow, who has already been often alluded to as one of the prominent merchants, was about the first if not the very first person to engage in harness-making in the village. This was in the year 1840. He was first located in the building that stood where Mr. Holton’s store is now located. In 1845 he sold out the harness business to Jerome Hulbert (now a prominent citizen of Marathon village), to engage in the boot and shoe business. He remained in one-half of the store, selling boots and shoes, until 1852, when he became a member of the firm of Winslow & Slafter, as before stated. After Mr. Hulbert moved away there was no harness-making in the village until N. A. Gardner came in 1869. He is still doing some work in his house. H. H. Branch began the business in 1876. He left the village early in the present year. Wayland Goodell is now working at the business in the second story of Peckham’s store.

Wagon-making has been carried on in Virgil from a very early period. Timothy Woods was probably the first in the town and worked at the business before 1820. He was located north of the Corners and afterwards west of the "West Meeting-house." Archelaus Green was also engaged in this business before 1825. Jerry Tyler, now living at Virgil Corners, says that a Mr. Bryant, who was the father of Lewis Bryant, made wagons on Luce hill at an early date ---- probably as early as 1830. In 1838 he made a lumber wagon for him, which his son Allen is still using in a very good state of preservation. Phillip Colwell was a wagon-maker here before 1840, and Samuel Sikes had a small shop as early as that, a little north of where Ebenezer Perkins now lives. His old shop is now a part of Mr. Perkins’s barn. The Sikes premises were purchased by Mr. Winslow in 1844. Ebenezer Perkins began wagon-making on Cortland street in the shop now occupied by M. B. Williams, which he built in the year 1843. He sold out to J. C. Seamans and he to Sylvester Crain in 1860. The business was continued there by Sylvester and E. A. Crain until 1875 when they sold out to J. C. Seamans. The Crains purchased the old Methodist church building in the year 1876-77 and removed it to its present location, where it has been used as a wagon shop and undertaking establishment since. M. B. Williams now works at the business in the shop formerly occupied by Mr. Perkins. Mr. Perkins has a shop in the old building formerly used as a store by Joseph Reynolds.

There are now three blacksmith shops in the village. One is operated by George Hicks, one by C. H. Seamans, and one by Geo. and J. C. Seamans. Michael Ehle was one of the early blacksmiths in the place. Isaac Seamans was the next, and built the shop now occupied by his son, I. M. Seamans. Before this shop was built Isaac Seamans was located near the Methodist parsonage. Ehle’s shop was on the corner where Harry Williams now lives. The location of Hick’s shop was for several years occupied by William Adamy with a blacksmith shop more than thirty years ago. Mr. Adamy is now a resident of Union, Broome county.

Joel Hancock was one of the early settlers in the village and was probably the first shoemaker here. After him David Sweet and Nathan Shultz were in the business. A man named Rogers had a shop near the Murdock tannery at an early day. Justin Smith was a shoemaker here before 1850, as was also a man named Simpkins. Geo. H. Ladd began work in this line in 1850, and has followed it ever since. N. R. Locke was in the business here from 1856 to 1860.**

There being no power obtainable from streams within the village, little has been done in manufacturing, and the isolation of the place from railroad communication has operated against its growth. It was formerly quite an important point on the stage route from Cortland to Owego, and in earlier years before trade was diverted to other distant points through the facilities for travel offered by railroads, there was more business done here, undoubtedly, than at the present time.


This little hamlet presents a vivid example of the rapid changes that are effected by time. It is still within memory of many of the older citizens of Virgil, when there was much more manufacturing and mercantile business done here than there was at Virgil Corners. Now there is scarcely a pretense of either, outside of the substantial grist-mill.

Besides its name of "Gridley Hollow," derived from Reuben Gridley, who was one of the most prominent pioneers in that region, the hamlet has been known as East Virgil, and the post-office now bears that name. The place is situated on lot 49 near the southeast corner of the town, and the stream which has been called "Gridley creek" runs directly through it. High and precipitous hills rise directly from the settlement, on the north and south, while the bed of the creek in that vicinity has cut a deep and narrow ravine through the rocky formation in that region, adding much to the otherwise romantic scenery of the place.

The names of many of the early settlers at this point have already been given. The first mill was built by a Mr. Vandenburg in 1819, on or near the site now occupied by the mill of E. D. Angell. A saw-mill was also built at the same point and by the same man. This property passed into the hands of Reuben Gridley at an early day and he operated them for a period of about ten years. He subsequently removed to the State of Michigan, where he died. The present stone mill was built by Gaius Rudd, in the year 1856, after the disastrous flood of that year had swept away every mill and bridge between Virgil Corners and the river at the State bridge. Rudd occupied the grist-mill, the saw-mill having been abandoned, until the present owner, E. D. Angell, bought it; he is successful in its operation.

Abram Van Buskirk was an early settler in the Hollow on the place which afterward passed into the possession of Andrew Brusie at an early day. He was an enterprising and more than ordinarily intelligent and energetic man. He built a forge on the creek, which he successfully operated by water power for many years, the quality of his iron attaining an excellent reputation. He was a justice of the peace for several years. The great flood swept away the forge and it was not rebuilt. Mr. Brusie and his family finally removed from the town.

The first merchant in the Hollow was William Gray. He built a store on the south side of the creek and did a large business. Hiram J. Messenger, now of Cortland village, became his partner, but the firm soon dissolved and Mr. Messenger built the store on the opposite side of the stream, and continued business there for several years, finally removing to Messengerville, after the completion of the railroad. Mr. Gray continued in business until 1849, when he was attacked with cholera after returning from New York, where he had just purchased a large stock of goods. He died suddenly and his business was closed up. Among his sons were H. C. Gray, now of Harford Mills; Frank Gray, of Janesville, Wis.; Alonzo Gray, of Watkins, N. Y., and Jesse Gray, of Cortland. Wm. Gray was the first postmaster in Gridley Hollow (or East Virgil), established in 1845.

Alexander McVean was an early settler at the Hollow and was justice of the peace for a period of forty years. He was, in connection with Isaac Benton, owner of the saw-mill before it was swept away. Mr. Benton was born in the town at an early day, and carried on the wagon-making and blacksmithing at the Hollow, employing a number of hands and doing a large business. James McVean also had a blacksmith shop there at one time, and Wm. H. Johnson carried on a tailor shop, while Jonathan Potter did the shoemaking for the vicinity. After the death of Mr. Gray, Isaac Bloomer removed to the Hollow and occupied the store until it was carried away in 1856. About the year 1832 Hiram Baker built a saw-mill a mile and a half west of the Hollow; but as the forests became cleared away there was less demand for such mills, and all that was left of them to be carried away by the flood went down in that calamity and they were not rebuilt.

At the time that Gridley owned and operated the mill in the Hollow, he also ran a distillery, which did a profitable business; and another smaller one was located directly on the top of Snider Hill, which was owned by Christopher Rorabacher.

A church was built at the Hollow in 1844, by the union of the members of several denominations in that vicinity. It finally passed under the charge of the Methodists, as before detailed. Services are now conducted there by the Rev. H. W. Williams, of the Virgil Corners Methodist Church.

In early years, and until the opening of the road through the Hollow to connect with the State road (about the years 1833-34), the Hollow was reached only from the north and south, down the steep hills; consequently the opening of this road was looked upon as a great improvement. The diversion of trade to Virgil Corners and later to other points on the railroads, has reduced Gridley Hollow to a mere hamlet, with very little pretense of business of any kind, outside of the mill and a small store kept by John Lewis, who is also the present postmaster.


This is a hamlet and station on the Syracuse, Binghamton and New York Railroad, and on lot 50 in the southeastern corner of the town, near the western bank of the Tioughnioga river. A small hamlet and a tavern existed near there before the completion of the railroad, known as State Bridge, from the fact that the bridge over the river on the State road is located at that point. When the railroad was finished there promised to be some trade and shipping attracted to this station, and H. J. Messenger, who had been in business at Gridley Hollow, built a store there and began trade. He has been succeeded by several others, among whom are Dickinson & Husted, Mr. Husted alone, Lincoln & Wait, and now by the Seamans Brothers.

One of the first saw-mills in the town was built near this station by a man named Blaisdell, which was swept away in the flood of 1856 and was not rebuilt. A steam saw-mill was erected at a later date by Eli Husted, which was burned a few years ago. Walter L. Chaplin is the postmaster at Messengerville.


This is a mere hamlet situated about a mile south of Virgil Corners. It was here that the pioneer, John M. Frank, first located, giving the place its name. Prominent among the early settlers in the immediate vicinity was Charles Hotchkiss, who settled at an early day where his son, Alonzo, now lives. He had three sons, Alonzo, Devolso and Wolcott. The former is one of the prominent farmers of the town and a member of the Presbyterian Church. Marenus Terpening and his brother Noah settled early just north of Mr. Hotchkiss, where they lived many years. Caleb Whiting, who located at what is known as Babcock Hollow at an early day, removed to Frank’s Corners and for many years carried on an extensive marble-working business. He was on the premises now occupied by George Dann, and now lives in Cayuga county.

A man named Asel Cannon had a blacksmith shop at this point many years ago, and Chester Simons carried on the business there at a later period for many years. John Ehle has also worked at the business recently.

Lester Holton, father of W. A. and Rufus Holton, of Virgil, and Mark and Luke Holton, of Cortland village, followed wagon-making at Frank’s Corners many years ago. A small store was kept there by Wm. H. Smith for a few years during the last war.

Following is a list of the supervisors and town clerks of Virgil from the first organization to the present time. The supervisor’s name is given first in each instance: ----

Moses Rice, Gideon Messenger, 1805-06; James Roe, Abner Bruce, 1807-09; James Roe, Moses Rice, 1810; Moses Rice, James Roe, 1811; Moses Rice, James Chatterton, 1812 to 1816 inclusive; Gideon Messenger, James Chatterton, 1817 to 1819 inclusive; Gideon Messenger, Alvan Ryan, 1820; Gideon Messenger, James Chatterton, 1821 to 1824 inclusive; Joseph Reynolds, Wm. Snider, 1825 to 1830 inclusive; Gideon Messenger, Wm. Snider, 1831; Joseph Reynolds, Kinne Grow, 1832; Joseph Reynolds, Wm. Woodward, 1833-34; Michael Frank, Wm. Woodward, 1835-36; Sanford Bouton, Augustus Heberd, 1837; Josiah Hart, John Chamberlain, 1838; Sanford Bouton, Augustus Heberd, 1839-40; Timothy Green, John Chamberlain, 1841; Ogden Gray, Norman Chamberlain, 1842-43; Timothy Green, Norman Chamberlain, 1844; Timothy Green, Augustus Heberd, 1845; Enoch Branch, Norman Chamberlain, 1846; John Green, Wm. Chatterton, 1847; Dudley Benton, Wait Chamberlain, 1848; Moses Tyler, Willard Chatterton, 1849; Page Green, Willard Chatterton, 1850; John Green, Samuel Slafter, 1851; Madison B. Mynard, David L. Bronson, 1852; Hiram Messenger, Willard Chatterton, 1853; Josephus Gee, Willard Chatterton, 1854; Isaac Raymond, Willard Chatterton, 1855; Andrew Brusie, Alonzo Snider, 1856; Jonas Owen, Samuel Slafter, 1857; Enoch Willet, Samuel Slafter, 1858; Nathan Spencer, Samuel Slafter, 1859; Josephus Gee, Platt F. Grow, 1860; Josephus Gee, Charles P. Snider, 1861; Nathan Spencer, Alexander Mahan, 1862; Roswell Price, Alexander Mahan, 1863; Roswell Price, Eber Sweet, 1864; Nathan Spencer, G. H. Ladd, 1865; Nathan Smith, Alexander Collins, 1866; Roswell Price, Howard Hubbard, 1867-68; Nathan Bouton, Chas. Williams, 1869; S. M. Byram, Charles Williams, 1870-71; Roswell Price, A. H. Peckham, 1872-73; Roswell Price, W. A. Muncey, 1874; J. D. Tripp, W. A. Holton, 1875; Roswell Price, A. H. Peckham, 1876; Roswell Price, H. H. Branch, 1877; Roswell Price, J. O. Seamans, 1878; W. P. Mynard, J. O. Seamans, 1879; W. P. Mynard, A. H. Peckham, 1880; Walter Chaplin, A. H. Peckham, 1881 to 1883 inclusive; Walter Chaplin, E. A. Crain, 1884.

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*All the structures for inhabitants were made rude. Generally they were small, built up of logs, with a floor of plank split from basswood logs, door of the same, hung with wooden hinges, and the roof of bark peeled from elm or basswood, without chimney or glass window. This was the case with nearly all constructed previous to 1801, when the first saw-mill was built. And I may also proceed to say in this place, that the farming utensils, household furniture, and all such necessaries and conveniences of life, were rude and clumsy. The bedsteads were not French, but American, consisting of four posts of round timber, with holes bored to receive the end and side rails, and bark drawn across instead of cords. The young children, of which the number was considerable in proportion to the population, were soothed to rest in sap-troughs and hollow logs for cradles. It was the lot of your speaker to enjoy the latter, vibrating on the plank floor before described; trenchers or wooden plates were, in many instances, used instead of earthen, etc. --- Nathan Bouton’s Historical Pamphlet.

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**Mr. Locke was the father of D. R. Locke, who has become famous as a writer under the nom de plume of "Petroleum V. Nasby." He is connected with the Toledo Blade.

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***Before the partially cleared farms produced a sufficient amount of grain for the sustenance of the people, it was common for the able-bodied, stalwart young men to go, as it was said, "out to the lakes," to work during harvest, that they might supplement the scanty amount grown on their own narrow fields. I might mention as a specimen of difficulties to be overcome, the scanty remuneration received by ministers of the gospel. One who had labored several years in a church made a statement which is derived from an authentic source to this effect: that he had not received money enough from the church to which he ministered to pay the postage on letters which he had received on their account. Afterwards the same church secured the labors of a minister on a salary of fifty dollars. Another church passed a solemn resolution that they would endeavor to raise ten dollars to secure the labors of a minister two Sabbaths during the year. Such are some of the facts existing, incident to the settlement of this town. These have doubtless given rise to some of the disparaging things that have been said long since, and have been repeated in modern times, taxing heavily even the "Charity which suffereth long and is kind." It will be the object of this writer, in a series of articles, to show that such opinions, if entertained, are unfounded, and merely indicate the ignorance or prejudice of those who express them. --- N. BOUTON.

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